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May 2017

Paris Climate Discord U.S. emissions targets could trap Trump if he stays in the accord.

President Trump and his advisers are debating whether to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, and if he does the fury will be apocalyptic—start building arks for the catastrophic flood. The reality is that withdrawing is in America’s economic interest and won’t matter much to the climate.

President Obama signed the agreement last September, albeit by ducking the two-thirds majority vote in the Senate required under the Constitution for such national commitments. The pact includes a three-year process for withdrawal, which Mr. Trump could short-circuit by also pulling out of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Paris was supposed to address the failures of the 1997 Kyoto protocol, which Bill Clinton signed but George W. Bush refused to implement amid similar outrage. The Kyoto episode is instructive because the U.S. has since reduced emissions faster than much of Europe thanks to business innovation—namely, hydraulic fracturing that is replacing coal with natural gas.

While legally binding, Kyoto’s CO 2 emissions targets weren’t strictly enforced. European countries that pursued aggressive reductions were engaging in economic masochism. According to a 2014 Manhattan Institute study, the average cost of residential electricity in 2012 was 12 cents per kilowatt hour in the U.S. but an average 26 cents in the European Union and 35 cents in Germany. The average price of electricity in the EU soared 55% from 2005 to 2013.

Yet Germany’s emissions have increased in the last two years as more coal is burned to compensate for reduced nuclear energy and unreliable solar and wind power. Last year coal made up 40% of Germany’s power generation compared to 30% for renewables, while state subsidies to stabilize the electric grid have grown five-fold since 2012.

But the climate believers tried again in Paris, this time with goals that are supposedly voluntary. China and India offered benchmarks pegged to GDP growth, which means they can continue their current energy plans. China won’t even begin reducing emissions until 2030 and in the next five years it will use more coal.

President Obama, meanwhile, committed the U.S. to reducing emissions by between 26% and 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. This would require extreme changes in energy use. Even Mr. Obama’s bevy of anti-carbon regulations would get the U.S. to a mere 45% of its target.

Meeting the goals would require the Environmental Protection Agency to impose stringent emissions controls on vast stretches of the economy including steel production, farm soil management and enteric fermentation (i.e., cow flatulence). Don’t laugh—California’s Air Resources Board is issuing regulations to curb bovine burping to meet its climate goals.

Advocates in the White House for remaining in Paris claim the U.S. has the right to unilaterally reduce Mr. Obama’s emissions commitments. They say stay in and avoid the political meltdown while rewriting the U.S. targets.

But Article 4, paragraph 11 of the accord says “a party may at any time adjust its existing nationally determined contribution with a view to enhancing its level of ambition.” There is no comparable language permitting a reduction in national targets.

Rest assured that the Sierra Club and other greens will sue under the Section 115 “international air pollution” provision of the Clean Air Act to force the Trump Administration to enforce the Paris standards. The “voluntary” talk will vanish amid the hunt for judges to rule that Section 115 commands the U.S. to reduce emissions that “endanger” foreign countries if those countries reciprocate under Paris. After his experience with the travel ban, Mr. Trump should understand that legal danger.

Theresa May and the Jihadists: what might have been: Edgar Davidson

The Manchester attack – and the widespread abuse of girls throughout the UK by Muslim rape gangs – would also have been avoided if she had used Tommy Robinson as an adviser instead of finding ever more devious ways to criminalise him.

See also:

Manchester attack – media follows script again
Manchester – what happens next
UK bans Spencer and Geller: free speech is dead in the UK and the ban was supported by the Board of Deputies
Geller and Spencer were banned from the UK because of their ‘pro-Israel views’
A Statement on behalf of the UK Jewish Board of Deputies on the banning of Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from entering the UK

Guest Post: On the approaching centenary of the Balfour Declaration Brian Goldfarb

As we approach the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, although it is six months away (see below), it seems to me that it is important to start talking about it and what it does say and what it doesn’t say, as well as trying to make clear its status and impact.

