Thursday, February 28, 2019

P&D Today

By Rich Kozlovich
I'm busy working on a project and don't have the time to do a larger editon today, but there may be an evening edition, so here are what I think are two important commentaries and one post, equally important, and maybe more important.
Enjoy!
Economics
Culture
Leftist Arrogance
 

 

Is a Second Civil War Coming?

February 28, 2019 By Jeff Lukens

Civil wars are horrendous and bloody affairs. That's why we should avoid them. They happen when two sides cannot settle on who runs the country. When they can't reconcile the matter through elections, the country falls apart. When one side does not accept the election results, we have a countdown to a civil war.  This is the thesis put forth by journalist Daniel Greenfield.  It rings true on many levels. ........... Parts of the country detest the other parts. Coastal elites dislike flyover country. The blue states despise the red states, and vice versa.

We may now be near a point comparable to 1860. Modern Democrats hate President Trump as much as the Democrats of old hated President Lincoln. Democrats repudiated Lincoln for opposing slavery, and modern Democratic leaders are repudiating Lincoln's belief that the government is of the people, for the people, and by the people. Then as now, Democrats are on the wrong side of history...............

Ask yourself, why are liberals always angry? Why are they so vulgar? Why do they slander and push fake labels like racist, sexist, and homophobic? Why do they engage in "emotional outbursts" when challenged? Why are they violent? ................This is a dangerous time.

Americans in 1859 had no idea of the cataclysm that lay ahead for them just a few years later. Nothing is certain, and hopefully we will avoid a similar disaster. We may have differences, but America is profoundly good and needs only sensible corrections that reasonable people can agree upon. We hope and pray that our differences do not escalate into a Second Civil War....................... Read more

If There's a Hair in Your Soup, Thank New York's Commission on Human Rights

Daniel Greenfield 5 Comments Tuesday, February 26, 2019 @ Sultan Knish Blog

In December 2018, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a radical group supportive of terrorists, passed a display in the window of a Prada store in New York City. The display showed toy squids, aliens and monkeys that were part of the Pradamalia line, a name that combined Prada’ and ‘Animalia'. Alongside the $500 squids and aliens were two toy monkeys. One green and one red.

The green monkey named Toto wasn't a problem. But the, now banished eighth creature, a red monkey named Otto, triggered Chinyere Ezie, the CCR lawyer, whose viral post declared, " I’m shaking with anger". According to Ezie, the red monkey was a clear case of blackface imagery.

The rest of the story: outrage, hashtags (#StopBlackface #BoycottPrada #EndRacismNow) apologies, boycotts, a Prada diversity council, and a campaign accusing other luxury brands of racism is familiar.

But something much more disturbing than a toy monkey in a Soho store happened in between.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights sent a cease and desist letter to Prada, in its own words, “demanding the company immediately stop displaying and selling the ‘Pradamalia’ goods.”

"The Commission is taking swift action to demand Prada immediately comply with the NYC Human Rights Law," Assistant Commissioner Sapna V. Raj warned.

The Commission's press release threatened that, "it has the authority to fine violators with civil penalties of up to $250,000 for willful and malicious violations of the Law."

A government agency issuing an order to stop displaying an artistic product (that is what Prada considered its Pradamalia collection) and threatening fines is a blatant First Amendment violation. Yet this abuse of power went largely unnoticed by the NYCLU, which these days seems to spend much of its time backing a Judeophobic campaign against Orthodox Jewish schools in the city. And while the stakes, a cartoon monkey that Prada swiftly disavowed, may seem silly, the case has ominous implications.

New York City's Human Rights Law is a sprawling and unwieldy mess, some of whose provisions would probably not survive a vigorous court challenge, and the Commission wields a disturbing amount of power, including the threat of prison for anyone who impedes its activities, but in this case it appeared to be defining speech as a discriminatory practice. And that is an attack on the First Amendment.

The Commission claims to fight for social justice, but its commitment to social justice appears to casually violate some of the most important civil rights protected by the United States Constitution.

The Prada case cast a brief gleam of light on how out of control a mostly obscure agency had become.

New York City had long ago rolled through the usual spectrum of legal protections for everyone from ex-cons to transgender men. And the Commission has been desperately concocting new legal protections. Its latest initiative declares that employers, including in the health care and food service industries, may not prevent employees, regardless of race, from wearing dreadlocks because that’s racial discrimination.

The Commission's new guidelines insist that employees have "the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.” Schools, public and private, are also forbidden from banning dreadlocks.

Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis boasted that “human rights warriors” had gone on Al Jazeera to discuss hair rights. Al Jazeera is Qatar’s Islamist propaganda network. Under Islamic law, women’s hair must be covered with anything ranging from a hijab to a burka. There are no “hair rights” in Islam.

And “human rights warriors” sounds like a government agency deploying official social justice warriors.

Hair rights may sound silly, but what it really means is that restaurants will have to choose between keeping hair out of the steaks and salads of their customers, or dealing with the Commission on cases that will last for years and potentially cost the victims tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When you find a hair in your soup in a New York restaurant, you can thank the Commission.

But the Prada crackdown and hair rights had become typical of a New York City government spinning out of control under Mayor Bill de Blasio and his even more radical New York City Council counterparts.

Amazon’s pullout and the rise of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez had focused national attention on the deranged radicalism and incompetence that had become the hallmarks of New York City politics.

What does the Commission actually do?

In 2014, a “small restaurant” in Brooklyn posted an ad on Craigslist seeking an “experienced waitress who can make cappuccino”. The Commission went after the unidentified 25-seat restaurant and its minority owner because he had used “waitress” instead of “wait-person” or “wait-thing.”

The owner told the representative of the Commission that he hadn’t done anything wrong and hung up the phone. He did not show up at any of the hearings and showed no interest in the kangaroo court.

In 2015, an administrative law judge held him liable for gender discrimination. Since Mr. Rosario didn’t show up, the Commission insisted he should be punished, "primarily because of the important public interest in ensuring cooperation with the Commission's administrative investigation and hearing processes."

The final order was signed by Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis three years after the original offense. Malalis has a B.A. in Women's Studies from Yale and a seemingly boundless hatred for restaurants.

A previous order had hit Crazy Asylum, a restaurant, accused of also putting up a Craigslist ad for “waitresses” who could wear heels, with a $10,000 fine after wasting four years on this case. “Respondents were not sufficiently deterred from posting another advertisement indicating a limitation on gender even after they had received the Bureau's Complaint,” the Malalis order fumed.

The inmates, with their degrees in Women’s Studies, were officially in charge of the asylum.

Also facing the Commission’s wrath was an Indian restaurant which had put out an ad for an Indian waiter or waitress back in 2013. The Commission conducted a sting operation by sending an email job application for “George Harris” and “using an email add-on that confirms when an email has been opened by the recipient, the tester confirmed that both emails were opened. However, the tester did not receive a response to either job application.” Would that hold up in court? Welcome to New York.

George, who didn’t exist, didn’t get the job. Neither did anyone else because the job no longer exists.

The Indian restaurant shut down, but the case kept going with a penalty finally issued four years later. Once again, Commissioner Malalis declared that, “Respondents' failure to cooperate with the Bureau investigation and to participate in the OATH hearing process necessitates the imposition of civil penalties.” The worst crime the Commission can think of isn’t racism: it’s ignoring the Commission.

However, all the managerial staff for the Indian restaurant that doesn’t exist were ordered to attend a Commission-led training that will teach them it’s wrong to hire Indians to work at Indian restaurants.

The Indian restaurant and the jobs of all its employees had to be destroyed for social justice.

Meanwhile two Muslim taxi drivers, Baqir Raza and Mohammed Dahbi, who discriminated against a black woman and a lesbian couple, got off with no fines. Instead, even though their alleged actions were actually discriminatory, in the interests of “restorative justice”, a euphemism that means giving minority offenders a pass, they were instead ordered to educate other drivers about the evils of discrimination.

The Commission had spoken.

Under Republican governance, New York City began a major turnaround. What made that turnaround possible was a crackdown on crime and quality of life issues, along with creating an environment that encouraged businesses to stay in New York, and attracted new companies to do business there.

All of these three factors were reversed under Mayor Bill de Blasio. Term limits, instead of reforming government, pushed out professional politicians and replaced them with motivated radicals. Policing was once again crippled and quality of life offenses became protected behavior on its streets.

New York City is steadily bleeding people. Beyond the established financial and cultural industries, few companies want to deal with a deranged regulatory environment run by incompetent radical activists.

Amazon couldn’t make it in New York. Smaller companies don’t even want to try.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights is both ridiculous and disturbing, a Kafkaesque monstrosity exercising dubious powers for radical ends, holding its own hearings, inventing its own laws and spitefully punishing small businesses who dare to ignore the radical agendas of its identity politics.

New Yorkers needs some human rights activists to save them from their Commission on Human Rights.

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

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

Thank you for reading.

Six Key Things to Understand for Sensible Fiscal Policy

February 25, 2019 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
When I’m asked for a basic tutorial on fiscal policy, I normally share my four videos on the economics of government spending and my primer on fundamental tax reform.

