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Who Are the Real Deniers of Science?

When denying science is a progressive moral imperative

By Jonah Goldberg     •     National Review

Science CavemanWhy do liberals hate science?

The Left has long claimed that it has something of a monopoly on scientific expertise. For instance, long before Al Gore started making millions by claiming that anyone who disagreed with his apocalyptic prophecies was “anti-science,” there were the “scientific socialists.” “Social engineer” is now rightly seen as a term of scorn and derision, but it was once a label that progressive eggheads eagerly accepted.

Masking opinions in a white smock is a brilliant, albeit infuriating and shabby, rhetorical tactic. As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Science is the language of facts, and when people pretend to be speaking it, they’re not only claiming that their preferences are more than mere opinions, they’re also insinuating that anyone who disagrees is a fool or a zealot for objecting to “settled science.” [Read more...]

The Assault on Science

By Robert Zubrin     •     National Review

Climate Change FairtalesRecently, the attorneys general of a number of states have launched an effort to use the RICO anti–​organized-crime statute to prosecute opponents of climate-change alarmism. This is nothing less than an all-out attack on science.

There are several vital issues involved here, involving not only substance, but, even more important, process. Let’s start with the latter.

Science is not a collection of facts; it is a process of discovery. Science, alongside its sister, conscience, is based on the signature Western individualist belief that there is a fundamental property of the human mind that, when presented with sufficient information, is able to distinguish right from wrong, justice from injustice, truth from untruth. Matters of science must therefore be determined by reason, not by force. To attempt to prevail in a scientific dispute through the use of force is equivalent to the use of a gun to prevail in a courtroom, or, for that matter, of rape to prevail in courtship. It is nothing less than a criminal rejection of a basic principle of our civilization. [Read more...]

The unintended effect of the Senate NDAA on the Air Force’s nuclear modernization

Missile DefenseAmerica’s military pre-eminence is contingent on our ability to achieve our national security objectives in space, and our access to space is guaranteed by a credible strategic nuclear deterrent. If the United States were to lose access to the RD-180 engines in the near term, before we have succeeded in achieving our own domestic launch capabilities, it could jeopardize both our access to space as well the credibility of the nuclear deterrent.

In a May 23 letter to Senator Bill Nelson, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work stated, “If the Department were to lose, in the near term, access to the RD-180 engines, the cost impacts and disruption to launch schedules would be significant. To meet its statutory requirement of assured access to space, the Department would be forced to allocate missions to the Delta IV launch vehicle and the recently certified Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Competition will not be possible as the Delta IV is much more expensive. The Department has assessed that the cost increase associated with the increased use of Delta IV, which ranges from $1.5 billion up to $5 billion depending upon the underlying assumptions used and time period covered, would crowd out other important national security investments in the defense budget and could have the unintended consequence of delaying our ability to enable development of new domestic launch capabilities and services.“ [Read more...]

The Miscarriage of Justice Department

A federal judge slams U.S. lawyers for deceiving the courts on immigrant deportations.

Wall Street Journal

United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch speaks during an announcement of the arrest of Abraxas J. ("A.J.") Discala, CEO of OmniView Capital, and six co-conspirators for fraudulent market manipulation at the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn, New YorkThe constitutional challenge to President Obama’s executive action on immigration keeps getting more remarkable. A federal judge has now exposed how the Justice Department systematically deceived lower courts about the Administration’s conduct, and he has imposed unprecedented legal measures to attempt to sterilize this ethics rot.

On Thursday District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas found that Obama Administration lawyers committed misconduct that he called “intentional, serious and material.” In 2015 he issued an injunction—now in front of the Supreme Court—blocking Mr. Obama’s 2014 order that rewrote immigration law to award legal status and federal and state benefits to nearly five million aliens.

When 26 states sued to block the order in December 2014, Justice repeatedly assured Judge Hanen that the Department of Homeland Security would not start processing applications until February 2015 at the earliest. Two weeks after the injunction came down, in March, Justice was forced to admit that DHS had already granted or renewed more than 100,000 permits. [Read more...]

Rocket Engines, Duplicity and Double Standards

by George Landrith Atlas Rocket Space Launch

If it weren’t for double standards in Washington, DC, there would be virtually no standards at all.

Some in Congress seem all exercised about making sure we don’t buy any more Russian made rocket engines. Fortunately, we are in the process of bringing on line our own American made rocket engine, but it will take a few more years to finalize it and certify it for use. But once it is ready to go, I, too, agree that we don’t need to buy Russian rocket engines for our launches. However, in the meantime, we cannot and should not leave ourselves vulnerable to being unable to keep our spy satellite edge and perform other necessary space lift missions.

