Climate Science’s Myth-Buster
It’s time to be scientific about global warming, says climatologist Judith Curry.
We’ve all come across the images of polar bears drifting on ice floes: emblematic victims of the global warming that’s melting the polar ice caps, symbols of the threat to the earth posed by our ceaseless energy production—above all, the carbon dioxide that factories and automobiles emit. We hear louder and louder demands to impose limits, to change our wasteful ways, so as to save not only the bears but also the planet and ourselves.
In political discourse and in the media, major storms and floods typically get presented as signs of impending doom, accompanied by invocations to the environment and calls to respect Mother Nature. Only catastrophes seem to grab our attention, though, and it’s rarely mentioned that warming would also bring some benefits, such as expanded production of grains in previously frozen regions of Canada and Russia. Nor do we hear that people die more often of cold weather than of hot weather. Isolated voices criticize the alarm over global warming, considering it a pseudoscientific thesis, the true aim of which is to thwart economic modernization and free-market growth and to extend the power of states over individual choices.
Not being a climatologist myself, I’ve always had trouble deciding between these arguments. And then I met Judith Curry at her home in Reno, Nevada. Curry is a true climatologist. She once headed the department of earth and atmospheric sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, until she gave up on the academy so that she could express herself independently. “Independence of mind and climatology have become incompatible,” she says. Do you mean that global warming isn’t real? I ask. “There is warming, but we don’t really understand its causes,” she says. “The human factor and carbon dioxide, in particular, contribute to warming, but how much is the subject of intense scientific debate.”
Curry is a scholar, not a pundit. Unlike many political and journalistic oracles, she never opines without proof. And she has data at her command. She tells me, for example, that between 1910 and 1940, the planet warmed during a climatic episode that resembles our own, down to the degree. The warming can’t be blamed on industry, she argues, because back then, most of the carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels were small. In fact, Curry says, “almost half of the warming observed in the twentieth century came about in the first half of the century, before carbon-dioxide emissions became large.” Natural factors thus had to be the cause. None of the climate models used by scientists now working for the United Nations can explain this older trend. Nor can these models explain why the climate suddenly cooled between 1950 and 1970, giving rise to widespread warnings about the onset of a new ice age. I recall magazine covers of the late 1960s or early 1970s depicting the planet in the grip of an annihilating deep freeze. According to a group of scientists, we faced an apocalyptic environmental scenario—but the opposite of the current one.
But aren’t oceans rising today, I counter, eroding shorelines and threatening to flood lower-lying population centers and entire inhabited islands? “Yes,” Curry replies. “Sea level is rising, but this has been gradually happening since the 1860s; we don’t yet observe any significant acceleration of this process in our time.” Here again, one must consider the possibility that the causes for rising sea levels are partly or mostly natural, which isn’t surprising, says Curry, for “climate change is a complex and poorly understood phenomenon, with so many processes involved.” To blame human-emitted carbon dioxide entirely may not be scientific, she continues, but “some find it reassuring to believe that we have mastered the subject.” She says that “nothing upsets many scientists like uncertainty.”
This brings us to why Curry left the world of the academy and government-funded research. “Climatology has become a political party with totalitarian tendencies,” she charges. “If you don’t support the UN consensus on human-caused global warming, if you express the slightest skepticism, you are a ‘climate-change denier,’ a stooge of Donald Trump, a quasi-fascist who must be banned from the scientific community.” These days, the climatology mainstream accepts only data that reinforce its hypothesis that humanity is behind global warming. Those daring to take an interest in possible natural causes of climactic variation—such as solar shifts or the earth’s oscillations—aren’t well regarded in the scientific community, to put it mildly. The rhetoric of the alarmists, it’s worth noting, has increasingly moved from “global warming” to “climate change,” which can mean anything. That shift got its start back in 1992, when the UN widened its range of environmental concern to include every change that human activities might be causing in nature, casting a net so wide that few human actions could escape it.
Scientific research should be based on skepticism, on the constant reconsideration of accepted ideas: at least, this is what I learned from my mentor, the ultimate scientific philosopher of our time, Karl Popper. What could lead climate scientists to betray the very essence of their calling? The answer, Curry contends: “politics, money, and fame.” Scientists are human beings, with human motives; nowadays, public funding, scientific awards, and academic promotions go to the environmentally correct. Among climatologists, Curry explains, “a person must not like capitalism or industrial development too much and should favor world government, rather than nations”; think differently, and you’ll find yourself ostracized. “Climatology is becoming an increasingly dubious science, serving a political project,” she complains. In other words, “the policy cart is leading the scientific horse.”
“Nowadays, public funding, scientific awards, and academic promotions go to the environmentally correct.”
This has long been true in environmental science, she points out. The global warming controversy began back in 1973, during the Gulf oil embargo, which unleashed fear, especially in the United States, that the supply of petroleum would run out. The nuclear industry, Curry says, took advantage of the situation to make its case for nuclear energy as the best alternative, and it began to subsidize ecological movements hostile to coal and oil, which it has been doing ever since. The warming narrative was born.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration played a role in the propagation of that narrative. Having ended its lunar expeditions, NASA was looking for a new mission, so it built some provisional climate models that focused primarily on carbon dioxide, because this is an easy factor to single out and “because it is subject to human control,” observes Curry. Even though it is just one among many factors that cause climate variations, carbon dioxide increasingly became the villain. Bureaucratic forces at the UN that promote global governance—by the UN, needless to say—got behind this line of research. Then the scientists were called upon and given incentives to prove that such a political project was scientifically necessary, recalls Curry. The UN founded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988 to push this agenda, and ever since, climatologists—an increasingly visible and thriving group—have embraced the faith.
In 2005, I had a conversation with Rajendra Pachauri, an Indian railway engineer, who remade himself into a climatologist and became director of the IPCC, which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize under his tenure. Pachauri told me, without embarrassment, that, at the UN, he recruited only climatologists convinced of the carbon-dioxide warming explanation, excluding all others. This extraordinary collusion today allows politicians and commentators to declare that “science says that” carbon dioxide is to blame for global warming, or that a “scientific consensus” exists on warming, implying that no further study is needed—something that makes zero sense on its face, as scientific research is not based on consensus but on contradictory views.
Curry is skeptical about any positive results that might follow from environmental treaties—above all, the 2016 Paris Climate Accord. By the accord’s terms, the signatory nations—not including the United States, which has withdrawn from the pact—have committed themselves to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in order to stabilize the planet’s temperature at roughly its present level. Yet as Curry elaborates, even if all the states respected this commitment—an unlikely prospect—the temperature reduction in 2100 would be an insignificant two-tenths of a degree. And this assumes that climate-model predictions are correct. If there is less future warming than projected, the temperature reductions from limiting emissions would be even smaller.
Since the Paris Climate Accord was concluded, no government has followed through with any serious action. The U.S. pullout is hardly the only problem; India is effectively ignoring the agreement, and France “misses its goals of greenhouse-gas reduction every year,” admits Nicolas Hulot, the French environmental activist and former minister for President Emmanuel Macron. The accord is unenforceable and carries no sanctions—a condition insisted upon by many governments that wouldn’t have signed on otherwise. We continue to live in a contradictory reality: on the one hand, we hear that nothing threatens humanity as much as rising atmospheric carbon dioxide; on the other hand, nothing much happens practically to address this allegedly dire threat. Most economists suggest that the only effective incentive to reduce greenhouse-gas levels would be to impose a global carbon tax. No government seems willing to accept such a levy.
Is there an apocalyptic warming crisis, or not? “We’re always being told that we are reaching a point of no return—that, for instance, the melting of the Arctic ice pack is the beginning of the apocalypse,” Curry says. “But this melting, which started decades ago, is not leading to catastrophe.” Polar bears themselves adapt and move elsewhere and have never been more numerous; they’re less threatened by the melting, she says, than by urbanization and economic development in the polar region. Over the last year or so, moreover, the planet has started cooling, though “no one knows whether it will last or not, or whether it will put all the global-warming hypotheses in question.” According to Curry, the truly dramatic rupture of the ice pack would come not from global-warming-induced melting but from “volcanic eruptions in the Antarctic region that would break up the ice, and these cannot be predicted.” Climatologists don’t talk about such eruptions because their theoretical models can’t account for the unpredictable.
Does Curry recommend passivity, then? Not at all. In her view, research should be diversified to encompass study of the natural causes of climate change and not focus so obsessively on the human factor. She also believes that, instead of wasting time on futile treaties and in sterile quarrels, we would do better to prepare ourselves for the consequences of climate change, whether it’s warming or something else. Despite outcries about the proliferation of extreme weather incidents, she points out, hurricanes usually do less damage today than in the past because warning systems and evacuation planning have improved. That suggests the right approach.
Curry’s pragmatism may not win acclaim in environmentalist circles or among liberal pundits, though no one effectively contests the validity of her research or rebuts the data that she cites about an exceedingly complex reality. But then, neither reality nor complexity mobilizes passions as much as myths do, which is why Judith Curry’s work is so important today. She is a myth-buster.
Remember last month when San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization and ordered city employees to “take every reasonable step to limit” business interactions with the NRA and its supporters? The one that our David French labeled “a retaliatory public attack on constitutionally protected speech”?
In a formal memo to city officials, San Francisco mayor London Breed declared that “no [municipal] department will take steps to restrict any contractor from doing business with the NRA or to restrict City contracting opportunities for any business that has any relationship with the NRA.”
The memo declares, “resolutions making policy statements do not impose duties on City departments, change any of the City’s existing laws or policies, or control City departments’ exercise of discretion.”
