Monday, October 23, 2017

Cartoons of the Day




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Europe's Next World War Begins in France

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 0 Comments Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ Sultan Knish Blog

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb made it official. France is "in a state of war”.

It’s not just rhetoric. Bombs turn up in a posh Parisian suburb. Two young women are butchered at a train station. And it’s just another week of an Islamic World War III being fought in France.

From the November attacks in 2015 that killed 130 people and wounded another 400+, to the Bastille Day truck ramming attack last year that killed 86 and wounded 458, the war is real.

French casualties in France are worse than in Afghanistan. The French lost 70 people to Islamic terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. And 239 to Islamic terrorist attacks in France.

The French losses in Afghanistan were suffered in over a decade of deployment in one of the most dangerous Islamic areas in the world. The French losses in France were suffered in less than two years.

There’s something very wrong when Afghanistan is safer than Paris.

10,000 French soldiers were deployed in the streets of their own country in Operation Sentinelle after the Charlie Hebdo - Kosher supermarket attacks in 2015. Thousands of French soldiers are still patrolling, guarding and shooting in French cities which have become more dangerous than Afghanistan.

Operation Sentinelle has deployed twice as many French soldiers to France as to Afghanistan. And French casualties in the Islamic war at home have been far higher that they were in Afghanistan.

When the French intervened to stop the Islamist takeover of Mali, they suffered a handful of losses. The 4,000 French soldiers came away from Operation Serval with 9 casualties and Operation Barkhane amounted to 5 dead. The Gulf War? Another 9 dead. It’s a lot safer to be a French soldier fighting Al Qaeda in a Muslim country than a Parisian civilian going to a concert in his or her own city.

French casualties in the struggle with Islamic terror in just the last two years are approaching the 300 casualties of the Korean War.

France is at war. That’s why there are soldiers in the streets.

Its new anti-terrorism bill creates a permanent state of emergency. Suspected extremists can be placed under “administrative detention” in their own homes and neighborhoods under police surveillance and remote monitoring.

Pop-up checkpoints can appear in public spaces that are designated as “security zones” where anyone can be stopped and searched. Mosques can be shut down for six months. Public gatherings can be banned. Warrantless searches can be conducted within miles of potential targets.

The Interior Ministry will have police state powers. And it will be able to wield quite a few of them without having to go through the formality of asking judges nicely for permission.

Some of these measures should be familiar. France is the new Israel.

France's Interior Minister called the anti-terrorism bill, a "lasting response to a lasting threat". The choice of words recognizes that Islamic terrorism is here to stay.

The “State of War” is permanent. And France has no plans for winning the war. Instead it’s trying to get better at playing defense. And that’s what most Western domestic counterterrorism efforts amount to.

France is just taking the lead because it has the biggest problem.

The British put soldiers on the streets after the Manchester Arena bombing. The Italians and the Belgians began deploying soldiers in cities around the same time that the French did.

When an illegal alien Muslim terrorist due to be deported murdered two young women in Marseille while shouting, “Allahu Akbar”, French soldiers opened fire. The 24-year-old who shot the terrorist was a reserve member of a regiment of combat engineers in the French Foreign Legion.

The French Foreign Legion isn’t off fighting in a foreign desert somewhere. It’s fighting in France.

French soldiers are told to loudly announce, “Stop or I Shoot”. And then open fire. And that’s what he did. And French soldiers are being forced to learn the phrase and expect to come under attack.

In February, French soldiers were attacked by a Muslim terrorist outside the Louvre. The Egyptian Jihadist shouted, “Allahu Akbar” and came after them with a machete. One soldier from the 1st Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes was wounded. The attacker was shot down.

The 1st Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes had been deployed to Afghanistan and Mali. Now they were at the Louvre. You don’t need to be Napoleon to know that counts as a major retreat.

A month later, a Muslim terrorist shouted "I am here to die in the name of Allah" while holding a female air force soldier hostage at Orly Airport.

He got his wish courtesy of her fellow soldiers.

In August, six soldiers from the 35th Infantry Regiment were hit by a BMW driven by a Muslim terrorist. Members of a regiment which had been deployed in Afghanistan were sent to a military hospital after an attack in the wealthy Levallois-Perret suburb of Paris. A year earlier, soldiers from the 5th Infantry Regiment had been hit by a Tunisian shouting, “Allahu Akbar” while they were guarding a mosque.

France has entered its longest state of emergency since the Algerian War. The 2015 attacks saw its first state of emergency since 1961. But where is France supposed to withdraw from this time? Paris?

It was one thing to abandon the beleaguered Algerian Christians and Jews to Muslim terror. And to abandon them a second time when they fled to France only to face persecution by their old Islamic neighbors who had tagged along and settled down in Marseille. But can France abandon the French?

The issue once again is colonialism. But the new colonists are Algerians, Tunisians and other Islamic imperialists who have settled in France and wave the black flag of the Jihad over their no-go zone settlements in French cities. And they have made it abundantly clear that they will not stop there.

Last year, former Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that, "Every day attacks are foiled... as we speak."

And it’s no wonder. Thousands of Muslim settlers left France to fight in Syria and Iraq. Valls was looking at 15,000 potential threats domestically. France has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe. We don’t know exactly how many millions of Muslim settlers live in France. But we can measure their growth by the expansion of the terror threat. Islamic terrorism is, despite the spin, reducible to Islam.

There is no Islamic terrorism without Islam. As Islam expands, so does Islamic terrorism.

France is in the middle of a civil war. The civil war is based on religious differences. As the religious divide between the Islamic colonists and the militantly secular French government increases, the violence will worsen. The outcome of the war will determine whether France will be a secular republic or an Islamic state. The Jihadists have a plan for winning the war. The French authorities don’t.

And what goes for France also goes for Western Europe. And for the West.

