Barking Mad – A rave, prompted by facing insane heating costs

Guest essay by Caleb Shaw

Nigel Hawthorne playing King George the Third. Photo credit: Rex Features

It is a painful thing to confront someone whom one is accustomed to respecting, and to tell that person they are barking mad. Usually one avoids it, or dismisses the other’s strange behavior as “a difference of opinion,” and speaks platitudes about “the importance of diversity,” however when a person is going, “Arf! Arf!” right in your face, there is no way around it. This includes governments, when they become barking mad.

Thomas Jefferson knew this, when he quilled the Declaration of Independence, listing King George’s barking mad behaviors, however there has been a recent, revisionist effort to show that King George the Third wasn’t all that bad, and his blue urine wasn’t due to porphuria, and his spells of foaming at the mouth were but minor episodes, especially when he was young and was busily losing the American colonies. (I think this may in part be due to the fact that porphuria is hereditary, and certain people don’t want the rabble giving Prince Charles appraising looks.)

The argument states that, if you could get an audience at his glittering palace, King George was quite lucid, and even charming, and that the points he raised, about the government’s right to tax, are valid to this day. There is even some reproach towards America and Jefferson for failing to understand King George’s points.

However taxation was not the issue. Taxation without representation was the issue. When one looks back with twenty-twenty hindsight, the solution to the problem seems simple: Simply give the thirteen colony’s thirteen elected representatives in Parliament. It seems like such an obvious thing, to give Englishmen abroad the same rights as Englishmen at home, and seems so conducive to unity and the expansion of an unified kingdom, that to switch the subject to the-right-of-the-government-to-tax seems a sleight of hand bound to stub thumbs, to lead to schism, and to create discord out of harmony. It was, in fact, a barking mad thing for King George to do.

As soon as one treats ones own family as the enemy; one fosters a house divided, which must fall. Perhaps the greatest example of this madness occurred in 1914 when three of Queen Victoria’s grandchildren occupied thrones that governed roughly half the planet, as King of England, Kaiser of Germany, and the wife of the Czar of Russia. Unless these relatives considered their own family to be the enemy, there could have been no World War One, which was a calamity and slaughter so mind-boggling, and so shattering to people’s structures of belief, that it’s declaration was in many senses the beginning of a war that hasn’t ended.

The way to avoid all this madness is simply to understand there is one sort of behavior that leads to marriage, and another that leads to divorce. Assuming one can concede unity is better than division, and harmony is better than discord, (and there are some scoffers who refuse to concede this,) then heeding others (or their elected representatives) is wisdom, and any alternative deafness is ignorance. It is hugely important for those in positions of privilege and power to never lose touch with the so-called “common man.”

Unfortunately this is exactly what appears to have happened in Washington, where the leadership has seemingly forgotten, if they ever knew, how hard it is for less privileged people to scrape by. They have lost touch with humble lives that can be quite happy, provided a certain criteria involving basic necessities are met, and instead are making decisions that cause the poor to experience hardships which the leaders themselves are seemingly oblivious to. Enamored by their own eloquence, charmed by their own intellectual gyrations, they fail to see some of their concepts are barking mad.

“Cash for Clunkers” was an example of such madness. It was basically an ill-thought-out and erroneous solution to a fictitious problem based on a fraud, however it sounded elegant and efficient to the privileged at glittering parties inside the Beltway. In one fell swoop they imagined Cash for Clunkers would increase the gas mileage of American vehicles, reduce Carbon Emissions and therefore halt Global Warming, increase car sales and therefore stimulate the economy, replace low tech vehicles with high tech vehicles and therefore benefit more advanced technologies and technicians, and do all this for a paltry three billion dollars the nation didn’t have, but that could be printed. In short order Cash for Clunkers then destroyed 690,114 perfectly viable vehicles, which were traded in for 690,114 new vehicles.

It was barking mad to destroy all those perfectly good cars, and to get nothing in return for it but three billion dollars of debt. What person in their right mind does such a thing?

It didn’t even reduce Carbon Emissions, because building and shipping a new car requires three to eight tons of carbon, while driving the same old clunker required zero. It would take over five years to make up the difference with a new car, and eight years with a new truck, if the increased gas mileage was as good as promised, (which it wasn’t, due to computer glitches, faulty sensors turning on the check-engine-lights, and people driving with the check-engine-lights on, and also the natural aging of new cars.) Furthermore, the foreseen reduction of carbon would have had only an infinitesimal effect on world temperatures, even if Global Warming were proven true.

However none of a economist’s or climatologist’s pseudoscience meant much to the poor. The poor do not buy new cars; they drive the clunkers that better-off people trade in. What Cash For Clunkers meant for them was that 690,114 poor people were without a car. As the price for second-hand cars soared, many were plunked into the catch-22 position of young men who can’t get a car because they don’t have a job, and can’t get a job because they don’t have a car. But what does Washington know of such unhappy lives? They say, “Let them buy a new car” in the manner of Marie Antoinette saying, “Let them eat cake.”

In their ignorance Washington glibly stated that Cash for Clunkers would be a boon for scrap yards, blissfully unaware that much of the profit at such yards comes from taking apart engines for parts, and that, with engines destroyed, profits would sharply decline. But what does Washington know or care about greasy hands and bruised knuckles?

At least 300,000 and as many as 500,000 of the 690,114 new cars would have been sold anyway, because people need new cars even without incentives, so the government was paying-for and destroying between 300,000 and 500,000 used vehicles for absolutely no reason.

During the brief surge in car sales Cash-for-Clunkers brought about, sales of American cars actually decreased as Asian sales increased, for people were concerned about soaring gas prices at that time, and desired the better gas mileage of Asian cars. This means much of the slight increase in the national-average-gas-mileage (noted with great satisfaction by government Cash-for-Clunker statisticians) would have occurred without the program. It also means Cash for Clunkers didn’t increase the sales of of American cars, and in fact hurt the American car industry more than it helped it. The government would have done better to focus on reducing fuel prices, but actually aimed to increase those fuel prices, to lower the nation’s “Carbon Footprint.”

Some stated that if the poor couldn’t afford cars, their immobility would increase the use of public transportation. Again, it is not the wealthy that have to stand waiting in blazing sun or in winter blasts, or are uprooted because they do not live where such transit is available.

The unintended consequences go on and on. The mechanics skilled in repairing clunkers were hurt; the newer cars were far more expensive to maintain, due to computer glitches, and, when faced with the fact that plugging into a dealer’s computer to diagnose a problem could cost a hundred dollars, people simply chose to drive with the check-engine-lights on. (So you can throw the manufacturer’s estimated-gas-mileage out the window.) People do what they must to get by, and there even was an increase in uninspected and unregistered cars.

It is not that the poor want to be scofflaws or to enact some sort of political rebellion. They simply want to survive, but survival is something the barking mad in Washington has forgotten all about.

This brings me to the current madness of increasing the cost of heating a home, on purpose, to fight some theoretical warming of the planet in the future. This is another display of being barking mad, for the coming winter is no environmentalist’s theory; it is a grim reality that can kill.

What do the privileged elite in Washington know about cold homes in January, or of needing to chose between freezing and food? At their glittering, January parties the only ice they know is in their drinks, as they pontificate the politically correct arfing they call profundity. They know how to frown at the words, “strip mine,” while waving away the subject of unemployed miners, who they never face eye-to-eye. They know the correct disapproval to show for the rural poor’s smoking wood-stoves, and the right way to clasp hands and smile as wind turbines kill eagles. They rumple brows over a tenth of a degree rise in world temperatures they can’t feel, enacting legislation that chills the homes of the poor they never meet ten to twenty degrees.

The fact such legislated “energy poverty” is barking mad was already proven, by an increase in the death rate of the elderly in England by 30,000 in the winter of 2012-2013. The elderly of England could not afford both food and fuel, and didn’t get enough of either. Because the old can’t withstand cold, especially when hungry, and because a common cold can swiftly turn to pneumonia, turning down the heat meant death for 30,000.

What sort of savage society of primitive cannibals allows its elderly to be treated in such a vile manner? It was to avoid such barbaric treatment that FDR created Social Security in the first place. His grave must rumble with a rolling sound, now. To have intentionally brought such misery down upon the general population is the behavior of the certifiably insane. The English leaders were barking mad, and now Washington wants to copy them.

The oncoming hardship, bad enough in an ordinary winter, may be worsened by an especially brutal winter. In theory an El Nino might warm the planet, as a whole, by a tenth of a degree, but in fact an El Nino Modoki, (which is expected,) may warm other areas but brings exceptional cold to one particular part of the planet: The eastern and central United States. Some runs of some models foresee a winter as bad as 1976-1977, which was so vicious it prompted people back then to talk of “a coming ice age.” It is to be hoped these model runs are wrong (as they often are) but what if they are not? Assume the attitude of an Alarmist, and imagine that the models are right. We are then facing a crisis.

Our government seems exceptionally incapable of dealing with such a crisis, for it lives in a landscape of delusion. It does not care for the elderly; it cares about being re-elected. The oncoming winter could loom like the black shroud of the Grim Reaper, and still a politician’s primary concern would be suppressing voter turnout in unfavorable districts. The best that can be hoped for is a national awakening, and a voter backlash in November, and a completely changed congress next January, but by then it will be too late.

It is conceivable, even likely, that in the face of a winter like 1976-1977, fuel prices would skyrocket, and there would be shortages, brown-outs, and even shutdowns. For many there would be no money left over, after paying for heat. There would be no so-called “disposable income.” For the poor, it would not be a matter of staying warm; it would be a matter of staying alive. Immediate action would be required, but by the time the bumbling bureaucrats came wandering back from their Christmas recess, not even a potentially vibrant new Congress would be able to kick their inertia into action before March, at which point the damage would be already done.

In the face of such a future it is high time for the American people to enact a rebellion, but not like any rebellion the powerful expect. It should be a rebellion outside the expectations of economic experts, and completely beyond the comprehension of Washington insiders and the wealthy elite. It would be beyond their comprehension because it would do what they fail to do. It would care for the elderly, and care for neighbors.

Considering all too many Americans don’t even talk to their neighbors, such a rebellion might seem impossible, however Hitler did not think it was possible Londoners could withstand his Blitz, yet they slept in subways, and those of Hitler’s advisers who guaranteed London’s despair, due to people sleeping in subways, were flabbergasted by an increase in high spirits, as the English people rebelled against the barking mad oppressor raining bombs from their skies.

The rebellion I envision doesn’t involve raining bombs or sleeping in subways. It merely involves sleeping at a neighbor’s, or having several elderly neighbors sleep at your house. It involves the simplest economics, which is that if you turn off the heat and electricity and drain the water pipes, and move in with your neighbor, the two of you will together only need to pay half as much for heat, if you share the costs. In cases where three households can fit into a single house, you would only pay a third the cost. Nor would such an arrangement be permanent. To be most effective, it should last only sixty days, from just after Christmas to before the first of March. These sixty days involve the cruel heart of winter, when heating bills are most likely to ruin a budget. If you could put up with your neighbor only that long, think of the money you’d save!

Of course, getting along with neighbors is no easy task. If the younger adults question the old-timers, they might learn about neighbors called “hippies” who lived with neighbors in places called “communes,” and learn about lots of things you should avoid doing. However likely they wouldn’t learn what to do to make the situation work, for most communes were abysmal failures. Getting along with neighbors is no easy thing, even for only sixty days.

However the Londoners, sleeping in subways during the Blitz, were sustained and derived relish from the simple fact they were defying Hitler. Perhaps the same relish might make neighbors more able to tolerate neighbors in modern times, for surely such behavior on the part of the American people would shock the socks off the barking mad in Washington. It is beyond the limits of their feeble minds, for they prove they are incapable of comprehending neighbors caring for neighbors, when they fail to care for constituents.

