A big week for “Glencoe man”

The Star Tribune headline refers to Abdul Raheem Habil Ali-Skelton (no relation to Red) as “Glencoe man.” (Glencoe is a small town about 50 miles west of Minneapolis.) Ali-Skelton seems to have something in common with the “Minnesota men” charged with supporting ISIS. Indeed, Ali-Skelton pleaded guilty this past Wednesday of lying to the FBI about his contacts with ISIS. Prosecutors said he had exchanged more than 75 messages with ISIS between June 27 and July 4 last year using a social media account he tried to conceal from the FBI.

Late last month, five days after Mr. Ali-Skelton was charged last month, he was arrested at a a suburban Minneapolis Walgreens after he threatened to blow up the store and said he was “part of a terrorist organization.” The Star Tribune reports that the early morning incident on March 27 was sparked by Ali-Skelton accusing another customer of having relations with his girlfriend and threatening the man with a bottle. When a store manager intervened, Ali-Skelton said he had a gun and would shoot up the store. He later admitted to officers that he made the threats to shoot up the store but did not remember referring to a terror organization or saying he would blow up the Walgreens. On Monday, Ali-Skelton pleaded guilty in Hennepin County to making terroristic threats.

All in all, it was a big week for Ali-Skelton.

State authorities released Ali-Skelton from custody pending a June 30 sentencing on the terroristic threats offense. Fortunately, however, in the matter of lying to the FBI, Ali-Skelton has been remitted to federal custody on the order of Judge Donovan Frank. Judge Frank reasonably takes the position that his detention is necessary to ensure the safety of the community.

Ali-Skelton is represented by attorney Robert Richman. Mr. Richman asserts on behalf of his client that the terroristic threats represent some kind of misunderstanding. He explained on Tuesday: “From what I understand about those allegations, if they are true … they are completely out of character with the very mild-mannered Abdul Ali-Skelton, [whom] I have known for quite some time.” It was just one of those things, one of those crazy things.

Richman said Ali-Skelton’s actions at the Walgreens amounted to “a drunken rant.” He also offered this: “I liken this to cases after [9/11] when airport security was at an all-time high and some misguided people thought it would be funny to say they had a bomb in their bag,” Richman said. “They may have proved themselves to be idiots but they did not prove themselves to be dangerous.”

The Star Tribune story reports that Ali-Skelton’s case is unrelated to the case of the ten “Minnesota men” charged with seeking to join ISIS. Ali-Skelton, however, appears to share their enthusiasms and their faith, which otherwise goes unmentioned. By their hometown shall ye know them.

Live from Omaha, it’s James Hansen

Nebraska attorney Dave Begley is our faithful Omaha correspondent. Dave reports:

Friday night in a crowd of 500 to 700 people at Creighton University it appeared that I was not only the only conservative, I was also the only person who was thinking clearly and critically. One of global warming’s oldest and most revered leaders, Dr. James Hansen, spoke prior to his protest at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders’ meeting on Saturday. I have never heard such nonsense in my life. He gave a rambling and incoherent presentation for nearly two hours. Three times he forgot the question or lost his train of thought. Since the Jesuits taught me logic, I could easily identity his use of the context, bulls-eye, omission and appeal to authority fallacies.

The really shocking thing for me was how many times he contradicted himself and made admissions against interest. If he was under oath and subject to cross examination at a trial, Power Line’s own John Hinderaker would carve him up. Example: He said that all energy subsidies must stop and be replaced by a $100 per ton carbon fee. He then later admitted that the solar panels on his barn were subsidized by the federal government. So it was simply a bizarre contradiction on his part. He failed to mention that Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy is building a $3.6 billion windmill project in Iowa and it is almost entirely subsidized by the federal government. At one point he admitted that there is “a range of uncertainty” with his predictions of disaster. How big of a range? An important point!

I nearly fell out of my chair when he informed the crowd that “the greatest engineers in the world” in Germany have built a renewable energy system that is eleven times more expensive than France’s. France defeats Germany!

His main assertion was that the ice sheets were melting and it was causing the sea level to rise. He predicted that coastal cities would be under water. No date given. Not even a range of dates. And he never identified man as the cause of this impending disaster and that gradual warming is not just the natural evolution of the Earth over time. One young woman asked him “when Earth will be uninhabitable.” Hansen assured her that would not happen in her lifetime but it was still an emergency. Act now!

