Florida Poll: Support for Medical Marijuana Amendment drops 18%

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Vote No on 2 Campaign today highlighted the recent poll that reported that 70 percent of Florida voters support a medical marijuana ballot initiative and shows an overall drop in support for Amendment 2.

“When the Quinnipiac University poll that showed 88 percent of Florida voters supporting adults legally using medical marijuana for medical purposes came out, the supporters of Amendment 2 latched onto it,” said Sarah Bascom, spokesperson for the Vote No on 2 Campaign. “And now, they have latched onto a new poll that shows that 70 percent of Florida voters support a constitutional amendment for medical marijuana.”

“Unfortunately, everyone has seemed to miss the real headline of the week – support for Amendment 2 has dropped a whopping 18 percent – showing that the efforts of the Vote No on 2 Campaign have already started to take hold,” said Bascom. “Where are the news reports about Amendment 2 dropping 18 points?  The backers of Amendment 2 cannot have it both ways.  They cannot trumpet 88 percent for weeks and then not admit that a drop of 18 percent is a significant shift.”

The Vote No on 2 Campaign is a grassroots campaign, bringing the truth about Amendment 2 to the voters of Florida.  Its coalition includes members of law enforcement, business leaders, constitutional law attorneys, doctors and other medical professionals, parents and Floridians from all walks of life.  Amendment 2 is simply a guise to legalize pot smoking in Florida and the goal of this campaign is to point out the loopholes and explain why this Amendment is bad for Florida.

For more information on the Vote No on 2 Campaign, please visit www.VoteNo2.org, follow on Twitter @saynoamendment2 or on Facebook FB.com/noonamendment2.

On Immigration and Why I Hate Soccer

This article will be a departure from my usual fare. I will not claim there is some Absolute Truth deeming soccer the bane of humanity’s sports. I do not contend that some objective, divine standard places it in Dante’s ninth circle of athletic arenas, though I wish I could. Sport is a matter of taste, and, as G.K. Chesterton said (okay, so this isn’t a complete departure for me — I’m quoting Chesterton), “There are no uninteresting subjects, only uninterested people.” I get it. And I, I confess, like golf. So mock away. But in this piece I’ll ditch the Mr. Spock act, let my human side emote, may even contradict myself, and will say something.

I hate soccer.

I hear there’s something going on right now called the World Cup. I hear it’s in Brazil. I hear other pundits, such as Stephen Webb and Rick Moran, are commenting on it, taking opposing views. And I hear that the score between the two is 0-0 after 2000 words. But I won’t claim that soccer is un-American as did Webb or like Moran, claim it’s fun. I’ll say something truly intellectual.

I hate soccer.

When I grew up in the Bronx in the ‘70s, few played that infernal game. I was exposed to it, but could never relate. Why can’t I use my hands? I mean, I have hands. They’re remarkably dexterous appendages. They exist to manipulate all manner of things in the physical universe. I preferred tennis and ping pong to handball, sure, but that was understandable. The racquets and paddles are tools that facilitate the striking of a ball; with them you can achieve a degree of velocity and spin — which could curve the ball in fascinating ways — otherwise impossible. And velocity and spin are cool. It’s as if I need to pound a nail: I take my hand and pick up a hammer. I don’t use my foot.

That’s the crux of this entirely taste-oriented matter. It goes without saying that professional soccer players are highly skilled. But to me it’s like seeing those unfortunate double amputees who’ve learned to paint or play the piano with their toes. I say, “Wow, it’s amazing how man’s spirit can overcome.” Then I change the channel and look for something that can fill the hour’s remaining 59 minutes and 35 seconds.

So if soccer were in the Special Olympics, I’d understand it. Or maybe if it were played by birds. But why do human beings, with their particular anatomical configuration, want to use their feet for a task performed infinitely better by the hands? It’s no wonder the scoring in soccer tends to hover around Joe Biden I.Q. territory. How many baskets would be sunk in the NBA if the players had to kick the ball through the hoop, even if they could block only with their heads? How poor would the scores be in golf if you had to kick the ball down the fairway? A braggart may say, “I can beat you with one hand tied behind my back.” Soccer players try to beat each other with both tied.

Mr. Moran correctly pointed out that, contrary to Mr. Webb’s assumption, soccer is now tremendously popular in the US. I must attribute this, in part, to the influx of people from lands where they can’t afford to play much of anything but soccer. And while I’ve often “inveighed” against immigration, to use the word Rep. John Conyers (D-Soccer) did when citing my work upon waking up briefly in the House, our foreign soccer imports might be the best reason to rethink our immigration regime. “Do you play socc…er…fútbol, amigo?

Si?

See ya’.”

Check the deportation column.

Call it the Immigration and Recreation Reform Act of 2014. Entry into the US would be limited to those with a history of participation in polo or yacht racing.

So save those feet for what they were meant to do, such as kicking illegals out of the country, kicking Cantors out of office and kicking the economy into gear. A hand is a terrible thing to waste.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Quick Hits: Recent Developments in the Wild World of Climate Change

It’s becoming difficult to keep up with the insanity, fallacies and exaggerations of the climate ideologues – with President Obama and the EPA leading the pack. Here are some recent fallacies you have probably been exposed to, and a few of several responses from rational people on climate change.

epa logoEnvironmental Protection Agency:

Obama led the “Parade of Fallacies” on this topic, in a Saturday address from a Children’s Hospital, telling us it’s all “for the Children.” Fundamental to the lie is the deliberate mis-identification of carbon dioxide – invisible, odorless, and essential to life on this planet – with “carbon pollution” (soot). Because of the Clean Air Act, we don’t have a problem with soot in this country. China, the number 1 emitter of CO2 and soot, does. So an individual Chinese scientist, not a government official, put out a statement saying “That’s nice.” Expect to hear from the usual suspects that China is following our “good example.” Obama also promised the new regulations would prevent 2100 heart attacks and 100,000  asthma attacks annually. And EPA claims the new regulations will reduce costs for consumers, like ObamaCare reduced costs of health insurance.

On the Other Hand (OTOH):

It’s not the case that the Chinese government has made any decision. This is a suggestion from experts, because now they are exploring how emissions can be controlled in the 13th Five Year Plan…. This is a view of experts; that’s not saying it’s the government’s. I’m not a government official and I don’t represent the government.”( He Jiankun, Chinese scientist)

The US Chamber of Commerce estimates the price tag of the new EPA proposal – a 30% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030 – at $50 billion/year. This will have no effect on climate, since the rule applies to the USA’s 500 coal-fired electricity generators – while 1000 similar generators are under construction around the world.

Buried in the new rule (which regulates only harmless, essential CO2) is the admission from the EPA that the alleged health benefits are from a different rule that has been in effect since February 16, 2012, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. According to the EPA, “The EPA is closely monitoring MATS compliance and finds that the industry is making substantial progress.” Thus, the new EPA regulations on CO2 will add nothing to the existing regulations on actual air pollutants that are already in place.

holdrenbiocJohn Holdren:

You may remember that President Obama’s Science Adviser, John Holdren, Chief of the Office of Scientific and Technology Policy (OSTP), released a two-minute video last January, explaining that incursions of Arctic air (usually rather cold) were due to stationary loops in the jet stream sucking the Polar Vortex down into Chicago. Holdren claimed that a “growing body of evidence suggests that the kind of extreme cold being experienced by much of the United States as we speak is a pattern that we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues.” In short, global warming was responsible for colder winters. The usual Media suspects broadcast this nonsense in prime time.

OTOH:

I never dreamed, but there is a Federal Law (the Data Quality Act, 2001) that requires Federal Offices to give us correct information! Who would have thought? So some enterprising folks at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed a lawsuit, on the basis of three recent peer-reviewed papers in the scientific literature (it’s grown to four now), claiming Holdren is full of beans and asking for a retraction and correction. You know how this turns out, right? We’re dealing with Obama and his ilk here.

This week, Holdren’s Office of Science and Technology Policy explained that Dr. Holdren was “expressing his personal opinion”, and NOT “a comprehensive review of the scientific literature”.

They used the OSTP resources and stature – such as it is – and taxpayer money to produce this turkey. Remember this the next time some member of the Obama Administration tells you that you can believe something – period. It might be just his personal opinion.

thwaitestongue-600x4231West Antarctic Ice Shelf (WAIS):

You probably remember recent Media alarms about the unstoppable collapse of the floating ice of a couple of Antarctic glaciers which drain into the Amundson Sea. Another 200 to 900 years or so and sea level will go up a meter – maybe. I never figured out how floating ice would cause a sea level rise if it melted; if ice in your cocktail melts, does your Manhattan overflow? (I’ll admit, my Manhattans never get the chance.)

