The Best-Ever Argument for Federalism

December 21, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Competition among the states as a check on the greed and foolishness of progressives, with Vermont as an example.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I’m a big fan of federalism for both policy and political reasons.

Returning programs to the states is the best way of dealing with counterproductive income-redistribution policies such as welfare, Medicaid, and food stamps.

Federalism is also the right way of unwinding bad education schemes like Obama’s Common Core and Bush’s No Bureaucrat Left Behind.

And the same principle applies for transportation, natural disasters, and social issues such as drugs.

And I can’t resist pointing out, for the benefit of those who think such things matter, that federalism is also the system that is consistent with our Constitution’s restrictions on central government power.

Simply stated, federalism is good news because we get innovation, diversity, and experimentation. States that make wise choices will be role models for their peers. And it’s also worth noting that states that screw up will provide valuable…

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New Study: Two Thousand Years of Northern European Summer Temperatures Show a Downward Trend

December 18, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Bad news for the Warmist cult: Empirical evidence shows not only a millennia-long cooling trend, but that prior warming periods were warmer than the late-20th century peaks. Darn those “inconvenient truths.”

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

In a paper published in the Journal of Quaternary Science, Esper et al. (2014) write that tree-ring chronologies of maximum latewood density (MXD) “are most suitable to reconstruct annually resolved summer temperature variations of the late Holocene.” And working with what they call “the world’s two longest MXD-based climate reconstructions” – those of Melvin et al. (2013) and Esper et al. (2012) – they combined portions of each to produce a new-and-improved summer temperature history for northern Europe that stretches all the way “from 17 BC to the present.” And what did they thereby learn?

As the international team of researchers from the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Sweden and Switzerland describes it, this history depicts “a long-term cooling trend of -0.30°C per 1,000 years over the Common Era in northern Europe” (see figure below). Most important of all, however, they note that their temperature reconstruction…

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The Case Against the IRS and the “Progressive” Income Tax

December 16, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Tax reform along the lines of some sort of flat tax or a national sales tax, along with reduction in the size of government, would go a long way towards generating prosperity here again. It would also make statist heads explode — a win-win situation!

Originally posted on International Liberty:

Genuine tax reform would be the second-best fiscal policy reform to boost economic growth.*

With a simple and fair tax system, we could get rid of high tax rates that penalize productive behavior. We could eliminate the double taxation that discourages saving and investment. And we could wipe out the rat’s nest of deductions, credits, exemptions, preferences, exclusions, and other loopholes that bribe people into making economically unwise decisions.

When pushing for tax reform, I normally cite the flat tax, but there are many roads that lead to Rome. I’ve also pointed out that other tax reform plans have similar attributes. Here’s what I wrote, for instance, when comparing the flat tax and national sales tax.

In simple terms, a national sales tax (such as the Fair Tax) is like a flat tax but with a different collection point.the two plans are different…

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Hilarious irony – Michael Mann to give lecture on ‘Professional Ethics for Climate Scientists’

December 15, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

This is like Bill Clinton lecturing on marital fidelity.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

From the ‘truth is stranger than fiction department’, reporting from San Francisco at the AGU Fall Meeting

ED11D-02
Professional Ethics for Climate Scientists
Monday, December 15, 201408:15 AM – 08:30 AM Moscone South 102
Several authors have warned that climate scientists sometimes exhibit a tendency to “err on the side of least drama” in reporting the risks associated with fossil fuel emissions. Scientists are often reluctant to comment on the implications of their work for public policy, despite the fact that because of their expertise they may be among those best placed to make recommendations about such matters as mitigation and preparedness. Scientists often have little or no training in ethics or philosophy, and consequently they may feel that they lack clear guidelines for balancing the imperative to avoid error against the need to speak out when it may be ethically required to do so. This dilemma becomes acute…

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Greenpeace: We Spit on Your Sacred Spaces

December 14, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

The clueless narcissism of the self-proclaimed “activist” is at once both infuriating and amazing.

Originally posted on NoFrakkingConsensus:

Desecrating cultural and religious monuments is normal Greenpeace behaviour.

Nasca_lines_greenpeace

screengrab from the BBC website (click)

Activism is about persuasion. It’s about using moral arguments to change people’s minds which, in turn, changes the world.

For moral arguments to be successful, we need to already inhabit the same approximate moral universe. Some things are sacred. The ends don’t justify the means. This isn’t rocket science, but apparently it’s news to Greenpeace.

In Peru, where a UN climate summit is currently taking place, the Ministry of Culture says Greenpeace activists have desecrated an important cultural monument.

The NazcaLines are a collection of approximately 300 figures etched into the Peruvian desert more than 1,500 years ago. In the words of vice-minister Luis Jaime Castillo, an archeologist by training, the figures

are absolutely fragile. They are black rocks on a white background. You walk there and the footprint is going to…

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The eyeroller you knew was going to happen – California winter storm caused by “changing climate”

December 12, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Say it after me, kiddies: “Global Warming: Is there nothing it cannot do?” Sigh….

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

People send me stuff. This “never let a good crisis go to waste” dreck was sent to me today from a Madison Avenue PR outfit called “Climate Nexus” who doesn’t seem to know much about climate, or weather, or California. But, they can spin a good yarn. The storm impacting California today is just like hundreds of previous storms in recorded weather history, the only thing that is new is the desire to link it to climate change for political purposes. In my opinion, it’s bullshit of the highest order.

sat_pacific_640x480[1]

The Winter storm hitting California today, claimed to be driven by “changing climate”.

FYI FOR JOURNALISTS

Northern California Super Storm Linked to Changing Climate

To: Journalists
From: Climate Nexus
Date: December 11, 2014
Re: The Climate Context of California’s Atmospheric River Storm

With the drought-causing high-pressure zone dubbed the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” pushed aside for now, a powerful…

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Mosul physician says ISIS profits from organ trade

December 9, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Is there no depth to which ISIS won’t sink? Don’t answer that…

Originally posted on Money Jihad:

Arab surgeons have moved into Mosul to remove patients’ organs for follow-on black market resale according to an Iraqi ear, nose, and throat doctor interviewed by Al-MonitorAl-Monitor characterizes organ trafficking as one of several funding sources for the Islamic State, and reports that revenues are “allocated to local and foreign fighters, to encourage them to join up and continue fighting.”  Hat tip to El Grillo:

…The third funding source was exposed by otolaryngologist Siruwan al-Mosuli. He said that lately he noticed unusual movement within medical facilities in Mosul. Arab and foreign surgeons were hired, but prohibited from mixing with local doctors. Information then leaked about organ selling. Surgeries take place within a hospital and organs are quickly transported through networks specialized in trafficking human organs. Mosuli said that the organs come from fallen fighters who were quickly transported to the hospital, injured people who were abandoned or individuals…

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