The deadline aspect of the CAGW scam is actually quite important. Doomsday is coming but no range of dates is given. If a date is given it is so far off that you will forget that the prediction was made when the date passes or you will be dead due to natural causes. But it is essential for the government to spend other people’s money now to save Mother Earth.

Howler number one: Violence between nations is caused by global warming. Tell that to ISIS. Howler number two: It is too hot to work outside. No lawn mowing this summer by your kids. Howler number three: 10,000 people per day die due to air pollution. I suspect that if that number is accurate, people are not dying from carbon dioxide poisoning. Howler number four: His predictions about future events based upon his models were “as certain as the law of gravity.” Roll over, Newton, tell Einstein the news.

Hansen gave away some of the CAGW game when he mentioned the recent decision in a Oregon lawsuit filed by Our Children’s Trust. Shamefully, one of his minor grandkids is a plaintiff. A federal magistrate judge has ruled that these kids have standing to assert a claim. The remedy must be “to phase out carbon emissions.” I hate to break it to you, Jim, but the laws of the United States do not provide a remedy for speculative damages at some unstated future date that would completely transform the entire American economy. But Hansen betrayed the Left’s strategy to use the courts to accomplish what the other two branches of the federal government won’t do. This method, however, has been successful in the past.

He relied on the magic of undeveloped future technology with new nuke plants and battery storage. He was completely out of his depth when he said that renewable energy would create jobs and make everyone richer. The real cost of “green” energy is never mentioned. His carbon emission fee is “revenue neutral.” As if economists were so smart. Obamacare’s econometric models were horrible failures.

I asked the first question. I reminded the Iowa native that he was in the home city of the Union Pacific Railroad and it has had recent significant layoffs due to a serious decline in coal car loadings. I then asked him, since his models have been mostly wrong for 30 years, why we should believe his models were any more accurate in predicting the disaster that is going to hit when everyone in the room was dead 70 years from now.

He asserted that his predictions were not based upon models but “observable evidence.” False. He dodged, stalled and avoided. He threw out some numbers and put up a slide depicting the Hiroshima bomb explosion. His answer was non-responsive. If I could have cross examined him at length I would have destroyed his answer, but he knew the format.

James Hansen is not impressive at all. If he is the best the Greens have, we conservatives should win this fight. The whole CAGW scam is based upon speculation and the veneer of science. The proposed remedies are costly fantasies. Their only real solution is to tax Americans back into pre-industrial poverty.

The Week in Pictures: Bathroom Break Edition

The Great Bathroom Wars of 2016 are still raging at full pitch, and we won’t take a break from our stall-to-stall . . . coverage of this epochal moment in the decline of the West. At least we still have toilet paper, unlike Venezuela. Meanwhile, Trump rolls on, the campuses are still falling apart, and the California legislature has refused to pass a resolution in honor of John Wayne because he shot indians on screen or something.

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They usually do. . .

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How Does Hillary Run On a Bad Economy?

Democrats love to cherry pick statistics to make the case that Barack Obama’s stewardship of our economy has been successful. Obama himself often claims to have saved the world economy from disaster, but how? If anything averted collapse, it was the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was executed by the Bush administration, for better or worse. If any government measure saved the economy, it was TARP.

The “stimulus” bill that didn’t stimulate anything was enacted in Obama’s first year, but that had only a fraction of the predicted impact and no one claims it somehow rescued the world economy. Nor did Dodd-Frank, which was passed in 2010, after the financial crisis had passed. Dodd-Frank’s principal effects were to devastate community banks and starve small businesses of capital.

The manner in which Democrats assign credit and blame is amusing. They claim, absurdly, that Obama reduced the federal deficit; they accomplish this sleight of hand by attributing Obama’s first year in office, when there was a trillion dollar-plus deficit because of the stimulus bill and other measures, to George W. Bush. Sure: we all remember Bush’s “stimulus” bill in FY 2009, after he left office.

On the other hand, they try to reach back to 2008, before Obama became President, to give him credit for saving the world economy through TARP. Are voters really dumb enough to fall for such silly tricks?

Yes and no. The true believers don’t remember the details and will buy anything. On the other hand, voters have a general recollection of how the economy has performed over the last 7 1/2 years, and it hasn’t been good.

