Sunday, March 31, 2013

Climategate leaker: Our civilization is being destroyed by lying “science” elitists

    • Written by Ron Arnold


Anonymous hero who exposed the global warming emails tells the world why he did it – and releases a huge final trove of secret conversations.

“What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multi-decadal natural fluctuation? They'll kill us probably.”

This private musing between two climate scientist colleagues first surfaced along with a whole raft of embarrassing material in 2011, when the anonymous Climategate leaker who calls himself “Mr. FOIA” leaked his second set of emails from Britain’s disgraced Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. Now, Mr. FOIA has emerged for a third time, sharing with the world not only his entire batch of 220,000 encrypted emails and documents but also, for the first time,his thoughts.

Mr. FOIA had previously released two batches of 5,000 files each in 2009 and 2011. This enormous third batch went to a network of friends for decoding, sorting and publication.


The first and second email batches contained conversations among "scientists" who appear to have dishonored a once respectable discipline, documenting that their claims of a “man-made global warming crisis” look exactly like deliberate contrivances for academic career gain, research funding and positions of political power in “the cause.”

Some big-name players are playing games with people’s lives and livelihoods.

Biggest Player. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the scientific panel whose reports contain the work of Climategate figures – and are highly politicized and publicized to increase fear of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW): “imminent catastrophic man-made climate change.” Many horrendously expensive and needless local, state, federal and international policies have flowed from IPCC’s flawed reports.

Most Powerful Symbol. Professor Michael Mann’s “Hockey Stick Graph” was featured prominently in the 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report. It alleged that global temperatures were flat for a thousand years before 1900, but then radically increased because of AGW. The chart looks like a hockey stick, a long straight line that bends sharply upward at the end. With recent IPCC admissions that temperatures have not increased for at least the past 16 years, the curve has now plunged downward to become as flat as the rest of the hockey stick, which is where public trust in climate science is headed.

The Game. “The game is communicating climate change; the rules will help us win it,” says an astounding, horrifying UK government-funded booklet leaked by Mr. FOIA titled “The Rules of the Game: Evidence base for the Climate Change Communications Strategy.” Written by the UK public relations firm Futerra for six UK agencies – including The Carbon Trust – for use by ethics and public relations tone-deaf scientists.

“The Rules” teaches sophisticated behavior change tactics, including: “Climate change must be ‘front of mind’ before persuasion works” … “Link climate change mitigation to positive desires/aspirations” … “Beware the impacts of cognitive dissonance” and “Use emotions and visuals” (e.g., scare people with the Hockey Stick Graph). It treats the public like gullible idiots who can be frightened and manipulated by seemingly trustworthy scientists to believe in AGW. For a long time, it worked.

The Team. Phil Jones, head of the CRU; Peter Thorne of the UK Met Office (the national weather service, originally the Meteorological Office) was joined by Kevin Trenberth,climate analysis section head of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); TomWigley, also of NCAR; and the litigious Penn State University Hockey Stick originator, Michael Mann.

James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute, sums their actions up this way. The team consciously distorted and actively suppressed critical knowledge, then furiously tried to hide their actions by conducting a vicious smear campaign to discredit critics.

Consciously distorted: NCAR’s Wigley once complained to Mann, “Mike, the Figure you sent is very deceptive … there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC.…”

Peter Thorne of the UK Met Office warned Phil Jones, head of the CRU: “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere, unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary.… I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it, which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.”

Suppressed critical knowledge: Phil Jones wrote, “I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working on the IPCC 5th Assessment Report would be to delete all e-mails at the end of the process. Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder [the U.S. Department of Energy] in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.” The U.S. government was colluding with the hiders, who received tens of millions of dollars over the years.

Jones wrote to Mann, “Mike, can you delete any emails you may have had with KeithBriffare AR4 [the IPCC 4th Assessment Report]? Keith will do likewise. … We will be getting Caspar Ammannto do likewise.”

Tom Crowley, a key member of Mann’s global warming hockey team, showed crass disregard for the lying and hiding: “I am not convinced that the ‘truth’ is always worth reaching, if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships.” It’s more important to keep the career back-scratching team happy.

