…by condemning Israel for responding to its opponents’ repeated terrorist acts, the UN has complicated the West’s ability to defend itself against the new wave of global terrorism.

A Transformative Experience

This video interview is essential viewing for all who take any interest in US politics, literature, and values.

Of course an explanation is in order, and it must begin with the insistence that the conversation on display is a direct assault on many of the assumptions and judgments of both collectivists and individualists. “Progressives” will be offended by the heterodoxy, and “wingnuts” will be upset by heresy. Those reactions remind that the truth is dismissive of propriety, and that facts often arrive camouflaged. Too, a degree of shock can be the hallmark of a discussion that abjures ideology and proceeds honestly.

Steel yourself, therefore, for an exposé of some of the myths the rulers and the ruled consider sacred.

Naturally anything formatively significant seldom appears comfortable at first. Press on regardless! View the video a second and third time, as needed. The rewards of effort here are insight and a degree of liberation from intellectually barren slogans that masquerade as obvious truths.

This video deserves this newsletter’s highest possible recommendation.

A Constitutional Convention For The USA? No, But…

To put this commentary into a rational perspective, you should read this newsletter’s review of Mark Levin’s book advocating a constitutional remedy for the madness that currently grips the US federal government; then you are advised to look here and here for further clarification.

The USA cannot continue on its present fiscal course; the creation of less-and-less valuable currency is not a substitute for actually paying the bills, regardless of how many dotty old men and greedy young ones try to lecture the public into submission. Then there is the Federal Reserve, which always was a bad idea. That scheme is both a delusional substitute for rational monetary policy and a pernicious reminder of Wilson’s fascism.

Accordingly, a number of political activists are attempting to breathe life into Levin’s suggestion.

Of course it was not Levin’s imagination and zeal that produced the possibility that Levin promotes; it was the founding fathers of the nation who invented the escape hatch. When those inspired geniuses composed the US constitution, they recognized that a future federal administration might simply refuse to behave responsibly.

Focus, therefore, on the fundamental principles behind the current movement to call a convention of the states that would amend the constitution.

First is the idea that ultimately the people make the laws. In order to make that process more efficient — but absolutely not in order to deprive the people of the inalienable power to determine what legislation shall be enacted — the Congress was tasked with legislative activity. The House and Senate are instruments of representative governance. They are neither its basis nor its masters.

Second is the understanding that rascals might seize control of one or more branches of the federal government, and refuse to act in the best interests of the Republic. And who is to determine what those “best interests” are? Clearly not the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the federal apparatus.

That is why the nation’s founders provided for a convention of the states — a body that could intervene, correct the problems as the voters wish, and then step down.

It is clear that the constitution’s authors placed no absolute faith in elections; in fact, distortions of the electoral process — such as gerrymandering, unethical fund-raising, endemic and overwhelming election fraud, biased news media, and the “machine politics” of graft and corruption — were anticipated by the Republic’s architects.

When elections are beset by those distortions, the traditional corridors of power must be presumed to be corrupt.

The founders perceived the states to be the last line of defense against unethical governance. That is why the present constitution provides for the relief Levin endorses.

You might want to re-read this newsletter’s review of Prof. Hamburger’s book; that scholarly volume is extraordinarily relevant here.

Then take two minutes to look at this.

Presumably the US electorate understands that the federal government needs reform. The long list of unconstitutional actions of the president and the maladaptive actions of Congress are facts, though they have been obscured and trivialized by a partisan press.

The hope here is that you will investigate The Convention of States Project. It’s a program of Citizens for Self-Governance.

Remember, please: a reformed federal constitution can not be declared unconstitutional. Once the states speak, Roberts & Co. will be unable to strike down any part of the new document. — Game, set, and match.

A Scientific Hoax That Failed Long Ago Succeeds As A Cult

Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a popular concept because it is simple, easily reduced to slogans, and appeals to a guilt complex. Debunking the hoax is a job for statisticians and meteorologists — for, in other words, folks who can handle higher mathematics, as well as the physics of fluids and heat.

Good science can be difficult to understand

That’s tricky stuff. For example, here is just one recent post that helps explain why AGW is nonsense. Good luck understanding it and its related material. It’s much easier to bask in the warm and fuzzy popularizations of Neil deGrasse Tyson as he preaches the sinfulness of your greedy self-indulgence. His version of science is a house of cards, but his avuncular sincerity is brilliant.

So why doesn’t this newsletter match Tyson parable for parable, simple concept for simple concept, and fight fire with fire? First, because that would replace honest science with glib casuistry, and second, true science avoids launching crusades. (Refresh your memory with another look at this example of scientific alarmism.)

The cult as fan base

Of course today’s prophets include many who are willing to do whatever they can to achieve iconic status.

That personality flaw inspires the cultic aspects of the AGW faction. Gaining converts is a two-step process: first, tell people they are sinful, and second, give them instruction on how to sacrifice their way back to decency.

Facts

Well. Your carbon dioxide emissions, when added to all the carbon dioxide emissions of every single person on Earth, add up to roughly thirteen one-thousandths of one percent of the atmosphere. That’s the single most relevant statistic regarding all the alleged harm you and the rest of humanity are doing to the air.

Envision it: imagine one one-hundredth of the atmosphere; then mentally divide that fraction into one thousand equal-sized boxes. Now consider just thirteen of those boxes. (Ignore the other nine hundred eighty-seven. They are not humanity’s doing.)

