January 24, 2012

Not National News: Bankrupt Solyndra Destroys Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Glass

I guess what follows shouldn’t be a total surprise, given that the Obama administration was perfectly comfortable ruining hundreds of thousands of perfectly good cars during the Cash For Clunkers program in 2009.

The video which follows from CBS News in San Francisco last Thursday (full transcript here) tells viewers what is happening to valuable parts at the main manufacturing plant of the now-bankrupt Solyndra. At the risk of belaboring what longtime readers here already instinctively know, it’s not news based on searches on the company’s name at at the Associated Press and the New York Times.

Here’s the video:

Excerpts (bolds are mine; do not miss that last paragraph):

Bankrupt Solyndra Caught Destroying Brand New Parts

… At Solyndra’s sprawling complex in Fremont, workers in white jumpsuits were unwrapping brand new glass tubes used in solar panels last week. They are the latest, most cutting-edge solar technology, and they are being thrown into dumpsters.

Solyndra paid at least $2 million for the specialized glass. A CBS 5 crew found one piece lying in the parking lot. Solyndra still owes the German company that made the tubes close to another $8 million.

… court documents reveal the company received permission from the bankruptcy trustee to abandon the high grade glass, the court agreeing that it was of “inconsequential value” because the cost of storing them exceeds their value.

An employee for Heritage Global Partners, the company in charge of selling Solyndra’s assets, told CBS 5 they conducted an exhaustive search for buyers but no one wanted them.

But how exhaustive was that search? The tubes were never included on the list of Solyndra assets put up for sale at two auctions last year.

If they were, David Lucky told CBS 5 he would have bought them. “We certainly would have bid on them, yes,” Lucky said.

Lucky owns several large warehouses near Las Vegas. He buys and then resells manufacturing equipment and components all the time.

… He said if given a chance he would have snapped up the tubes …

… CBS 5 asked more than once for Solyndra, the auction company and the bankruptcy trustee to talk on camera. But they all refused.

CBS 5 also called the German company that made the glass tubes to see if they would have wanted the tubes back. After all, they are still owed almost $8 million dollars. A spokesman said he had no idea they were being destroyed.

Given the fact that the company has asked for $500,000 in bonuses so that allegedly key employees can stay around during the shutdown, it doesn’t seem to be too much to ask that they attempt to get some value out of materials which remain. As demonstrated, there were clearly avenues which could have been explored, such as returning the glass to the vendor or finding a broker like Mr. Lucky who was willing to take it.

The segment also tells of a Santa Clara University professor who asked if any of the leftover tubes after the Solyndra auctions were completed could be donated. He was told “no.”

I’ve seen enough troubled situations to know that it’s hard to get rid of stuff which is seemingly valuable when time is tight and it seems that there’s no ready market, and that things get thrown out which you would think wouldn’t have to be. But $2 million worth of high-end glass?

A Google News search on “Solyndra glass” (not in quotes) returns 14 relevant items, of which only three are national establishment press stories.

There is little doubt that a similar episode of epic waste and destruction of perfectly good property under a Republican or conservative presidential administration would have been picked up as national news.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Bill Whittle on Newt’s Smackdown of Juan Williams’s SC Debate Question (‘Working Class’)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:40 pm

On fire, as usual:

“The only way to break the cycle of decline, ruin, envy, dependency
and collapse is to see it for what it is and not be afraid to say so.”

SOTU Warm-up

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:06 pm

This is good (the video, not the stats, which are really not good; HT to a frequent emailer):

Useful Idiots

Filed under: Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:50 pm

Seriously, what did these people expect?

Oh, I guess they forgot to read how aggressively anti-life and anti-religion (with one exception: a radical black liberation theology-based outfit where Obama never heard, saw, or read anything objectionable) Obama has been all of his adult life.

But, as William McGurn notes today in the Wall Street Journal, Catholic liberals are shocked — shocked, I tell you! — that Barack Obama and his fake-Catholic Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius have turned on them:

Obama Offends the Catholic Left
A contraceptive mandate provokes an unnecessary war.

When Barack Obama secured his party’s nomination for president in 2008, one group of Democrats had special reason to cheer.

These were Democrats who were reliably liberal on policy but horrified by the party’s sometimes knee-jerk animosity to faith. The low point may have been the 1992 Democratic convention. There the liberal but pro-life governor of Pennsylvania, Bob Casey Sr., was humiliated when he was denied a speaking slot while a pro-choice Republican activist from his home state was allowed.

With Mr. Obama, all this looked to be in the past.


… Now, suddenly, we have headlines about the president’s “war on the Catholic Church.” Mostly they stem from a Health and Human Services mandate that forces every employer to provide employees with health coverage that not only covers birth control and sterilization, but makes them free. Predictably, the move has drawn fire from the Catholic bishops.

… Less predictable—and far more interesting—has been the heat from the Catholic left, including many who have in the past given the president vital cover. In a post for the left-leaning National Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters minces few words. Under the headline “J’ACCUSE,” he rightly takes the president to the woodshed for the politics of the decision, for the substance, and for how “shamefully” it treats “those Catholics who went out on a limb” for him.

The message Mr. Obama is sending, says Mr. Winters, is “that there is no room in this great country of ours for the institutions our Church has built over the years to be Catholic in ways that are important to us.”

It’s hard to react to Mr. Winters in any other except as follows: “Duh — it’s you guys and gals who sold us out.”

The one thing with which I disagree in McGurn’s write-up is his subheadline’s characterization of the “war” as “unnecessary.” Whether it comes today or twenty years from now, that war is very necessary in the minds of leftists. For their agenda to fully succeed, they must bring religion to heel, and force conscience decisions out of health care, out of the public square, and out of bounds in any discussion of how people can and cannot exercise their religious beliefs.

Those who don’t (or won’t) see this, and insist on supporting the progressive agenda because they think it’s somehow compatible with their life-based, natural law-based religious beliefs (it’s not, and never will be) really are today’s equivalent of those who were duped by Lenin and Stalin in the old Soviet Union, where on a whim today’s hero could become tomorrow’s enemy of the state. Historically, these people are often referred to as “useful idiots,” though Lenin and Stalin are said never to have actually used that term.

Obviously, Obama is gambling that these sheep won’t stray in November. Sadly, in most cases, he’s probably right.

Public Radio’s ‘Marketplace’ Whitewashes Alinsky; ‘Quite a Conservative Guy’

ObamaAlinskyChalkboardAmerican Public Media (formerly American Public Radio) says that its “Marketplace” program “focuses on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets.”

Okay. One would expect, given the track record of leftist and communist movements and causes in ruining economies and creating unspeakable human misery, that if “Marketplace” were to do a segment on, say, Saul Alinsky, that it might note his antagonism towards free-market capitalism, and how damaging his “Rules for Radicals” recommendations have been in practice. Instead, those listening to yesterday’s Alinsky segment got nothing but pap and misdirection orchestrated by a far-left labor prof:

Why Saul Alinsky matters in the 2012 election

Kai Ryssdal (“Marketplace” host and senior editor): If you’ve been paying attention to the Republican nomination race, you might have been hearing the name Saul Alinsky a lot lately.

… So we figured it might be good to ask who Saul Alinsky was. Bob Bruno’s a professor of labor at the University of Illinois. Welcome.

Bob Bruno: Good to be here.

Ryssdal: So who was Saul Alinsky? Who is, or was this guy?

Bruno: So Saul Alinsky was perhaps the modern founder of community organizing — working with dispossessed, powerless groups of people very often minority populations, working class populations who needed to organize as a way to bring their voice within the political system. And he created and theorized a way to go about community organizing that spread across the country.

Ryssdal: It sounds to hear speaker Gingrich say it like Saul Alinsky wanted nothing less than armed rebellion and the overthrow of American life. Is that true?

Bruno: No, not even the overthrow of life in Chicago. He actually was quite a pragmatic, quite a conservative guy. He understood being very strategic, very tactful. He understood that at the end of the day all groups had to reach a deal. The idea behind it — was motivating Alinsky — was to create a people’s organization that could represent average people at the bargaining table. So he really was about compromise but he realized that at the grassroots, people would have to organize to do that.

Ryssdal: So, factoring in political hyperbole, how much sense does it make for Mr. Gingrich to be bringing this up in discussing President Obama and his past as a community organizer? I mean, that’s where it’s all coming from.

Bruno: Well, it make no sense at all if you’re trying to accurately shed some light on the character and the motivating principles on the current president. The president spent a little bit of time doing community organizing but nobody would say that he was a Saul Alinsky. Although Alinsky — along with many others people — would have perhaps helped to shape his principles of governance. But if Gingrich is all about trying to rally a politically conservative base to some how tinge the president with some sort of radical ideology, than throwing out into the public domain makes some political sense.

Alinsky was really a conservative. Who knew? Certainly not Alinsky.

I guess you could say he was a Bible-thumper, but in quite a weird way. After all, he admired “the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.” As to whether Alinsky was aligned with the bedrock conservative principle that individuals and families should be left to make their own decisions about their lives, he wasn’t: “The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.”

