Dick Cheney: Obama would ‘much rather spend the money on food stamps’ than military

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday accused President Barack Obama of cutting the defense budget because “he would rather spend money on food stamps.”


The Pentagon announced on Monday plans to shrink the U.S. Army to pre-World War II levels, in addition to eliminating the Air Force’s A-10 fleet and retiring the Cold War-era U-2 spy plane program.

“Absolutely dangerous,” Cheney told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I, obviously, have not been a strong supporter of Barack Obama but this really is over the top. It does enormous long-term damage to our military.”

“They’re basically making the decision, the Obama administration, that they no longer want to be dominant on the seas and the skies and in space,” the former vice president added. “This notion that we no longer want to have a force that’s capable of any sustained occupation of a foreign territory, that’s a basic fundamental decision that drives — supposedly justifies this. But lots of times, you don’t get to make that choice. Circumstances will make that choice for you.”

Cheney said that his “old friends” in the Middle East had told him that they no longer trusted the United States to use military power when it was necessary.

“I think the whole thing is not driven by any change in world circumstances, it’s driven by budget considerations,” he insisted. “He would much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.”

“Pretty frightening,” Hannity agreed.

Greenpeace Co-Founder: Geologic History ‘fundamentally contradicts’ CO2 Climate Fears

Selected Highlights of Dr. Patrick Moore’s Feb. 25, 2014 testimony before the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee:

‘There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.

‘Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species…It is “extremely likely” that a warmer temperature than today’s would be far better than a cooler one.’

Earth’s Geologic History Fails CO2 Fears: ‘The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming…When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today.’

Obama Science Czar John Holdren’s testimony here.

Selected Highlights of Dr. Patrick Moore’s Feb. 25, 2014 testimony before the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee:

“Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. There is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization.

Humans are a tropical species. We evolved at the equator in a climate where freezing weather did not exist. The only reasons we can survive these cold climates are fire, clothing, and housing…It is “extremely likely” that a warmer temperature than today’s would be far better than a cooler one.

Earth’s Geologic History Fails CO2 Fears:

‘When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today. There is some correlation, but little evidence, to support a direct causal relationship between CO2 and global temperature through the millennia. The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming.’

On UN IPCC’s 95% confidence in man-made global warming: ‘Extremely likely’ is not a scientific term but rather a judgment, as in a court of law. The IPCC defines “extremely likely” as a “95-100% probability”. But upon further examination it is clear that these numbers are not the result of any mathematical calculation or statistical analysis. They have been “invented” as a construct within the IPCC report to express “expert judgment”, as determined by the IPCC contributors.

Why does the IPCC believe that a virtually identical increase in temperature after 1950 is caused mainly by “human influence”, when it has no explanation for the nearly identical increase from 1910-1940?

What we do know with “extreme certainty” is that the climate is always changing, between pauses, and that we are not capable, with our limited knowledge, of predicting which way it will go next.”

Full Statement of Patrick Moore, Ph.D. Before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight – “Natural Resource Adaptation: Protecting ecosystems and economies”

February 25, 2014

Chairman Whitehouse, Ranking Member Inhofe, and members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing.

In 1971, as a PhD student in ecology I joined an activist group in a church basement in Vancouver Canada and sailed on a small boat across the Pacific to protest US Hydrogen bomb testing in Alaska. We became Greenpeace.

After 15 years in the top committee I had to leave as Greenpeace took a sharp turn to the political left, and began to adopt policies that I could not accept from my scientific perspective. Climate change was not an issue when I abandoned Greenpeace, but it certainly is now.

There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” (My emphasis)

“Extremely likely” is not a scientific term but rather a judgment, as in a court of law. The IPCC defines “extremely likely” as a “95-100% probability”. But upon further examination it is clear that these numbers are not the result of any mathematical calculation or statistical analysis. They have been “invented” as a construct within the IPCC report to express “expert judgment”, as determined by the IPCC contributors.

These judgments are based, almost entirely, on the results of sophisticated computer models designed to predict the future of global climate. As noted by many observers, including Dr. Freeman Dyson of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies, a computer model is not a crystal ball. We may think it sophisticated, but we cannot predict the future with a computer model any more than we can make predictions with crystal balls, throwing bones, or by appealing to the Gods.

Perhaps the simplest way to expose the fallacy of “extreme certainty” is to look at the historical record. With the historical record, we do have some degree of certainty compared to predictions of the future. When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today.

There is some correlation, but little evidence, to support a direct causal relationship between CO2 and global temperature through the millennia. The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming.

Today we remain locked in what is essentially still the Pleistocene Ice Age, with an average global temperature of 14.5oC. This compares with a low of about 12oC during the periods of maximum glaciation in this Ice Age to an average of 22oC during the Greenhouse Ages, which occurred over longer time periods prior to the most recent Ice Age. During the Greenhouse Ages, there was no ice on either pole and all the land was tropical and sub-tropical, from pole to pole. As recently as 5 million years ago the Canadian Arctic islands were completely forested.

Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. There is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization.
Moving closer to the present day, it is instructive to study the record of average global temperature during the past 130 years. The IPCC states that humans are the dominant cause of warming “since the mid-20th century”, which is 1950.

From 1910 to 1940 there was an increase in global average temperature of 0.5oC over that 30-year period. Then there was a 30-year “pause” until 1970. This was followed by an increase of 0.57oC during the 30-year period from 1970 to 2000. Since then there has been no increase, perhaps a slight decrease, in average global temperature. This in itself tends to negate the validity of the computer models, as CO2 emissions have continued to accelerate during this time.

The increase in temperature between 1910-1940 was virtually identical to the increase between 1970-2000. Yet the IPCC does not attribute the increase from 1910-1940 to “human influence.” They are clear in their belief that human emissions impact only the increase “since the mid-20th century”. Why does the IPCC believe that a virtually identical increase in temperature after 1950 is caused mainly by “human influence”, when it has no explanation for the nearly identical increase from 1910-1940?

It is important to recognize, in the face of dire predictions about a 2oC rise in global average temperature, that humans are a tropical species. We evolved at the equator in a climate where freezing weather did not exist. The only reasons we can survive these cold climates are fire, clothing, and housing. It could be said that frost and ice are the enemies of life, except for those relatively few species that have evolved to adapt to freezing temperatures during this Pleistocene Ice Age. It is “extremely likely” that a warmer temperature than today’s would be far better than a cooler one.

I realize that my comments are contrary to much of the speculation about our climate that is bandied about today. However, I am confident that history will bear me out, both in terms of the futility of relying on computer models to predict the future, and the fact that warmer temperatures are better than colder temperatures for most species.

If we wish to preserve natural biodiversity, wildlife, and human well being, we should simultaneously plan for both warming and cooling, recognizing that cooling would be the most damaging of the two trends. We do not know whether the present pause in temperature will remain for some time, or whether it will go up or down at some time in the near future. What we do know with “extreme certainty” is that the climate is always changing, between pauses, and that we are not capable, with our limited knowledge, of predicting which way it will go next.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my views on this important subject.

Attached please find the chapter on climate change from my book, “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist”. I would request it be made part of the record.

Related Links: 

Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore: ‘Thank goodness we came along & reversed 150 million-year trend of reduced CO2 levels in global atmosphere. Long live the humans’ – Moore: ‘CO2 is lower today than it has been through most of the history of life on earth…At 150 ppm CO2 all plants would die, resulting in virtual end of life on earth’

Former Greenpeace co-founder turned climate skeptic Dr. Patrick Moore calls NAS ‘tipping point’ study ‘pure junk’: ‘Low point for US National Academy of Science. Warns of ‘tipping points’ in climate like ‘drunk drivers’

Former Greenpeace Founding Member Dr. Patrick Moore refutes warmist’s attack point by point:

Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore: Oil is the ‘most important source of energy to support our civilization’ – ‘If it is the aim of ‘environmentalists’ to stop fossil fuel production and use, end fracking, end coal mining, end use of oil, then they are promoting a policy that would have disastrous consequences for human civilization & the environment. If we stopped using fossil fuel today, or by 2020 as Gore proposes, at least half the human population would perish & there wouldn’t be a tree left on planet within a year, as people struggled to find enough energy to stay alive’

Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr. Patrick Moore Rips Windfarms: ‘They are ridiculously expensive and don’t work half the time…The industry is a destroyer of wealth and negative to the economy’ –Moore: ‘And no matter how many are built, they won’t replace coal, gas or hydro or nuclear plants, because they are continuous and wind is not always reliable’

Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr. Patrick Moore Questions Man-Made Global Warming, Calls it ‘Obviously a Natural Phenomenon’ – ‘We do not have any scientific proof that we are the cause of the global warming that has occurred in the last 200 years…The alarmism is driving us through scare tactics to adopt energy policies that are going to create a huge amount of energy poverty among the poor people’

Elementary School Spiral: A Cautionary Tale by Jenna Robinson

Vouchers are back in vogue, but higher ed offers us lessons about a K–12 tuition spiral.