The French combination of social appeasement and police state enforcement isn’t working. The same model ultimately fails wherever it’s applied. Breaking up terror cells and stopping attacks is far better than the alternative, but the scale of the problem will always continue increasing because of demographic growth and a globalized terror infrastructure.

Demographics dictate that France’s terror problem will only keep growing. And the French authorities understand this. That’s why its governments increasingly talk about Islamic terrorism as a lasting threat.

Our War on Terror has squandered endless blood and treasure while avoiding the root cause. Western nations deploy massive armies to root out small terror networks while allying with their Gulf backers. Soldiers patrol major cities waiting for a terrorist or several terrorists to attack. Meanwhile the mosques that indoctrinate them to hate and kill non-Muslims are also protected by those same soldiers.

That’s not how you win a war. It’s how you lose everything.

 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Sheeple Speak!


Leftist: Definition

Leftist - grievance-monger, race-monger, manipulates history, prostitutes art, and imprisons the human heart to keep hate alive, and to anathemize objective facts. Hypocritical, counterfactual, and anti-human Marxist myth-maker.  Paraprased from comments by Danusha V. Goska 

The Puerto Rican Genocide That Wasn't

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 5 Comments Friday, October 20, 2017

The Mayor of San Juan recently took a break from her tour of every cable news network on the planet to text an accusation of genocide aimed at President Trump.

"WE WILL NOT BE LEFT TO DIE,” Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz texted. “I ask the United Nations, UNICEF and the world to stand with the people of Puerto Rico and stop the genocide.”

The death toll in Puerto Rico currently stands at 48.

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20. As we approach October 20, the death toll from the hurricane is a lot less than the death toll from the deadliest month in Chicago.

Despite media arm waving, with only 117 people not accounted for, the actual death toll in Puerto Rico isn’t likely to rise very much. And even a death toll of 48 was only achieved by listing people who died of heart attacks and other medical problems that could not be treated because of hurricane damage. It’s unknown whether some of them might have lived without the hurricane. It’s guesswork.

The previous, incomplete death toll showed that the actual hurricane seemed to have only killed 19 people. 2 suicides were also attributed to the hurricane. As were respiratory failures “indirectly linked” to the hurricane.

But the media has been working hard to inflate the death toll.

"We'll probably never know exactly how many people died," the Washington Post speculates. "Hurricane Maria likely killed more people than Puerto Rico says," the Daily News ghoulishly insists.

Some media accounts fantasize about hundreds of bodies piling up in morgues. How many of those deaths are due to the hurricane and how many to the ordinary course of disease and crime? (Puerto Rico has higher crime rates and mortality rates for many diseases than the United States.)

Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security implying that the "true death toll" is being underreported to "portray relief efforts as more successful than they are".

Velasquez demanded a Federal audit of the local authorities with findings to be delivered in 10 days.

The numbers just aren’t high enough. It’s hard to have a genocide with only 48 people.

And that’s the real agenda.

Velasquez and the Washington Post aren’t trying to help Puerto Rico by raising the death toll. Instead they want a higher death toll because it gives them ammo for their attacks on President Trump.

To have a proper death toll, you need it to be hundreds. Or even better yet, in the thousands.

A genocide of 48 people makes Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz parading around in her “WE ARE DYING” t-shirt for Anderson Cooper look silly.

“We are dying,” the left-wing politician warned on CNN on September 29. These days, she’s warning of some sort of future genocide that will eventually come about due to “the lack of appropriate action of a president that just does not get it.” Weeks later, the genocide has yet to materialize.

The House passed a $36.5 billion disaster relief package, most of which will go to Puerto Rico. Both President Trump and Speaker Ryan came to see the disaster firsthand. Meanwhile there are constant accusations that local politicians and their supporters are stealing relief supplies.

Puerto Rico has major political, social and economic problems that have nothing to do with the hurricane. If President Hillary Clinton were guzzling chardonnay in the White House in between delivering cross presidential addresses about the vital importance of gun control and socialized medicine, Hurricane Maria would have been a passing story in the press.

Hurricane Georges and Tropical Storm Jeanne took out power and water in much the same way as Maria. After Georges, President Clinton didn’t visit Puerto Rico. Hillary Clinton did.

Why did Hillary visit Puerto Rico?

Less than six months later, Hillary’s Senate campaign had begun creaking to life. New York has a large Puerto Rican population. Instead of paying a presidential visit, Bill sent his wife to kickstart her political campaign by exploiting a natural disaster. It’s unsurprising that Hillary attempted to politicize the latest natural disaster in Puerto Rico. That’s just what she soullessly does.

And it’s what the left does.

Their standards are now so low that 48 people dying in a natural disaster qualifies as a genocide.

But this was never about Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria, like the Las Vegas shootings, was one of many backdrops whose only purpose is political posturing.

The left doesn’t care about Puerto Rico. It’s only sad that more Puerto Ricans didn’t die so that their corpses could be exploited for more partisan political attacks until the next shiny object comes along.

Think how much better their headlines could be if there were 48,000 dead or 480,000 dead.

Meanwhile in San Juan, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is still waiting for the genocide while exploring the limits of the local t-shirt printing place whose proprietors are apparently the only survivors.

Them and the guys who have to blow dry Anderson Cooper’s pants each time he gingerly descends down to the waist into the water so that the viewers at home can be properly horrified and impressed.

Puerto Rico is a tragedy, but it’s not a genocide.

The fake news narrative has come apart. The death toll isn’t there. And as the repair crews do their work, as the power comes on, the roads are cleared and drinking water is restored, normalcy will come back. There may be attempts to inflate the death toll by attributing assorted deaths to the storm on dubious grounds. But even then the end result will fall far short of the left’s genocidal fantasies.

But by then the left will have moved on. There will be more shootings to link to gun control or another natural disaster to link to global warming. Any attempts to impose a reality check on the Iran Deal or action against North Korea’s nuclear weapons program will be met with alarmism about nuclear war.

