Views on the News

Views on the News*

 December 3, 2016


When the Left summons up the phrase Alt-Right perhaps we should take it as a compliment.  They are at least admitting that the majority of the right is good, salvageable and moral.  It's just that small percentage of whack jobs attached to the rest.  Unfortunately the Left has no such luxury, since the entirety of the Leftwing Movement has become a form of medium strength tyranny.  They are no longer soft because they are rioting up in the streets, murdering police, blocking traffic and destroying private property.  They are still somewhat loosely organized even though they do have the traditional media, colleges, entertainment and slightly less than half of the government on their side.  If Hillary Clinton had won, those scales would have tipped radically the other way with an imperialist invasion of the courts.  There is no “alternative Left.”  There are no more blue collar Democrats.  They have been hounded out of the mob of the Free Stuff Brigade.  It is now a cult of plunder and predation, of envy and redistribution, of hate and class warfare.  It is a belief in violent statist extraction over a society that once regarded the free market of voluntary exchange morally virtuous.  So when you hear the propaganda of Alt-Right, as much as it is false and disingenuous itself, understand that the Left has no alternatives anymore.  What the Obama presidency showed is that being a strident partisan of force distillates a purity of ideology.  It purges out any compromise and alienates half the country.  Obama was a Coercive, someone who believed politics was like sports.  When you win, the other side does not need to be consulted because they lost.  It's a good lesson because now they may reap what they've sown in the exact same measure, no alternatives allowed, the politics of winner takes all.  No more reaching out across the aisle to moderates, for they simply do not exist anymore.  Moderates have been purged out of the party.  Harry Reid showed us the way to use the reconciliation process to utilize a simple majority vote.  So no more compromises and no more alternatives.  The next election cycle, they return the ball, back and forth, and each side reverses everything the other side did when they had the ball whether it was Obama ending welfare reform with the stroke of a pen or Trump when he obliterates ObamaCare.  The Democrats started this game, but they're not going to end it. 

(“The Left’s Dead End” by Andrew Solomon dated November 26, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/11/the_lefts_deadend.html )

Eight years ago, the Democrat Party gambled that a young, inexperienced but charismatic senator could deliver the presidency and with it, sustained national electoral success.  They were half-right: They got the presidency but lost the country.  It turns out that President Obama’s promised “fundamental transformation of the nation” was not what it was cracked up to be, and it instead cracked up his party.  Now, the party appears to be committing further suicide in real time by considering far-left radicals such as Keith Ellison to head the Democrat National Committee and keeping crusty old-guard liberals such as Nancy Pelosi in other leadership positions.  They have learned nothing from the Republican sweeps of 2010, 2014 and 2016, because committed leftist ideologues can’t, won’t adapt.  In 2008, a majority of Americans fell for the “hope and change” message and its messenger.  Four years later, he had disappointed them, but they didn’t want to disappoint him, so he was re-elected.  This year, however, without Obama on the ticket, Americans finally felt free to reject another four years of high unemployment, anemic economic growth, unsustainable spending and record-breaking deficits and debt, unpopular and bankrupting socialized medicine, record numbers of people on food stamps and living in poverty, and the escalating threats of nuclear and other proliferation and Islamic fundamentalism.  The left’s multi-decade grand plan to change the very nature of the country by moving it toward European-style socialism reached its pinnacle with Obama.  Those statist policies are, paradoxically, greatly responsible for Donald Trump’s win.  Obama had three main goals: to expand government as fast and as widely as possible; the ultimate objective of that was to expand the number of people dependent of government as fast and as widely as possible; and the ultimate objective of that was to leverage it into a permanent Democrat voting majority.  To achieve those goals, he chose to pit Americans against each other in order to make it easier to slide in his radical redistributionist agenda.  Obama divided us by class, gender, race and age, turning the American motto “E Pluribus Unum” (“Out of Many, One”) upside down and into “Out of One, Many.”  The American experiment could not go on as it once did if it were driven by divisions and envy rather than uniting values and common goals.  The other thing Obama believed was that if you expand government and dependency on it as quickly as possible, you take the sting out of a bad economy.  The more government aid and programs to “take care” of you during an economic crisis, the less likely you are to throw the bums out who caused, or who are prolonging, the economic crisis.  The American people put up with Obama and his leftist agenda because they wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but once he was term-limited out, they term-limited out his policies and the bleak future they represented.  Democrats are conflicted about how to proceed, but there is one thing they must do if they want to be relevant: leave Obama and his doctrinaire leftism behind, and move back to the center.  If they do that, they may once again enjoy Bill Clintonesque electoral success.  If they do not, they may well be consigned to the trash heap of history for a long time to come.  Obama’s presidency was a joyride for the ruthless, well-funded left, but it’s now come to a screeching halt, thanks to the American people, who aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel on this grand experiment in human liberty. 

