Michigan Goes Blue and Other Tales

2018 midterm vote incorporates the basics of Pelosi’s H.R. 1, “For the People Act of 2019”, into the state constitution

The November 2018 election brought sweeping changes to election law in Michigan. Proposal_2, establishing a non-partisan ‘independent’ redistricting commission, and Proposal_3, mandating several registration/voting policy changes, passed with better than 60% vote margins and were incorporated into the Michigan constitution. Apparently, the constitutional amendment path was used to block a possible future republican legislature and governor from rescinding these provisions. However, at this time there is little chance there will be any attempt at that because Michigan voters also enthusiastically rushed three Democrat females into the offices of the governor, attorney general and secretary of state. The Republicans may hold a majority in both the House and Senate, but they aren’t in much of a position to force any changes, constitutionally or otherwise. And besides, how long will that majority last with H.R. 1, Pelosi’s get-out-the-progressive-vote plan, now firmly incorporated into Michigan’s voting law?

Even more troubling is the fact that the process of converting the U.S. into a permanently Democrat majority is further along than one might imagine. An article in the Washington Examiner by J. Christian Adams describing the provisions of H.R. 1 led to a closer examination of the Proposal 3 features which include:

The links given above are to the Ballotpedia pages describing these registration/voting policies and include a listing of states that as of August of 2018 had adopted these policies. The number of electoral votes subject to the impact of these policies in the 2020 election is summarized here:

Number of electoral votes up for grabs in voting subject to the following policies

  • Same-day registration: 204
  • Straight-ticket voting: 86
  • Automatic registration: 201
  • No-excuse absentee: 298

The fifty-state electoral vote total is 538. These figures do not include any states that may, through legislation or administrative procedure, adopt any of the H.R. 1 policies prior to the 2020 election.

The spreadsheet used to construct this summary is available for examination here. Sheet_2 provides a summary of election policy issues on the ballot in 2018 in various states. Note that the sort order is by decreasing number of electoral votes for a given state. This explains the ongoing effort by the Democrats to bring the Texas 38 electoral votes under the aegis of H.R. 1.

Way back when Eric Holder was Attorney General, he vowed to aggressively challenge voter ID laws, in Texas, of all places:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday vowed to be “aggressive” in challenging voting laws that restrict minority rights, using a speech in Texas to make his case on the same day a federal court was considering the legality of the state’s new voter ID legislation.

“Let me be clear: We will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious rights,” Holder said in the speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “I can assure you that the Justice Department’s efforts to uphold and enforce voting rights will remain aggressive.”

When the Supreme Court upheld the Texas Voter ID law in 2013, Town Hall reported the following:

The Justice Department said Thursday that it will file a new lawsuit against Texas to try to block the state’s voter ID law.

“Today’s action marks another step forward in the Justice Department’s continuing effort to protect the voting rights of all eligible Americans,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the lawsuit.

“We will not allow the Supreme Court’s recent decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights.”

SCOTUS be damned! Fast forward to 2018.

H.R. 1 was rolled out in late November as reported by the Washington Post:

House Democratic leaders on Friday unveiled the outline of a broad political overhaul bill that will include provisions for public financing of elections, voting rights reforms and new ethics strictures for federal officials.

The bill has been in the works for months as part of Democrats’ “For the People” campaign platform, a framework that helped them win the House majority in this month’s midterm elections. [snip]

“It’s folks from across the political spectrum that are demanding this,” said Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), the principal author of the plan, who stood alongside Pelosi and several members of the incoming freshman class at a news conference.

But that was just the start. In early March, Speaker Pelosi went back to Texas to renew the fight to blue Texas because the state’s voter investigation shows need for federal voting rights law:

An investigation by Texas officials into potential voter fraud that critics said threatened to jeopardize voting rights of naturalized citizens illustrates how important ballot box protections are, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in Austin on Tuesday.

The activity in Texas “shows only more importantly the need” for voting rights legislation the House will take up this week, Pelosi, D-Calif., said at an event in East Austin.

H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” is designed to make voting easier, reduce partisan redistricting and limit what Pelosi called “the influence of big, dark money” in campaigns.

Critical of moves in Washington and Texas revolving around voting, Pelosi said the state investigation was “part of a whole picture of undermining the Constitution.”

She was joined by Julieta Garibay, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit accusing Texas officials of illegally targeting her and others because they are foreign-born.

Posted once upon a time on a news site there was an interesting 51 min. video of Ms. Pelosi and others speaking about the need to welcome “Newcomers” through inclusion in the political process. Newcomers? Would that be illegal aliens? Is this a suggestion to register and have non-citizens vote? Sounds like it to me. Why wait for H.R. 1 to become law? This isn’t going to happen before 2020 and the Dems have an election to win.

Here’s a clip of Ms. Pelosi’s remarks:

The House passed H.R. 1 on March 7 on a party-line vote of 234 to 193.

