Thursday, August 30, 2012

Silence Is Not "Golden" When Defending Liberty

 “Silence is golden,” says the old proverb. The silence in defense of liberty is deafening. American voices are silent or drowned by the liberal agenda of the main stream media, the approved elite talking heads, and the progressive academia.

Stifling free speech and political debate by using political correctness and unfounded accusations of racism are the favorite tools of the progressive movement. Every facet of the American way of life is under attack by the fringe in power. Yet, it is so quiet on the right, you can hear crickets.

The anti-American political posturing of Democrats in this presidential campaign and the Republicans’ weak defense of what has made America a superpower is a reminder of how much is at stake and how much can be lost in November – the heart and soul of a nation, her very existence.

The American “arrogance” for which this administration is constantly apologizing to the world is found in cemeteries across Europe in which American heroes are interred, having died in the defense of liberty for ungrateful and cocky European socialists who have forgotten the ultimate sacrifice paid by ordinary Americans who preserved their way of life and freedom there and around the globe.

There is a strong disconnect between the interests of the political class and the interests of “we the people.” We want to save our nation and our Constitution. Politicians are only interested in gaining and retaining power and wealth during their “service.” Their ultimate goal is to remain in office for life by pleasing constituents who send in large donations and endorsements, and by pretending to care for the downtrodden. Throw supporters a bone in the form of welfare, amnesty, or union support, and they will vote Democrat forever. Build a bridge to nowhere or a short railroad to a swamp and you gain the citizens’ undying devotion.

Politicians prefer a dumbed down electorate, uninformed, with little education, no courage, easily duped and pliable so that representatives can retain their privileged status. Politicians lie, misrepresent, sell their conscience, betray the voters’ trust, betray their country, and sell it to the highest bidder in order to keep their power and office. Should they lose an election, civilian life can provide even more spoils in the form of lobbying, in exchange for knowledge and insider information gained while in office.

History is conveniently erased or re-written to favor the latest education mandate sent in by the mighty Department of Education who decides what facts are important and what perception of reality shaped by those in power is acceptable and politically correct in order to graduate more drones.

Students are socially promoted and encouraged to attend colleges where they are advised to pursue worthless degrees in social studies, women’s studies, ethnic studies, communication, and journalism with a communist bent and social justice activism, for which there is little demand and certainly little pay or employment opportunity unless Occupy Wall Streeter is considered a serious profession.

Who wants to study hard and struggle to pass math? Liberals say that “mathematics is man-made, arbitrary, and good solutions are arrived at by consensus among those who are considered experts.” By this logic, 2+2 may equal 5 if there is enough “consensus.”

Easy As in fluff courses are guaranteed in this progressive ideology that permeates humanities and social sciences. I never understood why they call them sciences – there is nothing scientific about a subject that derives its “wisdom” from opinion surveys.

Innovations, inventions, most favored status and strategic technology are sold or made available to rogue nations and enemies while allies are slighted or ignored.

If you happen to be “rich,” and the definition of “rich” keeps changing, you did not pay your fare share. You now work for your government, the government no longer works for you. Social justice demands as much confiscation of wealth as possible from you until redistribution of wealth and social engineering is satisfied. Only then will social justice/equity reign supreme.

If you have a small business for which you had worked very hard for many years or perhaps generations, you did not build that, someone else helped you because the government built roads for you to travel on and engage in commerce. Never mind that you were levied confiscatory taxes by the government, thus paying for the construction of roads and for the right to travel on them.

Government spending is out of control. Congressmen in both parties cannot help themselves in the drunken deficit spending frenzy. They are so irresponsible, they have not passed a budget in three years, one of  their primary missions.

Yet Congress and the government would like to tell you how irresponsible you are with your finances, how much more taxes you must pay, what to eat, what to drink, how much salt to consume, what drugs to take, what kind of insurance you must purchase, what vaccines you must receive, what engineered foods you must eat via Codex Alimentarius, what supplements to take, what cars to buy, where to live, what to do with your own property, where to work, how to raise your children, and what schools to attend.

Meanwhile, Congressmen exempted themselves from Obamacare, protected themselves against the very fraud they punished their constituents with, and were lawless and unaccountable for their misdeeds, protecting each other like thieves in the night.

We’ve lost our Space Shuttle program with the stroke of a presidential pen, but landed successfully the rover Curiosity on Mars. The fantastic journey took 8 months and millions of miles. It boggles my mind how precise and tedious the entire process was. Nobody paid much attention to this momentous occasion in the history of our nation or cared to rejoice in such an accomplishment, except for the jubilant and marvelous engineers at NASA. Everyone else was busy with mundane living or tired of hearing the MSM disingenuous non-stop praises of a failed administration. Why spend money on our stellar space exploration program when we can rent a chair on a Russian shuttle like a poor and distant relative who cannot afford a car.

Silence may be golden in some cases, but, in defense of liberty, we must hear more than a whimper from our pro-America politicians if we are to save our constitutional republic - it must be a roar in order to protect our country from extinction.


Butler on Business WAFS 1190 - Food Police

My 9 minute commentary on Butler on Business WAFS 1190 Atlanta, 8-29-12.
Topic: Food Police, 9 minutes
I come on at the 32 minute mark.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

UN Agenda 21 - Got Milk, Cheese, and Hot Dogs?

Exiting the Metro at Union Station in D.C. on my way to a TV interview on UN Agenda 21, I spotted three ads on both sides of the wall close to the escalators where they could not be missed. I turned around and froze - I could not believe my eyes what the ads were advocating. Few bothered to read them in their hurried passage.

The first ad showed the portrait of a Pennsylvania family with two kids who were saying, “Let’s move milk out of school lunch” A much smaller print said, “One in eight Americans is lactose intolerant.”  Really? Because 12.5% of the population is lactose intolerant we must now remove milk from everyone’s diet because the 12.5% are not smart enough and would drink something that would cause them to be sick? Should we take all peanut butter out of consumption because some people are allergic to peanuts? Is there perhaps a more onerous reason why we would want to ban anything that comes from animals, especially cows because they are the primary “emitters” of methane gas, a gas blamed for global warming by the left?

The second ad, with a smiling 9 year old girl from Georgia said, “Let’s move cheese out of my school lunch.” Much smaller letters proclaimed, “Most cheese is 70% fat.” Would the food police go next after all products that contain cheese? Do we need the nanny state to tell us what to eat? Should we be using children as pawns to advance liberal agendas?

In the third ad, a 6 year old boy from New Jersey says, “Let’s move hot dogs out of my school lunch.” In smaller letters, the ad continues, “Processed meats increase colorectal cancer risk.” Aren’t most meats, by definition, processed? Should all humans become vegetarian or vegan?

