Thursday, August 16, 2018

Putting Science on the Stand

By Richard Zuber August 16, 2018

In a closely watched decision, a California jury ruled last week that Monsanto owed former Bay Area school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $289 million in damages. Though Monsanto maintains that its products are safe, pointing to clean bills of health from a wide array of national health agencies, Johnson's attorneys argued that the company covered up the risks of the weed-killers Roundup and Ranger Pro – which they say were responsible for their client's terminal cancer.

The lawsuit thus carefully avoided delving into the complex epidemiology of Roundup's active ingredient, glyphosate, arguing instead that the groundskeeper's illness arose from glyphosate's interactions with the weed-killer's other ingredients. Yet with even less available evidence about the safety of Roundup's formulation than about glyphosate, the verdict has revealed far more about the challenges of evaluating science in the courtroom than about the herbicide's alleged risks.............. Read more

Peter Zeihan on Geopolitics



The economic conflict between the United States and China continues to ramp up. Earlier this week the Trump administration announced plans for tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese exports to the United States. Barring (substantial) Chinese concessions the new tariffs will likely come into effect around the end of August. This is now the third volley in what has become a tit-for-tat trade war. I’m starting to think up snazzy names. “Pacific Pong” doesn’t have quite the right je ne sais quoi, but I’m working on it. Suggestions welcome.

The Americans’ imports from China are triple China's imports from the United States (quadruple if you factor out services). The simple fact is the Chinese are already running out of American imports to penalize. Any effort to shift the dispute to something beyond goods trade will similarly end in colossal failure. The Americans control global trade routes, global energy, global security, and global finance -- everything that makes the Chinese system possible. The Chinese simply can't bring the fight to other fields without suffering immeasurably. (Which isn't the same thing as me saying I'd like to be an American company operating in China right now.) Chinese holdings of American government debt don’t even give Beijing leverage as such "investments" in reality are capital flight from the Chinese system.

While Chinese state media continues to put on a brave face, the days of tone-deaf chest-beating are gone. Government censorship guidelines now regularly bar terms like “Trump tantrum” and “trade war” and in general discourage the discussing of any angle of the issue whatsoever. One of the problems with stoking nationalism is that it can be hard to turn off. With the Politburo realizing they have little ammo for this sort of fight, political consolidation at home is far more important than scoring points in a media firestorm.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about one of the funniest things I’ve seen in months. On July 11 the Chinese floated the possibility of a 25% tariff on U.S. oil exports. Several media commentators immediately pounced on the trial balloon as evidence of something that would get Trump’s attention because of his stated interest in “achieving American energy dominance.” Maybe it will. The criteria for what attracts or doesn’t attract the American president’s attention continues to elude me.

But that doesn’t mean a tariff on American oil isn’t a fabulously stupid idea. It has to do with the nature of the oil market, and in particular the role of American crude within it.

First, demand for oil is inelastic. What you need, you need.  If it takes ten gallons of gasoline to get your delivery truck from A to B and you only have nine gallons, you cannot make the run. You must have ten.

So regardless of what the price of the gasoline is, you’re going to buy it. Applied to this situation, were the Chinese to levy the tariff they will simply have to buy oil from somewhere else, and America’s oil will (easily) fill that gap in that third market. Net effect on U.S. energy exporters: zero.

Second, American oil is different from the rest. Conventional crude percolates through rock formations over time, picking up impurities as it goes (sulfur being the most common). A big part of refining crude oil into finished product is removing those impurities. But American oil exports are not conventional. They come from shale formations. Shale isn’t as porous as most rock, so the oil never percolates. It is trapped. Shale technologies are all about cracking out these pure bits of petroleum out. Shale oil’s lack of exposure to impurities makes it the lightest, purest oil produced in the world, as well as the most valuable and easiest to refine. China likes shale oil because they can blend it with thicker, dirtier crude to make a cocktail that their refineries can use. American exporters will have zero problems finding alternative buyers, but since the United States produces more of this ultralight/ultrasweet crude than the rest of the world combined. China will find alternate supplies difficult to scrounge up.

So either China isn’t going to put this tariff on, or if it does it won’t have any meaningful impact on the American side of the equation. What the tariff trial balloon might do – what discussion of the topic is probably already doing – is pump up oil prices a touch. Markets – especially oil markets – hate anything that might even momentarily restrict oil’s availability. And this little China discussion is only one of four oil-related bits of news that oil markets are stressing about right now.

The second and third issues involve general civilizational breakdown in two major oil exporters: Libya and Venezuela. Ever since Colonel/President/Wacko Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011, Libya has not existed as a state. It is now a shifting series of warlord-run fiefdoms. Unfortunately for the oil markets, not only is Libya’s crude production not in the same area as the oil export facilities, oftentimes the connecting pipeline infrastructure is under a third party’s control. Libya’s larger oil export ports have switched hands twice already this month, with the expected impact upon export volumes – and global prices.

If anything, Venezuela is even worse. Government ineptitude combined with a slow slide towards one-man dictatorship cum anarchy has transformed what was once South America’s richest state to one of its poorest and condemned much of the population of this once-food exporter to famine. The government’s ability to perform basic maintenance on its oil industry is now collapsing. Venezuela’s oil output is already down to a 30-year low and will likely dip below 1.0 million bpd by year’s end… assuming the country doesn’t completely implode.

Needless to say, such civilizational breakdowns can only exert upward pressure on oil prices.

The fourth hit to the oil markets hasn’t quite landed yet: Iran. The Trump administration is pressuring, well, everyone, to eliminate their imports of Iranian crude by November. The expectation is for a two-thirds reduction in total exports. Countries that resist American pressure will find themselves subject to secondary sanctions that would bar their access to anything that touches the U.S. banking system. Since that is in essence anything that involves nouns it is sort of a big deal. The Indians and Japanese have already signaled they’re going to play ball, and the Europeans are rapidly coming around. That just leaves China.

While the pot-stirrer in me would love to see what would happen to a trade-dependent internationally-wired oil-importing economy like China’s under full financial embargo, I’m fairly sure the Chinese will blink on this one. Financial sanctions of the type the White House is preparing would hit China at least an order of magnitude harder than the tariffs they are staring down, and the Chinese are not suicidal. And while I firmly stand by my claim that no one can really claim to know what Trump is thinking I have to admit things are starting to look more than coincidental: a last-minute cave by the Chinese on Iran just as the third round of tit-for-tat tariffs really start to bite? I see some serious negotiating leverage there, useful in many theaters.

