Earth hour: get people off it for betterment?

Mark Perry explains why Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty, and backwardness citing Canadian economist Ross McKitrick.

“Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.”

“The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity.”

Why? What is it that drives those who are able to put their own energy needs into the background to want to deprive others of the freedom and liberty it can bring?

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Culture in denial

The story is about The Old Man and the Sea of Black Mob Violence by Colin Flaherty.

“In light of thirty years as a court-appointed psychologist and prison psychologist, this episode of black mob violence in Concord is not Newburn’s first rodeo: “Through the MSM, the popular culture, and liberals in government, the message to black people for years has been that they are not responsible for their actions, nor will there be serious consequences for their violent behavior.”

“The result of this has been disastrous for black people. To the assailants in this crime, their violent assault was righteous, and now know they are backed up all the way to the White House. Adding fuel to this insanity fire is the tragic/comedic myth that the reason for their collective life failures and the gross decay of their communities is due to white people.”

“They had no conscience as they inflicted great violence on these helpless people, and they attacked because they believe they have legitimate license to do so.”

Self defense is punished. Crime is hailed as righteous. There is something ‘not right.’

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Sustainability as a religion

Stephen Hayward asks is “sustainability” substainable? regarding “the release today of a copious report from the National Association of Scholars on the religious fervor for “sustainability” on college campuses today. The report is entitled Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism, and I heartily recommend it”.

“Environmental scientist Timothy O’Riordan warned in 1988 that “It may only be a matter of time before the metaphor of sustainability becomes so confused as to be meaningless, certainly as a device to straddle the ideological conflicts that pervade contemporary environmentalism.” Well, that time has come: like other concepts that could have been sensible and usable if done seriously, “sustainability” has become, as the NAS report notes, completely absorbed into the usual anti-capitalist ideology, and yet another pretext for the central environmental will to extend political control over people and resources”

“Some day we’re going to look back on this whole period the same way we now regard the temperance movement and Prohibition. But, as with Prohibition, in the meantime a lot of criminal rackets are taking root.”

Meanwhile, a lot is being wasted and many are being harmed.

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We all lose

Jazz Shaw on George Zimmerman: No regrets:

“The media, while covering not only the Trayvon Martin case, but Michael Brown and others, has managed to further divide the country along racial lines and convince minorities that the rule of law is not to be trusted and authorities are to blame for all ills. But the real distrust of the government has spread to “the other side” as well, seeing how the idea of having your day in court and clearing your name no longer means very much. There were no winners in these stories. In fact, we all lost.”

This is the kind of damage to the society of the country that will be difficult to repair.

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The difference

See William Connolley at Stoat for an example of the difference between sides in the climate argument.

“All right-thinking people will obviously agree that the top one is better; WUWT is denialism, and AW is primarily known as a blogger, not a meteorologist.”

The topic and entire content is ad hominem buttressed by the vox populi logical fallacy and a straw man thrown in for good measure. There is no discussion of the issues. Opinion is offered as judgment. Anyone who raises a question in the comments about the premise is taken to the woodshed with ‘reduce to the absurd’ type counters.

If you want to learn about climatology and meteorology, look to WUWT. If you want to see the ugly side of human discourse, maybe try Stoat.

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Poorly read pastors: time for shame

Karen Lugo noticed A Megachurch History Lesson: Americans No Better Than ISIS

“Unbalanced accusations of American evil from the pulpit cause disproportionate harm to the unique sense of moral authority possessed by historically informed people of faith. American aspirations to charity, economic opportunity, and freedom of conscience stem directly from the founders’ understanding of Providential design. America’s founders realized that they were establishing a very special “city on a hill” inspired by Christian Scottish Enlightenment ideals.”

“Now Americans of moral confidence are needed to speak against a real genocide of Christians at the hands of ISIS. Would those living under the tyranny of terror really require that Americans have a perfect record before speaking out on the most urgent moral and religious freedom issues of our lifetimes?

Author’s Note: I contacted the church with my concerns on the Sunday afternoon of the sermon and the pastor who delivered the sermon responded to say that he may have been clumsy but that “our reading of history is far from one another.“ The senior pastor said he hoped I would understand “if we do not dialogue any further on this one issue.” The sermon, entitled “Becoming People of the Cross,” may be viewed on the church website, but the almost two minute section that I transcribed above was removed at some point during the week after the sermon was posted (approximately the 31:09 minute marker). Finally, I submitted the text of my piece at final editing phase to the pastors for review, comment, clarification, or rebuttal. The senior pastor replied: “No comment.”

