Thursday, March 09, 2017


Over the years I have saved many articles that have caught my attention. I go through them every so often to see how they read years into the future. I have referred to a number of them in other posts. One of my favorites is this one.

I have written before of my extreme skepticism with respect to the horrific outcomes projected for man made climate change. It occurs to me that if you did not live through the 1970's (there are fewer and fewer of us around these days!) you might not understand the source of my skepticism.

I offer a few quotes from the linked article as proof that the scientific community is often wrong in its evaluation of current conditions and almost always wrong about extrapolating their conclusions into the future. None of this seems to prevent many of them from continuing to opine and extrapolate. Worse still, none of this seems to prevent a credulous press from amplifying their statements. Keep in mind that these quotes are from 1970, the birth year of Earth Day.

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970

No doubt you recognize the construction of the opening phrase. The age-old appeal to authority. I imagine you have also heard that 97% of scientists agree that climate change is a man made problem. There is a small problem with that assertion. It is not true.

What is true is that a review of some 12,000 papers on the subject of climate showed that only 33% of them suggested a reason for climate change. 97% of those asserted that the cause was man. So, now we are down to 97% of 30%, 29.1%. Quite a different number than 97% .

Let's go get more of that 70's wisdom.

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

Watt also predicted that,

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

 And, from the ever reliable Sierra Club ,

“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director 

If you follow the link immediately above you will see that they have not mended their
Malthusian ways. 

I don't think I have ever seen an acknowledgment from any of these people that they have ever been wrong about anything.

Be skeptical of those who assert our imminent destruction. Their assertions seem, curiously, almost always to be attached to pleas for money. I can't imagine why.

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Monday, March 06, 2017

President Trump Does It Again

I have mentioned before that I have been thoroughly enjoying watching Mr. Trump bait the left. In an earlier post or two I borrowed a phrase from Powerline's John Hinderacker to the effect that being a liberal means you don't ever have to learn anything. Well, they are certainly proving him right again.

As everyone on the planet now knows, DJT launched a series of tweets on Saturday morning claiming that Obama tapped his phones during the elections. Predictably the left has set their hair on fire over this one.

There are so many stories on the subject that it is difficult to chose one to link to so I will stick with Mr. Hinderacker .

As you read the details of the various stories a very insightful comment from, if I recall correctly, Glenn Reynolds , is useful to explain what is going on here.

What Mr. Reynolds said, more or less, is that Trump's critics take him literally but not seriously and his supporters take him seriously but not literally.

We know, despite the aggressive wording of his tweet, that he did not mean, literally,
that Obama tapped his phones. To us it is perfectly clear that he means the Obama administration, in one form or another, did.

The press, meanwhile, is dealing with his tweets as though he meant, literally, every word in them and is trying desperately to disprove a case that Trump never intended to make, which is a very difficult thing to do.

Great fun indeed.

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Why Hillary Lost

She lost because she is so thoroughly off-putting and corrupt that she couldn't even manage to attract the votes of large numbers of women.

"However the biggest surprise of 2016 probably relates to gender. The first major party female candidate for president, running against a notorious misogynist, captured the Democrats’ lowest share of female voters since 2004."



Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Chick-fil-A effect Updated


Looks like we have done it again!

 In 2012 the President of Chick-fil-A expressed his disapproval of same sex marriage. The left erupted in outrage. Boycotts were declared. The chain was declared unwelcome in San Francisco, Chicago and elsewhere.

The link above spends a great deal of time detailing the outrage, loss of corporate partnerships and generally vilifies the company. Below is the last entry in the very long piece and, of course, my point.

"Financial effect

Sales increased after the controversy. According to news coverage following the controversy:[71]
Chick-fil-A's sales soared 12 percent, to $4.6 billion, in 2012. The good fortune follows several years of impressive expansion and strong sales, which have pushed the privately held company's valuation north of $4.5 billion, making billionaires out of its founders ... These latest sales data are just further proof that all that negative coverage didn't hurt demand for chicken sandwiches among Chick-fil-A's core consumers.
— Joe Satran, The Huffington Post"

The Huffington Post, which I referenced recently is a lefty outlet. Note how the author attempts to minimize what really happened to boost sales.  It is not "that negative coverage didn't hurt demand". Negative coverage put a rocket under demand as those of us who were fed up with the oppression of the PC culture quietly, but effectively, neutered it.

