The Whole Climate Story

By Alex Bugaeff

(This article was originally published by

  • Introduction
  • Factors That Affect Earth’s Climate – Sun, Oceans, Earth’s Crust, Cosmos, Time
  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Is the Globe Warming?
  • Do Sea Levels Indicate Global Warming?
  • How Accurate Are Global Temperature Readings?
  • Human Error and Intention
  • Can Science Ever Be Settled?
  • Conclusion



The earth’s climate changes naturally and always has. Yet, the proponents of global warming insist that changes in the earth’s climate are instead caused by mankind and that these changes will doom civilization unless something is done. They blame the burning of fossil fuels and they want to tax it to fund their political schemes.

This paper uncovers the climate change agenda. It shows that the climate changes naturally and by small increments (with the exception of catastrophic events such as volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts). It shows that the greenhouse gases named as the culprit for change are naturally as well as artificially produced and that they have relatively little effect on climate.

Climate consists of long term patterns of weather and atmosphere. The morning weather forecast is not climate, although it is born of it. To be considered climate, a pattern must persist over decades, at least, and more properly over centuries and millennia. It must be shown to demonstrate consistent attributes of temperature, wind, precipitation, humidity, and the like.

The last Ice Age was a climate pattern that ended at about 12,000 BC. During the Ice Age, much of North America was covered with glaciers. Since then, we have been in a warming period called the Holocene Interglacial (between glacial periods). Glaciers have receded, making the northern hemisphere habitable. During that time, we have had periods of relative warming (e.g. the Medieval Warm 950 to 1250) and cooling (e.g. the Maunder Minimum or Mini Ice Age 1645 to 1720).

These dramatic temperature and climate changes are caused by a complex group of factors, primarily solar activity, cosmic radiation, ocean currents, the earth’s crust, the earth’s magnetic field, and earth’s rotation and orbit. These factors have had massive impacts on the earth’s climate long before mankind’s activities. More about them later.

“Greenhouse gases” have only recently been cited as having an influence on climate. These gases consist of methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and miscellaneous other gases. Such gases occur naturally and have for eons.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been accused as the major cause of climate change in the modern age despite its being only 4/10,000ths of the total gaseous volume in the atmosphere – the equivalent of a shoebox of air in your house. The claim is that, since the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen since the earth exited from the Mini Ice Age 300 years ago, it must be guilty of warming.

The Factors that Affect the Earth’s Climate

The sun sends energy through space and impacts the earth, producing heat, wind and rain. Additional solar events intensify its effect, primarily in the form of sun spots, solar flares and other surface upheavals. The sun is the single most important factor influencing the earth’s climate. Recently, there have been few to no solar events, perhaps a forecast for a period of cooler temperatures.

Oceanic activity influences climate through two phenomena. First are Atlantic and Pacific Oscillations. Every ten to 30 years, the cold waters at lower depths tend to circulate to the surface in massive currents that force the warmer waters toward the bottom. These oscillations have a cooling effect on temperatures and other climatic elements.

Second are El Nino and La Nina – two periodic Pacific Ocean phenomena. El Nino appears when west-to-east winds predominate near the equator and drive warm surface waters toward the west coasts of North and South America. During El Nino, rain and storms increase in the western hemisphere. La Nina is the opposite – when equatorial winds predominate from east-to-west, they drive warm surface waters away from the western hemisphere, reducing rain and storms there and increasing them in the western Pacific. These phenomena typically last from six to eighteen months.

Changes in the earth’s magnetic field and its orbit appear to impact temperatures in the earth’s atmosphere more than on the surface. According to Dr. Ingrid Crossen of the British Antarctic Survey, changes in the earth’s magnetic field have resulted in cooling in northern atmospheres and warming in southern atmospheres.

Cosmic radiation in the form of gamma rays and other galactic bursts of energy has a periodic association with the earth’s climate, but a causal relationship has not been established. The strongest association appears to be that gamma rays tend to increase clouds, thus increasing rain and reducing temperatures.

As alluded to earlier, historic climate periods have been irresistible factors or trends in the earth’s climate. It is difficult to imagine that anything could have reversed the Ice Age, the Eemian and Holocene Interglacials, the Medieval Warm, or the Maunder Minimum. The complexity of the factors causing them is overwhelming. We are fortunate to live during the Holocene with its moderate climate features.

Greenhouse Gases

The so-called “greenhouse” gases (really just “atmospheric” gases) – methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and miscellaneous other gases – have been portrayed as hovering in layers above the earth’s surface, blocking solar energy from reaching us and warm air from escaping.

