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

18 August 2019

The Washington Post Again Falsely Trumpets Global Warming Alarm

The August 14, 2019 Washington Post had a front page, above the fold article which continues to fill the entirety of pages A10 and A11:


This article is also posted on-line here:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/climate-environment/climate-change-america/?noredirect=on

There is a salient bias exhibited here.  The temperature change is measured from 1895 to 2018.  Why is 1895 the starting time for that measurement?  Because 1895 was a very cold year.  Let us examine the average US temperature plot below by Statistica:


The average temperature in 1895 was 50.34⁰F and in 2018 it was 53.53⁰F, so the temperature difference was 3.19⁰F or 1.77⁰C.  Had the Washington Post chosen to start the comparison in 1900 when the average US temperature was 52.77⁰F, then the increase in average temperature from then to 2018 would be 0.76⁰F or 0.42⁰C.  Now no one seriously believes that man-made global warming caused 1900 to be 2.43⁰F or 1.35⁰C warmer than 1895.  So, a change of weather, not a change of climate was the likely cause of this substantial difference in temperature over a 5 year period.  But this 5-year change is 67.5% of the 2⁰C temperature change that the Washington Post, on the authority of the UN, is claiming is a critically disastrous temperature increase.  The choice of a particularly cold starting point for a comparison of temperatures is a common trick of the alarmist game-plan.

The warmest spots on the map from the Washington Post article are about 3⁰C warmer relative to 1895.  Subtract the 1.35⁰C difference in the average temperatures to shift to a 1900 starting point in time and there are no spots in the U.S. with a 2⁰C increase relative to 1900.

There is a second interesting problem which is revealed by the map itself.  Carbon dioxide is always said to be a well-mixed atmospheric gas by the catastrophic man-made global warming crowd.  While it actually is not as well-mixed as they represent it to be, its variations are nonetheless gradual and spread over large areas.  Yet, the hot spots in the Washington Post U.S. map are in very much smaller sized areas.  If the warmer areas are warmer due to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, then those areas should be of much larger dimensions than those of the map.  The strong temperature differences in the map are much too localized and suggest that they are due to chaotic weather differences, not real climate differences.

Further examination of the U.S. temperature change map shows a large area in the Southeastern U.S. where the temperature has actually cooled since 1895 as shown in the light green color.  If one maintains that the warming of 3⁰C in some small areas is due to an increased carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere since 1895, then isn't the near 1⁰C cooling in the Southeastern U.S. also due to that same increase in carbon dioxide?  The larger area and more gradual changes in the cooled area is a better match for the somewhat well-mixed carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere.  There actually are cooling effects due to carbon dioxide as I have many times pointed out in prior articles.  Those who have greatly exaggerated the warming effect of CO₂, claim the cooling effects are insignificant.  Remove the exaggeration of the warming effect and the several cooling effects are not so trivial and many of them are not saturating or saturating as rapidly with increased atmospheric carbon dioxide as is the warming effect.  I am not actually claiming that the cooling in the Southeast is due to carbon dioxide.  It is unlikely that it is.  However, if you are in the business of assuming that the temperature change since 1895 is due to carbon dioxide, then you ought to consider its cooling effects also.

Some of the hottest areas are near our two largest metropolitan areas, New York City and Los Angeles.  Perhaps these areas have warmed due to the urban heat island effect since 1895?  Virtually all the growth of population in southern California and in Arizona around Phoenix has occurred since 1895, undoubtedly contributing to that major hot spot in the Washington Post temperature map.  The article is full of stories about the warming of the state of New Jersey.  Averaging the population of that state from the 1890 and 1900 U.S. Census results to estimate the 1895 population, the 1895 population was about 1,660,000 people.  With the advent of automobiles, it became possible for people working in New York City and in Philadelphia to live in New Jersey, so those metropolitan areas expanded far into New Jersey.  The population of New Jersey in the 2015 estimate is 8,958,000, which is a increase by a factor of about 5.4 times compared to the 1895 population.  There are extensive urban heat island effects in New Jersey as a result.  The article bewails the fact that the only state in the contiguous 48 states with an average temperature increase above 2⁰C is little Rhode Island.  Its population in 1895 was about 387,000 people, which by 2015 has increased to about 1,056,300.  This factor of 2.7 increase in population in this high population density state has most likely also been accompanied by a significant urban heat island effect.  The warmer area around Miami is another area affected by a very large population increase since 1895.

Many of the areas showing the larger increases in temperature are also low population areas such as that on the California - Oregon border and southeastern Oregon, the area on the Utah - Colorado border, most of Maine, and the stretch across northern Michigan, northern Minnesota, most of North Dakota, and northern Montana.  An examination of the number and quality of weather stations in these areas used to generate this data might turn up interesting results.  Could it be the case that these high temperature areas are largely projections of temperatures outside these areas?  In any case, since the population density is low in these areas, any affects on humans is also likely to be low.  These are not particularly warm areas in the first place, so any warming that does occur is quite likely to be welcome.

Outside of the warmer areas of the Southwest and a small area around Miami, most of the areas showing the most warming since 1895 are rather cool parts of the U.S.  Given that Americans are much inclined to take vacations in warmer climes during the winters from such areas as the Northeast whose warmer winters since 1895 are much decried in the Washington Post article, it is hard to see the warming of such cooler parts of the U.S. as a general disaster.  People upon retirement still move to much warmer parts of the U.S. such as Florida and Arizona.  Apparently, they rather like warmth, however the Washington Post may pretend that warmth is a catastrophe.

