Monday, June 19, 2017

Advancing scientific integrity on bees

Putting a beehive at the VP’s residence could spur people’s understanding of bee problems

Paul Driessen

Second Lady Karen Pence and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently teamed up to install a honeybee hive on the grounds of the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. This will serve as a “great example” of what people can do to help “reverse the decline” in managed honeybee colonies around the country, the secretary said.

Helping bees and educating people about bee problems is a good idea. However, if the hive is an attempt to reduce media and environmentalist criticism of Trump Administration policies – or put the Pences and Ag Department on the “right” side of the “bee-pocalypse” issue – it will backfire. It will also undermine administration efforts to advance evidence-based science, restore integrity to scientific and regulatory processes, promote safe modern technologies, and support continued crop production and exports.

A steady stream of misinformation has fueled misplaced public anxiety about bees. Being on the “right” side must therefore begin with recognizing that honeybee populations are actually increasing, as the decline in managed honeybee colonies reversed in recent years. Attention to the vice presidential hive should instead focus on preventing and controlling the biggest single threat to honeybees, especially in small-scale hobbyist hives: infestations of Varroa mites

Anti-pesticide zealots and headline-seeking news media have been talking for years about domesticated bees (and now wild bees) serving as “the canary in the coal mine,” whose health problems portend yet another man-made environmental calamity. The future of agriculture, human nutrition, perhaps all life on Earth could be at risk if bees and other important pollinators “disappear,” they ominously intone.

That is nothing more than fear-mongering. Honeybee populations have been bouncing back nicely since the days when many worried about mysterious large-scale deaths in hives. In fact, the “crisis” was seriously (and sometimes deliberately) overblown, and honeybee populations are now at or near 20-year highs in North America and every other continent, except Antarctica.

Assiduous scientific investigation helped identify the mites, viruses and fungal pathogens that can infest hives, and beekeepers are learning to treat infestations without inadvertently killing bees or entire hives. That process has underscored the hard reality that, for professional and hobbyist beekeepers alike, maintaining healthy hives is complicated and difficult, especially when multiple pathogens invade.

However, in another sense, honeybees truly are canaries in the coal mine. They are harbingers of the ways environmentalist attacks on modern agriculture can damage one of the most productive, competitive and globally vital sectors of the American economy. American agriculture feeds the USA and world, while generating trade surpluses and supporting rural and small town communities across the country.

Unfortunately, determined anti-pesticide zealots have been trying for nearly a decade to use the alleged “bee crisis” to prevent farmers from using advanced-technology neonicotinoid pesticides that boost agricultural yields, reduce the need for other crop-protection insecticides that can harm bees, and reduce risks to humans, birds, other animals, non-pest insects, and bees.

Neonics are now the world’s most widely used pesticide class. They are mainly (some 90%) applied as seed coatings, which lets crops absorb the chemicals into their tissue and allows minuscule amounts to target only pests that feed on and destroy crops. Radical greens have tried for years to blame neonics for higher-than-normal over-winter hive losses, “colony collapse disorder” (in which bees mysteriously abandon their colonies, leaving the queen, food and unhatched eggs behind) and other bee problems.

The mere fact that neonics may be detected in negligible, below-harmful levels in the nectar and pollen of neonic-treated crops, in foliage near neonic-treated cropland, or in the food stored in honeybees hives, has fueled emotional campaigns to ban these crop protection products. The activists simply ignore large-scale field studies that have consistently shown no adverse effects on honeybees at the colony level from field-realistic exposures to neonics. They ignore the fact that bees thrive among and around neonic-treated corn and canola crops in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere.

Anti-pesticide crusaders are determined to take neonics out of farmers’ pest-control “tool-kits.” They will not let scientific facts stand in their way.

This is the tug-of-war that Mrs. Pence’s beehive has plunged her into. What if her bee colony collapses and dies? Whatever embarrassment this may bring to her skills as a beekeeper (and those of USDA staff who will be charged with keeping the hive alive), activists will claim the bee deaths further confirm that the Trump Administration’s enviro-critics are right – and America’s farmers are wrong.

So what can we learn from the fate of one bee colony on the bucolic grounds of the Naval Observatory in the middle of urban Washington, DC? Potentially plenty – if Mrs. Pence and her USDA aides put on their thinking caps, learn more about “bee issue” realities, use this otherwise empty gesture to dramatize the real issues facing honeybees and their keepers, and help advance the cause of scientific integrity.

In recent weeks, the USDA-supported Bee Informed Partnership at the University of Maryland published its annual survey of honeybee colony losses for 2016-17. Although lower than last year and among the best since the decade-old survey began, over-winter losses of 21% and in-season (summer) losses of 18% are still troublesome numbers. However, a vitally important point must be kept in mind.

Those losses were suffered overwhelmingly by small, backyard, hobbyist beekeepers. (Barely 1% of respondents to the BIP survey are large-scale commercial beekeepers, which skews the survey.) This parallels other studies that show small-scale, hobbyist, backyard beekeepers suffer much higher rates of colony loss than do large-scale professionals, who handle the vast majority of US bees and hives.

Those other studies also show that small-scale beekeepers have the greatest difficulty keeping their bees alive in the face of the scourge of Varroa destructor mites. Epidemic since its 1987 arrival in the USA, this bee parasite is a triple threat. Bee larvae often hatch with Varroa mites already attached to them, and these parasites: (1) suck the bee’s hemolymph blood-equivalent out of them, (2) thereby compromising the bees’ immune systems, and (3) vectoring a dozen or more viruses and diseases into honey bees and colonies, turning what were just nuisance infections before Varroa arrived into devastating epidemics.

This has produced a striking paradox – which Mrs. Pence’s new bee colony could help explain. In the wake of widespread publicity about the supposed bee crisis, tens of thousands of well-meaning people across the USA – from the rural countryside to rooftops in densely populated urban areas – have set out to “help the bees” by setting up hobbyist beekeeping operations of one or a few hives. The problem, studies show, is that these well-intentioned initiatives often end up making things worse for honeybees.

