Monday, September 25, 2017

Pope Francis Says Concern for ‘Cultural Identity’ Doesn’t Justify Opposition to Mass Migration

Thomas D. Williams, Breitbart, September 22, 2017

In his audience with the European national directors of the Church’s pastoral work with migrants here for a meeting sponsored by the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE), the Pope recognized the consternation caused by the “massive migrant flows” in Europe that have “thrown into crisis migratory policies held up to now.”  At the same time, Francis rejected national immigration policies designed to protect the cultural and religious identities of the peoples of Europe.

“I won’t hide my concern in the face of the signs of intolerance, discrimination and xenophobia that have arisen in different regions of Europe,” the pontiff said, which are “often fueled by reticence and fear of the other, the one who is different, the foreigner.”

“I am worried still more by the sad awareness that our Catholic communities in Europe are not exempt from these reactions of defensiveness and rejection, justified by an unspecified ‘moral duty’ to conserve one’s original cultural and religious identity,” he said......To Read More...

My Take - The man is a lunatic.  Once again - the much lauded Jesuit education must be a myth.  He clearly didn't read much history, especially the history of Islam, didn't take any logic courses, Bible courses or courses on what the Koran imposes on Muslims and he clearly doesn't understand the difference between migration and invasion.  It's bad enough the man is a lunatic, but he's a dumb as dirt lunatic with power and influence.  

The Democrats' Dolchstosslegende

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 0 Comments Sunday, September 24, 2017@ Sultan Knish Blog

The Democrats went into the election certain that they were going to win. The New York Times rated Hillary’s chances at 93%. The Huffington Post raised that to 98%. That was still too modest for Obama campaign manager David Plouffe who predicted a 100% likelihood of Hillary winning.

It wasn’t strategy or statistics that made the Dems think that victory was certain. It was ideology.

Obama had spent two terms telling them that they were on the “right side of history”. The more the Dems swung left, the closer to the right side of history they were. Their leftist views were naturally superior. They were based on science while their opponents were superstitious buffoons. They were enlightened while their enemies were bigots. They were smart and conservatives were dumb.

Delusions of superiority had convinced them that Republicans couldn’t win an honest election. When Bush won, it was because his brother and the Supreme Court had rigged the election. The Republican victories that swept much of the country were only due to voter suppression and redistricting.

The Democrats had allowed themselves to believe that they were so innately superior that they couldn’t lose an election except through fraud or dirty tricks. The humiliating defeats of McGovern, Carter, Mondale and Dukakis were all in the past. They had gone so far to the left that they couldn’t lose.

They had confused ideology with electability. The fallacy of fanatics is the conviction that their beliefs explain reality. And that following their beliefs must therefore lead to a successful outcome.

Leftists had convinced themselves that winning elections was an inevitable as the success of ObamaCare and the rejuvenation of the economy. Their media became a propaganda echo chamber filled with their own assurances of inevitable victory. But ObamaCare failed, the economy lingered and Trump won.

Instead of realizing that they had been lying to themselves, they seized on conspiracy theories.

Convinced of their natural superiority, members of the Master Party believed that their subjective contempt for Republicans in general and Trump specifically was an objective truth. It wasn’t that they despised conservatives. No, conservatives were inherently despicable. And Trump was so despicable and so absurd that he just had to lose. It was inconceivable that he couldn’t have lost. So he had lost.

Human beings don’t react well to having their egomaniacal fantasies come apart around them.

After losing World War I, many Germans seized on the Dolchstosslegende or the Stab-in-the-Back theory to explain what happened. The German military didn’t lose the war. It was undermined and stabbed in the back. Otherwise, despite the collapse of its allies and the entry of the United States, it would have won. The Nazis rode the Dolchstosslegende all the way into power. And to an even more devastating defeat in an even more devastating war all while trying to disprove the fact that America, the United Kingdom, France and Russia really could beat them in a war once there were no more Jews in Germany.

You can deny reality, but reality always wins.

Unsurprisingly, the Dolchstosslegende was most popular with German military leaders. Likewise the Democrat Dolchstosslegende arose from the ranks of Hillary’s campaign leaders. It’s those in charge of the losing team who have the most incentive to blame anyone and everyone else. The Nazis blamed a long list of people including the Jews. The Democrats blamed everyone from the FBI to the Russians.

Hillary has become another Hindenburg touting her own Dolchstosslegende. Her latest book, ‘What Happpened’, will put the Dolchstosslegende into print. It will list everyone who lost the election for her. ‘What Happened’ may be an awkward title, but calling it ‘Mein Kampaign’ might have been a bit much.

The Hillary Dolchstosslegende tearing apart our country passes itself off as patriotism. The Nazis claimed that they were patriots too. But Dolchstosslegendes aren’t patriotic. They’re exercises in divisiveness by losers who don’t want to take responsibility for their stupidity, incompetence and hypocrisy.

Hillary went from pressing a reset button with one of Putin’s minions to a posthumous political campaign claiming that Putin had rigged the election. Never mind that even if Russian hackers did leak Podesta’s emails, less than 1% of Americans have any idea who Podesta is or cared about the contents of his chats. But Podesta’s emails embarrassed the future promoters of the Dolchstosslegende.

And that’s why the Dolchstosslegende’s humiliated inventors are obsessed with their own emails.

John Podesta and Robby Mook had formulated the Russian Dolchstosslegende after her defeat. Podesta and Mook, like General Ludendorff and Hindenburg had the most need to assign failure elsewhere. And millions of loyalists were eager to be convinced that they had not truly been defeated.

The Clinton campaign was as big of a disaster as the Hindenburg Program. Both were Socialist projects that substituted technocracy for common sense leading to utter disaster. Rather than admit that their plan didn’t work, Hindenburg and Ludendorff blamed the defeat on the battlefield and misery at home on a conspiracy. The Nazis then tried to prove that a Socialist militarized industry could work once you got rid of all the possible conspirators. After killing six millions Jews, National Socialism still didn’t work.

Meanwhile Clintonworld had been trying to prove that Hillary’s ’08 loss to Obama was a fluke. They proved it by rigging the Dem primaries only to have Hillary lose the general election. And so out came more excuses. Hillary was an unbeatable candidate. The left was unbeatable. It was a conspiracy.

The myths of the undefeated Germany and the undefeated Democrats were rooted in a false conviction of superiority. A populace glutted on an endless diet of propaganda found it inconceivable that they had lost. As a dog returns to its vomit, the Democrats began licking the propaganda out of their media sewer twice as hard. They ate up the lies that they hadn’t lost, the promises that they would soon reclaim what was rightfully theirs and that everyone who had conspired against them would soon be punished.

