Saturday, May 28, 2016

James Comey: Enforcing the Law Requires Indicting Hillary Clinton

By Scott S. Powell

When James Comey was appointed FBI Director by President Obama, he became the “hands on” chief law enforcement officer of the U.S. As he laid his hand on the Bible and recited his oath of office on September 4, 2013, swearing to “faithfully discharge the duties of the office… without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion,” Mr. Comey never thought he would face indicting the heir apparent leader of the party under which he would serve. The facts known about Secretary Hillary Clinton’s........ The fact that the administration under which Mr. Comey serves has conducted itself with unprecedented partisanship and lawlessness makes it even more important for him to uphold the law and proceed with indictment. The American people need to see that both lawlessness and dereliction of duty are not given a pass and that no one is exempt or above the law....... A central issue of the November election is to choose new leadership and disabuse the American citizenry of accepting dishonesty and abuse of power in government. If Mr. Comey can rise above political pressure and just do his job, he has a unique opportunity to press the reset button on government corruption and bring about an essential course correction in these troubled times. That would be an historic and truly heroic accomplishment........ Read more

Palestinian Terrorism

Popular terrorism is violent by nature Thus, Mahmoud Abbas' claim that the "popular resistance" is "peaceful" and "unarmed" is baseless

By Rachel Ehrenfed

On September 13, 2015, the Palestinians began a wave of popular terrorism (called a "popular awakening" by the Palestinian Authority).  It began with riots on the Temple Mount and in Jerusalem during the Jewish High Holidays (second half of September 2015). It continued with a campaign of terrorist attacks which peaked in October 2015 (with 59 attacks). Since October the wave of terrorism has gradually waned.
 
This study was written a little more than eight months after the beginning of the current wave of Palestinian terrorism. It continues the interim study carried out by the ITIC issued on April 14, 2016, which examined the first seven months of the wave of terrorism. The objective of the current study is to examine whether or not the wave of terrorism has come to an end. If it has in fact ended, that raises the question of how to characterize the current terrorist attacks and in what context to view them. ......To Read More.....

Bill Nye the Scientism Guy

Facts don’t support his hypothesis, so he shouts louder, changes subjects and attacks his critics
Willie Soon and István Markó
True science requires that data, observations and other evidence support a hypothesis – and that it can withstand withering analysis and criticism – or the hypothesis is wrong.
That’s why Albert Einstein once joked, “If the facts don’t fit your theory, change the facts.” When informed that scientists who rejected his theory of relativity had published a pamphlet, 100 authors against Einstein, he replied: “Why 100? If I were wrong, one would be enough.”
In the realm of climate scientism, the rule seems to be: If the facts don’t support your argument, talk louder, twist the facts, and insult your opponents. That’s certainly what self-styled global warming “experts” like Al Gore and Bill Nye are doing. Rather than debating scientists who don’t accept false claims that humans are causing dangerous climate change, they just proclaim more loudly:
Our theory explains everything that’s happening. Hotter or colder temperatures, wetter or drier weather, less ice in the Arctic, more ice in Antarctica – it’s all due to fossil fuel use.
Climate scientism aggressively misrepresents facts, refuses to discuss energy and climate issues with anyone who points out massive flaws in the manmade climate chaos hypothesis, bullies anyone who won’t condemn carbon dioxide, and brands them as equivalent to Holocaust Deniers.
In a recent Huffington Post article, Mr. Nye “challenges climate change deniers” by claiming, “The science of global warming is long settled, and one may wonder why the United States, nominally the most technologically advanced country in the world, is not the world leader in addressing the threats.”  
Perhaps it’s not so settled. When the Australian government recently shifted funds from studying climate change to addressing threats that might result, 275 research jobs were imperiled. The very scientists who’d been saying there was a 97% consensus howled that there really wasn’t one. Climate change is very complex, they cried (which is true), and much more work must be done if we are to provide more accurate temperature predictions, instead of wild forecasts based on CO2 emissions (also true).
Perhaps Mr. Nye and these Australian researchers should discuss what factors other than carbon dioxide actually cause climate and weather fluctuations. They may also encounter other revelations: that climate science is still young and anything but settled; that we have little understanding of what caused major ice ages, little ice ages, warm periods in between and numerous other events throughout the ages; that computer model predictions thus far have been little better than tarot card divinations.
As for Nye’s assertions that “carbon dioxide has an enormous effect on planetary temperatures” and “climate change was discovered in recent times by comparing the Earth to the planet Venus” – those are truly bizarre, misleading, vacuous claims.
The relatively rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 over the last 30 years has produced only 0.2°C (0.4°F) of global warming – compared to a 1°C (1.8°F) total temperature increase over the past 150 years. That means the planetary temperature increase has slowed down, as carbon dioxide levels rose. In fact, average temperatures have barely budged for nearly 19 years, an inconvenient reality that even the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) now recognizes.
This is an “enormous effect”? By now, it is increasingly clear, the proper scientific conclusion is that the “greenhouse effect” of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide is very minor – as a recent article explains. Mr. Nye and his fans and fellow activists could learn a lot from it.
Objective readers, and even Mr. Nye, would also profit from reading a rather devastating critique of one of The Scientism Guy’s “science-is-easy” demonstrations. It concludes that the greenhouse effect of CO2 molecules is of course real, but Mr. Nye’s clever experiment for Al Gore’s “Climate Reality Project” was the result of “video fakery” and “could never work” as advertised. When will Messrs. Nye and Gore stop peddling their Hollywood special effects?
For that matter, when will they stop playing inter-planetary games? Mr. Nye and the popular media love to tell us that carbon dioxide from oil, gas and coal could soon turn Planet Earth into another Venus: over-heated, barren, rocky and lifeless. Princeton Institute of Advanced Study Professors Freeman Dyson and Will Happer show that this is utter nonsense.
For one thing, Venus is far closer to the sun, so it is subjected to far more solar heat, gravitational pull and surface pressure than Earth is. “If we put a sunshade shielding Venus from sunlight,” Dr. Dyson notes, “it would only take 500 years for its surface to cool down and its atmosphere to condense into a carbon dioxide ocean.” It’s not the high temperature that makes Venus permanently unfriendly to life, he adds; it’s the lack of water.
Second, the amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide are grossly disproportionate. Earth has barely 0.04% carbon dioxide (by volume) in its atmosphere, whereas Venus has 97% and Mars has 95% CO2. Mars much greater distance from the sun also means it has an average surface temperature of -60°C (-80°F) –underscoring yet again how absurd it is to use planetary comparisons to stoke climate change fears.
Third, Earth’s atmosphere used to contain far more carbon dioxide. “For most of the past 550 million years of the Phanerozoic, when multicellular life left a good fossil record, the earth’s CO2 levels were four times, even ten times, higher than now,” Dr. Happer points out. “Yet life flourished on land and in the oceans. Earth never came close to the conditions of Venus.” And it never will.
Fourth, Venus’s much closer proximity to the sun means it receives about twice as much solar flux (radiant energy) as the Earth does: 2637 Watts per square meter versus 1367, Happer explains. The IPCC says doubling atmospheric CO2 concentrations would be equivalent to just 15 W/m2 of additional solar flux. That’s nearly 100 times less than what Venus gets from being closer to the Sun.
Fifth, surface pressure on Venus is about 90 times that of the Earth, and strong convection forces increase the heating of surface air, he continues, making Venus’s surface even hotter. However, dense sulfuric acid clouds prevent most solar heat from ever reaching the planet’s surface. Instead, they reflect most sunlight back into space, which is “one of the reasons Venus is such a lovely morning or evening ‘star.’”  
Of course, none of these nerdy details about Earth-Venus differences really matter. We already know plant life on Planet Earth loved the higher CO2 levels that prevailed during the Carboniferous Age and other times when plants enjoyed extraordinary growth.
However, even burning all the economically available fossil fuels would not likely even double current atmospheric CO2 levels – to just 0.08% carbon dioxide, compared to 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, 0.9% argon and 0.1% for all other gases except water vapor. And doubling CO2 would get us away from the near-famine levels for plants that have prevailed for the past tens of millions of years.
Carbon dioxide is absolutely essential for plant growth – and for all life on Earth. Volumes of research clearly demonstrate that crop, garden, forest, grassland and ocean plants want more CO2, not less. The increased greening of our Earth over the past 30 years testifies to the desperate need of plants for this most fundamental fertilizer. The more CO2 they get, the better and faster they grow.
More than 70% of the oxygen present in the atmosphere – and without which we could never live – originates from phytoplankton absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Keep this in mind when Bill Nye The Junk Science Guy tells you carbon dioxide is bad for our oceans and climate. 
Dr. Willie Soon is an independent scientist who has been studying the Sun and Earth’s climate for 26 years. Dr. István Markó is a professor of chemistry at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and director of the Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Laboratory.

