Saturday, August 31, 2019

Cartoon of the Day


Quote of the Day

The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. John Adams

Geller Report For August 30,2019

Today's Headlines

Whom Will Socialized Medicine Kill?

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 5 Comments Thursday, August 29, 2019 @ Sultan Knish Blog

Four of the 2020 Democrats fighting to claim the White House have endorsed banning private health insurance and forcing everyone into a national socialist medical system overseen by the government.

“Health care for all is a right, not a privilege,” Senator Bernie Sanders said. His call to abolish private health insurance was endorsed by Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Cory Booker.

Sanders promises that government health care will cover everyone, provide everything, at no charge, and will be open to everyone. His models are the national socialist medical systems of European nations.

Like the NHS.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in his first speech, argued that it shouldn’t take three weeks to see a GP under the NHS. Despite the well-known failings of Britain’s National Health Service, financial, medical, and ethical, it continues to be touted by, among others, MSNBC, as a model for the United States.

And yet the NHS also shows how a national socialist medical system is able to deny care and even kill.

Americans were riveted by the forced euthanasia of Baby Charlie last year, but the pressure to cut costs is manifested in ways that are less devastating, but more comprehensive. Despite Senator Sanders’ false statements, no system can or will provide care for everyone. Just like private health insurance, it will seek ways to cut costs by denying care. But a national socialist system will deny care on a larger scale by evaluating the value of people’s lives while penalizing their behaviors in almost eugenic ways.

That’s the case with the NHS obsession with obesity.

Michael Buerk, the host of the BBC's Moral Maze, recently argued that the NHS should let obese people die. "The obese will die a decade earlier than the rest of us. See it as a selfless sacrifice in the fight against demographic imbalance, overpopulation and climate change."

Buerk pointed to NHS estimates that obesity costs the NHS £6.1 billion a year. "Who can calculate how much an obese person would have cost if they were slim?"

As a BBC host, Buerk is part of a different arm of the socialist octopus than the NHS. But his mindset comes out of the same political culture in which some must die so that others may get health care.

Last year, Steven Simons, the NHS boss, warned, “Obesity is the new smoking and the scale of our response needs to match the scale of the crisis.”

But the NHS has taken measures that go far beyond encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

Responding to budgetary problems, some NHS hospitals began denying routine and non-urgent operations to obese patients. That includes knee and hip operations without which patients, especially elderly patients, can be effectively disabled and on a track to a rapid decline and death.

The wait for hip and knee procedures can already take as long as a year. That meant that patients could be trapped in pain and partially disabled for even longer than a year. The elderly might lose their lives.

The new approach, Brits were told, “saves the NHS and taxpayers millions of pounds.”

“It’s the only way providers are going to be able to balance their books," Chris Hopson, the head of NHS providers, said.

Government health insurance, like private health insurance, denies care to save money. The difference is that when the government consolidates control over health insurance, there’s no alternative.

But overweight people had become political targets. And denying them care was seen as politically safe, at least somewhat safer than euthanizing sick babies, because they could be blamed for the situation.

The truth though was that was just a reason to rationalize resource shortages and denial of care.

That was 2016. This year, the NHS has been accused of denying fertility treatments to overweight women and even to ordinary women whose husbands happen to be overweight. The obesity might be unrelated to the treatment, but it provided a moral pretext for denying care to ‘bad people’.

BMI, rather than financial resources, had become the new barrier to obtaining medical care.

And the NHS leadership tended to conflate the two. The heavier you were, the more money you were costing the NHS, and the more likely you were to bankrupt the national socialist health care system.

"If as a nation we keep piling on the pounds around the waistline, we’ll be piling on the pounds in terms of future taxes needed just to keep the NHS afloat,” Steven Simons warned.

Simons and the NHS openly intertwined the “sustainability” of the NHS and public eating habits.

Government health care couldn’t be expected to function until people lost weight. And until people lost weight, they couldn’t be expected to benefit from a working government health care system.

The eugenic qualities of the NHS were undeniable and inevitable. And they reveal the lie behind the promises of endless care touted by Sanders, Warren and Harris in their proposal for a national socialist health care system, that eliminates Medicare, but that they falsely describe as, ‘Medicare-for-All”.

Under a national socialist system of medicine, your health is no longer your personal business, or that of your doctor, or your insurance company. Your physical condition is political and everyone’s business.

Socialist medicine claims to be based not on vulgar profits, but on morals. Even though it denies health care for financial reasons, it must wrap those fiscal arguments in a moral crusade. It can’t deny health care to deserving people, only to the undeserving or those who would be better off dead.

Private insurance companies can make fiscal arguments without dehumanizing their victims. National socialist medicine however must first demonstrate why its victims truly don’t deserve to live.

If the targets are to be blamed for their own fate, they must first be dehumanized. And if they are to be mercy killed, as the disabled often are, then the campaign dismisses them as hopeless cases.

"This man suffering from a hereditary defect will cost the German people 60,000 Reichsmark during his lifetime," a popular Nazi eugenics poster read. "Fellow citizen, that is your money too."

NHS rhetoric about obesity closely echoes the classic arguments of national socialist medicine.

The Nazis consolidated control over the health care system. Like modern socialists, they built up an extensive system of benefits, freebies and entitlements for Germans. The National Socialist People's Welfare organization was the envy of progressives worldwide. And by centralizing control over the medical system, the Nazis claimed to be able to offer better and more efficient care for everyone.