The three ads are sponsored by Let’, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a pro-vegan group. I have no problem with people following a vegan diet, other than the fact that they look kind of ashen, waxy and sickly. Millions of Americans, however, prefer to get their protein from meat, cheese, eggs, and milk. Besides, there are not enough vegetables cultivated on the planet and grasses to satisfy all demand from 7 billion humans, domesticated animals, and wild animals. In liberal opinion, which ones should be sacrificed first through starvation, humans or animals? Do humans take a back seat to nature as animals gain rights and can sue us as part of the planetary stewardship?

UN Agenda 21’s 40 chapters outline human activities and decisions that are not sustainable based on environmental impact on global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction: family unit, farming, commercial agriculture, livestock, pesticides, herbicides, grazing cattle, irrigation, paved roads, private property, fossil fuels, golf courses, ski lodges, consumerism, logging, dams, reservoirs, fences, and power lines.

Food must be controlled through regulations and interdiction of agriculture achieved through water control, land usage control, genetically engineered seeds that do not germinate again after the first year’s crop, pesticides and herbicide use. The planet must be de-populated to manageable levels, no more than a billion people, and the family unit must be restructured. As Harvey Rubin, the Vice Chair of ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) now called Local Governments for Sustainability, has said, “Individual rights must take a back seat to the collective.” Is that not communism but on steroids?

Education curricula must purposefully dumb down education for Sustainable Development. Agenda 21 for Dummies quotes, “Generally, more highly educated people, who have higher incomes, consume more resources than poorly educated people, who tend to have lower incomes. In this case, more education increases the threat to sustainability.” (

Good stewards of the planet, young and impressionable students have to “construct [their own] understandings of reality and [realize)] that objective reality is not knowable.” The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values.” (‘Constructivism’ as defined and quoted in Agenda 21 for Dummies You Tube video)

Suddenly, foods that have sustained generations around the globe, preventing malnutrition, calcium deficiency, osteopenia, and osteoporosis are now maligned by the nanny state, by the elites who know what is best for us. Is it any wonder that we are skeptical?


Friday, August 24, 2012

Silvio Canto Jr. One Hour Friday Radio August 24, 2012

Europe, national news, national economy.

Butler on Business WAFS 1190 August 22, 2012

My ten minute radio segment with Alan Butler of WAFS Atlanta 1190 on the topic of global warming as pseudo-science. I come on at the 30 minute mark.

Fear and Anxiety Replaced "Hope and Change"

There is palpable fear and anxiety blanketing the souls of hardworking Americans who get up every day and go to work hoping with increased trepidation that things will improve. The MSM and the President are telling them that the economy is doing well when reality paints a different picture.

In light of the forced passage of Obamacare, there is fear of loss of health insurance, of the best health care in the world, of doctor shortages, of the dreaded 15 bureaucratic death panels appointed to deny as many procedures as possible, and of shortages of medications. There is anger at the loss of $700 billion from Medicare funds now earmarked to help implement the socialist Obamacare, substituting one socialist program for a disastrous one.

There is fear stemming from the loss of jobs and involuntary reduced work hours. Almost 14 percent of the labor force is unemployed – the Bureau of Labor Statistics massages the data monthly to keep it at the media reported 8.3 percent level, but everyone knows the real numbers.

College graduates cannot find jobs much less the six-figure salary employment that academic advisors promised. Instead, they are moving back with mom and dad, gladly crashing in the basement for free.

There is a real fear of punishing success and rewarding sloth under the guise of social justice, fitting in the grand scheme of the world elites of redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have-nots, those who like to stay home and draw welfare checks and benefits in exchange for a vote for those who promise more welfare.

There is fear of confiscation of property under eminent domain, by EPA fiat regulations, and re-zoning rules of the UN Agenda 21’s smart growth, green growth, sustainable growth plans designed to save mother Earth, Gaia, from human activity. Farming, the family, private property, recreation, mobility, the car, suburbia, traditional education are not sustainable under the global elite’s master plan. Everything must follow an environmental design carefully laid out in the 40 chapter document titled Agenda 21 of the Rio 1992 Treaty.

There is fear of government, of police, of loss of freedom, of drones, of FEMA camps, TSA molestation at airports in the name of supposed safety, and unwarranted immigration checks. TSA agents are now at metro stations, train stations, interstates, stadiums, political events, bus terminals, and truck stops. States are being sued by our government because they are trying to enforce the law that the federal government refuses or fails to enforce.

Many government agencies are ordering hollow point bullets by the millions and Americans are anxious. Should they not protect our borders first?

When more soldiers commit suicide than those killed in combat in Afghanistan, there is a problem. Some of them have never been in a war zone. What is so frightening to them?

There is anxiety over the ever-rising government corruption, lack of any indictment for highly publicized crimes swept under the rug, and for the billions of dollars stolen from the American taxpayers. The law now sends only little people to jail, just like under communism.

There is fear of losing free speech and anxiety over the concentrated racial hate stoked from many directions and the never-before seen utter divisiveness among Americans. There is fear of loss of freedom. Many books have been written about the perceived tyranny by the few.

There is anxiety over possible shortages and rationing of food, fuel, electricity, given this summer’s wide spread drought. We are the world’s biggest exporter of corn and many nations depend on us for their food supply. Yet we are still turning corn into ethanol.

We are fearful of the jihadis infiltrating our country and our levels of government since 9/11. Americans are afraid of jihadi schools that preach hate against the infidels instead of peace and love. We are afraid for our faith and cry for the loss of Christians slaughtered or crucified in Egypt. We are outraged at the senseless killing of Sikhs, a peaceful religion. Yet the only way citizens show displeasure is by showing up en mass to support a restaurant chain under assault for its Christian values.

Americans are anxious over possible bank runs, loss of pensions, of their life’s savings, their homes, the weakening of the dollar, the endless printing of currency by the Fed (monetization), borrowing from China, outsourcing the manufacturing sector, and the general never-audited secretive policy of the Federal Reserve to manipulate the money stock and interest rates.

There is fear and anxiety in the hearts of those who make this country great through hard work. They are more and more resentful of the welfare class that votes to fundamentally change this country without questioning what kind of change that would be, and what would happen when they run out of other people’s money? Would the benevolent government still support them? Americans are resentful of those in power who no longer represent “we the people” but the interests of the rarefied elites and the banking powers of the world.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Martha's Plight and Liberty Farm Under UN Agenda 21

Fauquier County’s Board of Supervisors in Virginia, presumably Republican controlled, passed an ordinance to force wineries to close at 6 p.m. and to prohibit the sale of food unless the wineries obtain special permits from the zoning administrator.  They fined Liberty Farm for having a pumpkin carving that never took place and for having a birthday party for eight little girls without proper permit. Do we now need government permission to have private parties on our own property? Apparently so, according to these supervisors, it is considered marketing. “The Fauquier ordinance clearly violates Virginia’s Right to Farm Act, which guarantees agriculture activities of growing and selling.” (Mark J. Fitzgibbons, The Washington Examiner, August 12, 2012)

I heard Martha speak to a gathering of 25 friends, farmers, and vintners from Fauquier County. She brought a basket laden with tomatoes and peppers grown on her Liberty Farm, vegetables that she is no longer allowed to sell. She can give them away to food banks. Through passionate tears, she outlined her childhood dream of owning a farm, finding the perfect land in 2006, and the six year nightmare that followed.