The distortion, spin, suppression and smear campaign went on for years. In fact, the revelations sparked a furious “hide the lies” denial campaign that ironically calls skeptics “deniers.” What the skeptics actually deny is that there has been much honest science involved in the IPCC process; that there is any evidence to support claims that we face an imminent climate crisis; and that humans are primarily responsible for weather and climate variations that have always been controlled by hundreds of complex, inter-related natural forces and processes.

“Hide the lies” generated lawsuits between climate science “believers” (what kind of real science requires belief?) and skeptics of “dangerous man-made planetary warming” – along with ridiculous conspiracy theories such as “Big Oil hired evil hackers in a plot to discredit angelic climate scientists.”

Mr. FOIA denies these absurd allegations in his 3.0 message.“I took what I deemed the most defensible course of action, and would do it again,” he said. “That's right; no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil. The Republicans didn't plot this. USA politics is alien to me, neither am I from the UK. There is life outside the Anglo-American sphere.”

“The first glimpses I got behind the scenes did little to garner my trust in the state of climate science – on the contrary,” Mr. FOIA continued. “I found myself in front of a choice that just might have a global impact.” Reveal what he had discovered, or keep it to himself and let the lies continue?

Didn't he fear discovery? “When I had to balance the interests of my own safety, the privacy and career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades ... millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc. ... the first two weren't the decisive concern.”

Why did he do it? His answer was both angry and anguished: “Climate science has already directed where humanity puts its capability, innovation, mental and material ‘might’ .... The price of ‘climate protection’ with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations,” he wrote. “We can’t pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it’s not [taking] away from something and someone else.”

That’s the most important statement so far in the decades-old climate debate: You’re forcing us backward into poverty and ignorance – for nothing, except to further your careers, funding and power.

Less than a week later, London’s Mail on Sunday newspaper ran an outraged feature based on the British Meteorological Office’s recent admission that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in more than 15 years. Citing a chart of predicted and actual temperatures, the Mail noted: “Official predictions of global climate warming have been catastrophically flawed. The graph on this page blows apart the ‘scientific basis’ for Britain reshaping its entire economy and spending billions in taxes and subsidies in order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. The chart shows in incontrovertible detail how the speed of global warming has been massively overestimated. Yet those forecasts have had a ruinous impact on the bills we pay, from heating to car fuel to huge sums paid by councils to reduce carbon emissions. The eco-debate was, in effect, hijacked by false data.”

Is it improper to label the people responsible for this costly, miserable catastrophe as “eco-thugs”? And should we worry that the latest no-real-energy “energy security” proposal from the White House is telling us that President Obama has become America’s “Eco-thug in Chief,” who will continue to peddle fraudulent science and nearly worthless renewable energy to further his agenda? It’s worth pondering.

A set of pro forma “investigations” claim to have exonerated PSU’s Mann. The internal PSU inquiry – with no impartial truth-seekers involved – was not going to harm their grant-getting cash cow Mann; instead, it whitewashed the evidence to ensure the preferred conclusion. Professional science groups that relied upon public funding for their financial survival fell in line behind a huge Tom Sawyer campaign of “exoneration.” There was no exoneration.

Summaries presented in court filings for the case of American Tradition Institute v. University of Virginia and Michael Mann– which demands release of Michael Mann’s emails – say, “Mann has never been exonerated….Exoneration requires investigation; investigation requires pursuit aimed at discovering material facts. Mann’s employer since 2005, Penn State University, has conducted no such thing. Neither has the University of Virginia.”

The same conclusion applies to the UK’s Muir Russell and Oxburgh inquiries, which didn’t even mention Mann, because they were “investigating” only employees of the CRU.

I asked Christopher C. Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and attorney in the ATI v.UVa/Mann lawsuit for his take on the leaker’s message. He told me, “Whatever prompted ‘Mr. FOIA,’ I take it as a statement that, so far, the courts have failed us, as have our political institutions – and he has concluded that those in the public who have resisted the climate industry agenda should now have a chance to review these taxpayer-financed records, which are the subject of a remarkable campaign to subvert transparency laws."

