I’m not sure why the “you can lower your electricity rates by stealing tax dollars from your neighbors” crowd are coming out of the woodwork all of a sudden, but I had another call from a helpful sales person today.
This fellow was a bit more pugnacious and better prepared than the girl yesterday to defend his role in this scheme. He started off with the same schpeel about how he could help me to qualify for a government-funded program that would help me to lower my electricity rates.
I did not need to ask if this was a government-funded program; he had already clearly stated that it was. So I stopped him mid-sentence and said that I did not support stealing from my neighbors to fund upgrades to my house just to lower my electricity prices.
He only paused for half a second before coming back with,
Whoa, whoa, whoa … STEALING from your neighbors?!?!? What do you mean stealing from your neighbors?
I explained that any government program was funded by tax dollars that were taken from all taxpayers (i.e., my neighbors and me) to pay for this type of handout. I told him that this is exactly what President Obama meant when he said that we should just “spread the wealth around” and I can’t support taking my neighbors money to upgrade my home.
He must have been in the job longer than the previous helpful caller because he didn’t miss a beat. He ignored my primary concern and started to explain that the money was already there and available for people to use.
But the money is already there. You already pay your taxes and every month, when you pay your electricity bill, the environmental fee of $3-$4 is what pays for this program.
I’ll divert my thoughts to address his mindset and characterize it as something that more of us need to stomp out at every opportunity. He is thinking that the government already has this money. It theirs to do with as they see fit. These people don’t realize that the money came from you and me. In his eyes, this is “government money,” so it is only right that he, you, or I should be willing to grab on to it and enrich ourselves.
Instead, what we should all be thinking is that we must stop making use of programs like this and that the government should stop taking this fee from us each month. Instead, we should keep this $3-$4 dollar fee (and countless other fees like it) in our wallets.
We should also stand up and demand that the government cease its over-regulation of electricity generation and its incessant demands for the use of technologies that have not even been sufficiently tested. As a country, we should push to continue the use of our most abundant domestic energy resources to produce affordable, reliable, and (yes I’ll say it) clean electricity. By doing that, we would effectively remove the “need” for this type of program, which provides corporate welfare for unreliable and overly expensive generation options like solar.
Back to my previous thoughts. After hearing that the government already had the money, so it was OK to grab it for myself, I stopped him again. I said that if I accept his mindset; if I view the money as part of a big government pot, accept the notion that I deserve some portion of that largess, and take part in the program, I am actually perpetuating the “need” for welfare programs like this one.
He was nonplussed. I’m sure that people have said “no” to him for a variety of reasons. They think it’s a scam, they don’t believe him, they don’t have the time, etc. I honestly don’t think that he had ever had anyone tell him that they didn’t want the “free” government money he was dolling out. He kept trying to move forward, reading his canned responses to refusals, but I ended the call by telling him firmly, but politely, that I was not interested in taking part in this program.
So the government already has our money, but just because the money has already been taken from productive people, doesn’t make it “government money.” Just because a thief has already robbed a bank and now has the money in his possession, doesn’t make the money any less stolen. Whether a theft occurs to address the “needs” of a single person, or a “need” is sanctioned by a larger group of voters, doesn’t make it any less of a theft. And now, if I choose to join in with the thief and justify spending his windfall with arguments that it lowers my monthly utility expenses, I am still every bit as much a party to his original theft.
If I rely on the government to pay my way and expect them to carry me when I could (and should walk on my own) I weaken myself and make those around me my slave. Von Mises put it quite succinctly,
The greatest threat to the future of our nation — to our freedom — is not foreign military aggression … but the growing dependence of the people on a paternalistic government. A nation is no stronger than its people and the best measure of their strength is how they accept responsibility. There will never be a great society unless the materialism of the welfare state is replaced by individual initiative and responsibility.
- Ludwig von Mises, Human Action 
I get that this is a small example. I could take part in these programs and still claim to be an advocate for limited government. Most people would never blink an eye at this contradiction. However, I believe that “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.” (Luke 16:10)
My hope is that more and more people will begin to refuse these paternalistic “share-the-wealth-around” programs and the ongoing “fundamental transformation of America.” I pray that people will begin to see this sort of program for what it is; a creeping expansion of the welfare state and government control over our lives. I pray that this country will begin to wake up from the fog it is currently in and return to its roots of independence and self reliance.
Again, it is a small thing, but it has never been more important to clearly state that you do not support this type of program and explain why. Doing so helps people to understand how we are being dragged down as a nation. I pray that Americans will once again choose to stand up and take responsibility for their own lives.
