Climate Change Consensus and the First Amendment

Following the COP21 Paris Climate Conference last week, wherein, as Rich Lowery writes, an agreement was reached on the agreement — and not much else — I was reminded of a speech by author Michael Crichton (you may know him as the writer of Jurassic Park, but he was also a graduate of medical school and a rather accomplished researcher, so he was arguably a legitimate scientist in his own right) gave on the danger of “consensus” scientific inquiry and results. That is to say, believing something is true because everyone says it is. Crichton is much more eloquent in his speech, remarkably given at CalTech way back in 2003 and titled “Aliens Cause Global Warming”:

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.

Should Taxpayers Be Forced to Fund a Climate Change Advocacy Group?

 

While is clear that both scientists and the public continue to debate whether there is any significant amount of global warming occurring, or the separate question of whether human activity on the Earth is causing it, it is clear to many that the advocacy of public policy supposedly remedying “climate change” is a separate issue. While leaders of many nations convened in Paris to work out another global warming accord, the United Nations, with the support of several partnering groups, organized a campaign to convince the world to support the global warming agenda.

The agenda becomes very clear when it’s revealed what the goal of the campaign really is to gain support for a massive international re-distribution of wealth from the wealthiest nations to the less economically successful nations of the world. There is no doubt that much of the costs of this will be paid by U.S. taxpayers.

“Whether anything substantive happen[ed] at all in Paris is still up in the air, as developed and developing nations squabbl[ed], among other things, over whether and how to provide a $100 billion annual transfer from rich to poor nations as part of the agreement, and over how the greenhouse gas promises might actually be measured,” Fox News reported.

The campaign, designed to create a “bandwagon effect” of mindless support for the extreme global warming agenda of wealth redistribution, carbon taxes, etc. was organized by the UN and is supported by the United Nations Foundation and the Energy Future Coalition.

Good News and Good Laughs for Supporters of the Second Amendment

I almost feel sorry for the gun-control crowd.

They keep trying to convince themselves that people are on their side, but schemes to restrict the 2nd Amendment keep getting defeated on Capitol Hill.

And when a handful of state governments go against the trend and try to trample on constitutional rights to gun ownership, politicians get tossed out of office and gun owners engage in massive civil disobedience.

Now we get to the icing on the cake.

The New York Times just released polling data showing that a majority of Americans are against banning so-called assault weapons. Look at the bottom line and see how the numbers have dramatically moved in the right direction.

These results are especially remarkable because many non-gun owners probably think “assault weapon” refers to a machine gun.

PC Security Policies Welcoming In Jihadists

Last night’s GOP debate focused on foreign policy and national security. It’s a good thing, too, because the stratospheric levels of unbridled incompetence and militant political correctness that is the hallmark of the Obama administration should terrify each and every American. Even in the aftermath of the ISIS-inspired attack in San Bernardino, which left 14 dead and 21 wounded, the Obama administration is doubling down on its PC policies, and in the process putting the lives of each and every American at increased risk.

With multiple investigations underway into Islamist terrorists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik following the San Bernardino attack, reports are revealing that what can only be termed political correctness on the part of the Obama administration has directly contributed to an inability to prevent the deaths of U.S. citizens.

Despite strong protests from senior officials within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Obama administration refused to end a secret policy which prohibited security officials from reviewing the social media posts of foreign citizens attempting to obtain visas for entry into the United States. This was due to the fear of DHS Director Jeh Johnson that the policy might create “bad public relations”.

Speaking to ABC News, former acting Under-secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at DHS, John Cohen, reported that “During that time period immigration officials were not allowed to use or review social media as part of the screening process…The primary concern was that it would be viewed negatively if it was disclosed publicly and there were concerns that it would be embarrassing.”

Trump, and Cruz, and Civil Discourse

Just in time for tonight’s debate, Donald Trump spread his particular brand of Holiday joy at a gathering last night in Vegas, near where the GOP debate is scheduled to take place. Here’s a rather astonishing takedown of the event, where apparently things looked more like the beginnings of a bar brawl rather than a serious campaign speech. And the man himself was crucial in keeping blood boiling. Here’s a disturbing snippet:

Trump, meanwhile, gleefully narrated the madness from his podium like a tabloid talk show host presiding over an on-camera brawl between guests — egging on the confrontation, whipping the audience into a frenzy, and basking in his fans’ celebratory chants.

“Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!”

“This is what we should have been doing to the other side for the last seven years!” Trump exclaimed during one of the scuffles with protesters.

At several points, Trump berated the reporters in the room for taking pictures of the clashes. “They are terrible!” Trump hissed of the press. “The worst!” Hundreds of riled-up Trump fans turned to face the press corps, and booed loudly.