Many newly-minted, nature-loving hobbyist beekeepers believe – contrary to the overwhelming bulk of beekeeping literature and practice – that treating their hives chemically for Varroa mites is “against nature,” and thereby hasten the inevitable disaster to their hives. When those hobbyist hives collapse under the weight of uncontrolled or poorly controlled Varroa mites and related diseases, surviving bees migrate in search of new homes, frequently among the healthy hives of some neighboring professional beekeeper – carrying Varroa mites with them. That’s how hobbyist beekeepers inadvertently contribute to the spread of this honeybee epidemic – and to the spread of misinformation about bee losses.

Mrs. Pence’s colony won’t provide lessons on supposed harmful effects on honeybees from exposure to neonic pesticides. The nearest neonic-treated canola and cornfields are well beyond her bees’ roughly 3-mile flight. However, it’s a golden opportunity to use the colony as an object lesson in what small-scale beekeepers should do to keep their hives alive and thriving: above all, control Varroa mites.

Mrs. Pence’s bee colony could become an exemplar for small-scale beekeepers on how to do right by honeybees. By implementing sound beekeeping practices (particularly properly timed Varroa counts and controls), live-streaming those practices and daily hive activity via the bee equivalent of the Panda Cam , and posting short how-to videos, she could teach millions about bees … and advance hobbyist efforts to help bees. That would help replace failure and disappointment with rewarding fun and satisfaction.

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.

Peter Zeihan on Geopolitics: Curious About Cuba





 
Last week President Donald Trump announced a partial revocation of his predecessor’s diplomatic opening to Cuba, reinstating pieces of the decades-long embargo impacting financial transfers, trade and transport.

As a rule, I don’t get too worked up about this or that president’s policies on this or that country. It is a big world. As a massive, domestically-focused economy with immense strategic depth and insulation, the United States has enormous wiggle room to both make mistakes and take the long view. Even presidents as aggressive as FDR during times as tumultuous as World War II can afford to sit back and watch things unfold. The bar for what actually impacts the homeland is pretty high.

Cuba isn’t one of those things – or more to the point, the Caribbean isn’t one of those places.

The reason is movement. Moving things by water is less than one-tenth the cost of moving them by land, making rivers among the most strategic economic assets on the planet. The interconnected rivers of the Greater Mississippi system have more miles of navigable waterway than the rest of the world’s internal waterways combined. That is the core reason the United States is a superpower.

But rivers have one mission-critical downside: they have to end somewhere. If a foe can threaten the river’s mouth, then trade possibilities face a pretty brutal cap. Securing river mouths and keeping them free of foes was a leading topic of much of Europe’s genocidal centuries.

For the Americans, the problematic bit isn’t just New Orleans, the last stop on the Mississippi’s course to the Gulf of Mexico, but also the island of Cuba which truncates access between the Gulf of Mexico and the wider Atlantic. And even if the Americans can get past Cuba, they still need to neutralize all maritime choke points in the Greater Caribbean region.

If anything, it is more serious than it sounds. For the United States has more waterways than “merely” the Mississippi. The Intracoastal Waterway lies behind a series of barrier islands that broadly parallel the East and Gulf Coasts. One of those Cuban-pinch points is the Florida Strait, which could enable a hostile Cuba-based power to not just block American trade in and out of the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi, but also disrupt internal maritime transport from New York, Richmond, Savannah and Miami from reaching New Orleans, St Louis, Louisville and Minneapolis.

Any extra-hemispheric power that is able to partner with any spot in the region could turn the Americans from an outward-projecting superpower to one whose own internal transport systems are in question.

 


There’s more to the Caribbean than Cuba, more to Panama than cheap shipping, more to Venezuela than cheap oil, more to the Bahamas than beaches, and more to Grenada than cheap medical school. These places and more are the collective garage door to the United States. A hostile Caribbean threatens the United States in a way that a robust China, a war-drum-beating Soviet Union or German-dominated Europe cannot. As such, American strategic policy since roughly 1800 has been borderline neurotic about forcing the Caribbean into a shape that works for the United States. Just how neurotic? What was truly scary about the Cuban Missile Crisis wasn’t just how discombobulated the Americans were, but how logical it was for them to risk nuclear war to keep the Soviets out of Cuba.

At its core, Obama’s sunshine policy was about putting the Cuban bit of the Caribbean puzzle on the path to bed – permanently. It wasn’t like Cuba had been a threat to the Americans since 1992. Left with just its own resources, Cuba is merely an irritant. Yet as a geopolitical strategist I did find it nice to shift the country firmly out of the “watch closely” category with Iran and Ukraine on my wall map, and lump it in with the “meh” column that serves as home to Belgium, Belarus and Bangladesh.

Does this mean Trump’s decision is foolhardy? Not at all. Trump is at least partially right: the Obama administration really didn’t play hardball with Havana – the bilateral warming put next to no pressure on the Castro regime to liberalize, much less stand down. To use the president’s terms, a better deal can certainly be had. Trump holds most of the cards here, and there are plenty of options: everything ranging from a firmer diplomatic stance to economic sanctions that target other investors in Cuba to the threat (or use) of (para)military force. And since at present there is no extra-hemispheric power that seems interested in making Cuba its local military footprint, there is no time pressure either.

But that doesn’t mean that Cuba will remain in its post-Soviet no-man’s-land forever. Trump’s actions must have follow up. For if all this backtrack does is buy time and space for someone else to insert themselves into Cuban affairs, then much of what gives the Americans all that strategic insulation, economic power and room to maneuver – much of what makes the United States a global superpower –could be in doubt.

 
                           
BUY A SIGNED COPY OF ABSENT SUPERPOWER

Thought For the Day

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The Endless Failure (but Bizarre Allure) of Socialism

June 18, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
Back in 2014, I wrote a column asking my leftist friends two very serious questions. And I often repeat these questions when debating proponents of bigger government.
  • Can you name a nation that became rich with statist policies?
  • Can you name a nation that with interventionism and big government that is out-performing a similar nation with free markets and small government?
I’ve yet to receive a good answer to either question. Many leftists point to certain European welfare states, but I debunk that claim by pointing out that those nations became rich when government was very small (about 10 percent of GDP, about one-half the size of the current Hong Kong and Singapore public sectors).

Others point to rapid growth in China, but that’s rather silly since improvements in that country’s economy are the result of partial liberalization. In any event, it’s not that difficult to have rapid growth rates when starting from a very low level. But even with a couple of decades of good growth, living standards in China are still relatively low.