Then they turned to street violence and attempted coups… because those worked so well in Germany.

At the maddest there are the ravings of Twitter experts who promise that the intelligence community will shortly be rounding up and executing all the traitors. But even the mainstream media, CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times feed their readers a poisonous glut of the Dolchstosslegende.

It’s bad for the Democrats and it’s worse for the democracy.

Instead of learning from their defeat, an entire political party, its elected officials and a sizable portion of its base have convinced themselves once again that a presidential election was illegitimate. They have staked their hopes on a coup, ranging from military intervention to impeachment, to undo it all.

Instead of questioning the superiority of their leftist ideology, they have doubled down on it. Like the National Socialists, the Socialist supporters of the far left have turned to street violence, they fantasize about military coups and media coups, without caring about the damage that they are doing to America.

The Democrats believed that they would win the election because their left-wing politics were absolutely right. Now they are convinced that they will pull off their coup because they are even more fanatically left-wing in 2017 than they were in 2016. This same logic led the Nazis to destroy Germany. And the Democrats have learned absolutely nothing about the dangers of delusional fanaticism.

They were told that they are on the right side of history. And if the right side of history requires wrecking the political process, a coup and a civil war, they are willing to pay it. Just as in the election, they can’t lose because they’re on the right side of history. Wherever they end up must be utopia.

They are willing to destroy everything rather than question their delusions of superiority.

The Soviet Union attributed all its setbacks to sabotage, rather than policy failures. Muslims continue to believe that they lost their last Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, due to an assortment of conspiracies from the Jews and the Freemasons. The Dolchstosslegende is as ubiquitous as it is destructive. It is seductive because it tells us the lie that we most wish to believe in our darkest hour.

The lie is that we did nothing wrong and do not need to change.

The Democrats’ Dolchstosslegende is the surest way of turning 2020 into a repeat of 2016.

A Libertarian Paradise in…Nigeria?!?

September 24, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

(Editor's Note:  I think this Nigeria account is a bit strange since it's clear Nigeria is a failed state  with massive government corruption, incompetent bureaucracy (that's redundant of course), crumbling infrastructure, lack of legitimate jurisprudence, stunningly high infant and maternal mortality and high levels of violence and crime the government is unable to control,  so it's hard to believe there can be an enclave of sanity in the chaos.  But I decided it was thought provoking enough to post anyway.  RK)
 
Whenever someone accuses me of being too dogmatically opposed to government, I tell them that I only got 94 out of 160 possible points when I took Professor Bryan Caplan’s Libertarian Purity Quiz.
That’s barely 70 percent, which makes it seem like I’m some sort of squishy moderate even though I have a nice list of government departments and agencies I want to abolish.

And whenever someone accuses me of being insufficiently opposed to government, I point out that my score on Professor Caplan’s quiz is good enough – albeit just barely – for me to be categorized as a hard-core libertarian.

 
So does this mean I’m a principled moderate, if such a creature even exists?

Actually, it simply means that I’m not an “anarcho-capitalist,” which is the term for people who think all government can be abolished (sort of like the “more libertarian than thou” character in this amusing list of the 24 types of libertarians). If you want to get a perfect score on the Libertarian Purity Quiz, you have to favor abolishing the Department of Defense, the court system, and every other vestige of government.

That being said, I like that there are people pushing the envelope for more liberty. And I tell my anarcho-capitalist friends that we should all work together to get rid of 90 percent of government and then we can quibble over the rest.

Moreover, when I spoke earlier this year at the conference celebrating the 2nd-anniversary of Liberland, I pointed out that there are plenty of examples of how the private sector successfully carries out functions that most people think can only be handled by government.

Which leads me to the focus of today’s column. The U.K.-based Guardian has a fascinating story about a very successful Nigerian church.
The Redeemed Christian Church of God’s international headquarters in Ogun state has been transformed from a mere megachurch to an entire neighbourhood, with departments anticipating its members’ every practical as well as spiritual need. A 25-megawatt power plant with gas piped in from the Nigerian capital serves the 5,000 private homes on site, 500 of them built by the church’s construction company. New housing estates are springing up every few months where thick palm forests grew just a few years ago.
To most people, this story is probably interesting because of what it says about Nigeria and religion.



But since I’m a wonky libertarian, what grabbed my attention was the fact that the church – for all intents and purposes – was building an anarcho-capitalist society.
Education is provided, from creche to university level. The Redemption Camp health centre has an emergency unit and a maternity ward. …“If you wait for the government, it won’t get done,” says Olubiyi. So the camp relies on the government for very little – it builds its own roads, collects its own rubbish, and organises its own sewerage systems. And being well out of Lagos, like the other megachurches’ camps, means that it has little to do with municipal authorities. …according to the head of the power plant, the government sends the technicians running its own stations to learn from them. …the camp’s security is mostly provided by its small army of private guards in blue uniforms.
To be sure, it’s not a purely anarcho-capitalist society. The Nigerian government still has ultimate power to enforce laws.

But from a practical, day-to-day perspective, the church has set up a private city governed by private contract and voluntary cooperation. Sort of a Nigerian version of Galt’s Gulch.

And it’s definitely worth pointing out that it is far more successful than traditional Nigerian cities (and it sounds like it works better than many American cities!).

P.S. Anarcho-capitalism is susceptible to satire, as you can see from this clever video about Somalia and this ad for libertarian breakfast cereal.

 

“Free Speech” Officially CANCELED at UC Berkeley After Liberal Anarchy

By Andrew West September 24, 2017

The University of California at Berkeley has established itself as ground zero for the radical left’s anti-free speech movement in recent months. Starting way back in February, the ultraliberal campus earned its reputation as a haven for cretinous, treasonous leftists to launch their attacks against the American Bill of Rights, specifically targeting the First Amendment for revision or deletion. It is purely a heretical act by the left, who somehow believe that the freedom of speech guaranteed by our creator and our founding fathers should be trimmed down to exclude any words that hurt the feelings of those who bear witness to them. This absurd proposition has been the modus operandi of the left for a good long time, but the election of Donald Trump has exacerbated the liberal timeline as these pitiful progressives continue to lose their minds over what truth the President will expose next........To Read More.....

Good For Nothing Roger Goodell Has The Audacity to Scold POTUS?

By Andrew West September 24, 2017

Thanks to the liberal “resistance” to President Trump, there are a number of private citizens throughout the country who grown a bit too big for their britches.

Celebrities can almost get a pass for this sort of behavior. After all, they are reliant on the suspension of disbelief to make their millions, lending a clownish air of whimsicality to every unfortunate thing that comes slithering from their word holes. Hollywood’s liberal slant is more than just tolerated, it’s expected, and as long as these debutantes don’t take their hate to Kathy Griffin-esque levels of crazy, they are easily written off as attention mongers.

