Category: Heartland

Defending Tom Farr from Baseless Smears

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Six days ago, on December 7th, The Wall Street Journal published a letter to the editor from U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) explaining Senator Scott’s decision to break ranks with all of his Republican colleagues (except for Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), who has decided to vote against all further judicial confirmations in his waning lameduck days in the Senate) and to vote against the confirmation of Thomas A. Farr to be a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Without the votes of Senator Scott and Senator Flake, the Farr nomination would be defeated on a straight party-line vote;  it wouldn’t even result in a tie that Vice President Pence, sitting in the chair, could break.

Senator Scott has succumbed to a disinformation campaign against Mr. Farr that attempts to paint him as a racist.  The charges are entirely false and fabricated, but those who peddle the calumny are armed with a 54-page internal memorandum produced in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1991 in which Mr. Farr’s name is mentioned.   That memorandum addressed allegations that the successful 1990 Senate re-election campaign of the late Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina), who was re-elected again in 1996 and who retired in 2003, attempted to use unlawful means to turn African-American voters away from the polls.  There is plenty in the memorandum that is inflammatory.

But the truth is that the memorandum exonerates Tom Farr.

To know that, however, one must actually read the document, and not just rely on Chuck Schumer’s prevaricative summary of it.  Of the document’s 54 pages, Mr. Farr’s name appears on only four.  Here are the material facts:

On p. 12 (buried in footnote 7) it states, “…Farr did not play an active role in the 1990 Helms campaign….”  Rather, he was a lawyer, advising and representing clients.  At p. 13 the memo shows clearly that Mr. Farr’s advice to his clients was aimed at avoiding election fraud — a proper purpose — and that he counseled them to rely on institutional safeguards that had not existed in prior years when campaigns might themselves have had to take anti-fraud measures.  Finally, on the same page the memo reported that Mr. Farr’s advice to his clients was precisely not to proceed with the project that Justice eventually investigated.  In short, the Justice Department memo shows that Mr. Farr did not engineer the supposedly racist stratagem;  to the contrary, he advised against it.

You can read the memorandum for yourself, here.

Tom was and is a conservative and was a friend and supporter of, and a lawyer for, Jesse Helms.  But Tom is not a bigot, and he is a lawyer who takes law seriously.  When some Helms operatives dreamed up a goofy plan to try to prevent voters (thought, because they were African-American, to be hostile to Senator Helms), from voting, Tom Farr stood up and told them not to do it.  They didn’t listen to him, it seems.  That was not his fault.

Isn’t a lawyer who is conscientious and brave enough to tell his clients to their faces that what they contemplate is wrong precisely the kind of person whom we would want to have on the Federal bench?

Allegations of racism are among the most devastating charges that anyone in our society, let alone public figures, must answer.  When those charges are false, and are manufactured purely for partisan political advantage, they are truly invidious.

In the case of Tom Farr they are utterly fabricated.  I know this first-hand.  I have known Mr. Farr for almost all his professional life.  I was among his first bosses when, more than 35 years ago, as the General Counsel of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — the agency that runs the federal civil service — I hired him away from the Senate’s staff to be one of my assistants.  I saw him work with government colleagues of all races, ethnicities, religions, and sexes.  I observed him handle cases involving people with characteristics of all kinds.  He treated everyone with fairness, kindness, and professionalism, just as one would hope an able and honest public servant would do.

Mr. Farr is a learned, thoughtful, and even-tempered man.  He has been an extremely accomplished and successful lawyer in public and private practice.  The virtues of humility, loyalty, prudence, and recourse to reason over emotion come naturally to him, and always have. He has courageously done his duty in representing his clients — even controversial ones.  His private life has been exemplary;  when sad circumstances left him a single father, he dutifully, joyfully, and successfully reared his children on his own from small childhood to adulthood.   By learning, ability, and temperament he would make a splendid judge, as the American Bar Association has recognized in twice giving him “highly-qualified” ratings.

What the Democrats and the left are doing in this instance is truly vicious, but it is highly calculated.  Tom Farr’s life, his work, and his conduct in the very episode being used against him, are proofs that conservatism does not equate to racism or bigotry.  Here is a high-profile conservative lawyer who really does advocate the protection of constitutional rights for everybody.  That runs counter to leftist stereotypes and, from the point of view of the opposition, such a truth cannot be allowed to stand.  By their lights Tom Farr must be smeared.

Senator Tim Scott is a conservative, a Republican, and an African-American.  He ought to understand all this.  He breaks the stereotypes, too, and the practitioners of identity politics have tried mightily to smear him over and over again.  Senator Scott ought to be a champion, not an opponent, of Tom Farr’s nomination.

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal published my letter in reply to Senator Scott.  You will find it linked here and set forth below.

I hope it helps persuade Senator Scott to reverse course and to vote to confirm Tom Farr.  If you or anyone you know can credibly get that message to Senator Scott, now is the time to do it.

In his letter (Dec. 7) on the nomination of Thomas Farr to the federal bench, Sen. Tim Scott is right on principle but wrong on the facts regarding Mr. Farr.

 

The case against Mr. Farr begins and ends with a June 19, 1991 Justice Department memo about claims of racism in Jesse Helms’s 1990 Senate campaign. That’s the document that Mr. Farr’s partisan opponents insist shows he’s a bigot, scheming with the Helms campaign to suppress African-American votes.

 

But the memo actually exonerates him. It states, “Farr did not play an active role in the 1990 Helms campaign.” Rather, he was a lawyer, advising and representing clients. The memo shows clearly that Mr. Farr’s advice to his clients was aimed at avoiding election fraud—a proper purpose—and that he counseled them to rely on institutional safeguards.

 

The memo reported that Mr. Farr’s advice to his clients was precisely not to proceed with the project that Justice eventually investigated. In short, the Justice Department memo shows that Mr. Farr did not engineer the supposedly racist stratagem; to the contrary, he advised against it.

 

In the case of Tom Farr the charges are entirely fabricated. I know this firsthand. I have known Mr. Farr for almost all his professional life.