To some extent, this picture has validity. We need greenhouse gases to reflect excess energy back into space and to keep needed warmth from escaping the planet. Without greenhouse gases, life on earth would be very different, if not impossible.

The question is, “To what degree do greenhouse gases determine climate?” Consider the other factors – solar activity, ocean activity, activity of the earth (volcanos, quakes, magnetic fields, and orbits), cosmic rays, and historic climate periodicity – and we must conclude that greenhouse gases together play a role, but a small one.

Now, look more closely at CO2. As mentioned, CO2 consists of only 4/10,000ths of the atmosphere, or as it is cited in the reports, 400 parts per million (ppm), and its volume varies according to the seasons. It results from natural processes, such as the breathing and flatulence of the entire animal kingdom, and from artificial processes, such as the burning of fossil fuels.

Today’s CO2 level is low by historical standards. Ice core measurements indicate that CO2 has been as high as 3,000 ppm. While it is true that CO2 is increasing, it is doing so at an extremely slow rate. Here is the link to NASA/NOAA’s data posting where you can see the actual figures in real time.

What does CO2 do? How is it supposed to effect climate? Consider first that CO2 does not hover over the earth in a layer any more than the other gases do. It diffuses evenly throughout the atmosphere making it available as food for plant life and for absorption by the oceans. Beyond that, the direct effect of CO2 on climate is uncertain – it absorbs solar energy and releases it back to the surface and into space. There is only an inferential relationship between the amount of CO2 and reported temperatures. “A Primer on Carbon Dioxide and Climate,” CO2 Coalition, Arlington, VA, 2017. And,

And, we must recognize that with world population increasing, we will need more food to feed them -mostly plant food. Since plants require CO2 to grow, more plants will need more CO2, not less. “What Rising CO2 Means for Global Food Security,” CO2 Coalition, Arlington, VA, 2017.

Is the Globe Warming?

Periods of Earth warming and cooling occur in cycles. This is well understood, as is the fact that small-scale cycles of about 40 years exist within larger-scale cycles of 400 years, which in turn exist inside still larger scale cycles of 20,000 years, and so on.”

Believers in climate change as a menace contend that the globe is warming, that it is warming at an alarming rate, and that the greenhouse gas, CO2, is to blame. But, is the globe warming? We must first look to the history of the earth’s temperatures.

There have been periods in long-term history when global temperatures were higher than they are today. If technological ice core readings are any measure, the Eemian Interglacial period (140,000 to 120,000 years ago) temperatures were significantly higher. During the Medieval Warm, the melting of glaciers over Greenland allowed the populating and farming of that island, hence the name. Even during the so-called Industrial period, temperatures during the mid-1930’s were higher than at present.

Do Sea Levels Indicate Global Warming?

Sea levels have risen and fallen naturally over time with the arrival and departure of cold and warm periods. During glacial periods, sea levels were some 500 feet below their current levels. The Bering Land Bridge was exposed as a result of glaciation and people and animals crossed it from the Asian land mass to North America.

Since 1850, sea levels have been rising at the overall rate of about a half inch per year. These rates are affected primarily by the following: changes in the earth’s crust (mostly volcanic, tectonic plate and earthquake activity), by subsidence of lowland and unstable substrates, such as in Venice, Italy and in Atlantic Ocean barrier islands, by built-upon landfills, such as the San Francisco International Airport and the Manhattan Battery, and by glacial melting and growth (of Arctic and Antarctic glaciers). Sea levels can appear to rise because coast lands sink.

Dr. Judith Curry, PhD, Department Chair of Earth and Atmospheric Science, Emeritus, Georgia Tech University, estimates that at their current rate, sea levels will rise about 30 inches by the year 2100. She calculates that about half that increase can be attributed to global warming.

So, is the globe warming? Not, it appears, because of increases in CO2 or other greenhouse gases. In addition to the natural highs and lows of previous eras, during the 1970’s and 1980’s there were claims that global cooling was taking place instead and that IT was a threat to civilization. Greenhouses gases were accused of cooling the earth, just as they are now accused of warming it. So, temperatures go up and down, but are the temperatures actually as they are claimed to be?

How Accurate Are Global Temperature Readings?

We should not assume that the temperatures reported, even by NASA, are accurate.

The earth’s temperatures are measured primarily using surface and satellite devices. Historically, surface devices consisted of thermometers housed in ventilated boxes set on waist-high stilts – “Stevenson Screens.” Starting in the 1890’s, approximately 11,000 such devices were set around the globe, most in the northern hemisphere, and were monitored by US and British laboratories. Many of these locations were in “urban heat islands” – places where heat builds up and is stored in asphalt streets and concrete buildings, thereby giving false high readings on the thermometers placed there.

Then, in 1985 big changes were begun: Stevenson Screens were replaced by a supposedly more accurate device – the Platinum Resistance Thermometer – and the number of surface stations was reduced to approximately 6,500. Also, thermometer devices were housed in buoys and were set afloat on the oceans to measure air temperatures over the seas. They have been free to drift with the currents from the beginning, raising the question of where the readings are being taken. And, all of this has introduced the question of data reliability.

From space, satellites have been “measuring” global temperatures since about 1979, but they don’t actually measure air temperature. Instead, satellites measure the radiance of earth’s features through radiometry – radio waves emitted by water, rock, soil, and the like. Air temperatures are then inferred through comparisons with trends in surface readings, as described above. That is, mathematical formulas are used to derive trends in atmospheric temperatures from the thermometer readings on the earth’s surface.

Since direct measurement of temperatures is so inconsistent, researchers have taken to applying mathematics and statistics to its analysis. If observed results stray from the expected outcomes, these researchers “adjust” the data. If the difference is too great, they may “reconstruct” past data (reduce it) so that the current data looks warmer. As Carlin, et al found, “…each new version of GAST (Global Average Surface Temperature) has nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire history. And, it was nearly always accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern. This was true for all three entities providing GAST data measurement, NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU (Jones, IPCC).”

The sum total of the temperature accuracy question is that we cannot be sure that temperature reports are accurate or stable. The temperature devices or methods themselves, our inability to compare “apples to apples” over time because of the changes to them, and the error introduced through mathematical and other inferences cannot be relied upon to be as precise as claimed. Then, we have the issue of how the scientists’ “goals” factor in? How is human error introduced into the process?

Human Error and Intention

Climate change has been made into a “Cause” by proponents who seize it to advance their interests. Vast sums of money have been offered and expended in its research and promotion. Former US Senator Al Gore has turned it into a lucrative career for himself and his followers. Enormous research grants have been dangled in front of university faculties in return for findings of global warming.

Dr. Judith Curry, PhD and Chair, Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Science Emeritus, Georgia Tech University, reports that grants became awarded only to those who would find evidence of warming – “Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment…” she said.

Al Gore aside, the current push to use global warming as a political tool probably began with Philip (Phil) Jones, an English academic associated with the UK’s East Anglia University. Jones received his PhD in Hydrology (the study of the movement, distribution and quality of water on the Earth) in 1977 and began in 1979 as a Research Associate with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, advancing to Professor in 1998.

Phil Jones was a leader in the founding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by the United Nations in 1988. He and other researchers published a series of reports which purported to prove that the globe is warming at the “alarming” rate of 1.5 degrees or so by 2100. They did this by formulating mathematical models that used CO2 as the factor by which warming was predicted. They blamed the burning of fossil fuels for the higher CO2 amounts while ignoring natural sources of it. And then, they proclaimed that this warming would be catastrophic.

The IPCC ignited controversy when it refused to release either their data or their models for analysis by outside scientists. They finally shared their data, but refused to release the mathematical models by which they analyzed it.

Using the IPCC findings, Al Gore and other warming proponents promoted policies to reduce global warming through a tax scheme he called “Cap and Trade.” Under it, corporations would pay taxes on the carbon that their businesses emitted. Gore and his adherents continue to insist that the earth is warming, that mankind is to blame and that their tax programs are the solution.

Al Gore famously cited a survey that 97% of scientists agree on the warming “theory” and that the science of warming is “settled.” He overlooked that the cited survey consisted of about 120 respondents (compared with 31,000 scientists who oppose it), that the IPCC mathematics have been withheld from scrutiny and that the Scientific Method never accepts that findings are “settled” anyway (see below).

Eventually, the data collected by the IPCC researchers began to show the truth – CO2 is a poor predictor of global temperatures. But, now there was too much at stake – money, power and fame. To maintain the illusion of infallibility, Jones and the IPCC falsified their data and conspired with NASA and NOAA among others to keep it quiet, but it came out anyway and was dubbed “Climategate.” Headlines, such as “NOAA Data Tampering,” and “Stunning Statistical Fraud,” abounded.

