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Watkins - #2By Nancy Thorner – 

What did the American Founders actually intend for the country and does it even matter today?

William Watkins, Jr., as the featured speaker at The Heartland Institute’s Wednesday evening free series of event, spoke about his book, Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America’s First Constitution. Watkin’s book takes a surprising and thought-provoking look at the American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and asks what we can learn from them.

William Watkins, Jr. is a research fellow at the Independent Institute. He received his B.A. in history and German summa cum laude from Clemson University and his J.D. cum laude from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is a former law clerk to Judge William B. Traxler, Jr. of the U.S, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He has served as a prosecutor and defense lawyer and has practiced in various state and federal courts. Other books include Judicial Monarchs: The Case for Restoring Popular Sovereignty in the United States, and the Independent Institute books, Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy; and Patent Trolls: Predatory Litigation and the Smothering of Innovation. 

William Watkins, Jr. introduced by Jim Lakely, Director of Communications at The Heartland Institute

William J. Watkins, in Crossroads for Liberty, rescues the Articles of Confederation from obscurity and condemnation. Watkins does not claim that the Articles constituted a perfect system, but it was a much better system than has been portrayed in history books.

For many years, the Articles of Confederation have been taught in American History class as having created too weak a central government, that it accomplished nothing, and that thankfully it was scrapped and replaced with the U.S. Constitution. Not so, according to Watkins. The Articles needed some reform, but it was a credible document before the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Watkins likewise cleared up a misconception held by many that the Revolutionary War was all about taxation, brought to a head with the Boston Tea Party. Not true, he said. The argument was about sovereignty. Where did it lie? Did it lie in the British Parliament, or would individual states be able to govern themselves. In the Declaration of Independence, King George III of England was mentioned as the recognized power of authority whose removal was necessary for local state assemblies to achieve local rule.

Articles of Confederation Empowered State Governments

As to why the Articles of Confederation were adopted in the first place, patriot leaders at the time didn’t want some far off government telling them what to do concerning local matters. The Articles of Confederation were designed to let the people of each state govern themselves, while forming an alliance to maintain their independence. Delegates couldn’t serve more than three years out of a six-year period. In this way, legislators would feel the bit of the laws they passed.

In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, Federalists like Alexander Hamilton began to express dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation, thinking it a hopelessly weak common government for the United States that needed replacement. Others, like anti-federalist Patrick Henry, strongly voiced how under the Articles of Confederation its government had put an army in the field for seven years to defeat the mighty British Empire. Said Henry: “Ditching the Articles of Confederation would only lead to an increasingly centralized government that would eventually result in weak states dictated to by a centralized government.”

Using the same reasoning as proclaimed by Patrick Henry, Watkins noted how the goals of the Articles of Confederation had been met:

  • Great Britain was defeated. Hadn’t the British Navy ruled the world?
  • Self-government and the states had been preserved.

But economic hardship did exist in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War due to the cost of achieving freedom from Great Britain – i.e. hard cash was limited, the protection of the British Navy was lost, as was the right to trade with the British West Indies. 

Ratification of Constitution Hinged on a Bill of Rights 

Federalists won the argument. Led by Federalist Alexander Hamilton, who believed a Constitution with a federal system of government could accomplish the same thing without the deficiencies in the Articles – and who further argued that because the Articles of Confederation were committed to states’ rights reform of the Articles was not possible — a Constitutional Convention was needed. Subsequently, a Constitution was written during the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia by 55 delegates to a Constitutional Convention that was called ostensibly to amend the Articles of Confederation (1781–89), the country’s first written constitution.

The new Constitution was submitted for ratification to the 13 states on September 28, 1787. It was ratified by nine states in June of 1788, as required by Article VII. The date of March 4, 1789 was set by Congress as to when the new government would begin operating, with the first elections under the Constitution held late in 1788. 

Why did four of the 13 states refuse to ratify the Constitution when first submitted to them? As Watkins explained, one of the many points of contention between Federalists and Anti-Federalists over the Constitution is that it lacked a Bill of Rights that would place specific limits on government power. Although nine states had ratified the Constitution by June of 1788, the key states of Virginia and New York would only ratify the Constitution after James Madison promised that a Bill of Rights would be added after ratification.

Two states, Rhode Island and North Carolina, refused to ratify without a Bill of Rights. In June 1789, Madison proposed a series of amendments to be debated in the first Congress. These amendments to the United States Constitution (10 of them) became known as the Bill of Rights.

Rough Sailing for the Newly Adopted Constitution of 1787

Watkins enumerated three lies that angered segments of the American population after they had been assured that certain things would not happen with the ratification of the Constitution.

1st lie

Farmers were told that the excise power in the Constitution wouldn’t be used except in unusual situations. The Whiskey Rebellion was a response to the excise tax proposed by Alexander Hamilton, who was Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury in 1791. In January 1791, President George Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton proposed a seemingly innocuous excise tax “upon spirits distilled within the United States, and for appropriating the same.” What Congress failed to predict was the vehement rejection of this tax by Americans living on the frontier of Western Pennsylvania. By 1794, the Whiskey Rebellion threatened the stability of the nascent United States and forced President Washington to personally lead the United States militia westward to stop the rebels. Learn More

2nd lie

It was the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798, signed into law by President John Adams, that when put into practice became a black mark on the Nation’s reputation. People were lied to again. In direct violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech, the Sedition Act permitted the prosecution of individuals who voiced or printed what the government deemed to be malicious remarks about the president or government of the United States. Fourteen Republicans, mainly journalists, were prosecuted, and some imprisoned, under the act.

3rd lie

Alexander Hamilton’s claim that the Articles of Confederation were useless, and the only remedy was to draft a new governing document.

Anticipated Fears about 1787 Constitution Were Not Speculative in Nature 

Watkins suggested that our Constitution of 1787 is not the greatest gift of political science that the world has ever seen.

1. How can one size fit all with a nation of 50 states?

2. How can a national government be in charge of 300-plus million Americans? 

3. Shouldn’t individual states serve as laboratories of experimentation and policy making?

4. Does James Madison’s worry about the accumulation of power, which, he said “in one place is paramount to tyranny,” seem justified?

5. How can “We the People” monitor those we elect given the super-sized districts they represent? Watkins believes that the present system of limiting the House of Representatives to only 435 members is detrimental to limited government, for as the population expands those representatives become increasing disconnected to the very people they are supposed to be representing.

6. Can representative government even exist in a country of this size?

A massive shift of power happened when Senate members were elected. The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution – proposed by the 62nd Congress in 1912 – established the popular election of United States Senators by the people of the states. The amendment supersedes Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures.

As Watkins stated, the Founding Father reasoned that only licentious behavior and luxury could destroy the Constitution. Some 230 years later, this long-ago fear has been realized, as the founding principles of this nation have been eroded and cast aside in the interim. 

Human nature is flawed, and, as noted by Jefferson, “the chains of the Constitution” were needed, but what can now be done? As reasoned by Watkins, we certainly cannot return to the Articles of Confederation, nor is it possible to return to the Constitution, at least not as it was first conceived by our Founding Fathers.

Watkins suggested that general education is needed so the public, and especially young people, come to realize that the Socialism spouted by Bernie Sanders, embraced without even realizing what was being offered, is an evil and unworkable system of government.  

Selected Questions and Answers

Q: Why was the American Revolution different from revolutions in other nations?

A: Our revolution was based on the Rule of Law, whether sovereignty existed with the King of England or with state assemblies, which gave us a foundation upon which to base our government. The American people perceived that things were out of kilter and had to be restored.

Q: Is an Article V Convention a realistic plan? Is this an efficient way to address some of the flaws in our Constitution?

A: Watkins didn’t think it wise to take what we have and then trust that the results will be positive. As Watkins notes in his book: “There never have been enough states requesting a convention and this is for good reason. First, no one knows whether such a convention would be limited or unlimited in its scope. If the states requested a convention to consider proposing a balanced budget amendment, would the convention be prohibited from also offering amendments on matters such as abortion or capital punishment?” Watkins adds, “A convention could result in much chaos and constitutional uncertainty.”

“On paper,” Watkins laments, “they [the states] could demand a convention, but in reality Congress holds all the cards when it comes to constitutional change.” Instead, Watkins argues that “the states need the ability to propose and consider amendments without the involvement of the national legislature or the risk associated with a convention.” 

Q: Why the need for the Bill of Rights? 

A: People and states were fearful of a new federal government having too much power. 

Watch here the YouTube video of William J. Watkins, Jr. discussing his insightful book, Crossroads for Liberty. 



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Heartland Institute’s President and Founder Joe Bast

By Nancy Thorner – 

The Obama administration used concern over “global warming” as a false flag operation to advance it’s left-wing agenda to “transform” the country’s energy sector. This makes global warming policy — not global warming itself — the greatest threat facing this nation. This was one of the themes of The Heartland Institute’s Twelfth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-12), held in Washington D.C. on March 23-24, 2007.

According to Heartland President Joseph Bast in opening remarks, the election of Donald Trump on November 8 opened a new chapter in the global warming debate, creating hope that a new pro-environment, pro-energy, and pro-jobs agenda will be created to benefit the American people.  ICCC-12 was the first major conference on climate change to take place after Trump’s election, and its 40-some speakers presented the science and economics that are the foundation of that new agenda.  Speaker after speaker rejected the policies and claims of President Barack Obama and showed optimism about the possibility of dismantling these policies now that Donald Trump is in office.

Of note is that four special awards were presented to those who had made huge contributions to the Climate Debate.

  • Col. Walter Cunningham is best known as pilot of Apollo 7, the first manned flight test of the Apollo Program to land a man on the Moon. 
  • J. Scott Armstrong, Ph.D., a professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, was applauded for his research on forecasting.
  • Myron Ebell, director of energy and environment policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute and chair of the Trump administration’s EPA transition team.
  • Dr. John Barrasso, M.D. (R-WY) is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environments and Public Works (EPA).  Unfortunately Barrasso was unable to attend to receive his award in person because of the House debate on replacing Obamacare.

Three Republican legislators were scheduled to appear at ICCC-12, but only Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) could attend in person.  Senator Barrasso, M.D., a reward recipient, received his award In absentia, while Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma made his remarks through a video presentation. Unfortunately, many legislators were tied up in their respective Chambers during ICCC-12, House members with repealing Obamacare and Senate members in dealing with Chief Justice nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Joseph Bast, president and CEO of The Heartland Institute welcomes guests

Joseph Bast, president and CEO of The Heartland Institute, welcomed an enthusiastic group of 300 attendees. The meeting included eleven panels and five plenary sessions offering views on such topics as climate science, environmental economics, and the relationship between fossil fuels and human prosperity, the environment; human health; and world peace.

On Heartland’s agenda was an impressive group of keynote speakers including Lord Christopher Monckton for his wit and humor as well as mastering of mathematics and statistics; Patrick Michaels, a climate scientist with the Cato Institute who has written numerous books on the subject; Roger Helmer, a member of the European Parliament; and Heartland Science Director Jay Lehr, who delivered a presentation he and others at Heartland had prepared to deliver to President-elect Trump in person.

Bast related how EPA Director, Scott Pruitt, recently remarked on CNBC that human activity is not the primary activity of the global warming that we see. More good news followed when Bast recounted a remark made by Trump’s budget director when announcing that global warming activities were not going to be funded because the president doesn’t think the issue is important. 

Climate “realists” have won the public opinion debate, Bast claimed. He cited survey data showing most Americans don’t believe human activity is responsible for most global warming, further stating that “42% of Americans don’t want to spend a dollar more to prevent global warming.”  Bast then related how the Trump administration has proposed cutting EPA funding by 1/3, and how the subsidies shoring up the wind and solar industry are soon to be on the cutting block. Without those subsidies, wind and solar energy would be unaffordable. Britain, Spain, Germany, and Australia are all cutting back on their sustainable energy funding, Bast said.

Breakfast, Thursday, March 23:  Keynote Address, Jay Lehr, Ph.D., Senior Fellow and Science Director of The Heartland Institute  

Following opening remarks, Joe Bast spoke about the 20-minute presentation The Heartland Institute was asked to prepare and present to explain global warming to President-elect Trump. Jay Lehr, PhD. was selected to share Heartland’s compilation of facts based on sound scientific research to President-elect Trump. Lehr’s direct presentation never happened, but Heartland’s message was shared with others in the Trump administration.   

With this in mind, Mr. Bast called Dr. Jay Lehr to the podium to present Heartland’s slide presentation as prepared for President-elect Trump. Lehr, who delivers one or two addresses a week all across the country, was described by Bast as the most popular speaker expressing climate change realism in the country today. 

Dr. Jay Lehr’s Powerpoint Keynote Breakfast presentation addressed the elimination the EPA and turning its functions back to the states to legislate.  Dr. Lehr playfully suggested that he might be paying penance for a 1971 crime, for when joining the Nixon administration he helped create the EPA. As Dr. Lehr remarked:  “For 10 years the EPA did some good work, but since 1980 no good has come from the EPA.” 

As to devolving the EPA, Dr. Lehr states the following reasons:

  • The states are eminently capable of, and should be responsible for, the protection of our air land water.
  • His plan migrates that responsibility from the EPA to the states over a 5-year plan, and thereby materially alters the existing structure of the EPA, which is worthy of serious consideration.

Lehr went on to explain how there are 14 separate offices within the EPA, each having their own staff and budgets, but only 5 of the offices deal with the environment:  1) Office of Water; 2) Office and Air and Radiation; 3) Office of Chemical Safety and Emergency Response; 4) Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response; and 5) Office of Research and Development. 

What’s more, two of the offices belong in the Bureau of Indian Affairs 1) Office of American Indian Environmental Affairs and 2) Office of International and Tribal Affairs, while seven more of the offices within the EPA are entirely non-scientific in nature: (Office of Policy; Office of General Council; Office of Chief Financial Officer; Office of Environmental Information; Office of Administration and Resource Management; Office of the Enforcement and Compliance Management; and Office of the Administrator).

According to Dr. Lehr, only 4 useful pieces of EPA legislation were created in its first ten years of existence from 1971 to1980.  They are:  

1.  Water Pollution Control Act (later renamed as the Clean Water).

2.  Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recover Act, Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (which covers deep mining too).

3.  Clean Air Act, Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). 

4.  Comprehensive Environmental Response compensation and Liability Act (Superfund).

As to the reach and size of the EPA, Lehr cited 15,000 employees spread between Washington DC and 10 regional offices and a few research centers, with a total budget of $8.2 billion.  Most importantly, what are taxpayers getting for the $8.2 billion budget of the EPA?  No actual environmental protection is produced.  This is all done by the 50 State Agencies. 

Given such a dismal record by the EPA, these stated conclusions are sound and need to be implemented by the Trump administration:  

  • We must aggressively trim, restructure and eliminate multiple programs within the federal system that have any association with the god of Sustainability, especially and starting with the EPA. 
  • It is incumbent upon use to strive to deliver the truth to the American people with good science, properly constructed legislation, and policy-making that is grounded in the Iron Law of Regulation.

Dr. Lehr asked each participant to set a target to change the minds of 5 people in a year who believe in global warming. With 200 individuals in the room, 1,000 individuals would be reached.

An addendum to article  

President Donald Trump on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, issued an “energy independence” executive order to undo several of the Obama administration’s climate change regulations. 

Happening so soon after Heartland’s successful ICCC-12 event in Washington, D.C., Trump’s sweeping executive order on Climate Policy, sorely needed, was greeted with much acclamation and applause.   

  • Orders the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review and repeal, or revise, the Clean Power Plan is the backbone of President Barack Obama’s climate agenda, requiring states to transform their electricity mix away from conventional fuels toward renewables.
  • Eliminates the use of the “social cost of carbon.” This figure, called the “social cost of carbon,” is a dollar amount that federal agencies apply to different regulations to calculate the “climate benefit” of abated co2 emissions. In 2015, the social cost of carbon was said to be $36 per ton.
  • Rescinds moratorium on new coal leases and methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal lands. Under Obama, the Department of Interior would not issue new coal mining leases on federal lands until the agency conducted a more comprehensive environmental review that included the estimated effects the lease would have on global warming.
  • Repeals guidance on agencies taking global warming into account when conducting National Environmental Policy Act reviews.  The National Environmental Policy Act requires federal agencies to conduct comprehensive environmental assessments for a wide range of projects, including permitting of infrastructure.

Live stream archives:  All sessions and speakers at ICCC-12 can be viewed here at Heartland’s Live Stream Archives.

Future articles by Nancy Thorner dealing with Heartland’s ICCC-12 will cover Fossil Fuels and Human Prosperity, Fossil Fuels and World Peace, Climate Politics and Policy, and Sustainability.

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Vaping: How Government Regulation Can Kill Innovation was the topic of The Heartland Institute’s continuing series of Wednesday evening events that are available free to the public. Featured speakers were Dr. Brad Rodu of the University of Louisville and Pamela Gorman of Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association (SFATA). They discussed vaping from a scientific and industry perspective. 

Dr. Rodu is a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, where he is a member of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and holds an endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research.  He is also a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute.  For the past two decades Dr. Rodu has been in the forefront of research and policy development regarding tobacco harm reduction.

Pamela Gorman is executive director of SFATA, the largest trade group representing and protecting the interests of the vapor industry. She has worked in the vaping and tobacco industries for nearly a dozen years. As an elected official in Arizona, Ms. Gorman served terms in both the state House and Senate.

What are E-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional combustible cigarettes.  Many countries around the world (such as England) are recommending these vapor products as a tobacco harm reduction solution, while the United States government and local authorities have been trying to regulate these products out of existence. 

Health professionals have long known that the smoke created by combustible cigarettes, rather that the nicotine, is what makes smoking harmful.  Smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes provide a much safer and healthier alternative delivery system for nicotine.  

Dr. Brad Rodu introduced by Jim Lakely, Director of Communication at The Heartland Institute

A slide presentation was used to address the following issues:

1.  Poison reports by the American Association of Poison control Centers in 2015, showed that out of 547,286 reported exposures submitted, E-cigarettes came in very last at 0.5%.  At the high end were Cosmetics and personal care products (26%) and Household cleaners (21%).  

2.  Claims about E-cigarettes are exaggerated, such as, they are not loaded with toxins; they are not poisoning our children; they are not a gateway to teen smoking; they do help smokers quit; and indooteens.

  • Important to promote use as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking.
  • Passive exposure:  no evidence of signifir bans are not necessary. 

    3.  E-cigarette vapor contain nicotine, at various levels or none; water; propylene glycol and /or vegetable glycerin (both are in many consumer products and are FDA approved).  Propylene glycol is used to create artificial fog in theaters, concerts.

    4.  Nicotine and Caffeine are both addictive, but they can be used safely.  Both enhance concentration, performance levels, provide a sense of well-being and elevate mood.  Neither cause intoxication, nor are they not linked to any major disease.  We consume caffeine in coffee, tea and cola drinks.  Nicotine is delivered through smoking cigarettes and E-cigarettes, but it is the smoke created by combustible cigarettes smoking, not the nicotine that is dangerous.

    5. Medication to rid addition to combustible cigarettes provides only a temporary bridge to abstinence; it’s expensive; the very low dose of the medication is unsatisfying for smokers; there is only a 5% success.

    6.  The British are more informed than Americans about the use of E-cigarettes, which has led to a differing treatment of E-Cigarettes in the US.   The FDA, CDC, and the NIH all claim:

  • No evidence that e-cigs help smokers quit.
  • No evidence that e-cigs are less hazardous than cigarettes.
  • E-cigs might renormalize smoking and make it e a gateway to smoking among teens.
  • Only safe, effective methods should be used or quitting smoking.
  • E-cigs to be regulated exactly as cigarettes.

7.  The Royal College of Physicians & Public Health in England in 2015 found the following: 

  • Effective as aid to quit smoking.
  • E-cigs are not renormalizing smoking or serving as a gateway to smoking among
  • cant harm to bystanders. 

Pamela Gorman kicked the smoking habit with E-cigs

Once a smoker herself, Ms. Gorman’s used E-cigarettes to quit smoking.  She is now fighting for the free market principles in the vaping industry.  Like Pamela Gorman, nine million individuals have chosen to put down combustible cigarettes and instead use E-cigarettes.  Gorman put aside cigarettes in 2013, never picked one up again, and would find turning back distasteful.  

It was on June 22, 2009 when the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) was signed into law.  It granted the FDA authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products, as a way to protect the public and create a healthier future for all Americans. 