But the tale doesn’t end there. I doubt that you have heard very much about H.R. 1 or Michigan Proposal 3. And the media, MSM or otherwise, hasn’t devoted much time to the subject. My interest was piqued only because I live in Michigan and was appalled by the fact that Prop 2 and Prop 3 were adopted, and by large margins at that! In my very humble opinion, all the media hoopla on a plethora of other issues is a smokescreen for voting fraud. I see no reason why voter photo ID based on citizenship and registration at least 30 days prior to the election Is a suppression of “voter rights.” Strict rules for absentee voting and vote counting deadlines should not be an issue. So, what’s the deal?

Lloyd Billingsley has an excellent piece at Frontpagemag detailing Pelosi’s comradeship with radical leftists. They aren’t her nemeses, they’re her soulmates.

Also at Frontpagemag, Bruce Thornton has this to say about the “NeverTrump Bitter-Enders”:

As Trump enters his third year of office, some Republican NeverTrumpers have gotten control of the symptoms of Trumpophobia, and have settled for the occasional snarky asides to maintain their anti-Trump bona fides while they write about serious issues rather than Trump’s alleged crypto-fascist assault on “democratic norms.” Others, however, have become bitter-enders, still clinging to the hope that Trump will be impeached or weakened enough to lose in 2020, thus sanctifying their irrational hatred of the best and most effective champion that conservatism is likely to find these days.

But make no mistake, no matter how seemingly marginalized or absurd, the bitter-enders are still functioning as a fifth column for the progressive “resistance,” providing a “conservative” and “bipartisan” cover for the Democrats’ rush to move America farther to the left in order to change our Constitutional Republic into a socialist technocracy.

And so it goes. More cover for the relentless advance of the progressive ground game, including “community organizing” which encompasses voter registration and rock-the-vote campaigns. Think of H.R. 1 as “Motor Voter” on steroids.

President Clinton signed the original Motor Voter bill into law in May of 1993, just four months after assuming office. There is a video in the Clinton Library archive of the signing ceremony. If you watch it, you can harbor little doubt that this was a major legislative milestone for the Democrats. The opening scene presents Clinton as a larger-than-life, almost heroic figure. Even the formulators of the Cloward-Piven Strategy for forcing political change through orchestrated crisis are present. One even speaks to congratulate the President for his accomplishment. Watching this now and considering where we are politically and culturally, and all the crises that have come and gone over the intervening years or are still with us, there is little question that the Democrats knew exactly what they were going to do with Motor Voter. And they managed it in spades.

Paraphrasing Bette Davis: Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy couple years.

Post Script:

I have found some solace in articles recently posted at American Thinker in that I thought I was the only one who considered much of the current MSM brouhaha just smokescreen. I have had misgivings that the beatification of the Three Leftketeers – Alexandria, Ilhan and Rashida – was any indication of a coup d’état within the Democratic party. Mr. Baehr thinks we should take Ocasio-Cortez seriously. I agree. But Ms. Zelikovsky suggest that the Democratic schism is a tactical ploy. I also agree. And with her opinion of five principled anti-wall Republicans as “dingbats.” Unfortunately, she was slightly premature with her exposition as it turned out there were twelve dingbats. The more the merrier!

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Daily Caller Interview of Joe diGenova

Daily Caller
The Obama Administration’s ‘Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton’ Starting To Leak Out, According To Former Fed Prosecutor
Ginni Thomas, Contributor
10:37 PM 01/20/2018

PART I

PART II

A former federal prosecutor says the truth is starting to seep out about the Obama Administration’s “brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton” and “frame an incoming president with a false Russian conspiracy,” according to an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Joe diGenova, a former federal prosecutor, connects the dots on former Obama administration Justice Department and FBI officials who may have “violated the law, perhaps committed crimes” to politicize law enforcement and surveillance against political opponents.

He says former FBI Director James Comey conducted a fake criminal investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they “followed none of the regular rules, gave her every break in the book, immunized all kinds of people, allowed the destruction of evidence, with no grand jury, no subpoenas, no search warrants. That’s not an investigation. That’s a Potemkin village. It’s a farce.”

DiGenova condemned the FBI for working so closely with the controversial Fusion GPS, a political hit squad paid by the DNC and Clinton campaign to create and spread the discredited Steele dossier about President Donald Trump. Without a justifiable law enforcement or national security reason, he says, the FBI “created false facts so that they could get surveillance warrants. Those are all crimes.” He adds, using official FISA-702 “queries” and surveillance was done “to create a false case against a candidate, and then a president.”

In this highly detailed video interview, he holds up an unreported April 2017 99-page FISA court opinion that “describes systematic and on-going violations of the law [by the FBI and their contractors using unauthorized disclosures of raw intelligence on Americans]. This is stunning stuff.”

