Pikes, Pickets, and Scams

Every now and then seeing the overwhelming stupidity of so many, I daydream about running a major scam, cleaning up and retiring in style to the Cayman Islands or Tahiti. But reviewing the records of politicians, media, and universities, I realize I am just not up to the competition. Instead, I’m resigned to simply opening up a series of pike and picket stands at all the entrances to the Capital City.

This week's manifest fraud should fuel our fury.

1) Obamacare

Each passing day provides more evidence of the collapse of this legislative and regulatory dinosaur. Don Surber, the sage of Charleston, West Virginia, detailed the lies upon which the law was built  and concludes:

[T]he biggest lie was the very premise of this law that 47.6 million people wanted  health insurance but could not afford it.

If there were 47.6 million Americans waiting to be insured, Obamacare would be a godsend and Democrats would rule for 1,000 years.

Instead, Congressman Nick Joe Rahall is scrambling to hang onto a job that he has held for 38 years.

2) Green Energy

Whenever the proponents of green energy argue for more money for these failed projects, they assert that the life of every bird, bee, snail, and minnow is precious and that green energy will save what nasty fossil fuels endanger. We’ve already seen how the strict rules about killing endangered birds are waived when it comes to  avian pâté-making windmills, now it appears that the huge Ivanpah Solar plant  interferes with both aviation and bird life, but who’s complaining?

Shine a laser at a pilot: go to jail with $10,000 fine.

Make 340,000 mirrors to blind pilots and kill endangered birds: both state and federal governments will fall over themselves to give you free money.

3)  Campus Hijinks

(a) “Rape culture”

K.C. Johnson, who did such an outstanding job covering the outrageous lengths to which Duke and a corrupt prosecutor went to railroad the Duke Lacrosse team, this week eviscerated the nonsensical claims that the American college campuses are infused with a “rape culture”.

Anyone who follows the contemporary media closely is doubtless familiar with the suddenly ubiquitous phrase "rape culture." In the context of higher education, the phrase implies two interlocking beliefs. First: despite crime statistics showing sexual assault (as well as all violent crimes) to be very uncommon on campus, colleges and universities are, in fact, hotbeds of rape (but not, it appears, of all other violent crimes). Second: despite the fact that most college faculties and nearly all administrations are extraordinarily sympathetic to the activists' position on gender issues, the campus culture over which these figures preside nonetheless – somehow -- actually encourages the prevalence of rape at college.

That little, if any, evidence exists to sustain either of these beliefs has not deterred the "rape culture" believers; if anything, the lack of evidence for their claims appears to have emboldened them. Nor have they been deterred by the revelation of high-profile false rape claims on campus (ranging from the Duke lacrosse case to the Caleb Warner affair at North Dakota); if anything, the increasing build-up of sympathy for clearly railroaded males has intensified the rage of those who discern a "rape culture" on campus.[snip] In a media that too often accepts at face value a politically correct narrative on campus, the "rape culture" claim is almost ideal for campus "activists."

Second, the "rape culture" approach allows activists to shift the narrative away from uncomfortable questions about due process and false accusations against innocent male students, and toward a cultural critique in which the facts of specific cases can be deemed irrelevant.[snip] [S]ince there isn't a recent example -- from Duke to Dartmouth to any of the current Title IX claims -- in which those who have cried wolf on campus have experienced any repercussions for their actions, there is no drawback in advancing inflammatory claims, no matter how unlikely.

So expect a lot of talk about "rape culture[quote" in the coming months. [/quote]

(b) Credentialing Morons

Some of our most prestigious educational institutions are guilty of having credentialed morons. The shining example, in my book, is Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee who once indicated she believed that the U.S. had landed astronauts on Mars; who claimed that she was a freed slave, and who this week indicated the country had been operating under the Constitution for 400 years. Let’s give a round of applause to Yale and the University of Virginia law school, which granted her academic degrees.

This week the EPA and NASA earn a spot in the winners’ circle, illustrating why it’s really impossible for an ordinary citizen to outdo the government when it comes to fraud and deceit.

(c) John Beale, Scamster of the Century

The media gives lots of coverage to frauds like Bernard Madoff but government fraudsters get off far easier even though the damage people like the EPA’s career employee John Beale do is often far greater.

Utterly unqualified for his position, it is unclear how Beale was hired. And once there he fooled the agency by claiming he was working for the CIA and needed to take lengthy absences from work. But that fraud was small potatoes compared to the “sue and settle” lawsuits he created which funneled millions to environmental groups, ignored the existing law, failed to give notice to interested parties of the lawsuits and settlements and created almost impossible to overturn consent decrees.