Yes, it may be true, as lamented in the article, that ice cannot be cut from northern New Jersey lakes as it used to be for ice boxes, but then again we now have refrigerators. If we did not have refrigerators, the disappearance of that northern New Jersey ice might be a disaster.  Perhaps the Washington Post wants us to lose the use of electricity and to force us to return to the use of ice boxes as a result. In that context, it is a disaster that this return to primitivism in the name of radical environmentalism may be harder to accomplish.  This is not one of my goals and I do not believe it is a goal of most Americans either.

I have carried out the above discussion generally accepting the temperature record data provided by the Washington Post article.  However, the thermometer temperature data of 1895 and of 1900 has been heavily adjusted downward and recent data has been heavily adjusted upward by NASA GISS.  The U.S. temperature data given below is based on the USHCN2 historical network, which adjusts recent thermometer readings upwards by a substantial amount before releasing the data to the public.  Here is a comparison of the high and low daily temperature results for the measured or unadjusted data compared to the adjusted data, as discovered by Tony Heller in a 2010 post on Real Science:


The fact that this data cuts off about a decade earlier than 2018, makes little difference, since the temperature has changed very little in the last decade.  More of the country has cooled both at night and during the day since 1895 than has warmed according to the unadjusted measurement data. Parts of the Northeast have still warmed, as has much of the Southwest, including southern California.  There is some warming along the Utah - Colorado border, parts of northern Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana.  But most of the Southeast, the Midwest, and the Central and Southern Plains states have cooled.  Nighttime temperatures have cooled less and warmed more than daytime temperatures, which is generally a good thing in that the daily temperature differential is slightly decreased.

This Washington Post article by four of their radical Climate Change writers, is an excellent lesson in the massive dishonesty of the catastrophic man-made global warming alarmist faction.  There is no attempt to distinguish the general warming of the post Little Ice Age period from any real effects that might be caused by increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  There is nothing but assumption that the official data warming since the particularly cold year of 1895 has been due to man's use of organic fuels.  They are most insistent that mankind should feel a strong, collective sense of guilt that it is destroying the Earth and the future of mankind.  This is baloney.  It is moldy, rotten baloney.

It is a very sad observation that so many Americans actually believe in this irrational nonsense.  It is even sadder that every scientist in the nation is not working hard to reveal this con game.  Quite a few of them are on the take and many of them are intimidated by the lockstep socialism, political correctness, and radical environmentalism of our academic institutions and most of our information media.

12 August 2019

Obama: No nation on earth comes near the mass violence of the United States -- True or False?


Conrad Black, on American Greatness, has an article on mass violence and Obama's claim about the USA as the leading mass violence nation in the world.  Here is a quote from Black's article that I found particularly interesting:
President Obama’s assertion on Monday that “No nation on earth comes near” the proportions of the mass violence problem of the United States is false. The Crime Prevention Research Center has made an exhaustive study of the incidence of mass killings, following the FBI definition excluding incidents that kill fewer than four people and gang fights over turf, or incidences of authentic guerrilla war. By these standards, covering from 1998 to 2015, and 53 attacks and 57 shooters within the United States and 2,354 attacks and over 4,800 shooters in the rest of the world, the U.S. accounts for 1.49 percent of the world’s killings, 2.2 percent of the attacks, and 1.15 percent of the public shooters, although the United States has 4.6 percent of the world’s total population. Out of the 97 countries rated, the United States ranked 64th in attacks and 65th in fatalities. And the other countries compared were not the world’s 96 least organized and civilized national jurisdictions. 
Norway, Finland, Switzerland, and France, the first three very high standard of living countries, all have at least 25 percent more mass killings per capita than the United States. The other 96 countries as a group, including relatively very nonviolent countries such as Canada, Australia, and Singapore, have had a rate of increase in mass killings that is 291 percent higher than that of the United States.
There is no reason to allow the facts to get in the way when you want to make gun ownership as nearly impossible as it is in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.  One has to wonder why Obama and the Democrats generally want to set up conditions in the USA that will lead to increases in the overall level of gun violence one should expect upon emulating the gun laws of these Democrat-controlled violent cities.

For now most of the discussion is about withholding gun ownership from the mentally ill.  How will that work when the Democrats are already saying that not only are people who voted for Trump the Deplorables, but that they must be insane people.  Or, recall that the American Psychiatric Association classified many homosexuals as suffering from sexual orientation disturbance until 1987.  Can law enforcement across the breadth of the USA be counted on not classifying homosexuals as disturbed individuals?  Or can we be sure that rational egoists will not be described as suffering from anti-social disturbance?  Or that so-called white males will be said to suffer from white patriarchal disturbance?  At least in some parts of our country, these would seem to be quite possible outcomes down the road just a bit.  It behooves us to be very, very wary.

05 August 2019

Fraud and corruption bring big payoffs by Paul Driessen

California judges provide stage for kangaroo court justice over Roundup weedkiller
            
San Francisco area juries have awarded cancer patients some $80 million each, based on claims that the active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller, caused their cancer – and that Bayer-Monsanto negligently or deliberately failed to warn consumers that the glyphosate it manufactures is carcinogenic. (It’s not.) Judges reduced the original truly outrageous awards of $289 million and even $1 billion per plaintiff!