Perhaps the Pastor needs to carefully consider Luke 6:42? It is time, past time, for people like Lugo to stand forth and shame such ignorance. This needs to come from the congregation as well as outsiders – much like the NYPD turning its back on the mayor recently. The Pastor needs to be reminded that “Obedience to the ninth commandment is a requirement for building character.” and that Jesus was about acknowledgment and forgiveness of sin, not “no comment”.

NOTE: it is interesting in that the Bethel Church of God author on the 9th Commandment also suffers from these problems even while describing the word of God: “Some business people lie all the time. Their desire for financial advantage overrides any honesty they may have, and they engage in scams and fraudulent schemes constantly.” A more truthful assertion would be that some people lie all the time. This choice of words is indicative of a bias, a lie in an of itself. The author notes that self deception is behind may lies and most of that will only be held to account by God at final judgment. Business, on the other hand, is accountable to its customers. Any business that lies will suffer as a result. The only social agency that can lie and get away with it is government and this is a lesson many seem to have difficulty understanding, especially, as it seems from these two pastoral examples, church leaders.

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Public servants or public masters?

James Rust says Barack Goes Berserk on Climate ‘Deniers’ (gold stars for fed alarmists?) but the real story is that so many government employees have forsaken their primary duty and become a political arm.

“Organizing For Action (OFA) is a non-profit and community organizing project formed after President Obama’s 2012 re-election to promote his agenda. On March 5, 2015, OFA sent out a letter under President Obama’s signature reporting certain elected officials were climate change deniers with the following statement:

“You’re part of an important team with OFA, with a mission of holding climate change deniers’ feet to the fire.“

“Recent actions of intimidating letters sent to university presidents by Congressman Raul Gripalva February 24 and letters sent February 25 to 100 pro-energy organizations by Senators Markey, Boxer, and Whitehouse protesting alleged conflicts of interest due to compensation received by those who question carbon dioxide from fossil fuels causes catastrophic climate change.”

“Using the Freedom of Information Act, attorney Chris Horner uncovered a March 3, 2009 internal EPA memo to Richard Windsor (EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s cover-up name) that recommended a different approach be used to generate public support for EPA’s policies. ”

“Another example is shown by activities of the Department of Interior’s U. S. Geological Survey (USGS).”

“On February 10, 2015, the Department of Agriculture issued a press release “USDA Announces Funding for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects” which described the availability of $280 million from the 2014 Farm Bill for their Rural Energy for Americans Program (REAP)”

So many agencies with so many governmental employees: you’d think there would be some pushback on the effort to force an ideological fantasy on the public. So far, it seems, it’s just crickets chirping.

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Fact Checking

Some media outlets started ‘fact checking’ columns to determine whether statements of politicians were true or false. In part, this effort was an outcome of the Left being caught in so many lies and distortions of fact that ‘balance’ was needed by ‘proving’ both sides do it. David Rutz illustrates just how this fact checking effort is severely biased by describing 5 Times the Washington Post Failed At Fact-Checking. What makes the field ripe for ‘interpretation’ is that the expression of opinion can use allegory, example, satire, and other rhetorical methods to make a point. Trying to determine the veracity of this expression can be a matter of opinion and interpretation about what is critical to the argument and what is not and even what the argument really is.

“Goldfarb got super-serious and dissected such details as executive orders versus executive actions and the constitutionality of Obama’s endeavor. He didn’t get into how Obama had said for years that his executive amnesty actions were outside his authority.

Also, it doesn’t appear the Washington Post ever checked for sure that Will Ferrell’s Bush wanted to put Germany, the economy and math into his “Axis of Evil.” That, of course, would have been absurd since this was a silly comedy show. They did get around, four years later, to debunking the idea that Sarah Palin had actually said “I can see Russia from my house,” as made famous by Tina Fey’s impersonation.

We give these blunders double double Pinocchios.”

There are many ways to avoid intellectual integrity. Sometimes, observing behavior yields better results – if intellectual integrity has any value – in determining veracity and truthfulness.

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For the greater good

There was a letter sent to several universities inquiring about research funding from several members of the minority party in Congress. That created a backlash that has resulted in a number of FOIA requests to provide insight into the “Climate Empire.” Paul Driessen describes how The Climate Empire Gets Nasty (‘crony science’ for funding, power).