Next recall what is meant by the statement that the greenhouse effect of CO2 is logarithmic. If that is a hazy concept, look at the section titled “Trivializing the need for full disclosure” in the Item “Carbon Dioxide: Recapitulation And Update”, which you will find here.

Finally, understand that what Al Gore and Jim Hansen and the other leaders of the AGW faithful demand of humanity is not that those thirteen one-thousandths of one percent of the air be eliminated. In reality, perhaps five to ten percent of them can be targeted. A greater reduction would require either an Act of God or the worldwide adoption of technology some folks say is currently available only to extragalactic visitors.

Back to reality, then. An intensely difficult but still theoretically possible ten percent reduction in humanity’s production of carbon dioxide would reduce the CO2 in the air from thirteen one-thousandths of one percent (its current level) to twelve point seven one-thousandths of one percent.

Give that a moment to sink in.

The cult proposes countermeasures that would be counterproductive, if it were possible to deploy them

In truth, the world would be better off if the total carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were 600 parts per million, instead of the current 400. Crop yields would increase, food would be more available, and the Earth would be greener; trees would grow faster, and deserts would increasingly tend either to (a) stop growing, or (b) start shrinking.

Yet the warmer cult is telling mankind it must drastically reduce the amount of literal plant food that is in the air. It’s madness.

So…what?

Warmers have misrepresentated reality with wildly incoherent computer models and reduced much of meteorology to a politically correct obscurantism. Today’s dispute vaguely reminds of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when Koppernigk (“Copernicus”) and Kepler tried to introduce the notion of a heliocentric solar system.

The more things change, the more some basic themes remain the same.

Of course the modern AGW cult’s bad science disqualifies it as a rational contributor to energy policy. Unfortunately that’s virtually immaterial; sheer good science can’t carry the day, because all the intellectually challenging facts in the world can never disarm a preternaturally gifted pitchman. Neil deGrasse Tyson is today’s Arthur Godfrey.

Links Courtesy Of The Tramp Abroad

Will this lawsuit prove to be a constitutional conundrum? Maybe not, but freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution, and federal firearms laws are not part of the constitution. This dispute could open a gigantic can of worms.

In 1983, the USA’s “Able Archer” military exercise terrified the Soviet Union into frantically trying to determine whether Washington was about to initiate a nuclear exchange…so of course a Soviet first strike was a possibility. US documents relating to the war scare have been declassified, and scholars will doubtless be very interested.

Here’s what happens when a flying robot carrying a video camera crash-lands in the Arizona wilderness.

Twenty-two years of education and acculturation produce results.

Who elects the Congressmen who draft laws like this?

This suggestion from a vocal Afghan is rather provocative. As he posted on a popular social media platform:

I think Afghanistan should impeach Mr. Ghani and bring in an experienced woman to be president. And I recommend Sima Samar, head of the human rights commission of Afghanistan. She would do a much better job than our current president. No doubt.

Cyber attacks in Thailand by Anonymous and the “F5CyberArmy” have been aimed at preventing the ruling military from building “A Great Firewall of Thailand”. The ostensible purpose of that government project is prevention of lèse-majesté. Details here and here.

This will be disputed for decades: what did the CIA know before bin Laden’s fanatics hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and failed to control the heroes of United flight 93? The current official answer is here. Deciding whether to believe it is…well, is it your privilege, or could it be a curse?

Ordinary Links

Writing in Commentary magazine, Jonathan Tobin notes that at the recent Republican Party debate on CNBC, “Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie all scored big with the audience by slamming the inquisitors leaving the cable channel with egg on its collective face. The network came off the loser for bringing almost all of the candidates together to do the thing Republicans love to do best: jump on the mainstream media for its (sic) liberal bias”. That’s not something most US news companies would care to mention. The politically correct view, which the editors hope is a public assumption, is that there is no bias in the business of reporting events. Meanwhile the folks atReason appear to share Tobin’s view.

Woo-Woo Department: Gary McKinnon has an interesting tale to tell; part of it might even be true. Your patience is required, along with a willing suspension of disbelief — but it’s interesting. (Of course nobody uses the term “hacker” correctly in this video, and, if his account is accurate, McKinnon did not crack into any computers in the USA.) And…extradition to the USA absent any evidence of a crime? Whoa!That smells like pure fascism.

This is what happens when the administrators of a US high school find themselves being taught solid constitutional values…by the students.

Science: Rupert Sheldrake utters some fighting words. He might be wildly wrong, and his view has provoked others to censor him — but….

How to crack into a locked “i-phone”. Isn’t that supposed to be impossible?

This is a source of potentially tremendous income for crooked cops in the USA. Caution: you should absolutely not believe everything you will find if you research the issue. The problems here are complex, and they begin with the difficulty of distinguishing between the ideal the legislative branch had in mind when it authorized the program, and continue as decent folks try to make sure the intent of the program — as opposed to outright extortion — is not ignored. So what would the best course of action be? Answer: the repeal of this impractical law andthe RICO statutes that turn cops into revenue collectors for the insatiable law enforcement establishment. The creators of these confiscatory and virtually peremptory statutes were naive, credulous fools. RICO and its similar income-generating statutes are not just too easy to abuse: they seduce cops into becoming predatory instruments of the ruling elite.

Richard Fernandez has polished his crystal ball, the better to predict the USA’s future. He’s trying to deal rationally with insanity; that can be fun to watch.

Iran has taken another US citizen hostage. Jonathan Tobin remarks that “…it’s hard to blame (the Iranians) for thinking that Obama will let them get away with it”. His full commentary might be behind a pay wall.