Friday, February 28, 2014

Profitable Global Warming Enterprise and Man-Made Drought

“It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”

-          Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace

Another co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist who was a member from 1971-1986, told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, “After 15 years in the top committee I had to leave as Greenpeace took a sharp turn to the political left, and began to adopt policies that I could not accept from my scientific perspective. Climate change was not an issue when I abandoned Greenpeace, but it certainly is now.” He said that environmental groups use “faulty computer models and scare tactics in promoting claims man-made gases are heating up the planet.”

“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.” (Patrick Moore)

A UN report in September 2013 said that global surface temperatures have not increased for the past 15 years.

David Frame, climate modeler at Oxford University once said, “The [computer] models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.” What do these often faulty computer models provide? They provide power, control, and a whole lot of cash, Green cash, via the fear constantly drilled in people’s minds that anthropogenic global warming and climate change are something that we humans are responsible for and, if we pay a lot of carbon taxes, engage in carbon swaps, and line the pockets of crony capitalists with grants for expensive and job-killing renewable energy projects, Mother Earth will be safe, the planet will be clean, humans will suffer, and animals will reign supreme.

Reality does not seem to fit the environmentalist dogma. Princeton physics professor William Happer said, “It is important to distinguish between what the climate is actually doing and what computer models predict.” It is also important to make the distinction between climate and weather.

During the 20th century, Sir James Lovelock, in his “Revenge of Gaia,” said, “By the end of this century climate change will reduce the human population to a few breeding pairs surviving near the Arctic.” This Malthusian prediction is laughable except for the fact that people like him have cost humanity trillions of wasted money, unnecessary suffering, fear, delusion, and forced redistribution of wealth. Millionaires and billionaires were created by this hoax and they are still reaping the benefits of an irrational fear created by irresponsible lies and indoctrination from academia and the MSM.

Those who promote the Science of the Green Scam are engaging in social science paraded as “consensus” science deemed “settled” by government bureaucrats and opinionated Hollywood stars. “Consensus” means that you and I agree on a particular issue and it is not necessarily a fact. Real scientists know that real science is not static, it is constantly revised, rigorously tested, retested to disprove the theory, and outside criticism is welcomed in order to augment the theory.

Dr. Charles Krauthammer calls the white-coated scientists who claim to know exactly what will happen 50 years from now “white-coated propagandists.” (The Myth of Settled Science, Washington Post, February 20, 2014)

People like Kari Norgaard who compared global warming skepticism to “racism,” believes that “cultural resistance” to man-made caused global warming “must be recognized and treated as an aberrant sociological behavior.” Dictators treated their critics in very gruesome ways.

Sandra Korn, a Harvard University student in Women’s Studies wrote that free speech threatens liberalism and must be destroyed, and professors with dissenting views fired. (Robby Soave, Daily Caller, February 23, 2014)  “Let’s give up on academic freedom in favor of justice,” Korn wrote.

What are some of the results of the inflexible global warming/climate change dogma established by political advocacy? For starters, there is a deliberate corruption of climate science and of good research in general. Researchers/professors tailor their studies and grant-writing based on the expected results of those who are awarding the grants, and to ensure that the results confirm global warming.

Government establishments of Green environmental programs at every level, an outrageous display of power through regulatory agencies, have resulted in man-made disasters such as the drought caused by the water use policy in California’s Central Valley where saving a bait fish called the Delta smelt was more important than giving water to thousands of farmers that have produced $45 billion worth of food annually. House Bill 3964 that would have restored water to the area is still held in the Senate by Democrats who have no intention of passing it.

Folsom Lake Dam
Photo credit: KTVU, Channel 2
NASA released images of Folsom lake, north of Sacramento, showing the water level dropping 80% over the past two and half years. Can the unwise release of water in order to make room for potential flooding rain be a possible reason? How can the passing of a $687 million drought plan for immediate relief to drought-stricken communities redress the long-term Democrat water use policy?

The federal government’s solution in California’s Central Valley is a “relief” package of $2 billion, including an insulting “summer meal plan” for those farmers put out of business by environmental activists. Adding to the potential food shortage, a real drought in South America has forced 142 Brazilian cities to ration water. Brazil is a leading exporter in a number of food categories thus affecting global food supply. The potential fear of starvation will certainly make people “behave.”

Science Czar Dr. John Holdren told reporters that “virtually all weather is being impacted by climate change and that droughts were getting more frequent, they’re getting longer and they’re getting dryer.”

Dr. Roy Spencer, former NASA scientist calls Dr. Holdren’s statement “pseudo-science.” Dr. Spencer said, “The idea that any of the weather we are seeing is in any significant way due to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions verges on irrationality.”

Even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “the repository of the global warming hoax,” said Rush Limbaugh, found that “there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought.”

The journal Nature published a paper in 2012, Vol. 491, pp. 435-438 by J. Sheffield that found “little change in global drought over the past 60 years.”

Dr. Spencer believes that weather is affected by energy imbalances “between the solar heated surface of the Earth and the atmosphere above it, and between different geographic regions. On a local basis, those imbalances can be tens or even hundreds of watts per square meter.”

The ocean and the atmosphere tend to reduce these imbalances of energy.  The climate is affected by such energy imbalances. Dr. Spencer continued, “Our best estimate of how much the climate system has been perturbed from energy imbalance comes from the slow warming of the oceans, which, since the 1950s equates to a 1 part in 1,000 energy imbalance. Now, how exactly can a 1 part in 1,000 energy imbalance lead Holdren to state, ‘Weather practically everywhere is being caused by climate change?’ Well, all I can think of is that his statement is not based on science.”