Restrictions created by the Tobacco Control Act:

The Tobacco Control Act does not:

The law makes clear that FDA’s role is to regulate and protect the public health, but it places a few restrictions on FDA’s powers. FDA cannot:

  • Require prescriptions to purchase tobacco products.
  • Require the reduction of nicotine yields to zero.
  • Ban face-to-face sales in a particular category of retail outlets.
  • Ban certain classes of tobacco products.

The Deeming Rule 

A big blow came to the vaping industry when almost overnight action taken by the Food and Drug Administration on 04/25/2014, to be made effective August 8, 2016, classified E-cigarettes in the same category as cigarettes (a combustible product) to be regulated like a tobacco product.  Called the Deeming Rule”, overnight E-cigarettes became tobacco rolled in paper.  The Facts on the FDA’s New Tobacco Rule.

According to Ms. Gorman, the vaping industry has a lease on life until August 8, 2018, when the FDA will prohibit 99.9%+ of vapor products on the market,” then all will go dark unless something is done. The new regulations are of concern for the e-cigarette industry, as approval of products offered will cost small companies millions of dollars that they cannot afford. 

If the FDA’s current approach is implemented, producers would be required to remove every single product from the market and submit expensive and burdensome applications for the chance to allow their products to stay on the market after the August 8, 2018 date.  There are 3,200 separate products and each one must go through separate testing that could cost $300,000 per application.  Then too, some of the studies required could take as long as 8 years. The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association says the average vape shop makes $26,000 in monthly sales, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for new costs to be incurred.

As to the effectiveness of E-cigarettes, a report published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s website showed that vaping has helped decreased the smoking rates among 21 to 35 year-olds. 

Help solicited from public

Federal level: A new bill (HR 1136) has been introduced by Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) that would change the predicate date in the FDA’s deeming regulations. The legislation is called the FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017.  Changing the predicate date will not prevent the FDA from having approval authority over products introduced after the new predicate date, but it allows all current products to remain on the market without applying for marketing approval. Existing products will still have to meet safety and marketing standards imposed by the agency.  Co-sponsors are needed

Join  CASAA.org (Consumer Advocates for Smokefree Alternatives Association).

Heartland publicationVaping, E-Cigarettes, and Public Policy Toward Alternatives to Smoking by Brad Rodu, DDS; Matthew Glans, and Lindsey Stroud.  Pdf download available. 

The Smoking Status quo is unacceptable.  Although the American anti-smoking campaign is 51 years old, according to the CDC there are 39 million smokers in the U.S., with 480,000 deaths every year in the U.S.

If the status quo continues, in the next 20 years 9.6 million Americans will die from smoking.  All will be adults over 35 years of age.  None of them are now children. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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By Nancy Thorner – 

The Heartland Institute hosted a “Stop Fed Ed” event at the Andrew Breitbart Freedom Center on Wednesday, October 12. The event featured Cora Weber, who discussed her role in the grassroots effort to stop Common Core and (eventually) eliminate the federal Department of Education.

Ms. Weber is a second-generation home-educator, single mom of six, and president of the Illinois chapter of the United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE.ORG). For nearly 15 years, Cora has worked as an advocate for children by promoting awareness of the socialist progressive agenda in government schools. Weber is currently developing an initiative to guide and encourage religious institutions to adopt a more central role in the education of America’s children.

As president of the Illinois chapter of USPIE, Weber is aligned with the STOP FED ED movement, a campaign led by parents, taxpayers, and educators committed to ending the U.S. Department of Education and Common Core, returning control over education policy to the states, where it belongs. Michelle Malkin serves as an advisor to STOP FED ED and there are 33 chapter presidents. The names and contact information for state chapter presidents can be located by checking this website.

As Heartland’s project manager for education transformation Lennie Jarratt said in his introductory remarks, “Liberals believe that government is the answer to everything instead of the free market.” As to why there is a federal department of education, it’s certainly not about children, Weber said. Control through federal dollars amounts to big business. The experiment with federal control of local public schools has gone on for half a century, and it has failed. Children have suffered by being treated as rats in some social engineering laboratory.

The fight against Common Core has exposed the failures of those trying to force a federally-based one-size-fits-all curriculum on states and local school districts. Even strong Common Core supporters realize the name is toxic and have accepted the premise that the federal government should not be dictating curriculum.

Remarks by Cora Weber

Weber’s initial remarks were accepted with nodding agreement by those in attendance: “The present system is stifling instead of letting children flourish.” Weber discussed the background Department of Education: In 1867 the U.S. Congress passed legislation to establish the first Department of Education. President Andrew Jackson signed the legislation that created the department with miniscule staff, resources, and power. It was a non-cabinet-level agency with a mission of improving American education by disseminating sound education information to local-and state-level authorities. In 1979, Jimmy Carter created an independent, cabinet-level U.S. Department of Education as a political favor to the teachers’ unions. It was not linked to the Interior Department or the Federal Security Agency (FSA), as the Department had been since its founding in 1867. Few remember that in 1980, Ronald Reagan campaigned for the presidency on a platform that included abolishing the U.S. Department of Education, as the department had failed to deliver either better test scores or more rigorous curriculum dedicated to academic excellence.

With the establishment of a cabinet-level Department of Education (DOE) came a 60 percent increase in education funding by 2015, but for what? In 1980, the department’s budget was $11.5 billion. By 2015 the DOE’s budget had mushroomed to $67 billion – a 600 percent increase – with these negative results:

  • stagnant test scores
  • huge bureaucraciesmassive
  • increases in the cost of education

In Retrospect: From 2003 to 2015, when Common Core was up and running in many states several years prior to 2015, the 8th grade proficiency level in math and reading was deplorable at 33 percent. Alabama, which traditionally has scored in the low 30s, dropped to 30th in the nation – making the state worse off than it had been before Common Core. 

Weber asked: If the results from federal imposed education is so dismal, why don’t state leaders just say to the federal government, “We don’t want your little crumbs”?  Some wonder how states will survive without federal education dollars. Here’s how: 91 percent of education funding comes from state and local funds. The federal government provides 9 percent. – but with that 9 percent, the feds control 100 percent of the classrooms. Consider also the millions of man hours that are required to meet federal education mandates. Also, sending funds to D.C. and back to states is not efficient.

ESSA as Stealth Replacement for Common Core

Unfamiliar to many attendees were Weber’s remarks about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), legislation signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replace the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

NCLB breaks Common Core down into 11 different programs, which must all link with Common Core standards. There are many faults with the bill, which fails to fix the problems in Common Core. A required survey actually asks children how many times they carry a gun or a knife, and whether or not they wear a seat belt. Such personal information should be none of the government’s business! 

There was likewise a $25 billion increase in the funding of NCLB and a 2 percent yearly increase after that with no sunset. Despite glaring faults, which were noted at the time, Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) praised the bill to his fellow senators in a bipartisan agreement made with Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

Because NCLB gives unprecedented power to the Secretary of Education, even if a state wants to establish its own educational standards, they must align with the 11 NCLB programs – which the Secretary of Education can then reject if he finds them lacking. Also troubling is that private companies were called in to create the eleven programs.

