Ayaan Hirsi Ali – a fellow atheist – is fast becoming a figurehead, as well as an active leader, of all Western opposition (such as there is) to …
… this sort of Islamic practice. We have taken the report, raw, from halalporkshop.com, which quotes from a local news source in Daharki, Pakistan, without correcting errors of expression:
A local panchayat- unofficial jury, headed by an influential landlord, ordered killing of a woman in the name of ‘honour’ on Wednesday.
The panchayat also ordered to give two minor daughters of a man, charged for having illicit relations with the woman, as vani to the other party. Vani is traditional custom in rural areas of the country wherein girl, from a family of male accused of crimes, are forcibly married to a man of the rival group.
The landlord also imprisoned the accused in his private jail. The panchayat also ruled to kill minor girls, 10-year-old Zubaida and seven-over-old Abida, if they were not handed over to the landlord in three days.
While it is true that the law of the land in Pakistan does not permit this, it is also true that many a local panchayat can and does get away with ordering such atrocious cruelties, and that they are carried out.
Could anything make it plainer that women, from their infancy, are slaves in Islam?
If the professors of Women’s Studies at Brandeis University ( see our post below, Brandeis University shames itself, April 10, 2014) do not know this, they should have it knocked into their thick heads. And if they do know it and believe it does not matter, they should be fired and their department closed.
Actually, all departments of Women’s Studies should be closed. They are departments of Navel-Gazing, nothing more – like departments of Black Studies, Transgender Studies, and Whatever Other Studies that study nothing worth studying. They are the most conspicuous institutional evidence of Western decadence, planted and cultivated to be arrogant nuisances in the ideological hothouse of Leftism.
Some of our greatly valued readers have pointed out to us – in comments on this website and on our Facebook page – that right is not on the side of the Nevada rancher and his allies in their dispute with the Bureau of Land Management (see our post below, It begins?, April 11, 2014).
Cliven Bundy is breaking the law.
We believe in the rule of law. We are not anarchists. So we take their point.
However, it is not a clear-cut issue, as this article from Investor’s Business Daily explains:
It was a tense standoff in rural Nevada with armed protesters closing I-15 for a while and facing off against even more heavily-armed federal agents.
For now, that volatile Bundy Ranch confrontation has been defused. But it’s not over by any means. And we may well experience others that do not pause in non-violence.
These are profound disputes illustrative of abiding suspicions among average Americans and their government headed by a man who promised to bring people together but didn’t. And it comes in an uncertain economic time when so many have given up big dreams to just keep what they have.
The specific Nevada dispute, such as it is, has been simmering for 21 years between a Mormon cattle rancher named Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management, better-known in the West as BLMM, the Bureau of Land Mis-Management.
But the far larger issue, most intense in the West, involves a mounting distrust and suspicion of all things federal — Congress, the bureaucracy and especially an aloof president. His perceived interests are inserting an over-reaching government into the lives of every American for their own good from closing coal mines and rewriting restaurant menus to seizing private property and regulating cow farts. …
Little known in the urban East, BLM is charged with managing nearly 300 million federal acres mostly across the West. That’s an area equivalent to the second and fourth largest states combined, Texas and Montana.
Nevada is the seventh-largest state with 110,567 square miles. That’s 1,626 times larger than all of Washington, D.C., 84% of it still owned by the federal government.
Anyone here ever rented from a landlord located clear across the continent? You get the set-up for conflicting priorities, miscommunication, misinterpretation, misunderstanding and missteps. Bundy’s family has ranched the area since even before Joe Biden was born, back in the 1880′s when Rutherford B. Hayes was president.
Sixty-six years later in 1946 BLM was created, ostensibly to organize a crazy-quilt of laws and regulations governing federal lands. In 1993, BLM notified Bundy that he could not graze his cattle on federal lands anymore because the desert tortoise there was now endangered.
Forget that this same federal government exploded atomic bombs in Nevada for generations with little concern for natural impacts. And it would like to store thousands of tons of nuclear waste there too.
So, for the sake of an endangered wild tortoise the Bundy family ranch became an endangered species. The feds are doing the same to thirsty California farms for the sake of an endangered minnow.
Bundy’s response was very Western. He went ahead anyway. Legally, Bundy hasn’t a leg to stand on. He doesn’t own the land. He hasn’t paid rent. And he’s lost three court battles.
Armed with a court order, BLM decided the time had come for action, eviction of about 1,000 of Bundy’s cattle, even separating newborn calves and mothers.
BLM saw no contradiction sending in dozens of armed federal agents to confront a 67-year-old man behind in his rent while the president of the United States and the nation’s chief law enforcement officer traveled to New York to dine with and speak on behalf of the notorious Al Sharpton, who’s been more than $1 million behind in his income taxes.
That’s the kind of double-standard cronyism and de facto discrimination that gets people’s backs up. …
So, in pickups and on horseback hundreds of angry strangers and militia members, alerted by email and texts, became Bundy supporters. They converged on the ranch. Tensions rose. And the BLM, remembering past deadly government-citizen conflicts named Waco, Ruby Ridge and Wounded Knee, released the seized cattle.
Now, here comes the political part that will seem quite familiar to Chicagoans:
A Chinese company has wanted to build an immense solar-panel farm in Nevada under the name ENN Mojave Energy. It would need additional tortoise habitat to mitigate its complex.
The local lobbyist who’s represented the Chinese-backed firm is a failed Democrat politician named Rory Reid, who got his gully washed in the 2010 race for governor by Republican Brian Sandoval.
Oh, look! Reid also happens to be the son of Harry Reid, the dottering Democrat Senate majority leader for a few more months, who’s somehow managed to become a millionaire on congressional pay.
Now, perhaps you understand why Bundy Ranch supporters smell a cattle-thieving, land-grabbing Washington political conspiracy where, clearly, none exists.
