Category Archives: News

Jim Jones, Cult Leader and Wannabe Kingmaker

The 35th anniversary of the deaths of the People Temple cult, led by preacher Jim Jones, passed uneventfully on November 18th.  The mass suicide of 909 cult members took place at the cult compound in Jonestown, Guyana at Jones’ direction.

President Obama’s controversial new White House counselor, John Podesta, reminded everyone of the episode earlier this month when he characterized the conservative members of the House of Representatives as “a cult worthy of Jonestown”, an excess which impelled him later to apoligize to Speaker John Boehner.

John Fund was moved to write this on National Review Online:

I was living in San Francisco during the period when Jim Jones was a Democratic power broker, known for his ability to deliver thousands of votes.  I recall that in 1976, Assemblyman Willie Brown, later the longtime speaker of that body, compared Jones to Martin Luther King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein, and Chairman Mao in an introduction.


Jones basked in the glow of praise his People’s Temple garnered from gullible politicians, and San Francisco mayor George Moscone, later tragically assassinated in 1978, even appointed him to San Francisco’s housing commission.  Jones had been responsible for an incredible vote-harvesting operation that may have made the difference in Moscone’s narrow 4,000-vote victory over conservative John Barbagelata in 1975.

As many readers may remember, Mayor Moscone was shot to death by Dan White, along with “community organizer” Harvey Milk.

The full article is HERE.

And Speaking Of Unions

It continues to look as if the reforms wrought by Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker are having a positive effect.  Wisconsin’s free-market MacIver Institute reports that, in the recent annual union re-certification elections, mandated by Walker’s reforms, “Workers rejected over 70 of 408 school district unions …”.   The full article is HERE.

Union Boring In On Amazon

I confess, I like Amazon, I pay the annual fee for the Prime membership, and I find myself ordering more and more stuff from them as the years go by, partially because of the low pricing, and partially because it helps me avoid the hassle and costs associated with driving around to shop at the brick and mortar stores.  Today, the well-known economics blogger Megan McArdle has up a good article explaining why the union, in this case the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), are concentrating their current efforts on unionizing the Amazon workers at the company’s warehouse operation in Delaware.  Delaware, of course, is not a right-to-work state, which begs the question of why Amazon chose to locate their operation there in the first place, especially since nearby Virginia is a RTW state.

The MAC-LAC Teleconference

MillPondPost_LogoThe latest noteworthy development in the continuing controversy over Torch Energy’s proposed Mill Pond wind turbine farm was the teleconference meeting earlier in the week of Governor McCrory’s Military Affairs Commission (MAC) with the General Assembly’s Legislative Affairs Committee (LAC).  The Military Affairs Commission was established earlier this fall, on August 1st, with the goal of making North Carolina the “most military friendly state in the country”.

The MAC-LAC teleconference covered a number of agenda topics, with pending wind farm legislation being among them.  John Droz was on the line, presenting the numerous concerns of the Carteret County citizenry, with a focus on the military aspects and the implications for Cherry Point in particular.  In addition to John Droz, several elected officials spoke in opposition to the proposed project, including Senator Norman Sanderson, Representative Pat McElraft, Carteret County Commissioner Robin Comer, and US Representative G. K. Butterfield (Democrat, 1st District).

The next meeting of the MAC is scheduled for Tuesday, February 18, 2014.

Energy From Algae — The New Foo Fighters

Douglas Elliott, a spokesman for the DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL, located in Richland, WA) has announced a new and more efficient process for converting algae into petroleum products.  Algae fuel research has been going on for years, but the processes developed to date have been inordinately expensive, mainly because the algae had to be thoroughly dried before the ensuing steps began, and because expensive chemicals were used, particularly hexane solvents.  Additionally, the former processes were all batch processes, which made for too much down-time.

The new procedure yields a continuous flow of viscous crude oil liquid that can be further processed into gasoline, diesel fuel, and other consumables.  The by-products are water containing  nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium — the key nutrients for growing more algae with which to continue the process.

From the announcement:

PNNL scientists and engineers simplified the production of crude oil from algae by combining several chemical steps into one continuous process.  The most important cost-saving step is that the process works with wet algae.

“Not having to dry the algae is a big win in this process; that cuts the cost a great deal,” said Elliott.  “Then there are bonuses, like being able to extract usable gas from the water and then recycle the remaining water and nutrients to help grow more algae, which further reduces costs.”

the PNNL team works with the whole algae, subjecting it to very hot water under high pressure to tear apart the substance, converting most of the biomass into liquid and gas fuels.  The system runs at around 350 degrees Celsius (662 degrees Fahrenheit) at a pressure of around 3,000 PSI, combining processes known as hydrothermal liquefaction and catalytic hydrothermal gasification.