An environmental group, often leaning pretty far left, sues the EPA over some agenda item they want.  Instead of being truly antagonistic opponents, the EPA and these groups are in fact colluding.  “Sue and settle agreements allow EPA to convert a state Regional Haze program into a major new set of federal mandates, with no recourse for those affected until it’s too late,” said Bill Kovacs, the Chamber’s senior vice president for Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs. “The report outlines the potentially disastrous effects of this regulatory tool being used by the EPA to disregard states sovereignty and take over what Congress clearly determined to be a state environmental responsibility. These federal haze requirements offer only high costs for states, utilities and consumers, with no benefit.” (US Chamber of Commerce)

Eventually they would settle the lawsuit with what is known as a “consent decree.” The “consent decree” is forever binding. And it is a scam. A scam against the American public.[snip] Our concerns with the Agency’s sue and settle tactics are well documented -- these settlement agreements are often accomplished in a closed door fashion that contravenes the Executive Branch’s solemn obligation to defend the law, avoids transparency and accountability, excludes impacted parties, and often results in the federal government paying the legal bills of these special interest groups at taxpayer expense. The circumstances under which EPA has agreed to initiate this new rulemaking reaffirms a pattern and practice of circumventing transparency.

If these regulations are good for America, why are they cloaked in deceit and oppressive costs.  Why doesn’t Congress pass them as laws? Because Congress would not, so the Playbook gets around that pesky requirement.

Perhaps Congress ought to consider whether lawsuits settled without the knowledge or input of all the interested states and parties should be deemed null as having been obtained fraudulently, and prohibit the EPA and all government agencies from repeating this practice.

(d) NASA

Speaking of administrative overreach and foolishness, NASA, whose head said Barack Obama told him to make "reaching out to the Muslim world" one of the space agency's top priorities has matched that nincompoopery: It commissioned a study written by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei which has concluded that civilization is going to end in a few decades. It suggests that “economic stratification” strains natural resources and will result in society’s destruction. (Do you think natural resources are more strained in modern industrial democracies or in capital-short places like the Sahara and Pakistan? Or for that matter in socialist countries like the old USSR and Romania?  You needn’t pay me a cent for the answer… it’s too obvious. Check the ruination of the once great Aral Sea or this.)

NASA tried to claim it had no role in this study, but it did fund it: The agency said “the study "was not solicited, directed or reviewed by NASA. It is an independent study by the university researchers utilizing research tools developed for a separate NASA activity. As is the case with all independent research, the views and conclusions in the paper are those of the authors alone. NASA does not endorse the paper or its conclusions."

As the Guardian notes, NASA might not officially adopt the study’s conclusions, but they paid for it (with our money,

 Nasa's funding for the very research behind the study is explicitly acknowledged in the paper, which is now available online here (p. 23):

"This work was partially funded through NASA/GSFC [Goddard Space Flight Center] grant NNX12AD03A."

And the US National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (Sesync) where the lead author carried out his research for the project issued an official clarification about the study yesterday as follows, confirming the same:

"Motesharrei received minor support from NASA to develop a coupled earth system model. Some of this funding was spent on the mathematical development of the HANDY model."

Indeed, the authors of the paper fully agreed with the accuracy of my characterisation of the study as being "Nasa-funded" or "sponsored." It comes down to a simple question really. Was the HANDY model funded by NASA? The answer is yes, even if the conclusions of the study do not represent the views of the space agency.

Well, if you aren’t going to buy my pikes and pickets and march on the Capitol, is there anything you can do to protest this nonsense and return us to sanity?

Rence Priebus of the RNC asks us to fight for soft funding to cover convention expenses. Why? Most people would pay to not have to watch these conventions.

Janet Shagam and the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights have some better ideas about fighting mendacity.

Janet, looking at the underreported, insulting response of EPA chief’s Gina McCarthy to a gift from native Alaskans, says:

I think every Democrat should be questioned about Gina McCarthy's insulting statements. Every Republican had to answer for Akin... so every Dem should have to elaborate on exactly what McCarthy meant.

What does that Indian from New York that is obsessed with the Redskins think about Gina McCarthy? He has been the go-to guy on all Native American sensibilities. How bout every Dem that is fainting over the Redskins?

What does adopted Crow Indian, 'Barack Black Eagle' think? Does he refer to Native American gifts as "f-ing things"?

Bill Donohue, responding to gay rights groups insistence on marching in New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, applied to march in the New York City Gay Pride Parade.

I think he has a point. I mean after all, why don’t the Gay Pride marchers seek to march in a pro-Palestinian parade or a Farrakhan Million Man rally? Why don’t we all parade at every ethnic or religious procession waving flags announcing our sexual preferences -- except of course at universities where we all know there’s a pervasive “rape culture”?

