This past Tuesday marked 231st anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.  Every year this date should be celebrated by everyone because of the most remarkable nature of that document, which was responsible for this country becoming the freest and wealthiest that ever existed.  Instead the Constitution is held in such ill regard by so many simply because of the indoctrination they received in college, high school, the media, and from friends.  The most common insult hurled at the Constitution is that it is a racist document with the Three-Fifths Compromise as the most damning evidence.  Frederick Douglas debunked that claim back in 1860 when he gave this speech before the Glasgow Emancipation Society.

In this quote he states the purpose of his speech was to refute the false claim that the Constitution is a proslavery document:

The very eloquent lecturer at the City Hall doubtless felt some embarrassment from the fact that he had literally to give the Constitution a pro-slavery interpretation; because upon its face it of itself conveys no such meaning, but a very opposite meaning. He thus sums up what he calls the slaveholding provisions of the Constitution. I quote his own words: — “Article 1, section 9, provides for the continuance of the African slave trade for the 20 years, after the adoption of the Constitution. Art. 4, section 9, provides for the recovery from the other States of fugitive slaves. Art. 1, section 2, gives the slave States a representation of the three-fifths of all the slave population; and Art. 1, section 8, requires the President to use the military, naval, ordnance, and militia resources of the entire country for the suppression of slave insurrection, in the same manner as he would employ them to repel invasion.

In this next quote he discredits the claim that the Three-Fifths Compromise is racist.  He notes that it only applies to slaves, not free blacks, and that is was an incentive for freeing slaves.

It is a downright disability laid upon the slaveholding States; one which deprives those States of two-fifths of their natural basis of representation. A black man in a free State is worth just two-fifths more than a black man in a slave State, as a basis of political power under the Constitution. Therefore, instead of encouraging slavery, the Constitution encourages freedom by giving an increase of “two-fifths” of political power to free over slave States. So much for the three-fifths clause; taking it at is worst, it still leans to freedom, not slavery; for, be it remembered that the Constitution nowhere forbids a coloured man to vote.

Frederick Douglas stated in this quote that the Constitution abolishing the slave trade 20 years after ratification was meant to end slavery. .

Men, at that time, both in England and in America, looked upon the slave trade as the life of slavery. The abolition of the slave trade was supposed to be the certain death of slavery. Cut off the stream, and the pond will dry up, was the common notion at the time.

He also points out that the drafters of the Constitution believed that slavery was a dying institution.  At the time of the drafting of the Constitution slavery was not working economically and was collapsing.  It was the invention of the Cotton Gin that made slavery work economically and extended that despicable institution.  It was not invented until after the ratification of the Constitution.  He notes that abolishing the slave trade would have hastened slavery’s demise.

All regarded slavery as an expiring and doomed system, destined to speedily disappear from the country. But, again, it should be remembered that this very provision, if made to refer to the African slave trade at all, makes the Constitution anti-slavery rather than for slavery; for it says to the slave States, the price you will have to pay for coming into the American Union is, that the slave trade, which you would carry on indefinitely out of the Union, shall be put an end to in twenty years if you come into the Union. Secondly, if it does apply, it expired by its own limitation more than fifty years ago. Thirdly, it is anti-slavery, because it looked to the abolition of slavery rather than to its perpetuity. Fourthly, it showed that the intentions of the framers of the Constitution were good, not bad.

Frederick Douglas answers the claim that the framers of the Constitution wrote a proslavery and racist document that did not extend its benefits and protections to those of color.

But it has been said that Negroes are not included within the benefits sought under this declaration. This is said by the slaveholders in America — it is said by the City Hall orator — but it is not said by the Constitution itself. Its language is “we the people;” not we the white people, not even we the citizens, not we the privileged class, not we the high, not we the low, but we the people; not we the horses, sheep, and swine, and wheel-barrows, but we the people, we the human inhabitants; and, if Negroes are people, they are included in the benefits for which the Constitution of America was ordained and established. But how dare any man who pretends to be a friend to the Negro thus gratuitously concede away what the Negro has a right to claim under the Constitution? Why should such friends invent new arguments to increase the hopelessness of his bondage? This, I undertake to say, as the conclusion of the whole matter, that the constitutionality of slavery can be made out only by disregarding the plain and common-sense reading of the Constitution itself; by discrediting and casting away as worthless the most beneficent rules of legal interpretation; by ruling the Negro outside of these beneficent rules; by claiming that the Constitution does not mean what it says, and that it says what it does not mean; by disregarding the written Constitution, and interpreting it in the light of a secret understanding

The Constitution would not have been completed or ratified without the Three-Fifths Compromise, resulting in either a split into two countries or a break up into many smaller countries.  Would the slaves have fared better?  Frederick Douglas answers that question here:

My argument against the dissolution of the American Union is this: It would place the slave system more exclusively under the control of the slaveholding States, and withdraw it from the power in the Northern States which is opposed to slavery.

Although odious on the surface, you can see from the quote that the Three-Fifths Compromise was in the long run meant to be a positive.