This – all of this – is quite possibly the best-case environment for U.S. shale oil producers. Chronic export outages in multiple countries for multiple reasons, a trade war that is both widening and deepening. All this pushes oil prices up. That helps whichever oil producers can bring new output online fastest. And with today’s shale tech American shale operators can bring on new oil output in half the time the Saudis can bring on their pre-existing spare capacity.

In the first half of 2018, before all this noise erupted, U.S. shale operators were already on course for increasing total U.S. oil output by the largest volume ever – in excess of a fresh 1.5 million bpd. Courtesy of China and Trump and Venezuela and Libya and Iran, that is now the low case estimate.

The concentration of power in the global system continues to gather in the Americans' favor. Trump is demonstrating he doesn’t need to build an alliance to fight and win a trade war with multiple countries simultaneously. Trump is showing he can wield financial tools simultaneously with trade tools to crushing effect. Trump is showing an enthusiasm for standing up to the business community, something that resonates not just with his base, but also Bernie Sanders’. And in case you missed it, last week the United States became the world’s largest oil producer courtesy of shale, granting Trump even more leverage and autonomy in international relations.

As a guy who makes it his business to integrate context and data in to everything, I find Trump’s brash, details-be-damned approach to… everything a bit annoying. But that doesn’t mean he can’t get results.

 
 
 
 

Thought For the Day

 

The Church of Trump?

By John Ray, Dissecting Leftism Thursday, August 16, 2018 Australia time.

Editor's Note: This is John's reponse to this article by

I am not entirely sure whether it is a vice or a virtue but I often enjoy reading Leftist writing.  They are so blind that they regularly give me a laugh.  I suppose it is the psychologist in me.  I want to see how their strange minds work.

And the most amusing thing about their response to Donald Trump is their total inability even to consider that he might have got some things right. That's just not an available explanation for them.  So what do they do?  They find something psychologically wrong with either Trump or his supporters.  Leftists have been making such claims about conservatives at least since 1950 and have succeeded in convincing only themselves -- so they are like a dog returning to its vomit in trying the same strategy with Trump.

The first label they tried to stick on Trump and his supporters was the old 1950's claim that he is "authoritarian". But, since it is in fact they who constantly try to confine Americans within a straitjacket of endless regulations, that label had no adhesive power at all and seems now to have been abandoned. See here and here

So it is interesting that the latest explanation for Trump's success below has finally made some attempts to address reality.

She starts out with a litany of Trump's failures and scandals as she sees them and wonders why none of those failures seem to dent his popularity. That most of the failures are simply Trump's impatience with detail she does not consider.  She certainly does not consider that not being a policy wonk might actually be an element in his popularity.  Do policy wonks make attractive political candidates? Few of his voters are likely to be policy wonks so are probably happy with getting it broadly right in their own lives.

In fact, the little lady asserts that Trump supporters like Trump's simple slogans.

And then of course we see the typically Leftist malicious misattributions.  No matter what Trump does, it is a product of racism, not some practical reason. And anything Trump does is wrong anyhow, even if Obama also did it.

Then she gets on to her big discovery:  Trump makes his voters happy!  Could it be that they enjoy his puncturing of the great Obama/Clinton balloon of Leftist pomposity and self-righteousnesss?

Could it be relief at Trump's attacks on the Leftist straitjacket of regulations and are relieved to hear common sense coming from the White House instead of hectoring? 

No way! It's because of "tribalism" and because they don't go to church any more.  Pesky that Trump supporters come from all races and all walks of life!  Pesky that Trump has very broad church support and is himself openly Christian.  Herman Cain tells us that 29% of blacks now support Trump.  I wonder what tribe they belong to?

What the lady is doing is a familiar sleight of hand that any analytical philosopher can tell you about. "Tribalism" sounds like an explanation but is in fact a definition:  To like Trump MAKES you part of a tribe, the Trump tribe. It is at best an observation. It explains nothing.

And the idea that lots of people are alienated from moralistic churches is surely true.  But it is true mainly of the old mainstream churches.  More evangelical churches are forgiving and make a big effort at outreach.  Americans who are religious at all can usually find a church to suit them.  The claim that Trump supporters are worshiping at some sort of new Trumpian religion -- when the religion at his rallies is plainly evangelical Christian -- is just a desperate attempt to look at what his real appeal is -- relief from Leftist tyranny and joy at having a President who makes sense to ordinary people

 

Sarah Jeong and the Media's Alt-Left

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 0 Comments Wednesday, August 15, 2018 @ Sultan Knish Blog
Ever since the New York Times decided to hire racist blogger Sarah Jeong, despite her history of hateful tweets about white people, “the world could get by just fine with zero white ppl and the thing stopping POC (people of color) is...a disinclination toward genocide?”, white women, men, heterosexuals and Christians, and then refused to part ways with her (unlike its treatment of previous hire, Quinn Norton, whom the left had accused of homophobia based on a few tweets, despite her being gay), the debate has been about all the wrong things.

Jeong isn’t really the issue. Her racism is typical of an influential subset of the left.

Some of the pro and anti Jeong essays briefly circle around the actual problem before quickly zooming away. Andrew Sullivan writes in his anti-Jeong essay of the “extent to which loathing of and contempt for ‘white people’ is now background noise on the left”. Vox's Zack Beauchamp, wrote in his pro-Jeong essay that comments such as hers in the "the social justice left" about "white people" are typical.

But what part of the “social justice left” or “left” is really producing Sarah Jeongs?

To answer that question we have to talk about what no one really talks about, the alt-left. Unlike the alt-right, a subject of numerous essays, news reports and investigative pieces, the internet culture of racism, misandry and heterophobia that is the millennial alt-left is mostly undocumented.

The alt-left’s norms of discourse are defined by the same harsh contempt and winking racism that appear in Sarah Jeong’s tweets. It’s an internet culture where “white people” is an inherently derogatory term and new slurs, such as “caucasity”, are coined. Ironic racism is defined as “resistance” to whiteness. And what better way to resist whiteness than with racial slurs aimed at white people?

Sarah Jeong’s hateful tweets aren’t extraordinary examples of one woman’s bigotry. They’re variations on the typical memes and jokes on the alt-left. When we talk about Jeong’s racism, we’re really talking about the bigotry of an intersectional movement that is obsessed with punitively destroying the “privilege” of white people and other majority groups with racist memes, taunts and harassment.

The alt-left preceded the alt-right. The features of the alt-right that the media has attacked are mirror images of its origins counter-trolling the alt-left. When Sarah Jeong’s critics and defenders claim that she was “counter-trolling”, they hilariously get the origin of the internet culture species completely wrong.