The actual Declaration itself is but one sentence in a letter sent to Baron Rothschild: brief to the point of being easy to miss. As Wikipedia notes:

The Balfour Declaration was a single paragraph in a letter dated 2 November 1917 from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. It read:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

The text of the letter was published in the press one week later, on 9 November 1917. The “Balfour Declaration” was later incorporated into both the Sèvres peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire, and the Mandate for Palestine.” [Wikipedia]

The Balfour Declaration

It was, of course, the culmination of a long campaign by the Zionist Federation (ZF) (and by Chaim Weizmann in particular). Weizmann was especially influential in this, largely because of his scientific work, as a research chemist, and especially his development of the extraction of acetone (vital for the munitions industry) from maize during the First World War on behalf of the Allies. This meant that the British Government of the day was particularly beholden to him, and Weizmann used this influence wholeheartedly on behalf of the Zionist Federation. (The Encyclopaedia Britannica entry on Weizmann is particularly informative on this period of his life.) It is important to note developments such as the San Remo Conference of Allied Powers (1920), which confirmed the Balfour Declaration and awarded the Palestine Mandate to Great Britain (Britannica, ibid).

It is as important, at this point, to remember that phrase from the Declaration that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” This will be returned to below.

To move on, it is possible to argue that the Peel Commission recommendations of 1936 come close to allocating much the same territory to each side as did the 1947 UN Resolution on the ending of the British Mandate. Remember: I said “much the same” not exactly the the same, though it’s a moot point, as the Arab side rejected the Commission’s recommendations outright, despite earlier agreements between at least some Arab leaders and the Jewish Agency.

All that said, the British Government failed, consistently, to live up to the wording of the Declaration. From the San Remo Conference onwards, despite that Conference’s agreement that

Britain was charged with establishing a ‘national home for the Jewish people’ in Palestine [although] Terroritorial boundaries were not decided until four years after (http://www.cfr.org/israel/san-remo-resolution/p15248),

Britain did nothing to establish any boundaries, then or later, including after World War 2 and, indeed, after the 1947 UN Resolution ending the Mandate. The British didn’t even take steps to establish Transjordan, although they much favoured its creation. As a result, it is hardly surprising that the Arabs, both those in the Mandate territory and the independent nations outside it, utterly rejected the 1947 Resolution.

Trump Will Withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Good. He should leave the Iran nuclear deal, too. By Fred Fleitz

Just this morning, CNN reported that President Trump plans to pull out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, in defiance of immense pressure from the left not to. There is similar pressure on Trump in regards to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Supposedly, America is legally and morally bound to remain part of these pacts.

Conservative critiques of these deals have typically focused on the agreements’ contents and effectiveness. The nuclear deal allows Iran to continue to pursue nuclear-weapons-related technologies while it is in effect — and despite a recent State Department certification that Iran has complied with this agreement, the truth is Tehran has failed to fully meet the requirements of this deal and has cheated on it. Meanwhile, the Paris Agreement has come under strong criticism as a costly, ineffective, and economically harmful approach to addressing alleged global warming.

But there’s something else these agreements have in common: Both are treaties, but were deliberately negotiated by the Obama administration in a way that enabled it to evade the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that treaties be ratified by the Senate.

America’s Founding Fathers placed a high threshold to ratify treaties: two-thirds of the Senate must vote in favor. The reason is that treaties are major international agreements that legally bind our nation and its presidents long into the future. No president should have the power to make such commitments with just the stroke of his pen.

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy explained this in an April 2015 NRO article, writing that the Constitution “does not empower the president to make binding agreements with foreign countries all on his own — on the theory that the American people should not take on enforceable international obligations or see their sovereignty compromised absent approval by the elected representatives most directly accountable to them.”

Supporters of the JCPOA and the Paris Agreement argue that there is no clear definition of what constitutes a treaty. They also note that presidents frequently enter into major international agreements without submitting them for ratification by the Senate.

While these arguments have merit, they do not apply to the JCPOA and the Paris Agreement, because these are important pacts that have been treated like treaties by most other states. The Iranian Parliament ratified the JCPOA. The legislatures of over 128 Paris Agreement signatories have ratified that agreement, including those of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and the U.K.