“As the pressure for debate and reform mounts, the Climate Empire insists that its actions serve “the greater good” – preventing catastrophic climate changes. But aside from the absence of evidence clearly linking fossil fuel emissions to significant climate events (or even to phenomena that are simply different in frequency or intensity to what mankind and planet have endured since time immemorial), there are two insurmountable problems with this alarmist tautology.

“The “Greater Good”?

“First, it requires depriving billions of people of reliable, affordable energy today – to prevent hypothetical crises decades from now. And that means causing thousands of deaths each winter in Britain and Europe in households where families cannot afford proper heat – and millions of deaths annually in Third World countries, from lung, intestinal and other diseases that modern energy and living standards would prevent.

“Should the Climate Empire have such life-or-death powers? And who has the moral or legal authority to grant it such powers? Perhaps there was a reincarnation of Moses’ burning bush?”

“a recent analysis by economists William Butos and Thomas McQuade on how “Big Players” can distort climate research and other scientific endeavors” provided topics for a more fruitful discussion than the efforts of the Congressmen.

“Will the lies and other outrages ever stop? Probably not anytime soon. But those of us who believe in the scientific method, evidence instead of models and proclamations, and modern living standards for all who want them must not cease our efforts.

For as Rabbi Tarfon said five centuries ago, “You are not obligated to complete the task, but neither are you free to abandon it.””

Much as Ferguson is revealing the outcome of catering to thugs and criminals due to race by senior government officials, The Mann court case and the assault on Professor Soon are revealing the tactics and that result in changes such as responsible researchers avoiding climate research altogether. The costs, as the economists note, are horrific. To those on the left, those who worship Marx and communism in any form, those costs are of no concern because it is all for the greater good.

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Some people think they have the power …

Of course, it’s the 47 Republicans reminding everyone that international agreements are not binding without Congressional approval that is getting a lot of news. Just a short while ago, wondering about the President’s patriotism was questioned by the same people who now want to paint nearly half the Senate with the label of Treason.

But on a smaller scale, there is a university president who is acting without considering his authority. Instapundit describes the situation as OU Could Be Making A Huge Mistake With Its Expulsions.

“Civil liberties advocates have already pointed out that punishing the students could be illegal, saying the song is protected free speech. But even if the offenses warranted expulsion, the taxpayer-subsidized school could be shooting itself in the foot by acting so quickly, and Boren could even be personally exposing himself to thousands of dollars in damages should he be sued by the punished students. …

“In the letter that Boren used to notify each student of their expulsions, he appears to be acting unilaterally as president to immediately expel the students without any prior due process.”


” the First Amendment issue may be clear enough to override qualified immunity; the due process issue is clearer still since it’s spelled out in the school’s own manual. If it were me, I’d go after him personally.

“And as for the people in the comments who say that libertarians like me, Eugene Volokh, and FIRE shouldn’t be defending these students: If you only defend speech you agree with, you’re not a free speech advocate, you’re just a partisan hack.”

This gets into the situation where regrets about a drunken night out stimulate an accusation where the true victim is considered guilty, period. Due process and civil rights in a University setting go by the wayside. The infection is at many levels.

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Does not compute

Some things don’t make sense, don’t ‘compute’ and become the source of dissonance. Christopher Chantrill describes to of these things for him as The Democrats’ Thugocracy.

“There are a couple things about the Obama years that have registered “does not compute” for me. The first was the complete powder taken by the media. Yes, I know that they are all ruling-class liberals that believe in all the received liberal notions and still swoon today at the thought of a First Black President. But you would have thought that, here and there, a liberal journalist would have popped his head above the parapet to take a potshot at the president. Because fame and celebrity. But really there was nothing for six long years until after the 2014 midterms.

“The other thing that did not compute has been the extraordinary discipline of the Democrats in Congress. … You tell me that none of them saw the 2014 wave coming, and none of them had the self-preservation instinct to break out of the pack and save themselves from the GOP onslaught?”

Trying to resolve this cognitive dissonance leads to hypothesis formation or the attempt to propose different views of reality to one’s self in order to make some sense of the world.