So my challenge remains. I want a leftist (or anybody) to identify a successful statist nation, but I’m not holding my breath for good answers.

Yet even though the real-world evidence against big government is so strong, it’s rather baffling that many young people are drawn to that coercive ideology and disturbing that a non-trivial number of voters favor this failed form of statism.

The London-based Institute for Economic Affairs has released a video on the false allure of socialism.



I suppose a caveat might be appropriate at this stage.

Socialism has a technical definition involving government ownership of the means of production and central planning of the economy.

But most people today think socialism is big government, with business still privately owned but with lots of redistribution and intervention (I’ve argued, for instance, that even Bernie Sanders isn’t a real socialist, and that there are big differences between countries like Sweden, China, and North Korea).
For what it’s worth, that’s actually closer to the technical definition of fascism. But I guess I’m being pedantic by wanting more precision in how terms are used.

In any event, the IEA video is spot on. If you like videos debunking socialism, I have other examples here, here, and here.

Last but not least, here’s my favorite visual from the IEA video.



P.S. If you like visuals mocking socialism, I’ve amassed a very nice collection. Click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for examples.

P.P.S. The good news is that socialism isn’t very popular in the United States, particularly compared to free enterprise.

Tax Competition: So Powerful that even Politicians in Left-Wing States Feel Compelled to Cut Taxes for Rich People

June 17, 2017 by Dan Mitchell
 
Whenever I debate my left-wing friends on tax policy, they routinely assert that taxes don’t matter.
It’s unclear, though, whether they really believe their own rhetoric.

After all, if taxes don’t affect economic behavior, then why are folks on the left so terrified of tax havens? Why are they so opposed to tax competition?

And why are they so anxious to defend loopholes such as the deduction for state and local taxes.
Perhaps most revealing, why do leftists sometimes cut taxes when they hold power? A story in the Wall Street Journal notes that there’s been a little-noticed wave of state tax cuts. Specifically reductions and/or eliminations of state death taxes. And many of these supply-side reforms are happening in left-wing states!
In the past three years, nine states have eliminated or lowered their estate taxes, mostly by raising exemptions. And more reductions are coming. Minnesota lawmakers recently raised the state’s estate-tax exemption to $2.1 million retroactive to January, and the exemption will rise to $2.4 million next year. Maryland will raise its $3 million exemption to $4 million next year. New Jersey’s exemption, which used to rank last at $675,000 a person, rose to $2 million a person this year. Next year, New Jersey is scheduled to eliminate its estate tax altogether, joining about a half-dozen others that have ended their estate taxes over the past decade.
This is good news for affected taxpayers, but it’s also good news for the economy.

Death taxes are not only a punitive tax on capital, but they also discourage investors, entrepreneurs, and other high-income people from earning income once they have accumulated a certain level of savings.

But let’s focus on politics rather than economics. Why are governors and state legislators finally doing something sensible? Why are they lowering tax burdens on “rich” taxpayers instead of playing their usual game of class warfare?

I’d like to claim that they’re reading Cato Institute research, or perhaps studies from other market-oriented organizations and scholars.

But it appears that tax competition deserves most of the credit.
This tax-cutting trend has been fueled by competition between the states for affluent and wealthy taxpayers. Such residents owe income taxes every year, but some are willing to move out of state to avoid death duties that come only once. Since the federal estate-and-gift tax exemption jumped to $5 million in 2011, adjusted for inflation, state death duties have stood out.
I don’t fully agree with the above excerpt because there’s plenty of evidence that income taxes cause migration from high-tax states to zero-income-tax states.
But I agree that a state death tax can have a very large impact, particularly once a successful person has retired and has more flexibility.
Courtesy of the Tax Foundation, here are the states that still impose this destructive levy.



Though this map may soon have one less yellow state. As reported by the WSJ, politicians in the Bay State may be waking up.
In Massachusetts, some lawmakers are worried about losing residents to other states because of its estate tax, which brought in $400 million last year. They hope to raise the exemption to half the federal level and perhaps exclude the value of a residence as well. These measures stand a good chance of passage even as lawmakers are considering raising income taxes on millionaires, says Kenneth Brier, an estate lawyer with Brier & Ganz LLP in Needham, Mass., who tracks the issue for the Massachusetts Bar Association. State officials “are worried about a silent leak of people down to Florida, or even New Hampshire,” he adds.
I’m not sure the leak has been silent. There’s lots of data on the migration of productive people to lower-tax states.

But what matters is that tax competition is forcing the state legislature (which is overwhelmingly Democrat) to do the right thing, even though their normal instincts would be to squeeze upper-income taxpayers for more money.

As I’ve repeatedly written, tax competition also has a liberalizing impact on national tax policy.
Following the Reagan tax cuts and Thatcher tax cuts, politicians all over the world felt pressure to lower their tax rates on personal income. The same thing has happened with corporate tax rates, though Ireland deserves most of the credit for getting that process started.

I’ll close by recycling my video on tax competition. It focuses primarily on fiscal rivalry between nations, but the lessons equally apply to states.



P.S. For what it’s worth, South Dakota arguably is the state with the best tax policy. It’s more difficult to identify the state with the worst policy, though New Jersey, Illinois, New York, California, and Connecticut can all make a strong claim to be at the bottom.

P.P.S. Notwithstanding my snarky title, I don’t particularly care whether there are tax cuts for rich people. But I care a lot about not having tax policies that penalize the behaviors (work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship) that produce income, jobs, and opportunity for poor and middle-income people. And if that means reforms that allow upper-income people to keep more of their money, I’m okay with that since I’m not an envious person.

Moderates and Radicals in Islam and the Left

Posted by Daniel Greenfield Thursday, June 15, 2017 17 Comments @ International Liberty
The core strategic problem we face is two conflicts with two ideologies that operate subversively until they are in power. That is, instead of stating their agenda openly, Islam and the left operate as false fronts maintaining a friendly moderate image while pursuing a far more radical agenda.

The distinction between moderates and radicals is at the heart of the debate about Islamic terrorism. Much as it used to be at the heart of the debate about Communism and its fellow travelers. Everyone will concede that there are indeed radicals, if only ISIS and Stalin. What they will deny is the extent of the complicity and, more significantly, the fact that the radicals were pursuing the same ends as the moderates, an Islamic Caliphate or a Communist dictatorship, only more rapidly and ruthlessly.