Long before the alt-right (at least in internet years), the alt-left was weaponizing racist memes (“white tears” was a popular one) and harassing targets with online mobs (today’s social justice mobs are alt-left online harassment coordinated with alt-lefties in the media). The current trend of media stories that dox targets on the right almost all tend to come from media millennials aligned with the alt-left.

This isn’t the first time that the alt-left’s ironic racism has gotten its members in trouble. There was plenty of outrage when Drexel University's George Ciccariello-Maher had tweeted, "All I want for Christmas is white genocide". Just like Jeong, the defense was that Maher was just kidding.

The claims by Vox lefties that Sarah Jeong and the “social justice left” are being ironic in their racist remarks about white people, is not a defense, it’s an indictment. Ironic racism was prevalent on the alt-left before it was mirrored by the alt-right. It’s also a misuse of the term. Non-ironic irony is typical of millennial internet culture that uses humor as a distancing mechanism to normalize repellent views.

That’s not ironic. It’s cowardly and disingenuous.

The “ironic” alt-left humor of Sarah Jeong uses absurdity and winks to convey actual hatred for white people. But the same “ironic racism” that the media condemns when it appears on the Twitter accounts of the alt-right is somehow acceptable when it appears on alt-left accounts like Jeong’s. Even the argument that Jeong and the alt-left are just joking is the same “wrongfooting” defense that the media never accepted from the alt-right, even as it now tries to “wrongfoot” the right on Jeong’s racism.

Even the 1488ers, the Neo-Nazis who are the most noxious part of the alt-right, had their original counterparts in the tankies (Communists) in the internet culture of the alt-left. (You’re less likely to have read about them because the media loves writing about Neo-Nazis, but not its own Neo-Commies.)

When we talk about the alt-left, it’s often in terms of antifa, but Black Lives Matter owes as much to the alt-left as it does to the black nationalist thugs it adores and worships. And the violent activists are just a tiny portion of the larger internet culture that is the alt-left. But neither is the alt-left composed of minorities. Most of the alt-left, like the rest of the left, is white. Its racism isn’t the outcry of an oppressed minority, as the pro-Jeong pieces have contended, but of an ideological bigotry.

As John Perrazo notes in the Freedom Center’s pamphlet, “The War on Whiteness”, “The ultimate objective in stigmatizing whiteness is to intensify racial tension. But the anti-whiteness movement also intends to destroy whites’ comfortable assumption that their skin color is ‘normal’ or ‘neutral,’ without consequences, and to make them color-conscious and ultimately rub their noses in their whiteness.”

The left politicizes race. The alt-left’s war on whiteness is an overt rejection of post-racial neutrality and the grand bargain of civil rights. The stream of racist abuse aimed at white people is meant to politicize whiteness. And to force white people to align with racist movements on one side or the other.

What the alt-left fears above all else is post-racial coexistence. And so it fights tolerance with racism.

Why do we hear so little about the alt-left? For the same reason that the media throbs with defenses of Jeong’s ironic racism and the leftist internet culture that birthed it. The media’s millennial new guard is drawn heavily from the alt-left. It seeks out and destroys media millennials who are not alt-lefties.

The alt-left is the media. Gamergate, frequently referenced in the defenses of Sarah Jeong, was a clash between the alt-left entrenched in gaming journalism (tech journalism, and especially gaming journalism, were the parts of the media most likely to hire and quickly promote millennials) and gamer culture. But the alt-left now pervades the entire media from foreign affairs to sports journalism.

Jeong’s past tweets are just one of numerous examples of millennial media hires who had been caught spewing toxic alt-left rubbish. Jugal Patel and Fahim Abed kept their gigs with the New York Times after their old and ugly tweets came to life. There was no reason to think that Jeong would lose hers.

Sarah Jeong’s alt-left racism wouldn’t have dissuaded the New York Times. It was the reason she was hired. Being a vocal alt-lefty on social media while blogging about social justice issues has been part of the Tumblr-to-Times pipeline for a while now. The media looks for a social media background in its millennial hires. Broadcasting alt-left memes in those circles makes you more likely to be retweeted, recognized, quoted and hired to fail upward with more racism at major media orgs.

Gamergate used to be a debate about the alt-left’s takeover of journalism. Now that the alt-left controls journalism, period, it’s become a national debate about fake news.

Sarah Jeong’s racism isn’t an isolated incident. It’s a culture that is taking over newsrooms. The complete disregard for facts, the pervasive contempt for the political opposition, the impassioned victimhood, and the ravening hatred poorly disguised as comedy now defines the media.

And so we don’t talk about the alt-left, because when we talk about the alt-left, we’re talking about the media.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

The last remaining weapon of the left

By Rick Hayes August 15, 2018

With no platform to stand on and President Trump hitting the ball out of the economic ballpark, the left continually finds itself having to rely solely on its core strength: blatant lying and fabricating false narratives.

The ability to lie to promote a cause is one of the more powerful capabilities continuously utilized by the left. It's powerful in the sense that it so often works to muddy the waters. However, this does not mean that the freehanded application of lies told on the part of the left contains the energy to produce a good or positive result. More often than not, the result is devastation and misery..................... Read more

Colorado 'On a Crusade to Crush' Masterpiece Cakeshop, New Lawsuit Says

By Susan Jones | August 15, 2018

Liberal activists continue their campaign against Colorado's Masterpiece Cakeshop, despite a 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that sided with Christian baker Jack Phillips.

On Wednesday, The Alliance Defending Freedom said it has sued the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for ignoring the Supeme Court ruling:..............“The arbitrary basis on which the state is applying its law makes clear that its officials are targeting Jack because they despise his religious beliefs and practices,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell. “Jack shouldn’t have to fear government hostility when he opens his shop for business each day. We’re asking the court to put a stop to that.”...........To Read More....

Social Security: Dunn's First Law - With Enough Idiots, You Don't Need a Conspiracy.

Social Security Fails

By John Stossel Aug 15, 2018

Social Security is running out of money.  You may not believe that, but it's a fact.  That FICA money taken from your paycheck was not saved for you in a "trust fund." Politicians misled us. They spent every penny the moment it came in.
 
This started as soon as they created Social Security. They assumed that FICA payments from young workers would cover the cost of sending checks to older people. After all, at the time, most Americans died before they reached 65.  Now, however, people keep living longer. There just aren't enough young people to cover my Social Security checks.  So Social Security is going broke. This year, the program went into the red for the first time....... To Read More....