It’s when we turn to the heads of industry and successful, wealthy private individuals with some semblance of clout that we find ourselves most disgusted with the incessant need to undermine the authority of our elected leaders..........To Read More.....

My Take - I see some of this a bit differently.  The fact he 'scolded' the President of the United States is completely fine with me, except we have a double standard here.  If he'd done this over anything Obama did the media would have gone insane and the players would have jumped up and down demanding an apology - and this little worm would have issued it - almost in tears!

What I dislike about his comment is he had the nerve to declare Trump was  disrespectful to him, his league and his players.  Disrespectful?  Really?  Clearly he either doesn't understand what constitutes disrespect and who are the ones being disrespectful or he's a coward. 

It appears this clown  thinks football players - who are being paid obscene amounts of money to play a kids game - can do any stupid they like and no one - including the President of the United States  - can be allowed to call them on it. 

One more thing.  The vast majority of these snowflakes won't even be in the league in less than five years  - with the average being about two and a half years - and by the end of their first year out of the league - a large number of them will be broke, on drugs or in jail. 

NFL Appropriates Black Lives Matter’s Culture by Aiming Protests at Trump

By Andrew West September 24, 2017

The hypocrisy of the NFL has new reached extraordinary levels in the saga of the National Anthem and insubordinate athletes. Now, as President Trump has weighed in on the subject, admonishing the NFL owners and do-nothing commissioner of the league in a single speech, players across the nation are kneeling now in protest of the President…something that should anger the Black Lives Matter domestic terror organization.

But will it?

Colin Kaepernick’s purported reason for kneeling during the anthem was to protest the supposed unfair treatment of African Americans at the hands of the U.S. police force. Despite an undeniably large cache of evidence to the contrary, this anti-American “protest”, (read: Publicity stunt), spread like wildfire throughout the league, specifically among athletes in similar situations to Kaepernick’s.   Namely, those who otherwise would haves sportscasters wasting their breath on them......To Read More....

Some Wounded Warriors Can't Take a Knee, NFL

Daniel John Sobieski

Whenever I hear about NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem, I am reminded of the double amputees that have returned from America’s wars and the fact that while, because of their sacrifice over centuries, we are entitled to speak freely, none of us are entitled to a particular forum.

NFL players are employees of a larger organization, just like Curt Shilling was when ESPN fired him for what he thought was protected speech. The speech is protected. Your access to a particular forum is not. They are teammates in a sport that pays these allegedly oppressed spoiled brats millions. Their teammates may share a different view, so does the locker room become a game prep area or a debating society?

Does the field remain a sporting arena or a campaign rally? Those who take a knee were indeed given that right by many who no longer have knees and are privileged to take a knee in a sport paid for by millions of fans who may disagree with them and who paid to see a game, not a protest. Players who take a knee think they are being patriotic, when they are merely being elf-indulgent and selfish. Go rent out a stadium and invite people to pay just to see you take a knee and see if anybody shows up.............To Read More....

Kaepernickitis Is Rooted in Lies

By Trevor Thomas

Foolish athletes (and their like-minded playmates) should direct their political and social ire elsewhere. Instead, they’ve joined their Hollywood cohorts as mouthpieces for the Democratic Party.
Take Colin Kaepernick. His failed efforts at protesting during the National Anthem were predicated upon a lie. After his initial protest in the 2016 preseason, NFL Media reported:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
In other words, Kaepernick has bought the lies of Black Lives Matter hook, line, and sinker. As I noted last year, the lie is this:............ More

Don't let media distort the NFL conflict
By Russ Vaughn September 25, 2017

There’s no question that President Trump tossed a live grenade into the NFL’s locker room during his Alabama speech the other night has set off countless secondary explosions throughout the league and across the media spectrum.

Too many in the left-wing media want to play down the fact that this entire mess began with one player, Colin Kaepernick, radicalized by his lefty girlfriend, demonstrating his support for the Black Lives Matter campaign against America’s police forces.

Now I can understand how young men in their physical prime could find this a sympathetic view, as many of them too frequently find themselves in direct conflict with America’s police due to alcohol and testosterone fueled incidents of physical violence, often involving their wives or girlfriends. However, the more important consideration is that BLM’s campaign against cops is not one that finds wide favor among the citizenry at large, the folks who support the NFL with their fandom.......... More

Boycott the NFL

There are no Jack Kemps here.

Jeffrey Lord September 25, 2017

As they say in baseball, play ball.  But apparently not in the NFL.  Instead of playing the game they are being paid millions to play, whole teams of the National Football League have decided instead to insult the fans who pay their salaries whether watching a game in person or on television.

The method of choice in insults is to refuse to honor all those who died to give these rich spoiled brats their opportunity to play a game they supposedly love. Brats who pretend to a social conscience when they don’t even have the courage to stand up off the field for a cause to which they give nothing but lip service.

  
One of the most inspiring bosses of my professional life was the late Jack Kemp. Jack was a football player’s football player. The quarterback for the Buffalo Bills who led them to two consecutive American Football League championships in 1964 and 1965, Jack was also totally committed to the Republican century-plus old demand for civil rights.......To Read More.....

 
Donald Trump, the person the media tells you at every turn is the dumbest guy in whatever room he is in, in just one weekend outflanked the left, the Democratic Party, the media, and the elites. Not only did Trump outmaneuver his political enemies, all the self-proclaimed enlightened people still haven’t caught on that he has taken them to school as they are too busy digging a deeper hole.

At issue, of course, are the President’s remarks over millionaire athletes taken a knee during the National Anthem before NFL games, a subject I have been writing about at The American Spectator since this phenomenon began. To make a long story short, some professional athletes, much to the ire of most Americans, have taken a knee during the National Anthem while siding with radical groups such as Black Lives Matter, and saying awful things about the police in the process. Most team owners and league and media outlets have applauded these radical players’ assessment of America, while most Americans seethe at what is going on........As the President ascends, the NFL continues its suicide march. With declining ratings and empty stadiums, this is the last fight the NFL needed. In this it also reveals where the NFL made a classic miscalculation, probably due to personal political leanings of the top brass. The NFL believes the next generation of sports fans is upon us, and they are young, racially diverse, and political activism appeals to them.........To Read More....

My Take - I became so disgusted with professional sports I stopped watching sports about two years ago with the exception of a mild interest in the Cleveland Browns.   I've stopped watching sports....period!

