May 29, 2017

Climate Experts are Baffled by Latest “Global Warming” Findings

Global Warming protestors concerned about deforestation and loss of habitat are ignorant of the fact that slight temperature increases have actually increased forested regions by 9%. They also assume the rises are due to industrial pollution, and not natural warming and cooling trends produced by solar activity cycles.

Patrick Michaels, a climate expert and director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, says combining the findings of two important studies could reveal “a remarkable hypothesis” about the benefits of increased carbon-dioxide levels and global warming.

In a recent article published on the Cato Institute’s blog, Michaels describes the results of a recent study published in Science, a highly influential journal, that examined global drylands and found global forest cover had been undercounted by “at least 9%” in previous studies.

Michaels then recounts the findings produced by researcher Zaichan Zhu and 31 coauthors in 2016, which revealed—based on “a remarkable analysis of global vegetation change since satellite sensors became operational in the late 1970s”—that the “vast majority of the globe’s vegetated area shows greening, with 25-50% of that area showing a statistically significant change, while only 4% of the vegetated area is significantly browning,” according to Michaels.

A winter fair used to be held on the frozen Thames River in London every year, and even elephants could walk across the thick ice. These annual affairs came to an end even before the rise of the industrial age due to a natural warming trend of the earth, which could reverse in the near future, depending on solar activity.

As Michaels quotes in his post, the researchers found, “Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models show that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend …”

“And the other greening driver that stood out from the statistical noise was—you guessed it—climate change,” Michaels added to the researchers’ quote.

At the same time the Thames River would freeze in London, the Delaware was likewise known to freeze and be choked with ice during the American Revolution. These annual deep freezes ceased before the rise of the industrial age.

By combining the two studies’ findings together, Michaels says a “remarkable hypothesis” emerges: “This may lead to a remarkable hypothesis—that one of the reasons the forested regions were undercounted in previous surveys (among other reasons) is that there wasn’t enough vegetation present to meet Bastin’s criterion for ‘forest,’ which is greater than 10% tree cover, and carbon dioxide and global warming changed that.”

Put simply, Michaels is suggesting it’s possible one of the primary reasons forest cover had previously been undercounted is because significant greening linked to carbon-dioxide emissions and higher temperatures has occurred in recent decades. If a direct link could be proven, this would be a very important revelation, because it would add to the mounting evidence that shows the benefits of a warmer global climate outweigh any drawbacks.

Contrary to the arguments often made by climate alarmists, higher temperatures are much less dangerous than global cooling would be, and climate scientists cannot guarantee that global cooling won’t occur at some point in the relatively near future. In fact, some scientists believe global cooling could be just around the corner.

In 2016, Professor Valentina Zharkova at Northumbria University and a team of researchers found future solar cycles could produce much lower temperatures.

“We will see it from 2020 to 2053, when the three next cycles will be very reduced magnetic field of the sun,” Zharkova said, according to a report by Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That? “Whatever we do to the planet, if everything is done only by the sun, then the temperature should drop similar like it was in the Maunder Minimum. At least in the Northern hemisphere, where this temperature is well protocoled and written. We didn’t have many measurements in the Southern hemisphere, we don’t know what will happen with that, but in the Northern hemisphere, we know it’s very well protocoled. The rivers are frozen. There are winters and no summers, and so on.”

Watts points out “because things are not the same as they were in the 17th century,” it’s not clear whether the cooling will actually occur, but he said, “it will be interesting to see how the terrestrial and the solar influences play out.”

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BREAKING ALLEGATION: Jared Kushner Wanted Secret Communications Channel with Russia

–Developing —

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and one of the senior advisers in the Trump administration, was seeking a private communications channel with the Kremlin, according to a new report in The Washington Post.

Kushner and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak spoke of the possibility of coordinating a secret and secure communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin, the paper said.

Kushner suggested the use of Russian diplomatic facilities as a way to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports told The Post.

Read more . . .

Study: Physically Weak Men More Likely To Prefer Socialism

Surprise, surprise. Men who are physically weak are more likely to favor socialist policies.

An academic study from researchers at Brunel University London assessed 171 men, looking at their height, weight, overall physical strength and bicep circumference, along with their views on redistribution of wealth and income inequality. The study, published in the Evolution and Human Behavior journal, ​found that weaker men were more likely to favor socialist policies than stronger men.

Exhibit A:

Brunel University’s Michael Price believes this may be a product of evolutionary psychology.

“This is about our Stone Age brains, in a modern society,” said Dr. Price. “Our minds evolved in environments where strength was a big determinant of success. If you find yourself in a body not threatened by other males, if you feel you can win competitions for status, then maybe you start thinking inequality is pretty good.”

Taking his assessment one step further, Price wanted to factor in gym time to see if he could determine the relationship flow between strength and socialistic leanings. Are men who are naturally strong more inclined to hold capitalistic views, or are men with capitalistic views driven to go to the gym?

“When Dr Price factored in time spent in the gym some, but not all, of the link disappeared,” notes The Times, suggesting there may be something to men with capitalistic views hitting the gym.

“Of course this isn’t rational in modern environments, where your ability to win might have more to do with where you went to university. Lot of guys who are phenomenally successful in modern societies would probably be nowhere near as successful in hunter gatherer societies,” added Price.

Other studies in the past have also suggested stronger men are more right-wing than physically weaker men. “Researchers found that men’s opinions on redistribution of wealth could be predicted by their upper body strength, with powerful men more likely to take a conservative stance of protecting their own interests,” noted The Telegraph of a 2013 study from Aarhus University in Denmark.

Anyone with two eyes would be hard-pressed to refute such findings.

Devastating Evidence of Collusion With Russia

Kremlin-crazed Trumpophobes snored as Hillary and Bill made Russia great again–How the Clintons Sold Out U.S. National Nuclear Interests to the Putin Regime

The Democrats and old-guard news media (forgive the redundancy) are pathologically obsessed with the hypothesis that Team Trump and Russia rigged last November’s presidential election. If Donald J. Trump so much as played Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slav on his stereo, these leftists deduce, he was in cahoots with the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, the same folks who spy a KGB agent behind every filing cabinet in Trump’s White House are aggressively apathetic about Hillary and Bill Clinton’s policies, decisions, and actions that gave aid and comfort to Russia.

Hillary’s much-mocked “Russian reset” established the tone for the Clintons’ coziness with the Kremlin. On March 6, 2009, during a trip to Geneva, she presented Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov a small, red button. Hillary thought it was emblazoned with the Russian word for “reset.” Her team mistranslated and the button actually read “overload.” Nonetheless, Clinton and Lavrov jointly pressed the symbolic button. And a new era in U.S.–Russian relations erupted.

While visiting Moscow on March 24, 2010, Hillary explained the Reset’s purpose: “Our goal is to help strengthen Russia.”

Hillary said this in an interview with veteran broadcaster Vladimir Pozner of Russia’s First Channel TV network. Pozner is a Soviet-era relic who still communicates in barely accented English. During the Cold War, he popped up on American TV and radio programs and presented the views of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Pozner’s pleasantries made him and his totalitarian bosses seem blandly benign.

The shadiest deal that the Clintons hatched with Russia is called Uranium One. This outrage should mushroom into Hillary and Bill’s radioactive Whitewater scandal.

Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining mogul and major Clinton Foundation donor, led a group of investors in an enterprise called Uranium One. On June 8, 2010, Rosatom, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, announced plans to purchase a 51.4 percent stake in the Canadian company, whose international assets included some 20 percent of America’s uranium capacity.

Because this active ingredient in atomic reactors and nuclear weapons is a strategic commodity, this $1.3 billion deal required the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Secretary of State Clinton was one of nine federal department and agency heads on that secretive panel.

On June 29, 2010, three weeks after Rosatom proposed to Uranium One, Bill Clinton keynoted a seminar staged by Renaissance Capital in Moscow, a reputedly Kremlin-controlled investment bank that promoted this transaction. Renaissance Capital paid Clinton $500,000 for his one-hour speech.

While CFIUS evaluated Rosatom’s offer, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer observed, “a spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy among eight shareholders in Uranium One” began. “These Canadian mining magnates decide now would be a great time to donate tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.”

These included Uranium One’s then-chairman, Ian Telfer, whose donations to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) totaled $3.1 million. Giustra himself gave $131.3 million to the Clinton Foundation. Before, during, and after CFIUS’s review, Schweizer calculates, “shareholders involved in this transaction had transferred approximately $145 million to the Clinton Foundation or its initiatives.”

Others were less enthused about this deal.

“Russia’s record of transferring dangerous materials and technologies to rogue regimes, such as those in Iran and Syria, is very troubling,” Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the time, wrote to CFIUS’s then-chairman, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The top Republicans on the Financial Services, Homeland Security, and Armed Services Committees also signed Ros-Lehtinen’s letter of October 5, 2010.

“We believe that this potential takeover of U.S. nuclear resources by a Russian government–owned agency would pose great potential harm to the national security of the United States,” the letter read, “and we urge the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to block the sale.”