EPA’s Director Gina McCarthy says that all U.S. goals on climate change “will not have an impact globally. You don’t make good, sustainable laws when you make them on unproven sciences.”

Dams release waters to flow “naturally” as demanded by environmental NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and the courts, even though such dam-emptying can cause severe water shortages and droughts in the process.  

In spite of claims to the contrary, the Dust Bowl was not created by global warming, it was created by a combination of natural drought and agricultural practices.

No matter how we look at issues, global warming is a very profitable enterprise driven by environmental political advocacy. Some droughts in the U.S. are man-made, caused by Democrat-controlled water use policies.  “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” (Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment)



Thursday, February 27, 2014

Malalai, an Afghani's Story

Bamiyan Valley
Malalai is tall and willowy, an elegantly dressed Afghani beauty with a witty sense of humor. Her piercing and fascinating green eyes remind me of Michael Zhang’s iconic 1995 National Geographic portrait of the mysterious “Afghan Girl.”

With such expressive eyes, it is easy to imagine the modern version of Mona Lisa. You would not know by her confident demeanor and warm smile the gut-wrenching pain and sorrow she harbors in her heart.

Malalai was born and raised in Kabul at a time when life was relatively comfortable and free and girls were allowed to go school and attend the university. The town had parks, trees, vegetation, and had not been devastated by the Russian bombing raids, by the Taliban’s purposeful destruction of any remnant of history and culture, and by the fighting between the liberating American troops and the Taliban.

The Taliban was born as a resistance movement to free Afghanistan of Soviet troops, following the Soviet invasion in 1979. Aided by the United States and Pakistan, the Afghan Mujahedeen injured and killed many Russians. According to the New York Times, the Soviet Union lost 15,000 soldiers over a ten-year period.

Three years after the Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, Afghani Mujahedeen led by Massoud took over the country and overthrew President Sayid Mohammed Najibullah who was backed by the Soviets.

The Taliban was one of the Mujahedeen factions fighting for power to fill the vacuum left by President Najibullah. The Taliban faction was composed of Sunni Muslim Pashtuns. Pashtuns are heavily concentrated in the North-West Frontier Province. The command center for the Mujahedeen fighters who were battling the Soviets was located in this province.

Afghani woman in Kabul
The draconian Taliban, who ordered windows painted black and women dressed in blue burkas, whipped women mercilessly if they happened to show any skin at all.  Girls could no longer go to school. Music, art, painting, photography, and films were forbidden.

Mullah Mohammad Omar ordered the destruction of the two famous Buddhas of Bamiyan. They were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 in spite of vehement international protests and offers to save them from demolition.

The priceless sixth century statues were carved into the side of the Bamwam valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, 140 miles northwest of Kabul. Both statues were examples of Gandhara art and were built in 507 A.D. (the smaller one, 35 m tall) and 554 A.D (the larger one). The Taliban government declared these priceless statues “idols.” It is still painful to watch David Adams’ film, “Journey to the Ends of the Earth,” showing their obliteration.

Little remains of the beautiful Paghman Gardens, outside of Kabul, formerly decorated with a Roman style triumphant arch. People relaxed on weekends there, bringing their families for picnics; the dress code was European.

Paghman Gardens
Malalai speaks with a soft but firm voice. The pain overcomes her from time to time and her eyes tear up. “The Taliban changed everything. If it was bad under the Russian occupation, the Taliban made it infinitely worse. Ladies could not get out of the house without men. The extended family had to live together for safety reasons and out of necessity. My sister Hamida was a widow with four kids during the Taliban rule. My brother was a professor at a local college but Taliban closed all colleges and my brother stayed home.”

The night our tragedy happened, the Taliban was sending men around, ordering people to board up their windows or paint them black to conceal light and the silhouettes of women inside the house. We could hear bombing again. We never knew who was bombing, they were bombing constantly. My mom heard a knock on the door at 10 p.m. My brother Nasir answered the door - it was one of my nieces asking him to go to their house. During the bombing raid, her mother, Hamida, was wounded and her 13-year old daughter Shkeeb had been killed by shrapnel.

Nasir bandaged Hamida the best he could to stave off the bleeding and drove her six hours to an open “hospital” and had to leave her there and return home. Hamida stayed in a coma for six months from the wounds received that night.  My brother drove back to Kabul to take care of the funeral for our 13-year old niece. From the horrible shock, my father, Aslam, passed away that same night as well, probably from a heart attack or stroke.

Nasir was going to bury my dad and my niece as soon as they got permission. The next day, he was painting the windows black as the Taliban had ordered, and a bombing raid started again. Mom said that my brother walked from the window towards her; he was pale, wobbly, and speechless; mom became concerned and asked what happened because he looked rather strange; he grabbed my mom and that is when she saw that a piece of shrapnel had pierced his heart. Blood was oozing from the hole. Nasir was 34 years old. My mom was with him all night. In the end, neighbors had to help bury all three family members, my niece, my dad, and my brother, in the mosque nearby because the cemeteries were too far.

After six months in a coma, my sister Hamida, her three remaining children, and my mom crossed into Pakistan where she underwent three operations. When she was stronger and could talk and walk, she was told of Nasir’s death and of our dad’s passing in 1993.