Obama's naive idealism has caused havoc as America makes the same mistakes over and over again

By Charles Krauthammer

How do you distinguish a foreign policy "idealist" from a "realist," an optimist from a pessimist? Ask one question: Do you believe in the arrow of history? Or to put it another way, do you think history is cyclical or directional? Are we condemned to do the same damn thing over and over, generation after generation -- or is there hope for some enduring progress in the world order?

For realists, generally conservative, history is an endless cycle of clashing power politics. The same patterns repeat. Only the names and places change. The best we can do in our own time is to defend ourselves, managing instability and avoiding catastrophe. But expect nothing permanent, no essential alteration in the course of human affairs. The idealists believe otherwise. They believe that the international system can eventually evolve out of its Hobbesian state of nature into something more humane and hopeful. What is usually overlooked is that this hopefulness for achieving a higher plane of global comity comes in two flavors -- one liberal, one conservative.

The liberal variety (as practiced, for example, by the Bill Clinton administration) believes that the creation of a dense web of treaties, agreements, transnational institutions and international organizations (like the U.N., NGOs, the World Trade Organization) can give substance to a cohesive community of nations that would, in time, ensure order and stability......To Read More.....

   

The Global Warming Shakedown, Part IV

May 27, 2016 by Dan Mitchell

Whether they call it global warming or climate change, activists on the left are acting as if the issue is just an excuse to extort money and expand the power of government.
  • In Part I, I wrote about kleptocrats exploiting the issue to shake down western governments for enormous amounts of aid money.
  • In Part II, I noted how then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, using tens of billions of dollars from American taxpayers, wanted to bribe third-world governments into adopting anti-energy measures
  • In Part III, I explained how the Kyoto Protocol encourages the destruction of jobs in western nations.
Let’s now a fourth installment on how climate change is a racket.
The Wall Street Journal reports on a legal scam concocted by left-wing activists to extort money from Exxon.
A key meeting in the new push unfolded in January behind closed doors… The session brought together about a dozen people, including Kenny Bruno, a veteran of environmental campaigns, and Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, two activists who helped lead the successful fight to block the Keystone XL pipeline. The new campaign’s goals include “to establish in public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution that has pushed humanity (and all creation) toward climate chaos and grave harm,” according to an agenda of the meeting… This new legal strategy stems in part from environmentalists’ frustration at what they see as the inadequacy of recent climate deals. Their hope is to encourage state attorneys general and the U.S. Justice Department to launch investigations and lawsuits that ultimately will change Exxon’s behavior, force it to pay big damages.
And the scam paid off, at least in the sense that a bunch of Democratic Attorneys General have launched a legal attack on the company.