Twenty-five years ago, education secretary Bill Bennett advanced the idea that government student aid was largely to blame for the steady increases in college tuition. Since then, higher education reformers have been sounding the alarm about the tuition spiral. The public has finally started to pay attention, now that average tuition and fees at private universities have topped $30,000 per year.

K–12 school choice proponents should take heed. With the increasing popularity of vouchers, it’s possible for the same problem to crop up in private elementary and secondary schools. There’s even a proposal before Congress to launch a federal voucher program for poor families that would allow them to send their children outside their designated districts.

Before jumping on board that proposal, though, voucher proponents should hear this cautionary tale from higher education.

Reformers have amassed considerable evidence for Bennett’s now-famous hypothesis in the past quarter-century. College tuition has increased more than 500 percent since 1985, compared with a 121 percent gain in the consumer price index during the same period. At elite schools, the problem is worse. Fifty years ago, the annual cost to attend Harvard was less than $2,500, which is about $19,000 in today’s dollars, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A year at Harvard now costs nearly $60,000, including tuition, room and board, and fees.

The mechanics of college pricing are to blame. As the availability of student aid increases, either via grants or low-interest loans, demand for education increases—particularly at previously unaffordable “elite” institutions. Colleges then raise tuition enough to capture some of that aid. The problem is systemic; even colleges that are not “greedy” will eventually raise tuition to compete with peer institutions and bolster their reputations by hiring more prestigious staff and adding or upgrading facilities. Aid is then increased to “keep up” with tuition hikes, feeding the cycle.

But endless tuition hikes are not a foregone conclusion. Scholarly evidence shows that some types of aid and some segments of higher education seem to be somewhat “immune” to the tuition spiral. In Introducing Bennett Hypothesis 2.0, Andrew Gillen summarizes those findings.

First, he says, “Not all aid is created equal. . . . Aid programs that are restricted to low-income students are less likely to allow colleges to raise their tuition.” Most voucher proposals get this part right. But here again, K–12 reformers can learn from higher education’s mistakes. The federal Pell Grant program, which once served only students in poverty, has now been expanded to middle-class students—mostly due to political pressure. Voucher programs are susceptible to the same problems.

Second, Gillen shows that tuition caps weaken the link between aid and tuition. In the current market, the existence of “free” public education exerts considerable pressure on private schools to hold tuition down. “Free” public education acts as a tuition cap. Allowing parents to take their voucher money outside the child’s traditional neighborhood zone counteracts that tuition cap. If public schools can capture voucher money to then spend on teachers or programs, it will be that much harder for private schools to compete without raising their own tuition. (In reality, any additional funding poured into public schools exacerbates this problem—but that subject is beyond the purview of this article.) Allowing parents and students to choose their public schools would address the problem; giving them additional money to do so would introduce another.

Third, Gillen notes, “Price discrimination allows private colleges to raise tuition in response to aid at an individual level.” But in order for colleges to do this, he explains, they must know each student’s ability to pay. This means that providing colleges with students’ financial background, as the federal government does via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), will lead to more aid being captured. “Ending [this] counterproductive practice,” Gillen says, “would curtail price discrimination, which would increase the effectiveness of aid in improving affordability.” The lesson here for K–12 is that parents’ financial information, which they will necessarily disclose to government officials in order to qualify for vouchers, should never be shared with private schools.

Ultimately, all schools, whether public or private, want to improve in order to better serve students and to bolster their reputations. The incentive to increase spending in pursuit of that goal is already very strong. Implementing vouchers in the wrong way simply gives schools another avenue to do so. Vouchers advocates should proceed with caution.


Jenna Robinson is director of outreach at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Bitcoin Comes to Wall Street by Jeffrey A. Tucker

How do new technologies become part of life experience? They don’t drop from heaven, completed and ready to use. They enter into our world in marginal steps through real-time markets. These markets are full of play, experimentation, success and failure, price discovery, and technological fits and starts. Without this process, technology would remain forever in the lab or the warehouse.

It is this way with cryptocurrency and bitcoin in particular. I’ve been convinced for more than a year that this technology is the future of money and payment systems. It is so obviously better in every sense. But getting from here to there requires a messy process of adoption in real time. The demise of Mt. Gox is no exception.

This is why I was just thrilled to experience two wonderful evenings at the Bitcoin Center in New York City’s financial district. The address is 40 Broad, right on the first floor, right in the heart of Wall Street. It is inspiring just to the see the sign above the door. Bitcoin Center opened only weeks ago, in early February. It’s a beautiful symbol of a coming of age.

The Bitcoin Center sponsors lectures and debates, shows off new technologies for ATMs and mining equipment, and even has a trading pit once a week. I rang the bell for the session last week, following a general lecture on the topic. It was indescribably fun! It’s true that anyone can trade bitcoins anywhere, anytime, but there is just something wonderful about creating an old-world style environment of buying and selling with posted prices on a board. It was my first time to do this on a trading floor and it was just fantastic.

My second night at the Bitcoin Center featured a debate with Andrew Schiff of Euro-Pacific Capital. He is more skeptical of bitcoin because of fears over government intervention, security issues, and also the proliferation of so-called alt-coins.

I too worry about government—governments make a mess of everything—but this is not bitcoin’s problem. It’s a problem of meddlesome bureaucrats. The beautiful thing about bitcoin is that it is designed to persist and thrive even in the face of powerful interests that oppose it. It lives on a distributed network that is controlled by no one in particular so that there is no single point of failure. It can outlast any attempt to control or suppress it.

As for security, here again, this is not an issue for bitcoin but for the builders of tools around the bitcoin ecosphere. It is not for everyone. It is vulnerable to user error, just like email or cell phones in the early days—or the app economy today. I look forward to ever-better and ever-more accessible tools emerging over the coming year.

As for alt-coins such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, and a thousand others, I see them as a sign that competition is coming to the monetary realm after being shut out for a century. We are finally able to observe how money will emerge in an authentic market setting. This is posing serious challenges for theorists and practitioners.

Think of this: One year ago, bitcoin was still just a narrow interest among a techie crowd. There were a few businesses organizing around it, but not that many. The exchange rate to the dollar was about $20 and people were screaming that it was a bubble.

Today, there are thousands of businesses growing up around cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s price peaked at $1,250, and though it has fallen by half since then, that hasn’t inspired too much hand-wringing. People now understand that volatility is a normal feature of such an emerging and edgy technology.

It’s helpful to think of bitcoin in terms of historical analogies. Consider electricity. In the 1880s, the rich were installing it in their homes. It was rather scary. It seemed dangerous and it probably was. Would it start a fire? Sometimes it did. Was it really an improvement over candles? Some people openly denied it. Anyone taking the risk early on needed to know plenty of technical details about how it worked and how to use it.

Today, we just flip a switch and forget about it. It will be the same with bitcoin. Today everyone is puzzled about how it works. I end up spending most of my talks these days going over technological basics. It’s all a bit mind-blowing because we are not used to thinking in terms of distributed networks, peer-to-peer exchange, cryptography, and the like. It seems like a new world and it is.

Another historical analogy to consider is railroads. From the 1870s to 1900, most of the headlines concerning railroads were about volatile stock prices, graft, stock fraud, malfunctioning trains, crashes, hazards and dangers, and political scandals. Often lost in this blizzard was the big picture: Railroads were changing the world dramatically.

As we follow the continued march of cryptocurrency, we should remember the big picture. Yes, there will be mishaps, evidence of corruption, lost money, ups and downs in price, and messes all around. This is the way markets give birth to new worlds.