Cora Weber Pegs Department of Education As Unconstitutional

Providing guidance is an important part of what Weber seeks to do when making her presentations. She wondered why we are willing to let bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. define the term, and determine what education should look like. Weber further stated: “The Department of Education is unconstitutional.”How so? Because the 10th Amendment directs that powers of the federal government not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution shall be left to the states or the people. There is no Department of Education in the Constitution. “Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government delegated the power to regulate or fund elementary or secondary education,” Weber said.

She also emphasized how the educational system needs to “align with principles that never change, and not the system that bureaucrats are trying to impose upon the people.” Weber further warned that home-schoolers are not immune from Common Core, which promotes relativism and socialism, as colleges are more and more requiring that students be educated in the Common Core method through admissions testing. The good news is that the free market is coming up with solutions to circumvent what is happening. To find out what a child needs to know to graduate for high school check here. The requirements for graduation in Illinois are quite lenient. 

What Can We Do to Help Stop Fed Ed?

Suggestions from Cora Weber include:

Q&A with Cora Weber 

Question: This nation was founded on the rule of law. What happens when individuals with great power and clout are seen as being above the law?

Answer:  This nation must return back to the Constitution which represents the foundation of our nation. Law affects every sphere of our society as set forth in our Constitution. Presently, Weber is reading George Orwell’s 1984 to her six children. It is important that great literature be taught, because it defines who we are, where they came from, and where we are going.  

Question: How can we circumvent Common Core?

Answer: Weber discussed a “badge-based system.” When a course is completed, and the student has demonstrated that he/she knows the material, a badge is awarded which can then be taken by the child wherever he goes. Churches, at one time, were very prominent in schooling children, and we must once again take up this mantle. It doesn’t cost all that much money to educate children well. But there is a problem: Many churches are seeped in humanistic outreach and grounded in progressive ideology. There are however, lots of fine courses for free on-line.

View here the YouTube video of The Heartland Institute’s Stop Fed Ed event with Cora Weber of USPIE.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9PglRPYiC8

Coming Events at The Heartland Institute

3939 N. Wilke Road

Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004

Free, with supper included, but registration is required.

Oct 26, 2016

Women in Politics

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Listen, learn, and get inspired from women who are shaping free-market governing policies in America just days before the 2016 United States presidential election.

Nov 2, 2016

Alex Newman: Crimes of the Educators

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Come join Alex Newman, co-author of Crimes of the Educators, as he discusses his exposé of crimes perpetrated by the education establishment against the American people and, especially, against American children.

Nov. 9, 2016

Heartland Movie Night: ‘The Call of the Entrepreneur’

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Don’t face your uncertain, post-election future alone. Face it with friends at The Heartland’s Institute’s next ‘Movie Night.’


51prc1Mn0RL._UX250_   By Nancy Thorner – 

On September 28, 2016, Robert Buchar – associate professor of cinematography at Columbia College in Chicago – spoke at The Heartland Institute about his film, The Collapse of Communism: The Untold Story. The film makes a compelling case that the dissolution of the Soviet Union did not bring about the end of global communism.

A political refugee and defector from Czechoslovakia in 1980, Buchar is also the producer of the documentary, Velvet Hangover, which is about Czech New Wave filmmakers, how they survived the period of “normalization” and their reflections on the so-called Velvet Revolution of 1989. He is also the author of Czech New Wave Filmmakers in Interviews, as well as And Reality be Damned… Undoing America: What The Media Didn’t Tell You About the End of the Cold War and Fall of Communism in Europe., which was available for purchase at the event. I highly recommend that book.

Prior to Buchar’s comments, an eight-minute excerpt was shown from his 2012 documentary, which took him eight years to finish. The film unearths the uncomfortable truths that explain the dark forces on the horizon for this nation. View the trailer here.

Buchar began his speech by asking the audience: “Why is it important to known about the fall of communism, when it’s something that happened 27 years ago?” It’s because most young people today have no idea what communism really means. Those who are older will recall how the ideology of communism killed more than 100 million people during its 70 years of dominance over vast swaths of the globe. Yet when communism supposedly collapsed in 1989, the media failed to question where those responsible for the atrocities had fled. It would be folly to believe that millions of communists became capitalists and good citizens overnight. 

Buchar noted how the communists didn’t disappear, but instead became leaders of a new system. This can be observed by noting the makeup of the political parties in former Soviet satellite countries. All were created by and are run by former communists. Thus communism adapted and morphed, developing into what was perceived as a new and seemingly acceptable political system in order to survive and continue its mission.

Because of the West’s own naiveté, the West now has to live in what has become a transformation of communist philosophy. This explains how Bernie Sanders was able to attract so many followers in his failed bid for the presidency in the 2016 election cycle.

Buchar also mused how some people on the left believe the Cold War never existed, claiming it was just propaganda, while conservatives believe the Cold War was won by the West. Accordingly, it would be difficult for conservatives to accept the perestroika deception, because in doing so, they would have to denounce the victory they proclaimed happened.  

Why the rise of socialism around world?

But if the West really won the Cold War, how to explain the rise in socialism around the world? Although the international terrorism advanced and supported by the KGB did end after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, it exploded again in 1996, taking on the forms of Islamic terror and anti-Americanism. As such, Moscow’s deception machine lives on, and has even intensified.

How could this have happened? The West performed in the exact way KGB strategists had anticipated by lowering its guard, eliminating the counter intelligence, awarding Russia millions of dollars, and even accepting Russia as an equal partner. Buchar also noted that notorious double-agent Aldrich Ames was CIA Chief for the Soviet Bloc countries, and all captured Western spies were executed with the exception of one, Oleg Gordievsky.

And what about Marc Rich, the person in charge of supplying millions of dollars to Russia that disappeared down a black hole. He is now living who knows where, after having been being pardoned by Bill Clinton in the very last minutes of his presidency. As Buchar noted, the CIA and MI6 officials both agree that KGB/FSB spying now is higher than ever. Regardless of what it is called – whether the continuing Cold War or Cold War 2 – the global communists’ quest for world domination will continue as long as the they remain in charge of the Kremlin.

Americans to blame

Unfortunately, the American people know little or nothing about Russia’s current political system, the economies of former Soviet satellite countries, or that foreign forces are shaping their lives. At the same time, many Americans know little about what is happening politically in their own nation, believing all to be just fine and dandy.

Buchar explained how the quest to destroy capitalist America started in 1922 shortly after the Comintern was established in Moscow. But why hasn’t Marxism/Socialism been discredited by now given all of its pathetic failure, carnage, genocide and misery? Trying to educate Americans about the threat to their nation is most often met by blank stares of disbelief, he said.