But here’s where the double standards arise.  [Read more...]

The Crumbling Climate-Change Consensus

Extremists’ rhetoric heats up as their case falls apart.

By John Fund     •     National Review

global warning-catastrophic predictions-apocalypticThe United Nations Climate Summit will begin in New York this Tuesday, but environmental activists didn’t wait. All day Sunday, they filled the streets of Manhattan for a march that featured Al Gore, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, and various Hollywood actors.

But they certainly didn’t act like a movement that was winning. There was a tone of fatalism in the comments of many with whom I spoke; they despair that the kind of radical change they advocate probably won’t result from the normal democratic process. It’s no surprise then that the rhetoric of climate-change activists has become increasingly hysterical. Naomi Klein, author of a new book on the “crisis,” This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, said, “I have seen the future, and it looks like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.” In her new book she demands that North America and Europe pay reparations to poorer countries to compensate for the climate change they cause. She calls her plan a “Marshall Plan for the Earth” and acknowledges that it would cost “hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars.” But she has an easy solution on how to pay for it: “Need more money? Print some!” What’s a little hyperinflation compared to “saving the planet”? [Read more...]

Deterrence In an Increasingly Dangerous World

By George Landrith     •     American Military News

North Korea has test fired five new missiles and claims to have successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb. Iran too is racing towards nuclear weapons and advanced missile technology. Around the globe, risks are increasing. As a result, deterrence is more important than ever.

There was a time when deterrence simply meant having retaliatory nuclear weapons. But the risks are far more complex than a generation ago. Maintaining a strong and credible nuclear deterrent is absolutely necessary. But by itself, it is not enough. Today, the risks are too varied to have a single solution. The US must have a robust, multifaceted, broad-based deterrent to stop the world’s evil doers. A modern military deterrent includes: (i) a strong up-to-date nuclear threat; (ii) a robust multi-layered missile defense; and (iii) a powerful conventional military force that can meet any threat and defeat any foe.

The need for a nuclear deterrent is clear. If any nation is tempted to use nuclear weapons, they must know that the retaliatory nuclear strike that would follow, would be devastating. With our nuclear weapons aging and more than a generation old, however, we must make needed upgrades to our nuclear triad. [Read more...]

Requiem for Iraq

by Dr. Miklos K. RadvanyiIraq

In Bertolt Brecht’s drama, The Good Person Of Sechwan, the Gods are looking for a kindhearted individual.  Their search almost ends in failure.  Finally, they meet the prostitute, Shen Te.  Judging her to be kind and magnanimous, they give her a large sum of money.  Shen Te decides to open a tobacco shop.  The news about her good fortune spreads like wildfire throughout the town.  In no time, people invade her shop and pillage it.  In order to avoid going bankrupt and for the sake of remaining a good person, Shen Te invents an uncle, Shui Ta, who possesses the toughness of a seasoned businessman.  Shui Ta stops the bleeding by employing capitalist methods and principles.  Naturally, the townspeople miss Shen Te.  They accuse Shui Ta of murdering her.  In court, Shen Te proves that she and Shui Ta are the same person.  The moral of the story is that whoever wants to do good in a bad world must be ready to get tough. [Read more...]

The State of the World in Global Perspective

by Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyiglobe-hands

The world today resembles a giant mothership in the middle of the ocean with an incapacitated engine and a broken rudder.  Will this ship founder?  Is rescue still possible before it sinks into the depths?

It is a peculiar quality of political stupidity that presidents, prime ministers and monarchs all over the world failed to realize the global challenge that was inherent in the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the last decade of the 20th century.  The fact that from the ashes of a military dictatorship with a failed ideology the phoenix bird of old Russia re-appeared, strangely enough did not lead to the correct political conclusion.  In the United States and in Europe, with the exception of Russia, politicians either subscribed to Horace’s ode of triumph over the death of Cleopatra and declared that “Now it is time for drinking,” or admitted, as George H. W. Bush did, that the event was “Greek to him.” Thus, as with post-Mao’s China, the West remained woefully clueless and allowed hope to triumph over centuries of disappointing experiences. [Read more...]

Clinton’s Equal Pay Hypocrisy

Where’s the outrage over the Clinton Foundation’s wage gap?

By Peter Roff     •     USNews

Hillary Rodham ClintonOn a day when most every media outlet in the country is giving its full attention to the Donald Trump/Paul Ryan summit, out comes a report from The Daily Caller that should be of interest to anyone following the financial dealings of Hillary and Bill Clinton. Apparently the former and potentially future first couple “received at least $100million from autocratic Persian Gulf states and their leaders, potentially undermining Democratic president candidate Hillary’s claim she can carry out independent Middle east policies.”