In an article for the Daily Signal, Hans von Spakovsky explores the implications.
…we now have a new inquisition underway in America in the 21st century—something that would have seemed unimaginable not too long ago. Treating climate change as an absolute, unassailable fact, instead of what it is—an unproven, controversial scientific theory—a group of state attorneys general have announced that they will be targeting any companies that challenge the catastrophic climate change religion. …The inquisitors are threatening legal action and huge fines against anyone who declines to believe in an unproven scientific theory. Schneiderman and Kamala Harris, representing New York and California, respectively, have already launched investigations into ExxonMobil for allegedly funding research that questioned climate change.
By the way, one amusing and ironic aspect of this attempted shakedown is that some of the left-wing activists are asserting that scientists for the energy companies are smarter than the ones mooching from the government.

Writing for National Review, Rupert Darwall explains.
Was ExxonMobil better at climate science than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)? This is the bizarre position now being adopted by climate activists such as Harvard’s Naomi Oreskes and 350.org’s Bill McKibben. As early as 1977, Exxon researchers “knew that its main product would heat up the planet disastrously,” McKibben claimed in the New Yorker last month. …Had Exxon been up-front about the dangers of global warming, we might have started to decarbonize decades ago, Oreskes argues. Instead, Exxon had behaved like tobacco companies who had “long delayed” public understanding by suppressing the truth about the deadly nature of their products.
But there’s one teensy-weensy problem with the tobacco company/oil company analogy.
Scientists were able to prove the threat to health from smoking because there is a very strong statistical relationship between smoking and lung cancer. The strength of those initial findings was further validated by passing a tough predictive test. In 1953, Richard Doll, one of the first researchers to have found the link, predicted that in 1973 there would be 25,000 lung-cancer deaths in Britain. In fact, there were 26,000. By contrast, climate models have been systematically over-forecasting temperature rises this century, demonstrating that climate scientists know much less about the climate system than they would have us believe.
Needless to say, if the models are wrong about the weather we’ve already had, why should we believe their future predictions?
And the climate alarmists certainly have a long track record of flawed pronouncements.

And suppression of inconvenient data.

By the way, just in case these legal scams don’t work, some statists want to take the threats to the next level.

In a modern-day version of the Church imprisoning Galileo, the self-styled Science Guy apparently doesn’t think much of open and honest inquiry. Here are some passages from a report in the Washington Times about Bill Nye refusing to reject jail time for skeptics.
Bill Nye “the science guy” says in a video interview released Thursday that he is open to the idea of jailing those who deviate from the climate change consensus. …“In these cases, for me, as a taxpayer and voter, the introduction of this extreme doubt about climate change is affecting my quality of life as a public citizen,” Mr. Nye said. “So I can see where people are very concerned about this, and they’re pursuing criminal investigations as well as engaging in discussions like this.”
Local governments also are joining the campaign.

Fox News reports that the City of Portland wants to censor dissenting views on global warming.
The Portland Public Schools board voted last week to ban any materials that cast doubt on climate change, the Portland Tribune reported. According to the resolution passed May 17, the school district must remove any textbooks and other materials that suggest climate change is not occurring or that says human beings are not responsible for it. …One commenter to the Portland Tribune story responded to the news, saying, “I have never seen a case for homeschooling more clearly put forward. This is further proof that public schools are not interested in education, only political indoctrination.”
Unsurprisingly, the Obama Administration is intrigued anti-science shakedown. Though at least there’s some resistance from Capitol Hill, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch must drop all efforts to prosecute climate change skeptics or risk engaging in “prosecutorial misconduct,” a group of Senate Judiciary Committee members warned. “As you well know, initiating criminal prosecution for a private entity’s opinions on climate change is a blatant violation of the First Amendment and an abuse of power that rises to the level of prosecutorial misconduct,” five lawmakers wrote to Lynch on Wednesday. …In March, Lynch told Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., that the FBI was considering whether it was possible to prosecute companies or groups that promoted climate change skepticism.
By the way, the fact that some leftists want to stifle dissent and redistribute money doesn’t mean global warming/climate change doesn’t exist.

Heck the climate never stops changing. And it may now be changing in part because of human actions.

That being said, I’m sure the right approach for dealing with climate change shouldn’t include central planning and other forms of statism.

I have a hard time accepting the policy prescriptions of people who are nutjobs.

In case you think I’m exaggerating, consider these examples.
Then there’s the super-nutty category.
So it’s understandable why sensible people reject the agenda of radical environmentalists, even if there is some man-caused global warming.

P.S. To close on an upbeat note, we have some decent environmentalist humor here, here, here, here, and here.

P.P.S. On a more serious note, other governments also have moved to criminalize dissent.

P.P.P.S. According to the political betting markets, the most likely V.P. candidate for Trump has a very shaky history on the topic of climate alarmism.