Social Security and Fiscal Doomsday

by William Sullivan August 15, 2018
 
2035.  That’s the optimistic date for Social Security’s impending doom, after which Social Security is expected to provide only 75-80% of expected benefits to retirees.  For the record, I turn 67 (full retirement age, for me) in 2047, so I, like many Americans, have been skeptical about the program for some time.

But perhaps it’s pertinent to note that when I began following this looming doomsday in earnest, it was projected at 2038.  It’s been creeping forward, with some estimates placing it as early as 2034.

But there’s an interesting thing that happens when people think about Social Security, just as that same interesting thing happens when people imagine the impending doom of municipal and state pension liabilities that are now crippling governments across the country with a roughly $5 trillion hole nationally.  Somehow, Americans think, the money is there if governments are capable of properly managing the inflows from workers, capitalizing upon the underlying investments, and just delivering the outflows to beneficiaries.

Each and every of those assumptions are wrong............To Read More

Liquidating Federal Assets: A Promising Tool for Ending the U.S. Debt Crisis

by William F. Shughart II and Carl P. Close (Revised 4/12/17) @ Independent Institute

The national debt may be the biggest problem in decades that federal policymakers have failed to confront. Its importance is measurable not only in dollars—almost $20 trillion[1] ($61,552 per capita[2])—but also in the grave threat it poses to the American financial system and therefore to the health and well-being of private businesses and households. A default on a scheduled federal debt payment, caused by the government’s lack of funds necessary to service its debt obligations, could spark a fire sale on U.S. Treasury securities, prompt a sharp fall in the value of the dollar, and launch a rapid “flight to quality” as investors and dollar holders flee to the perceived safety of other nations’ bonds and currencies—all culminating in a U.S. financial meltdown.

This worst-case scenario is not the only concern. Even if the Treasury has overdraft protection in the form of the Federal Reserve,
[3] the large debt servicing requirements exact a heavy toll on public services and economic growth.

This Executive Summary examines the potential for vastly improving the U.S. government’s fiscal position by using a method seldom utilized for the purposes of federal debt-reduction: the sale of federal assets.........
To Read More....

 
My Solution?
 
By Rich Kozlovich

What is the news worth knowing and why don’t we know it?  Let’s just deal with domestic issues, primarily the budget and the nation’s debt.  There is more hot air circulating about this than there is even about Lance and Oprah.  Most of it meaningless because the economy really is far worse than the main stream media reports and important facts are being ignored by those in leadership positions!  Why?

Let’s start with the cost of regulations, because they will amount to the same thing to business and the consumers, higher costs.  It was estimated that it would cost the American consumer 1.75 trillion dollars to pay for the regulations imposed by the federal government.  Although that number is disputed because of the way in which that figure was computed, it has to be recognized that it is high and we know it is growing.  And it is the consumer that pays those costs, because as businesses costs go up prices go up.  At least until the costs get so high that they go out of business because the consumer can no longer afford it.   

According to Warner Todd Huston  on January 16th there has been an increase of  $518 Billion in Regulations Since Obama Took OfficeHe goes on to say that.......To Read More...
 
 
 
 

When Progressives Colluded With the Kremlin in a Presidential Election

How close America came to being officially pro-Moscow.

The Link Between Economic Liberty and National Prosperity

August 15, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
With the possible exception of a few extreme environmentalists, everyone agrees that robust long-run growth is a key to a better society.
 
An unprecedented jump in growth, for instance, is what enabled the western world to escape poverty,  resulting in the famous “hockey stick” of modern prosperity.
 
Maintaining growth is an ongoing challenge for developed countries, to be sure, and it’s also vitally important to help developing nations grow and prosper.

Which is why policymakers should focus on the policies that generate good outcomes.

Libek, a think tank in Serbia, has released a study on this topic. They start by pointing out that we now have some good measures of economic liberty in various nations.
…the Economic Freedom in the World Index in 1996 by the Fraser Institute…was the first methodological tool that measured intrusion in functioning of the market process by government entities, either directly through government intervention or indirectly though regulation and market institutions. A similar index, Index of Economic Freedom, produced by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation soon followed… Since this very successful tool was invented, it has been widely employed in empirical studies…, the most important were concerning the role of economic freedom in fostering economic growth. …empirical studies mostly concluded that there is a significant connection between economic freedom and economic growth.
Since I’m always citing the Fraser Index and the Heritage Index, I agree that these are very helpful sources of data.
And lots of academics also use those numbers.
So Libek took a close look at this wealth of empirical research.
Libek conducted a metastudy regarding economic freedom in December 2017, with the aim to reexamine the connection between economic freedom and economic growth in published empirical studies. …Using Google scholar mechanism…92 studies…consider the connection between economic freedom and economic growth. Out of these, a predominant majority of 86 studies (93.5%) finds a positive correlation or connection between them, while only 6 studies (6.5%) have less positive results. …This metastudy shows that empirical studies have predominantly found that economic freedom is associated with higher economic growth rates, while there is only one study claim otherwise and results of other 5 are less conclusive. This high rate of concurrence between economists is highly unusual, given the fact that economist tend to often disagree even among theoretically more accepted topics. Therefore, it is conclusively shown that higher level of economic freedom, ceteris paribus, leads to higher economic growth.
The folks at Libek have a big incentive to care about these issues because Serbia is a reform laggard.
Here’s a chart comparing economic freedom in Serbia with other European regions.


And here is why economic reform is so vitally important for the people of Serbia.
Serbia remains one of the poorest countries in Europe, measured by GDP, with just 5 000 euros per capita. These low growth rates do not provide a possibility for development and closing the gap with more advanced European economies. …A study estimated future economic gains through higher economic freedom (Gwartney and Lawson 2004) reporting that 1-point increase in economic freedom (measured on a 1 to 10 scale) would increase long term rate of economic growth for 1.24% of GDP. Therefore, if Serbia would increase its score from the current 6.75 to 7.75 points – the approximately current level of Austria or Germany, Serbian long-term growth rate would increase from the envisaged 2% in 2017 (and estimated by the IMF to stand at 3.5% in 2018 and 2019) to 5.25% in 2020 and afterwards. This growth rate would enable a fast income convergence with other European countries, with GDP level per capita doubling in 14 years.
Amen. Serbia has the capacity to “converge,” but that won’t happen without economic liberalization.
For non-Serbians, the parts of the Libek report that will be of greatest interest deal with examples of nations that are out-performing their neighbors.
The importance of economic freedom is well shown by the most important case studies from different continents: Chile (South America), Singapore and Korea (East Asia), and Botswana (Africa). In all these prominent cases, economic freedom propelled these societies to a high and sustainable economic growth which led them to prosperity, compared to their neighbors.
The report specifically looks at the long-run data for countries that have sharply diverged from regional competitors.