Buchar spoke of a student of his who believed that if communism was done right, it could work – which is very common among young people whose schooling emphasizes this nation’s flaws, rather than the spirit of the American people who built this nation, and who bled and died to preserve the God-given rights of freedom and liberty.

Socialism’s attraction

As to why the idea of communism/socialism is still and has always been attractive, especially to the economically disadvantaged masses, people do love nice dreams. As espoused by Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, everybody will get what they need. Free college education and the forgiveness of college debt is now being dangled in front of young people to entice them to vote Democrat.

As Buchar sees it, the goal is more to disturb and destroy Western democracy, specifically in America, rather than to install socialism. Buchar also noted how The Communist Manifesto is still selling very well on Amazon. Stated below is what Nikita Khrushchev said to Vice President Richard Nixon back in 1959: 

“You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.”

According to Buchar, our nation is getting close to that point today. The problem, as Buchar sees it: “The left has a clear goal, the long term strategy, and a well-established network around the globe. They are well organized, disciplined, and devoted to achieve their goal under any circumstances. Conservatives, on the other hand, have no goal or strategy.”

Some Americans are so blinded by political correctness that it has becomes almost impossible to agree on who their enemy is, let alone be able to come up with a successful counter-strategy.

Buchar believes this nation is headed for trouble: a brand of globalism or the establishment of the so-called New World Order which is being pushed by the elites of both parties. They are pulling out all the stops to keep the White House in control of the Democrats, so the long term strategy of those who fostered the deception that Communism died in 1987 can succeed in its planned journey by tricking millions of Americans into believing that socialism is the way of the future.

Understanding what happened between 1989 and 199l – the so-called Collapse of Communism – the key to understanding what is facing this nation today.

Watch the video of Buchar’s presentation at The Heartland Institute, including the clip from his film, here.

Warning issued 32 years ago by Soviet defector and KGB operative unheeded

32 YEARS AGO (1984) Soviet defector and KGB operative Yuri Bezmenov, specializing in the fields of Marxist-Leninist propaganda and ideological subversion, warned us about the silent war being waged against America as part of a long term plan to take over and destroy the American system and way of life.

This youtube video, KGB DEFECTOR YURI BEZMENOV’S WARNING TO AMERICA, reinforces Robert Buchar’s remarks made at The Heartland Institute on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

In watching the clip you will realize that Bezmenov is describing EXACTLY what’s happening in America today, where by Obama and his gang of Marxist usurpers who now have control of your government are just the culmination of a very long term plan, but are the ones who are about to bring it into fruition.

G. Edward Griffin’s shocking video interview in which Yuri Bezmenov decides to openly reveal KGB’s subversive tactics against western society as a whole: Yuri Bezmenov:  Deception Was My Job

Yuri Bezmenov explains in detail his scheme for the KGB process of subversion and takeover of target societies at a lecture in Los Angeles in 1883: Yuri Bezmenov: Psychological Warfare Subversion & Control of Western Society

This is REAL, it is happening now, and it has happened before. November’s presidential election could very well be the turning point for this nation.  Is this new brand of communism really favored by the American people?  It’s frightening to think that a majority of voters might elect to live under a repressive and controlling government.  

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Libertarian comedian and author P.J. O’Rourke no longer plans to vote for Hillary Clinton for President, he told attendees of the Heartland Institute’s annual dinner on September 15th. 

Thorner: Comedian P.J. O’Rourke backs away from Hillary Clinton

As a libertarian thinker, O’Rourke says he can’t stand either party. Although there were many libertarians in the room because of Heartland’s libertarian bent, there was also a sizable number of conservative Republicans present who didn’t appreciate remarks made by O’Rourke on May 11, 2016 on National Public Radio when he announced he’s be endorsing Hillary Clinton with all her empty promises, because, he said, “she is the devil we know.”

At his speech for Heartland, however, he recanted that statement, and said he “will not vote for Clinton.” O’Rouke was called by Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal, “the funniest writer in America.” An American political satirist and journalist, O’Rourke is the author of 15 books, including his latest, Thrown Under the Omnibus.

O’Rourke’s recitations of humor, to some in attendance, were somewhat risqué at times. But it was clear that his comments about the 2016 election were enjoyed by the audience. 

Several of O’Rourke’s comments were especially well received. Since humor depends so much on the way it is presented by the humorist, some of his comments in printed form below might not have the same impact, but I share them nonetheless:

  • Why is it so flat in the Midwest? So we can see you coming.
    • Citing the Heartland Institute as a center for clear thinking, O’Rourke spoke of himself as not much of a clear thinker – which made him too stupid to be talking to those assembled. As a student of stupid, O’Rourke said he is perfectly qualified to talk about the election, as 50 percent of the American people are, by definition, of below average intelligence.  That explains everything!
  • In making fun of Hillary: What can be funnier than Hillary’s pantsuits?
    • The Republicans’ large list of presidential candidates was eventually whittled down to five, but it was not a list of presidential candidates. It was a list of the finest law firm in the world.
    • Jeb Bush had it all. He was young, good looking, and the former governor of Florida, but he was rolling like a dirty dog in campaign contributions. 
    • Hillary was challenged by Bernie the Socialist. So, is it OK to steal stuff to make this nation more like Europe? But where do we go to get all the Nazis, Commies, and dead people?
  • The Clinton Foundation is so large that it must be weighed on Chris Christie’s bathroom scale.
    • What’s wrong with the Republican Party when John Kasich could win in a state, Ohio, that is as purple as Barney the Dinosaur. 
    • There are two parties, the Stupid Party and the Silly Party. Republicans have fewer ideas but not few enough, while Democrats believe that government can make us richer and smarter.
    • The words “bi-partisan consensus” are frightening because of the polarization of America, but libertarians want all politics to go away much the same way as you fix a pet. You teach a pet not to beg at the table. Domestic policy would demand that a pet stayed off your bed, while foreign policy would require teaching your pet not to mess on other people’s lawns. 
    • Politicians attempt to solve every one of the world’s problems, when they can’t even run a post office. 
    • Government takes 40 percent of our money. Ought that be enough! But is government doing 40 percent of our work, such as doing the laundry or cleaning the house or taking care of our spouse if we are tired? If Bill Clinton is back in the White House this might happen.
  • Political corruption is a law of economics. The first thing that gets sold is your votes.
    • O’Rourke’s 16-year-old daughter keeps complaining, in general: “It’s not fair.” To which O’Rourke replies: “You’re cute. That’s not fair. You were born in America. That’s not fair. Get down on your knees and pray that things are not fair.”

A Q&A session with O’Rourke was lively and entertaining, and elicited unusual responses from the keynote speaker. 

Q: Who will our president be on November 9?

A: “Someone you won’t like.” O’Rourke followed up by musing why it was so important who the president is. The president is not supposed to be so powerful. The large expansion of presidential power began with Abraham Lincoln – and we, as citizens, we never made it go away.

Q: You detailed Libertarian Party Candidate Gary Johnson’s platform without indicating your support of him?