Meanwhile, ubiquitous ads are still trolling for new clients, saying anyone who ever used Roundup and now has Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma or other cancer could be the next jackpot justice winner. Mass tort plaintiff law firms have lined up 18,500 additional “corporate victims” for glyphosate litigation alone.

Introduced in 1974, glyphosate is licensed in 130 countries. Millions of farmers, homeowners and gardeners have made it the world’s most widely used herbicide – and one of the most intensely studied chemicals in history. Four decades and 3,300 studies by respected agencies and organizations worldwide have concluded that glyphosate is safe and non-carcinogenic, based on assessments of actual risk.

Reviewers include the U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyEuropean Food Safety Authority, European Chemicals Agency, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Germany’s Institute for Risk Assessment, and Australia’s Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. Another reviewer, Health Canada, noted that “no pesticide regulatory authority in the world considers glyphosate to be a cancer risk to humans at the levels at which humans are currently exposed.” Therefore no need to warn anyone.

The National Cancer Institute’s ongoing Agricultural Health Study evaluated 54,000 farmers and commercial pesticide applicators for over two decades – and likewise found no glyphosate-cancer link.

Only the France-based International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC), says otherwise – and it based its conclusions on just eight studies. Even worse, IARC manipulated at least some of these studies to get the results it wanted. Subsequent reviews by epidemiologist Dr. Geoffrey Kabat, National Cancer Institute statistician Dr. Robert Tarone, investigative journalist Kate Kelland, “RiskMonger” Dr. David Zaruk and other investigators have demonstrated that the IARC process was tainted beyond repair.

The IARC results should never have been allowed in court. But the judges in the first three cases let the tort lawyers bombard the jury with IARC cancer claims, and went even further. In the Hardeman case, Judge Vincent Chhabria blocked the introduction of EPA analyses that concluded “glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic in humans,” based on its careful review of many of the studies just mentioned.

He said he wanted “to avoid wasting time or misleading the jury, because the primary inquiry is what the scientific studies show, not what the EPA concluded they show.” However, IARC didn’t do any original studies either. It just concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic,” meaning studies it reviewed found limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans, plus sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in lab animals that had been exposed to very high doses or lower doses for prolonged periods of time. In other words, under conditions that no animal or human would ever be exposed to in the real world.

It is also instructive to look at the three San Francisco area courtroom proceedings from another angle – an additional line of questioning that would have put glyphosate and Roundup in a very different light, and might have changed the outcome of these trials. Defense attorneys could have asked:
Can you describe your family cancer history ... your eating, exercise and sleeping habits ... how much you eat high-fat foods ... how often you eat fruits and vegetables ... and your other lifestyle choices that doctors and other experts now know play significant roles in whether or not people get cancer? 
How many times in your life [Johnson is 47 years old; Hardeman 70; Alva Pilliod 77; Alberta Pilliod 75] do you estimate you were exposed to substances on IARC’s list of Group 1 definite human carcinogens –including sunlight, acetaldehyde in alcoholic beverages, aflatoxin in peanuts, asbestos, cadmium in batteries, lindane ... or any of the 125 other substances and activities in Group 1? Have you ever smoked? How often have you been exposed to secondhand smoke? How often have you eaten bacon, sausage or other processed meats – which are also in Group 1? 
How many times have you been exposed to any of IARC’s Group 2A probable human carcinogens – not just glyphosate ... but also anabolic steroids, creosote, diazinon, dieldrin, malathion, emissions from high-temperature food frying, shift work ... or any of the 75 other substances and activities in Group 2A? How often have you consumed beef or very hot beverages – likewise in Group 2A? 
How many times have you been exposed to any of IARC’s Group 2B possible human carcinogens – including bracken ferns, chlordane, diesel fuel, fumonisin, inorganic lead, low frequency magnetic fields, malathion, parathion, titanium oxide in white paint, pickled vegetables, caffeic acid in coffee, tea, apples, broccoli, kale, and other fruits and vegetables ... ... or any of the 200 other substances and activities in Group 2B? 
Pyrethrin pesticides used by organic farmers are powerful neurotoxins that are very toxic to bees, cats and fish – and have been linked by EPA and other experts to leukemia and other cancers and other health problems. How often have you eaten organic foods and perhaps been exposed to pyrethrins? 
Large quantities of glyphosate have been manufactured for years in China and other countries. How do you know the glyphosate you were exposed to was manufactured by Bayer, and not one of them? 
In view of all these exposures, please explain how you, your doctors, your lawyers and the experts you consulted concluded that none of your family history ... none of your lifestyle choices ... none of your exposures to dozens or even hundreds of other substances on IARC’s lists of carcinogens ... caused or contributed to your cancer – and that your cancer is due solely to your exposure to glyphosate. 
Put another way, please explain exactly how you and your experts separated and quantified all these various exposures and lifestyle decisions – and concluded that Roundup from Bayer-Monsanto was the sole reason you got cancer – and all these other factors played no role whatsoever.
News accounts do not reveal whether Bayer-Monsanto lawyers asked these questions – or whether they tried to ask them, but the judges disallowed the questions. In any event, the bottom line is this:

It is bad enough that the IARC studies at the center of these jackpot justice lawsuits are the product of rampant collusion, misconduct and even fraud in the way IARC concluded glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” It is worse that these cancer trials have been driven by plaintiff lawyers’ emotional appeals to jurors’ largely misplaced fears of chemicals and minimal knowledge of chemicals, chemical risks, medicine and cancer – resulting in outrageous awards of $80 million or more.