“Through these actions and our public advocacy, we hope the message is now clear,” NRA CEO and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said in a released statement. “The NRA will always fight to protect our members and the constitutional freedoms in which they believe.”
“The memo serves as a clear concession and a well-deserved win for the First and Second Amendments of the United States Constitution,” says William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and counsel for the NRA. “It is unfortunate that in today’s polarized times, some elected officials would rather silence opposing arguments than engage in good-faith debate. The NRA – America’s oldest civil rights organization – won’t stand for that.”
The NRA is challenging a similar law passed by the Los Angeles city council that requiring city contractors to disclose any ties they have to the gun-rights group. Back in August, a federal judge denied a request by the city to dismiss the suit.
An 18-year-old man was shot and killed Sunday afternoon during a home invasion near 60th Street and Sheridan Avenue.
Milwaukee police said an 18-year-old broke into a home and exchanged gunfire with an 18-year-old inside the home.
The alleged trespasser was shot and killed, police said. The other was taken to the hospital.
Police have not yet released the identity of the man killed.
This was the second fatal shooting on Sunday. A man was shot and killed while driving Sunday morning in the area of 47th and Center streets.
A La Crosse man was arrested Sunday after his neighbor found him in her basement at 11:30 p.m. claiming he wanted to play with her dog, police say.
Randy W. Markland, 57, was charged Monday with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and trespassing.
The La Crosse Police Department responded to a home near the intersection of Cottage Grove Avenue and 26th South Street after a woman reported an intruder with an AR-15 gun in a rifle case in her basement.
The woman was sitting in her living room while her four children were in bed when she heard a sound in her basement, according to the police report. Initially she thought it was her dog, but then noticed it was in the same room as her.
The woman took a handgun from a drawer and went to investigate, finding Markland in her basement holding a rifle case. According to the report, Markland tried to give her the gun, and she refused it, telling him to leave or she’d shoot.
Markland told police he went to the woman’s house to play with her dog and give her the gun, saying he was worried because her husband wasn’t home, according to the report. He also said the light by the back door was on, which he took as an invitation.
Markland has a previous conviction of fourth-degree sexual assault — a misdemeanor — stemming from a 2005 case.
If You Can’t Sell Your Hysteria To Adults, Try Kids
Hysterias are to the Left what oxygen is to biological life.
The entire American left — the mainstream media, the environmentalist movement and Democratic politicians in particular — are celebrating the involvement of teenagers and even younger children in protesting the world’s “inaction” with regard to global warming.
And not just the American left, of course. The left throughout the world is celebrating. A 16-year-old Swedish girl whose contempt for adults is breathtaking is an international hero. Congressional Democrats invited her to testify in Congress, and the United Nations has likewise invited her.
The mayor and city council of New York City further politicized their city’s public schools by allowing students to skip school to actively participate in a global warming protest.
The message of young climate change activists is: “You adults aren’t doing your job. As a result, we have no future.” As a sympathetic reporter — are there any non-sympathetic reporters? — for the Los Angeles Times put it, “(T)eens are still waiting for a sign that their elders get it.”
The Times’ coverage is typical. It reported: “Underneath the activism lies a simple truth: Young people are incredibly scared about climate change. They see it as a profound injustice and an existential threat to their generation and those that will follow. …
“‘They do worry, and they worry kind of a lot,’ said Maria Ojala, an environmental psychologist at Orebro University in Sweden. …
“Arielle Martinez Cohen” — an 18-year-old Los Angeles activist with the youth climate group Zero Hour — “remembers reading a report from an Australian think tank that warned the human species could face extinction by 2050 if society doesn’t get its act together.
“‘I almost imagine, like, an apocalypse-type thing happening,’ Arielle said.
“Many young people say they can’t fathom bringing kids of their own into the world. …
“‘It’s not ethical. It’s literally a burning house,’ Lana said.
“‘That’s something that’s not realistic,’ agreed her twin sister, Yena.
“And how can they even think about college or contemplate their careers when faced with so much uncertainty?
“‘It’s something I feel every single day,’ Yena said. ‘I work really hard at school and I do all these things, and I’m like, “What am I working for? Do I have a future?”‘”
It is critical to remember that hysterias — such as Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, “endemic and systemic racism in America,” the heterosexual AIDS “crisis” in America and the “rape culture” on American college campuses — are to the left what oxygen is to biological life. No oxygen, no life; no hysteria, no left.
Apparently, however, the left-wing hysteria about global warming leading to the virtual extinction of life on Earth has not moved enough adults. Many adults who do not deny that the Earth is getting warmer — such as Danish writer and environmentalist thinker Bjorn Lomborg — do deny that the threat is “existential” and do believe that the left’s solutions, such as the Green New Deal, will damage the world far more than will carbon emissions. Proof that the left is hysterical is its unwillingness to promote nuclear power — a completely clean, non-fossil fuel-based source of power. It provides France with 70 percent of its energy. Anyone who really believes life on Earth is endangered would grasp at the nuclear power lifeboat. That they do not proves what many of us have believed from the beginning: The “existential threat” scenario is another left-wing falsehood used to whip up hysteria that will lead to the left’s control of the economy and society.