It could be that bitcoin is just the beginning. The technological foundations of this monetary system are showing us new ways to distribute other forms of information relevant to markets, such as contracts, insurance, financial derivatives, futures, and asset allocations in companies—all based on the same system of peer-to-peer exchange without having to rely on trusted third parties.

Technology is made by human hands and grows to become part of our lives through human experience. It is a beautiful anarchy that eventually leads to unseen and unpredicted forms of order. A growing economy needs to permit the process to work. To attempt to control it is to shut down the source of its life and creative energy.

What do you think about the future of bitcoin? Check out our debate in this month’s Arena.



Jeffrey Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is a distinguished fellow at FEE, CEO of the startup Liberty.me, and publisher at Laissez Faire Books. He will be speaking at the FEE summer seminar “Making Innovation Possible: The Role of Economics in Scientific Progress.”

Ten Bills, Ten Solutions to save America

Russ Vought, Political Director for Heritage Action for America, notes, “During the State of the Union address, President Obama called for 2014 to be a year of action. We agree, but Americans deserve action that will take the nation in the right direction. That’s why, with no clear goals or mandate from the Washington Establishment, we hosted the first Conservative Policy Summit.

On February 10th, Heritage Action brought together leaders to highlight conservative bills that would improve the lives of hardworking Americans. 10 speakers. 10 solutions.


Conservatives must lead through action. And we are. Heritage Action brought these leaders together on February 10th. The Conservative Policy Summit highlights the bills they have introduced, showing Americans a winning conservative reform agenda. Watch important discussion about our nation’s most pressing issues and learn about the conservative answers.


Privacy – Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ)
Social Welfare – Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) 
Health Care – Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) 
Health Care – Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) 
Energy – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Housing – Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Transportation – Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA)
School Choice – Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Higher Education – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
Religious Freedom – Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID)

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of Claude Covo-Farchi. The use of this image does not in any way that suggests that Covo-Farchi endorses Heritage Action or the use of the work in this column. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.

Pentagon Budget Slashes Military Personnel Benefits Again

The assault on the US military continues unabated.  The long term goal of the Obama administration has always been to reduce America’s military power consistently and systematically, and they are doing it at a time when China, Russia, Iran, and Al Qaeda military strengths are increasing.

In the below listed article you can read how the Obama administration continues its assault on military personnel who have repeatedly put their lives on the line in defense of the Republic, and many have been maimed for life.   The deepest and most draconian cuts in military pay and benefits in 40 years is being proposed by Obama’s civilian appointees at the Pentagon in their new budget.  It includes:

  1. Increasing healthcare costs for retirees & military families (Tricare deductibles and co-pays are being increased)
  2. Massive cuts in commissary benefits so the cost of food to military families will be increased
  3. The first ever cuts in basic housing allowance for families
  4. Draconian pay raises in 2015 will only be 1% which won’t keep up with inflation
  5. Moreover personnel costs will be reduced significantly by reducing the US Army below 1940 levels which is a extremely dangerous policy
  6. Hagel quote “Of course there is going to be risk”

All this is taking place at a time when there is serious concern in the US Armed Forces about many enlisted military families requiring food stamps because of their unusually low incomes.  Cutting their pay and benefits is underway while the Obama administration provides billions of dollars of free medical care, education, and food stamp benefits for Illegal Immigrants.  In addition, annually the IRS refunds billions of dollars in employer paid federal taxes to Illegal Immigrants who file for dependent benefits for their Illegal Immigrant’s children residing in Mexico.

Annually the Obama administration has been increasing the percentage of authorized expenditure on food stamps, which exceeds the increase in the authorized expenditures for the defense of the Republic (48 million people are now on food stamps with no requirement for verification of if they are truly eligible US citizens). “Common sense is not so common in the Obama administration.”

The way to prevent war is to maintain a strong military establishment—it should be “Peace Thru Strength,” not peace thru weakness.

Pentagon budget slashes benefits

By Kristina Wong

Benefits for active­ duty personnel and their families would be slashed under a budget proposal released Monday by the Pentagon.

The budget would dramatically reduce the Army’s size and trigger a new round of controversial base closures while cutting healthcare copays and deductibles and reducing the subsidies military families get for housing and low-cost goods.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged the cuts would be controversial but argued they were unavoidable in a belt-tightening era following the end of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Congress has taken some important steps in recent years to control the growth in compensation spending, but we must do more,” he said.

Lawmakers, as well as groups that represent veterans and the military, accused the Pentagon of balancing its pocketbook on the backs of soldiers and their families.

“We know the Defense Department must make difficult budget decisions, but these cuts would hit service members, making it harder for them and their families to make ends meet,” said Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

Coupled with a 1 percent ceiling on pay hikes and assuming a 5 percent annual increase in housing costs, the Military Officers Association of America estimated an Army sergeant with a family of four would see an annual loss of $1,400. An Army captain would lose $2,100, it said.

The group said those figures doesn’t account for other costs that would affect military families, such as increased prices at military commissaries because of another budget proposal and an increase in health care fees for military family members.

Hagel cast the cuts as unavoidable and necessary to avoid steeper cuts to military personnel.

He said payroll costs have risen 40 percent more than in the private sector.

While he said those hikes were the “right thing to do” during war, “today DOD faces a vastly different fiscal situation … We must now consider fair and responsible adjustments to our overall military compensation package.”

“This is the first time in 13 years we will be presenting a budget to the Congress of the United States that’s not a war-footing budget,” Hagel said.

Read more.


Budget cuts to slash U.S. Army to smallest since before World War Two

Increased domestic spending may be behind proposed military cuts, CBO report suggests

Susan Rice and the retreat of American power – The Washington Post

End of American Military Dominance | Washington Free Beacon

Free Press Freely Distorts Black TV Ownership

Over the past few months there have been several news stories about no Blacks owning major broadcast TV stations anymore.  The cries have bordered on mass hysteria.  It turns out that the story is not true.

Most of this hysteria in the media has been created by a Free Press, a White, liberal advocacy group. According to their website, “Free Press advocates for universal and affordable Internet access, diverse media ownership, vibrant public media and quality journalism.” They released their first report on the state of TV ownership in 2006, and found that there were only 18 Black-owned and operated full-power commercial TV stations, representing just 1.3 percent of all such stations.

By December 2012, those 18 had shrunk to just five. And now, according to Free Press, they’re all gone. This report is false in many ways. First, there is the issue of context.  For example, what happens when Blacks decide to sell their stations like Bob Johnson did with BET or Mike and Steve Roberts from St. Louis (friends of mine) who were forced to sell their stations last year after they filed for bankruptcy? The problem is that Free Press, while deploring the state of Black ownership, does not factor in situations where Black owners voluntarily or involuntarily sell their properties.

Therefore, reduced Black representation in the industry is not solely attributable to slamming the door in the face of Black investors. As they say, figures can lie and liars can figure. Again, taking a look at Free Press, they claim there are no Black-owned TV stations and consequently favor some type of government action to swell the ranks of Black ownership. Well, it turns out that there is at least one Black, Armstrong Williams, who owns not one, but several TV stations.

Last November 28, Williams won approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to buy WEYI-TV, an NBC affiliate in the Flint/Saginaw/Bay City/Midland, Mich., WWMB-TV, a CW affiliate in the Myrtle Beach/Florence, S.C, and WMMP in Charleston, S.C. He obtained a $50 million loan from JP Morgan. Williams acquired the stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., the nation’s largest independent owner of broadcast TV stations.

They own and operate programs or provide sales services to 87 television stations in 47 markets, reaching about 27 percent of U.S. television households. But Free Press does not count Williams as a true owner because Sinclair will provide some of the programing and sales support to his newly-acquired stations, which not an unusual arrangement, especially with a new owner. Williams, a well-known Black Republican media personality, is the owner and CEO of Howard Stirk Holdings, Inc. a Washington, D.C. media company. A  native of Myrtle Beach, S.C., he has extensive industry experience.  For more than 30 years, Williams has been a leader in media and content production.

He has developed and produced high quality television programs, including primetime specials with heads of state and key political figures. From 2001 to 2003, he served as Chief Operating Officer of the Renaissance Cable TV Network with responsibility for all programming, advertising and content development. Williams’ new relationship with Sinclair is akin to owning rental property or office buildings. It’s not uncommon to hire a property manager to handle the day-to-day business operations while all major decisions will be made by the owner.

