Issues, Politics

Left’s Latest Global Warming Scare: Oyster Flatulence

We’ve had a few interesting envirochondria stories this week, but this headline takes the cake.

And in case you’re wondering, no, this isn’t from The Onion.

Reportedly a new ‘science’ study has emerged from the Ivory Tower halls of wisdom which blames a not insignificant degree of global warming on oyster flatulence.

Yes, that’s right.

Oyster farts are on the increase via oyster farming and causing global havoc.

Now, the astute among you will likely conclude something similar to what we’ve all already concluded regarding CO2 and vegetation: more CO2 is better for plants.

Conversely, more people (especially those who eat oysters) equals fewer oysters.

Ergo, there were lots and lots more oysters way back when global warming apparently wasn’t on the verge of ending life as we know it.

Is it just us or is there some incongruous logic here?

Here’s more from Redstate…

When it comes to oysters, most people never get beyond the question, “Do oysters do anything other than sit on a plate looking like phlegm?” But RedState readers being (mostly) of above average intelligence, I’m sure some of you have spent some sleepless nights pondering the question, “Do oysters fart?” 

Apparently they do. We know this because of Science! for which we thank Neil Degrasse Tyson. Peace be upon him.

And since science tells us oyster farts are a real thing, we know they cause climate change, just like virtually everything else in the known world. Remember if you want to appear “woke” it’s best to assume that everything causes climate change and climate change causes everything. Everything bad anyway.

Plans to expand aquatic farming could have a serious knock-on effect on climate change, climate experts have warned after new research revealed that underwater shellfish farts produce 10% of the global-warming gases released by the Baltic Sea.

A study published in the Scientific Reports journal shows that clams, mussels and oysters produce one-tenth of methane and nitrous oxide gases in the Baltic Sea as a result of digestion. Therefore, researchers have warned that shellfish “may play an important but overlooked role in regulating greenhouse gas production”.

Methane and nitrous oxide gases have a far greater warming potential than carbon dioxide so bodies of water without or with fewer shellfish record lower methane release rates.



EPA Ends Welfare Payments to Environmental Wacko Groups

Under the Obama administration, wacko environmental groups were part of an underhanded scheme in which they were paid millions of taxpayer dollars and granted untold scores of regulatory concessions by a favorable EPA.

The system worked beautifully.

The Sierra Club, for instance, would sue the EPA for any number of reasons.

The EPA, citing a need to save taxpayers’ money and legal entanglement, would agree to settle the matter out of court.

Then behind closed doors, the agency would grant settlement terms that would give away the farm to the Sierra Club both in terms of cash and regulations.

And none of it was done with public scrutiny. But all that has come to an end this week.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is hacking his way through the regulatory jungle getting rid of all the bureaucratic overgrowth and corruption.

Pruitt issued an agency-wide decree this week formally ending the so-called “sue and settle” racket.

Well done, Mr. Pruitt.

Here’s more from Redstate…

One of the most egregious things about the EPA has always been the way it operated for the benefit of the large “environmental” groups and against the interests of states, communities, and individuals. Perhaps the worst part of this criminal collusion was the way the EPA used lawsuits against the EPA, coordinated with environmental groups, to short-circuit the rule-making process, deprive the public of their right to petition the government and keep the coffers of environmental groups topped off with EPA cash.

This is how it worked:

“Sue and Settle “ practices, sometimes referred to as “friendly lawsuits”, are cozy deals through which far-left radical environmental groups file lawsuits against federal agencies wherein court-ordered “consent decrees” are issued based upon a prearranged settlement agreement they collaboratively craft together in advance behind closed doors. Then, rather than allowing the entire process to play out, the agency being sued settles the lawsuit by agreeing to move forward with the requested action they and the litigants both want.

In other words, the agency throws the case, somewhat like Bre’r Rabbit agreeing to be thrown into a favorite brier-patch. A big difference however, is that in this case, Farmer McGregor and Mr. Rabbit were partners in the scam from the beginning. It’s the unwary American public that actually does get caught in the thorns.

While the environmental group is given a seat at the table, outsiders who are most impacted are excluded, with no opportunity to object to the settlements. Accordingly, both the litigants and the defendant agency, operating in coffee bars and friendly courtroom shadows, avoid the harsh outside glare of oversight. No public notice about the settlement is released until the agreement is filed in court…after the damage has been done.



Poll Shock: Nearly a Quarter of Americans Want A Dictator

Pew Research recently conducted an international poll in 20 countries asking whether respondents believe it to be desirable to have “a system in which a strong leader can make decisions without interference from parliament or the courts.”

