Saturday, May 8, 2021

How Big Tech is Using the UN to Censor President Trump - Daniel Greenfield


by Daniel Greenfield

American law does not apply on Facebook. UN law does.

In 2018, the Trump administration pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council. That same year the administration cut funding to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) which had repeatedly attacked America and the Trump administration.

The administration dismissed these attacks as impotent, but the UN’s human rights apparatus had more power over Americans, including President Trump, than most people realized.

In 2012, the Rabat Plan of Action was born at a UN OHCHR conference in the Morrocan capital whose elected government was under the control of the Justice and Development Party, the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, partly in response to Muslim outrage over “blasphemy” against Mohammed, and defined a program for censoring “hatred” and “incitement”.

In 2021, the Rabat Plan of Action along with other UN guidelines, was used by Facebook’s Oversight Board to justify the continued social media censorship of President Trump.

The social media monopoly which controls over 80% of social media traffic had outsourced its censorship to a board which used UN OHCHR speech guidelines to determine when Americans, including the President of the United States, could be censored.

The United States could try to defund OHCHR and pull out of the Human Rights Council, but the UN’s speech codes were already defining what Americans could say far more than anything in the American legal system. When Facebook’s Oversight Board issued its verdict on Trump, it did not cite a single item of United States law, including the First Amendment, but cited the Rabat Plan of Action, and articles of the UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), OHCHR, a UN Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council, and the UN's International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

American law does not apply on Facebook. UN law does.

Libertarian and liberal critics of the campaign against Big Tech clamor that private companies are not governments, and have the right to censor anyone they please without falling afoul of the First Amendment. But when Big Tech monopolies that already control most online speech respond to state pressure from Democrat officials and their allied media outlets by imposing UN speech guidelines on Americans, including the President of the United States, that’s not private.

It’s state censorship by tech monopolies imposing rules created by foreign governments.

Michelle Bachelet, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, is Chile's former Socialist Party president who had spent years of exile in East Germany and who was backed by the Communist Party.

Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the son of the Lord Chamberlain of Jordan, Bachelet’s predecessor, had warned that President Trump’s words could lead to violence, and urged that “the conduct of the president should be under very careful scrutiny by the international community and by this office.” He also warned Facebook to “be thinking proactively”.

Facebook's Oversight Board includes Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark's former Prime Minister from its Social Democratic Party, and Catalina Botero Marino, the Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Expression. Facebook's Vice-President for Global Affairs and Communications is former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Director Thomas Hughes of the Oversight Board’s administrative staff formerly worked at UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency, and for the European Commission, and was a member of the UK Foreign Secretary's Independent Advisory Group on Human Rights.

This is not private action.

Facebook can’t claim that it’s a private company and can determine what’s on its platform and then go ahead and use rules created by foreign governments and officials to censor Americans.

The Rabat Plan of Action, which Facebook’s Oversight Board used to justify the censorship of President Trump, declares that states are obliged to restrict speech that "amounts to incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence" citing ICCPR articles 19 and 20. The UN's ICCPR Article 19 allows restricting expression for "the reputations of others" and "public order". Article 20 orders a ban on "propaganda for war" and the "advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence."

These are a few of the various UN regulations, treaties, and conventions cited by Facebook’s Oversight Board. And while all this may sound like meaningless UN gibberish to most Americans, these UN rules define what you can and can’t say on the internet.

And what that means is that participating in the marketplace of ideas and in political campaigns in the United States is now subject to United Nations regulations through Silicon Valley.

Facebook’s Oversight Board, which is mostly non-American, does not take into account United States law. But neither is it a private enterprise that merely follows corporate guidelines.

American political speech on Facebook is being regulated by international law, not US law.

There is no longer a choice between regulating and not regulating Facebook. The Big Tech social media monopoly has called for regulation and has already accepted UN regulations.

The only remaining choice is whether Big Tech will follow US or UN laws.

When Facebook’s Oversight Board issues a ruling censoring the President of the United States using UN guidelines, that’s a fundamental conflict between the UN and the Constitution.

The only way to resolve that conflict is to force Big Tech to stop interfering with free speech.

Private companies have the right to remove calls for violence and other violations of their terms of service, but when a platform controls more than half the political speech in the country and actively discriminates against the views of half the country, that makes free speech a dead letter. Silicon Valley’s speech cartel has already colluded to suppress the political opposition, but it’s now applying UN regulations to American political speech and destroying the Bill of Rights.

The Founding Fathers did not envision a scenario in which a cartel of private companies could control the mail and eliminate all letters that were not loyal to the British Crown. The Supreme Court of the 1950s did not envision Ma Bell deciding to prevent Americans from making phone calls if their views clashed with those of the UN. But that’s the threat that has now arrived.

Woke companies aren’t just sending out emails or threatening boycotts, they’re eliminating the Bill of Rights and subjecting American political speech to the dictates of the United Nations.

This isn’t a clash between private enterprise and government officials, but a struggle between two governments, the legitimate government of the United States and the illegitimate umbrella association of tyrannies of the United Nations. If Big Tech and the UN prevail, freedom dies.

If American free speech doesn’t apply to the internet, United Nations speech regulations will.


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


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Biden: The Humanitarian Thief - Jason D. Hill


by Jason D. Hill

Are we our brother's keepers?


Some criminals who steal other people’s money to finance their own private lifestyle, or those of the public, often move by stealth and subterfuge. They deploy moralistic language via rhetorical obfuscation. By the time they work over our moral conscience, we grant them the benefit of the doubt because we believe, in some perverse way, that the criminal had a coercive right to what he was taking away from us.

Joe Biden is such thief. He has stated outright that it is time for the richest Americans to pay their fair share of taxes. He has not exactly identified by what means and by what right it is your or anyone else’s fair share of what someone else has earned. But it does not matter. Like all financial appropriators, private or public, one is expected to accept an appropriator’s assertion as the legitimate basis of a claim, or, in this case, an outright mandate.

