- The detrimental effects of junk science
- Mr. Alan Caruba Oct. 9, 1937 — June 15, 2015
- Finally! Reality Versus Dr. Oz!
- How to commit scientific fraud
- Wolves and Rural America: Three Reforms Necessary toResolve one and Save the Other
- Book Review: TheAccidental Super Power
- Violating the Muslim Status Quo
- Lawsuit Forces Payback for Green Defamation ofProperty Owner
- Why Organic Can't Fulfill Our Food Supply Ideals
- Who Reads Blogs?
- Sustainability Project, Part II
- What Does the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Need with 96 Armed Agents?
- Question: So What Are You Waiting For?
- The Sustainability Project: Part I
- A Question For Bernie Sanders
- Thoughts On Leftism
- Environmentalism is Fascism
- Only a Clinton
- When Truth is a Lie
- Obama is Just Doing a Jim Dandy Job!
- Former Intelligence Officer: The Utter Stupidity ofHillary's Actions
- Tesla’s “success,” a great example of how governmentregulations manipulate markets
- Anti-GMO movement exposed for the destructive force they are
- Let’s Not BeSo Open Minded Our Brains Fall Out!
- A List of Mann’s Screw Ups
- Time for Congress to defund "sue and settle"
- Climatologist Dr. Tim Ball On 97% Consensus:“Completely False And Was Deliberately Manufactured”!
- Government-style “fairness” for the 1%
- Senior Iranian official declares that it holds rightof approval over any nuclear inspectors
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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas
Thursday, December 31, 2015
My Top 40 Posts of 2015
The Science is Clear: Antibiotic Use In Livestock Feed Must Stop
As antibiotic resistance continues to rear its ugly head across the globe, scientists and public health officials are finally beginning to agree about the use of low dose antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock feed: It needs to stop immediately. Any lingering doubts about the contribution of this practice to the proliferation of bacterial resistance was put to bed by recent, troubling reports about the appearance of a new gene in both pigs and humans in China.
The mrc-1 gene is responsible for generating resistance to the polymyxin class of antibiotics, which although in imperfect in many ways, is currently the last line of defense against infections that fail to respond to other antibiotics. One such infection is carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), which has a mortality rate of about 50 percent in hospitalized patients who become infected.
The nightmare scenario—the emergence of CRE strains that have also acquired polymyxin resistance— has already begun. Although it is mostly confined to China, these “unkillable” strains are being found in other areas.
It is no coincidence that this new resistance mechanism arose in China, or that it was found in pigs, since polymyxin antibiotics are routinely used as growth promoters in pigs that country. Yet, according to the FDA, this suicidal practice is not confined to China. It is also going on in the US. Before we start lecturing the Chinese about their livestock practices, we had better get our own under control.
Rebel and Designated Driver: Ted Cruz and A Time for Truth
A Time for Truth doesn't tell us a lot about Ted Cruz that we didn't know or suspect. But the bare outline he gives of his personal story is enough to get a read on him. As a man, and a politician, he doesn't appear to be that complicated. As a young man, Felito Cruz had the same problem he has today. He had no social grace. He was geeky, a bit of a dork; awkward, contrived. He gave himself a new name -- Ted -- but it didn't help......He stands in awe of his father Rafael, an altogether admirable man, who put his life on the line in attempting to overthrow the Batista regime in Cuba.......That teenage boy, preaching the Gospel of America to Rotary Clubs across Texas, is the real Ted Cruz. It's who he is today. He creeps some people out. He's arrogant -- it's his great flaw. I don't think there's anything he can do about it. It's who he is. It doesn't make him a bad person. But it makes him hard to like.......
When Ted was hitting the books at Harvard Law, Marco Rubio was hitting the clubs on the Miami strip. A handsome, manly dog, you can picture him there, a rose clenched in his teeth, twirling around, doing flamenco. The ladies really liked Marco. And guys too. He's the kind of guy you want to be friends with. He doesn't take himself too seriously, and his eyes are kind. So, do you want a president that you'd like to hang around with, or do you want Ted Cruz?...... To Read More.......
My Take - My first recollection of Cruz was right after the 2012 election where he was being interviewed on one of the Fox news shows, and I almost changed the channel because I thought he was an evangelist, and now I know why. I wondered why Fox had an evangelist on a news show, but I listened long enough to realize he was a U.S. Senator - never heard of him before that - and he was straight talking, knowledgeable, brilliant - and very conservative. Little did I know just how conservative he was.