Among the most important factors that gave us President Donald Trump is the corrosive effect on our civilization of practitioners of political correctness who try to shame and/or outlaw any opinions inconsistent with their own.

The left is at it again, in spades. Boycotts of Trump brands and particularly Ivanka Trump brands are under vicious PC attack everywhere. Her brands have reportedly discontinued by several major retailers including Nordstrom and Sears/Kmart.

Meanwhile, her perfume brand has leaped to #1 at Amazon. The Chick-fil-A effect is underway, and will, no doubt, continue.

It is worthwhile noting, in my opinion, that at the time of their kerfuffle, Chick-fil-A was a significant contributor to organizations opposed to same-sex marriage and the expansion of LXQXWZ or whatever it is, "rights". Being a responsible, law abiding corporate citizen, the company stopped donating to most of those organizations after the Supreme Court decision mandating same-sex marriage.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Plausible Explanation

Like most of us I have been aware of the Dilbert cartoon series for a long time. I have read it occasionally and, for the most part, have not understood its appeal or even its point.

Thanks to the Instapundit I have been treated to a series of links to the web site of Dilbert's creator, Scott Adams, since President Trump began his run for office. I have linked to him before.

His explanations of how Trump accomplished his amazing political feat have been fascinating to me.

I watched the President's press conference on Thursday for a little while. I was mostly impressed. I stopped watching at the point that he said, and I paraphrase, "No matter what I say today all the news tomorrow will be about me ranting and raving. I am not ranting." Taking his bait, as usual, this was Friday's Huffington Post cover for their reporting.

I mentioned above Mr. Adams fascinating explanation of Trump's success. In this post Mr. Adams provides a plausible explanation for another phenomenon, that apparently sane and intelligent people people can come away from the same experience with two completely different interpretations of what occurred.

With reference to HP's complete failure to predict Trump's success and the fact that they saw an entirely different press conference than I did he writes:

"When reality violates your ego that rudely, you either have to rewrite the movie in your head to recast yourself as an idiot, or you rewrite the movie to make yourself the hero who could see what others missed".

Read the whole thing.

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History? Don't know any

Via Paul Mirengoff at Powerline I accessed  this story of an argument between an anti-Trump conventional media reporter (is there another kind) and a Trump staffer.

The reporter told a tale of abuse at the hands of the staffer. Apparently the exchange was taped and the tape is unkind to the reporter's version of events.

The reporter asserts that the making of the tape, without her knowledge or approval was "Nixonian". She is correct, but not in the way she thinks.

Nixon did indeed surreptitiously tape all conversations in the Oval Office and elsewhere in the White House and at Camp David for a couple of years. He had every right to do so, as did the person who did so in this case.

What the complaining reporter meant by her claim of "Nixonian" actions was that the taping was illegal and big brotherish.

What she failed to understand is the real Nixonian aspect of the event.

The taping of the exchange is her undoing, just like it was Nixon's.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Respect for Women

I have heard all I can stand about the Republican war on women, Trump's bad behavior toward women and men's misogynistic impulses.

The real war on the dignity and image of women is being waged by women.

What is more damaging to the dignity and image of women, Trump's potty mouth and boorish actions or this?

Lady Gaga (pictured above), Miley Cyrus, the Kardashians and their entire reality show and performers cohort, who appear to be in constant competition to see how much they can resemble a real live hooker, are a far more serious stain on the dignity and image of women than poorly behaved men could ever be.

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Warren Buffet on Immigration

I have mentioned the legendary investor Warren Buffet before. It was in the context of him trying to persuade us that our income tax regime is wildly skewed in favor of the "rich" and that the "rich" should pay more taxes. He tried to make the case that his assistant who makes about $100K per year pays more taxes than he does. It is probably true, but it does not do anything in  furtherance of his point. His comparison, as I explained, was apples to oranges. (You will have to scroll to the last entry on the linked page to read the post.)

I mention in the post that, in my opinion Buffet is a liar.

He has recently sought fit to opine on the current hot-button issue of immigration.

Here too Buffet is being deceptive. He says, " “Well, immigration, this country is built on it. I always say to people that are anti-immigration, ‘let’s put it in retroactively.’ And everybody leaves,” the 86-year-old billionaire said on a panel with his friend Bill Gates on Friday at Columbia University in New York."