The one great failure of those who wrote United States Constitution was their failure to properly restrain the Supreme Court.  They did not foresee that the highest court in the United States would abandon the Constitution as the ultimate basis for all of the rulings they issue.  The framers of the Constitution did not envision that the members of that body of justices would substitute their own political opinions and biases, which are recorded in Supreme Court Precedent, for the actual text of the Constitution and the plain meaning of that document as understood at the time of ratification.

During his confirmation testimony Judge Kavanaugh demonstrated that he would most likely be a Supreme Court Justice that would rely more on the biased and flawed precedent than one of the great originalists like Scalia. Judge Kavanaugh discussed precedent frequently and in great detail during the confirmation hearings.  Here is what I consider the most telling quote about the topic from the hearings, as quoted in this Breitbart article:

The role of precedent is to ensure stability in the law, which is critically important…It’s also to ensure predictability of the law. People who order their affairs around judicial decisions, need to know that the law is predictable.  Whether you’re an individual or business or worker, you need to have predictability, People rely on the decisions of the courts, so reliance interests are critically important to consider … so that people can rely on the decisions.

Precedent also reinforces the impartiality and independence of the judiciary. The people need to know in this country that the judges are independent, and we’re not making decisions based on policy views. Part of that is to understand we’re following a system of precedent … the court, every time someone [new] gets on [the Court], it’s not just bouncing around to do what think is best. It’s what’s the precedent of the Supreme Court is always part of the analysis, an important part.

For 12 years, I’ve been applying precedent of the Supreme Court and of my court. Every day for 12 years, I haven’t been getting up saying, “How can I rewrite the law?” I’ve been getting up for 12 years every day, saying, “Okay, how can I apply this Fourth Amendment precedent to this fact pattern that comes before me?” So precedent is the foundation of our system. It’s part of the stability. It’s ensuring predictability. And it’s just foundational to the Constitution, as Article III [of the Constitution] and Federalist 78 made clear.

It is clear from this quote that Judge Kavanaugh believes that Supreme Court precedent is the bedrock of our constitutional republic.  Is he correct about that?  Let’s consult Federalist 78 which was written by Alexander Hamilton.

It is far more rational to suppose, that the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute…

But in regard to the interfering acts of a superior and subordinate authority, of an original and derivative power, the nature and reason of the thing indicate the converse of that rule as proper to be followed. They teach us that the prior act of a superior ought to be preferred to the subsequent act of an inferior and subordinate authority; and that accordingly, whenever a particular statute contravenes the Constitution, it will be the duty of the judicial tribunals to adhere to the latter and disregard the former.

From this quote it is obvious that the Constitution itself is the foundation of our legal system not the opinions offered by the Justices when they overturn a law.  To be fair to Judge Kavanaugh precedent is mentioned in that Federalist Paper.  Here is the passage:

There is yet a further and a weightier reason for the permanency of the judicial offices, which is deducible from the nature of the qualifications they require. It has been frequently remarked, with great propriety, that a voluminous code of laws is one of the inconveniences necessarily connected with the advantages of a free government. To avoid an arbitrary discretion in the courts, it is indispensable that they should be bound down by strict rules and precedents, which serve to define and point out their duty in every particular case that comes before them; and it will readily be conceived from the variety of controversies which grow out of the folly and wickedness of mankind, that the records of those precedents must unavoidably swell to a very considerable bulk, and must demand long and laborious study to acquire a competent knowledge of them.

Would Alexander Hamilton consider precedent that constantly disregards the actual text of the Constitution and plain meaning as worthy bedrock?  I do not believe he would.  The Supreme Court has erred far too often when reaching decisions and precedents are nothing more than a voluminous record of these failures.  Also the precedents mentioned by Hamilton were never meant to be granted the full force of law, as it is now.  They were just a guide consisting of opinions

James Madison stated quite clearly what the true foundation of constitutional understanding is when he wrote this in a letter from James Madison to Thomas Ritchie

As a guide in expounding and applying the provisions of the Constitution, the debates and incidental decisions of the Convention can have no authoritative character. However desirable it be that they should be preserved as a gratification to the laudable curiosity felt by every people to trace the origin and progress of their political Institutions, & as a source perhaps of some lights on the Science of Govt. the legitimate meaning of the Instrument must be derived from the text itself; or if a key is to be sought elsewhere, it must be not in the opinions or intentions of the Body which planned & proposed the Constitution, but in the sense attached to it by the people in their respective State Conventions where it recd. all the authority which it possesses.

Despite his potential over reliance on precedent I believe Judge Kavanaugh will be an adequate Supreme Court Justice.  I believe he will be another Justice in the mold of Justice Roberts rather that a true originalist giant such as Scalia, Gorsuch, and Thomas.  I believe he is infinitely better than anyone Hillary Clinton would have nominated and considerably better than Justice Kennedy.  Hopefully President Trump does better with his next pick,

I’ve noticed lately that fewer and fewer people know how behave in a respectful manner while in public.  I know I must not be the first person to make this observation and I’m willing to bet that a great many others have made the same observation in recent times.