“I think we are coming to understand the other “does not compute” now that the Justice Department has decided to prosecute Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The Dem officeholders have been kept in line because someone is keeping a little list of all their little foibles. It’s a delightful system. The Obama administration does nothing about corrupt acts by its supporters until the day that a supporter breaks ranks. Then it’s: Nice little political career you got here. Pity that something should happen to it.”

“I wonder what the Democratic Party would look like if everyone weren’t looking over their shoulder wondering what California Nance or Bugsy Harry or Big Ears Barry had got on them?”

Of course, there are two ways to go with this reconstruction of reality perceptions. One is illustrated by the climate alarmists who remain in stubborn denial. The other is to accept testing of the new hypothesis and adaptation of perceptions yielding to intellectual growth. 

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The racial grievance industry: Come on, man

Colin Flaherty on The Biggest Lie of Our Generation: Ferguson Was All About Traffic Tickets

“So now every talking head in America wants to have an extended national conversation about unpaid traffic tickets?

  • All because everything thing else about St. Michael of Ferguson was a lie?
  • Hands up, don’t shoot? Lie.
  • Gentle giant? Lie.
  • Minding his own business? Lie.
  • Shot in the back? Lie.
  • Did not attack the police officer? Lie.
  • ‘Didn’t do nothing’ to the Asian shopkeeper? Lie.
  • Relatives did not try to start a riot? Lie.
  • Protests were “largely peaceful?” Lie.
  • National Guard would protect the business owners from looting…

This is a very long list of of the bodyguard of lies that reporters and activists (sorry for the redundancy) hoped would protect anyone from challenging the core truth of the racial grievance industry, which is the biggest lie of this generation: Black people are relentless victims of relentless white racism. All the time. Everywhere. That explains everything.”

“Thomas Lifson of American Thinker once said that media outlets that do not tell the truth are committing suicide.”

“We are now back to using the Dan Rather defense: the facts were wrong but the story was right?

Really?

It is not going to work. More and more people are more and more aware of the enormous difference between black and white rates of crime. More and more aware of the ocean of difference between what the press tells us about black mob violence and black on white crime and what happened in real life.

And how so many people in the media have so much invested in ignoring, denying, condoning, excusing, and encouraging it.

And sometimes, even lying about it.”

The thing about traffic citations showing racism in the Ferguson PD should have clued anyone in to the fact that deceit and denial were in play. That canard is just about on the same level as the idea that women are paid less than men for equivalent jobs in the workforce. The idea that traffic citations are influenced by race is an allegation that has been subject to repeated study that shows actual measure does not support the idea. But it is vague enough and subject to a large number of variables that is can be put up on the table anytime the Racial Grievance Industry needs something, anything, to hold on to. Come on, man, indeed.

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Assuming money corrupts and problems of false equivalence

The climate change related issue of mankind’s doomsday influence on Gaia is getting touchy. The latest is a push by Democratic Party elected representatives based on the assumption that any money used by those who do not agree with them is certain evidence of improper bias. James Rust reports on Stifling Climate Research & Opinion: Another Desparado Mistake

“In the past few weeks, statements of scientists challenging the hypothesis that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels is causing catastrophic global warming are being criticized on ad hominem grounds. The charge is that there exists an inherent conflict-of-interest, owingto their sources of income, specifically income from fossil-fuel companies or pro-fossil-fuel organizations otherwise.

“The starting point (it was surely orchestrated) was the attack on Dr. Willie Soon by the February 21, 2015 New York Times article, “Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher,” by Justin Gillis and John Schwartz.”

“Mr. Gillis and Mr. Schwartz masquerade as science reporters, while doing the bidding of those promoting catastrophic global warming from using fossil fuels. They shortchange the scientific method and implicitly want stopped research into questioning the veracity of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. Their work has inspired others in the U. S. Congress to challenge freedom-of-scientific research.”

“Adding insult to injury, this announcement was issued by the office of Senator Edward Markey”

“Letters of this nature shake-up university presidents’ confidence in their faculty members. With the short time for reply to these lengthy demands, the university presidents and professors will suffer great burdens. Due to the vast amount of university funding coming from federal sources, Congressman Grijalva’s demands may coerce university presidents to explore means of terminating professors cited.”

“Does Michael Mann of Penn State University have to provide all his financial disclosures for the past 20 years when he provides testimony or interviews with the media? The same could apply to Gavin Schmidt with NASA-GISS. We should not forget James Hansen, who used to be with NASA-GISS, flew to the United Kingdom to testify in the defense of Greenpeace activists on trial for the October 8, 2007 vandalism of the Kingsnorth coal-fired power plant. How has former Vice President Al Gore increased his net worth by millions since leaving office?”