Let’s start by comparing Chile with the rest of South America. As you can see, Chile’s dramatic economic liberalization led to far higher levels of national prosperity.


Now let’s compare Botswana to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.

I did something similar back in 2015 and also earlier this year, so this remarkable data is impressive but not surprising.


Last but not least, let’s compare Singapore and South Korea to their neighbors.


Once again, we see a compelling link between economic liberty and economic outcomes.

This is dramatically evident when comparing South Korea and North Korea, but you also see remarkable numbers when comparing Singapore with the United States.

The lesson is not that nations need perfect policy (even Hong Kong has some statism). Instead, the message is that governments should strive to increase economic liberty – hopefully in big ways but even small reforms are helpful – so that there’s more “breathing room” for the economy’s productive sector.

Yes, Donald Trump Is the Most Pro-Black President

By Herman Cain

Mark my words: Donald J. Trump will be the most pro-black president in our lifetime.

Democrats have spent decades paying lip service to the black community while doing absolutely nothing to lift us up. It’s been all pandering with no progress.   Meanwhile, President Trump’s policies are bringing real, positive change to the lives of black Americans across the country — and we are taking note.  A Rasmussen report released last week revealed that Trump’s support among black Americans has doubled in the last year to 29 percent. This is just the latest sign that our community is giving the president a second look as he continues to make good on his economic promises and works to implement long-overdue reforms.

Interestingly, it was just a week after Trump’s election that BET founder Robert L. Johnson raised a very simple yet profound idea. “Why shouldn’t we, as black voters, reject the notion that we are locked into one party which undoubtedly limits and dilutes our voting power? We should, instead, use the power of our vote to support and elect whichever party that best serves our interests,” Johnson wrote.   Right now, that party is the GOP under Trump’s leadership.  The proof is evident wherever you look.

In April, the black unemployment rate dropped to a historic low of 6.6 percent, followed by another record low of 5.9 percent in June, the first time in history it fell below 6 percent.........The Democrats..............would rather see Trump fail than see blacks succeed...........To Read More....

Pelosi Sinks to New Low, Tells Dems: If You Have to Lie to Voters to Win, Do It

(That Leftists lie is no news.  Unusual for them to admit it, though.)
By Ben Marquis

 Two things that President Donald Trump’s critics routinely pounce on him over are his supposed attacks against a “free press” and his alleged lies, as well as alleged lies told on his behalf from administration members, associates and supporters.

Yet, both of those acts were just committed or condoned by prominent Democrat and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and the media has largely remained silent. Go figure.

Pelosi appeared on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” on Sunday with guest host Jonathan Capehart, a Washington Post columnist, for a wide-ranging discussion during which she lashed out at a supposed media conspiracy to undermine her leadership and encouraged Democrat members of the House to lie to their constituents in order to get elected........To Read More....

Self-Loathing and Appeasement

A tragic glimpse into our suicidal concessions.
 


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Lyme Disease — and The Ticks That Carry It — Spreads Across The U.S.

Wbur

The threat of Lyme disease has spread to all 50 states. Quest Diagnostics analyzed 6 million blood samples and found the tick-borne disease is now in 100 percent of the country. The most cases were in Pennsylvania, but the disease is also becoming more common in places like Florida and California.
Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with Wendy Adams, research grant director for the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, which released research in July showing ticks capable of carrying Lyme have been found in 83 new counties across the country.........To Read More.....

'Drunk and irritable' wasps are going on 'stinging rampages'

Fox News
 
This gives new meaning to the term bar fight.  So-called "lager lout" wasps are attacking Britain after getting drunk drinking fermented fruit and leftover pub-garden cider, stinging anyone and everyone they can find, the Daily Mail reports.  The angry insects are getting into the booze since their normal diet, which consists of flies and sugar-spit that is produced from the queen's larvae, is scarce. The change in diet is said to happen every year but this year has been especially worse, due in large part to the unusually cold winter Britain experienced, letting the wasps build larger than normal nests............."Wasps have built absolutely massive nests and, now that all the larvae have grown up and the queen has stopped laying eggs, the colonies have a workforce with nothing to do – and nothing to eat. So they go down to the pub, obviously," Jones told the Daily Mail. "Wasps can't handle their booze, so they get tanked-up and fighty – like lager louts."..........To Read More....

Brennan, the Spooks, and Russian Collusion

By Ishmael Jones August 15, 2018
The FBI is being held accountable for its role in spy operations against the Trump campaign. John Brennan’s CIA should be held accountable as well.

An editorial by Holman Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal on June 29, 2018 recommends an investigation of the CIA’s involvement in the 2016 election, and I agree. The WSJ’s Kimberley Strassel has commented on CIA involvement as well, as did Rudy Giuliani on August 13th. 

If press reports are accurate, American spy operations targeted the Trump campaign by luring Trump associates such as George Papadopoulos to meetings in Britain. There are two key factors at work here...........Read more

Peter Zeihan on Geopolitics





American relations with Turkey got very interesting last week.

An ongoing disagreement over the status of an American pastor, Andrew Craig Brunson, who thought it a good idea to proselytize in a country who officially, firmly, repeatedly warned him such actions were both unwelcome and unwise, has built up into a full-throated international incident. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's base is Islamist social conservatives while Donald Trump's core coalition includes Christian social conservatives. The Turks arrested Brunson, the Trump administration wants Brunson released, the Turks said no, and here we are.

Turkey's currency, the lira, has been struggling for years in no small part due to the political pressure Erdogan and his supporters have placed on the central bank to keep interest rates artificially low.

Rising inflation peaked over the weekend when the lira fell to record lows, with Erdogan still voicing support for interest rates to remain as low as possible. (High interest rates are typically anathema to construction firms, and much of Erdogan's political machinery has been financed in the past by large Turkish firms who have benefitted from the infrastructure and construction boom since his time in office.) Fuel was added to the fire of monetary weakness from a once unthinkable source: the United States.

On August 10 U.S. President Donald Trump announced a doubling of the United States' tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminum, expressly linking the new tariff levels to the Brunson dispute. This is hardly the first time the Americans have used economic sanctions to get their way. Sanctions against strategic rivals such as the Soviet Union or North Korea are a time-honored tradition, as are sanctions in preparation for military action such as in the months leading up to the pair of invasions of Iraq. Similarly, tariffs are a common tool in economic arguments and trade disputes.

But to my recollection, this is the first time the Americans have ever used such tools in a political dispute against an ally.