Worst of all, our Federal District Courts have let misconduct by plaintiff lawyers drive these lawsuits; prevented defense attorneys from effectively countering IARC cancer claims and discussing the agency’s gross misconduct; and barred defense attorneys from presenting the extensive evidence that glyphosate is not carcinogenic to humans. The trials have been textbook cases of kangaroo court justice.

The cases are heading to appeal, ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court. We can only hope appellate judges will return sanity, fairness and justice to the nation’s litigation process. Otherwise our legal system will be irretrievably corrupted; products, technologies, companies and industries will likely be driven out of existence; and fraud, emotion and anarchy will reign.

Jackpot-justice law firms and their anti-chemical activist allies are already targeting cereals that have “detectable” levels of glyphosate: a few parts per billion or trillion, where 1 ppt is equivalent to 1 second in 32,000 years. Talc and benzene – foundations for numerous consumer products – are already under attack. Advanced technology neonicotinoid pesticides could be next.

It’s all part of a coordinated, well-funded attack on America, free enterprise and technology, using social media, litigation, intimidation and confrontation. Our legislatures and courts need to rein it in. 

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy and environmental policy.


Comment by Charles Anderson:

Modern society with its rich choices of values and its high level of security is highly dependent on a huge number of chemicals.  There are also an abundance of naturally occurring chemical in our environment.  In many cases, a chemical necessary for the support of human life is beneficial only when it has the correct balance in our complex human system.  Too much of it or too little of it can cause the human system to fail.  Many chemicals will become harmful if they are too concentrated in the human body and many such over-concentrated chemicals are carcinogenic.  Whether a given chemical is beneficial or carcinogenic or otherwise harmful depends highly upon its concentration.  It can be devilishly difficult to establish the bounds within which a chemical is beneficial in the body and beyond which it is harmful.

This has proven very difficult for the FDA for instance in regard to the safety of many widely and commonly eaten foods even.  Study after study has taken a conclusion opposite to that of a prior study once held in high regard by the FDA.

Our ability to measure chemicals in complex mixtures to very low concentrations such as parts per trillion means we can find a host of chemicals in the human body or in the foods we eat.  The fact that a chemical that can be harmful in higher concentration is present does not at all mean that it will cause any harm at a lower concentration.  The toxicity of a chemical, or for that matter of radiation, is highly dose dependent.  For instance, selenium is an element beneficial to the body at a suitably low concentration.  It is often found in multi-vitamin tablets.  Yet, selenium at higher concentrations is very toxic.  There are many other elements which have similar toxicity characteristics.  Examples are potassium, sodium, chromium, iron, molybdenum, and zinc.  Even water is toxic if it becomes too concentrated in the human body.  People have died because they drank too much water too rapidly.

Juries and the courts are often too subject to findings that a chemical exposure has caused the disease that some unfortunate person has suffered.  They are emotionally sorry for the suffering.  They are often biased against for-profit companies.  They ogle the deeper pockets of a company than those of the suffering person as an easy means to help the suffering person.  Unfortunately, much injustice results.  By soaking an often very innocent company with fines and penalties, many people are hurt.  The company management, the owners, the employees, the companies customers, and oftentimes the companies' retirees are all hurt.  The fact that members of a jury, defense lawyers, and judges often do not know very much about science is also a great problem.  Juries and courts need to be much more rational and much more responsible.

I have served as an expert witness on scientific issues involved in court cases, as have some of my Ph.D. scientist employees at my laboratory, Anderson Materials Evaluation, Inc.  I have encountered numerous opposing expert witnesses who were ridiculously creative in the stories they told about the science pertaining to the case.  Unfortunately, juries and judges tend to understand little of what the experts tell them and as is the case with most people and the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis, they make their judgment based on a count of experts on each side.  In a litigation case, the count is usually even, so the scientific testimonies cancel out.  Sometimes they also assume that the company is better able to buy the favorable testimony of an expert and so their expert is more likely to be lying about the science.  The jury decision is then made on the basis of human emotions.  The suffering person is likely to win and the company is likely to lose.  This is not a valid process for achieving a just result.


31 July 2019

The Economist: Should political parties let just anyone run for president?

In an article deploring the fact that there are 25 candidates for the Democratic nomination to run for the presidency of the United States of America, The Economist wants American political party establishments to play a much bigger role in choosing a small number of candidates who will be allowed to run in party primaries.

They even advise increasing the number of superdelegates, who played a big role in selecting Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party nominee for President in the 2016 election.  Superdelegates are not required to vote in accordance with the primary vote outcome in their states and they are usually chosen from the ranks of the Deep Party Apparatchiks.  This is a most undemocratic method for choosing a party nominee for President or any other elected office, but democracy is another of many words robbed of meaning by those elitists who hunger for power and have long grown accustomed to exercising it without challenge.  There was a backlash among Democrat voters to the role of superdelegates in the Clinton nomination that led to a cutback in the present power of superdelegates in the party.  An alternative suggested in the article is having a convention to choose a small number of candidates to put before the primary voters.  Still another is to have the party's Congress members put out a recommended slate of candidates, rather as the teachers unions do in public school board elections.