 

The fabrication of false charges against judicial nominees must not be rewarded. Sen. Scott urges us “not to seek to sow the seeds of discord, but rather embrace the power of unity.” If Sen. Scott truly wants to move our country in that direction, a vote in favor of the nomination of Tom Farr would be a good first step.

 

Joseph A. Morris
Chicago

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With Socialism Growing, What Are Our Chances of Making America Great Again?

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It has become increasingly difficult to believe that the nation the Founders envisioned will even be remotely recognizable in a couple of decades down the road.

Even today, when you realize that so many of those elected to defend our constitution and our borders don’t care to defend either, and that even after eight years of Barack Obama’s spineless administration, the voters handed control of the House back to the Democrats, you begin to realize that the ignorance of the American voter and changing demographics both argue against a restoration of anything close to the ideal.

This isn’t to say that things were ever perfect in this nation. We have been bedeviled by slavery, Jim Crow laws and the usual corruption of our ruling class. But today you can add to the list the federal support of Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill made sacrosanct by Congress; the largest market in the world for heroin, cocaine, meth and fentanyl, with voters constantly deciding to legalize the use and sale of marijuana; gender-confusion; same-sex marriages; an eroding education system; and a nation-wide propaganda network devoted to promoting Socialism, all the while pretending to be objective dispensers of news, due all the protections of the 1st Amendment.

Liberals have a convenient way of forgetting what they don’t wish to remember, such as FDR aligning himself with Joseph Stalin in the 1940s and Barack Obama prostrating himself before Saudi King Abdullah, not to mention vowing to be increasingly flexible in his dealings with Russia after the 2012 election.

Likewise difficult to comprehend is how this nation’s crop of snowflake college students share DNA with the guys who gave their all in places like Iwo Jima, Tarawa and Guadalcanal, while their great grandparents were fighting and dying in the trenches of World War I, and their grandparents were laying down their lives to protect western civilization from the Nazis.  Now many of the young are lining up behind the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  They are in for everything and anything so long as it’s free.  The only item they seem ready, even eager, to forego is freedom.

As for Ocasio-Cortez, as the newest Democrat Congresswoman elected in the State of New York representing the Bronx and Queens, she is a hardcore communist, a Bernie aficionado, and like Bernie is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Many see her, along with socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as carrying the mantle for a renewed socialist trend in the United States among millennials. Indeed, socialism enjoys stronger support among millennials than any other generation today.

Why the growing popularity of Socialism among young people? 

Often attributed to Karl Marx: “Keep people from their history and they are easily controlled.”  How true!

A whole generation has grown up for whom the Soviet Union is just a distant historical memory. They don’t have a personal memory of when the Soviet Union came crashing down in 1991 — dramatic proof that its socialist system was a dismal failure — because they have never been taught about the history of Socialism in order to feel national pride over the fact that, in contrast, the free economy of the United States had succeeded in producing the highest standard of living and greatest material wealth in world history.

This video, “When You’re A Commie, Work For The State, And Always First In Line For Bread”, demonstrates how the Socialist/Communist ideology is being taught to students.

Of great concern is a survey conducted for the Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness which shows how younger Americans are turning on the country and forgetting its ideas.  Nearly half believe this nation isn’t “great”, and many see the U.S. flag as “a sign of intolerance and hatred.” They also believe that former President Barack Obama had a “bigger impact” on the United States than the father of the country and leader of the Revolutionary War, former President George Washington

The young have been brainwashed into thinking that Socialism is Utopia, but what about older Americans?   Do most Americans even realize this nation is well on its way to becoming a socialist country, and that its transformation will continue with little push back if Democrats have their way in January.

Socialism and our nation

Many Democrats in Congress are becoming more open about their socialist inclinations although they still lie about socialism’s ability to make the world a better place.  In an interview in New York Magazine, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio pined for government control over everyone’s property –their homes, their businesses, everything, saying, “I think there’s a socialistic impulse … if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed.”

There is a definite Socialist impulse in this nation which require centralized power to wield power over others.  Democracy, however, is an obstacle because its freedoms must be suppressed for socialism to thrive.  Because Socialism and freedom cannot be combined, the Democrat Socialism that is now thriving here in the U.S. poses a grave threat to our freedoms.  Frightening is that some of the changes taking place are more akin to fascism than socialism!

One very important aspect brought about by the advance of collectivism in this nation are the changes in the national character and moral climate associated with the Anglo-Saxons virtues on which Americans were generally recognized to excel. These virtues include independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.  All are being destroyed due to the progress of collectivism and its centralist tendencies.

Although education is best controlled when it is in the hands of locals, responsive to the wishes of the parents and the community, it has been centralized with the Common Core curriculum.  Spouting leftist propaganda, it fails to prepare students to exercise his proper share of control over his government.

Love of Family, Friends, and God are blessing that have no basis in materialism and are all parts of America’s heritage that bring satisfaction and happiness.  These blessing are being eroded as more and more people become dependent on a centralized government as their nanny and provider.

The accepted standards of justice should be through laws which have been formulated through hundreds of years of man’s struggle to find a livable code.  Judges in our system are sworn to live up to this law and not to impose their own arbitrary standards of judgment.  Instead of a government with laws, our nation is becoming a government of men, where there is not equal justice under the law.  Democrats are given a free pass, while Republicans are prosecuted for crimes that are often manufactured.

A nation must be composed of citizens who are free to think for themselves and can voice their opinions without being silenced.  Once more a double standard exists where Democrats decide what terms are proper to use and what speech and thought are acceptable to be heard.

As to U.N. dictates, President Trump has refused to sign on to two  U.N. Socialist generated scheme for world control that would impact negatively upon this nation: the Paris Climate Accord and the  United Nations Global Compact for Migration.  As to the controversial United Nations agreement aiming to accelerate mass immigration into the West, governments across Europe are refusing to join.  The president of France, in trying to conform to the Paris Climate Accords, had to retreat from his plan to raise already steep taxes on diesel fuel needed to curb climate change by weaning motorists off petroleum products because of violent protests.

What lies ahead?