For a national politician he violates all the rules. He's kind of odd looking, has odd mannerisms, and has an odd way of speaking, he's refuses to be a go along to get along guy, and I've seen the word arrogant to describe Ted Cruz for years.
Two things. Once everyone gets over his looks and manner of speaking they will start listening and realize just how brilliant and focused this man is. Secondly, why is he considered arrogant? Because he won't go along to get along! Did it ever occur to any of these people he's merely supremely self confident? What's the difference between arrogance and self confidence you might ask?
An arrogant person is incapable of accepting the idea they're wrong, no matter the evidence. A self confident person wants to be right because the evidence supports that position and is willing to admit to being wrong and change if necessary in order to actaully be right. Is it possible he really is arrogant? That hasn't been demonstrated thus far, but we know for sure - Cruz is stunningly self confident.
Ted Cruz as “Too Conservative to Win” and the Goldwater Talking Point
The media typically begins any Presidential campaign with comparisons to Harry Truman. The Reagan re-election in 1984 had the comparison. The Bush re-election in 1992 had the comparison. The Clinton re-election in 1996 had the comparison. Humorously, the off year election of 2002 used the Truman comparison too, as did 2004. The media does this not only because a lot of them are lazy and not only because a lot of them talk with each other at beltway soirees where they infect each other with their various often contrived narratives and talking points, but also because they really do want to help put the election in some historic context.......
In 1980, while the media rushed to the Goldwater talking point and considered Reagan too “far-right” to beat Jimmy Carter, the nation found itself in an economic mess and on the losing side of several national security matters. It was very hard to characterize Reagan as too far right for a country craving new policies to get it out of its economic mess, out of gas lines, and to get our hostages out of Iran. Voters wanted a change from Jimmy Carter.
Carter’s campaign eventually had to drop the “he’s too radical” approach and instead do what Ted Cruz’s opponents are presently doing to him in a one-two punch of “he’s the second coming of that loser Goldwater” — claiming Reagan (and now Cruz) actually accomplished nothing. They tried to destroy the idea of California as a paradise, which in 1980 was a place millions were flocking to in search of work. In fact, in that advertisement one of the lines was “[Reagan] said he cut spending, but he never really did.”.....To Read More....
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: American Presidents
In his brilliant classic, A Disquisition on Government, John C. Calhoun warned that a written constitution would never be sufficient to restrain the governmental leviathan. The net tax consumers (those who received more in government benefits than they paid in taxes), especially government employees, would relentlessly argue away the effectiveness of constitutional restrictions on government, he predicted. The net tax payers would inevitably be overwhelmed and defeated. There was never a truer political prediction.
In his new book, 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America – And Four Who Tried to Save Her, Brion McClanahan presents a masterful and superbly-scholarly discussion of how nine presidents, beginning with George Washington himself, effectively destroyed constitutional government. On the brighter side, he also explains how four presidents – Jefferson, Tyler, Cleveland, and Coolidge – did their best to preserve the Jeffersonian vision of limited constitutional government....... even George Washington acted in ways that were destructive of constitutional government. McClanahan describes how slick political manipulators like Alexander Hamilton were able to talk Washington into things that were either of dubious constitutionality or plainly unconstitutional......To Read More.....
How the wealthy shape US tax policy
America's wealthiest people have managed to reshape US tax policy in ways that save their families millions or even billions of dollars a year, using a group of lobbyists, lawyers and anti-tax advocates known as the "income defense industry." The country's 400 wealthiest people paid 27% of their income in taxes under President Bill Clinton, but only 17% under President Barack Obama, IRS data show........ ....To Read More.....
Why Progressives Make Bad Journalists
By James Ostrowski
I wrote Progressivism: A Primer to explain certain anomalies in the behavior of progressives that I had noticed over a number of years. For example, I found that progressives were rarely amenable to rational persuasion. Facts, logic and even experience rarely changed their minds. You couldn’t really argue with a progressive. You would argue; they would fight. They would get angry, insult and change the subject. They never stopped proposing new government programs, spending and laws, though they appeared to lack a grand vision of what they were trying to accomplish.
