Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

19 April 2019

What Do Freedom-Loving People Do When Government Comes to Take Your Arms

On 19 April 1775, the British army entered Lexington, Massachusetts on its way to Concord, Massachusetts to take weapons and rounds from the militia which Great Britain had come to fear.  The Americans were determined to prevent the loss of their ability to defend themselves.  The result that day was the battles of Lexington, Concord, and the severe punishment of the British troops as they retreated back to Boston.

Most of the people of Massachusetts outside of Boston were previously in a state of rebellion in that the Americans were no longer obeying many of the commands of the government of Great Britain.  The people had had enough of a legislature passing laws that did not have their interests in mind and that did not act to protect the exercise of their individual rights.  The British Parliament had too often restricted the means of Americans in earning their living in favor of businesses in Great Britain.  Great Britain was too ready to tax Americans, often claiming that Americans needed to pay more for British armed forces protections, which the Americans actually found highly wanting.  Great Britain was also acting to prevent Americans from owning huge areas of the continent.

Today, the federal government of the United States of America fails to protect the individual rights of Americans also.  Our Congress daily shows its contempt for the interests of most of the American people.  Our government too often tramples upon our efforts to exercise our individual rights.  The federal government restricts our ability to earn a living in many ways, with a great deal of help in doing this from state and local governments.  The governments too often grant privileges at the expense of the People to special interests such as labor unions, green energy companies, large financial institutions, excessively complex laws necessitating the hiring of highly paid lawyers and accountants, favoritism of educators, the fostering of hordes of bureaucrats who eat out the substance of the land, and huge grants to dishonest environmentalists and global warming alarmist scientists.  The federal government holds ownership of a huge fraction of the land area of the USA, preventing private ownership and its use in productive enterprises.  And the Democrat Socialist Party is an enthusiastic advocate of draconian gun controls and the confiscation of any significant weapon capability on the part of the People.

Few Americans today would stand up to their government if it were to come to Lexington and Concord or anywhere else in the USA and demand that they give up their weapons.  It is an amazing thing that 244 years ago, Americans had the strength of their convictions to stand up to the mighty army and navy of Great Britain and buy us a couple of hundred years of comparative freedom.  It is important to remember those brave and hardy freedom-loving men on this important anniversary.

The US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement and Compounded Growth

The Associated Press has distributed an article claiming that the International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency, says that Trump's new USMCA trade agreement will only yield an increase to the GDP of 0.35%.  To claim that this is a negligible effect is to be ignorant of compounded growth and the many other possibilities that government has for avoiding putting burdens on the private sector that impede economic growth.

If the US private sector economy grows by 2.9% a year or it grows by 3.25% instead, this can make a bigger difference than most people think it will.  The average American is going to live another 40 years, so let us project the effects of this difference in annual growth rate over a 40 year period.  An economy growing at a rate of 2.9% rate will be 3.138 times larger in 40 years than it was at the start.  An economy growing at a rate of 3.25% a year, or a 0.35% higher rate, will be 3.594 times larger.  This projected higher growth rate economy is 14.5% larger than the projected slower growth rate economy is.  That is a substantial difference.

Now some readers are going to say that the USMCA trade agreement will not increase the economy's growth rate by 0.35% every year over 40 years.  That is probably correct.  A really good agreement might be able to do that, but the Trump agreement probably will not do that.  However, there are a plethora of ways that the federal government can take actions year after year that will allow the economy to grow by an additional 0.35% that year than it would otherwise.  The government can roll back expensive regulations with little rational reason to exist.  It can desist from instituting new regulations that cost more than they are rationally worth.  A decrease in the number of expensive and irrational regulations would give American companies much assurance that investing money in increased production in the USA will be profitable.  It is immensely damaging when a President declares that he intends to wipe out an industry he does not like and in so doing hurt supporting companies and the jobs of tens of thousands of Americans, as Obama did to the coal industry and his party threatens to do to the oil and gas industries.  It could stop over-withholding income taxes so that money could be circulating in the private sector economy at a higher velocity.  It can and should reduce taxes.  It should release many government employees so they can do productive work in the private sector.  It should release millions of acres of land it holds so that land can be put to much more productive use in the private sector.  It could take steps to greatly reduce absurd burdens due to excessive legal actions against companies simply because they may have deep pockets.

There are so many ways the federal government and state and local governments could act to see that future private sector growth rates are 0.35% larger year after year.  In fact, when Obama was suppressing the growth rates to levels of about 2%, the 40 year result compared to a 3.25% growth rate result is even more dramatic.  After 40 years at a growth rate of 2%, the economy is 2.208 times larger, while at a rate of 3.25% growth it is 3.594 times larger.  The higher growth rate economy at 40 years is 1.628 times larger than the Obama normal growth rate economy.  Imagine how much of an impact that added growth then has on the every day lives of Americans.  That larger society will provide much better medical care, produce much more advanced technology, have a much greater understanding of reality, provide individuals with many more options in life, and will surely allow a massive increase in charitable giving.

It is very foolish to minimize even seemingly small improvements in the economic growth rate.  The growth of the private sector is the basis for improvements in the richness and security of our lives.  We have the option of allowing the economy to grow at compounded higher growth rates that will make huge differences in the quality of our lives in our lifetimes and in those of our children.

09 April 2019

The price of electricity in Germany and renewable energy as manipulated by Physics World

According to Physics World on 27 March 2019, a publication of the Institute of Physics, 
between 2008 and 2015 renewable energy deployment “caused an electricity market price reduction of 24% in Germany and of 35% in Sweden”.
Yet, according to Clean Energy Wire:

We see that the average cost of electricity for a German household using 3,500 kWh/year of electricity from 2006 to 2019 went up 55.3%.  From 2008 to 2015, it went up 32.6%, which is a far cry from falling by 24% as stated by Physics World.  The only major component of the household cost that fell from 2008 to 2018 was the Aquisition/sales component and it fell by only 2.4%, not 24%.