The thing that must be understood is that moderates do not disavow radicals. Rather they bridge the gap between the radicals and the larger society, justifying their ends, and eventually their means, while pretending to disavow them. Radicals reject any dialogue. Moderates emphasize dialogue.

Moderates will verbally reject the means with which an end is pursued. Accordingly they will reject terrorism. They may even claim to reject the ends, such as an ideological dictatorship, but they will, in good fellowship, ask you to accept their premise which inevitably leads to the acceptance of both the ends and the means.

For example, moderates on the left and in Islam will ask you to accept that terrorism is caused by American foreign policy. Once you have accepted this premise, then you have partially justified terrorism and paved the way for accepting an "Arab Spring" that eliminates the consequences of American foreign policy by properly Arabizing and Islamizing the governments of the region.

Likewise, if you accept the premise that Israel's presence in its '67 territories is driving terrorism, then you have signed on to everything from BDS to the destruction of the Jewish State.

If you concede that crime and violence are driven by class and racial inequities, then you accept that the only way to end this "class war" is massive taxation and wealth redistribution through government intervention that addresses the root cause.

That is not the way it seems to most people. And that is why the "moderate" strategy works so well.

Once you have accepted the moderate definition of the root cause, you will inevitably be forced to accept the radical remedy. This is true across a spectrum of lower level policies. For example, accept that homosexuality is genetic and gay rights become the inevitable and inescapable outcome. That is how the root cause defines the outcome. And this is how moderates achieve radical goals.

Moderates convince you to accept their premise of the root cause. Then they argue for sensitivity to the radicals whose motives have suddenly become understandable. Finally they argue for a settlement in which a compromise is reached that will allow the radicals to achieve a moderate version of their ends.

The Muslim Brotherhood takeovers of the Arab Spring are an example of a compromise to avert Islamic terror aimed at creating a Caliphate. The ultimate outcome is the same, but the moderates dress it up as a kinder and gentler alternative.

And this is the core strategic problem that we face.

The radicals are not any kind of serious physical threat. We could destroy ISIS easily if we chose to unleash our full force against them. The same is true for every single Islamic terror group in the world. And, for that matter, their state sponsors too.

The real threat is always the subversion of the moderates. The challenge then becomes the need to expose the false facade of the moderates. This leads to a push-pull struggle. The moderates cry that they are being unfairly victimized by hateful people. There are shouts of red-baiting and McCarthyism, profiling and bigotry. Their critics are paranoid and unhinged. The moderates even assert that there is something ugly and "Un-American" about asking them to account for their agenda.

And this is really the core argument made by the two allied subversive ideologies. It is "ugly" to expose their views, to quote them, to bring them to the surface. It is intolerant. It's not the way that respectable people should behave. And the moderates, who pose as respectable people precisely to play on the weakness of the middle class for being respectable, understand that this is the ultimate weapon.

Respectable people do not accuse the friendly Imam on the block of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood or promoting Jihadist texts. They do not accuse the cheerful teacher in the school whom everyone likes of pushing anti-American views on her students. That is not respectable behavior.

And moderates, who pretend to be respectable, excel at pushing the respectable shame button.

It doesn't matter if it's true. It's ugly to discuss it. That is respectability simplified. It's much better to talk about how much we have in common, to speak about how we can unite and make the world a better place. And the moderates have plenty of ideas in that regard. All of them involve accepting their premise of what the world's problems are and how they can be improved by a series of proposals that would culminate with mass tyranny and murder.

There are actual moderates of course.

The majority of those on the left aren't harboring secret plans to build gulags. They would find the idea horrifying. Likewise many Muslims in Western countries don't support Islamic terrorism.

They are moderates, but only in the sense that they have not yet signed on to radical ideas. Not in the sense that they would fight and oppose them to their very last breath. They are mostly moderates out of a lack of conviction rather than a surplus of it.

Subversive organizations operate through incremental radicalization. The average American liberal of twenty years ago would not have supported half of what he vocally advocates for today. Even Obama and Hillary were against gay marriage when they ran for office. In a few years they moved from opposing a policy to threatening to prosecute those opposed to it. That is how the left works.

Obama and Hillary always had a consistent position. The leadership of the left had one. It was the ordinary rank and file liberal who might have been in the dark until the whistle was blown and the herd stampeded toward the next policy abyss. A year ago those same liberals might have felt uncomfortable with the notion of men using the ladies room. Today they would fight a civil war for it.

The process operates the same way across a spectrum of policies. The left keeps its more moderate followers in the dark about its real goals. Then once the stampede begins, the moderates who derive their sense that they are good people from following the ideas of the left, quickly fall in line.

The same is true of Islam. Plenty of Muslims would not be happy with an immediate transition to ISIS. But plenty are willing to back the more incremental attempts to build a Caliphate through political Islam in Turkey or through the Muslim Brotherhood. Their moderation, like that of many Germans in WW2, consists of an unwillingness to know what dirty deeds are being done.

The moderates bridge this gap both for their rank and file, and for the outsiders who have to be fooled into accepting their premise in order to accept their ends. Their greatest weapon is respectability. When cornered, they insist that they are just nice people who want to make the world a better place. And their critics are bigots, nasty people, who don't want everyone to get along and spread disunity.

And doesn't everyone just want to get along? Isn't that nicer and better? Isn't it a good thing that there are passionate young people who want to make the world a better place?

The chief ally of the moderates is this sort of middle class respectability. The moderates paint their critics as radicals who have no solutions. When in fact they themselves are radicals with a final solution. And yet combating this sort of happy talk remains our greatest challenge.

Yet it is also a passing challenge.

Middle class respectability is a function of a sense of security. When that sense of security begins to implode as a society experiences chaos, the middle class stops clinging to respectability.

And then the real conflict begins.

We may well be approaching that phase. Economic decline and Islamic terror are leading to a radical break with respectability. We are entering a radical age in which the moderates take off their masks and radicals of various stripes gain great influence and openly recruit for their cause.

This will be a shattering experience for many. It will be a very ugly one in many ways. And yet the only way to avert it would be to expose the false moderates who are driving this process for what they are. And this is exactly what those who have the most to lose from a radical rise refuse to do.

None of this is a new phenomenon. History is repeating itself.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Thought For the Day!

Dear Readers,
 
Definition leads to clarity.  Clarity leads to understanding.  Understanding leads to good decision making.  Good decision making leads to harmony.
 
I saw The Five yesterday and I have to ask: If Juan Williams couldn't spew out logical fallacies would he be able to talk? 
 
This will be the only thing I'll be posting today and probably tomorrow. I've got lots to do, articles to write and a white paper to finish on pesticides. Have a good weekend!
 
Best wishes to all,
Rich K. 
 
 
 []

Friday, June 16, 2017

Thought For the Day

Given the latest attack on Congressman Scalise I thought this is a concept that fits a lot of scenarios.

Why
                                                          
                                                          |POLITICALLY
                                                          INCORRECT
                                                          CARTOONS:

A Lesson from China on Poverty Reduction and Inequality

June 15, 2017 by Dan Mitchell
 
I’ve written (many, many times) about how the best way to help the poor is to focus on economic growth rather than inequality.

After all, in a genuine market economy (as opposed to socialism, cronyism, or some other form of statism), the poor aren’t poor because some people are rich.

Today, let’s look at a real-world example of why it is a mistake to focus on inequality.

A study by five Chinese scholars looked at income inequality over time in their country. Their research, published in 2010, focused mostly on the methodological challenges of obtaining good long-run data and understanding the impact of urban and rural populations. But one clear conclusion is that inequality has increased in China.
This paper investigates the influences of the income overlap part on the nationwide Gini coefficient. Then we present a new approach to estimating the Chinese Gini ratio from 1978 to 2006, which avoids the shortcomings of current data sources. In line with the results, the authors further probe the trend of Chinese income disparity. …income inequality has been rising in China. …the national Gini ratio of 2006 is 1.52 times more than that of 1978.
Here’s a chart based on their data (combined with post-2006 data from Statista). It looks at historical trends for the Gini coefficient (a value of “1” is absolute inequality, with one person accumulating all the income in a society, whereas a value of “0” is absolute equality, with everyone having the same level of income.

As you can see, there’s been a significant increase in inequality.



My leftist friends are conditioned to think this is a terrible outcome, in large part because they incorrectly think the economy is a fixed pie.

And when you have that distorted view, higher absolute incomes for the rich necessarily imply lower absolute incomes for the poor.

My response (beyond pointing out that the economy is not a fixed pie), is to argue that the goal should be economic growth and poverty reduction. I don’t care if Bill Gates is getting richer at a faster rate than a poor person. I just want a society where everyone has the chance to climb the economic ladder.

And I also point out that it’s hard to design pro-growth policies that won’t produce more income for rich people. Yes, there are some reforms (licensing liberalization, cutting agriculture subsidies, reducing protectionism, shutting the Ex-Im Bank, reforming Social Security, ending bailouts) that will probably be disproportionately beneficial for those with low incomes, but those policies also will produce growth that will help upper-income people.*

But I’m digressing. The main goal of today’s column is to look at the inequality data from above and then add the following data on poverty reduction.

Here’s a chart I shared back in March. As you can see, there’s been a very impressive reduction in the number of people suffering severe deprivation in rural China (where incomes historically have been lowest).



Consider, now, both charts together.

The bottom line is that economic liberalization resulted in much faster growth. And because some people got richer at a faster rate than others got richer, that led to both an increase in inequality and a dramatic reduction in poverty.

Therefore, what happened in China creates a type of Rorschach test for folks on the left.
  • A well-meaning leftist will look at all this data and say, “I wish somehow everyone got richer at the same rate, but market-based reforms in China are wonderful because so many people escaped poverty.”
  • A spiteful leftist will look at all this data and say, “Because upper-income people benefited even more than low-income people, market-based reforms in China were a failure and should be reversed.”
Needless to say, the spiteful leftists are the ones who hate the rich more than they love the poor (here are some wise words from Margaret Thatcher on such people).

*To the extend that some upper-income taxpayers obtain unearned income via government intervention, then they may lose out from economic liberalization. Ethical rich people, however, will earn more income if there are pro-growth reforms.

 

Camille Paglia: On Trump, Democrats, Transgenderism, and Islamist Terror

By Jonathan V. Last Jun 15, 2017

In a wide-ranging interview Paglia talks about Donald Trump's successes, how Chuck Schumer emboldened the "resistance," why the left can't condemn Islamist terrorism, and "the cold biological truth that sex changes are impossible."   Sitting down with Paglia to talk about Donald Trump, Islamist terrorism, and the transgender crusade....To Read More...

My Take -  For those who know about Paglia you might wonder why I post this article.  I've been reading Camille Paglia for years...not always in agreement....but I find her willingness to stand against the conventional leftist vision couragous and refreshing.  While she's a far left lesbian who is amazingly strong in her presentation in what she believes - you may be amazed at the things she believes.  If a conservative said these things they would be villified unendingly.    I think you will find this interview worth your time. 

For Democrats, it's come down to 'Just Get Someone'

By Steve Feinstein

The November 2016 election of Donald Trump has so incensed the liberal mainstream media and the Democratic establishment that they’ve become virtually unhinged emotionally in their zeal to delegitimize and torpedo his presidency. Far from “coming together as one country after a hard-fought election campaign,” the Democrats and their liberal media collaborators have embarked on a nonstop, all-out crusade to destroy the Trump administration, thereby somehow reversing and overturning last November’s election result. That is their objective, make no mistake: Disqualify, reverse, and oust.

The Democrats’ disqualification vehicle of choice is some vague, unspecified illegal connection that the Trump people had with Russian operatives before the election that enabled the Russians to manipulate the American voting process in a targeted manner to alter the vote, away from Hillary Clinton, and give it to Donald Trump............. More

Liberal Democrat says “Every Racist in America Voted for Donald Trump”

 By Onan Coca June 15, 2017

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) probably won’t be winning any popularity contests outside of New York, but he probably doesn’t care about that. We can tell because he’s a big fan of dropping the red meat down for his liberal constituents, but he’s not a big fan of being gracious to his political opponents or respectful of those who disagree with him.

