Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How low will oil prices go?

It’s becoming a war of wills between the OPEC nations and the frackers. I’ve long told you in this column that the reason oil prices are so low is because OPEC is trying to put the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, business out of business. This innovative way of getting at oil that was heretofore unattainable caused an oil boom in North Dakota like we hadn’t seen since the early days of the Texas oil rush. That boom is now slowing down, and that’s because oil is now trading for under $40 a barrel. In March of 2012, oil was trading at $125 a barrel.

The question is how long can OPEC hold out? Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest member, derives 77 percent of its revenue from oil. Those revenues are down 23 percent over last year. The Saudis have resorted to spending cuts and tax increases to make up the difference. The move only solidifies the theory that they’re trying to keep the oil prices artificially low. They could easily pull back on production and watch prices double in the next year but they won’t.

I reported to you some time back that a Saudi prince remarked that we’d never see $100-a-barrel oil again. The incurious media didn’t bother to ask why. The answer is now obvious. At $100 per barrel, fracking is feasible. The lower the price goes the greater likelihood there is of frackers going bust.

An article on the website says the most expensive oil in the U.S. comes from older wells known as ‘stripper wells.’ These wells only produce a few barrels a day. They become unprofitable at around $40 a barrel. In other words, at the current oil price, these wells will soon be abandoned. Canadian tar sands oil, the primary reason for building the Keystone XL Pipeline, becomes unprofitable at about $30 per barrel.

Although fracking is expensive, it’s not as expensive as, say, the Canadian tar sands. The break-even point for fracking is believed to be around $25 per barrel. So, why is fracking slowing down with prices still hovering around $37 a barrel? The experts say that fracking exploration gets riskier below $60 a barrel. In other words, when oil drops below $60 it becomes less likely that oil companies will explore for new oil through fracking. Also, the more expensive wells have to be shut down.

The oil rig count in North Dakota has dropped from a high of 203 in 2013 to around 130 today. What that means is the oil business is still doing fairly well but the construction business is not. Houses in the boomtowns of North Dakota were being gobbled up as fast as they could be built. Now many sit empty.

Saudi Arabia, the main driver of OPEC, can afford to bide its time while the prices plunge nearer that magic number of $25 when fracking becomes unprofitable. Other OPEC nations cannot. Oil revenues have dropped in Venezuela and that socialist OPEC nation has seen numerous food riots. Angola has seen high inflation and a depreciating currency as a result of the dropping oil prices. While the Saudis are still flush with cash, these poorer OPEC nations are on the brink of collapse.

We’re far from collapsing here in the U.S., and most of us are loving the low gas prices. However, we are not in control of our own destiny. As soon as OPEC has killed off the frackers, the prices will rise once again. We need to take this opportunity to become energy independent once and for all. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It's time for the RINOs to become extinct

It’s time to clean out the dead wood of the Republican Party, starting with Speaker Paul Ryan. A great guy, I’m sure, but not what America needs. This boondoggle of an ‘omnibust’ bill — and yes, I did say ‘omnibust’ — is a clear sign that the Republican leadership just doesn’t get it.

Let’s think back to why the Republicans were given control of the House of Representatives in the first place. Obamacare. They were sent to Washington to stop Obamacare. Have they? Not even close. Oh, sure they’ve had a few symbolic votes to defund it, but everyone knows that’s just for show. The real resolve for stopping Obamacare comes in the funding bills, and they have shown no desire to cut funding for Obamacare even by just a little.

This latest bill was an obvious shout-out to the American people. They may as well have been saying, “Hey, America! We don’t care what you want.” Let’s go over a few of the things this bill does.

It not only fully funds Obamacare, it bails out the failing health insurance companies that have signed up for the exchanges. You’ve probably noticed several big names have pulled out of the exchanges. That’s because these exchanges short-circuit the free market and make all sorts of unreasonable demands on insurance companies who participate. You’ll remember that ‘Big Insurance’ cozied up to Obama when he signed this legislation into law thinking they were going to get all sorts of subsidies. They were lied to. Imagine that. Now they’re bolting and the Paul RINO bill bails them out if they stay instead of letting the market do its thing.

We have all these people struggling to find decent jobs and the RINO bill massively expands the foreign workers program. It also funds Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty program. Oh, and it fully funds sanctuary cities instead of withholding funds until they stop making themselves magnets and getting innocent citizens like Kate Steinle in San Francisco killed. And to add insult to injury, it funds tax credits for illegal aliens.

It funds NSA domestic spying. It extends tax breaks for green companies, race horses, and NASCAR. It continues to fund Obama’s war on coal. It even renews spending on the Department of Transportation’s “stimulus” program.

And at a time when we know we’re letting terrorists come in on visas with little background checking, it continues to fully fund that and the president’s Syrian refugee program.

Remember sequestration? That was the only highlight of John Boehner’s tenure as speaker. He called Obama’s bluff and they actually slowed the growth of spending under sequestration because both sides couldn’t come to a budget agreement. Sequestration has led to a substantial reduction in the deficits. The Paul RINO bill, at the request of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, completely gets rid of sequestration. In fact, Harry Reid in the senate had complained about “poison pill” riders on the legislation. Between Paul RINO and Mitch McConnell, Reid was crowing at a post-passage press conference that the Democrats had three main goals going into the negotiations and “all three goals we had, we accomplished.”

Let me just tell you, when it’s a great day for Harry Reid, it’s a sad day for America, and the Republican leadership made it happen.

It’s not good enough to put Republicans in charge. They have to be fiscally responsible conservatives. Anything less and it’s business as usual. There’s a lot of dead wood that needs to be thinned out in the next election and it needs to start with a wholesale replacement of the Republican leadership.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Our national security is not so secure

I’m not in law enforcement. I’m not a government agent or a secret spy, but I would have sense enough to check the Facebook postings of someone applying to come into this country from the Middle East. Homeland Security did not. Had they, they would’ve found jihadist and martyrdom rantings from one Tashfeen Malik who went on to kill 14 people in a San Bernardino terrorist attack.

It’s not that Homeland Security was lazy. The problem was they were prohibited by the Obama administration from checking the social media of visa applicants. Why? Lord only knows. This same administration has repeatedly defended the collection of phone records on American citizens. They thought it was somehow a violation of foreigners’ civil liberties to look at their social media postings.

Let’s get something straight. Looking at something that’s public is not a violation of anyone’s rights. No one has a reasonable expectation that their Facebook postings are private, even if they post them privately. Anyone who has access to a Facebook posting can copy it and repost it as they please. Our local police actually monitor Facebook and Twitter for tips where teens are having parties and drinking alcohol. If you’re posting on Facebook or Twitter you may as well be posting on a billboard. In fact, more people probably see your posting than would see it on a billboard.

The question is why in the world would this administration prohibit basic police work? No explanation has been given by Homeland Security or the State Department other than it was official policy not to check social media until the fall of last year, and only then in three “pilot programs.” They gave no indication how widespread those pilot programs are.

With 10 million nonimmigrant visas last year, including 40,000 K-1 fiance visas like Malik got, it’s doubtful that more than just a drop in the bucket are being screened via social media. Some say it’s an impossible task to check that many people. Then, perhaps, we’re left with no alternative but to go with Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims until further notice.

That notion rubs many people the wrong way. Instead, they propose that we do it by country so that we’re not singling out one religion, but let’s be honest here. What countries would you single out? Mostly Muslim countries, of course. So you’re not really wanting any different result than Trump. You just want to be more diplomatic about it. That’s a disingenuous gesture. It’s also a dangerous one.

By just banning certain countries you run the risk of allowing dangerous radicalized Muslims into the country from places like the UK and France. Let’s lay everything on the line. We’re trying to stop terrorists from coming into the country and our problem is we can’t tell the good Muslims from the bad. If that’s the case, let’s not play games. By now, you probably know from news reports of a 1952 immigration law that gives the president the authority to ban any “class” of people from entering the country at his discretion.

As a people, we fear being labeled bigots. I get that. However, we don’t need to let the guilt the left lays on us be our guide. We need to let common sense rule the day. I’ve been saying this since 9/11. Somebody poo-pooed in the pool and everybody has to get out until we clean it up and figure out how to keep it from happening again.

In order to keep the pool clean, one thing’s for certain. We’re gonna have to profile.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The gun ban that nobody noticed

I have been racking my brain trying to remember a scarier ruling from the Supreme Court in my lifetime and I’m at a loss. The court’s refusal to hear Friedman v. City Highland Park is mind-boggling. 

Highland Park is a suburb of Chicago. They banned the sale and possession of “assault weapons” and that law was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, allowing the appeals court decision and the ban to stand. This is problematic on so many levels.

First, what is an “assault weapon?” The military defines an assault weapon as a weapon capable of automatic fire. In other words, a machine gun. Highland Park defines an assault as a semiautomatic firearm. That covers a lot of ground. If you’re not familiar with what a semiautomatic gun is, it’s a gun with a magazine that fires once when the trigger is pulled then fires again when it’s pulled again.

The 7th Circuit claimed the ban was permissible because it “may increase the public’s sense of safety.” Not that it would make them safe. It would make them feel safe. Big difference. Which left me wondering if the citizens of Highland Park would “feel safe” with no churches in their town would this same Supreme Court be fine with obliterating the First Amendment as they’ve now done with the Second?

There were only two dissenting votes on the court. Not surprising, the smartest man on the bench — Antonin Scalia — and probably the second-smartest person on the court, Clarence Thomas. These two men have demonstrated over and over again that they understand the Constitution. The others simply bend the Constitution to their own wishes.

And think about the ramifications of this decision, or lack thereof. Any city will now be able to enact their own “assault weapons” ban and define assault weapons as they see fit. The problem with the original assault weapons ban passed by Congress in the ‘90s was it was all about cosmetics. For example, that assault weapons ban prohibited the ownership of rifles with a grenade launcher mount. Not grenades or even a grenade launcher. A grenade launcher mount. It banned bayonet mounts. Not bayonets, but bayonet mounts. The weapon would certainly be less lethal if someone were coming at you with a bayonet rather than shooting at you, but a bayonet mount sounded menacing so it was banned.

The assault weapons ban prohibited pistol grips. A pistol grip on a rifle doesn’t make it more lethal. In fact, it can be argued that it makes it less accurate. Your aim is going to be much better when you have a stock to press against your shoulder allowing you to look down the barrel. Speaking of stocks, the assault weapons ban banned folding stocks. These make a rifle a little more compact for traveling, but it’s not like it makes it possible to hide an assault weapon in your pants. They banned flash suppressors, too, which do what they sound like they do. They reduce the flash signature of the rifle. Doesn’t make it any more powerful or lethal.

My point is most of the people who want to ban assault weapons have no idea what one is. They see rifles with cosmetic add-ons that make them look like military rifles, but it’s like painting fire down the side of your Nissan Versa. It doesn’t make it any faster.

Hysteria and symbolism are the calling cards of political correctness which, these days, is rotting this country from the inside out.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's time for college students to get over themselves

It's a peculiar thing, this notion of being offended. What does it really mean? It’s probably the most subjective phrase in the English language. When someone says ‘That offended me’ it’s implied that whoever did the offending should somehow stop. Such is the state of affairs on college campuses.

Buzz phrases these days are ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings.’ It’s the culmination of decades of coddling by liberal professors who found a way to be offended by everything. Now students are rising up to demand that no one say anything or do anything that might upset them, and the target of the ire are, ironically, some of the same professors who taught them this nonsense.

Now they need only proclaim that they’re offended by something and demand that whatever or whoever is offending them be stopped. In reality, that’s the truly offensive part.

The College Art Association and the Modern Language Association conducted a survey recently regarding ‘trigger warnings.’ These are procedures adopted by some colleges to warn students of disturbing topics that may be presented in class. Students who tend to freak out over such topics are allowed to miss the class. Fifteen percent of the professors surveyed said students in their classes had requested trigger warnings.

It’s insanely stupid, I know, but it’s the college professors who have created this atmosphere. Some of them have now formed the National Coalition Against Censorship to combat it. Meanwhile, at Occidental College, the faculty acknowledged their complicity in “structural racism and oppression” and voted on a resolution mandating diversity training and compulsive racial sensitivity training in class. 

It starts even before college. A high school cheerleading captain in Revere, Mass. was disciplined because she tweeted that 90 percent of the city wasn’t legal. The school said she was a racist for saying so.

The president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University had enough. After a student complained that a chapel sermon on love made him feel “offended” and “victimized,” President Everett Piper went off. “This is not a day care,” he blogged. “This is a university. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them ‘feel bad’ about themselves, is a ‘hater,’ a ‘bigot,’ an ‘oppressor,’ and ‘victimizer.’”

He went on to tell Todd Starnes of Fox News, “The bottom line is that, at the end of the day, I would argue that college is not about safe spaces or being a safe place. OWU is not a safe place.” 

OMG! What a cold, callous, and heartless man. Why, he oughta be ashamed of himself, not coddling these spoiled little brats.

Once Mizzou students were able to get the university president fired, this new-found power spread like wildfire to other schools. Princeton students staged a sit-in to have any vestige of Woodrow Wilson removed from the campus. Forget that he was not only president of Princeton but president of the United States. He was a racist. This particular fight is especially delicious because Wilson is known as the father of modern liberalism. He paved the way for FDR, LBJ, and Obama, and ultimately paved the way for his own undoing.

Wait until these students get a load of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his adulterous womanizing. Using women for sex? Victimizing his poor wife? Tsk-tsk. And don’t get me started on Bill Clinton.

There are people who sit around all day dreaming up ways to be offended. They are not to be indulged. They’re to be ignored.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Some advice for the class-envy crowd

I’ve about had it up to my eyeballs with all this white privilege nonsense. The EPA recently gave a $30,000 grant to a Unitarian church that preaches “white privilege” and says America is “structurally racist.” The money was given out in a so-called “environmental justice grant” for climate change education. What that has to do with white privilege is anybody’s guess, but it’s time to set the record straight.

Certainly there was a time in this country when being born white gave one a distinct advantage. We’re now 50 years beyond that. There’s, no doubt, an advantage to being born rich, but that’s no longer to the exclusion of minorities. The folks a couple of doors down from me live in a huge house with a swimming pool and a gate and they’re black. They are privileged, I guess, but not because of race. They’re privileged because they worked hard and worked smart.

What’s ironic about this white privilege foolishness is it’s oftentimes coming from exclusive schools that charge outlandish tuition. If you’re black and you’re attending one of these universities, I have news for you. You’re privileged.

But what does privileged even mean? It means you’ve reached a level where you’re able to enjoy the finer things in life. That used to be what we strove for in this country. Now it’s something to be ashamed of. That needs to end.

We all dream of working our way up the ladder and being able to enjoy that five-star resort vacation. We don’t always get there, but it’s part of what motivates us. It’s called capitalism, and that’s the crux of problem.

These people who whine and moan about white privilege are the same ones who whine and moan about capitalism. It’s not fair. The reason it’s not fair to them is because they’re lazy. They’d rather have the government redistribute money to them than work for it. Of course, “redistribute” is an odd term. In order for income to be redistributed it would first have to be distributed. Income is not distributed. It’s earned. That’s a hard pill to swallow for those who spend their lives coveting what everyone else has.

I’ve often noted it says a lot about a person when they’re more concerned about those who make more than they do rather than those who make less. This obsession with the one-percenters is not only perverted, it’s dangerous to the future well-being of the country.

Did you know that the vast majority of the wealthy in this country didn’t inherit it? PNC Wealth Management conducted a survey several years ago. They polled people with more than $500,000 in extra cash available to invest. I think we can all agree, these people qualify as rich. Only 6% got their money through inheritance.

Here’s another stat you’ll find interesting. According to National Review, the average rich household has four times as many full-time workers as do poor households. Egads, I think we’ve found the secret to wealth. Work!

Here’s something else that may interest you. Handling money is a skill that has to be developed through good habits. Seventy percent of lottery winners will go broke within seven years. Also, researchers at Vanderbilt, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Pittsburgh found the more money you win, the more likely you are to go broke, and more likely to go broke faster.

In other words, it ain’t that easy to get rich and stay rich. Instead of chastising the rich, these class warfarists should study how it’s done. And then get to work.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What now since Paris?

The Paris terrorist attacks have led to much soul-searching here in America. Sure, there are terrorist attacks on a regular basis, but when a western republic so similar to ours is hit it sends a collective chill down our spines. It’s now known that Syrian refugees who sought asylum in France took part in the terrorist attacks. With that knowledge, we reflexively do one of two things. We either immediately want to close the borders and keep something like this from happening here, or we lunge to the opposite side, longing to keep the spirit of the “huddled masses” alive, something that undoubtedly made our country great.
Which side is right?

To answer that question, one must first understand the evolution of immigration in this country. Up until a Supreme Court decision in 1875 that declared immigration a federal responsibility, individual states had their own immigration laws. The first major federal immigration law after the decision was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. At the request of California, the law prohibited anyone from China from immigrating to the United States. The reason being, Chinese laborers were driving down wages. The Immigration Act of 1891 expanded the list of reasons one could be barred from the country to include polygamists, criminals, and those carrying certain diseases.

Ellis Island opened the following year, ushering in the largest wave of immigrants the country had ever seen until it closed in 1954. It wasn’t until the 1920s that the concept of a passport came into being. It came from a conference at the League of Nations, which was replaced by the UN after World War II. The passport became a very important tool in regulating immigration. No longer could you just board a ship and head to America. You had to have the proper papers which each member nation recognized as demonstrating someone had legitimate business in a foreign land.

Naturally, there have been exceptions to normal immigration in time of crisis. One such exception that stands out in American history is the Mariel boatlift of 1980. An economic downturn in Cuba had caused a lot of Cubans to seek asylum in the Peruvian embassy. Castro eventually allowed them to leave Cuba for Florida. About 125,000 successfully made the trip. However, it was later learned that Castro released inmates from mental hospitals and prisons to join the refugees.

Which leads me to a salient point about today’s refugees.

We have a new wave of Syrian refugees coming to America. How do we know there aren’t terrorists among them like the ones who were granted asylum in France? Our State Department tells us they’re vetting them, but how does one vet an individual from a foreign country? They must depend on the intelligence provided by that foreign country. Who controls Syria? Bashar al-Assad, a man we’ve been actively trying to depose since Obama’s ill-fated Arab Spring and the whole “line-in-the-sand” business.

Castro loaded the boats with crazies and criminals. What on earth gives us any reason to believe Assad isn’t loading planes with terrorists bound for America? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and Assad is the weak link.

We also need to be asking why no Christian Assyrians from that region are being allowed to emigrate. There are an estimated 200,000 Assyrian refugees, but no one in this government seems too concerned about them. Why? And why are a disproportionate number of refugees men of fighting age? 

Bring us your huddled masses? Sure. Bring us your stealth terrorists? Absolutely not. We should be smarter. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It's time to stop the conservation movement

It’s time somebody put a stop to this whole conservation movement. We’ve been conditioned to believe our entire lives that conserving everything is good. Not only is it good, to do otherwise is simply immoral. I’m here to tell you it’s all bovine scatology.

You conserve when there’s a shortage, plain and simple. Otherwise, conservation is destructive to the free market and capitalism.

Let’s take energy, for example. It’s the lifeblood of capitalism. We’ve been told forever that we need to conserve energy. Has anybody stopped to asked why? I have, and I am right now. Why are we conserving energy? Are we running out? No. Economist William Stanley Jevons put out a book warning of the depletion of coal. That was 1865. David White, chief geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, said of the oil supply “the peak production will soon be passed—possibly within three years.” That was in 1919, and we’ve been hearing about peak oil ever since. Paul Ehrlich famously predicted mass starvation in 1968 because of ‘The Population Bomb’ and was famously wrong.

We’re not running out of anything, really. This nonsense of conserving water is just that. Sure, you conserve in a drought, but most of us aren’t in a drought. In fact, around where I live there’s a surplus of water. It literally falls from the sky. Why in the world would I fret over running out of water?

According the U.S. Energy Information Administration, at year-2000 consumption rates, the world has thousands and thousands of years of crude oil. The only thing stopping me from jumping in my car and taking a trip is the price. How much can I afford? We should consume what we need and what we want to consume as long as we can pay for it. To do otherwise is to short-circuit the free market.

Now, I’m not saying that anybody who conserves is a commie. What I’m saying is we’ve been brainwashed into believing that conservation is a virtue. It’s not.

A lady called my radio show just before the Great Recession and suggested we should all sacrifice and do without because we had soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. I tried to explain to her that self-imposed conservation is exactly what brings on recessions. When we’re not consuming as we normally would we’re hurting the economy. That’s why, in every recession, economists start looking for signs of consumer confidence. When are the people going to come back out and start buying stuff again?

That’s why it’s imperative that you stop listening to people who prey on your guilt and start listening to your own common sense. You consume what you can afford. That’s why I transport my family in an SUV and Trump transports his in a 757. It’s all based on what you can afford.

That’s not to say that we go around purposely wasting energy. That doesn’t make good economic sense. I tell my kids to cut the lights off in their rooms when they leave not because I fear running out of energy or I’m some tree hugger, but because I don’t want to pay the extra money for the power bill and have to replace the lightbulbs unnecessarily. It’s a matter of common sense instead of hysteria.

We have worked mighty hard as a nation to reach the top of the economic food chain. It makes no sense to needlessly sit around in a house with the thermostat set on an uncomfortable temperature. Don’t deprive yourself. Live as comfortably as you can afford and enjoy your life.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

As Paris nears, the hysteria increases

You can detect the level of desperation in the global warming movement by the ridiculousness of their claims. Now they’re saying global warming means less sex on the planet. I thought that was a good thing. They’re always telling us there are too many people on the planet. Of course, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot less sex during Spring Break at Ft. Lauderdale than there would be in the dead of winter in Wyoming. 

And just to make sure we’re fully redistributing the wealth, the UN Paris Climate Summit includes a provision for an International Tribunal of Climate Justice. I guess we’ll get some new superheroes to go along with it like Recycle Man or Compost Woman. This proposed tribunal is for the express purpose of determining crimes committed by the producer nations like us along with suitable ‘fines’ to be paid to the non-producing countries. Karl Marx could not have dreamed up a more clever scheme.

The heart of the global warming movement has always been marxist. What’s interesting is to hear mega-capitalists like Bill Gates say that capitalism can’t save us from climate change, as he recently did. The assumption is socialism or communism can. Socialist and communist countries have horrible records when it comes to the environment. China is one of the nastiest places on earth. Why? Because poor people generally don’t care about keeping things clean. I know that sounds horrible but it’s true.

Look around your own town. Where’s the cleanest place in town? Where the rich people live. What part of town has graffiti and trash all over the place? The poor side of town. Come on, folks. It ain’t that hard to figure out. The richer, the cleaner. And the more capitalist, the richer. It’s just that simple. It’s the third world countries where you find the most polluted water and air.

