Friday, October 24, 2014

The Best of Alan Caruba

Editor's Note: Alan's site has now surpassed 3.8 million hits, 70,000 a month.  My congratulations to Alan my thanks for allowing me to publish his work. These articles didn't appear in this order. 

 By Alan Caruba

The lull in the coverage of all things Islamic was broken by two terrorist attacks in Canada, a reminder that so long as the world does not unite to destroy the Islamic State, we shall all remain vulnerable. A “lone wolf” terrorist can kill you just as dead as one in a terrorist organization, particularly one encouraging these attacks.

While the media’s herd mentality continues to report about Ebola in West Africa and gears up for massive coverage of the forthcoming November 4 midterm elections, the Middle East remains in a low state of boil, never failing to produce bombings, skirmishes, and the usual inhumanities we associate with Islam.

Americans pay attention to the Middle East only when blood is flowing and at the present time the only element generating that is the Islamic State (ISIS) which continues to attack Kobani in northern Syria and assault the Yazidis and other targets in Iraq. The U.S., Britain and France are bombing ISIS forces, largely to protect and assist the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the only fighting force of any consequence.

Virtually unreported are the 18 million Muslim refugees throughout out the Middle East. The U.N. reports that these and internally displaced persons reflect the turmoil in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. To grasp this, think about what either the U.S. or Europe would be like with a comparable number of refugees.

As David P. Goldman, a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and Wax Family Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, noted October 20 on the Forum website, “That is cause for desperation: unprecedented numbers of people have been torn from traditional society and driven from their homes, many with little but the clothes on their backs.”

“There are millions of young men in the Muslim world sitting in refugee camps with nothing to do, nowhere to go back to, and nothing to look forward to…never has an extremist movement had so many frustrated and footloose young men in its prospective recruitment pool.”

So what does John Kerry, our Secretary of State, think is the greatest problem in the Middle East? While discussing the ISIS coalition with Middle East leaders, Kerry expressed the opinion a week ago that the Israeli-Palestine situation was the real problem. Apparently he is unaware that there is no Palestinian state and never has been. The one on the West Bank exists thanks to Israeli support and the one in Gaza, controlled by Hamas, provoked Israeli defense measures by rocketing it for months.

Prof. Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a Shillman/Ginsberg fellow at the Middle East Forum, has a quite different point of view. “In reality, however, the novelty of the Islamic State, as well as the magnitude of the threat it poses, are greatly exaggerated.”

Noting that many of the Arab states have “failed to modernize and deliver basic services” Prof. Inbar has little anticipation that ISIS could do that either. Moreover “Much of the fragmented Arab world will be busy dealing with its domestic problems for decades, minimizing the possibility that it will turn into a formidable enemy for Israel or the West.”

What has seemed to escape Kerry’s and the President’s attention is the threat of a nuclear armed Iran. The negotiations to encourage Iran to step back from its efforts to create the warheads for its missiles do not appear to promise a favorable outcome. Iran managed to get some sanctions lifted and that was likely why Iran entered into them. They don’t care what the West or the rest of the Middle East wants.

Neither Israel, nor Saudi Arabia are as naïve as the U.S. In March, Richard Silverstein, writing in Tikun Olam, reported that “the level of intense cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia in targeting Iran has become clear. Saudi Arabia isn’t just coordinating its own intelligence efforts with Israel. It’s actually financing a good deal of Israel’s very expensive campaign against Iran.” A recent explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility suggests that the campaign is still quite active.

Noting “airtight military censorship in Israel”, Silverstein pointed out that information about the Israeli-Saudi relationship would not have been reported in an Israeli daily newspaper, Maariv, if both governments did not want Iran and the U.S. to know. In effect, the Saudis have replaced the U.S. as a source of support given President Obama’s barely concealed dislike of Israel.

“But Israel,” wrote Silverstein, “isn’t going to war tomorrow.” Israel will watch the outcome of the U.S.-Iran negotiations and determine what action to take or not at that point. Meanwhile, it will keep the pressure on Iran with its covert program.