“The conflict-of-interest on climate science is the most severe for those collecting funds from the U. S. government whether it is in the form of loans, research grants, or salaries. The top administrators in all federal agencies like Departments of Energy, Agriculture, Interior, EPA, NASA, etc. have been vetted on their views catastrophic climate change is caused by fossil fuels. With the exception of EPA’s Dr. Carlin, I have never encountered a published view of a federal employee questioning catastrophic climate change is caused by carbon dioxide. The penalties from this conflict are too severe of loss of pay increases, promotions, or dismissal.”

“The problems of writings and testimony of U. S. government supported scientists has been demonstrated for years. In November 2009, one thousand e-mail communications among researchers at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and United States researchers showed attempts at adjusting global temperature data and stopping publications of researchers questioning human-caused global warming.”

That last point is one that some are using to say “both sides do it.” The problem is that Climategate, the lawsuits with Dr. Mann, or other supposed ‘Republican’ witch hunts are based on evidence and seeking explanation for assertions and conclusions and statements. That is an entirely different matter than the ad hominem which goes after implied or assumed guilt without any evidence to support it other than not liking what someone says. What makes for the “desperado mistake” is desperation. The facts and evidence do not line up with desired results; reality does not support fantasy. That means one must defend the indefensible and that requires shutting out the unpleasant reality, censoring anyone who tries to bring it to the fore, and all the mechanisms the mind can create to avoid the real world.

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Just what happened? Filibuster in solid partisan block won out in leaving the issue to the oligarchy

Hinderaker explains at Powerline:

The bottom line here is that the Democrats’ Senate filibuster succeeded. The House funded DHS through the end of the fiscal year, and Mitch McConnell tried repeatedly to bring the House bill up for a vote, but was stymied by the Democratic filibuster each time. It was the filibuster that prevented DHS from being funded, yet the press generally blamed Republicans for the impending shutdown. This makes no sense, but if those are the rules, Republicans should remember them next time they are in the minority. In the meantime, this episode has added steam to the “abolish the filibuster” sentiment now growing among Republicans.

In anticipation of the House vote yesterday, Jeff Sessions released this statement. I find what he says to be pretty much inarguable:

The Democratic Party has been completely unified in its defense of the President’s amnesty in the face of overwhelming public opposition—and in the face of the President’s own repeated declaration that his conduct was illegal.

They voted in unison, messaged in unison, and their outside allies have launched third-party attacks against Republicans.

As a result, our Constitution continues to be eroded, our immigration system continues to slide into anarchy, and our constituents continue to suffer the debilitating loss of their jobs and wages.

Essential to any sovereign nation is the enforcement of its borders, the application of uniform rules for entry and exit, and the delivery of consequences for individuals who violate our laws. President Obama has nullified those laws, rules, and borders, and replaced those consequences with rewards.

The President’s decree provides illegal immigrants with work permits, trillions in Social Security and Medicare payments, and billions in free cash tax credits—all benefits explicitly rejected by Congress. This takes jobs, benefits, and work opportunities directly from struggling and forgotten workers.

The will of the American people cannot be forever denied. Republicans will have to come to realize that it falls on their shoulders to give voice to the just demands of the American people for a lawful system of immigration that serves their interests, defends their jobs, protects their security.

Nor can we allow the President to dismantle the constitutional powers of Congress, ceding our status as a coequal branch, on the hope the Judiciary intervenes to restore some fraction of that lost authority. When it comes to defending our sovereignty there is no “moving on.” Now is not the time for recrimination; now is the time for renewed determination. What motivates and excites a small group of open-borders billionaires has no connection to the hearts and lives of the working people of this country. They have been silenced for too long. Those who think this fight is over could not be more mistaken; it is only beginning. When the power of the American people is finally leveraged, people will be astonished by the results.<b/lockquote>

Behavior as seen on this issue ups the ante and that requires a response. Tyranny of the minority is bad enough but when both law and precedent are tossed aside in the process, outcomes are foreboding. 

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Which way do you want it? BOTH ways, say the greens

The story is a Look At The Endless Sprawl Of Greenhouses That Cover Spain’s Desert — “Over $1 billion in cheap, low-quality produce is grown in the middle of the desert each year thanks to environmentally destructive greenhouses.”