Martha’s 70 acre farm is located in Fauquier County, a rural, agricultural community 15 minutes from Washington, D.C. if the traffic cooperates. The rich soil in the area is perfect for growing grapes and producing wine. Many of the rich farm landowners understand farming as running beautiful horses and leaving the land unspoiled – actual farming is a nuisance and an inconvenience. They are the “penny loafer farmers,” as someone had named them. They are offended by Martha’s farm that actually produces food that people need and enjoy.

Martha bought her farm with an agricultural conservation easement. Since there was no mention of any activities that she could not engage in on her farm, she proceeded to repair the historical barn. She built an apiary, harvested hay, grew herbs, and rescued 165 animals, sold chicken, duck, turkey, emu eggs, candles made from beeswax, birdhouses, and fiber from lamas and alpacas. She had a business license. A lot of hard work went into breathing life into the previously abandoned piece of property. The grass was five feet high and the barn was leaning when she bought the property.

She was told through letters and unauthorized inspections on her property that she could not even cut grass on her property. She had to fence off 20 acres for 2 years because it was considered “hallowed ground” although nobody has ever died there during the Civil War; it had been just an encampment area. Animals and children could not seek shelter from heat or play under a beautiful oak grove. The family was never reimbursed for the fencing or the loss of use of their property for two years – it was a “clerical error.”

A trench was dug to prevent parking on her property because it obscured the view shed. Although holding a business permit and special permit to operate a farm store, her business permit has recently not been renewed by the county. Liberty Farm is the only farm in focus for this environmental harassment. What happened to property rights and economic freedom in our country?

Some Americans are waking up to the insidious UN Agenda 21 across the country. Their legal battles come in many forms at the local and state levels, all involving zoning issues, driven by one ultimate goal, global governance.

UN Agenda 21 “soft law” document has been in place and ratified in Rio, Brazil by 178 countries since 1992. The recommendations that are not legally binding but morally obligatory provide specific rules about local organizations and their practices, limiting everyone’s behavior and freedom.

The idea of global governance, a.k.a. UN Agenda 21, was seeded a hundred years ago.  Americans and their private property are under such a concerted and well-orchestrated attack, that it has become a full assault on private property and redistribution of wealth in the last stages of full implementation.

Would ordinary Americans succeed in deflecting and destroying the evil UN Agenda 21, the multi-headed Hydra? It is a hard question to answer since a good majority of Americans are blissfully unaware of what is going on under their noses nor do they seem to care.

The privileged elites are so convinced they are best suited to rule the world, that they are willing to dedicate their vast fortunes to achieve global governance. Cecil Rhodes, for example, of the Rhodes scholarship, believed that the whole world should be dominated by the British Empire. His vision is no longer a possibility since the once mighty British Empire is now overrun by hostile Muslims thanks to its failed and misguided multi-culturalism.

The modern granddaddy of globalism is Maurice Strong. “Since Cecil Rhoades, …there has been a group of people who actually believe that society is best served when it is managed by a benevolent government populated by the enlightened intelligentsia.” Many Congressmen on both sides of the aisle support globalism, thus Agenda 21. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a report in April 2010, detailing the creation of a global currency as the path to global economic stability. (Henry Lamb, Founding Director of Freedom21, Inc.)

The main stream media does not discuss Agenda 21 and has labeled those that do tin foil hat conspiracy theorists. Americans believe what they are told by the MSM until they have problems keeping their farms, use their land, build a fence, plant a tree, a bush, use rainwater on their property, build a barn, plant a garden, or use trees for shade to animals. Once property owners run afoul of the many permits they are required to get, they become believers.

There is no end to the asinine rules that various Boards of Supervisors write and implement. These boards are populated by individuals who pretend to be Republicans in order to get elected but are Democrats who enjoy controlling the sheeple minions in their counties.

Liberals love to micro-manage other people’s lives. If you are unlucky and belong to a Home Owner’s Association, you will witness first-hand the self-appointed tyrannical behavior of little people with power to turn your existence upside down on your own land.

The control does not stop there.  On August 21, 2012, Dick Morris TV discussed “Obama’s War on Suburbs” - how “Obama wants suburban taxes to fund inner city projects and he applies UN agenda 21 to force people to move to the cities. …Barack Obama opposes suburbs. He wants to force everyone into the cities from whence our ancestors fled. He wants the suburban revenue to subsidize the inner cities. …Because of carbon emissions and global warming, we have to reduce the dependence on the automobile, increase people walking and biking and we have to reshape the way we live with that in mind.” 

The environmentalist concern over carbon emissions and Obama’s funneling resources to the inner cities from the suburbs combine into Obama’s program called regionalism. He has already given regionalism planning grants in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. Regionalism means getting rid of counties, cities, suburban government and put everything under the regional authority.  The regional entity governs and makes all decisions for a large metropolitan area such as transportation, zoning, land use, education, wetlands, funding, open space regulations, and environmental regulations, all designed to force people from the suburbs into the cities.

Unnecessary traffic jams and congestion on suburban roads, taking access roads out of circulation, blocking zones and roads to traffic, narrowing roads, high and frequent speed bumps, arcane and expensive regulations, expensive gas, road fines, drones hovering over our homes, expensive tolls for roads, are designed to force people to move back into the cities. President Obama wants to fundamentally change the way we live.

Global governance restricts individual freedom by setting up rigid environmental rules and regulations that set limits on individual behavior, on organizations, and on businesses, covering every facet of human life. Non-elected bureaucrats and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) set policy and decide what is good for a community through “visioning” committees and grants.

“Visioning” grants come from the EPA and other federal agencies to local communities slated to undergo the visioning or zoning change and to the American Planning Association that would help states develop model legislation favoring their re-zoning plans and re-distribution of property and wealth.

Local planning agencies, an NGO, or ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) start the process of sustainable development, sustainable community, or green growth and request a federal grant. Who is going to oppose the “greening” of their area and protecting the environment for their children’s future? It is land use control plain and simple by the local, state, or federal government bureaucrats.