In most cases, the owner is either too busy running other business ventures or is more comfortable with bringing in management with more specialized knowledge of the particular business. In this case, Williams has the knowledge to oversee these stations himself.  What is amazing is that Free Press tried to get the FCC to block approval of Williams’ purchase.

But wait a minute, they stated: “Free Press advocates for universal and affordable Internet access, diverse media ownership, vibrant public media and quality journalism.” Yet, they lined up to block one of the goals they profess to have – more diverse ownership. For the sake of argument, say they had some legitimate concerns about Williams’ management arrangement with Sinclair. Still, that wouldn’t warrant trying to prevent the sale of the television stations to an African American. Given these strange set of events, the only conclusion I can reach is that the liberal advocacy group that claims to seek “diverse media ownership” does not want politically diverse Black ownership.

There is no other way to explain it. There is no question that Williams is the certified owner of the aforementioned stations, the TV stations’ licenses are in his name and the loan from JP Morgan is in his name. That was enough to satisfy the FCC and should be enough to satisfy any reasonable person. Free Press has proven itself to be anything but reasonable.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of Visitor7. The photo is of a black and white television console at Cafe Delirium in Gresham, Oregon. Visitor7 does not in any way endorse the author of this column or his views. The photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Mainstream media in Massachusetts starts campaign to normalize transgenderism and sex-changes for schoolchildren!

Pushing the transgender agenda to kids.These two men had a booth at the “Youth Pride” event in Boston last year. They were inviting middle school and high school students to a “Drag Gospel Festival”. [MassResistance photo]

MassResistance fights back on national radio.

This past year Massachusetts began to enforce its mandate that public schools fully accommodate the concept of “transgenderism” and cross-dressing by children. Now, a powerful campaign has been ramping up in the local mainstream media to normalize “transgenderism” and even sex-change operations for children in the eyes of the public.

As we reported last year and in our recent post on the “War on Children,” schools in Massachusetts are now directed to allow so-called “transgender” students — children who decide to “identify” as the opposite sex — to wear opposite-sex clothes to school, use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms, and be called by an opposite-sex name. (California now has also mandated “transgenderism” in the public schools, and several other states are not far behind.)

This boy was marching in the state-supported “Youth Pride Parade” in Boston in 2013. This is what happens when homosexual and transgender adult activists are allowed to push their agendas in the schools.
[MassResistance photo]

But this has been happening relatively quietly. The general public still knows very little about it. But even in Massachusetts, seeing children involved in this makes people disturbed and outraged.

Thus the radical movement felt the need for a slick, effective PR campaign to change the public’s attitudes. In other words, the current stream of articles and radio spots is no accident or coincidence. Like similar homosexual-themed PR campaigns, this has the fingerprints of the well-funded and well-connected homosexual-transgender groups all over it. These groups have long worked hand in glove with their allies in the mainstream. Their activists and hand-picked “experts” appear in almost all of the articles.

Softening up the public

Not long ago this concept was considered so fringe and demonic that no even the homosexual newspapers would barely touch it. But the public is now being softened up to believe that this is an everyday occurrence — and even a “normal” part of life. There’s even the constant use of the opposite-sex pronoun (i.e., “he” when referring to a girl) to play not-so-subtle tricks with your mind.

Just a few examples over the last month:

A four-part series by National Public Radio in Boston about “Nate,” a girl who has decided she wants to be a boy:

* Jan. 22 – National Public Radio/Boston:
 “Living Transgender – Part 1: Battling perceptions and pronouns.”
 Local NPR affiliate WBUR explores the “challenges facing transgender teenagers through the story of Nate, a 16-year-old transgender male” (i.e., a female).

* Jan. 22 – National Public Radio/Boston: “Living Transgender: Frequently Asked Questions, Resources” This is very frightening. It is mostly a collection of junk science, “queer theory,” and the opinions of radical “experts.” But it’s an example of what is being told to children as fact.

* Jan. 23 – National Public Radio/Boston:
“Living Transgender – Part 2: As A Transgender Teen, Nate Finds Acceptance At His School”
 The undertone is that normalizing transgenderism in schools is like integration and the Civil Rights movement.

* Jan. 24 – National Public Radio/Boston: “Living Transgender – Part 3: “Uncertainty Surrounds Medical Treatments For Transgender Youth.” A very distressing piece about medical procedures and body surgery to “change” a teenager from one sex to the other.

National Public Radio’s Boston affiliate, WBUR, did a four-part series celebrating this girl, who now calls herself “Nate” and dresses as a boy. She’s “uncomfortable” being a girl, and the radio report explores the “challenge” of getting people to call her “he.”
[Photo: WBUR]

* Feb. 9 – Boston Globe: “Transgender Revolutionary.” Article about a “male” teacher and coach at a boys’ private boarding school who is actually a woman with facial hair, who is “married” to a lesbian. She has written a book about a distant ancestor, a woman in the Revolutionary War who also dressed as a man, though later married and had children.

This woman, dressed as a man and taking testosterone to grow facial hair and lower her voice, coached the boys’ cross-country team at a private boarding school in Rhode Island. She is “married” to a lesbian, according to theBoston Globe article.
[Photo: Boston Globe.]

* February 18 – Boston Globe: “Transgender student takes national stage” One of three identical female triplets has taken hormones to grow facial hair in “his brave effort to become truly himself.”

The Boston Globe celebrates this girl’s so-called “transitioning” into a boy. This includes continually taking male hormones and an upcoming operation to have her breasts removed, according to the article.
[Photo: Boston Globe]

It’s also happening in California, which also passed a “transgender” school law:

* February 21 – San Gabriel Valley Tribune: (Also reported in the Los Angeles Times.“Azusa High transgender student-athlete Pat Cordova-Goff attends first practice.” A boy who “identifies” as a girl is allowed to play on the school’s girls’ softball team, because of new California law.

A boy (right) who says he now “identifies” as a girl plays on the girls’ softball team, as mandated by California state law.
[Photo: Watchara Phomicinda]

A particularly disturbing aspect is the tone of all of these articles: They arecelebratory of this horrible situation, as if it were a great social triumph. They include no substantial opposing viewpoints. And they are completely dispassionate about the destructive nature of the medical procedures done to these kids to “improve” them. It is pure propaganda meant to normalize something that is profoundly abnormal.

Ignoring the damage

Unfortunately, the Left only thinks about its political agenda. It has no interest in the horrible trauma and sometimes suicidal feelings down the road when a person who went through “gender change” procedures realizes that he/she made a terrible mistake that may be unrecoverable. (Among other things, some of the medical procedures given to youth cause permanent sterilization.) It doesn’t “fix” the underlying problem of gender dysphoria, it only prolongs it. This has been documented at length by people like Walt Heyer and others who had hormone treatments and surgical procedures.

MassResistance fights back on national radio

On Monday February 17, Brian Camenker of MassResistance was featured on the national radio show “Crosstalk”, one of the most prominent Christian radio shows in the US. The show is broadcast on 97 radio stations across the country on the VCY America network.

The daily Crosstalk show is broadcast on 97 stations across America on the VCY America network.

Most people across America are completely unaware of the extent of the homosexual and transgender assault on children in the schools — particularly in the East Coast and West Coast where it’s at its worst. But Camenker laid it out for the radio audience. It was pretty shocking to a lot of people. Afterwards, MassResistance got a lot of emails from around the country with very emotional reactions.

Listen to radio interview with Camenker HERE (33 min.).

The propaganda will continue

Unfortunately, you can expect to see more of this in the mainstream media, even beyond Massachusetts and California. They understand that this is necessary for acceptance by the public. Like homosexuality itself, every generation normally finds these concepts unnatural and repulsive unless there is a heavy dose of propaganda and social pressure to conform. We’ve seen that the homosexual and transgender lobby is prepared to provide that.

Unquestioned acceptance by the liberal establishment

But in our observation, probably even more difficult and frightening for conservatives to deal with is how readily the liberals in the press, the schools, and elsewhere unquestioningly accept this complete lunacy. There appears to be no lower limit to what those people will embrace as fact, no matter how ludicrous, if it falls within the realm of political correctness.

One wonders if this is how the horrors of the 1930s in Europe and later in China and other communist countries took place so easily. It makes it all the more necessary for good people to speak out as loudly as possible.