The appeal to moral conscience is mawkishly sentimental. Biden intends to finance a country’s badly-needed faltering infrastructure and welfare spending totaling about $4tn. The various packages under these $1.8tn American Families Plan and $2tn infrastructure plans would provide funds for childcare and free pre-school education facilities, along with humongous programs to rebuild the country’s transport system and public-sector housing. They all are a part of a systemic effort to effect action on what Biden perceives as the climate crisis. The plan would also allocate $200bn for free universal preschool education, and $109bn for free community college education—regardless of income for two years.

This is to be paid for by making corporate America and the wealthiest 1% pay just their fair share, Biden repeated, as he spoke at a community college on Monday, May 3, in Norfolk, Virginia.

Astute readers will realize the move towards socialism by stealth here. No need to dwell on that. Economists like Thomas Sowell, Ludwig Von Mises, and others have pointed to the fact that tax hikes won’t necessarily raise more revenue. The state of Maryland did that to $1 million earners a few years ago and lost 25% of them and their revenue.

What needs to be emphasized is the moral malfeasance committed by the effrontery assumed in the statement that the 1% or anyone at all are responsible for the financial well-being of their fellow citizens. It rests on a particular premise that undergirds all welfare programs, provides the moral basis for socialism, and sets our conscience against the moral right to keep what we earn. If we accept the premise, then it does not matter whether the moral appropriator who claims a right to our money is a single individual who needs to feed his family, or a government bureaucrat seizing it by force to feed a nation, a neighborhood, or a small group: the number of beneficiaries cannot change the nature of the premise.

That premise is: We are our brother’s keepers.

For those who believe that they are their brother’s keepers, no one will stop them from privately enacting that principle in their personal lives as part of their conception of the good life they have carved out for themselves. It, incidentally, taken to its logical endpoint and practiced as a way of life, is impossible to practice consistently. But that ought to be a private issue. Conceptions of the good life coined by individuals in a free society cannot be forced on others. That premise when enacted by government edict is legalized theft and, in principle, is no different from a little knife-wielding thief who seizes your wallet because he needs the money to buy food for his family. The needs of anyone cannot, in any free and civilized society, be a mortgage on the purse strings of others. Need, simpliciter, is not a justification for the confiscation of anyone’s earnings—let alone those who are a nation’s primary wealth and job creators. Our survival is not guaranteed in this world. We have to achieve it by our own efforts as adults. We cannot coerce others by force into conscripted labor to support our lives for us.

Make no mistake about it. If one does accept the premise that one is one’s brother’s keeper, then one is morally disarmed from the confiscatory reaches of any government program that would seek to tax one on the basis of one’s earnings for the financial upkeep of others. One is a permanent victim of the egregious lie that one has not paid one’s fair share because one is wealthy and part of the 1%.

To begin with, apart from the sheer legalized theft at stake here, one has to simply examine the presumptuousness involved in assuming the inverse of what is actually an indisputable truth. The wealthy are not parasitic and unfair takers as is implied in the insidious catchphrase: “They must pay their fair share.” Quite the opposite. Wealth is the material and tangible translation of human values to human desires, aspirations, and creative production. Those who create wealth are the benefactors of a host of social and material goods to non-wealth creators, including jobs, prosperity, and increased standards of living. They have “paid their fair share,” if that conceptually inane phrase has even a patina of reference to reality, simply by existing and producing the goods and services that, left to themselves, the beneficiaries would be unable to produce. They would simply wallow in abject poverty and decrepitude, and suffer myriad unmet needs.

Biden, like all wealth appropriators, of course, is a prototype that sees wealth creators as one collective brain that must be nationalized. His mandate begs the question on so many levels. First, that wealth is a national commodity or treasure trove that belongs to society. In the United States of America, wealth is privately owned. It is not a national resource. To speak of re-distribution is to be either putatively dishonest or, at best, intellectually out-of-focus. Wealth, properly speaking, is not distributed in this country. Wealth is earned by men and women who voluntarily trade goods and services to those willing to buy and consume them for their personal advantage or pleasure. And the precondition of wealth—values, imagination, frugality, prudence, discipline, talent (a plethora of traits), cannot be re-distributed at all.

To speak of re-distributing something that is not distributed in the first place is to commit a category mistake on purpose for the sake of perverting reality in order to sabotage people’s logic, their moral conscience, and their capacity to inoculate themselves against the encroachments of others on the moral, spiritual, intellectual and, ultimately, fiscal aspect of their lives.

It is the absence of rational thinking as a sustained way of life, moral compromise and mawkish sentimentality as intermittent indulgences that allow one’s adversaries to ultimately achieve moral and economic victories over one. I believe that if we want to function as wholesalers as opposed to retailers in both the realm of values and cognition, then it is in terms of the larger foundational, hidden principles that our adversaries are using to “pull one over on us” that must be identified and rejected. The edifice will come crumbling down. We won’t be left agreeing on paid child-care, rejecting community colleges, and wringing our hands in agonal despair over pre-school education. The basic comprehensive principle grounding them is identical. Reject the principle, frame the debate on your terms, and then you will win the battle.

* * *

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore


Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago, and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. His areas of specialization include ethics, social and political philosophy, American foreign policy and American politics. He is the author of several books, including We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People (Bombardier Books/Post Hill Press). His new forthcoming book is What Do White Americans Owe Black People: Racial Justice in the Age of Post Oppression. Follow him on Twitter @JasonDhill6.


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Ashley Rindsberg on the New York Times' False Narrative - Marilyn Stern


by Marilyn Stern

Media institutions must be held "accountable ... and culpable ... for journalistic malfeasance."

Ashley Rindsberg, author of The Gray Lady Winked: How the New York Times' Misreporting, Fabrications and Distortions Radically Alter History, spoke to an April 19 Middle East Forum webinar (video) about "how the New York Times gets the Mideast wrong, and why it matters."

