Beyond the Cusp

April 30, 2018

EPA, Scott Pruitt and Regulation

 

Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened up the dark reality and truths about government agencies and regulations. The EPA had been weaponized almost since its founding in December of 1970, after President Richard Nixon signed an executive order. Congress was not convened nor have even an advisory participation in the forming of this agency which makes it vulnerable as if it was formed by an executive order, it could be dismantled by an executive order. What has been found by Scott Pruitt since taking the mantle of heading the EPA is that they had been using tainted science and cherry picked data to form their regulations. The EPA had actually paid scientists to test and make models to produce the results as dictated in their given premise. They would tell the scientists what regulations they desired to have data ensure would be required as a result of their study into carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels threatened the health or pertaining to fine particulate pollution. There not only was no allowance for peer review but much of the EPA research was classified such that it could not be viewed by the public or even other scientists. So the EPA was refusing to release the data and research, studies, methodologies or findings of the research they were funding while also giving grants only to those scientists who were attempting to prove the exact findings the EPA required to enact further regulations and restrictions on traditional fossil fuels and carbon based energy as well as restriction on chemical fertilizers forcing more and more switching to expensive, intermittent, unreliable wind and solar energy installations and other unsustainable sources of energy and even fertilizers.

 

The EPA sins are not the only item that the people need be concerned about, one should also make an impartial examination of regulations in general. Has anybody ever honestly thought about where regulations come from? There are two means by which regulations can originate, one pernicious and the other even worse. The less harmful versions are a result of legislation passed by the Congress. Do not allow this to give you the wrongheaded idea that this means that the Congress had any oversight of such regulations as they are generated by legislation, but not limited or reviewed by Congress. When a piece of legislation is passed and signed by the President, making it a law, often will have as part of the legislation language which instructs separate departments to write the necessary regulations to accomplish the concepts defined in the legislation and to request other departments to also make regulations should they see such a need from the legislation. This means that once the legislation is passed into law, the numerous different departments will write regulations to enact what they see as the demands of the legislation as found to be necessary. They can also ask other departments other than the initial ones designated by the legislation to have an opportunity to make input and possibly add regulations they feel are required. These regulations carry the same effect and weight as law as they are driven by legislation and that gives them their presumed legal backing. Then there is another set of regulation which are driven by the departments themselves as required for the department to fulfill their directives which define their reason for existing. These regulations are simply generated by the perceived reason that the agency was formed. These regulations are simply the concepts of bureaucrats purely from their fertile minds and imaginations which they believe are necessary as the reason for their agency’s existence. They require no legislation and get no oversight by Congress or anyone else; they are simply generated by the bureaucrats at each agency. These are the type the EPA has been generating since its inception. The EPA had even gone one-step further by backing their regulatory desires by hiring scientists who are willing to do research reaching the desired results desired by the regulatory bureaucrats of the EPA. Now Scott Pruitt is demanding that the EPA bureaucrats have the results they receive from often the same scientist time after time to now have their results tested by open peer review. This means that scientists who may not agree with the results desired by the EPA bureaucrats are going to repeat the research and experiments of the regular EPS hired scientists to see if they get the same results. This apparently has frightened, even panicked, the EPA regulators and their friendly same neighborhood scientists as their little secret is very probably going to be brought out into the light of day. This is particularly a problem as the EPA had been working to formulate regulations in order to force coal use into bankruptcy in order to close down all electrical energy which used coal and had showed intent to then go after oil powered plants forcing almost all electricity to be generated by green energy sources alone such as wind, solar and geothermal.

 

So what are the real purposes of regulations? They are to define the desired results of legislation or to fulfill the reason for the establishment of the agency. They are intended to fulfill the legal needs basically of the government. But regulations have another use in establishing the necessity of each agency and to provide reasons for the agency budget and to be able to demand further funding and increased funding. The problem is they are also used by each person at each agency to justify their employment and to establish the domain of or the establishment of a group to address a domain as defined by regulations. Once you have your little fiefdom, then it will need to generate more regulations which they will enforce and even enforcement will require them to add additional regulations making their governance over their fiefdom more established and thus perpetuate any need for their group, their fiefdom. Imagine if your employment required that you generate rules which other people, companies, businesses, institutions or governments were going to have to follow and you were not required to give any deep reasoning or required to have scientists to validate your ideas; scientists who are basically dependent upon you and your fellow workers for grant monies, funding and salaries, and the more of these rules you produced would be met with rewards and good job reviews and faster promotions. This is the situation of a large number of Federal Government employees in the large buildings in Washington D.C. (and now some out in the suburbs and even in West Virginia) who have taken to generating unnecessary and even counterproductive regulations just because it will serve their job reviews and they see their position as their justification is their formulating new regulations. Their claim is that they are protecting the people from evils of big businesses or to save people from themselves and making our society more fair, safe and protected. They will claim that many regulations are there to prevent people from doing things which could produce harmful results and by having regulations against these acts, they are preventing such activity from occurring in our society.

