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

29 April 2016

It is Not a Tax, But Oh It is a Tax -- It is Not a Treaty, but Oh It is a Treaty

Recall that when ObamaCare was passed by the House and Senate and signed by Obama against the preponderant opposition of the American people, ObamaCare was not a tax.  The American People were told this over and over by the Democrats trying to pass the bill.  But when the Supreme Court ruled on whether ObamaCare was constitutional or not, ObamaCare suddenly became a tax.  Of course its being a tax in no way actually made it constitutional in any case.  There was no way that Americans in 1789 approved a Constitution that would allow the federal government any power so long as the law enabling the power included a tax.

When it helps to create an obnoxious and freedom trampling law, it is not a tax, but when the law needs constitutional justification, that justification is based on its being a tax.  There is a parallel now with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, whose Paris Climate Treaty Secretary of State John Kerry signed on Earth Day without ratification by the U.S. Senate as is required by the Constitution for a treaty.  Obama insisted the UNFCCC was not a treaty, so it did not need to be ratified by the Senate.

Twenty-eight Senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry pointing out that his signing the UNFCCC violated laws passed in 1994 and 1990 which did not allow the funding of an affiliated organization of the United Nations that provided Palestine with a state membership.  Palestine signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and crowed about its statehood status as a signatory.  This has not in the least deterred Obama's intention to fund the Green Climate Fund set up by the UNFCCC and controlled by its executive and a large staff funded with an annual budget of $60 million.

Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Julia Frifield wrote to Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.):
It is our view that neither the restriction referenced in your letter, section 410 of Public Law 103-236, nor the restriction contained in section 414 of Public Law 101-246, have been triggered by the Palestinians’ purported accession to the UNFCCC.  The UNFCCC is a treaty, and the Palestinians’ purported accession to it does not involve their becoming members of any UN specialized agency or, indeed any international organization.
How interesting.  The UNFCCC is not a UN affiliated organization, it is a Treaty.  The laws prohibiting Obama's funding of a UN affiliated organization treating Palestine as a nation do not apply because the UNFCCC, despite its large staff and its association with the U.N., is not an organization of the U.N.   No, it is a Treaty, and Palestine just happened to agree to the Treaty.

OK, so if it is a Treaty, why has Secretary of State John Kerry signed a Treaty under Obama's orders in clear violation of the constitutional requirement that a Treaty be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Senate?

Because as I have said of Obama since the early days of his first campaign for the presidency, his purpose is solely the advance of socialism.  When he took the Oath of Office:
I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Obama was lying.  He has consistently thumbed his nose at the Constitution.  He has, as he said when he was a state Senator in the Illinois legislature, viewed the Constitution as the enemy of socialism and therefore as his enemy.  It is Obama's pleasure to undermine the Constitution in every way he can and to eschew the Rule of Law in every way he can.  In funding a U.N. organization in violation of U.S. law and in signing a treaty in violation of the Constitution, he is, as usual, consistent with his personal creed that socialism is his ultimate political value.  There is nothing subtle about his subversion.  There will be nothing subtle about Hillary's subversion either if she becomes President.

23 April 2016

Dr. Allen on The Great Green Fleet, Chicken Fat, and Hillary Rodham

Dr. Steven J. Allen's article on the green energy deception called The Great Green Fleet, Chicken Fat, and Hillary Rodham is a good read.  You will learn that the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015 hides green energy special treatment in plain view.  The name of every law produced in Washington is designed to hide a plethora of harmful actions in the bill.  The green energy industries are almost entirely predicated on special interest legislation at the federal and state government levels, whether it be subsidies, mandates, or tax advantages.  Very little of the green energy industry can stand on its own two feet.  Or is it its own hundred feet like the nasty insect it is?

22 April 2016

“Ayn Rand Said” is Not an Argument by Craig Biddle

I have just read Craig Biddle's article "Ayn Rand Said" is Not an Argument in The Objective Standard.  It is posted here.

As Biddle says, his argument is one that should not have to be made.  I have made this argument myself many times and have tried to operate on it while arguing points on this blog.  I left the following comment, which might be moderated out of existence:
While I greatly admire Ayn Rand's work and believe that I learned useful thinking skills from her, it is always a challenging task to quote her appropriately in the many discussions of politics, economy and business, energy and the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis, and human associations that I write about on my blog. It simply takes as much work in many cases to be sure I am quoting her in an appropriate context as it would simply to make my own argument from reality. Should I establish that the context is appropriate for quoting her, I will have to establish the very arguments that need to be made to tie her conclusion correctly to reality in most cases, assuming that she was right in the first place.
There have been a few topics on which I do believe she was wrong. Three of Biddle's bullets as possible examples, I would consider among her errors. I would add her call for regulators to require more time on broadcast media for the opposition to socialism, her occasional tendency to underestimate the resilience of the U.S. economy to federal government harms, and her statement that a man with a beard was hiding character faults. These errors do very little to moderate my admiration for her generally, but they are lessons on why one must think for oneself.
Being a thinking man, but not a scholar, I rarely have time to invest this additional work into appropriately quoting Ayn Rand on a topic. It is safer and more efficient to admire her, but to make my own arguments. Of course any errors I might make then weigh only on me, as they should. And more importantly, I more firmly establish the structure of my own knowledge by always making it my job to fully develop that body of knowledge with direct and constant reference to reality. This is what Ayn Rand's hero John Galt did and this is what Ayn Rand tried to do. One cannot do otherwise as a rational individualist.
For those wondering, the bullet of the four viewpoints that Biddle suggests that Ayn Rand may have been wrong about that I would not necessarily agree with was the one in which she asserts that a child has a duty to his parents.  This is not a simple matter.  There are contexts in which a child has a duty to a parent and a parent has a duty to his child.  The parent-child relationship is very different than the relationships between adults.  It is common for Objectivists to say that children do not have rights.  This is another matter on which I take exception.  A child has a right to be allowed to take actions that develop his potential to become a rational individualist.  This is not to say that a child has the right to demand that someone educate him.  What he has a right to is that no one be allowed to prevent him from trying to educate himself.  A child's rights are very different than those of an adult, but they do have rights.  Generally, these rights are a subset of adult rights.  It is the legitimate duty of a parent, as it is of a government with respect to adult rights, to see that the rights of his children are protected from force by others.  So, if a government forces a child to attend a government-run school where the child cannot appropriately pursue his development as a rational individualist, it is the duty of the parent to oppose that government requirement.

17 April 2016

RICO for government climate deniers? by Paul Driessen and Ron Arnold

How corrupt and fraudulent is the government “science” that denies natural climate change?


A self-appointed coalition of Democrat state attorneys general is pursuing civil or criminal racketeering actions against ExxonMobil, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and other organizations. The AGs claim the groups are committing fraud, by “denying” climate change. The charge is bogus.
What we contest are false assertions that “humans are creating a dangerous climate change crisis.” We do not accept false claims that “the science is settled” and will not be limited to discussing only “what we must do now to avert looming climate catastrophes.”
That’s not just constitutionally protected free speech. It is the foundation of scientific progress and informed public policy.
Meanwhile, EPA and other federal agencies, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate activist organizations, state legal and environmental agencies, and legions of scientists who receive government grants for advancing the “manmade climate cataclysm” mantra are themselves engaging in what many say is truly misleading or fraudulent climate science, policy and regulation.
Millions in poor countries die annually from preventable diseases, because hysterical climate claims justify denying them access to affordable modern electricity and transportation that could be provided by coal, natural gas and petroleum products. In developed nations, climate hysteria has cost millions of jobs, adversely affecting people’s living standards, health and welfare. In European countries, thousands are dying each winter, because they can no longer afford proper heat.
The problem is not human intervention in the climate; it’s improper political intervention in climate science. It has corrupted scientific findings from the very beginning.
A 1995 document from the US State Department to the IPCC confirms this, or at least gives allegations of fraud and corruption sufficient credence to raise serious integrity questions.
When a recent FOIA lawsuit sought that 1995 document, the State Department said there is “no such correspondence in our files.” But if we have a copy of the document, how come State doesn’t? Attesting to its bona fides, Our copy has State’s date-stamp, a Department official’s signature – and 30 pages of detailed instructions on how the Clinton Administration wanted the IPCC to change its scientific findings and summary for policymakers, to reflect US climate and energy policy agendas.
The document is too complex and technical to summarize. So we’ve posted it in PDF form – unchanged in any way and exactly as received from a well known and credible source who must remain anonymous to avoid retribution by people like the RICO prosecutors. You’ll be amazed at what it says.
It consists of a three-page cover letter to Sir John Houghton, head of the IPCC Science Working Group, from Day Mount, Acting State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Development, introducing 30 pages of line-by-line “suggestions” from scientist Robert Watson and others. One wanted a correct statement about warming rates changed to a flat lie. “Change ‘continue to rise’ to ‘rise by even greater amounts’ to provide a sense of magnitude of the extended change,” it says.
Talk about agendas dictating science. Moreover, this “ominous” warming ended just a couple years later, there has been virtually no planetary warming since then, and the warming followed 30 years of cooling.
The document raises serious questions about State Department actions on subsequent IPCC Assessment Reports. What did State do? Where are the correspondence and instructions to change the science in other IPCC reports? What are the State Department, EPA and other Obama agencies doing now to further corrupt climate science and advance their radical energy, social, economic and political agendas?
We know they won’t answer truthfully. If they did, they’d have to investigate themselves under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Worse, the corruption, deception, manipulation, exaggeration and fabrication have grown with every passing year, as alarmists sought to obfuscate their shenanigans and preserve their $1.5 trillion Climate Crisis Empire. The AG actions are designed to punish and silence organizations that are revealing the scientific flaws and deceptions.
The IPCC was set up in 1988 to examine possible human influences on Earth’s climate, amid powerful natural forces that have always driven the complex, dynamic, turbulent, frequently changing climate. As we note in our book, Cracking Big Green, from the outset, Swedish meteorology professor and zealous warming advocate Bert Bolin wanted to help scientists “get global warming onto the political agenda.”
By 1995, Bolin could finally say “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” Of course, “discernible” merely means “detectable.” But it gave the State Department license to dictate the “science.” Then “discernible” morphed into “dominant,” which morphed into “sole.” Suddenly humans had replaced the complex, interrelated natural forces that had driven innumerable climate changes throughout Earth’s history. Voila. Climate hysteria began to drive the political agenda.
Behind the hysteria are carefully orchestrated efforts to find steadily increasing planetary temperatures, and claim floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms and snowless winters are more frequent and intense – even though Real World records show they are not. Original data are “homogenized” with other data to create higher temperatures; student papers and activist news releases are presented as “peer-reviewed studies” in IPCC documents; computer models are presented as “proof” of chaos, even though actual observations contradict their predictions; and ClimateGate emails reveal more chicanery. As climatologist and professor David Legates explains, even the 97% consensus claims are fraudulent.
Organizations that pointed out these flaws and fabrications became a threat to politicians, activists, “warmist” scientists and bureaucrats who were determined to advance an anti-fossil-fuel agenda. Their money and efforts were not winning the non-debate. They needed a blitzkrieg counterattack.
In June 2012, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Climate Accountability Institute organized a “workshop” in La Jolla, CA for climate activists, scientists, lawyers and other experts. Their subsequent report detailed how successful attacks on tobacco companies could be used as a template for campaigns, RICO actions and other operations against “climate denier” companies and organizations.
By 2015, Senator Sheldon “Torquemada” Whitehouse (D-RI) was calling for RICO prosecutions. His actions prompted free market champion Alex Epstein to tell a congressional committee the senator should resign because of his “unconstitutional” attacks on free speech and the energy that powers our economy.
In January 2016, a secret meeting was held in the Rockefeller Family Fund’s Manhattan offices. It brought 350.org founder Bill McKibben and a dozen other anti-hydrocarbon activists together, to refine their legal strategies against ExxonMobil and others who dared to challenge “the scientific consensus” that fossil fuels have brought humanity and our planet to the brink of “climate chaos.”
Then, on March 29, 2016, New York AG Eric Schneiderman headlined a press conference of 16 state attorneys general, who announced their intention to go after organizations that were “committing fraud” by “knowingly deceiving” the public about the threat of manmade climate change. Within days, he had launched a RICO action against ExxonMobil, and the Virgin Islands had done likewise against CEI.
It is difficult not to perceive a pattern of collusion here, among the activists and their financiers, among the AGs, and probably among all of them. We are eager to see what emails and other documents might reveal – especially since Section 241 of US Code Title 18 makes it a felony “for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten or intimidate” another person in exercising their constitutional rights.
We have only begun to fight – for energy, jobs, sound science, free speech and human rights. CEI and Exxon are vigorously battling the outrageous RICO suits, and CFACT will present its new Climate Hustle movie in a one-day May 2 extravaganza in hundreds of theaters across the USA. We will not be silenced.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org). Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. They are coauthors of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine

My Comments:

This RICO persecution of those who say that catastrophic man-made global warming is nonsense, is proof that the socialists have no respect at all for either individual rights, such as free speech or property rights, or for the scientific method or indeed any rational thought.

The socialists are not willing to engage those who oppose them on the field of rational discussion.  They are aware of the fact that they are unarmed and unprotected in a rational discussion of ideas.  At first they tried calling those of us who believe in rational discussion ugly names and attributed belittling beliefs to us, which they simply made up.  When I signed the Minority Report on Global Warming, I noted that: “Observe which side resorts to the most vociferous name-calling and you are likely to have identified the side with the weaker argument and they know it.”  That school-yard tactic by the socialists failed, so now these desperate alarmists and profiteers have turned to RICO persecutions by government in the courts.  It could not be more obvious how intellectually bankrupt they have become.

To be a socialist is very clearly to be opposed to all of the real advantages of civilized human society.  They would infuse that society with the constant use of force unguided by reason and indeed directed by the malevolent radical environmentalist's bias against humans.  They would deprive us as individuals of the freedom to cooperate with others in endeavors of our own choice.  Such a society will soon become thoroughly evil and unsustainable.  That that is the course of such societies is richly substantiated by history.

16 April 2016

Paul Driessen on Prosecuting climate chaos skeptics with RICO

Paul Diessen asked me to publish this article on 3 April 2016, but I have been extremely busy in my laboratory, even as we have been very short-handed in the laboratory of late.  Today, I am celebrating my relief from the unrewarding effort of doing paperwork for the Individual Rights Suppression IRS) agency of the federal government today by catching up on some blog entries, even as I continue to feed samples into the x-ray photoelectron spectrometer to analyze the surface properties of materials by harnessing radiation and detectors.

Paul's article makes it clear that we are in a Ben Franklin moment similar to that faced by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, when Ben noted that "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.", as we face a Democrat and United Nations Inquisition with respect to our adherence to the catechism of catastrophic man-made global warming and weather chaos.




Prosecuting climate chaos skeptics with RICO 

Al Gore, Torquemada Whitehouse, Democrat AGs threaten to silence and bankrupt skeptics
Paul Driessen 

It’s been a rough stretch for Climate Armageddon religionists and totalitarians.

Real World science, climate and weather events just don’t support their manmade cataclysm narrative. The horrid consequences of anti-fossil fuel energy policies are increasingly in the news.
And despite campaigns by the $1.5-trillion-per-year government-industry-activist-scientific Climate Crisis Consortium, Americans consistently rank global warming at the very bottom of their serious concerns.

But instead of debating their critics, or marshaling a more persuasive, evidence-based case that we really do face a manmade climate catastrophe, alarmists have ramped up their shrill rhetoric, imposed more anti-hydrocarbon edicts by executive fiat and unratified treaty – and launched RICO attacks on their critics.

Spurred on by Senator Sheldon “Torquemada” Whitehouse (D-RI), Jagadish Shukla and his RICO-20 agitators, and their comrades, 16 of the nation’s 18 Democratic attorneys general (the other 32 are Republican) announced on March 29 that they are going after those who commit the unpardonable offense of questioning “consensus” climate science.

If companies are “committing fraud,” by “knowingly deceiving” the public about the threat of man-made carbon dioxide emissions and climate change, New York AG Eric Schneiderman intoned, “we want to expose it and pursue them to the fullest extent of the law,” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. “The First Amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.”

Their initial target is ExxonMobil, but other companies, think tanks like CFACT and the Heartland Institute (with which I am affiliated), and even independent researchers and analysts (like myself) will be in their crosshairs – using a law intended for the Mafia. Incredibly, even United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch says her office has “discussed” similar actions and has “referred [the matter] to the FBI.”

These RICO investigations and prosecutions are chilling, unprecedented and blatantly un-American. They abuse our legal and judicial processes and obliterate the First Amendment freedom of speech rights of anyone who questions the catechism of climate cataclysm. The AGs’ actions are intended to browbeat skeptics into silence, and bankrupt them with monumental legal fees, fines and treble damages.

It is the campus “crime” of “unwelcome ideas” and “micro-aggression” on steroids. It is the inevitable result of President Obama’s determination to “fundamentally transform” the United States, ensure that electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket,” and carve his energy and climate policy legacy in granite.