As a CFIUS member, Hillary could have heeded this warning and stopped Vladimir Putin from controlling a fifth of U.S. uranium supplies. America’s chief diplomat and former first lady either welcomed this prospect or was too uncharacteristically demure to make her objections stick.

In either case, on October 23, 2010, within three weeks of that letter, CFIUS approved Rosatom’s purchase of a majority stake in Uranium One.

Thanks to subsequent investments, Rosatom’s share of Uranium One grew to 100 percent by January 2013. Robert Gill of Morrison Williams Investment Management told Canada’s Financial Post: “By doing this acquisition, they can continue to build the company they intended to build, but they can do so without the transparency required by the public markets.”

Rosatom CEO Sergei Kiriyenko crowed just after taking total control of Uranium One, “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves.”

A headline in Pravda boasted on January 22, 2013: “Russian nuclear energy conquers the world.”

My old friend Michael Caputo performed public-relations work for Renaissance Capital in 1999–2000. He says it subsequently became “a practical arm of Vladimir Putin.” Caputo was stunned at the speed with which CFIUS approved Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One.

“In 2010–2011, I ran acquisition communications for Safran Group, the French government–controlled defense contractor which bought the US biometrics company L-1,” Caputo wrote in PoliticsNY.net. “It took us almost two years to gain CFIUS approval for France, an historic ally, to purchase a biometrics firm, not even remotely a strategic asset.” He added, “These two CFIUS approvals were happening at precisely the same time. Safran couldn’t buy a break and was questioned at every turn. Somehow, Kremlin-controlled Rosatom’s purchase sailed through on a cool breeze.”

A strong wind lifted Hillary’s efforts to help Boeing seal a major sale to the Kremlin. She visited Moscow on October 13, 2009. She was there, in part, to boost the American jet manufacturer.

“We’re delighted that a new Russian airline, Rosavia, is actively considering the acquisition of Boeing aircraft. And this is a shameless pitch for Rosavia,” Clinton said at Moscow’s Boeing Design Center. “The Ex-Im Bank would welcome an application for financing from Rosavia to support its purchase of Boeing aircraft.”

Three days later, according to the Washington Post, “Boeing formally submitted its bid for the Russian deal.”

On June 1, 2010, the Kremlin-owned Rostekhnologii company — mercifully, it’s now called Rostec — had great news for the plane maker: It decided to buy as many as 50 Boeing 737 jets for Russia’s national airline, Aeroflot. Reported price: $3.7 billion.

That August 17, just ten weeks later, Boeing announced a $900,000 gift to the Clinton Foundation to “help support the reconstruction of Haiti’s public education system” after a massive earthquake pulverized the impoverished nation the previous January.

The Clinton Foundation’s website declares total contributions from Boeing to be between $1 million and $5 million.

Boeing also very generously supported the USA Pavilion at the 2010 World’s Fair in Shanghai, a project that Hillary championed. While visiting China on November 16, 2009, Hillary announced that Boeing “has just agreed to double its contribution to $2 million.”

But this gift was fishy, too.

“Clinton did not point out that, to secure the donation, the State Department had set aside ethics guidelines that first prohibited solicitations of Boeing and then later permitted only a $1 million gift from the company,” Rosalind S. Helderman explained in the April 13, 2014, Washington Post. “State Department officials ruled out soliciting Boeing and other large firms with significant business relationships with the government.” These authorities then changed their minds and permitted Boeing’s contribution, although no one can explain how Boeing shattered that $1 million ceiling.

Hillary Clinton also favored Skolkovo, an “innovation city” near Moscow, which enjoyed some $5 billion in Russian-government seed money. She discussed Skolkovo with Russia’s then-president, Dimitry Medvedev.

“At a long meeting I had with Medvedev outside Moscow in October 2009, he raised his plan to build a high-tech corridor in Russia modeled after our own Silicon Valley,” Hillary said. “When I suggested that he visit the original in California, he turned to his staff and told them to follow up.”

The month before Medved’s June 2010 visit to Silicon Valley, the State Department arranged for 22 leading U.S. venture capitalists to tour Skolkovo. Under Hillary, State encouraged American companies to participate in the Skolkovo project. Cisco, Google, and Intel are among those that got involved.

By 2012, Skolkovo boasted 28 “Key Partners” in the U.S., Europe, and Russia. Among these major supporting organizations, three-fifths had donated or pledged funds to the Clinton Foundation or paid speaking fees to Bill Clinton. According to From Russia with Money, an August 2016 study by the Government Accountability Institute, these 17 “Key Partner” entities donated between $6.5 million and $23.5 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Far more troubling, in 2014, the FBI wrote companies that operated in Skolkovo or backed the Skolkovo Foundation.

“The foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application,” warned Boston-based FBI agent Lucia Ziobro. “The FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by their government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies.”

The U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth concluded in 2013: “Skolkovo is arguably an overt alternative to clandestine industrial espionage.”

The Clintons actually did these things. This is no unicorn hunt. No theory, speculation, or breathless, Cold War fantasy is required. These actions (and inactions) happened.

When it comes to Team Trump, Democrats and their journalist pals are as relentless as bloodhounds chasing escaped jailbirds. And yet, regarding the Clintons, the Democrats and old-guard news people are as ferocious as puppies enjoying a roaring fireplace.

By all means, let Congress and the media get to the bottom of what, if anything, Russia may have done to influence last year’s elections and what, if anything, Team Trump did to help.

But let’s also root out what, if anything, the Clintons did to advance Russia’s strategic position, while feathering their nests.

These are vital questions for both sides, and dogged investigators need to dig up all the answers.

Puppies need not apply.

 

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based contributing editor of National Review Online. William de Wolff furnished research for this article.

Watch: The Inconvenient Truth about the Democratic Party’s History of Racism

Democratic Governor George Wallace invokes National Guard to keep Blacks from attending state universities

Radio show host Dennis Prager’s conservative/libertarian educational video group Prager U teamed up with author and controversial Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain to dispel the notion that the Republican Party is the racist entity in Washington, D.C.’s, two-party system.

Swain has caused uproar in the past by stating in a 2015 article for The Tennessean that we must “institute serious monitoring of Islamic organizations.” She is also a heavy critic of the racial activist group, Black Lives Matter, calling it a  “very destructive force” during an interview on CNN last July.

In the video titled, “The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party,” Swain explained that despite modern notions that the Republican Party is causing grief for minorities, its record of fighting for the freedom and civil rights of minorities is stellar, and that it was the Democratic Party that consistently attempted to stand in the way of civil rights.

“Since its founding in 1829, the Democratic Party has fought against every major civil rights initiative, and has a long history of discrimination,” Swain said.

Swain recounted the founding of the Republican Party in 1854 as the anti-slavery party, with the intention of abolishing the practice of slavery, and stopping its expansion into the western territories. Their first attempt to abolish slavery failed when the Supreme Court ruled that slaves were not citizens, but were property in the 1857 case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Of the nine justices on the Supreme Court at that time, the seven who voted for slavery were all Democrats, but the two dissenting justices were both Republican.

Swain then explained how the issue of slavery was resolved during the Civil War, prompting the creation of the 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery), the 14th Amendment (granting blacks citizenship), and the 15th Amendment (granting blacks the right to vote). All of these amendments, Swain said, were resisted by every Democrat in office, and only passed because of universal Republican support.

Swain continued by telling of the Democrats segregation efforts that began during the reconstruction era, and continued all the way through to the 1960s, when Democrats took measures that suppressed the rights of blacks to vote, or own property. This was stopped by the Civil Rights Act, which Democrats filibustered for 75 days. Republicans eventually claimed victory in favor for the Civil Rights Act, Swain said, but the Democrats would go on to adopt a new tactic.

“And when all of their efforts to enslave blacks, keep them enslaved, and then keep them from voting had failed, the Democrats came up with a new strategy: If black people are going to vote, they might as well vote for Democrats. As President Lyndon Johnson was purported to have said about the Civil Rights Act, ‘I’ll have them n*****s voting Democrat for two hundred years,’” Swain said.

Johnson’s “war on poverty,” enacted anti-poverty legislation such as the Food Stamp Act of 1964, and the Social Security Act of 1964. From 1965 to 1974, government provided benefits increased by a factor of 2o. As the Cato Institute noted in a study, these entitlement programs incentivized lifestyles that encouraged government dependence such as single motherhood in order to continue to receive greater government benefits. This reliance on government dependence encourages voting in favor of the party that champions welfare and entitlements.

“So now, the Democratic Party prospers on the votes of the very people it has spent much of its history oppressing.”

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Congressional Republicans Selfishly Refuse to Defend President Trump from a Never-ending, Orchestrated Campaign to Destroy his Agenda.