Oh, one other thing. Last week the Senate confirmed a brand-new director of BLM. He’s Neil Kornze, at 35 an unusually inexperienced youngster to be running such a powerful agency with sprawling powers.
However, Nevada native Kornze had something special going for him in the Senate and Obama White House drive to get him the job. He was a senior policy aide to – Wait for it! – Harry Reid, whose son represented the Chinese solar farm.
Now, go wash your hands.
And this is an editorial from the same IBD website:
Does the government really need to own 30% of the U.S., with the percentage in Western states much higher? The government’s agenda in this and many other land-confiscation activities is motivated by a desire to comply with a UN “rewilding” program that advocates pushing humans out of rural areas and into densely packed urban zones to promote what the UN calls “sustainable development”:
Land … cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market,” says the U.N.’s Agenda 21 action plan. “Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes.
So the UN and its tool, the Obama administration, are mounting a massive attack on private property.
But our land can be controlled, apparently, by Harry Reid’s donors and relatives and former staffers as well as assorted globalists and Chinese investors. In their view, this land is not your land, it’s their land.
Bundy, who lives in a country founded by armed Americans resisting a tyrannical government, has objected, reviving the long-simmering Sagebrush Rebellion between residents of the West and a land-grabbing federal government.
In the end, Bundy and the people who rallied to his cause, some of whom carried firearms of their own while demonstrating , proved what the Second Amendment is all about.
Victory: The Bundy family and their supporters fly the American flag as their cattle were released by the Bureau of Land Management back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nevada
Cowboys and patriots: Kholten Gleave, right, of Utah, pauses for the National Anthem outside of Bunkerville , Nev. while gathering with other supporters of the Bundy family to challenge the Bureau of Land Management
It begins? 19
Is the citizens’ armed revolt against the tightening tyranny of the Left over all Americans beginning on the banks of the Virgin River?
We’re slightly surprised but pleased that we found the following at GOPUSA (here). The very fact that it is a GOP report suggests that a libertarian mood may be spreading among Republicans.
The militiamen rolled in to draw a line in the dirt.
About 70 miles northeast of Las Vegas, they set up camp on a sun-baked patch of land next to a bend in the Virgin River, keeping supplies – like rucksacks and sleeping bags – in neat piles under the roof of an abandoned shack.
Gruff and largely unshaven, dressed in camouflage fatigues and cut-off shirts, the men kept their intentions quiet, telling news reporters the reason they pulled their trucks into this rural desert town – on one of the hottest days of the year – is simple enough: “We’re here to camp,” said one man who would not share his name.
The group even had a sign, posted for arriving members: Militia Sign In.
But they were really here to protect one of their own from the perceived enemies: a band of federal agents recently dispatched to the scrub desert to seize the cattle of embattled rancher Cliven Bundy.
“They’re here to protect Cliven’s family and home,” said Lynn Brown, one of Bundy’s daughters.
A 68-year-old Nevada native, Bundy has long been at the center of a battle with the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency controlling the 150 miles of desert where the rancher’s cattle have roamed for decades. A renegade when it comes to any sort of government control, Bundy – the father of 14 children – has refused to pay BLM a dime of required grazing fees for his 900 cattle, a tab that has since reached $300,000. Bundy has fought the fee, he says, because his Mormon ancestors set up shop on the land long before the BLM formed.
We forgive him his Mormonism. The issue here is liberty. And private property, namely cows. (Although some Bundy defenders deny the importance of the cows – read on.)
The problem? The land where Bundy’s cattle graze is federally owned, and the BLM now says the livestock aren’t supposed to be there. Federal agents this week cordoned off sections of land and sparked a monthlong operation to seize the cattle.
Tensions boiled over this week when a scuffle between the BLM and Bundy’s supporters ended in violence: Agents reportedly used a stun gun to subdue Bundy’s son and knocked his daughter to the ground. Though called “brutal” by some, the brawl did not land anyone in a hospital or jail.
But the incident did prompt Operation Mutual Aid – a national militia with members from California to Missouri – to visit Bundy’s ranch and set up a camp just in case things got out of hand again. Before their arrival … dozens of Bundy’s friends and relatives gathered at a protest camp in solidarity for the recent woes that have colored his rustic ranch.
Traveling from as close as St. George – and as far as Montana – a mix of characters waved picket signs at an encampment just before a bridge over the Virgin River, protesting the BLM’s campaign.
“This is a better education than being in school! I’m glad I brought you. I’m a good mom,” said Ilona Ence, a 49-year-old mother from St. George and Bundy relative who brought her four teenage kids to the ranch. “They’re learning about the Constitution.”
Ence’s 19-year-old son Kayden and his brothers shared their opinion with a sign of their own: “CONTROL OUR BORDERS! NOT OUR RANCHERS!” …
As the temperature crept into the 90s, supporters drove by – beeping their horns and delivering water drinks so the protesters could keep hydrated.
Jack Faught, Bundy’s first cousin, drove his forest green 1929 Chevy truck from Mesquite loaded with water and Gatorade.
“It’s not about the cows,” he said. “It’s about the freedom to make our own choices close to home.”
Polo Parra, a 27-year-old tattoo artist from Las Vegas, even showed up with two of his friends to support the rancher. Dressed in baggy clothes and covered in tattoos, the group carried signs that read “TYRANNY IS ALIVE” and “WHERE’S THE JUSTICE?” in red spray-painted letters.
One of Parra’s friends, who would not share his name, had a pistol tucked in his waistband.
“I think it’s bull, and it really made me mad,” said Parra, who decided to make the trip when he heard about the violence that broke out on the ranch. “This isn’t about no turtles or cows.”
The land in question — the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area — is a habitat of the endangered and federally protected desert tortoise.
Harry Pappas, a 60-year-old native and “concerned citizen,” grabbed the microphone at a makeshift podium and blasted the BLM.