Hamida lives in Vancouver now. She was granted asylum in Canada during her stay in Pakistan when she was treated for her wounds.  While in a Canadian hospital, as they were attempting to remove more shrapnel lodged in her body, Hamida found out that she had breast cancer. While undergoing chemotherapy, her only son, 24-years old, was killed by a drunk driver. Hamida is cancer free now and lives with her two remaining daughters.

Malalai was spared the gruesome details, she was already in the U.S. when she received the dreadful telegram one day. She came to the U.S. in 1986 as a 22-year old sponsored by another sister. The government had given her a travel visa to come to the U.S. to help her dad with a painful back surgery that had temporarily paralyzed him. He went back to his wife and family but Malalai stayed with her sister. She found the love of her life through a college classmate and got married here. She never went back because she would have been killed as a defector. She can go back now to visit but she does not feel safe.

During her life in Afghanistan, before the Taliban, women did not wear burkas, they wore western clothes. Even her mom, Kadjia, who is 85 years old wears only a head scarf. “We had a good life, we were happy with what we had. We dressed up like we do here, nothing different, we did not want to go back to the stone ages. We had nice homes, nice developments, people went on vacations, we had a normal life but the Taliban turned everything upside down.”

Decorated Policharki Prison Cell in Kabul
Malalai had two brothers who were jailed during the Russian occupation, 8 and 4 years respectively. Their crimes were political, fighting the Russians. The Mujahedeen released them and both immigrated to the U.S. in 1996.

During bombing raids Malalai’s family hid in the cellar, a dark and dank dungeon with no electricity where they could not stay a long time because sewer pipes ran everywhere and it was hard to breathe. Hospitals had been destroyed. The “hospital” where Hamida was taken was not even a hospital, it was someone’s home that was taking in wounded people. They did not have much medicine or medical treatment. People were cared for and bandaged but there were no doctors. “The bombing raids destroyed the hospitals and the Taliban did the rest, just like they did the Buddhas.”

Where did people get their food and medicine when they were under siege?  They had a schedule to go stand in line and get food but sometimes came home empty-handed. No food aid from the west. Water came from wells, sometimes it was really polluted, and they had to boil it to cook with it or drink it. There was no running water or electricity except for 10 minutes intervals and everyone hurried to fill bottles, buckets, and any container available. It was a challenge to keep clean or wash clothes. “When I left in 1986, no electricity, nothing, we were cooking on the stove with charcoal. My brother Nasir invented a makeshift grill from an oil metal can and made a frame over the charcoal.”

Malalai’s youngest brother went back to Afghanistan for a very painful visit four years ago. The government found Hamida and asked her to come and disinter her daughter, her brother, and her father’s remains from the mosque and bury them into a cemetery.  Sawyar, the 40-year old youngest brother went instead. He was very depressed, he would not talk about his visit for a long time. He was very quiet and did not want to socialize. He said, he was shocked, graveyards were everywhere, even by the airport. Every mile after mile had graves. It was worse than what he had seen 8-9 years before. And the Taliban is coming back.

Butler on Business, February 26, 2014

Agenda 21, property rights and eminent domain. I come at the 48 minute mark, followed by Heritage Foundation and Dr. Ron Paul.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Butler on Business, February 19, 2014 Property Rights and Global Citizenship

My two segments with Alan Butler on Liberty Express Radio. First segment, global citizenship. Second segment, Property rights. I come on in the second hour.

Butler on Business, February 21, 2014

Liberty Express Radio - my seven minutes on Ukraine with Alan Butler. I come on at the 2.5 minute mark.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Engineering" Climate Change

Ice formations. Photo: Jeremy Smith, 2014



Our omniscient government is going to spend $1 billion in addition to the billions already wasted so far in order to attempt the impossible, “engineering” climate change to satisfy the Green agenda.

What is the scientific, measurable definition of a “normal” climate change and what is the measuring stick used to determine acceptable variability?  What are the parameters of deciding “normal” and what makes the global warming crowd the soothsayers of climate, especially since they’ve been wrong in their predictions in the last fifty years? Can the Green Agendders describe a “normal” climate change?

The global warming scheme became a very profitable enterprise, a veritable cash cow, until people started asking questions, and Mother Nature froze in thick Arctic ice the scientists’ vessel on their global warming ice-melting fact-finding mission, or dumped unusual amounts of snow every time environmentalists gathered to protest global warming. Returning to the drawing boards, the liberal euphemists came up with a different explanation, Polar Vortex, and the profitable enterprise called global warming became climate change.

It is the same climate change our planet has been experiencing for millions of years called seasons. The seasons caused by the yearly revolution of the earth around the Sun and tilt of the Earth’s axis relative to the plane of revolution.

Singling out oil and coal companies, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a crowd in Jakarta on February 16, 2014 that “In a sense, climate change can now be considered the world’s largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even, the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”  He called climate change skeptics adherents to shoddy science and Flat Earthers. “We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”

The solution he proposes is a “new global energy policy that shifts reliance from fossil fuels to cleaner technologies” like the one championed by President Barak Obama recently in California.