There must be no compromise

And unfortunately, we’re already seeing many pro-family groups cave in on the “transgender” issue. They disagree with it in principle but invariably refuse to challenge it with anything stronger than polite opposition to the use of “gender identity.” They’ll argue that “privacy” rights should be respected in restrooms and locker rooms or that “special rights” should not be granted in schools. That way, by arguing at the edges, they avoid a direct confrontation with the transgender lobby. But it’s the coward’s way out and in the long run hurts children terribly.

MassResistance doesn’t compromise on these issues. Neither should you. This can and must be derailed.

Pushing the transgender agenda to kids.These two men had a booth at the “Youth Pride” event in Boston last year. They were inviting middle school and high school students to a “Drag Gospel Festival”.
[MassResistance photo]

A closer look at the “Drag Gospel Festival” poster.

Rhode Island pro-life / pro-marriage activists put their words into real action: Marriage and now a baby!

And finally some GOOD news!

During the heat of the culture war battles in Rhode Island over the last few years two of the most prominent pro-marriage and pro-life activists in the state have been Kara Russo and Chris Young. We’ve worked with them a lot.

Sometimes the battle tends to spur us on to bigger things. As we reported back in September of 2012 Chris and Kara decided to collaborate on their pro-marriage activism by . . . getting married!

Well, they didn’t leave their pro-life work behind. On December 22, 2013 their daughter Immanuel Mary Katherine was born. On Feb. 2, she was baptized by at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Galilee, Rhode Island, the same church where they were married.

Chris Young, Kara Young, and Immanuel Mary Katherine Young at the baptism on Feb. 2.

Now THAT’s what we call dedicated activism!!

The Night Venezuela Finally Imploded

Tonight, Venezuela is seeing a spasm of violence that’s unlike anything the country has experienced since 1989. Information is fragmented, since an almost complete media black-out is in place, but you don’t need the media to hear your neighbor’s screams.


Caracas, Valencia, Merida and San Cristobal in particular have become virtual war zones: National Guard units and National Police have been shooting tear gas canisters and buckshot sometimes directly at protesters, sometimes into residential buildings and, raiding any place they think student protesters may be hiding. Alongside them, the government backed colectivos (basically paramilitary gangs on motorbikes, a tropical basij) shoot at people with live ammo.

But of course, this is no war zone: in a war zone you have two sides shooting at each other. Tonight one side is doing all the shooting, the other side is doing all the being shot at.

The videos that are starting to come out are simply shocking. It’s as though the denouement we both sides have either feared or looked forward to for so long is finally coming to a head. See the arrival of the colectivos at Altamira square earlier tonight:

As these videos were being shot, president Maduro was on a live TV and radio cadena broadcast saying “I can give you guarantees that what those colectivos are doing is working, producing.”

Here we see the Tupamaros, perhaps the oldest and best established colectivo, at work in Los Ruices.

It gets worse. In this video, you can see the National Guard murdering a civilian in La Candelaria (at 1:52)

Here, we see National Guard troops shooting a civilian in Av. Panteon – there are conflicting reports about whether he survived:

Some Twitter streams are genuinely scary. JG Punto writes, while hiding from police and collectives in one a residential building in Altamira: “They found us”, his next tweets are mayhem and beatings of the students hiding with him.

Others post a picture of the National Guard beating down a building’s door:

going in

Here is Catia tonight – the one glimmer of hope is that everyone has a camera ready phone these days – there will be plenty of evidence:


Here we see the guy shot at Avenida Panteon, above:

Avenida Panteon

After midnight, a fire was set in an apartment in El Marqués , (Romulo Gallegos Ave.)


The Petare-Santa Lucia Road:

Carretera Petare-Santa Lucia

Here we see soldiers shooting into residential buildings in the Caracas neighborhood of Santa Monica:

Santa Monica

And this is not Kyiv, not Baghdad…it’s Valencia tonight:


Here’s Barquisimeto earlier today:


And this was San Cristobal yesterday. (We’re hearing reports that the internet has gone down in San Cristobal now.)


Of course it’s not just the big cities. This is Acarigua tonight:


Ramon Muchacho is working with Polichacao to evacuate students from their hiding places. You read that right, the municipal police is scrambling to keep national security forces from killing protesters.

A grave line has been crossed. Real, physical violence is finally catching up with the huge reserve of pent-up rhetorical violence we’ve suffered through since 1999.

We’ve spent 15 years fearing this.

Now we’re living it.


RELATED COLUMN: Hezbollah operative relocates to Venezuela, supports failing Maduro

Minding the Campus: “Slut Walks” to Pass USF Freshman Composition

“Real learning takes place outside the classroom,” the late communist history professor Howard Zinn famously said.  Zinn practiced what he preached and led his students at Spelman College and Boston University on marches and protests.

The 1960s saw plenty of teach-ins and marches by students and some radical professors.  But even then it would have been hard to imagine how the staple of first-year coursework, Freshman Composition, would be used to turn students into activists, subverting the idea of “composition” itself and leaving some students free of any ability to write.

Little Writing, But Plenty of Activism 

Indeed, as I learned from reading an article in the journal Hybrid Pedagogy, freshman composition provides an opportunity to display “bravery.”  In “Social Action and the Status Quo: Bravery in First Year Composition,” Susan Gail Taylor refers to the Rhetoric in Action project at the University of South Florida where she was then teaching as a graduate student.  The project asks students to engage in activism and then offer their “personal narrative of social action experience.”  Although the website states that students should use the “writing process” and “academic conventions,” much of what they do seems to go far beyond “composition” as traditionally known.  Students, instead, are asked to share first-person experiences in “multiple genres,” such as “letter, website, video, artwork, flyer, pamphlet, panel, demonstration.”

Taylor has given her students assignments at “Take Back the Night” and “Slut Walk” events.  She has had them videotape themselves discussing how they have overcome personal challenges.  Some students appear to resist, but Taylor tells colleagues, “I’ve developed a few ways to counteract possible hesitation and prepare my students to inspire others with their actions. For instance, I typically choose a social issue and have students organize and lead flash mobs in efforts to raise awareness.”

In “brief moments,” of flash mobs–90 seconds to 3 minutes–“students are faced with the power of their own voices (both literally and figuratively).”  (One wonders about the “power of the voice” of the student who disagrees with such causes.)  Students, Taylor claims, “are challenged to step outside of a traditional essay that discusses action and instead are tasked with becoming the action, thus inciting them to discover their own capacity for bravery and resistance.”

Bravery?  In her YouTube video of the SlutWalk on September 16, 2011, her mostly female students chant, “what I wear does not mean yes.”  The male voices make an odd counterpoint towards the end, as does the image of a couple guys reluctantly tagging behind a few paces. Taylor writes under the link: “They made awesome choices in their posters, they were loud and they were proud. Rhetoric was definitely in action! :)”


She explains her pedagogical purpose: “I want to show students how the power of language and the power of action can intersect: they select our chants and the information we use, they design the posters (which I provide), and they choose the locations– all in an effort to have even one person be affected by their work.”

Well, yes, this is a form of persuasion, but certainly outside the bounds of legitimate rhetorical persuasion.  Such an assignment seems to verge on illegality or coercion, and certainly has little to do with the “art of persuasion,” as described in Aristotle’s Rhetoric–the foundational text.

Taylor, however, does not seem to be outside the current academic mainstream.  The 35,000-member National Council of Teachers of English publishes, among  other books, Writing Partnerships by Thomas Deans, which tells composition teachers how to combine “writing instruction with community action.”

Deans traces the recent evolution of composition: “As a discipline, rhetoric and composition has adopted the broadly defined ‘social perspective’ on writing,” having “evolved from studies of the lone writer to more contextual understandings of composing; from a narrow, functional definition of literacy, focused on correctness, to a broader definition; from an exclusive focus on academic discourse to the study of both school and non academic contexts for writing; from presuming white middle-class culture as normative to analyzing and inviting cultural difference; and from gatekeeping at the university to facilitating the advancement of all students.”

Betraying the Original Purpose 

Freshman Composition was intended to provide remedial help to students as campuses opened up to a broader mass of students–to the chagrin of traditionalists who wanted to maintain standards. It has been a service course, intended to equip college students with basic writing skills, to be transferred to other classes and then into the workplace. Advanced students could opt out by demonstrating their ability in writing tests, usually some variation of the standard five-paragraph essay. Increasingly, though, students have required remedial help for a course intended to be remedial. I know from teaching such courses that the remediation goes back to sentence-level grammar.