 

So these regulations will protect us from dangerous activities, dangerous people, dangerous scientists going out to make some monsters or big business from producing products which might be dangerous and could result in people being hurt of even being killed by these products. Imagine any company which manufactured a product which would necessarily result in any user ending up dead. How long would such a company be able of surviving? Two lawsuits, three lawsuits, or what and why would any company make such a product expecting on remaining in business. Businesses are not going to produce products which through being defective of through proper use which will result in murdering their customers with very few exceptions. We will hear about the tobacco companies which when they were initially formed did not know of the link between smoking and cancer and other diseases. The alcohol industry warns against drinking too much and getting drunk, let alone getting drunk regularly. The interesting thing is smoking and drinking in moderation, possibly extreme moderation, has been found to have some advantages for a person’s health. But manufacturers generally do not make products which will kill their users. Imagine an electric shaver which would probably slice the user’s throat within six weeks of use, would they sell any more shavers after about six months when the word got out that all those using this shaver died from a defect? Manufacturers do not win by making products which are not safe and adding required levels of testing or safeguards upon safeguards such that an infant crawling up the wall and getting the product down from a shelf and then plugging it in and turning it on the infant could not be harmed is ridiculous, but there are such types of regulations to foolproof products. Lawsuits have moderated manufacturers’ carefulness and warning labels far more than have regulations. There is something that regulations do make every manufacturer do; they have had to raise their prices. Higher prices and less competition are the main two results of regulations. Often regulations are produced to make new companies getting into a business more onerous thus protecting the existing companies. One such is the requirement in most major cities is to have a certificate to operate a taxi company. These are the most onerous requirement which prevents others from breaking into this fairly lucrative business in most cities. This was also why Taxi companies attempted in these cities to force anyone responding to UBER and the other ride-share apps to have to have a certificate as if they were an actual taxi service. Some of these cases ended up in the courts as the taxi companies did not like having this type of competition.

 

Creatures from the Laboratory of Dr. Moreau

Creatures from the Laboratory of Dr. Moreau

 

The other reason given for regulations is to prevent people from doing certain activities. One of our favorites is the idea that if scientists were not kept curbed from certain areas of research, then we would end up with some scientists going out into dangerous regions of science and we could end up with a Dr. Moreau and his hideous creations. First, does anybody honestly expect that such experimentation would be performed by any reasonable scientist? And if a scientist was twisted enough to do such experiments, would regulators honestly actually have any preventive powers on such a twisted mind? The problem with the idea that regulations prevent people from performing dangerous and harmful actions is that people who are going to do things which by any reasonable mind would be illegal and dangerous, regulations are not going to prevent their actions. There are laws against robbing banks, yet people still rob banks. There are laws against killing people yet murder still happens every day in some city. In cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and other it is illegal to have a weapon within the city limits yet Chicago has had one-hundred-thirty-seven gun homicides as of April 22, 2018. What if the guns have been pretty much removed from a society such as in London? Well, London has had a rising homicide rate in 2018 with stabbings being the problem so much so that knife control laws have been demanded, the step beyond total gun control will be blade control. Regulations and laws will never prevent criminal elements from acts which are against the health and safety of the community; criminal acts are the proof that regulations and laws are not sufficient. There is but one way that evil will end, that is when the human spirit is able to find the satisfaction it requires from a gentler and calm forms of excitement, when the human desire for entertainment is satisfied through actions which are not harmful to the community. This will also mean no wars, no murders, no theft, no unfulfilled desires and this will only be realized with the arrival of the Messiah. For those who do not believe in the divine or the coming of a Messiah, then it will come when the human spirit has found the path to completeness, something which many believe is not possible, but perhaps with the evolution of society and the people within, such might be brought within reach. Until then, laws and regulations will probably be required, but let us at least have regulations based upon truth and good science and not simply responding to personal biases. We can only hope that is not too much to ask, but it appears it is.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 28, 2016

It’s Final and It’s Clinton and Trump

 

Sure it is still possible for Cruz/Kasich or Bernie Sanders to steal the limelight with the teaming up of Cruz/Kasich to temporarily stop Trump or for Bernie to turn the world on its head and win the nomination outright, but pigs have a better chance of flying. So we may as well face it that the United States election will place a criminal against an egotistical buffoon. Such a choice will likely produce the smallest turnout for a Presidential election in American history with over half the eligible voters blowing off the election out of sheer disinterest. The election will be won by whichever of the two candidates sickens their base less than the other. Call it the election where large portions will be voting for the one that makes them less ill. The question must seriously be looked at as to what each Presidency would look like and what the world can expect.

