Friday, February 21, 2014

Cruising the Web

Charles Krauthammer mocks the idea, propagated by the left, that the science on human-caused global warming is settled.
Accordingly, Obama ostentatiously visited drought-stricken California last Friday. Surprise! He blamed climate change. Here even the New York Times gagged, pointing out that far from being supported by the evidence, “the most recent computer projections suggest that as the world warms, California should get wetter, not drier, in the winter.”

How inconvenient. But we’ve been here before. Hurricane Sandy was made the poster child for the alleged increased frequency and strength of “extreme weather events” like hurricanes.

Nonsense. Sandy wasn’t even a hurricane when it hit the United States. Indeed, in all of 2012, only a single hurricane made U.S. landfall . And 2013 saw the fewest Atlantic hurricanes in 30 years. In fact, in the last half-century, one-third fewer major hurricanes have hit the United States than in the previous half-century.

Similarly tornadoes. Every time one hits, the climate-change commentary begins. Yet last year saw the fewest in a quarter-century. And the last 30 years — of presumed global warming — has seen a 30 percent decrease in extreme tornado activity (F3 and above) versus the previous 30 years.

None of this is dispositive. It doesn’t settle the issue. But that’s the point. It mocks the very notion of settled science, which is nothing but a crude attempt to silence critics and delegitimize debate. As does the term “denier” — an echo of Holocaust denial, contemptibly suggesting the malevolent rejection of an established historical truth.
We can see a similar attempt by the left to shut down other beliefs with which they disagree. Jonah Goldberg looks at a growing trend on campuses and elsewhere to shutdown the presentation of other views in some sort of wrong-headed desire to offer a diversity of opinion.
More pernicious, however, is that they believe the question of justice is a settled matter. We know what justice is, so why let serious people debate it anymore? The millennia-old dialogue between Aristotle, Plato, St. Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Rawls, Rorty, Hayek et al.? Shut it down, people. Or at least if the conversation heads in a direction where the Korns, Chings, and Streisands smell “oppression” — as defined solely by the Left — then it must not be “put up with.” Diversity demands that diversity of opinion not be tolerated anymore.
George Leef examines the pernicious attempts by the Obama Education and Justice Departments to ensure that schools exercise proportionality in race when imposing disciplinary punishments.
Hans Bader, a lawyer with the Competitive Enterprise Institute who formerly worked in the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights sums up the argument against the federal crusade this way, “Stopping school officials from disciplining black students who violate school rules just because they previously disciplined more black than white students is just as crazy as ordering police to stop arresting black criminals just because they previously arrested more blacks than whites.”
But the administration isn't interested in individual students, but in racial statistics.
Kimberley Strassel rightly chastises Ted Cruz and the Senate Conservatives Fund for aiming their fire at conservative senators such as Mitch McConnell with whom they don't disagree on policy, but on tactics.
Republicans have fumbled their last two Senate takeover chances, mostly thanks to infighting. But this latest movement—to take down incumbents over tactics—is a new low. If the GOP remains a minority, this will be why.
A study of randomly-chosen IRS executives has shown that close to a third of them are improperly classifying their own travel reimbursements as no-taxable. So is it that they don't understand the laws they are supposed to be enforcing or were they deliberately cheating?

Robert Zubrin details the deliberate use of starvation polices in Cuba.
Sean Trende provides more analysis trying to predict the chances of the GOP taking the Senate this year.