(“The party of Obama and its bitter reckoning” by Monica Crowley dated November 30, 2016 published by Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/30/obamas-party-and-its-bitter-reckoning/ )


The Democrat Party’s current festival of re-examination is both necessary and justified, because they have just lost to the most unpopular presidential candidate in recent memory.  Lockstep media support and a much larger war chest were not enough to save them from losing not only the presidency, but also in state races across the country.  Since President Obama’s first election, Democrats have lost control of the House and Senate, as well as a dozen governors’ houses and roughly 900 state legislative seats.  Republicans have control of all levels of government in 24 states, while Democrats have total control over six.  Overall, the party seems incapable of reaching out to the middle part of the country, white and middle-class voters.  Progressives generally see Hillary Clinton’s loss as largely a rejection of her husband’s neoliberal policies and want to push the party further to the left.  Driven by their dominant academic and media “thought police,” any shift to the middle on issues like crime, climate change or regulation now seems unimaginable. Self-described progressives who now dominate the party generally adhere to a series of policies, from open borders to draconian climate change policies, that are unlikely to play well outside the coastal enclaves.  Some of the criticism of Clintonian neoliberalism is somewhat justified.  As the emergence of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump suggests, support for globalization and free trade has weakened in both parties.  This reflects the fact that economic gains have become increasingly concentrated since Clinton left office, and even under the progressive hero, Barack Obama.  So it is no surprise that the hyper-regulatory and redistributionist agendas epitomized by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are now ascendant.  This pattern is exacerbated by the party’s increasing indifference to economic growth, in large part, due to their embrace of draconian climate change policies.  Climate change policies, as now constituted, tend to suppress higher-wage, blue-collar employment.  If you give up on growth to save the planet, the only real solution remaining is massive redistribution, including a web of subsidies to make up for the lack of income growth, affordable housing and economic opportunity.  The militant multiculturalism agenda is shaped by a disjointed concert of grievance groups, ranging from gender activists to those who claim to be Latinos, African Americans, Asians, Muslims and others, whose alienation has been exacerbated by Trump’s triumph.  Trump’s nationalist rhetoric is particularly disliked by progressives who find the very idea of borders and national interests reactionary and inherently racist.  This identity politics has driven many whites into a defensive crouch and pushed them toward the Republicans.  Yet, there is little sign that the party will move in their direction.  After all, Hillary labeled them “deplorable” not much of a sales pitch.  Progressive journalists have portrayed Trump voters as irredeemably racist, misogynist, stupid and even too “fat.”  Inside the progressive echo chamber, many still believe that an alliance of minorities, gender activists and millennials will make their victory inevitable.  This can be seen in the tendency of Democrats, just as there is a palpable rise in crime, to invite the militant Black Lives Matter movement into their tent.  Perhaps nothing more illustrates the multiculturalism trend than the proposal to make Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison chairman of the Democrat National Committee.  Ellison does check off the diversity boxes, but also would place in party leadership someone who has embraced the Nation of Islam, supports the boycott of Israeli products and has compared 9-11 to the Reichstag fire that facilitated the Nazi dictatorship.  Going left may be emotionally satisfying to Democrats who feel abandoned by their less progressive fellow citizens, but abandoning the middle of the spectrum does not seem an effective way to get back into power. 

(“The Corbynization of the Democratic Party” by Joel Kotkin dated November 23, 2016 published by Orange County Register at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/most-736472-democratic-necessary.html )

There is a point at which the marginal benefit of drawing attention to and "fighting" racism is exceeded by the marginal cost.  At this point, doing so is not beneficial and produces negative effects.  In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, Facebook feeds and news channels were flooded with anecdotal pictures of swastikas painted on public buildings and interviews with newly outspoken random KKK members.  These posters and news reporters felt that these activities were providing a marginal benefit greater than the marginal cost; otherwise, they would not engage in these activities.  Racism existed in very large numbers at one point in this country.  During that period, the marginal benefit of effort of drawing attention to, publicly denouncing, and fighting racism exceeded the cost because there were tangible benefits in fighting for equity for the black population and little adverse affects.  Racism still exists in this country, as it does in every country.  The overwhelming percentage of the 60 million Trump voters and of the rest of the 300 million Americans are not racist.  Like other forms of evil, racism will always exist in some form or another.  When the numbers become small, effort spent attempting to affect very small numbers return no marginal benefit.  Focus on racism draws attention away from discourse on what the vast majority of black, white, and yellow caring Americans would like to see: increases in the standard of living for the black population.  By focusing on racism as the current major source of economic plight of blacks, solutions like enhancing our educational system and fighting drugs and crime are discussed less.  Extrapolation of small numbers to a larger population is used as a tool to create resentment between races where it may not exist otherwise.  Harping on small incidents and applying their meaning to a larger population and their beliefs creates a divide rather than a bridge between different races.  Over-emphasis on racism as the cause of the economic plight of minorities may in some cases dis-empower those it is claiming to try to help.  There may be marginal benefits to people who make it a habit to constantly draw attention to and denounce racism.  It may employ people and empower and help elect politicians without acknowledgment of the costs.  Those benefiting from such activities are the same people who may find a positive marginal benefit in labeling me racist for proposing this discourse. 

(“The marginal benefit vs. marginal cost of fighting racism” by Chris Gallardo dated November 26, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/11/the_marginal_benefit_vs_marginal_cost_of_fighting_racism.html )

Liberals view government as their domain, their reason for being, far too important to be left to “poorly educated” rural and small-town voters, blue-collar workers or other “deplorable” elements.  They are outraged over what might happen to their “dangerous manmade climate change” mantra.  It was supposed to be their ticket to endless extravaganzas at 5-star venues in exotic locales, their trump card for controlling the world’s energy, economy, livelihoods and living standards.  That is why they demand that only their “facts” be heard on the “consensus science” supporting policies they say are essential to prevent a “disastrous” 2º C (3.6º F) rise from 1850 levels, when the Little Ice Age ended (and the modern industrial era began).  It’s why the Paris climate agreement tells developed nations to keep fossil fuels in the ground, roll back their economies and reduce their living standards, while redistributing $100 billion per year to poor countries for climate mitigation and reparationsThat is why developing countries eagerly signed the Paris accord, bringing it into force and effect just before this year’s climate confab in Marrakech.  Meanwhile they would not be required to reduce their fossil fuel use or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  News of the US elections brought misery and mayhem to Marrakech.  Event organizers had tolerated credentialed Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) representatives handing out Climate Hustle DVDs and discussing Real World climate science and energy development.  When CFACT erected a Donald Trump cutout and shredded a copy of the Paris accord, they sent armed police to forcibly end the educational event and boot the impudent non-believers out of the hallowed conference.  Marrakech may have marked the zenith of the religious-political climate movement. President-elect Trump has long held that there is likely “some connectivity” between human actions and the climate, but he has also said it is a “hoax” to say humans are now causing catastrophic global warming and climate change.  He also says he has an “open mind” on the issue and will be studying it “very closely.”  Here are a few important facts and probing questions that he could raise, to get the ball rolling: 

·    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed to detect and assess possible human influences on global climate systems, amid many natural forces. However, it soon began looking only at human influences. Now it claims warming, cooling and weather are driven only by human emissions. 

·    Your “dangerous manmade climate changethesis, and the computer models used in support of it, implicitly assume that fossil fuel emissions have replaced dozens of powerful natural forces that have driven climate change and extreme weather events throughout Earth and human history.  

·    Where did all those natural forces go?  Why are they no longer functioning?  When did they stop ruling the climate: in 1850, 1900, 1950, or 1990, after the IPCC was established? 

·    You claim climate and weather patterns are already “unprecedented” and increasingly cataclysmic.  As plant-fertilizing CO2 levels continue to climb, average global temperatures have risen barely 0.1 degrees the past two decades, amid a major El Niño.  Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are growing at record rates. Seas are rising at barely seven inches per century.  It has now been a record eleven years since a category 3-5 hurricane struck the US mainland; the previous record was nine years, 1860 to 1869.  The 2016 US tornado count was the lowest on record.

·    Your computer models assume or assert that increasing levels of carbon dioxide will cause rapidly, dangerously rising global temperatures, and more extreme weather events.  Its garbage in / garbage out.  

·    The manmade climate cataclysm community has refused to discuss or debate its data, methodologies, analyses and conclusions with those whom you call “skeptics” or “deniers.”  How much of the models are based on manipulated data or other tricks?

·    The FDA and other federal agencies require that applications for drugs, medical devices and permits for projects include extensive raw data, lab and project methodologies, and other information.  Since your climate modeling and other work is largely paid for with taxpayer money, and used to determine public policies, why should you be allowed to hide your data and methodologies, treat them as proprietary, refuse to share them with Congress or “realist” scientists, and refuse to engage in a full peer-review process? 

·    EPA’s “social cost of carbon” scheme blames everything imaginable on fossil fuels, but totally ignores the huge benefits of using these fuels.  

·    America already produces more ethanol than it can use.  Now EPA wants it to blend another 1.2 billion gallons into our gasoline. Why should we do this, considering the land, water, environmental, fuel efficiency and other costs, rampant fraud in the RIN program, and impacts on small refiners? 

·    Wind turbines are land intensive, heavily subsidized and exempted from most environmental rules.  Their electricity is expensive and unreliable, and requires fossil fuel backup generators.  Why should this industry be exempted from endangered species laws – and allowed to conduct fraudulent mortality studies, and prevent independent investigators from reviewing the work? 

Mr. President, keep an open mind, but keep exercising due diligence, trust, but verify, and fire anyone who lies or refuses to answer or provides the climate equivalent of shoddy work and substandard concrete.  

(“Five Stages of Climate Grief” by Paul Driessen dated November 26, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2016/11/26/five-stages-of-climate-grief-n2250780 )


There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news.  I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning.  Updates have been made this week to the following sections:

·  Homeland Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/homelandsecurity.php

·  Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY