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

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

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.