A few things come from this:

First, the American-Turkish alliance is over.

I'm not talking NATO here, NATO is already dead. I'm talking bilateral arrangements. The United States and Turkey have had a long and largely productive military relationship since the 1950s, with Turkish military bases proving central to American foreign policy goals as regards the Eastern Mediterranean, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, the former Yugoslavia, the Black Sea, and the Caucasus.

The partnership has been built on a pair of unshakable facts.
  • Turkey's long history and relatively diversified, robust economy makes it the only power touching the Middle East that is capable, stable, reliable and whose assistance doesn't generate more problems than it solves.
  • Turkey's location between Europe and Asia, between the former Soviet space and the Mediterranean, makes it the central clearinghouse for any out-of-region power that seeks to project power into all four zones.
During the first Gulf War, the Turks allowed the US to use Incirlik airbase to attack Iraqi positions in exchange for financial aid. After Erdogan rose to power in 2003 and denied the Americans' use of Incirlik due to concerns over Kurdish empowerment, the US military had to find longer, costlier workarounds to achieve their goals. Turkey lost out on the economic aid, but demonstrated its leverage.

Without the alliance, any American policy in any of the four zones now must be fully amphibious or fully dependent upon far less capable, stable and reliable allies. For the most part this means a screaming retreat of American active management of all four zones. That shift will be reflected most obviously and dramatically in the Middle East. Expect the Americans to be completely out of Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan within the year, and out of Turkey's Incirlik base shortly thereafter. Even efforts in Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia will feel the pinch without Turkish support.

Second, the Americans politicization of economic pressure is rightly sending some markets into panic. Turkey is the most obvious, but Europe isn't far behind. In the immediate aftermath of Trump's new policy, European markets and the euro tanked. (Full disclosure: I'm currently travelling in the French-speaking Caribbean, and so have a vested interest in talking this up!)

The relationship between Europe and Turkey is messy. The two comprise different ethnicities, religions, and views of the role of government and religion in society. Europe is becoming more secular by the day, while Turkey is shifting in the opposite direction. In ages past European powers have attempted to invade Turkey and vice versa. The European Union has proven unwilling to admit Turkey as a member for reasons that are cultural, political and tied to immigration, yet has proven totally willing to integrate with Turkey economically and financially. European banks are heavily involved in Turkish banking and debt markets “both private and public" while Turkish manufacturers are tightly wound into European supply chains.

Americans targeting Turkey with selective tariffs is only one step away from the threat of using secondary sanctions to impede Turkish access to global financial markets. Washington has already prepped the secondary sanctions tool for use on Iran and is highly likely to apply them to Chinese entities in the not-too-distant future. Pretty much all European entities that were doing business in and with Iran scrapped all that business to avoid being targeted, and now European entities doing business in and with Turkey are terrified that their far more substantial business will be targeted.

Its a reasonable fear. Any use of secondary sanctions against Turkey would be catastrophic for the Europeans, not just for the lost links into the Turkish economy, but also for any links to the wider world. Since secondary sanctions in essence break the link between an entity and international finance, they de facto bar any international trade links as well.

The European Union is a weird critter, dependent as it is upon the security platform and global market access the Americans have maintained since 1946. With the demise of NATO the security platform is shattering. With these new actions against Turkey in specific and the use of secondary sanctions in general, that global market access is now collapsing.

The euro meltdown was the first hint that the Europeans are even subconsciously considering the true horror of their vulnerable position. The Europeans have long fretted over a long list of minor, squabbling, internal issues such as the Greek bailout, refugees, Brexit, civil controls in Poland, democracy in Hungary, neo-Nazis in Germany, etc. On all these topics the Europeans actually have the resources and tools necessary to address the issues in question - what they've lacked is the political will. Now they're faced with an unavoidable, mortal threat to the system that makes European peace, prosperity and unity possible - and so far, that's not even with the United States taking aim at Europe directly. If I were European I'd be freaking out a bit right now.

Third, the American-Turkish split gives us an early case to watch as to what might happen after the global Order is gone. The Americans created the global Order of maritime security and free trade in order to bribe up the anti-Soviet Cold War alliance. The Cold War ended a generation ago and successive American administrations have steadily backed away from maintaining the Order. The Obama administration was at best coolly aware of the system, and now the Trump administration is formally dismantling it. For the United States this isn't all that big of a deal. The war is long over, and the U.S. economy isn't very internationalized. The global Order - the world we know - can end and most Americans might not even notice. The same cannot be said for everyone else, many of whom have based their political legitimacy and economic strength on a globalized world. America is less the bull in the china shop and more the flamethrower pointing at a house of cards.

That's the big picture, but there will be dozens of little pictures.

There are any number of ways the Order can descend into Disorder. One possibility is all at once from a broad American repudiation, but another would be a piecemeal collapse as the Americans target specific countries one at time. That may be what started this past week. Turkey may be about to (unwillingly) pioneer a fundamentally new sort of regional economic, political and strategic management system because it is becoming excluded from the dying global Order.

Turkey will definitely suffer, greatly. Turkey's dependence upon international trade is roughly double that of the United States in relative terms, with the greatest exposure being to Europe for merchandise and services trade. The pain will be intense. But Turkey will bounce back. It sports a young, growing, savvy and educated population. A strong infrastructure. Robust local consumption to limit its dependence upon exports. Zero threat of invasion. The most powerful army in its surrounding regions, including Europe and the Middle East. A geographic position that puts it in command of any cross-regional trade among Europe and the Middle East, the former Soviet Union and the Mediterranean. The few things that Turkey has no choice to import exist in countries Turkey borders. In a world without globalization, Turkey will fall "hard" but then will quickly rise to dominate its neighborhood.

This is part of why I've identified Turkey as one of five countries that will gain, regain or retain the ability to reshape their neighborhoods to their liking once the Disorder settles in. (Yes, that was a tasteless plug for my upcoming book, After the Superpower.)

A positive American relationship with such a resurgent Turkey is critical to neither American nor Turkish interests; the ponds in which the two countries swim are not really connected. But that's not the same thing as saying that seeking a mutually hostile relationship is a good idea. As the Order falls, Washington and Ankara are most certainly getting off on the wrong foot.

Which brings me to my final point. Just because the United States has few interests in the wider world does not mean the United States is going to fully retreat, no matter how logical such a retrenchment might seem. Last week's spat with Turkey is not in the American national interest. It is wholly due to the inflammation of domestic political issues on both sides.