“It’s all a fraud,” Pappas said, arguing the BLM’s preservation of the desert tortoise was just a way to “get rid of all the ranchers.”
The BLM does not totally oppose freedom: it allows freedom of speech, for instance, in certain defined areas!
The BLM drew criticism for creating “First Amendment areas” — patches of land where protests are allowed. …
The First Amendment debacle caught the attention of Gov. Brian Sandoval, who ordered the BLM not to limit the constitutional rights of Nevadans.
But the governor backed off from his statement after violence broke out at Bundy’s ranch:
“The ability to speak out against government actions is one of the freedoms we all cherish as Americans. Today I am asking all individuals who are near the situation to act with restraint,” Sandoval said. “Although tensions remain high, escalation of current events could have negative, long-lasting consequences that can be avoided.”
And here we are hoping that these events will have long-lasting consequences that cannot be avoided.
The ordeal disturbed Jeff Voorhees, a 50-year-old resident of Toquerville, Utah, who called Bundy’s lifestyle “one of the last bastions of American freedom”.
Well said, Jeff!
The noun or adjective “non-profit” is a red flag.
The noun “sustainability” and the adjective “sustainable” ring alarm from the pages they’re printed on.
From Canada Free Press we have taken a chunk of an article by Gretchen Olson. It is a timely and urgent warning. It demonstrates for us just how the priests of Leftism – the most terrible religion since Moloch – are using Agenda 21 to grease a smooth path into totalitarian control over the rest of us.
Every item scanned at Wal-Mart, America’s top food reseller with an estimated 25% of market share, supports Agenda 21 through a little known organization called the Global Recording Initiative. The GRI, according to its website, is a non-profit entity which “promotes the use of sustainabilityreporting as a way for organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to sustainable development.”
Wal-Mart is one of the growing number of corporations who attach to the registry, “voluntarily” conforming to the policies of GRI, which is a “collaborating centre” with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The GRI functions as an over-the-shoulder manager, one that tracks compliance — through a school-style alphabet grading system — by companies who submit the proper paperwork and commit to managing their firms under the dictates of Agenda 21. …
Wal-Mart’s compliance is more than just a shallow public relations tactic. In fact, the economic powerhouse is in full submission to the GRI, promising “progress,” “engagement with external stakeholders,” and “making corrections as needed.” Pointedly, the company has added sustainability standards to what are already considered hard-core demands on suppliers. One mandate, for example, requires that “all direct import suppliers source 95 percent of their production from factories that receive one of our two highest ratings in audits for environmental and social practices.”
There they go. The factories have passed the tests of Environmentalists – an order within the Church of Leftism. Passing the tests for “social practices” means they employ people according to racist and sexist criteria to achieve “diversity” (another alarm word).
In other words, Wal-Mart has submitted to the United Nations Church of Political Correctness (UNCPC). It is not alone.
Wal-Mart is only one of thousands of companies bringing its customers into compliance with Agenda 21, most recently promoted as the solution to the now debunked fear of catastrophic man-made climate change. Last year Kroger, in second place for American grocery sales, produced a 69-page sustainability reportfor the GRI, touting it as “the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework.” (For the sustainability rankings of major global corporations)
Because Agenda 21 is comprehensive in scope, this is only the first wave of the Global Recording Initiative. Currently the Initiative is targeting mid-sized companies and locally-owned concerns around the globe, pushing them to follow the track laid by 95% of world’s largest companies, who have already begun self-reporting. According to GRI, “developing countries and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be given particular attention in progressing on sustainability reporting.” Rural areas are also being brought into the reporting fold, through efforts such as the Sustainable Rural Management project in Spain.
The black friars of the UNCPC are abroad everywhere on their inquisitorial mission, sniffing out heresy. They have more than likely slithered into your local grocery stores, the smallest as well as the largest.
The focus on private enterprise is only one road of many leading toward full implementation of Agenda 21/global sustainability in the past two decades. Much of the progress thus far has been through laws and regulations enacted by governments around the world, including the United States. American citizens became yoked to the plan when President George H.W. Bush enthusiastically assented …
What fools most politicians are! As ignorant and easily gulled as Sunday-school kids.
… in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, where it was first publicly unveiled.
Recently the Global Recording Initiative and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) boosted the force of national governments with the formation of The Group of Friends of Paragraph 47 [of Agenda 21], made up of heads of state from around the world, where “leading governments join together to commit to corporate sustainability reporting”.
To commit “corporate sustainability reporting”, we would say, rather then “commit to” it.
Local governments have also been strongly directed to enter the collective through tendril organizations such as the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), which began three years before the Rio conference in an effort to press small municipalities into helping stop ozone depletion. According to his online resume, the founder of ICLEI, Jeb Brugmann, “conceived and led promotion of L[ocal] A[genda]21 scaling worldwide through ‘national campaigns’ led by national associations of local government”. …
When a name crops up, make a note of it. [Father] Jeb Brugmann, one of the priests.
Many well-meaning citizens and local media are being drawn … into compliance through “Transform” programs, where a trained organizer facilitates public input sessions with the purported purpose to improve communities.
“Community” shrieks the loudest alarm of all.
Though promoted as grassroots, these efforts do not originate in the targeted cities, nor are participant’s comments used. Instead, the meetings are guided [along] … a “consensus” in line with pre-set goals consistent with “Transforming America Under UN Agenda 21.”
Far from a glob of stagnant bureaucracy, in the past 20 years the United Nations has developed a formidable circle of “volunteers,” including presidents and prime ministers, CEOs of international corporations, titans of global finance, non-profit entities and religious organizations, state and provincial lawmakers and governors, local players and naïve shoppers. Together they are creating and complying with a system that will measure and manage everything from AC batteries to zombie Nerf guns. And the Global Recording Initiative is bringing them all together “voluntarily” under a dark net of paperwork.