I posted yesterday about the gross miscarriages of justice by the “Justice” Department, the IRS, and the State Department. (Of course, I forgot to include the even more overt criminal acts carried out by the Justice Department as part of their Fast and Furious scandal where the federal government effectively supplied thousands of firearms to drug cartels. Those firearms were then directly involved in the death of US Border Guard, Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican citizens.)
Today we are learning that the EPA routinely played politics in their handling of fee waivers for environmental groups and politically conservative groups. The Competitive Enterprise Institute noted today that,
It’s not just the IRS that treats groups on the right differently from the rest. According to documents obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency is in on it too.
Public records produced by EPA in response to a lawsuit filed by CEI under the Freedom of Information Act illustrate a pattern of making it far more difficult for limited-government groups – in particular those who argue for more freedom and less EPA – to access public records. …
EPA routinely grants … fee waivers to its favored left-wing groups who demand a more intrusive and powerful EPA, but systematically denies waivers for groups on the right, according to research compiled by CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner, author of “The Liberal War on Transparency.”
In a review of letters granting or denying fee waivers granted at the “initial determination” stage from January 2012 to this Spring, Horner found green groups, such as the National Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and EarthJustice, had their fees waived in 75 out of 82 cases. Meanwhile, EPA effectively or expressly denied Horner’s request for fee waivers in 14 of 15 FOIA requests over this same time.
It seems that many of the federal government bureaucracies are now infested with career employees who feel quite comfortable playing political games with citizens and taxpayers. The actions of these government employees necessarily lead reasonable people to believe that government is working hand in glove with left-wing political and environmental groups to further so-called progressive world views.
When even John Stewart is saying that the partisan, corrupt, and possibly even criminal behavior of these government employees is encouraging the very anti-government mindset that so many progressives have derided as lunatic fringe, you know that it is well past time for Congress to step in and clear up this mess.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Barack Trek: Into Darkness|
Investigations, firings, fines/loss of pensions, and jail time need to become real possibilities for government employees and managers that refuse to follow the Constitution, legislation, and regulations.
This video brings back lots of memories of the time that I lived in Fort Nelson, BC (in the far north of British Columbia). We used to get northern lights shows like this on a regular basis. We would sit out in the field at the end of Airport Dr./Cessna Way (on the home pads) and watch them for hours.
Amusing to see the hypocrisy of the ‘elite’ climate change crowd. They preach on the coming apocalypse, threaten those who disagree, and demand that the peons eschew any form of CO2-emitting activity – like driving to work, or heating their home. However, the climate change crusaders feel quite justified in continuing with their profligate waste and extravagant lifestyles. Some of them even tweet about it to show off to their friends and followers.
Musician Will.I.Am has been criticised for arriving at a climate change debate in a private helicopter, producing the same amount of CO2 most people do in a month.
The Voice judge had been meeting climate change experts at Oxford University as part of a guest speaking role.
Despite his environmentally-conscious stance on green issues, the Black Eyed Peas rapper, 37, chose to take a private helicopter to the venue.
It is understood the journey, which is a 286 mile round-trip from London, used 71.5 gallons of fuel and released three-quarters of a ton of CO2 into the atmosphere.
He even tweeted pictures of the so-called “hip.hop.copter” for fans to admire, after landing at the Oxford’s University Parks.
So it is apparently OK to spend huge amounts of money and release huge amounts of CO2 if – and only if – you’re a climate change activist who is flying to a climate change conference. The rest of us would just be hastening the coming climate apocalypse.
Why are we spinning our wheels over issues like gay marriage when Taxmageddon is looming?
Congressional Democrats plan massive tax increases and crippling defense cuts after November. Why not now? Because the voters would realize the Obama presidency has set the stage for fiscal catastrophe. [...]
Without action, the Bush tax cuts once again are set to expire at the end of the year and some $110 billion in indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts will take place automatically. House Speaker John Boehner is already wisely demanding “cuts and reforms greater than” any debt limit increase.
Heritage Foundation senior fellow and former Treasury Department tax economist J.D. Foster recently warned that on New Year’s Day, “some $494 billion in tax hikes will crash down on America’s taxpayers and economy” — not just the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that gave us a boom and cut unemployment to under 5%, but “a jump in the payroll tax rate,” “the return of the death tax,” ” a bigger, badder” Alternative Minimum Tax, and the tax hikes for ObamaCare.