The case for "renewable energy" even from the Institute for Physics and Physics World is much akin to the magician's use of misdirection.  There no doubt is some way to parse out energy costs that allows one to claim that an electricity market price reduction of 24% occurred in Germany between 2008 and 2015, but this is highly irrelevant to the consumer who has to pay for electricity.

Note in the graph above that the grid fee has gone up, which is exactly what one expects when one has to collect energy from many small sources such as wind generation and solar panels tend to be.  The value added tax went up, no doubt in part so the German government could use a part of that tax money to enforce a transition away from hydrocarbon fuels, pay for its own higher operational costs due to its higher electricity costs, and to pay for its extensive propaganda about how catastrophic man-made global warming justified forcing the nation to use more expensive and unreliable wind and solar power.

Note that the Renewables surcharge went up from 2008 to 2015 by 532%!  What was the purpose of that fee?  Why its purpose was to subsidize wind and solar power generation.  Why is there a need to subsidize renewable power generation if the cost of electricity is falling as Physics World claims it is?  The answer seems clearly to be that they are quoting a cost that has the subsidy paid out by the Renewables surcharge built into it.

So, let us just focus on the sum of the Acquisition/sales cost and the Renewables surcharge cost from 2008 to 2015 to get a more realistic understanding of the effects of the governmental push for renewable energy on the German consumer.  The sum of these costs in 2008 was 8.38 Euro cents per kWh/yr.  In 2015, the cost was 13.22 Euro cents.  From 2008 to 2015, the cost to the consumer went up by 57.8%, which is a very different story from going down by 24%.  From 2006 to 2019, this measure of the cost of the electricity went up by 227%.

No fear that the Physics World magician will saw the case for renewable energy in two.  Physics World will not spill any of its blood, no matter what measures of reader misdirection are required.  Note that it is most curious that an article published in 2019 terminated its cost claim with data from 2015.  But that is itself a small act of misdirection compared to ignoring such costs increases as the Renewables surcharge or the increased grid costs, which I am sure are among the added costs that make wind and solar possible at all on the grid.

I sure do hate to see the dishonesty of such institutions as the American Institute of Physics and the Institute of Physics, based in the United Kingdom on all matters pertaining to catastrophic man-made global warming.  The major institutions of physics have become sorry prostitutes, with far less necessity to justify their behavior than most prostitutes probably have.  There is no heart of gold there.  You only have to look at what they are perfectly happy to do to the German household consumer and how they want to extend that to everyone else in the world.

Who can you trust?  Not the major scientific institutions.  Real evil resides in the Institute of Physics, as it also does in the American Institute of Physics and many another professional scientific organization.  

01 April 2019

Why I Don't "Believe" in "Science" by Robert Tracinski

I recommend this excellent article by Robert Tracinski.  Here is a brief quote from it, but please read his entire article:

Some people may use “I believe in science” as vague shorthand for confidence in the ability of the scientific method to achieve valid results, or maybe for the view that the universe is governed by natural laws which are discoverable through observation and reasoning.
But the way most people use it today—especially in a political context—is pretty much the opposite. They use it as a way of declaring belief in a proposition which is outside their knowledge and which they do not understand.
And Robert also says:
The problem is the word “belief.” Science isn’t about “belief.” It’s about facts, evidence, theories, experiments. You don’t say, “I believe in thermodynamics.” You understand its laws and the evidence for them, or you don’t. “Belief” doesn’t really enter into it.
So as a proper formulation, saying “I understand science” would be a start. “I understand the science on this issue” would be better. That implies that you have engaged in a first-hand study of the specific scientific questions involved in, say, global warming, which would give you the basis to support a conclusion. If you don’t understand the basis for your conclusion and instead have to accept it as a “belief,” then you don’t really know it, and you certainly are in no position to lecture others about how they must believe it, too.

I have long maintained that most of the people who claim they believe in catastrophic man-made global warming and a scientific consensus that it is a proven theory, do not have a coherent understanding of the science or the economics to rationally support their beliefs.

For instance, those scientists said to constitute the consensus cannot even agree on the scientific basis for the claims themselves.  Those who create the climate computer models produce results which are highly divergent from one another and also highly divergent from reality.

There is a very good reason for this.  They do not understand the physics of the atmosphere and thermal radiation.  Their ideas are commonly in error and the very principles of physics they say they believe in are not consistently applied.  The resultant theories produced by those scientists who even try to put forth a theory have an incredible number of combinations of errors.

Given the bias toward catastrophic man-made global warming, any output that concludes there is significant warming due to carbon dioxide or other man-made infrared-active gases is said to support the consensus.  Garbage in -- dogma out.  There is no scientific consensus at all.

31 March 2019

The Electoral College is Vitally Important

The Democrat Socialist Party wants to eliminate the Electoral College.  Others are pushing a compact among the states to have each state ignore the votes of its own citizens and award their electoral college votes to the Presidential candidate who won the plurality of votes in the nationwide election.  This interstate compact does not eliminate the Electoral College, but it does eliminate its purpose.

Both of these ideas would have awful consequences.  Among them are:

  • Already extensive voter fraud will explode.  Contrary to the oft repeated claims of academics, who are in the pocket of the Democrat Socialist Party, that voter fraud is insignificant, actual election managers have known for decades that every Democrat Socialist Party Presidential Candidate has 150,000 fraudulent votes in Philadelphia.  New York City, Boston, Providence, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago will all deliver large numbers of fraudulent votes to the Democrat Socialist Party also.  Voter fraud can only operate on a massive scale where one political party has long held power over an area with a large population for a long period of time.  A nationwide plurality contest will make it much harder to triage the many cases of voter fraud for investigation.  With the Electoral College, one can focus voter fraud investigations on those areas where the vote will actually change the outcome of the state-wide election and the way its Electoral College votes are cast.

  • The Democrat Socialist Party presidential candidate will spend even less time in rural areas of the country and in towns and small cities than they already do.  It is a great advantage to have the richest lode of one's voters crowded together in a few large cities.  Limited time and money can be far more effectively focused on these high density ant-nests of humanity than is possible for a candidate who seeks the votes of Americans living in lower population density areas of the nation.  Post-election maps will show even more of the nation in red even as a few dots of blue carry the Presidential election.  Future Presidents will be less and less able to claim that they are the President of all the People.  It will become ever easier for them to disregard those who live in fly-over country and to designate them the Deplorables.

  • Legitimate government is government that protects the exercise of every citizen's individual rights.  Unfettered democracy is actually pressed to trample the rights of many citizen's in order to purchase the votes of a plurality of citizens.  In many cases, the interests of people living in cities and high density areas are different than those who live in lower density areas.  The city-dweller may be very happy to have all the products he needs that require natural resources as inputs to come from China, Africa, and South America.  He may be more ready to buy into environmental scare tactics than some who live in a mining area.  The city-dweller might be susceptible to using the government to drive down food prices at the expense of farmers and those who process and transport food materials.  The city-dweller likely has no interest in the fate of fishermen.  He is likely to want federal tax deductions for heavy state and local taxes at the expense of more rural people with less expensive governments.  The city-dweller will push for expensive subsidies for public transportation at the expense of people from lower density population areas.  City-dwellers and the Democrat Socialist Party are already very often seeking to force employers to pay high minimum wages such as the commonly demanded $15/hour wage.  Even in cities a minimum wage requirement does great harm to those who are little educated, have low work skills, or are little motivated to work.  But minimum wage requirements on the national level are even more devastating in rural areas where businesses have fewer potential customers and where the cost of living is commonly much lower.  Our Republic, under which the Electoral College is a key leg, was designed to discourage a portion of the disregard that an unfettered democracy has for individuals and minorities of the electorate.

  • That party most eager to have a federal government which provides goodies to its voters while showing a great willingness to harm those who do not vote or who vote for another party will benefit most from keeping the Electoral College from doing the task it was set up to do by the Framers of the Constitution.  The Framers knew the dangers of democracy.  They knew that governments are biased in favor of increasing their power over the People.  They put many checks and balances into our system of federal governance in order to provide for our welfare by minimizing the dangers to individuals and minorities that democracies are inclined toward and by making it harder for governments to increase their power and control over the lives of the People.  When the state legislatures were no longer allowed to designate the electors to the Electoral College, the federal system was undermined.  The power of the states was diminished.  This made it easier for a party to ignore many states as it sought power at the federal government level.  

  • A constitutional amendment is required to eliminate the Electoral College.  Such amendments are hard to pass.  An amendment ultimately requires the approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures.  This is pretty much an impossible task for the Democrat Socialist Party to achieve, since so many of the states are clearly to be ignored by them once they have eliminated the Electoral College.  The idea that everyone's vote should count in a Presidential election has a lot of naive appeal to many Americans, so the compact between the states that each state will cast its electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote across America has some appeal.  It requires the approval of many fewer state legislatures than does an amendment to the Constitution.  Many of the states to be ignored by the future government can also be ignored in the process of putting this compact into play.  I do wonder if once the People of a state have voted for candidate A, but candidate B wins the national popular vote, how stable the compact of legislatures will be when the People of that state find their own legislature betraying their state-wide vote.  For instance, imagine that Trump had won the popular vote.  Can you imagine the uproar in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California when their electoral votes were cast for Trump?

  • The entire plurality that Hillary Clinton won over Donald Trump was based on the vote in California, where Republicans are largely disenfranchised by a state election system that places Democrat Socialists running against Democrat Socialists for virtually every state-wide office in the general election and few if any Republicans are on the ballot.  This Democrat Socialist voting system is a strong voter suppression factor.  The interstate compact to award each state's electoral votes to the popular vote winner will encourage more states solidly controlled by a party to adopt this form of voter suppression.  All evidence to this point is that Democrats are more willing to suppress the vote of Republicans than Republicans are eager to suppress the Democrat vote. 

Most of the support for weakening the Electoral College is in the Democrat Socialist Party.  That is the same party that wants to have children, felons, and non-citizens vote, a $15 minimum wage, welfare for those who choose not to work, Medicare for all, no power except intermittent wind and solar, ever more federal land, regulations against any environmental harm that can be imagined by Chicken Little, catastrophic man-made global warming based on faulty physics and lacking any catastrophe, open borders with a welfare state, and which discourages people from having children.  There is no lunacy too loony for the Democrat Socialist Party which is well-represented by the donkey or ass and in some states also by the white segregationist rooster.

Hilary Clinton's loss of the last election brought on a new sense of urgency to undermine the Electoral College with her claim of a majority of the votes.  Actually, she only had a plurality.  What is more, the sum of the votes to the smaller government parties such as the Republican, Libertarian, and Constitution parties was greater than that for the likes of the Democrats, Green, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the Socialist Workers parties.

Rather than more unfettered democracy, we need more institutions and laws that protect individuals and minorities of all kinds -- not just racial, gender, or sexuality -- from the brutal use of force and the harms that a plurality of voters and their chosen power-hungry politicians are all too often eager to inflict upon them.

19 March 2019

Letter to President Trump Recommending a President's Commission on Climate Security

I recently defended Prof. William Happer from an absurd and highly irrational attack upon his qualifications to head a President's Commission on Climate Security which was published on the front page of the Washington Post.  Many of the alarmist advocates of catastrophic man-made global warming are adamantly opposed to any critical review of the science and the claims of catastrophe resulting from increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or from small temperature increases should they occur.  They are terrified that further debate and evaluation of these claims that would drain many trillions of dollars out of our economy and lower the standard of living of all Americans will reveal to the public many of the errors in their physics and their hugely exaggerated claims of harmful effects.

There are many critics of the so-called consensus science of catastrophic man-made global warming.  Some of us have just sent the following letter to President Trump recommending the formation of a President's Commission on Climate Security.  I am publishing a copy of that letter, which I have signed, below:

The point of posting the letter here is to take full responsibility for my action in signing this letter.  Those who will damn me are welcome to do so, though it would be much more effective if you can provide a rational reason for doing so.  I am confident that in subsequent decades my action in standing up for my evaluation of the claims of catastrophic man-made global warming will be proven to be correct and courageous.  I am willing to bet my reputation that I am among the American heroes who advocated strongly against the horrendous mistake of believing in catastrophic man-made global warming and the highly destructive acts that have and likely will continue to occur as a result of that erroneous and not infrequently larcenous claim.  A man is not a real man unless he stands with integrity for his ideas and his principles.

17 March 2019

Comments on Green Fantasy: The GND and Renewable Energy by Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

Jay Lehr of the Heartland Institute and Tom Harris of International Climate Science Coalition wrote an interesting article on the absolute absurdity of the Green New Deal (GND) program of the Democratic Socialists which is on-line at American Thinker, entitled Green Fantasy: The GND and Renewable Energy  It is well worth reading in its entirety, but I am going to note some of its interesting points here and make some comments of my own on GND.

As you should know, the Green New Deal aims to eliminate the use of hydrocarbon fuels removed from the ground over the next 12 years, because its advocates claim that once again the Earth will die along with all humans in that time-frame if we do not do so.  This sort of doomsday prediction is a common claim of religious people who are frustrated by a lack of attention.  Believe our religion or the world will end.  The Green Religion has already given us many the world-will-end deadlines, yet we have managed to survive them all to date.  There have not even been any close calls!

The GND also wants to rid us of nuclear power plants and as many hydroelectric dams as possible in 12 years as well.  For all fossil fuel energy, nuclear energy, and lost hydropower we are to substitute solar, wind, and biofuel power.  The biofuel option is an odd one, since most of the argument against fossil fuels is based on the false claim that the carbon dioxide emissions their use entails will cause catastrophic global warming.  It is as though the Green Religion advocates are ignorant of the fact that the use of biofuels also results in carbon dioxide emissions directly upon their use.

Lehr and Harris make some particularly interesting comments on solar power limitations.  Solar power farms based on silicon photovoltaics produce a national average of 5 to 7 watts per square meter.  The U.S. Energy Administration says that making the photovoltaic material uses 3,370 kilowatt hours of energy per square meter of solar collector surface.  Lehr and Harris noted that solar collectors take up a little over 50% of the area of the land of a solar farm, so one can calculate that even at the 7 W per square meter high end of the solar farm efficiency range, it takes 27.5 years of solar farm operation simply to recover the energy input cost of making the solar collector material, assuming that the collector material covers half of the solar farm land area.  Note that Lehr and Harris say it takes more than 50 years, but they forgot that the collector material covers only a little over half of the area of the solar farm. This does not even count the energy that otherwise went into building the solar farm and operating it for those 27.5 years.  It has to be noted that many solar farms to date have not operated more than a small fraction of 27.5 years before they were abandoned as uneconomical to operate.  No one actually thinks that the average solar farm of the next decade is going to last 27.5 years either.

They also note that even in very sunny areas of the U.S., a 1,000 megawattt solar farm would take 51 square miles of land.  Note that the U.S. uses energy at about the rate of 1.3 x 1014 W, which requires about 13,000 of these 1,000 megawatt solar farms to replace.  This would require about 663,000 square miles of solar farms, assuming that all of them were in the sunniest parts of the USA.  This is almost exactly the size of Alaska, but Alaska is hardly suitable and even though it is the least inhabited of our states in terms of population density, the Green Religion would never allow its being turned into nothing but solar farms.  Much of southern California might be relatively suitable, but getting all of the Democrat Socialists who live there to move out and make way would meet with their resistance and only provide less than a tenth of the necessary land area.  Probably much less than a tenth given the interference of mountain ranges.  Building such solar farms will always meet with much local resistance.  Before a few hundred such solar farms could be built, the Green Religion would turn massively against them being built anywhere with claims that some subspecies of animal would be threatened or some scenic view ruined.

The Green New Deal is indeed a fantasy.  It is also a nightmare.  Many of its backers have given no thought to whether it is possible.  Many know it is not possible and only want it to be pursued because it will destroy the energy industries we all rely heavily upon. The GND will provide much more power to the government which the Democrat Socialists plan to use to exercise ever greater control over our individual lives.  Controlling our energy use and our healthcare with a government controlled single payer system will make the people nothing but slaves to the Democrat Socialist elite.  Raw and brutally exercised power is the real motivation for the GND and for single-payer healthcare.

Jay Lehr and Tom Harris say that much of their article is based on data and arguments by Bruce Bunker, Ph.D., in his 2018 book The Mythology of Global Warming, published by Moonshine Cove.

24 February 2019

The Washington Post Questions the Climate Change Expertise of Prof. William Happer

That great organ of the Democrat Socialists, the Washington Post, was in a huff in a front page top of the fold story about a new national security panel being formed to consider the possible threats of climate change.  The Washington Post article by Juliet Eilperin and Missy Ryan on Thursday, 21 February 2019, did its utmost to belittle the purpose of the panel and, in particular, to belittle the head of the panel, William Happer, Professor Emeritus of Princeton University.  The article over and over claimed that the question of catastrophic climate change was settled by the UN and by a number of government reports issued under Obama or by the political establishment (The Deep State) even since Trump became President.

Climate Change can certainly have national security implications.  The African people who lived around the Great Lake Chad which is now the Sahara Desert are testimony to that.  The droughts that so greatly affected both the Anasazi and the Mayan peoples were a national security issue of great magnitude for them.  The change to a much colder climate was a security problem for the Vikings who settled in Greenland when substantial parts of Greenland were green.  None of these problems were caused by man's use of fossil fuels for energy, however.  Today, the Democrat Socialists and the Washington Post want us all to believe that there is an equivalency between climate change and global warming caused by man's carbon dioxide emissions.  They complain that Trump is encouraging increased production of hydrocarbon fuels.

I have pointed out over and over the many errors in the physics upon which the catastrophic man-made global warming advocates have based their claims of drastic warming due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Will Happer has also been a critic of their bad physics and among other issues, he has pointed out one of the ways they exaggerate the effect of carbon dioxide is by ignoring changes in its absorption spectrum as the atmospheric pressure decreases at higher altitudes.  Even though he thinks they exaggerate the temperature increase due to carbon dioxide, he thinks that increase is greater than I do.  However, he also recognizes that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide has several good effects, such as increased plant health and a sight warming effect.

The National Security Council has issued a discussion paper on a federal advisory committee
"to advise the President on scientific understanding of today's climate, how the climate might change in the future under natural and human influences, and how a changing climate could affect the security of the United States."
The document notes that reports issued since Trump became President have stated that climate change is a serious threat.
"However these scientific and national security judgments have not undergone a rigorous independent and adversarial scientific peer review to examine the certainties and uncertainties of climate science, as well as implications for national security."
These statements by the NSC document are absolutely correct, but they frighten the Democrat Socialists and the Deep State.

Hilariously, the Washington Post expects us to take seriously the claim by Francesco Femia, CEO of the Council on Strategic Risks and co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security when he claims
"This is the equivalent of setting up a committee on nuclear-weapons proliferation and having someone lead it who doesn't think nuclear weapons exist."
Nonsense!  Will Happer knows that climate change exists.  But unlike the alarmist advocates of catastrophic man-made global warming, he does not see an equivalency between man's carbon dioxide emissions and catastrophic global warming or climate change.  Over and over, the alarmists try to imply an unproven and an actually clearly wrong equivalency.

Keeping with the hilarity:  The Washington Post article says that Will Happer is unqualified because he
"is not formally trained as a climate scientist.  He developed a national reputation for his work on laser technology used in missile defense and on the interactions between light and atoms."
Now on the one hand the Washington Post believes that there is an equivalency between increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and catastrophic climate change, but on the other hand it does not recognize that the physical mechanism by which this is claimed to happen is due to the interaction of light (the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum) and atoms (those of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane primarily).  The laser technology of his expertise includes those that emit infrared radiation and addresses the propagation of that radiation through the atmosphere with its losses due to absorption by molecules in the air.  Prof. Will Happer is exactly the kind of expert most qualified to address the basic physics behind the claims of the physics-ignorant formally trained climate scientists.

The Washington Post is very certain that Will Happer and all other critics of catastrophic man-made carbon dioxide emissions climate change are either idiots or they are bought by the hydrocarbon industries.  They point out that Will Happer once was paid between $10,000 and $15,000 by Peabody Coal to testify before a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission hearing.  I have been accused of taking money from the hydrocarbon industries for the same reason, despite the fact that I have been paid several times as much by so-called green or renewable energy companies as by the hydrocarbon industries.  Of course, the many people in environmental groups and who work for so-called green energy companies are never doubted about their testimony when they act in favor for their much greater dependence on the catastrophic man-made global warming crisis for their livelihoods.

Consider the certainty expressed by the Washington Post in this article and many others over the years that man's carbon dioxide emissions are causing and will cause catastrophic problems for mankind and the animal kingdom.  If they really do not know that the interaction of light, specifically infrared light, and atmospheric molecules is at the heart of the physics of catastrophic man-made climate change, how can they justify any certainty about those claims?  Are they just buffoons?  Or is this more a matter of fraud than buffoonery?  Did they phrase the last quote above with great care because they believe their readers are too ignorant themselves to understand how nonsensical their claim is that Will Happer is unqualified to head up the new advisory panel because he is only a physicist and not a formally trained climate scientist?  Are they buffoons or are they scam artists?  Or are they both buffoons and scam artists?

20 February 2019

The Institute for Justice Wins an Important Case Against Excessive Fines at the Supreme Court

As a supporter and contributor to the Institute for Justice, I received the e-mail I am copying below today.  This is another of many good reasons to support the Institute for Justice, which also acts to protect us from improper eminent domain seizures, some ridiculous water protection EPA regulatory activities, licensing requirements that are really intended to favor those who already have licenses to practice their profession, and very importantly to allow us more school choice.

In a unanimous 9–0 decision released this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with IJ and Tyson Timbs and ruled that the Eighth Amendment’s protection against excessive fines applies to every level of government. Writing for the majority, Justice Ginsburg states that “[p]rotection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history for good reason: Such fines undermine other liberties. … They can also be employed, not in service of penal purposes, but as a source of revenue.”
IJ brought this vital constitutional question before the Court last November in the context of civil forfeiture, which perfectly illustrates the majority opinion’s point. In allowing state and local governments to seize and keep cash, cars, homes, and other property—often without ever convicting owners of any wrongdoing—forfeiture laws give law enforcement a powerful incentive to police for profit.
This decision will provide every single American, including those who fall victim to forfeiture abuse, with robust constitutional protection against excessive fines imposed by state and local governments. Moreover, today’s opinion gives IJ ammunition to take on other abusive fines and fees schemes throughout the nation. We also plan on making Timbs the first in a series of cases the Court takes on to fundamentally reassess the constitutionality of civil forfeiture laws.
Thank you for making these historic accomplishments for liberty possible.
Scott G. Bullock
President and General Counsel
Institute for Justice

06 February 2019

The Parable of the Coat-Giving Father

The Democratic Party answered the State of the Union speech with a view from another world.  In Stacey Abrams' world, Americans were in good shape financially under Obama, but are now living in a deep depression.  On behalf of the Democratic Party, she made a plea that we all work together to take care of one another as we once did when we brought an end to Jim Crow laws.  In this vein, she demanded that we terminate the use of fossil fuels to prevent the end of the world by global warming and that we use the force of government to end all discrimination against LGBTQ persons.

Oops, the main opposition to Jim Crow was always the Republican Party!  Oh well, hardly anyone knows anything at all about history anymore.  The Democratic Party controlled education system has seen to that.

Oops, there is mounting evidence that the Earth is cooling, particularly in the thermosphere, and will continue cooling for the next few decades due to a great reduction in solar activity.  Additions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere does virtually nothing to change the temperature of the Earth's surface or troposphere.  Ending the use of fossil fuels will only make energy more expensive and less dependable, hurting those with lower incomes the most.  The Democratic Party is all in for hurting people with higher energy costs.

Oops, the Democrat Obama administration fought hard to maintain Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the courts against veterans backed by the Log Cabin Republicans.  The Obama administration lost the court case at the Appeals Court level and their next defense of DADT would have been before the Supreme Court.  They gave up the case because it looked like they would lose again in the Supreme Court and at about that time polls showed that Americans did not support DADT and were supporting gay marriages.  The Democrats are hardly winter soldiers on matters of principle, despite their pretensions.

In emotional support for her take care of one another thesis, she offered the parable of her Father Giving Away His Coat to a man on the highway on a cold and rainy night.  He was walking home from work and came upon a man cold and shivering who had no coat.  He gave the man his coat because he knew that he was not alone -- his family would come to get him.

Is this freedom to choose your own values and to act on those values what the Democratic Party stands for?  What that party stands for is actually this story:

A man on the highway is alone, cold, and shivering.  A government strongman in body armor and armed with a semi-automatic weapon is patrolling the highway and notes the condition of the cold, shivering man without a coat.  He waits for another man to come along who has a coat.  He confronts that man and points his weapon at the man and demands that he give his coat to the cold, shivering man.  He then demands the now coatless man's wallet and takes 40% of the money in the wallet.  He takes a quarter of that and puts it in his own wallet.  He turns over a half of what he originally took to his department claiming, without any need for evidence, that it was taken because the man who had it was engaged in crime (the Father did often hitchhike).  What happens to the other quarter?  The Democrats in control of the government give it to Solyndra or some other scheme by rich and connected people to take advantage to the American people.  This is the actual pattern of Democratic Party controlled governments.  See New York state, California, Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Chicago and many, many other examples.

This is the party of Jim Crow laws, so it is capable of doing terrible harm to many Americans, always justified by the claim that you have to harm some people to help the greater number or the most needy.  There is no surer path to power than that paved by the claim that you will use the power of government to help most of the people, while ignoring the fact that most people are far better at choosing their own values and managing their own lives than are government legislators and bureaucrats who do not know us as individuals and do not even care to do so.  After all, they see most of us as Deplorables, which is natural given that they really do believe that most of us have no business choosing our own values and managing our own lives in accordance with our own values.

Stacey Abrams would not allow her own Father to choose his own values and manage his life in accordance with his values,  She is blind to how important that very likely was to him.  I am not endorsing self-sacrifice, but men need to be free to choose their own values.  There is no freedom if we are not free to do so and, if having done so, to be free we must be free to act in pursuit of our own values.

It was refreshing to hear Trump endorse freedom and clearly condemn socialism.  Unfortunately, his advocacy of a law to require paternity leave is inconsistent with freedom.

31 January 2019

Concern for Socialist Dictator Maduro of Venezuela is an Indicator of the True Intentions of Democrat Socialists in the USA

The Venezuelan National Assembly was duly elected, while the embattled dictator Nicolas Maduro was the winner of a "sham election under absurdly rigged conditions" according to Democrat Senator Dick Durbin, though he himself is hardly a supporter of the many and broad rights of the individual.  The National Assembly of Venezuela appointed Juan Guaido its interim president, which it is empowered to do by the Constitution of Venezuela.  According to many American Democrat Socialists, the U.S. anointed Juan Guaido and has no business meddling in Venezuelan affairs, though what the U.S. actually did was to recognize the constitutionally appointed President of Venezuela.  Meanwhile, Maduro uses the military to murder and imprison any opposition as he drives more and more Venezuelans into unemployment and ever starvation.

Venezuela was among the richest nations in the world a couple of decades ago.  Venezuela began a bad downward trend after the election of Hugo Chavez in December 1998.  The CIA World Fact Book estimated the loss of GDP in 2015 at 6.2%, in 2016 at 16.5%, and in 2017 at 14%.  The World Bank estimated the GDP loss in 2017 at 14.5% and estimates that the 2018 loss of GDP will be 18%.  The CIA World Fact Book says that the per capita GDP in PPP terms in 2015 was $17, 300, which fell to $12,500 in 2017.  The unemployment rate in 2017 was 27.1%.  The 2017 consumer price inflation rate was 1090% and it is worse now.

The brutality of the Maduro regime and the catastrophic economic deterioration of the country do not put a dent in the international solidarity of American Democratic Socialists and like-thinking nations around the world.  Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Turkey, Nicaragua, and Hezbollah all support the Maduro regime.  American socialist Bernie Sanders says the U.S. must not support a coup against Maduro, though he has usurped the Presidency of Venezuela and thanks to the National Assembly is no longer the President of Venezuela.  The people are rioting against his dictatorial regime in the streets, but their opposition to his regime is not to be supported by the U.S. if Sanders gets his wishes.  Meanwhile, Maduro continues on with the support of Cuban intelligence, Cuban troops, and Putin's private army of mercenaries backing him up.  Protestors are shot in the streets.  Bernie, the coup has already occurred and it is being led by Maduro and his Cuban and Russian allies.

California Democat Ro Khanna and the socialist pop star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are among the many American socialist critics of an "American Coup."  The Maduro - Cuban - Russian Coup is of no real concern to them.  After all, socialism is to be supported by the faithful no matter what hardships it entails.  So many American socialists had no problem with Stalin starving 6 or 7 million Ukrainians to death.  They had no problem with Chairman Mao starving and killing about 60 million Chinese.  Socialism at any cost!

As is usually the case, a religion has no problem killing massive numbers of people to achieve its ends.  The god of the Israelites killed all of the people of Jericho, Sodom, and Gomorrah.  The Catholic Church under Pope Innocent III called for a crusade in 1209 against the heretic Catharists who had become prevalent in southern France, then the most wealthy part of Europe.  This murderous crusade is estimated to have killed more than 1 million people before the end of the century according to Homer Smith in Man and His Gods.  Then there was 300 years of total devastation for vast regions of Europe as the Catholics and Protestants fought each other viciously for the soul of mankind in Europe.  The Christian churches also murdered many thousands of people for having sex with others of the same sex or for being witches.  Islam has a similar murderous reputation, which continues to this day.  So why balk at the murders and hardships needed to set the world on a socialist path?  It is as much a religion as these others.

Unless you have a shred or more of rationality in your character.  If you are capable of and value independent thinking, then the answer is clear.  Socialism is not for us.  It is to be fought as though your life depends upon it.  Your life does depend upon the defeat of socialism.  We have to win this battle against international and against American socialists, because if you are like me, they will kill you.  No brutality is too great for a religion like socialism.

24 January 2019

Walter E. Williams asks Who benefits from Democratic Control?

Prof. Walter E. Williams asks in his column entitled Who Benefits from Democratic Control? whether blacks are being well-served by the Democrats who are given more than 90% of their votes in most elections.

He notes that of the 20 major U.S. cities with the highest homicide rates in terns of homicides per 100,000 people, that 19 of the 20 highest murder rate cities are controlled by Democrats, many of them for decades.  The only exception of the 20 major cities is Tulsa, Oklahoma where much of my family lives.  The worst cities in murder rate are in order: St. Louis, Baltimore (nearby for me), Detroit, New Orleans, Kansas City (a sister lives nearby), Cleveland (my wife's home city), Memphis, and Newark, NJ, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC (nearby for me).

Prof. Williams also notes that many cities are losing their populations.  Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh are among those whose present populations are less than half what they were in 1950.  The populations of Washington, DC, Baltimore, Camden, NJ, and many others are much reduced due to safety issues, poor schools, and unpleasant environments.

So Walter E. Williams asks blacks what do they have to lose by trying politicians who are not Democrats.

21 January 2019

Climate hysterics skyrocket by Paul Driessen

Increasingly absurd disaster rhetoric is consistently contradicted by climate and weather reality 

Call it climate one-upmanship. It seems everyone has to outdo previous climate chaos rhetoric.

The “climate crisis” is the “existential threat of our time,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her House colleagues. We must “end the inaction and denial of science that threaten the planet and the future.”

Former California Governor Jerry Brown solemnly intoned that America has “an enemy, though different, but perhaps very much devastating in a similar way” as the Nazis in World War II.

Not to be outdone, two PhDs writing in Psychology Today declared that “the human race faces extinction” if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels. And yet “even people who experience extreme weather events often still refuse to report the experiences as a manifestation of climate change.” Psychologists, they lament, “have never had to face denial on this scale before.”

Then there’s Oxford University doctoral candidate Samuel Miller-McDonald. He’s convinced the only thing that could save people and planet from cataclysmic climate change is cataclysmic nuclear war that “shuts down the global economy but stops short of human extinction.”

All this headline-grabbing gloom and doom, however, is backed up by little more than computer models, obstinate assertions that the science is settled, and a steady litany of claims that temperatures, tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts et cetera are unprecedented, worse than ever before, and due to fossil fuels.

And on the basis of these hysterics, we are supposed to give up the carbon-based fuels that provide over 80% of US and global energy, gladly reduce our living standards – and put our jobs and economy at the mercy of expensive, unreliable, weather dependent, pseudo-renewable wind, solar and biofuel energy.

As in any civil or criminal trial, the burden of proof is on the accusers and prosecutors who want to sentence fossil fuels to oblivion. They need to provide more than blood-curdling charges, opening statements and summations. They need to provideconvincing real-world evidence to prove their case.

They have refused to do so. They ignore the way rising atmospheric carbon-dioxide is spurring plant growth and greening the planet. They blame every extreme weather event on fossil fuel emissions, but cannot explain the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age or extreme weather events decades or centuries ago – or why we have had fewer extreme weather events in recent decades. They simply resort to trial in media and other forums where they can exclude exculpatory evidence, bar any case for the fossil fuel defense, and prevent any cross-examination of their witnesses, assertions and make-believe evidence.

Climate models are not evidence. At best, they offer scenarios of what might happen if the assumptions on which they are based turn out to be correct. However, the average prediction by 102 models is now a full degree F (0.55 C) above what satellites are actually measuring. Models that cannot be confirmed by actual observations are of little value and certainly should not be a basis for vital energy policy making.

The alarmist mantra seems to be: If models and reality don’t agree, reality must be wrong.
In fact, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels climbed to 405 parts per million (0.0405% of Earth’s atmosphere), except for short-term temperature spikes during El NiƱo ocean warming events, there has been very little planetary warming since 1998; nothing to suggest chaos or runaway temperatures.

Claims that tornadoes have gotten more frequent and intense are obliterated by actual evidence. NOAA records show that from 1954 to 1985 an average of 56 F3 to F5 tornadoes struck the USA each year – but from 1985 to 2017 there were only 34 per year on average. And in 2018, for the first time in modern history, not a single “violent” twister touched down in the United States. 

Harvey was the first major (category 3-5) hurricane to make US landfall in a record twelve years. The previous record was nine years, set in the 1860s. (If rising CO2 levels are to blame for Harvey, Irma and other extreme weather events, shouldn’t they also be credited for this hurricane drought?)

Droughts differ little from historic trends and cycles – and the Dust Bowl, Anasazi and Mayan droughts, and other ancient dry spells were long and destructive. Moreover, modern agricultural and drip irrigation technologies enable farmers to deal with droughts far better than they ever could in the past.

Forest fires are fewer than in the recent past – and largely due to failure to remove hundreds of millions of dead and diseased trees that provide ready tinder for massive conflagrations.

Arctic and Antarctic ice are largely within “normal” or “cyclical” levels for the past several centuries – and snow surface temperatures in the East Antarctic Plateau regularly reach  -90 °C (-130 F) or lower. Average Antarctic temperatures would have to rise some 20-85 degrees F year-round for all its land ice to melt and cause oceans to rise at faster than their current 7-12 inches per century pace.

In fact, the world’s oceans have risen over 400 feet since the last Pleistocene glaciers melted. (That’s how much water those mile-high Ice Age glaciers took out of the oceans!) Sea level rise paused during the Little Ice Age but kicked in again the past century or so. Meanwhile, retreating glaciers reveal long-lost forests, coins, corpses and other artifacts – proving those glaciers have come and gone many times.

Pacific islands will not be covered by rising seas anytime soon, at 7-12 inches per century, and because corals and atolls grow as seas rise. Land subsidence also plays a big role in perceived sea level rise – and US naval bases are safe from sea level rise, though maybe not from local land subsidence.

The Washington Post did report that “the Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer, and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot.” But that was in 1922.
Moreover, explorers wrote about the cyclical absence of Arctic ice long before that. “We were astonished by the total absence of ice in Barrow Strait,” Sir Francis McClintock wrote in 1860. “I was here at this time in [mid] 1854 – still frozen up – and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape.”

Coral bleaching? That too has many causes – few having anything to do with manmade global warming – and the reefs generally return quickly to their former glory as corals adopt new zooxanthellae

On and on it goes – with more scare stories daily, more attempts to blame humans and fossil fuels for nearly every interesting or as-yet-unexplained natural phenomenon, weather event or climate fluctuation. And yet countering the manmade climate apocalypse narrative is increasingly difficult – in large part because the $2-trillion-per-year climate “science” and “renewable” energy industry works vigorously to suppress such evidence and discussion … and is aided and abetted by its media and political allies.

Thus we have Chuck Todd, who brought an entire panel of alarmist climate “experts” to a recent episode of Meet the Press. He helped them expound ad nauseam on the alleged “existential threat of our time” – but made it clear that he was not going to give even one minute to experts on the other side.

“We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it,” Todd proclaimed. “The Earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period. We’re not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not.” The only thing left to discuss, from their perspective was “solutions” – most of which would hugely benefit them and their cohorts, politically and financially.

Regular folks in developed and developing countries alike see this politicized, money-driven kangaroo court process for what it is. They also know that unproven, exaggerated and fabricated climate scares must be balanced against their having to give up (or never having) reliable, affordable fossil fuel energy. That is why we have “dangerous manmade climate change” denial on this scale.

That is why we must get the facts out by other means. It is why we must confront Congress, media people and the Trump Administration, and demand that they address these realities, hold debates, revisit the CO2 Endangerment Finding – and stop calling for an end to fossil fuels and modern living standards before we actually have an honest, robust assessment of supposedly “settled” climate science.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and author of articles and books on energy, environmental and human rights issues.

Charles R. Anderson Comment:
"On and on it goes – with more scare stories daily, more attempts to blame humans and fossil fuels for nearly every interesting or as-yet-unexplained natural phenomenon, weather event or climate fluctuation."
In the pre-science era of mankind's history, every unexplained natural phenomena was attributed to the will of God and man had no need to understand that phenomena because it was sufficient that God understood it.  In the post-science era every unexplained phenomena is attributed to the Climate Change God and no one is supposed to question that god either.

I still aim to actually use science to understand reality, which is why I have written so often about the many huge errors and the inconsistencies in the physics which is claimed to provide the basis for the alarmist catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis.  Because of these errors, there is no reason to be surprised that the climate models supposedly based on this erroneous science have been making wrong predictions.

However, in the post-science era an hypothesis that makes wrong predictions is held to be unquestionable, when in the science era it would have been obvious that wrong predictions invalidate the hypothesis.  This is the difference between science and theology.

03 January 2019

On the Choice of Charities

My father and mother had a favorite charity:  St. Jude's Children's Hospital.  This is a choice some of my siblings have made and the choice is particularly reasonable in that St. Jude's Hospital has worked wonders to save the life of a young great nephew who had bone cancer in a leg.  My own choice of charities is different as I just explained in an e-mail to my siblings.

I wrote:

St. Jude's Hospital is a worthy cause.  However, many will give to medical institutions, while few care enough about the many and broad rights of the individual to support the think tanks that fight so hard to preserve and expand our freedom to exercise our many rights as individuals.  For this reason, I do all I can to support the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heartland Institute, the Capital Research Center, The Institute for Justice, Cato Institute, The Independent Institute, The Atlas Society, the Foundation for Economic Education, The Right to Work Committee, Judicial Watch, National Federation of Independent Businesses, The Mercatus Center of George Mason University, The Institute of Humane Studies at George Mason University, Americans for Prosperity, some very select activities of the Heritage Foundation, CFACT, and SEPP.  The last two are primarily about environmental and climate change sanity.  Because almost every educational institution and most of the press and media are advocates of ever greater collective power over the individual, these independent, pro-liberty think tanks are critically important.

It is our individual freedoms that make our standard of living possible and which allow us to choose our own values as goals in our own lives.  We must never allow anyone else to take over the management of our own lives.  Unfortunately, most Americans do want to exercise some control over the lives of other Americans, without even the obligation of knowing those they would dictate terms to and very often while knowing they are actually harming some, usually with the excuse that it is for the "greater good."  The "greater good" is always the demon that devours our individual freedoms and self-ownership.  The only greater good any of us actually share in common is our own liberty.  Other than that, we need the freedom to think and act independently and the freedom to associate with others as we choose.  It is those freedoms that then allow us the freedom to cooperate with others.  Individual freedom is not anti-social as many try to portray it.  Individual freedom is the means to make ourselves individually valuable and worthy of the respect and cooperation of others.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in admiring the work of St. Jude's Children's Hospital, aside perhaps from the religious name and the idea that by supporting it, you are doing good work that will win you the approval of the One God and a reward of Everlasting Life.  Freedom of conscience and freedom of association allow one to make this choice to support St. Jude's Hospital for Children.

Without them, one might be forced to instead support the Institute for Xi Thought, as a Red Chinese propagandist recently insisted when I refused to entertain a delegation from Red China at my laboratory.  Yes, the Chinese will impose Xi Thought upon us, he insists.  Given the weakness of our educational system and the collectivist ideology of the schools, many young Americans who embrace socialism, the media, the governments, and many other institutions in America, this is a possibility, though probably under some future Chinese Great Leader.