OTOH:

Turns out, there’s a volcano under the Thwaites Glacier, which is melting it from below, according to the University of Texas:

“Austin, Texas — Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it’s being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where accurate information has previously been unobtainable.”

Yes, it’s still melting; in fact, it’s been melting for over 10,000 years. Get used to it!

rossiterDr. Caleb Rossiter:

Dr. Rossiter, a professor at American University and a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), published an article in the Wall Street Journal in May, 2014, titled “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change,”calling man-made global warming an “unproved science” and advocating the expansion of carbon-based energy in Africa. I read it at the time and thought it made perfect sense; I criticized leaders of the Catholic Church last column for being on the wrong side of this issue.

OTOH:

The IPS terminated Dr. Rossiter’s 23-year Fellowship two days after the article. “I have tried to get [IPS] to discuss and explain their rejection of my analysis… “When I countered a claim of ‘rapidly accelerating’ temperature change with the [UN] IPCC’s own data’, showing the nearly 20-year temperature pause – the best response I ever got was ‘Caleb, I don’t have time for this.’”

Oh, Professor, what did you expect? I’ve written to a couple of Catholic theologians, offering the same argument: poor people need help against poverty more than they need protection from “climate change.” No answer.

Polar Bears (2)Polar Bears threatened – Really?:

You may remember polar bears were put on the “endangered” list a few years ago, at a time (2008) when Albert Gore predicted the Arctic Ocean would be ice-free by the Summer of 2013. Coca-Cola began issuing its product in cans with a polar bear image. Little children were taught that sweet, cuddly polar bears would be no more (regardless that polar bears are among the few predators that hunt humans).

OTOH:

“In proceedings, papers, and press availability, polar bear scientists have repeatedly referenced the 20,000+ number. But what was never made clear was that the PBSG [Polar Bear Study Group] has been assigning a zero value to the unstudied areas, territory that encompasses as much as half of the bears’ geographic range. A casual observer, even one who is fully invested in protecting polar bears, would be justifiably upset at discovering that the total count has been consistently under-estimated…”

“It has been frustrating,” acknowledges Ian Stirling, a Canadian Wildlife Service scientist who has worked on polar bears for more than 35 years. “But nothing that has been said or written changes anything. The science here is as solid as it can be.”

Love that “solid science.”  We not only don’t know the true population, we don’t know whether it’s increasing or decreasing. Solid as some people’s heads.

And, BTW, Arctic Ocean ice extent is back to within one standard deviation from normal, multi-year (very thick) ice has increased tremendously, and the Arctic Summer is remaining cold – like 2013.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

The scandal of fiddled global warming data: The US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record
24 Things the Media Claim Were Caused by ‘Global Warming’
Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis – Forbes

Czech President tells Organization of Islamic Cooperation to “Go Jump in a Lake”

On the occasion of Israel’s Independence Day, the Czech Republic President, Milos Zeman, gave a speech at the Israel Embassy in Prague. It was  stunning in its clarity regarding Islamic hateful doctrine towards Jews and by inference Christians and virtually all unbelievers  and apostates. Our colleagues at Gates of Vienna (GoV) obtained  a translation of  President Zeman’s remarks. They have since generated an acrimonious and courageous  exchange  with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) who alleged  that Zeman had committed blasphemy by accusing Islam of not being a religion of peace and tolerance. Anything but. Baron Bodissey of GoV said, “He’s the only head of state that I know of who has ever told the OIC to shove off. And he did it so brilliantly.”

Here are excerpts from Zeman’s speech at the Israeli Embassy in Prague published  by GoV in translation from the original Czech, “A Euphemism for Political Cowardice”  :

There are states with whom we share the same values, such as the political horizon of free elections or a free market economy. However, no one threatens these states with wiping them off the map. No one fires at their border towns; no one wishes that their citizens would leave their country. There is a term,political correctness. This term I consider to be a euphemism for political cowardice. Therefore, let me not be cowardly.

It is necessary to clearly name the enemy of human civilisation. It is international terrorism linked to religious fundamentalism and religious hatred. As we may have noticed after 11th of September, this fanaticism has not been focused on one state exclusively. Muslim fanatics recently kidnapped 200 young Christian girls in Nigeria. There was a hideous assassination in the flower of Europe in the heart of European Union in a Jewish museum in Brussels. I will not let myself being calmed down by the declaration that there are only tiny fringe groups behind it. On the contrary, I am convinced that this xenophobia, and let’s call it racism or anti-Semitism, emerges from the very essence of the ideology these groups subscribe to.

So let me quote one of their sacred texts to support this statement: “A tree says, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. A stone says, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” I would criticize those calling for the killing of Arabs, but I do not know of any movement calling for mass murdering of Arabs. However, I know of one anti-civilisation movement calling for the mass murder of Jews.

After all, one of the paragraphs of the statutes of Hamas says: “Kill every Jew you see.” Do we really want to pretend that this is an extreme viewpoint? Do we really want to be politically correct and say that everyone is nice and only a small group of extremists and fundamentalists is committing such crimes?

Michel de Montaigne, one of my favorite essayists, once wrote: “It is gruesome to assume that it must be good that comes after evil. A different evil may come.” It started with the Arab Spring which turned into an Arab winter, and a fight against secular dictatorships turned into fights led by Al-Qaeda. Let us throw away political correctness and call things by their true names. Yes, we have friends in the world, friends with whom we show solidarity. This solidarity costs us nothing, because these friends are not put into danger by anyone.

Less than a week following President Zeman’s remarks, Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General of the Saudi-based 57 member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, issued a thundering taqiyya-ladened charge that Zeman’s remarks were blasphemous demanding an apology. GoV on June 7, 2014 posted the OIC ‘s riposte and demand  for President Zeman to recant his remarks, “Promoting Peace, Harmony, and Magic Ponies At The OIC”.  Here are some excerpts:

The Secretary General of the  Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Iyad Ameen Madani, expressed his disappointment at the reported statements made by the Czech President, Miloš Zeman, on 26 May 2014 at the Israeli Embassy in Prague that “Islamic ideology rather than individual groups of religious fundamentalists was behind violent actions similar to the gun attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.”

[…]

Mr. Madani stated that the Czech President’s recent statements on Islam are in line with the previous statements the President made in the past, where he linked “believers in the Quran with anti-Semitic and racist Nazis”; and that “the enemy is anti civilization spreading from North Africa to Indonesia, where two billion people live”.

Such statements, said Mr. Madani, not only shows President Zeman’s lack of knowledge and misunderstanding of Islam, but also ignores the historical facts that anti-Semitism and Nazism are a European phenomena through and through. They have no roots in Islam, neither as a religion nor as a history or civilization. The Holocaust did not take place in the area from North Africa to Indonesia, Madani said.

Madani stressed that such statements, issued even before the identification of culprits and motives, are not only irresponsible but also feed the existing stereotyping, incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence against Muslims based on their religion. It also runs contrary to the ongoing global efforts to strengthen dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions to promote multiculturalism, understanding, acceptance and peace.

The Secretary General reiterated that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and that terrorism should not be equated to any race or religion; a stance upheld by all major UN texts on the subject of countering terrorism. He added that the OIC countries share a profound respect for all religions and condemn any message of hatred and intolerance.

It is only appropriate that President Milōs [sic] Zeman apologizes to the millions of Muslims worldwide for his deeply offensive and hateful anti Islam statements.

Mr. Madani urged the international community to take strong and collective measures to promote peace, harmony and tolerant co-habitation among peoples of diverse religious faiths, beliefs, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. He also called upon all political, secular or religious leaders to join hands and strengthen their efforts in promoting dialogue and mutual understanding, which will prove that “what joins us together across religions and regions is far greater than what separates us”.

OIC Secretary General Madani’s statement is what we have come to expect. We wonder how the millennia long documented history of Islamic Jihadist anti-Semitism, documented by Bat Ye’or, Andrew Bostom  among others keeps being avoided by Madani and other luminaries in the Muslim World. Our recent interview with Dr. Harold Rhode gave clear evidence of the  Muslim connection to the Nazi Holocaust. That was evidenced in the June 1941 Farhud in Baghdad fomented by the nefarious Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the Haj Amin al Husseini, Hitler’s houseguest in Berlin during WWII, Al Husseini was a cheerleader for the destruction of Six Million European Jewish Men, Women and Children. He actively sponsored a Muslim Waffen SS Division engaged in their slaughter. Better to kill these possible immigrants making Europe virtually Judenrein to prevent their emigration to the ancient land of their Jewish forbearers. A land renewed in May 1948 with the declaration of Independence of Israel as a sovereign Jewish nation.