The ObamaCare 3.8% surcharge goes into effect in 2013, “not just on wage and salary income, but all income, thus breaking the historical link between Medicare and labor earnings,” Foster recently noted. [...]
Lockheed Martin and other defense firms last week distributing “digital countdown clocks” warning that automatic Pentagon cuts will mean the loss of over 1 million jobs — at a time the U.S. suffers an 8.1% jobless rate?
Of course this IBD editorial doesn’t even begin to touch on the damage done to our domestic energy industry by this administration. With the engine of the Obama EPA’s regulatory train wreck just now hitting the coal and gas industries, we are primed to lose millions of jobs and multiple billions in infrastructure investments and revenues.
Add to that the fact that the majority of individuals in the health care market will see their insurance costs rise dramatically under Obamacare.
We need to be spreading this information around liberally. This country can’t take another four years of this amateurish mismanagement.
If you ever doubted that much of what drives the extreme green movement was fundamentally anti-human, the nice people at the 10:10 campaign will make that reality absolutely clear. They tried to be cute and humourous while addressing this issue, but let their knickers peek through in advocating violent retribution against any who don’t play along.
Don’t you get it … ?? You don’t think it’s funny to murder those who disagree with you? You don’t think its amusing to spray the blood, brains, and entrails of the “climate deniers” all over the room?? Well then, perhaps the 10:10 campaign people and their ilk will have to develop a similar program for you.
You better get your hand up and agree with everyone else in the group. Be a good little soldier, shut off your mind, and get in the cue.
The greens are watching their “scientific” case for climate change fall apart with the East Anglia CRU (climategate) scandal, the NOAA database errors, the errors in the satellite monitoring being discovered, etc.
They see that they cannot win the scientific debate anymore, but they have trillions invested, entire branches of government involved, and their careers all based on the idea that we have to address climate change immediately. They have to protect their incomes and political influence, so they’re moving to the next natural step – fear and pressure. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!” & “Either you do what we say, or else!”
This sort of thing was a constant theme in environmental ethics courses throughout my university experience. Green groups came up with arbitrary maximum world human population numbers that they felt were “truly sustainable” and then they advocated carefully crafted and nuanced policies that essentially boiled down to an argument that we needed to cull several billion humans from the face of the Earth. When they had finished with their culls, only then would we have achieved their concept of sustainability.
This is just one group who either had the courage to openly admit what they believe, or who missed the memo that this kind of open admission is supposed to be keep away from the eyes of the general public.
This post is more proof that the faux concern over climate change is far more about glutting the ruling elite’s whims and controlling the behavior of the little people than it is about doing anything for the environment.
Clean, Green Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rolled up to the Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada last week. . . in a fleet of giant SUVs.
The Heartland Institute reports that while the Senate Majority Hypocrite “and other high-profile environmental activists blasted carbon-based fuels at the Reid-sponsored summit, Reid and other bigwigs were caught on film driving to and from the summit in several SUVs.”
If Harry Reid was actually concerned about global warming, he would have taken a few extra seconds to walk across a parking lot, rather than warming up a fleet of SUVs and bringing them around to shuttle him and his entourage a few hundred yards.
Amazing! I’m not sure if this is brave or foolhardy. Maybe a bit of both.
This article describes how Chuck Patterson, a California-based surfer, saw white sharks circling his surf board one day while he was surfing. While many would have suffered a fear-induced coronary dysfunction, fallen off the board, and become chum, Patterson paddled back to shore and went home. The next day, he got his video camera and paddled back out to the same spot to film whatever happened to come his way again.
Patterson, 41, who lives in nearby Dana Point, paddled out at the same spot the next day with a high-definition camera mounted on a 10-foot pole, and used the apparatus to probe the murky green water around his board. The result is the accompanying video, which shows what presumably are the same two sharks: an estimated nine-footer and a seven-footer, milling beneath him as he paddled.
Where does the Republican Party come up with deep thinkers like this? A “huge fan” of Van Jones. Seriously? SERIOUSLY!?!?
If she were any more in love with Van Jones in this video, she’d burst a blood vessel. “Huge fan … huge fan … huge fan … he’s so smart …”
I also saw her in a Glenn Beck interview where she actually stated that she was against offshore drilling …
Amazing what a few billion in the bank can buy you these days. One governorship, coming up.
More and more we are seeing the real face of the extreme green movement. As the “scientific” case for climate change continues to suffer losses with more and more seeing it for what it always was – a political movement first and foremost – the extremes are growing shrill and combative.
They are now openly advocating that those with whom they disagree be silenced, forcefully stopped, jailed, or killed. In this recent Green Hell Blog post, Steven Milloy quotes two ‘respected’ left wing journalists/bloggers/environmentalists who are suggesting that climate change skeptics kill themselves.
Amid a rant on his Examiner.com blog about skeptics “carpet-bomb[ing] newspaper editorial pages with climate change disinformation…], Steven Alexander, who writes for Daily Kos under the nom-de-plume “Darksyde,” wrote that,
… if only Milloy and his buddies could check into one of the [Soylent Corporation's] lovely medical suites for a short nature movie and a glass of wine…
The reference is to the assisted suicide scene in the 1973 movie Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston. …
Former Washington Post reporter David Weigel was recently fired from the paper for privately writing on the Journolist listserv that Matt Drudge should “… set himself on fire.”
It’s like I’ve always said, the hardcore left and extreme green movements are all over the notion of “thinking outside the box,” or being non-judgmental and open-minded so long as your outside the box thinking is the same as their outside the box thinking. Once you come up with an idea that disagrees or questions their solutions, they reveal their new age puritanism and, pretty much to a person, demand that you be silenced, stopped, or (as this example indicates) killed.
The amusing thing about their tendencies to immediately resort to censorship or violence is that they will rarely employ their ‘logic’ in their own lives or activities. Remembering back to my undergrad environmental ethics courses, we used to discuss concepts like a “truly sustainable human population” of 500 million. Using groups like the Deep Ecologists, the eco-feminist movement, and ethicists like Peter Singer as foundations for their arguments, the more radical members of the discussion actually touched on the notion of culling portions of the human population (brain dead orphans for example), or using forced abortions, and euthanasia as a means of reducing the human population.
When others in the classes protested (me among them) that their ideas would require massive infringements on basic human rights and then we pushed them to look further into the logical outcomes of their theories, they were forced to admit that they believed the long-term survival of the planet would entail the loss of many basic rights and freedoms and that some lives would need to be sacrificed to ensure the “health” of the planet.
One notable class room discussion had a class member suggest they those in the extreme camp start us off on the right foot, or “show us the way,” by committing a principled suicide. That suggestion was immediately rejected by this group of greens. They were convinced that they were the only members of society who could capably handle the intense social and political disruptions that would result from moving toward their conception of a more sustainable lifestyle. They believed that someone else would need to go first because the world couldn’t survive without their leadership and wisdom.
Our discussions regularly seemed almost like something out of a bad movie. No one in their right mind could hold those views. Even fewer still would hold those opinions AND actually state them out loud. But there they were, making the arguments and trying to defend them as good public policy.
Sadly, we see the same sort of logic employed by the Darksyde’s and David Weigel’s of the world. They just know better than you or I, and if someone has the nerve to disagree with them, that person will need to be silenced … for the good of the planet/the children/the greater good.
It’s not enough that they’ve attacked the oil & gas industry, the coal industry, mining, banking and traders, automobiles, ….
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering a crackdown on farm dust, so senators have signed a letter addressing their concerns on the possible regulations.
The letter dated July 23 to the EPA states, “If approved, would establish the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in our nation’s history.” It further states, “We respect efforts for a clean and healthy environment, but not at the expense of common sense. These identified levels will be extremely burdensome for farmers and livestock producers to attain. Whether its livestock kicking up dust, soybeans being combined on a dry day in the fall, or driving a car down the gravel road, dust is a naturally occurring event.”
How many more industries will this administration have to cripple before voters stand up and say, “enough!”
Just had someone call me and say that new research is downplaying the role of CO2 in climate change. Apparently this research is suggesting that CFCs (the coolants in older A/C units and aerosol propellants) are the cause of climate change.
Should make for interesting reading. Not even going to try and predict how far this new theory will make it into the larger dialog.
While California’s economy is sinking faster than the Titanic after hitting that iceberg, the state senate sets out on the essential task of shuffling deck chairs.
The state Senate is considering a bill banning plastic carryout bags. This legislation would tax consumers, forcing them to buy paper or reusable bags, and create an expensive new bureaucracy at a time of record deficits. The bill is consuming the time of our state government, while it still hasn’t passed a budget.
Once again, a showy commitment to an ambiguous conception of environmental purity takes precedence over domestic jobs.