To explain all this and more, I propounded an eight-part definition of progressivism. Thus, “progressivism is:.......That being the case, progressivism can be seen as a self-imposed mental disability in which the progressive filters out of his perception and cognition any facts that disturb or disrupt the therapeutic function of his political mindset and, at the same time, highlights or exaggerates any facts that would appear to buttress the notion that government action can solve any particular problem......Thus, we can conclude that progressives generally make bad journalists. The great casualty of progressive journalism is, of course, the truth. Since progressives utterly dominate the media and journalism, it is no surprise that the vast majority of Americans remain ignorant of the true cause of America’s continuing decline, progressivism itself.......To Read More....
Barack Obama Used the Government to Spy on Congress
First, is George W. Bush had done this there’d be Democrats and Republicans demanding he be impeached. Of course, Bush would have never done this. President Obama unleashed the NSA to spy on Israel and congress in an attempt to block the Israeli government from undermining the Iranian deal. It really is amazing how much.......Like Jimmy Carter before him, but with even more reckless abandon, President Obama has time and time again shown himself to positively loath Israel. But Carter never spied on Congress. ....To Read More...
Bill Clinton’s Best Friend Supports John Kasich
John Kasich has routinely attacked Donald Trump for being a Democrat pretending to be a Republican, but it is John Kasich who is being bailed out by Bill Clinton’s best friend. Now, keep in mind that the odds are Ron Burkle does not actually support Kasich. The Democrats are just so confident that they have a permanent political majority, they want to divide the moderates in the GOP. The Democrats are hoping for a Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. Keeping Kasich viable and in the race continues to drag out consolidation among the establishment/moderate wing of the GOP. Kasich, Bush, and Christie are doing everything they can to attack Marco Rubio and stop him. Kasich getting a cash infusion will keep those attacks going. It is worth noting though that Kasich’s team is glad to take money from a Democrat. As it should. Kasich’s whole campaign is infested with people who hate the Republican Party. This appeared here
The Republican For People Who Hate Republicans
Last night in California, John Kasich worked very hard to steal Jeb Bush’s donors. The only donors he could possible steal after his performance are the suckers looking to be taken advantage of by swindlers. Kasich is running a Jon Huntsman campaign, complete with Jon Huntsman’s team. It is a race that tries to portray him as the grown up, sophisticated person in the room.
This is the “MSNBC deal waiting to happen” John Kasich who comforts the media circle of jerks and mega-donors of America that there are Republicans who, when they wear Jesus on their sleeve, do so in favor of bigger government. To get there, Kasich has hired John Weaver, a blast from the past, who, like Kasich, has rejected not just the conservative wing of the GOP, but all parts of the GOP not in favor of more expansive, debt riddled government and liberal social politics.
John Weaver made a name for himself in New Hampshire in 2000, helping John McCain beat George W. Bush in that primary. After McCain ultimately lost, Weaver took his football and went home, or at least left the GOP. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted him in 2002, “I don’t think it surprised one person in McCain-land,” he said. “I think they thought I was a Democrat all along.”.......To Read More.....
Contraries: Dec. 30, 2015, Closing Out the Year
We close out the year with more protests and demands than ever, as our intellectuals engage in more and more "conversations" about race. The protests spilled over to restaurants and shopping venues, even as Americans celebrated Christmas. The incubators are the schools and college campuses, where students are taught about injustices invisible to the common man. Textbooks offering lessons for deep classroom discussion include the sociology textbook, Color Lines and Racial Angles, published by Norton. It includes such thought-provoking gems as "Asian American Exceptionalism and 'Stereotype Promise,'" "The Fascination and Frustration with Native American Mascots," "White Trash: The Social Origins of a Stigmatype," and "Thinking about Trayvon [Martin, of course]: Privileged Responses and Media Discourse."
Another gem from the once esteemed textbook publisher is Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century, with offerings from professors in various fields, such as biology, history, anthropology, sociology...and education, with a contribution by Bill Ayers' choice for Obama's Secretary of Education, Linda Darling-Hammond. The Obama education transition team leader and developer of one of the two national Common Core tests offers her thoughts on education in an essay titled, "Structured for Failure: Race, Resources, and Student Achievement."
At the K-12 level, materials for sensitizing students to oppression abound. There is (Re)Teaching Trayvon: Education for Racial Justice. Curriculum materials on "teaching the ongoing murders of black men" are also readily available at Rethinking Schools.The George Soros-funded Teaching for Change also has some incendiary curriculum materials for the tykes.