The ideal state for Democratic socialists, who like their counterparts in Europe are also globalists, is a one world government whose rules are set by the dictates of the U.N. Accordingly, Ocasio-Cortez has proposed what she calls a “Green New Deal,” requiring “the investment of trillions of dollars,” to transition the United States to a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2035. In Europe, which is much further down the road to energy socialism than most of the United States, thousands of people die in winter due to a lack of reliable heat, and during the summer from not having access to reliable air conditioning. These are third-world energy problems brought on by increasing government control over the energy system

Likewise be aware of a “Medicare for All” plan being pushed by Senator Bernie Sanders and endorsed by a host of Democratic Socialist congressional and presidential hopefuls, includes Ocasio-Cortez.  A study by the George Mason University Mercatus Center claims Medicare-for-All would cost $32.6 trillion in government spending over 10 years.  Mere pennies!

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty

Socialism, faithfully implemented, could cripple our nation’s peace and prosperity. You don’t even have to look back to the Soviet Union to see this. Venezuela is just the latest tragic example of socialism’s devastation.

For years Democrats have said this nation should be more like Europe, but socialist Europe is failing. The proposed socialist agenda of Nancy Pelosi’s US House would be disastrous for this nation.

For all its high-minded fairness socialism doesn’t work, but do American citizens no longer care?  It’s not just a castle in the air — it’s the promise of a palace that is really built on quicksand.  What we must remember is that America is not immune.  As President Ronald Reagan famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.”

Disclaimer:  There are many establishment Republicans who on many issues have forgotten what their party stands for, choosing instead to follow Democrats down the path to Socialism which is not compatible with our Constitution. These Republicans are just as dangerous as their Democratic Socialist counterparts in trying to stifle Trump’s goal to enact policies designed to Make America Great Again, in contrast to their globalist, world-view aspirations.

[Originally Published at Illinois Review]

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In The Tank (ep169) – Taxing Millennials, FDA’s Deadly Overcaution, the Academic Left

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Donny Kendal and John Nothdurft bring you episode #169 of the In The Tank Podcast. This weekly podcast features (as always) interviews, debates, and roundtable discussions that explore the work of think tanks across the country. The show is available for download as part of the Heartland Daily Podcast every Friday. Today’s episode features work from the Goldwater Institute, and the Foundation for Economic Education.

Donny and John start of the shop with a few short segments. First Donny starts off with an update on the riots in France. Mirroring the event that led to the French riots, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a $0.30 gas tax increase of his own. Sparking a larger conversation about taxing Millennials, John and Donny also talk about a proposed California tax on text messaging.
Tax Foundation – State Gasoline Rates in 2017

In the first real segment of the show, Donny and John talk about a report from the Goldwater Institute titled “Studied to Death: FDA Overcaution Brings Deadly Consequences.” The report tells of how the FDA approval process for new drugs is broken. In an effort to maximize safety in the process, the encumbering bureaucracy has led to an “invisible graveyard” filled with people who could have been helped.

In the final segment, Donny and John talk about an article from the Foundation for Economic Education titled “Why Most Academics Tilt Left.” John and Donny reflect on their experiences in this regard and explain why it is detrimental to conservative students and liberal ones.

[Please subscribe to the Heartland Daily Podcast for free on iTunes at this link.]

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Colorado Energy Company Xcel Goes Crazy Green

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Awhile back, I wrote an article about how the radical Colorado Energy Plan is actually designed to serve the gigantic Colorado utility company Xcel – not Colorado families and businesses – by beefing up Xcel’s asset base … and bottom line … with $2.5 billion worth of new generating capacity.

The kicker is that the Plan substitutes expensive, unreliable wind power for affordable, reliable coal-generated electricity, and thus is really part of a clever corporate strategy designed by Xcel.

Xcel’s plan was to get past 50% renewable. But now it has doubled down on that. The company just announced that it plans to become 100% “emissions free” by 2050. Xcel serves eight states from Colorado to Michigan, so a lot of people should be grabbing their wallets at this point.

Of course this is all based on the bogus “dangerous manmade climate change” scare, but Xcel stands to make huge profits from it. Being a regulated utility, the more it spends, the more it makes (and the more its customers pay) – while the utility gets to strut its supposed ecological virtues.

Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO, Xcel Energy puts it this way: “We’re accelerating our carbon reduction goals because we’re encouraged by advances in technology, motivated by customers who are asking for it, and committed to working with partners to make it happen.

I doubt the customers asking for it have any idea what it will cost them.

The Greens love it, of course. Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund, says it is all about “carbon dioxide pollution,” which is a hoax. Here is Krupp’s claim:

“Ambitious efforts to slash carbon dioxide pollution are urgently needed. Xcel Energy’s vision will help speed the day when the United States eliminates all such pollution from its power sector, which is necessary to seize the environmental and economic opportunity of powering cars, trucks, homes and businesses with cost-effective, zero-emitting electricity.”

Keep in mind, this “carbon dioxide pollution” is what you exhale every time you breathe. It’s what animals exhale. It’s what plants inhale – and the more carbon dioxide (CO2) there is in the air, the faster and better crop, forest and grassland plants grow, using less water in the process.

Colorado’s radical green Governor-elect Jared Polis is politically ecstatic, saying: “When I launched my campaign back in 2017, we had a bold agenda for our state – to get to 100% renewable by 2040. Xcel Energy’s exciting announcement today, along with the strong climate goals communities like Pueblo, Summit County, Ft. Collins, Denver and others across the state have embraced, shows we are leading the way forward right here in Colorado –  by committing to a renewable and clean energy future.”

Polis and the others are deeply mistaken in thinking Xcel means 100% renewables. That is actually impossible, because wind and solar generation are highly intermittent, as I explain here. Xcel knows this too, but hides it with the following vague statements:

Achieving the long-term vision of zero-carbon electricity requires technologies that are not cost effective or commercially available today. That is why Xcel Energy is committed to ongoing work to develop advanced technologies while putting the necessary policies in place to achieve this transition.” (Emphasis added)

Zero emissions and 100% renewables are two very different things, as I explain here in my article “100% Renewable Deception.” In fact, Xcel is planning to use enormous numbers of batteries, plus fossil-fuel generation with carbon (CO2) capture and storage. That is, both chemical and carbon-based energy.