DiGenova thinks Fusion GPS and Crowdstrike, the DNC’s private security firm, were among the redacted contractors of the FBI.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, who knows who the redacted contractors were, may release more information.

Was Fusion GPS pitching and funding journalists to run smear and propaganda campaigns for the Democrats? DiGenova says journalists were definitely paid by Fusion GPS. If it is true, he says, “it’s the complete antithesis of American journalism and the first amendment.”

“Law enforcement is being corrupted and media is being bought,” portends badly he says. Noting the elite media’s supposed outrage about governmental power and institutions during Watergate, diGenova says “the only thing the American journalism community seems to care about now is destroying Donald Trump.”

In the video interview, diGenova discusses the heroism of NSA Admiral Mike Rogers who briefed Trump when he was president-elect, on Nov. 17, 2016 about the controversial governmental surveillance. This resulted, he says, in Trump’s presidential transition being moving out of Trump Tower to Bedminster, N.J., until it could be debugged.

The litigator also discusses the Uranium One scandal, the “tainted” Mueller special counsel investigation and the heroism of Nunes, who is under intense pressure from a united Democrat front.

DiGenova has no doubt that if Democrats gain control in November, there will be an effort to impeachTrump. The Democrats are trying to delay any efforts by Republicans to find the truth.

“It’s important for the House to complete its work now,” he says.

Also, at Power Line:

Joe diGenova: Beyond foreplay
Posted on January 22, 2018

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The Giant Challenge Facing SecDef Mattis

There’s been a fair amount of Trump-supporter braggadocio regarding the President-elect’s nomination of Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as the new Defense Secretary – an admirable choice, certainly. If Mad Dog can navigate the machinations of the Pentagon as well as he did the battlefield we’re in for a rejuvenation of America’s military that should be a major reversal of its downward fortunes over the past few decades. I hope that Mr. Trump fully appreciates the magnitude of the task he has set before Gen. Mattis.

That task that has grown steadily in size and complexity since the end of the end of the Bush I administration. It’s not just a matter of budget and resource allocation. Much has been done with the intention of diminishing, if not eliminating, the traditions and esprit-de-corps of all the armed services. An early example is what happened in the wake of a 1991 convention in Las Vegas following the prosecution of the Gulf War. Several Navy officers had their careers sunk in what became the “Tailhook Witch-Hunt” as recounted in the October 1993 issue of Heterodoxy. This is but one of many ventures into the transformation of the military into post-modern, politically-correct, feminist-beholden, open-homosexuality organizations. The 2008 PBS mini-series “Carrier”, whether intentionally or not, gives our potential foes an insight into just how far the emasculation of our armed services has gone. A few extracted bits may be seen here.

All PC nonsense aside, the defense budget is an issue. What has the $10 Trillion increase in the national debt bought? I’m not sure if anyone really knows, but certainly not a stronger, more robust military. Being a former USAF officer and pilot, the Air Force is my particular concern. A recent article in the American Spectator titled “The Air Force Needs Maverick” caught my attention and I thought I’d pass it along to my pilot training classmates (we had a 50th reunion at the end of October). Was USAF really suffering from a severe pilot shortage? A response from one of my comrades-in-arms broadened the picture:

Not sure I buy premise that there is a pilot shortage. I recall recently reading that maintainers say they have a serious shortage of trained personnel. And I have heard logistics guys say they do not have enough parts, fuel and people. And complaints earlier this year about munitions shortages resulting in combat sorties flown with sub-optimal ordnance loads. Lastly, senior Air Force leaders are continually arguing for additional airframes. Altogether, situation appears to result in complaints that pilots in non-combat assignments are flying only once per week or less. And apparently, some of those graduating UPT are put on the shelf for a year because there are no cockpits available. Real problem in my mind is that our national strategy leads to a force structure that leads to a budget requirement and that amount is simply not available. As the country is apparently unwilling to cough-up more for defense spending, the hard requirement should be to reduce the strategy and force structure such that a balance is struck between the elements competing for the funds made available. The solution lies not so much in more pilots but in the need for a strong National Command Authority prepared to re-set national strategy and enforce budget constraints, and an armed services leadership prepared to balance requirements based upon available funding.

The Air Force’s conventional combat readiness and capacity appear rather stunted.

Nuclear strike forces? Well, USAF’s Minuteman III missile force has now been de-MIRVed in conformance with our nuclear weapons agreements with the Soviets/Russians. The Minuteman IIIs were once each armed with three nuclear warheads but now sport only one. Additionally, as announced in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, “… the intercontinental ballistic missile warheads now are targeted on open oceans — not Russian or Chinese cities — in case of an accidental launch, senior administration officials said in releasing the report.” That’s sure to put fear caution whatever into the hearts of our adversaries.