Just imagine what the effect would be, if my idea caught on. When the oil delivery man came down a street with ten houses, he would not deliver oil to all ten, but to only five, or even only four.   Because he delivered less, rather than the oil price going up, it would go down, due to the laws of supply and demand.

Even better is to imagine the consternation in Washington. They depend, in part, on a tax collected with each gallon of oil and propane delivered. If only half as much oil and propane is delivered, they collect only half as much tax.   It is tantamount to them opening their pay envelope on payday, and seeing their paycheck is only half as large as they expected.

They will deem this a serious problem. Fortunately, they are such dunderheads they will never see it coming, and by the time they wake up the sixty days will be past, and everyone will be back in their own houses, innocently whistling.

I imagine that at this point the elite will be absolutely furious. How dare the American people behave as if they are independent and free! How dare they be so ungrateful as to pay fewer taxes!   Laws must be passed to prevent this rebellious behavior! If the new congress does not pass the laws, the EPA will do it! Laws against the cohabitation of neighbors must be written in stone! Climate scientists must be hired to prove cohabitation causes Global Warming! (This may seem like an irrational response, but you need to remember these people are barking mad to begin with.)

They may even say it is better for people to freeze alone than to cohabit in a warm, shared, happy household. At their glittering parties they will nod in agreement about how cohabitation stresses leach fields and septic systems, and must be banned. Others will state cohabitation spreads infectious diseases, and must be banned. Whatever they say will seem sublimely logical, to them. However whatever they say will increasingly look like bunkum, to an American people who neither died of infectious diseases nor destroyed their leach fields, during their sixty-day, Gandhi-like, nonviolent rebellion.

However, just to be on the safe side, those with legal inclinations should perhaps prepare some legal briefs beforehand, arguing that religious freedom is involved. It doesn’t matter if they are atheists, they can point out Christianity makes a big deal about loving neighbors, and that “loving your neighbor as yourself” is right up there with worshiping the Creator, among Christians.

Not that we Americans care all that much about our neighbors. What we care for is our own independence and individuality. However, through the wisdom of our forefathers, we also know that we had better care for the independence and individuality of our neighbors, and stand united, or we will fall divided, for if our neighbors lose their independence and individuality, so will we.

So important is this concept that those with legal inclinations should likely figure out a way to file a lawsuit even before the EPA bans cohabitation. The best defense is a good offence, after all. The rest of us, who are not so legally inclined, should likely have some talks with the neighbors we never wanted to bother, and have never before gotten to know, during these Halcyon days of summer.

Scoffers will say my proposal will never work. (Likely their neighbor has halitosis and seldom changes his or her socks.) However when dealing with the barking mad you need to bark back. (Though you might like to allow your neighbor to live as he chooses, you need to tell him that for sixty days he should brush his teeth and change his socks.) However I think my idea just might work, due to something I noticed in my study of the London Blitz.

While the history of the English People, from the death of Queen Victoria to the eventual death of Queen Elisabeth II, largely looks like a free fall from huge responsibility to irresponsibility, from power to powerlessness, from grandeur to meaningless obscurity, they did have one moment when they, and no one else, stood utterly alone and took on an evil we cannot imagine. It truly was their “finest hour.”

Next time you are filled with self-pity about high heating bills, or about being stuck in a traffic jam, or about having a neighbor with halitosis, pause and imagine London during the Blitz. Every day bombs rained from the skies. Every day people you knew died. However rather than self-pity a defiance grew. Their motto was, “We can take it,” but what possessed those people to make up such a motto? The best description I ever heard, of what possessed London, simply called it “A White Heat.”

It was a moment in history when it was not America who stood up for Freedom, the English did. That class-ridden, moribund, down-falling society stood for Liberty when America didn’t. And why? Because of “A White Heat.”

As a poet, I love that description, “A White Heat,” but as a scientist I am appalled, for no thermometer can measure it. Even as a pseudo scientist and psychologist I am made nervous, for psychology seldom talks of a goodly power that can take on Hitler and shame him to suicide.

Christians would likely assert “A White Heat” is a gift from God given to those who take on evil, but because I don’t want to alienate goodly atheists, I’ll just state that if you stand by Truth, Truth stands by you. It is the strangest thing, for I am a pragmatist who prefers a large woodpile to standing by a cold stove expecting “White Heat”, but I’ve seen this over and over in my life: If you tell a lie, it haunts you and tracks you down, but if you tell the truth, though you may get sneered at and jeered at and even fired, in the long run you get “A White Heat.”  Scoffers can doubt, and point out 30,000 elderly in England felt no “White Heat” this side of Glory, but it is also true people do not take kindly to politicians telling them to freeze, and it it does not take much for a smoldering public to blaze into Light.

I confess I am counting on this unscientific “White Heat” to help out, when I make my proposal that neighbors love neighbors to the degree where they can abide together for sixty days. I know what can go wrong, for I am an old man who remembers the debacles of hippie communes. I furthermore know anyone who had to live with me for sixty days would be sorely tested. However the redeeming thing is that the sixty days would annoy the heck out of the elite in Washington. The sublime satisfaction of annoying such extremely annoying people would make even putting up with me worth it. In fact, it might turn the living situation into a sort of party, quite enjoyable due to the presence of “White Heat.”

In conclusion, that is my proposal. We need to condescend to love our neighbors for sixty days. If others have other ways we might respond to leaders who are barking mad, I am eager to hear their proposals. However I hope we can agree on this: The leadership is barking mad, and it is time to bark back.

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The Other Phil
July 14, 2014 9:13 am

Repeating the Marie Antoinette canard detracts from an otherwise illuminating essay.

July 14, 2014 9:13 am

mod: try porphyria for porphuria

Steve from Rockwood
July 14, 2014 9:18 am

I sure wouldn’t want to be one of those five who didn’t get heating oil.

John Brosnahan
July 14, 2014 9:33 am

Interesting thought marred by “leech fields” rather than the correct LEACH fields.
[Fixed, thanks. ~ mod.]

July 14, 2014 9:35 am

I clearly remember the Winter of 76/77. The frigid cold hit in late November/Early December. May father’s pick-up needed to sit on the charger half the night, and the carburetor needed liberal servings of “ether” just to get it to turn over. By Christmas Eve, night time temps in Northern Indiana/Southern Michigan approached record levels (-30 deg F). As early as St Nicholas Day (6th December) the night time lows were -5 deg to -10 deg F.
I do remember quite a bit of snow. But, it was the unbelievable cold temps that stick clearest in my mind. It was the first time I could remember seeing ice chrystasl floating in the air. And this was still autumn! I nice January thaw followed (high temps just above freezing). But, the nights of running our plumbing on trickle flow; helping my Dad get his cussed Dodge Pick-up running at 0500AM with wind chills at -100 deg F wasn’t something I would want to live through again.
My biggest fear isn’t brown outs in July/August, but brown outs in Dec/Jan. It looks like our elites in the Beltway are working on making that nightmare a reality.

July 14, 2014 9:39 am

There are some gems in this piece. I especially like the bit about unintended consequences in the Cash For Clunkers, whereby junk yards profits come from pulling spare parts to keep other cars of the same model on the street. But Cash For Clunkers unnaturally shortened the lives of all model Clunkers, so the market for those spare parts collapsed.
The core proposal has a practical side to it: Co-habit to save money.
But the core proposal is overall “barking mad”. It is suggesting that as a protest, citizens life in a way they would not normally prefer, but in exactly the way many in Washington would like us to live. To the elite in Washington, we consume too many resources, our housing density is too low. So, as protest, we should do what the EPA Administrator would love to order but knows she cannot?
The two months of co-habitation will become an introduction to a way of life. It will be ten weeks a year later. Then twelve. Then sixteen, monitored by HUD and HHS, with the NSA monitoring electrical use for the homes that are supposed to be empty.
If I am to cohabit for months on end, it won’t be as a voluntary protest, but to form cells of insurrection and revolution.

D.J. Hawkins
July 14, 2014 9:40 am

Steve from Rockwood says:
July 14, 2014 at 9:18 am
I sure wouldn’t want to be one of those five who didn’t get heating oil.

They’re bunking with the five who did. That’s the whole point.

July 14, 2014 9:40 am

I wish for this essay to appear on Obama’s desk in the Oval Office – on a slack day so that he has time to read it.

July 14, 2014 9:40 am

Fabulous, great article!

July 14, 2014 9:45 am

While your goal is noble, it plays into Washington’s hands and hides their incompetence. They will declare victory and shout that their actions reduced GHGs with no ill effects. it is not the kind of revolution that will dissuade them or bring sanity back to DC. They will merely double down and keep doing so until something hurts THEM.

July 14, 2014 9:54 am

The theme has a bit of an English bent to it. (Being as Mom was from England and lived there during The Blitz, I think I can comment on that ‘by proxy’…)
The English are fond of communal action, and tend to be polite in adversity.
Americans are a bit different. Never really understood by the rest of the world. (IMHO, in large part as we were the ones who ran away from the “barking mad” running the show elsewhere when those others did not…) So, IMHO, there’s another more American way. We don’t do much “communal”, and we don’t cotton much to “shared suffering” (or any suffering at all, really. Rather shoot something than suffer from it…) So what’s that American way ?
First off, it takes little suffering, nor much in the way of communal activity. Second, it is long term even more effective.
Come on down to Florida, or Texas. Enter the land of freedom and warmth again. Tens of thousands are already doing it.
There really isn’t any reason left to live in rat holes like Detroit or NYC any longer. You get a 11% increase in income just by leaving behind the California Income Tax (since Florida and Texas have no State Income Taxes). Then there’s the fact that the sales tax is about 1/2 to 2/3 the size too, so even less of that.
Oh, and it is nice and warm in winter. Frankly, I’m even finding summers nice, and that with the A/C in my car not working …. Gets to about 90 F / 30 C and then the thunderstorms kick in and a bit of rain cools things. Ends up back at “70 something F / 20 C” in the evening.
Winters don’t need much heat, and no A/C either. You can pick up a used RV / trailer for about $5k to $10k (depending on amenaties you want) and the cost of a place to park it is less than the heating up north. Oh, and that space comes with a pool ( where I am has 2 and a hot tub) along with shuffle board, tennis, and more. Weekly events in the club house too. Oh, and the local ‘cheap pizza place’ named Cici’s has a special all you can eat pizza bar for $5, but it’s got a $2 or so special disount for local seniors. So you can have an all you can eat buffet for cheap too. (Includes non-pizza dishes like mac-and-cheese along with desert too).
So sell the place up north, and just move. Leave the folks with NO tax revenue at all from you. Let them deal with the cost of oil.
PS: I was very surprised to find out that in some counties of Florida, like Orange, you can not live in your RV for more than 6 months in one park, while in other counties you can live in it all year. Some folks move from park to park every few weeks / months; while others just pick a county they like better. I’d not planned on experiencing the RV Lifestyle, but came here on contract work. Discovered this as an accidental thing while looking for cheaper hotels. (They rent ‘cottages’ too). I’ve seen very livable RVs sell for as low as $2000, which is less than some folks pay for a season of oil. Oddly, several “neighbors” are seasonal Canadians. Come down for 6 months each winter… Think about it. Essentially a free tropical vacation for the avoided cost of heating oil. Most of the RVs do not travel back and forth, but are stored here cheaply. Only the people move.
PPS: So, picking up on the host’s theme: Perhaps we could organize a communal caravan of caravans. Find some busses to take the poor old folks to Florida for the winter, and rent a load of otherwise idle rich folks RVs for them to stay in… Might make an interesting photo-op. “5,000 Aged taking the back of the bus to Florda thanks to Obama’s EPA”…

George V
July 14, 2014 9:55 am

Well, I would think that if the proposal were carried out, the barking mad politicians would think it a good thing and tighten the screws even further. That is, raise energy/carbon taxes to make up lost revenue and see if they can force citizens into an even smaller footprint of carbon/space/housing/food etc.