 
 
 
 

Robert Mueller Makes Sickening Request of White House in Witch Hunt

By Andrew West September 21, 2017

It has become readily apparent that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into claims of Russian election interference is nothing but a ruse by the American political left. From the moment that it became obvious that Hillary Clinton stood no chance of defeating America’s potent conservative uprising in November of 2016, the democrats and their litany of liberal insurgents began formulating a plan to delegitimize soon-to-be President Trump. At the forefront of this dangerous and ill-conceived plan were accusations of Russian involvement in the election itself, with wild claims of vote hacking and “fake news” being implemented by the Kremlin in America.

Of course, as these baseless claims were exposed for the charade that they were, the left was forced to transform their allegations into something far more sinister.  Now, it seems, that the “resistance” to the President is insinuating that Donald Trump himself is a KGB double agent, or a Kremlin operative, or some other fictitious 1980’s action movie villain.........To Read More....

Trump Bashing Television Clown Threatens to Assault Fox News Host

By Andrew West September 21, 2017

The idea of political decorum in the United States is unfortunately on its death bed, thanks to the radicalization of the liberal “resistance” to the President.

In the not-so distant past, Americans were capable of having civilized, yet heated, discussions about the political realities that face our nation.  We understood that these issues were never as simple as right versus left, and it was the grey area in the middle that was often up for debate.

Now, however, things are much different.  The election of Donald Trump has sent the left end of the American political spectrum veering off into a dark, desperate corner of hatred, discrimination, and violence.

The so-called “resistance” to the President has been ground zero for the wild and unacceptable behavior of the radical left, with a number of famous liberal personalities following their fellow progressives like lemmings off a cliff..........To Read More........

My Take - So Kimmel thinks he's part of the Hollywood elite?  And who cares?  I've never seen one of his shows - ever! What we have here is just one more "celebrity" who was parking cars, pumping gas, waiting tables or whatever he did before he got his bread and now he thinks the world needs to stand up and pay attention to his views.  And again - who cares?

 

Conservative Roman Catholic theologians accuse pope of spreading heresy

Associated Press

Several dozen tradition-minded Roman Catholic theologians, priests and academics have formally accused Pope Francis of spreading heresy with his 2016 opening to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.  In a 25-page letter delivered to Francis last month and provided Saturday to The Associated Press, the 62 signatories issued a "filial correction" to the pope — a measure they said hadn't been employed since the 14th century.

 The letter accused Francis of propagating seven heretical positions concerning marriage, moral life and the sacraments with his 2016 document "The Joy of Love" and subsequent "acts, words and omissions."  The initiative follows another formal act by four tradition-minded cardinals who wrote Francis last year asking him to clarify a series of questions, or "dubbia," they had about his 2016 text..........To Read More.....

How Obama's EPA Nearly Bankrupted John Duarte's Farm

A controversial rule on water pollution allowed the agency to micromanage private land use

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt has set out to transform the agency he leads to a greater extent than any of Trump's other cabinet appointees, pledging to end what he dubbed the agency's "anti-energy agenda" by loosening requirements on carbon emissions and eliminating land use restrictions.  In his first speech to EPA employees, Pruitt laid out his goal of returning the agency to its core focus of protecting the environment while following what he called "the letter of the law."

"I believe that we as an agency, and we as a nation, can be both pro-energy and jobs and pro-environment," Pruitt told his staff............Meanwhile, Duarte settled his case in August for $1.1 million to avoid paying a significantly larger fine. He hopes Pruitt's focus on regulatory rollback will restore farmers' property rights.

"We become peasants where these federal prosecutors can come in like the Sheriff of Nottingham, decide for themselves what they think a family can pay," Duarte says. "If the federal prosecutors can come on this land with this set of facts, there is no farm in America that is safe from this kind of prosecution."....SOURCE

Leftist Global Warming Mythology

By Bruce Walker

The left's response to the natural disasters in Florida was to raise again the bogeyman of man-made global warming.  The left blames every natural disaster or significant change in weather on man-made global warming.  So if the weather is unseasonably hot, man-made global warming is the culprit, but if the weather is unseasonably cold, the man-made global warming is to blame as well.  The "science" of the left simply plugs in man-made global warming to every natural disaster or significant change in the weather.

This is anti-science in its purest form.  Totalitarianism – and the left is utterly totalitarian – always claims to base its actions upon "science."  So the Nazis insisted and persuaded many scientists involved in genetics, psychology, biology, and so forth to agree with Nazi racial policies as "scientific," and almost everything that happened was accounted for by the Nazis as part of racial "science."  So the Soviets coerced all scientists to accept as an overarching "science" Marxism, and so geneticists and physicists were sent to the Gulag or worse if their scientific discoveries conflicted with Marxist "science."  SOURCE

Trendy Gender Nazis Force Students to Rewrite Pledge of Allegiance

By Andrew West September 23, 2017

Atheists Fighting to Free Convicted Murderers?

By Gary DeMar September 23, 2017

Shari Webber-Dunn “received a minimum 40-year sentence after her conviction on first-degree murder charges following the shooting death of her estranged husband, Scott Webber, in 1994…” She filed a lawsuit this week, “alleging that prison officials have been ‘imposing Christian beliefs’ on her and other inmates…. She says officials there have created a ‘coercive atmosphere where inmates are pressured to spend their time in a highly religious atmosphere and to participate in religious activities and prayers, thus violating the establishment clause,’ the Wichita Eagle reported…. She alleges religious bias on the part of the Kansas Department of Corrections and the correctional facility’s staff.”..........To Read More.....

Fighting Fire with Fire: A Republican Finally Co-opts Alinsky's Rules for Radicals

Brian C. Joondeph

Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is considered the bible for the left, the Democrat Party playbook. Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis on Alinsky’s book. Barack Obama is a disciple of this guide for community organizing. The reality is that the “Rules” are applicable to any political cause or movement, not just one on the left side of the political spectrum. I kept hearing about this book and decided to read it for myself. Wearing a tin foil hat with a clove of garlic around my neck, I ventured to the dark side and opened the book. I found Alinsky’s philosophy and rules quite interesting. I also drew parallels to what is happening now, decades after the book was written. But not in an expected way.

Democrats are adept at using Alinsky’s rules to further their agenda. Many conservatives bemoan the fact that Republicans are unaware of these tactics or are unwilling to use them. Much like a baseball team not knowing they can bunt or run double plays and then wondering why the other team uses these tactics and wins games.............I doubt Trump has read Rules for Radicals. Instead as a graduate of the New York City school of hard knocks, he instinctively knows how to organize and win. What a refreshing change to see a Republican co-opting and using these community organizing rules so successfully against the left and the deep state establishment. .......... More

My Take - I've read Alinsky's Rules For Radicals and I can honestly say that book promotes anarchy.  Alinsky had to be insane, but he's the Messiah of the left, and his words are a gospel of deceit, violence and anarchy.  At least until they gain power and then no protests will be tolerated. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Political Abuse of Science

By Anthony J. DeBlasi

Making sense of the world, necessary as food and air for being human, is a tricky balancing act of keeping one foot on matter and one on spirit. It leads many to church and temple. Until recent times these were places where mind and heart could find a line to their Creator. Today, far too many of them have become places where attendees get a line to the latest politics.