Totalitarian control is far easier to achieve now than it was in the Middle Ages when the Catholic Church attempted it (with a high degree of terrible success, even without the helpful technology of today).
Of course these supreme busybodies, these arrogant fools who believe they know what’s best for us, are doing it for the higher good of the (non-existent) “global community”:
The UN is clear about why it continues building a web of human control unprecedented in recorded history. [It declares:-]
An enabling global environment is a necessary condition for the post 2015 agenda [Agenda 21] to succeed, to set the global community on a course toward a 2030 which is more prosperous, more equitable, more peaceful and more just.
More prosperous? The success of Agenda 21 can only mean that everyone – except UNCPC priests and their inquisitors – will be poorer.
More peaceful? Not – we hope – as long as there are individuals who value their freedom and are prepared to fight for it, with guns if necessary. “Peace” is another alarm word in most contexts.
More just? By justice the priests mean wealth redistribution – the lion’s share going to themselves, the remainder doled out as pocket money to the “community”. (Remember that “justice” can in fact apply only to individuals and their personal actions.)
For more about the deeply sinister Agenda 21, put it in our search slot. Become very alarmed. And armed.
Why did the West fail to claim an ideological or moral victory at the apparent end of the Cold War?
Did the West really even win the Cold War?
Diana West asks these questions. She goes on:
If we go back in time and listen, we hear no consensus click over signs that an unalloyed US-led triumph over communist ideology had taken place; nor do we find a sense of national thanksgiving for the forces of good – or, at least, for the forces of better – in their triumph over the forces of a non-abstract evil as manifested in Gulag or KGB or famine or purge history. “Mustn’t gloat” was about as joyous as the White House of Bush No. 41 ever got.
The inability to proclaim victory loud and clear derives from the Christian injunction to be humble.
Almost everything that handicaps our civilization comes from its Christian legacy; and everything that drives it forward to discover and innovate, to attain greater prosperity, longer life – whatever general conditions are needed for such happiness as we may individually be capable of – is the legacy of the Enlightenment, the awakening from the long dark nightmare of “God’s” reign, the rise of reason. It only happened to the West. Reason and its children Science, Freedom, and the United States of America, made the West great; not, as those lovers of the darkness, the god-worshipers, like to intone, the “Judeo-Christian” tradition.
All religions are the ideological enemies of the West. But yes, the Red ones, Communism and its conjoined twin Environmentalism, are the most dangerous at present. They suffuse and weaken our culture and our civilization.
They are the New Christianities.
Diana West is right to diagnose Communism as the transforming blight.
Was the official non-reaction due to that “crisis of confidence” we always hear about — specifically, that “politically correct” failure to believe in the worth of the West? I used to think exactly that and no more. The self-loathing West, failing to see anything of value in itself, was simply unable to take satisfaction, let alone pride, in the demise of its mass-murdering nemesis. “After all,” the PC catechism goes, “Who’s to say the Western system is ‘better’ than any other?”
But there is far more to it. At a certain point, it becomes clear that what we are looking at isn’t a West that fails to appreciate itself anymore, but rather a West that isn’t itself anymore.
Decades of subversion by communist infiltrators and American traitors, collaborators and “useful idiots” have helped make sure of that. So, even if the military enemy went away after the dissolution of the USSR on Christmas Day 1991, our ideological enemy never even had to break step.
Cold Warriors might have prevailed abroad, but America lost the ideological Cold War at home.
This helps explain why our college campuses are outposts of Marx, our centralizing government is increasingly invasive and dictatorial, and our culture is one of metastasizing decadence …
President Obama’s recent speech in Brussels, headquarters of the European Union, reveals the chasm between what we have become and what we are supposed to be. Wearing his “Leader of the Free World” hat, Obama made the case against Russia’s annexation of Crimea by conjuring a Manichaean split between free societies and dictatorships. But does it fit?
According to the president, there are free societies where “each of us has the right to live as we choose,” and there are dictatorships where the rule is “ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs.” Americans confronting government-mandated health insurance would do well to wonder exactly which society they live in.
Obama continued: “In many ways, the history of Europe in the 20th century represented the ongoing clash of these two sets of ideas.” That contest, he explained, swerving wildly away from historical fact, was won “not by tanks or missiles, but because our ideals stirred the hearts” of Eastern Bloc anti-communists.
Omitted was the fact that these revolts were mainly crushed without US aid. Omitted also was the decisive role that President Reagan’s “tanks and missiles” – and missile defense – played in the military contest.
In this post-World War II era, Obama declared, “America joined with Europe to reject the darker forces of the past and build a new architecture of peace.”
Russia’s annexation of Crimea, in sum, is an attack on that “architecture,” and, as such, is bad.
On closer examination, however, that same US-EU “architecture” doesn’t support the free-society paradigm so much as what the president calls the “more traditional view of power” – the one that sees “ordinary men and women (as) too small-minded to govern their own affairs.”
This latter view aptly describes the “soft” tyranny of the EU nanny state, whose early lights, after all, were Belgian Socialists and Nazi sympathizers with visions of a unified pan-European welfare state. In Brussels, their political progeny – unelected bureaucrats – increasingly dictate political and social norms across a “United States of Europe”.
In the US, the medical totalitarianism of Obamacare – not to mention Obama’s serial usurpations of power (not enforcing legislation he doesn’t like, making up and enforcing legislation he does like) – makes it all too clear that this president has a dictatorial temperament.
This is unsurprising when you consider that his political baby, his engine of transformative change – state-mandated health care – happens also to have been an early program of the Bolsheviks, and had as one of its earliest US boosters a noted Stalinist named Henry Sigerist. This seems like as good a moment as any to remind readers that the UN and the IMF, those leading institutions of globalist infrastructure, were fostered into post-World War II existence by a pair of notorious American Soviet agents – Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White.