William Sears
July 14, 2014 9:56 am

I don’t see how this would annoy the government. They would probably think it was a great idea and pass laws to mandate it. Also leaving the heat off in an empty house for sixty days could lead to increased maintenance costs.

July 14, 2014 9:57 am

I don’t even let relatives into my house for more than 2 or 3 days at a time. And that includes children and parents.
I spent my life so far working and building so that NO ONE can come in my house unless I want them there, and then only for brief periods, and then only under my rules. It’s barking mad to think I’m going to accept anyone into my house under any other conditions. And I am not going to live under anyone else’s thumb.

Mike Ozanne
July 14, 2014 9:58 am

The British colloquialism is “Dagenham”, Dagenham Heathway Tube station being 3 stops beyond Barking on the District line….

July 14, 2014 9:59 am

“They will declare victory and shout that their actions reduced GHGs with no ill effects. it is not the kind of revolution that will dissuade them or bring sanity back to DC. They will merely double down and keep doing so until something hurts THEM. ”
Lest we forget, the energy crisis (not the least exasperated by the winters fo 1976/77, 77/78, as well as the brownouts of the horribly hot summer of 1977) brought on a change in political fortunes to much of the Ruling Class. By 1983, the reduction in the federal workforce (albeit, short lived) did ring some cages. In four short years, the number of pages in the federal regulatory registry was halved.

July 14, 2014 10:05 am

The Other Phil says: July 14, 2014 at 9:13 am
Repeating the Marie Antoinette canard detracts from an otherwise illuminating essay.
Antoinette or not, we need to elect some politicians who have a firm grasp on reality.
Imagine the scene in 2009.………
The previous UK government had spent everything the nation ever had, and more besides. The government was bankrupt, the banks were bankrupt, and many business and people were following the trend towards despair. Fear, darkness and hooded thugs prowled the empty streets and boarded up shops.
So a new leader comes along. And what does he offer the people? Investment in industry and jobs for local workers? No, no, no, don’t be absurd. He went off to hug a husky in the Arctic, and put a wind-elec turbine on his roof, to show how Green he was. And then he urged the browbeaten but hardworking majority to hug a thug: who was invariably a parasite on their taxes and a destroyer of their society.
And the really absurd thing, that you will not believe, is that he got elected. It was almost absurd as the Americans voting for a president whose economic and social policy was ‘yes we can’. Errr, can what, exactly? Now you can despair at the vacuity of politicians who spout such inane platitudes, as does the polemic above, but how about despairing at the cretins that vote for them too.
So what happened to the brave new world of David Ca-Moron and co? Well, the thug went on a rampage and destroyed London and Birmingham. The rooftop wind-elec in the middle of London produced 10 watt/hours of energy before it was declared an eyesore, an earsore, and decidedly illegal. While the Arctic husky still sits on a vast raft of ice that refuses to go away, no matter how much Ca-Moron prays to the great God of Warming.
Clearly we need a new breed of politicians who live in the real world, and on this side of the pond we have one – Nigel Farage. Here is Farage on the Global Warming scam:

Leo Smith
July 14, 2014 10:12 am

“porphyria”, please.

Michael 2
July 14, 2014 10:18 am

Excellent. Well worth the time to read it.

Leo Smith
July 14, 2014 10:19 am

Th etri8mph of scoaclai8sm has been to make peole accept that every problem is the government’s problem, and that more tax dollars and a change of government will fix it.
More tax dollars simply attracts politicians with lavish lifestyles, however.
The only salvation is in taking control from government my many acts of civil disobedience.
Refuse to pay taxes and central government collapses. Then organise your own local one.
PS the reason why American MPs was a non starter was the simple time delay – in weeks if not months – between the countries.

July 14, 2014 10:25 am

You are on to something. Please keep up the good work.

July 14, 2014 10:28 am

This is an issue very much alive in England, after a run of severe winters (when the computerised specialists at Hadley Metoffice told us snow would be a thing of the past). Domestic heating costs have risen 300% in 10 years. Currently, those on minimum wages or benefits have their income frozen (though pensioners are protected and offered a winter-fuel payment by right). There is no sign of fuel costs coming down and the policy of ‘austerity’ is set to continue. To add insult to this injury, hard-working people who saved money and were paid interest (not the clever ones who invested in shares) have seen their life-saving returns drop tenfold from 5% to 0.5% and creep up again perhaps to 2% if they are a little bit smart and shop around. Inflation generally is around 2% and much more – perhaps twice that, for food and and five times that for fuel.
Yet, there is no sign of rebellion. Sadly, the English ordinary folk are a down-trodden lot, ill-educated or practiced in politics, addicted to gambling, TV, play-stations and above all, alcohol. So, rather than rebel, they riot. Then they get very heavy fines and prison terms – the latter being life-destroying in a culture of high competition for jobs.
So – my dear American friends….this is the state of the Mother Culture.
We used to see the Americans as revolutionaries. Admittedly, South America took up the cause against Empire in a more colorful way! Now you are seen as the perpetrators – the globalisers of the New Economic Order – that econometric culture that has no heart and no caring. Against this American Dream, and its delusions of ‘freedom’ for itself and the world, British politicians (and Europeans) are powerless. The Dream has caught the people – they dream of wealth as if it were freedom. They want to buy stuff – yes, but also a home, pay for the electric, the water as well as the food, and have more time for family. Community of any kind disappeared so long ago, most would not know what it meant, let alone what it could feel like – to be known by your neighbour, to receive a welcome smile in the shops (we have Malls now, and Supermarkets), or for people to help for the sake of it and not for payment – to repair the house, the drains, the lawn-mower or look after the kids while you go shopping. Such community lasted into the 1950s – I know because I was born into a working-class northern town. But soon after, the rows of houses were demolished and replaced by tower-blocks and those who could afford to, moved to the sprawling suburbs – both architecturally inimical to community.
This All American Dream is sold as the development model. People are not shown images of the real poverty and destruction of soul that it creates – only of those who do well within it. Poverty is measured by the UN in dollars of income per day…and less that $2 per day is the poverty line. This is no measure for community, intact culture with its young people vibrant in music, dance and poetry, with ecologically sound agriculture, clean water and sanitation – and a little bit of wild nature on the doorstep there to enjoy. People who have all of that and $2 per day are actually very wealthy! Many a person stuck in an English city has less that $2 per day left over when all the basics that used to be a community benefit have to be paid for instead.
So – my dear friends – rise up and……adapt? And if they hit you again…..adapt again? That is not what you Americans are famous for! Haven’t you noticed that certain things don’t change whichever Democrat or Republican is in the big white house? Where are the real revolutionaries? We need you to show us the way to real freedoms!

July 14, 2014 10:35 am

Cohabitation to “punish” the green washington elites?!? I’m sure that will get them mad…
smokeable cocaine + a legal substance in CO

Paul Drahn
July 14, 2014 10:36 am

The author is ignoring the fact that for most of the colonies, they were the private property of whomever the King gave a charter to. The residents did not have the same status as people in England. The real problem was the second and third generation colonists no longer accepted the charter and it’s limits.

July 14, 2014 10:36 am

An article in the Daily News finds that people who believe in Global Warming use more electricity than those who don’t.

July 14, 2014 10:42 am

Liked the article. I agree that career bureaucRATs in Washington have no idea what is bothering the rest of us, and their solutions only cause more pain. Personally, my house uses natural gas and electricity to heat it, and I will be able to buy food and pay my utility bills.
However… The local power company will be shuttering another coal fired plant this fall, and it is my understanding that peak generating capacity will be reduced. Furthermore replacement gas fired plants are pushing natural gas delivery capacity it the limit in my region. What if I pay my bills but my power still goes out, or there is not enough gas for demand? The window for the elite in Washington to smell what they are shoveling might be closing soon, and time for some Thomas Jefferson Tree of Liberty fertilization may be nigh.

July 14, 2014 10:42 am

This is a US-centric post. My apologies to those to whom it does not apply. I think unique solutions will need to be found on a country-by-country basis for the problems we face.
The proper revolution should come at the polls in November. Unfortunately, we’ve already compromised a strong voice as a result of the candidates selected by a pitifully small group of voters in the last round of primaries.
I think the time is coming for a states-originated Constitutional committee to amend the Constitution. This is a little know method that has never been used. The legislators of two-thirds of the states can force Congress to call a Constitutional Convention to propose amendments. Those amendments that are approved by the convention must then be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislations to become law. This to a large extent bypasses the powers in DC.
One amendment I would like to see would state that the Federal Government cannot enact any law or regulation directly affecting individual citizens or corporations without the approval of over 50% of the states. I don’t see any other way of reining in Washington’s power, particularly the unelected regulatory bureaucracy.

Reply to  jtom
July 14, 2014 1:44 pm

@jtom- a repeal of the 17th amendment would do that. Senators were supposed to be beholding to the states as they were APPOINTED by state legislatures. Until the 17th.

July 14, 2014 10:47 am

Accustomed to respecting government… Well, there’s your problem.

DC Cowboy
July 14, 2014 10:51 am

Interesting proposal, given that Joe Bastardi is ‘kindof’ predicting (his company correctly predicted the harsh winter last year while NOAA & NASA predicted a ‘warmer than normal winter’) that this coming winter could be colder and harsher than last winter in the US.
“Polar Vortex summer version prelude to brutal winter and potential major energy issues
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
Last winter was a brutally cold one for the nation’s midsection. For Chicago, the period from December through March was the coldest in the entire record back to 1872. It was the third snowiest winter behind only the 1978/79 and 1977/78 winters. In Detroit, it ended up the snowiest ever on record back to 1880. It now has been cooling in the US (including all 9 climate zones) for 20 winters (2.26F)!
Weatherbell called for this harsh winter even as NWS and many forecasters called for a warm winter.
It has been a cool spring and summer in the central. Now as we approach the peak of summer, a very strong trough for summer and cold air mass for July will be driving into the central and east.
The warm pool of water in the North Pacific (the same driver for last winter) and the warm tropical Pacific waters moving west to the central Pacific is a classic scenario for a very cold winter in the central and eastern US. The warm water off the west coast usually leads to a cooler, wetter summer in the central as we forecast.
The combination of that warm pool, an El Nino Modoki (what we call that central Pacific biased El Nino), and the other natural climate drivers we look at, suggest this next winter will be like last one but with the cold biased further east. This has scary potential consequences because of the regulations imposed by the EPA this year.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
July 14, 2014 10:53 am

peter says:
July 14, 2014 at 9:40 am

I wish for this essay to appear on Obama’s desk in the Oval Office – on a slack day so that he has time to read it.

It’s too long to put on a sky-writing banner towed over the golf course where our president is most likely to see it on his slack-off days (Monday – Sunday). This needs to be reduced to a much shorter slogan. Something like:

Two sharing blanket good; four sharing blanket better.

July 14, 2014 10:54 am

It was barking mad to destroy all those perfectly good cars, and to get nothing in return for it but three billion dollars of debt. What person in their right mind does such a thing?

While this was an enjoyable read, I am afraid you don’t understand the nature of the state.
A good start would be this essay:
“Anatomy of the State” at
What you are complaining about is just the way that governments act. Every government that has ever existed ended up brutalizing its own citizens at some point. It is a law of nature more sure than that of gravitation.
For thousands of years the Irish existed without what we would call a government. The state itself is the enemy. See:
Anyway, I enjoyed the essay.
~ Mark

July 14, 2014 11:02 am

There’s always the danger of a re-enactment of what happened on Aug 24th a hundred years ago if people get mad enough. Not that it’s recommended or endorsed.

