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


August 16, 2017

Wrong Answer to Google Political Correctness


The new Kurt Schlichter article in Townhall titled Conservatives Must Regulate Google And All of Silicon Valley Into Submission was just wrong on so many levels and we just had to have our say. We just could not see how any honest conservative would call for government to correct what is a problem in a business situation. We are supposed to believe that competition and profit motive takes care of any such situation. The real solution is to compete using our own better business and fair practice openly competing to rectify any such problems. Using the sledgehammer of government to rectify the slide leftwards by Google, the Facebooks, the Twitters and presumably much of Silicon Valley would be exactly the kind of acts by progressives which we have spent much of our time fighting and complaining over. His first sentence states, “Google’s fascist witch-burning of an honest engineer for refusing to bow down at the altar of politically correct lies was the final straw, an unequivocal warning to conservatives that there’s a new set of rules, and that we need to play by them.” Nope, that is not the answer. The answer is for conservatives to enter this market investing capital and establish a competing company which either provides a right leaning response in that market, or better to provide a truly neutral centered market response where people can find straight answers to their queries or have honest discussions without censorship by the company providing the platform. That is the conservative answer.


Kurt Schlichter stated the conservative approach was to allow profits, and competition would take care of such problems. His claim then that, “For businesses, one obligation was to generally stay out of the cultural and political octagon,” may have been an old rule but political neutrality has not been true in many businesses for quite some time without people demanding a political solution. One prime example is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream who have been extremely left supporting with their actions but there has been no demand for any government intervention as there are many other ice cream vendors where conservatives can buy such products thus avoiding adding to the profits Ben and Jerry’s owners can use on leftist campaigns and causes. His next paragraph gives the crux of his argument stating, “But the Woke Weenies of Silicon Valley, flush with cash, power, and unearned smugness, decided that they just couldn’t keep on the sidelines and make their money. No, they had to make change, as in, changing us. They violated the most important of the old rules – they chose a side.” So they decided to choose a side and work to minimize the conservative message which supposedly cripples the conservative message. The answer, let us state it again, is for conservatives or another entrepreneur to enter the market and compete by providing a better and more honest or a conservative effort, thus providing options for consumers. Yes, granted that competing against Google, Facebook, Twitter and let us even add in YouTube, would be a difficult and challenging prospect and would require finding some means of advertising campaign to get a leg up and then allow competition lead them to gain popularity and a reputation. Complaining that these companies are flush with cash and have the advantage of an established consumer base and in order to level the playing field, government intervention should be used to force these companies to play in a manner conservatives would find appropriate. Let us look at some history in the same arena of the Internet when a company called America On-Line, better known as AOL, had a near monopoly on e-mails, gaming, chat rooms and dial-up modem connections which might have appeared to be overwhelming. AOL did run into competition which eventually led to Google taking over many of these areas and then came numerous free e-mail providers and Twitter and ICQ took over chat with a better system and before you know it, within a couple of years and AOL was fighting for its survival. Why would this be any different? Yes, these companies have everything going for them but as Kurt Schlichter points out, they are making a business decision which might be a shaky and problematic decision. This should indicate an opening for new competition which could establish a foothold and then work into direct competition by offering a better and more equal product. That would be the answer.


Kurt Schlichter even pointed to another area where the vast majority of those within this area have taken a leftward position, the media and entertainment industry. He also pointed out that the conservatives managed to make entries and had some established companies which grew their audiences as a response to the leftward lunge by especially the news media and opinion in print media through talk radio and establishing conservative competition. That was the correct message he should have used for this situation as well. There was a time when all there was in news media on the air television were ABC, NBC, CBS and a few scattered media systems as well as local stations. Then came cable television and ninety-nine channels and even then the vast majority of news and opinion remained left leaning. As cable became more affordable, the demand increased for variety and even international news broadcasts became available and we soon had five hundred channels and an array of choices which was unbelievable when compared to what we used to have just a decade or so earlier. Today there are cable companies and satellite television where there are a thousand channels and when adding Internet television the number of channels will soon be virtually uncountable. There will be thousands of channels and while you surf there will be nothing worth watching, or so we will often still complain there is nothing worth watching. Again, technology and advancements produced an environment which permitted sufficient room for competition making the playing field even and everybody had their opportunity to try and be heard. If they offered what people enjoyed, they succeeded.


The Internet should be the place where this would be true for any service and if the current Silicon Valley companies desire to take a leftward lunge, then perhaps it is time for some group of startups to build a wonderful area where the weather is nice and start employing those programming engineers and technicians and mathematicians and other related fields required to build competing companies perhaps in or around the Myrtle Beach area (see image below). This could start just what will obviously be required to remedy this situation, not government regulations. Kurt Schlichter wrote, “Yet they still expect the same laissez-faire treatment as any other business even as they try to gut us politically. They discriminate against conservatives,” and they should get exactly that, as should their competitors. He adds, “See, what leftists do not get is that principles are part of systems,” which is why they should be easily competed against as they offer a less and less diverse product.


Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach


Kurt Schlichter then uses the argument of, “the period after feminism demanded total female social equality with men, but men still generally picked up the check. That imbalance cannot persist forever; eventually the people on the other side feel like suckers, so they stop playing by the old rules. That’s when the new rules arise,” which is exactly the solution here. The new rules need to be social and in competition and not in rules put in place by government. Then Kurt Schlichter takes a sharp turn back to having the government intervene with, “And that’s why conservatives now need to savagely regulate companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. We need to use our political power in Congress and red state legislatures to incentivize Silicon Valley to return to a system where its companies embrace political and cultural neutrality, or suffer crippling consequences.” That is wrong, wrong, and so very wrong. Then he admits the problem with his argument but stands on it again, with, “Yeah, I know that heavily regulating private businesses is not “free enterprise,” but I don’t care.” Additionally, I just feel like letting him make the argument and then refuse to demand we simply compete stating, “they didn’t keep their part of it, and I see no moral obligation for us to be played for saps and forgo using our political power to protect our interests in the face of them using theirs to disembowel us. I liked the old rules better – a free enterprise system confers huge benefits – but it was the left that chose to nuke them.” And then we get, “Well, size matters, and Silicon Valley’s giants are just too darn big. Time to chop them up like old Ma Bell. Let’s apply the antitrust laws that were made for taming just these types of octopod monopolies.” Ma Bell is a false flag as there were companies attempting to compete with them but the government granted Bell a virtual monopoly. While despite the government using the Silicon Valley services, they are not granted a monopoly and there is no prevention of competitors to step up to the plate and go for the big one, the home run of toppling one of these companies with a better product.


Closing, Kurt Schlichter makes recommendations including, “So how about the Algorithm Transparency Act, a law that bans these big Internet companies from putting their fingers on the scale of discourse and requires them to make available online all of their operating algorithms? Yep, that would give competitors a peek at their intellectual property, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for transparency.” I do agree with his last line which reads, “Like I always say, you’re going to hate the new rules.” True, we would hate any new rules as we would rather there be less rules. Our argument for such things will always be competition, competition, competition. As far as making their algorithm opened up to competitors, no. Once there are competitors who come up with competing algorithms such a law would become a double bladed sword and counterproductive as their algorithm would be their advantage. We are sorry Kurt Schlichter but we have to claim that the proper answer is to out compete by giving the people an honestly fair and even product which simply provides the best answers regardless of the political slant and allow Silicon Valley to go as far left as the Democrats and become unusable by the average American or the people of the world, we need remember that competition on the Internet are international so really the competitors could set up on the Riviera or even in Israel where the talent for such a start-up is plentiful.


Beyond the Cusp


February 4, 2012

Abortion and Contraceptive Ruling and You

First things first, this week saw a decision coming down from the White House that with the new healthcare regulations make it such that the only places of employment which may opt out of offering such coverage to their employees are those which are strictly of a religious nature. This means that Catholic and other Churches, and similar places of worship whose religion forbids the use of such drugs or services will have to choose between obeying this ruling or obeying their religious decrees. But, those religious run institutions such as hospitals, health clinics and others which employ people of differing faiths or serve people of differing faiths will be required under the new health regulations to provide coverage for abortion and contraception based drugs and other procedures. The Catholic Church has decided they will refuse to abide by these rules and will do all within their power to oppose these regulations. So, how could this affect you who are not Catholic or hold the belief that abortion and contraceptive practices are a sin?


Well, there is an easy way for the Catholic institutions to get around these regulations. All they would need to do is pursue a simple policy of employing only other Catholics and offer services solely to other Catholics. Now, imagine if the Catholic Hospital system is forced to only employ and treat other Catholics in order to not become forced to offer and perform abortive and contraceptive services? What happens to those towns where the only major hospital and health systems are part of the Catholic healthcare systems? Would you be ready to have such a restriction to all of a sudden become enforced in your town, city, or where ever you live? Where I live the entire area would suddenly find themselves without a major hospital within hundreds of miles from a fairly good size city and metropolitan area. OK, so I don’t live in Los Angeles, New York, Boston but there are at least 900,000 served by the two Catholic Hospital systems which make up virtually the entire healthcare systems in the area. I have suspicions that a fair number of those people are not Catholics which means, if worst comes to worst, the majority of the population would either need to convert or travel hundreds of miles to receive hospital care.


But the question is why would the Obama Administration choose to force this confrontation? Is the President that tone deaf that he does not realize that the Administration will be cast as the bad guys and the Catholic Church will actually be the injured side and receive the sympathies of the vast majority of people. Of course, I could be wrong and the President may receive the majority of support and win the battle for the public’s sympathies. Even so, the President would have to realize that this is opening up a can of worms for no real gain and a likely defeat once this goes through the courts. For the life of me, I cannot figure what would drive the President, even should he have a tin ear when it comes to the ardently religious, to choose to confront the Catholic Church. I fully understand that the Catholic Church does not have the best of reputations outside of the faithful, but when blindsided with such a needless and senseless attack, this would actually make them a sympathetic victim of unfair oppression.


What can I add? Obviously, I am confused and completely bewildered by this ambush of the Catholic Church and any other religious groups who will also be affected by this ruling. There was no real need to force this issue, yet push the issue President Obama has chosen. Normally, supporting the Catholic Church in anything is not something that would ever enter my life, so, I might just be the perfect example of the average unaffected person. Well, as is obvious, this person who has no real ties to the Catholic Church beyond having spent some life-saving urgent times under their hospital care, and I am actually animated and put out. The Catholic Church can count on one ally in this fight right here at BTC. I hope that many others will also take the side of preserving and protecting religion which in this case is the Catholic Church which has had their religious principles challenged by the long overextended arm of Government.


Beyond the Cusp


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