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Posts Tagged ‘EPA’

Donald Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Ally of Fossil Fuel Industry, to Lead E.P.A.

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President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, a transition official said, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change.

Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.”
President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, a transition official said, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change.

Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.”

Mr. Pruitt, 48, who has emerged as a hero to conservative activists, is also one of a number of Republican attorneys general who have formed an alliance with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda, a 2014 investigation by The New York Times revealed.

At the heart of Mr. Obama’s efforts to tackle climate change are a collection of E.P.A. regulations aimed at forcing power plants to significantly reduce their emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution. It will not be possible for Mr. Trump to unilaterally cancel the rules, which were released under the 1970 Clean Air Act. But it would be possible for a legally experienced E.P.A. chief to substantially weaken, delay or slowly dismantle them.

As Oklahoma’s top law enforcement official, Mr. Pruitt has fought environmental regulations — particularly the climate change rules. Although Mr. Obama’s rules were not completed until 2015, Mr. Pruitt was one of a handful of attorneys general, along with Greg Abbott of Texas, who began planning as early as 2014 for a coordinated legal effort to fight them. That resulted in a 28-state lawsuit against the administration’s rules. A decision on the case is pending in a federal court, but it is widely expected to advance to the Supreme Court.

As Mr. Pruitt has sought to use legal tools to fight environmental regulations on the oil and gas companies that are a major part of his state’s economy, he has also worked with those companies. For example, the 2014 investigation by The Times found that energy lobbyists drafted letters for Mr. Pruitt to send, on state stationery, to the E.P.A., the Interior Department, the Office of Management and Budget and even President Obama, outlining the economic hardship of the environmental rules.

Industries that Mr. Pruitt regulates have also joined him as plaintiffs in court challenges, a departure from the usual role of the state attorney general, who traditionally sues companies to force compliance with state law.

The close ties have paid off for Mr. Pruitt politically: Harold G. Hamm, the chief executive of Continental Energy, a North Dakota oil and gas firm that also works in Oklahoma, was a co-chairman of Mr. Pruitt’s 2013 re-election campaign.

EPA

President-elect Trump has selected Myron Ebell, who disputes the scientific consensus around anthropogenic global warming, to lead the EPA transition team.

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In September 2016, candidate Donald Trump announced his intention to appoint Myron Ebell to lead his administration’s transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency. Ebell currently serves as the director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the libertarian think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He also chairs an initiative named the Cooler Heads Coalition, which, according to Ebell’s official bio:

…comprises over two dozen non-profit groups in this country and abroad that question global warming alarmism and oppose energy rationing policies.

Ebell openly declares himself to be a climate change skeptic who disputes the severity of human activity on Earth’s climate. On this point, Ebell has been extremely consistent: He argues that anthropogenic global warming, if it happens at all, is a minor issue that has been usurped by liberals to expand the federal government. He has stated in many different venues that he intends to dismantle the scientific consensus around anthropogenic global warming, as discussed in this October 23 2012 interview with PBS Frontline’s John Hockenberry:

EBELL: […] What we’re fighting is the expansion of government. And there are many pretexts for expanding government.
HOCKENBERRY: Opposing government action on climate change to defend American freedom is a perfect fit.
EBELL: We felt that if you concede the science is settled and that there’s a consensus, you cannot— the moral high ground has been ceded to the alarmists.
HOCKENBERRY: So you had to go to work and break down this consensus.
EBELL: Yes. And we did it because we believed that the consensus was phony. We believed that the so-called global warming consensus was not based on science, but was a political consensus, which included a number of scientists.

Ebell, as noted in a 2007 Vanity Fair article, is often contacted by journalists for sound bites representing the opposing view to scientific, peer reviewed studies despite the fact that Ebell is not actually a scientist: He holds an M.S degree in economics from the London School of Economics. His scientific view on global warming was well summarized in that 2007 article:

“There has been a little bit of warming,” as he puts it, “but it’s been very modest and well within the range for natural variability, and whether it’s caused by human beings or not, it’s nothing to worry about.”

