2017-02 February

People for the West -Tucson

PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 pfw-tucson@cox.net

Newsletter, February, 2017

 

Manifestations of Trump Derangement Syndrome

by Jonathan DuHamel

It was supposed to be a sure thing. Hillary was ahead in the polls, and thought to be a sure thing in the presidential election. But then, the people intervened and elected Donald Trump President.

This surprising event spawned confusion, anger, fear, marches, violent demonstrations, quixotic vote recounts, petty complaints, much “fake news,” hypocrisy, and lawsuits designed to harass the new administration.

To add to the fear, it seems that President Trump, in his first few days in office, did what he promised to do in his first few days in office.

Here are some examples:

Pettiness: Claim that Obama’s inaugural crowd was bigger than Trump’s. (So what?) CNN showed a pair of photos that compared crowd size. But the Trump photo was taken early when the crowd was sparse and hampered by demonstrations which delayed people getting to the mall between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Another CNN photo taken during Trump’s speech shows the mall completely filled with people (later CNN photo of Trump crowd. See interactive photo here.).

Impeachment and the Emoluments Clause:

A liberal group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed suit alleging that President Donald Trump began violating the “emoluments clause” of the U.S. Constitution the moment he took office because the businesses that bear his name are surely receiving some money from foreign governments, even though he has relinquished management control and elected to donate foreign profits at Trump owned hotels to the U.S. Treasury. The group is also promoting the claim that this “violation” is grounds for impeachment.

The Emolument clause of the Constitution says: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” (Article I, Section 9, Clause 8).

Black’s Law Dictionary defines the term emolument as, “Any advantage, profit, or gain received as a result of one’s holding of office.”

This does not apply to President Trump nor the many businesses that pre-date his presidency. Any payments to his Trump Organization do not arise from his holding the office he just assumed days ago. To the contrary, any realized profit emanates from his businesses, not his presidency. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on this several times, repeatedly ruling that these kinds of circumstances do not violate the Constitutional emoluments prohibition. Ordinary business transactions are not emoluments. There must be a nexus between the payment and the office. An emolument arises when a pecuniary profit is derived from a discharge of the duties of the office.” (Hoyt v. United States, 51 U.S. 109)

It is rather hypocritical that liberal groups engaged in this complaint were not at all concerned with nearly $48 million collected by Bill Clintion as “speaking fees” and Clinton Foundation “donations” that occurred during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State (2009-2013).

According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, Bill Clinton delivered in global hotspots that were paid for by entities with business or policy interests in the U.S. He presented paid speeches in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emerates, and Egypt during this time.

While Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state, Bill Clinton gave two speeches in Saudi Arabia, earning a total of $600,000. In January 2011, for example, Bill Clinton spoke at a global business forum in Riyadh founded by the Saudi Investment Authority and sponsored by the Dabbagh Group, a commercial colossus with close ties to the Saudi royal family.

His fee for the speech: $300,000.

During Hillary Clinton’s time at the State Department, Bill Clinton also gave four speeches in the United Arab Emirates, earning $1.1 million. For two speeches in Egypt, he earned $425,000.

UAE-linked entities also have donated at least $2.7 to $11.5 million to the Clinton Foundation, and Egyptian entities have donated at least $250,000 to $750,000. (Source)

As for impeachment, all Congress has to do is give Trump retroactive and continuing permissions to continue his business transactions. And, an article of impeachment requires a majority vote in the House.

This Emoluments action is simply political harassment.

The Whitehouse website fury:

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, George Takei tweeted the administration had removed pages related to climate change, the LGBT community, and healthcare from the official White House website (Whitehouse.gov). The former “Star Trek” actor and gay rights’ activist created a firestorm when it got re-tweeted 119 thousand times and media outlets started picking it up as actual ‘news.’

But, the Trump administration had nothing to do with the missing pages. As part of the transition process, the National Archives freezes every single bit of information posted to whitehouse.gov and then the content, in this case, was transferred over to ObamaWhiteHouse.archives.gov. Once that’s done, the White House website was given to the Trump administration as a “blank slate.” Trump’s team had nothing to do with any missing pages.

National Park incidents:

After the Trump Administration told the Department of the Interior to shut down all their Twitter accounts because they were being used for partisan political purposes by Democratic government employees, some National Park Service employees got in a huff about how their rights were being violated. So they put together a new Twitter account called AltUSNatParkService. These people are putting themselves out as if they represent or are part of the real National Park Service, both by their name and even to the extent of using the official arrowhead emblem of the Park Service on their Twitter site.