We ourselves can’t avoid blame for the science disaster uncovered by Mr. FOIA. As Peter Foster of London’s Financial Times noted, we didn’t heed President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning. “Most people are aware of Ike’s warning in 1961 about the military-industrial complex,” Foster wrote. Our fatal error was to ignore what he said next: “In holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” [emphasis added]

Americans won’t take captivity. It’s time to demote our climate masters to our humble servants. We won’t kill them. But we should sentence them to prison – or Siberia, where they’ll wish the climate was warming.


Examiner columnist Ron Arnold is executive VP of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. Portions of this article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner and are used by permission.

Thomas Sowell's treatise on the state of race relations

A book review

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful.
5Thomas Sowell's treatise on the state of race relations in this country is simply brilliant.
By Paul Tognetti
"There is no subject that is more in need of dispassionate analysis, careful factual research and a fearless and honest discussion than is race." -- p 3
It is a book that is long overdue. Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher and the author of more than three-dozen books. Sowell is an African-American who takes great umbrage at the views being espoused by the "chattering class" of American intellectuals who continue to advance the notion that society-at-large is to blame for the social and economic disparities that exist in our nation. According to the intelligentsia, deep-seated racism continues to be present in the minds of most white Americans. In his superb new book "Intellectuals and Race" Dr. Sowell thoroughly and systematically dismantles the liberal argument about race. In this meticulously researched offering Sowell takes a look at societies around the world to back up his assertions. Time and again he demonstrates that more often than not it is internal factors within a race or group of people that account for many of these disparities. He compares the problems plaguing the white lower class in Britain with those of African-Americans here in America. You may be quite surprised to discover that the problems facing both groups are virtually identical and have continued to escalate over the past fifty years. The solutions offered by progressives and liberals have clearly not worked. Thomas Sowell believes he has key to solving many of these persistent problems.
In "Intellectuals and Race" Thomas Sowell gets us all up to speed with the history of intellectual thought about race over the past 100 years. There are some fascinating twists and turns along the way. In the early part of the century progressive intellectuals clearly sided with people like Margaret Sanger and author Madison Grant who favored the sterilization of males in what were considered to be "undesirable" populations including Negroes, southern whites, and immigrants from southern Europe. You will discover that the Progressive view of the world began to shift significantly in the 1930s. The intelligentsia had at long last come to the conclusion that there were really no substantive differences in mental ability between the races. But during World War II the Progressives, who now had re-branded themselves as "liberals", began to attribute socioeconomic disparities between races to racism. Liberals steadfastly refused to assign any of the blame to the internal cultural environment of the minorities themselves. Rather, the genesis of the entire problem was said to be in the minds of evil white people. By cleverly positioning themselves in this way the intellectuals could claim the moral high ground by being against the so-called "oppressors" and on the side of the downtrodden. Some 70 years later this continues to be the case and Thomas Sowell points out why this set of circumstances has caused incalculable harm to the African-American community and to other minorities as well.
You may recall that the initial thrust of the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King was simply to extend the same rights to all citizens regardless of race. But according to Sowell, the tumultuous events of the late 1960's encouraged radical elements within the black community to call for a dramatic new approach. Thus, the era of multiculturalism was born. It fit perfectly into the Progressive narrative. Less fortunate groups were not to be blamed for disparities in income, education, crime rates or family disintegration, lest observers be guilty of "blaming the victim" instead of indicting society. Sowell discusses the ramifications of this controversial philosophy and also devotes a section of the final chapter to what he calls "The Race Industry" and briefly touches on affirmative action as well. As you might expect he finds just about all of this stuff to be extremely counterproductive.
The sad fact of the matter is that liberal politicians, professors and opinion-makers have been successfully playing this game for more than half a century now led by all of the usual suspects. Unfortunately, it is going to be extremely difficult to repair the damage that has already been done. We need to begin to change hearts and minds about race in this nation. Constantly making excuses for bad behavior and removing all incentive to improve one's lot in life have had devastating consequences for so many in this nation most especially for young minorities. Bill Cosby has attempted to lead the way on these issues on a couple of occasions and has been roundly criticized for his efforts by some leaders of the African-American community and others. Nevertheless, I truly believe that Thomas Sowell is onto something quite profound here and he presents his case in a very logical, thoughtful and forthright manner. I found "Intellectuals and Race" to be an particularly well written book and at a mere 140 pages it can be read in just a couple of sittings. Trust me when I tell you that there is an abundance of common sense in this volume. Very highly recommended!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Are We Equal? ^ | March 27, 2013 | Walter E. Williams

Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 8:56:24 AM by Kaslin

Are women equal to men? Are Jews equal to gentiles? Are blacks equal to Italians, Irish, Polish and other white people? The answer is probably a big fat no, and the pretense or assumption that we are equal -- or should be equal -- is foolhardy and creates mischief. Let's look at it.