At the same time, I’ve seen the changes Deans notes: the emphasis on group work and peer review, the politically contentious topics almost exclusively from a leftist perspective, the addition of “visual literacy” as a category of literacy, and the multicultural sensitivities, not only in topics, but in language use.

The shift away from composition instruction to activism is evidenced in articles published in the organization’s journal, the College Composition and Communication and in the journal Pedagogy.  Similar books, such as Composition and Sustainability: Teaching for a Threatened GenerationRhetoric of Respect, about “academic-community writing partnerships” and  S.U.N.Y. Press’s Making Writing Matter: Composition in the Engaged University, offer strategies for transforming classrooms into activist sites.  A professor writes in the foreword to Affirming Students’ Rights to Their Own Language, “For many of us, the assertion of student language was inextricable from our national and international quest for social justice.”  Major textbook publishers, like Bedford, are responding to market demand with single-themed readers on SustainabilityMoney Changes EverythingFood Matters, and Composing Gender (the last with a cover photo of a female ballerina holding up a male ballet dancer).  The upcoming annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication is filled with panel discussions on activism; a featured speaker is Black Panther-turned professor, Angela Davis.  Her biography notes her “activism,” from when she was a “youngster” to her work today as an advocate of “prison abolition.”

The radicalization is finessed by statements like Deans’–that the field is expanding beyond a “narrow, functional definition” and shifting from “gatekeeping” to “facilitating the advancement of all students” (emphasis added).  In plain English, this means that standards for writing are being eliminated.  Furthermore, writing itself is being replaced by visual and auditory forms of persuasion, often in mobs.  These are called “brave” actions.

Deans attempts to spread a patina of academic legitimacy over such activism by claiming there is a “coherent and substantial theoretical framework” for it. He cites the progressive education theorist and philosopher John Dewey and Marxist theorist Paulo Freire.

Deans also ludicrously claims that such activism goes back to the ancients.  He states that Aristotle’s Rhetoric was intended to “intervene in the public sphere,” (maybe), and not necessarily be used in today’s “school settings,” but he ignores the fact that freshman composition is being to taught to young people who should be acquiring knowledge and skills.  That is why they are in college in the first place.  He also misleadingly refers to Isocrates, Cicero, and Quintilian in the same way of needing “to connect rhetorical practice to civic responsibility.”  He even uses the “sweep of U.S. history–from Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin to Jane Addams and John Dewey”–to support “experiential learning.”

Indeed, if we did go back to Jefferson and Franklin, two men who did have a sense of civic responsibility, we would find an opposite approach, one that values study, introspection, imitation, and debate before taking on the adult duties of “civic responsibility.”  Franklin in his autobiography describes how he educated himself by imitating the master stylists in the Spectator, by reading widely, and by debating his peers in the Junto club.  In such education, the effort is made to gain a perspective outside one’s own limited circle.  Shouting in mobs is the opposite of what Aristotle, Jefferson, and Franklin had in mind.

We have radical professors promoting the idea that students’ own language is good enough, that there are no models for them to read and emulate, that they are to be change agents, participating in mob actions and demonstrating their “bravery” for credit.  The end results are sure to be confused, narcissistic, indoctrinated illiterates.

EDITORS NOTE: The feature photo is from the “Slut Walk” Tampa Facebook page.

Barack Obama and Pamela Geller win “Islamophobia” awards

Congratulations to my colleague Pamela Geller, winner of the Orwellian-named Islamic Human Rights Commission’s Islamophobia award. There must be weeping and gnashing of teeth at the White House over this: Obama has been unstintingly obsequious toward the Islamic world, even going so far as to declare his opposition to his own country’s Constitutional protection of the freedom of speech by declaring that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” But he has not acted against two vestiges of counter-terror programs that he inherited: Guantanamo (although he has freed jihad terrorists who were incarcerated there) and the drone attacks. And for that, he is now an “Islamophobe.” That shows that this Islamic Human Rights Commission, which no doubt enjoys a reputation in Britain as a “moderate” organization, wants all obstacles to jihad terror removed — and that is no surprise, since it is the goal of the entire propagation of the concept of “Islamophobia.”

“Barack Obama wins first prize at ‘Islamophobia awards,’” from Asian Image, February 21 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

US president Barack Obama has won first prize at the toung-in-cheek Islamophobia awards for for his nations unrelenting drone attacks.

Obama had been nominated by the public for “just about everything” – a charge that covers his continuation of drone strikes in the Muslim world as well as the failure to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention centre, and the introduction of the National Defense Authorisation Act that effectively ‘Guantanamises’ the whole USA.

Obama came in streets ahead of a gallery of fellow rogues which included other prominent politicians including French President Francois Hollande – cited for his country’s invasion of Mali – and the British Home Secretary Theresa May for a host of sins including extraditing Asperger’s sufferer Talha Ahsan to the United States, stripping Muslims of their citizenship, and most recently thinking about applying “anti-terror” ASBO-style punishments for British Muslims who are merely “suspected” of so-called terrorist activities.

As well as a chief Islamophobe award, an award is given to the worst Islamophobe in each of five geographical areas in line with the votes received from the participating public.

In the Americas the winner this year was Pamela Geller. Geller was nominated for her rise to fame as the USA’s Islamophobia Matriarch.

She has made a name for herself for opposing anything Islamic and particularly her opposition to the planned construction of a mosque near the site of the Twin Towers destroyed in the Sept 11 attacks in the USA.

First prize in the Europe and Central Asia category goes to the Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders. Wilders is the leader of the Netherlands’ Freedom Party, which continues to campaign on its virulently anti-Muslim platform and propagate fears of an impending Islamic takeover of Europe.

In Asia and Australasia, the top prize went to the unlikely figure of Burmese freedom and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner was nominated for her continuing refusal to back citizenship calls by the country’s oppressed Rohingya Muslim minority.

The Burmese government’s denial of statehood to the Rohingya is one of the main reasons they are described by the UN as one of the world’s most persecuted peoples.

Along with her National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi has tiptoed around the issue and has even refused to condemn the state-supported attacks that ravaged Rohingya communities in 2012.

The clear winner in The Middle East and Africa was Egypt’s General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the army general who conducted a bloody campaign to remove and then ban the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood and put the Arab world’s most populous nation firmly back on the road to military rule.

Although the Islamophobia Awards are intended to be a tongue in cheek poke at public figures of all stripes, they do carry a serious message.

Islamophobia is on the rise all over the world, particularly in the West, and the event serves to focus attention on the problem. Five genuine awards will also be given to people who have struggled against Islamophobia.

It will be interesting to see which tools, hacks, bottom feeders and jihad enablers get those awards. I do hope that Reza Aslan’s gunsel, the creepy little thug Nathan Lean, who cheerfully and repeatedly endangers innocent people by publishing what he thinks is my home address and the names of places I frequent, is a prize winner, as that will show up the cynicism and whiff of menace surrounding this whole enterprise.

Islamophobia can be described as stereotypes, bias or acts of hostility towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general.

In reality, the charge of “Islamophobia” is an attempt to intimidate people into thinking that there is something wrong with resisting jihad terror and Islamic supremacism.

In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling, Islamophobia leads to viewing Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic and societal level and perceiving their views to be intrinsically problematic, violent or unethical.

The 2014 Islamophobia Awards are being held tonight [February 23rd] at the Holiday Inn, Wembley, starting 6.30pm.

The event will consist of performances including comedians, gala dinner, and a fundraising charity auction. It is being streamed live on www.ihrc.tv

Questionable Investigative Practices by the Florida Department of Education: A Tale of two Schools

Akin to the disparity in disciplinary actions of two teachers, Mr. Emmanuel Fleurantin and Mrs. Brenda Muchnick, due to Adobegate, there seems to be a disparity of actions undertaken by the Florida Department of Education concerning cheating in two Miami-Dade high schools: Miami Norland Senior High School and North Miami Senior High School.

In a recent Miami Herald article, state Rep. Daphne Campbell decried the treatment of North Miami Senior High School in that the school still has a grade of “Incomplete” though it was cleared of cheating by the school district.

On January 28, 2014, Rep. Campbell sent a letter to Florida’s Commissioner of Education urging the state to replace the high school’s “incomplete” status and issue a letter grade, which would have been given in December.