President Zeman issued no apology for his remarks. A subsequent GoV post, “Czech President to the OIC: No Apology”, noted:

The translated excerpt from idNES.cz:

President Miloš Zeman is not going to apologize for his statements in which he linked Islamic ideology with violence. His words were conveyed by his spokesperson Jiří Ovčáček: “President Zeman definitely does not intend to apologize. For the president would consider it blasphemy to apologize for the quotation of a sacred Islamic text.”

Perhaps, President  Zeman had in mind something that occurred in Prague in January 2014, when the newly arrived Palestinian Ambassador, Jamal al Jamal was mortally wounded  as a result of his opening  a booby trapped safe in his new residence. A search of the residence by Czech security revealed discovery of a cache of weapons.  A cache that might have been used for possible terrorist actions in the Czech Republic perhaps targeted its small Jewish community.

Israeli officials should follow Czech President Zeman’s truth telling. After all, Israel tolerates Israeli Arab Muslim like Haneen Zoabi (Balad) supporting a second holocaust by a nuclear Iran and Sheik Raed Salahl head of the northern branch of the Islmaist movement, Hamas inside Israel, who foments riots in Jerusalem seeking declaration of a Salafist Emirate to replace the Jewish nation. A group that Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz  (MK-Likud) proposes banning.  A group he said in a recent Israel National News article  “ that is illegal everywhere except in Israel”.

Baron Bodissey’s final acute observation was:

As far as I am aware, Miloš Zeman is the first Western head of state ever to tell the OIC to go jump in a lake. So this is an historic occasion.

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

Washington, D.C.: The Seat of the Caliphate

ISIS is now fighting fiercely in Iraq to establish a world Caliphate and it is killing everyone in its path without mercy. So where does that brutal Caliphate have its seat?

Washington, DC. Washington is the face of the Caliphate. The GOP and the Democrats are working together to overthrow Assad, even though the latter is the last ruler in the Middle East who has protected Christians. However, to put it that way gives our traitorous government too much credit. I strongly suspect they want to overthrow Assadbecause he protects Christians (I once heard a Syrian pastor say in a sermon that Assad’s government actually donated cement to Christian groups that wanted to build churches). The evidence of a growing anti-Christian sentiment among Washington’s top echelons is overwhelming. Obama and Hillary surrounded themselves with Muslim “advisors.” Bill waged war with American blood and treasure in Serbia that led to the creation of a Muslim state, Kosovo, from the Christian Serbia. Indigenous Assyrian Christians started leaving Iraq almost immediately after we “won” the war there. Most now live in Malmö, Sweden. Has the definition of the word “win” changed?

A fair number of Americans still blindly believe that the situation in Iraq is every bit the fault of Obama and the Democrats. If that were true, then electing Republicans would save America, wouldn’t it? But it is not true and it won’t.

Linked below is a series of articles/videos that show how the US government on both sides of the aisle (not to be confused with We the People) support unimaginable cruelty.

The series shows that the Free Syrian Army, with whose leaders former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Republican, CFR member) met in 2013, is linked to terrorist organization al-Nusra, which is in turn linked to ISIS. It must be noted that some of these organizations have since turned against each other, with ISIS being virtually isolated at the moment, due to its brutality, but this fluidity of their loyalties is all the more proof that giving US weaponry to any of them is a mistake, if not an intentional one. Mitt Romney, also a GOP presidential candidate, announced his support for the anti-Assad forces. What a coincidence that both recent GOP presidential candidates want Assad out of the way. If we didn’t know better, we might suspect that eliminating the last pro-Christian leader in the Middle East was a linchpin in the GOP geopolitical strategy. Until dissuaded by Putin, Obama also weighed the possibility of a “limited” strike on the Assad-held position.

To understand the utter brutality of ISIS, which has seized arms donated by the US thanks to our bipartisan military policy, watch the first video, but be forewarned. To understand brutality, you need to get a little taste of it. It helps to have a strong stomach (or at least a barf bag nearby) but you need to have the willingness to know the truth no matter how far removed it may be from our comfort zone and our normalcy bias. Because our security can no longer depend on traitors with power. It now depends entirely on us.

ISIS, the face of utter brutality:

Connecting the Dots

Having watched our military policies in action, with the MSM muted, I have come to an unshakable conviction: there is no hope that the anti-Christian and anti-American leadership of the GOP and Democratic Party in Washington will loosen its grip on power or change its mind and stop supporting terror. No hope whatsoever. If you think there is, you are deluded and contributing to the success of evil. At some point, I believe our military will realize that they are literally fighting a false flag war to destroy America. There is no other way to see it or say it.

At that point they will have to make a tough decision: Either continue to obediently destroy their own country and everything it stands for, helping to erode its foundations and brutally slaughter the natural allies of the American people, as shown so vividly in that first video linked above, or go to Washington, D.C. and fight the true enemies of all God-fearing people everywhere.

The military has all the necessary guns and materiel. Their country, their families, and their security are at stake. Not fighting the terrorists in Washington guarantees our demise. Not a difficult decision when you look at it that way. Not a shot need be fired. The Washington leadership is nothing but craven cowards. Unfortunately for them, they may receive the same mercy they have shown us.

Senator Rubio not all aboard with All Aboard Florida rail system

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security, today raised constituent concerns regarding the ongoing All Aboard Florida project and SunRail, Central Florida’s new commuter rail system. During the subcommittee hearing, Rubio questioned the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Joseph Szabo, on the FRA’s role in both responding to these concerns and overseeing the safety of these projects.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/fYwrCWunYg8[/youtube]

 

Excerpts from the exchange are available below:

Senator Marco Rubio: “[…] I’ve also heard from constituents, including many in the Treasure Coast, which is just north of West Palm Beach, expressing concerns about the impact this could have on their community. The issues they’re concerned about are safety at the gate crossings and noise pollution. And I’ve passed these comments along to the FRA as we’ve gotten them, and I hope the agency has reviewed them. Can you share with us whether you are taking these concerns into consideration when you’re making assessments and conducting oversights over these projects?”

Rubio: “Let me ask specifically about safety. There’s already been an EIS conducted on the West Palm Beach to Miami segment, and you issued a finding of no significant impact. In that finding, the FRA lists over 120 locations for proposed crossing upgrades. Is the FRA proposing that those crossings be upgraded? Or are those upgrades that are being recommended by All Aboard Florida?”

Rubio: “I have one last question and it has to do with SunRail, a different project.”

FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo: “Ok, we’ll go to Orlando.”

Rubio: “Yeah, exactly. And it’s a new commuter rail system, for those not familiar with it. It just started operations last month. There was an incident in which a car stalled on the tracks and was struck by a SunRail train. Luckily, there was no one injured, but the collision, along with other close calls on the rail lines, has prompted calls for additional safety measures on the system.

“In fact, yesterday the Florida Highway Patrol announced that it’s going to be patrolling SunRail intersections to make sure drivers are following the law. So, as the agency with safety jurisdiction over SunRail, is FRA looking at these incidents? And what role does it play in recommending safety precautions or improvements?”

Rubio: “Ok, just to close up. Just back to the All Aboard Florida for a moment, as you work through the EIS process and the public hearings, and so forth, […]. How can my constituents best know where and when these hearings are going to take place and how they can best input?”

President Obama’s New Jihad! Against Americans!

Now that terrorists know that President Obama will release Gitmo terrorists to free kidnapped Americans, guess what terrorists will be doing next? Of course, kidnap Americans. And it has just happened.

According to Haaretz, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that the three teenage yeshiva students missing since Thursday night were kidnapped by terrorists. In his first on-camera statement since Eyal Yifrah, 19, from Elad, Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, from Talmon and Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon went missing, Netanyahu said he could not elaborate on the search, but that the kidnapping shows the real results of the Hamas-Fatah unity government, and held the Palestinian government responsible for their fates.” Naftali Frenkel is an American. Dawlat al-Islam, the group claiming responsibility, is linked to the terrorist organization ISIS.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/HiARPxaX3oA[/youtube]

 

RELATED ARTICLE: Netanyahu reveals partner in Palestinian unitygovernment kidnapped missing Israeli teens

Planned Parenthood Childhood Sexualization Lesson Grounded in Indiana History

Headshot_Gov.-elect_Pence

Governor Mike Pence

The families of the State of Indiana must call upon Governor Mike Pence, his wife Karen, and every Indiana elected official to denounce the recent actions of an Indianapolis Midtown Planned Parenthood counselor, who graphically and zealously instructed a 15-year-old child (decoy) in how to perform sado-masochistic acts with ropes, whips, and handcuffs, while dressed in leather.  The “health education” counselor, caught on videotape in her office at 3750 North Meridian Street, was exuberant in promoting pornography and pain to the girl.