We’ve also been decommissioning advanced, nuclear-capable cruise missiles that are aircraft launched. Meanwhile, the Russians have tested a ground-launched, nuclear-capable cruise missile, said item being specifically prohibited by treaty. The Russians and Chinese have both developed and are deploying or will deploy advanced ICBMs as well as maneuverable hypersonic glide vehicles for nuke delivery that are very difficult to intercept with our current ABM technology. Both are advancing their anti-satellite capabilities. The Cold War arms race didn’t end. It’s accelerating. America?

Over the last 10+ years there have been several controversies targeting the Air Force over its command and control – or lack thereof – of the USAF nuclear strike force including both missile and aircraft delivered warheads. Two of these led to the dismissal of the Air Force Secretary and USAF Chief of Staff by then Defense Secretary Robert Gates. There was also a problem with missile alert crews sleeping with the missile silo blast door open. A SAC wing flunked its ORI (Operational Readiness Inspection) re-inspection ostensibly because of improperly filled-out paperwork. USAF’s nuclear command and control sins may be manifold, but where do we stand in correcting them now that the headlines have faded well into the past?

Procurement of military materiel from foreign suppliers is an issue even less publicized. The idea of buying a new USAF aerial tanker from Airbus didn’t seem like a very good idea to Mr. Gaffney who detailed some of the shenanigans involved in the bidding process. There was also a problem with counterfeit chips from the Chinese ending up in our military aircraft as was revealed by Dr. Joel F. Brenner, National Counterintelligence Executive, in a 2009 address. Have we ever held the Chinese accountable? Have we held anyone accountable for any of this? Other than the chaps Mr. Gates tossed?

We have some very serious problems concerning America’s Air Force and our military in general. I wish President Trump and General Mattis the best in addressing those problems, however serious and pervasive they may be. They’ll need all the support they can get from the American people if the job’s to be done well.

Originally published at American Thinker

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Restraining the Federal Juggernaut

Originally published at American Thinker.

When one man, Justice Anthony Kennedy, acting as the deciding swing vote on the Supreme Court, declared that “gay marriage” was now the law of land for a country of some 320 million persons, he may as well have been seated on a planet other than the one originally occupied by the men who wrote the Constitution. Note that the new nation was titled “United” and not “Uniform” States of America. That wasn’t a slip of the pen. America was never intended to be culturally and politically homogenous from sea to shining sea, though we hadn’t quite gotten there as yet. But here we are today, rolled flat by the wheels of the federal Juggernaut with nary a peep of protest by our local, state and federal representatives or executives.

Therein does lie the basic distinction between Conservatism and Originalism. Conservatism relates to one’s position regarding an issue, originalism to the manner or by what means that decision is made. Yes, if Kennedy had decided against gay marriage, his decision would have been considered conservative and momentarily satisfied those with a conventional view of marriage. However, one should not think that this would have ended the matter since the gay political activists would certainly have redoubled their efforts to impose their preference upon those opposed. And so, political factions, regardless of the issue, may often end up chasing each other’s tails in never-ending pursuit when the decision mechanics appear substantively unfair to one or both sides of a political difference of opinion. Employing the courts to make and enforce cultural or moral decisions is one way of ensuring societal discord. It didn’t work with court-ordered busing that was intended to achieve racial integration of public schools. It still hasn’t settled the abortion-on-demand issue. And it certainly won’t peacefully and permanently institutionalize gay marriage no matter what Justice Kennedy or anyone else thinks.

When the Constitution was written and for a long time thereafter, many doubted that the Court had the authority to interpret the Constitution at all — in other words, they believed that the Court had no power of “judicial review.” Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist 78, made the classic argument that, given a written constitution established by the sovereign people, the Court had no choice but to maintain the supremacy of the people’s Constitution when it was alleged to be in conflict with an ordinary law passed by their representatives.
–“The Myth of Judicial Supremacy” Paul Moreno National Review June 26, 2015

What happened? How did the Supreme Court get to the point where it felt authorized, nay, obligated, to question and decide upon the legitimacy of state marriage statutes? Part of the answer may be found in what the Founders were unable to imagine or consider — that the implicit use of English common law, the original foundation of American law, in the normal course of jurisprudence would not fully survive the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution. That being the case, the Founders never explicitly included the use and importance common law principle in the design of the Constitution though it certainly is, or at least was and should be, implicit in its function.

One common law principle that has essentially disappeared from use is that of jury nullification. This principle was well-established English common law by the time the right to trial by jury was written into the Constitution. As described by Madison, jury nullification would provide the final defense against a tyrannical government. It was one means of preserving a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” It was intended as a direct veto over government power by ordinary citizens. Contrary to common opinion, jury nullification does not mean that a jury may decide what the law is. That’s not the case. What it does mean is that a jury has a right to decide what is just even if its decision may be contrary to prior interpretation of a particular law. The jury may, regarding the specific case before it, judge the law to be unjust or unjustly applied. As a consequence, directed verdicts are prohibited. However, in 1895 the Supreme Court in Sparf v. U.S. ruled that jury nullification did not apply to the federal court system or cases. There went Madison’s shield against tyranny right out the window. Use of this common law principle in state courts has also been rather effectively suppressed even where not formally prohibited.