Excellent description of the complete failure of the modern progressive movement. Despite all their good intentions, their expended energy, their struggles, their planning, their happy thoughts, and their concern, they remain wholly incapable of accomplishing anything of substance. Take it away, Tam
In sum total, what you people did was drive someplace where there wasn’t a problem, complain about something you don’t fully understand, get in the way of people who may actually be performing a function, and then do nothing, en masse, except hope that someone else notices your little snit and makes it all better.
… if there’s a more perfect metaphor for the modern progressive movement, I’ve never seen it.
It’s EARTH DAY!!!!! (bells ringing & people singing) watch for the media, green groups, and other assorted nuts running around preaching doom, gloom, pestilence, and death. You’ll be inundated with it, so it shouldn’t be hard to catch.
But, as their Malthusian frenzy reaches its zenith and you feel that you can’t take another minute, remember that they’ve been wrongly predicting apocalypse now for centuries. And since Earth Day is 40 today, it is worthwhile to cast our eyes back on some of the more
pressing hyperbolic and serious silly predictions from the original Earth Day crew.
“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist
“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist
“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist
“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
• New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day
“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“By… some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day
“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University
“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970
“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich announces that the sky is falling.
Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich announces that the sky is falling.
“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director
“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson
“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
Keep these predictions in mind when you hear the same predictions made today. They’ve been making the same predictions for 39 years. And they’re going to continue making them until…well…forever.
Here we are, 39 years later and the economy sucks, but the ecology’s fine. In fact this planet is doing a lot better than the planet on which those green lunatics live.
You’ll also enjoy (or hate) our article, 25 Global Warming Debunking Videos Al Gore Doesn’t Want You To See.
Update: Earth Day 2010 version.
I’ve been hearing several sources relate the story of Hank Johnson’s (D-GA) line of questioning at a recent Armed Services Committee Hearing.
My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize
Some people thought Johnson’s comments were funny, but the reality is that Johnson is suffering from an advanced case of Hepatitis C. Apparently the disease is ravaging Johnson’s body and mind and the extreme treatments that he is having to take to control the disease are taking that much more out of him.
The Lithonia Democrat’s already-thin frame has shed 30 pounds in the past year. His speech is slower than ever, and he regularly gets lost in thought in the middle of a discussion. He is easily fatigued and often impatient and irritable … To keep the disease in remission, Johnson is going through an experimental treatment that he said has been the worst part so far.
So, what may have initially seemed an amusing is actually quite sad. What makes the situation even more sad is that the Democratic Party has not asked Johnson — for the good of his constituents and the country, as well as for his own good — to step down or take a break from his committee assignments.
The Telegraph has an amusing editorial on the how “the high priest of the AGW cult,” George Monbiot, “is feeling frustrated and depressed.”
In a Guardian editorial Monbiot is laments the discovery of a massive academic and scientific fraud perpetrated by several of the world’s eminent climate scientists. Of course he refers to this revelation as an “attack on climate scientists.” He continues by claiming that this horrid “attack” is “now widening to an all-out war on science.”
Laughable of course, and that hilarity is quickly pointed out by the editorial author, Gerald Warner who states that Monbiot shouldn’t get too far ahead of himself as the “war” is only being waged against “bogus science.”
But as Monbiot attempts to argue, no one but he and his similarly endowed high priests have a prayer of understanding their advanced thoughts and theories on climate. Furthermore, the merciless “monopolies” led by publishers and editors of scientific journals make it impossible for the public to access the ‘science’ that he and his cohorts are producing (would those be the same journals in which Phil Jones, Mike Mann, and the other CRU & IPCC-linked “scientists” conspired to control the content, or to shut out when they found they couldn’t? Just asking …) Even worse, he then goes on to detail how popular culture makes all scientists into “sinister schemers.”
So, after reading Monbiot, you begin to understand that its the public’s stupidity, the greed of publishing companies, and that eevilll Hollywood (except when they’re awarding Al Gore his Oscar or Academy Award) that makes it impossible for poor, misunderstood, and under-appreciated climate scientists to get their clear vision of truth, justice, and climate purity out to the masses.
It has nothing to do with the East Anglia fraud, Climategate, Glaciergate, the misreported NASA data, or any of the other frauds perpetrated in the name of climate change. It’s just that we’re too dumb and to easily controlled by publishers and the media.
Monbiot’s hand-wringing and whinging might be easier to endure if he weren’t so completely arrogant about his massive intelligence as compared to the public’s stupidity and malleability. It might be easier still to endure if the fact that none of his stated concerns mattered in the least when the true-believer’s ideas were doing the influencing.