But this six-minute interview may be a quicker introduction to spending issues since I had the opportunity to touch on almost every key principle.



Culled from the discussion, here is what everyone should understand about the spending side of the fiscal ledger.

Principle #1 – America’s fiscal problem is a government that is too big and growing too fast. Government spending diverts resources from the productive sector of the economy, regardless of how it is financed. There is real-world evidence that large public sectors sap the private sector’s vitality, augmented by lots of academic research on the negative relationship between government spending and economic performance.
Principle #2 – Entitlements programs are the main drivers of excessive spending. All the long-run forecasts show that the burden of spending is rising because of the so-called mandatory spending programs. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid were not designed to keep pace with demographic changes (falling birthrates, increasing longevity), so spending for these program will consume ever-larger shares of economic output.
Principle #3 – Deficits and debt are symptoms of the underlying problem. Government borrowing is not a good idea, but it’s primarily bad because it is a way of financing a larger burden of spending. The appropriate analogy is that, just as a person with a brain tumor shouldn’t fixate on the accompanying headache, taxpayers paying for a bloated government should pay excessive attention to the portion financed by red ink.
Principle #4 – Existing red ink is small compared to the federal government’s unfunded liabilities. People fixate on current levels of deficits and debt, which are a measure of all the additional spending financed by red ink. But today’s amount of red ink is relatively small compared to unfunded liabilities (i.e., measures of how much future spending will exceed projected revenues).
Principle #5 – A spending cap is the best way to solve America’s fiscal problems. Balanced budget rules are better than nothing, but they have a don’t control the size and growth of government. Spending caps are the only fiscal rules that have a strong track record, even confirmed by research from the International Monetary Fund and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
 
Here’s one final principle, though I didn’t mention it in the interview.

Principle #6 – Increasing taxes will make a bad situation worse. Since government spending is the real fiscal problem, higher taxes, at best, replace debt-financed spending with tax-financed spending. In reality, higher taxes loosen political constraints on policy makers and “feed the beast,” so the most likely outcome – as seen in Europe – is that overall spending levels increase and long-term debt actually increases.
 
In an ideal world, these six principles would be put in a frame and nailed above the desk of every politician, government official, and bureaucrat who deals with fiscal policy.


Not that it would make much difference since their decisions are guided by “public choice” no matter what principles they see at their desk, but it’s nice to fantasize.

Here are a few other observations from the interview.
P.S. Needless to say, I wish limits on enumerated powers were still a guiding principle for fiscal policy. Sadly, the days of Madisonian constitutionalism are long gone.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Cartoon of the Day


An Unnatural Love Affair

By Stephen Mauzy March 29, 2011 @ American Thinker

(Editor's NoteI would like for you to read the last paragraph over a couple of times as each reading allows for further insightful thought. Published with permission.  Emphasis is added by me.  RK)

Given the innumerable combinations of psychoses, fetishes, predilections, infatuations, and obsessions that can afflict earth's seven billion human inhabitants, it is within the realm of possibilities that at least one of the seven billion has anthropomorphized a rock and is interacting with it as if it were a sentient human being.

Preposterous? Hardly, when considering that a Mr. Art Price Jr. of Bellevue, Ohio was arrested for having a public dalliance with a picnic table and that a Ms Sharon Tendler of London married a dolphin.

If one anthropomorphizes a rock, one is a nut job. If one anthropomorphizes billions of rocks, one is an environmentalist. The personification of nature is evident in the language. Nature is cast in the image of man, or, more accurately, woman; thus nature is imbued with womanly feelings, desires, and attributes. Nature is lovely, delicate, and anemic - a description more accurate of Audrey Hepburn than of an amalgam of dirt, rocks, sand, and water and one at which your average resident of Fukushima Prefecture would take umbrage.

The environmentalist's unnatural love affair with nature would be no more intrusive or offensive than the nut job's love affair with a rock. The difference is that the environmentalist relentlessly coerces everyone into his indulgent fantasy -- a grim world predicated on privation and scarcity.  To the environmentalist's mind, nature is like a female mammalian: she can give only so much before the teat runs dry. 

It's a misconception on steroids.  Nature, as inanimate and sterile as it is, is about abundance and possibilities. Professional alarmist and renowned Malthusian Paul Ehrlich had this fact handed to him on a nickel-plated, chromium-infused, tin-alloyed, tungsten-hardened copper plate by environmental economist Julian Simon, in 1990. 