And that takes us back to the children: If you can’t sell your hysteria to adults, try kids. And that is what the left has done. After all, no one is as malleable or as easily indoctrinated as children.
Anti-gun Democrat has no response when asked who the defenseless should rely on to protect them
Just to point out, again:
“ETOH (alcohol) is a force multiplier. It takes poor decisions and magnifies them into tragedies of epic proportions.”
A tourist visiting Yellowstone National Park on Sunday suffered severe thermal burns after he tripped into a hot spring near Old Faithful Geyser, according to local reports.
Cade Edmond Siemers, 48, a U.S. citizen who lives in India, told rangers he was walking without a flashlight at the time of the fall, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported. He managed to get back to his hotel room and was eventually flown to the burn center at an Idaho hospital. He was listed in critical condition.
Park rangers said they detected “evidence” of alcohol use back in the hotel room.
Well, that’s going to cut into their vacation plans.
A federal court ruled University of Iowa officials must pay out of their own pockets for discriminating against a prominent Christian student group, calling the university’s conduct “ludicrous” and “incredibly baffling” during a hearing last week.
Judge Stephanie M. Rose of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa ruled Friday that the University of Iowa and its officers violated constitutional law when they kicked InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and other religious groups, off the campus in June 2018 for requiring leaders to uphold Christian beliefs — but giving a pass to secular student groups that also have leadership requirements.
How The Berlin Airlift Beat Back Communism 70 Years Ago Today
On September 30, 1949, the U.S. and her allies completed their mission to rescue the people of Berlin from starvation and stave off the spread of Communism.
“The buildings were bombed and it seemed like there weren’t many men around—all ladies. It was real poverty. It was pitiful,” 93-year-old Ralph Dionne recalls of Germany in 1948.
“There was a gate around our barracks area…the old women would come to the gate begging to help with your laundry. They would take the laundry back home and bring it back faithfully. You could trust them. And they would get paid in cigarettes. That was the money of that time.”
Like so many American men his age, he was called to Europe to serve. But unlike most, Dionne’s mission was not to fight Germans. It was to help them survive. This massive Allied undertaking, the first battle of the Cold War, later came to be known as the Berlin Airlift.
In honor of the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, Dionne recently shared his memories at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. Along with Cold War scholar Hope Harrison and curator of the Allied Museum in Berlin Bernd von Kostka, they painted a vivid portrait of the volatile post-WWII world and why Americans should still care about the Berlin Airlift today.
Berlin, 1948: The Front Lines of the Cold War
After its devastating defeat in the Second World War, Germany was on the precipice of doom. Its cities were in ruin, the people were demoralized, and its enemies were at the gates. The nation was divided into four sectors, controlled respectively by the victorious Allies: France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States.
Losing a staggering 27 million people in the war, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had little sympathy for the Germans in the Soviet-controlled sector. With the memory of Nazi occupation still fresh in their minds, the French were also understandably leery about helping Germany back on its feet. But although Great Britain and the United States both paid dearly in the war, as well, they were confident that a stable, reconstructed Germany was not only possible but essential to world stability.
By then, U.S. President Harry Truman and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill believed Stalin and the intellectual contagion of Communism presented a far greater threat than resurgent German fascism. The Western Allies knew that a stable, democratic German republic would be an essential barrier to halting the spread of Communism into Western Europe.
On the other hand, Stalin knew that poverty and chaos would only make the German people more open to Russia’s proxy or outright rule. An unstable world, still reeling from the agonies of two world wars, was up for grabs to whichever ideology offered people their best chance for stability and peace. By the spring of 1948, the stage for the first battle of the Cold War had been set.
The Showdown between East and West
Hoping to get the Germany economy back on its feet, the Western Allies introduced a new currency—the Deutschmark—to the Western-controlled sectors of Germany and Berlin. Rightfully, Stalin saw this as a challenge to his power. In protest, on June 24, 1948, he launched a blockade on land, sea, and rail, denying all supplies to the still-devastated city of Berlin.
With the bombed-out capital still in ruins and a bitter winter approaching, Berliners needed food, clothing, and, above all, coal to heat homes and power rebounding German industry. Americans like Dionne, the British, and the French were going to make sure they got it. “Operation Vittles,” which later became known as the Berlin Airlift, was under way.
With Berlin 110 miles deep into the Soviet sector, the Airlift posed an enormous logistical challenge. The C-54 aircraft that Dionne worked on required constant maintenance due to the Airlift’s round-the-clock flights with heavy cargo.