Male geniuses outnumber female geniuses 7-to-1. Female intelligence is packed much closer to the middle of the bell curve, whereas men's intelligence has far greater variability. That means that though there are many more male geniuses, there are also many more male idiots. The latter might partially explain why more men are in jail than women.

Watch any Saturday afternoon college basketball game and ask yourself the question fixated in the minds of liberals everywhere: "Does this look like America?" Among the 10 players on the court, at best there might be two white players. If you want to see the team's white players, you must look at the bench. A Japanese or Chinese player is close to being totally out of the picture, even on the bench. Professional basketball isn't much better, with 80 percent of the players being black, but at least there's a Chinese player. Professional football isn't much better, with blacks being 65 percent. In both sports, blacks are among the highest-paid players and have the highest number of awards for excellence. Blacks who trace their ancestry to West Africa, including black Americans, hold more than 95 percent of the top times in sprinting.

By contrast, blacks are only 2 percent of the NHL's ice hockey players. But don't fret about black NHL underrepresentation. State underrepresentation is worse. Most U.S. professional hockey players were born in Minnesota, followed by Massachusetts. Not a single U.S. professional hockey player can boast of having been born and raised in Hawaii, Mississippi or Louisiana. Any way we cut it, there is simply no racial proportionality or diversity in professional basketball, football and hockey.

A more emotionally charged question is whether we have equal intelligence. Take Jews, for example. They are only 3 percent of the U.S. population. Half-baked theories of racial proportionality would predict that 3 percent of U.S. Nobel laureates are Jews, but that's way off the mark. Jews constitute a whopping 39 percent of American Nobel Prize winners. At the international level, the disparity is worse. Jews are not even 1 percent of the world's population, but they constitute 20 percent of the world's Nobel Prize winners.

There are many other inequalities and disproportionalities. Asian-Americans routinely score the highest on the math portion of the SAT, whereas blacks score the lowest. Men are 50 percent of the population, and so are women; yet men are struck by lightning six times as often as women. I'm personally wondering what whoever is in charge of lightning has against men. Population statistics for South Dakota, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Vermont show that not even 1 percent of their respective populations is black. By contrast, in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, blacks are over-represented in terms of their percentages in the general population. Pima Indians of Arizona have the world's highest known diabetes rates. Prostate cancer is nearly twice as common among black men as white men. Cervical cancer rates are five times higher among Vietnamese women in the U.S. than among white women.

Soft-minded and sloppy-thinking academics, lawyers and judges harbor the silly notion that but for the fact of discrimination, we'd be proportionately distributed by race across incomes, education, occupations and other outcomes. There is absolutely no evidence anywhere, at any time, that proportionality is the norm anywhere on earth; however, much of our thinking, many of our laws and much of our public policy are based upon proportionality's being the norm. Maybe this vision is held because people believe that equality in fact is necessary for equality before the law. But the only requirement for equality before the law is that one is a human being.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Can It Happen Here?

Thomas Sowell

The decision of the government in Cyprus to simply take money out of people's bank accounts there sent shock waves around the world. People far removed from that small island nation had to wonder: "Can this happen here?"

The economic repercussions of having people feel that their money is not safe in banks can be catastrophic. Banks are not just warehouses where money can be stored. They are crucial institutions for gathering individually modest amounts of money from millions of people and transferring that money to strangers whom those people would not directly entrust it to.

Multi-billion dollar corporations, whose economies of scale can bring down the prices of goods and services — thereby raising our standard of living — are seldom financed by a few billionaires.

Far more often they are financed by millions of people, who have neither the specific knowledge nor the economic expertise to risk their savings by investing directly in those enterprises. Banks are crucial intermediaries, which provide the financial expertise without which these transfers of money are too risky.