The Obama Administration struggled through one Congressional investigation after another, with the Departments of State, Justice, Treasury, Homeland Security, and Agriculture all getting their turn on the hot seat.  Interestingly, the public never really connected these scandals to Obama, instead associating Lois Lerner, Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and other career bureaucrats with the various investigations.  When President Obama first took office, his administration focused on placing political appointees in various government positions of influence.  Performance may have suffered when someone unqualified individual took over a powerful agency, but concern for the average citizen was not on the list of priorities.  In some instances, persons were appointed to certain positions for specific purposes.  Leon Panetta, whose intelligence experience was limited to two years as an Intelligence Officer in the Army from 1964 to 1966, was appointed Director of the CIA in 2009.  Panetta spent two years as CIA Director, which was more than enough time to conduct an internal investigation into the interrogation practices of the agency under the Bush Administration.  Lerner, Napolitano, Holder, and Clinton closely followed the script, as none of the scandals involving these agencies were ever connected to Obama.

President Obama was particularly adept at manipulating public perception.  Without exception, during every political crisis the GOP took the hit.  The Republicans were responsible for the shutting down of government over budget disagreements, and because the Republicans were so obstructionist, the President was forced to address prolific legislation through the use of Executive Orders.  At times, it appeared as if Obama would not find a way to avoid criticism.  The U.S. role in crafting the nuclear Treaty with Iran, and the subsequent night-time delivery of  four-hundred million dollars to the Iranians, not to mention the gift of one-hundred thirty tons of Uranium, didn’t seem to sit well with the American people.  But the Democratic Party, Congressional Democrats in particular, in-step with the main stream media, put out the fire in shockingly quick fashion.  The weak-kneed Republican Congressional leadership probably was too tired of fighting the fight, and focused instead on upcoming elections, which brings us to a big part of the problem.

A friend who works on the staff of a GOP Congressman frequently complains about how much time is allotted to campaigning.  He remarked that the next campaign always begins the morning after winning an election.  For a number of reasons, members of Congress are never prepared to move on to a live outside of Capitol Hill.  No doubt the most common reason for wanting to get re-elected in perpetuity is the sense of power public office can provide.  In addition, the great majority of Congressmen and women have enriched themselves while serving, which is why I am always pleasantly surprised when I learn of a Senator or a Representative from any political background who has not become a millionaire while in office.  These politicians take the access they are afforded through their position very seriously, which explains why so many Republican Congressmen refuse to support President Trump.  The Democrats have demonstrated how successful a president can be regarding his/her agenda, with the support of a united party, but the message just hasn’t caught on with the right.  Republicans on Capitol Hill are constantly worried about Trump’s “numbers”, because they don’t want to lose votes in the next election by supporting a damaged president . . .

Read the rest of the story >>

 

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Visit Eric’s website and read a free sample of his new book at http://www.mukhabaratbaby.com/
Eric Burkhart is a retired CIA agent, who has written a book about his service, and he shares some unique insights into what really happened in the Middle East during the Gulf War.

Did DNC Staffer Seth Rich Send the 44,000 emails to WikiLeaks?

The family of Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was shot and killed in Washington last summer has denied the report that their son leaked more than 44,000 emails to WikiLeaks before his death.

Rich was killed as he walked home in D.C.. He was shot twice in the back but wasn’t robbed. His wallet, cellphone, keys, watch and necklace were all left on him. Nevertheless, D.C. police are calling it a robbery, sparking rumors that they are actively trying to cover up the true reason he was murdered.

Coincidentally, as reported by the Underground Reporter, Seth Rich was also slated to testify in a Clinton investigation. According to the Washington Post, prior to his death Rich was looking into several instances of DNC electoral fraud and voter suppression, and was to give testimony in the case regarding Clinton’s email server — the very scandal kicked off by the Wikileaks data dump.

After announcing that WikiLeaks would pay $20,000 for information leading to the conviction of Rich’s murderer, Assange went on an interview with Nieuwsurr. During the interview, Assange implied that Rich was his source.

Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often significant risks. There was a 27-year old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back… murdered.. for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.

Host: That was just a robbery wasn’t it?

Assange: No. There’s no finding.

Host: What are you suggesting?

Assange: I am suggesting that our sources take risks and they become concerned to see things occurring like that.

Host: But was he one of your sources, then?

Assange: We don’t comment on who our sources are.

Host: But why make the suggestion?

Assange: Because we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States and that our sources face serious risks… that’s why they come to us so we can protect their anonymity.

Host: But it’s quite something to suggest a murder… that’s basically what you’re doing.

Earlier Tuesday, Fox News reported that 27-year-old Seth Rich may have been the one who leaked information about the DNC to WikiLeaks that showed, among other things, that the DNC favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary.

The report states federal law enforcement investigators found 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between DNC leaders from January 2015 to May 2016 were sent by Rich to Gavin MacFayden, an American reporter and WikiLeaks director based in London who is now dead. That information was found in a FBI forensic report on Rich’s computer done within days of his murder.

Later in the day, Rich family spokesman Brad Bauman told NBC News the Fox News report was bogus. Bauman said Ed Butowsky, a conservative Dallas-based financial adviser, reached out to the family months ago with an offer to pay for a private investigator to look into Rich’s death.

The family agreed and paid Rod Wheeler, a former D.C. homicide detective, to look into the July 10 murder.

“My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” Wheeler told Fox News. “I do believe that the answers to who murdered Seth Rich sits on his computer on a shelf at the D.C. police or FBI headquarters.”

Bauman, trying to separate the family’s views about their son’s death from the hired detective’s claims, shared Butowsky’s role with NBC.

“We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth’s murderers,” the family’s statement continued. “The services of the private investigator who spoke to the press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family.”

A former law enforcement officer with firsthand knowledge of the investigation on Monday said Wheeler’s claim about Rich’s laptop was incorrect because the device had been searched and yielded no emails related to WikiLeaks. In addition, the FBI never looked over the evidence.

U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia, not Rich, hacked into the DNC and allowed that information to be sent to WikiLeaks.

Wheeler added he believes someone in the D.C. government, DNC or in Clinton’s camp is blocking the investigation.

Rich’s death is one of five deaths in a six week period of individuals who had been destructive to the Clinton campaign. One recent month, for instance, two prominent anti-Clinton activists were found dead within two days.

Renowned anti-Clinton researcher and writer for American Free Press (AFP), Victor Thorn, whose birth name was Scott Robert Makufka, was found dead from a gunshot wound near his home on August 1.

The very next day, Shawn Lucas, who was recently featured in a viral video serving the Democratic National Committee and its now-ousted head, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with a class-action lawsuit alleging a massive voter fraud scheme for rigging the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton — was found lifeless by his girlfriend on the bathroom floor.

PUBLIUS

 

Why Comey was Fired: DOJ Rips Handling of Clinton Case

President Trump’s seemingly abrupt decision Tuesday to fire FBI Director James Comey was made at the recommendation of top Justice Department officials who claimed that his controversial handling of the Hillary Clinton email case last year rendered him unfit for the position.

A senior White House official told Fox News it was purely “coincidental” that the firing occurred on the same day Comey faced scrutiny for giving faulty testimony about emails sent from Clinton aide Huma Abedin to Anthony Weiner.

Rather, Comey had been the subject of a review by the very top of the Trump Justice Department. Newly confirmed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein penned an extensive memo for Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlining concerns with Comey’s conduct during and after the Clinton email probe.

The memo said “almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes.” Rosenstein wrote that he could not defend Comey’s handling of the end of the investigation, and could not understand “his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.”

The first count against Comey, according to Rosenstein, was his July 5, 2016 announcement during which he alleged Clinton and her colleagues were “extremely careless” in handling classified material on her personal email and server but also said the FBI would not recommend charges.

The memo said Comey was “wrong to usurp” then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s authority.

“It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement,” Rosenstein wrote, adding that Comey “at most” should have said the FBI had finished its investigation and presented findings to prosecutors.

The memo said Comey compounded “the error” by holding a press conference to “release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation,” suggesting he did so “gratuitously.”

The memo said: “The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial.” Rosenstein called it a “textbook example” of what prosecutors and agents are “taught not to do.”

The second count against Comey concerned his Oct. 28, 2016 notification to Congress that the bureau was taking another look at the Clinton case in light of newly discovered emails. While Comey has said he did not want to conceal information, Rosenstein said simply refraining from publicizing “non-public information” would not have been concealment.

He countered Comey’s position by citing numerous former Justice officials who called the move inappropriate.

Comey adamantly defended his handling of the case, and that October letter, at a Senate hearing last week.

As referenced by Rosenstein, he said, “Concealment in my view would have been catastrophic.”

Clinton herself has continued to criticize Comey, suggesting his announcement helped tilt the election toward President Trump.

“It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact” on the election, Comey said at the hearing, standing by his actions.

Rosenstein referenced Comey’s statements since the election in his memo’s conclusion: “The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.”

The memo set off a quick chain reaction all the way up to the White House.

Sessions told Trump that a “fresh start” is needed, attaching the Rosenstein memo and recommending Comey’s removal.

Trump cited that recommendation in his letter to Comey, informing him he is “hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.”

Former FBI spokesperson John Iannarelli told Fox News he thinks Comey got “bad counsel from those close to him,” and that in the end, Comey was perceived as “too political.”

Iannarelli told Fox News the firing was virtually “unprecedented,” aside from William Sessions being dismissed by then-President Bill Clinton in the early 1990s.