Another example of how common law principle has been disregarded or sidestepped is related to the vast increase in the number of federal criminal laws. Consider, for instance, federal “hate crime” statutes. Even if a person is acquitted of violating a state criminal statute, that same person may be tried and convicted of a federal hate crime for that very same act. Is this not “double jeopardy”? It would certainly seem so, but apparently is not. The injustice of the legal principle of “strict liability,” in contrast to the notion of criminal intent or mens rea, is nowhere more clearly illustrated than by the machinations that formed the basis of the Honduran lobster box case. This travesty of justice was finally put to rest by the Supreme Court in 2003 when a petition for a writ of certiorari was denied. Sorry, guys. You lose. Big Brother wins — once again.

Of course, ignoring, distorting or misinterpreting common law principle is only a piece of the very large puzzle of how our federal government — through the unchecked acts of the men and women who peopled it — stealthily, though boldly, evolved into the overbearing behemoth that it is today. America bears little resemblance to the Republic that it once was. We have not kept it. Yes, we have elections. Yes, we retain, in part, the structure and functionality of the Constitution. But, like the law, letter and intent often part ways.

The federal government is a massive bureaucracy quite determined to retain its pay and privileges. It has purchased the vote of a goodly portion of the electorate through programs of questionable benefit to the country as whole. Its future is to be assured through the progressive indoctrination of children in the public K-12 school system. Political correctness and disdain for free speech have become standard operating procedure at many universities. America’s military is underfunded and its traditions have been scuttled. The armed forces are now a laboratory for social experimentation rather than combat. All the major news sources, including to a fair extent FOX News, offer a one-sided, progressive slant on politics and current events. And perhaps most important of all, a large segment of the American people are more interested in and distracted by celebrity, sport, video games, internet porn and fantasy entertainment. We must be on the lookout for zombies and vampires. All American films must have sex, gun fights and car chases with minor modifications made to accommodate the science fiction genre. To no small extent we are a population frozen in an extended adolescence.

Distracting and worrisome crises are manufactured at will by the government, tax-exempt foundations and other NGOs. Big, Bad Business, the giant corporations, are out to rob and kill you while they’re here to save you. Global warming, intentionally morphed into climate change, is the all-time champion of such charades. This and much more seemingly goes on forever while the federal agency alphabet soup of the IRS, EPA, INS, DEA, ATF, FBI, VA, USDA, SSA, SBA, NSA, NOAA, HHS, BIA, CIA and whoever or whatever else spend your tax dollars mucking-up ordinary citizens’ lives and strangling the economy with ever more burdensome regulation. And when they run out of your money, the Treasury Department will gladly conjure more money up with the cooperation of the Federal Reserve.  You just have to pay the interest. If you don’t recognize some of the federal agency abbreviations listed above, you can find a more complete listing here. Have fun. It’s enlightening.

Yes, we have an election coming up in November. But I haven’t heard any of the candidates offer realistic proposals on how we’re even going to begin dealing with all, most or any of the above. Immigration, anyone? And I don’t see any presidential Alexander on the horizon who can cut through the Gordian Knot of our political bewilderment and frustration.

Good luck, America! You need it.

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Irony Über Alles

The Muslim invasion of Europe, specifically Germany, seems the ultimate irony of all time. During WW II the Germans disappeared about six million Jews, along with millions of other, at least in the opinion of the Third Reich, miscreants and misfits. The Jews of Europe were educated, peaceful, cultured and self-supporting. They are now being replaced with hordes of ignorant, violent, barbaric, sexually-deviant and welfare-dependent Muslims. I trust the irony is not lost on the Germans … or the Jews.

Yes, the Lord does move in mysterious ways. Or should that be Allah?

Ciao,
Dennis

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Bones of contention made explicit

A small skirmish on the periphery of the global-warming/climate-change wars. . .

Given below is a series of emails exchanged between Harry, an MBA classmate, a few others and myself. They are in the order received/generated and comprise my humble attempt to separate cause from effect, fact from fiction, science from politics and reason from emotion regarding “CLIMATE CHANGE”. The scientific paper I refer to in the emails may be found here.

* * *

To Harry from his fraternity brother
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 3:25 PM
Subject: Greenland Is Melting Away

I send this along to point out to the ignorantura, that the credibility of climate change assessment is not a function of how well models do, or do not, predict the changes in the environment.

Rather, it is the analysis and interpretation of measured physical variables that tells the story.