Control of land use denies “farmers the right to sell their land to city dwellers because of an urban boundary zone, or greenbelt, or conservation area, or because of the ‘unjust compensation tax.’” Worse yet, farmers themselves are not allowed to use their own land and are fenced in, forbidden to use it or develop it at all. Water can be denied or cut off to an entire village or town. The installation of septic tanks is forbidden in Maryland, discouraging farmers to build on their own property. The conduits of such restrictions of the behavior of land owners and farmers are the Board of Supervisors through re-zoning and permit.

Martha’s plight is one example of thousands across the country who are fighting their local zoning czars for economic freedom, the use of their land, property rights, free of intrusive, photographed, unauthorized, and illegal, often in the middle of the night land and home inspections, and the freedom to engage in encumbered agricultural activities from environmental groups funded by wealthy globalists who would rather see humans disappeared or moved into government approved urban ghettoes where they can be better controlled and herded.









Monday, August 20, 2012

Are We Melting Yet?

The man-made global warming/climate change crowd never went away in spite of evidence to the contrary – they just got more persistent, more creative with their scaremongering, and enlisted new and less known long-time die-hard supporters.

During the week of August 6-10, 2012,  the Washington Post published four articles on the topic, “Climate change blamed for drought,” “Climate change is here and worse than we thought,” “In a cold place, warming is most evident,” and “On Alaskan coast, the ancient ways are melting away.” Interestingly, all four articles quote each other and the Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

James E. Hansen “painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels” when he testified before the Senate in 1988. His evidence is “not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened.”

Hansen’s analysis “shows that for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.” I am not a scientist but I believe that I read somewhere that increased activity of solar flares and variables such as volcanic activity are possible variables responsible for hot weather or violent storm occurrences.

Hansen believes that extreme weather events are not just examples of “what climate change could bring.  They are caused by climate change. The odds that natural variability created these extremes are miniscule, vanishingly small.”

The famous University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations around the globe, confirmed that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997. (Daily Mail, January 29, 2012)

Professor Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology believes that factors other than CO2 are variables in the rising and falling of heat wave incidents, such as the 60-year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. “They have insufficiently been appreciated in terms of global climate,” said Judith Curry.

The sun has emitted high levels of energy during most of the 20th century and is now “heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of season available for growing food.”

Solar output follows 11-year cycles with a higher number of sunspots at a cycle’s peak. Experts at NASA and the University of Arizona have suggested that cycle 25 will peak in 2022 weakly. Their readings come from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface.

Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at Denmark’s National Space Institute, believes that “world temperatures may end up a lot cooler than now for 50 years or more. It will take a long battle to convince some climate scientists that the sun is important. It may well be that the sun is going to demonstrate this on its own, without the need for their help.”

A paper on extreme weather published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by James E. Hansen, Makiko Sato of NASA, the Columbia University Earth Institute, and Reto Ruedy of Trinnovim (provides support for NASA) hypothesized that extreme weather events would not occur without global warming. They defined weather anomalies as “three standard deviations from statistical history” based on 2006-2011data. 

John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville critiqued Hanson’s conclusions - if he had picked a longer period of time to study anomalies such as Texas heat waves in 1950 and the Dust Bowl of 1930, he would have found no extreme differences. (Mark Drajem, the Washington Post, August 7, 2012)

Liberal environmentalists say that our carbon footprint and greenhouse gases have changed the world and now we have to suffer. James E. Hansen has the perfect solution. He proposes in the Washington Post a “gradually rising fee on carbon collected from fossil-fuel companies, with 100 percent of the money rebated to all legal residents on a per capita basis. This would stimulate innovations and create a robust clean-energy economy with millions of new jobs.”

Would these new jobs be like the green jobs that never materialized in the last four years? Would the jobs involve the manufacturing and installation of windmills and solar panels? Would this clean-energy economy include companies like Solyndra and other 12 renewable energy companies that had gone bankrupt after spending billions of taxpayer dollars from the generous ongoing Department of Energy backed loans? Would we have to change our current standard of living to the “simpler life” of the 19th century, pre-industrial development, walking and biking, as advocated by the green movement?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

One Hour Radio with Maggie on GM and the Sellout to China

One hour talk on Republic Broadcasting Network on GM and the sellout to China. Host: Maggie Roddin of the Unsolicited Opinion

My Radio Chat on WAFS 1190 Atlanta

Ten minute radio chat with Butler on Business WAFS 1190 Atlanta's Premier Radio Station on August 15, 2012. Topic: GM and nationalization of all industries. I come on at the 30 minute mark.

Serendipitous Journey

I was on a quest to visit the shrine of the quintessential American sport and President William McKinley’s tomb.  I have been mesmerized by the Roman-style display of “pane et circenses,” the festive “bread and circuses” atmosphere which is not unlike soccer in other countries and on other continents.  Nowhere, however, are sports such an integral part of the American psyche – they live and breathe football. Going to the shrine, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio is a necessary rite of passage for sport-loving American enthusiasts and die-hard fans. Along the way, I embarked on a serendipitous journey into America’s past and present.

Not even the location of our hotel across from a cemetery dampened our enthusiasm – it was peaceful in a creepy sort of way, resplendent with resident Canada geese and ground hogs. We crossed four states on our journey, and, since my husband was driving miss Ileana, I slept blissfully through the state of Maryland of which I am not particularly fond – I get hives on account of its communist stance on everything.

Pennsylvania’s Amish communities amid the beautiful landscape of the Allegheny Mountains are God’s country - a lush and verdant paradise. The recent drought did not affect the area much – the fields of corn were tall and dense.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike, baptized the Blue Star Memorial Highway as a tribute to the Armed forces that have defended the United States of America, displayed political billboards on the left side of the road and regular advertising on the right.

During World War II, the Breezewood exit 6 to the turnpike was considered a major stop-off for many servicemen on their way to Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas. The Snyder family had a contract to supply fuel to military convoys and became famous for bartering meals, gasoline, and rest to servicemen for Military Service Insignia Patches found inside the Gateway Inn.

Pennsylvania is coal country –Black Gold.  The economy depends on the exploitation of coal, the almost 50 percent engine of our national electric energy. Coal power was advertised frequently.  “Wind Dies. Sun Sets. We Need Coal,” said a billboard near Crystal Springs.
“Coal Powering America 24/7,” said another billboard near Somerset.

Less than a mile down the road, a sign touted in big, green letters, “Windmills Powering the Future.” It was ironic that the sign was placed close to six gigantic, barely rotating windmills. I am not sure how much wind there is in the area on a regular basis or how much energy those particular six generated. I do not know whose future windmills will power – perhaps some liberal village? It certainly is not enough for our large economy and I have not seen any wind driven cars.

In Donegal, PA, a billboard exposed the distortions and lies of environmentalist groups fighting the development of natural gas, a cheap and pollution-free source of energy - “You’ve been slimed!” New Stanton, PA residents went after our President – “Vote Change! Vote Nobama!”