Fox News’ Serafin Gomez, Brooke Singman and John Roberts contributed to this report.

BREAKING-House Votes to Repeal ObamaCare

By a vote of 217 to 213 the House of Representatives has voted to repeal ObamaCare.

Republican health care bill: What’s in it?

House Republicans plan to vote Thursday on the latest version of the American Health Care Act – their answer to ObamaCare.

The bill has gone through some changes since an earlier version was pulled from the floor in March in the face of flagging support.

Here’s what’s the bill does:

-Ends tax penalties, under the original Affordable Care Act, for individuals who don’t buy insurance coverage and larger employers who don’t offer coverage. Instead, insurers would apply a 30 percent surcharge to customers who’ve let coverage lapse for more than 63 days in the past year.

-Ends tax increases on higher-earning people and a range of industry groups including insurers, drug makers and medical device manufacturers.

-Cuts the Medicaid program for low-income people and lets states impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Forbids states that haven’t already expanded Medicaid to do so. Changes Medicaid from an open-ended program that covers beneficiaries’ costs to one that gives states fixed amounts of money annually.

-Overhauls insurance subsidy system from one based largely on incomes and premium costs to a system of tax credits. The credits would rise with customers’ ages and, like the subsidies, could be used toward premium costs.

-Lets states get federal waivers allowing insurers to charge older customers higher premiums than younger ones by as much as they’d like. Obama’s law limits the difference to a 3-1 ratio. States also can get waivers exempting insurers from providing consumers with required coverage of specified health services, and from Obama’s prohibition against insurers charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing health problems, but only if the person has had a gap in insurance coverage.

-States could only get the latter waivers if they have mechanisms like high-risk pools that are supposed to help cover people with serious, expensive-to-treat diseases. A newly added provision would give another $8 billion over five years to help states finance their high-risk pools. Despite criticism that the waivers strip protections, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office maintains that since states that take the waivers would have to set up the high-risk pools, “insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.”

-Blocks federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year.

-Retains requirement that family policies cover grown children to age 26.

FoxNews.com / The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sen. Mike Lee-The First Step in Revoking Obama’s Land Grabs

What is done by executive power can be undone by executive power.

Former President Barack Obama began to learn that lesson this Wednesday when President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of all Antiquities Act designations larger than 100,000 acres over the past 30 years.

Specifically, the executive order directs Zinke to consider “the requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act’s requirement that reservations of land not exceed ‘the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected’” and whether “designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as ‘historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest.’”

>>>See our article of November 21, 2016, by the late Utah Speaker of the House, Becky Lockhart: Western Lands Must Be Returned to States

This wording strongly suggests that Obama’s lame duck decision to designate 1.35 million acres in San Juan County as a national monument will at least be significantly reduced and possibly entirely rescinded.

Some environmental activists may claim that Trump does not have the power to shrink or revoke Obama’s Antiquities Act designations, but these claims are ignorant of both history and the law.

For starters, as University of California Berkeley Law School professor John Yoo and Pacific Legal Foundation Executive Director John Gaziano detailed in a recent legal report, five presidents have significantly reduced four previous monument designations, and no one has ever questioned the legality of those reductions.

in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation … national monuments …. the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.

Specifically, President Ike Eisenhower reduced the Great Sand Dunes National Monument by 25 percent, President Harry Truman reduced the Santa Rosa Island National Monument by 49 percent, Presidents William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Calvin Coolidge collectively reduced the Mount Olympus monument by 49 percent, and Taft reduced the Navajo National Monument by 89 percent.

A current president’s power to alter a previous president’s flows from the text of the statute, which authorizes the president “in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation … national monuments …. the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

As Yoo and Gaziano point out, “there is no temporal limit” on the requirement that a monument must be limited to “the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected” so all presidents must use their ongoing discretion as to whether every monument is the proper size.

“What is done by executive power can be undone by executive power.”

Furthermore, what if a later president determines that an earlier president’s designation was so exceedingly beyond the “smallest area compatible with proper care” that the entire designation was illegal?

Yoo and Gaziano argue that the entire monument designation could be revoked.

Whatever Zinke does end up recommending to Trump—and a preliminary report is due in 45 days on Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument—further executive action will only be the beginning of solving San Juan County’s public lands issues.

Congress will then need to pick up the Public Lands Initiative legislation that was working through the House before Obama derailed the legislative process and pass a commonsense solution that includes real input from local residents.

Only through the legislation can local residents, including the Navajo, be given real power over their land use decisions.

Portrait of Sen. Mike Lee

Mike Lee is a Republican senator from Utah.

Newt Gingrich: Trump vs. The Swamp, Round III — Democrats Turn to Bureaucrats to Stop POTUS

When Neil Gorsuch won long-overdue confirmation this month to serve on the United States Supreme Court, Republicans in turn won control of judiciary. This meant they led all three branches of the federal government – at least the three envisioned by our Founding Fathers – for the first time in a decade.

As a consequence, Democrats have pinned their hopes to stifle President Donald Trump’s pro-growth agenda on the unprecedented insurrection of an unchecked, de facto branch of government: the bureaucratic state.

Now that Alexander Acosta is confirmed as secretary of labor, President Trump has a better ability to reign in the bureaucracy.

Through executive orders, President Trump immediately began cutting needless red tape draped across the federal government by his predecessor. This led deliberately resistant entrenched civil servants to wage a campaign to subvert the administration’s clear intention of deregulation.

Consider this: In February, the president ordered the Department of Labor – previously run by Tom Perez, who is now the chairman of the Democratic National Committee –  to review and re-evaluate the implementation of the so-called fiduciary rule, a controversial Obama-era rule that would deny middle-class Americans access to sound investment advice.

Democrats have pinned their hopes to stifle President Donald Trump’s pro-growth agenda on the unprecedented insurrection of an unchecked, de facto branch of government: the bureaucratic state.

The order’s intention was clear-as-day. It aimed to indefinitely delay or outright kill this bad rule before it could hurt middle class American investors. Instead, Perez’s faithful holdovers at the Department of Labor effectively expedited the rule with minimal changes. This was exactly the opposite of President Trump’s instructions.

Now, the department will make the rule effective on June 9, before completing the president’s review, and argued that “the Fiduciary rule and Impartial Conduct Standards … are among the least controversial aspects of the rulemaking process.”

Nothing about this rule is uncontroversial. It would be the single largest government expansion over individual savings in four decades and the second-most expensive regulatory regime crafted in the last 12 years that doesn’t deal with environmental issues.

The rule changes the law to give the Department of Labor direct authority over individual retirement accounts, which are already regulated by the Securities and Exchange Committee, the federal agency responsible for protecting investors. For the first time, IRAs would be pulled into a complex Labor Department system created 43 years ago to regulate employee pension and health plans. Seizing control over IRAs by the Labor Department leads to bigger government, less competition, fewer jobs, and diminished savings for the American worker.

Disingenuously marketed as a way to raise the standards of advice provided to retirement investors, the rule would result in the “orphaning” of most ordinary American savers, left to seek advice on saving for their golden years from an online computer program using algorithms no investor would know about or understand.

The rule has received extensive criticism from those who’ve historically regulated the securities market. Acting SEC Chair Michal Piwowar called the rule a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rule,” adding that it was a “highly political” move that was “never about investor protection.”  President Trump and the Congress want the rule gone. Business wants the rule gone. Ordinary Americans want the rule gone.

But none of that matters to the bureaucratic state. They’ve lost the battle over the Supreme Court and the president’s cabinet. More than anything, the swamp wants to win this battle. That’s why it’s so important that President Trump and Secretary Acosta implement the president’s instructions in a timely way.

President Trump’s first order wasn’t enough to reign in Tom Perez’s faithful deputies, and only now did Senate Democrats stop obstructing Acosta’s confirmation.

So, the president and the secretary must work quickly to delay indefinitely or completely rescind the fiduciary rule under the secretary’s statutory authority.

More than that, the president needs to fully drain the swamp – especially by getting rid of the mutineers at the Department of Labor.

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor. A Republican, he was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Follow him on Twitter @NewtGingrich.

Time to Overhaul the University System and Shut Down the Marxist Mills

The education problem has been growing in America for decades, as the costs of educating our children skyrocket and students are churned out of the public education system and universities with less and less actual education.

Test scores aren’t  the only indicator of a failing education system. Man-on-the-street interviews reveal that college age Americans have little or no understanding of American history or the political process. They appear to be focused solely on leftist political issues, like man-made global warming, social “justice,” and anti-American propaganda–and if any student questions his leftist professors or the nonsense they spew in classrooms, he is automatically flunked from the course.

A decades-long growing battle between liberals and conservatives over education is culminating in conservative calls to either get the government and education unions out of education altogether, or to entirely overhaul the system.

The major problems with the current system are:

1) costs have artificially skyrocketed and the taxpayer is left holding the bag for much of it while students incur decades of debt; and

2) Anti-American leftists dominate the university system and classrooms, leaving indoctrinated students with little usable education and mush for brains.