“This is ridiculous,” Campbell is quoted as saying in a press release. “There is no reason why a school should have to wait to receive a report for their institution.”

FLDOE maintains that the “Incomplete” was given and is still in place as a state contractor that highlights highly unusual test scores again zeroed in on the school.

A school district investigation found nothing wrong or unusual, but the FLDOE is still reviewing the latest round of test results and can’t comment until the investigation is over per state law.

What lingers is a question of fairness: How is it that Miami Norland Senior High School has had significant instances of cheating the past two school years but yet was awarded school grades of “A” and Florida School Recognition Program and federal (RTTT, SIG) funds with no impediment or controversy, but North Miami Senior High School was suspected of cheating the past two schools years, eventually cleared, but has had its grades and incentive funding delayed to the angst of the school community?

For whatever reasons, did the FLDOE give Norland a free pass and decided to stick it to North Miami the past two school years?

By examining the evidence, the answer seems to be an overwhelming “yes.”

With the assistance of cheating, undertaken by Mr. Emmanuel Fleurantin and Mrs. Brenda Muchnick, and perhaps other persons unknown, Miami Norland’s school grade went from a “C” for the 2010-11 school year to an “A” for the 2011-12 school year.

As a result, total federal funds (SIG, RTTT) given out due to a grade influenced by cheating was $100,560; the total state funds per FSRP was between $130,000- $140,000; the total overall combined federal and state incentive funds were $230,560- $240,560.

Each teacher at Miami Norland Senior High School received $1730.41 from all three payouts.

During the 2011-2012 school year at Miami Norland Senior High School, there was proven, not suspected cheating as in North Miami’s case, cheating per student and teacher testimony and evidence in the form of cheat sheets and confessions. The only questions were the size and the scope of the cheating and who were all the people involved.

The Auditor General of Florida and the Miami-Dade Office of Inspector General was in possession of this evidence as of early May 2012 and the Florida Department of Education knew soon thereafter as I confirmed with FLDOE personnel over the phone in September 2012, which was three months before the high schools grades were released in December 2012.

If the Florida Department of Education handled the case at Miami Norland Senior High School the same way that it did at North Miami Senior High School, the “A” grade would not have been awarded in December 2012 and the payouts would not have occurred; rather, Miami Norland Senior High School would have received an “I” in the summer of 2012 and when the investigation concluded on Monday, August 26, 2013, with the issuance of the Final Miami-Dade OIG Report, the “I” would have been changed to an “F” and none of the $230,000-$240,000 in combined federal and state incentive funds would have been disbursed.

Yet Norland got the grade and the money and North Miami had to wait almost nine agonizing months to get their school grade and incentive funds.

For the 2012-2013 school year, history repeated itself for both schools.

As stated by the Test Chairperson at a faculty meeting on October 22, 2013, Miami Norland Senior High School led the State of Florida in FCAT invalidations as 13 student exams were invalidated for the 2012-2013 school year, a year after Adobegate, yet the school has not been assigned an “I” for “Incomplete” for the 2012-13 school year per past state practices.

In late December 2013, Norland was given an “A” and state incentive funds are scheduled to be paid out whereas North Miami has an “Incomplete” and left to twist in the wind once again.

Why did the FLDOE not award Norland an “Incomplete” and/or invalidate the “A” as there was confirmed cheating?

One would think what befell North Miami, though the school was eventually cleared of cheating, the past two years from the FLDOE would be appropriate for Norland as cheating on grand scales has actually been confirmed the past two school years.

Perhaps the Legislature should examine these split decisions handed out by the FLDOE and pass a law setting clear and consistent guidelines for the FLDOE to follow concerning schools and suspected standardized test cheating to prevent other schools from suffering the injustices that North Miami has endured the past two school years while Norland, and perhaps other like schools, were awarded school grades and incentive funds with impunity.

Why man-made global warming is not a “crisis”

Terrestrial globe on top of an induction stove, demonstrating that man-made global warming is a proven fact. Try it yourself!

I’m a meteorologist and this is a short explanation of the effect of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. There is a lot of alarmist rhetoric about a “crisis” due to human industry – human industry that has brought us out of the Dark Ages, doubled our life expectancy, and made the world greener. What’s not to like about that? Oh, yeah … the claim that we’re going to roast the planet.

Adding CO2 to our atmosphere is no more likely to harm humanity, or Nature, than adding more insulation in the roof of your house will set the place on fire. Understanding this requires some recall of High School physics.

The Earth, warmed by the Sun, emits infrared radiation, at wavelengths between about 9 and 14 micrometers (millionths of a meter). Everything on our Earth, including us, emits some amount of infrared radiation. The numbers I’ve quoted come from Wien’s Displacement Law – yes, you can find it easily on the web – that relates the peak wavelength of emission to the temperature of the emitter.

Normal Earth surface temperatures range between 310 K (Kelvin), or a little less than body temperature, and 210 K, or the air temperature outside a transcontinental aircraft. Brrrrrrr.

Let’s think of Earth’s emitted radiant energy in the form of photons, little discrete energy units, headed upward – some straight up, some off to an angle, and each at a wavelength determined by the temperature of the object it came from. Most of these photons (about 85%) will be absorbed by a molecule of greenhouse gas, either water vapor (H2O) or CO2. That means some of the electrons circling the atoms in these molecules will briefly rise to a higher energy state – an “orbit” farther from the nucleus. We say the atom has been “excited.”

This is where the “global warming” alarmists get excited too, making claims about “trapping” heat in the atmosphere. Ah, no! Atoms don’t remain in an “excited” state, any more than you do (as when the bank tells you the checking account is overdrawn). In a couple of nanoseconds (billionths of a second), the greenhouse gas molecule dumps the energy imparted to it in the form of a new (infrared) photon.

The original photons, from the Earth, were headed upward; which way do the new photons go?

Anyway they want – half up, half down. The ones that go up continue to space, and the Earth has cooled itself. The ones that go down return some – less than half – of the energy lost. That returned energy, that didn’t get away, is the “greenhouse effect” (GHE). No heat has been “trapped.”

In our atmosphere/Earth system, the GHE gives back about 33 degrees C, or 59 degrees F. About 30 C (54 F) of that is due to GHE from H2O, and about 3 C (5 F) is GHE from CO2. Note that no new energy has been added to the system; the Earth released (say) 100 photons, and got back less than 50.

The “greenhouse effect” doesn’t warm the Earth; it just slows the cooling, like the insulation in the roof. The insulation won’t burn the house down; it won’t even warm the house by itself.

That should be a relief; in addition, there are other reasons GHE from CO2 is not dangerous.

The alarmist story gives the impression all photons are alike, to a CO2 molecule. Not true; CO2 molecules have “favorite” wavelengths of photons. Physicists measure absorption “lines” and “bands”, specific wavelengths that a particular molecule responds to. The one and only CO2 absorption line in Earth’s emission spectrum is around 14.78 micrometers. Ouch; according to the Wien Displacement Law, that’s a photon that comes from an object at a temperature around -77 C, about the temperature at South Pole on a bad day. CO2 just doesn’t absorb – or return – many photons, because there aren’t many photons emitted from cold surfaces. It doesn’t “see” the warm photons at all, because they’re the wrong wavelength. Only about 5% of Earth’s emitted energy is “visible” to CO2; only half of that can be returned.

Another weakness in the “global warming crisis” argument is the Law of Diminishing Returns, a.k.a. Logarithmic Response. Remember, the energy returned to Earth by atmospheric absorbing gases comes entirely from molecules that have been lucky enough to catch an Earth-emitted photon in the first place. How much more “greenhouse” energy would we get if we add one more molecule of CO2 than is needed to absorb all the upwelling photons?

Answer: Zero.

That last CO2 molecule is out of luck; all the upwelling photons are absorbed by the CO2 that’s already in place. It’s the end of the GHE. Until then, every added molecule of a greenhouse gas has only half the effect of the previous molecule, with which it competes. The GHE looks like the logarithmic curve (base 2) on the right. We are long past the “knee” of the CO2 GHE curve, and on the flat part. After all, volcanoes and decomposing vegetation have been adding CO2 to the atmosphere for eons. At the end of this article are some references to the vanishing effect of CO2.

Since 1997, we’ve increased the CO2 content of the atmosphere by about 10%.