For 180 miles, the Turnpike revealed through its political billboards, the pain and economic suffering under this administration’s policies that are destroying the coal industry, the engine of our American energy.

Upon exiting and paying our $12.50 toll, I was pensive about the reality disconnect between the unemployed coal miners in Pennsylvania and the bureaucrats in Washington. Three days ago, on the streets of D.C., two young men were pushing glossy fliers in the faces of pedestrians, advocating renewable energy. I asked one of them if he knew where his home electricity came from – surprisingly, he did know but he did not care – his job paid $12 an hour and allowed him to buy necessities and gas to drive home. To say that he was misguided, it is an understatement. It was more a reflection of our insane educational system and effective socialist brainwashing which creates drones willing to shoot themselves in the foot.

Crossing through God’s country, I felt at home among the hard-working and polite Amish, tending to their immaculate farms and dairies. People like them and the coal miners have made America an exceptional and abundant place through their work ethic, responsibility, faith, self-respect, respect of others, and fierce independence.

The moment we crossed into Ohio, the road became rougher and all political billboards disappeared. Instead, political ads from both parties bombarded the local television channels.

Our next stop was Canton, Ohio with its 80,000 square feet of interactive pro-football memorabilia. The Hall of Fame Museum is home to legends, their plays and names forever etched into the memory of football fans.

The National First Ladies’ Library, located in an 1895 bank building in Canton and the 1840 former Victorian home of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley, showcased first ladies and other notable women.

I was fascinated by President William McKinley for two reasons – his electoral campaign and his insistence on the gold backing of our currency. We visited his burial site and memorial library in Canton. The classical Greek Mausoleum is fashioned in the style of Hadrian’s 2,000 year old tomb which is now St. Angelo’s Castle in Rome. It was built from over 2 million bricks and pink Milford granite.

Our 25th President, William McKinley, was assassinated in 1901 during his second term in office, presumably by an anarchist. I am not so sure it was a random lone anarchist – McKinley’s insistence on the gold standard and his political and financial enemies may have played a part. President McKinley’s resting place was not dedicated until September 30, 1907.  He was a beloved Ohio son, war veteran, attorney, governor, and Congressman. His successor, Theodore Roosevelt, appointed a committee to select the memorial from 60 entries and the winning design chosen in 1904 was that of Harold Van Buren Magonigle. The committee raised $550,000 and the ground breaking ceremony was June 6, 1905. The corner stone with a copper box containing data about President McKinley’ life exhibits the Roman numeral 1905. Theodore Roosevelt delivered the dedication speech. The importance of President McKinley and the support he received from the American people is underscored by the lavish mausoleum funded and built with contributions from nine states and citizens around the country and abroad.

President and Mrs. McKinley are interred in the polished dark green granite sarcophagi on top of the central pedestal while their infant children are on the north wall in the back. The sarcophagi, designed to appear as two pieces in a pod, were carved from single blocks brought from Windsor, Vermont. They are resting on a large black polished Berlin marble base ten feet square, cut from a quarry in Wisconsin. The stained glass inner skylight contains the 45 stars representing the states of the union in 1901.  The inscription on the freeze at the base of the dome is chosen from McKinley’s final speech in Buffalo, “Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord not conflict, and that our real preeminence lays in the victories of peace not those of war.” The monument is 97 ft. tall and has a full basement crypt. The exterior bronze doors were the largest ever cast at that time. The 9 ½ ft. statue located half way up the 108 steps was carved by Charles Hendry Niehaus from a photograph taken of the President a few hours before he was shot. A chair in the back of the statue is draped by the American flag. A bronze wreath encircles the top of the dome. (Stark County Historical Society bronze plaque, 1973)

William McKinley campaigned in 1896 on the platform of the Gold Standard – every U.S. dollar should be backed by 100 percent gold. His opponent, William Jennings Bryan, campaigned on the coinage of silver in a 16 to 1 ratio. Those who voted for McKinley were known as “gold bugs” and even wore bug lapel pins to signify their support of his platform. The gold “bug” pin with the representation of a beetle was easily recognized – everyone knew it referred to McKinley. McKinley garnered the popular vote with over 7 million and 271 electoral votes while his opponent received 176 electoral votes and 6.5 million votes.

McKinley’s campaign manager, Marc Hanna, perfected the idea of campaigning for the presidency without leaving home. Using his front porch, Marc arranged for special trips, publicity, money, and organization to bring party faithful on trains to hear McKinley speak. Hanna gave him advanced notice of who was coming and thus McKinley tailored his speech to the issues and concerns of the visitors. People from all over the country arrived at the Canton train station every day, bands played, and visitors marched to McKinley’s home on Market Avenue. This went on for 8 weeks and the locals were happy to accommodate the visitors. His opponent, William Jennings Bryan, traveled 18,000 miles during three months and spoke to an estimated 5 million people.  (McKinley’s Presidential Library and Museum)

McKinley, a war veteran himself, tempered the war mongers who wanted to protect their sugar plantations from the conflict between Cuba and Spain. He did not want to engage the United States into a war without a real threat. He did not ask Congress to declare war on Spain until the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor. The Spanish-American War lasted 113 days and completely destroyed the Spanish fleet in Cuba and the Philippines. The U.S. emerged as a world power with the stigma of imperialism. The war cost the U.S. $300 million and added 124,000 square miles to the American territory. After the war, President McKinley signed on July 7, 1898 the annexation of Hawaii and Guam to the U.S. territories. The cartoons of that era portrayed Uncle Sam as a caretaker for these new “babies.”

How many innocent lives and trillions of dollars could we save today if presidents exercised McKinley’s temperance before declaring war? How many billions of dollars could be saved and months of constant bombardment by the biased media and expensive, mud-slinging commercials avoided if Hanna’s campaign method could be used again in a modernized version? Billions and billions of dollars wasted on pandering to the misinformed voters, smear campaigns of one’s opponent, and buying votes from illegal aliens and special interest groups would spread a lot of wealth to the poor and downtrodden. President Obama has been in campaign mode ever since he was elected, making him the perennial Campaigner-in-Chief.

My Friday Radio Chat with Silvio Canto Jr. of Dallas

Friday Radio Chat with Silvio Canto Jr. on national economy, international events, and politics.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Nationalize All Industries

Our President said, “When the American industry was on the brink of collapse, more than one million jobs at stake, Governor Romney said, let’s let Detroit go bankrupt. I said, I believe in American workers, I believe in this American industry, and now the American auto industry has come roaring back and GM is number one again. So now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry, I don’t want those jobs taking root in places like China.”