Rindsberg wrote his new book to explain "how false media narratives are created and how they shape the world around us ... generally, not for the better." By "false media narratives," a term that he prefers to the "highly politicized" phrase "fake news," Rindsberg is referring to the "promulgation of facts, storylines, and ideas that are designed to suit an ideological or interest-driven agenda of some kind."

In contrast to journalistic mistakes, a false media narrative has a "network structure" requiring "a lot of coordination, a lot of collaboration, and a lot of buy-in from lots of different people," explained Rindsberg. "False media narratives are always the product of an institution, never a single reporter or a single article." As such, whereas "a single lie ... on its own is very fragile," a false media narrative is "anti-fragile" in that "you can remove any single node ... by debunking a news report or article, and the network remains almost entirely unaffected."

A false media narrative has a "a lot of buy-in from lots of different people."

Rindsberg found that the New York Times has promoted a multitude of false media narratives during its history. During the 1930s, for example, its Berlin bureau "excus[ed] anti-Jewish riots in Germany," reported favorably on the 1936 Olympics hosted by the Nazis, and even made the specious claim that "Poland had invaded Germany" at the outbreak of World War II. For over a decade, the paper consistently provided cover for Nazi propaganda.

Rindsberg found numerous false narratives in the New York Times' reportage on the Mideast, and especially about Israel. He focused in particular on three clusters of reporting about the second Palestinian intifada.

First, when the violence erupted in September 2000, the New York Times reported that right-wing leader (and soon-to-be prime minister) Ariel Sharon "ignited the intifada" by visiting the Temple Mount, a claim repeated in three separate articles and an editorial on a single day (September 30), a technique Rindsberg calls "bolding the fact." In reality, the intifada was planned "well in advance" of Sharon's visit, as Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti later attested.


The original AP photo of Tuvia Grossman (left), as rendered in the New York Times (right).

Second, the paper published a photo showing a uniformed Israeli holding a stick next to a bloodied civilian, with a caption reading "An Israeli policeman and a Palestinian civilian on the Temple Mount," the implication being that the Israeli had beaten him. In truth, the injured man, Tuvia Grossman, was an American Jewish student, the soldier was protecting him from "being lynched by a Palestinian mob," and the scene did not take place on the Temple Mount (there's a gas station in the background, of which there are none on the Temple Mount). The New York Times editors didn't make three glaring mistakes about the photo due to ignorance, but because "their implicit assumptions, their biases, [and] their prejudices about the conflict ... blinded them ... regarding the truth of the events being shown." The photo and false caption published by the paper fit the "dynamic between two archetypes ... an Israeli aggressor and his Palestinian victim" that drove the paper's "deeper narrative" about the violence.

"The entirety of the conflict had to be one of Palestinian victimhood and Israeli aggression."

The third false claim was "the lie that Israeli soldiers shot and killed in cold blood, an innocent Palestinian boy named Muhammad al-Durrah," which was later debunked. Once again, "the symbol was just too perfect for the Times to resist," said Rindsberg. "The entirety of the conflict had to be one of Palestinian victimhood and Israeli aggression. So you see that the foundational premise was set and then this top layer of the boy's death was built on top of it."

Although the claims about Sharon and al-Durrah both originated with reporters Deborah Sontag and William Oram, the false media narrative "wasn't just two reporters. It wasn't just an article or two. It was dozens of news reports, numerous reporters, including the infamous Judy Miller, who chimed in with her own claims about al-Durrah and the symbol of Palestinian victimhood he now literally embodied, as well as the roots of the conflict and the start of the intifada."

This characteristic of repeated reinforcement "from ... different angles" is seen in one of the paper's most recent false media narratives. Beginning in mid-2020, the New York Times repeatedly advanced the claim that Russia paid bounties to Islamist insurgents in Afghanistan to kill U.S. troops, and that President Trump knew about it but did nothing. Claims about the purported Russian bounties appeared in articles authored by many different Times reporters from June 2020 through April 2021. False media narratives require "a lot of hammering away again and again and again at the same claim, each time from a different angle. And this is what we saw right up until the day before news broke that the story was not true."

Media institutions must be held "accountable ... and culpable ... for journalistic malfeasance."

Rindsberg concluded that false media narratives are the product of a lack of institutional accountability in journalism. The media is "essential to a democracy ... [and] civil society," yet it is not subjected to "the same kind of examination that we put toward some institutions or fields like medicine or law." That needs to change. "As a society, we need to start making our norms, our morals, our ethics regarding journalism much more clear, more explicit, more codified," and institutions that violate those norms must be held "accountable ... and culpable ... for journalistic malfeasance." Rindsberg's exposé about the New York Times' false media narratives is a step in the right direction.


Marilyn Stern is communications coordinator at the Middle East Forum.


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'Social Justice ideology is pernicious, antithetical to Judaism' - Asaf Shalev


by Asaf Shalev

50 prominent American Jewish figures, including Stephen Pinker and Bret Stephens, denounce 'social justice' ideology as 'pernicious'.


blm protest

An open letter signed by about 50 prominent Jewish Americans is warning of the rise of “social justice ideology,” which is described as a “pernicious” force that is “antithetical to Judaism” and threatens to stifle free debate and democratic values in the United States.

The group that organized the letter and many of its signatories say they were inspired by last year’s Harper’s letter, which made a similar argument about censorship of unpopular opinions in the public sphere.

Signatories of the so-called “Jewish Harper’s letter” include prominent center-right writers Bret Stephens, Bari Weiss and Seth Mandel, major academics and authors such as Stephen Pinker and Daniel Gordis, as well as rabbis like David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

They were brought together by a new initiative called the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values. 

The letter calls on Jews to take action against the “suppression of dissent” that is said to be dominating the United States.

“Jewish tradition cherishes debate, respects disagreement, and values questions as well as answers,” the letter says. “We members of the Jewish community add our voices to the growing chorus supporting our liberal principles, opposing the imposition of ideology, encouraging open discussions of challenging topics, and committing to achieving a more just America.”


Asaf Shalev


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Climate Science Is 'Unsettled,' Says Obama Science Director - Sterling Burnett


by Sterling Burnett

Of the multiple books and documentaries poking holes in the apocalyptic climate alarm narrative released in the past year, Unsettled may be the most critical of all, because of who its author is.

As I write, in just over 12 hours since its official launch on May 4, Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, by physicist Steven E. Koonin, Ph.D., is number 15 on Amazon’s list of top-selling nonfiction books, the top-selling book on Amazon Kindle in Weather and Climatology, and the second-bestselling book in 21st Century World History. By the time this review reaches readers, Unsettled might well be the bestselling book in all three subcategories, crack the top 10 in the nonfiction category, and be among the top 100 in sales across all categories.

Of the multiple books and documentaries poking holes in the apocalyptic climate alarm narrative released in the past year, Unsettled may be the most critical of all, because of who its author is.

Koonin was involved in the development of the early computer models used in science and wrote one of the first books describing how computer models were developed, how they function, and their strengths and limits when used in science. The book is still widely used in college classrooms today. Koonin has written more than 200 academic papers and articles, which have been cited more than 14,000 times, according to Google Scholar.

Koonin’s research and writings on climate science and energy led former President Barack Obama to appoint him Undersecretary for Science in the U.S. Department of Energy. Koonin’s portfolio included the government’s climate research program, and Koonin was the lead author of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategic Plan (2011).

Koonin is the ultimate climate insider. Climate hypers cannot plausibly portray him as fringe scientist working outside the mainstream or legitimately label him a “climate denier.”

Koonin’s research indicates the climate is changing and humans have influenced some of that change. Almost everything else people have been led to believe about climate change is unsettled, reports Koonin.

The author begins by describing what he refers to as “The Science”—you know, the thing everyone is supposed to be following:

‘The Science,’ we’re told, is settled. How many times have you heard it?

Humans have already broken the earth’s climate. Temperatures are rising, sea level is surging, ice is disappearing, and heat waves, storms, droughts, floods, and wildfires are an ever-worsening scourge on the world. Greenhouse gas emissions are causing all of this. And unless they’re eliminated promptly by radical changes to society and its energy systems, “The Science” says Earth is doomed. [Emphasis in original.]

Well . . . not quite. Yes, it’s true that the globe is warming, and that humans are exerting a warming influence upon it. But beyond that—to paraphrase the classic movie The Princess Bride: “I do not think ‘The Science’ says what you think it says.”

Unsettled is presented in two parts: “The Science” and “The Response.”

“The Science” comprises eleven chapters. The first two discuss what we know about how the climate works (hint: its less than you’ve been led to believe), and the extent to which humans are contributing to climate change (also less than you might think). The third chapter discusses how climate models have been developed and the ways in which their results are “muddled,” in Koonin’s words, instead of being definitive and trustworthy. Koonin shows models often contradict one another and fail to match observed changes in temperature and climate. This chapter also begins the book’s examination of how various interested parties suppress and misrepresent good climate research in order to persuade the public we face a climate crisis. This latter point is a running theme Koonin highlights by citing specific examples throughout the book.

Chapters Five through Nine examine various negative effects purportedly being caused or exacerbated by human-caused climate change. This set of chapters is fairly summed up by the title of Chapter Nine: “Apocalypses That Ain’t.” Among the findings Koonin discloses are:

  • The late[st] generation of models is actually more uncertain than the earlier one[s].
  • Heat waves in the US are now no more common than they were in 1900 and the warmest temperatures in the US have not risen in the past fifty years.
  • Humans have had no detectable impact on hurricanes over the past century.
  • Greenland’s ice sheet isn’t shrinking any more rapidly today than it was eighty years ago.
  • The net economic impact of human-induced climate change will be minimal through at least the end of this century.

Regular readers of Climate Change Weekly are likely aware of these facts already, but they will be real eye-openers for most readers of Koonin’s book.

The last two chapters of section one examine who “broke” climate science, and how and why, and then discuss how the science, along with how it is represented and reported, can be improved.

For me personally, these chapters are in many ways the most disturbing and interesting of the book, because they detail the ways by which the scientific enterprise itself is being perverted, to the detriment of both science and political decision making.

Science is a process, a method of discovering new truths and explaining currently unexplained or poorly understood phenomena. As Koonin’s book shows in detail, many of those involved in climate research and reporting have abandoned science—the process of discovering data and evidence and assembling facts—for “The Science,” a massive effort to persuade people to believe something that is not true, for normative or political reasons.

Koonin’s suggestion that the federal government institute a “Red Team/Blue Team” exercise to examine and discuss the weak spots in various government climate reports before they are published has been met with hostility by many politically connected scientists and powerful government leaders.

Prominent Democrat senators such as Edward Markey (MA), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Cory Booker (NJ), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Amy Klobuchar (MN), and Diane Feinstein (CA) have supported legislation to outlaw scientific debate about what is known and unknown about climate change by “prohibit[ing] the use of funds to Federal agencies to establish a panel, task force, advisory committee, or other effort to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change, and for other purposes.”

You read that right. Politicians who regularly demand people “follow the science” on climate change have tried to ban the use of the scientific method to discover what climate science tells us.

Of this, Koonin writes,

I confess to being shocked. … [E]nshrining a certain scientific viewpoint as an inviolable consensus is hardly the role of government (at least in a democracy). And as a student of history, I found the bill uncomfortably reminiscent of a 1546 decree by the Council of Trent that attempted to suppress challenges to Church doctrine.

In section two of Unsettled, “The Response,” Koonin explores why political diktats to curtail fossil fuel use sharply are likely to fail and produce outcomes as bad as or worse than the harms they are meant to prevent. Koonin suggests the wisest response to climate change, the response most likely to mitigate any harms while generating beneficial outcomes, is something societies have historically embraced in response to changing climate and sociopolitical conditions: flexible adaptation.