Making the church follow, instead of lead the way, became obvious in the 1970s/80s, a time when I sometimes filled-in as layman minister when the pastor of the Newfield (Maine) Methodist church was away. And I was in front of the West Newfield Congregational church on Lay Preacher Sunday.

I tried to show that a good heart is not enough to promote the general welfare. It requires a good mind as well. And both were being abducted by pop culture, aided and abetted by pseudoscience. It was essential, I asserted, to understand that in our uncertain world there is a constant need to discriminate between fact and nonsense, science not excluded............The bluff of self-anointed reformers who wrap themselves in “science” to turn heads away from the human in social, political, and economic policies and practices can and must be called. What is really smart for those who would improve the way we live, not just as creatures but as humans, is to stop thrashing about in their own ignorance and seize upon the wisdom of the One who put them here and gave us a heart, a brain, and the freedom to use them wisely...............Read more

Obama’s Watergate

Six months later, CNN confirms what was widely reported — and ignored on the left — last March

Daniel J. Flynn September 22, 2017
Donald Trump said earlier this year that the Obama Administration wiretapped his campaign. “Like I’d want to hear more from that fool?” President Obama scoffed.  But CNN reported on Monday, “US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election…. The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.”

The network labeled their story an exclusive. But, in fact, Breitbart, radio host Mark Levin, the realDonaldTrump Twitter account, and numerous other sources reported the wiretapping more than six months ago.........To Read More....

My Take - The question I keep asking:  when is Sessions going to start working to put someone in jail for all these illegal actions by corrupt government officials during the Obama administration, including Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Lois Lerner, Loretta Lynch, Robert Mueller, James Comey - and last but not least - Barack Obama.  One thing is clear as crystal though.  They didn't just want Hillary to win - they needed Hillary to win.....and so did Hillary. 

Top CIA Official Confirms The Worst About Obama

September 23, 2017 LIFE WITH BIG BROTHER

Did CNN vindicate President Trump by finally admitting he was right about wiretapping? That depends on who’s asked.

Executive Director for the Council for the National Interest and former CIA Case Officer, Phil Giraldi, confirms that former President Obama was spying on President Trump before and after the 2016 election. According to Giraldi, the White House was directly involved in the decision to spy on the Trump campaign, making the scandal “even worse [than] Richard Nixon’s Watergate” he wrote for The Daily Caller.

In March 2017, President Trump released a series of tweets accusing the Obama administration of “wiretapping” Trump Tower during the 2016 Presidential election. “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” he tweeted.......To Read More....

Dem Senator: The Cassidy-Graham Bill Is Awful. Also I Haven't Read it.

Cortney O'Brien Sep 21, 2017

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has been trashing the Graham-Cassidy health care bill all over town. Introduced by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), the legislation is the GOP's last chance to repeal Obamacare. The Rhode Island Democrat seemed well briefed on what's in the bill when he spit all over it on CNN Thursday.............It sure sounded like he knew the bill like the back of his hand, until Alisyn Camerota asked him for more specifics. "I've seen reviews of it," he said, before admitting he "hasn't read the language of it."

Makes sense. We all know Whitehouse and his colleagues are experts at not reading bills.....To Read More....

NBC's Brian Williams Wins Dan Rather Memorial Award for Stupidest Analysis

CNSNews.com Staff | September 22, 2017
 
 NBC's Brian Williams won the Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis at the Media Research Center's 30th Anniversary Gala last night in Washington, D.C.  The audience awarded Williams with the prize for comments he made on MSNBC on Nov. 26, 2016, the night that Cuba's Communist dictator, Fidel Castro, died.........To Read More....

Angela Merkel Embroiled in Refugee Scandal in Huge Blow Days Before German Election

Allan Hall, Express, September 22, 2017

A leaked internal German government report appears to condemn Chancellor Angel Merkel for opening the country’s borders to refugees without first gaining parliamentary approval.  The admonishment comes two days before she seeks a fourth term in power in Sunday’s general election – with 20 percent of voters still undecided who they will support.  The report by the Bundestag Scientific Office – a team of non party political legal experts – stated it is the role of the Bundestag to decide on all “matters of essential relevance to the state”.

Experts said the opaque diplomatic language used in it signals parliament should have had the final say on the matter “as the decision led to a change in the proportion of non-Germans to Germans in the country”.  Influential news magazine Der Spiegel said: “Bundestag lawyers clearly see an unclear legal situation for the border opening...........To Read More....

Police Reveal What Muslim Man Said After Beheading Co-worker in Oklahoma

It would make the company “a better place to work for a Muslim.”

Carlos Garcia, The Blaze, September 21, 2017
The Muslim man who was apprehended after beheading a co-worker in Moore, Oklahoma, told police why he did it, and the tapes have been released for his trial.  “I don’t feel regret, because you know what I’ve done. That’s probably going to make Vaughan Foods a better place to work for a Muslim.” 

In September 2014, Nolen was suspended from his job at Vaughan Foods because a co-worker said that they had gotten into an argument after he said he didn’t like white people. Nolen returned with a knife, stabbed and beheaded 54-year-old Colleen Hufford, and attacked Traci Johnson, the woman who had issued the complaint about him.  His Facebook page also had many signs of Islamic radicalization, including posts claiming, “Sharia Law is coming!!” and exhibiting pictures of beheadings and the Taliban.............To Read More....


The Truth About Police Violence Against Black Men,

Unarmed black men are killed by police as often as they are hit by lightning.

Mark Tapson, Frontpage Mag, September 22, 2017

In the wake of violent protests in St. Louis following the acquittal of white former police officer Jason Stockley for the murder of black suspect Anthony Lamar Smith, a Cornell University doctoral candidate in philosophy has put forth an argument you’re unlikely to hear in the mainstream media. Writing at National Review Online, Philippe Lemoine marshals actual facts and logic to demonstrate that, contrary to received wisdom, black males in the United States do not suffer a disproportionate degree of police brutality.