Do you know, or have you ever known anyone for whom you have any respect at all who is anti-immigration? I didn't think so. I haven't either. So why does he misrepresent the issues?  Why would the other panelists or audience members not point out that the issues actually being discussed are illegal immigration and immigration from failed Muslim states so we could hear Buffet's opinions on the actual issues? I don't know either.

I find it impossible to believe that he does not know what the issues actually are. I think he is doing what liberals always do. Ridicule people who don't agree with them in the hope of embarrassing them into silence.

You want more Trump? This is how you get more Trump.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

False Comparison. How and Why They Do It.

On January 26, 2017 Dan Levine of Reuters wrote a piece entitled, "In Trump Era Democrats and Republicans switch sides on states' rights".

"States' rights" is described in Black's Law Dictionary.

" Under the Tenth Amendment, rights neither conferred on the federal government nor forbidden to the states".

He describes the situation using Scott Pruitt's position as Attorney General of Oklahoma arguing against Obamacare compared with his likely positions with respect to EPA regulations to make his case.

"...He was part of a coalition of Republican attorneys general fighting President Barack Obama's health law - better known as Obamacare - based on a core party principle: that states' rights trump federal powers, and that programs like Obamacare represent a radical overreach by the federal government.

Now, as Trump looks to undo Obama's legacy and begin constructing his own, Pruitt and other administration Republicans are showing little interest in protecting states' rights. Instead, they are embracing sweeping new environmental, health care and immigration policies that are to be imposed on all states."

That last sentence is extremely  important and indicates that Mr. Levine either does not understand the concept of states' rights or he chooses not to understand it in furtherance of his narrative.

Read this again carefully:

"...coalition of Republican attorneys general fighting President Barack Obama's health law - better known as Obamacare - based on a core party principle: that states' rights trump federal powers, and that programs like Obamacare represent a radical overreach by the federal government."

Apparently Mr. Levine thinks that a core principle of the Republican Party is "that states' rights trump federal powers". Really? A quick look at Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and the 10th Amendment might be in order.

The actual "core principle" is that the federal government ought not to expand beyond the powers conferred on it by the Constitution. In the quite widely disseminated opinion of every Republican I have ever heard on the subject, Obamacare is indeed a "radical overreach by the federal government" and rolling it back is entirely consistent with the protection of states' rights. 

The administration will not (and proclaims it very loudly, I'm surprised Mr. Levine hasn't heard about this) be imposing new environmental, health care and immigration policies on the states in violation of the states' rights principle. They will be rolling back environmental and health care policies that violate states' rights in those areas.

For reasons best known to Mr. Levine he believes that immigration law is a power to be exercised  by the states. It is not. To argue otherwise would be to suggest it reasonable and appropriate to have as many as 50 different immigration regimes. Ridiculous on its face. A quick look at Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution might help.

He may recall Arizona's efforts to gain control of its southern border. Arizona's argument was not that it was within the state's rights under the Constitution to assert control over the border. The argument was that the federal government, having completely failed to carry out its obligations with respect to the border, had forfeited its constitutionally mandated jurisdiction over it and Arizona had to step in to protect its sovereignty.

So the "how" is by misunderstanding, misinterpretation, mendacity or some combination of the three.

The "why" is to provide cover for Democrats who have long abhorred the notion of us yokels in the hinterlands making any decisions for ourselves. (New York abortion laws for Mississippi anyone?) Since "everyone" is changing sides there is no shame in it. 

They are suddenly embracing the concept, see sanctuary cities . To be fair, there was a time when Democrats fully embraced the notion of states' rights. That was in 1860 when they wrongly and unreasonably asserted the states' rights defense in support of slavery and secession. 

Welcome back.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

More winning! And more winning!

Now here is some more excellent news.

Now here is some excellent news:

"More than 7,000 refugee applicants entered Canada in 2016 through land ports of entry from the United States, up 63 percent from the previous year, according to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)."

Just more winning courtesy of Donald Trump.

According to Reuters these hapless refugees are fleeing a "worsening climate of xenophobia".

Really odd language for a "news" story to use, don't you think?

 Courtesy of Merriam-Webster

Definition of xenophobia

  1. :  fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign

    So, based on nothing more than their own prejudices, these self-righteous hacks proclaim us to be xenophobes, because every one knows we are a hateful bunch who discriminate against everyone who is not white.

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