James Shott / February 17, 2015

Potpourri: Environmentalism, ObamaCare and High School Seniors

United Nations environmental figure reveals new goal

Its enemies dislike capitalism in great part because it is based, generally, upon people doing what they want when they want to, and the United States, even with this current infection of liberalism/progressivism, stands as a grand tribute to the blessings of capitalism. For some 150 years the United States’ capitalist economy has achieved what other nations and economic models dreamed of and promised, but never came close to.

Monarchs, dictators and other leaders dislike capitalist liberties, preferring to limit the freedom of their subjects. They are much easier to control that way. But that control produces harmful limitations.

Environmentalism is a great enemy of capitalism, not because of its ultimate goal so much as its irrational methodology, which has done so much damage to our nation.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N.‘s Framework Convention on Climate Change, made an interesting admission, at a news conference last week in Brussels. She said that the goal of her convention is not to save the world from ecological calamity. That goal is instead to destroy capitalism.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said, as reported by Investors Business Daily.

Bloomberg News, reporting on comments made by Ms. Figueres in an interview, wrote that China, in contrast to the U.S., is able to implement policies “because its political system avoids some of the legislative hurdles” other countries have. Or in other words, “Damn those freedom-loving capitalists!”

Environmentalists hope that a new international treaty will be approved at the climate change conference in Paris later this year. Environmental goals will be much easier to achieve if all nations sign on to the U.N. plan and agree to beat their citizen-subjects into submission, no matter how much unnecessary pain and suffering that entails.

It should be clear why the United Nations wants to kill capitalism, since that is the source of America’s ability to resist that power-hungry organization’s efforts to become a world government.

The U.S. needs to abandon the United Nations.

Obamacare co-ops going broke

Writing for The Daily Signal online, Melissa Quinn reported that after receiving $2.5 billion from the federal government, most of the 23 nonprofit insurance companies created under the Affordable Care Act are going broke. If they have to shut their doors, taxpayers will be responsible for an average of roughly $108 million for each of them.

The Daily Signal reported that leading insurance rating firm A.M. Best found that all but one of the co-ops experienced operating losses through September 2014. “A.M. Best is concerned about the financial viability of several of these plans,” the report states. The exception is Maine Community Health Options, which received $132.3 million from the government.

State requires students to pass citizenship test to graduate

Here’s an idea that deserves to be copied by the other 49 states and the District of Columbia. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, signed a law into effect last week that requires high school students to pass the same test immigrants must pass to become citizens in order to graduate, the first such law.

“Why is such a requirement thought to be necessary?” you may ask. Is there a rationale for why existing Americans should know less about their country than immigrants wanting to become Americans?

Consider that a survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in 2011 found that “just 15 percent of Americans could correctly identify the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, while 27 percent knew Randy Jackson was a judge on "American Idol.” Only 13 percent knew the U.S. Constitution was signed in 1787. And just 38 percent were able to name all three branches of government.“

To pass, students would have to correctly answer just 60 of 100 questions. Here are some examples:

  • How many amendments does the U.S. Constitution have?

  • If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

  • Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?

To provide schooling and education
To issue driver’s licenses
To make treaties
To build roads

  • Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?

  • Who was president during World War I?

The sponsoring organization, Civics Education Initiative, hopes all 50 states will be mandating the test by the 230th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 2017.

Now the government wants to control the Internet

The Internet is one of the most successful modern creations, but whenever something is successful, the control freaks in Washington get all excited.

Under a scheme referred to as "Net Neutrality,” the Internet will be declared a “public utility” and the FCC then gets to decide what Internet service providers can charge and how they operate. Less freedom; higher costs: What’s to like about this? Let your Congressional Representative and Senators know you oppose Net Neutrality before the vote scheduled for February 26.

James Shott is a columnist for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, and publishes his columns on several Websites, including his own, Observations.

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