The largely undisputed narrative about cops and black men goes like this:
black males are victimized daily all over America by police harassment and brutality, even when innocent, and there is an epidemic of police shootings of unarmed black men. This narrative is false, says Lemoine, and “distracts from far more serious problems that black Americans face.”
Furthermore, the news media acceptance of it “poisons the relations between law enforcement and black communities throughout the country and results in violent protests that destroy property and sometimes even claim lives.”............“Police killings of black unarmed males are incredibly rare, and it’s completely misleading to talk about an ‘epidemic of them,” he writes, pointing out that the left makes a similar comparison “when they argue that it’s completely irrational to fear that you might become a victim of terrorism.”...........Facts may be stubborn things, as John Adams said, but facts alone are not especially effective against a deeply entrenched, cultural narrative protected and promoted by forces such as the media. Smashing that false perception of an epidemic of police violence against black men will take a combination of the facts with an emotionally powerful counter-narrative – and enough minds that are receptive to truth...........To Read More....



Top UN agency official lectures us on the need for universal healthcare

By Thomas Lifson September 24, 2017

Our UN dues at work, right after President Trump called our attention to the fact that we pay almost 22% of the total in his historic speech last week. Speaking at the “Global Citizen Festival” in New York City, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General (since May) of the World Health Organization, lectured us on our soil about a current political issue: Rush transcript via Grabien Now I welcome to the stage the director of the organization Dr. Tandros.

Hello global citizens......... We’re one human race, and we all have the right to health, if you are healthy, anything is possible. If you don’t have health, you have nothing. Do you agree? ............I had no idea what the Global Citizen Festival is, but it turns out to be mainly a rock concert that raises money for the hard left, and does its bit to indoctrinate the crowd the musicians bring in.........Read more

Castroites use hurricane relief as money-making opportunity

Even at the United Nations, the ever-despicable Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez pleaded for the funneling of dollars and euros into the coffers of Castro, Inc. Lord, oh Lord, holy ordure of the anchorites of the Sinai desert… how long, how long will such criminal effrontery endure?........... Read more

Discussing Race

It Was the Deep State that Colluded with the Russians, not Trump

By Clarice Feldman September 24, 2017

As more and more leaks about the ongoing “Russian collusion” witch hunt by Robert Mueller appear in print, it seems to me that if Russia had been trying to erode our faith in our institutions, the Deep State is accomplishing what Russia failed to do.

The Obama claque’s efforts were initially intended to help Clinton when they thought she would win and no one would know about their crimes. Then they continued the unlawful spying to cover up their role in the worst case of misuse of federal power in our history, to effect the removal or emasculation of the President, and now they are desperate to cover up their illegal actions when all that failed. A.

Where we are today on “Russian collusion”? Instapundit tweeted the answer succinctly: “The election was hacked!” turns out to mean, “Russia bought some ads on Facebook.” Facebook is turning over ads presumably purchased by Russians during the campaign. Good -- let’s see them. As the article notes: .............
From the beginning it was a set up to find dirt on Trump campaign insiders and if possible to topple Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations. Before and after the 2016 election. And while this operation had many moving parts and alternating players, the mission to unseat Trump never changed. And it remains ongoing. And none of it was very legal. ..............
 I agree with Daniel Greenfield. Based on what I’ve read and observed, while the initial surveillance was to stop Trump and help Clinton, Obama used FISA to provide a “national security” cover for politically spying on Trump right up to the inauguration. As he notes, the first 2016 application was made the month after Trump obtained the nomination and the second in October, the month before the election. As the unmasking picked up pace after the election, the reasonable assumption is that its purpose was to undo the results of the election or hamstring the incoming President. Now Obama and his allies are or should be terrified that the scope of the illegal surveillance is revealing their criminal acts. ............Read more

The Rise of Anti-Christian Bigotry in America

By E.W. JacksonSeptember 24, 2017

Several Democrat senators have used the confirmation hearings of the most exclusive club in America to lay down an unconstitutional requirement for qualification to public service.

At a hearing in June, Sen. Bernie Sanders questioned the fitness of Wheaton College alumnus Russell Vought for the post of deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Vought had written an article in which he said Muslims "do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned."

Sen. Sanders accused Mr. Vought of religious bigotry, saying, "In my view, the statement made by Mr. Vought is indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world."

Last week, progressive lawmakers showed more of their disdain for Christians during the hearing for President Trump's Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals nominee, Amy Barrett, a law professor at Notre Dame – and a devout Catholic. "Whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). "And I think in your case, professor ... that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern[.]"................. Read more

The Not-So-Glossy Future of Magazines



One evening in mid-September, a gaggle of writers and bon vivant editors gathered by the outdoor fireplace and ivy-covered trellis of a West Village tavern. Steak was served, and the toasts lasted late into the night, the revelry trickling out to the nearby sidewalk.
 
It could have been a scene from the Jazz Age heyday of the Manhattan magazine set — or even the 1990s, when glossy monthlies still soaked up millions of dollars in advertising revenue, and editors in chauffeured town cars told the nation what to wear, what to watch and who to read.
 
This night, however, had an elegiac tinge. The staff of Vanity Fair was saluting the magazine’s longtime editor, Graydon Carter, who had announced that he was departing after a 25-year run. In the back garden of Mr. Carter’s restaurant, the Waverly Inn, star writers like James Wolcott and Marie Brenner spoke of their gratitude and grief.........To Read More....
 
 

Why Sudafed Is Behind The Counter: A Meth Chemistry Lesson

By Josh Bloom — September 14, 2017

The drug phobia that now has us firmly in its grip, you know, the "let's restrict everything" mentality, didn't start with Vicodin, Valium, or Ritalin. It began with Sudafed, which contains the drug pseudoephedrine. If you've watched Breaking Bad you know very well that pseudoephedrine can be chemically modified to produce methamphetamine, aka crystal meth, which is why Sudafed was taken off pharmacy shelves in 2006 (1). To get the decongestant you now have to sniff out the pharmacist counter and hand over your driver's license.

The Act was intended to put a dent in the illegal production of methamphetamine, which was heavily abused at that time, especially in poorer areas of the US. Sudafed was replaced by another decongestant Sudafed PE, which cannot be converted to methamphetamine, but doesn't work as well. Before we take a look at the chemistry that explains this, here is a detailed pharmacological comparison of the two drugs:

 
Here's the chemistry:


In the first reaction (above), a simple chemical transformation of a hydroxyl (OH) group (green circle) into a hydrogen atom—a process called reduction—is all that is needed to convert (relatively) harmless pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine, which is anything but harmless. There are a number of chemical reagents that can be used for this transformation. Walter White used phosphorous and iodine, a method that no organic chemist in a real lab (and in his right mind) would use. It's messy and dangerous, but it works well enough.

