Adding insult to injury, American taxpayers are now being asked to retrain Solyndra’s laid off workers for non-green real world jobs. Under the recently passed Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program, designed to retrain American workers who lose their jobs due to trade practices of foreign countries, taxpayers are being asked to pay up to 130 weeks of income and allowances for job searches which could cost us another $14 million. Senator Orrin Hatch remarked that Solyndra got more taxpayer money than 35 states got for their highways, roads and bridges and now instead of putting these people in unemployment like millions of other laid off workers, the Obama administration is giving them unemployment and trade assistance. I’d call that liberal lunacy!
Another slap in the face is the incandescent light bulb ban. CFL’s are being produced in China (thanks to GE) and China produces 95% of the world’s rare earth materials. In less than a year the price of rare earth oxide materials have soared 500 to 2000 percent driving a 37% increase in CFL’s. The New York Times calls the timing of the CFL price increases “politically awkward for the lighting industry and for environmentalists who backed a shift to energy-efficient lighting.” I know environmentalist couldn’t care less about the cost and GE calls it a win-win for profits. After all, it is only the consumer who is being sucked dry!
In the 2005 Energy Policy Act, Congress nixed mercury lighting outside the home since the EPA declared it as a hazardous material. Let me get this straight – it is okay to have mercury lighting (CFL’s) inside your home to save the environment but not okay to use it outside your home because it is a danger to the environment.
In another bit of liberal lunacy, Anne Steinemann, a University of Washington professor has decided that dryer sheets are the latest threat to mankind. After analyzing fumes released from dryer vents she concludes that the dryer sheets could be emitting cancer causing chemicals. Supposedly she captured more than 25 volatile organic compounds, including 7 hazardous air pollutants. After publishing her findings in Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, Steinemann claimed that she was contacted by numerous people who suffer from sickness or headaches when they are standing close to dryer vents. Steinemann says that “emissions from dryer vents are essentially unregulated and unmonitored.” Quick, someone call the EPA, Steinemann may have found something more dangerous than dust! My advice to those hanging out around dryer vents - don’t stand next to dryer vents!
The U.S. Forest Service spent $88,000 of taxpayer money to provide the elusive Sequin elk with a plush green mountain meadow in Olympic National Forest. Unfortunately, after years of resource planning and management to make the elk’s historic calving grounds suitable for calving, and now that the restoration project has matured, there are no elk to be found. They all moved to nearby farm fields containing alfalfa, field corn and feed grain which Department of Fish and Wildlife agent Sgt. Phil Henry disapprovingly calls “elk heroin”. Next I guess we’ll be paying a “shrink” to find out why the elk don’t like their new home!
In another - taxpayers are too dumb to know how to take care of themselves - the helpful liberals at OSHA spent undisclosed taxpayer funds developing a new smartphone app. The “Heat Safety Tool” app will let workers know the temperature and humidity level of their work areas and then calculate the heat index and risk levels for outside laborers. If you don’t own a smart phone – don’t worry – I’m sure OSHA will soon require your employer to furnish you with one or at least require a “Heat Index Supervisor” to monitor all job sites.
Obama’s expansion of the $4.5 billion Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, taxpayers will soon be on the tab for furnishing free school lunches to all children regardless of their ability to pay. It is already in use for Detroit’s 65,800 public school kids. The liberal loons insist that giving the “haves” free food will reduce the embarrassment that the “have-nots” may feel. I have no objection to children being fed but in most school districts, no one can tell if a child is receiving a free lunch since money does not pass hands in the lunch line. Money is deposited into the child’s lunch account and they are given a pass code to punch in at the end of the line. This is just another way to create more dependency on the government.
Remember the Smart Meter craze - positioned as a subdominant social theme by environmentalists and Obama – too many people, not enough power and we need to control every aspect of our energy existence and use? In the final phase of deployment of the wireless smart meters – Investor Owned Utilities in California has quietly begun to remove them. Pushed as a means to lower utility bills, Californians discovered that they were lied to as utility bills rose. There were also widespread reports of fires, explosions and health problems. StopSmartMeters.org says that political groups from the Green Party to the Tea Party and Occupy protesters have attacked the program. . .”to fight what they call an undemocratic, unconstitutional and dangerous assault on people in their homes. . .Word of California’s smart meter nightmare has spread across the country and around the world prompting some utilities to place smart meters on hold. . .”
According to the Washington Post, even with a $9 billion loss this year, the postal service is still paying thousands of union employees for “standby time.” Yep, thousands of postal employees are just loafing around during slow periods or when machinery is broken. An audit by the USPS inspector general’s office found that in the first 6 months of 2011, standby time amounted to 170,666 hours at a cost of $4.3 million. Next time they raise the postage rates or want to close your local post office, send your letter of thanks to the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers. Labor agreements prohibit the postal service from laying off or reassigning workers during slow or idle times so they just show up for work, hang out in the breakroom and collect that hard earned check.
I realize this is not happening in America (at least not yet) but it was just too funny to let it pass. Researchers from leading UK universities, in a move to counteract global warming, have concocted an atmospheric air conditioner. Using a helium balloon and a rubber hose, they are planning to pump water high into the sky. If tests for the Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (SPICE) go as planned, similar pipes, some 12 miles high, will begin to pump tons of “reflective aerosols” into the atmosphere to mimic the cooling effect of volcanoes. A full scale design calls for as many as 64 – 30 ton pipes spread around the world held aloft by a 100 meter diameter balloons. Guess they missed that report from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia that said the planet hasn’t warmed since 1998.
In another Liberal attempt to prove global warming, the latest edition of the Times Atlas of the World erased 115,000 square miles of ice off Greenland’s map, 15% of their ice cover,. Cambridge University experts called the map “incorrect and misleading”, with “no basis in science.” Dr. Jeffrey Kargel, a hydrologist at the University of Arizona called it a “killer mistake that cannot be winked away.” Turns out their ice free areas are actually covered in ice a quarter of a mile thick.