Although some have sought to dismiss the advice from Planned Parenthood as “an aberration” (Indianapolis Star, June 12, 2014, “Planned Parenthood: Sex counseling on undercover video an aberration”), there is fertile soil for such sexualization of children in Indiana, beginning even before the horrific experiments conducted on infants and minors who were used as subjects to collect sexual data published by the Kinsey Institute in the 1940s and reprinted in the 1990s, in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

Like Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an avid advocate of the eugenics movement, which forcibly sterilized untold thousands of “undesirables” – poor, disabled, and minority victims.  In 1907, Indiana became the world leader in eugenics by passing the very first law legalizing forced sterilizations of “dispensable’ human beings, who were permanently prevented from ever reproducing their kind.

In 1927, the esteemed Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the following words which precisely sum up the mentality of the progressive eugenics movement that lived in Indiana for 67 years until its eugenics law was finally repealed in 1974:

It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind …. Three generations of imbeciles are enough. – Buck v. Bell, U.S. Supreme Court majority opinion

Indiana’s soil is soaked with blood from innocent victims of legal and illegal sexual experiments.  It is not “an aberration” that a counselor at an Indianapolis office just a few miles from the Statehouse feels perfectly at ease in “selling” sado-masochism to a child, by displaying a full array of gestures to accompany her vivid instructions on what to use and how to dress to “enjoy” the pain.

Having reported childhood sexual abuse to Indiana authorities, I am personally aware of their indifference to the excruciating and life-long pain children experience as captives of adult predation.  Why is the photograph of an Indiana Jewish teenage boy in a leopard woman’s lounging outfit and fur hat with pigtails posted on the Internet?  Is he a “dancing boy,” as the young male victims are called?  Why were hundreds of boys between the ages of 13 and 15 being used as prey in Indianapolis and elsewhere for predators in the massive child trafficking operation uncovered in March 2014?

Who pays for indifference to the theft of children’s innocence?  What difference does it make?  It is only “an aberration” deep-seated in the heart of the Heartland.

RELATED ARTICLE:

Another Elementary School Brainwashing Our Children With Homosexual Deviancy

RELATED VIDEO: Gay Pride Assembly for Kindergartners where “[T]he Glenview Elementary School in Oakland, California presented their students with a perversity-pushing “Family Pride Celebration” which taught kindergartners as young as five and six years old to embrace homosexual deviancy.” Read more.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/vbENfOKi5AM[/youtube]

 

President Hillary? No Way! She Should Be Done.

I could not believe what I had just heard on my TV. I was outraged. I was angry. Is this woman a complete idiot or is she the most condescending, arrogant and self-serving politician on the planet? This was my reaction upon hearing Hillary Clinton say regarding the Taliban five, “These five guys are not a threat to the United States.” 

This statement alone should disqualify a Hillary Clinton presidency from ever seeing the light of day. There are only two reasons that she would make such an absurd statement; both are pretty scary coming from the possible leader of the free world.

Reason number one: Hillary truly is clueless and has totally bought into Obama’s false narrative which says because Osama is dead terrorism is over. Numerous attacks which include the Boston Marathon bombing and the attack on our U.S. Consulate in Benghazi prove Obama’s narrative is nothing more than a self-serving political lie. Do you see a pattern with this Administration; Obama, Hillary and company?

The second reason for Hillary making such an obviously insane statement is she assumes the American people are idiots. Low-info voters. Clueless. Talk about in your face disrespect. My goodness, this woman is so offensively arrogant and superior minded that she believes she can look into the TV camera and tell us it is sunny in the midst of a thunder storm.

Please forgive me if you think I am making too big of a deal about this. But folks, Hillary’s statement speaks volumes about who she is and who she thinks we are. For crying out loud, experts and politicians across the board are expressing bipartisan enormous concern, fear and outrage over Obama releasing these five Taliban generals.

A majority of the American people know Obama made a horrible deal and are concerned about national security and more terrorist attacks. Everyone, I repeat everyone, knows we are less safe.

And yet, the person who seeks to become our new Commander-in-Chief says, chill out, releasing the worst-of-the-worst terrorists and providing them aid and comfort is no big deal.

In my way of thinking, this exposure of Hillary’s mindset should immediately disqualify this either extremely naïve liberal or off-the-chain arrogant person from ever moving back into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

RELATED VIDEO: Daniel Greenfield, the Brilliant, Shillman Journalism Fellow gives his assessment of Hillary Clinton’s bizarre claim that her debacle at Benghazi is a good reason for her to run for President!

It’s Not Easy Being a Democrat

As an implacable enemy of liberals and Democrats, I have often been asked my opinion of the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Although there are many differences, depending on the issue at hand, I see one major difference that covers a multitude of sins.  It all has to do with human nature and the way in which people of differing political ideologies either exploit it or respond to it.

Conservatives and Republicans understand human nature.  Consequently, in everything they do in terms of government programs and public policy initiatives, they always attempt as much as possible to insure that human nature doesn’t become a negative.  Understanding that human nature will invariably tempt some to cut corners, taking advantage of opportunities to enrich themselves at the expense of others, Republicans can always be trusted to close loopholes in advance to prevent that from happening.

Conversely, liberals and Democrats also understand human nature.  However, in everything they attempt to do in terms of government programs and public policy initiatives, they can always be counted upon to create loopholes, taking advantage of the seamier side of human nature.  It is an article of faith among Democrats that, if they can’t attract adherents intellectually with solid arguments to support their leftist agenda, the only thing left to do is to buy as many votes as they can… with other people’s money, of course.

However, while the difference between conservatives and liberals and between Republicans and Democrats is an important consideration, a more important question… far more important to the future of our republic… is the difference between rank-and-file Democrats and the liberal elites who do their thinking for them.  This dichotomy was the subject of a recent telephone debate between Rush Limbaugh and a conservative caller named Jennifer, from Lancaster, Ohio.  In order to accurately relate the specifics of their debate, I will quote extensively from the transcript of their conversation.  She had two points to make:

First, she referred to an earlier sound byte in which a liberal caller had accused Rush of not really believing the things he said, saying that Rush only says the things he says in order to “gin up” his audience.  She went on to say that what the liberal caller accused Rush of doing is precisely what liberals themselves do.  It was a classic case of ideological projection.  The liberal caller was merely projecting onto Rush the fact that liberals rarely believe what they claim to believe.  She explained that it’s “just part of their script… part of their shtick… part of their spiel.”

Her opinion was that liberals and Democrats, being unable to recognize the difference between firmly held beliefs and things that are said only to tell listeners what we think they wish to hear, simply assume that conservatives and Republicans are equally as duplicitous as they are.

Finally, she recalled a point articulated by a caller several weeks earlier.  That caller argued that, when individuals have firmly held beliefs, they not only accept those beliefs as part of who they are, they give others the freedom to hold differing opinions.  They’re not concerned when others disagree with them because they are secure in their own beliefs.

She went on to explain that most liberals, particularly rank-and-file Democrats, really don’t have firmly-held beliefs.  Instead, they are constantly bullied and pressured by their liberal elites into adopting politically correct positions.  And because they are constantly forced to yield to what is politically correct, in spite of whatever partially-formed views they may have, they become very angry when confronted by conservatives and Republicans who have well-founded and firmly-held beliefs.  And since we conservatives believe what we believe and refuse to compromise our values as they do, their only alternative is anger, name-calling, and character assassination.

Rush was not in total agreement.  He argued that there are varying degrees and kinds of liberals: a) the ideologues, b) the leaders, and c) the rank-and-file who are just trying to be cool, trying to be “hip.”  He argued that, in every liberal constituency, there are varying degrees of conviction, but that a great many liberals actually believe everything they say.

The caller argued that, yes, there are liberals and Democrats who believe everything they say, but they represent only a tiny fraction of the political left.  Instead, most rank-and-file liberals and Democrats go along to get along because they can’t handle the pressure of what is anathema to leftists: the agonizing social stigma associated with appearing to be different.