Chaffetz Hearing for Federal Online Gambling Ban a Total Failure

In an effort to promote a federal ban on internet-based gambling, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) opened a hearing recently titled A Casino in Every Smartphone - Law Enforcement Implications. The hearing, before the House Oversight Committee that Rep. Chaffetz chairs, not only failed to make the case for his Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), it also made a strong case against the bill. Members of Congress of both parties, as well as the witnesses Chaffetz invited to the hearing, gave strong testimony in favor of legal and regulated in-state online gambling.

Rep. Chaffetz opened the hearing making a statement about how RAWA would supposedly restore what he claims is the previous interpretation of the Wire Act against online gambling that he says was overturned by the interpretation by the Office of Legal Counsel in December of 2011. Chaffetz, who is advancing RAWA on behalf of Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, argued that legalized internet gambling in any states will make it impossible to prohibit it in any states, such as his own state of Utah, which has legislated against online gambling in that state.

Speaking about RAWA, which would effectively ban internet-based gambling in all states, Chaffetz quite absurdly stated, “I believe the piece of legislation that I introduced, Restoring America’s Wire Act, is a states’ rights bill.”

Obama Proposes Stripping Rights to Combat Terrorism

Last Sunday, in a speech he clearly had no interest in giving, Obama spoke to the nation from the Oval Office in an attempt to address the fears of many Americans following attacks in Paris (132 dead, almost 400 wounded) and San Bernardino (14 dead, 21 wounded) by Islamist jihadists. He failed to assuage those fears, primarily because he once again proved that he is clueless as to the real threat and the real enemy.

While acknowledging (finally!) that mass shootings at Fort Hood, and in San Bernardino and Chattanooga, were indeed driven by a virulent Islamist ideology, he once again lectured us against criticism of Muslims, proclaiming these actions represented a “perverted” interpretation of Islam (even though Omar Ahmad, co-founder of the supposedly “moderate” Council on American-Islamic Relations, once declared “Islam isn’t in America to equal to any other faith but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America and Islam the only accepted religion.”).

Then, to no one’s surprise, Obama used these recent tragedies to renew his push for more gun control. Under the guise of combatting terrorism, Obama declared, “To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? …We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino. I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures.”

There are three glaring problems with Obama’s proposed “solutions”; one practical, one political, and the other constitutional.

No, Donald Trump is not a fascist. He’s something worse.

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Six months ago when Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the office of President of the United States, I had a simple reaction: No. We all knew that no good would come of this.

Three months later after he didn’t seem to have a problem with a supporter’s desire to “get rid of” Muslim Americans, I had a sinking feeling.

But I held my tongue (at least in long-form). Now that everyone else has caught up, I have an even worse suspicion. No, Donald Trump isn’t a fascist. Rather, he’s not just a fascist. He’s a nihilist.

In most previous cases, fascism rose to power ideologically. A strong man with big (terrible) ideas whipped the people into a frenzy behind him and was elected or took power by force with his own heinous vision for the future. A casual look at Trump’s campaign slithering from one outrageous xenophobic proposal to the next has led some to smack him with the fascist label.

But I think most people are missing an important aspect of Trumpism. He doesn’t actually believe anything he says. In fact, he may not have any beliefs at all.

Now there Are Three: Another Honest Liberal Pours Cold Water on Gun Control

 

Originally posted at International Liberty ~ Ed.

 

In 2012, I shared some important observations from Jeffrey Goldberg, a left-leaning writer for The Atlantic. In his column, he basically admitted his side was wrong about gun control.

Then, in 2013, I wrote about a column by Justin Cronin in the New York Times. He self-identified as a liberal, but explained how real-world events have led him to become a supporter of private gun ownership.

Kudos to both gentlemen for putting accuracy ahead of ideology (just like I applauded the honest liberal who wrote how government programs subsidize dependency).

Well, we can add another person to our list of honest liberals. Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent for Slate, just authored a piece that says it is downright silly to fixate on so-called assault weapons and to try to deny people their 2nd-Amendment rights based on the TSA’s no-fly list.

Obama Lecture Series: What We Shouldn’t Do, Not What We Should

http://www.think-israel.org/jan12pix/obama.tough.talk.jpg

Watching Obama’s speech from the Oval Office last night was an exercise in codebreaking. From the repeated use of the term ISIL — reference to the Levant is surely a continued message to Bibi Netanyahu of Obama’s reluctance to “follow the group into Syria” — to the subtle charge that Americans should refrain from fearmongering and targeting Muslim Americans as terrorists, there were stern, if not outright, admonitions to the American people of what they should not do and how they should not feel. Byron York has a pretty complete breakdown of the speech here.

But there was something else, and it was pregnant in the decision to make the speech at all: the president, in referring to how the terror threat has “evolved” was saying one thing alone, (in this writer’s opinion, it was the sole reason for the speech): the terrorists, if it hadn’t been clear before, are here among us. So be careful out there, kids. But don’t hate!


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