At some point the news media will begin to pay more attention to the Middle East. It will not get much cooperation, however, from ISIS because the Islamic State has made it clear that only journalists that obey its rules and write what it wants will live very long.

The “religion of peace”, Islam, has not produced much peace in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world for the last 1,400 years.

An American Decline that Must Be Reversed - The tendency of pundits is to address the decline in American culture and traditional moral values. The concerns addressed include the rather sudden, but widespread embrace of same-sex marriages or calls for the legalization of marijuana so anyone can get high without the fear of arrest. You can probably name a few things you consider evidence of decline, but there is one you are not likely to notice much. It’s the nation’s infrastructure of highways, airports, waterways and ports. It’s only dramatic declines such as the decay of Detroit, once one of the nation’s most dynamic cities that get attention because it is so blatant. We judge the backwardness of third world nations by their bad roads and lack of infrastructure to support their economies.

We don’t, however, think of the U.S. as a nation in decline, but we are….

Killing Confidence in Our Government  -  What has been the over-riding theme of life in America since Barack Obama became President in 2008? It has been the continued loss of confidence Americans have regarding various elements of the federal government. From the Centers for Disease Control, the Veterans Administration, the Secret Service, to the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service, these and other agencies have been tainted in ways that have turned his two terms into a litany of scandals and failures.  Obama is a President for whom politics is the sole reason against which every decision is made. The latest example was the naming of an Ebola Czar. “Sources confirm to Fox News that President Obama plans to name Ron Klain, a longtime political hand with no apparent medical or health background.” In the past, Klain has served as chief of staff to Al Gore and Joe Biden. Does this make you feel any better about the Ebola threat?

No Ebola Panic Despite Media Hysteria - One man has died of Ebola in the U.S. and he came here from Liberia. Two of the nurses that tended him are in intensive care and likely to survive. A third was thought to be infected, but wasn’t. That news has been sufficient to keep most Americans calm as the media has done its best to exploit Ebola-related news.   The public absorbed the facts and came to their own conclusion. An October 8 Pew Research survey found that “Most are confident in Government’s ability to prevent major Ebola outbreak in U.S.” That reflects the way we have all been conditioned to look to the federal government to solve our problems, but the public mood had not changed by October 20 when a Rasmussen Reports analysis of a survey concluded that “Americans are keeping their cool about Ebola, but some acknowledge that they have changed travel plans because of the outbreak of the deadly virus in the United States.” .....

Politicizing a Plague - If President Obama does not want the Ebola virus to kill Americans, why has his administration done nothing to restrict any flights from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, the hot spots in Africa where it appears the virus is spreading?  One of the reason flights from Liberia were not stopped, we have been told, was the historical link of the U.S. with that nation, founded as a place freed slaves could migrate. That is no excuse in the face of the threat of a single Liberian with Ebola getting off a flight in any U.S. airport……

The "Malaise" Has Returned - The joke is that Jimmy Carter is happy that Barack Obama has replaced him as the worst President of the modern era. It is a supreme irony that Obama’s campaign theme was “Hope and Change” when Americans have lost a great deal of hope about their personal futures and the only change they want is to see Obama gone from office. Elected by a narrow margin in 1976, Carter managed in his one term to see his approval ratings fall to twenty-five percent by June 1979. The lesson Americans have to learn over and over again is that liberal policies and programs don’t work......
Democratic Voting Bloc-Heads

As this is being written, Rasmussen Reports says that 48% of likely voters approve of President Obama’s performance in office while 50% disapproved. Other polls indicate far more unhappiness with Obama, but in general one must conclude that half the voters are idiots. He is an enormous failure domestically and with his foreign relations. In early July, a Quinnipiac University national poll found that Obama was regarded as “the worst president since World War II.”The only poll that counts will be the midterm elections on November 4th......

Why do foodies love organics? Because they taste like McDonald’s!

October 23, 2014 |

Two prankster hosts of the online Dutch show Lifehunters went to an organic food convention and proceeded to pretend they were restaurant entrepreneurs serving up the latest in organic fare…but that was after a trip to McDonald’s where the stocked up on Chicken McNugget’s and other fast-food classics. The reaction by the “expert” taste testers is priceless–providing intriguing insight into the faux and sometimes phony taste advantages of organic foods. As hosts Sacha and Cedrique say, “Let’s go”! 

This is a must see video. 

Motivation and Balance

By Rich Kozlovich

On October 23rd, the President & Executive Producer- StudioFox 44, Mark Welch, wrote an article entitled: TooMuch Motivation?  Is it Possible?  He noted that;

Between Facebook and Twitter, I think if I read one more motivational post by the forementioned (sic) network's participants. 

He went on to say;

 “I may be raptured. Or... ruptured.  I think I have read and consumed every variation of charisma, motivation and opinion that could possibly stay within the boundaries of modern mathematics. After years of consumption and digestion... am I getting indigestion?”

I had to laugh, because I read a great many of these kinds of motivational articles posted on LinkedIn, including how to get a job, how to keep a job, how to be happy when fired, how to be happy when not being fired, how to anticipate what the boss is going to do,  and how to be ready with just the right thing to say for every conceivable situation.  All by people who look like they’re under thirty. 

Although he realizes that motivation is important and “a good thing”, he makes the valid observation that when you “get too much….you'll puke!”  Much like eating too much of your favorite pie.  He points out that you can over saturate a sponge, and it seems clear to me that he’s right.  His point is – “Receptionary quality is always better than receptionary quantity.  Even coming from the motivators.

He points out that a “Prudent balance within your life is always... not just a plus, but a MUST!” Since I agree I couldn’t understand why I had some instinctual misgivings about this missive.  Then I realized - I was thinking like those people who have to motivate other people in order to get things done, such as managers, owners of companies, or even those involved with industry trade associations, especially those kinds of trade associations where the work is all done pro bono.   People in those situations need to be motivated and need to motivate others in order to attain important goals.  So I realized what instinctually bothered me - there wasn’t a viable solution presented in the article for the motivator.  I have one.   

Motivation should be tied to tasks.  Motivate people to attain certain goals, and when those goals are met make sure to measure out the appropriate rewards – which should absolutely include praise, especially public praise, but could also include additional benefits, raises, bonuses, or promotions.  The greatest motivation for employees is financial – tied in with security.  Money may not be the number one reason someone comes to or stays at your company.  They may just find in your company the comfort zone they absolutely need in their lives, but ultimately the money is what they’re there for.  If the quality of a motivational program is high the quantity can and should be low.

One more thing!  Fire all negative employees.  That’s a huge motivator for those who remain.  You may also enjoy perusing The Rules. 

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

Europe's Climate Poker
EU Agrees Non-Binding Climate Deal Conditional On UN Treaty
Editor's Note: Please view this video: Europe's New Climate Targets: Myth & Reality and then ask yourself - What planet are these people living on? They're willing to destroy their nation's - and all of Europe's - economies in order to reduce CO2 emissions for no reason. We're long past understanding that CO2 has no effect on the world's weather. We know the world stopped the small amount of warming that was taking place 18 years ago while CO2 emissions increased substantially. Furthermore, we're long past believing "alternative" energy is any more viable that it was during the Carter administration. We're long past believing any of their dire predictions of disaster due to global warming will happen. Those kinds of disasters didn't happen 1000 years ago when the world was substantially warmer than it is now and there's no reason to believe anything disastrous will occur now. However, the price of energy is the beginning of wisdom and it is my belief all of this Anthropogenic Global Warming horsepucky will end up on the ash heap of history soon. I just hope the promoters of this in politics, the media and the junk scientists in academia end up there also.
EU leaders Thursday night committed by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40%, and increase energy efficiency and renewables by at least 27% [provided there is a legally binding UN climate treaty]. French President François Hollande said the deal would send a clear message to other countries such as China and the US ahead of the talks in Paris next year to agree global legally binding greenhouse gas emissions. A special “flexibility clause” was added to the final text, making it possible for the Council to return to the targets after the UN summit. --EurActiv, 24 October 2014
European leaders have struck a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030. But key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or voluntary, raising questions as to how the aims would be realised. A clause was inserted into the text that could trigger a review of the EU’s new targets if other countries do not come forward with comparable commitments in Paris. --Arthur Neslen,
The Guardian, 24 October 2014 

EU leaders have reached a landmark deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. The binding decision (sic) came after heated discussions at a summit in Brussels, as some members had argued that their varied interests should be protected. –Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 24 October 2014

The EU announcement was reported in the media as if the EU has already adopted these aggressive new CO2 targets. This is however not the case. In reality the EU Commission only proposed a conditional offer as a negotiation card to be played during the 2015 negotiations at the UN climate conference in Paris. In the absence of an international agreement it is very unlikely that the EU will adopt any new unilateral targets. The EU has made it perfectly clear that it is no longer willing to go it alone. --Benny Peiser, Global Warming Poliicy Foundation, 9 February 2014

Oil slump leaves Russia even weaker than decaying Soviet Union

Russia had the chance at the end of the Cold War to build a modern, diversified economy, with the enthusiastic help of the West. That chance has been squandered

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

It took two years for crumbling oil prices to bring the Soviet Union to its knees in the mid-1980s, and another two years of stagnation to break the Bolshevik empire altogether. Russian ex-premier Yegor Gaidar famously dated the moment to September 1985, when Saudi Arabia stopped trying to defend the crude market, cranking up output instead. "The Soviet Union lost $20bn per year, money without which the country simply could not survive," he wrote. The Soviet economy had run out of cash for food imports. Unwilling to impose war-time rationing, its leaders sold gold, down to the pre-1917 imperial bars in the vaults. They then had to beg for "political credits" from the West. That made it unthinkable for Moscow to hold down eastern Europe's captive nations by force, and the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians knew it......To Read More..... 

My Take - The Poles, Czechs and Hungarians know it - and if they didn't already know it - now the Ukrainians know it since Ukraine has been the number two country to hit Paradigms and Demographics for some weeks. Best wishes to them.

There is one more thing. This was inevitable. To fall back to a system that was already an absolute failure can only mean Putin is a dumb as dirt corrupt megalomaniac. This is all about him and at some point he will start doing even dumber things because he’ll begin to see the whole system begin to collapse, and at some point his big concern will become his own safety. I believe there will be a total collapse of this neo-Soviet system and moreover, I don’t see a collapse of today’s Russian as peaceful as was the collapse of the Soviet Union. This one will be violent, and Putin and his thugs will not go quietly into the night, they will not bend and they will not go down without bloodshed.

Five years ago the Russian army was disintegrating with alcoholism, the Navy was a big rust bucket, and their population was shrinking every year.  They had already crushed the entrepreneurs, took over the energy businesses, the Russian mob was extorting anyone who did business in Russia, and the government did little to stop them, and I believe that was because many in the leadership were part of that.  Has any of that changed? I don't think so. 

Economics and corruption destroyed the Soviet Union, happily ending their worldwide trouble making and support of radical governments.  This is what will end Putin’s Russia. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The West's Battle For Freedom

This week’s special episode of The Glazov Gang was joined by Geert Wilders, the founder and leader of the “Party for Freedom” — which is currently the fourth-largest party in the Dutch parliament. Mr. Wilders is best known for his brave stance against, and truth-telling about, Islam. He is the author of Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me. He came on the program to crystallize the only way the West will be able to preserve itself.

Don’t miss it!



This is Long Overdue!