Why does The Economist think that many candidates are a problem?  Because:
"the system has thrown up too many candidates for voters to evaluate.  It rewards name recognition and social-media prowess, and asks activists to make decisions about people about whom they know little."
These are valid concerns.  However, there are so many loony birds among the candidates in this case that it is really easy to winnow out almost all of the candidates.  No, I can make a much stronger statement than that.  It is really easy to eliminate all of the Democrat candidates from any extensive evaluation because they are all nuts, power-hungry, and suffer from a huge delusion that they have the intellectual power to evaluate the needs of all Americans in their lives and to make decisions about people whom they know little.

If the people of the United States are unable to properly evaluate 25 candidates for the presidency, then how can one entertain a faith that any one of those candidates even has the capability of evaluating the real needs of 329 million individual Americans?  How can anyone maintain the delusion that any candidate can know enough about 329 million Americans to then micromanage their lives as the federal government already largely tries to do and the Democrat Party is united in wanting to do on a much grander scale?

We have a federal government that is four times the size it ought to be.  It is constantly violating the many and broad rights of the individual to life and self-ownership, liberty, to earn a living, property, and the pursuit of happiness.  It is constantly deciding who will be given a benefit and who will be deprived under force in order that the politicians can steal what they need to give that benefit.  Republicans have no business exercising these powers and Democrats have even less business doing so because they are even more blind to their unrealistic assumptions about their mental capabilities.





20 July 2019

Is the State Sovereign?

States or governments are never sovereign -- they are at best legitimate. The individual is sovereign and rights reside only in the individual. The legitimacy of government is derived from its protection of the many and broad sovereign rights of the individuals within its territory of operation. It is this individual rights protection service that justifies the existence of government. To say that a government or state is sovereign is the equivalent of saying that all rights reside in the government and the state hands out such privileges as it sees fit to individuals. Those privileges can be revoked at the whim of the sovereign state. The sovereign state demands that the people serve it, while the sovereign individual demands that the state serve each and every individual. There is a world of difference.
Joe Biden has explicitly embraced the sovereign state that grants such privileges as it chooses to individuals and denies the sovereignty of individuals and their pre-state assertion of rights which governments are formed to protect. This viewpoint highly dominates those of the Democratic Party and is also held by quite a few Republicans. It is the basis for the belief that it is a proper function of the government to do harm to some as long as it can claim it is doing good for more people than or harmed or that it is doing good for the "least among us." This viewpoint removes sovereignty from the individual and effectively removes all of his rights, while opening the floodgates on an endless list of government powers. The only real limit on government power is that it is only legitimate to the degree that it protects the exercise of each and every individual's rights.

18 July 2019

Connecticut and Other States with Unhappy Residents and Population Loss

Russell Blair wrote an article for the Hartford Courant about the residents' views about living in Connecticut that makes it clear that the high tax and Democrat-controlled state is poorly governed. 

The Connecticut Economic Resource Center surveyed state residents and found that 47% of them said they plan to leave the state within the next five years!  It also revealed that only 44% agreed that Connecticut was a good place to live and raise a family.

A Gallup poll in 2016 had found that 46% of Connecticut residents said they would like to leave the state given the opportunity.  At that time, the state was tied with the high-tax state of New Jersey in that statistic as the state with the most residents desirous of exodus.

The U.S. Census Bureau believes the state lost 1,215 residents in the year following 1 July 2017.  It was one of 9 states with a population loss in that one-year period.  The other population losers were New York, Illinois, West Virginia, Louisiana, Hawaii, Mississippi, Alaska, and Wyoming.  Puerto Rico was another loser.  Note that this period was one of general excellent economic growth in the United States.

A state report from May 2017 says that Connecticut residents have been leaving the state in accelerating numbers since the Great Recession.  A poll in October 2017 noted that the percentage of people with incomes above $150,000 a year considering a move to another state was much higher than the that from the population as a whole.

Connecticut has recovered only 80.8% of the jobs lost in the Great Recession, making it one of a very few states which has not recovered all of the jobs lost.

West Virginia and Wyoming lost many jobs thanks to the anti-coal policies of the Obama administration.  The refusal to allow oil and gas developments on federally owned lands made it impossible for many new jobs in that industry to be developed in Wyoming and Alaska.  The Obama policies suppressing the construction of pipelines hurt both West Virginia and Wyoming as potential oil and gas producers.  Wyoming and Alaska are hurt by excessive federal land ownership.  Anti-mining rulings by the federal government have prevented much mining activity in Alaska.

The status of freedom in the states is another big factor in economic growth of a state and in the general happiness of state residents.  The Cato Institute Ranking of Freedom in the States ranks Connecticut #33, New York #50, Illinois #35, New Jersey #47, West Virginia #34, Louisiana #30, Mississippi #40, Wyoming #38, Alaska #15, and Hawaii #49.  Only the Alaska rating suggests that a lack of freedom in the state and local governments in that state is not a factor in its loss of population.

Another factor that hurts a state in population retention and growth is the quality of K-12 education adjusted for student hetergeneity and expenditures adjusted for the cost of living, which people have not been able to look-up until recently, but they do sense it.  A Cato Institute Policy Analysis of 13 November 2018 by Liebowitz and Kelly has provided such an analysis recently, though it is little known.  In their ranking of the 50 states and DC, Connecticut ranks 38.