There was an incident this past weekend at the Woodstock Fair, in Woodstock Connecticut that prompted the writing of this article.  I was sitting in the second row of seats that were set up for audiences in front of one of the stages.  I was with a couple hundred other people who were there to listen to a particular concert.  Unfortunately very few of us were able to hear the music because there were so many groups in the audience that insisted on carrying out loud conversations during the entire hour and a half concert.  The sound system was more than adequate and so was the volume of the music.  It was just that the groups were so loud and obnoxious.  There were five different loud and obnoxious groups in my immediate vicinity, including a couple sitting in the front row that were the loudest.  I was there to listen to music but instead was forced to listen to a lengthy and detailed discussion about every single painful dental procedure one of the women experienced.

If this was just an isolated incident I don’t believe it would be worth doing an article about it.  That incident however is a symptom of problems our society is facing right now.  Other symptoms of these problems include college students shouting down everyone that has a different viewpoint, members of the Trump Administration being harassed and bullied by mobs when they show up at restaurants, and Antifa physically attacking a group trying to hold a prayer meeting.

Morality, discipline, manners, and respect for others are concepts that are no longer taught in public schools.  Feeling good about yourself and the belief that you are the most important person in the universe have replaced those old fashion concepts.  None of those ten or so loud individuals, just in my area, gave a second thought to the far greater number of individuals who sat there for the sole purpose of listening to the concert.

Schools have stopped teaching us the important truth that every individual has a responsibility to exercise their right of freedom of speech, along with every other right, in a manner that does not interfere with the rights of anyone else.  Responsibly coexisting with others while we are exercising our rights was a frequent topic preached by those who wrote and ratified the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Those loud individuals do have freedom of speech, just like each and every other individual.  Every individual in that audience however had the right to listen to and enjoy the concert.  Since the audience was sitting in an area designated for them, their right to listen trumped the free speech rights of the loud individuals.  The loud individuals had the rest of the fair grounds to talk.  They could have sat in a different area and conversed while listening to the music and not pissed off a lot of people.

Every symptom I mentioned earlier in this article could be solved if every individual exercised their rights in a manner that did not interfere with the rights of others.  Colleges used to be bastions of freedom of speech for everyone, where everyone could have respectful back and forth dialogues.   If everyone respected the right of everyone else to dine where they choose would people be harassed into fleeing restaurants because of who their boss is?  There is never an excuse for violence against anyone.  It should be repulsive for everyone to hear that people are being taught that words can be violence and that this supposed violence must be stamped out by real violence.

The message that we must exercise our rights with responsibility is a crucial message that all schools should impart on their students.  Since schools are not spreading that message I believe it is vital that we spread it ourselves.

For the past couple of days the internet has been filled with headlines like the following:

  Trump replaces NAFTA and triumphs — New trade deal with Mexico is YUGE win for both countries.

I was thrilled when I saw the headlines.  NAFTA has been an unmitigated disaster for American manufacturing jobs.  After reading the articles and press releases I wasn’t as thrilled because I became concerned over the approach President Trump is using to set aside and replace the deeply flawed treaty.

Here is how President Donald Trump announced the scrapping of NAFTA in this official statement.

It’s a big day for trade, a big day for our country.  A lot of people thought we’d never get here because we all negotiate tough.  We do, and so does Mexico.  And this is a tremendous thing.

This has to do — they used to call it NAFTA.  We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement and we’ll get rid of the name NAFTA.  It has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA for many years.  And now it’s a really good deal for both countries, and we look very much forward to it.

According to this quote it appears to be a done deal.  President Pena Nieto of Mexico, as quoted in the same statement, alludes to the fact that this is only the first step in a lengthy process, which should only conclude with ratification by the senate, if the Constitution is followed.

I finally recognize this, especially because of the point of understanding we are now reaching on this deal.  And I really hope and I desire — I wish — that the part with Canada will be materializing in a very concrete fashion; that we can have an agreement the way we proposed it from the initiation of this renegotiating process, a tripartite.

But today I celebrate the (inaudible) between the United States and Mexico because we’re reaching a final point of understanding.  And I hope that in the following days we can materialize (inaudible) in the formalization of the agreement.

During the official statement President Trump states that Canada is not part of the new treaty yet.

As far Canada is concerned, we haven’t started with Canada yet.  We wanted to do Mexico and see if that was possible to do.  And it wasn’t — I think, it wasn’t from any standpoint something that most people thought was even doable when we started.

President Trump goes on to say this about Canada being a part of the treaty:

But I think we’ll give them a chance to probably have a separate deal.  We can have a separate deal or we can put it into this deal.  I like to call this deal the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.  I think it’s an elegant name.  I think NAFTA has a lot of bad connotations for the United States because it was a rip-off.  It was a deal that was a horrible deal for our country, and I think it’s got a lot of bad connotations to a lot of people.  And so we will probably — you and I will agree to the name.

Further proof that the Trump Administration believes that including Canada is not necessary for repealing NAFTA can be found in this Washington Examiner article.

A White House official said Monday that Canada’s consent was not needed to approve the trade deal that President Trump announced with Mexico earlier in the day, even though the administration argued that the deal would “supplant” the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Since Canada was originally part of NAFTA isn’t it essential that Canada be in the replacement treaty for the treaty to be legally above board?  According to this article several republicans believe Canada must be included.

Ambassador Lighthizer had this to say in the official statement about the timetable for passage and the process for passing the replacement treaty:

Well, it will likely be signed at the end of November because there’s a 90-day layover period because of our statute.  But we expect to submit our letter to Congress, beginning that process on Friday…And then 90 days later, it will be signed.