The problem is not that people deny the existence of climate change. Most people agree that there is a climate change but they deny that it is man-made. There are now over 1,000 real scientists and climatologists that agree that global warming is a hoax. The scientific evidence provided from the left to support global warming is based on “consensus.”  Consensus does not constitute scientific fact. It just means that a group of people are in agreement on a particular issue. The MSM is not interested in hearing or airing any opposing views, marginalizing, intimidating, and suing anybody who disagrees with them. They have decided that it is settled science and that is the end of the conversation, case closed.

The “engineering” of climate change by government fiat, executive orders, taxation, and EPA regulations reminds me of Don Quixote de la Mancha “tilting at the windmills,” an English idiom sometimes used to mean jousting  (the windmills), “attacking an imaginary enemy.”

The consensus argument is that “climate change is real and human activity is playing a major role in an increasingly volatile climate.” The hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming that humans are producing more CO2 is just a hypothesis that has been debunked. Even EPA Director Gina McCarthy said that reaching all U.S. goals for climate change compliance, “will not have an impact globally. You don’t make good, sustainable laws when you make them on unproven sciences.”

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the “repository of the global warming hoax.” Consensus scientists engage in political advocacy and economic restructuring of the developed world.

As the data scandal from the University of East Anglia proved, there has been serious damage done to climate science, real research, and industrial progress by United Nation’s 30-year “green agenda’s” war on fossil fuels and economic development. IPCC, which is not a scientific organization and is not accountable to any nation or group of nations, has influenced the masses to believe that climate change is anthropogenic (man-made).

What could possibly go wrong with the Green Agenda, the War on Coal, EPA strangling industry with costly and unnecessary regulations, and spending billions of taxpayer dollars on expensive renewable energy such as wind and solar?

-          Utilities are struggling to meet the demand for electricity due to cold weather

-          The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule by EPA put such a financial pressure on the coal sector that many plants were retired

-          After billions of dollars were invested in renewable energy resources, there is not enough solar and wind energy generated to replace the electricity that was generated by now closed coal power plants:

37 percent of electricity generated in 2012 came from coal fired plants; in 2008, 49 percent of electricity came from coal fired plants, a sizeable drop of 12 percent; natural gas fired plants replaced some of the electricity; solar power generated only 0.1 percent of electricity needed, and renewable energy, including hydro-electric produced only 5 percent of that total electricity production (U.S. Energy Information Agency or EIA)

EIA reports 3 percent loss in 2012 of coal fired capacity and by 2020 20 percent of electricity generation from coal will be lost due mostly to EPA regulations (Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government)

-          The world’s largest generating plant (5 square miles) Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, located in the Mojave Desert near the California/Nevada border, scorches, burns, or singes birds flying into the 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit “thermal flux” around the towers. The 350,000 huge mirrors were killing birds even during the construction stage of the facility. Birds also mistaken the mirrors for water and fly directly into them. The mirrors and towers are used to store heat and to keep generating electricity after the sun goes down.

Ivanpah’s electricity cost about four times as much as electricity generated by natural gas-fired plants but produces far less electricity, not to mention the amount of land required to install the mirrors. The much larger cost will be passed on to consumers.   

A kWh of electricity generated at Ivanpah, if you take into account the price tag of the facility ($2.2 billion), cost $5,561. However, since the plant produces electricity 8-10 hours per day, the cost goes up by a factor of three, making the cost per kWh jump to the “bargain” price of $15,000!

-          Wind turbines kill 70 Golden Eagles each year at California’s Altamont Pass deaths/

-          U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Estimated that 440,000 birds per year were killed by U.S. wind turbines

-          Study showed 600,000 bats killed by wind turbines in 2012,000-bats-killed-by-wind-turbines-in-2012-study-shows/

-          President Obama issued executive order to triple government’s renewable energy use by 2020

-          Department of Energy gave Green Energy loans to President Obama backers

-          Department of Interior explores expansion of permits to kill Bald Eagles in order to accommodate wind energy

-          The administration excuses wind farms on Bald Eagle deaths but prosecutes oil companies

-          US gives permits to kill Bald Eagles to wind power providers

-          Wind farms killed 67 Bald Eagles in 5 years, a slaughter by any measure

-          Fifty administration-backed Green Energy companies went bankrupt or were failing

The Green Agenda cost many California farmers their livelihood and American consumers a large supply of food when the government shut off the water in St. Joaquin Valley to save the Delta smelt, a bait fish that nobody really cared to save. It was not climate change that caused the drought in California – the drought was “exacerbated by federal and state regulations,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca), which positioned “the well-being of fish… ahead of the well-being of communities.”

While blaming this man-made drought on climate change, President Obama promised $160 million in federal aid, $100 million to livestock farmers, $60 million to California food banks, and $15 million to the hardest hit areas. For the past five years, environmental groups were successful in diverting water from farmers in order to save the Delta smelt, flushing into the ocean 3 million acre-feet of water slated for the Central Valley.

The House Bill 3964 to restore water to the area passed by 229-191 votes. The Democrats are holding up the bill in the Senate because the administration is not really interested in passing it. Instead, they are giving more “pork to environmental activists and their victims, offering the farmers they’ve put out of work, a “summer meal plan.”

Preaching global warming and the climate change agenda are more important than a long-term solution for the man-made water shortages that are affecting the $45 billion agricultural industry. These water shortages could be easily resolved, but the government’s solution is to spend $2 billion in a temporary “relief” package that will not solve the long-term problem.