Consider the other recent population losers and their rankings in the Cato Institute K-12 education analysis:  New York ranks 46, Illinois ranks 40, West Virginia is 51, Louisiana is 47, Hawaii is 11, Mississippi is 25, Alaska is 48, and Wyoming is 37.  An expensive and poor job of educating children in a state will have a strong job suppression effect and make a state a poor place for a family to raise children.  Of the states losing population, only Hawaii is doing a good job of educating children. Mississippi is very average, but it has a bad reputation as a result of irrational ratings with widespread use such as the U.S. News & World Report rating.  When a state does a poor and inefficient job of educating children, it is likely to do a poor and inefficient job of all other aspects of governance.

The lesson for Connecticut and the other population losers is that poor governance has a very significant effect on people in pursuit of their happiness.  High taxes, poor education for children, excessive and abusive business regulation, the general state of freedom, and high rates of violence and theft are very effective in creating an unhappy populace.

Government is a great servant but horrid master by Jeffrey Foss

Today bigger, supremely powerful global governments are justified by environmental claims

Jeffrey Foss

Through the ages, the suffering, destruction and murder perpetrated by governments like those of Caligula, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and their ilk reduces the evil of common criminals like Al Capone, Daniel Ortega, Bernie Madoff and El Chapo to the scale of breaking wind at Sunday dinner.

There is a historical lesson here for any of us who would entrust our sustenance, security and happiness to government. History teaches us that when governments go bad, they can really stink – enough to make us ashamed of our very species. But the more we entrust to government, the bigger it gets; and the bigger it gets, the more likely it is to become our ill-odored, malignant master, instead of our servant or helper.  

Governing is all about power, of course. Otherwise the governed would not obey, and anarchy would ensue, assuming it wasn’t there already. Thus the first power of government must be the appropriation of violence (such as imprisonment, torture and execution) unto itself for its sole use. All other forms of violence are outlawed.

If you or I kill someone, that is murder, which is illegal. But when government kills someone, it is execution or warfare, which is perfectly – and ever so conveniently – legal. If we take money from someone by force or stealth, that’s theft, But when government does likewise, it’s taxation, fees or fines. If I break into your house, I do not pass Go, I do not collect $200, I go straight to jail. If government breaks into my house, they get the police (or even a SWAT team) to do it.

All governments are born in sin: the appropriation of overwhelming power. Power doesn’t immediately or necessarily entail evil, of course. Power can be used for good. But misuse of power is as seductive as Delilah sitting at the side of the bed.

So government must be controlled, like the powerful beast it is, by putting a ring though its nose. The genius of democracy is that it ties that ring by millions of strings to the hands of ordinary people like you and me, by our votes. By pulling together we can control the beast – unless we let it get too dang big, or we get divided into one faction that wants small, controllable government and another that wants free stuff and payment for not working, courtesy of legalized government theft and violence against others.

So our first rule must be to vote for less government, not more. Note well that, by a cruel irony of fate, the so-called Democratic Party, which advertises itself as the champion of the powerless, is for ever-bigger government. Note also that the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln that freed the slaves, is for less.
    
To be clear as blue skies, I am not arguing against government. Far from it. Government is necessary. Good government is a wonderful servant: it lubricates our cooperation while putting a lid on our violence as we procure food, clothing, shelter, safety and (if we engage in the proper pursuits) happiness.

If you take a look at what’s around you, you made or created little or nothing. Others made it for you, just as you make things for them, in a system of cooperation involving money, banks, sales, purchases, property, mutual benefit and so on. This system gives us virtually everything we have.

History and observation teach that democratic governments linked to economic freedom have excelled in helping us produce the plenty we now enjoy. Our form of democratic, republican government, relative to every other form that has ever existed, is best at serving the people.
But government can also be a horrible master. The reason people outside the developed democracies do not enjoy the health, wealth and happiness we have is that their governments suffer from the disease universally endemic to government: serving itself to achieve its own goals.

It is no accident that the government atrocities of Stalin, Mao and their ilk were inflicted on their own citizens. These leftist governments gained and sustained power by claiming they cared deeply about the people and pretending the vice of envy is really a virtue. They thereby instigated hatred of the rich by the poor, hatred of the successful by the unsuccessful, hatred of the happy by the discontented. Weakened by internal conflict, the people were readily conned into domestic and foreign wars both hot and cold, and into bizarre economic experiments. Over 100,000,000 were starved, murdered or worked to death.

By yet another cruel irony of fate, the poor were the main victims. Stalin, for instance, reorganized millions of previously successful farmers into communes, and then starved them to death when they were bold enough to protest that farming itself was being destroyed. Those citizens he permitted to live did so in despicable poverty and fear, while Stalin himself spent his days in the palaces of the Czars, the very people he reviled, strutting about like a toy soldier, grinning like the cat that ate the canary.

Today we are told even vastly bigger government is needed – at a global level – to protect planet and civilization from the ravages of fossil fuels, runaway climate change and big evil corporations.

We already see this eco-imperialism imposed on billions of people, who are told they develop as they wish, use fossil fuels or improve their health and living standards more than a trifling bit. As the globalist ruling elites gain ever more power, they are demanding that citizens of already developed countries reduce their living standards, stop driving cars and flying airplanes, and eat insects and organic vegetables instead of meat or conventional foods. Of course, like Stalin, the ruling classes would exempt themselves from the diktats and penalties they impose on the masses.