July 14, 2014 11:03 am

Uh, TWO hundred years ago

July 14, 2014 11:20 am

wws says “I don’t even let relatives into my house for more than 2 or 3 days at a time. And that includes children and parents. ”
Yikes! Didn’t YOU live with your parents for quite a while? No matter how busy you think you are, find time to spend with your parents. They don’t live forever.
“I spent my life so far working and building so that NO ONE can come in my house…”
I’ve spent the last 3 years built a larger home just so we COULD invite our parents and our kids for extended stays and holidays. Measure success by the quantity of grandkids thundering down your stairs at Christmas. They don’t stay young for very long.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
July 14, 2014 11:23 am

peter said on July 14, 2014 at 9:40 am:

I wish for this essay to appear on Obama’s desk in the Oval Office – on a slack day so that he has time to read it.

He would rub his hands together in glee and rejoice upon seeing how the commoners are ready to so strongly embrace the essential principle of shared sacrifice that lies at the core of the Communist philosophy he was taught and raised in by his parents and his mentors.
He might even jet out for another round of golf to celebrate.
If we are to gather together and fend for ourselves and each other as when in a time of war or natural disaster, and this is clearly not a natural disaster, then we should be able to honestly admit We Are At War and take appropriate action against our enemy.
If I am asked to give the food on my plate to a hungry neighbor because a blatant thief brazenly stole my neighbor’s food, and clearly intends to do so repeatedly, I reserve the right to apply corrective action to said thief.

July 14, 2014 11:29 am

On the other hand,, not the way. Do it so that is proves up that cars and home heat and cooling is not a cause of climate change.
Do say 20 years of nothing but drive to any place we can, world wide, leave the heat and air conditioning on 24/7 365 the whole time. Fly, boat, drill for oil, dig for coal, have a good old time.
Only thing would be happy people, more car, boat, air plane sales, more jobs more taxes and less wars (due to every one being happy for a change).
It has never been about the climate. It is only about control, control for power over us all.

Gary Hladik
July 14, 2014 11:35 am

Stephen Rasey says (July 14, 2014 at 9:39 am): “So, as protest, we should do what the EPA Administrator would love to order but knows she cannot?”
Exactly. As long as it’s “our” problem, the politicians have no incentive to solve it.
With a slight modification, however, Caleb Shaw’s proposal can actually work. I was inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” movement:
If the 99% can’t pay their heating bills, they should move in with the 1% who can. Don’t Occupy Your Neighbor’s House, as Caleb Shaw suggests, Occupy Your Politician’s House. I can just see Barry confronting a crowd of the elderly poor who’ve come to stay the winter with him in his nice warm white house (which could accommodate quite a few of the freezing poor, I hear). Those coming to stay the winter should probably bring a few of their dependent grandchildren as well; who could turn them away?
Of course there’s always the danger that the elderly poor will be taken to jail, where they’ll suffer from three square meals a day and adequate heat…hmmm. I’m getting another idea…

Gary Hladik
July 14, 2014 11:41 am

Mark Stoval (@MarkStoval) says (July 14, 2014 at 10:54 am): “What you are complaining about is just the way that governments act. Every government that has ever existed ended up brutalizing its own citizens at some point. It is a law of nature more sure than that of gravitation.”
This should be repeated in every comment thread at WUWT. This site wouldn’t need to exist if we hadn’t given politicians the power to screw up our lives so badly.

July 14, 2014 12:07 pm

Thanks to all for the many comments.
The spelling of “porphyria” I used, “porphuria,” was clipped and pasted from the BBC. Perhaps the word is spelled differently in England, or perhaps the BBC is just wrong, (which wouldn’t be a first.)
I don’t at all mind “grammar Nazis” correcting me, as I’m always learning.
It surprises me that so many feel the government wants people “cohabiting.” I didn’t think of that aspect. It would spoil all the fun to be behaving in the manner they wanted.
Mostly I wanted people aware of what we could be facing this winter. Forewarned is forearmed. The worst case scenario would be to have the power go off right in the middle of an arctic outbreak.
Regarding dccowboy’s comment mentioning Joe Bastardi and Joseph D’Aleo; it was through their Weatherbell Site that I first saw the model showing the especially cold winter. Dr. Ryan Maue has a great array of models there.
Then, just as I was brushing up the third draft of this essay, I noted Joseph D’Aleo mentioned, at the bottom of a post on his Weatherbell blog, “With the projected closure of 60 gigawatts (GW) of coal plant capacity, virtually the entire U.S. is rapidly reaching the brink of significantly higher prices for electricity and being unable to meet either the summer or winter peak demand for power. Unless immediate steps are taken to halt coal plant closures.
In a major cold outbreak, the grid may fail and large areas may be in the dark during extreme cold. This 1989 blackout from a failure of the Canadian grid (satellite picture) may be a preview of our situation for which politicians will likely blame power companies instead of their own bad policy/regulations.”
So I am not the only one worried.
There is some risk of looking like an Alarmist and Chicken Little, if the winter turns out mild, however I feel that if enough people make enough noise beforehand, the government won’t be able to pretend it didn’t know disaster was looming.
I would like to know more about William Sears suggestion that closing down a house could lead to increased maintenance costs.
I’m in the middle of a busy day, but will check back in this evening and respond to comments.

Brian R
July 14, 2014 12:09 pm

The cash for clunkers had an effect on auto insurance as well. The way a insurance company decides if a vehicle is totaled is by looking at 2 values and the estimate for repairs. The two values are the market cost of the vehicle(NADA or KBB) and getting the salvage value from a local salvage yard. They subtract the salvage value from the market value, and if the cost of repair equals or exceeds the remainder then the vehicle is totaled. Generally salvage values ran about 20-25% of market value. But after cash for clunkers they shot up to 45-50% with some vehicles with only hail damage(undamaged drivetrain) in the 50-60% range. With higher salvage values this left a smaller window for the cost of the repairs before the vehicle was a total loss. This caused more vehicles to be totaled increasing the losses paid by insurance companies. Since paid losses are the main driver of insurance rates, this resulted in increased rates across the board.
Salvage values still haven’t returned to pre cash for clunkers levels. It’s not unusual to see salvage values in the 35-40% still 5 years after cash for clunkers started.

July 14, 2014 12:12 pm

Any time government meddles with the free markets, stupid things can happen. Cash for clunkers is a minor example. A friend traded an old but very good van and a small wagon in for an Asian pickup truck. He never drove the van which got 9mpg, always taking the 32mpg wagon. The pickup gets maybe 19. Net result, a very good utility truck off the road and melted down, and more gasoline consumed in the end.
A much more significant example is the mortgage crisis, which was a direct result of government meddling in the mortgage markets, forcing banks to give money to people with poor credit. By the way, they are quietly doing the same thing all over again, so expect a mini-mortgage crisis in a few years time. The banks will be blamed again.
The idea of living with neighbors is not viable. It would need only be a last ditch effort. A march on Washington would be far more effective. Even better, make sure the person you vote for is a true capitalist who believes that a government that governs least governs best. If Bono has it figured out, (he said “give us dignity, give us justice, then leave it to us, we’ll do the rest”) then surely the smartest man ever elected to public office should be able to figure it out. But apparently not. To paraphrase, Obama said ‘Capitalism doesn’t work, it has never worked’. The leader of the worlds greatest capitalist system does not believe in the principals by which it functions. No wonder things are so screwed up.

Alan Robertson
July 14, 2014 12:13 pm

Just in case some have not been paying attention to rumblings around the US, there’s an awful lot of sentiment being expressed online, (but mostly in private conversations,) that could be likened to something like this:
Get your kicks on Route .30-06

Mr Green Genes
July 14, 2014 12:20 pm

“The rebellion I envision doesn’t involve raining bombs or sleeping in subways. It merely involves sleeping at a neighbor’s, or having several elderly neighbors sleep at your house.”
This just reminds me of the popular thought during times of water shortage. “Save water, bath with a friend.”

Joseph Bastardi
July 14, 2014 12:28 pm

From January of this year:
I can go on and on. Those of you that hear me on the radio know that. But the title of this is “Wake Up Cold.” America needs to wake up. The blackouts in the severe cold we just had should not be happening. It’s a sign that our infrastructure will not be able to satisfy the needs of people when repeat severe cold shots in the winters that are coming in the next 20 to 30 years because of the natural cyclical swings of the weather return. It’s a sign that suffering and misery, which this nation has always used as something to drive it to improve and help the weakest among us, is of no consequence to people that have an agenda that trumps any sense of reality. And their words prove it. The fact anyone can use the opposite of what they were saying to look for several years ago as evidence they are right shows we are dealing with people who will stop at nothing to have their way. And weather and climate are mere tools to them to try to enforce their will. As I said a few years ago, a nation built on the freedoms to confront reality will not survive if shackled by policies that chase utopian ghosts.
The wake up cold is a wake up call.
In talking to people in the snow fighting industry as well as the energy industry, we are on the ropes, and not able to fight back because are hands are being tied. I fear for my country

July 14, 2014 12:35 pm

What this column is about is looking for ways to aid and assist our neighbors. That requires us to be active in noticing their state and it is this old-fashioned good-sense that I really liked about this article. Yet rationing, or using a communal response to the shortages, is precisely what we must consider is about to happen.
Causing people to lose power by mandating worthless wind turbines, and simultaneously shutting down coal plants, must be seen for what it is. It is a segway to selling Smart Meters to the American people. Smart meters have remote controls from very great distances, and are able to detect appliances in the house. And like all Broken Window Economic follies, it would require getting rid of perfectly good electric meters on our homes to buy new ones, which are esp. designed to withstand extremely high temperatures.
Those investing in Smart meters expect them to enjoy a world wide demand. The next president will likely be a Smart meter salesman, in the way that this current president was an insurance salesman. This is because it is now routine to mandate the purchase of products, and yet it is not Constitutional to force American citizens to buy anything. Now that this is in their power, the government is the only customer.
So the communal/rationing response is the whole purpose of the disruption of the energy sector. Reducing energy supply, introducing price volatility, and probably greatly increasing demand on the electric grids by selling electric cars, can only go one way. Rationing by Smart meter. I would rather be saved from that than the cold.

July 14, 2014 12:36 pm

A lot of good ideas in the article, however, the good, if brief, is twice as good. Just saying…

July 14, 2014 12:45 pm

Paul Drahn July 14, 2014 at 10:36 am “The author is ignoring the fact that for most of the colonies, they were the private property of whomever the King gave a charter to. …”
Acutally, it’s simply not relevant. See this article:
Quote from the article about Lord Balitmore (the Kings grantee of the Maryland colony) “He could not tax his people without their consent, but he could coin money, make war and peace, pardon criminals, establish courts, and grant titles of nobility.” Underscore and bold the “could not tax his people without their consent”.
For those without the time to read about colonial America, just note the Brits had Kings, a Parliament and a freehold land system intermingled with the old feudal one. In short, even Maryland created a legislative body in 1635 (math says over 100 years before the Revolution) AND they passed laws, etc. Basically, the Brits mostly set up Brit governing traditions of the times but still needed to offer some inducements to get non-slaves to get on the boats.
Do some land grant research as well. Even after the Revolution, the former colonies put forth their territorial claims since the new State Governments sold land and taxed the land for money (just like the superceded colonies). The post-Revolutionary War period saw VA splitting it’s territoy (think Kentucky). The Connecticut Land Company bought and sold lots and lots of land in Ohio. Note the Connecticut colony’s grant from the King was from sea to sea but Connecticut lost that one.
Regardless, the consent of the freeholders to be taxed dates back to the earliest of the charters in the early 1600’s.
All in all, this was a simply great article.

July 14, 2014 1:25 pm

“Unless these relatives considered their own family to be the enemy, there could have been no World War One”
None of them had absolute power.
It was others who made the fatal decisions.