This is why a cretinous infatuation with predictions of where the global temperature is, or is not going, is rather beside the point. This is the province of asshole journalists, Ingrish Majers, history students, and alleged meteorologists. Notice that scientists are not immune from this inappropriate seduction into delusional behavior.

Concentrate on the fact that it is not possible to deny the ongoing monotonic accumulation of HEAT that comes from spewing 34 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Try and ask yourself where that HEAT is going, because unless you are totally daft, you must accept that the HEAT so trapped cannot be destroyed – it can only be moved around.

Of course, there is an alternative: If you can PROVE that there are far right-wing Republican CO2 molecules, that refuse to absorb the infrared radiation nature says they must, because they know this is part of a left-wing conspiracy on the part of communist pinko preeeeeverts, designed to rob real red-blooded American patriots of their vital essence. Just ask Cliven Bundy….

_______________________

“We scientists love to sit at our computers and use climate models to make those predictions,” said Laurence C. Smith, head of the geography department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the leader of the team that worked in Greenland this summer. “But to really know what’s happening, that kind of understanding can only come about through empirical measurements in the field.”

For years, scientists have studied the impact of the planet’s warming on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. But while researchers have satellite images to track the icebergs that break off, and have created models to simulate the thawing, they have little on-the-ground information and so have trouble predicting precisely how fast sea levels will rise.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/27/world/greenland-is-melting-away.html

* * *

From Harry to myself et al.
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 08:11
Subject: FW: Greenland Is Melting Away

FYI

Other than the fact that this elitist guy (a fraternity friend), disdains skeptics, I don’t know what to make of this tirade.

For years they told us to spend billions if not trillions to fix a problem that “models” predicted will destroy the earth within 20 years or was it 100 years, and all of a sudden we hear “never mind”! Forget the models, they don’t have to be right. They are not right.

I am not an expert but I do not understand how come 95% of the scientists who it is claimed believe in anthropomorphic global warming, cannot accurately model what would happen to the accumulated heat in the CO2 which is spewed. How difficult a problem can it be?

Doesn’t that fact tell us that it is not “settled science” yet?

Harry

* * *

From me to Harry et al.
Sent: Thursday, Oct 29, 2015, at 9:14 AM
Subject: FW: Greenland Is Melting Away

My Dear Fellow Climate-change Cretins,

As far as I know, no one has ever claimed that the heat generated from the burning of fossil fuels is directly causing the global temperature to increase. The heat output of human activity is miniscule when compared to the effect of solar radiation. “Human Heat”, if you will, is to a great extent radiated out into space. Urban heat islands may have a small effect on the “average” global temperature. But for the past fifteen years, based primarily on satellite data, there has been no measurable increase in the average global atmospheric temperature. Things have moved around a bit and there are some warmer and cooler spots. If the atmosphere’s average temperature has remained stable, how has the heat released through human activity found it’s way into the Greenland glaciers? What’s the mechanism? How do you measure the effect? Or is it merely hypothesis?

The theory of global-warming/climate-change began with the hypothesis that the increase of atmospheric CO2 that has resulted from the combustion of fossil fuels would increase the heat trapped in the atmosphere and there would be a resulting increase in surface temperatures. Atmosphere warms first, surface temps increase as a result. Then the ice melts. Period. Perhaps the heat that is melting Greenland is coming up from the interior of the earth? Perhaps it’s just continuing to melt after the warming that was/is coincident with the end of the last ice age? I don’t know. But it’s not because the atmosphere is warming.

But now it’s called climate change because there hasn’t been any warming for at least the last decade and a half. But things are still melting, polar bears are still dying (even though their population is steady or going up), oceans are rising (but not nearly as fast as predicted by any means), and numerous giant storms are battering humankind (even though we continue to have relatively quiet hurricane seasons). Did I leave anything out? If so, please insert the unnatural disaster of your choice.

There are a whole host of other considerations such as the relative effectiveness of the various greenhouse gases, i.e., CO2, CH4, H2O vapor, et cetera. Also, There is no reason to believe that some degree of warming is all that bad.

As the man said, “Rather, it is the analysis and interpretation of measured physical variables that tells the story.” I agree wholeheartedly. Feel free to pass this along should you so wish.

Ciao,
Dennis

* * *

From: Art
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 5:01 PM
To: Dennis Sevakis
Cc: Harry; Mark; Mel
Subject: Re: Greenland Is Melting Away

Very well said. I agree with all your points and would add a few more.

With regard to climate models–there is almost universal agreement regarding the heat trapping capacity of CO2. The calculations are straight forward and they yield only a modest rise in temperature which diminishes as as concentrations rise, i.e. at higher CO2 concentrations, each increment of additional CO2 produces less temperature rise. The key point is that the CO2 “greenhouse” effect alone does not produce enough temperature rise for even Al Gore to worry about. The problem arises–and the model uncertainty is introduced–when so called forcing factors are introduced. An example might be the postulation that the slight temperature rise from the greenhouse effect would reduce snow cover which reduces the sun’s reflection which heats the earth. Another would be the greenhouse increase raises ocean temperatures which causes the release of more CO2 which creates more warming. These are offset by negative forcing such as higher temperatures evaporate more water forming clouds which reflect heat away from the earth. It’s the attempt to model all that which is the source of so much uncertainty and subjectivity.