As little respect as I have for blind zealotry - regardless of the type of headgear worn, book waved, or whether the names tossed around are Jesus, Allah, Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, or Elon Musk - I'd be an idiot not to recognize it as a political motivator, particularly in places as emotionally hopped up as the United States and the Middle East. Actions based on ideology rarely generate the desired results, and often lead to unnecessary escalations.

I'm not suggesting a new Thirty Years' War is inevitable, but instead that the United States is about to have a lot of military assets with little to do at the same time the world gets a lot noisier. America's economic and military power may be unrivaled in human history, but that doesn't mean the Americans cannot be played. The hardest part of my job isn't figuring out what is in a country's best interests or what sort of actions would protect and further those interests, but instead keeping an eye out for the sorts of less-than-logical things countries do due to miscalculation or internal politics.

The best recent example is one of the darker moments in American history. Osama bin Laden's primary motivation for the September 11, 2001 attacks was to bait the Americans into the Middle East, where he expected all Muslims to rise up, overthrow their secular governments, boot out the Americans, and usher in a new pan-Islamic empire. That it was an unrealistic plan that ultimately cost bid Laden his life isn't the point. The Americans fell for it and spent the next 15 years invading and occupying territories of zero strategic or economic worth.

To be clear, I'm not thinking the Brunson issue is part of some complex plan to bait the Americans. My point is that while the Americans are broadly immune to the craziness that is about to become the global normal, they can still be had. And the only way to insulate the country from such schemes is to evolve beyond hyper-partisanship and willful ideological blindness. To be aware.

It might be awhile.



Obama carbon colonialism and climate corruption continue

USAID still pushes climate alarmism over energy, jobs, health and prosperity for poor countries

Paul Driessen and David Wojick Part 1 of a 3-part series

It’s obscene enough when the Multilateral anti-Development Banks do it. But Trump agencies?!?

In a prime example of Deep State revanchism, despite the profound change in administrations, the US Agency for International Development is still funding and advancing anti-energy Obama-era climate change dogmas and policies for developing countries. USAID handles tens of billions of dollars a year, roughly half of all US foreign aid, so this climate alarmism puts literally millions of lives at risk.

USAID calls its “flagship” program “low emissions development.” Emissions of course means plant-fertilizing, life-giving carbon dioxide – but the term is intended to suggest dangerous climate changing pollution. The effect, if not the intent, is to deprive poor countries of the enormous life-enhancing benefits of abundant, affordable electricity and fossil fuels, which created the health and wealth Americans enjoy.

The President and Congress need to terminate this poverty-perpetuating carbon colonialism – which USAID prefers to describe in this deceptive, eco-virtuous language:
“Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) is a flagship U.S. program that has forged partnerships with more than two dozen developing countries from Colombia to Indonesia to South Africa to Ukraine committed to and taking concrete actions to achieve low emission development. Under EC-LEDS, USAID, the State Department and other U.S. agencies work with partner countries to help develop tools and analyses to estimate GHG emissions and identify and pursue the best options for low emission growth.”
In fact, says the agency, “this new development strategy marks the first time climate change will play a central role throughout the entire agency’s development efforts.” [emphasis added]

USAID itself could never function under the low-emission standards it imposes on nations that struggle daily with rampant poverty, disease, malnutrition and premature death. Its employees could never run their own homes and lives under such standards. They would never tolerate having those restrictions imposed on them (though this might be a fascinating exercise that would bring out their true colors).

Eco-imperialist aid policies did not end with Obama’s exit

As we have noted (here, here and here), Multilateral anti-Development Banks use similar claims and language to justify their eco-imperialist, anti-fossil-fuel policies and lending practices. But especially during the Obama era, the State Department, its USAID operations and other US government agencies also prevented poor countries from using oil, natural gas, coal and modern farming technologies.

That this continues is despicable. That even Trump State Department representatives to the 2017 Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany were advancing Obama policies is intolerable. It needs to end, now.

The refusal of these “public servants” to be part of the new Administration is pure Deep State, guided in part by an Obama era document, “USAID Global Climate Change and Development Strategy 2012-2016.” Their plan is clearly based on climate alarmism that is increasingly rooted in computer models and hysterical claims that bear little resemblance either to global temperature trends over the past 20 years or to the actual history of droughts and extreme weather over the past century. The document asserts:
“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. USAID – as part of the broader [Obama] Presidential Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) – is addressing this challenge in ways that recognize both its severity and the opportunities clean economic growth presents to spur innovation and encourage investments that will have long lasting environmental and development benefits. If we support countries to build climate resilience and move towards a ‘low carbon’ economic growth pathway, we can help provide more stable and prosperous futures for the U.S. and for our partners, including new markets for clean technology and expansion of the green economy. Alternatively, if we are unable to meet this challenge, climate change could jeopardize many of the development gains the international community and the U.S. government have worked for decades to secure.”
The policy was implemented in 2012. But 18 months after Mr. Trump was sworn in, current USAID national and regional websites – as well as the strategy document itself – still say it remains in effect and still “guides our work helping countries transition to lasting and climate-resilient, low-emission economic development.” They say the policy is “Extended to September 2018,” and suggest that the “StratPlan” will be kept in force even if it technically expires in September.

“Clean energy activities help countries attract the private investment they need to scale up sustainable and cost-effective renewable energy, minimizing pollution and keeping pace with today's changing energy landscape,” the documents claim. Moreover, the dogma will be “integrated” and implemented across all USAID activities: “Integration activities ensure climate change knowledge and practice is applied, where appropriate, across USAID’s development portfolio to protect U.S. investments from unforeseen risks."

“Sustainable” energy thus ties into UN climate alarmism, alleged risks of “imminent resource depletion,” avoidance of “over-consumption,” and funding, guiding and imposing policies and programs that limit the number of people around the world who might achieve the middle and upper class living standards that USAID, UN, IPCC, World Bank and EU technocrats (and their environmentalist allies) already enjoy.

These governing elites fear that newly middle class families would want more stuff: cars, real houses, refrigerators, stoves, lights, and vacations to exotic locales now enjoyed mostly by UAID officials and other climate conference attendees. Extending these “privileges” to “middle class wannabes” would require taking more resources out of the ground, which would hurt Mother Earth.

Therefore, these billions of people who have electricity only a few hours a week, who “enjoy” life on the edge of the disease and starvation abyss, must be permitted to improve their lives only a little; only to the extent that it would conform to UN and USAID climate, sustainability and over-consumption guidelines; only as much as could be supported by wind and solar energy, subsistence farming and bed nets.

Trump USAID Administrator Mark Green  should have terminated this travesty his first day at the helm. At the very least, he, the White House and Congress should now serve notice that it will be rescinded in toto August 31– and then make sure it is totally repealed, defunded and shut down September 1.

Rescission must be active, not passive. It must cover all US and overseas USAID budgets, personnel, strategic plans, policies, “guidance” and policy statements, websites and other items that advance these climate, sustainability and related agendas. Funds and personnel should be reassigned, and Deep Staters complicit in perpetuating the programs after January 2017 should be disciplined or let go.

The Foreign Operations Appropriations bills now pending in the House and Senate provide all USAID funding, and are obvious vehicles for issuing permanent pro-energy, pro-people, pro-development rules.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and other books and articles on energy, climate change and economic development. David Wojick is an independent analyst specializing in science, logic and human rights in public policy, and author of numerous articles on these topics.

Additional comments from the authors:

It’s horrible enough that the World Bank, multilateral development banks and radical environmentalist pressure groups actively deny the poorest families on Earth access to the energy, agricultural and disease control technologies that have made health and living standards so good and life spans so long for so many people. For the Obama U.S. Agency for International Development to use climate change, sustainability, AgroEcology and other Green fads to justify the same lethal policies is even more outrageous.

Our 3-part series demonstrates how these lethal actions violate common sense, common decency and human rights.

Part 1 explains how USAID uses taxpayer dollars to continue Obama era “low-emission development” ideologies, by refusing to fund programs that would actually lift people out of poverty and misery.

Part 2 examines how these USAID carbon colonialist policies fail on humanitarian and ecological grounds, and how the agency uses fabricated climate threats to justify imposing minimal energy and economic growth.

Part 3 shows how USAID policies perpetuate subsistence farming, malnutrition and disease in poor countries – and what Congress and the White House must do to end all these travesties.

Thank you for posting our three-part series – perhaps on successive days – quoting from it, and forwarding it to your friends and colleagues.

Paul and David

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Environmentalists’ Latest Attempts to Save the Planet May Be the Last Straw

By John Stonestreet | August 13, 2018

You’d think incredibly harsh laws designed to protect the planet would—you know—protect the planet. But that’s not typically the case.  Sometimes, caring for the environment requires making important sacrifices. Far more often, however, the calls to action we’re told will save the planet spawn needlessly inconvenient laws with little if any benefit. That’s the case with this new campaign to ban plastic straws.

Last month, Santa Barbara made national news and invited not a little bit of ridicule by passing an ordinance which could send restaurant employees to jail for up to six months for giving out plastic straws.

Seattle has also sipped this environmental Kool-Aid, imposing a $250 fine on straw-distributing outlaws. Not to be outdone, San Francisco’s city council voted unanimously to adopt a similar ban. Other efforts to criminalize plastic straws are underway in New York City, Portland, and Washington, D.C. Now, even if we think the penalties are ridiculous, a case can be made for serious steps that would stop an environmental crisis. That case cannot be made here, however...........And, as Susan Freinkel wrote several years ago in the New York Times, plastic doesn’t have to be a pollutant. This marvelous substance was originally “hailed for its potential to reduce mankind’s heavy environmental footprint,” replacing commodities like paper, which exact a high toll on nature. (Remember the “paper or plastic” decision at the grocery store)..........To Read More.....

Learning the Oriental Way of Conflict

By Sam C. Holliday August 14, 2018

The rich and varied Oriental Way of Conflict is not understood by most Americans. While in war there is much in common between the Western Way of War and the Oriental Way of Conflict, there are stinking differences in warfare (the gray zone between peace and war). During World War Two, the U.S. developed a Western army in China, only to see it defeated by communists using traditional Chinese ways. The Western Way of War fights for vital interests when the object is clear and there is domestic support. It depends on technology, logistics, firepower, direct confrontation, overwhelming force, and decisive battles to achieve victory – followed by peace.

Those who live in what was called the Orient (Turkey to Japan) during the 12th to 19th centuries have always stressed deception, misdirection, ruse, ambush, surprises, and patience. They want to know how their opponents think and how to cause misconceptions. They are concerned with psychology and strategic communication as they follow erosion strategies. They understand protracted conflict and cooperation (both interacting within a whole). They prefer for the enemy to give up as the result of warfare rather than having to destroy his armed forces with overwhelming firepower. ................ Read more

Where Do We Get Such Losers?

August 13, 2018 By Colin Flaherty

When delivered by Ronald Reagan, the question “Where do we get such men?” used to be the ultimate contemplation about the people who make this country great. Not anymore.

Today, when we look at the delusion and deceit surrounding at least five Democrat members of the U.S. Senate, the question now becomes “Is this the best we have?” Let’s look at a few.

When Cory Booker moved to Newark, New Jersey, he had it all: multiple degrees from Stanford, a Rhodes scholarship, a winning smile and a willingness to lie his keister off about a central feature of his earlier campaigns.

He also had an imaginary friend, T-Bone -- a drug-dealing, streetwise guardian angel of Cory Booker -- as he tried to convince the people of Newark he was not just a little rich kid, he was one of them, bursting with street cred.

Booker trotted out the T-Bone stories at every early campaign stop in his races for mayor: T-Bone told him this, T-Bone told him that. And of course, as brilliant as T-Bone was, he was still on many occasions the recipient of Cory Booker’s sage counsel.

But T-Bone was never there. The Star Ledger and National Review broke this story of delusion almost at the same time. An excerpt from Booker’s home town paper.............Read more

With glyphosate-cancer legal battles poised to escalate, what are the ramifications for agriculture if the herbicide is restricted?

| | August 13, 2018

Now that a jury in San Francisco has decided that exposure to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) was responsible for California groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson’s cancer, the movement to restrict the herbicide has been re-energized. 

Carey Gillam, director of research at the anti-GMO group U.S. Right to Know, who worked closely with the lawyers suing Monsanto, said following the verdict that “It is time for public officials across the globe to act to protect public health and not corporate profits.” French President Emmanuel Macron is on record trying to ban it and activists organizations in numerous countries are already attempting to leverage the jury’s verdict. 

A judge in Brazil recently suspended the use of the herbicide, pending a review by the nation’s agriculture ministry, and Europe may reassess the costs and benefits of a ban over the next five years.

The UK retailer Homebase is reviewing its sale of the weed killer following the verdict. And depending upon how Bayer’s announced appeal plays out (Bayer recently acquired Monsanto) and the fate of numerous glyphosate cancer suits to come, it’s not out of the question that manufacturers of generic glyphosate will begin reassessing their potential liability in keeping the herbicide on the market...........To Read More.....