It’s a revelation that won’t shock anyone. The Clintons are notorious for doing a cash-only business, as just about everyone knows. No one cares – though they should – whether a “pro quo” went along with the “quid” as the funds were being raised. [Read more...]

Yes, Let’s Prosecute Climate-Change Fraud — and Start with the Scaremongers

If propounding pseudoscience in pursuit of self-serving goals is a crime, here are some hardened offenders.

By David French     •     National Review

Gore Global Warming LiesThe attorneys general of New York and California are on the warpath. They’re fed up with dissent over the science and politics of global warming, and they’re ready to investigate the liars. California’s Kamala Harris and New York’s Eric Schneiderman have Exxon in their sights, and they’re trying to pry open the books to see whether the corporation properly warned shareholders “about the risk to its business from climate change.” Not to be outdone, Attorney General Loretta Lynch revealed that the federal Department of Justice has “discussed” the possibility of civil suits against the fossil-fuel industry. The smell of litigation is in the air.

Some people are worried about little things like the “First Amendment,” “academic freedom,” and “scientific integrity.” Not me. I hate unscientific nonsense. So if Harris and Schneiderman are up for suing people who’ve made piles of cash peddling exaggerations and distortions, let’s roll out some test cases. I’ve got three ideas:

United States v. Al Gore: Ten years ago, the former vice president of the United States launched an extraordinarily lucrative career by selling climate doomsday. While promoting his Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, he made a shockingly false statement. He said that unless the world took “drastic measures” to reduce greenhouse gases, it would reach a “point of no return” in ten years. [Read more...]

Happy Memorial Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Free Speech Matters on Campus

‘Safe spaces’ will create graduates unwilling to tolerate differing opinions—a crisis for a free society.

By Michael Bloomberg and Charles Koch

Rendered-helpless-by-microaggression-cartoonDuring college commencement season, it is traditional for speakers to offer words of advice to the graduating class. But this year the two of us—who don’t see eye to eye on every issue—believe that the most urgent advice we can offer is actually to college presidents, boards, administrators and faculty.

Our advice is this: Stop stifling free speech and coddling intolerance for controversial ideas, which are crucial to a college education—as well as to human happiness and progress.

Across America, college campuses are increasingly sanctioning so-called “safe spaces,” “speech codes,” “trigger warnings,” “microaggressions” and the withdrawal of invitations to controversial speakers. By doing so, colleges are creating a climate of intellectual conformity that discourages open inquiry, debate and true learning. Students and professors who dare challenge this climate, or who accidentally run afoul of it, can face derision, contempt, ostracism—and sometimes even official sanctions. [Read more...]

Stopping the Bureaucrats Requires an End to Chevron Deference

By Iain Murray     •     National Review Online

bureaucracy_big governmentAnyone who studies the power bureaucrats have over ordinary Americans’ lives swiftly comes to the realization that the courts, which are meant to redress grievances, will be of little help. That’s because of a doctrine the Supreme Court adopted in the 1984 case Chevron USA Inc v. NRDC. The doctrine, known as Chevron Deference to those in the know, states that courts should usually defer to executive agencies when it comes to the interpretation of ambiguous statutes, of which there are many. A further doctrine, known as Auer after the case Auer v. Robbins, holds that courts should defer to agencies in how they interpret their own regulations.

The rationale behind these decisions is well explained by Harvard’s Adrian Vermeule in a law review article published today on the subject of deference and due process. He points to the argument that “on grounds of both expertise and accountability, agencies are better positioned than courts to interpret governing statutes.” He also points to a growing body of case law incorporating Chevron principles and to the “Court’s recent emphatic pronouncement that Chevron may actually grant agencies the power to determine the scope of their own jurisdiction.” [Read more...]

House Republicans launch free-speech probe into prosecutors targeting climate skeptics

By Valerie Richardson     •     The Washington Times

House Republicans launched Wednesday an investigation into the 17 attorneys general pursuing fraud allegations against climate change skeptics, citing concerns about the campaign’s impact on free speech and scientific inquiry.

“Americans are entitled to express their views on matters of science and public policy even if certain groups disagree,” said a statement from the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Thirteen Republicans on the committee sent letters Wednesday to the attorneys general requesting information on a series of meetings and communications with climate change groups and activists from 2012 until the March 29 press conference announcing AGs United for Clean Power. [Read more...]