Koonin definitively shows that much more is unsettled than is settled in climate science, economics, and policy. Koonin’s book deserves the praise it is receiving, and it merits wide readership. If it gets the audience it deserves, there will be one more thing unsettled: the narrative that we face a climate crisis so certain and so dire that only a radical government-controlled reshaping of the economy, people’s personal lives, and consumption patterns can solve it.




New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explains why climate models’ representations of temperatures in the tropical troposphere differ so badly from those measured by satellites and other temperature monitoring devices. The research indicates the difference between the models’ simulations of temperatures and actual temperatures is caused by the models’ failure to account for large, natural oceanic trends.

“A long-standing discrepancy exists between general circulation models (GCMs) and satellite observations: The multimodel mean temperature of the midtroposphere (TMT) in the tropics warms at approximately twice the rate of observations,” the authors write.

The researchers found a single subset of model simulations produce TMT trends within the range of temperatures recorded by satellite observations. This subset of small tropical TMT trends results from “subdued sea-surface warming in the tropical central and eastern Pacific,” which matches observed sea-surface temperature trends. Tropospheric temperatures are dominated by natural multidecadal variability, in particular large-scale multidecadal shifts in Pacific Ocean circulation patterns, the researchers conclude.

It seems the newest generation of general circulation models, the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6), which are being used to generate the next set of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, still haven’t resolved the discrepancy between model temperature projections and measured temperatures. Only 13 percent of the CMIP6 model realizations have tropical TMT trends within the observed trend range, the paper reports. Natural variability explains the differences between the models and reality, the scientists write:

These simulations are from models with both small and large climate sensitivity values, illustrating that the magnitude of tropical tropospheric warming is not solely a function of climate sensitivity. For global averages, one-quarter of model simulations exhibit TMT trends in accord with observations. Our results indicate that even on 40-y timescales, natural climate variability is important to consider when comparing observed and simulated tropospheric warming and is sufficiently large to explain TMT trend differences between models and satellite data.

If this research is correct, climate models still have a long way to go before their projections of future climate trends should be trusted. A better understanding and incorporation of natural forcing factors into models, instead of human greenhouse gas emissions, is what is needed to make that happen.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


An investigative report published in The Conversation shows sinking land, not rapidly rising seas, is responsible for the steep increase in sea levels experienced in many large coastal cities when compared to sea level rise measured at less-developed coastal areas.

“Subsidence can threaten flooding in low-lying coastal areas, much more so than rising sea levels, yet scientists are only just realizing the global implications of the threat with respect to coastal cities,” reports The Conversation. “In fact, while the average coastal area experiences relative sea level rise of less than 3 mm per year, the average coastal resident experiences a rise of around 8mm to 10mm per year. This is because so many people live in deltas and especially cities on deltas that are subsiding.”

The Conversation reports parts of Tokyo sank by four meters during the twentieth century, and Bangkok, New Orleans, and Shanghai each experienced two meters or more of sinking from 1900 to 2000. Ongoing rapid land subsidence is forcing Indonesia’s government to consider moving the nation’s capital from coastal Jakarta to a purpose-built city inland on the island of Borneo. Jakarta is situated on a low-lying coastal area, and groundwater withdrawals undertaken to slake the thirst of its 10 million residents caused the city to sink by more than three meters between 1947 and 2010. Even though the government built new sea walls, much of the city is still sinking by 10 cm or more each year, because of continuing water withdrawals.

If we want to prevent or minimize harm from rising seas in coastal areas, we must take land subsidence as seriously or more than slowing greenhouse gas emissions, the article concludes.


Sterling Burnett


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The Democrats and Doublespeak - Larry Cesare


by Larry Cesare

American politicians, especially Democrats and those on the political left, have mastered the art of doublespeak and have been pumping it out through all available media outlets for decades.

 As a retired clinical psychologist, I’ve always been fascinated with how language is not just the result of thought but can actually shape thought and behavior.  But as an American, I am distressed over how language is being used to control thought and behavior among our population in ways that are toxic to our culture, counter to our God-given rights, and destructive to our nation.

In George Orwell’s prophetic novel 1984, the fictional totalitarian government maintained control of the thought processes of its population largely through use of “doublespeak.”  American politicians, especially Democrats and those on the political left, have mastered the art of doublespeak and have been pumping it out through all available media outlets for decades.

Consider the left’s use of the terms:

a) “Liberal” to describe an ideology which, if anything, opposes and goes to extremes to quash diversity of thought and behavior that threatens its authority and definition of “truth.”

b) “Progressive” for agendas and policies that have over time effectively killed creativity, rewarded mediocrity and dumbed down our society to maintain control through mandatory, unquestioning conformity.

c) “Inclusiveness” and “diversity” that have spawned an explosion of laws and a burgeoning industry based upon discrimination against and exclusion of major segments of the population according to race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion and other personal attributes.

d) “Justice” not as noble pursuit of equity and fairness based upon law and order and God’s ultimate truth, but as an excuse for wanton, violent revenge and unbridled thirst for wealth and power.

e) “Socialist” to soft-soap the harsh, often lethal realities of communism by connoting opportunities to interact and bond with well-intentioned others for presumably positive, altruistic, common good purposes, and

f) Even “Democrat” as a false representation of a political party which, according to emerging evidence and growing public consensus, is being discovered to have been, in a most undemocratic manner, rigging elections in their favor for many years.

Doublespeak can also be seen in the way the Democratic left, the Biden administration, and the Democrat-controlled Congress spin their radical legislative and policy initiatives.  They know the majority of Americans would never support these initiatives on their own merit, so they try to snow the public with pretty titles.  Examples:

1) H.R. 1, the "For the People Act," designed to let Democrats take control of federal elections away from the states so they can continue to rig the outcomes.