At the end of the day, crony capitalism and environmental interest groups drive the climate change agenda. Their “consensus” political groups and scientists are pressured to tailor climate models to ensure the desired results that confirm man-made global warming. The solar flares, the sun’s orbit, its tilt, the cosmic radiation, the oceanic currents, the fast dissipating cloud cover, volcanic activity, and other natural causes are not considered as variables in the climate change models.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Eating to Live Not Living to Eat

Photo credit: Ileana Johnson, 2014
I don’t look at food the same way most Americans do. I grew up on my grandparents’ small farm in the village. Everything we ate came from our garden and our livestock – fresh vegetables in season, canned vegetables in winter and spring, goat and cow’s milk, butter, goat cheese, eggs, smoked meat, lardy bacon, fatty sausages in natural casings, and eggs.

We ate to live; we did not live to eat. Food was for nourishment not for entertainment, gorging buffets, or for bourgeois socializing. From time to time, adults ate better meals with family and friends at weddings, baptisms, and funerals. Kids were generally not included in such occasions. They stayed home.

When I went to first grade, I moved to the city with my parents, 6 miles away. Our food then came from the benevolent government planners who made us wait every day in endless lines at the grocery store, the butcher store, the dairy store, the bakery, the greengrocer, and the farmer’s market if we could find food, if the store did not run out, if there was enough for everybody, if we had rationing coupons, and if we could afford it.

Occasionally grandpa would ride his bike to the city with a fisherman’s netting bag filled with a dozen eggs, a piece of cheese, one smoked sausage left from the pig he butchered at Christmas, and a live chicken which my Dad killed in the most gruesome way in the yard, by cutting his head off. Mom plucked the chicken after dunking it in boiling water. The poor thing was jumping in agony around the yard. I would not have eaten the chicken except I was starving.

There were restaurants in the city, patronized by the ruling elites because they were the only ones who could afford the pricey meals. Their salaries were huge compared to ours. They received special treatment and gifts of food and services in exchange for loyalty to the communist party.

Allegiance and love for family and conscience went out the window when the specter of hunger hung in the air. It was easier to snitch on your family when you got extra food each month and were allowed to shop in underground communist party stores laden with abundant supplies from the west, fresh vegetables and fruits year around, expensive wines, liqueurs, beer, juices, chocolates, oranges, bananas, and other fine things that most Americans take for granted. No EBT, SNAP, or WIC credit cards.

Someone who entered such a store explained to me that it was as if you had died and gone to food heaven, that’s how much food there was everywhere. No money was necessary. All you had to do is sign your name in a book, leave your conscience at the door, and spy on your closest relatives – each monthly report sufficed and you were fed quite well.

My first encounter with a grocery store in America kept me in awe for hours. I could not tear myself away from the shelves, bright lights, the cleanliness, the colorful and hygienic packaging, the refrigeration, and the fresh fruits and vegetables in January! I kept filling the cart with everything, and then remembered that I had a budget, and I would start over. People were laughing, could not understand where I came from, and what we ate.

American buffets are an inexplicable form of gluttony that Europeans have a hard time understanding. Is it an indulgence because food is plentiful, always available without long lines or rationing, and cheap? Why stuff yourself to the brim if you’ve never felt intense hunger pains or experienced near starvation?

As the girth of Americans is expanding, the nanny government is stepping in to regulate portion size, control the type of foods they eat, the salt and sugar intake, and mandate three “healthy” meals in school, replacing the parents as the providers and decision-makers for their children. After all, the children belong to the community, we are told, and they are no longer a parental responsibility.

As small family farms that provide wholesome food are slowly disappearing, replaced by large corporate farms, we are importing more and more food from other countries, putting our food supply in jeopardy, at the whims of exporting countries. Fruits and vegetables are imported from Guatemala, Chile, Honduras, Mexico, Columbia, and other South American markets. Even chicken, seafood, pork, and other meats come from China.

Having to go hungry is a concept that Americans are not willing to entertain. Abundance and endless supply will last forever! As long as the big and mighty government is in charge, we will never want for anything. Self-reliance is not necessary, not even for food. Few people know that grocery stores only supply their stores with food for three days.

We never had “fun” cafeteria food fights or filled the trash cans with free taxpayer-supplied food we disliked like American high school students do. That is because we did not have a cafeteria, the communist state did not feed us, food was so scarce, and we would not have turned down anything edible.

The American journalists in Sochi, accustomed to a life of plenty in our free market-based economy, experienced an unpleasant taste of a communist economy in their hotel rooms; they complained on Twitter – they wanted the comfort provided by our capitalist economy.

Perhaps this experience in Russia will change the rhetoric about the utopian communism, and the nonsensical race for “collectivism, equality, and social justice” will stop. Everything about communism was unjust - it was oppressive, unequal, and inadequate. And it was not just about the lack of food – it crushed the human spirit.

As long as there is plenty of food and no suffering from hunger, people are happy and satisfied, no matter how enslaved their existence may be. As long as there are generous Americans who go to work every day and pay taxes, there is money for welfare for those who either lost their jobs or choose to be on welfare permanently in order to find themselves, relishing in their new-found freedom from the drudgery of work. That is how government officials spin their inability to create jobs for the massively unemployed that would otherwise starve without food stamps and welfare.


Why Global Citizenship and Not American Citizenship?

Photo credit: Ileana Johnson, 2014
I have asked many students over my 30 teaching years why they attended college. The answers encompassed a wide range:

-          It’s a family tradition and my parents are making me

-          I want to learn more about a particular subject

-          I want a higher-paying job

-          I want to be a doctor, a vet, an engineer, a pilot, an astronaut, an artist

-          I want to do research and find a cure for cancer

-          I have nothing better to do with my time and I like being a student

-          I want to be perennial learner and the tuition is paid by the government

-          I want to make American lives better

-          I want to be the first college graduate in my family

-          I don’t want to work in a blue collar job like my father

-          I want to help my small hometown who needs a doctor or a vet

Not one time did I hear a student say that they are pursuing a college degree for “diversity,” “global citizenship,” and “social justice.” Not one time did any student tell me that they were studying in order to make other nations better, spread the wealth of his/her earnings to the downtrodden of the world, or rearrange America in the image of social justice, code words for communism.

I am not sure I talked to anyone who said, I really want to change this country into a communist society because I was taught by academia that Marx’s teachings would make it better. America has been so rotten for over 250 years and we must fix it.

The electronic board I saw in a large D.C. mall pictured a young man and proclaimed in bold letters, “WORLD READY. Honor. Excellence. Service. Preparation for work, life, and citizenship in the global economy.*” I asked myself, do we live in America or the globe? Shouldn’t this college prepare students for American citizenship in our economy? The asterisk explained that the University of Mary Washington subscribes to the 2012 Association of American Colleges & Universities: Promising Practices for Personal and Social Responsibility.”

As a parent and former teacher, I wanted to know what this AAC&U 2012 platform was, so I started digging. The electronic ad at the mall intrigued me and I could not get it out of my mind.

The platform (the pdf file has 112 pages) which grew from a 2006 AAC&U initiative with a grant from the Templeton Foundation, “Core Commitments: Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility,” emphasized “learning skills and dispositions appropriate for living and working in a diverse society, such as their ‘ability to see the world from someone else’s perspective,’ ‘tolerance of others with diverse beliefs,’ and ‘ability to work cooperatively with diverse people.’” The wording for “Core Commitments” in higher education sounded eerily similar to some of the wording in Common Core Standards for elementary and high school education.

The problem with “diverse” and “diversity” is that it is not a civic strength despite liberal promotion of multiculturalism, “multicultural festivals,” and political speeches about multiculturalism that present America as stronger because of diversity. Europeans have already admitted publicly through Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy that multiculturalism has failed miserably in Europe.

Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam found out by interviewing 30,000 people across America that the more diverse a community, the fewer people vote and volunteer, the less they give to charity, and the less they work on community projects. Putnam’s study, the largest on civic involvement in America, found that almost all measures of civic participation are lower in the more diverse settings. (The Downside of Diversity – The Boston Globe, August 2007)

Max Fisher explained that studies also show that diversity tends to correlate with low Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and conflict. The African continent tends to be the most diverse and with lower GDP.

In concert with AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, the Core Commitments require five indispensable “capacities” for college students:

-          Strong work ethic

-          Personal relationships and academic integrity

-          Contributing to a larger community

-          Taking seriously the perspectives of others

-          Developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning and action

The five Core Commitments “capacities” contain elements of indoctrination as well as elements of parental guidance that should have been instilled into their children long before they made it to college.  Taking over the parental role and reshaping their children’s view of the world smacks of indoctrination. What kind of action are our students supposed to take? Do these five “core capacities” and especially the development of “competence in ethical and moral reasoning and action reflect our American values or are they reflecting the values of a global entity that is pushing global citizenship?

Americans are not responsible for the outcomes and lives of those around the globe. Americans already engage in volunteerism and service, they do not need mandated curricula from an institution of higher learning.

Americans are already one the most tolerant cultures when it comes to racial and ethnic diversity. As research shows, diversity makes our civic societal fabric weaker, not stronger.

Why would colleges then mandate preparation of our American students for global citizenship, should colleges not prepare students for American citizenship?







Saturday, February 15, 2014

Shameless Communist Propaganda from the Left

Photo credit: Ileana Johnson, 2013
Lately I see  a lot of Marxist propaganda in our country, particularly in the MSM and in education. I know all the slogans because I lived the lies of the communist propaganda for 20 years.

I will start with equal pay, social justice, and equality across the board by government fiat. The commie social justice was equality of misery, hunger, poor, cold, and cramped living conditions, scarcity of food, basic needs, electricity, water, and everything else  spoiled brats in America take for granted that is produced by a free market model. The Sochi hotel accommodations are a case in point. To deal with the misery, the workers (the proletariat), which was all of us (except the ruling regime), joked that the “communists pretended to pay us, and we pretended to work.”  I choose capitalist inequality any day.

“Collectivism, community, and the common good” meant that the elites in power stole for their own good and used everything that the community worked hard to produce. We acquiesced like sheep because the commies had jails, jailers, security police, informers, and a well-equipped army. We had nothing but fear and oppression.

NBC’s Olympic opening ceremony introduction described communist Russia as “one of modern history’s pivotal experiments.”  To say that the murder and suffering of millions of citizens who disagreed ideologically with the Soviets, was a vital experiment is a slap in the face of decency and humanity. How can you say that murdering, torturing, oppressing, and imprisoning people for their thoughts was a vital experiment?  Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted on February 7, 2014, “The NBC Olympics is absurd. The Soviet Union was a ‘pivotal experiment?’ Really?  No, it was an evil empire that murdered and oppressed.”

A play at the Arena Stage in the D.C. area, “The Tallest Tree in the Forest,” dedicated praise to the communist Paul Robeson who traveled to the Soviet Union in the 1930s and defended the Soviet death machine, aiding and abetting evil. He never mentioned Holomodor, the genocide by man-made starvation in Ukraine in 1932-1933. He was also silent about hundreds of naïve Americans who left in the 1930s for the Soviet Union only to die in the gulags.

A self-described communist wrote, “Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism),” in an ill-informed attempt to rewrite the dreadful history of communism by making fallacious comparisons to capitalism. The article is a disturbing list of how the far left views communism.

Progressives have been quite successful in indoctrinating Americans into believing their fantastic misrepresentation of history and I’d like to offer counterpoints.

1.       The author says, “Communism necessarily distributes property universally, but, at least as far as this communist is concerned, can still allow you to keep your smartphone. Deal?” Not true, the property is not distributed, you cannot make deals, property is confiscated at the end of a gun from all people and becomes the patrimony of the ruling elites who use it as they see fit. You would not have a smartphone in the first place unless someone from a free economy developed it first and brought it to the market. Communism mandates “groupthink,” discouraging and punishing people who are creative and who desire to become entrepreneurs.

2.       Capitalist economies were based on free exchange, on the coincidence of wants, until the job-killing EPA regulations and outrageous taxation prevented many companies from producing competitive goods at affordable prices; labor unions controlled by the left drove the wage of a high school graduate to almost $50 an hour in some sectors, prompting many companies to outsource jobs or move to other countries for cheaper labor and less corporate taxation.

Nobody “is forcing you to work for a boss who is trying to get rich by paying you less and working you harder.” You are free to quit, move to any part of the country, and get a new job. That is not an option under communism where everyone works for the state, has a work card which must be stamped by the authorities, and must get the state permission to move or change jobs.

It is not true that the “U.S. particular brand of capitalism required exterminating a continent’s worth of indigenous people and enslaving millions of kidnapped Africans. And all the capitalist industry was only possible because white women, considered the property of their fathers and husbands, were performing the invisible task of child-rearing and housework, without remuneration.”

We did not exterminate an entire continent although some Indians were killed and pushed off their lands into reservations. That hardly qualifies as mass extermination. We did not enslave nor kidnap Africans. The British engaged in the slave trade and the African men and women were sold into slavery to the British by their own tribesmen. The British brought the slaves to the New World. There are many nations and cultures today that still engage in the slave trade. Where is the leftist outrage over that?

Capitalism did not develop because white women stayed home and raised their children without remuneration. That is the most laughable statement I had ever read. Women around the world, of all races, raise their children with love and without pay because we love our children and it is our maternal instinct to do so. We are not invisible. Many of us hold part-time jobs and some have full-time professional careers.

3.       Communism killed at least 100 million people through purposeful starvation, mass shootings, torture, imprisonment in gulags, concentration camps for re-education into the communist ideology, and for resisting the confiscation of their lands, homes, farms, food, and personal belongings. Purposeful famine and starvation as it happened in the Ukraine is a “left wing problem.” Do deny this historical truth is to revise history.

4.       To say that capitalist governments commit human rights atrocities in your lame attempt to excuse the real atrocities committed by communist regimes is unbelievable. 

Capitalism is not responsible for the genocide in Africa; the killing of indigenous tribes and of Christians is committed by Muslim groups in third world dictatorships.

Capitalism is not responsible for the malnutrition in Africa – we have certainly donated billions in food, aid, and specialists to grow crops. 

We are not responsible for “climate-borne deaths.” How exactly are we accountable for climate that has been changing for millions of years? The climate change is called seasons caused by the yearly revolution of the Earth around the Sun and the tilt of the Earth’s axis, relative to the plane of revolution. Climate change is not man-made.

“Famine like the human species has never known is in the offing because the free market does not price carbon and oil-extracting capitalist firms have, since the collapse of the USSR, become sovereigns of their own.”  This sentence makes no sense. The author seems to imply that, if we don’t tax carbon, famine will take place. Carbon taxes do not benefit anyone but those who impose the taxes and do not reduce pollution.

Global warming is not settled science, it is a hoax and “consensus” science. We have certainly shoveled a  lot of global warming from our driveways this winter. And the expedition of Australian “scientists” to document how the ice caps had melted, were embarrassed when,  stuck in 13 miles of very thick ice, had to be rescued by crews with conventional fuel-driven means, at great cost to society. The desperate left called this cooling, that contradicted their global warming theory, the “Polar Vortex.” In my childhood, the Polar Vortex was called winter.

5.       Progressives, your brand of communism is not going to be “more open, humane, democratic, participatory, and egalitarian than the Russian and Chinese attempts managed.” It is still a form of tyranny, imposing your views of the world on the rest of us.

You cannot afford to bribe citizens forever into accepting your drug-induced utopian dreams that you have concocted in your social studies or ethnic studies classes at the liberal colleges you attended.

Your teacher lied to you in order to keep his/her high paying job and his classes full while promoting outrageous ideology.

 Your god, Marx, was a bum who never worked a day in his life, neglected his family, two of his children died of malnutrition, waiting on handouts from his rich benefactor.  There are only so many producers who work to spread their wealth around to the takers without a work ethic.

6.       “Communism is based on the total opposite of uniformity: tremendous diversity, not just among people, but even with in a single person’s occupation.” That is not true.

