Trump’s “Alternative” Climate Change Panel

The president wants to set up his own climate-change panel to refute the conclusions of the “Fourth National Climate Assessment.” It’s a dangerous idea.

In Adolescent Fashion, President Calls for More Fossil-Fuel-Friendly Council

Don’t like what the climate change scientists are saying? Find different scientists.

That’s the thinking of President Donald J. Trump on global warming.

No shock. That seems to be his modus operandi on, well, everything –

    • Change the label.
    • Call it “fake.”
    • Develop “alternative facts.”
    • Create different rules.

Unfortunately, in all cases but particularly in this one, that’s seriously dangerous thinking.

Continue reading “Trump’s “Alternative” Climate Change Panel”

F*@% Trump’s Fake “National Emergency”

“An irony here is that the United States today is in fact haunted by many actual and interrelated national emergencies. Here below are the top thirty-one that came to the present writer’s mind this last weekend….” – Paul Street

There are plenty of real national emergencies that need our attention.

President Donald J. Trump declared a national emergency last week, calling the “situation” at the border between the United States and Mexico a “national security crisis.”

“It’s an invasion,” (Trump) added. “We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country.”

He did so to gain access to funds to build his dream of a useless, ineffectual border wall.

Image of a red ladder reaching toward a blue sky (re: Donald Trump border wall)

IV Words calls bullshit. After all, Trump manufactured the problems at the border himself. This is an abuse of presidential power, and he’s being sued by multiple states and organizations to stop it.

Paul Street and Rick Cooley call BS, too.

In a post shared on the Dandelion Salad blog and re-shared on Rcooley123’s Blog,  Street shares 31 actual emergencies this nation needs to address. And these are just the ones from the top of his head. Check them out.

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© Martin C. Fredricks IV, 2019
Political cartoon by Mike Luckovich from the ArcaMax “Political Cartoon Digest.” Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate Inc. Subscribe here.

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Mr. Bison on the Radio

Image that accompanies CLICK TO LISTEN – Jason Anderson, host of “The Solidarity Effect” on Radio Free Fargo 95.9 FM, reads “Mr. Bison Goes to Washington” on air.

“The Solidarity Effect” host and IV Words friend Jason Anderson shared “Mr. Bison Goes to Washington” on Radio Free Fargo, FM 95.9 this morning.

I grabbed a (ghastly quality) recording – click to listen.

Thank you, Jason Anderson, “The Solidarity Effect” and Radio Free Fargo. Keep tellin’ it like it is!

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© Martin C. Fredricks IV, 2019

Mr. Bison Goes to Washington

The North Dakota State University Bison football team is going to Washington, D.C. What an honor. Now, if only…

If Only They Were Going to Be Greeted by a Fellow Champion

NDSU’s football team is going to Washington, D.C. Good for them. If any athlete or sports team deserves it, the Bison do. Fifteen national titles and seven of the last eight. Wow.

No matter who the president is, being invited to the White House is an honor.

Or so someone recently pointed out. Made my skin crawl at first. But I’ve come around.

Continue reading “Mr. Bison Goes to Washington”

Own an Electric Vehicle or Hybrid? You Pay More. Gas-Powered? You Don’t.

If there’s no need to raise the gas tax, why stick it to electric vehicle and hybrid owners? 

ND Legislature declines gas-tax increase for transportation infrastructure

The North Dakota Senate’s decision to vote down a bill to raise the state’s gas tax is completely incongruent with some senators’ contention that owners of #electricvehicles and hybrids need to pay a “road-use fee” to cover their share of road construction and maintenance.

If there’s no need to raise the gas tax, why stick it to EV and hybrid owners?

Backwards Bill Would Deter People from Purchasing Electric Vehicles – IV Words, Jan. 17, 2019

N Dakota Senate passes bill creating road use fee for hybrid and electric vehicles – Green Car Congress, Jan. 31, 2019

Despite pleas for road funding, North Dakota Senate rejects gas tax increase – Grand Forks Herald, Feb. 4, 2019

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© 2019 Martin C. Fredricks IV
Photo illustration by Troy Becker, Grand Forks Herald


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North Dakota Legislature Should Pass Net Metering Bill

A Senate committee is expected to issue a “do not pass” recommendation on a net metering bill introduced by Sen. Merrill Piepkorn, D-44. The full Legislature should pass it, anyway. It’s the right thing to do.

SB 2322 Will Provide Universal Benefits

The N.D. Senate Industry, Business and Labor Committee is expected to issue a “do not pass” recommendation on a bill that would benefit farmers, ranchers, businesses, workers and homeowners. More importantly, it would limit negative impacts to the environment.

The committee heard testimony from environmental advocates, utilities and others on Tuesday, February 5, on Senate Bill 2322, which is related to net metering of electricity.

The purposes of the bill, introduced by Sen. Merrill Piepkorn, D-44, are to make it economical for utility customers to install expensive renewable energy generation equipment and provide more equitable reimbursement for customer-generated electricity by utilities across the state.

Continue reading “North Dakota Legislature Should Pass Net Metering Bill”

Backwards Bill Would Deter People From Purchasing Electric Vehicles

The North Dakota Legislature wants to deter people from purchasing electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids. It’s a bad idea.

Let’s Call These Proposed “Road-Use Fees” What They Really Are

They’ve got it backwards.

Six North Dakota legislators have introduced a bill that, if it becomes law, will rebuke North Dakotans who want to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles. SB 2061 would impose an annual electric vehicle (EV) “road-use fee” of $248 per year and $71 for hybrids.

Image of ND Senate Bill 2061, 2019, which would impose impose a $248/year "road-use fee" on electric vehicles

Bill supporters say it’s about fairness.

Gas taxes pay for construction and maintenance of roads and bridges, they say. Since EV owners do not buy gas, they should pay some other way. Otherwise, funding for transportation infrastructure takes a hit.

The state gas tax is $0.23 cents/gallon. The average American vehicle consumes 500 gallons of fuel per year. Given that, the typical North Dakota vehicle owner pays $115 in state gas tax annually. However, bill backers also want to collect the federal share of 18.4 cents, which brings the yearly gas tax to $207. That’s $41 less than the EV tax being proposed.

Since when does the state impose what amounts to a federal tax? And why the discrepancy?

The suggestion of a significant loss to state coffers is also a stretch.

A Drive Electric Minnesota analysis comparing gas and EVs “… found that the total amount paid by EV owners through the MVST (motor vehicle sales tax) and annual registration fees more than makes up for any loss of government revenue from the lack of gasoline fill-ups.”

Any funding reduction is miniscule, anyway; very few North Dakotans own EVs or hybrids. Rather than putting a dent in the need for infrastructure funding, these taxes would glance off without so much as a scratch.

So let’s call these proposed fees what they really are – taxes discouraging people from purchasing EVs and hybrids and penalizing anyone who already owns one.

North Dakota lawmakers are following counterparts in other states in introducing EV tax bills, which are supported by the right-wing nonprofit American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). According to ProPublica, ALEC brings together “state legislators and corporate representatives to produce business-friendly ‘model’ legislation.” In November, ALEC adopted a resolution calling for “equal tax treatment for all vehicles.”

Now there’s a tidy euphemism for “deterring expansion of EV adoption and sales.”

ALEC allies are attacking EVs in other ways, too. According to Huffington Post, a group “…with fossil fuel backing hopes to spend about $10 million dollars per year to boost petroleum-based transportation fuels and attack government subsidies for electric vehicles.”

They’re doing this at absolutely the worst time for erecting roadblocks to reducing carbon emissions.

Reports by national and international scientists, including a group in our own federal government, say cutting carbon dioxide and other emissions that result from fossil fuel consumption is imperative for the health of the planet. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for example, says we have only 12 years to stave off global catastrophe.

We should call the proposed road-use fee what it really is, a deterrent, and the Legislature should ditch this backwards bill in favor of more realistic ways to take care of our transportation infrastructure.

If you’re a North Dakotan and you agree, contact your state legislators and ask them to oppose SB 2061. To find their contact information, start here.

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© 2019 Martin C. Fredricks IV




 

I’m Takin’ the American Flag Back. Who’s With Me?

The American Flag is about Red, White & Blue, not Blue vs. Red. It’s mine, it’s yours, it’s ours. That’s why I’m takin’ it back. Who’s with me?

Patriotism is Red, White & Blue, not Blue vs. Red

I’m takin’ the American flag back.

For years, the “Grand Old Party” has been wrapping itself in Old Glory as if it has a stronger claim to patriotism, with the flag as its symbol, than anyone else.

Somehow, somewhere along the way, many non-Republican Americans have come to accept that, if not believe it. And somehow, somewhere along the way, people started equating those misguided perceptions with the idea that support for active-duty military personnel and veterans is wrapped up in the same narrative.

I’ve had more than enough of the suggestion that the flag serves or represents one party or ideology or citizen any more than any other party or ideology or citizen.

Continue reading “I’m Takin’ the American Flag Back. Who’s With Me?”

Jobs? All It Takes is a Huge Setta Ball… Gags. Trump’s got ’em!

Recent gag orders from the White House? Two words: Freakin’. Brilliant.

Them recent gag orders from the White House – I’ve but two words:

Freakin’. Brilliant.

The Don – that’s what I call Prezdint Trump – said he’d create jobs, right? Well, lemme tell ya, the ping pong ball, tennis ball, cord an’ handkerchief manufacturers of the good ol’ USA are tip-toein’ across their shop floors on this day. Effin’ A!

’Cordin’ to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the zecutive branch employed 2.079 million people in 2014. That’s a whole lotta folks to gag.

What’s ‘at? Nah, heard it from someone. Red cap. Awesome guy. Who you think has time to be lookin up that kinda crap, anyhow?

Movin on, then….

Way I see it, there’s two good ways to do it – either stuff ol’-fashioned handkerchiefs in their mouths or use ball gags. 

The hankies, they come in red, white or blue, but I think we should stick with red. And the ball gags – ya know what they are, right?

No?

Graphic of blue handkerchief with words on it - "Gag 'em, Donny boy!"Say, uh, maybe we should stop right there. You queasy ’bout kinky bedroom stuff? No? Well… OK, then.

You’ll see ’em in movies with torture scenes, sometimes. They’re ping pong or tennis sized balls that get put in people’s mouths. You know, to keep ’em quiet. The balls are attached to cords that go around the back of their heads so they don’t pop out. 

Ever seen “Pulp Fiction”? Yeah, now ya know what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

Never seen one in real life myself, but they’re out there. Heard that from the #RedHatter, too. An’ lotsa other people. Important people. Smart people.

There’s a buncha websites that sell ’em pretty cheap. So I hear. I never looked, myself, ya understand.

You can even go on that YouTube for step-by-step instructions to make ’em yerself. All you need are ping pong balls for small-mouthed feds and tennis balls for big-mouthed feds. (Personally, I don’t see much use for the ping-pong balls; all feds have big mouths, way I see it.) You can use the same kinds of cords for either.

Huh? No, heard that from a different fella.

Yeah, he was wearin a red hat, too. What’s that got to do with anything this side of the Rio?

Anyway, back to bidness… 2.1 million federal workers to gag. At least. 

That’s a crap-ton a ping pong balls, tennis balls, cords and hankies, right? And someone’s gonna need to make ’em all. Wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, we got ourselves a crap-ton of jobs! Great jobs, too. Best jobs created in decades! Created ever!

Say again?

Not true. Fact is, that kinda stuff usually come from overseas or those people to the south. But Prezdint Trump’s got that figured, too – build a wall an’ tariff the heck outta all of ’em. Keep those jobs at home, dammit!

An’ it’s gitten better ever’ day.

I hear the Don’s got a plan to hire regular folks to chase down those nasty federal workers – you know, the ones with years of experience and knowledge we don’t need – hog tie ’em, fit ’em for gags and hold ’em hostage. The Gag Squad’s gonna be an offshoot of the group that’ll soon be roundin’ up immigrants. 

Why? Well, jeez. We don’t want ’em sharin’ information with taxpayers. Duh. Never mind the taxpayers are the ones paid for it.

I mean, National Park Service, ’Vironmental Protection Agency, Health an’ Human Services, Ag Department? Radical socialist libtards, ever’ last one of ’em!

Don’t want ’em sayin’ anything based on their version of facts, especially the science-y stuff. The new Department of Untested Malarkey & Balderdash (DUMB) isn’t quite up and runnin’ yet. Not sure on the name, but no matter. Once that’s goin’ full bore, we’ll be disprovin’ all the baloney those lyin’ elites spew with real facts.

Come again? “Alternative?” There’s nothin’ alternative bout em, there, Sweet Cheeks. Them there’s the facts. Eff-aye-see-tee-ess. FACTS.

To get DUMB off the ground, first we gotta get ridda all the gagged agencies and employees. That’s well under way with new federal department heads takin’ apart agencies they been picked to lead. I’ll say it again – Freakin’! Brilliant!

Once that’s done, them jobs can be used for more regular folks to create DUMB social media, DUMB blog posts, DUMB press releases, DUMB public advisories and the like. 

There’s been a few flies in the ointment, a-course. Take them idiots who started Twitter accounts like @BadHombreLandsNPS, @AltNATParkService and @RogueNASA. Fourteen accounts, pages or sites so far, I hear. They need to be rounded up an’ gagged, too. Never fear; they will be. 

Where the heck’s Koresh an McVeigh when ya need ’em. Right?

Worried about big gov-ment staying big or getting bigger? Don’t be. DUMB won’t have as many employees as will be gone from the gagged agencies. Even when you add in the Gag Squad jobs, there still won’t be as many people sucklin’ on the government… well, you know. Take that to the bank. So I hear, from lotsa people. Great people. Smartest people in gov-ment. Ever.

Not only is ol’ Don Trump creating jobs, he’s cuttin’ gov-ment down, too. In more ways than one.

Plus, no way Trump’s gonna stop at three or four piddlin’ agencies. If ya wanna be great, ya gotta go all the way. Won’t be long before we need even more gags, which means more ping pong balls, tennis balls, cords an’ hankies. Red ones. 

An’ even more jobs! Damn right! 

The Prezdint was right all ’long. WINNIN’!

No. I aint gonna answer no more questions from the likes a you.

Like I said, just three words:

Absolutely. Freakin’. Brilliant.

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© Martin C. Fredricks IV, 2017




 

The Big Attraction

How to keep the Joneses and all their cash from driving on by on the new Interstate system? Enterprising business owners and chamber of commerce leaders pondered and pondered. Finally, an idea took shape. The Big Attraction was born.

Not long ago, National Public Radio did a piece about a free spirit who has created a mobile desktop publishing office and taken his show on the road. In the tradition of John Steinbeck and his faithful companion, Charley, this gentleman is traveling across the country, meeting folks and printing their stories.

Continue reading “The Big Attraction”