Assad funds his own enemies

December 31, 2015

Everybody in that region is not just double-dealing, but triple-dealing.

Money Jihad

The regime of Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad is buying millions of dollars in oil from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Maybe years of sanctions against Syria have backfired in that Assad doesn’t have too many other willing sellers. This business relationship between Assad and ISIS helps explain the protracted nature of the conflict.

That, and we’ve been too slow to recognize that Assad may be the lesser priority evil in the region. The thinking in fashionable circles in D.C. for the last couple years was to defeat Assad then defeat ISIS. It may be a better idea to let him defeat ISIS and then reassess.

Here’s a telling excerpt from an interview by NPR’s Renee Montagne with Treasury official Adam Szubin (h/t El Grillo):

…MONTAGNE: I think it will amaze listeners to hear that a great deal of the oil paying for the Islamic State’s war…

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Greenland retained 99.7% of its ice mass in 20th Century!!!

December 30, 2015

So much for the hysterical claim that the Demon CO2 was melting the Greenland ice cap. Be sure to click through: I especially like the graphic of the “lost ice cube.”

Watts Up With That?

(Featured image borrowed from http://www.clipartbest.com)

Naturally, the Real Clear Science headline actually read…

Greenland Lost 9 Trillion Tons of Ice in Century

Which sounds even more serious than the original headline…

Greenland.PNGGreenland has lost 9,000 billion tons of ice in a century

One would think that the fact that 99.7% of Greenland’s ice sheet survived the 20th Century might just be more scientifically relevant than a 0.3% loss… But I guess that doesn’t make for a very dramatic headline.

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Great advice for the 2016 political season

December 30, 2015

Via someone on Twitter, I forget who:

Stop being stupid

Yep. smiley cowboy


British Officials Blame Climate Change for Floods

December 28, 2015

Say it after me, kiddies: “There is nothing the Dread Demon CO2 cannot do. Nothing.” I wonder what they think caused changes in flood patterns before the Industrial Age?

Watts Up With That?

Carlisle Civic Centre amid floodwater, author Rose and Trev Clough, source Wikimedia Carlisle Civic Centre amid floodwater, author Rose and Trev Clough, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Top British government officials have predictably blamed Climate Change for severe flooding which has afflicted England in recent weeks. But there has also been strong criticism of river management policies.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald;

London: Climate change is forcing England to re-assess its flood defences in the face of unprecedented river level surges, one of the United Kingdom government’s most senior environment officials says.

We are moving from a period of known extremes into a period of unknown extremes,” said David Rooke, deputy chief executive of the UK government’s Environment Agency, which manages the country’s rivers.
“We will need to re-assess all the defences right across the country.”

He linked the devastating Boxing Day floods, still engulfing swathes of the country, to climate change.

“What we are seeing are…

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Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2015

From Public Secrets Global HQ, wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and many happy surprises under your tree:

UPDATE: Here’s a very interesting article by historian John Steele Gordon on the origins and history of Christmas, including the story of how it came to fall on the end of the Roman holiday of Saturnalia. Smart man, that Pope Liberius: A Brief History of Christmas. (Hint: search the author and title in Google to get past the subscriber wall.)


US Landed Gentry demand Medieval Climate Tithes

December 22, 2015

And thus we see the true heart of the Green Movement: cronyism and rent-seeking at the expense of the public. The true believers are being played for suckers.

Watts Up With That?

lake windermere fern forest

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

What could be better than owning a large woodland estate, and making a steady income from harvesting timber? Harvesting an additional tithe of taxpayer’s money, of course.

According to the Huffington Post;

America’s Family Forests: Our Climate Change Solution

Last weekend, 195 nations reached a landmark agreement that will commit the world to limiting its greenhouse gas emissions. Throughout the two weeks of negotiations, we saw significant discussion about how investing in forests can be a low cost climate solution. Unfortunately, these discussions often focused on international forests, and assumed that U.S. forests’ ability to sequester carbon will remain the same without any special action.

That’s why today, the American Forest Foundation and The Trust for Public Land, co-chairs of the Forest Climate Working Group, a coalition of landowners, conservation organizations, forestry advocates, forest products companies and scientists delivered a letter to President Obama calling…

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So-Called Paycheck Fairness Was the Nuttiest Idea at the Democrats’ debate

December 20, 2015

Remember what Margaret Thatcher said; it applies to the Democrats: They would rather everyone were poorer, as long as the gap between rich and poor were narrower. We would rather *everyone* be richer, and the “gap” be damned. The difference is crucial and fundamental.

International Liberty

Normally I’m very happy to work for the Cato Institute, both because it is a principled and effective organization.

But I wondered about my career choices last night because I was stuck with the very unpleasant task of live-tweeting the Democrat presidential debate. Cleaning out septic tanks would have been a more enjoyable way to spend my time.

Of all the crazy things that were discussed (you can see my contemporaneous reactions on my Twitter feed), the Clinton-Sanders-O’Malley support for so-called Paycheck Fairness legislation would be at the top of my list.

Yes, I was irked by the myopic fixation on income inequality, the support for class-warfare taxation, and the reflexive advocacy for more government spending, but messing around with the price system – because of an assertion that women are paid 77 cents for every $1 received by men – is an entirely different level…

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