[VIDEO] Q&A with Fred Smith: ‘The Alternative To Innovation Is Not Stability. It’s Stagnation’

“The alternative to innovation is not stability,” says Fred L. Smith, who founded the influential and controversial Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in 1984. “It’s stagnation.”

In 2014, after almost 30 years as CEI’s president, Smith became director of the group’s Center for the Advancement of Capitalism, which champions free markets as the best means to create a fair, prosperous, and future-oriented society. Libertarians, says the one-time federal bureaucrat, have always had a difficulty communicating their ideas to a wider public, even to the entrepreneurs and business leaders who radically improve our lives on a daily basis by providing better and better goods and services at lower and lower prices. “We need to re-calibrate our arguments so they reach the people we need to have as allies. That means businessmen.”

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Reason‘s Nick Gillespie sat down with Smith to talk about the liberating history of capitalism, the regulatory war on innovation, whether millennials are socialists or capitalists, and the morality of market exchanges. “The market not only creates a web of voluntary economic interactions,” says Smith. “It is the best facilitator for creating the social networks that encompass the modern world.” Read the rest of this entry »


ALARMISM ALERT: Climate Change Consensus Increasingly Questioned Amid Government Crackdown on Dissent

climate-freakout

 reports: The latest government crackdown on climate dissent, exemplified by last week’s subpoena of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, comes amid a surge of scientific research that pokes holes in the catastrophic climate change consensus.

“There has been quite an uptick in papers that question the consensus this year.”

— Anthony Watts

Even as Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude E. Walker demanded the free market think tank’s climate research and communications, a rising tide of evidence has challenged the narrative that increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are driving floods, drought and other disasters.

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“As the body of evidence refuting climate alarmism continues to balloon, the question of how the IPCC can continue ignoring it becomes ever more glaring.”

— Engineer Pierre L. Gosselin

As of March 27, researchers had published 133 “consensus-skeptical” papers this year, bringing to 660 the number of such studies appearing since January 2014, blogger Kenneth Richard wrote on the skeptics website NoTricksZone.

“There has been quite an uptick in papers that question the consensus this year,” said Anthony Watts, who runs the influential WattsUpWithThat? website.

Studies published on his website and others include in the past few weeks include those that say:

• An exhaustive study published April 7 in Nature by University of Stockholm researchers examining hydrological patterns going back 1,200 years found that climate models cannot accurately predict extreme rainfall and drought.

• An article published April 4 in Nature Geoscience linked the melting of the Greenland ice sheets to hot spot activity within the Earth’s core, a finding that “must be included in studies of the future response to climate change,” said lead author Irina Rogozhina, a scientist at the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen in Germany.

[Read the full story here, at Washington Times]

• A March 21 paper by meteorologist Martin Hertzberg and chemist Hans Schreuder, evaluating figures behind the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “consensus,” concluded that “nothing in the data supports the supposition that atmospheric CO2 is a driver of weather or climate.”

“As the body of evidence refuting climate alarmism continues to balloon, the question of how the IPCC can continue ignoring it becomes ever more glaring,” said engineer Pierre L. Gosselin, who runs the NoTricksZone website and translates climate news from German to English.

In spite of that research — or maybe because of it — Democrats have renewed their efforts to clamp down on climate dissent.

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Two weeks ago, 17 attorneys general — 16 Democrats and Mr. Walker, an independent — announced that they would investigate and prosecute climate-related “fraud,” citing investigations by journalism outlets accusing Exxon Mobil Corp. of stifling its own scientific research in support of the “settled science.”

While Exxon Mobil has denounced the accusations as “preposterous,” Mr. Walker followed up Thursday with a subpoena calling for the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s work on climate and energy policy from 1997 to 2007, including the nonprofit’s “private donor information,” the institute said. Read the rest of this entry »


CONTROLLING THE PAST: Charles C. W. Cooke on Jonathan Gruber’s Orwellianism

Gruber-destaurated-screened

cookeCharles C. W. Cooke writes prose like a swashbuckling pirate aboard the U.S.S.Obamcare. Read the whole thing at NRO.

For National Review OnlineCharles C. W. Cooke writes: ‘He who controls the past controls the future,” observed George Orwell. “He who controls the present controls the past.” This, in one pithy, symmetrical little maxim, has been the story of Obamacare from its conception to the present day.

Since its official launch, in October of 2013, the architects and salesmen of our ill-conceived phalanx of reforms have been engaged in some of the most pronounced historical revisionism of the modern era — truth being subjugated to expedience; idealism being repackaged in the pathetic language of good intentions; and the past being tweaked at every tricky stage. Thus has the ironclad promise that insurance premiums would decrease for all people given way to scoffing admissions that “of course” some people’s premiums would increase.

Castro-kruschev

“Today, we are witnessing the fall from grace of the progressive health-care wonk, Jonathan Gruber, a primary architect of Obamacare who is renouncing his previous testimony with all the giddy enthusiasm of a veteran clerk in the Kruschev administration.

Thus has the quixotic assurance that there would be no winners and losers been transmuted into the defensive insistence that there are no perfect plans but that this one was “worth it overall.” Thus has a favored vow that anybody who “liked” their existing plan would be able to “keep it” replaced with the patronizing mantra that people just don’t know what’s good for them — and need in consequence to be told what they may buy. Thus has the claim of “universal health insurance” been quickly forgotten, a series of unseemly statistical victory dances being offered in lieu.

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“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

— George Orwell

And thus — now that it looks as if the executive’s attempt to circumvent the rules will meet meaningful resistance in the courts — has the scheme’s legally established architecture been GPO14-Approved-Vintagereimagined as a “typo” or a “mistake” or a “drafting error,” and the damning confirmations of the law’s mastermind rewritten as the feverish claims of a churlish right-wing coup.