In response, Rush agreed that, particularly among young people, the peer pressure to support gay rights, to be pro-choice and support abortion, and to support other articles of liberal orthodoxy is intense.  He said, “Whatever they think the majority opinion is on something they’ll go with it and take the path of least resonance, which is essentially what you’re saying they do.  And then, when it comes time for them to explain what they believe, they can’t.”

He also agreed that, “If you are totally confident in what you believe, you don’t care… bring ‘em on.  You’ll be glad to take a shot at it and try to change their mind.  Or you’ll be happy to tell them why you think what you think.  Leftists don’t want to go there.  They can’t go there because they can’t explain.  All they want to do is silence any opposition.”

Rush argued, “Here’s the risk that we’re running if you think they don’t really believe… I think that it’d be much easier to change their minds if they really didn’t believe it.  I think it’s a little bit more complicated than this.  I mean, there’s a massive desire on the part of the left to just shut up people who don’t agree with them.

“But nevertheless, when you are going to posit the opinion (that) liberals don’t really believe what they (say they) believe, that’s dangerous… Let’s put it this way: It makes them sound a little bit more harmless than they are, and I don’t think it’s accurate to say they don’t believe it.  Now, I understand with certain levels of liberalism, you’ve got the low-information (voters).  I think the low-information voting bloc out there is not even ideological.  The low-information (people), they’re just like one of my dogs.”

The caller replied, “That’s part of my point.  Not only can they not articulate their position because they truly don’t have one… they’re just accepting, caving to pressure… not just being unable to articulate their point, but truly being angry… I think that anger comes not from a righteous indignation… they don’t understand that there can be differences of opinion, and that’s (the source of) their anger.

The caller conceded that what Rush said about the hard core leftists… which Rush estimated to be about 3% of the Democrat Party… is true.  They truly believe what they say.  However, she argued that the millenials are another matter.  She said, “I see so many of these memes on Facebook from the millennials and they’ll go straight from a conservative meme to a leftist, left-leaning meme, and I’m like, ‘You don’t even understand both sides of the issue.  You’re here, but you can’t argue both sides of it.  You really don’t know.’  They buy into the low-information argument and… they really can’t articulate it.”

I don’t often disagree with Rush Limbaugh, but in this instance I must because his caller was right.  The vast majority of Democratic voters haven’t the foggiest notion of why they vote as they do.  And if we were to ask them to explain themselves we can be sure that we would very quickly be the target of an angry outburst and, at the very least, our parentage would be called into question.  Unfortunately, that is the state of politics in America in the 20th and 21st centuries.

When  Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and other Democrats propose, for example, that the Congress increase the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10, a 39.3% increase, they know that the increase would reduce the number of entry-level jobs by at least 15%, doing the greatest damage to job prospects for minority teens.  Yet, they sell the idea to their low-information voter base as if the law of supply-and-demand had been repealed.

I’m sure that Barack Obama, as he faces Mecca and kneels on his prayer rug at bedtime each night, thanks Allah for political correctness.  Why?  Because, without political correctness, he could never have been elected and the Democrat Party could not exist.  He is the principal beneficiary of the ignorance of the masses and he’ll never do anything to change that.

In his May 23 Watters World segment on Fox News, O’Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters questioned twelve Obama voters on the streets of Philadelphia.  Watters asked each of them five questions: 1) What is the significance of the thirteen stripes on the U.S. flag?  2) How many senators are there in the U.S. Senate?  3) What economic system does the U.S. utilize?  4) Who was president of the United States during World War II? And 5) In what month do we hold our General Elections?  Of the twelve Obama voters quizzed, only one could answer all five questions correctly, and only three others were able to answer at least three correctly.

On one hand, it’s easy to be a Democrat because it’s not necessary to spend a great deal of time and effort studying the issues, figuring out what’s right and what’s wrong, and determining how each of us might be personally impacted by various laws and regulations.  All that is required of them is that they vote exactly as party leaders and union leaders dictate.

On the other hand, it’s not easy being a Democrat because of the terrible frustration associated with being unable to justify one’s fidelity to a cause one doesn’t understand and can never defend.  To conservatives and Republicans, being a Democrat might look like a no-brainer, but it’s not as easy as it looks.  As John Wayne once remarked in the movie, Sands of Iwo Jima, “Life is tough, but it’s a lot tougher when you’re stupid.

In the Absence of Private Property Rights by Dwight R. Lee

Why Do People See Property Rights as the Source of Economic Problems?

We commonly benefit from things we neither understand nor appreciate. Obviously there are advantages in benefiting from a wide range of things without having to give them much thought. But the danger is that such neglect can often cause us great harm. Good health is an example. For most people, good health is easy to take for granted, and this often results in harmful patterns of behavior. In the case of health, however, most people know something about the risks of unhealthy behavior, and recognize the advantage of healthy habits even if they don’t practice them.

Unfortunately, this is not true for maintaining a healthy economy. The productivity and cooperation essential to economic progress depend on things that are not only easily neglected, but also commonly denounced. Private property is a good example. Instead of recognizing private property as the foundation of economic cooperation and progress, people commonly see it as the source of economic problems actually caused by the lack of well-defined and enforced private-property rights.

Pollution and Private Property

Pollution is widely blamed on capitalism, with its emphasis on profits and private property. According to this view, private property rights should be restricted to prevent firms and individuals from putting their private gain ahead of the public’s interest in a clean environment. But pollution is actually a problem caused by too little reliance on property rights, not too much. Pollution problems should teach us how much we benefit from private property by illustrating the inevitable breakdown in social cooperation in its absence.

Pollution problems would not exist if we could divide up the atmosphere, rivers, and oceans into separate units owned and controlled as private property. There would still be pollution, but not excessive pollution. If I wanted to discharge pollutants into the air that belonged to others, they would prevent me from doing so unless I paid them a price that covered the cost my pollution imposed on them. So I would pollute only as long as the value I realized from discharging an additional unit of pollutant was at least as great as the cost to others. Private property and the market prices that result would motivate people to take into consideration the environmental concerns of others.

Pollution problems exist because without private property in air sheds and waterways there are no market prices to make polluters mindful of the cost of their polluting activities. The result is that people pollute excessively; pollution continues even though the benefits from additional pollution are less than the costs.

Although we cannot easily imagine treating the atmosphere and waterways as private property, the lack of cooperation that underlies pollution problems would extend to all aspects of human action if private property were absent. Instead of seeing pollution problems as an indictment of private property, these problems should give us an appreciation of the wonderful advantages we realize from private property. And once the power of private property to promote cooperation is realized, one can see how pollution policy can be improved through the creative establishment of private property.

Instead of having political authorities dictate how, and how much, polluters have to reduce their discharges (as they do now), it would be far better to create a form of private property in the use of the environment for waste disposal. This private property would take the form of transferable pollution permits specifying how much their owners could legally pollute. These permits would establish the total allowable pollution, but not how much each polluter reduces his discharges or how he does so. With transferable permits, market prices would emerge that force polluters to consider much of the cost of their discharges. Those who could reduce discharges cheaply would reduce a lot, releasing permits to be used by those facing higher cleanup costs. The result would be a pattern of pollution reduction that yields any given level of environmental quality at far less cost than the command-and-control approach that dominates current policy. (A more detailed discussion of the advantages of such a market-based approach to pollution control has to await a future column.)

Private Property and Patience

Another common misconception is that the profits from private property motivate people to ignore the long-run consequences of their actions. Actually, the lack of private property is the biggest threat to future concerns. Consider the captain of a whaling ship who has a whale in the cross hairs of his harpoon. The captain is about to pull the trigger when his first officer points out that the whale is pregnant and if they let it live there will be two whales within a few months. Will the captain save the whale on hearing this information? Not likely. He will correctly conclude that since he has no property right in the whale, if he doesn’t kill it today someone else soon will. Being patient and allowing the whale to give birth requires an immediate sacrifice, without permitting him to benefit from that sacrifice in the future. If somehow whales were privately owned, it would then pay the captain to take the future value of the whale and her offspring into consideration, since that future value would be his opportunity cost of killing the whale today.

It is no wonder that many species of wild animals are overexploited, and in some cases threatened with extinction. The situation is very different with domestic animals that are privately owned. There is no worry that chickens, pigs, cows, or goats will be driven to extinction. The future value of these animals is fully considered by owners who can profit from maintaining them. Indeed, the more of these animals we kill, the more of them we have. In the United States alone, approximately 25 million chickens are killed and eaten every day. It has been said that the difference between chicken hawks and people is that when chicken hawks eat more chickens there are fewer chickens, but when people eat more chickens there are more chickens. The more fundamental difference is that people establish private property rights and, as a result, take the future into consideration; chicken hawks don’t.