A decade earlier, Ehrlich and Simon famously wagered on the price direction of the aforementioned metals -- picked by Ehrlich. Ehrlich bet they would increase, Simon they would fall. Ehrlich lost the bet, as all five commodities trended lower during the wager period.

Ehrlich lost because of a contrived belief in scarcity where none exists.  A scoop of earth will comprise elements ranging from aluminum to zirconium.  Consider the number of scoops that can be taken from the earth's 198 million square mile surface.  Now consider the number of scoops if we expand the possibilities 25 miles down to the earth's lithosphere.

What is usable today is a mere rounding error compared to the overall supply of natural resources, but it is only a rounding error because of human knowledge, which progresses over time. The supply of economically usable natural resources expands as we increase our knowledge of and our mastery over nature.  Iron was irrelevant to Stone-Age man, silicon  was superfluous to Midde-age man, but their value eventually became evident when discovery and knowledge enabled future man to forge iron into steel and silicon into transistors.

But the environmentalist whinges that we will exhaust what we have mastered and be left destitute. George Reisman, Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics, offers a counter perspective.

[T]he total of the supply of minerals mined by man each year amounts to substantially less than 25 cubic miles. This is a rate that could be sustained for the next 100 million years before it amounted to something approaching 1 percent of the supply represented by the earth. (These estimates follow from such facts as that the total annual global production of oil, iron, coal, and aluminum can be respectively fitted into spaces of 1.15, 0.14, 0.5, and 0.04 cubic miles, based on the number of units produced and the quantity that fits into one cubic meter.)

The environmentalist will riposte not all resources are alike. Oil is different: once consumed it is gone forever. Environmentalists and economists have been warning about peak oil since the wells in western Pennsylvania began running dry, which wasn't long after Col. Edwin Drake drilled the first commercial oil well in Titusville, in 1859.

Before Pennsylvania's oil fields became economically barren, though, drillers moved further west and struck oil in Ohio, then Texas, then Wyoming, then California, then Alaska. Prices rose, then dropped as drillers mastered the ability to extract less convenient reserves. The process has been replicated numerous times since, and will be replicated numerous times in the future.  Peak oil in one market spurs production in other markets.

And there are still many oil markets left to spur. From 1970 to 2005, U.S. daily oil consumption increased to 20 million barrels per day from 15 million, slightly less than a 1 percent annual increase.  If we extrapolate this growth rate a hundred years, to 2105, the United States will consume 1.26 trillion barrels of oil. A barrel of oil is 5.6 cubic feet, therefore, we will use 7.08 trillion cubic feet of oil over the next 100 years. The numbers are staggering until placed in context: a cubic mile equals 147 billion cubic feet. The entire surface of the earth is open to drilling up to six miles deep (the continental surface averages 25 miles thickness), that's 1.2 billion cubic miles, of which only 48 will be needed to supply U.S. oil demand for the next 95 years.

Of course, we can exploit to our heart's content, but we will bury nature in garbage while doing so. The total acreage devoted to landfill use in the United States is about 560,000 acres. That is about 0.02 percent of all the land in the nation.  Holding all of America's garbage for the next hundred years would require a space only 255 feet high or deep and 10 miles square.

Perhaps we will choke nature to death instead. There is the obvious: nature is inanimate, so it doesn't breathe.  Life is different, it has to.  On that front, air pollution has been on the decline for decades, and emission trends from vehicles and industrial sources confirm that pollution levels will continue to decline in the future. Yet environmentalist have gone to great lengths to convince the public otherwise.

Our mastery and exploitation of nature correlates positively with our living standards. The environmentalist lowers these standards by forcing the person of today to conserve today's very abundant resources for generations of unborn persons of tomorrow, who, in turn, will be coerced to conserve these same resources for yet future generations of unborn. The process not only attenuates our discovery and mastery over new resources, it is as absurd as passing along into perpetuity a present that no one gets to open.

Even more absurd, the value creators -- the people who improve life -- are the environmentalist's chief enablers.  Because the value creators have discovered processes that turn nature into roads, automobiles, hotels, restaurants, gasoline, climate-specific clothing, and other life enhancing goods, the environmentalist can continue to anthropomorphize nature, oblivious to the malevolence of the raw environment around him.

Stephen Mauzy is a financial writer, analyst, and principal of S.P. Mauzy and Associates. Send him e-mail at steve@spmauzyandassociates.com .



 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Fighting for energy and human rights equality in Africa

The Congress of Racial Equality Uganda has lost another leader, but the fight continues

Paul Driessen

“She has gone to the Lord,” her sister Diana told me a few days ago. And with Fiona Kobusingye’s passing, after a courageous battle with cancer, the Congress of Racial Equality Uganda lost another leader.