Both houses of Congress were permitted to vote on a resolution of disapproval of the JCPOA (the Corker-Cardin bill) in September 2015. But this process did not follow the Constitution’s rules for treaties. Instead of requiring supporters to win two-thirds of the Senate to ratify the agreement, it required opponents of the JCPOA to get veto-proof and filibuster-proof majorities to kill it. Although a majority of Congress voted against the JCPOA, including Senator Chuck Schumer and the top Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it was not disapproved because of a filibuster by Senate Democrats.

Evergreen State College Caves to Mob Demand of Homework Exemption By Tom Knighton

he racist, Leftist hotbed of Evergreen State College is spiraling out of control.

First, students threatened the safety of a professor who disagreed with an event that demanded whites not come to campus for a day. Then they were caught on video threatening administrators and shouting racist demands.

Did the school’s president contact the police and start issuing expulsions?

Nope. As Campus Reform reports, he rewarded the racist mob with HOMEWORK EXEMPTIONS:

Videos from Evergreen have since continued to leak, painting a chaotic portrait of campus in which protesters try to bully administrators into kowtowing to their demands, and in one case even tell the school’s president, George Bridges, to “shut the fuck up.”

“All of us are students and have homework and projects and things due. Have you sent an email out to your faculty letting them know?” one student protester asks, saying “what’s been done about that” and noting that she and her peers were participating in the meeting “on [their] own time.”

“It’s the first thing I’ll do. I have not done it yet, I will do it right now,” Bridges replies while one protester declares that professors “need to be told that these assignments won’t be done on time and we don’t need to be penalized for that.”

Later in the video, which appears to be taken after student protesters had submitted a list of demands to Bridges, one student declares that if Bridges were to avoid responding to the demands on deadline he would subsequently “need to pay for a potluck.”


Mr. Bridges, the correct answer is that students who commit crimes will be referred to authorities, and that students who have so little regard for academia are using up valuable space at your school and should withdraw.

The professor in question, Bret Weinstein, did nothing wrong. He disagreed with the event, and stated he preferred the way it had been handled in previous years when minorities voluntarily left campus to show just how vital they were to the school’s daily operations. So he is apparently a “progressive” himself, but just not extreme enough for the mob.

The snowflakes brook no disagreement with their opinions. Free speech doesn’t exist in their little bubbles. They aren’t open-minded, or tolerant, or liberal, or forward-thinking; they are old-fashioned, textbook totalitarians.

There’s now a proposal to privatize the school, removing all state funding, from Republican State Representative Matt Manweller. The bill will be introduced alongside a letter calling for an investigation into civil rights violations for intimidating an entire ethnic group off campus. Bravo.

Here’s What Federal Regulations Cost Your Family This Year By Tyler O’Neil

The Average American Family Pays More Money in Regulations Than in Taxes

Anyone who has ever traveled to Washington, D.C. knows that as majestic as the White House and the U.S. Capitol are, they are a mere fraction of the federal government. Alphabet soup departments like the EPA, IRS, VA, HHS, DOE, and others most Americans have never heard of, take up space in the capital and amount to a hidden regulatory tax on all Americans.

In fact, a new report estimated that if the costs of federal regulation flowed down to U.S. households, the average American family would pay $14,809 annually in a hidden regulatory tax. That’s $14,809 in addition to income taxes, state taxes, and Social Security. $14,809 in addition to sales taxes, property taxes, and even estate taxes — where the government taxes you for being dead.

“That amounts to 21 percent of the average income of $69,629 and 26.45 percent of the expenditure budget of $55,978,” wrote Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., vice president for policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in the report “Ten Thousand Commandments” released Wednesday.

The average American family would spend more on embedded regulation than on health care, food, transportation, entertainment, and apparel. Only housing costs more.

Crews analyzed federal government data, past reports, and newer studies to estimate the economic impact of federal regulatory compliance at $1.9 trillion each year. When numbers get that big, it becomes hard to understand them. But a hidden tax that costs each family roughly $15,000 per year, that makes sense.

Liberals and others would point out that no family specifically pays this price, and that is indeed true. But regulations hold back economic progress and make wealth creation harder to come by.