I propose a new government backed higher education option, patterned somewhat after the current online degree programs being offered by a number of universities. Notably, Brigham Young University just expanded its university system to include a worldwide online university that will provide online education and degree programs to hundreds of thousands of students who would otherwise have great difficulty attending on of its campuses in America. The program is designed to deliver the highest quality university education, for a fraction of the cost of campus courses.

In this age of digital access and computer interactivity, it is relatively simple to launch a program that provides students with online classes, with streamed lectures by top experts in every field and stunning graphics, videos and demonstrations of the principles and concepts being taught. A basic 2 year core curriculum will ensure that all students receive across-the-board instruction in math, science, English, history, American politics, etc. Then specialization will occur in 3rd and 4th year online courses. This is essentially how colleges and universities are supposed to offer classes now, but they have strayed far from their mandate, with tragic results.

streamed lectures by top experts in every field and stunning graphics, videos and demonstrations of the principles and concepts being taught

Third and fourth year specialization courses in the government-offered online university should emphasize productive degree programs initially; science, engineering, language, history, chemistry, education, pre-medicine, pre-law, etc., with some liberal arts programs being added as the system is more fully developed to accommodate their greater need for interactivity.

UC Berkeley students frequently riot in protest of conservative speakers being invited to address groups at the university.

To help reduce cheating on exams, a major problem in the current system as well, interactive biometrics and testing centers should be established for this online university system with certified proctors to administer standardized, computerized tests.

Students can take online courses at their own pace, and show up to take the exams at proctored centers as soon as they have completed each course.

Costs, which will be only a fraction of the current $500 billion the American taxpayer shells out for higher education, can be shared by students and the taxpayers. Students can pay a low flat fee for each course, and the federal government can dramatically cut its higher education budget and finance the remaining costs of the online university system.

This will replace the current Student Loan program, which essentially supports a bloated, ineffective higher education system that is little more than a propaganda arm of the global leftist movement. It will also eliminate the current juggernaut of student debt, hanged around the neck of most graduating students in America.

This proposal will provide higher education for anyone who is self-motivated enough to do the work, and who wants it–rich, poor or middle-class. It doesn’t get any easier, cheaper or better than this. By defunding the leftist propaganda mills and eliminating the burgeoning and crippling student debt that keeps graduates from prospering for the first decades of their careers, this proposed federal university system will put education back into higher education.

By James Thompson. James Thompson holds a Juris Doctor degree, and is a published author on several subjects. He is a professional ghostwriter, and ghostwrites on political, legal, business, educational, and many other topics for the nation’s top leaders.

 

President Trumps Federal Land Grabs – A Very Positive Sign

Draining the swamp doesn’t just mean shrinking the size of federal bureaucracies. It means reducing the role of government throughout our society—including its ability to seize land.

A good place to start is President Donald Trump’s executive order, which calls for a review of national monument designations—a tool long used by presidents to unilaterally restrict land use. Also, see our article of November 21, 2016, Becky Lockhart: Western Lands Must Be Returned to States.

The tradition of presidents designating national monuments began in 1906 when President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act.

That law was intended to prevent the looting of archaeological and Native American structures and objects, and it gave the federal government an expeditious path to do so.

Unsurprisingly, its use has evolved into a federal power tool for making land grabs that cater to special interests, rather than welcoming input from local affected parties, such as the outdoor tourist industry, Native American tribes, or simply the people living in the community.

Such land grabs date way back before President Barack Obama. Before his last-minute monument designations, 16 presidents designated more than 140 monuments covering over 285 million acres of land and marine areas.

Like every other environmental decision ordered by a new administration, the left responded to Trump’s executive order by predicting that it will reduce America the Beautiful to a dumpster fire.

As one publication put it, the order is a “sop to right-wing radicals who are hostile to public lands—and really hate Obama.” (They forgot to mention the hatred for puppies and rainbows, too).

Contrary to the media spin, the issue at hand is not about environmental stewardship, but taking decisions away from states, private citizens, and local interests.

For more than a century, the president of the United States has had the power to unilaterally designate land as a national monument, without input from Congress or the affected states.

Such action from the president either prohibits or restricts economic opportunity in the area, and often does more environmental harm than good.

Reading The Washington Post article on Trump’s order, one could easily assume that there is no local opposition to the controversial 1.35 million acre monument designation at Bears Ears declared by Obama in the final days of his presidency—one of the presumed targets of Trump’s executive order.

The Post gives the false impression that only elected Republican members of Congress opposed Obama’s designation.

The article highlights that a coalition of tribes, environmentalists, archaeologists, and outdoor industry groups all lobbied Obama for the protection at Bears Ears. Yet the author conveniently fails to include opposition from, you know, the local tribes and people that actually live in San Juan County.

For instance, members of the Navajo of San Juan County tribe—the county where Bears Ears resides—rescinded their support for the monument designation. Chester Johnson, of the Aneth Navajo chapter said,

At that time when they switched to national monument they didn’t share it back with the community what their intent was. Aneth is the only one chapter that had the backbone to stand up and say, ‘Look central government, you don’t do that. You share it with us what the intent is for our region, the land that we use for centuries.’

Another Aneth chapter member, Susie Philemon, fought back tears as she urged opposition to the designation, underscoring the fact that they have strong incentives, both economic and spiritual, to protect and preserve the land.

She stressed that “[t]here are people that still graze there, they reside there, and they make that place their livelihood and you cannot just take that away.”

San Juan County leaders staunchly opposed Obama’s designation.

Native American Rebecca Benally, the first woman elected to the San Juan County Commission, voiced opposition to the centralized decision, saying, “My constituents do not want a national monument in San Juan County because it’s just another federal overreach with empty promises.”

As loudly as the local community, the Navajo of San Juan County tribe, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, and members of Congress and state officials voiced their concerns, they all fell on deaf ears.

The problem of unilateral land designation dates much further back than Obama and Bears Ears.

Although Obama designated the contentious Bears Ears monument in Utah as he walked out the White House door, the use of the Antiquities Act is a bipartisan problem. Presidents from both parties have abused the power to restrict land use.

A review of the use of the Antiquities Act designations is a welcome and necessary first step, but ultimately Congress needs to intervene.

Congress should recognize that states, local governments, and private citizens are the best arbiters of how to manage land and should repeal the Antiquities Act or limit the president’s power by requiring congressional, state, and local approval for any national monument designation.

Whether the issue is logging, recreation, conservation, or energy extraction, such decisions are most effectively made at the state and local levels. An antiquated law more than 110 years old shouldn’t ruin the lives of communities.

By Nicolas Loris

Portrait of Nicolas Loris

Nicolas Loris, an economist, focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Read his research.

Walter Williams: Environmental Calamity Predictions Have Always Failed

Each year, Earth Day is accompanied by predictions of doom.

Let’s take a look at past predictions to determine just how much confidence we can have in today’s environmentalists’ predictions.

In 1970, when Earth Day was conceived, the late George Wald, a Nobel laureate biology professor at Harvard University, predicted, “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

Also in 1970, Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist and best-selling author of “The Population Bomb,” declared that the world’s population would soon outstrip food supplies.

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In an article for The Progressive, he predicted, “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next 10 years.”

He gave this warning in 1969 to Britain’s Institute of Biology: “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

On the first Earth Day, Ehrlich warned, “In 10 years, all important animal life in the sea will be extinct.”

Despite such predictions, Ehrlich has won no fewer than 16 awards, including the 1990 Crafoord Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ highest award.

In International Wildlife (July 1975), Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.”

In Science News (1975), C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization is reported as saying, “The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.”

In 2000, climate researcher David Viner told The Independent, a British newspaper, that within “a few years,” snowfall would become “a very rare and exciting event” in Britain. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said. “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”

In the following years, the U.K. saw some of its largest snowfalls and lowest temperatures since records started being kept in 1914.

In 1970, ecologist Kenneth Watt told a Swarthmore College audience:

The world has been chilling sharply for about 20 years. If present trends continue, the world will be about 4 degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990 but 11 degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.

Also in 1970, Sen. Gaylord Nelson, D-Wis., wrote in Look magazine: “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian (Institution), believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

Scientist Harrison Brown published a chart in Scientific American that year estimating that mankind would run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver were to disappear before 1990.

Erroneous predictions didn’t start with Earth Day.

In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior said American oil supplies would last for only another 13 years. In 1949, the secretary of the interior said the end of U.S. oil supplies was in sight.

Having learned nothing from its earlier erroneous claims, in 1974 the U.S. Geological Survey said the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural gas.

The fact of the matter, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, is that as of 2014, we had 2.47 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas, which should last about a century.

Hoodwinking Americans is part of the environmentalist agenda. Environmental activist Stephen Schneider told Discover magazine in 1989:

We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. … Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

In 1988, then-Sen. Timothy Wirth, D-Colo., said: “We’ve got to … try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong … we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

Americans have paid a steep price for buying into environmental deception and lies.