Unfortunately, legislation such as the Endangered Species Act attempts to protect species by undermining private property rights, thereby reducing the motivation of land owners to provide suitable habitat for wildlife, endangered or not.

Private property allows us to solve problems by taking into consideration the present and future concerns of others. Unfortunately, people with good intentions but little economic understanding often call for solving problems stemming from inadequate private property by subverting rights to private property with political restrictions and mandates.

ABOUT DWIGHT R. LEE

Dwight R. Lee is the O’Neil Professor of Global Markets and Freedom in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

CLICHES OF PROGRESSIVISM #9 – Human Rights Are More Important Than Property Rights by Paul L. Poirot

(Editor’s Note: This essay was first published in 1962. Paul L. Poirot was a long-time member of the staff of the Foundation for Economic Education and editor of its journal, The Freeman, from 1956 to 1987.)

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is proud to partner with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) to produce “Clichés of Progressivism,” a series of insightful commentaries covering topics of free enterprise, income inequality, and limited government.

Our society is inundated with half-truths and misconceptions about the economy in general and free enterprise in particular. The “Clichés of Progressivism” series is meant to equip students with the arguments necessary to inform debate and correct the record where bias and errors abound.

The antecedents to this collection are two classic FEE publications that YAF helped distribute in the past: Clichés of Politics, published in 1994, and the more influential Clichés of Socialism, which made its first appearance in 1962. Indeed, this new collection will contain a number of essays from those two earlier works, updated for the present day where necessary. Other entries first appeared in some version in FEE’s journal, The Freeman. Still others are brand new, never having appeared in print anywhere. They will be published weekly on the websites of both YAF and FEE: www.yaf.org and www.FEE.org until the series runs its course. A book will then be released in 2015 featuring the best of the essays, and will be widely distributed in schools and on college campuses.

See the index of the published chapters here.

#9 – Human Rights Are More Important Than Property Rights

It is not the right of property which is protected, but the right to property. Property, per se, has no rights; but the individual—the man—has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference: the right to his life, the right to his liberty, the right to his property…. The three rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave. 

—U.S. Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland

Tricky phrases with favorable meanings and emotional appeal are being used today to imply a distinction between property rights and human rights.

By implication, there are two sets of rights—one belonging to human beings and the other to property. Since human beings are more important, it is natural for the unwary to react in favor of human rights.

Actually, there is no such distinction between property rights and human rights. The term property has no significance except as it applies to something owned by someone. Property itself has neither rights nor value, except as human interests are involved. There are no rights but human rights, and what are spoken of as property rights are only the human rights of individuals to property.

What are the property rights thus disparaged by being set apart from human rights? They are among the most ancient and basic of human rights, and among the most essential to freedom and progress. They are the privileges of private ownership which give meaning to the right to the product of one’s labor—privileges which men have always regarded instinctively as belonging to them almost as intimately and inseparably as their own bodies. Unless people can feel secure in their ability to retain the fruits of their labor, there is little incentive to save and expand the fund of capital—the tools and equipment for production and for better living.

The Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution recognizes no distinction between property rights and other human rights. The ban against unreasonable search and seizure covers “persons, houses, papers, and effects,” without discrimination. No person may, without due process of law, be deprived of “life, liberty or property”; all are equally inviolable. The right to trial by jury is assured in criminal and civil cases alike. Excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments are grouped in a single prohibition. The Founding Fathers realized that a man or woman without property rights—without the right to the product of his own labor—is not a free man.

These constitutional rights all have two characteristics in common. First, they apply equally to all persons. Second, they are, without exception, guarantees of freedom or immunity from governmental interference. They are not assertions of claims against others, individually or collectively. They merely say, in effect, that there are certain human liberties, including some pertaining to property, which are essential to free citizens and upon which the State shall not infringe.

Now what about the so-called human rights that are represented as superior to property rights? What about the “right” to a job, the “right” to a standard of living, the “right” to a minimum wage or a maximum work week, the right to a “fair” price, the “right to bargain collectively, the “right” to security against the adversities and hazards of life, such as old age and disability?

The framers of the Constitution would have been astonished to hear these things spoken of as rights. They are not immunities from governmental compulsion; on the contrary, they are demands for new forms of governmental compulsion. They are not claims to the product of one’s own labor; they are, in some if not in most cases, claims to the products of other people’s labor.

These “human rights” are indeed different from property rights, for they rest on a denial of the basic concept of property rights. They are not freedoms or immunities assured to all persons alike. They are special privileges conferred upon some persons at the expense of others. The real distinction is not between property rights and human rights, but between equality of protection from governmental compulsion on the one hand and demands for the exercise of such compulsion for the benefit of favored groups on the other.

Paul L. Poirot
Freeman Editor, 19561987

Summary

  • You own yourself and you own those material things you’ve created or traded for freely with others. These are rights to property—property in yourself and in your possessions—and they cannot be separated from human rights.
  • America’s founders made no distinction between human rights and property rights for good reason: There aren’t any. They are one and the same.
  • Your right to what’s yours is very different from a claim on the person or property of others.
  • For further information, read these articles:

“Human Rights Are Property Rights” by Murray Rothbard: http://tinyurl.com/k7q28wj

“The Primacy of Property Rights and the American Founding” by David Upham: http://tinyurl.com/k8ymp24

“The Property Basis of Rights” by Clarence B. Carson: http://tinyurl.com/knha534

“Freedom or Free-for-All?” by Lawrence W. Reed: http://tinyurl.com/ks94kt4

ABOUT PAUL L. POIROT

Paul L. Poirot was a long-time member of the staff of the Foundation for Economic Education and editor of its journal, The Freeman, from 1956 to 1987.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Fired for ‘Diverging’ on Climate: Progressive Professor’s fellowship ‘terminated’ after WSJ OpEd calling global warming ‘unproved science’

Dr. Caleb Rossiter was “terminated” via email as an “Associate Fellow” from the progressive group Institute for Policy Studies(IPS), following his May 4th, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd titled “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change,” in which he called man-made global warming an “unproved science.” Rossiter also championed the expansion of carbon based energy in Africa.  Dr.  Rossiter is an adjunct professor at American University. Rossiter holds a PhD in policy analysis and a masters degree in mathematics.

In an exclusive interview with Climate Depot, Dr. Rossiter explained: “If people ever say that fears of censorship for ‘climate change’ views are overblown, have them take a look at this: Just two days after I published a piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for Africa to be allowed the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy we have in the U.S., the Institute for Policy Studies terminated my 23-year relationship with them…because my analysis and theirs ‘diverge.’”

“I have tried to get [IPS] to discuss and explain their rejection of my analysis,’ Rossiter told Climate Depot. “When I countered a claim of ‘rapidly accelerating’ temperature change with the [UN] IPCC’s own data’, showing the nearly 20-year temperature pause— the best response I ever got was ‘Caleb, I don’t have time for this.’”

[Climate Depot Note: Intimidation of skeptical scientists has been well documented. Climate scientist Dr. Lennart Bengtsson — who converted from warmist to skeptic – resigns from skeptical group after ‘enormous group pressure’ from warmists – Now ‘worried about my health and safety’ – ‘Colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship’]

Image of Caleb S. Rossiter

Caleb Rossiter

Climate Depot has obtained a copy of a May 7, 2014 email that John Cavanagh, the director of IPS since 1998, sent to Rossiter with the subject “Ending IPS Associate Fellowship.”

“Dear Caleb, We would like to inform you that we are terminating your position as an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies,” Cavanagh wrote in the opening sentence of the email.

“Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable. The other project directors of IPS feel the same,” Cavanagh explained.

“We thank you for that work and wish you the best in your future endeavors,” Cavanagh and his IPS associate Emira Woods added. [Full Text of IPS email is reproduced further below.]

Rosstier’s May 4, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd pulled no punches. Rossiter, who holds a masters in mathematics, wrote: “I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics. Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.”

His Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false.” He added: “Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy.”

“Each American accounts for 20 times the emissions of each African. We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa, which needs electricity for the sort of income-producing enterprises and infrastructure that help improve life expectancy? The average in Africa is 59 years—in America it’s 79,” he explained.

“How terrible to think that so many people in the West would rather block such success stories in the name of unproved science,” he concluded his WSJ OpEd.

Rossiter’s and IPS seemed a natural fit, given Rossiter’s long history as an anti-war activist.  IPS describes itself as “a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally. We work with social movements to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence, and military power.

But Rosstier’s credentials as a long-time progressive could not trump his growing climate skepticism or his unabashed promotion of carbon based fuels for Africa.

Rossiter’s website describes himself as “a progressive activist who has spent four decades fighting against and writing about the U.S. foreign policy of supporting repressive governments in the formerly colonized countries.”

“I’ve spent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for “friendly” dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial,” Rossiter wrote in the Wall Street Journal on May 4.

Rossiter’s Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false. John Feffer, my colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote in the Dec. 8, 2009, Huffington Post that ‘even if the mercury weren’t rising’ we should bring ‘the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner.’ He sees the ‘climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”

“Then, as now, the computer models simply built in the assumption that fossil fuels are the culprit when temperatures rise, even though a similar warming took place from 1900 to 1940, before fossil fuels could have caused it. The IPCC also claims that the warming, whatever its cause, has slightly increased the length of droughts, the frequency of floods, the intensity of storms, and the rising of sea levels, projecting that these impacts will accelerate disastrously. Yet even the IPCC acknowledges that the average global temperature today remains unchanged since 2000, and did not rise one degree as the models predicted.

[ … ]

“But it is as an Africanist, rather than a statistician, that I object most strongly to ‘climate justice.’ Where is the justice for Africans when universities divest from energy companies and thus weaken their ability to explore for resources in Africa? Where is the justice when the U.S. discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a ‘global warming’ tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods?”

Full reprint of “termination” email from Institute for Policy Studies:

—–Forwarded Message—–
From: John Cavanagh
Sent: May 7, 2014 9:51 PM
To: Caleb Rossiter
Cc: Emira Woods, Joy Zarembka
Subject: Ending IPS Associate Fellowship

Dear Caleb,

We would like to inform you that we are terminating your position as an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. As you know, Associate Fellows at IPS are sponsored by an IPS project director or by the director. In your case, both of us sponsored your Fellowship. Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable. The other project directors of IPS feel the same.

I (John) have worked with you on and off for two decades and I admire the project you did on Demilitarization and Democracy through IPS. I also admire the work you did on Capitol Hill with Rep. Delahunt. Both of us have worked with you in other capacities over the years with strong mutual respect. We thank you for that work and wish you the best in your future endeavors.

If you would like to meet with us in person, we are available. John will be in Berlin from Thursday afternoon through Monday evening, but could meet after that. Emira is here over the next week if you’d like to meet sooner.

Best regards,

John and Emira

End full reprint of IPS termination email.

Climate Depot’s Coverage of Rossiter’s WSJ article:

Caleb Rossiter: Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change: ‘Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy’ – The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false. John Feffer, my colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote in the Dec. 8, 2009, Huffington Post that “even if the mercury weren’t rising” we should bring “the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner.” He sees the “climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”

Dr. Rossiter’s full WSJ OpEd, reprinted with permission of Dr. Rossiter. 

Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change

Western Policies Seem More Interested in Carbon-dioxide Levels than in Life Expectancy

Caleb S. Rossiter

May 5, 2014, Wall Street Journal Editorial Page

Every year environmental groups celebrate a night when institutions in developed countries (including my own university) turn off their lights as a protest against fossil fuels. They say their goal is to get America and Europe to look from space like Africa: dark, because of minimal energy use.

But that is the opposite of what’s desired by Africans I know. They want Africa at night to look like the developed world, with lights in every little village and with healthy people, living longer lives, sitting by those lights. Real years added to real lives should trump the minimal impact that African carbon emissions could have on a theoretical catastrophe.

I’ve spent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for “friendly” dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial.

But I oppose my allies’ well-meaning campaign for “climate justice.” More than 230 organizations, including Africa Action and Oxfam, want industrialized countries to pay “reparations” to African governments for droughts, rising sea levels and other alleged results of what Ugandan strongman Yoweri Museveni calls “climate aggression.” And I oppose the campaign even more for trying to deny to Africans the reliable electricity–and thus the economic development and extended years of life–that fossil fuels can bring.

The left wants to stop industrialization–even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false. John Feffer, my colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote in the Dec. 8, 2009, Huffington Post that “even if the mercury weren’t rising” we should bring “the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner.” He sees the “climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”

I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics. Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.

Then, as now, the computer models simply built in the assumption that fossil fuels are the culprit when temperatures rise, even though a similar warming took place from 1900 to 1940, before fossil fuels could have caused it. The IPCC also claims that the warming, whatever its cause, has slightly increased the length of droughts, the frequency of floods, the intensity of storms, and the rising of sea levels, projecting that these impacts will accelerate disastrously. Yet even the IPCC acknowledges that the average global temperature today remains unchanged since 2000, and did not rise one degree as the models predicted.

But it is as an Africanist, rather than a statistician, that I object most strongly to “climate justice.” Where is the justice for Africans when universities divest from energy companies and thus weaken their ability to explore for resources in Africa? Where is the justice when the U.S. discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a “global warming” tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods? Even if the wildest claims about the current impact of fossil fuels on the environment and the models predicting the future impact all prove true and accurate, Africa should be exempted from global restraints as it seeks to modernize.

With 15% of the world’s people, Africa produces less than 5% of carbon-dioxide emissions. With 4% of global population, America produces 25% of these emissions. In other words, each American accounts for 20 times the emissions of each African. We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa, which needs electricity for the sort of income-producing enterprises and infrastructure that help improve life expectancy? The average in Africa is 59 years–in America it’s 79. Increased access to electricity was crucial in China’s growth, which raised life expectancy to 75 today from 59 in 1968.

According to the World Bank, 24% of Africans have access to electricity and the typical business loses power for 56 days each year. Faced with unreliable power, businesses turn to diesel generators, which are three times as expensive as the electricity grid. Diesel also produces black soot, a respiratory health hazard. By comparison, bringing more-reliable electricity to more Africans would power the cleaning of water in villages, where much of the population still lives, and replace wood and dung fires as the source of heat and lighting in shacks and huts, removing major sources of disease and death. In the cities, reliable electricity would encourage businesses to invest and reinvest rather than send their profits abroad.

Mindful of the benefits, the Obama administration’s Power Africa proposal and the World Bank are trying to double African access to electricity. But they have been hamstrung by the opposition of their political base to fossil fuels–even though off-grid and renewable power from the sun, tides and wind is still too unreliable, too hard to transmit, and way too expensive for Africa to build and maintain as its primary source of power.

In 2010 the left tried to block a World Bank loan for a new coal-fired plant in South Africa. Fortunately, the loan was approved (with the U.S. abstaining). The drive to provide electricity for the poor has been perhaps the greatest achievement of South Africa’s post-apartheid governments.

Standing on the mountainside at night in Cape Town, overlooking the “Coloured” township of Mitchell’s Plain and the African township of Khayelitsha, you can now see a twinkling blanket of bulbs. How terrible to think that so many people in the West would rather block such success stories in the name of unproved science.

Rossiter directs the American Exceptionalism Media Project. He is an adjunct professor at American University and an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Climate Depot’s Related Links:

Coverage of Dr. Rossiter & IPS: ‘It’s climate apostasy again’: ‘Institute for Policy Studies terminates skeptic who cares about Africans more than climate modelers’

‘There are many issues swirling round here – the good intentions of the “progressives” and the evil that flows from it, their startling ability to turn a blind eye to the suffering of Africans, their inability to deal with dissent, their closed minds. What a depressing scene with which to start the day.’

Truth Revolt: The Left’s Hypocrisy About ‘Right-Wing Terrorism’

Over at Truth Revolt I expose the latest attempt by Leftists and Islamic supremacists to deflect attention away from the grim reality of Islamic jihad.

In covering the killings in Las Vegas by Jerad and Amanda Miller this week, mainstream media commentators once again displayed their hypocrisy and double standard regarding Islamic terrorism and terror attacks that are supposedly “right-wing.”

CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen wrote Tuesday the Millers “appear to have been motivated by extreme far-right views. The couple left a flag at the scene of the crime with the words ‘Don’t Tread on Me,’ a Revolutionary War symbol used by some anti-government extremists.”

Bergen went on to emphasize that “countering violent extremism cannot simply be a demand placed on Muslim communities to prevent jihadist violence. In the decade since 9/11 right-wing extremists have demonstrated their ability to be just as deadly as their homegrown jihadist counterparts.”