Much of the results were unsurprising, but what came back from the good ol’ US of A should shock us all.

Fully 22% of Americans agreed with the statement. It doesn’t take much grey matter to conclude that the bulk of those respondents are leftist, young folks.

What’s more, at the very least, it’s a reflection of how poorly we’re educating our students with respect to the foundational history and principles of the American republican frame of government.

It’s also worth mentioning that only 17% of respondents in Venezuela, where an actual dictator is running the show, indicated support for the idea.

Here’s more from Redstate…

A surprising poll from the Pew Research Center found that a surprising number of Americans believe that a dictatorship would be good for our country.

According to Pew, 22 percent of respondents in the U.S. said that “a system in which a strong leader can make decisions without interference from parliament or the courts” would be a good thing. While 76 percent said that this would be awful for America, 22 percent is far too high a number.

For comparison, in Venezuela, where a dictator actually is making the decisions by eliminating troublesome elements within the government, only 17 percent believe an autocracy works well.

Thankfully, we still live in a world that rejects strongman dictators for the most part. Many of the nations have experienced what that’s like, and have had their fill.

While Pew didn’t get into details as to who was giving the “yes” answers, an educated guess says that much of the strongman support comes from a younger crowd.



EcoNuts Sue Trump Administration…Over Walruses

Worshipers of Mother Gaia around the country are up in arms this week over a most egregious affront to the stability of the planet by the Trump administration.

As a part of the process by which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially lists species as endangered or not, its scientific review found that American walruses are not in imminent danger.

Citing the fact that their population appears to be doing just fine despite the apparent ‘loss of lots of ice’, walruses got bumped.

That decision earned the ire of the loons at the Center for Biological Diversity who called it a ‘truly dark day for America’s imperiled wildlife.”

It’s such an unforgivable decision that CBD has mounted a legal challenge citing the fact that walruses and 24 other species — including the eastern boreal toad — are facing imminent extinction.

Someone hand us a tissue. Ahem, ok back to business.

Here’s more from PJ Media…

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regularly considers adding animals that are considered to be especially vulnerable to extinction to the endangered species list, and many ecologists are upset that 25 American creatures, particularly the Pacific walrus, didn’t make the cut this year.

According to the USFWS, giving these animals the additional protections of being an endangered species “is not warranted at this time.” The USFWS explained its decision regarding the stability of the walrus population in a press release:

While walruses use sea ice for a variety of activities, including breeding, birthing, resting, and avoiding predators, they have shown an ability to adapt to sea ice loss that was not foreseen when the Service last assessed the species in 2011. Our decision not to list the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act at this time is based on a rigorous evaluation of the best available science, which indicates the population appears stable, and the species has demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing conditions. If future circumstances warrant or new information comes to light, we can and will re-evaluate the Pacific walrus for ESA protection.

There are actually two subspecies of walrus. The Atlantic walrus is found throughout the shorelines of Greenland and northeastern Canada, and the Pacific walrus resides in the icy waters along Alaska and Russia. Walruses can weigh up to 1.5 tons, are protected from the frigid cold of the Arctic region with a thick layer of blubber, and survive on a diverse carnivorous diet of clams, shrimp, crabs, sea cucumbers, and other marine invertebrates. A walrus uses its famous ivory tusks as ice hooks to pull itself out of the water, and as defensive tools against the mammoth marine mammal’s only two natural predators: polar bears and killer whales.


Courts, Politics

Trump: I’ll Appoint 4 Supreme Court Justices in First Term

Axios is reporting a fairly interesting interview with President Trump in which he’s boldly predicting a full four appointments to the Supreme Court…in his first term alone.

Having already appointed Justice Gorsuch to the Court with no small degree of political maneuvering in the Senate, the question concerns the additional three.

The most obvious is Justice Kennedy whose retirement was rumored almost immediately after Trump’s inauguration.

The second is nearly as obvious with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — easily the most liberal on the bench — who has been battling major health issues for at least a decade and, thus, probably would have retired had Hillary won the election.

But the third is a bit of a surprise. One might guess Justice Stephen Breyer who, at 79, is the third oldest member on the Court. And that guess would be wrong.

According to Trump, Sotomayor, though only 63, has been battling diabetes since childhood. Trump apparently believes that will be her undoing.

If he’s right, and if he wins reelection in 2020, he may have an opportunity to appoint a majority of the Court before he’s done.

The last time that happened was under President Eisenhower, more than half a century ago.

Here’s more from Newsmax…

President Donald Trump predicted he would appoint a total of four Supreme Court justices by the end of his first term, Axios reported Sunday.