Truly, it’s a Red, Red world.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to the Obama administration what the Inquisition was to the Catholic Church.
It tortures its victims with harassment, bankrupting fines, and toxins rather than with rack and fire (so in that respect the Inquisition was even worse), but its function – to terrify people into submitting to a persecuting authority trying to establish lies as incontrovertible truths – is the same.
This is from the Daily Caller, by Michael Bastasch:
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.
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 (Inspector General’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”.
According to the IG’s report, “only one of five studies’ consent forms provided the subject with information on the upper range of the pollutant” they would be exposed to, but even more alarming is that only “two of five alerted study subjects to the risk of death for older individuals with cardiovascular disease”.
Three of the studies exposed people to high levels of PM and two of the studies exposed people to high levels of diesel exhaust and ozone. Diesel exhaust contains 40 toxic air contaminants, including 19 that are known carcinogens and PM. The EPA has publicly warned of the dangers of PM, but seemed to downplay them in their scientific studies on humans.
“This lack of warning about PM,” the IG’s report notes, “is also different from the EPA’s public image about PM.”
The EPA has been operating under the assumption that PM is deadly for years now. The IG’s report points to a 2003 EPA document that says short-term exposure to PM can result in heart attacks and arrhythmias for people with heart disease — and long-term exposure can result in reduced lung function and even death. A 2006 review by the EPA presents even further links between short-term PM exposure and “mortality and morbidity”.
“Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should,” former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson told Congress on Sept. 22, 2011.
“If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country,” Jackson added.
So that’s what they say they were about – sacrificing some individuals for the good of the “community”.
PM is a “mixture of harmful solid and liquid particles” that the EPA regulates. PM that is 2.5 microns or less is known as PM2.5, which is about “1/30th the thickness of a human hair.” These small particles can get into people’s respiratory system and can harm human health and even lead to death after just short-term exposure.
The EPA set PM2.5 primary standards at 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air on an annual average basis, but the agency exposed test subjects to PM levels of 600 micrograms per cubic meter — 40 times what the EPA sets as an acceptable outdoor air standard.
But in five of the studies, people were subject to levels higher than what they signed on for. The EPA IG found that one person was hit with “pollutant concentrations that reached 751 [micrograms per cubic meter], which exceeded the IRB-approved concentration target of 600 [micrograms per cubic meter].”
The EPA says that when PM2.5 levels are between about 250 and 500 micrograms per cubic meter “[e]veryone should avoid any outdoor exertion. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.”
The EPA claims that “no one was killed during the test”.
Maybe not during the test, but did some die of its effects later? In the light of the figures given for lethal exposure the claim that none of the people who were used as guinea-pigs died seems incredible.
The agency’s public statements on PM don’t square with its lax attitude about testing the air pollutant on humans.
“Maybe the biggest reason to slow down the new rule is that the EPA is talking out of both sides of their mouth,” Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter said last year. “On one side exposure to it is deadly, and on the other they say human exposure studies are not harmful.”
The EPA has said for many years now that PM is a deadly air pollutant that can cause death even after short-term exposure, but it did not disclose the mortality risks in some of its human tests, despite exposing people to high levels of PM.
One manager overseeing EPA human testing told the IG’s office that “the exposure risk for healthy individuals is minimal” and that a person breathing 420 micrograms per cubic meter for two hours “would inhale the same concentration as they would breathing 35 [micrograms per cubic meter]” which is the EPA’s 24-hour regulatory standard for outdoor PM2.5 levels” [and] that “PM risk is focused on susceptible populations and that the risk is small for those with no overt disease.”
This alarmed Republicans who said that either the EPA was misrepresenting the science around PM2.5 to advance its own regulatory agenda or it was exposing people to deadly pollutants for little scientific gain.
“It’s alarming how the EPA is purposefully and blatantly ignoring an ongoing investigation of the legality and therefore scientific legitimacy of the use of human testing,” Vitter said. “This is another example of the EPA continuing to pick and choose scientific ‘facts’ to support their overreaching agenda.”
“It is a concern that EPA would assert in the rulemaking process that PM2.5 exposure is deadly while simultaneously asserting in the waivers signed by participants in EPA human exposure studies that these exposures are not harmful,” Republicans wrote to the EPA in February 2013. “Furthermore, there are valid questions about the quality or usefulness of the exposure studies actually relied upon by EPA.”
The whole story confirms that Environmentalists see human beings primarily as polluters of the air and earth and seas, enemies of a “healthy planet”. They are as deranged and as evil as those who tortured people to death to please the “loving” god they believed in.
Fifteen of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members have received $180.8 million in EPA grants since 2000. One CASAC panelist (Ed Avol of USC) received $51.7 million!
Repeat: $51.7 million dollars. Whatever did the man do to deserve that much tax-payers’ money? What unique skill has he acquired and uses to the enormous benefit of America or all mankind?
Read on to find out.
This is from Townhall, by Paul Driessen:
The Obama Environmental Protection Agency recently slashed the maximum allowable sulfur content in gasoline from 30 parts per million to 10 ppm. The agency claims its new “Tier 3” rule will bring $7 billion to $19 billion in annual health benefits by 2030. “These standards are a win for public health, a win for our environment and a win for our pocketbooks,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy insists.
Note that name. She is one of the most dangerous sub-tyrants in the Obama administration.
It’s all hokum. Like almost everything else emanating from EPA these days, the gasoline regulations are a case study in how America’s economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare are being pummeled by secretive, deceptive, and indeed fraudulent and corrupt government practices.
Since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, America’s cars have eliminated some 99% of pollutants that once came out of tailpipes, notes air quality expert Joel Schwartz. Since 2004, under Tier 2 rules, refiners have reduced sulfur in gasoline from an average of 300 ppm to 30 ppm – a 90% drop, on top of pre-2004 reductions. In addition, because newer cars start out cleaner and stay cleaner throughout their lives, fleet turnover is reducing emissions by 8 to10 percent per year, steadily improving air quality.