White Privilege: All these materials are intended to instill an understanding of "white privilege," which arose as more obvious methods such as slurs and discrimination disappeared. White privilege is a kind of unconscious superiority that must be reviewed constantly--replacing the Puritan scouring for sin. To gain an understanding, students can read "Beyond the Big, Bad Racist: Shared Meanings of White Identity and Supremacy" in their Color Lines textbook.
The common wisdom in academe is that all white people are racist because they have white privilege. An exponent of this theory, George Yancy, was recently hired by Emory University to teach philosophy. His letter to "White America" appeared on Christmas Eve in the New York Times. Following in the footsteps of Ta-Nehisi Coates, a MacArthur Genius Grant winner and National Book Award winner for his stream-of-consciousness racial complaint in the style of James Baldwin, Yancy invoked James Baldwin.
"Dear White America," wrote Yancy, as he set out to berate her,
"I have a weighty request. As you read this letter, I want you to listen with love, a sort of love that demands that you look at parts of yourself that might cause pain and terror, as James Baldwin would say. Did you hear that? You may have missed it. I repeat: I want you to listen with love. Well, at least try."Yancy, here, managed to combine demand and insult. No doubt, millions of white masochistic Americans did just that: they tried very, very, very hard to listen, with love (as difficult as it is for them to grasp the concept).
This man who occupies an office once occupied by a real philosopher, continued,
"We don’t talk much about the urgency of love these days, especially within the public sphere. Much of our discourse these days is about revenge, name calling, hate, and divisiveness. I have yet to hear it from our presidential hopefuls, or our political pundits. I don’t mean the Hollywood type of love, but the scary kind, the kind that risks not being reciprocated, the kind that refuses to flee in the face of danger. To make it a bit easier for you, I’ve decided to model, as best as I can, what I’m asking of you. Let me demonstrate the vulnerability that I wish you to show. As a child of Socrates, James Baldwin and Audre Lorde, let me speak the truth, refuse to err on the side of caution."Now, the Dissident Prof has taken some classes in philosophy, but never has she heard a professor declare himself a "child of" any historical figure, much less of such a disparate triad as Socrates, James Baldwin, and Audre Lorde. Furthermore, they told their students that philosophy is the love of wisdom and that according to Socrates, the beginning of wisdom comes with the admission of ignorance.
Professor Yancy, however, declares that he speaks the truth, or at least a truth that does not hold back, has no doubt.
Lest anyone get the impression that Professor Yancy feels himself in any way superior to White America, or to anyone else, he confesses his own sin of sexism, or male privilege. But then again that must mean he is superior because he confessed his privilege. So unless you, White America, confess the privilege that Professor Yancy says you enjoy (because he knows), you are guilty.
I will not claim to be a child of Richard Wright, just someone who, in spite of her white privilege, read and taught (at Emory) his autobiographical account of a show trial put on by the American Communists in the 1930s. Wright got entangled with them in his efforts to break into writing. The poor soul who is the target, his friend Ross, is NOT a privileged white American, but a black American, one of many targeted and exploited by the communists.
Wright is asked to come to the trial so that he might "learn what happened to 'enemies of the working class.'" The following day, a Sunday, Ross is confronted by his accusers. Over the course of three hours, the accusers describe "Fascism's aggression in Germany, Italy, and Japan," "the role of the Soviet Union as the world's lone workers' state," and the "suffering and handicaps" of the Negro population on Chicago's South Side and the relation to "world struggle." The direct charges against Ross are made, with dates, conversations, and scenes.
Then it is time for Ross to defend himself:
He stood trembling; he tried to talk and his words would not come. The hall was as still as death. Guilt was written in every pore of his black skin. His hands shook. He held on to the edge of the table to keep on his feet. . . .In a similar manner, those of us benefiting from "privilege," must confess as we are blamed for such things as the "school to prison pipeline" and the deplorable conditions on the South Side of Chicago. Those who wish to be in the good graces of those like Professor Yancy must confess these over and over and over.
"Comrades," he said in a low, charged voice. "I'm guilty of all the charges, all of them."
In a similar manner, those of us benefiting from "privilege," must confess as we are blamed for such things as the "school to prison pipeline" and the deplorable conditions on the South Side of Chicago. Those who wish to be in the good graces of those like Professor Yancy must confess these over and over and over.
Fortunately, there are still a few legitimate philosophy professors around, such as Jack Kerwick, one of the contributors to the Dissident Prof collection, Exiled. Kerwick, who keeps a very busy schedule teaching, also is a frequent contributor to such sites as Townhall and American Thinker. Those who have enjoyed his application of logic to the issues of the day can now enjoy his razor sharp analyses in a new collection, The American Offensive: Dispatches from the Front, where he tackles such topics as Immigration, Academia, Religion, and Race. As a matter of fact, I think George Yancy should read it. I cannot think of anyone who would benefit more.
A couple reminders: The deadline for public comment on the U.S. Dept. of Education's "family engagement" plan is Jan.4. The deadline for 2015 charitable contributions is Dec. 31.
Best wishes for a Happy New Year!
When the Takers Make More than the Makers
Gene Van Son
When I was a lad way back in the 60s my father gave me some career planning advice -- “If you want to make money go to work in the private sector, but if you want job security go to work in the public sector. The public sector doesn’t pay as well as the private sector but the benefits are good and you’ll never have to worry about getting laid off.” My father’s advice made sense. Government employees are ‘public servants’ and servants are not supposed to make more than their employers. But that was then and this is now. The times have changed. With 2.7 million-plus workers (excluding non-civilian military) the federal government is the largest employer in the U.S. But now it seems that federal employees are also the best paid workers in the U.S. And when benefits are added in, the total compensation for federal employees dwarfs private sector pay ....Is it any wonder why Democrats and even some not so conservative members of the GOP are so fond of Big Government?......To Read More......
Eric Metaxas Explains Why a Secular, Liberal Culture Is Bad for America
It is sad to see how bad American politics has sunk. We as a people have become so divided over almost every issue. Race, religion, guns, and money all work to cause infighting and name calling. It has been that this was mostly for the federal level politics, but even local government is now getting involved. And one Virginia Senator is taking a radical approach to see his governor live consistently......
Pamela Geller named Woman of the Year
'If Obama wants to go to war against the American people, I say, bring it on'
Backing down is not in Pamela Geller’s lexicon. In May 2015, Geller hosted an art exhibit and drawing contest featuring images of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Her aim was to stand up for free speech by showing that Muslims could not intimidate non-Muslim Americans into following Shariah blasphemy laws, which prohibit any depictions of Muhammad. Two gunmen showed up at the Garland, Texas, event and started shooting, injuring a security officer before being killed by police. Frightened into silence? Not Geller. To Read More...
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Prof to all white Americans: Admit your 'racist poison'
A college professor has taken to the New York Times to implore “white America” to go to “war” with itself over its alleged racism. Professor George Yancy of Emory University published “Dear White America” as a “gift” for white people. His challenge: “White America, are you prepared to be at war with yourself, your white identity, your white power, your white privilege?” Yancy, a black professor, told Times readers Dec. 24 that, just as he considers himself sexist, all white people should admit to possessing latent racism. “I can see your anger. I can see that this letter is being misunderstood. This letter is not asking you to feel bad about yourself, to wallow in guilt. That is too easy. I’m asking for you to tarry, to linger, with the ways in which you perpetuate a racist society, the ways in which you are racist,” said Yancy......Read more at
My Take - The first question we should be asking is: How did this lunatic ever get a teaching job at any university? The second question we should be asking is: Is he representative of American academia. The answer is Yes to the latter and that explains how he got his job.
How white liberals use black kids
Walter Williams About | Email | Archive
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ran headlong into the leftist meat grinder by questioning whether college admission of blacks with academic achievement levels significantly lower than the rest of the student body is beneficial to blacks. His question came up during oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas, wherein the court will rule whether the use of race in college admission decisions violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” to all citizens. Justice Scalia’s questions generated news headlines such as “Justice Scalia suggests blacks belong at ‘slower’ colleges,” “Scalia questions place of some black students in elite colleges” and “Scalia and the misguided ‘mismatch’ theory.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said, “It is deeply disturbing to hear a Supreme Court justice endorse racist ideas from the bench of the nation’s highest court.”........I have been asked: If elite colleges do not create lower admission standards, how are they going to have enough black students? My response is: That’s their problem. Black people cannot afford to have our youngsters turned into failures in order to support the agendas of diversity race hustlers and to lessen the guilt of white liberals.....To Read More....