 

Hillary will quite likely be the more predictable of the two as she will be a true leftist performing exactly as advertised. She will continue to spend on social issues taking it from the military. She will cut the NASA budget and we will hear repeatedly about the billions of dollars going to NASA and how such expenditures cannot be justified when the social issues are so dire. She will raise taxes even further on businesses forcing even more companies to flee from what will be an even more oppressive atmosphere. Amnesty for illegal immigrants will be a given and will include a number of millions additional from the troubled Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The flood gates will open for Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi, Libyan, and who knows where else from the failing MENA nations and will be brought in as Europe refuses to accept millions of these immigrants and their nations of origin will disavow them leaving them as people without a country until Hillary rides to their rescue. All financing will be returned to Planned Parenthood. All this and more will result if Hillary has a democratic Congress, especially if they remake the rules preventing filibusters in the Senate by requiring a mere majority vote for cloture as was enacted early in President Obama’s first term.

 

Clinton vs Trump

Clinton vs Trump

 

There will also be a push towards raising the minimum wage above $12.00 and eventually up to $15.00 an hour. This will speed up the automation of fast food service centers, calling such a restaurant would be a stretch. The first company amongst the burger giants to come out with a completely automated service and retrieval and cleaning using robotic servers and cleaning robotic units, especially if they appear humanoid but still obviously robotic to avoid that gulch where they are too humanlike but just enough off to be spooky. We believe the term for such robots are they are in the Uncanny Valley where they freak people out and make them uncomfortable. Unemployment will skyrocket along with the minimum wage hike as more and more jobs simply disappear either through automation of certain sectors of industry or simply fleeing to Asia and other places of lower production costs.

 

There will be pressure by the green movement to tighten pollution standards and a strong push to tax gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles to higher prices making electric vehicles more attractive. Expect a European style carburetor tax or even cylinder tax with a tax based on number of cylinders where production of a car has such a tax pushing the prices skyward. Gasoline taxes will also push gas to European levels or higher. Expect a mileage tax to be levied with GPS mileage tracking systems required on all cars including retrofitting older vehicles. If such a requirement makes keeping your old vehicle on the road too expensive to install the GPS mileage tracking system, enjoy walking or the bus. Automated trucking with self-driving vehicles will become more common. This too might also be another item built into the GPS mileage tracking where every vehicle signals its GPS location, direction and speed which can be read by the automated vehicles to assist them in driving decisions. Such systems could also automate speeding tickets as your speed would be recorded at all times and exceeding the speed limit could result in an automated system sending you a ticket for each violation. Who needs speed cameras when the vehicle itself can turn itself in for speed violations? Cities might even enact car free zones where vehicles are forbidden forcing people to use mass transit. All this and more could be a result of a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

 

Donald Trump will be far more difficult to predict as it will depend largely on whom he appoints as his Cabinet and advisors. The biggest danger of a Trump Presidency would be if his policies become unpredictable, especially in economic programs. Should he start one set of economic programs and after five or six months not have the results he desired so he changes the game and again every four to six months then investors will sit on their money as such a game would become too risky and they would turn into risk adverse investors placing their investments in predictable sectors or overseas. Trump might react to pressures from ecology lobbies and make some concessions and it would depend on which as to the effect. CAFÉ standards might be increased demanding higher MPG ratings for vehicles. Taxes on businesses would likely be lowered which would be a positive; and minimum wage, where it may be raised, would not approach $15.00 which would permit for lower unemployment numbers.