But, it is a crime to use the official NPS “arrowhead” emblem without specific permission from the NPS: Use of the NPS arrowhead symbol and badge is governed by 36 CFR Part 11. Unauthorized use is a criminal offense, punishable in accordance with 18 USC 641 and 701. Read more

Another incident: When the Badlands National Park’s official Twitter account began publishing posts on global warming, news outlets frantically ran headlines about a defiant federal agency sticking it to the Trump administration. It turns out, Badlands National Park wasn’t trying to defy Trump. A former employee “compromised” the park’s Twitter account to post about global warming. Moreover, the Trump administration did not ask the park to remove the tweets, they did so voluntarily. Read more

California crazy:

A proposal in California has been submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office campaigning for the state to secede from the United States. A recent poll suggested that one in three California residents would support a possible secession from the U.S. due to their opposition to President Donald Trump. (Source) ☼

The Left Is Thoroughly Bamboozled

By Patricia McCarthy

The leftist media, the Democrats, and the moonbats that make up the nation’s academic class are well and truly melting, as surely as the wicked witch of the Wizard of Oz melted when Dorothy tossed some water on her. So thoroughly, deeply convinced of their own superiority in all things political, legal, cultural, gender, and all branches of learning that they have created their own parallel universe in which Trump could not possibly have won, everyone loves Obama and Obamacare, the economy is booming, unemployment is low, humans are destroying the planet with global warming, global cooling, climate change, and/or bad weather, and Hillary was a shoe-in to win the 2016 election. They actually believed, without a shred of actual evidence, that Hillary Clinton was qualified to be President even though her record is one of incompetence, poor judgment, corruption and failure. They have been bamboozled for so long that they have lost the ability to see reality. They want no part of it because in their parallel universe these things cannot possibly be true. Read more

Thomas Sowell retires

Economist and columnist, Dr. Thomas Sowell has retired from writing at age 85. Here are some of my favorite Sowell quotes:

“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.”

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

“The biggest and most deadly ‘tax’ rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits—food stamps, housing subsidies and the like—if their income goes up.”

“The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.”

“The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.” ☼

STATE OF THE UNION

A Few Issues For Progressives To Think About

by Francis Menton

On its first full day in office, the new Trump administration was greeted with the “Million Woman March,” said to have been attended by far more than a million people if you include all of its multiple venues. But what were they all marching for? Clearly, they were against everything Trump; but beyond that, if there was an explicit positive policy agenda, they weren’t saying much about it.

The problem for the progressive movement, in my view, is that it has steered itself into multiple dead ends, yet offers an agenda of proposals consisting of nothing but more of the same. In large part, that’s why we got Trump.

Somehow, it has become a key feature of the progressive movement to oppose educational choice for poor and low-income children and their families.

The progressive answer to poverty is government-funded “anti-poverty” programs. At the beginning of the War on Poverty in 1965, there were no “anti-poverty” programs, and there were about 28 million people said to be in “poverty” in the United States by the government’s official measure. Today, governments at all levels spend about $1 trillion per year on “anti-poverty” programs, and there are about 43 million people said to be in “poverty” by the same government official measure. OK, progressives, after more than 50 years of abject failure, it is time to take some ownership of this.

According to FBI statistics here, the average murder rate in the United States as of 2015 was just under 5 per 100,000. But a not-insubstantial group of big cities has a murder rate that is a large multiple of the national rate. The leader is St. Louis, where the murder rate is near 60 per 100,000, some 12 times the national norm. In Detroit, the rate is 44; in Baltimore, 50; in New Orleans, 42; in Chicago, about 30. Other cities with drastically high murder rates include Cleveland, Oakland, Memphis, Milwaukee, and Newark. Do you notice anything that these cities have in common? They have all had mayors from the Democratic Party stretching back as far as human memory can stretch.

But what about New York, you ask? Its murder rate is only about 4 per 100,000 — actually below the national norm. Yes, but when Democratic Mayor Dinkins left office at the end of 1993, the murder rate was close to 25 per 100,000. We then had 20 years of Republican mayors (Giuliani and Bloomberg), during which the rate declined from 25 to 4, where it remains today. Read more

The Left steps across a line and embraces political violence

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: People on the Left have become disoriented by Trump’s win, and become ever more dysfunctional. Now they take a big step to embrace political violence, from reformers of America to its enemies. It’s a small step over the line. Unless they rethink and pull back, expect more serious violence coming. It might be back to the future, back to the violence of the 1960’s and 1970’s — which contributed to the start of the Left’s long decline into political irrelevance.