I was confused about the language used by the ambassador and the origin of the 90 day layover period in the previous quote. This Weekly Standard article shed light on this and the Trump administration’s justification.

In order to negotiate trade pacts quickly in accordance with Trade Promotion Authority, the White House has to notify Congress of its intentions in writing. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer did that in the spring of 2017

In order to accomplish the rapid replacement of NAFTA the Trump Administration is relying on Trade Promotion Authority. which is also known as Fast Track.  Here is a description if TPA:

Since 1974, Congress has enacted TPA legislation that defines U.S. negotiating objectives and priorities for trade agreements and establishes consultation and notification requirements for the President to follow throughout the negotiation process.  At the end of the negotiation and consultation process, Congress gives the agreement an up or down vote, without amendment. TPA reaffirms Congress’s overall constitutional role in the development and oversight of U.S. trade policy.

Is it acceptable to use TPA to replace NAFTA?  I do not believe so because NAFTA was ratified by the Senate on November 20, 1993.  In order to replace a ratified treaty I believe it must be done by another ratified treaty, which includes all participants.  I also believe the Trade Promotion Authority is unconstitutional because it violates the clause requiring two-thirds of all senators approve any treaty.  Every presidential administration that has used TPA to pass trade agreements has violated the Constitution.  I firmly believe President Trump is right to repeal NAFTA; however the Constitution must always be followed.  All that is required is for him to submit the new three party treaty to the Senate for ratification.

On September 16, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts signed an executive order titled Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth.  One of the main purposes of that executive order was:

To further position Massachusetts to meet the state’s environmental requirements under the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Executive Order directs the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to engage stakeholders, examine emission limits from a range of sectors, and outline a timeline to promulgate regulations to ensure the Commonwealth meets statewide carbon reduction targets. In addition, the Baker-Polito Administration will work with state and regional transportation leaders, and environment and energy agencies to outline additional steps necessary to develop regional policies to reduce transportation sector emissions. The work will be concurrent with efforts to continue to lead on reform of regional electric energy markets so that power generators can all compete to meet the state mandates for clean energy. The state will also complete a comprehensive energy plan that will enable forward-looking analysis of energy demands and strategies for meeting these demands that include conservation, energy efficiency and other demand-reduction resources.

With this executive order they are trying to reduce electric rates, along with combating climate change.  Is that particular executive order going to produce the desired results?  The answer to that question is a resounding no.  Clean energy plans of this type have been tried over and over again with negative results when it comes to making electricity cheaper. This article from Wattsupwiththat.com documents what the results would be when a North Carolina community called Morehead City builds a large solar array.

A 600-MW capacity coal, gas or nuclear plant operates 90-95% of the time. Its actual output will thus be 540 to 570 megawatts – from 300 acres (or less): 1.8 to 1.9 MW per acre, reliably and affordably.

Wilkinson would theoretically generate 74 MW from twice as much land. That’s 0.12 MW per acre – or 8.1 acres per MW. However, North Carolina averages only 213 sunny days per year, and perhaps 9 hours of good, electricity-generating sun per day.

Instead of 90-95% efficiency, Wilkinson would bring only 20% efficiency. The 288,120 panels would produce electricity only about 20% of the year. That is unpredictable, unreliable, less affordable energy…As Solar Mania and Solar Sprawl spread, electricity consumers would see their rates climb: from the 9 cents per kilowatt-hour average they now pay in North Carolina and Virginia, ever closer to the 16 to 18 cents per kWh that residents pay in “green energy” states like Connecticut, New York and California.

The increase in electric rates expected in this one attempt has occurred whenever green energy plants are built.  Here is a Financial Post article that documented a particularly disastrous attempt to go green in Ontario:

Consumers watched their electricity commodity costs doubled to 11 cents a kWh this year from 5.5 cents in 2006 — plus rising transmission and distribution costs — with more to come in future years. The average unit cost of electricity service rose at an annual nominal rate of 6.4 per cent.

Why do electric rates from green energy rise dramatically?  According to the same article:

Expensive wind and solar supply needs to be backed up by expensive new gas plants that in turn operate at a fraction of optimal capacity. The new capacity came at the wrong time of day or season, forcing curtailment in which producers were paid for electricity that wasn’t needed.

This American Thinker article explains in great detail the root causes of increased electric rates associated with green energy:

Without subsidies, and in locations with good wind or sunshine, the cost of producing wind or solar electricity is about seven cents per kilowatt-hour.  By coincidence, the cost is almost equal for the two technologies.  These technologies don’t require fuel.  Most of the cost is the amortization of the capital investment.  If an installation has a useful life of 20 years, the annual, amortized cost of the electricity produced is essentially the annual payment on a 20-year mortgage to finance the project.  Seven cents per kilowatt-hour is competitive with coal or nuclear and more expensive than natural gas.  But, unlike conventional generating plants, wind or solar produces erratic electricity, that comes and goes, depending on wind and sunshine.