John F. Hultquist
July 14, 2014 1:25 pm

An interesting essay, thanks.
When the “Cash for Clunkers” happened we had a ’93 Buick with big patches of gray primer showing because of peeling paint. It did not qualify as the “clunker” it surely was. The gas mileage was too good. A few months after, a friend of a friend needed a car. We gave him the Buick. We frequently get rid of the old cars by adding up the value of the tires and the gas in the tank. This one was free.
The Marie Antoinette story needs to be checked for accuracy. Much like Canute the Great and the tide story, the report known to most is wrong.
A related King – Colonies story:
To ensure that the best of the mast trees remained available for the Royal Navy and British ship builders, England declared the largest white pines to be the property of the King, marked, protected, and harvested for the government’s use.

July 14, 2014 1:36 pm

This is very sweet but please don’t spread your idea, the British government would be all for it but the elderly in both our countries would probably tell you to get lost.
An extra 30,000 don’t die in a harsh British winter because most of them can’t afford the heat. It’s more of a lack of awareness and familiarity with cold conditions. Usually they don’t freeze to death, they die of strokes and heart attacks induced by thickening of the blood and while a lack of home heating makes that more likely, it’s not a problem reserved for the poor. Another big killer in the cold is winter bugs that damage the lungs, especially pneumonia caused by persistent colds and influenza. Even a bout of the norovirus can kill the desire to eat, no matter how much food there is in the house. Not eating is a major life limiter. The British elderly are more likely to have a fall than those who normally experience the cold, simply because they don’t have the right sort of footwear.
If you want to help them, get the flu vax and stay at home when you or your kids have a bug or practice very careful hygiene if you have to go out. Get your elderly friends walking when the temperatures are warmer as mobility is key to health. By all means help them to get their homes insulated (in the UK it’s free) and remind them to put warm clothes on, especially a hat, even if they’re just popping out. If there are outside jobs, then that’s an excellent time to help because people concentrating on a job often forget how long they’ve been outside, losing warmth, and slippery conditions increase the chance of a fall. Don’t abuse antibiotics so that there will be effective ones when needed.
Keep fighting the stupid things done in the name of AGW and then the elderly can afford their own heat.

July 14, 2014 1:45 pm

Before I embark on the epic voyage of reading this, I will comment on the part I have read so far, the part about King George III.
The author, in common with most Americans blame George III for the problems of the colonists leading up to the American Revolution. In fact, then, as now, the monarch had (mostly) only symbolic power. The laws of the land (and the Empire) bore his signature, but he was not the author of them, nor were they his ideas.
The blame for what happened lies squarely with the parliament. They were the authors of the laws and policies, they were responsible for sending the King’s army to enforce them.
It is important to remember that in England, the armed forces swear allegiance to the crown for pretty much the same reasons that the US armed forces swear allegiance to the flag, and not the federal government. It (in theory at least) puts a firewall between the army and the government.
In the case of the UK, in theory at least, the Queen could order the armed forces to remove an abusive government without causing a constitutional crisis. No doubt the government being removed would see it as such, but it would be perfectly legal.
So yes, it was the King’s army that imposed the laws, but not at the order of the King – although his signature would have been on the orders. Those orders would have been written by the government, quite likely at the behest of wealthy individuals (equivalent of today’s banksters) wanting to carve up and control the American colonies as they had done with India and somewhat in Canada.
If it makes you feel better to personalize the issue and blame one man, go ahead. But in reality he was rather feeble minded and he was sick. He was exploited by his government at the behest of what would these days be called corporate greed.
I won’t touch on the complicity of some of the colonists, lets just say that this was an attempt to control and exploit the resources of the American colonies by greedy people.
It backfired, because the people they were trying to exploit ere not “ignorant savages” as in other countries, but educated and competent Englishmen (and a few other nationalities too, to be fair) who recognized exploitation when they saw it.
Yes, giving representation in parliament would have been the correct way to handle this, but that would have made a big dent in the riches that current members saw as their own from exploiting the colonies.
King George III was a tool. Not the author of the entire sad episode. The French, of course, were perfectly happy to stir the pot too.

Jim Clarke
July 14, 2014 1:53 pm

It is not just the people in Washington who are barking mad…it is the culture and the entire system of Washington that is nuts. Sane people go their and become mad in a matter of weeks. But most who go to Washington are already barking mad, because the election process requires a person to gradually give up their sanity. The fund raising, the lying, the special interests and the game-playing required to be elected, gradually destroy the most noble among us.
This is our fault. We no longer require our so-called representatives to be honest or statesmen and women. We require them to tell us what we want to hear regardless of reality, and elect them on their ability to lie convincingly and massage the media. We elect con artists, and they appoint their fellow con artists to important positions, and then they laugh all the way to the bank.
Like Joe Bastardi, I fear for my country. What we need is a grass roots effort to restore our constitutional republic, but most of the blades of grass have no idea what a constitutional republic is and no clue as to why they should want one. In time they will find out, but it may be too late when they do.

July 14, 2014 1:57 pm

Glad someone finally mentioned the Cash for Clunkers gimmick. In our small rural area clunkers are driven by everyone. The car dealers were furious being forced to destroy vehicles that much of our town couldn’t afford, even used. I started off angry. This is a coal mining area, and it just gets worse.

July 14, 2014 2:00 pm

I don’t think that fuel poverty is going to spark a big, long-lasting protest here. D.C. will just expand its EBT program to cover fuel.
What’s needed is for contrarians to actually get some funding to amplify the case they are making, and for global temperatures turn down.

July 14, 2014 2:08 pm

What the ??? That method of protest could not be more wrong than if written by a rabid environmentalist or Nancy Pelosi herself. Makes about as much sense as suggesting we all protest by moving our families into high-rise, 600sq ft , no-frill apartments and getting rid of our personal vehicles. We need to do the exact OPPOSITE. If you want freedom from these people, it will not be free.
I am fighting the socialist “FLEX YOUR POWER” plan as well,. When they call for turning off lights and all appliances during normal hrs, I do just the opposite. Need a few blackouts to get people to say “screw this” and start demanding more low cost energy power plants. If CAGW were real, then I would agree to make sacrifices. However, I choose NOT to reduce my standard of living and give up my freedoms just to make some Progressive happy. If you want to live your life ‘Doing Without”, that is exactly what you will get if you succumb to this Progressive agenda.

July 14, 2014 2:10 pm

Vote with your feet, find somewhere warm to live, like we did – 25 degrees south, on the bottom edge of the Queensland tropics.
There is nothing you can do for the old – in a few years they will die anyway, when social runs out of money.
But the young still have a chance.

Bruce Cobb
July 14, 2014 2:10 pm

That dog won’t hunt.

July 14, 2014 2:20 pm

The only thing keeping my noisy neighbours alive is that they live in an entirely separate building from me. Just saying.

July 14, 2014 2:34 pm

E.M.Smith says:
July 14, 2014 at 9:54 am
I like your idea better. A yearly exodus, a caravan X hundred (or thousand) vehicles long, growing bigger with each year as the word spreads. No one’s home “invaded” and no one living under anyone else’s rules, yet all traveling together on an adventure into the warmth – Flocking to the Sunshine (while telling the government to “Flock Off”).
Those who don’t want to holiday south, can bunk in together as Caleb suggests. No have-to anywhere. So that’s two ideas, two solutions.
I like the traveling caravan idea. Not only would there be adventure, but there’s a lot of room for slogans, flags and banners on the sides of those buses – a traveling tour with a message.

Steve Oregon
July 14, 2014 2:37 pm

Making the barking mad even worse is the fact that government itself will have to pay higher fuel and energy prices from budgets already insufficient.
So on top of debilitating higher cost impacts on the elderly, poor, businesses and all others new fees and taxes will be needed to pay for the higher cost of government at every level.
At some point this level of deliberate official madness becomes a crime against humanity demanding public upheaval, intervention and prosecution. Does it not?

July 14, 2014 2:54 pm

You might be interested in this graph I did a year ago of the UK circumstances in which the rising costs of energy were graphed against the falling temperatures.
The UK govt managed the Unique treble of increasing fuel prices dramatically just as temperatures tumbled whilst at the same time reducing the number of power stations to produce that energy in the first place.
Pure genius!
It would be very interesting to see similar graphs for other western countries that have followed this mad route of penalising its citizens to fight a climate threat few of us can see or feel

Steve from Rockwood
July 14, 2014 3:24 pm

I missed the paragraph about moving in your neighbors after you turn your heat off. Our neighbors have horses, the others have cows. Not sure how that would work with our dogs.
In my home province of Ontario the Liberal government has presided over a 10 year reign of rising electricity prices (they’ve doubled). Then the Premier cancelled two gas plants at a cost of $1 billion to the tax payers just to win two seats in an election. What did we citizens do? We re-elected the Liberals with a majority.
If we can’t even elect a proper government how can we possibly bring ourselves to move in with our neighbors and have a measurable effect on the system?
On the other hand my one neighbor has an amazing wine cellar so I could be persuaded to help in this noble cause – if I can choose which neighbor…

July 14, 2014 3:27 pm

Perhaps there is a misdiagnosis here. One possibility is that they are not “barking mad,” but these politicians want electricity and personal transportation to be a class privilege.
Human life is not at all made happy by having basic needs met. If that were the case, then we may all be incarcerated into Smart cities for our own happiness. Instead, our country has always been a place where any citizen can engage in commercial activity and own private property. Now that there are unnavigable environmental and tax laws, it is becoming impossible for the cook to open a restaurant, or the farm owner to grow crops at a profit.
But for the Eris-tocracy, there are always waivers from the regulatory maze of tax and environmental laws they pass.
It is called, “the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law.” This is an ancient class of people, and seizing what anyone else has or enjoys by using regulations is all they are capable of. This Eris-tocracy only wants enough people alive to serve their palaces (and perhaps to live under the Collectivist system that makes them feel good about themselves). So the misdiagnosis is that they are not mad in a psychological sense, but they are spiritually insane.

July 14, 2014 3:36 pm

Alcheson says, “Makes about as much sense as suggesting we all protest by moving our families into high-rise, 600sq ft , no-frill apartments and getting rid of our personal vehicles.”
I did a little looking around recently, and in fact the minimum apartment sizes are now being slowly worked around. For example:
“In San Francisco, developers are seeking permission to rent out apartments as small as 150 square feet.”
“Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday invited developers to propose ways to turn a Manhattan lot into an apartment building filled mostly with what officials are calling “micro-units” — dwellings complete with a bathroom, built-in kitchenette and enough space for a careful planner to use a fold-out bed as both sleeping space and living room.
If the pilot program is successful, officials could ultimately overturn a requirement established in 1987 that new apartments here be at least 400 square feet.”

July 14, 2014 3:47 pm

It is taxation with representation that turns corporations into “people.” Corporations pay taxes just like people and so corporations have the same rights to representation as people. If you pay you get to play. Easy solution, quit taxing corporations. Corporate taxation just invites corruption and government manipulation of the marketplace. Back to the Constitution. Divide the federal budget by census determined (it’s original purpose) legal citizens and send a bill to each state for collection. Or a flat tax or prorated or something (figure it out) percentage of personal income from all sources and push the current tax code overboard.

Reply to  nickreality65
July 15, 2014 5:32 am

@Nickreality65 – Taxes are a form of behavior modification. Sometimes planned (excise taxes on luxury goods) and sometimes not. And thus taxes on corporations are also a behavior modification. So I doubt they will ever be done away with.
However your idea is a worthy one. It does present an interesting dilemma for the left. They can get rid of the whole “Corporations” free speech issues (the campaign contributions) by eliminating taxes on them, but then they would not be able to control the corporations the way they would like (penalizing them for paying executives too much – the amount decided arbitrarily).

Rhoda R
July 14, 2014 3:51 pm

Zeke, you are talking about a room that is 10 x 15 feet! That’s not living area that is jail cell. Apparently no one will be expected to have a partner or children in the future.

Reply to  Rhoda R
July 15, 2014 5:33 am

@Rhoda R – that is the plan.

July 14, 2014 3:51 pm

Thank you for this article. I’m one of those people who can no longer afford to heat the place, haven’t been able to for about 4 years. I’ve also been looking to replace my piece-of-crap car for months but simply cannot find anything used remotely within my price range. I’m pretty rural so without my car food shopping is pretty much limited to the gas station down the street, which of course drains even more money.
It’s not the struggle that bothers me—it’s knowing the cause of it, the needlessness of it, and that there’s no way out of it without ‘permission’ or becoming even more of a ‘criminal’ than I’m already forced to be. And oh how I resent the snotty, condescending responses i get if I dare question the wisdom or compassion of the policies that cause this. They’re tailor-made to ‘help’ people just like me, dontcha know, because all poor people are by definition too stupid to run their own lives.
I don’t think I will ever be able to see the government, the UN, or supporters of either as anything but dangerous enemies ever again.

Eugene WR Gallun
July 14, 2014 3:51 pm

A slack day for Obummer is a day when he is not playing golf.
Eugene WR Gallun

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
July 14, 2014 3:58 pm

The idea of sharing quarters in cold weather goes back a long time. See the practice of “bundling” in colonial America. I read of this originally in the book Our Lusty Forefathers, which devoted a chapter to the practice.

July 14, 2014 4:11 pm

Rhoda R says:
July 14, 2014 at 3:51 pm “Zeke, you are talking about a room that is 10 x 15 feet! That’s not living area that is jail cell. Apparently no one will be expected to have a partner or children in the future.”
The average prison cell is 6’x8′.
A lot of people truly enjoy the 32’x8′ camper trailer, even with 3 or 4 kids – but of course the charm of that is probably being in the wilderness and planning to leave to another beautiful location after a few days. (;

July 14, 2014 4:19 pm

A bit more of this would get governments around the world taking a little more notice of their peoples.
Think about the action and apply it to your “leaders” for want of a better word.
It couldn’t be all bad.

July 14, 2014 4:49 pm

These are not unintended consequences. They are intentional. We are not witnessing breath taking stupidity, but cunning deceit. The destruction of civilization really is their goal.
E.g. “Cash for Clunkers” was intended to eliminate the vehicles that could be afforded by poorer families, thus driving them into using public transportation.

Lil Fella from OZ
July 14, 2014 5:24 pm

Let ‘wise’ people make decisions and that’s what you get. I think they call it bureaucracy.

July 14, 2014 5:33 pm

Leo Smith says:
July 14, 2014 at 10:19 am
Leo, every last one of us could refuse to pay taxes and D.C. wouldn’t blink an eye. They would get the money from the FED printing presses. This was part of why Reagan’s starve the beast didn’t work. Two other things would be necessary to make that work 1) end the fed and 2) Constitutional Amendment forbidding borrowing.

July 14, 2014 6:04 pm

It was hard to tend to business this afternoon, with my mind thinking about some of the comments.
I must say some of you people sound grumpy. We’d likely get along great, if stuck together for sixty days. However we’d likely get a tongue-lashing from the local preacher, in terms of our ability to love-our-neighbor. (When I write I like to have sub-themes wound in with the main theme, and loving-our-neighbors, and our modern inability to do so, was a sub-theme of this work.)
I got to thinking about the concern some expressed that we are being herded like sheep to slaughter into 150 square foot units. They feared doubling-up for sixty days was an incremental step in that direction. I myself think the incremental step might be different. It might be to get people so deeply in debt that they lose their homes. If people doubled-up for sixty days, and sailed through the winter without getting more deeply in debt, then anyone who wanted people to lose their homes would say, “Curses! Foiled again!”
I certainly would not want anyone doubling-up against their will. It merely is an option the lower middle class might consider. However, judging from the comments, I doubt my proposal will go viral. It was just a trial balloon, and apparently is a lead one.

July 14, 2014 6:39 pm

“Queen Victoria’s grandchildren occupied thrones that governed roughly half the planet, as King of England”
It was as King of Great Britain that the king reigned over the British Empire, not just as King of England.
“The fact such legislated “energy poverty” is barking mad was already proven, by an increase in the death rate of the elderly in England by 30,000 in the winter of 2012-2013. ”
Not true. That was the death rate for the whole UK, not just England.
“The English leaders were barking mad”
They were actually the leaders of Britain, not just England, and not all of them are English, either.

July 14, 2014 6:48 pm

RE: Zeke says:
July 14, 2014 at 3:27 pm
“Human life is not at all made happy by having basic needs met…”
I grew up in a wealthy suburb, and then was quite downwardly mobile. It has been my observation that the rich are less happy. Their suicide rate is higher. The poor appreciate the little they have more. You appreciate a nice meal more when you don’t get many of them.
I don’t think the government should meet needs with welfare. It is not healthy for the human spirit to be on charity. (Pensions, and gifts of gratitude, are different.) What the government should do is keep prices for food and other essentials stable and low. The policies of our government have failed to do this.

Reply to  Caleb
July 15, 2014 6:23 am

What the government should do is keep prices for food and other essentials stable and low.

Central Planning? Did not work so hot for the old USSR.

Reply to  philjourdan
July 15, 2014 7:55 am

RE: philjourdan says:
July 15, 2014 at 6:23 am
“Central Planning? Did not work so hot for the old USSR.”
Did I mention central planning? It seems to me that a government of the people, for the people, has no center, except for the people.
The fact of the matter is that some will have power. To try to imagine an anarchist’s utopia, where no one has power, seems to deny the facts of human nature. One way or another, power ends up in the hands of certain individuals. Sometimes they are democratically elected. Sometimes it is by brute force. Sometimes it is through sly trickery. And sometimes the individual doesn’t even want it.
The question then becomes, what the heck do you do with the power? What would you do, philjordan?
I’m not sure what I’d do, but I know I would try not to treat the poor like vermin. That’s what disgusts me most about some wealthy people’s attitudes. They lack fundamental elements of humanity.

Reply to  Caleb
July 15, 2014 9:54 am

@Caleb – I know you did not mention central planning. Hence the question mark.
However, your statement about “keep prices low” indicates some sort of controlling central authority to intercede and veto normal market workings. While you are correct that someone will always have more power, the key to any free society is to ensure those with the extra power do not have enough to control the lives of others to the degree you appear to be advocating.
The only way to circumvent the law of supply and demand is through control. You are advocating more control. That is what the old USSR tried and failed.
Government meddling in the markets always ends bad. In most cases, it results in shortages (see Venezuela and Toilet Paper for a current example). In some others it results in gross overages (see the Lada). When government over regulates, that restricts supply and drives up cost (to drive down demand), or over supplies and drives down prices on items no one is buying.
So the best answer is to keep government out of it – both energy and food. Which means no guarantees.

Michael 2
Reply to  Caleb
July 15, 2014 11:44 am

Caleb wrote “What the government should do is keep prices for food and other essentials stable and low. The policies of our government have failed to do this.”
While the Soviets were successful at keeping prices low, they failed at maintaining supply. This produced long lines of people waiting for scarce commodities.
In the United States, subsidies and other programs help stabilize supply and prices.
It is not surprising or particularly useful to observe that socialism has not worked anywhere for very long. What *is* surprising is that people not only keep wishing for it (as I do at times) but think it is actually possible.

July 14, 2014 7:08 pm

RE: RoHa says:
July 14, 2014 at 6:39 pm
Sorry. I am always putting my foot in it, using the word “English” when I should say “British.” I figure that, by the time I finally get it right, you’ll be calling yourselves “Euro’s” I’ll never win.

July 14, 2014 7:36 pm

Mostly I wanted people aware of what we could be facing this winter. Forewarned is forearmed. The worst case scenario would be to have the power go off right in the middle of an arctic outbreak.

Well, I’ve got a couple cords of wood, and a 10kw generator with a LOT of NG on site. Power could go out for weeks, I’m cool, er, warm.
But, huddling together in a freezing city wouldn’t be a solution I would seek.

July 14, 2014 7:41 pm

Great post. However, as someone with porphyria, I am a bit unhappy with the way you portray us. When having a bad time with the porphyrins, we can be irritable and irrational; but most times, we are like everyone else. I have a engineering degree from Georgia Tech; so, I must have some lucid moments. It is a very rare and challenging genetic problem.
If curious, check out
I really do agree with everything else in the post, though.

July 14, 2014 7:58 pm

You’ve got to be careful you don’t through out reason when dealing with unreason!
I’d demand a roster for first use of the bathwater! We can draw straws to decide who gets the first week! I speak from experience, as the youngest in a big family!! 😉

July 14, 2014 8:03 pm

You’ve got to be careful you don’t throw out reason when dealing with unreason! ;-(

July 14, 2014 8:36 pm

‘you’ll be calling yourselves “Euro’s”’
Doubtful, but if it happens you can be sure the leaders will still be barking mad. You certainly got that bit right.

Mike T
July 14, 2014 8:58 pm

It’s Queen Elizabeth II (with a zed) 🙂 Eric Worrall, interesting that you’ve moved to 25S… I’m soon to move to ~45S, being sick of hot summers. As for the essay above, some interesting ideas… but… I can’t see it coming off. One other thing, London wasn’t bombed EVERY day during the Blitz. There were other targets, and days the bombers couldn’t fly. Nevertheless, the spirit of the British during the Blitz was remarkable. Pity the Allies didn’t take note when they tried to bomb Germany into submission. It took a LOT of civilian lives (and Nazi stupidity & incompetence, such as diverting concrete for shelters to other uses) before the German populace began to crack.

July 14, 2014 9:37 pm

“Come on down to Florida, or Texas. Enter the land of freedom and warmth again. Tens of thousands are already doing it.”
Be careful what you wish for. Many of those people fleeing decaying, high-tax states have spent their entire lives voting for politicians who offered them ‘free stuff’ and lead to that decay and those high taxes. You should be building walls to keep them out, not encouraging them to move in.
Back to the Blitz, it’s worth noting that the British people had to rebel against the government, who didn’t want them sheltering in the London Underground system during bombing raids; Richard North wrote some interesting articles about the real history of the Blitz a year or two back. In WWIII, the government would, similarly, have closed off most of the main roads and left the majority of people to die where they lived, rather than risk them interfering with their War Plans as they tried to find a place safe from Soviet attack.

July 14, 2014 9:40 pm

I agree with Alcheson, live well, don’t lower your standard of living. The polar bears aren’t dying off anytime soon. That is exactly what the watermelon people want anyway. One day you wake up and you are both hungry and cold. Before the sun went quite recently, I was convinced that AGW was going to win this battle of wits. Also being convinced that it would probably get colder, I put my money where my mouth is, I bought property way on down south. As one of my neighbors said, ‘why are they rototilling the snow?’ So there, even if its gets colder here, I won’t freeze to death for a lack of $5/gal propane, and while I may not be able to provide for all of my needs, I won’t go hungry either. I’m not a beyond the side walks person, just making the best of a bad situation. I can live without air conditioning, I can’t live without heat. That’s a big o’ hole in that recent article about how people in Indonesia move to slightly cooler places. AGW is not just bad science. AGW flawed at best, fraud at worst.

Power Grab
July 14, 2014 9:51 pm

Re: “Perhaps we could organize a communal caravan of caravans.”
Reminds me of scenes from the movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”.

July 14, 2014 10:09 pm

Here’s a relevant quote from another thread:

William Astley says:
July 10, 2014 at 1:34 am
The UN deep decarbonization equation is not correct. The UN equation assumes a 50% drop in GDP will result in a 50% drop in CO2 emissions. That is not correct. The drop in GDP is not sustainable.
The error in the UN equation is the drop in the GDP is not sustainable and cannot therefore be used to achieve the insane, purposeless deep decarbonization goal. If GDP trends to zero (no goods and services produced by a country and no funds to purchase critical input goods and services, such as the volatile food and energy) we starve and in cold countries freeze to death.
Well before GDP drops to zero there will be riots in our cities. The politicians will respond to the riots by stopping the insane deep decarbonization policies.

Bill Parsons
July 14, 2014 10:21 pm

The most popular new car purchased in trade-ins during the 2009 Cash-for-Clunkers mess was the Toyota Corolla. Depending on what you think of recalls (and some people think there may be a silver lining to all those recalls) the clunkers program might be viewed as the policy gift that keeps on giving. Quite a few Corollas of that year have subsequently been recalled. Allen Blinder, one of the architects of the C for C program, says the Keynesian model of recovery endorses stimulus of any kind. I’ll put words in his mouth and say that the repairs needed to fix the initial rounds of stimuli qualify as useful economic stimuli. After all, auto mechanics, salesmen and repairmen need employment too!
Here’s the history of 2009 Toy Cam recalls, according to “Motor Trend Magazine”, including the component defect and number of cars affected:
2009 – Brakes, hydraulic systems, 95,705
2010 – Equipment, other, labels, 271,417
2010 – Equipment, other, labels, 153,418
2010 – Vehicle speed control: accelerator pedal, 2,230,661
2010 – Vehicle speed control: accelerator pedal, 1,126,915
2012 – Visibility: Power window devices, 2,519,424
2014 – Air bags, 1,486,413
So, there were close to 8 million recalls of 2009 Toyota Corollas over the years since they were sold, at the height of the exchanges for clunkers. The Toyotas I’ve owned seem extraordinarily reliable and pretty darnded fuel-efficient to boot, and wasn’t that the idea of C for C? So how come Attn. Gen Holder still saw fit to sue them for doing whatever they did, so that no other car company would try to do that… er…
Talk about barking mad. Now there are so many companies stepping up to recall some five-and-dime “safety” defect, the contrition is becoming palpable. You’ve got to wonder what gives?
Who knows? Maybe “cash for clunkers” was a raging success.

July 14, 2014 10:26 pm

“Now there are so many companies stepping up to recall some five-and-dime “safety” defect, the contrition is becoming palpable. You’ve got to wonder what gives?”
Seems to me that the media are no longer willing to report on real scandals, so they have to make some up. Now, sure, in some cases people have died as a result of these defects, but it seems fairly clear that the risk is small in most cases and the cost of the recalls is often much higher than the cost of not fixing them.

July 14, 2014 10:37 pm

My father was 25 in 1930 and therefore had his outlook on life coloured to a huge degree by the Depression; it certainly cast a larger shadow than WW2.
I recall him saying in one conversation about those times, making a point about how tough they were, “People were living three families to a house.”
I’m currently about two-thirds through reading Lords of Finance: the Bankers Who Broke the World. You want evidence of stupid politicians? Any time pre-1935 is the place to find them.
Today’s lot may be stupid, venal, incompetent, lazy, uncaring . . . anything you care to name. But those oldtimers could play ’em on a break.

July 14, 2014 11:52 pm

Re Cash for Clunkers:
Moved from UK to USA in 1998. To get me started I bought a 1986 Jeep Cherokee for $1.7k. Still had it 15 years later. Only 350,000 miles on the clock and going strong. Moved to New Zealand last year and California had a plan that gave me $1k to take it off the road so I signed up as a way of a no hassle getting rid of it.
An acquaintance heard I was moving and offered me $250. I told him about my deal for $1k. That price was out of the question for him. I new he was struggling financially and in a charitable decision I sold it to him for the $250. I was also pleased that the car, which had supported me so well for 15 years, was not going to the knackers yard.
Funny also the article mentions ‘electronic innovations’. The only problem I had (except on-going maintenance) was with the new fangled ‘electronic ignition’. Car kept cutting out which was the only time I had to go to a garage. After multiple attempts they found a sensor needed replacing.
Go figure………….

July 15, 2014 2:16 am

RE: Greg says:
July 14, 2014 at 7:41 pm
I apologize for my insensitivity towards people with porphyria. I likely deserved a firmer rebuke, and appreciate the fact you made your criticism in such a kindly and informative manner. Judging from your behavior, people with porphyria are saner than ravers like myself, who lack it.
My only excuse is that I was in too great a hurry to get a dig in, concerning Prince Charles.
It has been my experience that people who have struggles and who know what it is like to suffer are more compassionate, as a general rule, towards their fellow man. (There are, of course, some cases where bitterness is unrelenting.) It is the people who have had everything handed to them on a silver platter who can be amazingly inhumane. (There are, of course, some cases where such people understand how lucky they are, and live lives of generous gratitude.)

July 15, 2014 2:52 am

A lot of these don’t really come to mind straight away, but they make so much sense after reading them. Great article Gabe 🙂

July 15, 2014 2:59 am

Going over the comments a second time, I notice few leapt to the defense of government policy. The question seems to be whether the ineptitude is intentional or not. Some feel the government is innocently stupid, while others feel it is malicious towards the poor, and fully intends to take away the poor’s vehicles, homes, and even warmth in the winter.
If the government is malicious, we have a big problem on our hands. One thing that should be done is to ask them flat out what they intend, pointing out the consequences that are manifesting. Unlike the current mainstream media, the questions should be pointed and unrelenting. “Are these consequences unintended consequences, or are they intentional?” They will waffle as only politicians can, but if you pound a nut long enough it eventually will crack, and expose its heart.

July 15, 2014 3:57 am

Rhoda R says:
July 14, 2014 at 3:51 pm
Zeke, you are talking about a room that is 10 x 15 feet! That’s not living area that is jail cell. Apparently no one will be expected to have a partner or children in the future.
you got it, single no kids no pets no or little furniture, a bare and nasty life in a cell in a human variant termite nest..
bloody foul idea!
and if they think people are isolated and going nuts now? well far more would go round th twist living like that

Mr Black
July 15, 2014 4:45 am

Thank god the first comments were all pedantic complaints about stuff that was of trivial importance to the story. Even though I saw the same flaws myself, I understood them in the context of the piece, rather than felt the need to complain.
Some folks have small, uninteresting lives.

July 15, 2014 6:25 am

We rabble have been giving Prince Charles appraising looks ever since he started talking to his plants.I don`t think he`s going to `improve` over the years.

Jim Francisco
July 15, 2014 6:53 am

The cash for clunkers did have an upside. It removed a lot of Obama/Biden bumper stickers.

Dire Wolf
July 15, 2014 7:11 am

I think that the essay misunderstands the intentions of the elite. They want people living in crowded conditions in smaller houses using less fuel. They would be delighted to have people stacked together in “communal living” situations. Jacking up the prices and providing regulations to created communal public housing with shared kitchens and baths — why they would be ecstatic.
The only way to defeat this is to overthrow the elite — at the ballot box for a beginning and if that does not work Americans know what to do if “a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing inevitably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism.”

July 15, 2014 7:58 am

This past January the eastern US grid was stretched to its limit. It was saved by bringing on EPA-mandated semi-retired coal-fired units that were only running in Jan/Feb & July/Aug. Those units are scheduled right now to be completely retired the end of this year, 2014. So, do the math of what could happen this coming Jan if similar cold returns.

Richard Ilfeld
July 15, 2014 10:02 am

Events have overtaken us. Households where a Jr. or Sr. have moved in with the breadwinner are growing like wildfire. Senior multiperson households are as well. Many of the costs of maintaining a household are moderated by group living. The psychological strain come from the economic forcing of an otherwise unanticipated relationship change. The elites currently power like many aspects of this, and will find anecdotal evidence to support their view, ignoring the problems. You are not a person. You are a disposable production unit, except for the few days before each election.
As long as no one comes to their fine home in the DC suburbs, and informs them that the department of housing has determined that it can support 9 citizens……

July 15, 2014 11:05 am

Philip says:
Before I embark on the epic voyage of reading this, I will comment on the part I have read so far, the part about King George III.
The author, in common with most Americans blame George III for the problems of the colonists leading up to the American Revolution. In fact, then, as now, the monarch had (mostly) only symbolic power. The laws of the land (and the Empire) bore his signature, but he was not the author of them, nor were they his ideas.

I very recently completed reading Common Sense, written by an Englishman who had migrated to America (Thomas Paine). He seemed to place a great deal of the blame on the King.

July 15, 2014 11:13 am

beng says:
July 15, 2014 at 7:58 am “This past January the eastern US grid was stretched to its limit. It was saved by bringing on EPA-mandated semi-retired coal-fired units that were only running in Jan Feb & July/Aug. Those units are scheduled right now to be completely retired the end of this year, 2014. So, do the math of what could happen this coming Jan if similar cold returns.”
That is true, those coal plants are going to be shut down by the unelected, unaccountable EPA, and as Sen Inhofe pointed out, this very winter there were record low below zero temps during the “polar vortex wobble,” – and also late planting dates in that area. And these areas in the north are where people will need to look out for others’ interests, as Caleb Shaw has pointed out. Perhaps it is time to be proactive and contact some chains, Lowe’s and Walmart, and see if they have any plans to carry small propane space heaters or things of that nature for the people in the north whose coal is being shut down, and the churches and others may also need help stocking up for some winter supplies for any one in need of help. This is one summer and fall to “plan ahe
ad” (as my grandpa said).
Otherwise, we can already see it now: the public waits for the media to make a fashion whirlwind of the issue of power outages in the cold north. A politician flies in to get his picture taken and declare “an emergency.” And just like clockwork, they will have a government solution to…a government solution. They begin to sell their worthless, unwanted meters.
Sen Inhofe has introduced a bill that would guarantee states could keep their coal online based on the needs of their own citizens.

Ulric Lyons
July 15, 2014 3:43 pm

Caleb says:
“Mostly I wanted people aware of what we could be facing this winter. Forewarned is forearmed. The worst case scenario would be to have the power go off right in the middle of an arctic outbreak.”
I warned of strong Arctic outbreaks last winter particularly from around Jan 7th onwards in my solar based forecasts. For this winter season, there should be some early cold from late October and parts of November. The next notable cold shots should start just after Xmas and last around three weeks, and then from just after mid March for around three weeks. Both of those may well sustain a little longer in the N.E. US. I hope that helps.

Ulric Lyons
July 15, 2014 6:38 pm

Caleb writes:
“In a major cold outbreak, the grid may fail and large areas may be in the dark during extreme cold. This 1989 blackout from a failure of the Canadian grid (satellite picture) may be a preview of our situation for which politicians will likely blame power companies instead of their own bad policy/regulations.”
That one was clearly a solar storm, which there is some risk of around 31 January 2015. Note the pairs of bodies:
The 1859 Carrington Event:
7 March 2012, 5.4 X-flare and large CME:
31 January 2015:

Ed Martin
July 15, 2014 8:16 pm

Hi Caleb, don’t know if you’ve ever seen this. It may not be the best history but pretty accurate. All the major parties have taken green liberalism way too far, to the point of endangering we the people. Of course, the Democrats go way too far on all neo liberal things but neither party ever undoes anything the other party did. Rarely if ever. In some instances actually piling it on worse.
This is why I took to voting third party. Trying to change a party from within seems futile. I am ashamed that I was attracted to take a side with some far left views recently and ignorantly expressed them.
The Revolutionary War was fought simply to break the monopoly of the British East India Company. It wasn’t about the Colonists being mad because they had to pay taxes, they weren’t tea baggers. It was because the British East India Company had recently been exempted from any & all taxes and had all the taxes it had ever paid refunded. Talk about your Corporate Welfare. 
The Colonists were also fearful of the increasingly harsh treatment that this “Walmart of the day” was encouraging the British government to engage, all in the name of corporate profits of course. American ships were labeled as smugglers and the manufacture of goods that the Corporation chose to trade in was prohibited in the colonies and when caught were smashed. Since most of Parliament and the King were shareholders, they had no interest in hearing the grievances of middle class Americans. Sound familiar?
Today many of both parties of our government are now shareholders in one extreme or the other. Passing the baton back and forth in teamwork.