Case in point his most, check out his most recent speech where he argues that not every Trump voter is racist…. but every racist is a Trump voter.
......... To Read More....

The Left's Very Dangerous Game

What will leftists do if their proclaimed assassination fantasies come true and a conservative political leader is killed?

Bruce Walker

The left is simply perverse lunacy pampered and protected by cynical cadres who use it as a source of power, wealth, and prestige. This sick madness leads leftists to do profoundly stupid and evil things. This sick madness also leads the left to political suicide and revulsion by the majority of Americans.

Consider Shakespeare in the Park portraying the assassination of President Trump, and, more importantly, consider the gaggle of New York leftists applauding that theatrically produced murder.

 Consider the attempted assassination at a charity baseball game of the House majority whip, Steve Scalise, an early supporter within the Republican Party of Donald Trump, by James T. Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter, who asked before he began his attack on Scalise and other congressmen if the people on the field were Democrats or Republicans – and when told "Republican," he began his carnage............... More

Dirty Politics: In Georgia Liberals Stuff Mailboxes with Disgusting anti-GOP Flyers,Threaten Candidate with Powder

By Onan Coca June 15, 2017

 In the wake of the attempted massacre of Republicans in Arlington, Virginia, liberals are not toning things down in the race for representing Georgia’s 6th District. If anything, someone who is hoping for a Jon Ossoff (the Democrat candidate) victory, is turning up the vile heat.

Local authorities are saying that residents in Republican Karen Handel’s Roswell, Georgia neighborhood have been targeted by someone who is saying vile things about Handel.
The notes say: .......To Read More...

(Editor's Note:  The note is not for family viewing.  RK)

Liberal Violence in America is becoming Commonplace – A Non-exhaustive List of Examples

By Onan Coca June 15, 2017 

There is an email currently circulating around that contains a LONG list of examples of liberal violence from the last few months. We’re not just talking about a liberal getting into a bar fight, we’re talking about liberals using violence for political purposes. It’s a specific kind of violence, a violence meant to force their political opponents to cower in fear and silence.

It makes the liberal concerns about the attack on conservatives this past Wednesday ring hollow. The truth is that liberal cultural leaders have been all too happy to use violent rhetoric and powerfully aggressive commentary to decry conservatives. They’ve called us evil, fascists, Nazis, racists, hatemongers, etc… how do they expect their followers to respond? If we truly are these evil, hateful things, why wouldn’t violence to stop us from “destroying the planet,” be an acceptable response?
Here are a few examples of the rampant and continuing liberal violence against conservatives:.........To Read More......

All Of A Sudden, It's Raining Genomes

By Julianna LeMieux — June 14, 2017

The sequence of an organism's genome, a staple in today's world of scientific experimentation, is as essential to scientific research as beakers. So, publishing over one thousand new bacterial genomes is like 'making it rain' to the microbiology research community.

An article entitled "1,003 reference genomes of bacterial and archaeal isolates expand coverage of the tree of life" was published this week in the journal Nature Biotechnology by an international research team led by the US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute. This release effectively doubles the number of currently available bacterial and archaeal genomes available to researchers currently.

This work is part of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea Initiative (GEBA-I), which was founded by Jonathan Eisen, Ph.D. Eisen's website aims to "expand the reference genome catalog of broad phylogenetic and physiological diversity, to determine how this catalog facilitates the discovery of protein families and expands the diversity of known functions, and to ascertain whether these type-strain genomes improve the recruitment and phylogenetic assignment of existing metagenomic sequences."......To Read More.... 


 

The latest cable ratings are not good tidings for Fox News

By Peter Barry Chowka June 14, 2017

The official Nielsen Media Research cable TV ratings for the weekend of June 10 and 11, 2017 are out, and the ping-pong effect of the popularity of the three cable news channels is continuing. Overall, Fox News (FNC) continues in a weakened position compared with its performance in past years. This change in the fortunes of FNC followed the upheavals in management and the imposition of a weak new lineup of programs this spring.

Cable news ratings for Saturdays and Sundays are often very different from ratings for weekdays. For one thing, MSNBC, the consistently virulent anti-Trump channel, is now beating FNC and CNN during most weekdays. But on weekend evenings, much of MSNBC's schedule is inexplicably devoted not to news, but to reality shows focusing on the lives of convicted criminals behind bars. In the current hyper-polarized political climate, these "lockup" programs are not ratings winners..............Read more

Defending the Indefensible

By John Steinreich June 15, 2017

The false narrative of Operation Trump-Russia is the latest in a long train of episodes wherein Democrats have actively defended the indefensible. Emerging in the 1820s to counter the Whigs in favor of Andrew Jackson in 1828, the Democratic Party has had an age-old tradition of fighting to advance every bad idea in American history. To their limited credit, Old Hickory's political team have had brief spurts of decency. In their early days, the Jacksonians opposed centralized government, particularly as related to economics. A late 19th-century faction called the Bourbon Democrats, among whom was President Grover Cleveland, championed fiscal responsibility. Cleveland famously vetoed the 1887 Texas Seed Bill, which would have appropriated $10,000 to farmers in the Lone Star State for drought relief. Cleveland upheld constitutionalism with this veto, expressing the following:
I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit[.] ... Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood............Read more

Feel the Bern: Chavista celebrities refuse to say they were wrong about socialism

By John Dietrich June 14, 2017

The New York Times published an article on Venezuela titled "Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela's Failing Hospitals."  It reads like an apocalyptic horror story and begins, "By morning, three newborns were already dead."  The author provides an explanation for this tragedy: "This nation has the largest oil reserves in the world, yet the government saved little money for hard times when oil prices were high. Now that prices have collapsed – they are around a third what they were in 2014 – the consequences are casting a destructive shadow across the country."  No other explanation is offered.  Perhaps we will be receiving reports of massive starvation in Saudi Arabia soon.

The article is a far cry from the glowing reports that greeted the assumption of power by Hugo Chávez When Chávez was elected, Venezuela's people were the wealthiest in Latin America.  Celebrities flocked to Caracas to pay homage to the new socialist leader.  Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Danny Glover, and Harry Belafonte are just a few of the entertainers who have visited.  Oliver Stone has made a film, Mi Amigo Hugo, about the Venezuelan leader.  Now Venezuela appears to be suffering a food shortage.  A survey by three universities found that 75 percent of Venezuelans lost an average 19 pounds this year.