In fact, Ebell might see it as something to look forward to, an idea he floated in a September 28 2011 CEI blog post:

Complementing the weak scientific case for alarm, many people have realised that warmer climates are more pleasant and healthier. That’s why Americans move to Phoenix or Florida when they retire. If global warming theory turns out to be correct and winters become milder, then they may not be so eager to move from Michigan or New York.

A September 2016 article in Scientific American suggests that his appointment heralds big, divisive changes to to the EPA:

Ebell is a well-known and polarizing figure in the energy and environment realm. His participation in the EPA transition signals that the Trump team is looking to drastically reshape the climate policies the agency has pursued under the Obama administration. Ebell’s role is likely to infuriate environmentalists and Democrats but buoy critics of Obama’s climate rules.

The great irony of his appointment to lead the EPA transition is that he is lukewarm on the existence of the EPA in the first place. In fact, he once described Newt Gingrich’s suggestion to abolish the EPA as “bold and visionary.”

It Is Time to Put the Limit Back in Limited Government

I own a small farm, a berry patch to be exact, and for the particular type of berry that I grow it is much more profitable to market them as organic.  I grow everything organically out of choice.  However to market anything as organic the operation must be certified by the government.

So of course I must spend hours filling out and filling out and filling out forms.  Of course there are fees, filing fees, inspection fees and certification fees.  Then there is the time spent with the inspector at the kitchen table talking, not long, only a few hours out of a busy day.  If you add up the fees and add in a reasonable estimate of the time I ended up spending more to become certified than I made selling my “Organic” berries.

I put the word organic in quotation marks not because they aren’t organic.  I do it because there is no way the inspector could actually know whether they are or not.  He didn’t test the soil.  He didn’t test the plants.  He didn’t test the berries.  He went exclusively by what I told him, what I documented in my field logs, and in the forms I filed.

We actually do grow everything organically, and as I said we do that because of our own desire to grow, eat, and market chemical free food not because the government tells us we have to do so.  However, the process the government follows not only encourages fraud it makes it possible.  Does it seem credible that every farmer everywhere at all times is honest?  Does it seem credible that somewhere there may be a farmer who farms using every chemical available and then just lies about it?  In the end “Organic” means all the proper forms have been filed, all the fees paid, and the farmer told the inspector what he needed to hear.

Here we have one more victory for government regulations that cost the farmer (read consumer) time and money.

When regulation becomes strangulation economies stumble over the government instituted by the social contract between those governed and those governing.  When regulations carry the force of law, when they read like telephone books written in insurance language held upside down, when they multiply like mosquitoes in a swamp people begin to regard them and the governance they represent as a hindrance instead of a help.  Have we reached the point where everyone is guilty and the government merely needs to decide when to pick us up?

In the Declaration of Independence the Founders first told us what beliefs their actions were based upon, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Then they told us why governments exist, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

They then went on to tell us what to do if government ever oversteps its bounds, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect (sic) their Safety and Happiness.”

I guess it is lucky for the peace and tranquility of the present regime that the descendants of these Founders are too busy watching the game and throwing back a few cold ones to follow this final piece of advice for if any government has ever become destructive of these ends it is the Leviathan with which we are now confronted.  The current crowd of the perpetually re-elected and their K-Street crony capitalist friends remind me more and more of King George every day.  If you ever wonder about this just read the bill of particulars in the Declaration and substitute the Federal Government for He.

If we are too comfortable or otherwise engaged to “institute new Government” might it be possible to at least return to the Constitutional limits upon the present one?  If so how can we go about it?  Should we pass a law that says, “The Federal Government must abide by the Constitution” and then wait for the Supreme Court to interpret that to mean “The Federal Government can do whatever it pleases”?

That might not work out too well; however there is an idea whose time may have come.  The REINS Act is designed to reign in government and at least provide some accountability.  You see here is how the people’s elected representatives have stacked the deck so that they get the accolades and avoid the brickbats.