Sources who had spoken to the president about the possibility told the online news media company it was “all about the numbers for him.”

One source said Trump mentioned he had already replaced the seat left vacant when Antonin Scalia died early last year, nominating Neil Gorsuch to the position. When asked who the second justice he thought would leave, Trump mentioned rumors Justice Anthony Kennedy would retire.

The third justice the president thought would leave was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to the source.

“Ginsburg,” Trump reportedly said. “What does she weigh? Sixty pounds?” And the fourth justice Trump predicted would leave the Supreme Court was Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“Sotomayor,” Trump told the source, referring to the justice appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2009.

“Her health,” Trump explained. “No good. Diabetes.”


Issues, States

Tree-hugging is Making Outbreak of Wildfires Much Worse

It’s an argument that has been made numerous times over the years, and, given the historic conflagration in northern California this fall, it needs to be repeated.

It’s no coincidence that wildfires tend most often to break out and live much longer on the Left Coast.

Rabid environmentalist policies aimed at ‘saving the trees’ [insert complementary econut drivel] over the last half century have resulted in a build-up of underbrush and over-growth of trees which have turned forests into tinderboxes just waiting for a spark.

As the Reason Foundation points out, the US Forest Service has been hamstrung with lack of funding and regulations preventing it from managing forests to control both the start and perpetuation of wildfires.

It’s a grand liberal irony that the policies aimed at protecting forests are precisely what has contributed directly to their destruction.

Here’s more from Daily Signal…

As a Reason Foundation study noted, the U.S. Forest Service, which is tasked with managing public wildland, once had success in minimizing widespread fires in the early 20th century.

But many of these successful methods were abandoned in large part because of efforts by environmental activists.

The Forest Service became more costly and less effective as it increasingly “rewarded forest managers for losing money on environmentally questionable practices,” wrote Randal O’Toole, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute.

Spending on the Forest Service has risen drastically, but these additional resources have been misused and haven’t solved the underlying issues.

“Fire expenditures have grown from less than 15 percent of the Forest Service budget in [the] early 1990s to about 50 percent today. Forest Service fire expenditures have increased from less than $1 billion in the late 1990s to $3.5 billion in 2016,” O’Toole wrote.

Perhaps now, Americans will begin to re-evaluate forest management policies.

In a May congressional hearing, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said, “Forty-five years ago, we began imposing laws that have made the management of our forests all but impossible.”

Read more…



CA Fires Up to 100 Miles Wide, Death Toll Hits 40

California is still facing down the worst outbreak of wildfires in perhaps a century.

The dozens of fires that sparked for various reasons in the northern part of the state have already destroyed tens of thousands of homes, decimated hundreds of thousands of acres, and have killed at least 40 people with hundreds more missing.

Many of the larger fires have combined into a single line of as much as 100 miles wide, keeping regional firefighters beyond their limits of exhaustion.

What’s worse is recent weather patterns have brought drier air and wind, fanning the flames further.

It’s a perfect storm for what could become the state’s most devastating natural disaster ever.

All politics aside, this is on par with the three hurricanes from which the US is still recovering.

We can only hope things turn around quickly before more lives are lost.

In the end, 2017 is already going down as the most devastating on record…and it’s not over yet.

Here’s more from Washington Examiner…

While wildfires are still burning powerfully in parts of Northern California, some of the tens of thousands of evacuees are getting antsy to return to homes that aren’t under immediate threat. Others want to see if they still have homes to return to.

But authorities are staying cautious in the face of blazes that have now killed at least 40 people and destroyed at least 5,700 homes.

“We’re on pins and needles,” Travis Oglesby, who evacuated from his home in Santa Rosa, said to Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano on Saturday. “We’re hearing about looting.”

Although some evacuees were returning home in Mendocino County, the latest estimates were that about 100,000 people were under evacuation orders as the fires burned for a sixth day.

Plans were in the works to reopen communities, but they were not ready to be put into effect, said Dave Teter, a deputy director with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Read more…



Report: N. Korea Readies Launch Ahead of US Navy Drill

South Korean government sources are reporting that North Korea is prepping a fresh round of missile tests ahead of a very public joint American-South Korean naval exercise in the West Pacific this week.

Sources are arguing that the launch may include a Hwasong-14 inter-continental ballistic missile which could have a long enough range to reach Alaska, perhaps even farther.

Previous tests without a nuclear payload reached a theoretical range that could hit as far as Chicago.

It’s just one more case for why the ongoing diplomatic feud with Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship may soon transcend any diplomatic remedy and force the Pentagon into a DEFCON 1 situation.