Nationalizing entire industries worked very poorly under dictatorships and communist centralized economies. In fact, they were so dysfunctional, despite grandiose economic five-year plans designed by the communist party apparatchiks who had no idea how to run a lemonade stand, they have all collapsed since 1989, with the exception of Cuba and North Korea, and we know how “well-off” their citizens are and how much individual freedom they have. Communist China had to modify its centralized economic control and adopt successful capitalist models. Managed economies are not the solution, capitalism and entrepreneurship are.

President Obama’s auto bailout cost taxpayers $60,000 per job saved. GM and Chrysler Fiat’s roaring sales are due to subsidized sales, indirect funding by the government, “sub-prime auto loans to inflate their car sales, selling automobiles to people who cannot afford them.” (Michael Savage, Savage Nation, August 9, 2012)

Taxpayers lost $20 to $23 billion in the auto bailout. The Obama Administration redistributed $26.5 more to the union than UAW would have received legally in the bankruptcy proceedings had the rule of law and contract been followed. “Thus the entire loss to the taxpayers from the auto bailout comes from the funds diverted to the UAW.” (Amy Payne, Heritage Foundation, June 13, 2012)

Mismanagement and high union labor costs, $70.51per hour in wages and benefits for GM and $75.86 per hour for Chrysler, contributed heavily to the bankruptcies that necessitated the bailout in the first place.

Secured creditors and investors should have had prior claim, in accordance with the law. Unsecured creditors should have received proportional payouts from the bankruptcy. A special trust fund protected UAW, while other creditors received fractions of what they were owed. UAW received billions and partial ownership, and Fiat, a foreign corporation, received part-ownership of Chrysler. UAW workers continued to receive huge compensations when compared to the much lower compensation of $47 per hour for Nissan and Toyota workers. Stephen Rattner, President Obama’s car czar said, “We should have asked UAW to do a bit more. We did not ask any UAW member to take a cut in their pay.”

According to Amy Payne, the auto bailout was not a bailout of GM and Chrysler but a bailout of the auto union by American taxpayers who make on the average $30 per hour in wages and benefits. (Auto Bailout Was Really Just a UAW Bailout, Heritage Foundation, June 13, 2012)

The issue is more complex. GM did not just become Government Motors, it became China Motors. After $80 billion of taxpayers’ dollars “saved” GM and Chrysler, GM opened a plant in Wuling, China. Research and development for car design was moved to China. Dan Akerson, CEO of GM said in Shanghai, China, in February 2011:

 “Seven out of ten automobiles were made outside of the United States. We have 11 joint ventures in China with SAIC and FAW. We operate 11 assembly plants in China, four power train plants in eight cities across the country. We have more than 2,700 dealerships and sales outlets nationwide. We regard our eleven joint ventures as 11 keys to success. Not just in China but globally. Our commitment to working in China, with China, for China remains strong and focused in the future. We are now building out the advanced technology center which will bring our research and development that is centered largely in the U.S.; we are going to diversify that more into China because we think this market is so critically important to the success of our company. GM is a company well established for the future in China.” (May 4, 2012, video clip narrated by Vince Wade,

I wonder how millions of unemployed Americans feel about their bailout money that is now invested in China with SAIC, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation which is run by the communist government of China who owns and controls most of the manufacturing and with the FAW, another Chinese government owned manufacturer. If Americans truly own GM, should the cars, jobs, and investments not be made in the United States? Why build China from the ground up while our American economy and infrastructure crumbles and turns to “has been” and dust?

Cadillac, a division of GM, sponsored “Birth of a Party,” a propaganda film about the Chinese Communist Party. Chinese leaders love to drive Cadillacs, the ultimate status symbol car. The banner advertising the movie had the hammer and sickle next to the famous Cadillac logo. (

There is no democracy or free trade in China. The Chinese have demanded American technology with every deal signed since 1990, in exchange for promises of big profits from China’s 1.3 billion people. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, GM’s one billion dollar bid from China was won in exchange for “GM’s willingness to transfer a good deal of state-of-the-art technology.” (Vince Wade)

State-owned corporations of the communist government of China are buying key segments of the U.S economy as well, energy resources, and key industrial plants. The Wall Street Journal reported the purchase of Nexteer Automotive of Saginaw, Michigan, the largest employer in the area, by Pacific Century Motors and an industrial authority for the city of Beijing. Ownership was transferred six months later to AVIC, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China. (Vince Wade)

We now have 257 Chinese Free Trade Zones, presumably to produce goods that will be sold in the U.S. Do we not have enough unemployed Americans and newly-minted college graduates without job prospects who could produce goods and services here in the U.S.? Do we need to insource jobs to imported Chinese workers into the Free Trade Zones, and outsource every manufacturing job and many service industries to China and India?

President Obama’s $3 billion centralized “cash for clunkers” program artificially and temporarily stimulated new car sales while destroying 690,000 good used cars that could have been sold on used car lots to people who were not willing, or able to buy a new car.

To make matters worse, the Obama Administration is planning to increase the new car mileage standards from 35.5 miles per gallon to 54.5 miles per gallon which will cause further pain for Americans. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the new mileage requirement will add $3,000 to $4,800 to the average price of new vehicles until 2025.  The National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) said that 6-11 million low-income drivers will not be able to afford new cars through 2025. Because of the new “corporate average fleet economy” (CAFÉ) standards, cars will have to be made smaller, less safe, resulting in more potential fatalities with each crash. The Smart Car may be smart in theory.

The idea behind the new standards was driven by the “green” environmentalist agenda who proposed to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and replace them with renewables because fossil fuel burning destroys the planet, and we are running out of oil and gas reserves. That is of course, not the case, the Obama Administration tried to purposefully increase our dependence on foreign oil by imposing moratoriums on drilling in the gulf, refusing the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and denying permits for the exploration of domestic shale oil on federal lands. Furthermore, he promised to bankrupt the coal industry and make electricity prices skyrocket.

The President is right that GM is number one again – in China. Nationalizing the auto industry was not necessary. Extending the same business model to all American industries is not a good idea in capitalism, it WILL “drive jobs away, taking root in China” and elsewhere.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Butler on Business WAFS 1190 Atlanta Solar Power

Ten minute radio commentary on Butler on Business WAFS 1190 Atlanta, August 8, 2012. Topic: Solar power. I come on at the 30 minute mark.

My Trip to the Liberal Zoo

I took a patriotic trip today to visit one of the places that have defined American knowledge, literature, science, music, architecture, creativity, ingenuity, learning, and achievement since 1897 – the Library of Congress, a place dedicated to preserve the immediate and long-term future of this nation.