In particular, fossil fueled generation with carbon capture and storage (CCS) means immensely more fossil fuels must be used to create and operate all of this hi-tech and largely unproven technology. And that means hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars in additional costs for Colorado businesses and families. All to capture and store the trace gas (0.04% or 400 parts per million of Earth’s atmosphere) that we exhale.

Note too that the supposed battery and carbon-capture-and-storage technologies do not even exist in usable form. How then does Xcel know they will be cost effective? Clearly they cannot know this. I have seen no hint of an engineering plan or cost estimate for bringing this scheme off – and doubt one exists.

Increased reliance on intermittent, weather-dependent wind power also increases grid instability and the likelihood of blackouts, brownouts and rolling outages. Customers more and more often get power when it’s available, instead of when they need it.

Also keep in mind that “emissions free” really means no emissions from electricity sources located in Colorado. The misleading claim completely ignores the massive emissions elsewhere in the world – of very real pollution, as well as emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide – in the process of mining and processing the enormous amounts of metals, hydrocarbons and other materials required to make those turbines, manufacturing the 600-foot-tall windmills, transporting and installing them, and so on.

Enormous amounts of metals and other materials are also needed for the backup fossil fuel power plants, CCS equipment, extra-long transmission lines – or massive battery arrays, if Xcel decides it’s going to use “clean, green” batteries instead of coal- or gas-fired backup power plants. Those backup systems, by the way, actually do 70-85% of the electricity generation, because the wind turbines only work 15-30% of the time. And it all impacts millions of acres of once pristine land, in Colorado and elsewhere.

One more important point, while we’re on the topic of corporate ethics and environmental virtue: A lot of those metals and minerals – especially the rare earths, lithium, cobalt, cadmium and other specialty items required in all this high-tech equipment – come from China, Mongolia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other faraway, out-of-sight-and-mind places. Places where child labor is common, and health, safety and environmental standards are all but non-existent.

You could think of them as the renewable energy equivalent of “Blood Diamonds,” like the ones Leonardo DiCaprio dislikes so intensely that he made a movie about them – when he wasn’t driving his heavily subsidized Tesla, which also uses extensive “blood battery” technology.

(Xcel and its lawyers and environmental and political friends didn’t mention any of that? That’s really surprising, considering how often they emphasize their ethics and planet-saving virtues.)

A lot of people who buy into the climate scare invest on the basis of “greenness.” Given that Xcel is a publicly traded, stockholder owned corporation, one wonders if this “we are the greenest in the land” hype – or any of the lofty but specific promises Xcel has been making – amount to securities fraud.

Perhaps this potential fraud is something the SEC and FTC should look into.

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How Global Organizations Warp The Globe

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I’m not a globalist.  I’m a nationalist.  Why?

Because I can only live in one nation at a time.  And I’d like the leaders of that nation to do what’s best for that nation.  Because I’m living in it.  And they’re (allegedly) representing it.

I live in America.  I vote in American elections.  To elect American representatives – to represent America.

I know a great many of these elected officials are clowns.  But I’d at the very least like these America-elected clowns – to not subjugate America’s interests to other nations.

Or multinational organizations.  Because the history of multinational organizations – is almost always to look to subjugate America.  And sanity.  And Reality.

We are currently witnessing a bit of this nonsense at the United Nations (UN).

UN Rejects US-Drafted Resolution to Condemn Hamas

“Who is Hamas?” – you may ask?

Hamas: We are Not Terrorists; We Just Want to Destroy Israel

They sound nice.

The US State Department designated Hamas a(n Islamist) terrorist organization – in 1997.

Israel is the only representative republic in the Middle East – and thus far-and-away our greatest ally there.

Israel in 2005 gave the Gaza Strip to the Arabs.  Gaza Arabs immediately elected as their new representatives…Hamas.

Since, tens (hundreds?) of thousands of rockets have been launched by Arabs from Gaza at Israel.  Including this little fusillade in November:

How Long Will It Last? Israel Accepts Ceasefire After Hamas Fires 450+ Rockets

Which led to our attempt to get the globalist UN to condemn Hamas.  Which the UN couldn’t bring itself to do.

What the UN can bring itself to do – is really anti-Reality and anti-Israel:

“UN Human Rights Council: From its creation in June 2006 through June 2016, the UN Human Rights Council over one decade adopted 135 resolutions criticizing countries; 68 out of those 135 resolutions have been against Israel (more than 50%)….

“UN Nations General Assembly: From 2012 through 2015, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted 97 resolutions criticizing countries; 83 out of those 97 have been against Israel (86%).”

But the UN can’t cough up ONE resolution against decades-old terrorist outfit Hamas.

Oh – and the UN is also virulently anti-US as well.  Get this from 2015:

UN Issues Scathing Assessment of US Human Rights Record

Who in 2015 were some of the human-rights-champion nations on the UN Human Rights Council?:

Botswana.  Congo.  Ghana.  Nigeria.  Bangladesh.  And Indonesia.

Those human rights blackholes.  And the rest of the planet – using the UN to condemn US…on human rights.

Again – ask me why I’m not a globalist.

Look, I get the human nature behind the nations of the world not liking US.

Life is high school on steroids.

The US – has been the world’s greatest nation for at least seventy years.  Which coincides with the UNs inception.  The US – is the quarterback of the football team.  Who’s dating the head cheerleader.

If you don’t think that generates jealous animosity amongst the rest of the students – I mean nations – you aren’t a very astute observer.

The UN – is the world taking stupid, cheap shots at US.  And our interests.

Is the UN the only royally screwed up multinational globalist entity?  Heavens no.

Behold the World Trade Organization (WTO).

As we know, now-President Donald Trump has for decades decried the unfair-to-the-US trade practices of…just about every other nation on the planet.  These anti-US trade practices – have oft been defended and ensconced by the oft-ridiculous WTO.

Is the WTO Unfair to the United States?:

“The United States is sued more often than any other WTO member. Since it was set up in 1995, members have filed 150 complaints targeting U.S. policies 78 percent more than there have been against the European Union and more than triple those against China….