In an attempt to salvage what they could, IPCC issued reports and assessments that revised their methods, data and standards without admitting anything. . It remains to be seen whether these changes will result in submission of peer reviewed data and conformity to the Scientific Method. Phil Jones has “retired.”

Can Science Ever Be “Settled?”

The discoveries of science since the Greeks have come primarily by virtue of the Scientific Method. It’s simple, really. You surmise that some phenomenon of the natural world might be true and you make a statement proposing it – the Hypothesis. You Test your Hypothesis using accepted procedures. The Test results either support your Hypothesis or they do not. Then, you publish your Hypothesis, Tests and results so that other scientists can replicate your Tests (peer review). Their results may support your Hypothesis or not.

The more that Tests by others support your Hypothesis, the more confidence you can have that your Hypothesis is reliable. But, it can never be “proven.” Someday, a new or better test may be found that fails to support your Hypothesis. That’s the nature of scientific inquiry. It can never be “settled” and must never be. Otherwise, the Earth would still be “flat.”

CO2-caused climate change is not settled science. Just the complexity of climate and the inability to replicate findings in order to test them makes it impossible. Corruption further compromises any findings. Scientific procedures can be used to track climate and elements, but fine distinctions of a degree or so are speculative.


Climate and temperatures will fluctuate naturally, as they have for all of earth’s existence. The factors affecting them are out of the hands of mankind, except for those greenhouse gases over which we have some control, and they play only a relatively small role. It may be just as likely that we are cooling as that we are warming.

Considering all these factors, their variability and the difficulty of measuring them, it is not possible nor is it advisable for scientists and mathematicians to claim that their mathematical models should be the basis for investing monumental sums of money in a scheme that may be exactly the wrong thing. The findings and dire warnings of global warming proponents must be regarded as unfounded or even, as some have said, a hoax.

Mankind should be a good steward of the planet and those of us who seek to do so should continue to pressure planet abusers, such as India and China, to improve. But, we should not bankrupt ourselves and our nation to assuage a false guilt perpetrated by politicians and corrupted scientists. We need to be smarter than that.

The Nam Legacy and the Liberalization of American Universities

How did our universities get so liberal? Some say 90% of faculties and more are Left Wing.

At one time, U.S. university faculties had their share of conservatives and moderates to go along with the liberals. And, there was a diversity of thought and a tolerance for the other side.

Enter the 1960’s and the War in Viet Nam. Back then, you could get a deferment from the Draft as long as you were in college.  Most young men who were opposed to the War happily went to college or stayed as long as they could in order to avoid military service.

As the War dragged on, those with deferments finished their undergraduate years and, once again, faced the Draft. Those still opposed to the War found a way out. The Draft regulations made doctoral degree study eligible for deferment, too. So, Draft avoiders applied to PhD programs, and universities, not wanting to consign them to possible death on the battlefield, accepted them with sometimes less than doctorate-worthy credentials.

Six years later, these schools began turning out PhDs in great numbers, many of whom (being draft avoiders) were far left thinkers. Chiswick, Larsen and Pieper (IZA, 2010) found that in 1972 alone, an additional 4,000 PhDs (12% increase) can be attributed to the War (in contrast, the Korean War resulted in a decrease of 2,700 PhDs – suggesting greater patriotism of college-age men of the time).

Then, those newly-minted PhDs needed jobs. Many shunned the corporate world and that left only one place for them – university faculties. The problem was that there were too few jobs at the best schools, so these newcomers took what jobs they could get in lesser known universities and state and community colleges throughout the country. And, they began to teach their liberal slant to students everywhere.

Young liberal professors formed increasing faculty majorities. They gained power as they were promoted to the highest ranks. It should not be surprising that they put together liberal courses and hired and promoted their own kind, thereby completing a “vicious circle” of left wing indoctrination.

Today, that first wave of liberal faculty is retiring. One might think that their impact on student attitudes is retiring with them, except that they have now instilled their leftist attitudes in the next generation of professors.

Whether or not the Left is successful in maintaining its stranglehold on American universities will likely be determined in the social struggles between government control and free market solutions. What is not in question is the legacy of draft deferment policy and the War in Viet Nam in growing and consolidating liberal social policy through higher education.


Roses In Early America

Some time ago, Mr.Stephen Scanniello, President of the Heritage Rose Foundation, made a presentation to the Connecticut Rose Society describing his efforts to re-introduce the roses of history to New York City by planting surviving varieties throughout Manhattan.  In the course of his talk, he recounted how Alexander Hamilton’s wife Elizabeth had included roses in the landscaping of their estate, The Grange, in upper Harlem around 1802.