By Walter E. Williams

11 Ways Trump Has Rolled Back Gov Regulations in First 100 Days

As President Donald Trump reaches his 100th day in the White House on April 29, he will have worked with Congress to rescind more regulations using the Congressional Review Act than any other president.

“We’re excited about what we’re doing so far. We’ve done more than that’s ever been done in the history of Congress with the CRA,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., told The Daily Signal in an interview, referring to the law called the Congressional Review Act.

The Congressional Review Act, the tool Trump and lawmakers are using, allows Congress to repeal executive branch regulations. Once the House and Senate pass a joint resolution disapproving of a particular regulation, the president signs the measure.

Passed in 1996 in concert with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act and then-Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America reform agenda, the Congressional Review Act is what the Congressional Research Service calls “an oversight tool that Congress may use to overturn a rule issued by a federal agency.”

The law also prevents agencies from creating similar rules with similar language.

Until this year, the law had been used successfully only once—in 2001, when Congress and President George W. Bush rescinded a regulation regarding workplace injuries promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton administration.

Here’s a look at the 11 regulatory rollbacks Congress has passed and Trump has signed:

1. Regulations governing the coal mining industry (H.J. Res 41).

Mandated by President Barack Obama and finalized in  2016, these regulations “threatened to put domestic extraction companies and their employees at an unfair disadvantage,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

The resolution, signed by Trump in February, repealed the rule and “could save American businesses as much as $600 million annually,” Spicer said.

2. Regulations defining streams in the coal industry (H.J. Res 38).

“Complying with the regulation would have put an unsustainable financial burden on small mines,” Spicer said.

The so-called Stream Protection Rule included “vague definitions of what classifies as a stream,” Nick Loris, a fellow in energy and environmental policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email, and undoing it does away with ambiguities:

For many regulations promulgated by the Obama administration, they fundamentally disregarded the nature of the federal-state relationship when it comes to energy production and environmental protection.

The Stream Protection Rule … removed flexibility from mining steps and simply ignored that states have regulations in place to protect water quality. State and local environmental agencies’ specific knowledge of their region enables them to tailor regulations to promote economic activity while protecting the habitat and environment.

3. Regulations restricting firearms for disabled citizens (H.J. Res 40).

This rule, finalized during Obama’s last weeks in office, sought to “prevent some Americans with disabilities from purchasing or possessing firearms based on their decision to seek Social Security benefits,” Spicer said.

The repeal protects the Second Amendment rights of the disabled, Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said.

“Those rights will no longer be able to be revoked without a hearing and without due process. It will take more than the personal opinion of a bureaucrat,” Grassley said on the Senate floor.

But Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif.,  said the regulation didn’t cover “just people having a bad day,” adding:

These are not people simply suffering from depression or anxiety. These are people with a severe mental illness who can’t hold any kind of job or make any decisions about their affairs. So the law says very clearly they shouldn’t have a firearm.

4. A rule governing the government contracting process (H.J. Res. 37).

Undoing the regulation will cut costs to businesses and free federal contractors from “unnecessary and burdensome processes that would result in delays, and decreased competition for federal government contracts,” Spicer said.

5. A rule covering public lands (H.J. Res. 44).

The rule gave the federal government too much power “to administer public lands,” in the words of the official website of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told The Daily Signal in an interview that the Bureau of Land Management’s rule restricted the control that states and their citizens had, especially in the West.

“The Obama administration wanted to shift land policy from local governments with specific expertise to the federal government, basically shifting even more of the land management policy away from those affected by it,” Lee said.

“Repealing this harmful rule will go a long way toward empowering local stakeholders and ensuring that Arizona’s cattlemen, miners, and rural land users have a voice in the planning process,” Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said in prepared remarks.

6. Reporting requirements regarding college teachers (H.J. Res. 58).

The rule mandated annual reporting by states “to measure the performance and quality of teacher preparation programs and tie them to program eligibility for participation in the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant program,” Spicer said.

Anne Ryland, a research assistant in education policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that the rule “gave the federal Department of Education power to evaluate teacher preparation programs at universities, and to link college students’ access to federal financial aid in the form of TEACH grants to the rating of the programs.”

“University programs,” Ryland added, “would be rated based on the effectiveness of their teaching graduates, with effectiveness determined by elementary and secondary students’ test scores and achievement gains.”

7. Regulations on state education programs (H.J. Res. 57).

Congress and Trump rescinded federal rules that “require states to have an accountability system based on multiple measures, including school quality or student success, to ensure that states and districts focus on improving outcomes and measuring student progress,” Spicer said.

The repeal is the first step in “a reconceptualization of Washington’s role in education,” Ryland said.

“These regulations were prime examples of federal micromanagement,” she said. “They were highly prescriptive and highly complex, serving only to put more power in the hands of bureaucrats and to distract schools and teachers from the work of educating students.”

8. Drug-testing requirements (H.J. Res 42).

Spicer said the regulation mandates an “arbitrarily narrow definition of occupations and constrains a state’s ability to conduct a drug-testing program in its unemployment insurance system.”

Four Republican governors—Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Greg Abbott of Texas, Gary Herbert of Utah, and Phil Bryant of Mississippi—wrote Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to ask that states be allowed to implement their own policies.

“We believe this rule should be replaced with a new rule that allows increased flexibility for states to implement … drug testing that best fits the needs of each state,” the governors said in the February letter.

9. Hunting regulations for wildlife preserves in Alaska (H.J. Res 69).

These regulations restricted Alaska’s ability “to manage hunting of predators on national wildlife refuges in Alaska,” Spicer said.

In a formal statement, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, called the rule “another example of the federal government’s determination these past eight years to destroy a state’s ability to manage their wildlife.”

10. Internet privacy rule (S.J.Res. 34).

Published during the final months of Obama’s presidency, the rule sought to force “new privacy standards on internet service providers, allowing bureaucrats in Washington to pick winners and losers in the industry,” Spicer said.

Flake, who sponsored the resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, said repeal helps keep consumers in charge of how they share their electronic information.

“My resolution is the first step toward restoring the [Federal Trade Commission’s] light-touch, consumer-friendly approach,” Flake said. “It will not change or lessen existing consumer privacy protections. It empowers consumers to make informed choices on if and how their data can be shared.”

11. Rule for logging workplace injuries (H.J. 83).

This rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sought to squelch a more lenient one from the Labor Department. Spicer said the rule “disapproved” of a Labor regulation “extending the statute of limitation for claims against employers failing to maintain records of employee injuries.”

“This OSHA power grab was completely unlawful,” said Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., chairman of the House workforce protections subcommittee. “It would have done nothing to improve workplace safety while creating significant regulatory confusion for small businesses.”

Through extensive use of the Congressional Review Act, Collins said, Trump is establishing a “legacy” of deregulation.

“I think there’s really a legacy really to be had here,” the Republican congressman from Georgia said.

Congress, with backing from Trump, is making good on promises and saying, “We’re not going to allow our jurisdiction and our constitutional authority to be overrun by the executive branch,” Collins said.

Past administrations from both parties, he said, have not been so devoted to deregulation.

“There was a definite disconnect between the previous administration, and even previous Republican administrations, on doing things on their own and not going through the proper legislative process,” Collins said.

Sarah Sleem contributed to this report.

Report – AG Lynch Tried to Bury Hillary Email Investigation

FBI Director James Comey distrusted former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and senior officials at the Justice Department, believing they might provide Hillary Clinton with political cover over her email server, according to a new report published Saturday by The New York Times.
The Times described Comey’s “go-it-alone strategy” in the Clinton probe as emerging largely from his suspicions that Lynch and others at Justice might seek to subtly downplay the Clinton investigation.
As an example, the Times reported that Lynch, during a meeting in September 2015, called on Comey to use the word “matter” instead of “investigation” when publicly discussing the case, three people who attended the meeting told the Times.

Lynch reportedly reasoned that the word “investigation” would raise a number of other questions. Furthermore, she argued that the department should maintain its policy of not confirming investigations.

After referring to the FBI the question of whether classified information had been improperly handled by Clinton through her use of a private server, a step toward a criminal investigation, Justice clarified that it was not a “criminal referral.”
This also raised suspicions at the FBI, according to the Times. Clinton seized on the wording to say that what the FBI was conducting was “not a criminal investigation.”
Lynch came under pressure to recuse herself from the investigation entirely after she had a discussion with former President Bill Clinton in June 2016 on he plane as it sat on the tarmac of Phoenix’s airport.
Lynch did not recuse herself, but the situation did lead her to say she would accept whatever conclusions career prosecutors and the FBI reached.
More tensions between the FBI and Lynch’s office came up later in the case.
Months after Comey held a press conference to announce that the FBI would not bring criminal charges against Clinton, new emails were found through a separate investigation into former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who was married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The findings put the FBI in a difficult spot, as Comey wanted to tell Congress about what the FBI had found. He worried that if Congress was not notified, it would appear that the FBI was withholding information just before the election.
Lynch, the Times story said, did not want Comey to send the letter but decided against ordering him not to send it.

