This is a brilliant video. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The only quarrel I would have is when Alex Epstein agrees that fossil fuel contributes to global warming. I won’t even concede that. Anyone, watch this video and share it. Whoever watches it will be smarter for having seen it.
IFLScience has enough interesting actual science posts that I subscribe to it on Facebook despite the hard Leftism that infuses its worldview. This Leftism is especially apparent when the subject is climate change. IFLScience treats as gospel the fact that human activity is destroying the earth by making it too hot, too cold, too wet, and too dry; as well as increasing and decreasing the number of hurricanes and other extreme weather conditions; and, of course, causing oceans to rise and glaciers to retreat, although none of them in a really noticeable way yet even though we were supposed to be drowning in our homes by now, except that it’s all still super, super bad.
Given IFLScience’s hard-core, doctrinaire Leftism, I was incredibly surprised to see it take a stand on a law in Britain that could stifle scientists, a stand, moreover, that is predicated upon the fact that science is predicated upon constantly testing hypotheses and challenging assumptions:
Science is, by its very nature, objective. It uses data, backed up by demonstrable, empirical evidence, to try and explain as much of life, the universe, and everything as possible.
“Wow!” I thought to myself after reading that splendid opening sentence. The sentence immediately after, though, got me a bit worried:
Yes, it’s tax day, and what better day could there be to talk about all the distressing, expensive, and scary foolishness in the world?
Ripping off taxpayers with climate change craziness. Today has been a “suffer the climate change” day for me, so it’s appropriate to open with a riff about California’s infamous — and incredibly expensive — high-speed train to nowhere. The Independent Institute, a great libertarian think-tank located right here in the Bay Area, has this to say:
California’s “bullet train” is nowhere near completion, but already the high-speed rail system is taking the state’s voters and taxpayers for a ride. The gulf between the glowing promise and the gloomy reality is gargantuan. For this reason, the agency that manages the voter-approved project, which lacks transparency but not arrogance, has just won the California Golden Fleece Award, a prize Independent Institute gives each quarter to a state or local agency, official, or program guilty of egregiously fleecing taxpayers, consumers, and/or businesses.
When voters approved a $9.95 billion bond measure in 2008 to help fund a high-speed bullet train connecting the San Francisco Bay Area with Southern California, they were promised nonstop service from S.F. to L.A. in 2 hours and 40 minutes, at a total cost of $45 billion—all without taxpayer subsidies. Since then the California High-Speed Rail Authority has planned on dropping nonstop service, changing to non-dedicated tracks, and raising the travel time to almost four hours—changes that would cut ridership and revenue while raising total costs, now estimated at $64 billion.
Read more here and do think about subscribing to the Independent Institute’s newsletter.
And while I’m on the subject of climate change. A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that a bunch of kids can continue their climate change lawsuit against the United States government and the Fossil Fuel Industry. If this insanity is not nipped in the bud, the Fossil Fuel Industry will be bankrupted, and all of us will be re-living the wonders of the pre-industrial era, complete with windmill power, Hobbesian mass starvation, and life expectancies in the 30s.
The gift of an “imperfect” child. This segment probably deserves its own post, but I’ll try to pack it in here. I was in a restaurant the other day and saw something one never sees any more in Marin, or anywhere in the Bay Area for that matter: a young child who had clearly been born with Down Syndrome.
There are certainly older people around with Down Syndrome. That the young people are missing isn’t because they’re being cured; it’s because, thanks to amniocentesis testing, they’re being destroyed in utero.
It’s five o’clock and I’m only now sitting down at my computer, which is very unusual for me, because I usually hit my computer first thing in the morning. The reason for the endless delay is that I was assisting someone who couldn’t believe that, despite doing all the right things — solar panels, electric cars, a cold house in the winter and a hot one in the summer, and all of the other lifestyle changes necessary to protect the planet — his electricity bill had skyrocketed. PG&E, rather than being grateful for his sacrifices, saw him as a profit-center.
My single thought this whole dreary day was “I cannot believe how stupid [yes, a harsh word, but a true one] the climate change believers are.”
I actually need very little data to prove this. I don’t need to track NOAA’s history of constantly adjusting data, always in a direction that shows increased heat, nor do I need the articles saying that climate change is causing more hurricane activity, unless it’s causing less hurricane activity; that it’s increasing prostitution even as people will have less sex; or that more heat and more cold result from it, just as more rain and more drought do, never mind that heat and cold and rain and drought are following patterns that have been present for centuries.
That kind of intellectual . . . uh, fluidity, for want of a better word when it comes to the *ahem* results of *cough* the dreaded climate change, is consistent, not with science, but with faith. In faith, the deity is infallible and whatever the outcome is, the deity always intended it. Nothing disproves the deity. Instead, everything, no matter how contradictory, confirms him.
As I said, though, I don’t need to get into complicated details to prove that the climate changistas are dead wrong. Instead, I need to cite to only three facts:
I got an email from PG&E. I’ve made a few changes and interlineations:
A Message from the California Public Utilities Commission
This month* your utility bill will include a credit identified as the “California Climate Credit.” Your household and millions of others throughout the state will receive this credit on your utility bills. [Couldn’t they just lower my taxes — which goes up to 13/3% — and not use my money for Leftist propaganda? Oh, wait! They can’t. The state is broke.]