First they pass a law which says something general that everyone can agree on such as, “Make the water or the air cleaner.”  This law will just say that, make whatever it is better with no specifics.  However the law will create and empower a bureaucracy such as the EPA to fill in the blanks and enforce the new blank filling regulations with the force of law.  Then when these new regulations step on someone’s toes as they inevitably will and they complain to their representative the perpetually re-elected become incensed and rail against the unjustness of the regulation.  Perhaps they will even march in protest in solidarity to the great unwashed against the arbitrary nature or silliness of the regulation.  They will at the least offer to write a letter to the bureaucracy on behalf of the outraged citizen and thus they get the credit for wanting the cleaner whatever without the responsibility for imposing the statist regulations that make the cleaner whatever possible.

So how do we wrest control of our lives back from the bureaucracy our elected officials have abdicated their authority to?  We pass the REINS Act and reign them in.

According to Neil Siefring in The Hill:

On July 28, 2015 by a vote of 243 to 165, the House passed H.R. 427, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015, known as the REINS Act. Introduced in the House by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), the bill “would require any executive branch rule or regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more — designated by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a ‘major rule’ — to come before Congress for an up-or-down vote before being enacted.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced the companion legislation, S. 226, in the Senate.

The Judiciary Committee’s report on the bill explains that back in 1996, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) was implemented as an attempt to get control over the large number of regulations coming from the federal government. But only one regulation has been undone using CRA, while 60,000 regulations have come into being. Major regulations accounted for 1,000 of them. These regulations are costly. According to The Economist, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reported that in 2013, the compliance cost of federal regulations was $1.86 billion, or $15 billion per household.

The biggest problem with this approach is that the current resident of the White House will veto the law and it is doubtful if the Congress has enough people dedicated to putting the limit back in limited government to override an imperial president who rules by decree. And the beat goes on as We the People continue to get beat down by our own government.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

EPA’s Global Warming Rule Could KILL Thousands Of People

by Michael Bastasch

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The EPA claims its Clean Power Plan will end up saving lives from reducing air pollution, but a new report by a free market energy group warns the agency’s global warming rule will end up killing more than it saves.

“The EPA’s climate rule has no discernible impact on climate change and may cause thousands of premature deaths in the United States,” according to a recent report by the free market Institute for Energy Research (IER). “The EPA relies on faulty data to make exaggerated claims about the benefits of a rule that will cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars and plunge millions of families into poverty.”

“The loss of disposable income due to higher energy bills will leave families with less money to spend on health care, prescriptions, and other essentials. Therefore, EPA should withdraw its expensive and harmful carbon regulation,” according to IER’s report.

As part of President Barack Obama’s global warming agenda, the EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan earlier this month. The rule aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and limit emissions from newly built electricity generating units. The rule is expected to have virtually no impact on global warming, but the EPA argues thousands of lives will be saved every year as coal plants are shut down and levels of air pollutants decrease.
The EPA claims its Clean Power Plan will end up saving lives from reducing air pollution, but a new report by a free market energy group warns the agency’s global warming rule will end up killing more than it saves.

“The EPA’s climate rule has no discernible impact on climate change and may cause thousands of premature deaths in the United States,” according to a recent report by the free market Institute for Energy Research (IER). “The EPA relies on faulty data to make exaggerated claims about the benefits of a rule that will cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars and plunge millions of families into poverty.”

“The loss of disposable income due to higher energy bills will leave families with less money to spend on health care, prescriptions, and other essentials. Therefore, EPA should withdraw its expensive and harmful carbon regulation,” according to IER’s report.

As part of President Barack Obama’s global warming agenda, the EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan earlier this month. The rule aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and limit emissions from newly built electricity generating units. The rule is expected to have virtually no impact on global warming, but the EPA argues thousands of lives will be saved every year as coal plants are shut down and levels of air pollutants decrease.

“Our most vulnerable citizens, including children, older adults, people with heart or lung disease and people living in poverty are most at risk to the health impacts of climate change,” the EPA claims of its Clean Power Plant. “The transition to cleaner sources of energy, which is already underway, will better protect Americans from other harmful air pollution, too.”

But the Clean Power Plan will also raise energy prices as coal-fired power plants are forced to shut down and more expensive, new sources of electricity come online. IER notes that “EPA ignores the link between health and wealth.”

Basically, higher energy prices will decrease poor people’s’ disposable income and, therefore, “may end up causing far more premature deaths than it prevents, even if we accept the EPA’s numbers at face value,” according to IER. By 2030, IER estimates 14,000 more people will die from reduced incomes than will be saved by the EPA’s rules. And this is taking the EPA’s own data and assumptions at face value.

Indeed, the EPA has used the “health-wealth” connection to justify past regulations. An older EPA document says that “people’s wealth and health status, as measured by mortality, morbidity, and other metrics, are positively correlated.”

“Hence, those who bear a regulation’s compliance costs may also suffer a decline in their health status, and if the costs are large enough, these increased risks might be greater than the direct risk-reduction benefits of the regulation,” reads an analysis from the agency.

“Vulnerable, low-income families, who spend a higher percentage of their incomes on energy, will be harmed the most—and could be forced to forgo necessities such as food, medical care, and prescription drugs,” IER notes. “By forcing higher energy prices on American families, the rule will end up making the poor poorer and the sick sicker.”

The EPA estimates the Clean Power Plan will result in as many as $45 billion in net benefits by 2030, and the cost will only be $8.4 billion. But this is done by ignoring the “health-wealth” connection, according to IER. The group used the EPA’s own health data and combined it with a study published last year on the economic impacts of the Clean Power Plan to find out just how many could die from higher energy prices

The results were staggering. IER estimated that economic losses of $366 billion would contribute to as many as 35,000 premature deaths by 2030. When compared to EPA’s estimate of 3,600 lives saved by that time, the deaths from higher energy prices outweigh the number of lives saved from less air pollution by 14,000.

“By closing down existing coal-fired power plants and replacing them with new, costly alternatives like wind and solar power, the plan will increase electricity prices, destroy jobs, and decrease Americans’ disposable income,” IER notes. “This is especially true for the poor, sick, and mentally ill, who spend a greater percentage of their income on energy.”

House votes to weaken Obama’s climate rule

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By Timothy Cama and Cristina Marcos
The House voted Wednesday to delay the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate rule for power plants and let state governors opt out of complying.

The bill, passed 247-180, is a major blow to the main pillar of President Obama’s effort to reduce the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, although the White House has promised a veto to protect his legacy.

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s power subpanel, sponsored the legislation as House Republicans’ principal response to the EPA’s climate rule. The rule has become the most controversial aspect of the Obama administration’s environmental policy, and one of its most controversial regulations.

Under the bill, state governors could opt out of adopting state plans for the EPA’s regulation if such a plan would harm electricity rates, reliability or important economic sectors in the states.
The regulation’s enforcement would also be delayed until all court challenges are resolved.

The GOP believes that the rule will not withstand judicial review, so the delay is designed to ensure that the regulation never takes effect.

“They’ve picked up a shotgun and pointed it at the heart of the American economy, our power generation,” Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) said of the EPA.

But Democrats warned it would ultimately gut the regulation intended to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

“This ‘just say no’ bill would effectively give governors the power to sabotage EPA’s proposed clean power plan by allowing them to opt out of the federal requirements of the plan based on arbitrary and ambiguous determinations,” said Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.).

The EPA proposed the regulation last June, and plans to make it final this August. It seeks a 30 percent cut in the carbon emissions of the nation’s power plants by 2030, with specific targets assigned to each state.

Regulators will give states 13 months to draft plans to hit their targets. If they don’t, the EPA will write its own plans and impose them — something the GOP is trying to prevent.

“Earlier we heard the gentleman from Illinois say that this was a ‘just say no’ bill,” Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) said in response to Rush. “You bet it is. That’s exactly what it is. It’s a ‘just say no’ bill. No to a weaker electric grid. No to fewer jobs, particularly in manufacturing and also in the coal and energy industries.”

The White House sees the bill as a threat to the centerpiece of Obama’s climate legacy, and it has threatened a veto.