But, like all socialist medicine, the Nazi health care system was based around a collective need, not the needs of individual patients. That was how the Nazi medical system could rationalize the Aktion T4 mass murder of hundreds of thousands of disabled patients for the collective benefit of society.

The integration of the medical system allowed for the swift identification, seizure and killing of the elderly and disabled. By tying together a vast network of medical practitioners and facilities, the Nazis were able to carry out a program of eugenic mass murder on a previously impossible scale.

Family members were told that their children, their parents and their relatives were getting free health care. The entire system covered everything, including transportation in free ambulances.

And so, a socialist medical system that had been created to provide care for everyone was transformed into a mass murder scheme that would save money and make it more viable and sustainable.

To use both the Nazi and the NHS terms.

Nazi eugenics was a worst-case scenario. But the logic of socialized medicine requires some eugenics. When everyone can’t be treated, then a group must be denied care based on their unworthiness.

Medicare-for-All, the euphemism that is as misleading as the Charitable Foundation for Cure and Institutional Care that carried out mass murders in Nazi Germany, will have to ration care. Despite all the false promises, it will do so by finding medical scapegoats for its economic eugenics.

The only question is whom will it kill?


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

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

Thank you for reading.

It’s time to whack greenhouse gas Endangerment Finding

Carbon dioxide does not “endanger” our health – and it’s time EPA recognized that simply fact

Tom Harris and Dr. Jay Lehr

On August 6, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (Washington) that it be granted intervenor status concerning litigation launched by environmental groups against the Trump administration’s new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule.

The case in question, American Lung Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 19-1140, concerns attempts by environmental groups to strike down the ACE rule and resurrect the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Chamber wants to be able to intervene in the case in defense of ACE.

The Chamber’s focus is on the legal aspects of ACE and CPP, and this will perhaps be valuable. However, it sidesteps the most important issue: both ACE and CPP are unnecessary since they rest on a faulty premise, namely, the misguided notion that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must be reduced to avoid a climate crisis.

The appellants for the case, the American Lung Association and American Public Health Association, represented by attorneys from the so-called Clean Air Task Force, certainly pull no punches in their pronouncements. Their July 8 press release alleges that EPA’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan and replace it with the ACE rule continues to disregard the vast health consequences of climate change and puts more lives at risk.”

That is nonsense, of course. But that didn’t stop other groups from taking a similar approach. Carter Roberts, President & CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, said, “This [ACE] rule enables dirty power plants to keep polluting – grounding federal energy policy firmly in the past and saddling future generations with the costs of unchecked climate change.” He too apparently wants people to believe the CO2 that we exhale and plants require for photosynthesis is a “dirty pollutant” and the primary factor in driving Earth’s climate – more important than the Sun and hundreds of other natural forces that do regulate climate.

Sierra Club director Michael Brune said, “This is an immoral and illegal attack on clean air, clean energy and the health of the public, and it shows just how heartless the Trump administration is when it comes to appeasing its polluter allies.”

Environmentalists, Democrats and some state attorneys general dubbed the regulation the “Dirty Power Plan,” and more lawsuits against ACE are apparently on the way.

As to clean energy and public health, the forced elimination of fossil fuels that provide over 80% of U.S. and global energy would be devastating to our economies, jobs, living standards, health and welfare. Any forced reduction in atmospheric CO2 levels would negate and roll back the tremendous plant growth that has been “greening” our planet for two decades.

Forcing America to install literally millions of wind turbines and tens of millions of solar panels, and plant tens of millions more acres in biofuel crops, would devastate wildlife habitats and countless species, while driving up electricity prices for families, factories, farms, businesses, schools and hospitals. The wind and sunlight may be free, clean and green. But the massive technologies required to harness those forces for human benefit certainly are not.

If Trump Administration advisors thought they could appease their opponents by implementing a rule focused on the useless and ultimately dangerous goal of limiting CO2 emissions, they were sorely mistaken. But as long as they did not contest the scientifically flawed idea that COis a dangerous pollutant that must be controlled, they really had no choice but to replace the even worse Obama era rule with some form of COreduction regulation.

Dr. Sterling Burnett, Senior Fellow of the Arlington Heights, IL-based Heartland Institute, explained recently on the internet “Think Radio” program Exploratory Journeys: The ACE rule was effectively “forced on the Trump administration because they didn’t, at the same time [they drafted the rule], say we are going to re-examine the Endangerment Finding” [EF] – the EPA’s 2009 finding that CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” (GHG) somehow endanger the health and welfare of Americans.

“As long as the Endangerment Finding exists,” said Burnett, “any administration, no matter how skeptical of the claims that humans are causing catastrophic climate change, … the courts will order them to come up with plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. So, it's time to go back and examine that finding.”

It is hard to believe that attacks that would ensue against the current administration for opening the GHG Endangerment Finding to re-examination would be any more severe than what they are already being subjected to by enabling the ACE rule. So there is little, if any, political upside to bringing in a weaker version of Obama’s misguided Clean Power Plan.

If you are going to infuriate your opponents to the extent that they will take out lawsuits against you and publicly label you “the worst president in U.S. history for protecting the air and our climate," as Brune did after Trump’s July 8 environment speech, you might as well do what you really wanted to do, instead of taking half measures.

Burnett explained that ACE has another serious downside that will limit the Trump EPA going forward.

“ACE is dangerous because it cements for a second time, this time by a Republican, supposedly skeptical administration, the idea that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that needs to be regulated,” said Burnett.

“This gives the Endangerment Finding the Trump administration’s stamp of public approval, which environmentalists will cite when they fight this in court saying, ‘even the Trump administration acknowledges carbon dioxide is damaging the U.S., but they are unwilling to take the steps necessary to truly fight carbon pollution.’”

It’s time for the Trump administration, the Chamber, and indeed everyone who wants sensible environmental policy to call a spade a spade. Rather than merely engaging their enemies in legal arguments, while fighting activists on their own ground, they should clearly state that COendangers no one and the EF should be reopened.

They should demand that alarmist scientists and advocacy groups prove clearly, with convincing data and evidence, and against vigorous counter evidence and cross examination, that the small manmade portion of atmospheric CO2 and far tinier manmade portions of other greenhouse gases: are dirty and poisonous; control Earth’s climate and weather; are doing so to a dangerous and unprecedented degree never experienced in prior Earth or human history; and can be manipulated by the United States and other nations so as to stabilize planetary climate and weather systems that have never been stable.

When the re-examination inevitably reveals that effectively classifying COas a pollutant was a mistake, administration officials should not be quiet about it. They must follow Winston Churchill’s advice:

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”

Extremists in the climate change movement clearly hate fossil fuels and apparently humanity. Ridding the world of the inexpensive, life-enhancing fossil fuels would devastate society and especially hurt our working class and poor families, as our standard of living is reduced to that of third world nations. Moreover, the environmental devastation caused by their proposed “solutions” to the supposed climate crisis would be far worse than anything caused by any foreseeable human impact on climate.

It’s time to defuse the climate scare at its source. The greenhouse gas Endangerment Finding must be given a tremendous whack, and sent to the dustbin of history.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.  Dr. Jay Lehr is Senior Policy Analyst with ICSC.

 

UN Youth: Ready to bypass democracy!

By | August 29th, 2019 | Environment | 3 Comments @ CFACT
 
The talk swirling around the UN “Civil Society Conference” in Salt Lake City has been radical throughout, with the youth contingent vowing to take to the streets if voters don’t give them their way.

“We are willing to make these demands known at the ballot-box, or, if necessary, in the streets.”

How civil.

That’s what it says in the working draft of the “Youth Compact” that was in use throughout the conference.  The UN sanitized the final version.  CFACT’s undercover operative witnessed a large group of youth turn their backs in protest as the slightly less radical version was released.

This little gem survived to the final version.  They took their demand for an end to single use plastics way beyond banning plastic straws, to banning plastic tampons and other female care products.  That should be interesting.

They also demand that we “shift our diets to plants…  reducing meat consumption.”

The working draft included a ban on genetically modified plant strains.  Reduced crop yields will certainly make the world more just.  Pity about the kids in developing countries who will be denied beta carotene intensive “Golden Rice.”  They can just go blind, a small price to pay for “sustainable” justice.

The UN’s outcome documents are littered with the kind of baseless alarmist rhetoric you would expect, labeling normal weather extreme and the rest, followed with demands for inefficient renewable energy, including burning biomass.  Biomass, you know, grinding wood and plants into pellets.  Which is more “sustainable,” saving trees or burning them?  It’s hard to keep up.
CFACT undercover captured video of U.S. Representative Barbara Lee proclaiming, “the children have been crying out, do we hear them?  Now even the rocks are crying out!”
Barbara Lee can hear rocks… 

Hope she can “sustain” that.

The main takeaway is this.  The Green-Left has captured the United Nations and is using “sustainability,” the way they used “climate change,” as pretext for obtaining every destructive item on their wish list.

The Left’s science, math and economics do not work out.  They never have.  They are a recipe for massive societal decline.  It is no accident they they never want to make their alterations to our lives voluntary.

The Left’s desire to shift power away from the individual to the “collective” is misguided.
Freedom is not only our unalienable right.  Freedom is the only way to organize society to yield the prosperity that can genuinely sustain people and our planet.
___________
 
Thank you to everyone who helped make CFACT’s undercover mission to the UN’s dangerous “sustainability” conference such a success.  If you’ve not yet had a chance to chip in, please click here and make your most generous gift today. Without you our work cannot continue.  Fortunately, CFACT’s friends are the best!
 

Author:

The UN’s cadre of misled youth

By | August 28th, 2019 | Environment | 5 Comments @ CFACT

The UN is employing a disturbing tactic to push its “sustainability” agenda at its Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City.

CFACT’s undercover reporter is on the ground in Salt Lake City, exposing how the UN heavily indoctrinates young people with talking points, then presents them on stage to regurgitate them.  “Look at the wisdom these young people have come to impart,” the rest of us are supposed to conclude.

Disney Channel’s Luke Mullen, told us, “I do believe that [school] strikes for the climate are just as important as education. Why should we be studying and preparing for a future that might not come?” 

Mullen told CFACT that he is following in the wake of poor Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish girl who has been so traumatized by the narrative of impending doom she’s been fed, that she walked out of school to become a propaganda poster child.  She’s encouraging kids like Luke Mullen to walk out too.  Greta just arrived in New York City on a carbon fiber yacht sponsored by the royal family of Monaco.  That she is protesting fossil fuels on an elite yacht made from oil and propane is lost on her.  She lacks the education and context to know.

Skip learning and just repeat the line’s you’ve been fed — These poor, exploited young people.  Think the mainstream media will expose this shameless trick?  Fear not.  CFACT’s on the job.
We interviewed Nicolette Templier, aka “Miss New York Earth USA.”  Her answers are simply a regurgitation of UN climate change alarmist talking points on everything from polar ice to polar bears, that fall to pieces when confronted with the facts. 

The climate and “sustainability” crowd don’t like it when the facts are introduced into the UN proceedings one bit.  When the facts that debunk the UN’s dangerous agenda show up, the UN’s youth cadres drop their smiles and bare their claws.  You may remember CFACT’s coverage at UN COP 24 in Poland last fall.  The UN formally authorized an angry mob of left-wing youth to interrupt and shout down the Trump Administration’s energy presentation.  Shouting over instead of listening and responding?  How’s that for UN “civil society?”

CFACT is tackling this challenge on multiple fronts.  We expose the Green-Left’s exploitation of youth.  We inject facts into UN proceedings like the “sustainability” conference in Salt Lake.  We fairly present all sides of these important issues to thousands of young people through our CFACT Collegians program and challenge them  to think for themselves.

Thank you to everyone whose support makes this important work possible.

Facts and education are the antidote to propaganda and ignorance.



Author:   is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.

Mumps Has Swept Through 57 Immigration Detention Facilities and Infected over 900 People

Associated Press, August 29, 2019

Mumps has swept through 57 immigration detention facilities in 19 states since September, according to the first U.S. government report on the outbreaks in the overloaded immigration system.

The virus sickened 898 adult migrants and 33 detention center staffers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its report Thursday.

New cases continue as migrants are taken into custody or transferred between facilities, the report said. As of last week, outbreaks were happening in 15 facilities in seven states.

In response to the report, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox said medical professionals at detention facilities screen all new detainees within 24 hours of their arrival to ensure that highly contagious diseases are not spread.

Cox said some detainees come from countries where communicable diseases are less controlled than in the U.S. and carry with them the risk of spreading infection.

{snip} Mumps is a contagious virus that causes swollen glands, puffy cheeks, fever, headaches and, in severe cases, hearing loss and meningitis.

In the U.S., vaccines have drastically reduced the number of mumps cases. Only a few hundred cases are reported most years, with periodic outbreaks involving colleges or other places where people are in close contact.

In the migrant center outbreaks, at least 13 people were hospitalized, the CDC reported.........To Read More....

Bumpy Ride Lies Ahead for Brexit

By , Special to the Sun | August 31, 2019

As Westminster politicians prepare to resume their Brexit deliberations next week following the summer recess, one can only quote the inimitable Bette Davis: “Fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.” Only in the case of Brexit, many more bumpy days and nights before October 31 and Britain’s exit from the European Union becomes finalized.

Britons and the world witnessed an amazing about-face once Theresa May left office and Boris Johnson assumed the mantle of Prime Minister. Brexit was no longer treated as an embarrassment and a regret. Brexit became an opportunity, a chance for a British renaissance.

No wonder. Boris, after all, claimed that the 2016 referendum to regain Britain’s sovereignty was in reality its own “Independence Day.” He is, to all those in thrall to the EU, their worst nightmare.  Gone is Mrs. May’s supplication to Brussels officialdom and her intransigence to Britons’ desire for self-government.  Britain’s indefatigable paladin is now “in the house” — 10 Downing Street.......To Read More....

Blacks Are Increasingly Above the Law

Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, August 30, 2019

In 2013, a black man named Terry Wilson shot and killed a man. Mr. Wilson claimed self-defense, but a jury convicted him of first-degree murder. However, Mr. Wilson’s defense convinced Macomb County Michigan Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Faune, a white woman, to overturn the conviction. Other jurors complained that during deliberations, juror Harvey Labadie had called Mr. Wilson “just another ni**er off the streets.”

“I have never said racist comments in my life. I am a Democrat,” Mr. Labadie later told a local news station. He was shocked to hear that Mr. Wilson’s conviction was overturned. “He must have had a good lawyer,” he said.

Even if Mr. Labadie did use a slur, it didn’t change the facts in the case or the views of the 11 other jurors. Yet a conviction was overturned because one juror—allegedly—used a forbidden word.
A black death-row inmate in a 1999 murder case in Oklahoma appealed to the Supreme Court to review his conviction because a juror—according to an allegation made 18 years later—said during deliberations, “Just take the ni**er out and shoot him behind the jail.” Surprisingly, this year, the Supreme Court denied his request.

Throughout America, lawyers and activists are trying to subvert justice in the name of anti-racism. Convictions can be overturned if juries are not diverse. Black jurors refuse to convict other blacks. Non-white attackers can claim self-defense if they say they heard their victims use a slur. Judges are swayed by identity politics and fashionable attitudes.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that insufficiently diverse juries are unfair to non-whites. In an opinion written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Court overturned a black Mississippian’s murder conviction because the prosecutor struck potential jurors who were black.............To Read More.....

Friday, August 30, 2019

Cartoon of the Day



Comically Incorrect: A Collection of Politically-Incorrect Comics — Volume 1(Auto Graphed)  - $29.95
 Make America Laugh Again: The Comically Incorrect Cartoons of Antonio F. Branco - Volume 2  - $29.95                      

Quote of the Day

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. ... Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.  John Adams

The Case For Term Limits

There is no better case for term limits than made in the video below.



However, Congress will never vote for term limits. Few pigs in the trough have the talent necessary to obtain such a lifestyle outside of politics.

Geller Report

Today's Headlines

More Here......    
 


Has Rep. Ilhan Omar Committed a Stoning Offense?

She is publicly Sharia-compliant. Will she ask to be stoned?

Omar calls for U.N. authority over U.S. border crisis

By Art Moore August 29, 2019

The United States should bring in the United Nations to handle the border crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, asserts Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.  "We should do what any other country does by dealing with this situation in a serious way," Omar told her constituents Tuesday during an immigration forum in south Minneapolis.  "So, we have to bring in the United Nations high commissioner on refugees, an agency that has the expertise and the training to handle massive flows of refugees humanely," she said, according to the Daily Wire............To Read More.....

Don’t Trust Economists, Part III

August 28, 2019 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
A few days ago, I observed in a television interview that economists are lousy forecasters.
This was not a new revelation. Back in early 2010, I shared a graph that succinctly illustrated why economists shouldn’t be trusted when they make economic forecasts (later that year, I pointed out that macroeconomists were the real problem).

In 2013, I wrote “Don’t Trust Economists, Part II” based on a remarkable example of fraud in Portugal.

Now it’s time for Part III.

We’ll start with a reminder that economists can’t forecast their way out of a wet paper bag. Here’s an excerpt from a 2001 article in the Economist.
As recently as February, 95% of American economists said it wouldn’t happen, but it has. America is now in recession… Even in early September few economists were forecasting a recession. Now it appears that one had already been under way for almost six months. …Why are recessions so hard to forecast? A study published last year by the International Monetary Fund looked at the economists’ record. It is bad. Of 60 recessions in developed and developing economies during the 1990s, two-thirds remained undetected by consensus forecasts as late as April of the year in which the recessions occurred. In one-quarter of cases, the consensus forecast in October of that year still expected positive growth.
Robert Samuelson has a more recent and comprehensive list of how economists are miserably bad when they try to forecast major economic trends.
The most intriguing and indisputable thing we have learned about economists in recent decades is that they don’t know nearly as much as they thought they knew. … 
As an economic journalist for roughly half a century, I have slowly and somewhat reluctantly come to the conclusion that many economists (and this applies across the political spectrum) often don’t know what they’re talking about…  
Time after time, economists have failed to foresee major economic trends. In recent years, global interest rates have plunged to historically low levels. …
But most economists did not anticipate the declines and still can’t fully explain them. Going back a bit further, economists did not predict double-digit inflation (monthly peaks of 12 percent in 1974 and 1975 and 15 percent in 1980). … 
Now, ironically, inflation has unexpectedly remained low (generally less than 2 percent annually ), and many economists have been baffled by that, too. … 
Over the past five decades, I cannot remember one instance when economists have correctly forecast a major shift in productivity growth, whether up or down. … 
Of course, the most conspicuous example of this ignorance gap is the 2008-2009 financial crisis and the Great Recession. “Why did nobody notice it?” Queen Elizabeth famously asked. …The larger cause of the ignorance gap is the very complexity and obscurity of a $20 trillion economy (the United States) or an $85 trillion economy (the world). To say it is changing in detailed and often-unanticipated ways is simply to affirm that mere mortals, including economists, have never been very good at predicting the future.
In other words, this cartoon is very accurate.


So what’s the solution?

In my fantasy world, everyone would simply ignore economic forecasts and instead would focus on the conditions necessary for stronger long-run growth.

Sadly, that won’t happen.

So what about some sort of “quality control”?

That might be nice in theory, but it wouldn’t work in practice.

Which is why I’m happy that there isn’t much support in the profession for occupational licensing.


Let’s set aside the problem of economic forecasting.

Binyamin Applebaum of the New York Times has a column that criticizes economists for a different reason.

He frets that economists have enabled a big shift toward free markets.
As the quarter century of growth that followed World War II sputtered to a close, economists moved into the halls of power, instructing policymakers that growth could be revived by minimizing government’s role in managing the economy.  
They also warned that a society that sought to limit inequality would pay a price in the form of less growth. … 
In the four decades between 1969 and 2008, economists played a leading role in slashing taxation of the wealthy and in curbing public investment. They supervised the deregulation of major sectors, including transportation and communications. … 
they demonized trade unions and opposed worker protections like minimum wage laws.
While I hope his overall premise is accurate, his specific assertions are an incoherent mess.

He wants readers to believe that economists were largely ignored prior to 1969 and suddenly wielded great influence thereafter. Yet he offers zero evidence for that hypothesis.

Moreover, it was Arthur Okun’s work for Brookings (hardly a citadel of libertarian thinking) that increased awareness of the tradeoff between redistribution and growth.

Much more troubling, though, is his assertion that the free-market orthodoxy ruled between 1969-2008.

That’s ahistorical nonsense. The Nixon years, for instance, were probably the most statist period in America’s post-WWII history.

And we also got plenty of bad policy under Bush I, Bush II, and Obama.

Yes, policy did shift in the right direction under Reagan and Clinton. And it’s also quite possible that the progress during those years more than offset the bad policies of other presidents.

But it’s utterly absurd to thin of 1969-2008 as an era of continuous economic liberty.

Here are some further excerpts.
Economists even persuaded policymakers to assign a dollar value to human life — around $10 million in 2019 — to assess whether regulations were worthwhile.
This is actually part of life-saving cost-benefit analysis.

And it’s not some sort of libertarian scheme, unless Applebaum thinks the folks at Brookings are part of some laissez-faire conspiracy.

Though I’m glad he gives some credit (from his perspective, blame) to Milton Friedman.
The most important figure, however, was Milton Friedman, an elfin libertarian who refused to take a job in Washington, but whose writings and exhortations seized the imagination of policymakers. Friedman offered an appealingly simple answer for the nation’s problems: Government should get out of the way. He joked that if bureaucrats gained control of the Sahara, there would soon be a shortage of sand.
He concludes by fixating on inequality.
The rise of economics is a primary reason for the rise of inequality. …Markets are constructed by people…and people can change the rules. It’s time to discard the judgment of economists that society should turn a blind eye to inequality.  
Reducing inequality should be a primary goal of public policy. …Willful indifference to the distribution of prosperity over the last half century is an important reason the very survival of liberal democracy is now being tested by nationalist demagogues. …our shared bonds will last longer if we can find ways to reduce the strain.
If he cares about the well-being of poor people, he should be fixated instead on growth.

For what it’s worth, I suspect he shares the IMF’s perspective and would willing to subject the poor to lower living standards if the rich suffered even bigger losses.

By the way, Ramesh Ponnuru is also quite critical of Applebaum’s column.

Let’s close with some humor.

Professor Michael Munger wrote a column for FEE analyzing economist jokes.

The whole thing is worth reading, but I’ll limit myself to sharing two of the jokes.
An economics graduate student was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess.”  
He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week.” The graduate student took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to his pocket. Desperate, the frog then cried out, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I’ll stay with you and do anything you want.”  
Again the grad student took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, “What is the matter? I’ve told you I’m a beautiful princess, that I’ll be your girlfriend and do anything you want. Why won’t you kiss me?”  
The grad student said, “Look, I’m an economist. I have no idea what it would even be like to have a girlfriend. But a talking frog has got to be worth a fortune.”
And here’s the second example.
A physicist, a chemist, and an economist are stranded on an island, with nothing to eat. A box washes ashore, and when they open it, it turns out to be a box of canned soup. But how to open the cans? The physicist says, “Let’s break the can open with a rock, using precisely the correct vector of force so the contents aren’t spilled.” The chemist says, “Let’s build a fire and heat the can just to the point where the contents break the metal but don’t explode.” The economist says, “Well, let’s do this in an a priori manner. First, assume that we have a can-opener…”
Last but not least, here’s Adam Smith’s contribution to the game of rock-paper-scissors.


Not as good as my collection of jokes about communism and socialism, but clever is a subtle way.

P.S. Are economists useless, despicable, and loathsome? I report, you decide.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Ryan Young August 26, 2019
 
A humorous diplomatic row over Greenland was not the only news of the week, with China tariffs, divisive rhetoric, and recession fears also putting in appearances. Rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from Death Valley airstrips to Lipochitooligosaccharide.
 
On to the data:
  • Last week, 68 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 69 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 28 minutes.

More Here......
 

Will the Regulatory Right-to-Know Act Ever Be Enforced?

Clyde Wayne Crews August 7, 2019

For the past two years there's been a big production made of the Trump Administration’s year-end Status Report on the “one-in, two-out” regulatory reduction program. These proclamations of success are accompanied by criticisms that it doesn't amount to anything on the one hand, and that executive overreach is afoot on the other.

Regulations, the product of unelected administrators, are far less disciplined than the federal spending unleashed by our elected representatives, and we know the great degree of supervision and restraint that gets. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee just held a hearing covering costs of regulations, and it showed once again the irreconcilable viewpoints of critics of the administrative state and the proponents........To Read More......

A government bailout of newspapers threatens free speech and morality

by Doug Bandow March 13, 2019

 Anyone alive before the internet – a time difficult to grasp by anyone in school today – remembers getting information by reading newspapers. In today’s parlance, they are the “dead tree” edition of a publication usually viewed online. The Sunday editions of newspapers then were particularly wondrous: multiple sections, thick want ads, extended essays, big comics in color. The added weight was a particular challenge for kids (it was almost always kids, then) who delivered papers in darkness, rain, and snow.

In that ancient world, papers were filled with news. There were stories, lots of them, the writing of which was overseen by editors. Accuracy was a virtue. Top reporters at major publications were influential enough to bring down the titans of business, culture, and politics. Even then the media was liberal, to be sure, but the Fourth Estate also helped hold the powerful accountable.

That world has disappeared. Newspaper circulation has collapsed. Papers have folded, merged, diminished, and otherwise compromised on missions and resources. Published magazines have followed their lead. Online sources have diversified and expanded the voices available, but net surfers resist paying, even for what purports to be serious journalism. For many publications an online presence only complicated the financial challenge, which leaves even the most widely read and oldest publications searching for a sustainable economic model...........Journalism is in trouble. However, government subsidies are not the answer. .............To Read More....

America’s poorest are richer than most average Europeans: Study

byJames D. Agresti August 27, 2019

groundbreaking study by  Just Facts has discovered that – after accounting for all income, charity, and non-cash welfare benefits like subsidized housing and food stamps – the poorest 20 percent of Americans consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent countries. This includes the majority of countries in the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including its European members.

In other words, if the U.S. “poor” were a nation, it would be one of the world’s richest.

Notably, this study was reviewed by Dr. Henrique Schneider, professor of economics at Nordakademie University in Germany and the chief economist of the Swiss Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. After examining the source data and Just Facts’ methodology, he concluded: “This study is sound and conforms with academic standards. I personally think it provides valuable insight into poverty measures and adds considerably to this field of research.” .......To Read More.....

Can China Be Unified?

Xi faces three rebellions.
 

Michael Mann's Tree-Ring Circus

August 29, 2019 By Daniel John Sobieski

This has been a tough week for climate hustler Michael Mann, who lost his defamation and libel lawsuit against respected climatologist and warming skeptic Dr. Tim Ball at the same time it was announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that there has been no U.S. warming since 2005.

Mann, who poses as a climatologist at Penn State, has had his court case against genuine climate scientist Dr. Tim Ball dismissed, with Mann ordered to pay court costs, for failure to produce supporting evidence to prove his claim that global temperatures took a sharp upward turn when the Industrial Revolution and fossil-fuel use began pouring CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

He didn’t because he can’t, and the fact is that the global warning he speaks of is Mann-made, a fantasy based on a career of perpetrating climate fraud, as indicated by NOAA’s report that there hasn’t been any U.S. warming for nearly a decade and a half and maybe even beyond that. As noted by James Taylor, director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy at the Heartland Institute, in a piece for Real Clear Energy:..........To Read More.....

The Right Road to Ending the Trade War

Editorial of The New York Sun | August 28, 2019

The summer squall over a suggestion that the Federal Reserve join the resistance against President Trump is certainly music to our ears. That’s because the specter of a self-financed agency of the American government running a campaign to defy the voters will help put the debate over monetary reform into sharp relief. And none too soon, in the view of The New York Sun.
 
This contretemps was touched off by a former president of the New York Fed, William Dudley. Writing for Bloomberg, Mr. Dudley suggests the central bank should “refuse to play along” with “President Donald Trump’s trade war” with Communist China. “There’s even an argument,” he writes, “that the election itself falls within the Fed’s purview.” He wants the Fed to explicitly oppose Mr. Trump in 2020. ...........Dudley’s idea is that it is so contrary to the Constitution.

That parchment doesn’t grant any monetary powers to the Fed. The central bank didn’t exist when the Constitution was framed. When it was framed, it granted all of America’s monetary powers — to tax, spend, borrow on the credit of the United States, coin money, regulate its value and that of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures — to the Congress.............To Read More......

2020 Vote Looks Like 1972 — With No Watergate

By CONRAD BLACK, Special to the Sun August 28, 2019

It is not too early to speculate on what the national political press, and especially the high-brow conservative Never Trumpers, are going to do after this president is comfortably reelected. The Washingtonp-New York-Los Angeles press threw everything they had against candidate Trump, nominee Trump, and the president, and they have lost everything they had.
 
All surveys show that their audience/readership is sinking and their commercial economics are shriveling, and no reasonable person can fail to be disgusted with the endless malicious slanders and distortions by the Lemons, Maddows, Scarboroughs, Blitzers.

It is exquisite that Mr. Trump has used the hard-left social press to outmaneuver the traditional media kingmakers and now nods approvingly as Senators Warren and Sanders and their allies attack the new media cartel, whose leading figures are almost as hostile to the president as are those seeking the Democratic nomination against him next year.........To Read More......

Brexit: Boris Turns to the Queen

Editorial of The New York Sun | August 28, 2019

Queen Elizabeth II’s approval of the suspension of Parliament next month is an important step in protecting Britain’s decision to leave Europe. It is crucial to a plan of Prime Minister Johnson that is being set down by furious opponents as, in the words of one, “profoundly undemocratic.” What a hypocritical jibe. For Mr. Johnson seeks to redeem a Brexit referendum that is one of the great acts of direct democracy in modern history.

The request to prorogue Parliament was set in motion Wednesday, the British state broadcasting agency reports. Mr. Johnson sent three members of the Privy Council — among them the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and the Chief Whip, Mark Spencer — racing by flying machine to the Queen’s castle at Balmoral, where they delivered Mr. Johnson’s letter.

Elizabeth II’s power to prorogue Parliament is astonishing to us Yanks, in that it is sharply greater than that of our own head of state. Adjournment is the one vote a Congress can make that doesn’t require the president’s signature. A president may, on extraordinary occasions, convene a Congress, but the only time he can force an adjournment is when the two houses can’t agree when to adjourn........To Read More....

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: August 29, 2019

By -- August 29, 2019 @ AWED

The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED) is an informal coalition of individuals and organizations interested in improving national, state, and local energy and environmental policies. Our premise is that technical matters like these should be addressed by using Real Science (please consult WiseEnergy.org for more information).

A key element of AWED’s efforts is public education. Towards that end, every three weeks we put together a newsletter to balance what is found in the mainstream media about energy and the environment. We appreciate MasterResource for their assistance in publishing this information.
Some of the more important articles in this issue are:

China has slashed clean energy funding by 39%, leading a global decline
China switches $1B in ‘green’ finance to coal projects in first half of the year
The Misanthropic Bankers Behind the Green New Deal
How Elon Musk Fooled Investors, Bilked Taxpayers, etc.
General Electric shares tank following accusation of ‘bigger fraud than Enron’
NY Offshore Wind bids rigged for unions
Wind Turbines Can Cause Sickness, Say Public Health Officials
Wind Turbines and Adverse Health Effects: A Cardiologist’s View
Duke Energy study points finger at solar for increased pollution
The Environmental Disaster of Solar Energy
The Dark Side of China’s Solar Boom
Explaining Wind Turbine Lethality
Utility Studies delay both Wind and Solar Projects in the US Northeast
Renewable Energy Hits the Wall
Why Wind and Solar Aren’t Enough
Big Wind’s Big Headwinds
Wind Project is Trespassing
Physics Professor: Turbines could compromise radar signals
Short Video: The Green Real Deal
China and India Will Watch the West Destroy Itself
The Latest Travesty in “Consensus” Enforcement
Re-evaluating the manufacture of the climate consensus
Dr Roy Spencer: How the Media Help to Destroy Rational Climate Debate
Superior Video: Global Warming — Fact or Fiction
Dr. Tim Ball wins Dr. Michael Mann lawsuit
Frontal Assault on Our Standard of Living: Multi-billionaires Are Financing ‘Climate Protectors’!
See how climate science becomes alarmist propaganda
Climate Change Discussions Need to Include A Few Cold Facts
The Climate Change Crisis Racket
Ice-pack of Lies
The Great Failure of Climate Computer Models
Global Warming? Climate Doomsayers Are The Problem
Exposing radical UN sustainability conference