The net result, says a 2012 Environ International study, is that ground-level ozone concentrations will fall even more dramatically by 2022. Volatile organic pollutants will plummet by 62%, carbon monoxide by 51% and nitrous oxides by 80% – beyond reductions already achieved between 1970 and 2004.
EPA (which once promised to be ultra-transparent) claims its rules will add less than a penny per gallon to gasoline prices; but it won’t say how it arrived at that estimate. Industry sources say the Tier 3 rules will require $10 billion in upfront capital expenditures, an additional $2.4 billion in annual compliance expenses, significant increases in refinery energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, an extra 5-9 cents per gallon in manufacturing costs, which will certainly hit consumers at the pump.
But regardless of their ultimate cost, the rules will reduce monthly ozone levels by just 1.2 parts per billion during rush hour, says Environ. That’s equivalent to 12 cents out of $100 million or 1.2 seconds out of 32,000 years. These minuscule improvements could not even have been measured by equipment existing a couple decades ago.
Their contribution to improved human health will be essentially zero.
Not so, say the EPA, Sierra Club and American Lung Association (ALA). The rules will reduce asthma in “the children,” they insist. However, asthma incidences have been increasing, while air pollution has declined – demonstrating that the pollution-asthma connection is a red herring. The disease is caused by allergies, a failure to expose young children to sufficient allergens to cause their immune systems to build resistance to airborne allergens, and lack of sufficient exercise to keep lungs robust. Not surprisingly, a Southern California study found no association between asthma hospitalizations and air pollution levels.
Moreover, EPA paid the ALA $20 million between 2001 and 2010. No wonder it echoes agency claims about air quality and lung problems. The payments continue today, while EPA also funnels millions to various environmentalist pressure groups – and even to “independent” EPA scientific review panels – that likewise rubber stamp too many EPA pollution claims, studies and regulatory actions.
As Ron Arnold recently reported in The Washington Examiner, 15 of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members have received $180.8 million in EPA grants since 2000. One CASAC panelist (Ed Avol of USC) received $51.7 million!
The seven CASAC executive committee members pocketed $80.2 million. Imagine Big Oil paying that kind of cash to an advisory group, and calling it “independent.” The news media, government and environmentalists would have a field day with that one.
The Clean Air Act, Information Quality Act, Executive Order 12866 and other laws require that agencies assess both the costs and benefits of proposed regulations, adopt them only if their benefits justify their costs, and even determine whether a regulation is worth implementing at all. However, EPA and other agencies systematically violate these rules, routinely inflate the alleged benefits of their rules, and habitually minimize or even ignore their energy, economic, health and social costs.
Reporting on a hearing held by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Arnold noted that CASAC members say they weren’t even aware that they are obligated to advise EPA on both benefits and costs. Former EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Jeff Holmstead testified, “As far as I know, CASAC never fulfilled this requirement as it relates to the ozone standard or any other” rule.
Former CASAC chairman Dr. Roger McClellan told Rep. Smith he did not think the panel “ever advised EPA to take account of the role of socioeconomic factors, unemployment or other risk factors” adversely affecting people’s health. Another former CASAC member testified that the advisory committee was not even “allowed to discuss any of the adverse consequences” associated with new rulemakings.
EPA regulations impose countless billions of dollars in annual impacts on the US economy, according to studies by the Heritage Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute and Government Accountability Office. Estimates of total compliance costs for all federal regulations range to nearly $2 trillion per year. Some may bring benefits, but many or most also inflict significant harm on human health.
They mean millions of layoffs, far fewer jobs created, and steadily declining quality of life for millions of Americans, who cannot heat and cool their homes properly, pay the rent and mortgage, or save for retirement. …
In another example, EPA justifies its onerous carbon dioxide regulations by asserting that Earth’s climate is highly sensitive to C02, hypothesizing every conceivable carbon cost, and imputing huge monetized damages from hydrocarbon use and CO2 emissions ($36/ton of CO2 emitted). It completely ignores even the most obvious and enormous job, health and welfare benefits of using fossil fuels; even the benefits of higher carbon dioxide levels for food crops, forests and grasslands; and even the harmful effects that these regulations are having on energy prices and reliability, and thus people’s jobs, health and welfare.
The EPA, ALA and CASAC likewise insist that new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for coal-fired power plants will bring huge health benefits. However, the mercury risks were hugely overblown, the proclaimed dangers from fine particulates were contradicted by EPA’s own illegal experiments on human subjects – and the agency never assessed the health and welfare damage that the MATS rules will impose by causing the loss of 200,000 jobs and 23,000 megawatts of reliable, affordable electricity by 2015.
So who is Ed Avol, and what did he do to earn $51.7 million of your money?
He is Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, specializing in “respiratory health, air pollution and the public health impacts of traffic”.
Here he is.
And what did he do?
He rubber-stamped the tyrannous rulings of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Citoyons – is this not cause, and is it not time, to rebel?
Contrary to Marxian dogma, no historical development is inevitable. And all actions have unintended consequences. So prophecy is a risky enterprise.
But we have to calculate the probable outcomes of what we do.
Daniel Greenfield has prophesied - plausibly, we think – what will happen when America ceases to be the predominant power in the world.
International organizations will be good for little except sucking up the last drops of wealth and prestige of the United States. It will be a chaotic place with everyone out for themselves. …
There will be three post-ideological powers, no longer global in scope, and one worldwide ideological alliance.
The United States, Russia and China are post-ideological states. Russia and China have abandoned Communism. The United States is even abandoning nationalism; to say nothing of capitalism, democracy or freedom. Its rulers cling to scraps of global leftist ideology that isolate them from their own people.
Russia and China are run by powerful corrupt elites who emerged from the old Communist order to build economic oligarchies enforced by the ruthless use of force. The United States is increasingly run by an oligarchy of ideological bureaucrats, corrupt technocrats and leftist academics that has a distant resemblance to the USSR and the PRC; but its long march through the institutions hasn’t turned fully totalitarian yet. That may be less than a generation away.
Russia, China and the United States are all demographically unstable. Russia and the United States are both on track to become majority-minority countries. China’s demographic disaster will be the outcome of its one child policies, gender abortion and its war on the countryside. The United States will probably weather its demographic problems better than Russia or China, because the former faces a fatal Muslim demographic takeover and the latter a conflict that will tear its society apart, but like Russia and China, the demographic crisis in the United States will be exacerbated by the lack of common bonds to see it through a period of social stress.
Russia and China will fall back into their own history, collapse and isolationism for China, barbarian rule for Russia. The United States has no such history to fall back on and its elites have abandoned any meaningful national identity that doesn’t rely on pop culture and liberal pieties.
There is little to unify Russia or China … The KGB oligarchs of Russia and the Communist princes of China are as globalist as any Eurocrat. They have few national commitments. Their goals are wealth and power for their families and associates.
Unfortunately there is even less to unify the United States after the left embraced multiculturalism at the expense of exceptionalism. The erosion of everything from free speech to the free market has reduced the American Dream from individual opportunity to vulgar exhibitionism. Uncontrolled immigration has imported masses of hostile populations everywhere from Nashville to Minneapolis radically changing quintessentially American cultures and replacing them with balkanized minority coalitions who have little in common except a mutual hostility against the United States.
In contrast to the cultural vulnerabilities of the three powers, Islam, the defining global ideological alliance, lacks a superstate as the center of its empire, though it has many state bases, but enjoys the allegiance of a worldwide population larger than any of the three powers. Demographic projections continue to favor the growth of Islam over China, Russia and the United States.
It would be a mistake however to think that China, Russia and the United States are in a conflict with Islam. While Islam is in a conflict with them, each of the three powers divides Muslims into three groups; those Muslims that are within the “empire”, part of China, Russia’s Eurasian Union or the United States, those that are outside the “empire” but allied to it, e.g. Syria for Russia, Saudi Arabia for the United States and Pakistan for China, and those that are its separatist or terrorist enemies.
Instead of coming to terms with a global struggle with Islam, each power largely concentrates on fighting Muslim separatist or terrorist groups that destabilize its sphere of influence while arming, funding and supporting those Muslim separatist and terrorist groups that destabilize rival powers.
It is therefore simplistic to act as if America, Russia and China have a common interest in fighting Islam. While that may be true, that is not how the leaders of the three powers see it. Putin fights some Islamists while incorporating others into his allied clergy and helping still others go nuclear. The United States bombs the Taliban, but would never consider bombing their paymasters in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
Muslim terrorists operate in all three powers, but are dismissed as unrepresentative aberrations. That is wishful thinking, but empires are shaped to fight their own kind. Islam, like Communism, is something different. It is an ideology and post-ideological powers … are poorly adapted to fighting it. Instead many of their elites secretly admire its dedication. …
Like a hyena trotting after prey, Islam is a cultural carrion eater consuming the skills and knowledge of superior civilizations to sustain its warlordism …
The collapse of the Pax Americana under Obama has freed up Russia and China to begin their campaigns of territorial expansionism. Obama’s failure to deter Russia in Ukraine will encourage China to use force as a solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. These events will wake the world from the dream of the Pax Americana in which American power kept the peace in much of the developed world.
The end of the Pax Americana also means the end of international law. Instead of a post-American world ushering in a stable multilateral order … no single power will predominate, but … any country or militia that can seize a piece of land or a natural resource will go ahead and do so. …
The First World may wake up to discover that it is once again living under Third World rules.
Those most immediately affected by the decline of the United States will be the Asian and European countries that outsourced their defense to the United States after WW2. Japan has a limited time in which to turn around its economy, demographics and military to be able to face down China.
Europe was able to turn inward without having to make the hard choices and its elites were even able to drag the United States into implementing their vision internationally. But that is coming to an end. …
The European Union may implode in the coming years, but whether it does or does not, Western Europe will continue to be defined by the quarrels between the UK, France and Germany. The various other players have never been anything other than places to put factories, launder money or import cheap labor from. …
Europe, unlike the United States, has not been known for its altruism, and its nations face a crippling combination of problems. Europe suffers from Japanese birth rates, Russian demographics, Chinese corruption and American economics (though it would be more accurate to say that America suffers from EU economics.) Despite its size and population, Europe does not have an optimistic future. …
Russia will not stop with Ukraine and NATO will dissolve, officially or unofficially. It may stay around and limit itself to providing humanitarian aid internationally while expelling Poland and any countries that Russia is likely to want to add to its collection. …
The budding Russian empire will find that fighting a new wave of Muslim insurgencies in formerly peaceful republics will consume too much of its time and energy. The soldiers who will march on the scattered pieces of the old red empire will be Muslims and the Eurasian Union will become a Muslim empire with a handful of churches. Like Rome, its fall will come at the hands of its own barbarians.
Iraq and Afghanistan will not prove to be as psychologically devastating to Americans as Vietnam, but they will help discourage further deployments overseas. Severe military budget cuts and a campaign against the warrior culture will leave the military in no shape for anything except peacekeeping missions.
The United States will face escalating domestic unrest, less from militias than from gangs, terrorism and the economic collapse of entire cities. It will no longer be in a position to act abroad.
None of this has to happen, but it will if the same bad decisions continue to be made.
If eight years of Obama are topped by eight years of Hillary, this is where we will end up.
The writer points out that if the civilized world fails to resolve its “economic, demographic and military crises … the civilization in which we have grown up and which we have known all our lives will die and a long interregnum of darkness will follow in its wake”.