New Discovery May Scale Back Climate Alarm

CERN Research Shows Pre-Industrial Skies Were Cloudier Than Thought
 
 


A new discovery about how clouds form may scale back some of the more dire predictions about temperature increases caused by man-made global warming. That's because it implies that a key assumption for making such predictions is a bit off. Nobody knows just how cloudy skies were in the old days. Scientists have figured there were far fewer clouds than now, Kirkby said. But the discovery of a new natural route to cloud formation suggests that cloud cover was in fact greater than scientists had assumed. If so, the way these simulations work, it would mean that greenhouse gases haven't been quite as potent in producing warming so far as scientists thought. So, ton for ton, they may not be quite as potent in producing future warming either. --Seth Borenstein, Associated Press, 27 May 2016

Our planet’s pre-industrial climate may have been cloudier than presently thought, shows CERN’s CLOUD experiment in two papers published today in Nature. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considers that the increase in aerosols and clouds since pre-industrial times represents one of the largest sources of uncertainty in climate change. The CLOUD experiment is designed to better understand such processes. CLOUD has also found that ions from galactic cosmic rays strongly enhance the production rate of pure biogenic particles – by a factor 10-100 compared with particles without ions. This suggests that cosmic rays may have played a more important role in aerosol and cloud formation in pre-industrial times than in today’s polluted atmosphere. --CERN, 25 May 2016

Computer climate models relied on by scientists and governments to forecast the impact of climate change may be running too hot, according to the conclusions of a new paper, which says models may overestimate so called climate sensitivity. This may mean that forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the amount of global warming that we can expect may be overestimated by between a half and four times if the conclusions of this research are confirmed. --Reporting Climate Science, 16 May 2016

As part of an open discussion on the critical issue of energy, sustainability and climate change, MRS Energy and Sustainability—A Review Journal (MRS E and S) has published a paper in which Cambridge (UK) engineering professor M.J. Kelly argues that it is time to review the current efforts to reduce carbon emissions, some of which “represent total madness.” In his peer-reviewed article, Lessons from technology development for energy and sustainability, Kelly considers the lessons from global decarbonization projects, and concludes that all combined actions to reduce carbon emissions so far will not achieve a serious reduction. In some cases, these efforts will actually make matters worse. -- Cambridge University Press, 23 May 2016

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, promised on Thursday to roll back some of America’s most ambitious environmental policies, actions that he said would revive the ailing U.S. oil and coal industries and bolster national security. “Any regulation that’s outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely,” Trump told about 7,700 people at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, the capital of oil-rich North Dakota. Earlier this month, he told Reuters in an interview that he would renegotiate “at a minimum” the U.N. global climate accord agreed by 195 countries in Paris last December, saying he viewed the deal as bad for U.S. business. He took that a step further in North Dakota. “We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement,” he said. --Valerie Volcovici and Emily Stephenson, Reuters, 27 May 2016

Russia set itself at odds with a drive by China and the United States for rapid ratification of a global agreement to slow climate change when a senior official said on Wednesday that Moscow first wanted a clear set of rules. Top greenhouse gas emitters China and the United States say they plan to join the Paris Agreement this year and almost all other nations say they will ratify as rapidly as possible -before the rules are in place. But Russia, the number three greenhouse gas emitter, questioned the plan in a rare sign of disagreement about implementation. –Alister Doyle, Reuters 27 May 2016

The Daily Signal

First, the IRS Took $68K From Connecticut Bakers. Now, It's Investigating Them.


David Vocatura, who handles the bakery's finances, told The Daily Signal that in its near 100-year lifespan, Vocatura's Bakery has always been an honest business, paying its taxes, and obeying the law.
Read More
Commentary

43 Republicans Join Democrats to Support Obama's Transgender Agenda


President Barack Obama's executive order and Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney's amendment treat conscientious judgments about behavior as if they were invidious acts of discrimination akin to racism or sexism.
Read More
News

Why This Senator Is Asking Facebook Tough Questions


"The allegations that were made suggest that [Facebook] actually had curators who were suppressing conservative content and infusing liberal content," Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said. "We're just trying to get to the bottom of it."
Read More
News

Russia Releases Jailed Ukrainian Pilot


The sometimes-farcical nature of Ukrainian army helicopter pilot and Member of Parliament Nadia Savchenko's trial, and the flimsy, illogical evidence often presented against her drew comparisons among Ukrainians to Soviet-era show trials designed for propaganda value.
Read More
News

Is It Time to Increase Defense Spending? McCain Proposal Sparks Debate


Citing what he calls a "dangerous mismatch" between worldwide threats, and congressionally prescribed limits on spending to respond to them, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would add $17 billion to the Pentagon budget.
Read More
News

Battle Over LGBT Amendment Threatens to Stall Entire Appropriations Process


There wasn't a broad base of support for the energy and water spending bill among Republicans. For fiscal hawks, the topline spending levels made the bill unpopular. And for social conservatives, the LGBT amendment made the bill untenable.
Read More

After Being Exposed, Katie Couric Now Regrets The Deceitful Editing in Her Gun Documentary

By Philip Hodges

A source close to Katie Couric has said that the journalist now regrets the underhanded way in which the director of the gun documentary Under the Gun edited an interview to make gun owners look stupid. Considering that her alleged “regret” has only come after she got caught, most would probably agree that it’s too little, too late. Read Related Article: Katie Couric Gun Documentary Edited to Try to Make Gun Owners Look Stupid…Listen to the Raw Audio Here]

The Wrap – which typically covers Hollywood news – reported:.....

......The way the exchange is edited in the film makes it appear as though the gun rights activists had no answer to Couric’s question. In reality, however, people offered immediate and intelligent responses. Those responses were edited out – and replaced with b-roll footage of the audience waiting before the interview started – to make the gun owners look speechless and ignorant. The director Stephanie Soechtig as well as Couric herself initially denied any wrongdoing and said that their intention was to “provide a pause for the viewer.” Unlike Couric’s supposed “regret,” Soechtig still stands by her edits.......To Read More.....

My Take - A number of years ago there was an interview with the Moonies by Mike Wallace 60 Minutes. They stated it was difficult to come to terms with the Moonies because they demanded the entire interview be broadcast - no editing.  Initially I thought that was strange because interviews of this nature can take a lot of time - all of which couldn't possibly be shown on an hour long show. They finally agreed to the interview as long as they could film it also.

That turned out to be enlightening. Mike Wallace - normally self assured and confident was clearly uncomfortable. Why? I know now the reason is they didn't dare present this interview in a way that would allowed the audience to draw incorrect conclusions from edited and slanted material.