Let there be no doubt: history teaches there are two keys to the levels of health, wealth and happiness that we humans have so far achieved. The first is democracy: putting government under our control. The second is freedom to make our own economic choices, to work for whom we choose, to own property, and to start businesses if we like, without being smothered by endless regulations, paperwork and taxes.

But keeping government under control isn’t easy. Government power stealthily increases, even in democracies. As Figure 1 shows, the growth of US government has been relentless, creeping and sneaky since the halcyon days when the Original Colonies first cut off the chains of monarchy. 
The graph shows that government’s share of all the money made in the country has steadily increased from about 3% in 1790 to over 40% today. Who can doubt that government had less power in 1790 than it does now? Or that the people rebelled over far less odious usurpations than they face today?

Those who lean left preach that there are good reasons for us to envy and revile the rich – indeed, anyone in the arbitrarily designated 1% of top earners. But by a stroke of unparalleled self-deception they refuse to see that this same logic applies with its ultimate force to big-spending, big-taxing, big-borrowing, big-leftist government itself.

So if you are tempted by some politician’s promise to play Robin Hood for you, you are being fooled. Politicians may pretend to be Robin, but under their disguise of forest green you will always find the evil Sherriff of Nottingham and his taxman. And what honor is there in getting someone to steal for you?

It is wrong for any of us to envy, revile or hate the rich simply because they are rich. We should instead rejoice in the success of law-abiding people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Stewart Butterfield (my former student, Canadian entrepreneur and midwife of Flickr and Slack). They are beacons of hope. 

Those decent people among us who legally acquire a few millions or billions of dollars to pose against the many trillions of dollars taken from us by government are like those 1776 colonists, who rose up against King George III, wrote a Declaration of Independence and Constitution that set down their inspirations, aspirations, and belief in God, unalienable natural rights, and small government with limited powers, intentions and instruments of taxation and suppression.

They show us that we too can get ahead, be free and prosper with limited government that understands its proper role.

Dr. Jeffrey Foss is a philosopher of science, Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria, Canada, and author of Beyond Environmentalism: A Philosophy of Nature.


FIGURE 1. Growth of U.S. government, 1790 to 2016.

Comment by Charles:  I have posted this article at the request of Paul Driessen.  Jeffrey Foss understands the threat of big government very well.


03 July 2019

NASA and NOAA Continue to Fudge the Surface Temperature Data

Tony Heller at The Deplorable Climate Science Blog shows how NASA and NOAA have altered the surface temperature data once again to greatly exaggerate global warming.  The maintenance of an appearance of catastrophic man-made global warming requires a continuous program of outright fraud and data fudging.  Here is the comparison of three sets of claimed unaltered temperatures as recorded:



Keep cooling the older temperature readings and keep warming the more recent temperature readings and one can create the appearance of catastrophic man-made global warming.  It is even worse than this comparison graph shows because even the 2000 temperature record had been tampered with in a most unscientific way to exaggerate a warming trend.

For further discussion of the surface temperature data fraud see Paul Matthews' article on climate scientists fiddling the data.

The federal government swamp continues to function in NOAA and much of NASA even two years into the Trump administration.

20 May 2019

Ending Obama EPA climate deception by Paul Driessen

Let’s finally review Endangerment Finding used to justify trillions in climate and energy costs

In December 2009, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency issued its Endangerment Finding (EF) – decreeing that carbon dioxide (CO2) and other “greenhouse gases” (GHGs) endanger the health and welfare of Americans. In the process, EPA ignored the incredible economic, health and welfare benefits of fossil fuels – and the fact that (even at just 0.04% of the atmosphere) carbon dioxide is the miracle molecule that enables plants to grow and makes nearly all life on Earth possible.

EPA turned CO2 into a “dangerous pollutant” and ruled that fossil fuels must be eradicated. The agency subsequently used its EF to justify tens of billions of dollars in climate research, anti-fossil fuel regulations, and wind and solar subsidies; President Obama’s signing of the Paris climate treaty; and proposals to spend trillions of dollars a year on Green New Deal (GND) programs.

And yet, despite multiple demands that this be done, there has never been any formal, public review of the EF conclusion or of the secretive process EPA employed to ensure the result of its “analysis” could only be “endangerment” – and no awkward questions or public hearings would get in the way.

Review, transparency and accountability may finally be on the way, however, in the form of potential Executive Branch actions. If they occur – and they certainly should – both are likely to find that there is no valid scientific basis for the EF, and EPA violated important federal procedural rules in rendering its predetermined EF outcome. (One could even say the EF was obtained primarily because of prosecutorial misconduct, a kangaroo court proceeding, and scientific fraud.) Failure to examine and reverse the EF would mean it hangs like Damocles’ sword over the USA, awaiting another climate-focused president.

To the consternation and outrage of climate alarmists, keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground radicals, and predictable politicians and pundits, President Trump may soon appoint a Presidential Committee on Climate Change, to review “dangerous manmade climate change” reports by federal agencies.

Meanwhile, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has filed a formal petition with EPA, asking that the agency stop utilizing and relying on the EF – and instead subject the finding to a proper “high level” peer review, as required by the Information Quality Act. The reasoning presented in CEI’s succinct and persuasive petition is compelling. Its main points are these.