AWED Friends:
Over the years we have been sent several great ideas for wind energy related signs and billboards.Conversely we have received many requests asking for advertising suggestions.To marry these two, it seems appropriate that we put together a basic collection of these — so that we can all profit from the good ideas of others.  We've just put up a page that shows some sample wind energy Billboards, and another page that has some wind energy related Yard Signs.  These are just samples, as can not possibly show all the ideas that creative citizens world-wide have come up with. However, if you are aware of superior examples we have missed (or corrections to any of the references we’ve made), please let me know the details.  Our belief is that this is ultimately a Public Relations issue.
John Croz, Jr.

Cartoon of the Day!

Chilling Free Speech

Andrew P. Napolitano

Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science —encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities— announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The NSF dubbed the project Truthy, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert’s invention and hilarious use of the word“truthiness.”…….We already know the National Security Agency has the digital versions of all telephone conversations and emails sent to, from or within the U.S. since 2005. Edward Snowden’s revelations of all this are credible and substantiated, and the government’s denials are weak and unavailing — so weak and unavailing that many NSA agents disbelieve them. But the government’s unbridled passion to monitor us has become insatiable. Just two months ago, the Federal Communications Commission, which licenses broadcasters, threatened to place federal agents in cable television newsrooms so they can see how stories are generated and produced. The FCC doesn’t even regulate cable, yet it threatened to enhance its own authority by monitoring cable companies from the inside.   What’s going on here?......The government is worried about speech.  Big deal. Speech is none of the government’s business. History teaches that the remedy for tasteless speech is not government repression — it is more speech. In a free society, when the marketplace of ideas is open and unfettered, the truth is obvious. But in a repressive society, the truth becomes a casualty. Which society did the Framers give us?

You may also wish to read these next two articles:

As the NSA scandal matures, outrage fizzles into business as usual »
It's been 16 months since The Guardian published its first story on the National Security Agency's bulk collection program, launching a series of reports that would introduce the public to cryptic terms like PRISM and Boundless Informant…...

The USA PATRIOT Act is anything but patriotic »
Sunday is the anniversary of the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act. The clever wordsmiths in the halls of power gave the act a high-sounding name. But like most laws passed by the psychopaths in the Washington cesspool, the law is the opposite of its name……

Why I Don't Write About Pottery From the Ming Dynasty

Sometimes it's good to recognize your limitations. For example, I could describe how DNA works, or how to make crystal meth, poison your neighbor or blow stuff up. I won't, but I could. And I'd know what I was talking about.  Perhaps I could also write something about teapots from the Ming Dynasty if I read about it on Wikipedia, but in reality I wouldn't know one if it fell off the Chrysler Building onto my head.

Nicholas Kristof is a columnist for The New York Times. As such, he has written about a wide range of topics such as politics, human rights, poverty, foreign affairs, and economics. He does this extremely well, as demonstrated by his multiple awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes. He also appears to be nothing short of brilliant, and an all-around good guy as well.

But sometime prior to May 2nd, when his last column, "How Chemicals Affect Us" was published, he may have been walking a little too close to the Chrysler Building......To Read More.....

Avoid those thermal paper cash receipts, says well known anti-science BPA critic, vom Saal

Posted on by admin

If you believe what you read about BPA and its harmful effects on human health, a topic that we here at ACSH have taken on many times, the latest development from Frederick vom Saal, Professor of Biological Sciences at Missouri University and perhaps the best-known fringe anti-BPA activist posing as a scientist, might stop your shopping habits, or at least make you think twice before choosing to get a receipt. In his latest fear-mongering attempt, he tries to link BPA from receipts to increased levels of BPA in the blood stream. So what?

Researchers had subjects use hand sanitizer and then hold thermal paper receipts. Subjects then ate French fries using their hands. Following the consumption of the fries, researchers measured the level of BPA in the blood of the subjects, and found that BPA was “absorbed very rapidly.”