Meanwhile, birds fry when desert land is covered with mirrors in an attempt to make solar energy competitive.

On the one hand, it is feeding people inexpensive vegetables. On the other, it is about raising energy costs for those people to limit their abilities in comfort and transport.

Just what is the actual target here?

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Psychodrama to farce – will anyone notice?

It’s Professor Hanson on The Liberal Circus. Here’s a sampler:

“Take Barack Obama. He has gone from mild displeasure with Israel to downright antipathy. …”

“Hillary Clinton likewise has gone from a rather run-of-the-mill liberal grandee to a political grafter. She apparently solicited donations from foreign government officials and wealthy foreign nationals to contribute to the Clinton Foundation — and this was while she was secretary of State conducting the foreign policy of the United States …”

“Inequality and fairness? …”

“Women’s issues? …”

“Transparency? …”

“We no longer live in an age of debate over global warming. It has now transmogrified well beyond Al Gore’s hysterics, periodic disclosures about warmists’ use of faked data, embarrassing email vendettas, vindictive lawsuits, crony green capitalism, and flawed computer models. Now Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, has taken the psychodrama to the level of farce in a two-bit McCarthyesque effort to demand from universities information about scientists who do not embrace his notions of manmade global warming. …”

“Attorney General Eric Holder came into office alleging racism and calling the American people cowards, and six years later is exiting, still blaming racism for his own self-inflicted failures. …”

“The IRS scandal likewise went from melodrama to farce. …”

“Debt? Barack Obama stated out in 2008 calling George W. Bush unpatriotic for piling up nearly $5 trillion in eight years; he may be on target to double that amount …”

“The debate over illegal immigration has gone from arguments over closing the border to Social Security cash rebates to illegals and presidential threats to punish Border Patrol officers who enforce existing law. …”

“The Trayvon Martin controversy descends from the purportedly preteen of released photos who was shot down in cold blood by a white vigilante into doctored NBC tapes, airbrushed photos, the New York Times’ invented rubric …”

“Michael Brown goes from the icon of a “gentle giant” in vain calling out “hands up, don’t shoot” only to be gunned down by a white racist cop — to a thug who strong-armed a store clerk, walked out into the middle of the road under the influence and then attacked a police officer. …”

“The answer to these failures has not been introspection, humility, or reevaluation why the liberal agenda proved unpopular and unworkable, but in paranoid fashion to double-down on it, convinced that its exalted aims must allow any means necessary — however farcical — to achieve them. …”

and he didn’t mention the I’net regulation repeat of the health care foisting … The party still acts as a solid block. It is a blind minority. The old rules of civility, respect, and procedure no longer apply. That leaves their opposition perplexed as it is difficult to understand such in-your-face delusion.

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Those not celebrating secret legislation vs the ‘But this time it will be different’ crowd

At Breitbart Big Government: ‘Net Neutrality’ is a problem, not a solution.

“The oldest trick in the collectivist playbook is to create a problem through government regulations, let it stew for a while, and then propose even bigger government as the only possible solution to the “crisis” it planted, nourished, and harvested.

“We watched government tinkering in health care make it more expensive and complicated, year after year… until the time was ripe to stuff the biggest, sloppiest, most poorly-thought-out Big Government power grab of the modern era down our throats. Are we really going to fall for that again with the FCC’s new Net Neutrality regulations?”

“For the mid-range companies pushing Net Neutrality, this is all about bringing the government Goliath into the market to stop the telecom giants flat. It’s a crony capitalist arrangement, and like most other cronies who have used coercive government power to control the free market, they’re going to learn that Big Government makes a far less friendly and cooperative business partner than they anticipate. Political agendas will be forced down the tubes of compulsion our Net Neutrality boosters want to implant in the Internet; it won’t be long before baffled supporters are wondering why websites with dissident political views are having such a hard time obtaining government licenses. They’ll be absolutely astounded at how much web content suddenly runs afoul of the “decency standards” Cuban warns about.

“But most of all, they’re underestimating how energetically Big Government will use its control over the Internet to deliberately create crisis that only Even Bigger Government is allegedly capable of resolving.”

“You can already see some Net Neutrality advocates short-circuiting when confronted with extremely sensible questions about why companies would be more eager to make titanic investments in a marketplace frozen by government regulations and chopped into pieces by redistributionist ideology.”