My Take - As you read this article you will see the left playing the game that best - redefines the issue in terms to redirect everyone's attention from reality to suit themselves....especially in some emotional way attacking us by using our own values against us. But it's never the right story, it's never the right issue, and it's always destructive to humanity. In short - they fill the void with lies of commission, lies of omission and logical fallacies.
We must learn to see past the emotion since that merely clouds reality. Leftist policies has been so destructive to American blacks they're now a society in crisis facing skyrocketing rates of violence and illegitimacy. Any society existing in that fashion is doomed, and no amount of government handouts - or shall I call it what it is - bribes - can fix it. That is a society headed for doom, and they will take a large part of America with it. If you took American blacks and placed them on a world economic chart ten years ago as an independent nation they would have been the fourth richest nation on Earth. Where else could that have occurred? And this is the country they hate!
Judicial Watch: Secret Service Expenses for Obama’s 2013 Hawaii Christmas Vacation Cost Taxpayers $316,698.03, Taxpayers Paid Over $8 Million for 17-Day Vacation
Thought For The Day!
Is the West Disintegrating?
A Commentary by Pat Buchanan Tuesday, December 29, 2015
On Jan. 1, 2002, the day that euro coins and banknotes entered into circulation, my column, "Say Goodbye to the Mother Continent," contained this pessimistic prognosis: This European superstate will not endure, but break apart on the barrier reef of nationalism. For when the hard times come, patriots will recapture control of their national destinies from Brussels bureaucrats to whom no one will ever give loyalty or love.
The column described what was already happening. "Europe is dying. There is not a single nation in all of Europe with a birth rate sufficient to keep its population alive, except Muslim Albania. In 17 European nations, there are already more burials than births, more coffins than cradles.
Between 2000 and 2050, Asia, Africa and Latin America will add 3 billion to 4 billion people -- 30 to 40 new Mexicos! -- as Europe loses the equal of the entire population of Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany. " .....To Read More....
How shall we remember 2015? Or shall we try to forget it? It is always hard to know when a turning point has been reached, and usually it is long afterwards before we recognize it. However, if 2015 has been a turning point, it may well have marked a turn in a downward direction for America and for Western civilization.
This was the year when we essentially let the world know that we were giving up any effort to try to stop Iran -- the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism -- from getting a nuclear bomb. Surely it does not take much imagination to foresee what lies at the end of that road. It will not matter if we have more nuclear bombs than they have, if they are willing to die and we are not. That can determine who surrenders. And ISIS and other terrorists have given us grisly demonstrations of what surrender would mean........If there is anything that is bipartisan in Washington, it is lying. The most recent budget deal showed that Congressional Republicans lied wholesale when they said that they would defund Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, and other pet projects of the Democrats......To Read More.....
It's Political Posturing - or - The Weather Outside is Balmy
The Prime Minister said more frequent ‘extreme weather events’ driven by climate change were the main driver as Cumbria and the north braces for more hell. However experts branded his comments “ludicrous excuses” blaming lack of investment on flood defences for the disaster and pointed to historic flooding which pre-dated global warming. Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, slammed the Prime Minister for shrouding the real problem of poor flood defences with excuses. He said: “Flooding has happened through the centuries, though uncommon, what we are seeing is nothing new. The most likely explanation is that the current El Nino has thrown more moisture into the air as sea waters have evaporated over the Pacific.” --Nathan Rao, Daily Express, 29 December 2015
Based on a key measurement, this year’s extreme El Niño has surpassed the 1997-1998 phenomenon, making it now the strongest ever recorded. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continually monitors the warmth of the water in the central Pacific as one major indicator of an El Niño’s strength. In mid-November, the recorded temperature was the highest ever seen in the region. The New Scientist reports that during 1997′s El Niño, the central Pacific’s temperature peaked at 2.8°C above average. This year, temperatures reached 2.8°C on November 4 and then rose to 3.1°C on November 18. As of December 2, the central Pacific was still at about 2.9°C above average. Since 1950, there have been only two other El Niño winters of similar magnitude, one in 1982-1983 and another in 1997-1998. --Megan Barber, Vox Media, 8 December 2015