Indeed, some degree of warming is not bad and some degree of added CO2 is likely good for the planet. There is mounting evidence that global vegetation is expanding and the higher levels of CO2 might be contributing to rising crop yields. There are a lot of mouths to feed.

Final point–There have been numerous studies on the cost to “stop climate change” (whatever that means) vs. adapting to changes. Adaption is the clear winner–the best use of scarce resources. Maybe Greenland can become the poster child–a country that adapted and actually benefited from change–probably asking too much.

Best, Art

* * *

From: Harry
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2015 22:57
To: Art; Dennis Sevakis
Cc: Mark; Mel
Subject: RE: Greenland Is Melting Away

I too agree with all your comments. But I insist, on my original argument.

I do not understand how come 95% of the world’s most acclaimed scientists who, it is claimed, believe in anthropomorphic global warming, cannot accurately model what would happen to the accumulation of HEAT that comes from spewing 34 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. In spite of all the forcing factors Art is talking about. How difficult a problem can it be? What a waste of brainpower?

Doesn’t that fact alone tell us that it is not “settled science” yet?

And yes I believe in adaptation. The Dutch dikes are perhaps the best example in history of adapting to control the environment since the times of the Roman Empire!

http://dutchdikes.net/history/

Harry

* * *

From: Dennis Sevakis
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2015 12:54
To: Harry; Art
Cc: Mark; Mel
Subject: Re: Greenland Is Melting Away

Harry,

Please forgive me for repeating myself, but I have no really new response to what you have stated. But in an effort to restate my argument more clearly (convincingly?) I offer the following:

1. I have never seen the “95% of the world’s most acclaimed scientists” figure documented. The only documentation I have seen is a letter to, I believe, the U.S. Senate signed by 100 atmospheric scientist/physicists who are among what are commonly called the “deniers.” Not that they deny the possibility of human influence on climate. They just deny that the politically manufactured and MSM promoted panic over global-warming/climate-change is unwarranted. The postulated mechanism for climate change, i.e., a warming of the atmosphere resulting from heat, infrared radiation, trapped by additional CO2 in the atmosphere, has not been verified. All the media hoopla is naught but obfuscation. Measurement of atmospheric temperatures over the past two decades do not match the predictions of the CO2 models. That’s what is demonstrated in the 2007 paper that I have often referred to. I have not come across any scientific paper that contradicts it. The MSM never, ever reference it. Not difficult to understand why.

2. I have not come across any postulated alternative mechanism for human influenced global-warming/climate-change. Everything is based, whether or not explicitly so stated, on the CO2 hypothesis. It has utterly failed quantitatively.

3. I do not understand the phrase “the accumulation of HEAT that comes from spewing 34 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.” What heat? Are you talking about the heat released by the exothermic reaction that is the burning of carbon? If so, as I mentioned earlier, most of that, all of it eventually, is radiated back out into space — not unlike the solar energy that warms the earth in the daytime is radiated back out at night, barring cloud cover and high humidity, that is. That’s why desert areas have such high diurnal temperature swings. No H2O in the form of vapor or clouds to stop the drop — H2O being a much better greenhouse gas than CO2. Also, CO2 is not the only product of combustion. Obviously water is another when burning hydrocarbons.

4. Our current knowledge regarding the massively complex system that is “climate” is woefully inadequate to build a model that is predictive in any meaningful sense. The climate system is also chaotic and therefore not predictable in a detailed way. All the dire predictions of the “95%” are therefore pure speculation, whoever the 95% may or may not be.

5. This climate brouhaha is 95% politics, 5% science. And that is not just my opinion. And that is also why it is such a conflated emotional battle, almost religious in nature.

Ciao,
Dennis

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Old, New or Warmed-Over Cold War?

SourceLink From FOX News:

Russia has never flown bomber patrols over Gulf of Mexico before,
US official claims
Published November 13, 2014

Russia’s decision to send long-range strategic bombers on regular patrol missions across the Gulf of Mexico is unprecedented, a senior U.S. military official said Wednesday, claiming that the country has never done so before – even during the Cold War.

The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the flights publicly, also said that the pace of Russian flights around North America, including the Arctic, have largely remained steady, with about five incidents per year.

Long-range bombers have been in the area before, but only to participate in various visits to the region when the aircraft stopped over night at locations in South or Central America. During the Cold War, other types of Russian aircraft flew patrols there, including surveillance flights and anti-submarine aircraft.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to call this a Russian provocation.

Now, I’d like you to think real hard, which President closed the Vieques naval gunnery range, along with the Roosevelt Roads naval base and air station at the Eastern end of Puerto Rico? This was the air station once used as a base for Navy submarine patrol aircraft cruising the Caribbean. What was the name of this President’s advisor who ran around Washington in the summer of 2001 (pre-9/11 of course) stamping out pockets of GOP support for keeping the range and base open? Hmmm? Oh, and one more thing, have a bite of this tasty tidbit:

SourceLink POLITICS
On Vieques, No Hispanic Is An Island
Banding Together, Latino muscle Forces W To Cave
NEWSWEEK
Jun 25, 2001 Issue

Other factors may have come into play. Later this year Rosewood Hotels & Resorts of Dallas plans to open a luxury resort on Vieques. The company, which last year gave $100,000 in soft money to the Republican National Committee, is half-owned by Caroline Rose Hunt, whose half brother was Bush’s Texas Finance chairman. According to one source intimately familiar with the Vieques dispute, the Navy’s bombing “had raised concerns” about development plans on the island. But a Rosewood spokeswoman insisted that the company had not spoken to anyone in the administration about the project.

Of course not.

We now have the Chinese operating the Panama Canal (admittedly starting on Clinton’s watch), the Russians planning on taking over our Caribbean air patrols, and who-knows-who pouring in over the Southern border of the U.S. One might even get the impression there’s a slo-mo invasion going on. Well, maybe not quite so slo-mo.

Yeah, the Cold War is over all right – NOT!

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Wealth: Personal vs. National

SourceLinkOriginally published at American Thinker

September 25, 2014
Wealth: Personal vs. National
By Dennis Sevakis

If you were stranded on an island in the middle of the Pacific with a couple of tons of gold bars, would you be wealthy? Would you feel wealthy? Having a shortwave (solar powered, of course) might make for a more affirmative answer to the question, but the ability to communicate would then be more fundamental to your wealth than the gold.

I started doing thought experiments such as this while contemplating the question: “What is Wealth”? Gargantuan trade deficits claimed by economic pundits to be of little or no consequence to Americans, Bush II era fiscal folly, and the abandonment of U.S. manufacturing by multinational corporations led me on this esoteric pursuit in search of an answer.

The short answer: The capacity to produce goods and provide services.

The longer answer regarding a nation’s wealth includes natural resources, climate, infrastructure, a skilled workforce, et cetera. Or, as Wikipedia so graciously noted:

The United Nations definition of inclusive wealth is a monetary measure which includes the sum of natural, human and physical assets. Natural capital includes land, forests, fossil fuels, and minerals. Human capital is the population’s education and skills. Physical (or “manufactured”) capital includes such things as machinery, buildings, and infrastructure.

Now, that’s not so complicated, is it? Things get complicated because most persons, whether intentionally or mistakenly, conflate personal and national wealth. Bank balances, income, and the market value of one’s assets are how we gauge personal wealth. However, that is not national wealth, the pie we divide up with our monetary accounting, money merely being a claim against those national assets.

Today’s economic travails seem primarily a result of confusing national wealth with personal wealth. What’s good for the personal goose is not necessarily good for the national gander. Nor vice versa. Asset prices are not “wealth”; the stock market could drop 50% tomorrow and our current capacity to produce goods and provide services would essentially be unaffected.

What’s been done to the United Sates over the past fifty years or so, longer if you wish to quibble, is that we have dissipated or stunted our national wealth through a number of mechanisms. We’ve let our natural resources lie fallow through excessive environmental regulation. Infrastructure is left to crumble. Consumption is financed through debt rather than income. Multinationals have invested in productive and research capacity overseas rather than domestically. We’ve given away, sold, or permitted much of our commercial and military technology to be stolen. Our educational institutions have been corrupted and stunted at all levels with political correctness and a repudiation of Western history. Culturally we have, as the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan so eloquently put it, defined decency down.

Wealth can be created. However, doing so takes time. It is a laborious and intensive process. Financial markets do not create wealth. They merely move it around through redistribution or inflation. But they do it quickly. That is the attraction.

We’ve done a good job of killing the gander.

* * *
Ciao,
Dennis

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The Reality of Jihad

You can hear “Iraq” mentioned more than once. This is ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) doin’ their thang in Iraq. Pretty rough stuff. Not for the faint of heart. Post-modern version of the ‘Adventures of Mohammed’?


Entire video including subtitles is currently (2014.07.30.1328z) available here

Ciao.

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Robert Spencer: We have met the enemy and he is us

Ignore at your own peril:

Robert Spencer: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us
June 26, 2014 by Frontpagemag.com

Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript SourceLink to Robert Spencer’s address at the Freedom Center’s 2014 Texas Weekend. The event took place May 2nd-4th at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

41m48s including Q&A

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