No matter what you may think of the Moonies - that doesn't justify fraudulent reporting....reporting the media has wallowed in for years. Dan Rather wasn't an anomaly - he was reality in the main stream media.....and they loved him for it.

In years gone by 60 Minutes was reporting on some compound by Eli Lilly and stated Eli Lilly refused to be interviewed - giving Eli Lilly a patina of having something to hide. Funny thing there - I don't remember any of that report. Eli Lilly knew something we all had to learn - you can't trust the media. They aren't there to report the story - they're there to report "their" version of the story....and it's usually a leftist version.

This pattern has played out forever....and we need to undrestand everything you see on the news and everything you read in the newspaper is a lie. Lies of commission for sure, but mostly lies of omission - deliberate ommissions to get people to draw inaccurate conclusions. Conslusions promoting some leftist vision or other.
Chip Bok, Creators Syndicate

Supreme Court Concern is Just Tip of the Iceberg for Conservatives

Scott Rasmussen

The biggest impact any president can have on the nation is the ability to shape the Supreme Court. Conservative voters are especially concerned about this because they believe the Court has become too liberal in recent years. With the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, conservative concerns about the Court have reached panic levels. Given the age of current Justices, the next president could shape the Court for a generation.......But, the issue of Supreme Court nominations is just the tip of the iceberg. When you look beneath the surface, conservatives face a far greater challenge with courts and the legal system.   Research by Northwestern University Law Professor James Lindgren shows that the legal system feeding cases to the Supreme Court over-represents Democrats and under-represents Christians. While 41% of the working population are Democrats, 61% of lawyers claim that affiliation. At the same time, 68% of lawyers are Christians compared to 78% of working Americans. That’s a bit problematic, but not overwhelming.......

When you go a little deeper and look at who’s teaching the next generation of lawyers, the differences become truly astounding. Nationally, there are a few more Democratic voters than Republicans and Independents, but the overall numbers are fairly even. However, among law school faculty, 82% are Democrats, 11% Republican, and 6% Independent. Fewer than half are Christian

......Theodore Roosevelt, the first progressive president, complained that we needed to stop talking about the rights of the people and start talking about their duty to government.   Lindgren’s research suggests that the rising generation of lawyers is unlikely to receive a balanced perspective on this clash........To Read More....

My Take -  Woodrow Wilson was cut from the same cloth as Teddy Roosevelt and became known as America's first fascist president.  But I consider Teddy Roosevelt the worst president of the20th century because he gave personality and impetus to the progressive movement in America, which was a sanitized version of European socialism, but with all of socialism's evil attributes.  What's frightening is how Teddy is portrayed by the media, in books, and in history classes......he was not an American hero.....he was a traitor to his oath to support and uphold the Constitution which he - just as Wilson - believed was an impediment to human progress.  We need to start paying attention to the real history of socialism in American and give far less credibility to the History Channel, which so often is so full of clabber it's enough to make knowledgeable people nauseous. 


Friday, May 27, 2016

Buckeye Institute: Legislative Update

Policy win by The Buckeye Institute will enhance
private property protections
 
The Buckeye Institute achieved another policy victory this week, as the Ohio House of Representatives passed a measure reforming civil asset forfeiture, a procedure under Ohio law that allows the government to take property from individuals who have not even been charged with a crime.
 
On Wednesday, lawmakers approved House Bill 347, which eliminates civil asset forfeiture in most cases involving property worth less than $25,000, and strengthens what the government must prove for property to be forfeited.
The Buckeye Institute provided policy guidance on this issue to legislative leadership, including the House Judiciary Committee Chairman. Buckeye's experts also testified about cases in which property was wrongly seized by the government costing innocent citizens thousands of dollars.
"This policy is a significant step forward in protecting property rights, which at the same time preserves the ability of the government to seize property from those actually convicted of crimes," Daniel Dew, The Buckeye Institute's Criminal Justice Fellow, said.
 
"Government exists to protect private property of the innocent, not to confiscate it," Robert Alt, president and CEO of The Buckeye Institute, said. "More can and should be done to protect the property rights of innocent Ohioans. Buckeye will continue to champion additional reforms to protect these rights."
House Bill 347 will next go to the Senate, where it will likely be reviewed after the November election.

# # #

Founded in 1989, The Buckeye Institute is an independent research and educational institution--a think tank--whose mission is to advance free-market public policy in the states.

No Retreat from Hillary’s Village

Clinton's dream of sending federal agents into American homes.

Mary Grabar @ Frontpage

A campaign ad that Hillary Clinton used against Barack Obama in 2008 featured images of sleeping children, with a voice asking who would answer the phone ringing in the White House at 3 a.m., “someone who already knows the world leaders . . . the military,” someone “tested and ready to lead”—or (by implication) a first-term U.S. Senator/community organizer?

Hillary Clinton is running for president again, and of course is ignoring her failure as secretary of state to answer the late-night phone call coming from Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Instead, she is advertising how she wants to send federal emissaries into the homes of parents with newborn infants to teach them how to handle 3 a.m. feedings and baby talk. It’s an extension of her agenda as first lady in the Arkansas governor’s mansion and in the White House.  Her political career, after graduating and having written a thesis on friend Saul Alinsky, was launched with the Children’s Defense Fund under the direction of Marian Wright Edelman, agitator for increased welfare “for the children,” including federally funded childcare workers.

As president, Hillary Clinton would implement the Edelman/Alinsky domestic vision she put forward, in more palatable terms, in her 1996 book, It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. Of course, it takes someone like Clinton to see the federal government as a “village.” 