“‘When the United States is a respondent it has lost on 89 percent of adjudicated issues.’”

That sounds fair.

President Trump – appears to have had enough.

Trump Suggests Ignoring World Trade Organization in Major Policy Shift:

“The Trump administration on Wednesday announced a sharp break from U.S. trade policy, vowing it may ignore certain rulings by the World Trade Organization if those decisions infringe on U.S. sovereignty.”

Trump Is Close To Shutting Down The WTO’s Appeals Court:

“Dennis Shea, the U.S. ambassador to the WTO, said in a speech in May that the Appellate Body had become a rogue organization that routinely breaks the rules under which it is supposed to operate.”

To give you but one egregious example of how ridiculous the WTO can be:

Brazil Launches Trade Dispute against China over Sugar – WTO

“In fact, Brazil LOVES filing silly trade disputes at the WTO over sugar.

W.T.O. Rules for Brazil in Sugar Dispute

EU Sugar Dispute: WTO Appellate Body Confirms Brazil’s Win

Brazil Files a WTO Dispute Against Thailand’s Sugar Regime

Brazil, Australia to Fight Any Indian Sugar Export Subsidy

“Why are they silly?  Why are all of these nations at sugar trade war with Brazil?

“Because Brazil massively subsidizes its sugar – to the tune of more than $4 billion per year.

“Which has rendered the global trade market – utterly warped.  There are more than 100 sugar trading nations – yet Brazil all by its onesies controls half the market.

“Brazil’s massive subsidies – have strip mined any hope of anyone else competing against them.

“How does subsidy-bloated Brazil file WTO case after WTO – while escaping a very obvious reciprocal fate?

“Because the WTO has long classified Brazil as a ‘developing’ nation.

“Which means they can subsidize they daylight out of their sugar – and with it eviscerate the global market – with WTO impunity.  Because the WTO says Brazil is ‘developing.’

“You would think controlling half of a major global market – dominating over 100 competitors – would deem Brazil…beyond developing.  But no.

“Perhaps this helps Brazil keep the designation:

Roberto Azevedo’s WTO Appointment Gives Brazil a Seat at the Top Table:

“‘(T)he World Trade Organisation (WTO) announced that it had chosen the Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, 55, as its next director general.’

“That was in May 2013.  Azevedo is today STILL director general.

“I simply can not fathom how Brazil has maintained its ‘developing’ designation – all the long while dominating the global sugar market with its massive, WTO-scrutiny-free subsidies.”

All this being said – there is a glimmer of WTO hope:

“Dan Ikenson, director of Cato’s Center for Trade Policy Studies, reviewed WTO trade disputes for a twenty year period. He found that the U.S. prevailed in 90 percent of cases that it brought against other countries.”

So if we initiate – we often win.

The Trump Administration should absolutely initiate a challenge to Brazil’s ridiculous “developing nation” designation.

Once Brazil is no longer a “developing nation” – we can then challenge their ridiculous, world-market-warping $4-billion-per-year in subsidies.  As the massive unfair advantage it obviously is.

These would be very important steps toward leveling the global trade playing field.

Not just for US – but for more than 100 nations currently getting screwed by Brazil.

Which is right in line with what President Trump has for decades said about trade.

He doesn’t want unfair advantages for the US – or anyone.

He simply wants fair trade – for everyone.

[Originally Published at RedState]

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Heartland on the Air: Edward Hudgins Discusses Post Office Reform on the Ross Kaminsky Show

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https://www.iheart.com/video/play/?embed=true&autoStart=false&reid=new_assets%2F5c0e89732f0c8f4ac94bb966&useFullScreen=true
On December 10, Research Director Edward Hudgins was a guest on The Ross Kaminsky Show on iHeartRadio to discuss the recent proposed reforms to the United States Postal Service. A report titled “United States Postal Service: A Sustainable Path Forward” was sent out last week, looking into how Amazon and other companies use and supposedly abuse the service. As Hudgins explains:

The big success story in this country in the last couple of decades has been e-commerce … the idea of ‘let’s go after one of the great success stories’ in this country is kind of nuts.

For further information, check out a recent press release by The Heartland Institute on the subject.

 

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Trump was Right About “Raking” Finnish Forests

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President Donald Trump was recently ridiculed for telling California Governor Jerry Brown that the Golden State should do as my country does. Trump critics laughed at what some called his “bizarre” claim that foresters in Finland “rake” areas that have been thinned or clear-cut, to remove leaves and other debris that could otherwise start conflagrations like the recent tragic fires in California.

The Washington Post spread similar misinformation. The Los Angeles Times carried an article by Finnish “green” journalist Anu Partanen. “Finland to President Trump: We don’t rake the forest floor, but we do other things you should emulate,” the headline read. Late night talk show hosts had more fun at the President’s expense.

Ironically, all this happened at just about the time that Finland’s own forest specialists declared that Mr. Trump was correct about what he told Governor Brown. The foresters disseminated that information widely to the Finnish media and public.

As a result, much of Finland’s mainstream news media began ridiculing Finns who posted photos of garden rakes with the hashtag #RakingAmericaGreatAgain. Now the media are saying the self-styled comic activists were wrong to laugh at the President.

Of course, that too is ironic, since many of that same, very green Finnish mainstream media had actively questioned and ridiculed Mr. Trump just days earlier.

Back in America, not surprisingly, the exoneration story has been largely ignored. The media, pundits and late-night comedians had already made up their minds, don’t want to be confused by the facts – and don’t want their audiences confused by facts, either. Here’s the rest of the story: the missing facts, anyway.

One of the most pressing ecological problems today is preservationist forestry principles. This ideological approach prevents harvesting mature (or even any) trees, thinning out dense stands of timber to remove excess biomass (and thus allowing remaining trees to grow better, faster, thicker and taller), or even removing dense underbrush. This leads to an over-accumulation of biomass in trees and on forest floors. It makes forests vulnerable to raging and fast moving forest fires, especially during dry seasons, even more so when winds are blowing.