Today, we are witnessing the fall from grace of the progressive health-care wonk, Jonathan Gruber, a primary architect of Obamacare who is renouncing his previous testimony with all the giddy enthusiasm of a veteran clerk in the Kruschev administration. Read the rest of this entry »


Dizzying Blizzard of Rules: Government adds 1,516 pages to the Federal Register

obama-smiling-idiot

Feds adding new regulation every 3 hours…

Breanna Deutsch writes:  Last week Mother Nature shut down Washington’s government offices for a day, but the extreme weather was no match for federal regulators.

Over that time period, 1,516 new pages and 56 additional final regulations were published in the Federal Registeraccording to the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Broken down, that is the equivalent of a new regulation added about every three hours.

We are only in the second month of 2014 and already the Federal Register has mushroomed to 9,079 pages. At this pace, the register will accumulate 73,218 pages by 2015. Shockingly, this would be the lowest total in five years.

Read the rest of this entry »


D.C. Area has Exploded Since Kennedy Era

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Lawson Bader writes: I’m quite partial to the Potomac River. My mother crossed it on her doctor’s visits in the months leading to my birth. And while I spent my youth in freewheeling California, I knew I’d return to the changing seasons that give the region much of its character. But my, how that character has changed.

This week, reminiscences of where people were when they heard the news of the Kennedy assassination prompted me to ask: What was greater Washington, D.C., like then?

Consider where I live, Fairfax County, Virginia. In 1963, that then-sleepy burg set off on a growth surge that’s ballooned in population to more than a million people today, with new homes and shopping malls spread out across what was farmland not long ago. In fact, when I was a youngster, “going to McLean” meant driving out to the country for a picnic. Today, McLean is considered an inner suburb – albeit a fancy one.

Now, if you don’t live in the national capital area, you might wonder what this has to do with you. The answer is: everything, because you’re paying for it. As the federal government expanded its footprint beyond the District of Columbia’s borders, it’s brought a bonanza to those surrounding areas.

Read the rest of this entry »


Psst: There are four separate scandals going on at EPA right now

MARY KATHARINE HAM brings this:

1) The EPA gave an ethics award to fake employee, “Richard Windsor,” who was already just an unethically created e-mail alias for the agency’s former head, Lisa P. Jackson.

HotAir’s covered this story several times, but it really escalated to a point I don’t think I would have even concocted for a fictional account of government stupidity for fear it might feel like a reach. But government stupidity, undaunted by such a challenge and unbound by the limits of my imagination indeed awarded the “scholar of ethical behavior” award, among other professional recognitions, to a dude who does not exist and was created merely to unethically circumvent FOIA requests.

As the result of the persistence of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in pursuing their Freedom of Information Act requests, we found out late last year that Jackson had been using an epa.gov email account under the name of “Richard Windsor,” and that in practice it looked an awful lot like a deliberate attempt by Jackson to fly beneath the transparency radar when communicating about costly and publicly controversial EPA ideas and initiatives. Even better, it now looks like the EPA awarded the non-existent Richard Windsor with several of the oh-so-august bureaucracy’s required workplace certifications

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As Erika wrote, this is real life.

2) The EPA makes conservatives pay a fortune for FOIAs to be granted while waiving fees for liberal groups.

According to research from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose fellow Chris Horner uncovered “Richard Windsor:”

Specifically, CEI asserts that the EPA is waiving FOIA fees for what it describes as left-wing groups – like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and EarthJustice – while it “systematically denies waivers for groups on the right,” according to CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner.

Horner said his research shows that from January 2012 to Spring 2013 the fees for “green” groups were waived in 75 out of 82 cases. Meanwhile, the EPA effectively or expressly denied his request for fee waivers in 14 of 15 FOIA instances over this same time period. Horner’s appeals of the EPA decisions to deny his fee waivers were rejected.

Further review, Horner said, established that “green” groups proved successful in getting their fees waived 92 percent of the time.

As Gabe notes, the EPA is kindly “considering” an investigation into this matter. Most transparent administration evah. More pressure, please, Congress!

3) EPA contractors are basically Gym, Tan, Laundrying in new, swanky rec rooms thanks to your tax money.

Aww, yeah:

In a huge Environmental Protection Agency warehouse in Landover, enterprising workers made sure that they had all the comforts of home. They created personal rec rooms with televisions, radios, chairs and couches. On the walls were photos, calendars and pinups. For entertainment, they had books, magazines and videos. If they got hungry, they could grab something from a refrigerator and pop it into a microwave.

The crown jewel of their hideaway — which stored EPA office furnishings — was a 30-by-45-foot athletic center, cobbled together from “surplus” EPA gym equipment and decked out with a music system provided via “other agency inventory items,” according to a recently released inspector general’s report.

All of it was carefully hidden from security cameras by partitions and piles of boxes set up by the workers, employees of Apex Logistics, the contractor that ran the warehouse until the EPA severed ties after learning of the situation last month.

4) The EPA leaked confidential information on farmers and cattle facilities to environmental groups. No bigs.

For your NOM-IRS analogy, this one’s perfect:

According to a letter from a group of Senators to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, the EPA “released farm information for 80,000 livestock facilities in 30 states as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from national environmental organizations. It is our understanding that the initial release of data contained personal information that was not required by the FOIA request for ten states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio and Utah. This release included names and personal addresses.”

The Senators sent the letter Friday to express concern over the sensitivity of the data that was released to groups like Earth Justice, Pew Charitable Trust and Natural Resources Defense Council and to ask how the EPA plans to protect the data of farms and ranches that are also homes to families.

via  Hot Air