In that book Clinton wrote, “government is not something outside us—something irrelevant or even alien to us—but is us.  To acknowledge this is to acknowledge that government has a responsibility not only to provide essential services but to bring individuals and communities together.”  This is the backwards notion of the community organizer.

Recently, in a May 21, 2016, Washington Post op-ed, Clinton revealed her totalizing domestic plans by reiterating her commitment to paid family leave legislation and to the “big idea” of “increasing federal investments and incentivizing states so that no family ever has to pay more than 10 percent of its income for child care.”

She also proposed doubling the investment in programs that she helped develop as first lady: Early Head Start and the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program. Parroting bureaucrats, Clinton claimed, “These programs bring an evidenced-based curriculum to child care and make sure kids get the best possible start in life. . . . .”

She, however, ignores the studies, including one by the agency administering the program, that show that when Head Start does have a positive impact, it is slight and disappears by third grade.

Even so, Clinton wants to expand federal daycare, and also to send government agents into homes, following her efforts as first lady of Arkansas when she introduced the “Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters,” or “HIPPY.” Her campaign website boasts of a more recent feat, “As a leader at the Clinton Foundation,” when she “started a national public awareness campaign called ‘Too Small to Fail’ or ‘Pequeños y Valiosos’ aimed at closing the ‘word gap.’”

The Clinton Foundation, a purported charity (in reality a campaign slush fund with contributions helping friends’ business pursuits), is using the latest “gap” as the basis for the programs she hopes to enact as  president. The campaign site explains: “This gap refers to the 30 million fewer words heard by lower-income children by the time they are 4 years old, which leads to disparities in language development and school readiness.”  Low-income students already receive free breakfasts and lunches, even in the summer.  Under the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act they can look forward to attending “community schools,” where they will receive homework help, family dinners, and health and dental services.

Under Clinton’s plan, the federal government would provide childcare subsidies to families, raise the wages of childcare workers, and provide “home visiting services”—the latter to teach parents to talk to their children.  In It Takes a Village, Clinton celebrated England’s tradition of providing home visits through its national health service. (She also bragged about her work on Goals 2000, the precursor to Common Core.)  

Initiatives, like the one to end the “word gap” may sound head-scratching-ly bizarre to people who have been around babies, and made idiots of themselves by cooing and lapsing into inane talk.

But the studies that show that many low-income (i.e., single and government-dependent) parents do not speak to their young children are borne out by observation.

It is an uncomfortable subject for many leftists.  Anyone who has taken public transportation in cities like Atlanta, where it is mostly used by those who cannot afford cars, knows this--including one of my leftist friends. In traffic-choked Atlanta it made sense for her to commute to her job downtown via the rail line, a straight shot from her apartment.She would save on time, car wear-and-tear, gas, and parking—not to mention “The Environment.”

But she stopped, explaining in an agonized voice that she couldn’t bear to watch how young mothers treated their children, with slaps and pulls, screaming abuses at them, at the train station.

Of course, no one would dare reprimand such parents.

So my friend retreated.  Leftist parents retreat by sending their children to private schools, while arguing for more funding for public schools.

The reaction is to retreat, to one’s car, and to vote for and advocate more government social programs so that “experts” can deal with such parents.  Leftists refuse to acknowledge that government programs that incentivize family breakdown and interfere with natural communities are the problem. 

Conservatives, frustrated by the inability of political representatives to cut back on detrimental government programs and despairing at the takeover of education by radicals, retreat to far-flung suburbs, where they undertake the dual tasks of parenting and teaching.  No one can or should blame them.  In fact, they are to be commended.  When I taught college I could count on homeschooled students to be better educated and more motivated than students from public schools.

But with the retreat of such parents, public schools suffer.  It’s a vicious cycle, but the progressive’s solution (or opportunity) is to use the deterioration as an entrée to more government meddling.

Now, especially in Obama’s final year, we are witnessing the Washington overlords hounding the middle-class citizens into their retreats. They are forcing “individuals and communities together” under Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation of 2015.  The suburbs are being forced to build housing for the poor, who will bring their dysfunction to everything from the playground to the shopping mall.  As the feds impose their diktats on public spaces and private businesses, the homeschooling family will find fewer and fewer places where they are comfortable.

Under Obama’s Department of Education, they have found themselves forced to adhere to crazy Common Core standards if they want to pass GED tests, college entrance exams, and AP exams.  They find that many colleges now use Common Core test scores for placement in classes. This overreach inspired many conservatives into activism and made Common Core part of the presidential campaign.

But as the presidential election approaches, many of the same conservatives are retreating--from the voting booth.  Morally repulsed by the profligate past, rhetoric, and impure ideology of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, they vow to back a third-party candidate, write in a name, or just stay home and pray. They are impervious to arguments that their retreat makes a Hillary Clinton (Obama.2) presidency likely.   

Surprisingly, the anti-Trump super PAC, Our Principles, as part of their attacks on Trump’s sexism, has been using statements about fatherhood that he made on the Howard Stern show in 2005.  Like the leftists, these Republicans take umbrage at Trump’s comments about husbands who relent to pressures and “act like the wife.”

Trump expressed traditional sentiments and said he believed in supplying “funds,” but not changing diapers or pushing a stroller through Central Park.  In contrast, I am reminded of one of many absurd helpful hints about fatherhood coming from the Obama administration.  Early on, a Father’s Day campaign that encouraged fathers’ involvement showed a picture of a burly father with his young daughter.  They were both painting their fingernails.  

Voters should be asking themselves if they want the Big-Nanny-in-Chief sending government agents into homes.  Or do they want to become breadwinners again?

About Mary Grabar

Mary Grabar, Ph.D., a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, taught college English for 20 years. She founded the Dissident Prof Education Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) education reform initiative.  The motto, “Resisting the Re-Education of America,” arose in part from her perspective as a very young immigrant from the former Communist Yugoslavia (Slovenia specifically). Her writing can be found at www.marygrabar.com.