* EPA’s Endangerment Finding and the Technical Support Document (TSD) that supposedly justifies it did not meet Information Quality Act (IQA) requirements for how the work should have been done.

* The agency’s evaluation of the then-current climate change and related science was clearly a “highly influential scientific assessment” (HISA), which triggered important IQA and OMB rules governing rulemakings that have “a potential impact of more than $500 million in any year” … or present “novel, controversial or precedent-setting” changes … or would likely raise “significant interagency interest.”

* EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” to shut down coal-fired power plants alone would cost $2.5 billion in annual compliance costs, EPA admitted. Its motor vehicle rules would cost tens of billions. The Paris agreement and GND would add trillions per year in costs to the US economy. All are based on the EF. And all were certainly controversial and generated significant interest by multiple other government agencies.

* EPA deliberately downplayed the significance of its review and decision, ignored the IQA and OMB requirements, and refused to allow citizens, independent energy, climate and health experts, or even scientific and professional societies to nominate potential reviewers or participate in the EF analysis.

* Instead, the agency utilized an entirely internal review process, designed and conducted entirely by its own federal employees. Those employees had substantial conflicts of interest, because they were reviewing their own scientific work; would be writing, implementing and enforcing regulations based on that work; and had jobs and professional status that might be affected by the outcome of their review.

[The review team even summarily dismissed one of EPA’s most senior energy and economic experts, because his probing analyses and comments “do not help the legal or policy case” for the EF decision.]

* EPA never allowed the general public or scientific, energy, health or economic experts to review its draft scientific assessment; never sponsored any public meetings; and never let its internal peer reviewers see any of the public comments that outside experts and organizations submitted to the agency.

* In fact, none of the EPA peer review panel’s questions and responses have ever been made public.

Each of these actions violated specific IQA and OMB peer review guidelines. Indeed, two years after the Endangerment Finding was issued, even EPA’s own Inspector General found that that agency had violated rules governing all of these matters. And yet even then nothing was done to correct them.

The entire Obama EPA process smells like a crooked prosecutor who framed CO2 and was determined to get a conviction. The agency built its entire case on tainted, circumstantial evidence, and testimony from agency officials who had conflicts of interest and their own reasons for wanting CO2 convicted of endangering Americans. EPA reviewers ignored or hid exculpatory evidence and colluded to prevent witnesses for the CO2 defendant from presenting any defense or cross-examining agency witnesses.

A full reexamination now is essential, and not just because the Obama EPA violated every procedural rule in the books. But because EPA ignored volumes of climate science that contradicted its preordained EF finding. Because real-world climate and weather observations consistently contradict alarmist computer models and headlines. Because science is never settled … must never be driven by ideology … and must be reevaluated when new scientific evidence is discovered – or evidence of misbehavior is uncovered.

We know far more about Earth’s climate and have far more and better data than a decade ago. But climatologists still cannot explain why our planet experienced multiple ice ages and interglacial periods, Roman and Medieval warm periods, the Little Ice Age, or Anasazi, Mayan and Dust Bowl droughts.

And yet some of them insist they can accurately predict calamitous temperatures, weather events and extinctions 10, 20, 100 years from now – based on computer models whose temperature predictions are already a degree Fahrenheit above what satellites are measuring … and that rely primarily or solely on carbon dioxide, while downplaying or ignoring fluctuations in solar energy and cosmic ray output, the reflective properties of clouds, El NiƱo events, ocean current shifts, and other powerful natural forces.

And then, in the face of all that uncertainty and politicized science, they demand that the United States slash or eliminate its fossil fuel use – and that the poorest nations on Earth continue to forego fossil fuel development, and instead remain wracked by joblessness, misery, disease, malnutrition and early death.

Thankfully, poor countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are building or planning more than 2,000 coal and gas-fueled generating plants. They deserve to be freed from dictatorial carbon-colonialism and eco-manslaughter – and to become as wealthy, healthy and vibrant as modern industrialized nations that also relied on fossil fuels to develop … and are still 80% dependent on those fuels today.

But if those countries are building fossil fuel power plants, driving millions more cars and trucks, and emitting multiple times more CO2 and other GHGs than the United States – why should the USA slash or eliminate its coal, oil and natural gas? Why should we roll back our job creation, living standards, health and welfare, based on the IPCC’s junk science and EPA’s fraudulent Endangerment Finding?

For unfathomable reasons, a few White House advisors still oppose any PCCS or IQA-triggered review of the EF or junk/fraudulent science behind it. Perhaps they are too closely tied to the Deep State or invested financially or ideologically in the $2-trillion-per-year Climate-Industrial Complex. But whatever their reasons, they must be ignored in favor of science and the national interest. Let’s get the job done – now!

Write to President Trump: Ask him to appoint his Presidential Committee on Climate Science – and instruct the EPA to agree to the CEI petition and review the 2009 Endangerment Finding forthwith!


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

I have posted this article at Paul Driessen's request.  I was a signer of the petition to the President in support of a Presidential Committee on Climate Change, along with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heartland Institute, Heritage Action for America, CFACT, the Institute for Energy Research, Americans for Limited Government, Institute for Liberty, Caesar Rodney Institute, Ethan Allen Institute, John Locke Foundation, Rio Grande Foundation, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and many other organizations and individuals.