There are poor nations with rich natural resources, which are not developed because they lack either the sophisticated financial institutions necessary to make these key transfers of money or because their legal or political systems are too unreliable for people to put their money into these financial intermediaries.

Whether in Cyprus or in other countries, politicians tend to think in short run terms, if only because elections are held in the short run. Therefore, there is always a temptation to do reckless and short-sighted things to get over some current problem, even if that creates far worse problems in the long run.

Seizing money that people put in the bank would be a classic example of such short-sighted policies.

After thousands of American banks failed during the Great Depression of the 1930s, there were people who would never put their money in a bank again, even after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was created, to have the federal government guarantee individual bank accounts when the bank itself failed.

For years after the Great Depression, stories appeared in the press from time to time about some older person who died and was found to have substantial sums of money stored under a mattress or in some other hiding place, because they never trusted banks again.

After going back and forth, the government of Cyprus ultimately decided, under international pressure, to go ahead with its plan to raid people's bank accounts. But could similar policies be imposed in other countries, including the United States?

One of the big differences between the United States and Cyprus is that the U.S. government can simply print more money to get out of a financial crisis. But Cyprus cannot print more euros, which are controlled by international institutions.

Does that mean that Americans' money is safe in banks? Yes and no.

The U.S. government is very unlikely to just seize money wholesale from people's bank accounts, as is being done in Cyprus. But does that mean that your life savings are safe?

No. There are more sophisticated ways for governments to take what you have put aside for yourself and use it for whatever the politicians feel like using it for. If they do it slowly but steadily, they can take a big chunk of what you have sacrificed for years to save, before you are even aware, much less alarmed.

That is in fact already happening. When officials of the Federal Reserve System speak in vague and lofty terms about "quantitative easing," what they are talking about is creating more money out of thin air, as the Federal Reserve is authorized to do — and has been doing in recent years, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars a month.

When the federal government spends far beyond the tax revenues it has, it gets the extra money by selling bonds. The Federal Reserve has become the biggest buyer of these bonds, since it costs them nothing to create more money.

This new money buys just as much as the money you sacrificed to save for years. More money in circulation, without a corresponding increase in output, means rising prices. Although the numbers in your bank book may remain the same, part of the purchasing power of your money is transferred to the government. Is that really different from what Cyprus has done?

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


'Me Too' Republicans

Thomas Sowell


Many ideas presented as "new" are just rehashes of old ideas that have been tried before — and have failed before. So it is no surprise that the recent "Growth and Opportunity Project" report to the Republican National Committee is a classic example of what previous generations called "Me too" Republicanism.

These are Republicans who think that the key to winning elections is to do more of what the Democrats are doing. In effect, they say "me too" on issues such as immigration, in hopes of gaining more new votes than they lose by betraying their existing supporters.

In the wake of last year's presidential election debacle for the Republicans, the explanation preferred by "moderate" Republicans has been that the GOP has been too narrowly ideological, and needs to reach out to minorities, women and young people, rather than just to conservatives.

In the words of the "Growth and Opportunity Project," the problem is that conservative Republican candidates have been "driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac."

But the report itself says that the Republicans' election problems have been at the national level, not at the state level, where a majority of the governors are Republicans. Are the Republican moderates suggesting that the reason Mitt Romney lost in 2012 is that he was driving around in a conservative cul-de-sac? Romney was as mushy a moderate as Senator John McCain was before him — and as many other Republican losers in presidential elections have been, going all the way back to the 1940s. The only Republican candidate who might fit the charge of being a complete conservative was Ronald Reagan, who won two landslide elections.

The report to the Republican National Committee is on firmer ground when it says that national Republican candidates have not articulated their case very well — that "we too often sound like bookkeepers." Republican candidates "need to do a better job talking in normal, people-oriented terms."

Absolutely. It doesn't matter how good your case is, if you don't bother to articulate it so that voters understand you.

The heart of the report, however, is the argument that Republicans need to reach out to minorities, women and young people. With Hispanics and blacks becoming a growing proportion of the American population — and both groups voting overwhelmingly for Democrats — the Republicans are obviously in big trouble in future elections if they don't do something.

But if they do what this report advocates, they could be in even bigger trouble. Here again, facts seem to mean nothing to those who wrote this report.