Have the Venezuelan revolution's early supporters admitted they were wrong?  Are they at all embarrassed?  According to John Stossel, they believe they were right to praise Venezuela's move to socialism.  Stossel corresponded with college professor Noam Chomsky.  Chomsky's reply to Stossel's question about his support for Chávez was "I was right."  Chomsky blamed Venezuela's problems on capitalists: "Capitalists were free to undermine the economy in all sorts of ways, like massive export of capital."  Stossel quotes Marian Tupy, editor of HumanProgress.org, who said, "More countries will refuse to learn from history and give socialism 'a go.' Useful idiots,' to use Lenin's words ... will sing socialism's praises until the last light goes out.".......socialism is a religion ..........It is a form of Christianity without Christ..To Read More...









Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thought For the Day

atriots Who Dare... Join our fight to                              save America!

The Ultimate Anti-Libertarian Humor

In my collection of libertarian-related humor, I have some items that are very funny in large part because they take something that is (at least somewhat) true and stretch it to an absurd level.
Especially in my collection of anti-libertarian jokes.
But now I have the ultimate insult. This photo from the libertarian page on Reddit is a biting example of the “missionary” in the bottom row showing the 24 types of libertarians. Someone who is so driven to proselytize that they overlook….um…other normal human impulses.


For what it’s worth, I consider myself a multi-tasking libertarian.
I don’t think there are many people in the world who share my deep-seated hostility to the IRS and internal revenue code.

But I also try to live a balanced life, with time for other pursuits such as Georgia football, Yankees baseball, playing softball, and…um…something else, but I’m getting so old that I forget what that other thing is.

Swedish womyn social (justice) workers love refugees – literally

We know the type: aging feminist socialist spinsters who have nothing else to do but make other people's lives miserable with constant multi-cultural rants and harping on the male dominated hierarchy or some such.

 So where to find happiness in their frustrating and demented existence, outside providing coffee and donuts at an antifa riot?

 Well, the womyn social justice warriors in Sweden have come up with a solution. According to the Narrative Collapse, many of these womyn join the ranks of the social services agencies to have sex with immigrant men...............Read more

The dishonesty of Anderson Cooper and James Clapper

By Bert Peterson

Regarding James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the following exchange (edited) between CNN's Anderson Cooper, interviewing former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, took place:
ANDERSON COOPER: General Clapper… you said that Watergate pales to what we're confronting now. I wonder from what you saw today and heard today, did it disabuse you of that notion at all now?
JAMES CLAPPER: No, on the contrary it reinforced it. And just so to understand the context of my comment, what the big -- the big difference in my mind between Watergate, which I lived through, and this is the back drop of the Russian interference in our political process as opposed to a burglary, a break-in. To me, that is hugely different…
COOPER: In what way does it reinforce the seriousness of what the U.S. is confronting right now?
CLAPPER: Well, I think the director -- former Director Comey's testimony about his interactions with the president and what the president appeared to be trying to get him to do, I thought was quite damning and very disturbing.
COOPER: What was the President trying to get Comey to do?
Actually, though surprisingly enough, that is not what Cooper asked. We will get to that. But, for the moment, let’s assume that he did ask such an appropriate question. What would Clapper’s answer have been? In connection with Russia, what did Trump, as Comey’s boss, ask Comey to do? He tacitly asked him to drop the investigation against Gen. Michael Flynn. As Alan Dershowitz and others have held -- and in his testimony, Comey himself confirmed -- Trump was entirely within his authority to make such a request -- indeed, not simply to request, but to order Comey to drop the investigation.......... Read more

Diversity Is Bunk

By Richard F. Miniter

I attended one of the premier educational institutions in the United States in the nineteen fifties: P.S. 104 on the corner of 95th Street and Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It’s still there. But as Dr. Thomas Sowell said about one he attended in those years, it might be the “same building” but it’s not the “same school.”

Despite the fact that my wonderful grandmother was a native Swedish speaker P.S. 104 didn’t feel compelled to celebrate my “heritage” the way it would today. They taught me where Sweden was because we studied geography (and don’t we wish our children still did) but not to put too fine a point on it, they knew I wasn’t growing up in Stockholm.

I had a friend whose father was a senior NCO at the Fort Hamilton Army Base a few blocks away and nobody went lyrical about how he, just by being black and therefore “different”, enriched our educational experience either.

I had another friend whose father had flown a Focke-Wulf 200 multi-engine bomber for the Luftwaffe during WWII and it goes without saying that there wasn’t a chance in hell of anybody applauding his antecedents.

Or for that matter the fact that another’s father was deputy something-or-other at the Yugoslav mission to the United Nations, another’s a survivor of the Holocaust or maybe just up from Puerto Rico with the family hoping to start a better life. None of that mattered.................More

Are You Ready for Fake Facts and Fake Law from the Ninth Circuit?

By Allan J. Favish June 14, 2017

On June 12, 2017, three judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that President Donald Trump’s second executive order imposing a temporary ban on “entry” into the United States should be read as if it stated that the ban was on “the issuance of an immigrant visa.” 

This made it possible for Judges Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald M. Gould, and Richard A. Paez, all appointed by President Bill Clinton, to hold that the temporary ban was subject to a statutory prohibition on discrimination because of a person’s nationality “in the issuance of an immigrant visa.” 

There is no statutory prohibition on nationality-based discrimination in the president’s determination of whether a person can enter the United States.  In addition, these judges “interpreted” the law to mean something that the law does not state, so that even if the executive order were to be interpreted accurately, it would run afoul of the law.

As previously explained at AT, when ruling on President Trump’s first executive order regarding a temporary ban on “entry” into the United States, three other Ninth Circuit judges ruled against the first executive order without making any reference to Title 8 United States Code, section 1182(f), which states:.......... More

 

Is This Treason in Time of War?

James Lewis

Imagine a movie scenario. The nation is at war for its very survival, following an unprovoked assault on the Twin Towers in Manhattan and on the Pentagon, killing more than 3,000 innocent people. But the nation has been infiltrated, sabotaged, and subverted by the enemy, in close alliance with the radical left, which controls what Karl Marx called the Organs of Propaganda: The schools and media.