How many entrepreneurs give up on new business opportunities because it is too complicated to hire someone? How many small businesses fail because compliance costs exceed their profit margins? Then there are the increased costs to the larger firms which won’t go out of business when the government adds red tape, but will make ordinary goods just that much more expensive.

Regulation is a silent killer, and it grows even when Americans didn’t vote for it. In 2016, for example, Congress enacted only 214 laws, but federal agencies issued 3,853 rules. The lack of public accountability — when was the last time you voted for the EPA secretary? — means these bureaucrats aren’t held accountable in the same way as members of Congress. So they can issue 18 rules for every law enacted by the people’s representatives.

Are Democrats and the Establishment Media Doing Russia’s Job by Creating Chaos? By Michael van der Galien

Conservative website The Daily Caller has published a thorough analysis of the Washington Post’s report accusing Jared Kushner of requesting a secret, secure line of communication with Russia so the incoming Trump administration could talk to the Russians without any interference from the Obama administration. It’s worth your time to read it completely, but here are some key quotes:

WaPo also claimed American intelligence agencies discovered the ploy through an intercepted open phone call by Kislyak to Moscow. Observers have noted that Kislyak, a seasoned spy, made the phone call on an “open line,” and therefore knew it was likely to be intercepted.


To date, there has been no independent verification the letter is real or that WaPo’s description of its contents is accurate. The Washington Post editors also never explain why they withheld the letter.

Why would they withhold it? Sure, there may be reasons to do so in order to protect a source, but if the letter is anonymous, that’s not a possible excuse. In any case, on we go:

The story is weakened further since its reporters only cite unnamed government officials to confirm the anonymous letter’s charges.


“I don’t know who leaked this information, but just think about it this way — you’ve got the ambassador of Russia reporting back to Moscow on an open channel, ‘Hey, Jared Kushner’s going to move into the embassy,’” Graham said on CNN.

Former U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova told TheDCNF other unreleased parts of the letter could undermine the credibility of the author and discredit the allegations about Kushner.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan government watchdog group dedicated to openness and transparency, said he thought there could be references that show the letter’s author had a partisan agenda, which WaPo reporters wanted to hide.

The Obamas and the Clinton Road to Perdition by Victor Davis Hanson

Hillary and Bill Clinton were a proud, progressive power couple who came into big-time state politics on promises of promoting “fairness” and “equality.” It did not matter much that very little in their previous personal lives had matched such elevated rhetoric with concrete action. And so the ironies and tragedies that followed were not altogether unexpected.

The theme that united the subsequent tawdry reports about the Clinton cattle futures scam and Whitewater was an overweening lust for money. The Clintons seemed to feel entitled, in the sense that their education, sophistication, and taste deserved the sort of peace of mind, enjoyment, and security that only comfortable circumstances could provide, and which was taken for granted among the rich progressive environments in which the Clintons increasingly navigated. They had arrived and they “deserved” it.
In 2001, we are supposed to believe, the Clintons left office “dead broke” as the result of their sacrifices as first family. In Hillary’s words, they were scarcely able to afford the various mortgages on their homes with which they had been encumbered (“we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses”).

Given an ever greater need for cash beyond a mere government pension, given that from 2001 onward they had something to sell beyond Bill as a “wise-man” president emeritus (i.e., Hillary’s New York Senate career as a springboard to a second Clinton presidency), and given their innate characters (or perhaps their hamartiai), the next years were predictable. After 2001, the long arc of their moral universe bent toward personal aggrandizement through the Clinton Foundation, pay-for-play State Department favors, and $10,000-20,000-a minute rah-rah speeches to rich people eager to leverage the next episode of Clinton influence peddling.

Such smart, capable, self-assured, and haughty people are the stuff of Greek tragedy, and its warnings about the descent from hubris (overweening arrogance) to atê (unhinged madness) to nemesis (divine retribution and downfall).

At the denouement of most tragedies. the figures who survive the wrath of the gods—and who are not themselves beheaded or slain by their own hands—are sometimes enlightened by their destruction, rediscover some purpose, acquire an appreciation of pathei mathos (wisdom through pain) and find peaceful redemption.