If these policies are accompanied by active suppression of forest fires over long periods of time – or by policies of not dousing “natural” fires until they become really big and dangerous – any ignition can lead to catastrophic events that cause tragic loss of property and human lives.

The “confusion” over what President Trump said unfortunately came initially from the Finnish side, as even our media thought “raking” meant only light removal of leaves, pine cones and other debris from forest floors. Even Finnish president Sauli Niinistö did not understand that the practice really involves “raking” with heavy machinery that removes extensive amounts of combustible material. Mr. Niinistö simply told Mr. Trump he could rely on advice from Finland to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

In Finland, after clear-cutting a forest area, crews use heavy machinery (similar to what is used in this video) to “rake” or gather tree harvesting residues, tree roots and other material into huge piles. The biomass is then chipped onsite after it has dried up sufficiently, and chips are hauled to local heat-producing plants to generate warmth for local residents.

In addition, throughout the clear-cut area, crews heavily till the soil so that a fire cannot move easily into or through the clear-cut area. This harvesting policy is motivated by the idea that clear-cutting mimics wildfires in pristine forests. Wildfires start a new succession: a new generation of trees in forests. Cutting does too, but without destroying soils and soil organisms the way raging fires do.

When the new succession has started in the previously clear-cut forest, Finnish law requires thinning operations around the best remaining trees, and accumulating biomass is again removed from time to time from these young forests. This again lessens the probability of uncontrolled wild fires, while allowing the strongest, healthiest trees to grow more fully in less confined spaces and with improved access to water, sunlight and nutrients.

There was some sense in Washington Post writer Rick Noack’s suggestion that forest roads can help prevent fires from spreading. They help fire brigades gain rapid access to fires before they get too big to control. They also provide open areas (“fire breaks”) that stop fires at their perimeters, if the fires aren’t too big.

Finland is about the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined. It has an extensive forest road network (120 thousand kilometers, or 75,000 miles!) – and significantly more trees than 100 years ago, despite clear-cutting being at the center of our wood harvesting policy.

However, Mr. Noack also said, “The forest service in Finland does carry out controlled burns of the forest floor, mostly to clear away underbrush and also promote new saplings.” This is misleading, because it makes controlled burns seem more important than they actually are.

As a recent Finnish morning television program pointed out, the yearly acreage of controlled forest fires is only 200-300 hectares (500-750 acres), which is next to nothing. Moreover, these controlled burns are apparently performed on state lands only to symbolically please environmentalists.

Finland’s last “large” forest fire took place in 1997. It burned 250 hectares (625 acres) of forest in Southern Finland – a tiny fraction of what many U.S. fires burn every year.

The catastrophic fires seen in California and elsewhere are not due to climate change – natural or manmade – although warmer, drier, windier weather can certainly be a major contributing factor. The important point is that foresters must adapt to both weather and climate change, and revise past practices that are now known to cause serious problems. They must manage forests better, more scientifically and more responsibly, with special attention to areas where large populations of people reside.

Governments could also implement new standards for homes built in or near forests. Homes should have fire-resistant roofs and walls, and people should be required to keep brush and debris from accumulating.

Governor Brown and others seem to cite climate change as a way to absolve them of responsibility for ideological or incompetent decisions that help create or perpetuate conditions that spawn horrific, deadly infernos. This must not continue.

One final point regarding climate change. Finland’s official forest studies estimate that climate change (warmer temperatures and more atmospheric carbon dioxide) will help increase annual timber growth from the current 102 million cubic meters (m3) to 130 million m3 by 2050. The current wood harvesting rate is around 72 million m3, and the government announced recently that annual growth increased by five million m3 to a staggering 107 million in 2018.

Finland manages theses forests for timber, wildlife, controlled fires – and protection of nearby homes and people. Its lessons can and should be applied elsewhere. President Trump understands that. His incomplete grasp of Finnish “raking” and other practices led to confusion and ridicule, but should not result in these principles and practices being rejected out of hand.

Vía The Freedom Pub https://ift.tt/2EqRR4b

Deep State Cancer Thrives Unchecked at Federal Levels

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The idea that a “Deep State” exists inside the federal government rose to prominence during the first 100 days of President Trump’s administration. An ABC News/Washington Post poll of 2017 showed that nearly half the people in America believe a Deep State — defined as “military, intelligence and government officials who try to secretly manipulate government policy” — is working behind the facade of the constitutional U.S. government.

Although to many a reference to the Deep State is of recent origin, this is far from new. Upon realizing the special status of people who are mainly anonymous and for whom it is nearly impossible to fire, it becomes inevitable that a cancer would metastasize in the shadows, free from the sunshine’s power as a disinfectant.

In the 1930’s a shadow government consisting of Socialists and Communists, loyalists to the Soviet Union, sprung into existence.  Unfortunately, unlike the current version, it worked in concert with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The most prominent and notorious of them was Alger Hiss, FDR’s fair-haired boy, who played a central role at the Yalta Conference, where FDR, over Churchill’s strenuous objections, handed Eastern Europe over to Stalin, and assisted in the creation of the globalists’ dream of the United Nations.

The difference between that earlier Deep State and the one we have today is that it worked in tandem with President Roosevelt, a foolish Leftist who held Stalin, not Churchill, in high regard.  Roosevelt even referred to Stalin as Uncle Joe.

The descendants of those earlier traitors are currently leading the resistance movement in the State Department and various federal agencies as Obama holdovers. They worked hand-in-glove with Barack Obama, anxious to continue their nefarious work in what was to be a Hillary Clinton election in 2016.  It’s also in league with their fellow left-wingers in the House and Senate and their hand maidens in the media, and even Never Trumpers and globalists in the Republican Party.  But unlike the politicians and pundits, those working deep in the bowels of the State Department and federal agencies as career politicians, they don’t have to worry about being voted out of their jobs or losing their gigs over sexual harassment charges.

Why did Never Trumpers like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, John Brennan, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Clapper, Bruce Ohm and Michael Hayden so ready to risk their careers and possibly even their freedom on behalf of Hillary Clinton, a proven liar and money laundress?  it wasn’t so much that those deep-staters who had infiltrated the Justice Department, the FBI, the NSA, the CIA and the State Department adored Mrs. Clinton; rather, it was that they hated and feared having an American patriot in the White House  dedicated to putting the best interests of his fellow Americans ahead of others.

