Cause of Pause in Global Warming By S. Fred Singer

There has been essentially no global warming since 1998. Some would choose 1997, others would more conservatively use 2002 as the proper starting date, based on satellite data. Of course, this is quite unexpected, since CO2 — a leading GHG, which climate models presume to cause anthropogenic global warming (AGW) — has been increasing rapidly in the 21st century.

Even if we cannot readily find the cause for the “pause” — as it is sometimes called — we can be absolutely sure that it was not predicted by any of the dozens of the UN-IPCC’s General Circulation Models (GCMs). Therefore, logically, such non-validated GCMs cannot, and should not, be used to predict the future climate — or as a basis for policy decisions.

Here I would like to discuss some of the possible causes for the GW “hiatus.” Its existence is creating a scientific challenge for climate skeptics — and a real crisis for alarmists; it can no longer be ignored by any who consider themselves to be scientists — nor, indeed, by responsible politicians.

One possibility, of course, may be that the pause is simply a statistical fluctuation, like tossing a coin, with 15 to 18 heads in a row. Such an explanation cannot be dismissed out of hand, even though it has a very low probability — which becomes even smaller with each passing year of no GW. Obviously, climate alarmists like this possibility — although the number of such ‘true believers’ is shrinking. Most have started to look for a physical cause for the pause — an explanation of why current GCMs are failing to match observations.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: CRIME AS POLITICS

In the last few days, the local Fresno community was outraged — or at least was reportedly to be so — at the vandalism of a local Islamic cultural center [1].

The police authorities almost immediately, and without waiting for the full evidence to be collected, declared the minor burglary and damage the apparent dividend of illiberal dark forces. The chief of police, without compelling evidence, and without explaining why a secular medical building was also trashed in the spree, rushed to hold a press conference. He declared the broken window and moderate trashing of the center’s interior, not just a “hate crime,” but in fact a “brazen hate crime.”

What next followed was Fresno’s comic version of what now is normal race and gender news. Almost immediately it was learned that there was a video of the suspected perpetrator in mediis rebus. Mr. Asif Mohammad Khan was a Muslim, with a record of mental disturbances, and had attended the center. He claimed that he had vandalized the buildings as part of payback to other center attendees who, he claimed, had bullied him — and reportedly was known to be an admirer of Osama bin Laden. The “brazen” hate crime and the atmosphere of intolerance vanished with the local morning fog. The FBI, of course, is still “investigating” a possible “hate crime.” But they too will quietly go away in short order.

But just a few days earlier, there was another Fresno crime captured on video, both violent and in theory fueled by racial animus, or at least more deserving of a FBI second look at such a possible catalyst. At a local municipal bus stop an elderly man with a walker bravely protested [2] that a large youth was bullying a smaller teen. The video captures the thug in response yelling at the defender, then striking the man to the pavement. The latter hit his head on his walker and momentarily lost consciousness.

NY Times Admits: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Under Effective Al-Qaeda Control By Patrick Poole

State Department’s “vetted moderates” do Jabhat al-Nusra’s dirty work while Sen. John McCain pleads for more FSA support.

A remarkable report by Anne Barnard of the New York Times this weekend confirms my multiple reports here at PJ Media about the increased alliance between the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra.

As Barnard reports:

In northern and eastern Syria, where Mr. Assad’s opponents won early victories and once dreamed of building self-government, the nationalist rebel groups calling themselves the Free Syrian Army are forced to operate under the extremists’ umbrellas, to go underground or to flee, according to Syrian insurgents, activists and two top commanders of the American-financed F.S.A. groups.

Two weeks ago I reported that Jabhat al-Nusra had used U.S. TOW anti-tank missiles in the rebels’ seizure of the Syrian Army’s base in Wadi al-Deif. The terror group posted a video showing the use of the TOW missiles in the battle (at ~3:50):

Nusra fans on Twitter were also noting the U.S. missiles being used:

Now Barnard confirms that FSA elements were fighting at Wadi al-Deif under the direction and/or control of Jabhat al-Nusra:

The fall of the army base at Wadi al-Deif, which straddles an important supply route in Idlib Province, proved the Nusra Front’s dominance, they said. Other insurgents had long besieged the base without victory. Nusra succeeded after seizing much of the province from Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, two of several groups that until recently, American officials were calling the opposition’s new hope […]

Israel’s 5 Biggest Stories for 2014 By P. David Hornik

An Israeli year is usually tumultuous. It has to do with the hostile Middle Eastern environment, with Israel’s problematic parliamentary system that often produces rickety, short-lived coalitions, and with the dynamism of a young society undergoing dramatic economic and demographic growth.

This wasn’t one of Israel’s most tumultuous years but also definitely not one of its quietest. The Gaza war and a wave of terrorism broke five years of relative calm since the 2008-2009 Gaza war. The Obama administration kept lambasting Israel publicly, while in Israel a governing coalition collapsed after less than two years in office. Outside the media limelight, though, Israel kept making diplomatic and economic gains, and the immigrants kept coming.
1. Gaza erupts.

On June 12 two Hamas terrorists kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenage boys. On July 2 three Israeli criminals kidnapped and murdered a Palestinian teenage boy. Although the standard line is that these events precipitated the summer’s seven-week Gaza war, that assumption is now challenged by Israeli intelligence reports saying Hamas had actually been planning the war, or something similar to it, going back months before those two incidents.

Israel won this Gaza war big. Four months after it ended, much of Gaza is still devastated and Hamas is still dazed. Blasted buildings and homeless civilians are nothing to celebrate. They are, though, the outcome of Hamas’s human-shields strategy coupled with firing 4500 rockets at Israeli territory.

The war took a high toll for Israel, too—66 soldiers and six civilians for the side that made every effort to avert the war even as the rockets were already falling. The revelation of Hamas’s tunnels from Gaza into Israel, and plans to use them to perpetrate mass-murder and kidnapping attacks on Israeli soil, chilled Israelis to the bone. On the plus side, the Iron Dome antimissile system turned in an amazing performance and kept the casualty toll from being much higher.

The Middle East is no picnic for a non-Arab, non-Muslim, Jewish state. The 2014 Gaza war showed a tough, resolved, realistic Israel.

Advice on ‘Advice and Consent’ By John R. Bolton & John Yoo

Congress can resist Obama’s departures from the Constitution.

Despite the Democratic party’s losses in November’s elections, President Obama has audaciously begun ignoring constitutional restraints in order to impose his policy views. This is true not only on domestic issues, such as immigration and Obamacare, but now in foreign and defense policy, too. Checking Obama’s misuse of his foreign-affairs powers should be a top priority for the new Republican majorities in Congress.

Obama’s worldview demands major departures from traditional American foreign policy and threatens to use international agreements to transform domestic policy. For example, as part of his crusade against global warming, Obama signed an amorphous agreement with China last month, ostensibly committing the parties to limit carbon emissions. The president will surely invoke it as a legal basis for sweeping executive orders on climate change. Similarly, now that the president has signed the Arms Trade Treaty (which has no chance of Senate ratification), he may attempt to limit firearms sales through executive action.

Overseas, Obama desperately wants a face-saving deal with Iran that will give him a diplomatic success without legislative constraints and let him leave office without Iranian development of a nuclear weapon. “We wouldn’t seek congressional legislation in any comprehensive agreement for years,” one senior administration official leaked about the Iranian negotiations. Only Iran’s intransigence in pursuit of an even better deal has forced an extension of negotiations from November 24 to next summer.

These assertions of unilateral executive power raise constitutional conflicts of the first order. Congress must first ask whether any of Obama’s agreements include obligations sufficiently grave to amount to a treaty under the Constitution — or, alternatively, whether these potential deals flow from the president’s legitimate constitutional authority in foreign affairs, and thus need not be embodied in treaties.

If, as some reports indicate, the administration has pledged not to use military force against Iran in exchange for a halt to its nuclear-weapons program, such a commitment would almost certainly require Senate ratification. The West cannot rely on Iran’s promises to confine itself to a civilian nuclear program, but if such an agreement were adopted, Tehran would know that Obama would not resort to military force, and Iran’s nukes would dramatically reshape the regional balance of power in its favor.

Whose Liberalism? The Curious Career of Two Ideas and One Word. By Kevin D. Williamson

There is a great deal of argument on the subject of capitalism that could be superseded by coming to some agreement about what we talk about when we talk about capitalism. If by “capitalism” we mean (a) what happens when a few million grocers and the mind-bendingly complex chains of production behind them compete for the custom of a few hundred million hungry Americans, that’s one thing; if by “capitalism” we mean (b) bank bailouts and General Electric’s defense-contracting division, that’s another thing. There are critics of capitalism who argue that (a) leads inevitably to (b); one need not necessarily take a position on the merits of that claim to understand that (a) and (b) are nonetheless different things, and that if we take “capitalism” to mean (b) then we need another term — “free enterprise,” “laissez-faire,” etc. — to denote (a).