A: America only has two large political parties. We’ll never get rid of either one of the parties until one party collapses. 

Q: What do you think of Brexit? 

A: O’Rourke said, as an individual, he would probably have voted against Brexit. But Europe is not going to survive. It is more messed up than America, and Britain had to get off the boat. Britain has forgotten border control, spent all its money on social welfare program, and can’t stand up to Putin.

Q: If Trump becomes dictatorial or goes off the deep end in other ways, will Republicans bring up impeachment?

A: O’Rourke said he had not the foggiest idea what would happen, as he has never been so wrong so often in his life than in this election cycle.

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Joe Morris, Jameson Campaigne, Morton Blackwell

Heartland Liberty Prize: Morton Blackwell

Following O’Rourke’s remarks, Morton C. Blackwell, president of The Leadership Institute, was honored as the recipient of the 2016 Heartland Liberty Prize. The award was presented by Jameson Campaigne, founder and president of Green Hill Publishers and Jameson Books, and Joseph Morris, president of the Lincoln Legal Foundation.  

Campaigne described Blackwell as “a leader who can create.” It was Blackwell who helped launch Turning Point USA, headed by Charles Kirk. It was Blackwell who predicted a year ago that “we would get Donald Trump.” Campaigne astutely noted that if conservatives don’t seek out the best and the brightest to run for office and win, someone else will.

Joe Morris spoke of Blackwell as “a leader who has devoted his life to advocacy for the cause of freedom.” Furthermore, Blackwell is a “teacher” and hails as “chief of the freedom movement in America.” 

As to why Blackwell was selected for Heartland’s award, Joe Bast applauded Blackwell for never turning down a request for assistance, and not caring who received credit as long as a good job was done, rare qualities, indeed. 

Upon presented of the Heartland Liberty Prize, Blackwell described what comes out of The Heartland Institute as “sparkling,” given its “healthy sense of moral indignation,” and with staffers who “really enjoys what they are doing.” Blackwell shared a condensation of his article, The Real Nature of Politics, written in the early ’70s, and which is as important today as it was at that time. It outlines what determines victory and why the right side doesn’t always win.

As a teacher, Blackwell has trained thousands of young people who have attended his Leadership Institute conferences over the decades. He tells young people:

  • Keep your word.
  • Keep your principles.
  • Keep your hands out of other people’s pockets.
  • Keep your pants on.
  • Keep studying and putting into practice how to win.

Before the keynote speech and Liberty Prize was given, Heartland President Joe Bast welcomed nearly 500 friends and supporters who attended its 32nd Anniversary Benefit Dinner, the organization’s biggest gala event.

Under the theme of Freedom Rising, Bast spoke of the evening as a means to celebrate the achievements of The Heartland Institute, to thank Heartland’s staff and volunteers and friends for their hard work, and to recognize and thank the donors whose generosity makes everything Heartland does possible.  

Continuing his opening remarks, Bast noted that The Heartland Institute was founded in 1984 for one purpose: to preserve and expand individual freedom. This is done by discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems, Bast said. The organization has accomplished over the year in its successful fights for lower taxes, fewer government regulations, reform of education and welfare policy, and more. 

Heartland has also created a literature of liberty with books studies, articles, and videos about America’s unique gift to the world: the idea that a nation can be founded on principles instead of privileges, and on freedom instead of force. Heartland does wear a special badge of honor, having become the world’s leading think tank rejecting claims that global warming is a crisis, caused by human activity, and merits surrendering our freedoms to national or international government authorities. 

Bast was not hesitant to note sad news: how in the last decade, our inalienable freedoms, fought for by the Founding Fathers and enshrined in the Constitution, have been greatly eroded. Consequently, we are less free today than we were in 2006, as the national government has greatly expanded its spending, borrowing, and regulating. Accordingly, this nation is on the road to nationalized health, nationalized education (both elementary and secondary and higher education), a nationalized energy sector, and a nationalized banking system. And all this has happened with a socialist in the White House, and with very little opposition from self-described conservatives in Congress and on the Supreme Court – which amounts to a bipartisan crime against freedom, against free men and women, and against all Americans and their loved ones.

Why does this disturbing trend matter? Because without the freedom to choose, there can be no moral actions, no right or wrong, no discovery of every person’s unique skills and potential. Without individual liberty and free enterprise, there would be no human progress, no innovation and economic growth, none of the peace and prosperity we take for granted today. Freedom, Bast said, is the most powerful idea ever discovered by man. It has liberated billions of people from poverty and slavery. It has transformed the world, but we seem to be throwing it away. As Ronald Reagan said, “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” 

As Bast warned, it’s about to disappear on our watch. Freedom today is under attack by people who call themselves progressives, liberals, socialists, Marxists, and sometimes – in a rare blaze of honesty – communists. Whatever the label they hide behind, the Left wants more government and less freedom, along with more power to impose their ideas on others, and to live off the work and ingenuity of others. In contrast, those in attendance at Heartland’s benefit dinner want just the opposite – less government and more freedom!  This is why Bast spoke of the coming election as one that may decide if we continue losing at the national level, or stop the bleeding and start restoring our lost freedom.

Bast ended his soliloquy is support of freedom with these five things everyone present should attempt to do to help restore American freedom, knowing that it is not through politics alone that freedom will rise again:

1.  Educate yourself about freedom – its history, institutions, and importance. Check out a copy of The Black Book of Communism to see what happens to societies that lose their freedom.

2.  Educate the people around you. Share your knowledge with others, give them books, sign them up for subscriptions to magazines and memberships in organizations, like The Heartland Institute and many more, that support the freedom philosophy.

3.  Be a role model for others. If you live a successful and righteous life, if you are faithful to your spouse and a good mother or father to your children, people will naturally look up to you and respect your political views.

4.  Help build new institutions. When the Left takes over Ivy League colleges and universities, stop sending your kids to them and donating to them. Support colleges such as Hillsdale and Carthage College instead. When it takes over elementary and secondary schools, vote against property tax hikes and instead support charter schools and private schools – such as Chicago Hope Academy, which filled a table at the dinner.

5.  Hang together … or else we shall surely hang separately, as Benjamin Franklin famously said.

Bast further asked for the support of brave men and women – in politics and outside politics – that we thank them for their sacrifices, and then work to make sure they keep their promises. For freedom can rise again only if everyone does their part.

Monday, September 12, 2016

By Nancy Thorner – 

As previously discussed, (read it here) renowned scientist, speaker, author and Heartland Institute Science Director Dr. Jay Lehr and Colorado State University Atmospheric Science Professor Dr. Scott Denning debated two film clips from Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. The debate was hosted by The Heartland Institute on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, to determine how the movie has fared through the test of time on its 10th anniversary.

The first two film clips debated in Part 1 were; “Solar Radiation in the Form of Light Waves Passes Through the Atmosphere,” and “The Coral Reefs Off the Coast of Australia Are Being Bleached and Destroyed Due to Global Warming.” (View the entire debate here.) In Part 2, I will recount how Lehr and Denning debated the final four of the six featured film clips.