2) H.R. 5, the "Equality Act," designed to allow biological men who "identify" as women into women's sports, locker rooms, restrooms, and other private settings and to undo decades of progress in women’s rights.

3) Biden’s proposed “American Rescue Plan Act,” designed to spend $1.9 trillion of our taxpayer dollars, allegedly to aid recovery from the so-called “pandemic,” but with only 10% actually directed toward COVID mitigation and the rest going to a new type of social “welfare” that pays people more to not go back to work and to Democrat-favored businesses looking to pad their assets.

4) Biden’s proposed  "American Jobs Plan" which would spend only 5% of its budget-busting $2.25 trillion price tag on infrastructure but mostly funds “Green New Deal” and other Democrat pet political causes, and

5) Biden's proposed "American Families Act" which is a thinly veiled plot to push government-approved propaganda throughout the U.S. educational system starting at age three, while seducing us with unsustainable promises of free child care, free education through two-year college, free money for just having more children, and other "free stuff,” all for $1.8 trillion (recently upgraded to $2.5 trillion) of money that, like with the aforementioned spending packages, doesn’t even exist.

Look at the pattern here:  Pleasant-sounding words to hide evil intent to establish a godless totalitarian communist government like that in China right here in the United States of America.  Don't let the language fool you.  The illegitimate, incompetent, amoral, anti-America Biden administration and the Democrat/Pelosi/Schumer-controlled Congress are out to destroy our constitutional republic by spending us into oblivion and outlawing the fundamental rights and freedoms of future generations of Americans.

Don’t let yourself be seduced and manipulated by the left’s doublespeak.  Question everything and think for yourself.  Speak up publicly without fear and contact your state and federal legislators to express your opinions.  Don’t let the lying left get away with this “1984-style” mass brainwashing and rape of our nation.

Image: Patrick Hoesly

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.


Larry Cesare


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What the Recently Leaked Recordings Reveal About Iran - Yaakov Lappin


by Yaakov Lappin

Khamenei is ideologically close to the IRGC, and has allowed the elite parallel military body to take over Iran’s economy. “The IRGC therefore has very significant power in Iran, in addition to its military force,” Kuperwasser said.

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 2,017, May 6, 2021

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: recently leaked audio recording featuring Iran’s foreign minister lamenting the dominance of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in setting Iranian policies provides new evidence of the way Iranian hardliners exclude all others in setting the Islamic Republic’s agenda.

In excerpts from a recently leaked audio recording, Iranian FM Muhammad Javad Zarif is heard to tell Saeed Laylaz, an Iranian economist and a supporter of the reformist camp, that the IRGC and the late Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani dictate(d) Iran’s regional and foreign policies. Soleimani was killed on January 2020 in a US drone strike in Baghdad.

The tape confirms that Zarif is “filled with bitterness against the IRGC, and particularly with Soleimani,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of the research division in the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate.

“The reality is that the IRGC is the dominant force in the power struggle taking place around the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei] in Iran,” said Kuperwasser, a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Khamenei is ideologically close to the IRGC, and has allowed the elite parallel military body to take over Iran’s economy. “The IRGC therefore has very significant power in Iran, in addition to its military force,” Kuperwasser said.

“Almost every time I went to negotiate, it was Soleimani who said, ‘I want you to make this concession or point,’” Zarif said in the recording. “I was negotiating for the success of the [military] field.”

“The general structure of our Foreign Ministry is security-based,” he added. “There is a group in our country that has an interest in making everything security-based, to highlight their own role.”

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said last week that the leak was an attempt to sow discord in Iran during a decisive phase of nuclear talks with world powers in Vienna. Rouhani ordered an investigation into the leak.

Despite the overarching power of the radical camp in Iran and the IRGC, “the Supreme Leader doesn’t always adopt their position,” Kuperwasser noted. Khamenei’s backing of the 2015 decision to enter a nuclear agreement is an example of his taking the reformist position.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the late head nuclear scientist in Iran who was assassinated in November, played a key role in instructing Iranian negotiators on what to insist upon during the 2015 talks, said Kuperwasser. The scientist was cited for his achievement after the deal was signed.

“There is no difference in objective between the reformists and the radicals. Both want Iran to be nuclear,” said Kuperwasser. “The reformists believe the right way to do this is to exploit the weakness of the West and to progress towards a nuclear bomb without disruption, while the radicals say, ‘Who cares about the West? Let’s proceed to the bomb faster, because the West is too frightened to confront us.’ This is the main difference between them.”

While the reformist camp saw the 2015 deal—as well as the current revived version—as an opportunity to improve Iran’s poor economic situation and help Iranian citizens, economic relief is less important to the radicals.

At the same time, Kuperwasser assessed, the hardline camp may now be more open to the idea of a new agreement in view of the ravaging of the Iranian economy by the US sanctions imposed in 2018 by the Trump administration.

The same dispute between the camps took place around the IRGC’s ambitious entrenchment program in Syria.

The reformists were critical of the scope of resources the IRGC was pouring into its program to take over Syria (though not necessarily of the effort itself) at the expense of the economic interests of Iranian citizens. Criticism also arose over the scope of the IRGC’s “adventures” in the Middle East.

This could help explain why Zarif temporarily resigned in February 2019 after having been left in the dark about a visit by Syrian president Bashar Assad to Tehran.

Zarif also said he was surprised when US Secretary of State (and current US Climate Envoy) John Kerry told him about 200 Israeli airstrikes on Iranian assets in Syria.

Kerry called Zarif’s claim “unequivocally false. This never happened—either when I was Secretary of State or since.”

Even if the conversation did happen, the news was hardly secret. In 2018, Israeli officials confirmed to media outlets that 200 strikes had been carried out on Iranian targets in Syria since 2016.

According to Kuperwasser, this constant power struggle is useful to Khamenei. “He does not rush to one side or the other,” he said. “Khamenei is closer to the IRGC, but he allows this argument to run on. He usually backs the IRGC, but not always.”

Ultimately, Khamenei is able to use a good cop-bad cop routine to extort concessions from the West, just as he did from US negotiators in 2015, said Kuperwasser.

“Iranian negotiators said in 2015 that they were under restrictions placed on them by the Supreme Leader, as if the US has to take this into account. And negotiators fell into this game. That was the real problem with Kerry and the nuclear deal,” he argued. “Kerry’s claim that the West must strengthen Zarif and Rouhani against the IRGC came at the expense of US … interests” in the form of a poor nuclear deal that empowered the Islamic Republic and its radical agenda.

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This is an edited version of an article originally published by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.


Yaakov Lappin is a Research Associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a military and strategic affairs correspondent. He conducts research and analysis for defense think tanks and is the military correspondent for JNS. His book The Virtual Caliphate explores the online jihadist presence.


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Abbas anger puts coalition in jeopardy - Gil Hoffman, Shira Silkoff, Tobias Siegal


by Gil Hoffman, Shira Silkoff, Tobias Siegal

"Al-Aqsa is a red line," Abbas warned on Saturday. "The aggression toward the holy site and its worshipers is unacceptable and offensive."


YESH ATID leader Yair Lapid and Yamina leader Naftali Bennett arrive at the President’s Residence this week. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
YESH ATID leader Yair Lapid and Yamina leader Naftali Bennett arrive at the President’s Residence this week.

Efforts to form a unity government made significant progress in marathon talks over the weekend, but the coalition could be endangered due to the skirmishes over Muslim prayer in Jerusalem that upset Ra'am (United Arab List) head Mansour Abbas.

Abbas's four votes supporting the coalition from outside are key to establishing a new government. Obtaining a majority of 61 requires Ra'am's votes to join the 57 of Yesh Atid, Blue and White, Labor, Yisrael Beytenu, Meretz, New Hope and Yamina, which is down to six votes without rebel MK Amichai Chikli.

"Al-Aqsa is a red line," Abbas warned on Saturday. "The aggression toward the holy site and its worshipers is unacceptable and offensive."  

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and possibly Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett are expected to meet with Abbas on Sunday in order to discuss his price for supporting the government from outside. While he is expected to bring up the chairmanship of the Knesset Interior Committee, funding for Arab schools and infrastructure and preventing violence within the Arab sector, the weekend’s events could result in new demands from Abbas related to Jerusalem.

Lapid hosted meetings of Bennett and himself with New Hope leader Gideon Sa'ar, Meretz chairman Nitzan Horowitz, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli, and  Blue and White leader Benny Gantz at his Tel Aviv home on Friday. The talks followed a late night meeting Thursday night of Bennett and Lapid. 

After all the meetings, both sides expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached this week, allowing a new government to be sworn in ahead of next week's Shavuot holiday. 

Following Friday's meetings, Bennett issued a statement on Facebook, saying that he was trying to overcome what he said were significant gaps with potential coalition partners. 

Bennett defended himself in light of numerous attacks recently directed at him by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the right-wing bloc as a whole, for preventing the formation of a right-wing government. 

"This was not my first choice," Bennett stressed. "I went all out with Netanyahu from the moment he received the mandate. Netanyahu has failed."  

Bennett wrote that two options remain: a fifth round of elections or attempting to form a wide government.

The next government's "organizing principle will be simple," he wrote: "good will and an understanding that not all disagreements between the Right and the Left from the past 70 years have to be solved right at this moment."   

In a blow to Bennett, Chikli told interviewers on three television channels over the weekend that he would refuse to quit the Knesset in favor of the next candidate on the Labor list, deaf activist Shirley Pinto. He said if he cannot stop the government's formation, he would break off from Yamina and become an independent MK. 

In another challenge to efforts to form a coalition, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman issued uncompromising demands on matters of religion and state.

The conditions include a law that would ensure that haredi (ultra-Orthodox) men would be drafted to the army, a civil-marriage law, and the transfer of authority regarding the closure of businesses on Saturdays to local governments. He also specified the need to strengthen secular studies in the haredi sector, and the approval of a state budget. 

The statement closed with a promise to promote several key issues, including enforcing a two-term limit on the Prime Minister's Office, a law requiring citizens to vote on Election Day, and a life sentence for those found guilty of raping minors, which would be part of a larger scheme to combat domestic violence.

Liberman also promised to establish two state commissions of inquiry, one into the Mount Meron disaster, and a second into the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He said Yisrael Beytenu could be counted on to keep its promises after keeping one by recommending Lapid to President Reuven Rivlin to form a government.

"In all four recent elections, including the last round, we have been transparent, clear and consistent," Liberman said. "In the last election campaign, we pledged to recommend the party leader from the 'change' camp with the highest number of seats, and this is what we did in our consultations with the president." 


Gil Hoffman, Shira Silkoff, Tobias Siegal 


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Iran's 'Drug Terrorism' Against Arabs - Khaled Abu Toameh


by Khaled Abu Toameh

The Hezbollah project has become the destruction of people through drugs." — Mohammed Al-Maskary, Emirati writer and journalist, Al-Ain, April 27, 2021

  • While Israel is seeking to dissuade the Biden administration from rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran... Tehran's mullahs and their Lebanese Hezbollah terror proxy are busy drowning the Arab countries with drugs.

  • "Israel is far more honorable than the drug-dealers.... [The drug dealers'] ultimate goal is to destroy Saudi Arabia by every available means. They are smuggling weapons and drugs to the Gulf states, but when they are confronted, they accuse the governments of these states of siding with Israel, and they raise the slogan of liberating Jerusalem, while their missiles are only targeting Riyadh and Mecca." — Turki Al-Hamad, Saudi academic, Rai Al-Youm, April 25, 2021.

  • "[Hezbollah has become] a criminal organization whose danger has gone beyond the stage of terrorism and military operations.... The Hezbollah project has become the destruction of people through drugs." — Mohammed Al-Maskary, Emirati writer and journalist, Al-Ain, April 27, 2021

  • "Hezbollah is increasingly dependent on the revenues from terrorist activities, drug smuggling and money laundering with Colombian, Mexican and Cuban cartel networks." — Fahim Al-Hamed, Saudi writer, Okaz, April 25, 2021.

Saudi Arabia recently announced that it thwarted an attempt to smuggle 2.4 million narcotic tablets into the Kingdom from Lebanon, hidden in a shipment of pomegranates. The smuggling attempt drew sharp criticism from many Arabs, who accused Iran and its Lebanese Hezbollah terror proxy of exporting various types of drugs to the Arab world and other countries.

While Israel is seeking to dissuade the Biden administration from rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran -- currently the subject of indirect negotiations in Vienna -- Tehran's mullahs and their Lebanese Hezbollah terror proxy are busy drowning the Arab countries with drugs.

Last week, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Lebanon, Walid Al-Bukhari, revealed that Saudi authorities recently foiled an attempt to smuggle large quantities of drugs from Lebanon. The smuggled drugs, he said, were "enough to drown the whole Arab world. The drugs were not meant to be distributed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only, but also in different parts of the Arab world."

Al-Bukhari's remarks came days after Saudi Arabia announced that it had thwarted an attempt to smuggle 2.4 million narcotic tablets into the Kingdom hidden in a shipment of pomegranates.

The smuggling attempt drew sharp criticism from many Arabs, who accused Hezbollah and Iran of exporting various types of drugs to the Arab world and other countries.

The failed attempt to smuggle drugs into Saudi Arabia is also threatening to intensify the economic crisis in Lebanon as the Saudi authorities announced a ban on the entry of Lebanese produce into the kingdom.

"Many experts believe Hezbollah and Iran made a conscious decision to deluge their Arab and Western enemies with chemicals that could ruin millions of lives," commented Lebanese journalist and columnist Baria Alamuddin. "Using agricultural products and bulk goods as a cover for weapons and narcotics smuggling has become the well-established modus operandi, making import bans on Lebanese products inevitable."

Alamuddin pointed out that social media has been "alight with the story of arrested drug lord Hassan Daqou, with images of him engaging with senior Hezbollah officials and with Hezbollah flags proudly displayed on his desk. Drug dealers and warlords are living in palaces while law-abiding citizens starve!"

She also noted that Hezbollah was exploiting its connections with the Lebanese diaspora to make itself a dominant player in the global trade in cocaine, heroin and weaponry. "The cultured, civilized Lebanon we know and love has always flourished when it's been at the heart of the Arab world. Let's throw out the terrorists, drug-dealers and warlords and work to restore this beautiful nation," Alamuddin added.

Her sentiments, shared by many Arab political analysts, journalists and social media users, reflect a growing concern in Lebanon and other Arab countries about Iran's ongoing effort to undermine security and stability in the Middle East.

These Arabs are also sending a warning to the Biden administration and the West to reconsider their policy of appeasing Iran's mullahs: While you are cozying up to the mullahs, Iran and its proxies are drowning the Arab world with dangerous drugs.

"Israel is far more honorable than the drug-dealers," said Saudi academic Turki Al-Hamad. Referring to Hezbollah and Iran, he added:

"[The drug dealers'] ultimate goal is to destroy Saudi Arabia by every available means. They are smuggling weapons and drugs to the Gulf states, but when they are confronted, they accuse the governments of these states of siding with Israel, and they raise the slogan of liberating Jerusalem, while their missiles are only targeting Riyadh and Mecca."

Al-Hamad was referring to recurring missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen. He is saying, in other words, that Iran and its proxies continue to threaten the Arab countries that signed normalization agreements with Israel, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

A Lebanese journalist told the Saudi satellite TV channel Al-Ekhbariya that Hezbollah's fatwas (Islamic rulings) are responsible for smuggling drugs into the Kingdom, according to Emirati writer and journalist Mohammed Al-Maskary.

Al-Maskary pointed out that Hezbollah controls the entrances and exits of Lebanon, and that the terrorist organization's fatwas consider that selling drugs to "hostile societies as a legal and moral duty that does not and contradict the concept of resistance [against Israel]."

He added that Hezbollah has become "a criminal organization whose danger has gone beyond the stage of terrorism and military operations. The Hezbollah project has become the destruction of people through drugs."

Many Lebanese are now worried that other Arab countries could follow in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia and impose a ban on the import of agricultural products from Lebanon. This concern came in the wake of calls by several Gulf citizens on their governments to ban Lebanese goods and agricultural products.

"We hope that the rest of the Gulf countries will take similar measures against Lebanon," wrote a gulf social media user called Bader on Twitter.

"The Lebanese government must bear responsibility because it allowed the exit of containers from its territory while they were full of drugs. This is a punishment until [Lebanon] fixes its internal affairs."

"The Iranian party in Lebanon (Hezbollah) is gambling with the sustenance of the Lebanese by smuggling drugs through agricultural products," complained social media user Ibn Al-Arabi on Twitter.

Saudi writer Fahim Al-Hamed denounced Hezbollah's actions as "drug terrorism."

"Hezbollah is increasingly dependent on the revenues from terrorist activities, drug smuggling and money laundering with Colombian, Mexican and Cuban cartel networks," Al-Hamed wrote.

Now that Iran is talking about the possibility that the US sanctions on oil, banks and other sectors and individuals may be lifted based on agreements reached so far at the Vienna talks, it is likely that the drug trafficking by the mullahs and their terror groups in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Syria will increase.

Many Arabs are expressing outrage about the export of drugs to their countries. They desperately fear that the US and other Western countries will wind up facilitating the mission of drowning the Arab countries with drugs.

They are sending a clear message to the Biden administration and those who are negotiating with Iran: Do not do anything that will help the terrorists and drug-dealers kill more Arabs.

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Khaled Abu Toameh is an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem.


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