It’s presently 400 molecules per million, or 0.04% of the atmosphere. (Water vapor, on a nice Summer Florida day, is about 40,000 molecules per million, or 4%.) Astoundingly, in spite of all that added CO2, there has been no warming of the atmosphere in the last 17 years. NOAA, NASA, the UK Meteorological Service, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) all agree. The CO2 we add today, and tomorrow, and next year, and in your grandchild’s lifetime will have the same, undetectable, effect.

Let me summarize this article with two points:

The lack of any warming for 17 years – and counting – might be due to diminished solar output. Or it might be due to more clouds in the atmosphere, due to more cosmic rays, or it might be due to the 60 year cycle of the Pacific Ocean (the Pacific Decadal Oscillation), which has gone into its cold phase, as it did in the mid-1940’s. But none of these potential reasons are included in the scores of climate models for which the Federal government has paid billions of our tax dollars. In the politicians’
models, only CO2 is admitted to control the climate. So the politicians have no justification to claim they have “settled science” on their side. Don’t let them turn off the heat and the lights for no reason – or just to control our lives.

And, whatever controls the climate – we don’t know – the simple physics you’ve just read tells us added CO2 is not “catastrophic.” You can’t produce catastrophic warming from the logarithmic added insulation of a minor constituent that merely slows the loss of 5% of Earth’s emitted radiation.


The Hockey Schtick: If you can’t explain the ‘pause’, you can’t explain the cause…

The Saturated Greenhouse Effect

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is an edited version of a photo taken by Quod Scripsi Scripsi, which is described as a, “Terrestrial globe on top of an induction stove, demonstrating that man-made global warming is a proven fact: Do it yourself!” This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes

Michael Rubin, former Bush era Pentagon official who is currently a Resident Scholar at the Washington, DC –based American Enterprise Institute(AEI), has been engaged in intense media interviews since the launch of his new book, Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue RegimesDancing with the Devil covers Rubin’s research on fifty years of US and Western experience with rogue regimes and terrorist groups. The Encounter Books release on the publication of Rubin’s book noted:

The American response of first resort is to talk with such rogues, on the theory that, “It never hurts to talk to enemies.” Seldom is conventional wisdom so wrong. It is true that sanctions and military force come at high costs. However, case studies examining the history of American diplomacy with North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, the Taliban’s Afghanistan, and Pakistan demonstrate that problems with both strategies do not make engagement with rogue regimes a cost-free option. Rogue regimes have one thing in common—they pretend to be aggrieved in order to put Western diplomats on the defensive. Whether they are in Pyongyang, Tehran, or Islamabad, rogue leaders understand that the West rewards bluster with incentives. The State Department, the process of holding talks is often deemed more important than results.

We met Rubin in 2005 when he returned to Yale to discuss his experience as a former Pentagon official on Iran and Iraq who also served as a political advisor to  the Provisional Coalition Authority. He spoke  about the emergence of the nuclear Iran threat under the ‘reformist’ regime in Tehran led by Ayatollah Khatami. See Rubin’s background and blog at the AEI website, here and here.

Our interview with Rubin ranged across an array of prevailing issues. Among these are the Iranian nuclear and ICBM threat and Putin’s great game of one sided politics in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He also addresses Pakistan’s tolerance of terrorism and the  lack of US support for the Kurds in both Iraq and Syria. He criticizes the folly of the Administration’s support of Turkey under Premier Erdogan and the folly of its lead in the Final Status negotiations with the Palestinians imperiling Israel’s security.

Here are some of his observations.

Dr. Michael Rubin

Back in 2000 to 2005 the EU’s pursuit of engagement with Iran under President Khatami enabled the Islamic Republic to devote 70 percent of its hard currency reserves to both ICBM and nuclear weapons development. Moreover Rubin’s research on that period revealed that Iran took the lead from North Korea in its negotiating posture with the West alternating bluster with soothing words about the dialogue of civilizations. That raises the question of whether the present P5+1 negotiations backed by the US Administration with another reformist, President Rouhani, might be what  baseball legend Yogi Berra  called “déjà vu all over again”? Rouhani was Iran’s nuclear negotiator under former President Khatami. On Putin’s great game strategy in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, in the midst of the crisis in the Ukraine, Rubin had the following observations.

The Administration’s current negotiations posture with the Russian President is the equivalent of ”Chamberlain negotiating with Machiavelli, and Machiavelli always wins.” Rubin believes that Putin is “playing a zero sum game” in both the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Based on recent speeches by an Iranian Revolutionary Guards leader, Iran believes itself the head of the Islamic world.

The Administration’s outreach to Islamist non-state actors like the Muslim Brotherhood he considers a catastrophe reflected in recent conversations with senior leaders in Kuwait and the UAE. Rubin believes that the Administration has made a mistake not supporting secular Kurdish regimes in the Iraqi regional government and the virtual autonomous Kurdish region in the Northeastern province of Hazaka in Syria.  He believes this stems from our support of Turkey under the Erdogan government. Rubin suggests that Turkey’s embattled Premier Erdogan may be creating another rogue regime in Ankara.

We will be publishing both an article based on our interview with Rubin and a review of Dancing with the Devil in the March edition of the New English Review.

Listen to senior editor Jerry Gordon’s interview with Michael Rubin, here.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Unrest in Venezuela and Ukraine coming to America?

The prevailing theme for this week is liberty. A lot of attention is being focused towards the events in Ukraine. However, just south of us here in South Florida there is another example, Venezuela.

In Venezuela we see what always happens when socialism takes root, as described so aptly by Margaret Thatcher, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” When Hugo Chavez rose to power in Venezuela, he promised everything for everyone: shared prosperity, fair share, economic equality. He enacted policies that directed the government to nationalize more of the country’s production — especially the lucrative oil industry.

He took over the means of informing the people – hm, I wonder if he started with a “critical information needs” study similar to what the Obama administration’s FCC is seeking to initiate?

What resulted? The same that always happens when you punish, demonize, and denigrate the individual entrepreneurial spirit. The same that always happens when you disincentivize work for a government subsidy check. The same that always happens when there is a promotion of a welfare nanny-state focused on dependency rather than opportunity.

The producers stop producing and flee. We see it right here in South Florida in Broward County in the city of Weston, where the Venezuelan flag flies right along with the American. So as Prime Minister Thatcher poignantly stated, socialism fails because its empty promises are rooted in the legal plunder of others based upon some ill-conceived – I submit, actually demented — sense of benevolence. And then come the riots — because after all, you promised stuff but in the end what do the people gain? Nothing. What do they lose? Liberty.

In the Ukraine the fight for liberty is not against socialism but rather totalitarianism. A quarter of a century ago, Ukraine was given a new lease on life, a chance to determine its own future. It had once been a central part of the Soviet Union but then became an independent state.

However, old desires don’t fade away easily and control is a powerful motivator. Ukraine is caught in the middle of a fight to gain control of its future and it centers around a very important commodity: natural gas. Control of energy resources is a vital aspect of foreign policy and national security strategy — as well as important to the resurgence of Putin’s Russia. Liberty is the result of independence. Subjugation is the result of totalitarianism. Ukrainians seek the former, not the latter, and so they are making a stand.

There are lessons to be learned for us here in America. Venezuelans and many from Eastern Europe have fled to our shores to enjoy liberty and freedom as they escape the ills of their home countries. But if America succumbs to progressive socialism and totalitarian control of our government, where will people go? If America succumbs, who will be the beacon of liberty and freedom? Let me refresh your memory about what’s happening in America. Democrats and the New York Times are advocating for the IRS to eliminate and attack Americans. The FCC is seeking to put monitors into newsrooms. Our president feels he does not need to govern by legislative process but rule by edict — executive order. Elected officials such as Obama and DeBlasio are leading the charge to punish hard-working successful Americans — for what purpose? Redistribute their wealth.

So where do Americans flee? What is actually perplexing is that liberal progressives run away from failing liberal states such as California and New York. Unfortunately, they do not leave behind their damaging political beliefs. Like locusts they migrate to states like Colorado, Montana, and Florida with their cancerous political philosophy and destroy those states — message to Texans: you may want to stop asking Californians to relocate, unless they renounce liberal progressivism!

As we watch unrest in Venezuela and Ukraine unfold, I wonder, will we soon reach a tipping point in America?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

RELATED COLUMN: Americans rising up against government – USA Today