But what can you do? The propaganda machine is out in full force but, it seems, very few listen to more than the emotional appear to consider questions or be skeptical about assumptions and interpretations. Meanwhile the debt rises and the freedom level lowers. The frog is cooking and seems quite content with the warming waters.

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Secret massive governmental industry takeover: Internet edition

It is just like the previous, massive, partisan forced, regulation of an industry where you are told you won’t know what is in it until after it gets past. The Register has two items on the topic: Net neutrality secrecy: No one knows what the FCC approved (but Google has a good idea) and Net neutrality: The world speaks its brains on secret ‘open’ ‘net rules. On the secrecy:

“Analysis US watchdog the FCC formally approved new net neutrality rules on Thursday for America. But you’re out of luck if you want to know exactly how your access to the internet will be now be governed.

Despite getting the green light, the exact rules have not been revealed and will remain a mystery for some unspecified length of time.”

“In fact, the chairs of both Congressional committees that deal with telecoms issues requested that the rules be put out for public review, as did two of Wheeler’s four commissioners, who complained they wanted to publish the documents but were barred from doing so.”

“But that’s not all. Both commissioners expect changes to be made to the document after it has been formally approved by them, with the “OGC” – office of general counsel – given extraordinary leeway to edit and revise the rules even following formal approval.”

The second item is a bit whimsical

“Comment Look at this photo of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler holding hands and smiling with the two Democrat commissioners who backed his “open internet” regulations, the pair wearing vivid blue outfits. It sums all that was both good and worrying about the decisions today to pass secretive net neutrality rules.

Here, we see a historic debate on internet access in America, a crucial complex technology, jump the tracks and career into a quagmire of politics. Jubilant Dems on one side, the Republican commissioners who voted against the net neutrality rules on the other.”

“What do mean “once it’s released”? This is all done and dusted. We’ve got net neutrality, baby! The internet is free again! Rejoice!”

deja vu all over again.

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An Alinski Jam

Neo Neocon asks What can the Republican Congress do?.

“As soon as the Democrats ended the filibuster for judicial appointments, arguments for Republicans to retain it became weak, because the reason for keeping it was always to protect one’s own minority rights when the time came. This required that both parties support the rule, knowing that someday it would be their turn to benefit from it (when they were in the minority) and another day it would be their turn to be stymied by it (when they were in the majority but not the supermajority). Respect for the rule also required a modicum of compromise from whatever the minority party du jour might be if Congress wanted to get any work done at all. But that sort of thing ended a while ago, too.

So there is no longer any reason to uphold something I always had defended. Now the situation is such that Republicans are fighting a battle where the implicit rules of the game have changed. As “Harold” puts it, they are in an Alinsky jam here. And they better study up on their Alinsky or they’re going to be in huge trouble (they already are in trouble, actually). But I don’t think most of them have the temperament, or perhaps even the interest, to go bold.”

“To recap: they can impeach but not convict. They can pass bills in the House that can’t get through the Senate, or that can get through the Senate but not get past the veto. They can…they can…what? They can decline to fund important parts of government, and try to bully the Democrats and Obama into blinking, but Obama rests secure in the fact that the public will be manipulated by the press into blaming Republican “obstructionism” for any lack of funding. That doesn’t mean the Republicans shouldn’t do it anyway, but it does mean they run an excellent chance of taking the hit for it rather than Obama and the Democrats.”

It is much like the terrorism problem. Just what does it take and just how much does it matter to prevent disaster? When you are up against opponents who do not care about anything but winning at any cost, there is no deal making. There is no effort to resolve issues. That approach is either broken by absolute defeat or you get what you see in Cuba or Venezuela or the many other examples where opposition to the Left decided it wasn’t worth the effort. 

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Witch Hunts

Seven academics who had the audacity to speak to Congress about climate change are targets of US Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) who is the ranking member of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. Roger Pielke, Jr. is one who says I am Under “Investigation”. Stephen Hayward is another target who see it as asking Are you now or have you ever been a climate skeptic?. Here is what Pielke says:

“The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.”

When “witch hunts” are deemed legitimate in the context of popular causes, we will have fully turned science into just another arena for the exercise of power politics. The result is a big loss for both science and politics.”

This inquiry makes McCarthyism look tame. Climate scientists are not the only game in this sort of hunt either. 

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