I planned to drive to the metro station, park, and ride several trains to the Eastern Market then walk to the Library of Congress along Pennsylvania Avenue. As soon as I exited the coolness of the underground metro, the bright sun and humidity enveloped me. At the top of the escalator, an elderly lady with spiky white hair was sporting a black t-shirt with the words “green festival.” The back of the shirt had three lines, “sustainable economy,” “ecological balance,” and “social justice.” I immediately saw red, literally and figuratively.

This “green” festival she was advertising on her t-shirt will be held in the area at the end of September. Suddenly, the day became oppressive for me. How could I tell this stranger that she was supporting the communist United Nations Agenda 21 of “spreading the wealth” to third world dictatorships by eliminating private property, sovereignty, and personal freedom in the western world in the name of “greening the earth?” Perhaps she knew that already and did not care.

Walking along Pennsylvania Avenue, I was struck by the many mom and pop shops and restaurants, dingy in exterior appearance, in stark contrast to the very expensive townhouses, townhomes, and apartments lining the avenue.

I watched pedestrians, dressed very casual, with worn-out tennis shoes. Many locals were riding bicycles to and fro ignoring the heavy three lane traffic in both directions. The sidewalks were dirty, in spite of the proximity to downtown. There was an air of granola liberalism about the storefronts advertising organic this, natural that, save the environment, and the Obama t-shirts and hats that a lone vendor was selling.

A pizzeria with its doors opened wide in Italian style invited in both patrons and flies. It was hot, expensive, $4 per slice, and it came with an environmental surcharge added to the bill. I love planting trees and caring for the environment, but I hate when people force me to do something by charging a fee to my bill when I am not paying attention and calling it optional online. It reminds me of the involuntary “volunteer” work forced by the communist party on us every month in the country of my birth.

A gas station along the avenue sold regular gas for $4.59 a gallon, a good $1 more than in Virginia, a few miles down the interstate. Democrats must love the “change” in the price of gasoline since President Obama took office – it was $1.79 per gallon then. They still “hope” that everyone adopts their liberal lifestyle along Pennsylvania Avenue with easy bike rides, walking, and condo existence for a mere $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom. 

I finally made it to the Library of Congress. The Thomas Jefferson Building is the main tourist attraction and it remains exactly as it was in 1897 when it opened.  The other two buildings are modern concrete, glass, and steel, utilitarian behemoths with stacks and stacks of books.

Employees and visitors must submit to bag screenings, entering and leaving. In the past, selfish individuals have ripped rare art pages from books, which were then found for sale in Boston and other towns. Since then, everyone must submit to visual checks of purses and backpacks.

The Thomas Jefferson Building, a majestic example of Italian Renaissance-style with 75 feet ceilings above the marble floor, was the first structure constructed with electricity installed. Its architectural style and decorative interior include a plethora of symbolism relating to learning, knowledge, literature, creativity, and intellectual achievement. The Roman goddess Minerva, in a gold leaf and marble mosaic, protects civilization and knowledge. An owl, the symbol of wisdom, and the statue of Victory flank Minerva who holds a scroll listing fields of study important to civilization.

Books, scrolls, and torches represent scientific discovery and learning. Stained-glass skylights, royal staircases, and triangular vaults with names of leaders, writers, and thinkers adorn the Great Hall. Small children represent occupations and the symbol of various trades such as an electrician with a phone receiver, or an entomologist with a butterfly; globes represent four continents: Africa, America, Europe, and Asia.  A large rose brass inlay on the marble floor depicts the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

The Main Reading Room ceiling with a cupola 160 feet tall, is covered with rosettes (some contain a sprinkler system added in the 1980s’ renovation) and a story of the evolution of civilization as understood in 1897, starting with Egypt for written records, Judea for religion, Greece for philosophy, Rome for administration, Islam for physics, Middle Ages for modern languages, Italy for fine arts, Germany for the art of printing, Spain for exploration, England for literature, France for emancipation, and America for science. Eight semi-circular stained glass windows with images of the 45 states and three territories adorn the ceiling. Alaska and Hawaii had not joined the union in 1897. The first six states to join the union, beginning with Delaware, are also depicted in stained glass lunettes in the mezzanine. Only serious researchers with a pass are allowed on the main reading room floor and can use the 236 desks and the library’s vast collections.

Because the British burned in 1814 the initial collection of 740 books and 3 maps used by Congress, President Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library as replacement. Congress appropriated $23,950 to purchase Jefferson’s collection of 6,487 books as a starting foundation for today’s vast library holdings of over 150 million items, books, photographs, sound recordings, maps, music sheets, print materials, manuscripts, and motion pictures. The Thomas Jefferson Library exhibit is found on the second floor. The new “Congressional Library” opened on November 1, 1897 and is considered a national monument.

The most valuable items in the Library are the Gutenberg Bible and the Giant Bible of Mainz. The Gutenberg Bible is the first printed material from moveable type, invented by Johannes Gutenberg. Printing enabled ordinary people who knew how to read to own a Bible.  Johannes Gutenberg’s three volume Bible was printed in 1455. The 42 lines per page text is the Latin translation known as the Vulgate, meant for ordinary people.  Each page’s initial letter and heading are hand painted in color. St. Jerome made the translation in the fourth century.  “The Library of Congress’ copy is printed on vellum and is one of only three perfect copies known to exist.”

The Giant Bible of Mainz is composed of 459 vellum skins of 16x22 inches each. The text was written by a scribe in columns. The scribe wrote the Bible from April 4, 1452 until July 9, 1453. The entire labor of love and beauty took 15 months to complete. The Giant Bible of Mainz was gifted to the Library of Congress on April 4, 1952 by Lessing J. Rosenwald, 500 years after the manuscript was begun.

Most interestingly, five lunette paintings by Elihu Vedder are found in alcoves by the elevator, depicting Government; over the door on the left, the paintings show Corrupt Legislation and Anarchy; on the right are Good Administration, and Peace and Prosperity.

Currently, the Library of Congress is hosting four exhibits:

-          Hope for America, a salute to performer Bob Hope, Politics, and Pop Culture (available online at

-          Exploring the Early Americas, an ongoing exhibition of 3,000 rare maps, documents, paintings, prints, and artifacts

-          The Armenian Literary Tradition (April 19-September 26, 2012)

-          Books That Shaped America, exhibits with titles that have had a profound effect on American life as chosen by “curators and experts of the Library of Congress”

“Some of the titles on display have been the source of great controversy, even derision, yet they nevertheless shaped Americans’ views of their world and often the world’s view of the United States.” (June 25-September 29, 2012)

I left the Library of Congress full of hope and enlightenment. As I finally reached the metro station where I parked the car, I was happily exhausted. My patriotic roots had been renewed and I was lulled into an optimistic sense of reality until I saw a table of two women in the middle of the metro hallway. A young college age female and a middle aged woman were tending to a voting registration booth with a huge sign in Spanish. My heart sank. I asked why Americans are being registered to vote with a sign in Spanish and not in English. The college girl answered quickly, “English is not the official language of the United States.”

