Hat Tip: BB
By: Benjamin Weingarten
“The world must not belong to those who slander the prophets of Global Warming, Climate Change, or Climate Disruption.”
So said Democratic U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in a fatwa issued in the Washington Post.
OK — perhaps that was not what he said verbatim, but it might as well have been.
Whitehouse intimated that racketeering charges be considered regarding Big Oil’s support of research challenging the supposed climate change consensus.
Without a hint of irony given the nature and activities of the climate change movement, Whitehouse compared the oil industry – which after the American people will be most harmed by regulations putatively relating to climate — to the RICO-violating tobacco business:
The Big Tobacco playbook looked something like this: (1) pay scientists to produce studies defending your product; (2) develop an intricate web of PR experts and front groups to spread doubt about the real science; (3) relentlessly attack your opponents.
In a point almost beyond parody, Whitehouse relies on a report by a Drexel University professor whose “environmental justice” work has been funded by federal grants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A nakedly partisan voice, the “Culture and Communication” department professor lists as areas of research and teaching “Critical Theory,” “Social Movements” and “Social Change,” to go along with the more relevant “Environmental Sociology.”
The professor writes that the “climate denial network”
span[s] a wide range of activities, including political lobbying, contributions to political candidates, and a large number of communication and media efforts that aim at undermining climate science.
None of these activities are illegal, or even unethical – though if Whitehouse gets his way the thought crime of challenging global warming may soon be.
All of these activities one can ascribe to the very environmentalist cause to which the professor is a part, except that academics like himself and other global warming proponents are also again showered with government support to the tune of $2.5 billion in research funding annually.
Is government money in the hands of policy advocates any more or less corrupting than private money? Should not private enterprise be allowed to dispense with its funds as it wishes?
One wonders whether Whitehouse has considered the conflict of interest or free enterprise considerations at hand.
Moreover, while Whitehouse questions Big Oil’s motives and actions, he ignores the dubious track record of those on his side of the climate debate.
Specifically, Whitehouse’s recent diatribe was silent with respect to Climategate, the inaccurate models on which the global warming crowd relies and the significant flaws in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. Is the senator aware that the science is decidedly not settled — even according to President Barack Obama’s former undersecretary of science in the Department of Energy?
More broadly, Whitehouse’s irresponsible op-ed — which raises the prospect of civil discovery — represents a chilling threat to those who dissent from the orthodoxy of the political elite.
Coincidentally, this chill has already crossed the pond, sending a shiver down the spine of European oil companies.
Just last week, the heads of BP, Royal Dutch Shell and several other executives issued a public letter in which they effectively raised the white flag in the face of governments hell-bent on further regulating their activities in the name of global warming.
Resigned to this fate, the companies called for a rational, clear and consistent set of rules governing carbon credits, and asked for a spot at the table in discussions with the U.N. and other political bodies in order to protect themselves.
It is unclear whether U.S. companies will go the way of their European counterparts. But what Whitehouse’s comments indicate is that our government is at least willing to explore using legal coercion if American enterprises do not submit to the environmentalist party line.
We have seen this “process as punishment” in the private sector, through actions such as climate scientist Michael Mann’s targeting of conservative commentator Mark Steyn and others, but the federal government’s threat to Big Oil would be of an entirely different size, scope and character.
Lost in all this is the fact that the global warming crusade against so-called “denialists” represents another area in which liberal illiberality threatens critical areas of speech.
Recent challenges to free speech whether as a means of enforcing de facto or de jure Shariah slander and blasphemy laws, stifling political messages or now crushing scientific dissent reveal a totalitarian impulse to end debate.
It is particularly galling in this instance because scientific discovery requires constantly questioning assumptions and testing hypotheses. Especially when science is being used as a basis for determining public policy that affects the lives of billions of people and concerns trillions of dollars worth of resources, the burden of proof must be immense.
Proponents of climate change should be providing an unprecedented amount of transparency and welcoming all scrutiny – indeed encouraging competition in the marketplace of ideas — if they really care about getting the science right.
While we can never know the true motivations of a politician, it stands to reason that Whitehouse and many of his colleagues may view environmentalism as as good a justification as any for seizing wealth from one of America’s few remaining booming industries.
If that is the case, all advocates of truth should prefer that he show the same candor as Rep. Maxine Waters, who called for “socializ—,” sorry, “taking over … [with] government running all … [of Shell’s] oil companies.”
While Waters may support violating the Fifth Amendment, it appears Whitehouse would rather challenge the First.
The consequences of the latter would be far more dire than the former.
For if the First Amendment falls, all of the rest shall soon follow.
The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
No solution can be reached with terror except by striking it with an iron fist. – Syrian Leader Basher Assad
Peace is purchased from strength. It’s not purchased from weakness or unilateral retreats. – Benyamin Netanyahu
You don’t despair about something like the Middle East, you just do the best you can. – PJ O’Rourke
Above all, it is not decency or goodness of gentleness that impresses the Middle East, but strength. – Meir Kahane
This week’s winning essay by a hair is Joshuapundit’s Syria Splits Apart As Assad Digs In Against ISIS. While the main focus of attention for the media these days is on Iraq, interesting things are going on in Syria that could shape the Middle East for some time and this was my take on it. Here’s a slice:
While a lot of attention is being paid to ISIS’s successes in Iraq, few people have been watching the changes going on in Syria.
As I predicted just shy of three years ago, Syria, a made up country to begin with appears to be fracturing pretty much along the lines I saw back then.
Assad’s hold on Syria depended on two things – how long the carnage could continue on one side or the other before it reached the point of no return and how long the Russians, Hezbollah and Iran would continue to support him. That point has apparently been reached with a quarter of a million deaths and the reduction of Assad’s army from its beginning strength at 300,000 to something like 175,000 men from Assad’s regular army, pro-regime Syrian militias and foreign fighters mostly from Hezbollah and Iran.
He simply no longer has the forces necessary to hold all of Syria. And his allies are gradually moving on.
The latest gain for ISIS was their successful offensive on the ancient city of Palmyra in Eastern Syria,which gave them a strategic path to assaults on the regime’s key cities of Homs and Hama. If they’re successful, they would literally cut off Damascus from the rest of Assad’s territory.
The victory by Isis was celebrated Old School style:
Islamic State militants have executed at least 400 mostly women and children in Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra.
Eye-witnesses have reported the streets are strewn with bodies – the latest victims of the Islamic State’s unrelenting savagery – on the same day photographs of captured Syrian soldiers have emerged.
It follows the killing of nearly 300 pro-government troops two days after they captured the city, now symbolised by a black ISIS flag flying above an ancient citadel.
As an added bonus, ISIS freed a large number of jihadis held in Palmyra’s notorious Tadmur Prison.
What Assad is hoping for now is that he has enough troops to hold on to his strategic corridor in North and west Syria..Damascus, Homs and Hama and the coast areas of Latakia and Tartus, key cities where the majority of Alawites, Assad’s Shi’ite oriented sect live.
What he’s doing is attempting a strategic withdrawal into territory his forces are better able to hold,something his allies are likely insisting on because their own commitments are becoming strained.
For the Russians, supplying Assad with the tools of the trade has become an expensive proposition, one Russia has increasing difficulty meeting. Putin is still selling Assad ammunition and other supplies, but the Russians have cut way back on the more expensive toys like attack helicopters and are taking a wait and see attitude.
As Hezbollah’s casualties have increased in Syria, its leader Sheik Nasrallah has come under massive pressure to cut back on the number of troops being sent to Syria from Lebanon. Hezbollah troops are still fighting in Qalamoun along the Lebanese border,one of the few areas where the Assad regime is taking the offensive, but massive casualties incurred during Assad’s failed offensive in February on Aleppo have taken their toll.
This all puts a great deal of pressure on Iran. Aside from the financial cost, the strategic cost is huge. As Assad is forced into a defensive redoubt, the Shi’te bloc Iran thought it was creating from Tehran to Beirut is increasingly unlikely, especially with the pressure ISIS is putting on Iran’s Shi’ite allies in Iraq. They will undoubtedly have to commit a lot more resources, human and otherwise just to keep Assad holding on.
For Basher Assad, his task will be to hold on to Damascus, the highways between Damascus and Beruit and Damascus and Homs, as well as the coast cities like Latakia and Tartous. With his reduced supply lines and less territory to defend, Assad has a decent shot at hanging on, especially since his part of Syria would contain about half of the country’s population.
More at the link, including an interesting update on ISIS’ latest moves.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Western Journalism – Why The Mass Media Are Silent On The Largest Human Rights Disaster Of Our Time, submitted by Joshuapundit. It features a must-see video by Ray Ibrahim that explains exactly why the mass media are keeping quiet.
Here are this week’s full results. Only Don Surber was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:
- *First place with 3 2/3 votes! – Joshuapundit – Syria Splits Apart As Assad Digs In Against ISIS
- Second place with 3 1/3 votes – Bookworm Room – Gender identity: Who are you gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes? *UPDATED*
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes – Don Surber – Carly Goes Reagan
- Fourth place with 1 vote – The Razor – Here vs There
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Ask Marion – New Polls: Palin Slams Bush and Clinton
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Noisy Room – Cities on Fire: Phoenix
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Independent Sentinel – Future Democratic Voters Flooding Into the U.S.
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Right Planet – Oleg Atbashian: What Surprised Me in America: An Immigrant’s Account of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Glittering Eye – The Swiss Do It Again”
- *First place with 2 2/3 votes! – Western Journalism – Why The Mass Media Are Silent On The Largest Human Rights Disaster Of Our Time submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place with 1 1/3 votes – Politically Short – Assassinating The American Spirit Of Independence submitted by The Right Planet
- Third place *t* with 1 vote – Andrew Malcolm – Obama warns global warming could maybe make hurricanes worse, if we had any submitted by Don Surber
- Third place *t* with 1 vote – Walt Heyer/Public Discourse – “Sex Change” Surgery: What Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, and You Should Know submitted by Bookworm Room
- Third place *t* with 1 vote – Gay Patriot – Leftists Stand Up for Freedom of Certain Religions submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Third place *t* with 1 vote – The American Interest – How We’re Failing in the Middle East submitted by The Razor
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Mark Steyn – The Dull Thud of a New Yorker Towel Snap submitted by The Noisy Room
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Orin Kerr/The Volokh Conspiracy – “If I understand the history correctly…” submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes – David French/NRO – Brice ‘Caitlyn’ Jennings needs Our Prayers submitted by Nice Deb
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Dave Huber/The College Fix – Anti-Semitism, Free Speech, and Progressivism” submitted by The Watcher
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Robert Tracinski/The Federalist – 7 Way To Roll Back The Welfare State submitted by The Watcher
- Fifth place with 1/3 vote – Reclaim Our Republic – Hillary a ‘money-hungry hypocrite’, Bill ‘showing early signs of dementia’ – Trial Set for RICO claims against Clintons submitted by Ask Marion
- Fifth place with 1/3 vote – Victory Girls – Executive Fiat: DOJ’s Loretta Lynch to Release ‘More Than a Dozen’ New Gun Control Regs submitted by VA Right!
See you next week!
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!
And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The coming out of Bruce as Caitlyn Jenner is happening as various sexual minorities are celebrating “Pride Month.” It used to be “Gay Pride Month,” but the number of oppressed sexual minorities seems to be growing at an amazing pace. Without a scorecard, it is hard to keep up.
Sooner or later, pedophilia will emerge as just another orientation.
One of the leading enforcers of political correctness in the media, the site known as BuzzFeed, is coming down hard on “misgendering” by other outlets. It is not permissible, according to this way of thinking, to refer to “Bruce Jenner” anymore, or to call him a male.
The BuzzFeed literary editor has published a quiz titled, “How Transphobic Are You?” That’s right: “transphobia” is the new catchword, designed to silence those of us who still believe in the scientific, biological and traditional definitions of the sexes.
Publications such as BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post, as well as the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), represent the forces of cultural Marxism, designed to highlight and affirm what seems like an endless stream of sexual minorities objecting to their oppression by pro-traditional forces in society.
In a similar vein to what the NLGJA has directed in terms of acceptable coverage of transgenders, the ACLU has gotten into the business of telling the media how to report and what to think. The Daily Caller refers to it as the ACLU going “full fascist,” though it would be more accurate to label it as a Marxist way of thinking.
In any case, ACLU official Casey Strangio has declared, “Words matter, and erasing the identity of trans people by calling them by their birth names and birth-assigned sex is an act of hatred—one that is inextricable from the brutal violence that so many trans people, particularly trans women of color, encounter just for existing in the world.”
Strangio goes on, “There is no need to mention what her name used to be or what sex she was assigned at birth. And as writer and activist Janet Mock brilliantly explained to Piers Morgan, neither Janet nor Caitlyn were ‘born boys.’ They were born babies and they are women—brave and fabulous women.”
This is really beyond the pale. Babies are not born male or female anymore, just babies? What’s more, we are supposed to wait years or decades, in order to determine what they are, or at least what they claim to be.
“Caitlyn Jenner still has her penis” is the headline over a Richard Johnson story in the New York Post. That seems to make him still a man, at least in my book.
What’s more, Jenner still has male DNA. He can never eliminate that.
Nevertheless, “Caitlyn Jenner” is being honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at The 2015 ESPYS on ABC on July 15.
At the same time, CNN has announced that some “activists” are objecting to the “misgendering” of Caitlyn Jenner when people in the media label “her” as a “him.” These activists “say that when news anchors and commentators purposefully use a male pronoun for Jenner, such as ‘he,’ they are misgendering her, thereby insulting her and the transgender community more broadly,” CNN reports.
CNN adds, “News outlets are generally striving to be sensitive. Many journalists immediately adopted ‘she,’ and ‘her’ in articles and discussions.”
Count me a member of the “insensitive” group of journalists and commentators. I still believe in the science and biology of DNA.
The propaganda barrage comes as President Barack Obama has officially designated June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
Interestingly, however, the Defense Department is highlighting “the achievements and sacrifices of LGB service members and LGBT civilians.” That’s because transgenders cannot yet officially join the combat services.
DoD News reports that Air Force General Counsel Gordon O. Tanner, a gay attorney, said he plans to do two things in celebrating LGBT Pride Month—“set new mentoring goals to mentor more rising young LGB leaders, and visit the gravesite of former Air Force Tech Sgt. Leonard Matlovich in the Congressional Cemetery on Capitol Hill.”
“Sergeant Matlovich was the first to fight the ban on gays serving in the military,” Tanner told DoD News. “His picture was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1975; NBC made a movie about his life.”
Matlovich died of AIDS in 1988.
The Washington Blade reports that Tanner is the first-ever presidential appointee confirmed by the Senate who’s not only openly gay and married to a same-sex spouse, but also a military veteran. He was confirmed by the Senate by voice vote last September without any dissent.
Much has happened in the intervening years, to the point where the Council for Global Equality recently marked the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). I am not sure what “biphobia” is.
The Council for Global Equality was a recent co-sponsor of the “Conference to Advance the Human Rights of and Promote Inclusive Development for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons.” The term “intersex” is apparently another new addition to the list of politically correct gender identity categories. I’m not really sure what it means, either.
What’s important, of course, is that in addition to the Obama administration, a lot of big liberal money is backing this international campaign for new “rights” for various sexual minorities.
The Council reports that it has been “generously funded” primarily by the Arcus Foundation, Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation, and an anonymous source.
The executive director of the Arcus Foundation is Kevin Jennings, the former Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education in the Obama administration, while the Open Society Foundations are funded by billionaire hedge fund operator George Soros.
You may recall that Jennings’ activism was “inspired” by Harry Hay, the Communist Party member and “Radical Faerie,” who believed in the power of the occult. Hay was also a supporter of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).
Now that Robert Gates, the former defense secretary and current president of Boy Scouts of America, has called for the organization to open itself to homosexual Scoutmasters, can the acceptance of pedophilia as just another sexual orientation be far behind?
NAMBLA operates in the open, with a website devoted to “the benevolent aspects of man/boy love” and advocating “sexual liberation and youth liberation.”
In the past, the ACLU has defended NAMBLA, saying it goes to bat for “unpopular organizations” and believes in “robust freedom of speech for everyone.”
On the other hand, if you call Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner a he, which is how he was born, you are denounced by the ACLU as being guilty of hatred and possibly provoking violence. That’s enough to intimidate most of the media.
This is how a society spirals out of control, with the media afraid or unwilling to tell the truth any longer. Young people are clearly being singled out as the next victims, with sexual abuse being defined as love.
You might think, based on the media’s preoccupation with the terrible sexual abuse that has been documented in the Duggar family, that the media would oppose the sexual exploitation of children. But this scandal seems to be a convenient way for many in the media to make fun of the Duggars’ professed Christianity.
Our media have no principled objection to making children into sex objects. Otherwise, they would campaign to close down NAMBLA and expose the evil campaign to make sexual exploitation into just another sexual orientation.
The next phase of this sick campaign will be to present kids claiming to benefit from having sex with adults. If you object, you will be labeled as insensitive.