NC’s Celgard, a green biz touted by Obama & showered w/ stimulus $$, to cut jobs

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Why? The demand for electric vehicles is not even close to meeting expectations. I know – shocking, right? Via The Charlotte Observer:

Company spokeswoman Beth Kitteringham said the [40] jobs lost come from among the company’s more than 700 Charlotte-region employees. Celgard has plants in Charlotte and Concord, where it makes key components for electric vehicle batteries.

“Demand for (electric drive vehicles) has not increased as quickly as our customers and their customers originally projected,” said Kitteringham via email. She said the decision was taken to align staffing with business needs. “However, the long-term trend for the market remains positive.”

[…]

Celgard is a subsidiary of Charlotte-based high-tech manufacturer Polypore. In its most recent quarter, Polypore reported that net sales slumped 6.5 percent, to $177.6 million, and profits fell to $14.2 million. That’s down from $23.6 million in profits during the same quarter last year.

Sales of the company’s electric drive vehicle and electronics products fell to $43.5 million, down from $56 million in the same quarter last year. Operating income for the segment was down by more than 50 percent, falling to $10.5 million from $26.5 million a year ago. Lower production levels of electric drive vehicles were cited as the main cause.

Politicians have touted Celgard as an example of a successful clean energy company. Celgard received a $49 million grant from President Obama’s stimulus program, and he made a speech at the company in 2010.

Am I laughing here? Of course not. People will be losing their jobs, and close to home – both here in Charlotte and next door in Concord. But the failure of green biz stimulus “experiment” was predicted by many … and is coming to pass, to the tune of billions of dollars to the US taxpayer.  This is further proof that government being in the “investment” business only benefits them, not you. As another example of that, let’s not forget that millions of our taxpayer dollars were awarded to green energy companies who had cozy relationships with the White House – including the failed Solyndra, for starters.

Move along here, nothing to see ….

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA): We need a Constitutional amendment that controls speech

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Frightening:

ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – A Democratic representative is calling for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would allow for some legislative restriction of freedom of speech.

“We need a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to control the so-called free speech rights of corporations,” Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) was quoted as saying by CNS News.

He reportedly made these comments while speaking at the Annesbrooks HOA candidate Forum held last month.

In a video obtained by the website, Johnson asserts that “corporations control … patterns of thinking.”

“They control the media. They control the messages that you get,” he added. “And these folks … are setting up a scenario where they’re privatizing every aspect of our lives as we know it. So, wake up! Wake up! Let’s look at what’s happening.”

Yeah, how DARE any part of our private lives be, well, be privatized. Bigger government is the answer, dammit!

Here’s the video, courtesy of CNSNews:

Of course, none of us are strangers to how far liberals have openly stated they are willing to go in order to control the free speech rights of others – our celebrity President himself acted in a manner unbefitting the dignity of the Presidency by cowardly mocking the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United during his 2010 State of the Union address where several of the Justices were in attendance – and where he knew they could not respond. In his speech, he urged Congress to “correct” the Court’s ruling by passing legislation to fix “some of its problems.” Uh huh. Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Sam Alito, and Justice Clarence Thomas (not in attendance) were not amused – nor were the Republicans who were there. The the Democrats in the audience stood and clapped loudly, however. Natch.

Not only is there that, but for decades other far left Democrats like Barack Obama have been trying to shove the “Fairness Doctrine” back down the throats of the American people, not because they believe in actual “fairness” (something they don’t believe in no matter WHAT the issue is – in spite of their protestations to the contrary), but because it’s been proven time and time again that they simply cannot compete in the radio/TV broadcast arena when it comes to conservative news/talk commentary. So their way of “leveling the playing field” is by pushing for legislation which will force conservative talk shows to give “equal time” to the opposition. Many already do bring on liberal guests to their shows, but they don’t do it by government force – nor should they. Rush doesn’t bring liberal guests on, and that’s who they’re really targeting anyway. Chilling.

All that being said, what with the various calls for speech-limiting legislation coming from Democrat public figures and politicos (and let’s not forget about moderate Republicans like McCain and the “McCain-Feingold” nightmare), I can’t recall anyone else in Congress recent past or present calling for an actual Constitutional amendment limiting it, as Johnson did in October (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that one). Congressional legislation is bad enough, but fortunately can be repealed with the right Congress and President. Constitutional amendments, on the other hand are hard to pass – and even harder to repeal.

Johnson is a fruitcake, of course, and was probably knows it’s unlikely he’ll see anything like this really get off the ground (unless he had a lot more fellow Democrats in the US House) but still, it’s deeply disturbing to know just how far his mindset goes on this. I wonder how many more on his side agree with him but are too chicken to just come out and say it because they realize how it would be used against them by the opposition?

Inquiring minds want to know …

Interior Department destroys 100-year old small business

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**Posted by Phineas

Because, y’know, we must all sacrifice for Gaia (1). Mary Katherine Ham summarizes at Hot Air:

It’s just a 100-year-old company and California’s only surviving cannery, a sustainable, family-owned operation employing 30 people. The Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been in a seven-year fight with the federal government and environmental groups over whether it’s 40-year lease would be renewed this week. The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity. After buying and operating the oyster farm without incident— they were even featured as outstanding environmental stewards by the National Parks Service— the Lunnys learned in 2005 they were accused of bringing environmental damage to an area the NPS and environmentalists were anxious to designate as the nation’s first federally recognized marine wilderness.

And thus Secretary Salazar has decided to shut down a farm that accounts for 40% of the oyster harvest in California, in violation of the original lease agreement and on the basis of  “science” driven by an environmentalist agenda:

The trouble started in 2005, when Kevin Lunny, a local rancher, purchased the oyster farm from Johnson Oyster Co. He was required to get a special-use permit from the California Coastal Commission, which had placed a cease-and-desist order on the property as a result of previous problems.

In the midst of those negotiations and discussions about extending the 2012 lease, the Park Service came out with accusations of environmental damage, setting off a series of dueling scientific reports.

“What has happened is the National Academy of Sciences has shown that all the claims made by the National Park Service are wrong,” Lunny said. “It gives us a clean bill of health.”

Lunny and others claim Jon Jarvis, the Pacific West regional director of the National Park Service, deliberately misrepresented data to bolster his own ideological agenda.

Jarvis apologized Tuesday for mistakes that were made on the initial report but defended the Park Service’s handling of the science.

“They didn’t say our research was wrong. They just said it was incomplete,” Jarvis said. “What there really is here is a disagreement among scientists about the level of impact on the environment. That does not mean that one side is guilty of misconduct.”

The battle intensified in 2007, when the Park Service issued a report claiming, among other things, that oyster farming reduced the number of harbor seals and damaged eelgrass beds.

Lunny, who is trying to persuade the Park Service to renew a 40-year occupancy agreement in 2012, was furious. His case was helped by Corey Goodman, a biological scientist who reviewed Park Service studies on oysters.

They accused Park Service officials of fabricating environmental problems to drive the oyster company off the bay where explorer Sir Francis Drake purportedly landed more than 430 years ago.

Be sure to read the whole article. At best, the Park Service study was incompetent; at worst, it was a hit job meant to serve a Green objective (2), rather than objective science. Whatever the truth, a venerable business has been wrecked, livelihoods ruined, and the economy of California’s rural north, which has already suffered terribly (3) at the hands of environmental extremists, takes another blow.

This is another example of Washington-as-Leviathan, where abstract policy goals (and big donor groups) come before the needs of individual people, and science is a tool to be used to reach that goal, rather than a source of information leading to a wise, just decision.

(And didn’t Obama want to depoliticize science? Never mind…)

Of course, in the midst of this sad story is some irony, too. The Lunny’s farm is near Inverness, in Marin County, which is infamous in its liberalism. While we don’t know how the people of the area voted in the last election, Marin as a whole went 75% for Obama. (For comparison, California overall voted “only” 60% for the President.) Thus I think it’s safe to say a majority of the affected people likely were Obama voters.

How’s that for gratitude, folks?

That bit of snark aside, what’s happening here is unjust and needless, and one hopes that pressure from the public and Senator Feinstein’s office will find a way to undo the harm caused by Secretary Salazar’s arrogance. You can see a short documentary on the Lunny’s battle at Hot Air.

Afterthought: I suppose one can also take grim satisfaction at the thought of rich Bay-Area liberals having to pay more for their precious shellfish, given that Salazar’s decision will massively contract the available supply. Nah. They’ll never make the connection.

Footnotes:
(1) Except for the High Priests of the faith, such as Al Gore, who can jet around the globe as much as they need and just buy themselves absolution via the carbon credits scam.
(2) Of course, that’s S.O.P for Ken Salazar, who was found by a federal judge to have misrepresented the science in a report used to justify a moratorium on drilling permits in the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
(3) Other than marijuana, now that logging, mining, and fishing have been all but killed. If you eliminate legitimate industries, people will turn to what they have to in order to survive.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)