“The bill would give governors unprecedented and broad discretion to avoid compliance with the [CAA, Clean Air Act], thereby delaying the delivery of important public health benefits,” the White House wrote to lawmakers Tuesday.

“The bill’s effects would be felt hardest by those most at risk from the impacts of air pollution and climate change, such as the elderly, the infirm, children, native and tribal groups, and low-income populations,” it said, calling the bill “premature and unnecessary” and saying that Obama’s advisors would urge a veto if it gets to his desk.

The White House added that it “is not aware of any instance when Congress has enacted legislation to stay implementation of a CAA standard during judicial review.”

Senate Republicans have put their efforts into a similar bill that would go even further in its attempts to weaken the rule and impair the EPA’s ability to set carbon rules for power plants.

Their bill, led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), would give governors even more reasons they could cite in rejecting compliance, including if doing so would hamper economic growth, competitiveness or jobs.

The Senate legislation would also repeal the EPA’s rule and reinterpret the Clean Air Act to make it extremely difficult for the agency to regulate power plants’ carbon.

EPA Tells Lies about Climate Change, Again

by Bob Allen
If the head of the EPA tells lies about global warming, what else is she willing to do for her job?

At the EPA’s web log, Gina McCarthy writes, “We Must Act Now to Protect our Winters.”

2014 was the hottest year on record, and each of the last three decades has been hotter than the last.

In mountain towns that depend on winter tourism, the realities of climate change really hit home. Shorter, warmer winters mean a shorter season to enjoy the winter sports we love—and a financial hit for local economies that depend on winter sports.

Even if you hate winter, climate change affects you – because climate risks are economic risks. Skiing, snowboarding and other types of winter recreation add $67 billion to the economy every year, and they support 900,000 jobs.

This woman has no place running the EPA. Her blog piece starts with a massive lie—last year was NOT the hottest year on record (unless you are comfortable ignoring the devil in the details of how that claim was measured… yeah, I can make a thermometer read higher by placing it in the right environment to achieve a desired warmer reading)—and it continues on down a hill of Gruberisms from there.

Get ready for lie after bold-faced lie, designed to gain a desired outcome of increased government power, and wealth for bureaucratic cronies.

If we fail to act, Aspen’s climate could be a lot like that of Amarillo, TX, by 2100. Amarillo is a great town, but it’s a lousy place to ski.

With all due respect, that’s a load of hysterical crap—none of the real science says Aspen will be like Amarillo in just over 80 years—even using the most wild and unsupported projections of Climate Change devotees.

Using the X-Games as a context for this putrid nonsense is brilliant propaganda targeted at young people that would make Joseph Goebbels smile from the grave.

Thus, Climate Change Depot:

“There are dueling global datasets — surface temperature records and satellite records — and they disagree. The satellites show an 18 year plus global warming standstill and the satellite was set up to be ‘more accurate’ than the surface records,” writes Marc Morano, former staff member of the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee.

“Any temperature claim of ‘hottest year’ based on surface data is based on hundredths of a degree hotter than previous ‘hottest years.’ This immeasurable difference is not even within the margin of error of temperature gauges. The claim of the ‘hottest year’ is simply a political statement not based on temperature facts. ‘Hottest year’ claims are based on minute fractions of a degree while ignoring satellite data showing Earth is continuing the 18 plus year ‘pause’ or ‘standstill’.” The most reliable statistics—and those most difficult to manipulate into Climate Change lies—show that the alleged warming trend clearly is not occurring as Gina McCarthy wants the gullible and ignorant to believe. Even if it were, there is no proof man has any significant impact on such things, nor that this isn’t just a natural shift in our climate brought on by much bigger factors.”

Remember Jonathan Gruber! People of this ilk know you won’t support their pet projects unless they lie, and lie big. Don’t fall for the Climate lies.

Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2015/01/epa-tells-lies-climate-change/#kWSL4kCeC4O7I4S7.99

Second Government Agency Under Criminal Investigation Claims Lost Emails: The EPA

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By Daniel Doherty

Apparently the lost (destroyed) IRS Email debacle wasn’t just an isolated incident: a second federal agency is also having trouble finding emails that a congressional committee is demanding in order to fulfill its oversight responsibilities:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the IRS share a problem: officials say they cannot provide the emails a congressional committee has requested because an employee’s hard drive crashed.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that her staff is unable to provide lawmakers all of the documents they have requested on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, because of a 2010 computer crash.

“We’re having trouble getting the data off of it and we’re trying other sources to actually supplement that,” McCarthy said. “We’re challenged in figuring out where those small failures might have occurred and what caused them occur, but we’ve produced a lot of information.”

More details:

The committee suspects that Phillip North, who worked for the EPA in Alaska, decided with his colleagues to veto the proposed Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay in 2009, before the agency even began researching its potential impacts on the environment.
Committee staffers have been trying for about a year to interview North, but he has been in New Zealand and refuses to cooperate, they said.

“We have tried to serve a subpoena on your former employee and we have asked for the failed hard drive from this Alaskan individual who now is in New Zealand, and seems to never be returning,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the committee’s chairman, said Wednesday.

Emails provided by the committee show that EPA told congressional investigators about the hard drive crash months ago. But McCarthy said she only told the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) about the problem Tuesday.

Ah, so the guy Issa’s been trying to subpoena for alleged criminal wrongdoing is living in a foreign country and ignoring his inquires. Meanwhile, the hard drive that might have stored potentially incriminating emails on it has conveniently “crashed.”

Any takers on what the third federal agency will be to accidentally “lose” relevant and potentially damaging internal emails? It’s only a matter of time.

Why Liberty Dies

To understand why liberty is imperiled in our country today we must first state clearly and unequivocally what is liberty.  Then and only then can we understand what is necessary for its preservation as well as see what is undermining it today.  Liberty is the absence of coercion and the freedom to act upon your own will within the perimeters of not infringing the freedom of action of others.  The only way that has been found among the societies of man to ensure, promote and protect liberty is through the rule of law.

The rule of law means that government is not allowed to coerce an individual except through the enforcement of a previously known and explicitly stated principle of limited government.  This principle places a limit upon the power of government to legislate by calling into question what sorts of laws are legitimate and which is not.  This looks beyond individual statutes to the very nature of legislation itself.  This differs markedly with the modern notion of the rule of law that holds as long as all the actions of a government comply with the law it is meeting the standard.  It is well to remember that under this definition both the Nazis and the Soviets operated under the rule of law.

This modern definition is actually an oxymoron.  If a government passes a law which says that it can do whatever it wants than everything it does is legal.  Hitler passed the Enabling Act and accomplished this in one fell swoop.

Because the rule of law is an absolute limitation on all legislation it cannot be a law of the same order as that passed by a legislature.  No Legislator can effectively limit himself through legislation since he can always amend that legislation at a later date.  Constitutions can make the infringement of pre-decided basic principles more difficult; however, as we have seen in our own Progressive land of the Living Document limitations can be re-defined away through courts and tradition.

The rule of law can only prevail where its basic principles are an organic part of the culture of the people.  They must be part of the commonly held beliefs and standards of a majority of the people or they will be jettisoned as soon as they restrain that majority from following the path of least resistance and living as they believe they should.  For if the rule of law is the common belief it will be followed closely and guarded jealously.  If it is seen as impractical or as an impediment to life as the majority wish to live it, it will be soon rejected and replaced.  Such a society will gladly embrace tyranny and arbitrary rule as long as they are convinced that they can now live as they want to live.

In our nation we have built a rather impressive framework to restrain the government: our Constitution.  Though it has been interpreted into meaninglessness in many ways it is still given lip service and is still the penultimate law of the land.   However there is one glaring hole that is currently being exploited to make an end-run around its remaining provisions: the rise of the Federal Bureaucracy.