Wind or solar plants cannot displace conventional plants because the conventional plants have to stay in place as backup plants to supply electricity when the erratic wind or solar is not producing electricity.  Although it is often claimed that wind or solar is replacing conventional generation, it only reduces the operating duty cycle of the conventional plants.  The backup plants are usually natural gas plants, because natural gas plants are agile and able to follow the rapid ups and downs of wind or solar better than other types.

The economic benefit of wind or solar is fuel savings in the backup plants when backup plant electricity is displaced by wind or solar electricity.  The cost of fuel for a natural gas plant is about two cents per kilowatt-hour.  The difference, the seven-cent cost of generating wind or solar electricity, less the two-cent benefit for fuel saved, is a five-cent-per-kilowatt-hour subsidy for wind or solar.

Solar arrays and wind farms keep getting built even though they greatly increase the cost of electricity.   There are two reasons for this.  The first being government mandates to fight the mythical monster known as catastrophic manmade climate change.  The second is lots of free money from the government.  There exists a 30 percent Federal Tax Credit for solar and wind farms from the Business Energy Tax Credit.  The State of Massachusetts is working on massive incentives for green energy.  These State Incentives are still in the works but here is here is a list of those that are expected.

What about the environmental costs associated with these green energy arrays?  The land for large solar arrays is stripped of all trees and bushes.  How much CO2 is absorbed by all of the vegetation that once existed there?  Isn’t combating global warming supposed to be about reducing CO2?  What about all of the animals displaced and runoff into streams and rivers from the clear cut land?  Environmentalists are strangely silent on all of this.

Photo is from the Boston Globe article -Tornado strikes in Webster and Dudley, destroying dreams among its damage – Taken by Craig F. Walker/Globe staff

On Saturday, August 4th, a tornado tore through the town of Webster Massachusetts, doing extensive damage to the town’s Main Street.  Two large buildings were damaged so bad they were torn down within hours and another two large buildings were so badly damaged they will be torn down in the very near future.  It is a miracle there were no deaths and only one minor injury.

Webster Massachusetts is my home town and the town I’m living in now.  My house, which only lies 500 yards from where the edge of the tornado made its closest pass, was raked by outflow winds that were about hurricane force.  Considering the tornado was 300 yards wide, it was a near miss.  Compared to the 45 individuals whose homes were destroyed and lost everything, I was extremely fortunate.

On August 9th, a United States congressional delegation, consisting of Senator Elizabeth Warren, Richard Neal, and Jim McGovern, held a closed door meeting with members of the town government and local emergency officials to discuss relief efforts.  After the meeting they met with the press.  The local TV stations broadcasted some of the press briefing.  In those clips the delegation did what every congressional delegation does, talk about recovery efforts and bringing in money to help rebuild.  The news broadcasts left out a large portion of what the three had to say.  I found this transcript of the full press briefing on Congressman Richard Neal’s Website.  This portion of the transcript angered me a great deal:

All three lawmakers further raised concerns about the number of tornadoes that have touched down in the state in recent years, arguing that the storms underscore the impacts of climate change.

“This is a reminder that climate change has real, tangible implications,” Warren said. “We’re watching more severe weather, we’re watching — over and over — these ‘never happened before events’ or ‘happens once every 100 years’ and now, they keep happening again and again and again. There are real costs to a changing climate.”

Warren added that such weather events are why the United States should be a leader on climate-related issues.

“This is not a time for us to turn our backs on the needs of creating a sustainable world for all of us,” she said.

It outraged me that the three of them, with Senator Warren as the chief spokesman, used the tragedy that happened in my town to push climate change.  It outraged me that our United States Senator would use this tragedy to blather on about nonsense that masquerades as scientific truth.  It took me only two Google searches and five minutes to completely discredit all of her claims.

As you can see from this National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration link, after peaking between 1990 and 2010, the number of tornadoes nationwide has decreased.   The past few years the number of tornadoes has been low.  The projected number of tornadoes for this year, based on the number through June, will be below average.

According to data from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, during June, there were 166 preliminary tornado reports. This is below the 1991-2010 average of 243 for the month. Tornadoes occurred throughout the month, with almost every day experiencing at least one tornado due to upper-level lows and fronts moving through the Great Plains and Midwest. However, there were no large-scale outbreaks and no tornado-related fatalities. For the year-to-date, there have been 596 preliminary tornado reports, below the average of 818. Depending on the final confirmation rate, the January-June tornado count could be the lowest since 2002 when there were just 468 tornadoes.

A lot has been made of the fact that three tornadoes in a short period touched down in Massachusetts.  Many newscasters have accompanied Senator Warren in speculating that this is proof of catastrophic man caused climate change.  This article in the Boston Globe, of all places, discredits these claims.

The tornado that tore through Webster and Dudley on Saturday was the third twister to hit Massachusetts within a 10-day stretch.

That may seem like an alarming statistic, but so far this year, tornado activity in the state is roughly in line with historical trends.

“This is really kind of typical actually,” said Bill Simpson, meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s bureau in Norton….On average, between two and three tornadoes hit Massachusetts annually, according to weather service records that date back to the 1950s.

Of course, the numbers fluctuate year to year.

“You can have years with none and then you can have years with six or eight tornadoes,” Simpson said.