Obama’s Deep State DOJ And FBI Willfully Obstruct Congress

President Trump was mocked for claims he made that the Obama regime and their weaponized intelligence agency assets had wire-tapped his communications and Trump Tower. Evidence has since proven that his claim was a true statement.  The slow-walking of documents and general obstruction by the agencies involved — the DOJ under AG Jeff Sessions, and the FBI under Wray — has left America largely uninformed as to the level of corruption and anti-American activities of the illegitimate Obama regime.

Why is it that Robert Mueller has never requested an interview with Brennanwho started the entire spying vendetta on candidate Trump in April of 2016?  Former Director of the CIA John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper both committed perjury when testifying to Congress, yet neither have been charged.  Both were part of Obama’s counterintelligence investigation of Donald Trump.

The DOJ used every obstacle and impediment to keep Congress from learning the truth to cover their own treasonous activities.  It took months for the FBI to release subpoenaed information.  When they did get it, the documents were heavily redacted.  Congress is told their lack of transparency is necessary for the protection of national security, vital intelligence, and investigative operations, yet Devin Nunes and others know this to be untrue, because they’ve seen the unredacted forms.

Rosenstein, as acting AG after Sessions’ foolish recusal, seems to believe he is above the law, having authorized unlimited investigations of the administration he supposedly serves.  Yet there was no criminal premise to justify investigations of any Trump campaign officials. The Obama administration used the DOJ/FBI for counterintelligence against the opposition hoping they would find something criminal.

Mueller’s investigation, which started without a crime, has become a rouge investigation that has gone off the rails in search of a crime.  Its a $30 million witch hunt that has produced nothing but ruined lives.

Of note:  Had Trump not have been elected, none of the above would have been known.  It is essential for Trump to release the requested documents before Democrats take control of the House in January.  Trump knows what is in the Russians files, but the DOJ is falsely claiming that national security is involved and doesn’t want the documents released to the public. Allies are doing the same to cover their own fingerprints in the orchestrated hoax.

House Republican leader a Deep Stater

Neocons in Trump’s own party consorted with the Democrats to destroy Trump’s chances of attaining goals he promised to the American people. These neocon Republicans were instrumental in Democrats winning back control of the House. Speaker Paul Ryan led the pack as House Republican Majority Leader through providing funding for House member who like Ryan were Never Trumpers.

Ryan has made it clear who owns him throughout his speakership.  He is a servant of lobbyists, globalists and the establishment neocon Trotskyites and he has continually undercut the President.  Paul Ryan confirmed his neoconservative globalist stance and his indefensible support of the establishment when he lined up with Trey Gowdy who not only  defended the FBI probe, but said that the FBI did nothing wrong in spying on the Trump campaign.

Ryan, as the lame duck speaker, also chose to side with the Deep State and defy our president and the American people by pushing amnesty.  By playing toady to the open border globalists, Ryan signaled his willingness to deliver for his masters on K Street, Wall Street, the business roundtable, the Koch brothers, and the Chamber of Commerce to assure open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens.

In the Omnibus spending bill of 2018, Speaker Ryan wouldn’t give the President a dollar to build the wall.   Ryan even took money away from immigration and customs enforcement and reduced the number of border agents enforcing immigration law.

As Congressman Matt Gaetz  said about Ryan: “There is no defense for Ryan siding with the DOJ and FBI against those in the Congress who are working for transparency and accountability.”  For over a year Devin Nunes has been asking for the documents that go to the very heart of the Russia hoax.   Ryan defended the FBI and the Deep State by going along with the Obama administration’s witch hunt to destroy Trump, instead of standing with conservative caucus members who were focusing on the refusal of the FBI to turn over documents to allow Congress to perform their oversight duties. Even now there is no evidence of Russian collusion.

What lies ahead for President Trump

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat, now chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has embraced Steele’s anti-Trump conspiracies (the “pee” document), which Republicans call a hoax, and which gave way to the rogue Muller investigation.  Schiff further wants to launch an inquiry into supposed Russian money-laundering through the Trump Organization.

Rush Limbaugh recently voiced a warning on his weekday radio talk show. He foresees an intensified threat to President Trump and his administration through a variety of investigations of Trump.  Most disturbing to Limbaugh is that members of the president’s own party are likely to hop on board to eagerly support Democrats in a calculated effort to oust Trump.

Although two former Trump aides, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, are set to release their new book, “Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency” to show the public there are people in the government who did things that tried to prevent him [Trump] from becoming the president, will it really make a difference given this divided nation?  Those who support Trump are familiar with the Deep State conspiracy to destroy Trump, while those on the Left have been brainwashed into believing that Trump is the evil one who is out to destroy this nation.  When the president heard about what the book revealed, Trump told the authors:  “If this would have happened to Barack Obama it would have been called treason and those involved would have been in jail.”

Calvin Coolidge our 30th U.S. president, took office on August 3, 1923, following the sudden death of President Warren G. Harding (1865-1923), whose administration was riddled with scandal.  Coolidge cleaned up the corruption of the Harding administration, was a pro-business conservative, and favored tax cuts.  Now I ask you, doesn’t Coolidge sound like President Donald Trump?

We have a president who is doing more to Make America Great Again than any president in my lifetime.  The next two years will indeed be rocky, but the Trump administration must remain focused on Trump’s reelection in 2020.  There is good reason to believe that the House Democrats will overplay their hand to show their true colors.

May President Trump continue to follow what Coolidge said when pushing back in his administration:

“I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can’t be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.”

Vía The Freedom Pub https://ift.tt/2C521oJ

Epidemics, Fear and Denial: How Every American Is Threatened

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This is the one hundredth anniversary of the great influenza pandemic of 1918. In his book The Great Influenza, John M. Barry described it as the deadliest plague in history. It killed more people in a year than the Black Death of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

The lack of a vaccine did not cause the flu. All epidemics start with an index case—which may or may not be identified. The great influenza may have begun in a patient in Kansas. The significance of the case was reportedly recognized by a country doctor, who was ignored. As the nation mobilized for World War I, and draftees from across the country were thrown together, illness spread and became much more virulent. Transport ships became “floating caskets.” Troop trains were “rolling coffins.” But Woodrow Wilson denied the existence or severity of the epidemic, and effective public health efforts were thwarted.