Ah, but you see, the dirt people have changed the definition of pollution. When I was growing up, we had the ecology movement. Captain Kangaroo told us not to throw junk out of our car windows. We had clean-up days at ponds and streams. It was all about cleaning up the area we lived in. Something happened on the way to utopia. Now pollution is carbon dioxide. What’s ironic is CO2 is one of the cleanest substances on the planet. It’s odorless, colorless, tasteless, and beneficial to all plant life. It’s plant food.

The entire argument for redistributing wealth, dismantling our economy, and making life in general more miserable is falling apart. I’m a consumerist. My interest is the well-being of the American consumer. I don’t conserve because we’re not running out of anything. I use exactly the amount of gasoline I need and can afford to use. I don’t waste it because it doesn’t make good money sense, but I don’t fret over how much I’m using or some foolish ‘carbon footprint.’ I keep my thermostat on the temperature that’s going to keep me the most comfortable. I don’t make myself miserable to placate the crazy people who wake up each day in a knot over the temperature of the planet. I don’t conserve water unless I’m in a drought. The notion that we’re running out of water is insane. We have the exact same amount of water on the planet that we’ve always had. It’s not going anywhere.

Anything that guilts us into consuming less than we need creates behavior that wouldn’t ordinarily exist. It short-circuits the free market. I suspect that’s been the goal all along. Don’t fall for it.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Paris climate meeting approaches. Let the freak-out begin.

As the big climate confab in Paris approaches, the forces of hysteria are upping their game. Roman Catholic leaders gathered at the Vatican to make a joint appeal. They urged a “complete decarbonisation” of the world’s economy. Ostensibly, that’s to help the poor countries battle the effects of climate change, but, in reality, it’s all about dismantling capitalism. This pope has been no friend to capitalism and global warming is the perfect guilt trip toward its annihilation. 

The great irony is if the pope really wanted to help the poor countries he would encourage development. The only way countries develop is through energy. Lots of cheap energy. 

Don’t know if you heard about this, but Greenpeace set up this power grid in a little village in India last summer. It was supposed to demonstrate how viable green energy is in the third world. As it turned out, solar power was three times the cost of regular energy, so the village scrapped solar for coal-fired electricity.

President Obama is trying to put coal out of business so there’s no alternative. Much like the liberals did with our lightbulbs. Before they outlawed the incandescent lightbulb, CFLs accounted for less than 3 percent of the lightbulb sales. In order to get us off inexpensive incandescent and onto expensive CFLs, they have to force us by law. It’s unlikely the free market would’ve made CFLs viable anytime soon.

Incidentally, the CFLs in India cost about $10. The incandescent bulbs cost about 15 cents. The solar grid in that little Indian village only supports CFLs. Another reason they opted to go back on the coal-fired grid.

And now we learn there are actually people waking up all distressed about global warming and worrying constantly about the survival of life on earth. Yeah, I know. These folks need to get a life. Probably can’t afford one after paying for that expensive green energy. They’ve actually come up with another psychobabble expression for their malady: Pre-traumatic Stress Disorder. Yes, the other PTSD. This one isn’t based on any horrible experience. It’s based on the imagination of the idiot who suffers from it.

A wise man once said: “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it’s due.” I’ve lived my life by that saying. I never worry about anything I can’t change. And I certainly don’t dream up things to worry about, but that’s exactly what these people have done. They worry about hurricanes that never materialize. We’re now in a ten-year hurricane drought. We haven’t had a Cat 3 or above hit the United States in 120 months. Hurricane Patricia, that was billed as ‘the worst storm in history,’ turned out to be much ado about nothing. Minimal damage and no fatalities.

By comparison, Hurricane Camille plowed into Mississippi in 1969 and killed 259 and caused $9.13 billion in damage in today’s dollars. Now, that was a storm. But it wasn’t the worst to hit the U.S. The worst was the Labor Day hurricane in 1935. That’s before we were naming them. It killed as many as 600 people. The worst by damage was Hurricane Andrew in 1992. It did over $26 billion in damage. Let’s see 1935, 1969, 1992. Do you see a pattern? Neither do I.

Oh, but these PTSD folks do. They see more hurricanes, more droughts, more rain, more heat, more cold. The simple fact is there’s no more of any of that than there ever has been.

Maybe the pope needs to rethink that birth control thing. The last thing we need is more people exhaling CO2.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Convention of States: Is it time?

I was recently asked to speak at a meeting of the Convention of States. If you’re not familiar with this movement, they advocate constitutional amendments via the second way allowed by the Article V of the Constitution. Instead of both houses of Congress voting by a two-thirds majority to propose an amendment then sending it to the states, this process bypasses Congress. It requires two-thirds of the states to submit applications for a constitutional convention and these applications must deal with the same issue.
I went into the meeting a bit skeptical. The reason being, I actually proposed this on the air about ten years ago, specifically to address a balanced budget amendment. You wouldn’t believe the backlash I got from many people I respected. The reaction was so ardent that it made me question my own judgement. Had I missed something? Was a constitutional convention some sort of a trap? These people convinced me it was, and the way they did that was through the point that no one can control a constitutional convention. Their argument was that once it started there would be no limiting the damage that could be done, up to and including dissolving the Constitution completely.

I will be the first to admit that I’m not a constitutional scholar. I’ve always left that area of expertise to the experts. If there’s even one chance in a million that some leftist activists could somehow turn the entire convention to their advantage, then we must not take that chance. There’s got to be a good reason why this approach has never been taken before, right?

So, I put the matter out of my mind. When the Convention of States started up a couple of years ago, coincidentally, at the same time talk show host Mark Levin released a book on the matter, I dismissed it. Been down that road and learned my lesson. However, a colleague at work was helping coordinate the meeting and wanted me to speak. I told him of my skepticism and he suggested I come from that viewpoint, ask questions of the legislators who would be attending, and make up my mind based on what I heard.