This climate change hysteria is nothing more than an excuse to push socialism and a government takeover of more and more of our economy through overbearing regulations.  Windmills and solar installations are gigantic waste of money which require vast government subsidies.

****If you would like to help those in town who lost everything, please check out this link on the official Webster Town Website.

First they came for Alex Jones and his Info Wars and so many stayed silent, including too many on the political right.  When the same social media organizations come to silence their next right wing website will so may remain silent, or will it be too late?  Once censorship like this begins, there is usually no way to stop it.  The same forces that are silencing Alex Jones have been gunning for Drudge and Breitbart for years.  I fear that it will not be long before those two, and many others receive the same treatment.  The best and only time to resist censorship is immediately, when it begins, and to resist it as forcefully as possible.  Everyone should condemn this shameful treatment of Alex Jones and his Info Wars, no matter if you agree with what he has to say or not.

I firmly believe censorship, of any nature, is always wrong.  I firmly believe everyone has a right to say whatever they want to say, and everyone has a right to listen to whatever they want to listen to.  The most common justification for silencing someone is to label what they have to say as hate speech.  What exactly is hate speech. you might be wondering?  That question is impossible to answer because the concept is way too subjective.  Far too often, any ideas espoused by those on the political right are labeled hate speech by those on the political left, and then those ideas are banned.

This Breitbart Article describes why the silencing of Info Wars happened.

Big tech’s coordinated purge of InfoWars — which was hit by bans from Apple, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube in rapid succession — did not occur in a vacuum. On this issue, Silicon Valley bowed to CNN journalists and Democrat politicians who ceaselessly lobbied for the site to be censored.

It’s a sign of how the concentration of power in America has shifted from big government to big tech that politicians are now lobbying tech companies rather than the other way round, but that’s exactly what happened over the course of the past few months, as Democrats applied relentless pressure on Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants to censor InfoWars.

It is unsociable that members of the Democratic Party would lobby for censoring InfoWars, or anyone else.  This attack of Alex Jones’ freedom of speech was politically motivated.

As you can see in this article by the AP, cries of hate speech were the justification for this purge.

Major tech companies have begun to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their services, reflecting a more aggressive enforcement of policies against hate speech following protests on social media.

Facebook has taken down four pages belonging to Jones, including two featuring his “InfoWars” show, for violating its hate speech and bullying policies. Over the past several days, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have also removed material published by Jones. Twitter, which hasn’t banned Jones, has also faced similar calls.

Does Alex Jones or InfoWars engage in anything that can reasonably be called hate speech?  On this I am no expert.  Before this story broke I had never been to InfoWars, or viewed any of his videos.  This is only because I already have a dozen or so websites I visit daily for my news and political information.  I did not have time for another.  Based on what I’ve seen in the past two days, I have not seen any evidence, on just InfoWars, of what could be called hate speech.  Even if the site was nothing but “hate speech” I would still decry the silencing of his sites as forcefully as possible.

Brent Bozell of News Busters has similar opinions on this.  Here is what he had to say in this article:

I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces. He’s not a conservative. However, banning him and his outlet is wrong. It’s not just a slippery slope, it’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets….Social media sites are supposedly neutral platforms, but they are increasingly becoming opportunities for the left and major media to censor any content that they don’t like.

Conservatives are increasingly concerned that InfoWars is not the end point for those who want to ban speech. It’s just the beginning. We are rapidly approaching a point where censorship of opposing voices is the norm. That’s dangerous.

Ben Shapiro, who is no fan of Alex Jones, is quoted in this Daily Wire Article as saying:

Trust in social media is declining nearly as fast as trust in media overall. There’s a reason for that. And it’s not because social media tolerates voices like Jones. It’s because they don’t tolerate voices like Jones while tolerating voices who are just as bad on the political Left – and they show no signs of limiting their censorship to Alex Jones.

Some Democrats are reported to be working on a plan that would very heavily regulate the internet.  The main objective of that would be to completely strangle all forms of communication from the political right.  Here are the details.  Censorship of conservatives by social media is a major problem but government intervention is not the solution.  Government intervention will only make this problem far worse, just like government intervention always does.  Government intervention is not called for in this case.  These companies are private companies.  They have every right to run their companies any way they want to, including censoring others.  I have every tight to speak out against this censorship, and all censorship, as loudly as I wish to, and I’m imploring others to do so as well.

The strongest criticism of Judge Kavanaugh centers around his ruling in the case Klayman v. Obama, which dealt with NSA warrantless bulk data collection under the Obama administration.  Here is the text of that decision.  On the surface, the opening statement is strong evidence of his possible weakness regarding one of our most important protections provided in the Bill of Rights.

I vote to deny plaintiffs’ emergency petition for rehearing en banc. I do so because, in my view, the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.

In order to make an informed decision we must dig deeper into the decision and examine the basis for this ruling.  Here is how Judge Kavanaugh justifies this ruling:

The Government’s collection of telephony metadata from a third party such as a telecommunications service provider is not considered a search under the Fourth Amendment, at least under the Supreme Court’s decision in Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979). That precedent remains binding on lower courts in our hierarchical system of absolute vertical stare decisis.