Film Clip #3: Fresh Meltwater is Tunneling Straight Down Through Greenland.

Claim: Tony Blair’s Scientific Advisor said in 2005 that if Greenland breaks up (even half of it) maps will have to be withdrawn because the Netherlands and other low lying areas would be covered with water. Among areas affected would be San Francisco Bay, Beijing, Shanghai, and Calcutta.

Denning: Sea level rising has gotten much worse because of melting ice. Ice can melt very fast with a huge impact, such as in property loss and the creation of a refugee crisis worse than the one that exists today.

Lehr: This is fear mongering at its worst, a global warming fraud that is casting an extremely negative impact on the future of the world. Between 1000 and 1250 there was farming in Greenland during a mini warming period. Corn and barley were grown. As far as loss to our economy, billions have already been squandered trying to develop green energy to replace fossil fuels. Why? Because green energy sources are more expensive to operate and maintain.

Film Clip #4: Polar Bears Are Endangered Because Ice Is Melting.

Claim: Polar bears have drowned when having to swim 60 miles to find ice and food.

Lehr: Polar bears can swim 100 miles. This cuddly little icon of global warming was a poor choice for Gore. Polar bears have been around for 500,000 years and are thriving today, with ample evidence population is increasing. Some 10,000 visitors come every year to view the polar bears feed at Churchill Matoba (Hudson Bay) where polar bears have been studied for 21 years. Polar bears coming to feed at Churchill increase every year.

Denning: Denning didn’t deny the increase in polar bear population at Churchill, but as ice is the habitat of the polar bear, due to melting ice there is less habitat available for polar bears. As Denning did when he spoke about the exposure of the Great Coral Reef as being a side issue to global warming, he likewise considered the polar bear a side issue in the overall discussion of climate change. Economics once again became the dominant issue for Denning as he reiterated the lost economic growth that would take place if 10 times more fossil fuel were burnt as has occurred to date.

Film Clip #5: Are We Capable of Rising Above Ourselves and History?

Claim: After all, freedom and self-determination was established here in the U.S. and spread around the world. We landed on the moon and defeated fascism.

Denning: We are fortunate global warming is a problem that is not all that expensive to solve. Our problems today aren’t as difficult to deal with as were some that faced our forefathers. Our grandparents did well for themselves by building roads, bridges and highways. Our generation built the Internet. The American people are capable of solving problems. We know how to do it. Economics was again cited: A 1 percent reduction in GPD over the next century beats a 25 percent reduction if we fail to deal with the global warming problem now.

Lehr: The mention of economics by Denning raised his dander. Lehr mentioned that we have already spent well over $1 trillion with zero results in trying to develop alternate salable and affordable sources of energy to reduce CO2. The U.S. and France were cited as the only countries that have reduced CO2 levels: France because of using nuclear energy, and the U.S. because of scrubbers installed on coal plants. As a nation, we are capable of doing great things. However, the so-called global warming crisis is fear mongering, which hasn’t yet, nor will ever, come true.

Film Clip #6: Gore compared a photo of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa taken 30 years ago with one recently taken.

Claim: Human-caused global warming is causing the famed Snows of Kilimanjaro to disappear.

Lehr: Lehr had no quibble about the photos. At 19,340 feet high, Kilimanjaro was losing ice long before man began pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. Since the temperature at the top of Kilimanjaro has never risen above freezing, why then is the ice melting? Lehr attributed the melting to what is known in physics as “sublimation” from solid to gas. Because of deforestation over the centuries at lower levels, the resulting dry air rises up the mountain and causes ice to go from solid to gas. Like the polar bear, Dr. Lehr considered Kilimanjaro a poor choice by Al Gore to include in his movie.

Denning: The melting is not just happening at Kilimanjaro, but at every mountain in the world. 70 million people depend on water from melting mountain snow. In Colorado, a state Denning is familiar with, snow pack is down 20 percent since 1980, and this has happened with only 1 degree F of global warming. What will happen if 10 times more fossil fuel is burnt?

Debate Wrap up

Denning: He noted again his three S’s of climate change: Simple, Serious, Solvable. In referencing how Lehr denies climate change is taking place even if 10 times as much fossil fuel is used, Denning challenges Lehr’s inability to explain why. According to Denning, it’s very easy to explain: heat in, heat out. When six-and-a-half watts was added to the world for 100 centuries, the sea rose hundreds of feet. When either heat or cold is added, temperature changes occurs as they did during the Medieval warming period and the mini ice age which followed.

If we deal with the problem now, it will cost our kids a hundred times less than if we fail to take immediate steps to solve global warming. Denning strongly suggested that as a free market think tank The Heartland Institute must become involved or else the Left will take over completely. The market system is not weak. We must be brave. Modern free-market solutions must be applied. As civilization comes from inside us, this nation will be just fine if our kids remain creative and hardworking.

Lehr: In offering a critique of his challenger, Lehr questioned how it was possible to like someone yet disagree so much with everything he says? Lehr spoke of global warming as a political ploy to gain power. Global cooling was tried during the ’70s, but that didn’t scare the world. Global warming is not about the environment; it is about reducing individual freedom. It’s also about the elimination of fossil fuels. But why eliminate fossil fuels when they are improving the quality of live all across the world? This nation is awash in shale gas. In Colorado, for instance, there is more oil and gas reserves than in all of Saudi Arabia. Yet the push continues to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar power when both require backup energy sources.

Climate alarmists are predicting how the weather will be much warmer 100 years down the road with possible catastrophic results, even though predicting the weather one week ahead is risky to attempt. Eliminating the generous subsidies given to developers of wind and solar power will bring out new and better things. As an self-described extremely optimistic person, Lehr opined how the future is always better than what went before, but this still doesn’t prevent a new scenario of doom and gloom from being offered up during next year’s Earth Day celebration.

Debate Finale

Jim Lakely, communications director at The Heartland Institute, fielded question for Lehr and Denning from event participants and from those watching the live-stream on YouTube. (Click here to view.)

Not disputed was what is considered our most valuable resource which is found between our ears, the human mind.

Notable is that global warming is near the bottom of the list of concerns people have around the world. And global warming deserves to be near the bottom of the list. As related in this recent, hard-hitting and credible article about climate change posted on September 2, 2016, Tens of Thousands of Scientists Declare Climate Change A Hoax, a staggering 30,000 scientists have come forward saying man-made climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the elite in order to make money.

One of the experts is Weather Channel Founder John Coleman, who warns that huge fortunes are being realized by man-made climate change proponents such as Al Gore. In a recent interview with Climate Depot, Natural News reports:

“Al Gore may emerge from the shadows to declare victory in the ‘global warming’ debate if Hillary Clinton moves into the White House. Yes, if that happens and the new climate regulations become the law of the land, they will be next to impossible to overturn for four to eight years.”

Monday, September 12, 2016 at 10:30 AM | Permalink