Yet while Bergen is ready to equate “right-wing terrorists” with jihadists, he is much less ready to examine the motivating ideology of the latter. While he readily ascribed the Millers’ murders to “extreme far-right views,” when writing in 2006 about the root causes of the 9/11 jihad attack, Bergen stated:

In the many discussions of the “root causes” of Islamist terrorism, Islam itself is rarely mentioned. But if you were to ask Bin Laden, he would say that his war is about the defence of Islam. We need not believe him but we should nevertheless listen to what our enemies are saying. Bin Laden bases justification of his war on a corpus of Muslim beliefs and he finds ammunition in the Koran to give his war Islamic legitimacy. He often invokes the “sword” verses of the Koran, which urge unprovoked attacks on infidels. Of course, that is a selective reading of the Koran and does not mean Islam is an inherently violent faith, but to believers the book is the word of God.

He has demonstrated no similar anxiousness to exonerate “right-wing” beliefs from responsibility for the violence supposed committed because of them. And at the Daily Beast, “Muslim comedian” Dean Obeidallah went even farther in a piece entitled “Home-Grown, Right-Wing Terrorism: The Hate the GOP Refuses to See.” Obeidallah was certain that conservative views led to violence, and that that was why Republicans had ridiculed the idea of “right-wing terrorism” when the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about it in 2009. “The actual reason Republicans won’t investigate right-wing extremists,” Obeidallah claimed, “is that it would not only anger their base, it would actually indict some parts of it. Let’s be honest: In a time when establishment Republicans are concerned about getting challenged in primaries by more conservative Tea Party types, calling for hearings to investigate right-wing organizations could be political suicide.”

This is the same Dean Obeidallah who recently wrote this about the jihadists of Boko Haram, the Congregation of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad: “The Nigerian terrorist group that kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls has nothing to do with Islam, and it’s grotesquely irresponsible of the media to suggest it does.”

So an avowedly Islamic group that has repeatedly proclaimed that it is fighting in order to establish an Islamic state is not Islamic, and it’s “grotesquely irresponsible” to suggest otherwise. The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, must have been “grotesquely irresponsible” when he declared: “The reason why I will kill you is you are infidels…The Koran must be supreme, we must establish Islam in this country.”

Obeidallah, who has produced and starred in a “comedy” film about “Islamophobia,” claims that the jihadists are twisting and hijacking his peaceful religion, and that only non-Muslim “Islamophobes” would dare think that anything they do has any justification in Islamic texts and teachings. But the possibility that murderers such as Jerad and Amanda Miller are twisting and hijacking peaceful conservative principles that do not in any essential or legitimate way incite to violence does not cross his mind.

Bergen, Obeidallah and others like them also believe that those who sound the alarm about Islamic terrorism are motivated by “hatred” and “bigotry.” Are they, then, also motivated by hatred and bigotry when they sound the alarm about “right-wing terrorism”? Obeidallah claims that when Republicans passed anti-Sharia laws designed to protect Americans from a political system that subjugates women and non-Muslims and destroys the freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, they “intended to demonize Muslims.” So if legislation designed to protect Americans from “right-wing terrorism” were passed, could its framers and advocates be characterized as “intending to demonize conservatives”?

Why, yes, of course. That is the goal of this hysteria about “right-wing extremism” and “right-wing terrorism”: to demonize and marginalize legitimate opposition to the Obama agenda, as well as to minimize the real threat of jihad terror. Likewise, the goal of the hysteria about “Islamophobia” is to demonize and marginalize legitimate opposition to jihad terror, so that terror can advance unopposed and unimpeded. To trumpet both these hysterias, however, entangles Leftists like Bergen and Islamic supremacists like Obeidallah in a contradiction: they say that the stated beliefs and goals of Islamic terrorists are of no importance whatsoever, and it is “hateful” to point them out. Yet at the same time, they maintain that the stated beliefs and goals of “right-wing terrorists,” or even beliefs and goals that are ascribed to them by analysts and have no connection to what they actually believed, matter a great deal, and it is the nation’s duty to address them and institute remedies.

The hypocrisy is as obvious and stunning as the mainstream media’s cheerful and unapologetic eagerness to traffic in it.

An Increased Minimum Wage Equals Greater Unemployment

It’s June, a month famed for marriages, but it is likely to be remembered for the high rate of teen unemployment which has been soaring for a long time. By February, the national unemployment rate for youth, age 16 to 19, had reached 20.7%. By November 2013 it was three times higher than the national average of 6.6% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Teens are rivaled by the number of American men in their prime working years, a record 1-in-8,who are not in the labor force. These men, age 25-54, represent 61.1 million who are either not working or no longer looking for work. The Weekly Standard reported that “This is an all-time high dating back to when records were first kept in 1955.”

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released a report in February that said the wage hike to $10.10 could result in a net loss of about a half a million workers at the same time in increased wages for 16.5 million others.

So, naturally, President Obama in his State of the Union speech, called on Congress to raise the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. Soon after, he signed an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage for individuals working on new federal service contracts. That means that taxpayers will pay more for those services as the cost gets passed along. Does he have the power to impose the increase? Probably not.

Meanwhile in California where countless businesses are fleeing thanks to the insanity of its liberal legislature and Governor, as May ended its senate approved a measure that would lift the state pay floor to $13.00 an hour by 2017. If it becomes law, Californians will be interacting with machines for everything from banking to filling their gas tank to having a fast-food meal. Even more insane, Seattle has become home to the highest minimum wage in the nation, $15.00 an hour!

Minimum wage laws have been around a long time. Their original goal was to raise the income of the working poor, but the fact that there is still talk of raising them suggests they don’t work as intended. Letting the job market determine wages holds a greater promise of increased wages because businesses have to remain competitive and that means paying a wage that attracts skilled and even unskilled workers.

As Thomas E. Hall, the author of “Aftermath: The Unintended Consequences of Public Policies” (Cato Institute, $24.95, due in August) notes, “The living wage concept moved to the forefront during the Industrial Revolution, along with calls to end practices such as child labor and conditions poor working women faced. Massachusetts passed the nation’s first minimum wage law in 1912.

One of the outcomes of the Great Depression, 1929 to 1941, was the inclusion of a minimum wage as part of the New Deal’s National Industrial Recovery Act. Suffice to say, the NIRA, which actually encouraged businesses to collude together to set prices, failed to promote economic recovery. It was very unpopular and in 1935 the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional.

Because liberals never learn anything from experience, the NIRA was resurrected later in the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act that raised the minimum wage to 40 cents in 1945. “The United States has had a federal minimum wage ever since.”

Politicians and even some demented economists like the minimum wage. Every time it is raised, it appears to the general public that working people benefit. The problem is that the wage increases also include increases in unemployment as businesses try to contain costs in order to remain competitive and make a profit.

As Hall, a professor of economics at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, notes, “The minimum wage’s first significant impact on national labor market conditions occurred in 1956, when the hourly rate was raised from 75 cents to $1.00.” The increase had its “greatest impact on teenagers because they possess the fewest marketable skills among the working-age population. Also, teens often do, or have in the past, worked at jobs easily replaceable with machinery or by conducting business in a different manner.”

The minimum wage rate, nonetheless, has continued to increase since the 1950s and, “By the early 1990s, these changes had caused to minimum wage to apply to over 90 percent of the U.S. workforce.”

Here’s the fundamental lesson about the minimum wage that continues to be ignored. “President Ronald Reagan, who occupied the White House from 1981 to 1989, did not support further increases because he believed that raising the minimum wage would discourage employment growth…during that decade, the U.S. economy created 18 million new jobs.”

As Hall succinctly points out “Remember that the minimum wage is just a government-imposed price-fixing scheme that creates winners and losers.”

Teens that stayed in school and will either be facing a summer vacation or graduating are particularly disadvantaged by a minimum wage law.

“The effects of high unemployment among this demographic group,” says Hall, “should not be discounted. One reason is that the lack of employment opportunities for young people deprives them of valuable work experience in the form of learning the responsibility of showing up for a job on time, learning to follow directions and complete tasks, learning to work with others…these skills can prove to be beneficial later in life.”

It is likely that the minimum wage is also a factor in why many men in the 25-54 age cohort are not working either. This is hardly the time to be increasing the rate unless you want to see the rate of unemployment increase for all ages and both sexes.

By contrast, in addition to the energy sector, the sector that builds machines to replace human workers is likely to do very well over the coming years.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

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