Mr. O and his allies are on a mission: to rid the world of fossil fuels, replace them with “clean” biofuels (that are also carbon-based and also emit carbon dioxide when burned, but would require billions of acres of crop and habitat land) and “eco-friendly” bird-killing wind turbines and solar installations (that will require millions more acres) – and implement the goals of a dictatorial United Nations.

Former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres put it in the bluntest terms: “We are setting ourselves the task of intentionally to change [sic] the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years” – the free enterprise capitalist system. “The next world climate summit is actually an economic summit, during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated,” her UN climate crisis cohort Otmar Edendorfer added. “We will redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

Thus, under the 2015 Paris climate treaty, developing nations will be under no obligation to reduce their fossil fuel use or greenhouse gas emissions. They will simply take voluntary steps, when doing so will not impair their efforts to drive economic growth and improve their people’s living standards. Meanwhile, they will be entitled to share $3 billion to $300 billion per year in “climate change adaptation, mitigation and reparation” money. In fact, Mr. Obama has already transferred $500 million in taxpayer money (illegally) from a State Department emergency fund to the UN’s Green Climate Fund.

No wonder developing nations were thrilled to sign the 2015 Paris not-a-treaty treaty.

Recent headlines portend what’s in store. EU electricity prices rise 63% over past decade. Rising energy costs, green policies threaten to kill steel industry and 4,000 to 40,000 jobs, as Tata Steel quits Britain. Thousands of Europeans lose jobs, as manufacturing moves to countries with lower energy prices. Unable to afford proper heat, 40,000 Europeans die of hypothermia during 2014 winter.

In Africa and other energy-deprived regions: Millions die in 2015 from lung and intestinal diseases – due to open cooking and heating fires, spoiled food and unsafe water, and absence of electricity.

Meanwhile, despite mandates, loan guarantees, feed-in tariffs, endangered species exemptions and other subsidies, renewable industries are barely surviving: SunEnergy, world’s largest green energy company, faces bankruptcy, as share prices fall 95% in one year. Solar company Abengoa US files for Chapter 15 bankruptcy. China stops building wind turbines, as grid is damaged and most electricity is wasted.

But Climate Crisis ruling elites pay little attention to this. They will be insulated, enriched, and protected from their decisions and deceptions – as they decide what energy, jobs, living standards and freedoms the poor, minority, blue-collar and middle classes will be permitted to have.

Equally disturbing, their drive for total control is based on a chaotic world that is totally at odds with what the rest of us see outside our windows. Even after “homogenizing” and massaging the raw data, climate alarmists can only show that global temperatures may have risen a few tenths of a degree (barely the margin of error) during the 2015 El NiƱo year, after 19 years of no temperature increase, following two decades of slight warming, following three decades of slight cooling and warming.

On the “extreme weather” front, tornadoes, snows, floods and droughts are no more frequent or intense than over the past century. No Category 3-5 hurricane has made US landfall in a record 125 months. Polar ice remains well within historic fluctuations, and sea levels are rising at barely seven inches per century.

Alarmists thus rely on computer models that predict even “worse catastrophes,” if global temperatures rise even 0.5 degrees C (0.8 F) more than they already have since the Little Ice Age ended and Industrial Era began. However, the models are hopelessly deficient, and totally unable to predict the climate.

They overstate the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide and methane, atmospheric gases chosen because they result from fossil fuel use (and from many natural sources). They assume these two gases have become the primary forces in climate change – and ignore or downplay changing solar energy, cosmic ray and geomagnetic output; major periodic fluctuations in Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean circulation; volcanic activity; regional and planetary temperature cycles that recur over multiple decades, centuries or millennia; and other natural forces that have always driven planetary warming, cooling and weather.

The models and modelers do this because these factors and their roles in climate change are not well understood, are difficult to measure, and do not fit the “humans are at fault” meme. They compound these errors by assuming that any warming will be dangerous, rather than beneficial for people and agriculture.

These oversights can be characterized as careless, recklessly negligent, or even “knowingly deceitful” and fraudulent. So can “nine inconvenient untruths” that a United Kingdom judge highlighted in Al Gore’s infamous fake-documentary movie – and Mr. Gore’s recent claim that atmospheric CO2 is fueling Zika outbreaks. Likewise for James Hansen’s repeated assertion that sea levels could rise “several meters” (117 inches) over the next century, and the bogus studies behind the phony “97% consensus” claims.

Can you picture the cabal of AGs filing RICO actions in these cases? If you want the facts, and a few chuckles about climate alarmism, see the Climate Hustle movie, coming May 2 to a theater near you.

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