 

Certain advances are going to be unavoidable. The driverless automated trucks are coming and there is no preventing that short of making them illegal, not going to happen. Mileage taxes will be levied by the individual states even if not done by the Federal Government. Requiring GPS reporting mileage and possibly constant recording and reporting trip data to the government is coming and will be used to try and force driverless vehicles to replace human drivers even before the technology is perfected, though it is very close, which is why it will be unavoidable. Trump might actually listen to the car manufacturers and allow for hydrogen powered vehicles as an alternative to electric cars. What the ecology lobby does not want people to know is that electric cars do little to lessen pollution and just change the location of the pollution as charging the electric cars requires greater output by power plants most of which burn fossil fuels with extra demand making up for the pollution presumably not produced by driving gasoline powered vehicles. The hydrogen powered vehicles exhaust is water vapor and its main pollution is thermal as the exhaust is in the form of steam predominantly. Perhaps some system could be installed which would permit some degree of condensation before release into the atmosphere, but the efficiency of such a system would need to be proven before any great claims could be made.

 

The area where either a Trump or a Clinton Presidency would be most in doubt would be foreign policy. Hillary might be more willing to intervene militarily and then leave too quickly after declaring job accomplished which may or may not be a better policy providing the parties understand that intervention remains an option if things are not improved after any regime change. Another Libyan style disaster would serve nobody. Trump, on the other hand, is a complete unknown and the sole plus is that as a complete unknown and with his reputation as being somewhat unstable and capable of flying off the handle, other nations might be tempered in their desires to test a President Trump. There will always be at least one foreign country which will test any new President and how they react to such a test can set the mood for the remainder of their term. After the Bay of Pigs disaster Khrushchev tested President Kennedy by shipping nuclear capable missiles into Cuba sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis and the rest is history. Needless to say there were no more tests after President Kennedy literally blockaded Cuba and prevented any additional missile deliveries and demanded the removal of those already in place. Things got a good deal quieter after that faceoff.

 

What will be the test for the incoming President? We predict it would likely come via the situation in what used to be Syria and potentially Iraq and could be either from Russia or Islamic State. There is the already existing threat in the South China Sea with the Chinese literally building and arming islands right in the heart of the existing sea lanes forcing shipping to detour adding hundreds of miles to the routes between Japan and Asia as they need to circumnavigate around these Chinese newly-fashioned and militarized islands. These also could be utilized to prevent any reinforcement in a timely manner of Taiwan should China finally attempt to make good on their standing threat to restore their province which they claim Taiwan actually should be. Then there is the challenge which is sure to be presented by Iran as they continue to flaunt their disregard for any limitations presumably set by the Iran deal which likely was simply an agreement that Iran not announce or test a nuclear weapon until after President Obama has set off for golfing and placing his Presidential Library between the ninth hole and tenth tee next to the clubhouse on his Presidential Golf Course. Foreign challenges are always an area where second guessing is commonplace as nobody can predict everything accurately as there is always that surprise awaiting around every corner. The one predictable item is foreign powers are less likely to challenge Trump than they are Clinton. That might be a very seriously bad mistake, period. Hillary Clinton could be their worst nightmare if she was having a bad hair day when they pushed her; she could be far more vicious and unpredictable than Trump could ever be. Trump, though potentially unpredictable, would at least be relatively logical even if that logic might be unfathomable to some. Hillary Clinton would be simply terrifying should she feel threatened or being made a fool of or made to appear hesitant and weak as she would be more likely to overreact to any situation and press it to unnecessary levels or even use overwhelming force where a strong show of force without pulling the trigger was all that was necessary to end the threat peacefully. We have far more trepidation when it comes to Hillary over Donald when it comes to foreign threats despite both being unpredictable. No matter which wins there will be no telling the results until either has settled in and the initial actions and reactions have been initiated.

 

The final item is Israel. Trump will depend on who his advisors are on foreign policy, but we believe he will be more even handed and accommodating regarding Israel once he is made fully appreciative of the situation. Trump will need to weigh what the Pentagon and Defense Department give him and what the State Department tells him. With such conflicting information, he will necessarily have to choose and hopefully will have visited Israel and talked to both sides and gotten his measure of the land. Hillary Clinton will likely make President Obama appear to have been a supporter of Israel and best of friends with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We already are fully aware of the lack of good relations between Bibi and Hillary and the special hate she holds for Israel. Expect the chill between Israel and the United States to become an ice age under Hillary with no possible thaw and open threats to become commonplace from the White House to Jerusalem. There will be nobody to answer the calls from Hillary as her animosity is well known in Israel and she will manage to even alienate the Israeli left within the first year of her screeching demands for Israel to surrender completely to Abbas. Any dealing with Hillary by Israel would be suicidal. Trump may initially be an unknown but would at least not enter the situation convinced of their preconceived notions as Hillary would be, and she would be completely anti-Israel no matter what lies she told AIPAC.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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