“The heavy loads of landing after landing just seared the tires,” Dionne explained to the audience. We had to change the tires all the time.” It’s no wonder. At the peak of the Airlift, on April 16, 1949, 1,398 flights carrying more than 12,940 tons were flown to Berlin within just 24 hours. That’s an average of one flight every 62 seconds.
By May 1949, it was clear that Stalin’s blockade had backfired; the Western Allies had proven that they could carry on the Airlift indefinitely. They had shown Stalin they were willing to fight for the fate of Berlin, Germany, and Western Europe.
Stalin lifted the blockade on May 12, 1949, but the Airlift continued to ensure Berlin would be well supplied for the winter. The United States made its final flight on September 30, 1949.
This is the “Extinction Level Event” that climate change prodigy Greta Thunberg should really worry about
However, emails from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reveal that we very nearly had a significant and catastrophic climate change event for which humankind could hardly be blamed.
Internal emails from NASA show that the space agency was unaware of asteroid 2019 OK, described as a “city killer,” until the last moment on July 24.
The giant, football field-sized space rock was not detected by researchers until 24 hours before it was set to whiz past Earth at a distance of just 48,000 miles, traveling at 55,000 miles per hour.
“Because there may be media coverage tomorrow, I’m alerting you that in about 30 mins a 57-130 meter sized asteroid will pass Earth at only 0.19 lunar distances (~48,000 miles),” Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defense officer, wrote in a July 24 email, adding the asteroid “was spotted about 24 hrs ago.”
Paul Chodas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory indicated that the asteroid managed to slip through NASA’s tracking systems.
“This object slipped through a whole series of our capture nets,” he stated in an email to his colleagues. “I wonder how many times this situation has happened without the asteroid being discovered at all.”
NASA’s failure to spot 2019 OK sooner is certainly alarming especially since the agency has constantly stressed the importance of early detection in preventing an asteroid impact from happening. Hopefully, the space agency will implement better systems that are capable of tracking all asteroids that might approach Earth.
How many billions of dollars have been squandered by climate change activists and politicians, diverted to useless global warming projects and to ineffective energy technologies?
All of those resources, including the scientific research and experimentation, that have been used on “climate change” could be going to projects that could help us detect asteroids that really present a threat to this planet.
With this in mind, perhaps it now makes sense that NASA Administrators have just announced that the agency is planning to launch a space telescope to watch for hazardous asteroids as part of itsplanetary defense strategy.
The telescope will use infrared radiation to detect the heat of rocks hurtling through space. For now, NASA administrators are calling it the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Mission (NEOSM).
“This is a great step forward for thinking about human destiny, because the dinosaurs certainly did not have an asteroid survey program to protect themselves,” Richard Binzel, an asteroid researcher and professor of planetary sciences at MIT, told Business Insider. “Having knowledge of what’s out there is something that the planetary science community has been advocating for for nearly 30 years. So this is a breakthrough decades in the making.”
NASA’s new mission is expected to cost between $500 million and $600 million. It could launch as early as 2025, though that’s not an official timeline.
NASA has been steadily increasing its work in the area of planetary defense. Interestingly, an experiment for an asteroid killer is planned for 2021.
…This program received $60 million in funding for fiscal year 2017, $76 million for 2018 and it expects to receive $150 million in 2020. Figures for 2019 were not available because budgets had not been passed, according to NASA’s budget report.
The agency’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, mission, which aims to “change the motion of an asteroid in space,” receives the bulk of planetary defense funding. DART functions by crashing into potentially dangerous asteroids at a speed of approximately 6.6 kilometers per second, or 14,764 mph, with the aim of changing the speed of the incoming asteroid.
A DART demonstration will occur in 2021 and will impact an asteroid of comparable size to that which passed the Earth in July — roughly 160 meters across. This is, according to NASA, “more typical of the size of the asteroids that could pose the most likely significant threat to the Earth.”
Personally, I would love to see this effort paired with the development of even more asteroid killing technologies from the U.S. Space Force.
While Greta jets around the world scolding Western civilization for its climate sins, American scientists and servicemen and women are working to protect us all from a real Extinction Level Event.
In “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh,” Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly report that Leland Keyser —who was unable to corroborate high-school friend Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of youthful sexual misconduct—says she felt pressured by a group of common acquaintances to vouch for it anyway. The book quotes an unnamed male member of the group suggesting in a text message: “Perhaps it makes sense to let everyone in the public know what her condition is”—a remark the reporters describe as reading “like a veiled reference” to Ms. Keyser’s “addictive tendencies.” (The authors quote her as saying she told investigators “my whole history of using.”)
A concerted effort to mislead the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Senate, especially if it involved threats to potential witnesses, could violate several federal criminal statutes, including 18 U.S.C. 1001 (lying to federal officials), 18 U.S.C. 1505 (obstruction of official proceedings) and 18 U.S.C. 1622 (subornation of perjury). Investigating and, if the evidence is sufficient, prosecuting such offenses would deter similar misconduct in the future.
The biggest Second Amendment case to reach the Supreme Court in nearly a decade, explained
Gun control supporters are desperate — and have already taken drastic steps — to get the Supreme Court to dismiss this case.
Last January, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, the first major Second Amendment case to be heard by the Supreme Court in nearly a decade — and also the first since Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement shifted the Court dramatically to the right.
The case centers on an unusual — and recently changed — New York City rule that limited where gun owners with a certain kind of permit were allowed to bring their guns.
Gun control advocates, including policymakers in both New York City and the New York state legislature, fear a big loss in the Supreme Court and are desperate to make the case go away. Indeed, New York City changed their gun rules after the Supreme Court announced it would hear the case, and state legislators enacted a new law forbidding the city from bringing back the old rules — all in the hopes of obviating the need for the Court to weigh in. Because the legal controversy between the city and the plaintiffs is now over, the city asked the Court to dismiss this case as moot.
The justices are scheduled to discuss whether to dismiss the case at their October 1 conference……………..
Why gun rights advocates have so much to gain
A few months before his death this summer, retired Justice John Paul Stevens offered a surprisingly candid window into the Court’s internal deliberations.
In its 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. The Court split along familiar ideological lines, with Kennedy joining his fellow conservatives in the 5-4 majority.
Heller, however, was hardly a total victory for advocates of gun rights. Indeed, Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion is riddled with caveats. Heller suggests that “longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms” all remain valid, as are bans on “dangerous and unusual weapons.”
In a November interview with the New York Times’ Adam Liptak, Stevens revealed that Kennedy asked for “some important changes” to Scalia’s original draft of the Heller opinion. At Stevens’s urging, Kennedy requested language stating that Heller “should not be taken to cast doubt” on many existing gun laws. Without Kennedy’s intervention, in other words, Heller may not have included the important language limiting the scope of the Second Amendment.
But Kennedy is gone. And his replacement, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, appears very eager to expand gun rights.
Shorter after Heller was decided, the District of Columbia’s government passed legislation banning semi-automatic “assault weapons” and requiring gun owners to register their firearms. Dick Heller, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court’s Heller decision, also led the challenge to this new gun law, and the case — Heller v. District of Columbia — was eventually heard by a panel of three Republican-appointed judges.
Two of those judges largely upheld the law in 2011 (although they called for further proceedings on the registration requirement). The third judge was Brett Kavanaugh, who claimed that “both D.C.’s ban on semi-automatic rifles and its gun registration requirement are unconstitutional under Heller.” (This second iteration of the Heller litigation was never heard by the Supreme Court.)
And Kavanaugh’s dissent also went even further than that. The future justice did not simply argue that this specific DC law should be struck down. He also suggested that nearly a decade of Second Amendment jurisprudence should be tossed out.
Now you can see why the demoncraps decided that Kavanaugh’s nomination was a hill to die on.
And now you can see why they’re going crazy ape bonkers about impeaching Trump.
Pelosi and the rest of them know too well that they’re not going to get Trump ejected from office. What they hope to do is make the nomination for whoever is going to replace Ginsburg think twice about wanting to go through the same crap and/or also give them some sort of political cover “He’s tainted by being impeached!” if it happens before the 2020 election.
Well, if it’s good for one denomination’s agency, it’s good for the rest.
In a victory for religious freedom, a federal judge in Michigan ruled a Catholic adoption agency that contracts with the state will be allowed to refuse to handle adoption requests that would place children with LGBTQ couples.
The judge pointedly noted that in opposing the agency, the state’s attorney general engaged in a “targeted attack” on the agency’s “sincerely held religious belief.”
The ruling came Sept. 26 in a case cited as Buck v. Gordon, which involved Lansing-based St. Vincent Catholic Charities, along with Chad and Melissa Buck, parents of five children with special needs, and Shamber Flore, a former foster child.
St. Vincent has stated that “as a Catholic organization, [it] cannot provide a written recommendation to the State evaluating and endorsing a family situation that would conflict with [its] religious beliefs.” This means it can’t endorse adoption for “unmarried or LGBTQ couples consistent with its Catholic mission.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel was elected Nov. 6, 2018, becoming the first openly gay person to win statewide office in the Mitten State, as well as the first Democrat to hold the post of attorney general in two decades.
Nessel refused to defend a 2015 state law protecting the agency’s religious freedoms because, in her own words, she “could not justify using the state’s money” to defend “a law whose only purpose is discriminatory animus,” Judge Robert J. Jonker of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan wrote in his ruling.
Scientists studying ancient mummies found modern heart disease is an ancient human killer.
All over the world heart disease is one of nature’s most effective devices of population control and one of the leading human killers in the Western world. Modern diets and sedentary lifestyles leading to obesity are largely blamed for the disease in modern culture but a new University of Texas study, published in the American Heart Journal , found cholesterol buildup in the arteries of five mummies dating back to 2000 BC.
While heart disease is a number one killer in the US today causing about a quarter of Americans’ deaths every year, scanning the preserved arteries of ancient mummies revealed that heart disease and high cholesterol have for a long time been part of the human condition. Although processed high-fat foods leading to high-cholesterol are so often blamed for heart disease today, this new study found signs of the same kind of cholesterol-clogged arteries seen in modern humans, in the arteries of ancient mummies.
Since 2001, Lake City has been run by Alliant Techsystems, who owned Federal until they split into two companies (Vista Outdoors for commercial & Orbital ATK for military) in 2014 . Olin previously had the contract when they took it over from Remington in 1985.
This is a big change that will take effect in October 2020.
Maybe, just maybe, we’ll see M855A1 ammo hit the commercial market now.
CLAYTON, Mo., Sept. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Olin Corporation (OLN) announced today that its ammunition division, Olin Winchester, LLC (“Winchester”), has been selected by the U.S. Army to operate and manage the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri. Following a one-year transition period, Winchester will assume full operational control of the Lake City plant on October 1, 2020. The contract has an initial term of seven years and may be extended by the U.S. Army for up to three additional years.
“Winchester is honored to have been selected by the Army to operate, maintain and modernize this unique, strategic asset of the U.S. Government’s munitions industrial base,” said Brett Flaugher, President of Winchester. “Our team is fully prepared and 100% committed to the safe, reliable, and responsible operation of Lake City, in the best interest of and service to the U.S. Military.”
Olin Winchester LLC, East Alton, Illinois, was awarded a $28,313,481 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for production of small caliber ammunition and the operation, maintenance, and modernization of the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 27, 2029. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois is the contracting activity (W52P1J-19-F-0742).
If you want to see how extreme the Democrats have gotten on gun control, you just had to listen to a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week.
It is one thing for Democrats such as
BetoBetaBob O’Rourke and Rep. Eric Swalwell (R-CA) to call for confiscating AR-15s and civilian versions of AK-47s. But in the committee hearing this past Wednesday, the loudest applause came when Democratic witnesses called for bans on all or at least the vast majority of guns.
“I believe that any weapon that can be used to hunt individuals should be banned,” announced Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall M. Brackney in the hearing. Brackney and other witnesses showed just how far the Democratic Party has gone on gun control in only a few years.
Brackney was given a chance by Congressman Greg Steube (R-FL) to correct the record if she might have misspoken, but she only doubled down. Steube pointed out that any firearm could be used to hunt people down, and Brackney responded by repeating the point. She only clarified that police and the military would still be able to have guns.
Ten years ago, if a Democrat witness had suggested banning all guns, one can only imagine that Democratic congressmen would be desperate to disassociate themselves from those comments. But not now. Not one, single Democrat expressed any disapproval.
Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center claimed that detachable magazines are the “most important and deadly feature” of assault weapons. But a ban on detachable magazines would result in the ban of virtually all semi-automatic guns, the most commonly-owned type of firearm in the United States.
Again, none of the Democratic politicians raised any word of caution.
Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) claimed: “Assault weapons have become the favorite of many mass shooters.” But only 13 percent of all mass public shootings since 1998 involved just a rifle. Fifty-six percent involved only a handgun. Eighty-three percent involved either just a handgun or a handgun plus some other type of firearm…………
Assault weapons were singled out in the hearing because they have such features as accuracy and stopping power. But civilians value those same features for their own self-defense, especially if the attacker is bigger and stronger than they are.
Democrats are coming out for banning most or all guns, and virtually no one in their party even challenges such ideas anymore. But these views aren’t even shocking any longer, so it’s hardly surprising that the media didn’t view them as newsworthy.
There comes a point during every American gun-control debate at which the side calling for draconian restrictions gives up on arguing the specifics or proposing detailed legislative change and rushes stupidly to deceit. Often, this rush involves the frustrated and farcical insistence that the U.S. Constitution does not, in fact, protect an individual right to bear arms.
On other occasions, it involves the attempt to destroy the reputation of the Second Amendment by granting that, while the provision may protect the private ownership of guns in some form, it was nevertheless designed for ugly or base reasons, and that it is therefore tainted.
In both cases, the intention is the same: To short-circuit a debate that they know cannot be won. By removing from the discussion one of the core checks upon which the American political system relies, opponents of the right to keep and bear arms hope to demote it from a cherished part of the much-admired Bill of Rights to an embarrassing vestige of an age long gone, and, thereby, to cast it as a mistake that should be rectified as soon as is politically possible.
This tendency is a destructive one, in part because it is a sin to lie about history in order to advance contemporary political goals. It is also destructive because it has the effect of funneling all of our historical attention onto 27 words in the federal Constitution. This, in turn, permits the integrity of one of our core liberties to be rendered contingent upon our opponent’s willingness to accurately read a single sentence of law.
It was, of course, entirely obvious to the men who wrote the federal Second Amendment that its purpose was to protect the individual’s right to keep and bear arms. It was obvious, too, to the commentators who explained it, to the jurists who interpreted it and to the citizenry that ratified it. Nevertheless, contrary to the implications of the “but actually” brigade, it is simply not the case that the Second Amendment has served as the sole, or even the primary, protection of that right throughout American history—or, indeed, that it is the sole means by which the right is legally affirmed.
There are also ubiquitous equivalents at the state level—equivalents that are both numerous and robust. Should they wish to fight back against the straight-to-the-root tactics that are gaining currency and favor, advocates of gun rights must broaden the shoulders of the giants on which they stand and make it clear that they, not their opponents, enjoy the slam-dunk historical case.
In 1792, Kentucky included in its inaugural Constitution: “That the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”
In 1802, Ohio declared: “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State.”
In 1816, Indiana ensured that “The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.”
In 1817, Mississippi entrenched that “Every citizen has a right to bear arms, in defense of himself and the State.”
In 1819, Alabama recognized “That every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”
In 1820, Missouri affirmed that “[the] right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State cannot be questioned.”
In 1835, Michigan confirmed that “Every person has a right to bear arms for the defense of himself and the State.”
In 1836, Texas maintained that “Every citizen shall have the right to bear arms in defense of himself and the republic.” And so on, and so forth. Were they mistaken?
In 1889, Wyoming declared: “The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state shall not be denied.”
In 1896, Utah certified that “The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.”
In 1912, Arizona guaranteed that “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the State shall not be impaired.”
Both Alaska and Hawaii copied the Second Amendment verbatim into their constitutions upon joining the Union in 1959. Nevada, Delaware, New Hampshire and West Virginia all realized in the 1980s that they had no explicit protections within their state charters and set about remedying that oversight.
If this is really only a right for state militias, then we are looking here at one of the great mass delusions in American history—a delusion that affected lawmakers, constitution-drafters and judges alike, and that, astonishingly, both predated and followed the ratification of the sentence that allegedly caused all the confusion.
New York City is seeking to use an overly broad ordinance against discriminatory harassment to restrict speech about illegal aliens, such as use of the word “illegal alien” to describe workers or tenants. That violates the First Amendment. Its Commission on Human Rights is targeting such speech in recent “immigration guidance.” The Commission states, “Even an employer’s single comment made in circumstances where that comment would signal discriminatory views about one’s immigration status or national origin may be enough to constitute harassment. The use of the terms “illegal alien” and “illegals,” with the intent to demean, humiliate, or offend a person or persons in the workplace, amounts to unlawful discrimination under the NYCHRL.”
That forbids speech based on its viewpoint, even though the First Amendment, above all else, was intended to prevent viewpoint-based restrictions on speech. And it’s not just employers whose speech about immigration the Commission seeks to restrict. The Commission states, “It is illegal for a person’s employer, coworkers, or housing provider such as landlords to use derogatory or offensive terms to intimidate, humiliate, or degrade people, including by using the term ‘illegal alien,’ where its use is intended to demean, humiliate, or offend another person.” It also cites tenants as an example of people whose speech is restricted.
The city also is trying to forbid most if not all reporting of illegal aliens to the federal government. The Commission forbids such reports if the person making the report is “motivated” by the illegal alien’s “immigration status.” But what other motive could a reporting party legitimately have? The whole reason to report an illegal alien to the federal government is precisely because of their immigration status.
Yet, the Commission bans not just the threat of reporting, but also most if not all actual reports as well. It declares: “Employer threats to call federal immigration authorities can constitute unlawful harassment under the NYCHRL when motivated, in whole or in part, by animus related to the employee’s actual or perceived immigration status….While reporting a violation of the law to the police is otherwise permitted, it is a violation of the NYCHRL when such action is taken or threats to take such action are made based solely on a discriminatory or retaliatory motive.”…………..
The Commission threatens to impose $250,000 fines in the guidance, as authorized by the City’s “human rights” ordinance. The Commission also fails to describe any real-world example or situation in which it would be legal under the ordinance to report an illegal alien to the federal government. The specter of such huge fines and no safe harbor for reporting will have a huge chilling effect on citizens, discouraging them from exercising their First Amendment right to petition federal officials to remove illegal aliens.
— Matt Pearce ? (@mattdpearce) September 27, 2019
But most importantly the ‘human rights’ proposal by some SJW nuns of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, was voted down.
BOSTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands Corp failed to win a majority of shareholder support for its executive pay, according to a transcript of the gunmaker’s annual meeting held on Tuesday.
Traditionally just a small fraction of U.S. companies fail to win a majority of support for the advisory measures. In addition a stockholder proposal calling for the company to adopt a human rights policy was not approved, the company said.