That got me to thinking – we know that roses go back long before that in the rest of the world, but what about in the New World? As a student of early American history and author of two books on our nation’s founding, I was well aware of Hamilton, his wife Elizabeth and The Grange, but I did not know about their incorporation of roses into their landscape.  So, I did a little research.  Here is what I learned.

Roses have been grown in North America for longer than most of us imagine.  When the Jamestown settlers first landed on a Virginia beach, the Native Americans were already beautifying their villages with roses.  Captain John Smith reported seeing roses all around the Powhatan camps in his journal.  He did not report the varieties, their origins or whether they were used for medicinal or culinary purposes (perhaps he did not know), but going back at least to 1606 seems like heritage enough.

The Pilgrims planted roses at Plymouth Plantation starting in 1621. Their first governor, John Carver, reported in his journal that they planted “reds, whites and damasks.”  He did not say where they got the plants and there is no mention of roses on the bill of lading for the Mayflower.  We can only surmise that, knowing what we know about the Powhatan roses, the Pilgrims might have gotten them from the surrounding Native American tribes.

In 1699, on his return voyage from London, William Penn, founder of the Pennsylvania colony, brought “18 rose bushes.”  In addition to growing them on his property, he must have propagated them, because, starting in 1731 he used them in lieu of cash for payments of rent on land parcels he was occupying.  So, we know that they were held in high value in the colonies.  Being something of a botanist, Penn also made reference to them for their “beauty and medicinal properties” in his Book of Physics.

Benjamin Franklin, the earliest of the six major Founding Fathers (I call them “The Super Six” in my book, Pilgrims To Patriots) was renowned in the western world as a ground breaking scientist.  He proved that lightning is electricity.  He invented batteries, the wood stove and bifocal glasses.  You would think that he might have dabbled in the most popular plant of the day – the rose.  He did not.  At least, there is no evidence of it in his writings or records.

Neither did another of the Super Six – James Madison.  But, we can forgive him since he was fragile and sickly his whole life, despite having outlived all the rest, to the age of 85.  Nonetheless, with an estate of hundreds of acres in which he took great pride, it is hard to imagine that he did not have them, especially since his friends did, especially Thomas Jefferson.

We know Thomas Jefferson to have been a plantsman, botanist, farmer, and landscape designer.  His papers are replete with references to his growing of Gallica’s, “Sweetbriars” (likely what we know as Eglantines), and wild roses of unnamed varieties.

Jefferson placed an order with the William Prince Nursery of Flushing Landing, New York in 1791, as follows:  “Two ‘Roses of the Month’ (!!! Yes, the merchants of the day conducted marketing campaigns very much like ours!) – ‘Old Blush’, two China roses, and two Musks, ‘r. Moschata’.”  Not only do his papers contain the original of this order, but also the receipt, signed by him.

In a November 1, 1816 journal entry, Jefferson reported his planting of roses at his getaway retreat, Poplar Forest, thus:  “…(I) planted large roses of difft. kinds in the oval bed in the N. front, dwarf roses in the N.E. oval…”  There is no doubt that Jefferson was an avid rose grower, if not rosarian.

Nor can there be doubt about John Adams’ affinity for roses.  While there is no mention in his or Abigail’s papers of his growing roses on his various personal properties, we know that he ordered the first planting of roses on White House grounds in 1800.  So, despite claims that Ellen Wilson established the White House Rose Garden in 1913, or that maybe Edith Roosevelt did in 1902, it turns out that John Adams beat them to it by at least 100 years.

Was Steve Scanniello correct when he reported that Eliza Hamilton planted roses at The Grange?  He sure was.  From Alexander’s papers, we know that he was captivated by landscaping.  In planning for the construction of The Grange, Alexander sought direction from agricultural expert Richard Peters, from Thomas Jefferson himself, and from Dr. David Hosack, a professor of botany at Columbia College and founder of the botanical garden there.

Alexander visited the botanical garden frequently and got advice from Hosack on his landscape plan.  This culminated in Alexander’s specific directions for Eliza’s installation that included the front rotunda:  “…the space should be planted with wild roses…”  He didn’t specify the varieties, leaving that to Eliza, but we know from the pride he showed in the finished estate in 1802 that she chose and positioned them wisely.