The left will always have something to freak out about. Even now, Harvey Weinstein’s grotesque bulk has pushed Puerto Rico and its genocide off the front pages. And the media is already, with unerring inevitability, trying to clumsily connect the crimes of the top Dem donor to President Trump.

But that is just how the media works. Disaster + Trump = Story. That’s the formula for everything.

The Great Media Puerto Rican Genocide of 2017 didn’t pan out. But neither did Katrina. There will always be another story, another lie, another scandal and another thousand hit pieces wrapped around it. For a brief moment, the cameras of the media turned on Puerto Rico. And even now, they’re turning away. Eventually all the reporters will depart leaving behind only their luggage tags and mango aftershave. The warm wind will blow through their empty rooms and stir their stained bedsheets.

And Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz will sit surrounded by t-shirt mementos that remind her of the time when everyone knew her name.

(This article originally appeared at Front Page Magazine.)

 

DC Swamp denizens strike back

Senators and crony corporatists deep-six proposed EPA reductions in biodiesel mandates

Paul Driessen

Despite what I thought were persuasive articles over the years (here, here and here, for example), corn ethanol and other biofuel mandates remain embedded in US law. As we have learned, once a government program is created, it becomes virtually impossible to eliminate, revise or even trim fat from it.

This year, it looked like this “rule of perpetuity” might finally change. The Trump-Pruitt Environmental Protection Agency proposed to use its “waiver authority” to reduce its 2018 biodiesel requirement by 15% (315 million gallons) and (possibly) lower the 2019 total down to the 1-billion-gallon minimum mandated by Congress. The proposed action would not affect corn or other ethanol production and blending requirements, despite growing problems with incorporating more ethanol into gasoline.

The biodiesel proposal reflects hard realities. Biodiesel costs over $1.30 more than regular diesel made from petroleum. Despite this far higher cost, it gets fewer miles per gallon than conventional diesel. Domestic US producers are unable to make enough biodiesel. In fact their output is at least 250 million gallons below the mandated amount; the rest is imported, keeping America reliant on foreign suppliers.

Some analyses conclude that domestic biodiesel output is actually one billion gallons below what the mandate explicitly and in reality requires. So the USA is truly reliant on imports to meet the quota.

Since biodiesel is made from soybean, palm, canola, flax, sunflower and other plant oils, those crops must be grown on millions of acres of land, using enormous amounts of water, fertilizer, pesticides and energy. (Biodiesel can also be made from waste vegetable oil and animal fat, but those are in minuscule supply.)

The demand for biodiesel is down. Volkswagen’s fraudulent emissions tampering reduced demand for diesel-powered cars, and more people are driving electric and hybrid vehicles. Fraud is also rampant over Renewable Identification Numbers that must be issued for every gallon of biodiesel produced and sold.

Moreover, the primary justifications for biodiesel (and all biofuels) are missing in action. Fracking and other technologies have ended worries about imminent depletion of petroleum supplies, and a growing body of evidence shows that climate chaos due to human emissions of (plant-fertilizing) carbon dioxide exists almost entirely in computer models and data manipulation – not in planetary reality.

Finally, foreign production often generates more social and environmental problems than biodiesel. Oil palm development in Indonesia, for example, causes deforestation, soil erosion, water and air pollution, habitat and wildlife losses, and social unrest. Plantation owners, investors and employees do well; some become very wealthy. Others, especially traditional landowners, suffer from reduced incomes and land use rights, takings of cropland they relied on for survival, rising land prices and other conflicts.

In addition, like any carbon-based fuel, biodiesel emits carbon dioxide when it is burned. In fact, over the entire life cycle of growing and harvesting crops, turning them into fuel, transporting and using them in vehicles, ethanol and biodiesel emit as much CO2 as petroleum – and require infinitely more acreage.

However, anyone who thinks reality, logic and common sense do or should play an essential role in public policy decisions has an abysmal understanding of how the Washington, DC Swamp operates. Programs, mandates and subsidies beget vocal beneficiaries, industries, lobbyists, and crony corporatist arrangements between them and elected representatives – who receive dinners, trips and campaign contributions in exchange for votes that perpetuate programs, mandates, subsidies and electoral success.

No sooner had EPA announced its intended biodiesel reductions, than the Swamp Denizens rose up in righteous wrath and united indignity. Several US Senators threatened to block confirmation of President Trump’s EPA nominees, unless the agency abandons its plans. Confronted with this reality, EPA caved. The biodiesel quotas remain, and will increase even further. The DC Swamp won – this round.

It’s pretty easy to understand why Illinois Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth would battle EPA over biodiesel. Hers is a farm state, with a lot of Big Biofuel farmers and distillers, and her party has become solidly anti-hydrocarbon and anti-Trump. These days, Democrats line up largely in lockstep in opposition to domestic drilling, pipelines and refineries – though hardly on any personal actions to reduce fossil fuel use in their homes, offices, vehicles or especially air travel.

However, biofuel advocacy and confirmation blocking has become bipartisan. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is leading the charge. The powerful Republican chairs the Judiciary Committee and serves on the Agriculture, Budget, Finance and Tax Committees. He was once a self-proclaimed “pig farmer,” but these days he and his family are mostly involved in growing corn for ethanol and soybeans for biodiesel.

Indeed, the Grassley family together collected $1.4 million in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2014.

Even Senator Joni Ernst (also R-Iowa) is on the nominee blockade bandwagon. She may have been raised on a pig farm and learned how to drain swamps, kill pork and make special interests squeal. (Recall the famous campaign ad.) But she is also on the Ag Committee, and Iowa is the corn state. Indeed, corn grown on acreage equivalent to her entire state (36 million acres) is converted to ethanol every year.

These senators (and many House and Senate colleagues) are determined that ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuel mandates and “targets” will always and only go in one direction: upward.

They are all convinced that any change, no matter how small or how focused on foreign imports of biodiesel, is a potential threat to the entire biofuel program, including their beloved corn ethanol program. (Even worse, the EPA proposal could threaten their future campaign coffers and reelection prospects.)

They’ve promised to “oppose any effort” to reduce blending levels for ethanol in gasoline or “undermine the integrity” of biofuel programs. They threatened to “vote down” the President’s EPA nominees, unless the agency totally scrubbed its plan to reduce biodiesel mandates and imports. They claim these actions are necessary to protect energy innovation, fuel diversity and jobs. Some still talk about biofuel preventing petroleum depletion and dangerous manmade climate change.

Perhaps they are all smoking that special tobacco product they sell in Boulder, Colorado. But they have powerful positions and powerful friends, and they mean business. So the EPA and White House capitulated.

The Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) legislation began as an environmental program. But it has become a major farm subsidy program – and a vital campaign contributions program. It distorts markets by creating cash flows that people depend on for their livelihoods, lifestyles and lobbying fees.

In the case of ethanol, it involves growing corn that requires millions of acres of land, billions of gallons of water, and vast quantities of pesticides, fertilizers, tractor fuel and natural gas … to produce energy that drives up food prices, damages small engines, and gets one-third fewer miles per gallon than gasoline.

With biodiesel, we have congressionally mandated production levels that are unnecessary and unrealistic. They are far above what farmers have shown they can grow and produce here in the USA. The mandates are also well above the amounts of biodiesel we need. And yet the laws require that production from biodiesel, corn ethanol and advanced biofuels (from switchgrass, et cetera) climbs steadily year after year.

For once we have some people at EPA who might – and should – look into all of this, and implement practical, defensible reductions in these domestic and foreign biofuel levels. We should not saddle them with more politically driven mandates that hurt the environment and American consumers.

But we did. The Washington Swamp won. That’s how it operates. However, the battle is not over. It has merely been joined. Next time around, there may not be critical nominees to hold hostage.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and other books on public policy

Friday, October 20, 2017

Quote of the Day

Once upon a time, the Catholic Church was the only faith in Western Europe and dominated society, until, relatively suddenly, it did not. Britain ruled an enormous empire, and then it did not.   Imperial Japan was invincible, until it was defeated. The Left has a stranglehold on the media, technology, academia, and business. But if we keep fighting, eventually, it will not. - Jack Cavallari

Paul Driessen's Comments on the Next Article

David Wojick has written a perceptive article that is especially important right now – because EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is in the process of rescinding the Obama era Clean Power Plan … evaluating the prospect of establishing a “Red Team” to assess the scientific validity of many Obama EPA decisions and regulations … and considering the need to rescind the “Endangerment Finding.” That pseudo-scientific finding claimed that plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide causes dangerous climate change that endangers the health and welfare of all Americans.

As David notes, the Red Team approach could also be used to critique the deceptive and alarmist “Climate Science Special Report” that made extremely alarmist claims about what is supposedly happening with Earth’s climate and weather. The report blames nearly every climate shift and weather event on fossil fuel emissions. It is scheduled for final release in the near future, and could be treated by radical environmentalists, politicians and media outlets as dispositive on all climate issues … unless it is accompanied by a tough Red Team critique.

His timely article could have a significant impact on EPA and White House thinking on these topics. Thank you very much for posting it, quoting from it, and forwarding it to your friends and colleagues.

Best regards,

Paul

Trying to perpetuate alarmist climate “science”

The Obama era “Climate Science Special Report” demands a “red team” analysis

David Wojick, PhD

Several months ago a brief furor erupted when the New York Times leaked the final draft of the upcoming Climate Science Special Report  (CSSR), an extremely alarmist rendition of what is supposedly happening with Earth’s climate. Dangerous climate change and weather events, the report says, are due to mankind’s use of fossil fuels to create and maintain modern living standards and to the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that result from that energy use.

The CSSR is being prepared by the federal Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and has been in the works for several years, mostly under Obama and still staffed by diehard alarmists.

The USGCRP consists of the 13 federal agencies that conduct and analyze climate science and supposedly “consensus” views on the topic. The Times and other news stories speculated that one of the agencies, especially the EPA under Administrator Scott Pruitt, might block the CSSR. This has not happened, and the Report is now scheduled for release next month.

The CSSR is far more alarmist than any IPCC report. Most other USGCRP reports have been, as well, thanks in particular to NOAA. The new CSSR will be an official Federal report, which will give it more credibility than it deserves.

Even worse, the Report is slated to be Volume I of the National Climate Assessment (NCA), which is due out late next year. The NCA is mandated by law, which gives the CSSR even more status as federal policy.

It would be ironic indeed if the skeptical Trump Administration were to simply issue this alarmist report as federal policy on climate change science. In fact it would be tragic, a major defeat for climate realism and sound science.

Thankfully, there is a simple way to turn this looming defeat into a major victory. The solution is to do an official Red Team critique of the CSSR.

The Red Team concept has been under discussion for some time now, including being endorsed by EPA Administrator Pruitt and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Some useful background and online discussion are available on Judith Curry’s manmade climate chaos skeptics blog here and here.

The unduly and unscientifically alarmist CSSR cannot be put back into its political bottle. But it is the perfect vehicle for critical analysis and robust criticism, precisely because of its radical alarmist nature. Most importantly, this criticism would be official, which will make climate skepticism official U.S. policy.

Mind you, the CSSR is over 600 pages long, so its rebuttal would not be a trivial exercise. On the other hand, only the most central claims need to be refuted. In particular there are a number of cases of so-called “high confidence” in important assertions that are actually nothing more than highly speculative alarmist dogma.

This is especially true of the groundless attribution of human activities causing bad weather. The Red Team critique must be comprehensive, clear and coherent if it is to be effective. Properly done, that should not be a problem, however.

Making a detailed critique and rebuttal of the CSSR official would go a long way toward putting federal policy on the right track, which is that the scientific debate is very real and far from being resolved. Costly, draconian actions like hefty carbon taxes and forced lifestyle changes are simply not justified. In particular there is no scientific basis for EPA's finding that CO2 emissions “endanger human health and welfare.” Indeed, the clear benefits of carbon-based fuels and plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide are tens or hundreds of times greater than any (highly speculative) costs that might be attributed to them.

There is no need for the Red Team to break new scientific ground. It is just a matter of clearly stating what is already known. In fact simply and visibly starting an official Red Team exercise will go a long way toward blunting the rampant CSSR alarmism.

However, this must be done very shortly after the CSSR is officially released. If not, then the CSSR is likely to become the official US standard bearer for the alarmist version of climate science. That would be a truly tragic outcome.

It is no accident that the CSSR is coming out now. This is a deliberate attempt by the climate alarmists entrenched in the federal research agencies to defy the skepticism of the Trump administration. It must not succeed.

David Wojick is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science and public policy. He has a PhD in analytic philosophy of science and mathematical logic, and focuses his research on unpacking the structure of complex issues.



 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Cartoon of the Day


Harvey Weinstein's Victims Were Collateral Damage in the Left's Culture War

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 5 Comments Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ Sultan Knish Blog
In the spring of his final year as a movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein was doing what he always did. Or rather what he always did in public view: as opposed to what he has been accused of doing in hotel rooms and deserted office storage rooms. He was fighting a ratings war over a movie with adult content.

The movie was 3 Generations. It had been made two years earlier to cash in on the transgender
boom.  Back then it was called About Ray. But the reviews were bad and the movie was pulled a few days before it was supposed to be released. What do you do with a bad politically correct movie that you paid $6 million for? You start a culture war. And that’s exactly what Harvey Weinstein did.

He enlisted GLAAD, the gay rights group, to lobby for a PG-13 rating for the newly renamed movie.

"The Weinstein Company dared to tell culture-changing LGBTQ stories that Hollywood too often shies away from,” GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis shilled.

It didn’t hurt that Harvey was a donor to GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign. Weinstein had even presented his pal, Bill Clinton, with a GLAAD award at its awards show.

Harvey’s gambit didn’t pay off financially. The reviews for 3 Generations were just as bad this time around. And it took in $60,000. Or 1 percent of what Harvey had paid for it. But Harvey had known two years ago that the movie wouldn’t make money. The 3 Generations campaign wasn’t about the movie, but about Harvey Weinstein’s brand as a courageous mogul on the political cutting edge of the industry.

Harvey Weinstein wasn’t really in the movie business. He was in the culture business.

Some of his movies were meant for general audiences. But mostly he sold the illusion of culture to a prosperous leftist elite. Sometimes that meant traditional highbrow British Oscar bait like The King’s Speech or Shakespeare in Love. But much of the time it meant pandering to their politics.

And thus, 3 Generations, for the transgender category, The Hunting Ground, for the campus rape category, Fruitvale Station, for police brutality, Wind River, for Native American oppression, and, if you reach back far enough, Fahrenheit 9/11 for the anti-war category and Miral, for the anti-Israel category.

And countless others.

Harvey Weinstein didn’t get all his Oscars and his clout in the industry because he had good taste. Or even a good idea of what would work. The 3 Generations debacle is a reminder of that. The New York Times pulled the trigger on the story that brought him down, after blocking a similar story in his heyday, because his company was faltering and no longer all that valuable to the finances of the big lefty paper.

Even at his peak, he was never all that big when compared to the big boys of the industry. His estimated net worth is under $300 million. What made him think he could grab Gwyneth Paltrow, the goddaughter of Steven Spielberg, an industry titan with a net worth of $3 billion, and get away with it?

All that clout which brought in Oscars, fawning media profiles and the frightened compliance of the women he abused, didn’t come from his cash, it came from his role as a culture warrior of the left.

When Harvey Weinstein wanted to bully the MPAA and promote a bad movie, he had the heads of the biggest gay rights groups at his beck and call. When he wanted to push Miral, an anti-Israel movie that was just as bad, he got it screened at the UN General Assembly Hall. When he wanted to promote, The Hunting Ground, a discredited documentary, Planned Parenthood was eager to step up.

Why was everyone from the United Nations to GLAAD so eager to accommodate Harvey?

Money was an obvious factor. Harvey donated enthusiastically to left-wing groups like Planned Parenthood and GLAAD. Just this year, he helped endow a chair in Gloria Steinem’s name.

But money wasn’t enough. Hollywood’s bigwigs routinely write big checks for trendy causes.

Harvey Weinstein got his clout as a culture warrior. An alphabet soup of lefty groups, right up to the UN, was eager to give him what he wanted because they saw him as championing their agenda.

He rolled out movies that pushed the left’s social and political agendas like no other company did. And in return, he got the same “rape pass” that Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton and other top lefties did.

It wasn’t mere money that intimidated his victims. Harvey’s millions alone didn’t buy him the right to assault and then silence women, some of whom became famous and powerful in their own right, in an industry that is the subject of constant media attention and scrutiny. It was his connections on the left.

Harvey Weinstein shoveled large amounts of money into the media and lefty groups. But more than mere cash, he had their loyalty because he fought the cultural battles that they wanted him to fight.

And they provided him with exactly the stories he wanted. And none of the stories he didn’t want.

The media is hunting through Hollywood to find out who knew about Harvey. And everyone knew and said nothing. They said nothing because the media would have destroyed them. Look back at the old stories about Harvey’s conflicts with the MPAA, with Jewish groups over Miral, and so many others, and it’s easy to spot the heavy hand of Harvey in every article. The media let him write the story.

It let him write the story because he was telling their stories in theaters across the country.

What no one in Hollywood or the media can say is that the women whom he abused were collateral damage in a culture war. Harvey ran an assembly line on which movies about the left’s latest social agenda were rolled out. If you wanted campus rapes, police brutality, transgender, gay rights, anti-Israel or anything from the Left “R” Us emporium, he made it happen. And the price was ignoring the screams coming from his hotel rooms and the office storage rooms that he allegedly brought women to.

The left paid that price. It paid it, until Harvey wasn’t good for it anymore. And then it came to collect.

Harvey Weinstein didn’t assault women ‘despite’ his leftist politics as the media alleges in its fumbling efforts to connect him to toxic masculinity. He assaulted women because of his leftist politics. It was his politics that made him feel safe assaulting women. And it was his politics that made them feel unsafe about turning him in. How do you take on a man who has Planned Parenthood in his back pocket?

And it was his cultural transgressiveness that won him a pass. The cultural pioneers of the left who break all sorts of sexual boundaries are expected to occasionally transgress boundaries like consent. That’s true across the entertainment industry. And it was true across the counterculture in general.

How many rapes were there at Occupy Wall Street camps and how much sexual harassment was there in the Bernie Sanders campaign? That’s how leftist political and culture wars have always worked.

Harvey Weinstein’s willingness to push cultural boundaries insulated him from accusations of abuse by, on the one hand, making him appear too virtuously leftist to do such a thing, and on the other hand, giving him a pass for being too transgressive to be bound by the conventions of bourgeois morality.

And Harvey’s shabby defenses have called on both arguments, trying to wrap himself in the cause of gun control, signaling his usefulness to the left, and invoking the culture of the 70s, to create complicity.

Harvey is still hoping that the left’s culture war can be invoked to protect its fallen monster.

Following its “Tragedy + Trump = Story” formula, the media has run numerous stories trying to tie Harvey to Trump. It’s revealing, not only for the partisan cynicism of trying to associate the actions of a top Obama and Hillary donor with Trump, but because it shows why the media covered for Harvey.

Even now, it’s still incapable of acknowledging that a leftist can sexually abuse and rape. Its political tribalism is so strong that it needs to associate Harvey with Trump to be able to condemn him.

And that, more than anything else, shows why the media covered for Harvey Weinstein.

The women whom Harvey allegedly abused knew that the media’s rule is that there are no enemies to the left. And Harvey had worked hard to always stay to the left of everyone else. Including his victims.

 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Paul Driessen's Comments On Next Article

It’s bad enough that climate alarmists have actively sought to keep those who disagree with the “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis from publishing or speaking on the subject, or having a role in public policy decisions. it’s far worse when they seek to prosecute climate chaos skeptics. Many organizations have been targeted in recent years by US state attorneys general and their environmentalist group allies.
Now, as Tom Harris writes, perversely named Ecojustice is trying to have a Canadian law enforcement agency prosecute the International Climate Science Coalition and other US and Canadian organizations for “misrepresenting the science” on climate change. This truly Orwellian “thoughtcrime” persecution and prosecution bodes ill for the most basic freedoms on which Canada and the United States were founded.
Thank you for posting Tom’s thought-provoking article, quoting from it, and forwarding it to your friends and colleagues.
Best regards,                                                                                                        
Paul                      

Will questioning climate change become illegal in Canada?

Ecojustice wants government “cops” to investigate, punish and silence dissent

Tom Harris

"BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU."

This slogan appeared on posters of the Party leader in the dystopian society of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. It was a constant reminder of omnipresent government surveillance for “thoughtcrime” – independent thinking.

In Orwell’s book, Ministry of Truth ‘history re-writer’ Winston Smith quietly rebelled against this oppression, starting a diary expressing forbidden thoughts. But government telescreens were everywhere. Watched constantly, Smith’s every move was monitored. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the consequences of being caught were dire; the stress on individuals enormous.

As head of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), I have been feeling a bit like Smith these days. That’s because ICSC has been under investigation by Canada's Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency that “has a legislated mandate to ensure Canadian consumers and businesses prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.”

Here’s what happened.

In December 2015, while in Paris attending counter conferences to the United Nations’ climate meetings, I learned that the environmental organization Ecojustice had registered a complaint with the Competition Bureau on behalf of six prominent Canadians against the ICSC, Friends of Science, and the Heartland Institute.

Ecojustice claimed we presented “climate science misrepresentations” which “promote the denier groups’ own business interests,” and “promote the business interests of deep-pocketed individuals and corporations that appear to fund the denier groups.”

Our own core principles – which summarize our position on climate science and which we provide on our website – were actually presented as evidence against us.

Two of our allies assembled a 37-page response to the attack in which they presented peer-reviewed research in support of our positions. They suggested I counterattack with this impressive rebuttal.

Others cautioned me to keep my powder dry since the complaint made no sense. We were simply exercising our rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to express our opinions. That is what science is all about – opinions of experts based on their interpretations of observations. And, especially in climate science, different experts have different opinions.

Further, the complainants had no idea who helps the ICSC financially. With the exception of the late Dr. Gerry G. Hatch, an Order of Canada recipient who openly supported us, the identities of our donors have been confidential since 2008. Some of our scientists have been harassed and even had death threats for contesting climate alarmism. We do not want to risk exposing our donors to such abuse.

So I did nothing, hoping the Competition Bureau would dismiss the complaint as unfounded.

Yet, five months later, it did launch an investigation, referencing a complaint that we make “representations to the public in promotion of a business interest that are false or misleading in a material respect regarding climate change.”

The Bureau warned us, “If the results of an investigation disclose evidence that, in the opinion of the Commissioner, provides the basis for a criminal prosecution, the matter may be referred to the Attorney General of Canada, who determines whether a prosecution should be undertaken.”

Although I asked the Bureau where they suspected the ICSC may have made false or misleading statements, it refused to say, citing Competition Act Subsection 10(3), which requires that inquiries be conducted privately.

Aside from a letter in November 2016 informing me that the investigation was “ongoing,” I heard essentially nothing until the beginning of July 2017 when I received a letter from the Bureau informing me:

“While the Commissioner has discontinued the inquiry, and no further steps are contemplated at this time, be advised that no binding determination has been made respecting the conduct of International Climate Science Coalition. The Commissioner continues to have discretion to investigate and take enforcement action in respect of matters previously inquired into, including where additional information is discovered following the discontinuance of an inquiry.”

The National Observer reported that they received an e-mail from a bureau spokesperson concerning this investigation, stating, “We invite Canadians who believe they may have additional information to contact the Competition Bureau.”

So, after nearly 14 months, the investigation is “discontinued” but revivable at the “discretion” of the Commissioner. Ecojustice criticized the Bureau for “walking away without finishing the job, and asserted: “Now is the time we need our cops on the climate beat to be stepping up.”

In their September 19th press release concerning the affair, Friends of Science stated, “democracy is at stake as there are ever increasing calls to jail those who hold dissenting views on climate science.”

Is this the Canada my father and grandfathers defended against tyranny?

Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cartoon of the Day

Image result for rich kozlovich

Quote of the Day!

There Is No Such Thing as Bravely Pleasing the Crowd - Robert Oscar Lopez

The Obama EPA’s crooked prosecutors

The agency’s carbon dioxide climate “endangerment finding” was a kangaroo court process

Paul Driessen

Suppose a crooked prosecutor framed someone and was determined to get a conviction. So he built an entire case on tainted, circumstantial evidence, and testimony from witnesses who had their reasons for wanting the guy in jail. Suppose the prosecutor ignored or hid exculpatory evidence and colluded with the judge to prevent the defendant from presenting a robust defense or cross-examining adverse witnesses.  

You know what would happen – at least in a fair and just society. The victim would be exonerated and compensated. The prosecutor and judge would be disbarred, fined and jailed.

What you may not know is that the Obama EPA engaged in similar prosecutorial misconduct to convict fossil fuels of causing climate chaos and endangering the health and wellbeing of Americans.

EPA then used its carbon dioxide “Endangerment Finding” to justify anti-fossil fuel regulations, close down coal-fired power plants, block pipeline construction, and exempt wind and solar installations from endangered species rules. It put the agency in control of America’s energy, economy, job creation and living standards. It drove up energy prices, killed numerous jobs, and sent families into energy poverty.

EPA’s egregious misconduct inflicted significant harm on our nation. Having acted to repeal the Obama Clean Power Plan, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt must reverse carbon dioxide’s conviction and scuttle the Endangerment Finding that serves as the foundation and justification for the agency’s war on coal, oil and natural gas. Any harm from fossil fuels or carbon dioxide is minuscule, compared to the extensive damages inflicted by the decision and subsequent regulations.

President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson took office determined to blame carbon dioxide for “dangerous” and “unprecedented” manmade global warming and climate change. They then used that preordained decision to justify closing coal-fired power plants and dramatically restricting fossil fuel use. Mr. Obama had promised to “bankrupt” coal companies. Ms. Browner wasted no time in decreeing that CO2 from oil, natural gas coal burning “endanger” human health and welfare. It was a kangaroo court.

Their Environmental Protection Agency did no research of its own. It simply cherry-picked UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and wrote a Technical Support Document to make its case. The TSD ignored studies that contradicted its predetermined Endangerment Finding – and relied on circumstantial evidence of climate and extreme weather disasters generated by computer models.

The models were programmed on the assumption that rising atmospheric CO2 levels are the primary or sole factor determining climate and weather. They assumed more carbon dioxide meant more planetary warming and worsening climate chaos. The role of the sun, cosmic rays, changing ocean currents and numerous other powerful, interconnected natural forces throughout Earth’s history was simply ignored.

The models predicted steadily increasing global temperatures and more frequent and intense storms. Instead, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continued to rise, except for a noticeable temperature spike during the 2015-2016 super El Niño, there has been no planetary warming since 1998. Harvey finally ended a record 12-year drought in Category 3-5 hurricanes making landfall in the USA.

Tornado deaths are far less frequent than in the 1950s. Floods and droughts differ little from historic trends and cycles. Antarctic land ice is at record highs, and Arctic sea ice is again within its “normal” levels for the past 50 years. Seas are rising at just seven inches per century, the same as 100 years ago.

The models also assumed more warming meant more clouds that trapped more heat. They ignored the fact that low-lying clouds trap heat but also reflect solar heat back into the atmosphere. Humans might be “contributing” to temperature, climate and weather events, at least locally. But there is no real-world evidence that “greenhouse gases” have replaced natural forces to cause climate chaos or extreme weather – and no evidence that humans can control Earth’s fickle climate by controlling emissions.

In fact, with every passing year, climate model temperature forecasts have been increasingly higher than those actually observed over most of the lower atmosphere.

The EPA approach amounted to saying, if reality conflicts with the models, reality must be wrong – or to deciding that real world evidence should be homogenized, adjusted and manipulated to fit model results.

Indeed, that’s exactly what EPA, the IPCC and other alarmist researchers have done. Older historic records were adjusted downward, modern records got bumped upward a bit, and government-paid scientists ignored satellite data and relied increasingly on measurements recorded near (and contaminated by) airport jet exhaust, blacktop parking lots, and urban areas warmed by cars, heating and AC vents.

The IPCC also claimed its referenced studies were all peer-reviewed by experts. In reality, at least 30% were not; many were prepared by graduate students or activist groups; and some of its most attention-getting claims (of rapidly melting Himalayan glaciers, for example) were nothing more than brief email messages noting that these were “possible” outcomes. Moreover, most IPCC peer reviewers were scientists who fervently promote catastrophic manmade climate change perspectives, receive government and other grants for writing reports confirming this thesis, and take turns reviewing one another’s papers.

Despite these inconvenient facts, a steady barrage of Obama EPA press releases and statements from alarmist regulators and “experts” insisted that fossil fuels were causing planetary cataclysms. Anyone who tried to present alternative, realistic data or views was ridiculed, vilified and silenced.

Even one of EPA’s most senior experts was summarily removed from the review team.  “Your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision,” Alan Carlin’s supervisor told him.

Two additional facts dramatically underscore the kangaroo court nature of EPA’s 2009 proceedings.

First, oil, natural gas and coal still provide over 80% of America’s and the world’s energy. The International Energy Agency says they will be at least this important 25 years from now. Indeed, fossil fuels are the foundation for modern industries, transportation, communication, jobs, health and living standards. Emerging economic powerhouses like China and India, developing countries the world over, and even industrialized nations like Germany and Poland are using more of these fuels every year.

The Obama EPA studiously ignored these facts – and the tremendous benefits that fossil fuels bring to every aspect of our lives. Those benefits outweigh any asserted dangers – by orders of magnitude.

Second, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, as defined by the Clean Air Act – and was never listed in any legislation as a pollutant. It was turned into an alleged pollutant by dishonest, ideological EPA prosecutors, who needed to justify their anti-fossil fuel regulatory agenda.

In reality, carbon dioxide is the miracle molecule without which most life on Earth would cease to exist. It enables plants of all kinds to convert soil nutrients and water into the fibers, fruits and seeds that are essential to humans and animals. The more CO2 in the air, the faster and better plants grow, and the more they are able to withstand droughts, disease, and damage from insects and viruses. In the process, crop, forest and grassland plants, and ocean and freshwater phytoplankton, exhale the oxygen we breathe.

In rendering its endangerment decision, EPA ignored these incalculable CO2 benefits. It ignored experts and studies that would have provided vital information about the tremendous value to our planet and people from fossil fuels and carbon dioxide.

Finally, having a slightly warmer planet with more atmospheric CO2 would be hugely beneficial for plants, wildlife and humanity. By contrast, having a colder planet, with less carbon dioxide, would be seriously harmful for arable land extent, growing seasons, crops, people and wildlife habitats.

The EPA Endangerment Finding is the foundation for the Obama era Clean Power Plan and other rules. Reversing it is essential to moving forward with science-based energy and climate policies.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and other books on public policy.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Hiatus

"The truth isn't unkind: It's just the truth."

Dear Readers,

My regular readers will have noticed I've not been posting for a few days, and with a few exceptions, this will continue through October and possibly November. I'm working on a project that's become difficult in the research and the volume of information I already have that I need to sift through.

In recent years I've been reading more but reading fewer books. I keep ordering them but I don't get to them nearly as quickly as I like.....some have been there for more than two years. Right now I have 14 books on my shelf I need to read. I just finished four others this last six weeks, and will be working on my reviews. I set a goal to read a book a week, but I'm finding that to be more difficult than I thought. Having a job really interferes with my life.  So that means something has to give.  I've decided doing my web searches and reading all that information to decide what to post is too time consuming and the only thing I can cut out at this time.   

Paradigms and Demographics is meant to be profound and provocative, but I find my posts are more provocative and less profound when I don't have the proper balance between reading articles and commentaries versus reading books. I'm sure that balance is subjective and varies with individuals, but I typically see the world a little differently than most others and find I need to read more books in order to present to you what I firmly believe is reality over spin and propaganda - the truth.  Books give far more depth and substance to any subject, not to mention the insights you acquire allowing for better and expanded research, and for better presentation.   

Thank you for your interest in Paradigms and Demographics. 

Best wishes,

Rich


Friday, October 13, 2017

Peter Zeihan on Geopolitics: Special Announcement



            
VISIT THE ARCHIVES TO RE-READ AND SHARE
 
The Absent Superpower Audiobook


I am pleased to announce that the audiobook version of The Absent Superpower is now available! As a quick update, you can get a copy of Absent in the following ways:
  • The audiobook can be found here, on Amazon and iTunes.
  • Print copies are available through Amazon or through your favorite local bookseller.
  • eBook versions are available via the Kindle service, and the free Kindle app for your various iDevices, etc.
  • You can also get autographed copies of either Absent or my first book, The Accidental Superpower, direct through my website – I would be remiss not to mention that they make great gifts with the holiday season around the corner!
  • And, of course, Accidental can be found on Amazon in all of these forms and in print at your favorite local bookstore.
Thank you all for supporting my books and for all the great feedback and reviews! I'll let you know when the next book is coming out.

 -Peter
 

Heartland Institute: Special Announcement

 
The Heartland Institute is pleased to announce Paul Driessen has joined its highly acclaimed Free-Market Speakers Bureau.
 
Driessen is a senior policy advisor with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. He is the author of Eco Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death and coeditor of Energy Keepers, Energy Killers.
 
Book Driessen to speak about energy and environmental policy, climate change, corporate social responsibility, and other topics by contacting The Heartland Institute’s Events Manager Nikki Comerford
 
 
During a 25-year career that included staff tenures with the U.S. Senate, Department of the Interior, and an energy trade association, Driessen has spoken and written frequently on a variety of topics, including energy, the environment, economic development, and international affairs.
 
A former member of the Sierra Club and Zero Population Growth, he abandoned their cause when he recognized the environmental movement had become intolerant in its views, inflexible in its demands, unwilling to recognize the United States’ tremendous strides in protecting the environment, and insensitive to the needs of billions of people who lack food, electricity, safe water, health care, and other basic necessities that are provided in part by fossil-fuel use and industry.
 
Driessen received his bachelor’s degree in geology and field ecology from Lawrence University, his juris doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law, and is accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America.
 
      

The Heartland Institute
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The mission of The Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and
promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.

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