Amid all the devastation and recrimination over the floods in Cumbria hardly anybody mentions one factor that may not be the sole cause, but certainly hasn’t helped, and that is the almost complete cessation of dredging of our rivers since we were required to accept the European Water Framework Directive (EWF) into UK law in 2000. Yet until then, for all of recorded history, it almost went without saying that a watercourse needed to be big enough to take any water that flowed into it, otherwise it would overflow and inundate the surrounding land and houses. Every civilisation has known that, except apparently ours. It is just common sense. But all this changed with the creation of the Environment Agency in 1997 and when we adopted the European Water Framework Directive in 2000. No longer were the authorities charged with a duty to prevent flooding. Instead, the emphasis shifted, in an astonishing reversal of policy, to a primary obligation to achieve ‘good ecological status’ for our national rivers. This is defined as being as close as possible to ‘undisturbed natural conditions’. -- Philip Walling, Newcastle Journal, 11 December 2015
Ever since the latest round of flooding began in Cumbria, we have been told that it has been caused by unprecedented ‘extreme weather events’ as a result of ‘climate change’. This is, of course, utter garbage. There’s nothing unprecedented about these Biblical-proportion downpours. Local records show much heavier rain in Cumbria as long ago as the 19th century. The Met Office’s own data confirms that Britain experienced greater downpours in 1929 and 1930, long before global warming was invented. No, the current misery being inflicted on the North of England by floodwater has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with official incompetence and stupidity, driven by fashionable political opinion. Political posturing always comes first. The Environment Agency is a dysfunctional bureaucracy, staffed by green zealots in Birkenstock sandals who put protected species before people. --Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 29 December 2015
The reduction in Arctic sea ice caused by climate change is playing a role in the UK's recent colder and drier winter weather, according to the Met Office. Speaking to MPs on the influential environmental audit committee about the state of the warming Arctic, Julia Slingo, the chief scientist at the Met Office, said that decreasing amounts of ice in the far north was contributing to colder winters in the UK and northern Europe as well as to drought. Slingo told the MPs that more cold winters mean less water, and could exacerbate future droughts. "The replenishment of aquifers generally happens in winter and spring … a wet summer does not replenish aquifers. So we are concerned if we have a sequence of cold winters that could be much more damaging," she told the committee. --Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 14 March 2012
Terrorism in Israel – and America
Ted Cruz plans action on multiple fronts in first day as president
By Paul Bedard
Surging Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz described what would be the most aggressive first day in office ever for a new president, starting with the elimination of "every single illegal and unconstitutional" executive action taken by President Obama. The Texas senator also said that he would rip up Obama's controversial deal with Iran, open an investigation into Planned Parenthood's "abortion practice," and shift the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem....."The left, and the media (who are in cahoots), try to convince us that nothing can change. They want us to give up. But strong presidential leadership, backed by the American people, can usher in dramatic change," wrote Cruz......To Read More...
Trump directs fire at Christie after newspaper's endorsement
With nearly six weeks to go until the New Hampshire primary, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has a new target in the first primary state. During a Monday rally Trump sharpened his attacks on New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie.......[noting] how he was surprised the paper endorsed Christie, saying the first time he met with its publisher Joseph McQuaid, the newspaper man stated how much he hated that Christie had embraced President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy..........he extensively attacked Christie's record as governor and the financial standing of New Jersey. He attacked the governor over the state's crediting rating, stating it has been downgraded nine times and that New Jersey ranks last in economic development. "I have property in New Jersey. It's a disaster. The property taxes are through the roof," complained Trump......"They say we're going to hell and our governor is up in New Hampshire every single day holding town halls. He should really be doing it in New Jersey in all fairness.".....To Read More....
US Taxpayers To Pay Iran’s Compensation To Hostage Crisis Victims
A fund of over $1 billion has been created for the U.S. embassy personnel taken hostage by Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but it is the U.S. taxpayer, not Iran, who will be paying for it. The new fund, known as the “United States Victims of State Sponsors of Terrorism Fund,” was an addition to the omnibus bill put forward by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama Dec. 28. As much as $4.4 million could go to each of the 52 Americans held by Iran, with another $600,000 going to each spouse and child of the victims. The provision authorizes $1.025 billion from the Department of the Treasury to be used to pay for the new fund. Additionally, the legislation includes a 25 percent cap on any attorney’s fees, which could lead to as much as $250 million total going to lawyers of the various victims involved.....To Read More.....