Should English not be the official language of the United States? Rep. Steve King thinks so and urges people to contact their Congressman to bring H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act to a vote. Dr. Rosalie Porter, who testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, said, “This legislation is essential to the unity of our country.  Making English the official language of the United States would reaffirm the melting pot ideal and provide a powerful incentive for new immigrants to learn English.”
You must be an American citizen, natural born or naturalized, to vote in any election. To be a naturalized American citizen under the age of 50, you must be able to speak English. Why then are we registering illegal aliens to vote in the D.C. metro? These women were representing the Democrat party’s desperation to win at all costs. They were not rooting for America; they were rooting for illegal aliens to provide convenient Democrat votes in exchange for welfare dependency promise paid for by the unwilling American taxpayers.

There is so much history and achievement that defines American exceptionalism yet it is now in the middle of the liberal zoo.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Solar Panels Melting Money Away

Citing national security and environmental degradation, the federal government has pressured the manufacture of solar panels in the U.S. by enacting tax credits, loan guarantees, and state mandates for utilities to derive a certain percentage of their electricity from green energy even though green energy is more expensive than traditional energy and the cost would be passed on to the consumer while the taxpayers guarantee the loans.

With all the government involvement in “green” energy, less than 0.1 percent of all electricity produced in the U.S. is generated by solar panels. Stimulus funding and tax incentives have kept the solar industry alive worldwide. When government funding stopped, as it has been the case of four large solar panel manufacturers in Germany and numerous ones in the U.S., those companies declared bankruptcy.

Photovoltaic solar panels can be used on a small or large scale while concentrated solar technologies can only be used for utility-scale electricity generation.  This administration declared in the Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future:

“We invented the photovoltaic solar panel, built the first megawatt solar power station, and installed the first megawatt-sized wind turbine. Yet today, China has moved passed us in wind capacity, while Germany leads the world in solar.”

What bureaucrats fail to mention is that the four largest German suppliers have gone bankrupt and twelve American manufacturers involved in solar panel production and/or renewable energy storage have filed for bankruptcy. Amy Payne of Heritage Foundation calls the twelve American manufacturers “the Green Graveyard of Taxpayer-Funded Failures.”

Alexandre E. Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect but it was the American inventor, Charles Fritts, who made the first solar cell in 1883. RCA, Texas Instruments, and the Japanese used PV panels on a small scale. It was the oil crisis of the 1970s that increased the attractiveness of solar panels but they remained expensive. President Carter offered the first “direct federal support for solar [panel] manufacturing.”

There are two types of solar panel manufacturing:

-          Crystalline silicone system with four stages of production, polysilicon manufacturing, wafer manufacturing, cell manufacturing, and module manufacturing

-          Thin-film PV (a newer method, similar to flat panel displays manufacturing for TVs, computer screens and cell phones)

A polysilicon plant requires $500 million-$1 billion in construction capital. European, American, and Japanese companies dominate the polysilicon manufacturing. Polysilicon, which is based on sand, represents about one-fourth of the total cost of a solar panel.
(Green Rhino Energy, Value Chain Activity: Producing Polysilicon,

The production of solar glass requires massive capital and large shipping costs. Sixty percent of the global supply is produced by four manufacturers, Asahi, NSG Group, Saint Gobain, and Guardian.  (Green Rhino Energy, Value Chain Activity: Manufacturing Solar Glass,

According to Paula Flowers, Asahi Glass of Japan produces more than 50 percent of the world’s solar glass through its AGC Solar, a Belgium-based company. Its factory in Kingsport, TN produces solar glass for the U.S. market. (TN Solar Energy Activities Update, TN Chamber of Commerce and Industry, October 7, 2011)

The Department of Energy estimates that the plant manufacture of 120 MW of solar cells per year would need at least $40 million in initial investment. The solar cells are cut wafers into 5X5 or 6X6 inch pieces linked by copper leads. A wafer is a shaped polysilicon into an ingot.
(U.S. DOE, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Solar Photovoltaic Economic Development, Building and Growing a Local PV Industry, November 2011)

The modules weigh 34-62 pounds and are comprised of 60-72 cells covered by solar glass to protect against environmental damage and are attached to an aluminum frame and supported by a plastic backing.

Currently, lack of profitability has driven the consolidation of the solar panel industry into the hands of ten companies that control half of the global production of photovoltaic solar panels and they are located in China and Taiwan who subsidize exports and have been accused of engaging in dumping of products on foreign markets at prices lower than prices charged on domestic markets. China currently exports 95 percent of all the photovoltaic panels it produces. (CRS Report for Congress, April 27, 2012, p. 17)

Federal programs that created our domestic demand for solar photovoltaic panels have reached funding limits and have expired such as the 1603 cash grant program, the advanced energy manufacturing tax credit, and the S. 591, introduced by the 112th Congress to extend the credit, will expire at the end of 2016. (U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing:  Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Support, Michaela D. Platzer, April 27, 2012)

Examples of government support for solar power include advanced energy manufacturing tax credit (MTC) which reached funding cap in 2010, Section 1705 Loan Guarantee Program for “new and significantly improved” technologies, the investment tax credit (ITC) which ends in 2016, the Section 1603 Treasury Cash Grant Program, and the Sunshot Initiative of the DOE.

The White House Fact Sheet lists 27 Solar PV manufacturers who received 48C Manufacturing Tax Credit (MTC) from approximately $1 million to $142 million. Two of the companies listed have already filed for bankruptcy:  Abound Solar Inc. which received $12.6 million in 48C MTC and Amonix Inc., which received $3.6 million in 48C manufacturing tax credit. (CRS Report for Congress, April 27, 2012, pp. 28-29)

John Boehner’s office issued a statement last week that the former Office of Management and Budget Director ignored warnings on Solyndra’s insolvency – millions of taxpayer dollars could have been saved by closing the company immediately and selling its assets. “Instead, the DOE restructured the loan to Solyndra (a solar cell manufacturer), putting private investors ahead of taxpayers for repayment if the company closed (crony capitalism). Solyndra’s liquidation will recover just $24 million of the $527 million that taxpayers lent to the company.”

A bill is making its way through Congress, No More Solyndras Act, which will ban any new loan guarantees from title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

“The competitiveness of solar PV as a source of electric generation in the United States will likely be adversely affected both by the expiration of these tax provisions and by the rapid development of shale gas, which has the potential to lower the cost of gas-fired power generation and reduce the cost-competitiveness of solar power, particularly as an energy source for utilities. In light of these developments, the ability to build a significant U.S. production base for PV equipment is in question.” (CRS Report for Congress, Summary, Michaela D. Platzer, April 27, 2012)