One of the legislators mentioned a Bible verse during the course of the conversation. James 1:19: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak.” Never being slow to speak, I took the advice to heart. I asked the tough questions, and I listened intently to the answers.

Changing one’s mind is one of the hardest things we as humans will ever do. It’s also a most humbling experience. In order to change one’s mind, one has to let go of pre-conceived notions and admit that you may have actually been wrong about something. I think there’s a built-in mechanism in our sub-conscience that tells us we’ll lose all credibility if we change our minds. It’s true, politicians who change their minds too often are viewed as wishy-washy. However, when one is presented with facts that change the dynamics of the argument, it’s incumbent upon that person to be big enough to change.

Here’s what clinched it for me. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that George Soros and his lot infiltrate the convention of states and insert all sorts of crazy liberal — but I repeat myself — amendments. The fail-safe to this whole process is it take three-quarters of the states to ratify any amendment. I don’t think 38 states will ratify a crazy liberal agenda. If 38 states do, we deserve what we get.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why we should continue celebrating Columbus Day

Columbus Day came and went with the usual bellyaching about it. Several cities around the country celebrate ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ as a counter but that’s just plain silly, and I’ll tell you why in a moment. First, let’s get a clear picture of who Christopher Columbus was and who he wasn’t.

By all accounts and by admission of his detractors, Christopher Columbus never set foot in what is now called the United States of America. He landed in the Bahamas. Whatever terror he wrought on indigenous peoples was certainly not wrought upon American Indians. He never saw any. Excerpts from his own diary paint a picture of a man who pretty much had his way with the people he encountered. That was par for the course in his day.

What’s implied by all this Columbus-hate is he ushered Europeans into the Americas and that’s somehow horrible. It’s as if the Indians were just sitting around making beads and smoking peyote until the white man came and systematically slaughtered them. Ever heard of the Iroquois Nation? It was a confederacy of five Indian nations that subjugated other tribes by means of violent force. Those it didn’t kill or absorb into the nation it made them their slaves. Others it used for ritual sacrifice. Yeah, they tortured and killed people to appease the gods.

Point being that raping, pillaging, and plundering were standard for Columbus’ day. But that’s not why we remember him. We remember Columbus because he opened up the New World and we should drop to our knees in gratitude. You see, it doesn’t matter what your heritage is, your ancestors either chose to come here or were dragged in chains. Either way, we’re here and there’s no place quite like it.

It’s not that we’re all genetically superior to everyone else in the world. My ancestors are Spanish and I’m no better than my present-day counterparts in Spain. I’m just glad I’m here and not there. Even those of you who are American Indian, you’re much better off than your ancestors, despite the injustices. That is, unless you think you’d be better off living in a teepee with no electricity and no bathroom. Because that’s exactly where you’d be if the Europeans hadn’t come to America.

What makes us different from the rest of the world is the concept from our forefathers of freedom and self-government. That was a radical notion in its day. We take it too much for granted. While the rest of the world was under the rule of kings and tyrants, we were forging a brand new way. A country that presupposed we were all created equal, not born into classes we could never escape. Most people alive today in the United States really have no concept of how different their lives would be had they not been born here.

It’s a place where migrants could come and create things they could never create in their home countries. It was freedom and liberty and capitalism that gave us most of the wonderful inventions we now enjoy. Things like air conditioning, airplanes, motion pictures, breakfast cereal, computers, the washing machine, television, telephones, the revolver, refrigerators, potato chips, microwave ovens, radio, razor blades, lipstick, even sliced bread. All invented in the United States of America.

Those Americans who came before us gave us some of the most wonderful inventions in history. But, their greatest invention was the United States of America. And none of it would be possible without Christopher Columbus. So, liberal America-haters, put that in your peace pipe and smoke it.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Libs have run out of causes

Did you hear the story about the mom in California who was shopping at REI and her 12-year-old daughter encountered a man in the bathroom? No, it wasn’t a guy dressed like a woman. It was just a man going in there to do his business. You would think the man would be arrested or at least chastised by the manager. According to the mom, the store manager lectured her instead, telling her no one has a right to tell someone which bathroom to use.

This seems to be the trend. Since Caitlyn Jenner hit the seen, transgender is all the rage. A recent New York Times article cites sources estimating that 0.3 percent of the population identifies as transgender. In other words, they have 99.7 percent of the population bending over backwards to accommodate a segment of the population that makes up less than one half of one percent. It’s ridiculous. 

But it’s not so much about transgenders. People have run out of legitimate things to change. Think about it. Since our nation’s founding there have been all sorts of things that needed fixing. Slavery was a big one and we ended that. Women’s right to vote was another one and we fixed that. Then came the Civil Rights era with the Jim Crow laws and we fixed that. Every generation wants to leave its mark. All the big problems have been solved so where does this generation turn? To transgenders.

Look, I get it. I’m an iconoclast from way back. I’m always bucking conformity. I’ve never liked doing things just because people say that’s the way it’s always been. I question everything and if there’s a better way to do it, I’m all in. It’s just with going to the bathroom, separate facilities for men and women just makes sense.

Now, let’s be honest. Not many guys are going to complain about a woman coming into the men’s room. If they do, we’re going to have to ask for their man card. Women, on the other hand, are quite disturbed by men invading their space. Is that sexist? You’d have to ask the women. They’re the ones upset about this and I’m behind them 100 percent.

If the libs are going to push through this shattering of bathroom tradition they at least need to be consistent. They’re the same bunch who think men are pigs and we’re all sexual predators. If that’s the case, why are they encouraging these pigs and sexual predators to use their bathroom? Why are they putting their daughters in danger?

And don’t tell me you have to be a transvestite to use the ladies’ room. If I “feel” like a woman it doesn’t mean I have to dress like one. That leaves the door wide open — literally — for every pervert and child molester in the country. Not to mention the straight guys who will show up just because they can. Heck, if I could’ve gotten away with hanging out in the girls’ locker room in high school I would’ve worn a dress to school every day.

It’s pretty simple. If you have a wee-wee you go to the men’s room. If not, you go to the ladies room. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing.

Believe it or not, generally speaking, it’s not against the law for a guy to use the ladies’ room in most states. Several are trying to change that. It’s really a shame that lawmakers would even have to consider such a law. Before, it’s was a matter of common decency. Apparently, we’ve run out of that.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Trump tax plan

Although most of the presidential candidates have released their tax plans, its Donald Trumps thats getting all of the attention. And no wonder. The media CNN especially are obsessed with the man. Aside from the illegal immigration issue, his positions have been short on detail. Taxes are in Trumps wheelhouse and he has some really good ideas. He also has at least one thats not.

First, lets look at whats good about the Trump tax plan. It lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. Personally, I would take that to zero but thats probably not realistic given the level of class envy in this country. Some of you reading this right now are balking at lowering the tax on corporations because youve been conditioned by the left to want to punish them. Lets think through this logically. What happens when you tax a corporation? Let me ask it another way. What happens to your grocery bill when the price of gasoline goes up? The price of your groceries goes up. Everyone understands that concept. Why are taxes any different from gasoline? Theyre not. Theyre both expenses and they both help determine the price of products. It stands to reason that if you raise taxes you raise prices. Conversely, if you lower the corporate tax youll lower prices. The market will see to it.

Trumps reduction in the corporate tax would apply to small businesses and freelancers, as well as corporations, and the potential to stimulate the economy is enormous. Republicans have advocated either lowering or eliminating the corporate tax for decades but its always been demagogued by the left. It may take someone like Donald Trump to get this passed.

Trump lowers the top tax rate from 39.6 to 25 percent and cuts the tax brackets from seven to four. NPR quoted Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the left-leaning Tax Policy Center as saying, Bushs was a large tax cut aimed at high-income people. This is an even bigger tax cut aimed at high-income people.Thats a rather ridiculous statement given that the plan pushes another 75 million people off the tax rolls. Yes, it lowers the top tax rate but it lowers all the rates. Any individual making less than $25,000 or couple making less than $50,000 pays no tax under the Trump plan. This is the part I have a problem with.

Before I get into it, understand that we already take care of the poor. Food stamps, housing subsidies, outright cash payments, we go above and beyond what we should be doing to compensate low-income individuals and families. Already nearly half of Americans pay no federal income tax. Trumps plan apparently pushes us over the 50 percent mark. To me, its unconscionable that a couple making $50,000 a year would pay nothing toward the well-being of this country.

Thats been part of the problem already. Too many people have no ownership stake in this country. If you dont have any money invested, why would you care how much the government spends? Everybody needs to have some skin in the game, no matter how little they make. Instead, the Trump plan continues to move us in the opposite direction.

That doesnt even take into account the 40 percent of people who get more from the Earned Income Tax Credit than they pay in. They certainly dont give a rats hat about runaway government spending.

Theres an old saying that when you rob Peter to pay Paul youll get no argument from Paul. We need more Peters and fewer Pauls.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lessons from the VW scam

The car company that Hitler built may be coming to an end. No doubt, you’ve heard about the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Because of the conscious confusion of the global warming agenda there’s confusion over just what Volkswagen has done. Let me elucidate. They have admitted to rigging some of their “clean diesel” vehicles to fool smog tests. When the vehicle is hooked up to emissions-testing equipment the cars emit far fewer nitrogen oxides, which are major components of smog. Once the cars are on the open road, they emit far more nitrogen oxides than are allowed by U.S. law. Understand, this is real pollution, as opposed to the trumped up charges against carbon dioxide.
In an article from they stated the following: “While diesel cars get better mileage and emit fewer carbon-dioxide emissions, they also emit more nitrogen oxides (NOx), which help form smog, and particulate matter, which can damage lungs. Both types of pollution can have serious health effects.” (emphasis added) Here’s the problem. Carbon dioxide poses absolutely no health effect. Also, there is no CO2 in smog. I’ll repeat. There is no CO2 in smog. Al Gore and the global warming alarmists have cleverly conjoined CO2 and smog by shortening carbon dioxide to just “carbon” to make it sound sinister. CO2 is not a pollutant and, in fact, is essential to life on earth. It’s known as plant food.

The problem with Volkswagen is they weren’t trying to get around the CO2 regulations, which would’ve been excusable. They were getting around the smog regulations, which is inexcusable. They will be fined heavily and they should be. How heavily? Estimates are a minimum of $18 billion. To put that in perspective, VW’s pre-tax net income last year was roughly $4.7 billion.

This could mean an end to the car company Adolf Hitler started back in 1937. Hitler wanted an affordable car for the masses. The problem was even with his subsidy plan, few Germans could afford it. Then came World War II and production of the VW halted. It wasn’t until after the war, when Allied forces were inspecting a bombed-out factory, that the discovery was made of several VW prototypes. The Americans used Volkswagen as the centerpiece of their efforts to rebuild the German economy.

In 1959, an American advertising agency dubbed the VW the “Beetle” and an automotive phenomenon was begun. Twelve years later, VW surpassed the record set by Henry Ford and his Model T, selling more than 15 million vehicles. By the 1970s, the Beetle was looking tired and sales began to fall off. VW made a comeback in the ‘80s and in 2011 had built a production facility in Chattanooga, TN. The car company laid out about $1 billion. Federal, state, and local governments chipped in another $577 million in incentives.

That looked like a great deal to proponents of government welfare until the proverbial defecation hit the fan. Now Tennessee is scrambling to figure out what to do. What they should do is not defend the indefensible. As someone who has fought the misinformation of global warming for many years, I understand the problem of real pollution. In California, for example, vehicles account for about 60 percent of the smog. That’s a real problem. The way to address the problem is through cleaner-burning engines. The trick is dodging the CO2 requirements while making a cleaner engine.

In a perfectly combustible engine all you get is CO2. Perhaps the Volkswagen case will be a wake-up call. CO2 is not smog. It’s the alternative to smog.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Political Correctness: I refuse to play

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, certainly not known for his right-wing politics, recently went off on political correctness on college campuses. He’s not alone. Many top-tier comedians have given up the college circuit because of the lack of sense of humor. Tasteless comedian Sarah Silverman, however, has succumbed to the pressure. She now says comedians need to change with the times. In other words, allow some college kids to dictate what you say.

The PC landscape is ever-evolving. That’s one of the things that makes it so annoying. Who knows what’s PC from day to day? I recently was recounting a story of an elected official who quoted an online urban dictionary and the definition included “retarded monkey.” Now, I understand in that context it probably wasn’t very nice and an elected official should probably know better but it set off a debate over the word “retarded” itself.

Calling someone a “retard” is not polite. I get that. However, when someone has a diminished mental capacity they’re referred to as mentally retarded. Or, at least, I thought so. I got it with both barrels from some hysterical woman who said my use of the phrase “mentally retarded” was hate speech. Hate speech? I asked, pray tell, what I’m supposed to use in its place. “Intellectually challenged,” she said. Really? Intellectually challenged? That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, if I’m still allowed to use the word “dumb.”

I thought I remembered an organization called ARC, the Association for Retarded Citizens, so I went to their website. Apparently it’s no longer ARC, it’s Arc. In other words, they’ll still call it Arc but it doesn’t really stand for anything. However, right there under the ‘Who Are We’ section is the dreaded word. “The National Association for Retarded Citizens,” it reads, “was founded in 1950 as the National Association of Parents and Friends of Mentally Retarded Children.” Oh, my. Hate speech right there on the Arc website.

Please don’t misinterpret my frustration. I have a special place in my heart for mentally retarded citizens and give regularly to organizations like Special Olympics. My problem is with the overly-sensitive PC police who feel it necessary to change the language.

Oftentimes it’s done to try and erase a negative connotation. Take the word “liberal,” for instance. Liberals don’t like to be called liberals anymore because it’s a negative, so they want to be called “progressives.” They’re still liberals and they’re still wrong so it’s only a matter of time before “progressive” becomes a dirty word.

They’re doing the same thing with “illegal.” Illegal alien is a perfect description for someone who’s broken into our country and isn’t supposed to be here but that word has become so negative. Well, yeah, it is a negative. They’ve tried to paper over the problem by calling them “undocumented workers.” They even try to ban the word “illegal.” We should probably just refer to them as what they are: Undocumented Democrats.

Pardon me if I sit out this silly game of musical words. There are apt descriptions of people and things that fit perfectly and there’s really no need to change them. Am I opposed to changing with the times? Not always. I don’t use “gee whiz” or “far out” so I certainly understand how language changes. However, I naturally resist tossing words just because a few people don’t like them anymore. I wrote in The Conservative’s Handbook that political correctness is the liberal version of fascism, and it is.

Controlling language is the first step in controlling thought and I refuse to be bullied.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Is Kim Davis right?

Interesting test case in Kentucky where a county clerk, Kim Davis, refused to issue marriage licenses because of her opposition to gay marriage and was subsequently jailed. A judge later ordered her release and she has vowed not to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians under her name.

Is she right?

Well, of course, that depends on what side of the argument youre on. Ill take a non-partisan position and lets see. First of all, we must determine whether or not the state requires clerks of court in Kentucky to issue marriage licenses or allows it. Thats a critical point. My understanding is Alabama allows clerks to issue marriage licenses. Thats why the clerks there who have refused to issue licenses havent been jailed. Its my understanding that Kentucky requires it, which would put Kim Davis in contempt.

But that doesnt settle the argument. Theres the matter of objecting to a law because of your religious beliefs. Remember Muhammad Ali objected to the selective service law and was allowed to avoid the draft. In fact, exemptions are made for all sorts of people based on their religions. The Amish come to mind.

The bigger question is who has authority over the Kentucky matter. It troubles me that federal marshals detained Mrs. Davis. Its my opinion that marriage is and always has been a matter of the state government, not the federal government. Federal authorities jailing an elected official over something that is clearly not under the authority of the federal government is troublesome, to say the least. What compounds the concern is how many times federal government officials refuse to enforce the law or unilaterally countermand with no negative repercussions.

Take President Obama, for example. How many times has he refused to enforce immigration law? Absolutely nothing has happened to him. In fact, not only has he refused to follow the law, he has instructed the Border Patrol to ignore it, as well. Innocent citizens have died because he has allowed criminal illegals to roam the streets.

Speaking of which, why didnt the federal marshals detain the idiots in San Francisco who defied an ICE demand to turn a dangerous illegal alien over to them and, instead, turned him loose on the streets where he murdered someone? This happens all the time. Why arent those people in jail.

When it comes to gay marriage, why didnt someone arrest the mayor of San Francisco several years ago when he ordered the city clerk to start issuing marriage licenses to gays even though it was against the law? Surely, if the federal government can arrest someone for not issuing a license when they believe its now legal, they could arrest someone for issuing a license when it was not.

Thats my problem with the Kim Davis issue. Personally, if I objected to issuing marriage licenses to gays I would simply resign. Apparently she wants to make a statement and shes certainly doing that. Its an issue that needs to be resolved. If were going to have religious accommodations for religion then we need to somehow accommodate Mrs. Davis. If were not, we need to end them for everyone, which many would argue violates their constitutional rights. Why arent these folks standing up for Davis?

Perhaps if she were Muslim things would be different. The politically correct are bending over backwards accommodating them. Perhaps out of fear, I dont know. No matter the motivation, its time to be evenhanded. Maybe if the gays wanting to get married were confederates or, worse, lion-killers Davis would get a little bit more sympathy.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.