We’ll keep an eye on it.

Here’s more from France24…

North Korea is believed to be preparing to launch a ballistic missile ahead of an upcoming joint naval drill by the US and South Korea, a news report said Saturday, citing a government source.

The US navy said Friday that a US aircraft carrier will lead the drill in the coming week, a fresh show of force against North Korea as tensions soar over the hermit state’s weapons programme.

The move will likely rile Pyongyang which has previously responded angrily to joint exercises.

The Donga Ilbo daily, quoting a government source, said satellite pictures show ballistic missiles mounted on launchers being transported out of hangars near Pyongyang and in the North Phyongan Province.

US and South Korean military officials suspect the North might be preparing to launch missiles capable of reaching US territory, the newspaper said.

This could be the Hwasong-14 inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), whose range could extend to Alaska, or Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missiles which Pyongyang threatened to fire towards the US Pacific territory of Guam in August, the report said.

Another possibility is that the North might be preparing to test a new Hwasong-13 ICBM, it added, that has a longer maximum range than the other two missiles and could potentially reach the US West Coast.



Civil War: German City Bans Migrants From Moving In

Germany could soon be on the brink of civil war as it continues to lead the European Union in the number of refugees being taken in from Syria and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the uptick in violence at the hands of radicalized migrants is pushing the German people to the brink of revolution.

Finally, one town has openly defied the Merkel government and banned new migrants from entering.

The national government ultimately acquiesced to the local council in Salzgitter, in Lower Saxony, recognizing that the proverbial water in Germany is about to boil over.

Two other cities are making similar moves in what could quickly become a domino-effect across Europe.

If it becomes bigger news around the globe, liberals in the US will find it an uphill battle opposing President Trump’s similar sentiments.

Here’s more from Daily Caller…

A German city will no longer allow refugees to settle there as it feels overwhelmed with the “exceptionally high immigration” in recent years.

Salzgitter in the state of Lower Saxony is home to 106,000 people and a few thousand migrants. The city was granted permission to ban refugees from settling there Thursday by the state’s interior ministry. Authorities cited “reasons of integration” in its decision.

“This is an exceptional measure aimed at preventing the social and societal exclusion of immigrant refugees,” the decree reads, according to The Local.

The town’s mayor said 5,800 migrants live in the community, with a majority arriving over the past year.

“At the moment we are overwhelmed,” Frank Klingebiel told Focus Online in an interview published Friday.

The ban is not a meant to make refugees feel unwelcome, but rather give the existing refugee population a chance to integrate, according to Klingebiel.

“We urgently need a pause to integrate the refugees already living in Salzgitter in the long term and to secure the social peace,” Klingebiel said.



‘It Makes People Uncomfortable’: School Yanks Literary Classic

To Kill A Mockingbird is considered among the best of American literature.

The classic won the Pulitzer prize in 1961 after only one year from its publishing date, a very rare feat.

Not to be outdone, the movie adaptation of the book a year after that went on to win an Oscar–back when truly good movies won awards.

But apparently, none of that is worth consideration against the backdrop of kids whose feelings are hurt.

According to the Biloxi, Mississippi, School Board, difficult themes and language are inappropriate for eighth-grade school kids.

So they’ve decided to yank the book from the required reading list.

We’re pretty sure next on the chopping block will be War and Peace because there’s too much discussion of war and Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations for its endorsement of profit.

Here’s more from Redstate…

It’s a literary classic found in just about every junior high and high school classroom across America. But one school district is now pulling “To Kill A Mockingbird” from students’ lesson plans for an absolutely insane reason.

The Biloxi School District in Biloxi, Mississippi, said it made the decision this week to no longer have eighth grade students read the book after the school received some “complaints.”

“There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, Kenny Holloway, vice president of the Biloxi School Board, told the Biloxi Sun Herald.

“We can teach the same lesson with other books,” Holloway added.

One Sun Herald reader described the move as “one of the most disturbing examples of censorship I have ever heard, the newspaper reported. The reader said that “the themes in the story humanize all people regardless of their social status, education level, intellect, and of course, race.”

“It would be difficult to find a time when it was more relevant than in days like these,” they added.

“To Kill A Mockingbird” was published in 1960. A year later, in 1961, the book won a Pulitzer prize and the very next year, in 1962, the story was turned into a Oscar-winning movie.

The book chronicles what life in the South was like for black people in the mid 20th century. The literary classic includes the N-word several times and uses the term “negro” on numerous occasions. The Biloxi School District will still allow the book in the library.