Schools Shouldn’t Exercise Students Like Animals

One way to attack Western civilization is to change the learning environment from a quiet, contemplative one to a busy, communal one.

By @ The Federalist

Recently I was horrified to find the latest missive from the U.S. Department of Education in my email inbox. It was the Teachers Edition newsletter, which is usually full of teaching tips, like getting kids interested in “The Old Man and the Sea” by having them reenact a crucifixion during Holy Week.

On April 23, 2016, there was no mention of Shakespeare or Ernest Hemingway. The top item was related to Earth Day: new U.S. Education Secretary John King announced Green Ribbon Schools Districts Sustainability Awards and a blog post by a Minnesota elementary school teacher discussed how teachers integrate “an active, outdoor learning component into existing lessons.”

But what really caught my eye was a photo of children lined up on stationary bikes, reading and pedaling away. It accompanied the article “In This Kinesthetic Classroom, Everyone’s Moving All Day.” It was about the “Active Brains” program at the Charles Pinckney Elementary School in Charleston, South Carolina, where “action-based learning” takes place in a classroom equipped with 15 stations featuring such things as mini basketball and stationary bikes, with each focused on different “academic tasks.”
 
A linked Washington Post article described another classroom, where 28 fifth-graders “sit at specially outfitted kinesthetic desks” or stand at them swaying, or pedal bikes, or march on climbers, while teacher Stacey Shoecraft delivers instruction from a strider at the front of the room. Shoecraft was keynote speaker at the “Kidsfit’s National Charleston Training” and has written a book, “Teaching Through Movement,” on the cover of which a grinning boy jumps into the air and a smiling girl sits on an exercise ball—like one I used when doing physical therapy for my back.
 
As if all this activity weren’t enough, an article headlined “Libraries Transforming from Quiet Places to Active Spaces” described the American Library Association’s new campaign to transform libraries from “quiet places of research” into “centers of community.” Instagram photos illustrated the concept with “collaborative work spaces, MakerSpaces, [and] bright displays.” The same day the Washington Post had set ten poems to animation in honor of National Poetry Month.

So When Do We Read Books?
 
As someone who found refuge in the quiet of the library and the order of the classroom as a child, I am disturbed by all this activity. As someone who taught college English for 20 years and saw students’ attention spans decline, I am saddened. My last year of teaching was in 2013, and by then only a couple students would raise their hands when I asked how many had had the experience of getting “lost in a book.” Only a couple had the patience to read carefully the assigned material by Frederick Douglass and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I’d been observing the transition in teaching styles away from what I knew in the 1960s, when we sat up straight with both feet planted on the floor at desks in rows. Increasingly, news reports show classrooms with kids sprawled on the carpet, reading or writing, or gathered around tables putting objects together, or gabbling like pip-squeak ambassadors about global politics.

Such active learning has been popularized by teacher-celebrities, like Ron Clark, founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. At their annual meeting in 2009, I saw social studies teachers applaud him as he jumped onto a chair to describe how his school encouraged “fun!” with a bungee jump and slides instead of staircases (which teachers also use). We were then treated to a demonstration of students’ understanding of civics—through the performance of a rap song about the election.
 
At the community college where I was then teaching, the annual “faculty development” day featured a session where a popular biology professor rolled her shoulders and stepped side to side to demonstrate how she used dance moves to motivate students. I knew my efforts to adapt this method to discussions about poetic meter or punctuation would get nothing but laughter. It’s not what I signed up for when I earned my PhD and envisioned myself in the female version of the tweed jacket leading thoughtful discussions about John Donne.

At the Core of All This, an Insult to Children
 
Behind all this emphasis on movement is the effort to close the racial achievement gap, one of the primary objectives of Common Core, evidenced through emphasis on “speaking and listening skills” and “visual literacy.” It’s also evidenced by the U.S. Department of Education’s promotion of educational video games. Such strategies presumably address different learning styles that are said to cause the gap.

This is not a new theory, but one evolved from New Left teachers who founded “urban schools.” By 1988 the theory had gained so much acceptance that the New York State Board of Regents used it in a booklet about high drop-out rates for black students, according to The New York Times. The article explained that proponents argue that “black children require instructions that deal more with people than with symbols or abstractions.”
 
These educators asserted that black pupils “need more chances for expressive talking rather than writing” and “more freedom to move around the classroom without being rebuked for misbehavior. . . .” Back then the theory was controversial among educators. Today, the U.S. Department of Education promotes this kind of learning for all students.
 
Thomas Sowell’s recounting of statistics about the superior performance of some black schools against similarly situated white schools during segregation refutes such ultimately racist ideas. He is ignored. That’s because the evidence Sowell presents undermines the stereotypes the Left uses to achieve its ultimate goal: tearing down or significantly altering Western civilization. One way to do that is to change the learning environment from a quiet, contemplative one to a busy, communal one. This assault on “Eurocentrism,” or Western modes of thinking, was deliberate in the 1960s. It is now in the classroom.

Let’s Walk Our Students Like Dogs
 
Of course, those promoting the new kinesthetic teaching don’t say that. They talk about physical fitness (a problem, to be sure), “motivated” students, and superior test results.

But I wonder: will such strategies backfire? Will making students perform “academic tasks” on treadmills compel them to hate both exercise and learning? I think it might. Such mechanistic exercises, along with Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program, remind me of President Kennedy’s “Physical Fitness in Schools” program and having to run around the perimeter of a scruffy fenced-in yard at Carthage School Number 8 in Rochester, New York.
 