Every now and then seeing the overwhelming stupidity of so many, I daydream about running a major scam, cleaning up and retiring in style to the Cayman Islands or Tahiti. But reviewing the records of politicians, media, and universities, I realize I am just not up to the competition. Instead, I’m resigned to simply opening up a series of pike and picket stands at all the entrances to the Capital City.

This week's manifest fraud should fuel our fury.

1) Obamacare

Each passing day provides more evidence of the collapse of this legislative and regulatory dinosaur. Don Surber, the sage of Charleston, West Virginia, detailed the lies upon which the law was built  and concludes:

[T]he biggest lie was the very premise of this law that 47.6 million people wanted  health insurance but could not afford it.

If there were 47.6 million Americans waiting to be insured, Obamacare would be a godsend and Democrats would rule for 1,000 years.

Instead, Congressman Nick Joe Rahall is scrambling to hang onto a job that he has held for 38 years.

2) Green Energy

Whenever the proponents of green energy argue for more money for these failed projects, they assert that the life of every bird, bee, snail, and minnow is precious and that green energy will save what nasty fossil fuels endanger. We’ve already seen how the strict rules about killing endangered birds are waived when it comes to  avian pâté-making windmills, now it appears that the huge Ivanpah Solar plant  interferes with both aviation and bird life, but who’s complaining?

Shine a laser at a pilot: go to jail with $10,000 fine.

Make 340,000 mirrors to blind pilots and kill endangered birds: both state and federal governments will fall over themselves to give you free money.

3)  Campus Hijinks

(a) “Rape culture”

K.C. Johnson, who did such an outstanding job covering the outrageous lengths to which Duke and a corrupt prosecutor went to railroad the Duke Lacrosse team, this week eviscerated the nonsensical claims that the American college campuses are infused with a “rape culture”.

Anyone who follows the contemporary media closely is doubtless familiar with the suddenly ubiquitous phrase "rape culture." In the context of higher education, the phrase implies two interlocking beliefs. First: despite crime statistics showing sexual assault (as well as all violent crimes) to be very uncommon on campus, colleges and universities are, in fact, hotbeds of rape (but not, it appears, of all other violent crimes). Second: despite the fact that most college faculties and nearly all administrations are extraordinarily sympathetic to the activists' position on gender issues, the campus culture over which these figures preside nonetheless – somehow -- actually encourages the prevalence of rape at college.

That little, if any, evidence exists to sustain either of these beliefs has not deterred the "rape culture" believers; if anything, the lack of evidence for their claims appears to have emboldened them. Nor have they been deterred by the revelation of high-profile false rape claims on campus (ranging from the Duke lacrosse case to the Caleb Warner affair at North Dakota); if anything, the increasing build-up of sympathy for clearly railroaded males has intensified the rage of those who discern a "rape culture" on campus.[snip] In a media that too often accepts at face value a politically correct narrative on campus, the "rape culture" claim is almost ideal for campus "activists."

Second, the "rape culture" approach allows activists to shift the narrative away from uncomfortable questions about due process and false accusations against innocent male students, and toward a cultural critique in which the facts of specific cases can be deemed irrelevant.[snip] [S]ince there isn't a recent example -- from Duke to Dartmouth to any of the current Title IX claims -- in which those who have cried wolf on campus have experienced any repercussions for their actions, there is no drawback in advancing inflammatory claims, no matter how unlikely.

So expect a lot of talk about "rape culture[quote" in the coming months. [/quote]

(b) Credentialing Morons

Some of our most prestigious educational institutions are guilty of having credentialed morons. The shining example, in my book, is Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee who once indicated she believed that the U.S. had landed astronauts on Mars; who claimed that she was a freed slave, and who this week indicated the country had been operating under the Constitution for 400 years. Let’s give a round of applause to Yale and the University of Virginia law school, which granted her academic degrees.

This week the EPA and NASA earn a spot in the winners’ circle, illustrating why it’s really impossible for an ordinary citizen to outdo the government when it comes to fraud and deceit.

(c) John Beale, Scamster of the Century

The media gives lots of coverage to frauds like Bernard Madoff but government fraudsters get off far easier even though the damage people like the EPA’s career employee John Beale do is often far greater.

Utterly unqualified for his position, it is unclear how Beale was hired. And once there he fooled the agency by claiming he was working for the CIA and needed to take lengthy absences from work. But that fraud was small potatoes compared to the “sue and settle” lawsuits he created which funneled millions to environmental groups, ignored the existing law, failed to give notice to interested parties of the lawsuits and settlements and created almost impossible to overturn consent decrees.