We have gone to great lengths to limit what powers the elected officials of our government possess and left open the door for appointed officials to run rough shod over our lives.  The legislature passes vague thousand page laws and then the bureaucrats interpret them any way they desire with little or no oversight.  Elected officials, even the perpetually re-elected gerrymandered creatures of today come and go.   The bureaucracy lives forever.  When the elected officials cannot find the power to impose the Progressive agenda they do it through the bureaucrats they have appointed.

When they couldn’t pass Cap-N-Trade, they imposed it through the EPA.  When they can’t pass gun restrictions they have their bureaucrats buy up all the ammunition and make it almost impossible for the people to obtain any.  When they can’t pass amnesty they impose it through regulations and edicts.  The control of private land is taken through wet lands regulations.  Between the out of control legislators-for-life and their appointed regulators we are told to do everything from what kind of light bulbs to buy to how many gallons we can use to flush a toilet.

Liberty is being eaten away inch by inch and day by day, legislated, and  regulated into oblivion.  When our government can’t pass laws or impose regulations they will utilize the IRS, the NSA or anyone of a hundred of their alphabet agencies to spy on us or intimidate us into silence.  Common Core is coming for the kids.  Amnesty is coming for the jobs.  Political Correctness is coming for free speech.

Unless patriots stand-up the country will fall.  It will still be called the United States of America.  People will still say the pledge of Allegiance.  They will still sing the national anthem and salute the flag but will it be the same country that our forefathers fought and died for?  Will it still be the land of the free and the home of the brave?  Or will it be something else: a place where the rule of law once protected its citizens from the rule of men until the laws of men overwhelmed the laws of nature and of nature’s God?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau one those who inspired the Framers of the Constitution reminded us, “Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost.”

Barry Goldwater said, “Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.”

The enemies of freedom also speak of liberty.  Vladimir Lenin said, “It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.”

Benito Mussolini said, “The truth is that men are tired of liberty.

The controllers of men may try to use the language of liberty to subvert liberty however, the God given spirit of man shall always strive to become what God meant for us to be, free people in a free world.”

Norman Vincent Peale said, “Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security! The solution for America’s problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God.”

Winston Churchill told us, “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

And every school child should know that Patrick Henry famously said, “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

Why does liberty die?  Because the people allow it.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

You Say You Want a Revolution

Our revolution changed the world.  Our Declaration of Independence proclaims self-evident truths.  That all men are created equal, they’re endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  These words shook a world held in the vise-grip of hereditary privilege inspiring people around the globe.  Our Constitution established a representative republic with a limited government of the people, by the people and for the people.

We’ve watched as our constitutionally limited government grew until today it’s a leviathan running amok like Godzilla in Tokyo smashing things and scaring boy scouts.  Today the Federal government is the largest employer in America, states are the largest employers in the states and counties are among the largest employers in the counties get the picture?  Government is on a rampage and unless Mothra is going to fly in to save the day we’ll have to deal with Frankenstein-on-the-Potomac ourselves.

Such brazen power-plays as the Executive branch issuing the Legislature an ultimatum, either pass Cap-N-Trade or we’ll impose it administratively through command-and-control make the dramatic changes in our political culture shockingly apparent.   Has our balance of powers melted away under the glare of executive orders, signing statements and now ultimatums?   Some people say this is evolution.  To others it’s devolution.  Our hard-won and dearly-paid-for Republic is devolving into a command-and-control all-encompassing central-state.

With political dynasties bequeathing congressional seats like hereditary fiefdoms it’s becoming hard to explain why we left the British Empire.  Today we not only have taxation without representation as congressional party-line voters ignore their constituents we also have representation without taxation as the perpetually re-elected Lords and Ladies represent the illegal immigrants and the professional welfare hammock-riders.

These big government social planners may believe they’ve achieved their community organizing goals fulfilling Historian Will Durant paraphrase of Lincoln’s famous quote, “It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.”  They may believe their revolutionary administration will fundamentally change America however, if they’d step 20 miles outside the Beltway obviously there’s a counter-revolution brewing.  The Tea Party is overtaking the Republican Party in popularity.  It has already supplanted them at the grassroots of the conservative movement.  By 2010 an avalanche of voters thronged the polling places demanding their country back.