One could go on forever making mincemeat of the “Marketplace” segment’s claims that the Obama administration isn’t dominated by Alinsky’s beliefs. I’ll supply just one small example, which in its own way is as telling as many far more damaging things this administration has done.

In “Rules For Radicals,” as quoted here, Alinsky betrayed the fact that he considered half of the American labor movement insufficiently radical, disdainfully characterizing the American Federation of Labor half of what is now the AFL-CIO as “conservative and archaic” because it “clung to craft unionism.” The fact is that the AFL’s founder, Samuel Gompers, “improved the lives of millions of working men and women … (and) rightly deserves to be called the greatest friend labor has ever known.”

Consistent with Alinsky’s contempt for Gompers, the Obama administration’s Department of Labor had a paragraph complimentary to the AFL’s founder which had been present for at least eight years scrubbed from its web site’s “History of Labor Day” page.

But according to Prof. Bob Bruno, “it make no sense at all” to view Barack Obama and his peeps through an Alinskyite lens. What a load of rubbish.

Bruno’s faculty page at the School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) at the University of Illinois carries this quote: “I became a professor because I believe that it is the best way for me to act on behalf of working-class men and women. LER has a long standing and significant commitment to labor studies and the institutions that support collective bargaining.” Here are some of the philosophical giveaway titles at his curriculum vitae:

  • A published conference proceeding entitled “Teaching Workers from the Left: Working Class Struggle and the Politics of Power”
  • A book chapter called “Divining Class: How Reducing Distance, Re-defining Authority and Disrupting Myths Can Build Class Consciousness”
  • A journal article, “Lean Production and the Discourse of Dissent: Radicalizing the Shopfloor at Mitsubishi Motors?”

Bruno’s CV also shows that he is into the green jobs scam. Among other things, he “organized and chaired a panel session on ‘Labor and Green Economic Development’ at the Second Annual Green Jobs Summit, March 27, 2009, Kennedy-King College, Chicago, Illinois.”

The suspicion here is that the naive folks at “Marketplace” started out thinking that they could do a substantive piece on Alinsky and spin him favorably, but found out upon reviewing his written record that it couldn’t be done. One clue supporting my theory is that the window title at the segment’s web page is “A Look Into the Life of Saul Alinsky,” which is more than a little odd since since the report didn’t look at the details of his life at all. Apparently whoever committed to compiling the segment initially then had to scramble to come up with something to fill the time — so they filled the time with what was a falsehood-based waste of time.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Barack Obama Is the Food Stamp President’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:26 am

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Thursday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.


UPDATE, Jan. 31: At BigGovernment.com, Wynton Hall reminds us of another reason reason why Obama the “Food Stamp President” moniker, namely the promotion of dependence –

Despite the historic rise in food stamp use, however, the Obama Administration believes not enough people are receiving food stamps who should be and is offering $75,000 grants to groups who devise “effective strategies” to “increase program participation” among those who have yet to sign up.

Now I have little doubt, given the dependency bureaucracy’s persistence, that this occurred under George W. Bush (scratch that, make it no doubt, to the tune of about 15 grants per year during most years).

But given the historic high in usage and the alleged food stamp crime wave, there doesn’t seem to be any need to promote usage. Also, if the administration wants to promote usage among those who really need it, it should save money by tightening the rules to get most college kids, people with $300,000 paid-off homes, and others who never should have been receiving benefits in the first place off of the rolls.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012412)

Filed under: Economy,General,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:00 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: Shark attack hero describes mate’s rescue

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Australia:

19 January, 2012 12:17PM AEDT

Surfer describes his split second decision to rush to the aid of a friend during shark attack.

A surfer has described his split-second decision to rush to the aid of his mate, who was attacked by a two-metre bull shark at Redhead beach yesterday afternoon.

Nathan Visscher was 20 metres away from 44-year-old Glen Folkard at about 4.30pm yesterday when he heard shouting and calls for help.

“All of a sudden I heard a little bit profanity a little bit north of me,” Mr Visscher told 1233 Breakfast presenter Jenny Bates.

“He’d been knocked off his board, and he was yelling out ‘someone help, help, I need help!’

“It wasn’t until I saw a couple of bits of foam pop up, and a good stream of blood, that I realised ‘geez, this is a shark attack, this is really happening.”

Redhead’s beach lifeguard team leader Paul Stone described the assistance provided by surfers as ‘heroic’.

“Imagine putting yourself in that position,” Mr Stone said.

“You’d be thinking in two minds (thinking) ‘what do I do, do I save myself, or help someone else?

“It was a really selfless act, helping their mate back to the water’s edge.”

Lifeguards called the ambulance service, and were waiting at the water’s edge, by the time the surfer’s had returned to shore.

Go here for the rest of the story.