Yes, that’s all too probable, and profoundly horrible.
But it may be that an entirely different kind of civilization will emerge. That technologies – already in the womb of time – will set the individual freer than he could ever possibly have been before. That governments will lose power. That social elites without technological skills will lose credibility. That law-making will be done by new procedures, and the nature of law and the manner of its enforcement will change to fit new ideas of how liberty may be protected. That religion – so outworn and squalid a thing, a mere relic of an ignorant past – will wither away, perceived at last to be worse than useless.
There now, we ourselves have ventured beyond speculation and touched on prophecy. And because prophecy cannot be accurate, we are not likely to be right. But by the same token, we may not be entirely wrong.
An Investor’s Business Daily editorial lists some of Obama’s far left appointees, and asks: “Does he have any friends who aren’t crackpots?”
But the question that arises from the list is: Has Obama any friends – has he ever had any friends – who aren’t communists?
America is a country of 320 million people, most of them holding to traditional values. Yet President Obama keeps mining the fringes for his hires. Does he have any friends who aren’t crackpots?
Seriously. The president keeps saying he champions the middle class and its values. But his choices of people to help him run the country are the most extreme in U.S. history, and his second-term nominations are more radical than the first.
No sooner had even some Senate Democrats joined Republicans in voting down a cop killer-coddler for civil rights chief, Debo Adegbile, than Obama sent up a 2nd Amendment-basher for U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. Vivek Murthy advocates doctors asking patients if they keep guns in the home, a shocking invasion of privacy.
Murthy may also have a rocky path ahead of him, but other extreme-left nominees are getting confirmed.
Last year, Obama tapped former Congressional Black Caucus chief Mel Watt as, of all things, head of the federal agency regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together underwrite 90% of all new-home loans. Republicans blocked his confirmation. But thanks to Democrats invoking the “nuclear option” and ending the filibuster, one of the most radical lawmakers in Congress is now effectively running America’s mortgage industry.
Meanwhile, radical racialist Tom Perez runs the Labor Department, where he’s threatening to sue employers who don’t hire minority felons, just like he sued bankers who didn’t make prime loans to un-creditworthy minority borrowers when he was civil rights chief.
You have to be a Kremlinologist to keep track of all the communist-sympathizing cronies orbiting this White House.
Obama’s previous appointees include:
• Valerie Jarrett, his closest White House adviser, whose father-in-law worked closely with Obama mentor and Communist Party leader Frank Marshall Davis in a number of front groups during the Cold War.
• David Axelrod, Obama’s political aide, whose mother worked for a communist organ in New York and whose mentor was Soviet agent David Canter.
• Van Jones, an admitted communist hired by Jarrett as Obama’s green jobs czar.
• Anita Dunn, former White House communications director and Obama’s 2012 foreign policy debate coach, who listed communist dictator and mass murderer Mao Zedong as one of her two favorite philosophers whom “I turn to most” when questions arise.
The other was Mother Teresa. The message: Torture, kill, pray.
• Cass Sunstein, Obama’s regulatory czar who wrote a socialist “bill of rights” and who advocates redistributing wealth through climate-change policy.
• Samantha Power, ambassador to the United Nations, a 9/11 apologist who advised the president to follow a “doctrine of mea culpa” and literally bow down to foreign leaders as atonement for America’s “sins.”
• Anne-Marie Slaughter, former State Department policy chief, who advised the president to apologize for the War on Terror.
• Rashad Hussein, Obama’s Mideast envoy, who once defended a convicted terrorist (then got caught lying about it), and drafted the president’s Cairo speech apologizing for the War on Terror.
• Rose Gottemoeller, Obama’s Soviet-sympathizing chief nuclear arms negotiator, who thinks America is a global “bully” and must unilaterally disarm for the sake of world peace.
• John Trasvina, assistant HUD secretary for fair housing who once headed the radical Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, whose co-founder made racist statements about whites.
• Cecilia Munoz, head of White House domestic policy who used to work for La Raza, the militant Latino group that advocates illegal immigrant rights.
• Erica Groshen, Bureau of Labor Statistics chief who sends her children to Camp Kinderland, aka “Commie Camp,” a communist-founded institution where kids during the Cold War sang Soviet anthems.
• John Holdren, Obama’s science czar, who’s advised surrendering U.S. sovereignty to a “Planetary Regime” that will redistribute the West’s wealth to underdeveloped countries and who once advocated “adding a sterilant to drinking water” to control population.
• Harold Koh, former State Department general counsel who believes in “trans-nationalism” and sees nothing wrong with Shariah law in U.S. courts.
• Tony West, associate attorney general who oversees Gitmo policy, even though he defended al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists including John Walker Lindh, who pleaded guilty to aiding the enemy and fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
So what? In Washington, personnel are policy. These people make the rules we have to live by, from health care to home loans to homeland security.
And these radical political appointees hire other radicals at the bureaucratic levels, where they’ll become entrenched as career federal employees.
In 2008, before Obama was nominated, we warned about his radical associations, including his ties to Davis — a hardened communist with a thick FBI file — at his Honolulu home. His defenders wrote off this Marxist indoctrination as youthful experimentation.
When we pointed out Obama spent 20 years in the pews of an America-bashing preacher, his apologists argued he was merely attending Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church to burnish his urban bona fides.
When we noted Obama launched his political career in the living room of an unrepentant communist terrorist, his defenders argued Bill Ayers had blossomed into a respected professor, that his days of cheering on the Vietcong and bombing the Pentagon were behind him.
We were told the parade of anti-American subversives Obama came in contact with throughout his life amounted to ancient history. But now we have this roster of radical appointments, a current record that’s harder to explain away and which raises the indefeasible question of whether they’re a reflection of himself.
Only there can be no question about it. He and they are birds of a feather.
The enemy has gained the commanding heights of power.