Following the tactics of Saul Alinsky brought the ObamaAcornSEIU coalition control of the Democratic Party and the country but following the Cloward/Piven Strategy for overwhelming the system to impose an alternative system is going to lead to a complete repudiation of this radical departure from traditional American politics and economics.  We aren’t Venezuela.  Even after decades of legislative efforts to progressively create a permanent underclass of government dependents who’ll follow the leader to the next looting of productive members of society the majority in this country still want freedom and opportunity not cradle-to-grave mediocrity.

We can and should stage a counter-revolution against this growing tyranny.  A peaceful, lawful revolution at the ballot box and if you’re talking about destruction, you can count me out.  The last thing we need in this crowded theater full of combustible emotions is either a match or someone shouting fire.  Any incident right now would trigger a massive response.  Just as the executive is using the EPA to impose the onerous restrictions of a Cap-N-Trade style economy stunting strangulation of regulations he’s also using ICE to change the enforcement of immigration policy and cook the books without any messy debate.

Ruling by decree, “I have a pen and I have a phone,” is hardly compatible with constitutionally-limited government.  We’re told the administration has solutions.  They sold us a solution to heal the greatest health care system in the world “If you like your plan you can keep your plan. Period” lik e a pig-in-a-poke.  They claim to have a solution to save or create jobs while we lose jobs every month, a draconian solution for the man-made global warming hoax, a solution for endless wars for elusive peace.  You say you have a solution.  We’d all love to see the plan.

They say they want a contribution.  Back in the good old change we could believe in days the dialogue of class warfare repeated that no one making under 250,000, or was it 150,000, or was it …anyway only the evil rich would have to pay a dime of new taxes.  Watch out!  You might find out you’re rich come next April 15th.

Everyone has known since at least that tax-cutting wild man JFK that cutting taxes increases revenue to the government and raising them lowers revenue.  Since the government knows raising taxes lowers revenue and since they’re raising taxes to increase revenue what are they trying to do?  Complicated tax codes are used as a way to incentivize and de-incentivize behavior.

If you want more widgets give tax breaks for buying widgets.  If you want less widgets tax widgets.  Using that for a guide notice what’s being pushed and what’s being pulled?  Taxes on producers and tax breaks for non-producers imagine tax cuts for people who don’t pay taxes and tax increases for those who do.  Taking the money of producers to bailout the greedy, reward the cronies and support the lazy.  It’s time to tell the statists at the ballot box if they want money for things we hate they’re going to have to wait.

Executive orders and signing statements have been used in Republican and Democrat administrations for years to change the constitution without changing the Constitution.  Now sweeping new powers by regulators threatens to make Congress irrelevant as an all-powerful executive branch grows like a malignant tumor.  Don’t lose heart, don’t despair, don’t you know it’s going to be all right?  Keep the faith, keep the peace, organize and win the day.  We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

EPA Tested Deadly Pollutants On Humans To Push Obama Green Agenda

The Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting dangerous experiments on humans over the past few years in order to justify more onerous clean air regulations.

The agency conducted tests on people with health issues and the elderly, exposing them to high levels of potentially lethal pollutants, without disclosing the risks of cancer and death, according to a newly released government report.
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These experiments exposed people, including those with asthma and heart problems, to dangerously high levels of toxic pollutants, including diesel fumes, reads a EPA inspector general report obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The EPA also exposed people with health issues to levels of pollutants up to 50 times greater than the agency says is safe for humans.

The EPA conducted five experiments in 2010 and 2011 to look at the health effects of particulate matter, or PM, and diesel exhaust on humans. The IG’s report found that the EPA did get consent forms from 81 people in five studies. But the IG also found that “exposure risks were not always consistently represented.”

“Further, the EPA did not include information on long-term cancer risks in its diesel exhaust studies’ consent forms,” the IG’s report noted. “An EPA manager considered these long-term risks minimal for short-term study exposures” but “human subjects were not informed of this risk in the consent form.” source – Daily Caller

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