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Special Report

Will Warmists Please Stop Whining

By 3.17.15

Climate alarmists are so frustrated by their losing the debate — both in public opinion of the importance of “climate change” as an issue and in climate data itself — that their response to even the most docile of questioning is to belittle the questioner and, after saying “Trust me, I’m a scientist,” bombard readers with misuse of statistics and misleading implications.

At Large

Soul Freedom at Growing Risk

By 3.17.15

Religious persecution did not end with Nero and the Roman Empire. In fact, punishment of and hostility toward people of faith is increasing. The group Open Doors recently released its latest World Watch List, warning: “This year, the threshold was higher for a country to make the list, indicating that worldwide levels of persecution have increased.” Persecution emerged “even in places where it has not been reported in the past.” As a result, Bahrain, Morocco, and Niger fell off the list even though their mistreatment of religious believers remained largely unchanged. (Azerbaijan, Mexico, and Turkey replaced them.)

Last year the group Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity, released a report which concluded that in 81 of 196 countries, or 41 percent, religious liberty was substantially impaired or in decline. Another 35 percent, or 18 percent, had issues “of concern.” Overall, conditions of religious liberty had deteriorated in 55 countries and improved in only six.

Freedom Watch

Ralph Peters Nails the Ruling Class

By 3.17.15

Fox News strategic analyst, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, has scored a bull’s-eye with his recent thoughts on the real problem facing America in the conduct of foreign policy. 

In a piece in the New York Post titled “Why our prep-school diplomats fail against Putin and ISIS,” Peters more than effectively makes the case as to why the U.S. keeps getting its lunch eaten in dealings with tyrants. Writes Peters:

Why do our “best and brightest” fail when faced with a man like Putin? Or with charismatic fanatics? Or Iranian negotiators? Why do they misread our enemies so consistently, from Hitler and Stalin to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph?

The answer is straightforward:

Social insularity: Our leaders know fellow insiders around the world; our enemies know everyone else.

The mandarin’s distaste for physicality: We are led through blood-smeared times by those who’ve never suffered a bloody nose.

Free Market Accountability Project

Enviro Money Coopting Conservatives

By 3.16.15

Progressives have for years been laying the groundwork to co-opt conservatives on energy policy, paying existing right-of-center groups to help them communicate with the rest, creating new organizations and heading them with a conservative or two for appearances, and ultimately using the jargon of markets and freedom in the service of cronyism.

A jarring example of this is well underway in Florida, where environmentalist foundations have secured the support of some right-of-center groups for a ballot initiative promoting solar power.

A Further Perspective

Pretty in Pravda

By 3.16.15

Open-mindedness is a key value at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and to demonstrate that value they chose “Communism” as the theme to their prom, dubbing it “Prommunism.”

The Prommunist era didn’t last long. It turns out that despite feeling like they “knew a lot about the topic,” choosing the Communist theme brought a stronger reaction than they were expecting. Much stronger. Once the story hit the web (see this particularly fine take by the Spectator's Dan Flynn), students said they “no longer felt safe” due to some of the reactions they received. So they switched themes.

If only those who lived under Communism could have switched so easily.

While the students claim that choosing the “Communism” theme was a way of honoring their education and showing off their open-mindedness, KRQE reported that Cottonwood's Executive Director, Sam Obenshain, confessed when it was first selected that “he and many students aren’t even quite sure what Prommunism is supposed to look like.”

The Right Prescription

The Sum of All Obamacarian Fears

By 3.16.15

If you carefully consider the claims of Obamacare’s defenders in King v. Burwell you will discover that their worst fear, sanctimonious pretense notwithstanding, is not the loss of insurance subsidies for some Americans. The most terrifying prospect for proponents of PPACA is that the Court will let Congress clean up its own mess. They do not want our elected representatives to have another chance to consider the will of the voters while revising Obamacare. And this is precisely what will happen if the justices fail to find anything in the law’s text permitting subsidies to be distributed via federal exchanges.

The Hillary Watch

The Knives Are Out

By 3.16.15

The days of unity and commonality of purpose within the Democratic Party are over.

You don’t agree? Consider the Hillary Clinton email scandal, and the continuing revelations adding fuel to it in the media.

Without question the scandal has legs, as it certainly should. Among the elements adding up to the email affair as an item of major consequence are these: Clinton clearly operated on a “homebrewed” email server to the exclusion of the standard “” address protocol would have required, as did her most trusted advisers, purely to escape the transparency the government server would have imposed on her. She apparently committed a felony by destroying some 30,000 emails she says were not work-related but never submitted to the State Department for review, as the law requires. She also may have committed the crime of perjury by destroying those records if she signed, as all State Department officials are required, a Form OF-109 — which certifies that all records of a State Department employee have been turned over to the government.

Ben Stein's Diary

Love Is Strange

By 3.16.15

Wednesday Night
Here we are in my favorite town on the East Coast, Oxford, Maryland. Bob, driver and friend, wifey, and I headed off to the Eastern Sho’ at lunchtime. It was a gloomy day but cleared up just as we passed over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. To my shock, the Bay was clogged with ice. I have never seen it frozen over before. This was a cold winter indeed.

We stopped just east of the little spot called Kent Island and ate lunch at Chick-fil-A. As you know by now, this is one of my very favorite places. Delightful food, great, bright rooms, cheerful staff. It was a little slice of Nirvana.

Then, off like lightning to the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. That is a spectacular 25,000 acres of marshland, wetlands, unbelievably huge flocks of ducks and geese, screeching and cawing through the sky. We drove along a narrow road and beheld the beauty that God had wrought. If you go to D.C. and have a day, you cannot do better than the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, just south of Cambridge.

The Congressional Spectator

Where Republicans Can Find Five Easy Wins

By 3.16.15

If Republicans want a shot at winning the White House in 2016, Congress needs to shift into high gear — now, not next year. The start of the 114th Congress has been less than encouraging. After more than two months of control, the Republican-controlled Congress has sent President Obama just six bills, and the only measure supporting private sector job creation — the Keystone XL pipeline — failed to gather enough votes to overcome the president’s veto. That’s not a very promising start for what its leaders dubbed “the New American Congress,” especially when you consider the GOP has its largest House majority in more than 80 years.

Constitutional Opinions

I Pledge Allegiance to the 1st Amendment

By 3.16.15

I understand why University of Oklahoma President David Boren chose to expel two students for singing a vile, racist ditty at a fraternity event. There is nothing funny about lyrics that make light of lynching and repeat the N-word. If students did that at a university that I administered, I’d want to toss them out, too.

Yet Boren was wrong to act as he did. As UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh wrote, “racist speech is constitutionally protected, just as is expression of other contemptible ideas; and universities may not discipline students based on their speech.” Courts have consistently ruled to that effect. A free country doesn’t want the government to educate only people with approved viewpoints.

And still, Boren’s move appears to be wildly popular in academia. Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s headquarters, which quickly began proceedings to expel the University of Oklahoma chapter, issued a statement in support of Boren’s ouster of the two supposed ringleaders.