As Steve wrote here, Hillary Clinton has no choice but to run against Barack Obama’s poor economic record, just as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump do. The Obama “boom” is pathetic compared to any comparable period in the post-WWII era:

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And now commentators are telling us to expect another recession, and a sharp stock market decline, soon. That would put a capstone on the worst economic record of any president since Jimmy Carter. Hillary can say, “I was just in charge of Libya and other foreign policy fiascos! I had nothing to do with economic policy.” But voters won’t give her a pass on the economic record of the administration she served and whose policies she endorsed.

Michael Ramirez sums up the Democrats’ position on the economy. Click to enlarge:

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Will Rioters Hand the Election to Trump?

I think Donald Trump likely will defeat Hillary Clinton, simply because she is such a terrible candidate. But if the current trend toward anti-Trump riots and violence continues, Trump could win going away.

Last night in Orange County, Trump addressed a crowd of thousands. Anti-Trump demonstrators, some waving Mexican flags, attacked policemen and bystanders. The liberal Los Angeles Times reports:

Hundreds of demonstrators filled the street outside the Orange County amphitheater where Donald Trump held a rally Thursday night, stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully [!] declaring their opposition to the Republican presidential candidate.

Traffic came to a halt as a boisterous crowd walked in the roadway, some waving American and Mexican flags. Protesters smashed a window on at least one police cruiser, punctured the tires of a police sport utility vehicle, and at one point tried to flip a police car.

One Costa Mesa police officer was struck in the head by a rock thrown by a protestor, authorities said.

The rioters “appeared to be mostly Latinos in their late teens and 20s.” Seventeen were arrested.

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Riots continued today at the California GOP convention south of San Francisco. Protesters blocked traffic so that Trump was forced to exit his vehicle to get to the hotel where the convention was in progress. Riot police made at least five more arrests of violent protesters.

Protesters — some of whom wore bandanas over their faces and carried Mexican flags — blocked off the road in front of the Hyatt Regency here, forcing the GOP front-runner’s motorcade to pull over along a concrete median outside the hotel’s back entrance. Trump and his entourage got out and walked into the building.
“That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made,” Trump said once he began speaking at the convention, adding, “it felt like I was crossing the border.”

At one point before Trump arrived, about two dozen protesters tried to rush barriers near the hotel. Police officers then rushed to the building’s doors, successfully blocking the protesters from getting in. Some of the doors’ handles were handcuffed from the inside so they couldn’t be forced open.

Several physical altercations, including shoving, could be seen between protesters and police officers, who were using batons to push them back.

After Trump arrived, protesters took down a barrier and flooded the entrance outside the hotel, where police again blocked them from entering. They chanted, “Get him out.”

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We are seeing more and more of this kind of thing. Leaving downtown Minneapolis tonight, I bumped into a friend who was steaming because he was delayed by anti-Trump protesters who blocked traffic. Is there something in the Constitution about a right to close down streets and bridges, and delay others who are lawfully going about their business? I must have been absent that day.

Most people really, really don’t like violent protesters. They especially don’t like rioters who wave foreign flags. If there is anything that could guarantee Donald Trump’s election as president, this is it.

UPDATE: One more thing: I love the guy in the photo above, standing in front of a sign that says “Keep Hate Out of America” while flipping a double bird. Liberals are devoid of any sense of irony.

Pence finally endorses Cruz

With only a few days remaining before the Indiana primary, Gov. Mike Pence has endorsed Ted Cruz. He did so during a radio interview this morning.

Pence began by praising Donald Trump. He stated:

I like and respect all three of the Republican candidates in the field. I particularly want to commend Donald Trump who I think has given voice to the frustration of millions of working Americans with a lack of progress in Washington, D.C.

I am also particularly grateful that Donald Trump has taken a strong for Hoosier jobs when we saw jobs of the Carrier company abruptly announcing they are leaving Indiana. Not for another state, but for Mexico.

Pence then said: “I have come to my decision of who I am supporting and I am not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in the upcoming Republican primary.”

I don’t blame Pence for commending Trump. He’s likely to be the GOP nominee and Pence says he would support him in the general election. From Pence’s point of view, then, there’s little point in being anti-Trump. That would only help the Democrats and reduce Pence’s popularity among Indiana Republicans.

I do blame Pence for waiting so long to endorse Cruz. When questioned about why he supports the Texas Senator, Pence explained that Cruz is a Reagan Republican who stands solidly for conservative principles and has been willing to fight for them in Washington, even when it meant bucking his party. Pence also noted Cruz’s unyielding pro-life position. This issue is near and dear to the Indiana governor.