For the entire article, go HERE.

Massachusetts Cops Confiscate "ObamaCare Heroin"?


This is bizarre.  The image above this post was taken by the Massachusetts State Police officer who, in the course of a traffic stop, discovered over a thousand bags of heroin, packed in baggies suitable for street distribution.  As can be seen in the image, many of the bags were labeled “ObamaCare”.  The article does not contain much more information, but I think we may hear more of this.

Mill Pond Matters at the County Commissioners Meeting

MillPondPost_LogoThe only news relating to the “Mill Pond” wind energy project that transpired at tonight’s regular meeting of the County Commissioners was a decision to hold another Special Commissioners meeting on January 2nd in the Morehead City Civic Center at 6pm to hear public comments on the suggestion to enact a 60-day moratorium on the issuance of any permits for wind energy facilities in the County.  The purpose of such a moratorium would be to give the Commissioners time to review and possibly revise the existing ordinance governing these types of facilities.

CtyCommissioners_16Dec2013Another development was the election of a new Chairman, which takes place annually at the December meeting.  Tonight, Commissioner Jonathan Robinson was elected to take over from Greg Lewis, the current Chairman.  Commissioner Robin Comer was elected to assume the position of Vice-Chairman.

Left to right, in the above photo, are Commissioners Terry Frank, Elaine Crittenton, Greg Lewis, Jonathan Robinson (Chairman), Robin Comer, Jimmy Farrington, and Bill Smith.

County Commissioners Deliberate TSO Moratorium


Tonight at 6pm the Carteret County Commissioners hold their regular monthly meeting in Beaufort.  Among the items on the agenda, I am told, is the election of a new Chairman, and, in what seems to be a process that is being deliberately “slow-walked”, a vote on establishing a two-month moratorium on permit issuances for any wind turbine farms in the county while the Commissioners and other elected representatives ponder the ponderables.  So, be there or be square.

A Greater Saudi Involvement in the 9/11 Attacks?

Paul Sperry, a Hoover Institution Fellow, writes today in the New York Post about the resolution being proposed by Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) to have declassification and release of the full 2002 Congressional investigative report of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and other sites.  Both congressmen have recently read some previously redacted portions that they found shocking, particular as it relates to the involvement of the Saudi Arabians.

The full article is HERE, and is very much worth reading.

Keeping Up With The Ongoing IRS Scandal

For the information of readers interested in the subject, there is no one out there that has done and is doing a more diligent job of keeping up with the day-to-day unfolding of the IRS Scandal than Paul Caron, a Pepperdine University Law Professor who blogs as the “TaxProf”.  To peruse his extensive collection, click HERE.

Why, Who Could Have Known This Would Happen?

Almost everybody, that’s who.

The Fuqua School Of Business at Duke University has released the results of a new survey of business leaders and CFOs.  Two key paragraphs:

“… An unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act will be a reduction in full-time employment growth in the United States.  Companies plan to increase full-time employment by 1.4 percent in 2014, a rate of growth which is down from last quarter and unlikely to put a dent in the unemployment rate.  CFOs indicate that full-time employment growth would be stronger in the absence of the ACA.”

“I doubt the advocates of this legislation would have foretold the negative impact on employment,” said Campbell R. Harvey, a professor of finance at Fuqua and a founding director of the survey.  “The impact on the real economy is startling.  Nearly one-third of firms may either terminate employees or hire fewer people in the future as a direct result of ACA.”

The full release, in PDF form, is HERE.

Politico: Senate Poised To Pass Budget

As reported this morning by Manu Raju and Burgess Everett:

Senate Democrats are on the cusp of securing enough GOP votes to break a filibuster next week on the bipartisan budget, temporarily ending the fiscal crises that have dominated Washington for the past several years.

With 53 Democrats and two independents expected to back the measure, four Republicans — John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Richard Burr of North Carolina — said that they would vote to cut off debate on the budget, putting proponents just one vote shy of advancing the measure to final passage.

Entire article is HERE.