That leaves the last of my Super Six, George Washington.  As with other aspects of his life, he is credited with much, but some must be assessed with what they call in the Navy “a weather eye.”

The history books report that Washington bred roses.  The most prominent reference is to the “Mary Washington” – a double, repeating white/near white/white blend Noisette that he is said to have named after his mother.  Here’s the problem:  George died in 1799; the Noisette is reported to have been first hybridized in 1810 (by John Champney of South Carolina).  Did Washington create a rose of another class that history now assigns to him as a Noisette?  Or, has a myth “grown” up around Washington’s obvious love of roses as a simple gardener?  You be the judge.  In any event, “Mary Washington” can still be bought as a direct descendant of that original plant with those same qualities, whoever bred it.

The beloved genus rosa, has been around a long time, longer in other parts of the world than in ours, but the history of the rose on our continent goes back plenty far – back into the dim recesses of Native American history, perhaps before Europeans arrived.  We may never know whether the rose made its way over the Bering Straits with the earliest peoples, or if it first came from the East over the Atlantic.  But, we do know that those who populated the New World treasured it from the beginning for its beauty, its medicinal and culinary qualities, and its toughness.  And, we are indebted to them for it.

Alex grows what roses he can in his shaded garden and is a Board member of the Connecticut Rose Society. He is the author of Pilgrims To Patriots, A Grandfather Tells The Story, and American Amazons: Colonial Women Who Changed History, both available from Amazon in print and ebook formats.

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington


If your health insurance is subsidized under Obamacare, READ THIS!

Under Section 2002 and Regulations, if your earnings go over the Obamacare limit in any year, BY EVEN ONE DOLLAR, you will have to pay back the entire amount of the subsidy. Not just the subsidy that was paid after you went over the limit, but the amount of the subsidy for the ENTIRE year.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that your income is $50,000 and your income limit is $60,000 in order to get a subsidy. And, let’s say that your subsidy is $10,000 per year. Then, in September, things get busy at work and you start getting tons of overtime, right through Christmas. Great, you say. You can use the extra money.

Except, on December 29, your income goes to $60,001. You are then no longer eligible for a subsidy. YOU OWE OBAMACARE $10,000 and the IRS will be collecting.

What can you do? Nothing – it’s too late. You’ll have to pay.

What can you do this year? Be alert for any increase in your income. Monitor it as the year goes by. If it begins to look like you might be approaching your income limit, tell your employer that you can’t earn that much more money. You’re going to have to turn down work.

Increases in income now take on new risk. Look at any promotion, raise, overtime, bonus, annual increment, longevity payment, or second job in this new light. If the extra money will take you above the limit, will it be worth it? You may have to turn down the money.

Is there any question that Obamacare discourages work? Discourages ambition? Discourages success? This is another example.

For over a year, I have written about Obamacare – the good and the bad. It is now clear that this law can’t be fixed. Obamacare is so full of landmines that are so cross-wired with other laws and everyday values, that it must be replaced. It will take a different law with time to root out all the buried bombs, but it must be done. Otherwise, we’ll be stepping on them for the next 20 years…and blowing ourselves up.


Landmines in Obamacare

In my 2013 series on Obamacare, I warned that the law contained legislative landmines that threaten our healthcare system, our economy and our Constitution.  These landmines are cleverly worded sections that protect the most destructive requirements of Obamacare and prohibit Congress from exercising its Constitutional rights to amend or repeal them.

Thanks to Charles R. Kesler, Professor of Government at ClaremontCollege, one of the most dangerous of these landmines has been brought to light.  In an October 21, 2013 speech that he has adapted for the January, 2014 issue of “Imprimis,” Kesler explains that not only is this provision unconstitutional, but the means by which it is protected is unconstitutional as well.

This landmine is the Independent Payments Advisory Board (IPAB).  In the Imprimis article, Kesler reveals the unconstitutional nature of this Board:  “IPAB consists of 15 members who are not elected by the people but appointed by the President.  Their job is to make recommendations to limit Medicare’s budget by reducing reimbursements to doctors.  Unless both houses of Congress overrule IPAB by passing their own equal or greater cuts to Medicare, IPAB’s proposals automatically become law.” 

Notice that the first part of the landmine is this:  while the Board is appointed and makes recommendations, as many boards do, “IPAB’s proposals automatically become law.”  Obamacare buries that usurpation of Congress deep in the verbiage. 