Across a not-insubstantial spectrum of political debate, the common term for (a) is “economic liberalism,” but in the contemporary context — particularly the contemporary American context — that presents some difficulty, too, as evidenced by Katrina Forrester’s new essay in The Nation, “Liberalism Doesn’t Start With Liberty.” Forrester, a lecturer in the history of political thought at Queen Mary University, London, begins with a strange assertion: that the idea of liberalism as a consent-oriented view rooted in the work of John Locke and based on “toleration, private property, and individualism” is in effect a propaganda coup, “a recent invention. It is, in fact, largely a product of the Cold War. . . . Before the 1930s, histories of liberalism told a different story.” The claim is false on its face: We find that conception of historical liberalism fully developed as early as Ludwig von Mises’s Nation, State, and Economy, published in 1919, to say nothing of Adam Smith’s attention to “liberal” policy in a rather more well-known work in 1776. (If you would like a few charts illustrating the historical use of the word “liberal,” Daniel B. Klein obliges in The Atlantic here.) Mises was writing not in the context of the Cold War but in the context of the trauma of the First World War; the book’s original title was Imperialism, and that tendency, rather than socialism, is the evil to which Mises addresses his criticism. The French use of libéral to denote political ideas emphasizing individual liberties dates to the 18th century, its adoption by critics of the English proponents of those ideas at least to the first year of the 19th. That the common understanding of “liberalism” and its origins is a Cold War invention surely would come as a surprise to the ghosts of Peel and Gladstone.

UPHILL FOR HILLARY CLINTON IN ARKANSAS? BETH REINHARD

DEVALLS BLUFF, Ark.—White, working-class voters in eastern Arkansas for years backed Democratic candidates, among them Bill Clinton and outgoing Gov. Mike Beebe, but have moved sharply toward Republicans in recent elections.

Now, as the 2016 election takes shape, some of Hillary Clinton ’s allies are trumpeting her potential as a presidential candidate to bring these voters back to the Democratic Party and to run competitively in a handful of states, including Arkansas, that have spurned President Barack Obama .

But even here, where Mrs. Clinton was the state’s first lady, many voters say they view her with the same leeriness they do Mr. Obama and other national Democrats. That points to a significant question should Mrs. Clinton run: whether enough such voters can separate her from the national party many have grown to dislike.
“I’m mad at the Democratic Party, and I don’t see Hillary changing that,” said Eddie Ciganek, a 61-year-old farmer who serves on Prairie County’s governing board and who has voted Democrat at times. “Her thinking isn’t going to be very far off from President Obama’s thinking, and I don’t think they’re moving the country in the right direction.”

Occasional Democratic voter Johnny Watkins, 64, wearing a light-blue work shirt after finishing his shift at the county landfill, said of Mrs. Clinton: “I don’t think she has any concerns about us.”

Working-class voters have long been a bedrock of Democratic support, and the party continues to do well with voters from lower-income households overall, according to exit polls.

But white, more rural voters in the South and elsewhere have been fleeing the party. Just five years ago, Arkansas Democrats held both Senate seats, three out of four House seats, the governor’s office and control of both chambers of the state legislature. The election in November of Republicans Tom Cotton to the U.S. Senate and Asa Hutchinson to the governor’s office will leave the Democratic Party without a single federal or statewide officeholder in Arkansas, a state that Bill Clinton carried twice by at least 17 percentage points.

The Voter Suppression Myth Takes Another Hit: Memo to Critics of North Carolina’s Election-Law Reforms Black Midterm Turnout Has Increased. By Robert D. Popper

Federal lawsuits against North Carolina claim that recent changes to the state’s election laws will “suppress” minority votes. For example, in N.C. State Conf. of NAACP v. McCrory, plaintiffs assert that the new laws “impose a disproportionate burden on the ability of African Americans to vote” and will “raise costs for voters and deter participation.” They highlight testimony by a former director of the State Board of Elections who asserted that the laws will “ultimately reduc[e] turnout in comparison to comparable elections.”

Turnout data for the 2014 election, posted Dec. 10 on the state’s Board of Elections website, tell a different story. Black turnout and registration for the November 2014 election increased by every relevant measure compared with November 2010, the last non-presidential general election.
Last July, North Carolina adopted electoral reforms that eliminated same-day registration, reduced the number of days of early voting to 10 from 17, and required ballots to be cast in a voter’s home precinct. It also instituted a voter-ID requirement that will take full effect in 2016.