The Incoherent Obama/Kerry Policy On Syria

A few days ago (Dec-9th) I posted about journalist Seymour Hersh’s accusations regarding the Syrian intelligence that the Obama administration presented to the public to justify their plans for military intervention there.  Now, Max Boot has a short piece up at the online Commentary Magazine about our current policy failures on Syria:

That sound you hear is President Obama’s Syria policy shattering into a million pieces.  The latest sign of the ongoing catastrophe is the administration’s decision to suspend nonlethal aid to the mainstream Syrian resistance after fighters from the Islamic Front seized warehouses in northern Syria belonging to the Supreme Military Council, as the moderate rebel faction is known.  The head of the council’s military wing, General Salim Idris, had to beat a hasty retreat to Turkey and Qatar.

That the non-Islamist opposition is collapsing is utterly predictable given the administration’s hesitancy to provide it with more backing.  The Islamic radicals are the obvious winners on the rebel side, while Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds Force grow stronger on the other end.

Yet somehow the administration, and in particular Secretary of State John Kerry, is still hoping to cobble together a Syria peace conference on January 22 in Switzerland.  How, one wonders, is a deal going to be reached between an increasingly powerless and disjointed moderate opposition and a Syrian president who is growing increasingly confident in his ability to hold onto power?

This is so crazy that it makes you wonder whether the administration policy is on the level.  Is it a total coincidence that Obama is trying to reach a deal with Iran and at the same time he is suspending aid to the Syria rebels fighting an Iranian-backed regime in Damascus?  Is there perhaps a quid pro quo involved here?

That may, however, be giving the administration more credit than it deserves for strategic thinking.  The Occam’s Razor explanation here is that the administration has simply been incompetent and incoherent when it comes to Syria.  The costs of its policy failures are, unfortunately, being paid by the poor Syrian people: more than 100,000 have already died and more are dying all the time.  The war shows little sign of ending, and as it goes on extremists grow stronger, to the detriment of the U.S. and its moderate allies in the region.

Yep.  I opt for Occam’s Razor every time.

Really? A Vaccine To Prevent PTSD?

Molly Line of Fox News’ Washington, DC affiliate reports, via Drudge, on a heartening new development in the prevention and/or treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

“What it’s going to do is that they’ll still have perfectly strong memories of the event.  They just won’t have the bad health consequences,” said Ki Goosens, an assistant professor of neuroscience with the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

Read the full article HERE.

Thom Tillis Speaks In Favor Of NC Immigration Reform

When the NC General Assembly meets in short session, as they will next spring, it is mostly about “housekeeping” matters and rarely takes up any legislation that is controversial and may therefore prove to be time consuming.  However, when NC House Speaker Thom Tillis appeared before the annual meeting of the NC Farm Bureau earlier this week, he told them that the session should focus on, among other things, immigration reform.  According to the report by the N&O:

Tillis invited Farm Bureau members to “give us some ideas of more things we need to do around immigration policy and help me communicate across this state why effective immigration policy is so critical and so important to this industry.”

He added, according to Democrats who tracked his remarks: “You all know what we need to do. … You go out there and talk about it. Start talking about smart immigration reform. You’re going to help us get out there and actually get it done.”

For the full article, click HERE.

Special County Commissioners Meeting on the TSO

MillPondPost_LogoThe Carteret County Commissioners are holding a special meeting at 10am this Friday (12/13/2013) to consider amendments to the county’s Tall Structures Ordinance.  The meeting will take place at the usual venue, which is on the 2nd floor of the newest county office building in Beaufort, and the public is welcome.

The commissioners’ deliberations on potential modifications to this ordinance come in the wake of interest by Torch Energy of Houston, TX in locating a large wind turbine farm (about 50 turbines) on about 7000 acres of Weyerhaueser land just north of Morehead City and just east of Newport.

For more background information on this project, and on wind energy:

A condensed version from local physicist John Droz of some modifications that the Commissioners will likely consider on Friday is HERE.

The extensive slide presentation on Torch Energy’s proposed “Mill Pond” project, also authored by John Droz, is HERE.

Another Lie "Seared" Into His Memory

In the early spring of 2003, Glenn Kessler was a diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post, and was closely covering the ongoing negotiations between the GWB administration and Iran over the latter’s nuclear ambitions.  He has up a detailed analysis and, surprise, a refutation of Secretary Of State John Kerry’s recent allegation that the GWB administration muffed an opportunity for a genuine deal with the Mullahs.  The entire WaPo article is HERE.