Greed Energy Economics:
China has slashed clean energy funding by 39%, leading a global decline
China switches $1B in ‘green’ finance to coal projects in first half of the year
The Misanthropic Bankers Behind the Green New Deal
How Elon Musk Fooled Investors, Bilked Taxpayers, etc.
General Electric shares tank following accusation of ‘bigger fraud than Enron’
Rising costs of electricity generation not stopping in Ontario
Decarbonization in homes and businesses: at what cost?
Wind power has successfully exploded electricity prices in Germany
Vestas Q2 profits fall amid rising costs
Low auction turnout for German wind power

Renewable Health Matters:
Wind Turbines Can Cause Sickness, Say Public Health Officials
Wind Turbines and Adverse Health Effects: A Cardiologist’s View
Duke Energy study points finger at solar for increased pollution

Renewable Energy Destroying Ecosystems:
The Environmental Disaster of Solar Energy
The Dark Side of China’s Solar Boom
Explaining Wind Turbine Lethality
Short video: Poison wind power
Study: 1,200± tons of insects are killed by wind turbines in Germany
Wind Developers Bribe Environmentalists for Permission to Kill Bats

Nuclear Energy:
Report: Advancing Nuclear Innovation
The new nuclear option: small, safe and cheap
Nuclear is a clean, reliable source of energy that we would do well to embrace
Britain’s Mass Blackout Drives Push For Ever-Reliable Nuclear Power
The New Premise for Nevada and the Yucca Mt Project

Gas for Electrical Energy:
A State of Denial: New York’s Natural Gas Blockade
In NY Bob Howarth Seeks Relevance with Still More Pseudo-Science
Nebraska court upholds state’s approval of pipeline path

Offshore Wind Energy:
Troubling questions, concerns raised about off-shore wind projects
Opposition Grows Against Vineyard Wind Ocean Wind Project
Vineyard Wind 720′ Turbines Risk To Military Radar Unanswered
Wind turbines and radar mix poorly
NY Offshore Wind bids rigged for unions

Wind Energy and Blackouts:
Telling the Story of a Blackout
Australia’s Energy Regulator Sues Four Wind Farm Operators Over Blackout
Former National Grid director says there should be limits on wind and solar to avoid blackouts
Britain’s Mass Blackout Drives Push For Ever-Reliable Nuclear Power

Miscellaneous Energy News:
Utility Studies delay both Wind and Solar Projects in the US Northeast
Renewable Energy Hits the Wall
Why Wind and Solar Aren’t Enough
Big Wind’s Big Headwinds
Wind Project is Trespassing
Physics Professor: Turbines could compromise radar signals
Short Video: The Green Real Deal
China and India Will Watch the West Destroy Itself
Developing nations surging energy use shatters UN & California’s climate crusade
Michael Moore and His Turn Against Renewable Energy
President Trump and Film-maker Moore Join Forces Against Renewables
Wind Power Is Collapsing In Germany
Climate change turns Arctic into strategic, economic hotspot
Alaska Oil Drilling: Here They Go Again
Bernie Sanders: Prosecute fossil fuel execs as criminals
Wind developer reveals a problem — not enough wind
Trump Says He’s Unwilling to Risk U.S. Energy Wealth for Windmill ‘Dreams’
The Physical Impossibility of Renewables Meeting Energy Goals
Sedgwick County (KS) bans wind farms, restricts commercial solar
Walmart sues Tesla over string of solar panel fires at its stores

Manmade Global Warming Articles:
The Latest Travesty in “Consensus” Enforcement
Re-evaluating the manufacture of the climate consensus
Dr Roy Spencer: How the Media Help to Destroy Rational Climate Debate
Superior Video: Global Warming — Fact or Fiction
Dr. Tim Ball wins Dr. Michael Mann lawsuit
Frontal Assault on Our Standard of Living: Multi-billionaires Are Financing ‘Climate Protectors’!
See how climate science becomes alarmist propaganda
Climate Change Discussions Need to Include A Few Cold Facts
The Climate Change Crisis Racket
Ice-pack of Lies
The Great Failure of Climate Computer Models
Global Warming? Climate Doomsayers Are The Problem
Exposing radical UN sustainability conference
No Evidence That Climate Change Causes Weather Extremes: (5) Wildfires
No Evidence That Climate Change Causes Weather Extremes: (6) Heat Waves
Geologist: Four Part Analysis of the Climate Change Issue
Navy quietly ends climate change task force, reversing Obama initiative
Global Warming? An Israeli Astrophysicist Provides Alternative View That Is Not Easy To Reject
Podcast: Optimism In The Face Of The “Bad News Industry”
Blacklist by Nature follows defamation by BioScience: journals reject ethics of science
Don’t Burn Trees to Fight Climate Change—Let Them Grow
‘Hottest Temps Ever’

See Prior AWED Newsletters