This payment comes from a California program that is fighting climate change. [Hello! Idiots! The climate has been changing since the earth’s first birthday. PBS’s Nova had a great episode on the Vikings and the announcer didn’t even choke when he noted that part of their ability to colonize Iceland and Greenland was because it was much warmer back then.] Your Climate Credit is designed to help you join in these efforts. You can use the bill savings from your Climate Credit however you choose [at least they’re not mandating how we spend it . . . yet], but you can save even more money by investing the savings in energy-saving home upgrades, including more efficient lights and appliances. You can find more information and receive rebates for these and many other energy-efficient choices for your home at www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org/credit. [I’m going to use it to offset state, federal, and local gasoline taxes, which add $0.61 to the cost of every gallon of gas sold in California.]
The Climate Credit is one of many programs resulting from landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Together, these programs are cutting pollution [good], creating jobs [hah!], and investing in cleaner energy and transportation [with transportation bills benefitting the politicians who passed the Global Warming Solutions Act because they get donations from the unions that benefit from the surprisingly few jobs that are created.]. For more information about climate change science and programs to reduce carbon pollution, visit
With California promoting ideology in emails to consumers, I’d like to quote former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, from The Case For Democracy: The Power Of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny And Terror (2004 hardback edition):
As this election year’s craziness continues, I keep trying to keep myself from getting upset. My mantra is that I should save my energies for things I can change, either directly or through my own small contributions. For everything else, I need to relax and watch the passing spectacle. That’s what this post is all about.
Socialism’s shortages kill people. One of the hallmarks of socialism is shortages, with Venezuela being the latest example. Canada has socialized medicine. (They also have cheap drugs, but that’s because American companies invest in R&D, costs they recoup by passing on to American drug purchasers, while the Canadian government helps supplement drug costs.) That’s why a teenager in Canada who could have had a stem cell transplant died — the donor was available, but the hospital beds weren’t.
Unemployment is a core feature of a centralized economy. The theory behind a centralized (i.e., government managed) economy is that everyone works and everyone benefits. The reality is that the more the government manages the economy through taxes and rewards to cronies, the more it stifles individual initiative — and the result is unemployment. With the Obama economy staggering into its eighth year, one can’t really blame millennials, who have never seen a functioning free market, for thinking that the best they’ll ever get is more government hand-outs, courtesy of Bernie.
The media is trying to ignore Ted Cruz to death, but he’s still the strongest conservative candidate. The media willingly gave Donald Trump free advertising by covering him endlessly. It wasn’t just that he was “so clever” that he played them. They wanted to be played because they believe that, outside of his core 35%, he’s unelectable.
Ted Cruz, on the other hand, is scary. After all, Rush anointed him the closest thing we’ll see to Reagan in our era. Since savaging Cruz hasn’t been working, the media is trying a new tactic: ignoring him. That is, they are deliberately denying the American people a chance to hear from a top-ranking presidential candidate. Gawd, but our media is corrupt.
Still, Ted Cruz plays the long game, and Fox News Latino thinks he’s still got game. Philip Klein also thinks that New Hampshire is anomalous, since it’s kind of like Europe in that even its conservatives are Leftists. Look at the rest of conservative America, and Cruz is still the last conservative candidate standing.
Trump could destroy conservativism in America for decades. I think Charles Krauthammer hits the ball out of the park on this one (not to mention hitting the nail on the head):
The threat to the GOP posed by the Trump insurgency is not that he’s anti-establishment. It’s that he’s not conservative. Trump’s winning the nomination would convulse the Republican party, fracture the conservative movement and undermine the GOP’s identity and role as the country’s conservative party.
There’s nothing wrong with challenging the so-called establishment. Parties, like other institutions, can grow fat and soft and corrupt. If by establishment you mean the careerists, the lobbyists, and the sold-out cynics, a good poke, even a major purge, is well-deserved.
That’s not the problem with Trump. The problem is his, shall we say, eclectic populism. Cruz may be anti-establishment but he’s a principled conservative, while Trump has no coherent political philosophy, no core beliefs, at all. Trump offers barstool eruptions and whatever contradictory “idea” pops into his head at the time, such as “humane” mass deportation, followed by mass amnesty when the immigrants are returned to the United States.
Turning our military into a vast climate change boondoggle. The worst news this week was the announcement that, as Islamic jihad gets more aggressive around the world, climate change will become the military’s top priority. Only old-fashioned war-mongering fascists will cling to the outdated notion that the military’s top priority is defending America against foreign enemies.
A couple of comments. First, I’ve already seen this pivot to climate change in action during Fleet Week in San Francisco. The Navy ships I’ve visited, rather than boasting about their military capacity, boast about their carbon footprint (or lack thereof).
Second, this will turn the military budget into the greatest, and most corrupt, slush fund ever in the history of American government. The only good thing will be that, once the military is a giant green machine that can’t fight, but does use little batteries to power its tanks, we’ll stop hearing from inane Leftists horrified by the thought that their children, who enjoy the benefits of a nation under the protection of the greatest military in the world (and one, moreover, subject to constitutional control), might actually view our military as a blessing, rather than a curse.