We Must Not Split Our Vote Next May

On the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots’ (CCTPP) Facebook page, Ken Lang posts a link to THIS article in the Charlotte Observer on the Republican candidates vying to be Kay Hagan’s opponent next fall for her US Senate seat.  The CCTPP views Greg Brannon as the most conservative of the candidates who have been in the race for a while, but one thing is becoming clear.  Conservatives need to avoid splitting their votes, because that will ensure the election of Tillis, the non-conservative.  The primary is next May, so it will soon be time to choose.

Another Truffle From The ObamaCare Quagmire


This one I have not heard before.  On the Megyn Kelly show last night, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a practicing physician and former Senior Policy Advisor for the DHHS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS), exposed another of the nuggets that Nancy Pelosi said we could discover only after we passed the ACA.  Dr. Gottlieb has examined the details of the Bronze, Gold, and Platinum plans offered through the exchanges in many states, and as he put it, in some states those who buy insurance cannot “buy up” their benefits.  By that he means that, even if the buyer pays a higher premium in order to get the Gold or Platinum plans, they will only get lower co-pays and lower deductibles, but no better selection of doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers.  In other words, their increased premiums will just go toward pre-paying their deductibles, not toward better health care.

Renee Ellmers Is Getting Primaried

Based on THIS October article from the McClatchy newspaper group, it looks as though 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers of Dunn may be seen by GOP moderates as a possible convert to the cause of “comprehensive immigration reform”.  If so, that could be one of the reasons that she has recently attracted THIS primary challenge from Frank Roche.

Bush Lied, People Died, Kerry Cried, Obama Denied

Remember when Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States had proof that the nerve-gas attacks on the Syrian rebel forces was made on Assad’s orders?   Remember when President Obama went on national television and said “We know the Assad regime was responsible”, and that this discovery was what pushed him over the “red line” in considering military intervention?   Well, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh is now alleging that Kerry and the President “cherry-picked intelligence” to justify their plans for intervention in Syria.

Hold on, wasn’t that essentially what President George W. Bush was accused of in Iraq?

Anyhoo, the entire article is HERE.

The Pending Farm Bill

A reconciliation committee is trying to reach a compromise recommendation to send out to the full House and Senate by December 13th, when Congress is scheduled to adjourn for the Christmas holidays.  If both chambers of Congress cannot pass a bill to send to President Obama’s desk, a 1949 version will effectively become the law of the land.

The big hang up is food stamps, currently referred to as the SNAP program.  The Senate passed a $955 billion five-year bill in June (with bipartisan support) that cut $4 billion from SNAP.  The House of Representatives passed legislation that reduced SNAP by $39 billion.

The cuts approved by the House would affect an estimated 165,000 people in North Carolina between the ages of 18 and 50, and according to Larry Wooten, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau, it’s the difference in the amounts of cuts between the House and Senate versions that have “held the farm bill hostage”.

More HERE, from the News-&-Observer.

Rocky Mountain High — The New Twist

If you’re not from Colorado, Washington, California, or Oregon, odds are you’re not familiar with dabbing.  That’s because it’s most popular in the states with the loosest marijuana laws.  Producing dabs — the technical term is “butane hash oil” — is a fairly complex process.  The short version is that you extract resins from marijuana with liquid butane, then evaporate the butane to leave behind a highly concentrated form of THC.

Much more, HERE.

Rebecca Tallent — Another Slant on Boehner's New Hire

Andrew Stiles, writing at the online National Review, has up a new piece on John Boehner’s recent hiring of Rebecca Tallent as his new staff point-man on immigration reform.  I posted on this three days ago, but Stiles thinks that her recent gig is even more telling than the time she spent working with Senator John McCain and Senator Ted Kennedy on the immigration push back in 2006 and 2007.

Paul Ryan Is Doing What?

This can’t be true.  Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute is reporting that Paul Ryan, the man whom I thought might be the guy to inherit the mantel of Jack Kemp, is now flirting with the idea of allying himself with those Democrats who are “willing to give away the sequester’s real and meaningful spending restraint …”.  Oh, say it ain’t so, Paul.

Health Care Providers Taking It On The Chin Again

Michelle Malkin has up a new post entitled “Obamacare’s Perilous Protection Plan For Debtors”, about how doctors and hospitals are again getting stiffed, this time as a result of the ACA’s 90-day grace period.  A key bit:

The Affordable Care Act created a 90-day grace period before insurers can drop patients who fall behind on premiums.  So, delinquents who obtain tax-subsidized health insurance through an Obamacare health insurance exchange have three months to settle up their bills prior to their policy being canceled.  As written, the law puts insurers on the hook for the grace period.

But the bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decided to issue a rule …

The full article is HERE.