Dem Leader Howard Dean: Conservative Speech ‘Not Protected by First Amendment’

Howard Dean Claims The First Amendment Doesn’t Protect Ann Coulter Expressing her Traditional Opinions

Howard Dean, former DNC Chairman, and prominent voice of the left, has publicly declared a view of the US Constitution that is becoming extremely popular among leftists, which is that any opinion that differs from that of the left is not protected “free speech” under the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Couching any such opposing opinions as “hate speech,” and claiming that Coulter engages in such hate speech by voicing her support of traditional Constitutional and American values, Dean says that Coulter should not be allowed to speak publicly.

Indeed, UC Berkley, once a bastion of the right of free speech, when that free speech was Anti-American and anti-traditional values, has tried repeatedly to stamp out all but the most radical left voices in America, stopping conservatives from expressing traditional values on its campus.

Of course, Dean, like nearly all liberals, claims that outrageously offensive speech that is anti-American and anti-morality is profoundly protected by the First Amendment, with chants of killing police officers and the US President, and works of art depicting the same, and anti-religion depictions being more than welcome on college campuses and at liberal gatherings and public places.

The left has attempted to shut down all public debate by blocking centrist / conservative speakers from appearing in public, and by canceling their speaking engagements. Even now, Berkley is doing its best to prevent Ms. Coulter from speaking on its campus, and after taking public heat for outright blocking her, is trying to mitigate the damage by rescheduling her for a less convenient time.

The Democratic Party has been taken over by radical leftists, and that realization is beginning to become apparent to the Democratic rank-and-file members, who are beginning to migrate to the center, leaving the Democratic Party gutted and powerless in many American precincts, as demonstrated by the electoral map of the Trump vs. Clinton election. (Red=Republican)

The left is simply repeating what totalitarian governments have done since they began taking over the world in the early 20th Century–shutting down opposition voices, divesting populations of personal liberties, including the right to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from those governments, and redistributing private property. The Democratic Party has overplayed its hand, and revealed itself as nothing more than a radical leftist movement which seeks these things, and it will shut down any speech that opposes them.

By James Thompson

Rush Limbaugh Cites Daniel Greenfield: ‘The Civil War is Here’

The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

A civil war has begun.

This civil war is very different than the last one. There are no cannons or cavalry charges. The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.

The left has rejected the outcome of the last two presidential elections won by Republicans. It has rejected the judicial authority of the Supreme Court when it decisions don’t accord with its agenda. It rejects the legislative authority of Congress when it is not dominated by the left.

It rejected the Constitution so long ago that it hardly bears mentioning.

It was for total unilateral executive authority under Obama. And now it’s for states unilaterally deciding what laws they will follow. (As long as that involves defying immigration laws under Trump, not following them under Obama.) It was for the sacrosanct authority of the Senate when it held the majority. Then it decried the Senate as an outmoded institution when the Republicans took it over.

It was for Obama defying the orders of Federal judges, no matter how well grounded in existing law, and it is for Federal judges overriding any order by Trump on any grounds whatsoever. It was for Obama penalizing whistleblowers, but now undermining the government from within has become “patriotic”.

There is no form of legal authority that the left accepts as a permanent institution. It only utilizes forms of authority selectively when it controls them. But when government officials refuse the orders of the duly elected government because their allegiance is to an ideology whose agenda is in conflict with the President and Congress, that’s not activism, protest, politics or civil disobedience; it’s treason.

After losing Congress, the left consolidated its authority in the White House. After losing the White House, the left shifted its center of authority to Federal judges and unelected government officials. Each defeat led the radicalized Democrats to relocate from more democratic to less democratic institutions.

This isn’t just hypocrisy. That’s a common political sin. Hypocrites maneuver within the system. The left has no allegiance to the system. It accepts no laws other than those dictated by its ideology.

Democrats have become radicalized by the left. This doesn’t just mean that they pursue all sorts of bad policies. It means that their first and foremost allegiance is to an ideology, not the Constitution, not our country or our system of government. All of those are only to be used as vehicles for their ideology.

That’s why compromise has become impossible.

Our system of government was designed to allow different groups to negotiate their differences. But those differences were supposed to be based around finding shared interests. The most profound of these shared interests was that of a common country based around certain civilizational values. The left has replaced these Founding ideas with radically different notions and principles. It has rejected the primary importance of the country. As a result it shares little in the way of interests or values.

Instead it has retreated to cultural urban and suburban enclaves where it has centralized tremendous amounts of power while disregarding the interests and values of most of the country. If it considers them at all, it is convinced that they will shortly disappear to be replaced by compliant immigrants and college indoctrinated leftists who will form a permanent demographic majority for its agenda.

But it couldn’t wait that long because it is animated by the conviction that enforcing its ideas is urgent and inevitable. And so it turned what had been a hidden transition into an open break.

In the hidden transition, its authority figures had hijacked the law and every political office they held to pursue their ideological agenda. The left had used its vast cultural power to manufacture a consensus that was slowly transitioning the country from American values to its values and agendas. The right had proven largely impotent in the face of a program which corrupted and subverted from within.

The left was enormously successful in this regard. It was so successful that it lost all sense of proportion and decided to be open about its views and to launch a political power struggle after losing an election.

The Democrats were no longer being slowly injected with leftist ideology. Instead the left openly took over and demanded allegiance to open borders, identity politics and environmental fanaticism. The exodus of voters wiped out the Democrats across much of what the left deemed flyover country.

The left responded to democratic defeats by retreating deeper into undemocratic institutions, whether it was the bureaucracy or the corporate media, while doubling down on its political radicalism. It is now openly defying the outcome of a national election using a coalition of bureaucrats, corporations, unelected officials, celebrities and reporters that are based out of its cultural and political enclaves.

It has responded to a lost election by constructing sanctuary cities and states thereby turning a cultural and ideological secession into a legal secession. But while secessionists want to be left alone authoritarians want everyone to follow their laws. The left is an authoritarian movement that wants total compliance with its dictates with severe punishments for those who disobey.

The left describes its actions as principled. But more accurately they are ideological. Officials at various levels of government have rejected the authority of the President of the United States, of Congress and of the Constitution because those are at odds with their radical ideology. Judges have cloaked this rejection in law. Mayors and governors are not even pretending that their actions are lawful.

The choices of this civil war are painfully clear.

We can have a system of government based around the Constitution with democratically elected representatives. Or we can have one based on the ideological principles of the left in which all laws and processes, including elections and the Constitution, are fig leaves for enforcing social justice.

But we cannot have both.

Some civil wars happen when a political conflict can’t be resolved at the political level. The really bad ones happen when an irresolvable political conflict combines with an irresolvable cultural conflict.

That is what we have now.

The left has made it clear that it will not accept the lawful authority of our system of government. It will not accept the outcome of elections. It will not accept these things because they are at odds with its ideology and because they represent the will of large portions of the country whom they despise.

The question is what comes next.

The last time around growing tensions began to explode in violent confrontations between extremists on both sides. These extremists were lauded by moderates who mainstreamed their views. The first Republican president was elected and rejected. The political tensions led to conflict and then civil war.

The left doesn’t believe in secession. It’s an authoritarian political movement that has lost democratic authority. There is now a political power struggle underway between the democratically elected officials and the undemocratic machinery of government aided by a handful of judges and local elected officials.

What this really means is that there are two competing governments; the legal government and a treasonous anti-government of the left. If this political conflict progresses, agencies and individuals at every level of government will be asked to demonstrate their allegiance to these two competing governments. And that can swiftly and explosively transform into an actual civil war.

There is no sign that the left understands or is troubled by the implications of the conflict it has initiated. And there are few signs that Democrats properly understand the dangerous road that the radical left is drawing them toward. The left assumes that the winners of a democratic election will back down rather than stand on their authority. It is unprepared for the possibility that democracy won’t die in darkness.

Civil wars end when one side is forced to accept the authority of the other. The left expects everyone to accept its ideological authority. Conservatives expect the left to accept Constitutional authority. The conflict is still political and cultural. It’s being fought in the media and within the government. But if neither side backs down, then it will go beyond words as both sides give contradictory orders.

The left is a treasonous movement. The Democrats became a treasonous organization when they fell under the sway of a movement that rejects our system of government, its laws and its elections. Now their treason is coming to a head. They are engaged in a struggle for power against the government. That’s not protest. It’s not activism. The old treason of the sixties has come of age. A civil war has begun.

This is a primal conflict between a totalitarian system and a democratic system. Its outcome will determine whether we will be a free nation or a nation of slaves.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Document Suggests Media Matters is Behind O’Reilly Advertiser Exodus

An email obtained by conservative radio host Glenn Beck suggests that progressive media watchdog group Media Matters orchestrated the advertiser exodus from embattled Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s program.

“For years,” the email begins, “Bill O’Reilly has been one of the worst purveyors of misinformation on Fox News. A serial misinformer, pushing many of the most extreme, sexist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic conservative theories on TV.”

The correspondence was written by Mary Pat Bonner, president of the Bonner Group.  According to the New York Times, Bonner served as a “donor adviser” to former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Through her firm, Bonner connects big money donors to liberal groups seeking donations. Bonner’s contracts give her company a sizable commission — around 12.5 percent — on any money she brings in. In addition to Clinton, the Bonner Group has also advised Media Matters and the American Bridge super PAC.