However, their legacy remains, the battles they began rage on – and Uganda and Africa are clearly and consistently demonstrating their determination to achieve energy, health, human rights and living standards equality with Europe, America and other industrialized economies. They are determined do so using the same fossil fuel and other technologies that those already wealthy nations used in their ascent out of the nasty, brutish, short lives that were all of humanity’s lot just a few short centuries ago.

I met Fiona 15 years ago at a Congress of Racial Equality Martin Luther King dinner organized by her late husband and my close friend, CORE international affairs director Cyril Boynes, Jr. They got married, Cyril moved to Uganda, and together they launched the human rights and economic development group CORE Uganda. She served as co-chair and with Cyril mentored young people, co-hosted conferences, and fought tirelessly for disease control, energy development, modern agriculture and clean water.

Like Cyril, she was passionate about these issues, including using DDT and other insecticides – what she called “the African equivalent of chemotherapy drugs” – to prevent malaria and other devastating insect-borne diseases. She wrote in a 2006 Washington Times article:

“I have had malaria more than a dozen times. I lost my son, two sisters and three nephews to it. My nephew Noel got malaria at age two and is still four years behind high school boys his age in reading and writing skills, because it affected his mental powers so horribly. My brother Joseph used to help in an office and with complex farming tasks, but his mind no longer works well because of cerebral malaria.  
“We need to calculate the value of those lives affected by being sick with malaria for weeks every year … of mental capacity lost due to malaria … of 1.5 million African lives lost every year. Even at $1,000 to $10,000 per life, the impact of malaria – and the value of DDT – is monumental. 
“This month, another malaria outbreak hit the Kabale district in southern Uganda. More than 6,000 people were admitted to clinics in just one week. A spraying program with Icon (a pyrethroid also used in agriculture, and which thus can quickly breed mosquito resistance) resulted in the deaths of two students. That is terrible, but last year 70,000 Ugandans died from malaria. In 65 years, DDT never killed anyone. 
“Should we stop spraying, to prevent more deaths from Icon or possible learning delays from using DDT – and sacrifice another 70,000 Ugandans again this year? 
“Yes, there are risks in using DDT – or other anti-malaria weapons. But the risk of not using them is infinitely greater. One-sided studies and news stories frighten people into not using the most effective weapons in our arsenal – and millions pay the ultimate price. That is unconscionable.”

After Cyril died in 2015, Fiona moved to New York City to help care for Diana’s autistic son and earn money to provide for her adopted children in Uganda. Even after being diagnosed with incurable cancer, Fiona retained her humor, indomitable spirit and deep belief in God throughout her difficult illness and treatment, right up until she passed away.
She is survived by a daughter, five sisters, eleven brothers, two grandchildren, five adopted children, and many nieces, nephews and other relatives. She remains beloved by all who knew her. Readers wishing to honor her legacy, bury her in Uganda and help support her family can go to her GoFundMe page.

Fiona got emotional when she wrote about environmentalist groups and US, EU, World Bank, WHO and other rich country bureaucrats who she believed were using Africans as test subjects in “energy, malaria and agricultural experiments that perpetuate poverty, disease, malnutrition and death in the name of protecting the environment.”

“China and India put up with this immoral eco-colonialism for decades,” she wrote. “Finally, they had enough. They refused to be the environmentalists’ experimental pawns any longer. They took charge of their own destinies, charted their own future, financed their own projects, and refused to be stopped again by anti-development green policies, politicians and pressure groups.

“Uganda, the Great Lakes Region [around Lake Victoria] and all of Africa need to do the same thing. We have the land and natural resources, the bright and hard-working people.

“Let us be brave and bold!” Fiona exhorted. “Let us become prosperous and healthy together.”

Her beloved Cyril shared and stoked her passions. He too wrote articles and spoke to Ugandan officials, journalists and students on these topics. A biotechnology conference he organized at the United Nations featured experts like Norman Borlaug, father of the first Green Revolution. The audience included scores of high school students, many UN staffers and people from all over New York City.

Cyril also served as executive producer for a documentary film about the ways modern genetically modified crops dramatically reduce the need for poor African farmers to hand-spray crops with pesticides, while preventing pest damage, increasing crop yields many times over, and bringing hope and much improved living standards to African farm families.

He too dreamed of a prosperous modern Africa and described how he, a devout Christian, was deeply inspired by a Jew (business professor, economist and author Julian Simon) and a Muslim (banker-economist Muhammad Yunus). He pilloried the Rainforest Action Network for its incessant human rights violations: its campaigns to prevent Africa from using DDT or other insecticides, fossil fuels or even expanded hydroelectric power.

Cyril brought me to Uganda, to see firsthand what they were accomplishing. The three of us spent two frenzied weeks speaking to government, radio, television, high school and university audiences on these subjects. Thanks to George Mason University, we were able to give soccer balls, shoes, shin guards and uniforms to grade school boys who previously had to play barefoot with rags rolled and tied into a ball.

Fiona and Cyril aided her extended family and mentored scores of promising young people. One of them, Steven Lyazi, steadily improved his writing skills and published many articles online, before he was tragically killed in a horrific bus accident in 2017.

“Calls for us to live ‘sustainably,’ use wind and solar and biofuel power, and never use fossil fuels, are a demand that we accept prolonged starvation and death in our poor countries,” Steven wrote in one article. “They mean desperate people will do horrible things to survive, even just another day.” 

In another column, he pointed out that wind and solar power are far better than wood and animal dung fires. But in reality they are nothing more than “short-term solutions to serious, immediate problems. They do not equal real economic development or really improved living standards. Our cities need abundant, reliable electricity, and for faraway villages wind and solar must be only temporary, to meet basic needs until they can be connected to transmission lines and a grid.”

When will the day come, Steven wondered – echoing what Fiona and Cyril had been saying for over a decade – when politicians and activists, who say their care about the world’s poor, “stop worrying about global warming, pesticides and GMO crops – and start helping us get the energy, food, medical facilities, technologies, jobs and economic growth we need to improve our lives?”

Fiona, Cyril and Steven live on in their eloquent, passionate articles. Their long battle for equality and human rights, through access to modern technologies, will continue – bringing their dream of a free, prosperous, healthy, vibrant Uganda and Africa ever closer to reality. 

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

 

Five Members of Corrupt Congressional Black Caucus Take $60,000 Trip to South Africa for Beyonce Concert

February 25, 2019

(Gateway Pundit) – Via Al Sharpton Twitter page: I’m in South Africa headed to the Global Citizen Festival with Congressional Black Caucus members Greg Meeks, Barbara Lee, Bobby Rush & Hank Johnson & my @MSNBC colleague Joy Reid. #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA
Five members of the Congressional Black Caucus took a $60,000 trip to see Beyoncé in concert in South Africa late last year.

Beyonce and several other stars performed in concert at the “Global Citizen Mandela 100” concert from Dec. 1-3 according to FOX News.
Via FOX News:
The lawmakers were U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York, Barbara Lee of California, Bobby Rush of Illinois, Terri Sewell of Alabama and Hank Johnson of Georgia, according to the data.

They attended the “Global Citizen Mandela 100” concert from Dec. 1-3 to celebrate the centenary birth of the late Nelson Mandela and raise awareness of global poverty. In addition to BeyoncĂ©, other musical acts included her husband Jay Z, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams and Chris Martin.
One-third of the Congressional Black Caucus members have been named in an ethics probe during their career........To Read More.....

Kamala Harris's solution to Venezuela crisis bombs with Venezuelans

February 25, 2019 By Monica Showalter

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris belatedly weighed in on the Venezuelan crisis, seeking to show us her "leadership."   Here's her pair of tweets, sandwiched in between her calls for gun control, a $15-an-hour minimum wage, her supposed refusal to take PAC money (probably couldn't get any), and vague boilerplate about "better education":................. To Read More

Spies Like Us

Daniel J. Flynn 



“I will always say that I’m innocent and that I’m being framed,” testified Judith Coplon after being arrested in 1949 with a Russian agent, secret government documents, and after a chase worthy of The French Connection.  The pinched Justice Department official always said she was innocent and framed.  She certainly never believed that.

By last week, when the New York Times reported Coplon’s death at 89, nobody contested her guilt.  Coplon’s name had popped up in an incriminating manner in the Soviet archives and in the Venona intercepts, where she is described as “politically well-developed” and having “no doubts about whom she is working for.”

“Was she a spy?” daughter Emily rhetorically asks in the Times.  “I think it’s another question that I ask:  Was she part of a community that felt that they were going to bring, by their actions, an age of peace and justice and an equal share for all and the abolishing of color lines and class lines?”  She answers, “If these were things that she actually did, she was not defining them as espionage.”

The children of Stalin’s Western minions have largely dropped protestations of parental innocence.  They concede their moms and dads guilty—of saving the world, of ushering in peace, of fighting for equality, of trying to eradicate prejudice.

Physicist Theodore Hall gave atomic secrets to the Soviets.  He didn’t serve a day in prison.  Instead, he led a comfortable life as a biological researcher at Cambridge University.  “He did what he did out of a real motive to save people’s lives,” daughter Ruth explained upon his 1999 death.  “It was an obligation.  He was a principled man of enormous integrity.  He did what he did at great personal risk.  He had nothing to gain from it personally.”

The Rosenbergs conspired to pass atomic secrets to Stalin too.  The macabre outcome for them couldn’t have been more different than Hall’s life in a bucolic English college town.  “What would the post-1950 world have looked like if the U.S. had the [nuclear] monopoly?” Michael Meeropol, eldest son of the Rosenbergs, asked on a “Nova” epidsode in 2002.  “It would be a very safe prediction to suggest that we would have used it on China in Korea, that we would have used it to help the French in Indochina in 1954.  Atomic espionage, he posits, “may have prevented World War III.”

The survivors talk as though their parents aided the Dalai Lama or Bob Geldof.  They gave military secrets to one of history’s most prolific mass murderers. Their willingness to commit treason for free is cited as a mark of good character.  If they had received money or sex in exchange for their treachery we could at least chalk it up to human weakness.  Alas, they needed no such inducement to help Joseph Stalin.  Instead, as evidenced even in their offspring, arrogance motivated these would-be world-savers.

They knew better than to believe tales of manufactured famine in the Ukraine, Moscow show trials, the gulag, and Soviet conquest of Eastern Europe.  They knew better than the elected officials entrusted by the people what information should be kept secret and what information should be shared.  They knew better than the criminal justice system, the public, and in some cases, even their children, so they maintained the ignoble lie of innocence until death.

The baby boomers are often accused of perfidy toward their elders.  But that just isn’t so for red-diaper babies.  In their fidelity toward their parents, the children of Communists exhibit a traditionalism rarely associated with the political creed they were born into.  One can fault the parents for risking to transform their offspring into orphans.  One can’t question the love of the children toward their parents—or at least toward the ideals on which their parents raised them.

Lest anyone accuse the children of Communists of uniform zeal in abiding by God’s commandment to honor thy parents, there is the case of Morton Sobell.  When a 91-year-old Sobell finally came clean about his atomic espionage, and implicated Julius Rosenberg in the process, filial loyalty demanded too much.  Stepdaughter Sydney Gurewitz Clemens groused that Sobell’s 2008 admission “complicated history and the personal histories of the many millions of people, all over the world, who gave time, energy, money, and heart to the struggle to support his claims of innocence.”  Put another way:  Don’t you dare pull the plug on our collective hallucination.

“If you feel that what you’re doing answers to a higher ideal,” Coplon’s daughter instructs, “it’s not treason.”  You can’t take it with you.  The illusions that Judith Coplon bequeathed to her daughter affirm that.

Greenpeace Co-Founder Slams Species Extinction Scare Study as proof of how ‘peer-review process has become corrupted’ – Study ‘greatly underestimate the rate new species can evolve’

Moore: 'I quit my life-long subscription to National Geographic when they published a similar 'sixth mass extinction' article in February 1999"

By: - Climate Depot March 4, 2011

Climate Depot Exclusive
Greenpeace Co-Founder and ecologist Dr. Patrick Moore, slammed a new study claiming a dramatic and irreversible mass species extinction. “This [journal Nature] article should never have made it through the peer-review process,” Moore told Climate Depot in an exclusive interview. “The fact that the study did make it through peer-review indicates that the peer review process has become corrupted,” Moore, the author of the new book “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout,” added.
“The authors [of the journal Nature study] greatly underestimate the rate new species can evolve, especially when existing species are under stress. The Polar Bear evolved during the glaciation previous to the last one, just 150,000 years ago,” Moore explained.
The new alarming species mass extinction study was described in an article in Yahoo News and AFP on March 4, 2011 titled: ‘World’s sixth mass extinction may be underway: study.’ The AFP article reported: Mankind may have unleashed the sixth known mass extinction in Earth’s history, according to a paper released by the science journal Nature. Over the past 540 million years, five mega-wipeouts of species have occurred through naturally-induced events. But the new threat is man-made, inflicted by habitation loss, over-hunting, over-fishing, the spread of germs and viruses and introduced species, and by climate change caused by fossil-fuel greenhouse gases, says the study. [End article excerpt.]
But Moore, in an interview with Climate Depot, refuted the claims of the species study. “The biggest extinction events in the human era occurred 60,000 years ago when humans arrived in Australia, 10-15,000 years ago when humans arrived in the New World, 800 years ago when humans found New Zealand, and 250 years ago when Europeans brought exotic species to the Pacific Islands such as Hawaii,” Moore explained.
“Since species extinction became a broad social concern, coinciding with the extinction of the passenger pigeon, we have done a pretty good job of preventing species extinctions,” Moore explained.
“I quit my life-long subscription to National Geographic when they published a similar ‘sixth mass extinction’ article in February 1999. This [latest journal] Nature article just re-hashes this theme,” he added. Moore left Greenpeace in 1986 because he felt the organziation had become too radical. Moore also challenges man-made global warming fears.