Two sets of plaintiffs, led by the NAACP and the League of Women Voters, sued in federal court on Aug. 12, 2013. They were followed a few weeks later by the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder asserted that the state’s new laws would restrict “access and ease of voter participation” and “would shrink, rather than expand, access to the franchise.”

Colleges Need a Business Productivity Audit: Frank Mussano And Robert V. Iosue …see note please

CHECK OUT :http://www.openthebooks.com/…

‘Since May, our teams and allies have investigated the second largest college in Illinois- College of DuPage (COD). We’ve found a “Junior College Gone Wild.” Click here for details.
In May, we advocated three policies: 1. Freeze Property Taxes, 2. Freeze Tuition, 3. Bring unneeded construction dollars into the Classroom.
Professors are teaching less while administrators proliferate. Let’s find out how all that tuition is being spent.

College tuition rates are ridiculously out of hand. Since the late 1970s, tuition has surged more than 1,000%, while the consumer-price index has risen only 240%. The percentage of annual household income required to pay the average private four-year tuition reached 36% in 2010, up from 16% in 1970. What explains the ever-increasing costs?
For one, three quarters of a typical college budget is spent on personnel expenses, including benefits. Yet the average professor spends much less time in the classroom today than two decades ago. In 2010 44% of full-time faculty reported that they spent nine or more hours a week in the classroom, according to the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. In 1989 more than 60% said they did. The traditional 12-15 hours a week teaching load is changing into a six-to-nine-hour workweek, a significant decrease in productivity.

The typical defense of the reduced workload goes something like this: Professors have increased research demands, more extensive classroom preparation and committee work, as well as additional administrative and student-counseling responsibilities.

Except for a handful of elite researchers, this argument doesn’t add up. High-school teachers, for instance, teach 20-30 hours a week, while also facing increased administrative responsibilities. Some parents work longer hours or perhaps even two jobs to defray a child’s college expenses.

There’s another problem: The number of college administrators has increased 50% faster than the number of instructors since 2001, according to the Education Department. Administrative costs have far outpaced other college expenses during the past two decades.

There are numerous examples, but some of the more stunning cases include the University of Minnesota, which added 1,000 administrators in the past decade, reaching a ratio of one administrator for every 3.5 students, according to 2012 reporting in this newspaper. Arizona State University increased the number of administrators by 94% between 1993-2007, according to the Goldwater Institute, and the University of Pennsylvania nonteaching staff swelled by 83%—even though the schools’ respective student enrollments and instructional expenditures did not grow anywhere near those rates.

A Brandeis Student Refuses to Show Sympathy for Assassinated Policemen — and Her Critic Is Attacked by Alan M. Dershowitz

As I watched, with tears in my eyes, the funeral of police officer Rafael Ramos who was ambushed along with fellow officer, Wenjian Liu, in revenge for the deaths of two black young men who were killed by policemen, I could not help thinking of the following horrible words tweeted by a bigoted young woman named Khadijah Lynch, on the day the police officers were murdered in cold blood, and the day after:

“i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today.” (December 20, 2014)

“lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist f…ing country.”(December 21, 2014)

Khadijah Lynch is a Brandeis University junior who at the time she wrote the tweet was the undergraduate representative in the Brandeis African and Afro-American studies department.

Nor was this her first bigoted tweet. She has apparently described her college as “a social themed institution grounded in Zionism. Word. That a f…ing fanny dooly.” And she cannot understand why “black people have not burned this country down….” She describes herself as “in riot mode. F… this f…ing country.” She has apparently said that she would like to get a gun and has called for an intifada: “Amerikkka needs an intifada. Enough is enough. ” “What the f… even IS ‘non-violence’. ”

Ms. Lynch is certainly entitled to express such despicable views, just as Nazis, Klansmen and other bigots are entitled to express theirs. But when another Brandeis student, named Daniel Mael, decided to post her public tweets on a website, Lynch threatened to sue him for “slander”. Republishing someone’s own published words could not possibly constitute slander, libel or any other form of defamation, because you can’t be slandered by your own words. You can, of course, be embarrassed, condemned, ostracized or “unfriended” due your own words, as Donald Sterling, the former owner of the LA Clippers, was. But Sterling’s bigoted words were never intended to be public, whereas Lynch’s tweets were publicly circulated.