Why, then, didn’t Pence endorse Cruz straight away? Trump is not a Reagan Republican — his approach differs materially from the Gipper’s with respect to foreign policy, the role of government, and taxation. Nor has Trump been strongly and consistently pro-life. (Kasich, broadly speaking, might be considered a Reagan Republican, but certainly not to the extent Cruz is).

Accordingly, I see no good excuse for Pence’s delay in endorsing Ted Cruz. Late is better than never, but in this case late isn’t good enough.

Why Are Liberals So Insecure and Miserable?

You may have seen the news yesterday that the faculty senate at George Mason University has voted by a wide margin to oppose naming their well-regarded law school after Antonin Scalia. Among other complaints, according to Inside Higher Ed, is “the reinforcement of the external branding of the university as a conservative institution rather than an unaligned body that is a comfortable home for individuals with a variety of viewpoints.”

The irony here is that George Mason has exactly two departments—2!—that lean to the right: the law school, and the economics department. The rest of George Mason University is garden variety left-liberal. But apparently having just two departments at a large school offering a true “variety” of outlook is intolerable and causes liberals to get a case of the vapors. Why are liberals so upset at such a tiny deviation from the party line? One theory, of course, is the presumptuousness of liberalism that it comprehends complete truth and justice and thereby need not tolerate dissent. There’s also the inability of most liberals actually to debate dissenting views, which is why the default position of liberalism today is to prevent or shut down debate by playing the race-homophobia-patriarchy-oppression card. What this really reveals is the intellectual shallowness and insecurity of liberalism.

But campus leftists also tend to be miserable, humorless people. Is there a connection between this and their intellectual insecurity? Consider as an example this week’s spectacle from UMass-Amherst. By now I expect most readers have seen, or seen reference to, the howling student at UMass-Amherst who kept made a complete fool of herself cursing and yelling at Milo Yiannapoulos and Christina Hoff Sommers a few days ago. The spectacle of this obviously unbalanced student has received more than 1.3 million views on YouTube as of this morning, but in case you haven’t seen it, I’ve posted it at the end. (The best moment, around the two-minute mark, is when Shrieking Girl (or “Trigglypuff,” as the alternative title calls her) yells “Stop treating us like children!”, and Christina responds coolly, “Then stop acting like one.”)

Why this violent and immature reaction to something she disagreed with? Especially when it is obvious that Mighty Milo exists chiefly for the purpose of provoking halfwit campus leftists with his calculated “dangerous faggot” tour, in which case the best course of action would be to ignore him. Given that liberal “tolerance” means exactly the opposite, this is not an option.

Once again, I stumbled across something Harry Jaffa wrote way back in 1972, responding to a story about how Harvard was struggling to cope with the changing sexual mores of students then, and appointing a “sex czar” (as the Harvard Bulletin described the administrative position) to give advice to bewildered and unhappy students and come up with “guidelines.” Sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it? Then, as now, there is the willful attempt to ignore or deny human nature. Jaffa makes an interesting connection to technology here, and concludes with an observation that helps explain the misery of Shrieking Girl:

But that the laws of nature do exist, and that we are bound by them because they are, not the ideals of men, but the reality of a purposeful universe, and that human freedom is a freedom to disregard such laws only at our cost, seems to be taken seriously almost nowhere. The emancipation of Western man by technology from the necessities of nature has led to a loss of consciousness of the goodness that those necessities serve. As the old struggle for survival has, through the equivocal beneficence of technology, receded into the background of daily existence, the uses of leisure have become mysterious. Never has a whole society enjoyed such wealth as has the United States, and this wealth has increasingly become the share of Western Europe, Great Britain and the Commonwealth, Japan, and to a degree even some of the communist states. Wealth, properly understood, is the instrument of freedom and of happiness, and in the past freedom has always been seen as an oasis in the desert of necessity. But as the desert blooms, we do not see the enlargement of the oasis. Instead, as the desert disappears, so does the oasis, and we fail to comprehend the uses of the garden that blooms in their place. Apparently, if you do not worry about surviving, then you do worry about whether it is worth surviving. And so, what is perhaps the most privileged class in the entire history of the human race, that of the Harvard College student, is among the most miserable!

And so behold the typical face of liberal student misery today:

Bonus meme:

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