As you can see from this quote, Judge Kavanaugh is basing this decision on precedent from a Supreme Court decision.  As a member of a lower court he claims he is bound by vertical stare decisis.  Here is the definition of this concept from Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute

Stare decisis is Latin for “to stand by things decided.”  In short, it is the doctrine of precedent. Courts cite to stare decisis when an issue has been previously brought to the court and a ruling already issued… A court engages in vertical stare decisis when it applies precedent from a higher court.

This concept dates back to English Common Law and even back to Ancient Rome.  Because of this concept it is difficult to reach an informed conclusion on how he will rule once he is on the Supreme where they can set new precedent on any case.

In the Klayman v. Obama, Judge Kavanaugh goes on to say:

Even if the bulk collection of telephony metadata constitutes a search, cf. United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945, 954-57 (2012) (Sotomayor, J., concurring), the Fourth Amendment does not bar all searches and seizures. It bars only unreasonable searches and seizures. And the Government’s metadata collection program readily qualifies as reasonable under the Supreme Court’s case law. The Fourth Amendment allows governmental searches and seizures without individualized suspicion when the Government demonstrates a sufficient “special need” – that is, a need beyond the normal need for law enforcement – that outweighs the intrusion on individual liberty.  Examples include drug testing of students, roadblocks to detect drunk drivers, border checkpoints, and security screening at airports

This statement bothers me a great deal.  The framers of the Constitution believed that freedom and preservation of our rights were more important than safety. It was a common theme.  Judge Kavanaugh  goes on to say:

The Government’s program for bulk collection of telephony metadata serves a critically important special need – preventing terrorist attacks on the United States. See THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT (2004). In my view, that critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program. The Government’s program does not capture the content of communications, but rather the time and duration of calls, and the numbers called. In short, the Government’s program fits comfortably within the Supreme Court precedents applying the special needs doctrine.

From the text of the 4th Amendment you can see that there are no exceptions for national security.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

From this chapter of Framers Intent by Thomas K Clancy, you can see that the notion of national security and safety exceptions to the 4th Amendment are very new.  The original intent of John Adams, who wrote the article of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights which became the model for the 4th Amendment. was to make the protections as broad as possible.  Could Judge Kavanaugh have based a negative ruling in this case on different precedent and still uphold stare decisis.  Yes, he could have, because there is so much conflicting precedent on the 4th Amendment and any constitutional concept.  That is one of the main reasons why precedent is such a flawed concept, which actually violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.  Relying on the actual text and plain meaning as understood during the drafting and ratification of the Constitution are far superior.

I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is weak on the 4th Amendment.  Based on his rulings on every other issue I’ve read so far, he is strong on all other issue.  Even with his weakness on the 4th Amendment, I still believe he is worth supporting for the Supreme Court.  Rand Paul also agrees.  Here is what he tweeted on the day I was writing this article:

There is a philosophic battle royal, or even a metaphoric civil war, raging in this country.  On one side are those who embrace free market capitalism, the economic system that built the United States into the freest and most prosperous nation.  The other side is steadfastly trying to transform this nation into a Democratic Socialist nation, which will only result in economic ruin and an oppressive centralized government, which will become totalitarian over time.

Here is how our great national struggle is described in this American Thinker article

With Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez coming out of the shadows and being described as the future of the Democratic Party, the fight card has been set: socialism versus free-market capitalism.  Socialism versus constitutional republicanism.  Socialism (authoritarianism) versus self-rule.  In short, bondage versus freedom.

All of the defenders of free market capitalism have a much more difficult message to sell.  In order for the free market to work properly all of us have to produce something worth buying, either a service or a good.  No one gets a free ride.  It is much easier to seduce the uninformed with cries of free stuff for everyone.  It has gotten to the point where almost our entire educational system, our news broadcasters, and our entertainment industry are bashing the free market with negative distortions and erroneously praising socialism.  We need to work extra hard to get our facts and arguments right and to transmit them to everyone as effectively as possible.  Here are some of the more impactful facts and arguments I have encountered.

Here is a quote by Milton Friedman from chapter 1 of The Relation Between Economic Freedom and Political Freedom.

Because we live in a largely free society, we tend to forget how limited is the span of time and the part of the globe for which there has ever been anything like political freedom: the typical state of mankind is tyranny, servitude, and misery. The nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the Western world stand out as striking exceptions to the general trend of historical development. Political freedom in this instance clearly came along with the free market and the development of capitalist institutions. So also did political freedom in the golden age of Greece and in the early days of the Roman era. History suggests only that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom.

Here is another quote from the same chapter.

Fundamentally, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion—the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary co-operation of individuals—the technique of the market place.

It is an effective message to highlight the fact that the free market is all about voluntary cooperation and Socialism is all force and coercion.

Here is part of a transcript from an interview with Milton Freidman on Phil Donahue from 1979.  The entire interview is a must watch.

The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.

There was no greater champion of the free market and no harsher critic of Socialism than Ayn Rand.  Here is one of my favorite quotes by her from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal written in 1966.

America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages, and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance- and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.

Capitalism has created the highest standard of living ever known on earth. The evidence is incontrovertible. The contrast between West and East Berlin is the latest demonstration, like a laboratory experiment for all to see. Yet those who are loudest in proclaiming their desire to eliminate poverty are loudest in denouncing capitalism. Man’s well-being is not their goal.

It appears that the free market has been steadily failing us for the past 100 years.  It is not the free market that has been failing us, it is government intrusion into the free market that has been causing the slow motion collapse.  Ayn Rand discusses this in The Voice of Reason = Essays on Objective Thought,

One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.

Critics of the free market complain that that system runs on greed.  Here is how to answer that concern with a quote by Adam Smith from Chapter 2 page 19 of Wealth of Nations.

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

I tried to choose just one quote from this article by Thomas Sowell but I could not because it is such a fantastic article.

If you have more quotes that could help in this battle of ideas please share them in the comments section.

An ever increasing number of Americans now support an economic and philosophic system that has produced an enormous amount suffering and has a very high death toll.  Socialism is the economic system and it is the direct opposite of the free market system that built the United States into the freest and most economically successful nation ever.  Our steadily decreasing national freedom and prosperity are a direct result of an increasing number of these individuals entering government service at all levels and transitioning our economy from one of free market capitalism to one of socialism.

For about a hundred years there has been a stealthy tug of war between supporters of the free market and supporters of socialism. Those that support socialism have hidden behind the banners of liberalism and progressivism.  Now the masks are off and they proudly announce themselves to be socialists and their numbers are increasing rapidly.  As you can see from this article Poll: Nearly Half Of Millennials Prefer Socialism To Capitalism, by the Federalist, the distribution of socialists is not uniform by age

Nearly half of American millennials (44 percent) would rather live in a socialist society than a capitalist one, according to a report from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) which relied on YouGov polling data. Even so, there’s widespread ignorance among millennials about socialism and communism — only 71 percent of the millennials surveyed could properly identify what communism is and many often conflated the two economic systems.

Walter E. Williams explains why so many millennials support socialism in this Townhall article Capitalism vs. Socialism.

Several recent polls, plus the popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders, demonstrate that young people prefer socialism to free market capitalism. That, I believe, is a result of their ignorance and indoctrination during their school years, from kindergarten through college. For the most part, neither they nor many of their teachers and professors know what free market capitalism is.

Walter E. Williams notes in the essay “Are Academic Elites Communist?” from August 16 2006 that it is not just academia that is to blame.

Academic leftists, and their media allies, are in agreement with many of the stated goals of communism, such as equal distribution of wealth, income equality and other goals spelled out in Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels’ “Manifesto of the Communist Party.”  Leftist elites love the ideas of communism so much that they are either blind to, or tolerant of, it’s many shortcomings.

This article sheds light on just how biased our colleges and universities have become: Nearly Four In Five College Departments Don’t Employ A Single Republican

To set foot on an American college campus, as anyone who’s spent a picosecond thereabout lately can tell you, is to step through a left-wing looking glass. But a jaw-dropping new study from the National Association of Scholars (NAS) reveals just how deep the rabbit hole goes: among tenure-track college professors at the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts schools, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by more than 10 to 1.

The Townhall article Dancing with Socialism, Ignoring Reality illustrates just how thoroughly the brainwashing of college students has been.

In the United States, surveys show that many Millennials are not merely soft on socialism but openly support it. They think capitalism benefits only the “one percent” and no one else, despite America’s matchless record of upward mobility and prosperity.

Since the 1960s, the media, Hollywood and the education system have presented a warped view of America along with a sugarcoated version of socialism. So, we should not be surprised when we see so many young people fooled by the false promises of redistributive economics.

The Millennials are the main force behind Vermont’s Democratic Socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and they are pushing the Democratic Party even further to the Left.

Walter E. Williams discusses why socialism is immoral is this article: “Evil Concealed by Money” from November 19, 2008.

This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, coercion or taking the property of one person, to accomplish good ends, helping one’s fellow man. Helping one’s fellow man in need, by reaching into one’s own pockets, is a laudable and praiseworthy goal. Doing the same through coercion and reaching into another’s pockets has no redeeming features and is worthy of condemnation.

Socialism always fails with devastating results.   Thomas Sowell tells us why in this quote I found in the Acton Institute Powerblog article 6 Quotes: Sowell on economics and ideas.

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics. When politicians discover some group that is being vocal about not having as much as they want, the “solution” is to give them more. Where do politicians get this “more”? They rob Peter to pay Paul. After a while, of course, they discover that Peter doesn’t have enough. Bursting with compassion, politicians rush to the rescue. Needless to say, they do not admit that robbing Peter to pay Paul was a dumb idea in the first place. On the contrary, they now rob Tom, Dick, and Harry to help Peter

Are college students informed about socialism’s tragically high body count?  If not they should read this Townhall article Capitalism vs. Socialism by Walter E. Williams.

A much larger and totally ignored question has to do with the brutality of socialism. In the 20th century, the one-party socialist states of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Germany under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and the People’s Republic of China were responsible for the murder of 118 million citizens, mostly their own. The tallies were: USSR 62 million, Nazi Germany 21 million and PRC 35 million. No such record of brutality can be found in countries that tend toward free market capitalism.

Norway and other Scandinavian countries are often held up as socialism success stories, but are they really?  No they are not and this article documents the truth:  Norway’s Version of the Resource Curse