The Formlessness of Progressivism
(Editor's Note Update: I find when I click the link to this article I get a "Access Denied" message. Since I'm not denied access to other articles I have to assume it's because this article was taken down and now longer exists, ergo, I'm publishing it in total from this site. RK)
Progressives are often good people with good intentions. However, modern Progressivism has evolved into something so shapeless and amorphous as to amount to little more than a belief in “things that sound nice.” Mainstream Progressives have done an abysmal job of outlining precisely, in their view, the proper role of government and what (if any) limiting principle(s) apply to the state as a whole.
Everything Is Now a Taxpayer-Funded “Right”
Problems with today’s leftism begin with the ideology’s conception of “rights.” In the common laissez-faire view,rights are universal because they do not impose a duty on others to act positively on our behalf. Simply put, the proper view of human rights is that they prohibit us from initiating coercion against others.
Moreover, not only are the rights universal, but they are inherent to being human. To argue that the state confers these rights suggests that the state, through whatever “legitimate” institutions it may possess, can also take them away. This is an unacceptable possibility in a society of free people.
Modern Progressivism, however, has so warped the entire nature of rights as to turn almost any desired good or service into a right.
In this view, private employers refusing to subsidize birth control purchases by employees are violating a woman’s “right” to birth control. Business owners with religious convictions about homosexuality are denying “rights” by refusing to bake cakes for homosexual couples. Offering someone a job that pays wages below some arbitrary federal or state mandated minimum is now an act in violation of a “labor right.”
A service once voluntarily offered to the public is now a duty enforced by the violent arm of the state.
The list of our newfound rights is almost endless, but ten conversations with ten different Progressives will yield ten different sets of absolute rights. Perhaps the only common thread among them all is the demand that the state coerce all members of society into paying for all the goods and services to which we now have a “right.”
A Plea for More Precise Language
Pitching a wish list of other people’s property naturally requires a total deformation of the English language. The left has recently adopted many vague, imprecise, but passionate words into their lexicon.
“Equality,” “social justice,” “appropriation,” “racism,” “climate justice,” “micro-aggressions,” and many other terms referencing broad, nebulous concepts are now battle cries for stuff.
In practice, being “for” something like social justice means to be for just about anything and against just about anything! Do any two people have the same idea about what social justice means?
Groups as diverse as American universities, the Green Party, Italian Fascists, and even the American Nazi partyshare a commitment to “social justice.” This is not a minor point — expressing a vague set of guiding principles means that almost all government objectives will be legitimate, no matter the destructive means used to achieve those professed ends. Much like Progressive “rights,” terms like “social justice” can be used to justify the overwhelming majority of government action.
The Only Principle Is Faith in the Power of the State
As vague and misty as most modern leftist ideals can be, they do share one solid, bedrock principle: the need for continuous expansion of the government’s role in our lives. The government’s heavy handed regulation of our industries has imposed unbelievable barriers and costs to the supply of goods and services. No matter that this overhead hurts the poorest among us the most, to the Progressive, these costs are necessary in order to ensure we are protected from “greed” or “racism” or sexism” or “wage injustice” or whatever word-clothing that particular government expansion merits. The goal of the policy is vague therefore the government impediment will last indefinitely. The crusade will never end.
Meanwhile, the trillions of dollars spent yearly on welfare programs have done astoundingly little to improve the economic outcomes of the poor since the 1960s. Not even Karl Marx could have imagined a program of wealth extraction and transfer as large (in real terms) as that of the United States government. Yet, poverty rates for African Americans and Native Americans (two groups many of these programs were specifically intended to help) have been stagnant since President Johnson’s War on Poverty began.
The government’s intervention into our financial markets, healthcare system, education establishment and other industries has created structural disorder and price confusion. Bailouts, mandates, licensing laws, arbitrary restrictions, taxes on capital, massive monetary expansions, allotments of unwarranted credit, and other gargantuan government schemes have destroyed the natural channels of capital flows. Costs for even the most basic medical treatments have skyrocketed, another housing and stock bubble is in the horizon, and the federal student loan program has created millions of worthless degrees and a mountain of debt. The Progressive is un-phased by the government’s history of failure because he or she is certain that their vague principals simply require more action by our leaders. If we will only give the state and its army of foot soldiers more tax dollars and more power, the problem will surely go away.
This article first appeared at Mises.org