To which vom Saal concludes: “BPA from thermal papers will be absorbed into your blood rapidly; at those levels, many diseases such as diabetes and disorders such as obesity increase as well. Use of BPA or other similar chemicals that are being used to replace BPA in thermal paper pose a threat to human health.”…..To Read More….

GMOs and the need to feed 9 billion

Originally Posted Here on by admin

Dr. Robert Fraley, a top researcher at Monsanto, was recently quoted in a Nebraska Radio Network article, stating that he believed that those opposing GMOs are “extreme voices” and that most people are “in the middle.” Dr. Fraley, who is often referred to as the “father of agricultural biotechnology,” according to the environmental editor at National Geographic, Dennis Dimick, estimates that 70 to 80 percent of Americans believe GMOs are safe. While this sounds like great news, it is important to note that this information is not coming from a study or survey, but instead seems to be based on Dr. Fraley’s own experiences speaking to audiences.

Hopefully Dr. Fraley’s estimates aren’t too far from the truth, as the latest issue of National Geographic brings to attention the looming problem of feeding a population of 9 billion people — the world’s population reliably predicted for 2050 —a 35 percent increase from today’s population. The NatGeo’s Dimick also expresses his support for GMOs: “In a world where we need to improve productivity, things like drought, salt and heat tolerant crops are so important and should be allowed to happen, even if they do involve the use of genetic engineering.”

The National Geographic article estimates that crop production will need to double to feed a population of 9 billion. This is a challenge that would prove impossible without the use of life-saving biotechnology. For more information on how genetically modified farming can feed a hungry world, check out ACSH’s publications on agricultural biotechnology here.

Seed patent primer: Is the use of GMOs preventing farmers from reusing their seeds?

XiaoZhi Lim | October 21, 2014 | Genetic Literacy Project

Anti-GMO campaigners often attack Monsanto and other large agricultural companies for suing farmers who illegally save their seeds and replant them. But most non-GMO seeds as well as genetically modified versions are patent protected for companies to recoup their investment costs. If these intellectual protection rights were removed, would farmers go back to saving seeds and replanting them in subsequent years?

In some cases, yes. Some crops are able to produce viable seed that can be saved and replanted to yield offspring that perform similarly to their parents. But for other crops, most notably hybrid corn, no. In the case of crops that have been improved by hybridization in conventional breeding, saving seeds for replanting doesn’t make sense as any saved seed will not perform as well as their parents.

Let’s take a look at the process of hybridization in conventional breeding. Hybridization is when breeders take two distinct, but related plants and mate them, commonly by pollinating the plants by hand. For example, a breeder could cross a big corn plant that is susceptible to disease with another that is small but more resistant to disease to produce a hybrid plant that is both big and resistant to disease. This resulting hybrid plant is called F1 hybrid (first-filial generation).....To Read More....

Bleeding of Aloha: Ugliness of the anti-GMO movement in Hawaii

Joni Kamiya | October 21, 2014 | Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

The last two years have been very tumultuous here in our state in regards to biotechnology. With a 12 month growing season, Hawaii is one of the great places for the large ag companies to run their breeding programs. With anti-GMO/anti-corporate ag sentiment on the rise, Hawaii has been the subject of the heavy hand of activism based in fear and misinformation. It hasn’t been pretty.

Here’s a summary of what’s happening across our state, county by county.

Last year, in the county of Kauai, the notorious anti-GMO bill to create buffer zones and disclosure for the spraying of pesticides was passed and then invalidated in federal court. This did not stop the mainland based SHAKA Movement from managing to garner some 9000 signatures to get an anti-GMO, anti-ag bill placed on the ballot in the county of Maui.....To Read More.....

Green coffee means more green for Dr. Oz, but considerably less for the company that sold the junk

Posted Here on October 21, 2014 by admin

As you well know, at ACSH, our job is to talk about and reveal junk science. This is usually not especially difficult, since the same set of “errors” that make junk science junk appear over and over. In the following case, “not especially difficult” became “ridiculously easy,” since virtually every aspect of the junk involved was handed to us on a silver platter. It doesn’t get any better than this—made up data, woefully inadequate peer review, and Dr. Oz, which puts this episode into the “Hall of Shame” without the obligatory five-year waiting period.