Two of our worst enemies, North Korea and Iran, are working in close cooperation to develop nuclear weapons and ICBMs, which could destroy our cities with only 15 minutes warning time.

We are therefore at war, quite possibly a war that will end in national catastrophe for us and the civilized world. This is an important point, because the U.S. Constitution defines "treason" as "aiding and abetting an enemy of the United States in time of war.".............. More

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cartoon of the Day

The Climate Confederacy


After President Trump rejected the Paris Climate treaty, which had never been ratified by the Senate, the European Union announced that it would work with a climate confederacy of secessionist states. Scotland and Norway’s environmental ministers have mentioned a focus on individual American states. And the secessionist governments of California, New York and Washington have announced that they will unilaterally and illegally enter into a foreign treaty rejected by the President of the United States.

The Constitution is very clear about this. “No state shall enter into any treaty.” Governor Cuomo of New York has been equally clear. “New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington's irresponsible actions.”

Cuomo's statement conveniently comes in French, Chinese and Russian translations.

“It is a little bold to talk about the China-California partnership as though we were a separate nation, but we are a separate nation,” Governor Brown of California announced.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, the radical leftist described California as “a real nation-state”.

Brown was taking a swing through China to reassure the Communist dictatorship of California’s loyalty to an illegal treaty at the same time as EU boss Juncker was bashing America and kissing up to Premier Li Keqiang at the EU-China summit. It’s one thing when the EU and China form a united front against America. It’s quite another when California and China form a united front against America.

The Climate Alliance of California, New York, Washington, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia and Rhode Island looks a lot like the Confederacy’s Montgomery Convention. Both serve as meeting points for a secessionist alliance of states to air their grievances against the Federal government over an issue in which they are out of step with the nation.

"We’re a powerful state government. We have nine other states that agree with us," Brown boasted.

Two more and Jim Jones' old pal could have his own confederacy.

All the bragging and boasting about how much wealth and power the secessionist states of the climate confederacy represent sounds very familiar. But that wealth and power is based around small enclaves, the Bay Area and a few dozen blocks in Manhattan, which wield disproportionate influence.

Like the slaveowner class, leftist elites are letting the arrogance of their wealth lead them into treason. And as they look out from their mansions and skyscrapers, they should remember that the majority of working class people in California and New York will be far less enthusiastic about fighting a war to protect their dirty investments in solar energy plants and carbon credits funded by taxes seized from many of those same people in these left-wing slave states.

The declared intention of the Climate Alliance, in words appearing on the New York State government website, is to treasonously “convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement”.

States cannot and are not allowed to unilaterally choose to “uphold” a treaty rejected by the President. Their leaders are certainly not allowed to travel to enemy nations to inform foreign powers of their treasonous designs and to solicit their aid against the policies of the United States government.

This is all the more treasonous at a time when the United States is on a collision course with the People’s Republic of China over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and trade agreements.

“It’s important for the world to know that America is not Washington," Brown declared. "Yes, we’re part of the union, but we’re also a sovereign state that can promote the necessary policies that are required for survival.”

Governors don’t normally feel the need to declare that their state is still part of the union. But they also don’t announce that they’re a separate nation and then set off to cut separate deals with enemy powers. No state should be issuing, “Yes, we’re part of the union, but” disclaimers before going to China.

The disclaimer is the first step to leaving the union.

Governor Brown's trip to China isn't funded by California taxpayers. That might be a relief to that overburdened tribe except that it's partially being paid for by the Energy Foundation. Behind that generic name for a pass through organization are a number of left-wing foundations who have been paying for American politicians to travel to the People’s Republic of China.

Donors to the energy foundation include Ecocrat billionaire Tom Steyer who has pumped millions into EF. Steyer’s finances are entangled with China and even with members of the Chinese government.

Steyer has accused President Trump of treason for rejecting the unconstitutional Paris Climate Treaty. But who are the real traitors here?

Other major EF donors include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Bloomberg and George Soros.

There is something deeply troubling about a governor’s treasonous trip being funded by private interests with business ties to a foreign power. If Democrats were really serious about rooting out influence by foreign powers, they would be taking a very close look at Brown’s backers.

But the greater outrage is that the governors of secessionist states are using a manufactured crisis to conduct “diplomacy” with foreign governments in defiance of the policies of the United States.

Washington’s Jay Inslee was recently talking Global Warming in a meeting with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. “We’re both very strongly engaged on issues of climate change, on issues of openness to trade, on leadership on refugees as well,” Trudeau declared.

“We share an incredible commitment to defeating climate change,” Inslee flattered him. “And it is a great pleasure we have a national leader on the North American continent who is committed to that.”

And he didn’t mean the President of the United States.

Inslee’s fondness for the illegal Paris Climate treaty is unsurprising as his own efforts on Global Warming similarly depended on unilateral moves that lacked legislative support. But that is a problem for Washington’s Constitution. His participation in a secessionist pact is a problem for our Constitution.

And the problem isn’t limited to the Climate Alliance.

California and many of the other entities declaring that they will enforce an illegal treaty are also sanctuary states and cities. They are choosing not to follow Federal law while implementing foreign treaties that they have no right to unilaterally participate in.

This is a treasonous situation that is more troubling in some ways than the original Civil War because it involves states making open alliance with enemy powers such as China and welcoming them in. State governments are undermining the united front of the national government in the face of the enemy.

"California will resist this misguided and insane course of action," Governor Brown ranted. The logic of “resistance” has inevitably turned into treason.

A civil war is underway. In the last election the territorial majority of Americans rejected the rule of a minority of wealthy and powerful urban enclaves. Outside of their bicoastal bases, the political power of the Democrat faction has been shattered. And so it has retreated into subversion and secessionism.

“China is moving forward in a very serious way, and so is California,” Brown declared. “And we're going in the opposite direction of Donald Trump.”

While Democrats have spent the better part of the previous week waving their arms in the air over a back channel with Russia, one of their faction’s leading governors is openly allying with China against the President of the United States. And the treasonous Democrat media is cheering this betrayal.

Brown and his colleagues are in blatant violation of the Logan Act. Their actions are in violation of the United States Constitution. And all this is another dark step on the road to another civil war.

If the climate confederacy is not held accountable for its treason, the crisis will only grow.