A primer for those who need to be reminded why Hillary should be incarcerated, not inaugurated. Deroy Murdock has a knack for political parables. Using the example of the “Foggy Bottom Department Store,” he makes it clear just how heinous Hillary’s conduct has been in connection with her egregious national security violations.
And a primer on foreign trade and capitalism. Larry Elder has a truly brilliant piece about the benefits that flow to America from low tariffs and foreign trade — benefits that are very real even when it seems that American jobs are going away. I urge you to read it. (This is a different issue, of course, from the Democrats and Chamber of Commerce types manipulating and violating American law to ship in cheap labor at the expense of American citizens.)
One of the things I like about Ted Cruz is the long list of people who hate him. You can know a man by his friends and by his enemies. Strong conservatives respect Ted Cruz; RINOs (and RINO’s are the majority of “Republicans” in Congress) hate and fear him. That works for me. Spengler, aka David P. Goldman, has more to say about Cruz’s well-earned Iowa victory (it was a brilliant ground game, not cheating) and about Cruz’s rejection of the Washington establishment and embrace of ordinary conservatives — core conservatives — across America.
Yet another government lie. Is everything we think we know about the cost of living data false? And worse, is the actual cost of living increase we’re facing in the double digits in many cities? The Chapman Index says we’re the victims of a sustained lie hiding how much less our money buys. In other words, inflation is much worse than you realize.
Rank and file Marines horrified by Obama orders. Actual Marines, not people who just pretend to be military experts for the sake of advancing the Obama administrations social re-engineering goals, are appalled by the demand that the Marines feminize everything, including the word “rifleman.” Incidentally, I found this link on the Facebook feed of a young Marine friend who raised in Progressive Marin. He noted that nothing can re-engineer the fact that, at a basic biological level, women aren’t as strong as men — and no amount of gender illusions will change that reality.
Conservative voters like Cruz. GOP establishment figures have always hated Ted Cruz, which I think is because he’s made them look like what they are — liars who told the voters one thing and then voted with Obama on just about everything. Now that the Republican primary is narrowing, the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” appears to be coming into play, and the GOP is starting to line up behind Trump (who has, like the GOP itself, a distinguished RINO record on many issues). It’s worth remembering, therefore, that ordinary people — voters, not players — like Cruz.
Thomas Sowell on elections. Elections aren’t about revenge or anger or “making a statement.” Instead, as Sowell says, “They are held to choose who shall hold in their hands the fate of hundreds of millions of Americans today and of generations yet unborn.” My brain is always a better and smarter place after reading Thomas Sowell. I wish more Americans, especially young Americans, would read him. Sadly, it turns out that, thanks to 50 years of Leftist control over education, too many of America’s so-called best and brightest are a terribly ignorant group of people who know nothing about America’s history, constitution, or political structure. (H/T Sadie)
Happy New Year! Okay, it’s not quite the new year, but I hope to usher it in for you with a lengthy and satisfying list of things to read as you see in 2016. Because I have so many things to share, I’ll strive for brevity, but I make no promises in that regard:
It’s going to get worse before it gets better — the foreign policy edition
The astute Lee Smith is not sanguine about 2016, at least not when it comes to America’s foreign policy. He warns that Obama Unbound will mean things will get a lot worse overseas, especially in the Middle East. The thing is, Obama’s not even pretending anymore. He’s just acting out his agenda here and now, which is to withdraw America entirely from the Middle East, once he’s successfully marginalized the Sunni powers, strengthened Iran’s reach, and weakened Israel.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better — the Second Amendment edition
Obama is planning to use his executive powers to limit American’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms. You might want to start writing checks immediately to your favorite Second Amendment group to make sure to stop that plan in its tracks.
And no, I don’t want Congress involved. Rather than asserting the Second Amendment, the Republicans in Congress will enact some stupid law that theoretically stops Obama but, in fact, makes it appear that Obama actually has the power to limit the Second Amendment. Congress doesn’t need no stinkin’ law to assert the Second Amendment — and Obama doesn’t have any actual power to block it.
For an exceptionally lucid explanation of the unalienable self-defense principle underlying the Second Amendment, I recommend Charles C.W. Cooke’s article explaining precisely why sane people want a firearm — and why it’s been a hallmark of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence for centuries:
To peruse the explanatory strictures of the Founders’ era is to discover just how seriously the right to protect oneself was taken in the early Anglo-American world. Writing in his 1768 Commentaries on the Laws of England, the great jurist William Blackstone contended that “self-defence” was “justly called the primary law of nature” and confirmed the Lockean contention that it could not be “taken away by the law of society.” In most instances, Blackstone observed, injuries inflicted by one citizen on another could wait to be mediated by the “future process of law.” But if those “injuries [are] accompanied with force . . . it is impossible to say, to what wanton lengths of rapine or cruelty outrages of this sort might be carried, unless it were permitted a man immediately to oppose one violence with another.”
When it comes to un-American, nothing beats Progressives trying to shelter a bad idea: