KABOOM! “Energyween” On The Energy Dept. Website


My greatest struggle in writing an ethics blog is to flag unethical conduct without sliding into political commentary. Explaining why Barack Obama is an atrocious and unethical leader need not involve political commentary, but many people assume that any criticism of  political figures or their policies are partisan and political. Now take the Affordable Care Act (Please!)—I have never argued pro or con about its substance. It’s the lousy ethics I care about. I object to the lying, the undemocratic way it was debated and passed, the incompetence of Congress voting for a huge and expensive bill no members read, the dishonesty of the title, the fact that it does not address the unsustainable rise in health care costs, the unethical manner in which the news media lobbied for it, the unconstitutional way that flaws in the law have been “fixed” by executive fiat rather  than by the legislature, the irresponsible debt the program will require, the incompetence of administering it…these are ethical issues, not political. It is the great weakness of party loyalty that these are not recognized as non-partisan issues.  Democrats should be as concerned about lying to get a progressive program passed as a conservative program.

Avoiding politics becomes even harder when I am confronted with a mind-blowing*example of ideological insanity like the Energy Department’s Energyween.gov page. It isn’t just that everything about it is ridiculous. The problem is that it is ridiculous, sinister, and exemplifies the left’s accelerating fondness for the methods and attitudes of totalitarian regimes, including the attempted infantilization of citizens, and a fondness for indoctrination. Some forms of government are unethical as well as unwise, among them being totalitarianism and socialism.

On Energyween, the celebration of Halloween, an activity that the government should not have any part in, is transformed into a something resembling an Obama Youth exercise with what is supposed to be a light-hearted tone, perhaps to put readers off the track. It seems to be an attempt to hijack Halloween and make it a political exercise, taking the holiday away from children and exploiting them for a political agenda. The Obama Administration has done this before, with its directive to true believers to use Thanksgiving to push Obamacare. That was despicable. This is much worse. Or perhaps much stupider. It’s hard to tell, as you will see.

Here are suggested designs for pumpkin carving, for example…

Pumpkin Patterns-01and..

electric-carWhat fun! And scary!

The site includes “five easy-to-make, energy-themed costumes.” Now let me anticipate the rebuttal, which is, “Come on! Where’s your sense of humor? This is obviously a joke.” Really? For whom? The page is childish indeed—go ahead, tell me about all those 8 year-olds who go to government websites for a chuckle. If it is designed for children, it is designed to indoctrinate children. It reads like something a conservative satirist would create for savvy adults to ridicule environmentalists. Is the Energy Department mocking its own policies? Did the Department pay staffers exorbitant salaries to design content knowing that no one would take it seriously? What sense does that make? I don’t believe it, even in this deranged and inept administration.

In the alternative, is the Department serious? Identify, please, any responsible justification for spending one penny of taxpayer dollars on 1) a satire page on an Energy Department website, 2) a children’s page on an Energy Department website, or 3) a website dedicated to moving Americans toward energy-themed pumpkins, an annual celebration of “Energyween,” and this…(an excerpt only…my comments in italics)…

“5 Energy Halloween Costumes You Can Make at Home”


“Halloween may be dark and spooky, but you can bring some (renewable) energy to the party as a sleek, shiny photovoltaic solar panel. Just cover the cardboard with cellophane, secure the edges with duct tape, draw on a grid of silver contacts, and presto! You’re a critical piece of America’s clean energy future and the fight against climate change. Wear your sunglasses at night for added sustainable swagger, but please, resist the urge to climb onto any rooftops.”

So your child can look like this…

solar-panel-v3It gets worse. In keeping with the totalitarian methodology of elevating leaders to mythological status, the site recommends that children dress up as …


“Show everyone how big a fan you are of our nuclear physics-loving, Iran Deal-explaining, classically coiffed Secretary of Energy by dressing up as Ernest Moniz, Ph.D., this Halloween. The hair is key here — but don’t forget your copy of the Quadrennial Energy Review, the nation’s roadmap to a smarter, more secure and more competitive energy future.”

So you can be the envy of all your Halloween party companions by looking like this...

moniz-v3_0Finally this, which made me laugh out loud and had me hysterical, with tears in my eyes, for at least ten minutes…how to dress up as a


“You’ll be a smashing success at your next Halloweenergy party with this atomic outfit! Run blinking LED piping along a hula-hoop and attach some suspenders, decorate your black turtleneck with quarks, bosons and neutrinos, and BAM! You’re a particle accelerator! Light up the dance floor as your moves simulate the chaos of the universe moments after the Big Bang — much like Energy Department scientists are doing at Fermilab, Brookhaven Lab and SLAC.”

Here’s the result…I can’t look at it, or I won’t be able to finish the post..

wind-turbineWhat’s going on here?

Or more accurately,

What the HELL is going on here?

I honestly am at a loss to explain it. Some suggestions..

A. It represents a new high in government arrogance, mocking its own policies and the fanaticism of its political base in the assumption that its zombie-like supporters will accept anything.

B. The government believes that the public is made up of gullible idiots.

C. A few interns ran amuck, but because no Obama agencies are supervised, this slipped through.

D. It is an attempt to politicize Halloween.

E. Someone really thinks kids will read this crap or that parents will make their kids dress as wind turbines.

F. The Obama Administration has finally gone stark raving mad.

You know, I loathe Michael Savage, and long believed that his book’s title, “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder,” was itself a totalitarian tactic from the right. This webpage makes me wonder, though.

No matter which of the above are the real explanation, one thing is certain. It is outrageous that tax-payer funds are wasted this way, and terrifying that anyone in power believes that this is a valid use of government personnel and resources.

*Hence Kaboom!...


Graphic: Fox News

52 thoughts on “KABOOM! “Energyween” On The Energy Dept. Website

  1. OK, I owe you an apology. I did not think

    “Show everyone how big a fan you are of our nuclear physics-loving, Iran Deal-explaining, classically coiffed Secretary of Energy by dressing up as Ernest Moniz, Ph.D., this Halloween. The hair is key here — but don’t forget your copy of the Quadrennial Energy Review, the nation’s roadmap to a smarter, more secure and more competitive energy future.”

    could possibly be real. I had to Google it and found that you were right.

    To cheer you up, here is a video of HickOK45 carving a pumpkin with an AK47.

  2. Please, could I use my hoodie instead of the turtleneck? I just have to change the sign pinned to the back to say: Black Lights Matter!

  3. A wind turbine would actually be terrifying:

    What’s more scary than spending more money than you’ll save, wasting expensive resources and using MORE energy than you’ll ever produce to make one! All the while still relying on fossil fuel power plants to cover for all the times (which is most of the time) that wind turbines don’t produce or under produce?


    • Oh, and you forgot about the birds. What about the birds? Why isn’t the Sierra Club going crazy over the hundreds of thousands of birds killed every year because they fly into the rotating blades? I guess they think that a few birds a year are acceptable sacrifices at the altar of sustainable energy.


      • I considered mentioning the birds, but frankly, I can’t say that I’d oppose windmills over some dead birds IF they found a way to make wind energy:

        1) reliable (they can’t)
        2) efficient (they haven’t and probably won’t in any conceivable time frame)
        3) less expensive to install than money it will “save” in the long run (they haven’t)
        4) less energy consuming to install than it will ever produce (I don’t think they have yet)

        • Agreed. My problem is the religious dedication to climate change and alternative, sustainable energy resources. Wind is great as long as their is a nice breeze to turn the propellers. Corn is wonderful to make ethanol but now Mexico has to import corn for use in a large variety of foods because a huge percentage of their corn yields are sold to the US, Europe and Brazil to convert it into ethanol. Solar energy is a great alternative, too, but why is it so hard to store it?


          • Personally I like solar, but it is only grid efficient the more local it is to it’s destination. That is to say, it works best when directly installed on the structures it supplies. Naturally of course it still needs back up in the form of reliable batteries or other source during periods of insufficient light.

            Some day, if we build a house, I’m installing solar.

      • “Why isn’t the Sierra Club going crazy over the hundreds of thousands of birds killed every year because they fly into the rotating blades?”

        Because wind turbines kill FAR less birds annually than nuclear power plants alone and fossil fuel plants alone. Of the many arguments against wind energy, this is the least informed;

  4. I am horrified but not surprised. Add this kind of propaganda to all the lies and obfuscations over the past seven years, and we’re back to the joke I always liked best during the Cold War: In reporting on an race between a Russian and an American, which the US runner won, Pravda reported: “Ivan came in second, and John came in next to last…”

    No trust. No honesty. An ongoing and insidious attempt to influence every single part of our lives. Reminds me of one of my favorite Lenin quotes: “Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”

    (Which also goes with my second favorite Lenin quote: “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We don’t let our people have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?”)

  5. That is yet another insane attempt to coopt old and fun holidays for various PC causes, and Halloween is a favorite target. The root problem is that you really can’t make energy conservation exciting and fun for children. And beyond turning off extra lights, kids shouldn’t have the think about it any more than affording Christmas dinner. Halloween is too fattening/sugary, anti-Christian, too risky to visit neighbors for trick or treat?… Now these weenies want to put energy saving in too? Halloween is just a fun holiday and shouldn’t HAVE to have a special meaning to excuse the activities.

  6. Ah, Jack. Methinks you doth protest too much. The Halloweenergy theme is merely a small component of National Energy Action Month, which we all know is celebrated . . . oops, observed every October. What is National Energy Action Month? National Energy Action Month was established by Presidential Proclamation on September 30, 2013, to “. . . build on the progress we have made by recommitting to increasing our energy security, strengthening our economy, combatting climate change, and improving the environment.” Here is the link:


    Now, the Proclamation encourages us “[t]o [make the] transition to a secure energy future, we must increase our production of clean energy, minimize waste and maximize efficiency, further reduce our oil imports, eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, and continue to develop more energy sources here at home.” It also admonishes us to think that “[y]ears from now, our children may wonder if we did all we could to leave a safe, clean, and stable world for them to inherit. If we keep our eyes on the long arc of our future and commit to doing what this moment demands, the answer will be yes.” So, see, it is not that bad.

    But, let’s back up. What is a Presidential Proclamation? A presidential proclamation is a statement issued by a president on a matter of public policy. They are generally defined as, “The act of causing some state matters to be published or made generally known. A written or printed document in which are contained such matters, issued by proper authority; as the president’s proclamation, the governor’s, the mayor’s proclamation.” See, The ‘Lectric Law Library, Lectlaw.com., Retrieved 2010-5-11. While largely ceremonial in nature, some have led to important political and historical consequences in the development of the United States. George Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality in 1793 and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 (which merely changed the legal status of slaves in the U.S.). In light of past uses of the Presidential Proclamation, this particular one establishes a brand new approach to our domestic and international energy policy. Read it in its entirety, though you may want to be sitting down – the impact may just make you swoon.

    Now, having established that October is National Energy Action Month, our esteemed Executive Branch has charged the Secretary of Energy and the Department of Energy with promoting and encouraging alternative sources of sustainable energy. The Brain Trust of the DOE is simply overwhelming. For instance, we have the inestimable Ms. Marissa Newhall – Director of Digital Strategy & Communications, whose resume includes such impressive successes as having directed digital strategy and media relations at two energy-related nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C., and received a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. In a prior life, she was a reporter and blogger at the Washington Post; in her current life, she bicycles everywhere, treats tacos like a food group, and travels to warm, sunny places as much as possible.

    Not to be outdone, we have the incomparable Matt Dozier – Digital Content Specialist, Office of Public Affairs. Yes, we can! Ocean conservation still holds a special place in Matt’s heart — right next to craft beer, space exploration, and Arsenal F.C. By golly, he is a football fan, but not that kind of football (too aggressive) but the real kind of football (sublime in its simplicity).

    If you thought that Melissa and Matt were impressive, just wait until you learn about Michael Hess. Who is Michael Hess, you ask? Why, Michael is the Former Digital Communications Specialist, Office of Public Affairs. Michael proudly confesses to being an Ohio native where most of his family still lives. Also within Ohio’s fair borders he studied journalism and linguistics at Ohio University. Michael prides himself on lightning-quick Google reflexes, though admits to googling “google” from time to time when in an Internet surfing frenzy. He also enjoys long Wikipedia adventures, the great outdoors and the museums on the National Mall.

    But, then, have a looksy at Roland Risser – Program Director, Building Technologies Office. He actually has a really impressive resume.

    Wow. Those are some really motivated individuals looking out for what is best for us.


      • I was trying to be ironic. The stuff I copied was from the DEO’s website. Their head people sound like just the right kind of world citizens, with all the requisite backgrounds and hobbies – craft beers (because Budweiser is so jingoistic), biking (well, cars pollute and require fossil fuels, and biking reduces our carbon footprint and is very Amesterdamian), tech savvy people (because, in the information age, information is knowledge and knowledge is power to use in benevolent ways), and soccer is clearly a game of sophisticates) – looking at the US as just another nation in the community of nations. They lead by example, showing us Philistines the errors of our ways.


    • Be nice! At least it does look like Carly Wilkins tried to save federal money considering the quality of the drawings she produced.

      Though, they could have saved more federal money not doing this at all…

  7. Wait! Hold on! The particle accelerator is a costume about saving energy??


    Doesn’t that gigantic science experiment consume enough energy to power a medium sized city for months in just one use?

  8. Did the Department of Agriculture approve of the Department of Energy, in the name of the government, advocating for the incredible amount of nutritional waste involved in carving the pumpkins?

    I didn’t see any caveat noting that citizens ought not waste the pumpkin “guts”… uh oh…an oversight I think!

    Also, the video totally encourages me to place a burning candle on an unstable surface on a highly flammable fabric couch.

    Can I sue the Federal Government when, on its advice, my house burns down?

  9. The thing about energy is that it is extremely fungible.As such, free markets are superior to central planning when it comes to energy policy. There is no reason why there should be any mandates from any government regarding how much energy we use. After all, they do not pay our energy bill.

    One of the biggest intrusions into our lives are federal mandates for low-flow toilets.

    Think about it. Due to environmentalist fundamentalism, we have federal laws banning toilets that work. what these people do not know that if high flow toilets were so bad, we would not need to ban them, because people will simply choose not to buy any more.

    What is ironic that many people who voted for this law wanted to get “government out of our bedrooms”.

  10. At least I am comforted that the usual gang of knee-jerk big government defenders hasn’t clamored to this with predictable apologetics…

    Maybe they do have a sense of dignity after all.

    • This is so indefensible. I would have been surprised…but also a little admiring—if anyone, even the totally brainwashed, would charge to the defense of this. Of course, I think charging to CNBC’s defense is almost as fantastic.

  11. I thought the pumpkins were cute, and if placed on the kid’s page as a mere seasonal decoration, with maybe links to the templates without further comment, it would be fine. I am, of course, partial to pumpkin, whether in carved, pie, or latte form.*

    Where this goes horribly awry, I am not sure. But it ends squarely at the feet (or should I say hair) of Dear Leader Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Ph.D. Not only would asking kids to dress up as he make a cult leader blush, but use it to stump for the Iranian energy deal (more terrifying than anything else that bumps in the night), and the The Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) (whatever that is!) is grossly irresponsible.

    Kids pages on government websites serve a legitimate purpose. I remember reading about the Red Room, Blue Room, Lincoln Ballroom, etc on the Whitehouse.gov page in the fourth grade. There are numerous non-partisan issues of interest to kids that could be discussed on the Energy Department website. In high school for instance, the only thing I remember about physics class was my teacher, a retired nuclear engineer, describing how a nuclear plant works. There are all sorts of common sense energy saving measures, such as turning off lights when you leave a room, unplugging electronics not use, that could be presented in kid friendly manner.

    But to stump for complex and controversial policies to naive kids, without a modicum of context to learn how to critically evaluate these policies, is wrong. There is no educational value whatsoever to the Energyween page. Quite the opposite.

    *(I was tempted to carve the whole pumpkin series yesterday, adding an spurting oil well and billowing smoke stacks to the set.)

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