A paper that appeared in 2012 in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy claimed that consumption of green coffee bean extract caused overweight people to lose a substantial amount of weight, even without any changes in their diet or exercise routine......Dr. Oz became enamoured with the product. So much so that the show could have been renamed “The Buy GCA and You Will Turn Into Brad Pitt Show.” Dr. Oz got ripped to shreds by Senator Claire McCaskill in a congressional hearing on the safety of dietary supplements. Also, ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom had a few unflattering things to say about this unseemly incident on Science 2.0.   It turned out that the data from India was made up, and Vinson and Burnham withdrew their paper, as reported by Retraction Watch......To Read More.....

Muzzling cultural dissent, at home and abroad

The European Court of Human Rights has defined a democratic society as one which exhibits tolerance, broad-mindedness and pluralism. Western democracies, however, are often Orwellian in their redefinition of these very terms, as exemplified in the recent Houston subpoena scandal.

Tolerance has come to mean disdain for social viewpoints which run contrary to the cultural orthodoxy of the day. Broad-mindedness means blindly accepting the overly permissive moral values of the Left. And, ironically, pluralism has taken on an identity which excludes dissenting voices.  Americans should take note that, in Europe, this new cultural identity has led to a democratic deficit and a “government knows best” attitude.

The story goes that Nicolas Sarkozy, when asked why he wouldn’t allow the French to vote on the Lisbon Treaty after the French public previously voted down the proposed European Constitution, said it was because the French would not get the answer right. This mentality is, of course, not unique to Europe. In states throughout America, a single judge has often been responsible for overturning the democratic will of millions of voters to constitutionally affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman......To Read More.....

A fool and his money

By Washington Examiner | October 22, 2014

This year, Americans roll their eyes once again at a campaign to vilify the age-old practice of rich people spending their money to spread political messages. The attacks are mostly one-sided, with Democrats using both the campaign platform and the floor of the Senate to denounce two people in particular.  They are, of course, Charles and David Koch, billionaire philanthropists who have used some of the money they earned to advance their libertarian view of the world. Their flagship group, Americans for Prosperity (which is actually not exclusively funded by them), spent an impressive $37 million on ads to affect election outcomes in 2012.   This time around, though, a liberal billionaire is stealing their thunder.

Tom Steyer, who reaped large returns at his hedge fund from oil investments, is now safely rich and has thus begun a crusade against the use of hydrocarbon fuels. He hopes to prevent America from becoming an oil-exporting nation and to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.....To Read More.....

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

German Industry Issues Stark Warning Ahead Of EU Climate Summit
Eastern Europe Attacks EU’s Unilateral CO2 Plans

As EU heads of state prepare to thrash out an agreement on the bloc’s 2030 energy and climate change goals at a summit opening in Brussels tomorrow (23 October), energy-intensive industries in Germany have reiterated warnings that a European “solo effort” would come with billions in losses. “If Europe chooses a solo effort through a one-sided climate protection target of 40% less emissions, it would mean billions in losses for us that our global competitors would not otherwise have gained. The damage done to competitiveness among energy-intensive companies in the EU would be considerable,” said Utz Tillmann, a spokesman for the Energy Intensive Industries of Germany (EID). --EurActiv, 22 October 2014

The EU’s plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 has come under heavy assault as an increasing number of eastern European nations rally behind Poland’s threat to scupper a landmark climate deal this week. “I do not think that we can go with this current deal. If there is no change then we will walk away,” said Tomáš Prouza, the Czech Republic’s state secretary for European affairs. “The numbers just do not add up.” One ambassador predicted the most difficult summit since the height of the eurozone crisis. “Both sides are in their trenches, shelling each other,” he said. --Henry Foy and Christian Oliver, Financial Times, 20 October 2014

The leaders of the 28 members of the European Union are set to meet here on Thursday to reassert their global leadership in climate protection, but they will first need to finesse deep divisions over how to generate and distribute energy. Reaching a deal this week would give the union bragging rights before a United Nations climate conference in Paris scheduled for late 2015, by making it the first major global emitter to put forward its position. Polish leaders, however, have hinted that they may veto any agreement. And the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has already warned that the summit meeting may end in deadlock, requiring further discussions. Analysts have warned that if a deal is reached, it will most likely be a messy compromise. --James Kanter, The New York Times, 21 October 2014

The UK Government’s enthusiasm for domestic and EU-wide green policies is not shared by countries in central and eastern Europe, many of whom are extremely reluctant to sign up to the EC’s targets. In 2011, George Osborne announced that the UK would go no faster than the rest of Europe with regards CO2 emissions targets. If agreement on emissions reductions cannot be reached at a European and a global level, the Government would come under growing pressure to suspend unilateral targets post 2020. --Global Warming Policy Forum, 22 October 2014

Our power stations are ageing fast. We have eked out their lifespan for longer than expected, but replacements are urgently needed. Yet for years, our politicians have failed to act, promoting costly and over-subsidised renewables rather than building new gas or nuclear plants. To make matters worse, much of our capacity has been scrapped, in compliance with environmental restrictions set in Brussels. If things continue as they are, the prospect has been raised of Seventies-style restrictions on energy use, even rolling blackouts. That is a grim prospect for a 21st-century economy. --Editorial, The Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Energy and Environmental Newsletter

Our latest Energy and Environmental Newsletter, is now online. There is some great material there, so please set aside some time to check it out. Below are some highlights.

This is a sample of some interesting energy articles in the current Newsletter —
Here are some examples of worthwhile global warming reports —
Thank you for your continued support!
John Droz, Jr. Physicist & Environmental Advocate

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Dr. Roy W. Spencer: 2014 Winner of the Outstanding Evangelical Climate Scientist Award

Dr. Roy Spencer was a senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. He is now a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Dr. Spencer’s work with NASA continues as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. His diligent work on tracking the planet’s temperature provided a tamper-proof source of data with which to test predictions of man-made global warming. Spencer received a B.S. in atmospheric sciences from the University of Michigan in 1978 and his M.S. and Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1980 and 1982…..To Read More……

Dr. Willie Soon: 2014 Winner of the Courage in Defense of Science

Dr. Willie Soon, an astrophysicist and geoscientist, is a leading authority on the relationship between solar phenomena and global climate. His discoveries challenge computer modelers and advocates who consistently underestimate solar influences on cloud formation, ocean currents, and wind that cause climate to change.

Since 1992, Dr. Soon has been an astronomer at the Mount Wilson Observatory. He is also receiving editor in the area of solar and stellar physics for New Astronomy. He writes and lectures both professionally and publicly on important issues related to the sun, other stars, and the Earth, as well as general science topics in astronomy and physics….To Read More…..

Dr. S. Fred Singer: 2014 Winner of the Lifetime Achievement in Climate Science Award

Dr. S. Fred Singer was among the first and is still the most prominent scientist in the world speaking out against global warming alarmism. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of many books, including Climate Change Reconsidered (several volumes), a comprehensive critique of the assessment reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Dr. Singer, an atmospheric and space physicist, founded the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). He continues to serve as chairman of SEPP and as a member of the leadership team of NIPCC.

Dr. Singer has published more than 200 technical papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Energy & Environment, EOS: Transactions of the AGU, Geophysical Research Letters, International Journal of Climatology, Journal of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Nature, and Science. His editorial essays and articles have appeared in Cosmos, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New Republic, Newsweek, Journal of Commerce, Washington Times, Washington Post,and many other publications. His accomplishments have been featured in front-cover stories appearing in Time, Life, and U.S. News & World Report...... To Read More....