People like the Clintons—or for that matter Euripides’s characters such as Jason (Medea) or King Pentheus (Bacchae)—are oblivious to the ultimate and preordained trajectories of their fates. Hillary Clinton has ended up a two-time failed presidential candidate, stained with money grubbing scandals and chronic deceit, who blew huge leads in 2008 and 2016, despite being the beneficiary of unprecedented cash, campaign consultants, and party endorsements. She has sacrificed her health, her reputation, and her very life to do everything politically right, which was not only ethically wrong but also proved, in good Athenian tragic fashion, politically disastrous. (Tragic figures, remember, do anything and everything they can to pursue an ambitious sense of self—and thereby only ensure that they can never obtain it.)

A gaunt Dorian Gray-like Bill Clinton in his twilight is indeed tragic. He may have the sins of the flesh written all over his face, but he had also convinced himself at one point in his life that his undeniable political cunning, education, and folksy charm could be put to use for noble purposes beyond the tawdry sex, chronic lying, and narcissism that were his brands. But after the scandals, the impeachment, the pardons, the Foundation miasma, the quid pro quo speaking fees, the Lolita Express, the disastrous campaign interventions for Hillary from 2008 to the tarmac scene with Loretta Lynch, the petty rivalries and double-dealing, optics reflect that there is nothing much left of a once dynamic president but an empty shell.

At the denouement of most tragedies. the figures who survive the wrath of the gods—and who are not themselves beheaded or slain by their own hands—are sometimes enlightened by

Merkel’s Own Kool-Aid: Beer by Edward Cline

Our “Destiny”? As Europeans? Angela Merkel’s brain is on some kind of drug. Perhaps she should also lay off the quart-sized glasses of Bavarian suds.

The New York Post’s story “Merkel: Europe can’t rely on allies anymore” of May 28th reported:

Just days after President Trump lectured NATO members about ponying up more money for defense , German leader Angela Merkel said Europe could no longer count on its allies.

“The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out,” Merkel said during an appearance at a beer tent in Munich on Sunday. “I’ve experienced that in the last few days.”

“But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans,” she added.

Oh, yes. The plentiful times when Europe could mooch on the U.S. are past. But is Europe’s future to be a European one or an Islamic one? Germany and other European governments want to ensure that the transition from European to Islamic submission is smooth without any speed bumps that would frustrate the conquerors.

The Daily Caller reported on May 19th, “Germany Considers Million Dollar Hate Speech Fines”:

The German parliament is debating a proposal to force social media platforms to either delete hate speech quickly or risk hefty fines.

The problems that many critics point out are the vague definitions of the term “hate speech” and the restrictions that the proposed law may have on freedom of speech. Justice Minister Heiko Maas disagrees, arguing it will only help protect freedom of speech in Germany.

Don’t Stop With Paris By Andrew C. McCarthy

It is welcome news that President Trump will pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. The pact promises to damage the economy while surrendering American sovereignty over climate policy to yet another international, largely anti-American enterprise.

It is unwelcome news, nevertheless, that so much was riding on the president’s decision to withdraw the assent of his predecessor, Barack Obama — America’s first post-American president.

In reality, Trump’s decision is monumental only because America, in the Obama mold, has become post-constitutional.

The Paris climate agreement is a treaty. We are not talking here about a bob-and-weave farce like the Iran nuclear deal. That arrangement, the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” was shrewdly packaged as an “unsigned understanding” — concurrently spun, depending on its apologists’ need of the moment, as a non-treaty (in order to evade the Constitution’s requirements), or as a binding international commitment (in order to intimidate the new American administration into retaining it).

The climate agreement, to the contrary, is a formal international agreement. Indeed, backers claim this “Convention” entered into force — i.e., became internationally binding — upon the adoption of “instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession” by a mere 55 of the 197 parties.

For all these global governance pretensions, though, why should we care? Why should the Paris agreement affect Americans?

Yes, President Obama gave his assent to the agreement in his characteristically cagey manner: He waited until late 2016 to “adopt” the convention — when there would be no practical opportunity to seek Senate approval before he left office. But Senate consent is still required, by a two-thirds’ supermajority, before a treaty is binding on the United States.

At least that’s what the Constitution says.