“The Bonner Group gets us the best fundraising product for the lowest cost,” David Brock, founder of Media Matters and American Bridge, told the Times. “In my experience, the commission incentivizes the fundraiser to meet the ambitious goals we set.”

In the email, which was sent April 13, Bonner heralds the success of her firm and Media Matters’ “advertiser education campaign” against O’Reilly.

“We are currently at a critical juncture in this campaign,” she wrote, before inviting recipients to join a couple of “update calls” on Thursday and Friday.

Bonner’s email was revealed just hours after one of O’Reilly’s lawyers, Marc Kasowitz, claimed that the Fox anchor “has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.”

“This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons,” he continued. “That evidence will be put forth shortly and it is irrefutable.”

Dozens of advertisers have pulled their commercials from O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. time slot in the weeks since the Times reported that O’Reilly and 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, have settled to the tune of $13 million with at least five women who have accused the network host of sexual harassment.

And according to Media Matters, the number of brands that have shifted ads away from “The O’Reilly Factor” has topped 80, “with dozens more quietly taking the action or keeping them off in the first place.”

Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters,  said “many expect more women will come forward” with allegations against O’Reilly. He also asserted Fox News Co-President Bill Shine “will go too.” Carusone offered no evidence to support either claim.

What’s happening now is a giant smear campaign, and they work

,” Beck said on his radio program Wednesday morning, later adding that the left is “splitting the conservative movement and they’re taking the bear out of the door.”

The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp, a media conglomeration founded by Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch, reported Tuesday night that the news network is preparing to sever ties with O’Reilly.

The Journal’s report comes the week after news broke that 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch was reportedly ready to cut O’Reilly, who is on vacation until April 24. However, at the time, Rupert Murdoch, James’ father, and 21st Century Fox Co-Chairman Lachlan Murdoch, James’ older brother, were “more inclined” to stand by the host.

But now it appears the Murdochs are nearing a unanimous decision. And in Beck’s mind, it’s all about money — not principles.

“They’re making the decision based on money, and money has nothing to do with principle,” he said, after earlier telling listeners he “would not be saying this if I had personal information” that the accusations against O’Reilly were true.

If the harassment claims end up being true, Beck said he would be “highly disappointed” with O’Reilly. “If there is evidence that something happened, that’s something different,” he said.

By

The Redistribution of Freedom

Individual rights exist in the empty spaces that government is forced out of.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called the right to be left alone the “most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by a free people.” It would even be fair to say that without the right to be left alone no other rights exist.

Amendments one through ten of the Bill of Rights are essentially an enumeration of the ways that government is obligated to leave people alone. This is most explicitly true of the First Amendment which definitively sums up areas of human life into which government under no circumstance may trespass on.

Unlike other amendments, the territory that the First Amendment deals with is intellectual and spiritual, the world of ideas, the realm of faith and the defining right of political advocacy. The freedoms of the mind, heart and voice are the most essential of freedoms because they free us to be individuals. They allow us to have our own values. Without these freedoms, no society is free.

Those who sought to undermine these “Freedoms from Government” did so by offering alternative “Freedoms of Government.” Countering the Founding Fathers’ DMZ’s of self-determination, they promised freedom from social problems. A second Bill of Rights would offer the freedom from fear and want. Instead of a liberation from government, the new rights would trade social benefits for freedoms. A right would not mean a zone of freedom from the government, but a government entitlement.

The Orwellian inversion of rights has meant that civil rights perversely take away rights. No sooner is a right created than it is used to deprive other people of their rights. Instead of rights freeing people from government repression, they act as a means of government repression. Freedom is treated as a limited commodity which, like wealth, must be redistributed to achieve maximum social justice.

The right to be left alone, freedom of speech and conscience, have taken a back seat to the redistribution of freedom. Government rights violate individual rights by compelling everyone to participate in the process of distributing entitlements.

A wedding photographer in New Mexico was ordered by a court to participate in a gay ceremony violating both her First Amendment rights to Freedom of Religion as a Christian and her right to Freedom of Speech as an artist. A baker in Colorado was ordered to make a gay wedding cake or face penalties ranging from fines to a year in prison. The ACLU is after even bigger game suing Catholic hospitals for not engaging in abortion contending that patients are being deprived of their rights.

The fundamental issue in all these cases is whether our rights are defined by the ability to be left alone or by the opposing ability to compel others to do what we want them to. Is the right to force someone else to participate in your wedding or perform your abortion more compelling than the right to opt out of being forced to engage in behaviors that violate your deepest religious convictions?

America is a nation founded by religious dissenters. Its founding documents, from the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights make the moral case for dissent. The Declaration of Independence begins by setting out a moral case for separation, for the divorce of authority, based on the moral principle of individual freedom. It makes government conditional on liberty, rather than making liberty conditional on government.

Today the national establishment is intolerant of dissent. It traps the current of freedom in dams of entitlements. It pits the right to be against the right to receive and makes certain that the right to receive, not only the property of others, but their very conscience, mind and liberty, always wins out.

The United States is following the European course of rendering the distinction between the state and the church irrelevant by making the state into the church and mandating that everyone worship it. As in 19th century Europe, deliberate clashes are being stirred up between the values of the state and religious values for the purpose of demonstrating that the values of the state are supreme.

The expansion of state power is rapidly becoming limitless. The old legal justifications that linked Federal intervention in civil rights to interstate commerce and public accommodation have given way to a redefinition of any and all establishments as public accommodations. Courts argue that once an individual begins to sell a product or service, he loses access to all his Constitutional freedoms.

The core issue transcends the hot button social issues such as gay marriage and abortion embraced by the elites of a permissive society and addresses the deeper inversion of rights that is at the heart of the problem.

Reproductive rights and gay rights activists both campaigned to be left alone. There are still gay protests with placards arguing that their marriages are no one else’s business and pro-abortion rallies demanding that politicians stay out of the bedroom. But if the marriage of Adam and Steve shouldn’t be at the disposal of Harry and Julie, why should Harry’s bakery and Julie’s talent be at the disposal of Adam and Steve? If the government should stay out of the bedroom, then why must it dive into the bedroom to compel the owners of companies like Hobby Lobby to subsidize violations of their faith?

Cases like these show that the issue is not rights, but control. If the only way to obtain what you call your rights is by compelling someone else to give up theirs then what you are really demanding is not a right, but a means of imposing your values and your convictions on someone else. And that is not a matter of civil rights. It is an ideological and religious war with government siding with whoever has the most money to invest in strategic campaign contributions for the culture war.

Individual rights exist in the empty spaces that government is forced out of. Government rights however do not exist until everyone is forced to provide them. That is true of the redistribution of wealth and property, but it is even truer of the redistribution of freedom and the confiscation of conscience.

Whatever right government has to the seizure of wealth, it has none to the seizure of conscience. If there is any place that the government has no right to intrude, not in the name of social justice or political correctness or the progressive utopia awaiting us on the other side of the regulatory mirror, it is the territories of the First Amendment, sacred not only in idea, but also in practice.

There can be no faith, no ideas and no individuality without the First Amendment. Without the right to be left alone in your beliefs, your values and your convictions, there can be no other rights and the very notion of rights, no matter how often it is used to describe everything from free health care to gay marriage, cannot exist.

And it is into this sacred territory that the judicial activists of gay marriage have dared to intrude.

Rights can either be defined by the virtue of the individual in his liberty or the virtue of the government in its authoritarianism. But it cannot be defined by both. Either you have the right to be free or you have the right to the property and the service of another human being. The choice is the fundamental one between freedom and slavery.

Social justice denies the virtue of freedom, it rejects the possibility of self-determination without external intervention, it dismisses the idea that people can be free without a system of redistributing freedom from the oppressors to the oppressed so that the oppressed become the new oppressors. It rejects any alternative to entitlements as entitlement and any alternative to privilege as privilege.

The moral argument for freedom is the self-organizing principle of individuals. The moral argument for compulsion is that the system is superior to individuals. The left has chosen central planning in human rights as it has in every other area of life. It believes with the paradoxical perversity of doublethink that freedom can only come from government because only a central authority is qualified to provide the equal distribution of freedom within carefully planned limits.

This abrogation of freedom is the logical end result of the left’s entire pattern of reasoning which rejects the individual for the collective, the working man for the planner and the people for the ideological expert. These forms of repression are expressions of its rotten notion that the left may do anything and everything in the name of freedom except actually allow the people to be free.

Without the right to be left alone, there are no other individual rights. Without individual rights, there is no such thing as a free society.

Every group is sooner or later faced with choosing whether it wants to win a final conclusive victory over its enemies or whether it wants to be free. The tyrannical choice is tempting, but it unleashes a cycle of conflict and repression that can only end with extermination. And once that choice is made, the formerly oppressed forfeit all their moral authority as they abandon freedom for tyranny.

 Reprinted from article on December 18, 2013