The second reaction (below) is quite different. Phenylephrine contains two different hydroxyl (OH) groups, as shown in the blue and green circles. But the hydroxyl group in the blue circle (called a phenolic group) is chemically unreactive. So if you react phenylephrine with phosphorous and iodine it only the OH in the green circle is affected. The product of this reaction is 3-(2-aminopropyl)phenol, (aka gepefrin), which is a mediocre blood pressure drug sold in Europe. It won't make you high.
So, did removing Sudafed from the shelves of pharmacies accomplish anything except increase sales of Kleenex? Not much, since we organic chemists are a nothing if not creative. In the absence of pseudoephedrine, all that was needed was another method, and Walter White found one, which is far superior to the first. It is called a reductive amination, and, unlike the phosphorous iodine mess, it is clean and very easy. Here is the reaction:​​​​​​
The "P2P" synthesis of meth. A piece of chemical cake.

The problem is that it requires different starting materials, phenylacetone (aka, phenyl-2-propanone, P2P) and methylamine, a gas that smells like ammonia and is sold as a water solution in glass bottles or 55-gallon drums. Methylamine is the chemical in the large drum that they stole from the chemical warehouse. Chemists don't need to steal it. It is a very common reagent, and a bottle or two can be found in most organic chemistry labs. When we order it we get on a list somewhere. P2P is also easy for chemists in a lab to come by. We just order it. There is nothing stopping any organic chemist from making meth and waltzing out of the building with a kilo of it. It would take about an hour to synthesize. The problem is what to do next. How do you get rid of it? A DuPont chemist named Michael Hovey tried something similar in 1985. It did not end well. See: Breaking Really Bad, 25 Years Before Walter White.

A minor problem that "modern" meth makers had to overcome was the difficulty in obtaining phenylacetone (P2P) if you were not in a research lab. So, chemists went back one step made it from something else, another chemical called phenylacetic acid, which is used in the perfume industry, and can be bought in huge quantities.


So, the government took Sudafed off the shelves, meth synthesis became even more efficient, and people sneeze more. SOSDD.
Lessons learned:
  • Chemists are smarter than government agencies
  • So are wombats
  • When government cracks down on something in the futile "war on drugs," something else will pop up that will be even worse.
  • If you don't believe this, ask the thousands of families of the fentanyl overdose victims how well cracking down on Vicodin worked from them. 
A little quiz (those who read the Breaking Bad article from above need not apply):

Why was Walter's meth blue? Good luck with this one.

Note:

(1) The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, which was incorporated into the Patriot Act was signed by President Bush in 2006.

European-Sized Government Means Ever-Rising Tax Burdens for Lower-Income and Middle-Class Taxpayers

September 20, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

I argued last year that leftists should be nice to rich people because upper-income taxpayers finance the vast majority of the American welfare state according to government data.
Needless to say, my comment about being “nice” was somewhat sarcastic. But I was making a serious point about the United States having a very “progressive” fiscal system. The top-20 percent basically pay for government and those in the bottom half are net recipients of that involuntary largesse.
I also pointed out a huge difference between the United States and Europe. Governments on the other side of the Atlantic impose much higher burdens on lower-income and middle-class taxpayers.
Here’s some of what I wrote.
…the big difference between the United States and Europe is not taxes on the rich. We both impose similar tax burden on high-income taxpayers, though Europeans are more likely to collect revenue from the rich with higher income tax rates and the U.S. gets a greater share of revenue from upper-income taxpayers with double taxation on interest, dividends, and capital gains (we also have a very punitive corporate tax system, though it doesn’t collect that much revenue). The real difference between America and Europe is that America has a far lower tax burden on lower- and middle-income taxpayers. Tax rates in Europe, particularly the top rate, tend to take effect at much lower levels of income. European governments all levy onerous value-added taxes that raise costs for all consumers. Payroll tax burdens in many European nations are significantly higher than in the United States.
So do this mean European politician don’t like ordinary people?
I could make a snarky comment about the attitudes of the political elite, but I’ll resist that temptation and instead point out that taxes in Europe are much higher for the simple reason that government is much bigger and that means some segment of the population has to surrender more of its income.

But here’s the $64,000 question that we want to investigate today: Why are European governments pillaging lower-income and middle-class taxpayers instead of going after the “evil rich” and “greedy corporations”?

Part of the answer is that there aren’t enough rich people to finance big government. But the most important factor is the Laffer Curve. Politicians can impose higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers and companies, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into higher revenue. Simply stated, well-to-do taxpayers have considerable ability to earn less income and/or report less income when tax burdens increase, and they do the opposite when tax burdens decrease.

That’s true in the United States, and it’s true in European countries such as Sweden, France, Russia, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.

So even if politicians want to fleece upper-income taxpayers, that’s not a successful method of generating a lot of revenue.

Which is why a shift from a medium-sized welfare state (such as what exists in the United States) to a large-sized welfare state (common in Europe) means huge tax increases on ordinary taxpayers.

I’ve made this point before, but now I have some additional evidence thanks to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Paris-based bureaucracy is probably my least-favorite international organization because of its advocacy for statism, but it collects and publishes lots of useful statistics about fiscal policy in the industrialized world.

And here are three charts from the new study that tell a very persuasive story (and a depressing story for ordinary taxpayers).

First, we can see how the average tax burden has increased substantially over the past 50 years.



And who is paying all that additional money to politicians?

As you can see from this second chart, income tax revenues have become a less-important source of revenue over time while social insurance taxes (mostly paid by lower-income and middle-class taxpayers) have become a more-important source of revenue.



The third chart shows the evolution of the value-added tax burden. This levy takes a big bite out of the paychecks of ordinary people and the rate keeps climbing over time (and if we looked just at European governments that are part of the OECD, the numbers are even more depressing).



Now let’s put this data in context.

The United States now has a medium-sized welfare state financed mostly by upper-income taxpayers.
But because of dramatic demographic changes, we are doomed to have a large-sized welfare state. At least that’s what will happen if we don’t reform entitlement programs.

And if we leave policy on auto-pilot and there’s a substantial increase in the burden of government spending, it’s simply a matter of time before politicians figure out new ways of taking more money from lower-income and middle-class taxpayers.

Yes, they may also impose higher rates on “rich” taxpayers, but that will be mostly for symbolic purposes since those levies won’t generate substantial revenue.

Last but not least, don’t forget that European fiscal burdens will mean anemic European economic performance.
Efforts to block and sabotage pipelines hurt jobs, economic growth, middle class, human safety

Paul Driessen

The radical environmentalist war on fossil fuels has opened a new front: a war on pipelines.