July 15, 2014 9:14 pm

RE: philjourdan says:
July 15, 2014 at 9:54 am
Thanks for explaining so clearly. I don’t mind being taken to task, when it forces me to think and hones my ideas.
In theory I agree with your ideas about the free market. The problem is that some businessmen are so successful that they get an overdose of money, and take steps to control the market, in which case it is no longer free.
You can put the word “Big” in front of any business, and people become nervous. Tyranny takes many forms. Originally unions and environmentalism were little people standing up to such big tyrants, but then they themselves too became “Big.” Now I think of them as Big Unions and Big Environmentalism, and they make me as nervous as Big Business and Big Government. Even our free press has largely allowed itself to be corrupted by greed, and exchanged its freedom for slavery.
I wish it were possible to legislate spirituality, but it isn’t. Spirituality is a mystery that springs from within, however its source often has something to do with suffering. When corruption reaches a certain level, it is the mother of such misery people simply get sick of it.
When the advertising agency a politician hires uses words like “hope” and “change,” it is slyly tapping into people’s hope for a spiritual revival. However, because truth-in-advertising is a good idea that has been corrupted, a leader may be nothing like what was advertised. Then, because modern Americans have been raised fully aware that advertisers are bald-faced liars, they catch on. Rather than seeing suffering decrease, they see it increase. “You cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
Churchill said something along the lines of, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried,” however when the “Big” have enraged the little people, they tend to start thinking democracy is a bad idea. They have been measured and found wanting, but are too addicted to power to give it up. It is at such times democracy is in grave danger.
I think America is facing a time of such danger. The greatest weapon freedom has during such times is the simple Truth, which is like a small candle that can drive back Big darkness. In a society where advertisers have made lying commonplace, Truth can seem blinding and amazingly new, and spark a revival.

Reply to  Caleb
July 16, 2014 8:25 am

@Caleb – I wish to rephrase a comment I made – Add “In Practice” to “Government meddling in the markets always ends bad. ”
I do not disagree with you about “big”, but then you seem to be agreeing with me about government meddling. For the “Big” business seeks the protection and sanction of the government to remain big (GE and GM are 2 of the most egregious recent examples). Big business is not bad in and of itself. But when they conspire with government to limit entry into their markets to maintain their (or grow it) market share, that is bad. And they cannot do that without the complicity of government meddling.
Now to connect back to my rephrasing, in theory, government is supposed to keep the playing field level. for example, they are to make sure that “big” business does not sell below cost in order to bankrupt competitors. They are to keep the markets “free”. But in practice that rarely if ever happens.
Still, as Churchill said, it is the worst except all the others tried. It is not perfect. and it must be constantly monitored as man is not perfect. But let the market decide will always win out over letting government decide. Government is deciding. it is deciding to freeze to death the poor. it is deciding to bankrupt the middle class. None of the policies being enacted and practiced by governments in Europe or the US are hurting the Rich (when they do, they move! See Depardieu). So telling them to “maintain” a price is asking for trouble. And will always end with the poor worse off and the middle class becoming non-existent.
Government policy and intervention did not create the middle class. Bad “big” business did. But government is destroying it.

gail Combs
July 16, 2014 8:53 am

Laws must be passed to prevent this rebellious behavior! If the new congress does not pass the laws, the EPA will do it! Laws against the cohabitation of neighbors must be written in stone! Climate scientists must be hired to prove cohabitation causes Global Warming! (This may seem like an irrational response, but you need to remember these people are barking mad to begin with.)
They may even say it is better for people to freeze alone than to cohabit in a warm, shared, happy household.

I am sorry Caleb but most states already have laws banning those unrelated to each other from co-habiting. Also the town of Fitchburg MA during a ‘Polar Vortex’ winter (1983?), made the church who had out-fitted a member’s unused warehouse into an emergency shelter for street people, turn those people back out onto the street where they literally froze to death. (Made the headline in the local news)
As you said our government is BARKING MAD!
Seems Fitchburg is still having problems:

July 16, 2014 11:57 am

I really enjoyed this article, thanks.

July 16, 2014 3:26 pm

@philjourdan 7/14 at 1:44 pm
a repeal of the 17th amendment would do that. Senators were supposed to be beholding to the states as they were APPOINTED by state legislatures. Until the 17th.
Here is what I would replace the 17th amendment with:
Each state has two senators, an L and P. (Note 1)
the P senators have a 4 year term, elected by popular vote in the state on the even year, congressional, non-presidential election. 2014, 2018, 2022, etc. (Note 2)
The L senators are elected by the State Legislature and serve indefinite terms and can be recalled by the State Legislatures at any time for any cause. They represent the State Legislatures and serve at the pleasure of the State Legislatures.
Note 1: I’d be willing to change that 2 per state to only 1 senator (L) if there was only one or two Congressional Representatives in the state. I think VT, NH, RI have far too much senatorial representation. WY, MT, AK might deserve 1 as well, but so much land area is controlled by the US government, two senators might be fairer.

July 16, 2014 6:27 pm

RE: gail Combs says:
July 16, 2014 at 8:53 am
That is an outrageous story, especially if the homeless died. We can care for refugees but not our own? When I get time I definitely will investigate the story further.
My mother grew up in Fitchburg, and it has had an odd relationship with the town in New Hampshire where I now live:
In the early 1800’s, when water-power was king, people used to travel up here by horse-drawn-wagon from Fitchburg, because we were a center of industry with a “turnpike” through the center of town. However when steam-power became king, the wealthy of my town did a dumb thing, which was to forbid the railway to come to town. They said it would “attract undesirable people” (back then it was the Irish), and they slit their own throats, in terms of business, though I suppose they did become an early version of a “gated community,” for a while. The population of my town crashed as, without a railway, the “turnpike” and its horse-drawn-wagons could not compete, and all but one mill closed, as did many other businesses. People traveled the other way, to Fitchburg, to shop, and for a while there was even a bus service to Fitchburg, however when Massachusetts taxes grew very high people stopped shopping there. In fact the travel is the other way once again, though mostly for booze and fireworks. ( Fitchburg has a very low per-capita-consumption of booze and fireworks, while my town looks like a town of drunks who shoot off fireworks to a huge excess, in terms of per-capita-consumption. ) (It is amazing what you can do with statistics.) As an interesting aside I’ll mention that the single local mill that amazingly survived the stresses of 175 years of upheaval did so by producing specialized fabrics, some of which now sits on the surface of Mars. It is the same mill that made the town rich in the first place, back in the year 1801!
To return to the present, I think it is one thing to close down a church’s outreach, and throw the homeless back out onto the street, and quite another to enforce laws that basically forbid all house-guests except relatives, when you are trying to do it to the middle class during brown-outs in a cold wave. A bureaucrat would need to have a lot of balls, and they are not known for that. After all, the middle class owns hand guns, and I fear they would shove barrels into bureaucrat’s snouts and say stuff Clint Eastwood might say. Bureaucrats might then ask the police to do the job for them, but the police are middle class, and might bend the rules, which they have been known to do from time to time, to the great shock of those who don’t live on the street.
Such laws were likely put in place to prevent hippy communes, and houses full of migrant workers. When the laws put in place by the middle class to protect their own neighborhoods are used against them, I would recommend avoiding Clint Eastwood behavior, and recommend saying that the sheltered person is a relative. (After all, we are all related to either Adam or Eve, or some ape in East Africa, depending on your beliefs.) Draw the line in the sand and make them take it to court. By the time the case comes to court the sixty days will have passed. The judge will likely have such a case-load he’ll be lenient, if the “problem” no longer exists.
Such laws are usually enforced when many neighbors complain about one bunch of hippies or migrants who are trashing one particular place. If a whole neighborhood is doing it, and the places are not trashed, who is going to complain? (You probably know some Ned Nasty or Nellie Numskull in your neighborhood, who would be freezing alone and complaining about people who were warmer, but in a worst-case-scenario, who is going to listen to old Nellie and Ned?)
If you have lived on the street you know that the finer points of the law, which lawyers love to dicker about, are replaced by a sort of law-of-the-jungle, once survival is at stake and a sort of fog-of-war sets in. Although the middle class has attempted to avoid such jungle reality, they are not stupid, and will be quick learners if you shut their power off in January.
I wouldn’t worry too much, Gail, about people being afraid to break some zoning code in a worst-case-scenario. During the London Blitz some complete idiots said it was against the law to sleep in the subway, but I have never read that a single soul served time or even paid a fine for doing so, as the bombs rained down.

Michael 2
Reply to  Caleb
July 16, 2014 8:15 pm

I enjoy reading many of the comments here. As I was reading your story I opened Googly Earth and looked in New Hampshire, but close to Fitchburg, for a small town with an ancient mill still in operation — Ipswich! Very pretty place and I can travel there almost instantly via Street View. I’ve been to Vt, Ma and Ct, but not New Hampshire. So then I study a bit of local history so I can “feel” a little bit about the history and people.

Reply to  Michael 2
July 17, 2014 4:56 am

RE: Michael 2 says:
July 16, 2014 at 8:15 pm
Excellent detective work, though it is not Ipswich, but New Ipswich.
If you check out the “Barret Mansion” you can see the Federal Style mansion the original mill owner built. (I worked there as a tour guide for two summers, and when I got bored of telling the same old story I would make up ridiculous history to entertain the people on the tours.)
What you cannot see is the sleeping quarter of the mill workers. They foolishly removed the roughly thirty side-by-side boxes, crammed together under the eves of the attic of a rooming house by the mill, about ten years ago. The workers ate in a common dining room downstairs, and paid the boss for room and board. It was a pre-Union existence we can’t even imagine.

July 16, 2014 7:11 pm

RE: philjourdan says:
July 16, 2014 at 8:25 am
You are asking me to answer profound questions, or at least to think about things, however I need to confess to you I cannot do you justice. Where you have obviously spent time and effort, and I should obviously repay you with time and effort, I cannot repay you. Look. See. My pockets are turned out and empty.
You see, when I focus my mind on writing I neglect other responsibilities. The lawns are not mowed. The garden isn’t weeded. Two pigs are delivered and I haven’t finished the pig pen. I feed the goats, rabbit and chicken, but forget to feed myself, or even shave myself. If it wasn’t for my writing appearing on WUWT, and nice comments like yours, my wife would likely kick my butt.
Now I have to attend to the responsibilities I neglected. However I am thinking of you, as I uproot crabgrass in the garden, build a pig pen, putter about on a rider mower, and deal with a neglected wife.
At some point, when I have caught up with neglected work, I hope to do some research about questions you have raised. I think I need to study the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, when monopolies such as Rockefeller’s Standard Oil and Carnegie’s Coal threatened to become powers that overpowered the common man. However that is the dead past. I also need to study the present. After I have done so, I hope to re-meet you on some thread, and get back to you.
All I can say at this point is that politicians in Washington seem to live in some alternative universe. I face an earthy reality where, if I neglect my responsibilities, there is hell to pay. (If I don’t water my chickens in the heat, they die.) They live in some other la-la land.
They are barking mad. And I think we agree on that.

Reply to  Caleb
July 17, 2014 6:47 am

@Caleb – Fair enough. And I agree they are barking mad.
And to get away from things, there is nothing better than working with your hands and creating something that will last and be enjoyed. So please enjoy yourself. I intend to get my own hands dirty soon enough.

Michael 2
July 16, 2014 8:19 pm

Caleb says: “All I can say at this point is that politicians in Washington seem to live in some alternative universe.”
That they do, but many universes exist, each of which seems incapable of imagining any other way. I worked there for several years in the Navy and “inside the beltway” is very different from “outside” even by just a few miles. By the time you get to Warrenton, it’s small-town rural and I used to go there for home-made jam sold at roadside stands.
Inside the beltway it is “Malthusian” dog-eat-cat. Essentially every bit of food is trucked in and there’s just not enough jobs, and probably never will be, for all the people so you have a huge self-sustaining welfare machine.

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