Let’s just dissolve the IPAB, then, you say?  Not so fast.  Kesler reveals the second and most insidious part of the IPAB/Obamacare landmine, “…no resolution to repeal it [IPAB] can be introduced [in Congress] before January 1, 2017, or after February 1, 2017.  In other words, the Constitution would be operational for one month only – and even then the repeal must pass by August 15, 2017, in order to be valid and it could not take effect until 2020!”

Does that sound constitutional?  Not in the Constitution of our Founders, nor in mine or yours, for that matter.

Maybe you’re skeptical.  Maybe you want to look up the IPAB and see for yourself.  You should, but try to find it – it’s buried.  I’ll give you a hint:  Obamacare gives these powers to the “Independent Medicare Advisory Board.”  Then, in the preamble to Sec. 3403, it sneaks in this name change:

“Section 1320(b) provides the following name change: ‘‘Any reference

in the provisions of, or amendments made by, section 3403

to the ‘Independent Medicare Advisory Board’ shall be deemed to

be a reference to the ‘Independent Payment Advisory Board’ ’’

Slick, huh?  The IPAB has no powers directly described in the law, until, that is, you happen upon that name change, tucked away from curious eyes. 

The IPAB is just one example of the landmines that Obamacare has buried in order to blow up any attempts to understand it, let alone oppose it.  I suppose the first landmine was, “You have to pass it before you can read it.”  See for yourself.

Thanks to Charles R. Kesler and Imprimis.  Passages quoted here are “Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.”

Communism and Starvation in Early America

On June 12, 1987, at the Brandenburg Gate, President Reagan demanded that Mikhail Gorbachev “tear down this wall!” And, Reagan proceeded to disable the Soviet Union when he forced Soviet Communism to fall of its own weight. Few realize, however, that Reagan was beaten to the punch by our first colonial settlements some 380 years earlier.

After landing on a Virginia beach in 1607, the first Jamestown settlers made plans for organizing themselves for self-preservation. Among their plans was a communist system of production and distribution.

Each settler was to put his tools and whatever he produced (there were no women at first) into a central warehouse. Then, each was free to take from the warehouse whatever he needed to live. In went fruit, game, lumber, pelts, axes, saws, hammers, cloth, and out went…everything. Even their Powhatan Indian neighbors walked in and took things, once they discovered that they wouldn’t be stopped.

The settlers had chosen Thomas Studley to run the warehouse. He proved able to talk his way out of blame, but not prevent the outflow. And, he could do nothing about the settlers who stopped working once they learned that they didn’t have to. Then, the starving began.

It wasn’t until Studley died in 1608 (probably of malnutrition), that the settlement came to its senses. Capt. John Smith (yes, that Capt. John Smith) was appointed to replace him and what he found when he entered the warehouse shocked him. The supplies were gone, the tools had been traded by the indolent to the Powhatans for food and the warehouse was in total disarray. What was left had become infested with rats.

Capt. Smith wasted no time in setting things right. In the short run, he made rules for taking things from the warehouse and enforced them with armed guards, but he knew that that system alone would not last. After his election as Jamestown’s Governor, he did away with the communist system altogether.

Smith issued a proclamation: “…he that will not worke shall not eate (except by sicknesse he be disabled), for the labours of thirtie or fortie honest and industrious men shall not be consumed to maintaine an hundred and fiftie idle loyterers…There are now no more counsellors to protect you…”

It worked. Those who had not worked either started voluntarily or responded to necessity. In less than six months, twenty houses were built, a freshwater well was constructed and forty acres of fields were put under cultivation. The settlement no longer starved, as each settler fended for himself. In addition, they created a simple free market in which each bought and sold or bartered what he couldn’t or hadn’t provided for himself.

The same thing happened in the Plymouth settlement, thirteen years later. Shortly after landing at Plymouth in 1620, the Pilgrims set up a storehouse of supplies in which all were to share. Although the supplies were meager in that first winter, each person was free to take from the storehouse at will. The food ran out within weeks and nearly half of the settlement died of sickness and starvation.

The following spring, the survivors were shown by Squanto, their Indian interpreter, how to plant and grow corn and how to fish and hunt game. In the words of their Governor, William Bradford, “All the summer there was no want;” as they “took good store, of which every family had their portion…Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England…”

But, as the year before, it was not to last. By winter, the settlers had taken freely from the supplies until the storehouse was empty…and they starved for a second time.

In the spring of 1622, Governor Bradford returned to the village from a trip only to see a group of able-bodied young men playing a game in the square when they should have been working in the fields. He had seen enough. He chased them off and called for a meeting with the other leaders.

Their solution was to abandon communism and to make each family responsible for themselves. Again, in the Governor’s words, “…and so assigned to every family a parcel of land, …that they should set corn every man for his own particular…This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted.”

He concluded, “The experience … may well evince the vanity… that taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing, as if they were wiser than God. For this community was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.”

It has been said that socialism or communism only works until the money runs out. Our earliest settlers proved that even that isn’t true. The productive people will resent the unproductive takers long before the money runs out. That resentment will build until their incentive to produce is weakened and production goes down, while the unearned taking runs amok. It happened in our earliest settlements, it happened to the Soviet Union and it happens every time such a scheme is resurrected.

Must every such scheme run until it falls of its own weight, or might we learn to reject it in the first place? Governor Bradford thought it was part of the human condition: “Let none object this is men’s corruption, and…seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.” Let us take heed and follow the course fitter for us, before we, too, as a nation fall of our own weight.

Presidential War Powers and the First Barbary War (1801)

“…unauthorized by the Constitution, without sanction of Congress, to go beyond the line of defense.” President Thomas Jefferson, May, 1801 Letter to Congress on protection of American merchant ships against the Barbary pirates of Tripoli.

What are the President’s war powers? They are defined in the Constitution. “The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,…” (Article II, Section 2). The President is in charge of the military, but no war powers are conferred directly on the President. Instead, the Constitution confers those powers on Congress, “The Congress shall have Power to declare war…” (Article I, Section 8).

What did the Founders mean when they assigned the war powers that way? The First Barbary War provides a clear picture of their intent.

No sooner had we gained our Independence and formed our Nation than the protection of Europe against the pirates of the Barbary Coast ended. We were on our own and the States of Morocco, Tunis, Algeria, and Tripoli knew it. For 15 years, all four States sanctioned pirates to capture our merchant ships and ransom our seamen or sell them into slavery.

Without a Navy capable of protecting our ships, the United States was forced into a treaty with the Sultan of each State. We paid up to $1 million to each as part of their protection racket. All but Tripoli observed their treaty. Tripoli accepted the tribute but continued their piracy.

Seeing the need for defense against France and the Barbary States, President John Adams built up the Navy and by 1798 Congress was able to authorize Adams to protect our merchant ships against French privateers.

Then, as one of its last acts before Jefferson took office as President, Congress passed a law authorizing six ships “officered and manned as the President of the United States may direct…in the event of a declaration of war by the Barbary powers to protect our commerce and chastise their insolence…”

Immediately upon Jefferson’s inauguration in 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli demanded the next year’s ransom. Jefferson refused and the Pasha declared war on us.

Jefferson sent a naval force only sufficient to defend our merchant vessels. As he expressed in that May letter to Congress, he did not have the power to take action against Tripoli itself, stating further, “…this important function [is] confided by the Constitution in the Legislature exclusively…”

While Congress did not vote a formal declaration of war, it did authorize Jefferson “to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify.” Thus empowered, Jefferson ordered the attack on Tripoli and we prevailed.

Even for a strict act of self-defense, Jefferson relied on Congress to provide legislative authorization. He knew as did Congress (and John Adams, who waited for Congressional authorization to send ships against French privateers) that a President cannot exceed even a “line of defense.”

Over the years, Presidents, both Democratic and Republican, have inched past the “line of defense” going so far as to wage war in all but name, yet we know what the Founders intended. As shown by Jefferson, the Founders knew how a President could use executive power to wage war in his own interests and, in the Constitution, they designed a clear safeguard against it.

Jefferson understood and obeyed the Constitutional limits to his war powers. But, if another President does not, it is up to Congress to enforce those limits. Not all Congresses have exercised this responsibility. Let’s hope that this one will.

5 Star Review of Pilgrims To Patriots

Here’s a terrific book for any grandfather or grandmother who’d like to spend some high quality time bonding with and passing on the story of America’s beginning to a pre-teen grandchild. The book is fast-paced, with short chapter after chapter of carefully researched and engagingly written mini-histories of many of early America’s most important and fascinating events, from the arrival of the Pilgrims to the Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence. I’m currently reading the book to my l0-year-old granddaughter, whom I used to read children’s stories to before she began developing a life of her own. She loves the book, and while she’s a good enough reader to read and understand most of it on her own, reading it together is giving us the opportunity to have discussions and share thoughts in a way we would never have otherwise. Great idea, great format, and a true gift to both of us.  R.S., Essex, CT on Amazon.