Diversity was strongly discouraged; we were expected to conform to a specific mold dictated by the communist party. We wore the same style shoes, always in short supply, and the same style clothes or uniforms.

If one tried to be different or do anything else other than what the assigned job was, you were taken in for questioning by the economic police, then by security police, your comings and goings were recorded by the bloc informer, your extra goods derived from such activity were confiscated, and your extra-curricular activities had to cease or else you went to jail.

“That so many great artists and writers have been Marxists suggest that the production of culture in such a society would breed tremendous individuality and offer superior avenues for expression.” Perhaps in your Marxist utopian dreams there was “tremendous individuality.” Avenues of expression were allowed within the strict communist ideology and slogans.

Yes, we had a culture; it was called Marxism and the worship of the communist party leaders. Every play, movie, poem, painting, picture, cartoon, song, dance, gymnastics, holidays, and athletic games had to proclaim communism and worship the dear leader. If an artist did anything that the party did not approve of, he/she was jailed and his/her works of art trashed and burned.

Lefties are delusional if they think that people had “universal access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” You had the right to breathe if the party allowed you to live within the confines of their ideology. You were not allowed to travel; you had to register your residence within 7 days of moving to a new street or a new apartment so that the police could track you. If you did not report your new location, the bloc informer did, and you were subsequently fined and jailed for not doing so.

7.       Capitalism fosters individuality, not communism. In capitalism you don’t have to live in the same type of housing, you have choices in your daily life. You can even stay home shamelessly and claim perennial unemployment, disability, accept welfare, and mooch off your parents until middle age because you are trying to find yourself.

You now have ObamaCare which frees you from the drudgery of having to work. Somebody else is paying for your health insurance.

Under communism everybody had to work. Nobody was fed for free or received welfare. We lived in the same drab and dirty concrete 300 square ft. apartments, took the same dingy buses to work, rode the same rickety bikes, and walked everywhere. We had free medical care but, unless you had the sniffles, most people died when real surgeries had to be performed.

Another example of revisionist history is the CNN’s 1999 twenty-four episode documentary, “Cold War,” presented as objective history. On the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, CNN is rebroadcasting its documentary through November 8, 2014.

According to Jaroslaw Martyniuk, “the documentary was infused with an extreme brand of revisionism verging on the tragicomic,… distorting reality and suggesting moral equivalence between the behavior of the Soviet Union and Western  democracies.”

Martyniuk’s  objections to the documentary are as follows:

-          Strong emphasis on Soviet regime “lofty” goals of decent education, free health care, common ownership of the land, and fairness but no mention of the savage revolution, the mass shootings, property confiscations, social engineering, and the millions who died in deliberate mass famines engineered by Lenin

-          CNN indicates that Stalin’s aims were not aggressive, “he feared encirclement by capitalist countries, he was merely establishing a buffer zone through his Eastern European satellite countries of the Iron Curtain”

-          CNN barely mentions the Soviet Union as a “prison of nations” and Stalin as a tyrant who subdued Eastern Europe through brutal coercion and terror

-          The Berlin Blockade episode does not point out the disparate buildup of troops – 40 combat-ready Soviet divisions in Eastern Germany as opposed to 8 allied divisions in Western Germany

-          CNN describes the introduction of the new Deutschemark (currency) and the financial aid (Marshall Plan) to rebuild the war-torn  West Germany as acts of aggression

-          Truman’s attempt to contain communism is labeled by CNN as “the official declaration of the Cold War” but the Soviet aggression and expansionism is ignored

-          In the episode “Reds,” CNN compares the Soviet Gulag with the 1947 investigation of the “Hollywood ten” by the House  Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC); there is no moral equivalency between the internment of 25 million prisoners in the Arctic death camps and ten Hollywood stars who lost their jobs or were jailed for refusing to answer questions before HUAC

-          CNN documentary excuses Stalin and his monstrous crimes  - Soviet Union had a good reason to be concerned by the shortwave transmissions and programming from Radio Liberty; no mention is made of the risk Soviet citizens took by listening to freedom radio broadcasts – deportation to gulags

-          The CNN series allocate 45 minutes to China, commenting that Mao’s Great  Leap Forward “caused millions to die;” to report accurately, it was a mass killing of 45 million Chinese, one of the most deadly man-made disaster in human history

-          While depicting in great detail the electric chair death of Ethel Rosenberg, the Cultural Revolution in China that killed and persecuted millions in violent skirmishes, is barely mentioned

-          The Cold War documentary does not reference the Venona files, discoveries made more recently  in Russian archives, or by historians Anne Applebaum, Simon-Sebag Montefiore,  Timothy Snyder, Vasili Mitrokhin, Frank Dikötter, and M. Stanton Evans.

In an ideal world, students and viewers should listen to the trustworthy voices of average citizens who endured and survived a harsh life during the terrible times of the brutal communist regimes. They should not listen to “progressive” writers who have never experienced communist life but spew very confidently communist propaganda through rose-colored glasses, articulating strong opinions formed and spun from textbook theories that have a distinct anti-American agenda.

The Cold War was a “colossal battle between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and democracy and totalitarianism.” Revisionist presentation of communist atrocities is a sad distortion of truth and of history.

Sources:  CNN’s Cold War Documentary: Issues and Controversy, Hoover Institution Press, 2000
Jaroslaw Martyniuk, February 2014