America’s bien pensant leftists have gone quite bonkers at the rise of Trump. Before the election they condemned Trump for saying he might refuse to accept the election’s results as legitimate, and for failure to condemn political violence (some of which was by his supporters; most was by the left against his supporters). Now they refuse to accept the election’s results as legitimate (on the flimsiest of evidence) and advocate personal violence against those who disagree with them. Both are potentially destabilizing for the Republic; the latter especially so. Read more

America’s Second Civil War

by Dennis Prager

It is time for our society to acknowledge a sad truth: America is currently fighting its second Civil War.

In fact, with the obvious and enormous exception of attitudes toward slavery, Americans are more divided morally, ideologically and politically today than they were during the Civil War. For that reason, just as the Great War came to be known as World War I once there was World War II, the Civil War will become known as the First Civil War when more Americans come to regard the current battle as the Second Civil War.

This Second Civil War, fortunately, differs in another critically important way: It has thus far been largely nonviolent. But given increasing left-wing violence, such as riots, the taking over of college presidents’ offices and the illegal occupation of state capitols, nonviolence is not guaranteed to be a permanent characteristic of the Second Civil War.

There are those on both the left and right who call for American unity. But these calls are either naive or disingenuous. Unity was possible between the right and liberals, but not between the right and the left.

Liberalism — which was anti-left, pro-American and deeply committed to the Judeo-Christian foundations of America; and which regarded the melting pot as the American ideal, fought for free speech for its opponents, regarded Western civilization as the greatest moral and artistic human achievement and viewed the celebration of racial identity as racism — is now affirmed almost exclusively on the right and among a handful of people who don’t call themselves conservative. The left, however, is opposed to every one of those core principles of liberalism. Read more

Throwing money at schools still fails to improve education level

In his inauguration speech Donald Trump claimed that we have “…an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.”

The statement contains hyperbole, but it is not far off the mark. A January, 2017, report from the Department of Education assesses the result of throwing money at schools. Basic finding from Department of Education study:

Overall, across all grades, we found that implementing any SIG-funded model had no significant impacts on math or reading test scores, high school graduation, or college enrollment. (Read 419-page report from the Department of Education )☼

CLIMATE ISSUES

2016’s Record Warmth Brought Record Crop Yields, Fewer Storms

by Michael Bastasch

While the media worried about anthropogenic global warming scenarios, some good news in 2016 was likely missed: record crop yields and relatively fewer storms.

Global crop yields hit record levels, according to United Nations data. Production of wheat, coarse grains and rice are forecasted to be higher in 2016 than the previous year. The United Nations expects cereal production to be 1.7 percent, or 44 million metric tons, higher than 2015.

U.S. corn and soybean yields hit record levels in 2016, according to U.S. government data. Corn production rose 15.1 billion bushels, or 11 percent, from 2015, and soybean production rose another 4.31 billion bushels, or 10 percent, over the previous year.

Fewer major tropical cyclones made landfall in 2016 compared to 2015. In fact, tropical cyclone numbers for 2016 were below the 40-year average. Read more

Russian Icebreakers Stuck in the Arctic Global Warming

By The Siberian Times reporter 17 January 2017

Icebreakers make historic Arctic voyage, then get stuck in frozen sea on return journey

Vessels could be marooned ‘for a week’ in East Siberian Sea after getting caught in thick ice.

The ease of the sailing is seen as a sign that climate warming in the Arctic can open up shopping lanes even in midwinter. But the climate remains unpredictable as the four vessels have discovered on their return route.

They are currently trapped by sudden thick ice around Chukotka’s northernmost cape Shelagsky, some 24 nautical miles from Pevek, in some of Russia’s most exposed waters. Read more

Why the Green Climate Scare Defies Millions of Years of Climate History

BY Alan Carlin

The UN IPCC reports on climate are truly unusual scientifically. Without any serious discussion or even an attempt to point out their unusual nature, they try to convince readers that the basic nature of Earth’s climate has been radically changed after millions of years, all because one very minor constituent of the atmosphere has been increasing, as it usually does during interglacial periods in response to higher temperatures.

During this long period the basic nature of Earth’s climate can be characterized as bistability. In other words, Earth has had dual climate equilibria. One occurs during ice ages and the other during interglacial periods. Both are very stable except that Earth flips from the ice age equilibrium to the interglacial roughly every 100,000 years and flips back again after another 10,000 to 12,000 years. History suggests that we may be close to the next flip into an ice age, the colder of the two bistability climates. This has enormous implications for humans and all life on Earth. But the upper “limit” on interglacial temperatures does not appear to have been breached in all that time.

But during interglacial periods Earth’s climate is very stable despite constant changes in the many factors that influence climate. Read more

Trump Transition Will be a Tsunami Washing Away Climate Corruption

Dr. Tim Ball (excerpts from longer post)

Over the last 40 years, I saw events come and go that I thought would expose the greatest deception in history: The claim that human CO2 is causing catastrophic global warming, known as anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

I thought the leaked emails, first 1000, then 5000 and finally 220,000 from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) that became the control centre for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) would open people’s eyes. The exposure of malfeasance, collusion, and manipulation of data, publications and even scientific journals should have stopped the corruption. It didn’t.

A major factor in perpetuating the deception was the claim that 97 percent of scientists agreed. This was another falsehood deliberately created to perpetuate the myth. A Queensland University researcher claimed to have surveyed 11,944 papers and concluded 97.1% expressed an opinion supporting climate change. In fact, by their definition, only 41 agreed with their hypothesis or 0.3%. The only 97% figure of relevance is the 97% who have never looked at the IPCC science.

The 3 % who have, were shocked. For example, Emeritus Professor of physics, the late Hal Lewis wrote in his resignation letter to the American Physical Society (APS) in October 2010

“the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”

Everything presented to the public was computer generated; there was not a shred of empirical evidence to support the AGW hypothesis.

It is likely Trump will advocate withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Ironically, because of Obama’s need to bypass the US Senate, it was an Agreement, not a Treaty. Then, to satisfy less committed nations and reach an agreement for the publicity it was made non-binding. This means the US can walk away and there is nothing any other nation can do. The exploitation of environmental concerns and global warming to push a political agenda is coming to an end. Control of bureaucracies is critical because they are the massive army of unaccountable control. As American author and social commentator, Mary McCarthy said,” Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.” (Read entire essay) ☼

Smackdown: AMS Paper Exposes Media, Scientists As Falsely Hyping Human Attribution In Extreme Weather Events

By Kenneth Richard on 9. January 2017

So although the science — indeed, the IPCC — is rather clear in documenting the lack of evidence affirming the anthropogenic global warming/extreme weather link, just about every day we are nonetheless barraged with claims that human-caused droughts will destroy all 888 million trees in the US Southwest by 2100, that we humans are causing “weather whiplash” with our CO2 emissions, or that this past year we humans caused eight 500- or 1000-year floods. In other words, when it comes to advocating for the anthropogenic global warming cause, the observations and evidence contradicting the narrative that says humans have caused more frequent and severe floods, droughts, hurricanes, storms, tornadoes . . . is largely ignored. Read more

How the Developed World Wastes $1.5 Trillion PER YEAR on the Basis of Useless Models

BY Alan Carlin

One estimate is that the world is spending about $1.5 trillion per year on “green energy.” Never in the history of the world has so much been spent on the basis of so little valid science. The general circulation (computer) models (GCMs) relied upon by the UN and EPA consistently substantially overestimate the actual temperatures measured by both balloons and satellites and are inherently incapable of predicting climate due to its chaotic nature even if built in good faith.

But just as serious, very little effort has been devoted to determining whether the models’ characterization of natural atmospheric processes actually corresponds with the real world and whether the alarmists’ hypotheses survive use of the scientific method. Building a GCM does not guarantee that it corresponds with reality rather than the answers the model builders desired. Modelers, in fact, apply much “tuning” to get their models to produce the results they desire. And then they have the nerve to argue that the models show that the world must reduce CO2 emissions!

The models have never been validated. “Green energy” is being marketed on the basis of preventing both climate change and higher levels of atmospheric CO2. But what if neither of these claims nor many others used by climate alarmists are scientifically valid and that the principal results of using more green energy are much higher costs and decreased reliability of the energy needed by humans and the economy? Read more

ENERGY ISSUES

With midnight regulation, Obama Energy Department just outlawed your three-way bulb

By Timothy P. Carney

In the last full day of the Obama administration, the Department of Energy just issued a final rule that will outlaw even more light bulbs.

The 2007 light bulb ban in effect outlawed most incandescent light bulbs by imposing efficiency standards on ordinary light bulbs. Congress exempted a few types of light bulbs, including bug lights, three-way bulbs, “rough service lamps,” and some decorative bulbs, such as globe-shaped bulbs.

But that law gave DOE the right to expand the class of bulbs covered by the mandates. In a new rule published today, DOE redefined the words in the law, “general service lamp,” to include a lot more types of light bulb. In short, bulb types that Congress had originally exempted are no longer exempted.

Three-way bulbs, which have two different filaments and thus three different brightnesses, are currently exempted. DOE just ruled that they now need to be covered. The Department’s reasoning: “DOE expects these sales will likely increase since these lamps could be used as replacements for other regulated lamp types.” In other words: People might start buying these bulbs because they want regular light bulbs rather than expensive LEDs or crappy fluorescents.

DOE also spiked the exemption for globe-shaped bulbs. Many manufacturers make, and many retailers sell, globe-shaped bulbs that met the standards, but consumers were left with the option to buy globe-shaped bulbs of the old type. That couldn’t stand.

This rule doesn’t go into effect for three years, but it could lead pretty quickly to domestic bulb makers ceasing production.

A few bulb types are still exempt, including bug lights and oven lights. (Source) ☼

Why the Renewable Fuel Standard Deserves To Die

by Timothy Benson, Investor’s Business Daily

On the day before Thanksgiving, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the final levels of renewable fuel required to be blended into gasoline next year, officially known as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In 2017, the RFS will rise to 19.28 billion gallons, up from 18.11 billion gallons in 2016.

A part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was expanded in 2007 by the Energy Independence and Security Act and is administered by EPA, RFS requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel sources, such as ethanol, be blended into gasoline and diesel fuel by 2022.

Two reports released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) just days after EPA’s approval of the blend increase suggest RFS has been and will continue to be a complete failure, with the program’s goals, both in number of gallons produced and in the reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions, nowhere close to being met in 2022. Read more

PROPERTY RIGHTS

Get the Feds Out of Western Lands

by Ryan McMaken, Mises Institute

The real debate here, however, isn’t over strip mining vs. conservation. It’s about whether or not a president thousands of miles away can — with the stroke of a pen — dictate how millions of acres in a faraway state can be used, and do so over the protestations of the state legislature.

What is steadfastly ignored in the debate however, is the questionable legitimacy of federal control over so many immense swaths of land.

Today, the feds control 640 million acres (not counting the far larger federally-owned areas of coastal sea floor). And in most Western states, the Federal government owns more than a third of all the land. In the case of Utah and Nevada, where the two new monuments are created, the federal government owns 65 percent and 85 percent of all land, respectively.

This means that these lands are ultimately controlled by politicians thousands of miles away who are not citizens of those states. In the case of Utah, for example, federal lands are controlled by executive-branch bureaucrats — few of whom are from Utah — or they are controlled by Congressional laws passed by a Congress composed of 529 non-Utahns and 6 Utahns.

The fact that lands in Utah should be largely controlled by Californians, Texans, and New Yorkers — many of whom have never even set foot in Utah — should strike reasonable people as both objectionable and bizarre. Read more

RANDOM THOUGHTS

“Few journalists have appreciated the degree to which Mr. Trump’s entire political and governing strategy depends on trolling them. They’ve mostly assumed his penchant for exaggeration and invention was the result of psychosis, or just ego. By now, though, it ought to be apparent that he’s doing it intentionally, and strategically.” —Barton Swaim, reporter

“I don’t question that the earth has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age, but I am persuaded that most of the warming was due to natural causes, about which the governments can do nothing.” “I can’t see any reason to reduce CO2 emissions. Doubling or quadrupling current CO2 levels will be good for the world.” – Dr. William Happer Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Princeton University. (Source)

As Carl Sagan wrote in 1995, in The Demon-haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

“It was not the tycoons of big business, it was not the working classes, it was the intellectuals who reversed the trend toward political freedom and revived the doctrines of the absolute State, of totalitarian government rule, of the government’s right to control the lives of the citizens in any manner it pleases. This time, it was not in the name of the ‘divine right of kings,’ but in the name of the divine right of the masses. The basic principle was the same: the right to enforce at the point of a gun the moral doctrines of whoever happens to seize control of the machinery of government.” —Ayn Rand (1905-1982

The Gipper: “This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

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Newsletters can be viewed online on Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/

 

See my essay on climate change:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/climate-in-perspective/

 

The Constitution is the real contract with America.

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People for the West – Tucson, Inc.

PO Box 86868

Tucson, AZ 85754-6868

pfw-tucson@cox.net

Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor

Dr. John Forrester, Vice President

Lonni Lees, Associate Editor

 

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