As a first-grader, I thought it was ridiculous and boring—especially after I’d walked the mile to school and would walk home for lunch and then back, and then home. Of course, children don’t just walk. They run, and skip, and chase each other. Changing into our play clothes when we came home marked the transition to play time, full of tag, hopscotch, dodge ball, jumping rope, and riding bikes, and for the boys, the politically incorrect “cowboys and Indians” and “cops and robbers.”
 
I thought of this when I saw the picture of students on exercise machines. They reminded me of race horses being cooled down on mechanical walkers. “Academic tasks” sounds like dog training.
 
The decade of the 1960s brought many upheavals: assassinations, demonstrations, riots. My first-grade class was dismissed early on the day of President Kennedy’s assassination. The riots in adjoining neighborhoods brought over vandalism and violence in ensuing years. Children still played in the streets, though. I would become the exception as I assumed the role of caretaker for my younger sisters. Yet I still had the classroom and library as places of refuge. We were not put on machines; the mandatory runs ended.
 
I could also walk to the library with my cherished yellow library card. That quiet, mote-filled refuge, long disappeared in urban decay, held rows of books beckoning me to get lost in the wonderful stories. It’s sad that children today are deprived of such simple, quiet pleasures.
 
Mary Grabar earned her PhD from the University of Georgia and taught college English for 20 years. She is now a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization in Clinton, New York. Her writing can be found at DissidentProf.com and at marygrabar.com.

Chile, Venezuela, and the Left’s Support of State over Prosperity

May 26, 2016 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

Venezuela is falling apart. Decades of bad policy have produced economic stagnation and misery.
On the other side of South America, Chile has enjoyed comparatively strong growth since reforms began in the 1980s.

Can we learn lessons by comparing these two nations?

Yes. More than five years ago, I compared three decades of data to show that pro-market Chile grew somewhat faster than mixed-economy Argentina and much faster than statist Venezuela.
Now we have some new data.

My colleague at the Cato Institute, Marian Tupy, has an article in Reason that compares Chile and Venezuela.

He starts by noting that the two nations have moved in dramatically different directions when measuring economic freedom.
Chile’s success starts in the mid-1970s, when Chile’s military government abandoned socialism and started to implement economic reforms. In 2013, Chile was the world’s 10th freest economy. Venezuela, in the meantime, declined from being the world’s 10th freest economy in 1975 to being the world’s least free economy in 2013.
Here’s a sobering chart on the changes.


Some may believe that economic freedom as merely an abstraction.

What’s more important, they argue, is results. Is a nation enjoying good economic performance, or is it stagnating?

Well, it turns out that the abstraction of economic freedom is very important if you want good performance. Here’s another chart from Marian’s article. You can see that Venezuela has stagnated while Chile has boomed.

 
Chile is not a perfect role model, to be sure, because of an unsavory period of military rule.
But the good news, Marian points out, is that economic liberty has led to political liberty. Whereas the opposite has happened in Venezuela.
…as the people of Chile grew richer, they started demanding more say in the running of their country. Starting in the late 1980s, the military gradually and peacefully handed power over to democratically-elected representatives. In Venezuela, the opposite has happened. As failure of socialism became more apparent, the government had to resort to ever more repressive measures in order to keep itself in power.
Here’s a chart showing the remarkable progress in Chile..as well as the deterioration of rights in Venezuela (please note that “1” means strong political rights and “7” means low or nonexistent political rights).

All this data seemingly is slam-dunk evidence for the Chilean model over the Venezuelan model.
Yet there have been a number of leftists who actually praised the statist policies of Venezuela’s authoritarian rulers. Here are some excerpts from an exposê in the Daily Caller.
Socialist Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez was praised throughout his life by many figures in academia, journalism and Hollywood despite his brutal regime. This praise included Salon writer David Sirota’s piece after the leader’s death, titled “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle.” In British publication The New Statesman, a headline as Chavez was nearing death in January 2013 was “Hugo Chavez: Man against the world,” and its sub-headline read “As illness ends Hugo Chavez’s rule in Venezuela, what will his legacy be? Richard Gott argues he brought hope to a continent.” This praise of Chavez by so many who enjoyed the benefits of living in a capitalist society while looking at the economic record of the late leader, as well as what his successor President Nicolas Maduro, has come undone.
And Joe Stiglitz gushed about Venezuela’s economic performance back in 2007.
Nobel Prize winning economist and former vice-president of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, praised Venezuela’s economic growth and “positive policies in health and education” during a visit to Caracas on Wednesday. “Venezuela’s economic growth has been very impressive in the last few years,” Stiglitz said during his speech at a forum on Strategies for Emerging Markets sponsored by the Bank of Venezuela. …Venezuela has taken advantage of the boom in world oil prices to implement policies that benefit its citizens and promote economic development. “Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears to have had success in bringing health and education to the people in the poor neighborhoods of Caracas, to those who previously saw few benefits of the countries oil wealth,” he said. In his latest book “Making Globalization Work,” Stiglitz argues that left governments such as in Venezuela, “have frequently been castigated and called ‘populist’ because they promote the distribution of benefits of education and health to the poor.” “It is not only important to have sustainable growth,” Stiglitz continued during his speech, “but to ensure the best distribution of economic growth, for the benefit of all citizens.”
Wow, this is a remarkable case of ideological blindness. Stiglitz presumably allowed his statist views to drive his analysis.

But let’s focus on one part of that excerpt. Yes, it’s very desirable for all citizens to benefit from economic growth.

But if you look at the chart from Marian’s article comparing GDP per capita in Chile and Venezuela, it’s abundantly clear which nation is producing better outcomes from average citizens.
This is a fundamental flaw of statists. By fixating on redistribution and equality, this leads them to policies that re-slice a shrinking economic pie.

The evidence from all over the world is that this is not a recipe for convergence with rich nations.