For years, activist zealots claimed the world was rapidly depleting its oil and natural gas supplies. The fracking revolution (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) obliterated that argument, by sending US oil and gas production to new heights. Indeed, it was record gas supplies and plummeting gas prices, combined with the Obama EPA war on coal, that closed down so many coal-fired power plants.

So the battle increasingly shifted to the far more emotional claim that continued reliance on fossil fuels (which provide over 80% of the US and global energy that powers modern civilization and living standards) will cause dangerous manmade global warming and climate change. This gave birth to the climate and renewable energy consortium and the “keep it in the ground” movement. No evidence to the contrary will budge them from their hysteria-laden talking points on looming climate cataclysms.

The journal Nature Geoscience recently published a careful study that found there has been far less planetary warming far less planetary warming since 1998 than alarmist scientists and computer models had predicted. Because the models are based on the assumption that carbon dioxide drives climate change, they “run too hot,” resulting in predictions that deviate from actual temperature measurements more and more every year.

But instead of admitting they were wrong, the usual strident suspects in the climate crisis industry doubled down and attacked the study and any news outlet that called attention to it. Britain’s BBC denounced the inconvenient study and displayed not a whit of apology over its climate chaos claims.

Climate campaigners jumped all over Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, insisting without an iota of evidence that manmade greenhouse gases had created or at least intensified them. They’re making the equally absurd claim that shutting down US and Canadian pipelines will somehow reduce atmospheric CO2 levels and prevent climate change and extreme weather – even though China already has 2,363 coal-fired power plants and is adding 1,171 more; India has 589 and is adding another 446; Indonesia and Vietnam are adding 140 to their fleet; and even Germany is burning more coal every year.

Pipelines carry conventional, fracking and oil sands petroleum to markets: natural gas to homes and power plants, oil to refineries, oil and gas to petrochemical plants – and crude oil, refined products and liquefied natural gas to export terminals that send the energy to Europe and Asia. If they can’t prevent companies from producing oil and gas, hydrocarbon haters want to prevent them from shipping it.

“Obviously the best means of transporting oil is none,” said an activist involved in campaigns against the Keystone XL Pipeline. But if there is going to be increased production, “I would rather it go by train.”

Some pipeline protesters somehow think rail or truck transport means the oil will be used domestically, whereas pipelined crude will more likely go to coastal refineries and be shipped overseas. Others claim pipelines are less safe than truck or railroad tanker cars. They cite a 2013 International Energy Agency report that said railroad transport is six times more likely to have an accident than pipelines are – but pipelines spill three times as much oil per-billion-barrel-miles of fuel transported.

However, the study is seriously outdated. It analyzed data from 2004 to 2012 – before the surge in US oil production … and before a monumental increase in rail transportation was necessitated by protests and Obama Administration decisions blocking construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.

In 2014, the USA set a new record for railroad tanker spills: 141 – versus an average of 24 during the years covered by the IEA report. Rail accidents in Colorado, Virginia, West Virginia and other states resulted in significant oil spills, evacuations and even serious explosions, but fortunately no deaths. However, a 2013 disaster in Lac-M├ęgantic, Quebec burned 47 people to death and left many others seriously injured. The danger of moving oil on rails and highways through populated areas is clearly high.

Better track maintenance, stronger tanker cars, improved train scheduling and other safety practices would reduce rail accidents and spills. However, US State Department studies concluded that the Keystone pipeline would likely result in fewer than 520 barrels of crude being spilled annually, compared to 32,000 barrels in three rail spills that it evaluated. The same holds true for other modern pipelines.

New pipelines are built with state-of-the-art pipe and other components, to the latest design, manufacturing and construction specifications. Warning systems, automatic shutoff valves, 24/7/365 monitoring and other safeguards further minimize the risk of spills. New lines often replace older pipes that carry greater risks of corrosion and rupturing as they age. New lines can often be routed to avoid population centers and sensitive water and wildlife areas. Because they are underground, once they are installed and grasses are planted, pipelines are invisible except for occasional pumping stations, valves and other small facilities.

Environmentalists tend to focus on potential volumes of oil spilled when a major pipeline rupture occurs, and on impacts to waterways and wildlife. While these are important considerations, human safety should always be of paramount concern. Lac-M├ęgantic underscores that priority.

Light crude oils from North Dakota’s Bakken Field and other shale plays contain more dissolved gases and thus are more flammable than heavier crudes. That makes explosions more likely. On highways and along rail lines through rural or urban communities, the results would be devastating. The sheer volume of oil to be shipped further underscores these dangers.

The 1,172-mile-long Dakota Access Pipe Line alone carries some 470,000 barrels of oil every day. Hauling that quantity overland would require 700 rail tanker cars per day (256,000 per year) or 2,000 semi-trailer tanker trucks per day on our highways (730,000 per year)! All would go through populated areas along parts of their route. Multiply that times the Keystone and other pipelines in planning or under construction, and the rail/truck “alternative” is mind-boggling in its scale and risks.

A new technology transforms heavy crude oil into pill-sized pellets – self-sealing balls of bitumen that can then be moved in coal rail cars or transported in trucks with less risk of spills. That may eventually reduce the need for new pipelines; but the innovative idea is currently only in the testing stage.

Moreover, we cannot ship natural gas by tanker truck or rail car. Pipelines are essential for that – unless the gas is chilled and liquefied, adding major cost and safety considerations. That’s one more reason 2.5 million miles of liquid petroleum, gas transmission and gas distribution lines already crisscross the USA.

Even more important, some activists are now going far beyond mere rhetoric and protests – and engaging in sabotage of pipeline construction equipment and even pipeline safety valves. . These intolerable acts should be met with police action, major fines and lengthy jail terms. Free speech and peaceful protests are a constitutional right. Eco-terrorism and threats to public safety cannot be tolerated.

These radical activists would never give up their reliance on – and addiction to – computers, smart phones, synthetic fiber shoes and clothing, affordable heating and air conditioning, cars, skis, kayaks, wind turbines and solar panels, and all the other blessings that petroleum brings. They should not expect the rest of us to give them up, either. Especially based on the flimsy arguments they present.

For all these reasons, it is hard to understand the increasing opposition of some states and communities to new pipelines: from Minnesota to New York and even Virginia and West Virginia.

It is even harder to understand or tolerate the actions of these tax-exempt anti-pipeline organizations – and equally callous and devious tax-exempt outfits that fund the radical groups: from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to the Sea Change Foundation and its secretive Russian donors, and even to railroad tycoon Warren Buffett’s NoVo Foundation. If they can block pipelines, they will next block rail and truck transport.

If an increasingly divided, partisan, dysfunctional Congress cannot address these problems, let us hope the Trump Administration and some state governors and legislators will do so.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and other books on the environment.