They propose going through such organizations as the NAACP to reach black voters, as if the NAACP owns blacks, in violation of the 13th Amendment. Not only is the NAACP virtually a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party, the kind of black voters that the Republicans have some hope of winning over are unlikely to be enthralled to the NAACP, and many of them may see through such race hustlers.

Or do all blacks look alike to those who wrote this report?

It is the same story with Hispanics and Asian Americans. The Republicans are supposed to go through these groups' "leaders" as well — mostly leaders tied to the Democratic Party ideologically or otherwise. You might think that a Republican Party that talks about individualism would try to appeal to individuals.

Individuals whom the Republicans have some chance of winning over may well be a small minority within these groups. However, if the GOP can reduce the Democrats' 80 percent of these groups' votes to 70 percent, that can swing elections.

But a shotgun approach to minorities won't do it.

When it comes to minority votes, the Democratic Party is much like Eastman Kodak during the long period when it sold the vast majority of the film and cameras in the country. How did its competitors manage to drive Kodak into bankruptcy?

Not by saying "me too" while trying to imitate Kodak and trying to outdo Kodak with better film and better film cameras. They went digital instead. But that approach requires a lot more thought than apparently went into this report. Polls and focus groups are not a substitute for thought.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Phil Jones Provides Another NOAA Smoking Gun (Steven Goddard–Real Science)


Posted on March 13, 2013by stevengoddard

NOAA claims that July, 2012 was the hottest month in US history and that July temperatures are increasing.

ScreenHunter_162 Mar. 12 22.39

Climate at a Glance | Time Series

The CRUTEM4 map below flashes between July 1936 and July 2012, with 1936 being the image that has the large +5C area in the upper midwest. As you can see, July 1936 was much hotter.


ScreenHunter_159 Mar. 12 22.22

This agrees reasonably well with the original Weather Bureau map from 1936.

The graph below shows the raw US HCN data before NOAA tampered with it. July temperatures are decreasing, not increasing – and July of 1936 was much hotter than July 2012.

ScreenHunter_160 Mar. 12 22.36

NOAA turned a cooling trend into a warming trend by massively tampering with the raw data, as seen below. They cooled 1936 and 1934 by almost 1.5 degrees, in an important propaganda effort to make it look like global warming was affecting the US.

ScreenHunter_163 Mar. 12 22.48

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Guest Post: 16 Signs That The Middle Class Is Running Out Of Money


Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Is "discretionary income" rapidly becoming a thing of the past for most American families? Right now, there are a lot of signs that we are on the verge of a nightmarish consumer spending drought. Incomes are down, taxes are up, many large retail chains are deeply struggling because of the lack of customers, and at this point nearly a quarter of all Americans have more credit card debt than money in the bank. Considering the fact that consumer spending is such a large percentage of the U.S. economy, that is very bad news. How will we ever have a sustained economic recovery if consumers don't have much money to spend? Well, the truth is that we aren't ever going to have a sustained economic recovery. In fact, this debt-fueled bubble of false hope that we are experiencing right now is as good as things are going to get. Things are going to go downhill from here, and if you think that consumer spending is bad now, just wait until you see what happens over the next several years.

Even though the Dow is surging toward a record high right now, everyone knows that things are not good for the middle class. A recent quote from CPA Howard Dvorkin kind of summarizes our current state of affairs very nicely...

"The fact of the matter is that America is broke — whether it's mortgages, student loans or credit cards, we are broke. The old rule of thumb is that people should have six months' of savings," Dvorkin says."If you talk to people, most don't have two pennies."

These days most Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck, and thanks to rising prices and rising taxes, those paychecks are getting squeezed tighter and tighter. Many families have had to cut back on unnecessary expenses, and some families no longer have any discretionary income at all.

The following are 16 signs that the middle class is rapidly running out of money...

#1 According to one brand new survey, 24 percent of all Americans have more credit card debt than money in the bank.

#2 J.C. Penney was once an unstoppable retail powerhouse, but now J.C. Penney has just posted its lowest annual retail sales in more than 20 years...

J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) slid the most in more than three decades after the department-store chain lost $4.3 billion in sales in the first year of Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson’s turnaround plan.

The shares fell 18 percent to $17.40 at 11:28 a.m. in New York after earlier declining 22 percent, the biggest intraday drop since at least 1980, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. J.C. Penney yesterday said its net loss in the quarter ended Feb. 2 widened to $552 million from $87 million a year earlier. The Plano, Texas-based retailer’s annual revenue slid 25 percent to $13 billion, the lowest since at least 1987.

How much worse can things get? At this point the decline has become so steep for J.C. Penney that Jim Cramer of CNBC is declaring that they are in "a true tailspin".

#3 In the United States today, a new car has become out of reach for most middle class Americans according to the 2013 Car Affordability Study...

Looking to buy a new car, truck or crossover? You may find it more difficult to stretch the household budget than you expected, according to a new study that finds median-income families in only one major U.S. city actually can afford the typical new vehicle.

The typical new vehicle is now more expensive than ever, averaging $30,500 in 2012, according to data, and heading up again as makers curb the incentives that helped make their products more affordable during the recession when they were desperate for sales. According to the 2013 Car Affordability Study by, only in Washington could the typical household swing the payments, the median income there running $86,680 a year.

#4 The founder of Subway Restaurants, Fred Deluca, says that the recent tax increases are having a noticeable impact on his business...

"The payroll tax is affecting sales. It's causing sales declines," he said, estimating a decline of about 2 percentage points off sales at his restaurants. "There are a lot of pressures on consumers," Deluca said, adding "I think this is on the permanent side, but I think business will adjust to it."

#5 Many other large restaurant chains are also struggling in this tough economic environment...

Darden Restaurants, which owns the casual dining chains Oliver Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and Red Lobster, said blended same-store sales at its three eateries would be 4.5 percent lower during its fiscal third quarter.

Clarence Otis, Darden's chairman and chief executive, said that "while results midway through the third quarter were encouraging, there were difficult macro-economic headwinds during the last month of the quarter."

"Two of the most prominent were increased payroll taxes and rising gasoline prices, which together put meaningful pressure on the discretionary purchasing power of our guests," he added.

#6 The CFO of Family Dollar recently admitted to CNBC that this is a "challenging time" because of reduced consumer spending...

At Family Dollar where the average customer makes less than $40,000 a year, the combination of a two-percent hike in the payroll tax, rising gas prices and delayed tax refunds has created a "challenging time and an uncertain time for the consumer right now," said Mary Winston, the company's chief financial officer.

"In our case, anything that takes money out of our customer's wallet gives them less money to spend in our stores," she told CNBC. "So I think all of those things create nervousness for the consumer, and I think there are sometimes political dynamics going on that they might not even fully understand the details, but they know it's not good."

#7 Even Wal-Mart is really struggling right now. According to a recent Bloomberg article, Wal-Mart is struggling "to restock store shelves as U.S. sales slump"...

Evelin Cruz, a department manager at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pico Rivera, California, said Simon’s comments from the officers’ meeting were “dead on.”

“There are gaps where merchandise is missing,” Cruz said in a telephone interview. “We are not talking about a couple of empty shelves. This is throughout the store in every store. Some places look like they’re going out of business.”

This all comes on the heels of an internal Wal-Mart memo that was leaked to the press earlier this month that described February sales as a "total disaster".

#8 Electronics retailer Best Buy continues to struggle mightily. Best Buy just announced that it will be eliminating 400 jobs at its headquarters in Richfield, Minnesota.

#9 It is being projected that many of the largest retail chains in America, including Best Buy, will close down hundreds of stores during 2013. The following is a list of projected store closings for 2013 that I included in a previous article...

Best Buy

Forecast store closings: 200 to 250

Sears Holding Corp.

Forecast store closings: Kmart 175 to 225, Sears 100 to 125

J.C. Penney

Forecast store closings: 300 to 350

Office Depot

Forecast store closings: 125 to 150

Barnes & Noble

Forecast store closings: 190 to 240, per company comments


Forecast store closings: 500 to 600


Forecast store closings: 150 to 175


Forecast store closings: 450 to 550

#10 Another sign that consumer spending is slowing down is the fact that less stuff is being moved around in our economy. As I have mentioned previously, freight shipment volumes have hit their lowest level in two years, and freight expenditures have gone negative for the first time since the last recession.

#11 Many young adults have no discretionary income to spend because they are absolutely drowning in student loan debt. According to the New York Federal Reserve, student loan debt nearly tripled between 2004 and 2012.

#12 The student loan delinquency rate in the United States is now at an all-time high. It is only a matter of time before the student loan debt bubble bursts.

#13 Due to a lack of jobs and high levels of debt, poverty among young adults in America is absolutely exploding. Today, U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#14 According to one recent survey, 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

#15 Median household income in the United States has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by more than $4000 during that time span.

#16 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is currently taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Retailers are desperate for sales, but you can't squeeze blood out of a rock.

For much more on how the middle class is absolutely drowning in debt, please see this article: "Money Is A Form Of Social Control And Most Americans Are Debt Slaves".

But if you listen to the mainstream media, they would have you believe that happy days are here again.

Right now, everyone seems to be quite giddy about the fact that the Dow is marching toward an all-time high. And I actually do believe that the Dow will blow right past it. In fact, it is even possible that we could see the Dow hit 15,000 before everything starts falling apart.

But at some point, the financial markets will catch up with economic reality. It is just a matter of time.

In the meanwhile, those that are wise are taking advantage of these times of plenty to prepare for the great economic drought that is coming.

Don't be caught living paycheck to paycheck and totally unprepared when the next wave of the economic collapse strikes. Anyone that believes that this debt-fueled bubble of false hope can last indefinitely is just being delusional.

During The Years Of Plenty, Prepare For The Years Of Drought - Photo Taken By Tomas Castelazo



Friday, March 1, 2013

In Search of Common Decency


Posted on March 1, 2013 by Rob

Proverbs 6: 16-19

As the truth concerning Barack Obama’s gross distortions about catastrophic Sequestration spending “cuts” gains wider media and public awareness, I am reminded of how far removed we are from the days where common sense existed and rational people were able to engage in civil conversation. Perhaps the single greatest fact that impedes our nation’s ability to engage in civil discourse is the existence of the “elephant in the room” – the one fact that half of Americans simply can not bring themselves to admit, or they rationalize away with the excuse, “everyone does it.”

Perhaps the single most vile, disgusting, dishonorable and despised human act, one that inflames emotions and insults the offended, is when one human lies to another. Inherent in our souls, deep within our DNA, is an expectation that we deserve the basic human decency of truth. When lied to, most humans feel disrespected, insulted, angry and find themselves unable to maintain anything resembling a healthy relationship with a liar.

Perhaps the second most vile, infuriating and insulting human act is to falsely call another human a liar. Honest people do not appreciate being lied to, nor do they tolerate their integrity being called into question when in fact, the allegation is false.

How do we function as a nation, when in fact our President is a proven, bald-faced liar? When his fans refuse to accept the allegation, the ignorant hear only what they choose to hear, the victims of his lies are so enraged they find it difficult to be civil, and the media either shamelessly ignores his lies, promote his lies or they rationalize his vile, disrespectful behavior with stories about how “the other side” is just as guilty? The victim of lies is truth. When truth dies, hell emerges. Our society’s degraded ability to act in a polite, civil and respectful manner is largely due to the constant state of hell that is generated from a never-ending stream of lies and deceit originating from Barack Obama. The truth often stings like hell, but then it sets you free. A state of hell, anguish, emotional tyranny and disgust will exist as long as lying and dishonesty is “the norm” in our society.

The greatness of American was built upon the moral rock of Truth. The single most popular, widely read and influential book in the world offers profound insights into the human acts our Lord most despises. Please read the imbedded text within this article’s featured image. For the health and restoration of our beloved nation, will you accept His words if you choose to discount mine?

The truth shall set us all free. Honesty must be our common goal.

The Largest Illegal Campaign Contribution in History!


Now that The Premier of Ontario has disclosed that all the money involved in the Gas Plant fiasco was used to get the Liberal Party of Ontario reelected it’s time to pay it back.  It is without doubt that it was a campaign contribution (‘in kind’).  The LPO needs to return the money.  An account must be set up and all revenues to the party directed into that fund.  All assets of the LPO must be auctioned off and the proceeds deposited.

The left and the media would demand it of Hudak