An environmental group, often leaning pretty far left, sues the EPA over some agenda item they want.  Instead of being truly antagonistic opponents, the EPA and these groups are in fact colluding.  “Sue and settle agreements allow EPA to convert a state Regional Haze program into a major new set of federal mandates, with no recourse for those affected until it’s too late,” said Bill Kovacs, the Chamber’s senior vice president for Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs. “The report outlines the potentially disastrous effects of this regulatory tool being used by the EPA to disregard states sovereignty and take over what Congress clearly determined to be a state environmental responsibility. These federal haze requirements offer only high costs for states, utilities and consumers, with no benefit.” (US Chamber of Commerce)

Eventually they would settle the lawsuit with what is known as a “consent decree.” The “consent decree” is forever binding. And it is a scam. A scam against the American public.[snip] Our concerns with the Agency’s sue and settle tactics are well documented -- these settlement agreements are often accomplished in a closed door fashion that contravenes the Executive Branch’s solemn obligation to defend the law, avoids transparency and accountability, excludes impacted parties, and often results in the federal government paying the legal bills of these special interest groups at taxpayer expense. The circumstances under which EPA has agreed to initiate this new rulemaking reaffirms a pattern and practice of circumventing transparency.

If these regulations are good for America, why are they cloaked in deceit and oppressive costs.  Why doesn’t Congress pass them as laws? Because Congress would not, so the Playbook gets around that pesky requirement.

Perhaps Congress ought to consider whether lawsuits settled without the knowledge or input of all the interested states and parties should be deemed null as having been obtained fraudulently, and prohibit the EPA and all government agencies from repeating this practice.

(d) NASA

Speaking of administrative overreach and foolishness, NASA, whose head said Barack Obama told him to make "reaching out to the Muslim world" one of the space agency's top priorities has matched that nincompoopery: It commissioned a study written by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei which has concluded that civilization is going to end in a few decades. It suggests that “economic stratification” strains natural resources and will result in society’s destruction. (Do you think natural resources are more strained in modern industrial democracies or in capital-short places like the Sahara and Pakistan? Or for that matter in socialist countries like the old USSR and Romania?  You needn’t pay me a cent for the answer… it’s too obvious. Check the ruination of the once great Aral Sea or this.)

NASA tried to claim it had no role in this study, but it did fund it: The agency said “the study "was not solicited, directed or reviewed by NASA. It is an independent study by the university researchers utilizing research tools developed for a separate NASA activity. As is the case with all independent research, the views and conclusions in the paper are those of the authors alone. NASA does not endorse the paper or its conclusions."

As the Guardian notes, NASA might not officially adopt the study’s conclusions, but they paid for it (with our money,

 Nasa's funding for the very research behind the study is explicitly acknowledged in the paper, which is now available online here (p. 23):

"This work was partially funded through NASA/GSFC [Goddard Space Flight Center] grant NNX12AD03A."

And the US National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (Sesync) where the lead author carried out his research for the project issued an official clarification about the study yesterday as follows, confirming the same:

"Motesharrei received minor support from NASA to develop a coupled earth system model. Some of this funding was spent on the mathematical development of the HANDY model."

Indeed, the authors of the paper fully agreed with the accuracy of my characterisation of the study as being "Nasa-funded" or "sponsored." It comes down to a simple question really. Was the HANDY model funded by NASA? The answer is yes, even if the conclusions of the study do not represent the views of the space agency.

Well, if you aren’t going to buy my pikes and pickets and march on the Capitol, is there anything you can do to protest this nonsense and return us to sanity?

Rence Priebus of the RNC asks us to fight for soft funding to cover convention expenses. Why? Most people would pay to not have to watch these conventions.

Janet Shagam and the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights have some better ideas about fighting mendacity.

Janet, looking at the underreported, insulting response of EPA chief’s Gina McCarthy to a gift from native Alaskans, says:

I think every Democrat should be questioned about Gina McCarthy's insulting statements. Every Republican had to answer for Akin... so every Dem should have to elaborate on exactly what McCarthy meant.

What does that Indian from New York that is obsessed with the Redskins think about Gina McCarthy? He has been the go-to guy on all Native American sensibilities. How bout every Dem that is fainting over the Redskins?

What does adopted Crow Indian, 'Barack Black Eagle' think? Does he refer to Native American gifts as "f-ing things"?

Bill Donohue, responding to gay rights groups insistence on marching in New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, applied to march in the New York City Gay Pride Parade.

I think he has a point. I mean after all, why don’t the Gay Pride marchers seek to march in a pro-Palestinian parade or a Farrakhan Million Man rally? Why don’t we all parade at every ethnic or religious procession waving flags announcing our sexual preferences -- except of course at universities where we all know there’s a pervasive “rape culture”?

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