See: Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr. Patrick Moore Questions Man-Made Global Warming, Calls it ‘Obviously a Natural Phenomenon’
This is not the first time Moore has gone to battle over alarming claims of species extinction. In the 2000 documentary “Amazon Rainforest: Clear-Cutting The Myths”, Moore bluntly mocked species extinction claims made by biologist Edward O. Wilson from Harvard University. Wilson estimated that up to 50,000 species go extinct every year based on computer models of the number of potential but as yet undiscovered species in the world.
Moore said in 2000: “There’s no scientific basis for saying that 50,000 species are going extinct. The only place you can find them is in Edward O. Wilson’s computer at Harvard University. They’re actually electrons on a hard drive. I want a list of Latin names of actual species.” Moore was interviewed by reporter Marc Morano (now with Climate Depot) in the 2000 Amazon rainforest documentary:
Environmental activist Tim Keating of Rainforest Relief was asked in the 2000 documentary if he could name any of the alleged 50,000 species that have gone extinct and he was unable.
“No, we can’t [name them], because we don’t know what those species are. But most of the species that we’re talking about in those estimates are things like insects and even microorganisms, like bacteria,” Keating explained.
UK scientist Professor Philip Stott, emeritus professor of Biogeography at the University of London, dismissed current species claims in the 2000 Amazon rainforest documentary.
“The earth has gone through many periods of major extinctions, some much bigger in size than even being contemplated today,” Stott, the author of a book on tropical rainforests, said in the 2000 documentary.
“Change is necessary to keep up with change in nature itself. In other words, change is the essence. And the idea that we can keep all species that now exist would be anti-evolutionary, anti-nature and anti the very nature of the earth in which we live,” Stott said.
Bye Bye Global Warming Movement — Welcome to the Next Eco-Scare — Species?!
Many critics of the environmental movement believe that as man-made global warming fears continue to fade scientifically and politically, species extinction will be touted as the next environmental scare. See:
Species: ‘Seal was declared extinct in 1892. So what is it doing alive and well today? Why are there thousands of Guadalupe fur seals swimming off the coast of Mexico now?’ — ‘As naturalists gladly admit, reports of the species’ demise at the end of the 19th century were premature’
More on the ‘science’ behind the extinction claims:
UN trying to promote diminishing biodiversity as the NEXT BIG CRISIS – 2010: Excerpt: ‘It is hard to make definitive statements regarding loss of diversity when science can not even tell us how many different creatures there are on the planet. Nevertheless, the UN has launched the International Year of Biodiversity, warning that the ongoing loss of species around the world is affecting human well-being…The words of Henry Louis Mencken we quoted in The Resilient Earth put it best: “The fundamental aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamoring to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” This is a tactic that the UN has turned into an art form. Having succeeded with turning global warming into a “crisis” they are now giving biodiversity a go. Lack of proper science, contradictory claims by activists and experts, conflicts with the needs of average people just trying to live their lives—yes, this sounds like a UN generated, politically motivated “crisis.” After all, the bureaucrats and parasites at the UN rode the global warming gravy train for more than a quarter century. Now, with the panic over global warming all but vanished, they have started pushing a new biodiversity crisis.
‘Ten years’ to solve nature crisis, UN meeting hears – 2011: ‘The UN biodiversity convention meeting has opened with warnings that the ongoing loss of nature is hurting human societies as well as the natural world… ‘We are now close to a ‘tipping point’ – that is, we are about to reach a threshold beyond which biodiversity loss will become irreversible, and may cross that threshold in the next 10 years if we do not make proactive efforts for conserving biodiversity’
‘We Are Destroying Life on Earth,’ UN Conference Claims: ‘Scientists over the past decade have identified new species at an unprecedented rate. The 2008 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) study First Contact in the Greater Mekong reported that 1,068 species were discovered or newly identified by science between 1997 and 2007 — averaging two new species a week. And the Census of Marine Life — an ambitious, 10-year project to catalog the diversity of the world’s oceans — recently concluded, having identified more than 6,000 potentially new ocean-going species.