Despite this history, and the expenditure of billions of dollars, the U.S. is not much better prepared than in 1918. There have been warnings, such as Ebola, severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS), novel H1N1 flu, and the 2014 outbreak of enterovirus D68 in schoolchildren. But when the threats recede, the nation goes back to sleep.

When different populations are thrown together, as in boot camp or college dorms when new freshmen arrive, there is a lot of sickness. Each group has a different pattern of colonizing microorganisms to which its members have immunity and others do not. There are terrible historical examples of native populations in the New World being devastated by diseases of European settlers.

Epidemics can happen naturally or through neglect—or they could be caused deliberately. Biological warfare is probably the very worst weapon of mass destruction.

One scenario is to embed a suicide agent incubating a deadly disease in a mass of migrants. Or there are doubtlessly innocent persons infected with deadly diseases to which Americans have no immunity among thousands of migrants overwhelming our border—from Central America and many other places.

The mainstream press and even part of mainstream medicine promotes denial. For example, an NBC News article quotes Dr. Paul Spiegel, who directs the Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health: “There is no evidence to show that migrants are spreading disease.” The danger of introducing disease is “a false argument used to keep migrants out.” The article even quotes a study that purportedly shows that hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV “generally only spread within the affected immigrant communities and not to the wider population.” Perhaps there is an invisible shield between an infected migrant and an American but not between him and someone newly arriving from his country?

Is this denialism?

No, that term is for those who don’t believe that we can change the climate and save the Planet by cutting off energy from the fuels that power 80 percent of the world’s economy. The supposed mainstream of media and organized medicine insists that “climate change”—catastrophic and human-caused—is the existential public health threat that eclipses all others. Let’s have uncontrolled migration, but tight global control of essential fuels.

Is concern about the caravan just “fearmongering”?

We don’t hear that term applied to those who say we must treat a child missing some mandated vaccines as a “Typhoid Mary” and bar him from schools or doctor’s offices—even though nobody ever caught a disease from a child that wasn’t infected with it. Rather, that’s the word for those who warn about tropical diseases, even if they are much more common and deadly than indigenous measles. Or for those concerned about tattooed MS-13 gang members, rapists, jihadists, human traffickers, and other criminals intent on harming Americans. Such people also infect, molest, assault, or murder people in their own countries and in the caravan.

Our nation faces real threats that produce genuine body counts from violence and disease. Instead, we are supposed to worry about carbon dioxide, invisible dust particles, and imperceptible phobias and isms. Not just worry, but shut down industries and shut out dissenters from public discourse.

A wall is indeed proposed—to confine the half of America that votes the “wrong” way and wants to protect American lives, liberties, and property.

We need an outbreak of common sense.

Vía The Freedom Pub https://ift.tt/2GbLy6u

Heartland Weekly – Solidarity, Heartland Partner Together at COP24

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If you don’t visit Freedom Pub and the Heartlander digital magazine every day, you’re missing out on some of the best news and commentary on liberty and free markets you can find. But worry not, freedom lovers! Heartland Weekly is here for you every Monday with a highlight show. Subscribe to the email today, and read this week’s edition below.

Breitbart Covers Heartland at COP24
Billy Aouste
FreedomPub
Heartland’s James Taylor said it was important to be in Poland to push back on a “gathering of the world’s global collectivists, the climate totalitarians, the global ruling class elites.”

Solidarity, Heartland Partner at COP24
Heartland.org
Heartland and representatives of Solidarity signed a joint statement at COP24 calling on the United Nations to ensure the “restoration of the Scientific Method and the dismissal of ideological dogma.”

Heartland Brings Truth to COP24
James Taylor
Western Journal
While the global bureaucratic elite enjoy a nice vacation under the guise of playing Chicken Little for a fictitious impending climate catastrophe, The Heartland Institute is injecting a fresh ray of truth at COP24.

Big Mistakes, Weak Models
Host: H. Sterling Burnett
Guest:David Legates
Two recent studies made claims of climate disaster so far outside of the mainstream that they should have raised red flags within the scientific community and press.

Can We Save GA’s Health Care System
Host: Sarah Lee
Guest:Kyle Winfield
Wingfield talks about why his organization, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, is breaking new ground in health care with Medicaid expansion in the state off the table.

Fight for Vaping in the Empire State
Host: Lindsey Stroud
Guest:Andrew Osborne
The state of New York is looking to ban certain vaping flavors. Andrew Osborn discusses his efforts to oppose this legislation and other wrong-headed anti-vaping measures.

AOC Dead Wrong on Single Payer
Justin Haskins
Western Journal
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,who will take office in Congress come January, again shows herself impervious to facts when it comes to single-payer health care.

Climate Consensus is Crumbling
Steve Goreham
Western Journal
As delegates arrive at Katowice, Poland for COP24, the United Nations’ annual climate conference, the global climate consensus is crumbling around them.

Modeling Not Based on Reality
Jay Lehr
American Thinker
The problem real scientists who study climate — not those paid for bias — face, is that the public has no clue what a mathematical model actually is, how it works, and what they can and cannot do.

UN Summit Reveals Hidden Agenda
David Wojick
Freedom Pub
People complain about UN jargon, but the technical language of the Katowice climate summit is very revealing. It is all about changing the world order.

Preserve Primitivism at Cost of Freedom?
Richard Ebeling
Freedom Pub
Before falling into nostalgia for an unrecoverable human past that seems so blissful and beautiful, let us remember some of the things that primitive life does not have.

Patients Lose When States Limit Choice
Charlie Katebi
The Hill
A new report reveals that state government policies are responsible for much of our out-of-control health care costs under the broken Affordable Care Act.

Vía The Freedom Pub https://ift.tt/2SFt4fX