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Stop being political sheep

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On every political issue that comes to my attention I use what I call the FOPO method. I examine the facts, opinions, projections, and options regarding America’s problems and the solutions being offered. It’s a tedious methodology, but so be it. I like to think of myself as a free thinker when it comes to political problems and I believe most Americans believe they are as well. But are they truly free thinkers, or are most Americans following a tribe or even an individual?

What I’m about to say is going to make many of you upset because it’s true. But first, let me tell you a quick story about 2016.

During the Presidential election season, I was considered to be a “Never Trumper.” I opposed Trump’s nomination, though not to the point that I would endorse or vote for Hillary Clinton. I suspected Trump’s presidency would create problems for the nation, but nowhere near the damage that his only viable competitor would bring to America. So, I was a man without a valid candidate.

Since then, I’ve been systematically disowned by many who continued to live in the Never Trump camp. They say I’m a traitor to the cause for agreeing with the President when I think he’s right. Conversely, I get attacked by the cult-like following the President enjoys who believe no matter what he says or does, he’s right. They attacked me when I opposed the bump stock ban, tariffs, and the get especially annoyed when I chastise him for his “straight talk” on Twitter that makes him sound like an idiot.

Then, there’s the Democrats. It doesn’t matter whether I praise Trump or criticize him. My Twitter profile has the word “conservative” and “Christian” in it, so whatever I say must be wrong. I grew up in the Reagan era when Republicans and Democrats could agree on some things and disagree on others. Today, everything is extreme. Everything is polarized. This tribal attitude is why a majority of political-knowledgeable Americans are so adamantly opposed to the people they’ve chosen to demonize.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fan of bipartisan solutions since they invariably turn out to be watered down versions of actual solutions. The widely popular criminal justice reform bill is an example of bipartisan action that does great damage to the nation because it gave wins to both sides. I’m not against being polarized. I just believe the polarization needs to be based on one’s own personal ideology based on their experiences and research and not one based on what this President or that journalist or this political party is saying or doing.

Here’s the thing. When you hand your opinions over to a tribe and let them tell you how to think, you’ll get contradictions every time.

Both sides want to have their cake and eat it too. Only free thinkers who examine each political issue one at a time through a lens of their own ideology can truly break free of tribal devotion or obsessive idolatry of individuals like President Trump, Senator Bernie Sanders, President Obama, or Ron Paul.

This comes down to a truth that should be higher on everyone’s political decision-making priorities list. That truth is this: Never rely on any individual or tribe to decide your political beliefs for you. You can and should embrace a political philosophy at the core of your belief system. Then, by understanding that philosophy the best way you can, you should decide on an issue-by-issue basis how you want it handled by your elected officials, or when appropriate, by you and your family as American citizens.

The biggest problems with American politics is that the vast majority of Americans are ideological followers. Sadly, most either won’t admit it or are unaware of it because through deceit or delusion they refuse to accept that they base their ideologies on what other people tell them to believe. It’s like in Orwell’s 1984 when it was declared, “Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”

The reader and the lucid characters in the book knew that they weren’t at war with Eastasia until that moment, but the narrative had overwritten reality. They were told the new truth and most willingly accepted it as the way things had always been.

The most obvious recent example of this is with tariffs. When Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders were pushing for tariffs against China, the majority of Republicans were screaming, “free trade, free trade!” Meanwhile, just about every Democrat in America was supporting these tariffs. But something strange happened. President Trump started talking about tariffs. Suddenly, Republicans and Democrats alike reversed their perspectives. Less than three years ago, over 70% of Republicans opposed tariffs on China while over 90% of Democrats supported them. Today, it’s the exact opposite.

This reversal is almost funny because Schumer himself came out and gave the President a compliment, saying he thought President Trump did the right thing with the tariffs on China. He had to because they were identical to the tariffs that he had proposed to President Obama.

They were the same exact tariffs, but the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats shifted their views based solely on who proposed them. Let that sink in for a moment. This is incontrovertible proof that most Americans not only support people more than ideas, but they probably have very little understanding about many of the ideas they’re instructed to support.

All too often I see people on social media molding their beliefs around the people they idolize. This was seen for eight years with President Obama and now for two years with President Trump. It needs to stop.

Facts. Opinions. Projections. Options. If more Americans took the time to research the issues and form their perspectives based upon an understand of their ideology, we can have real discourse. Americans need to stop worshiping their idols or obeying their tribes and start doing some thinking for themselves.

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Democrats

Sanders heading to Warren’s native state for Comanche event

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Sanders heading to Warrens native state for Comanche event

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is focusing on reliably Republican Oklahoma with an appearance before the largest annual gathering of the Comanche Nation in the state where rival Elizabeth Warren was born.

Sanders’ visit may remind some of a sensitive subject for Warren, still criticized after her October release of a DNA test meant to bolster her claim to Native American heritage. That was supposed to rebut President Donald Trump’s mocking of the Massachusetts senator as “Pocahontas,” but only intensified it.

Last month, Warren offered a public apology to Native Americans, trying to show that the issue won’t be a political drag in her White House campaign.

The Comanches, who are holding their 28th annual Nation Fair Powwow, are a Plains Indian tribe of about 17,000 enrolled members, with headquarters just north of Lawton, in southwest Oklahoma. Powwows are important social events for many tribes, and typically feature traditional dance, songs, food, regalia and other customs.

Sanders, a Vermont senator, won Oklahoma’s 2016 Democratic primary over Hillary Clinton. The state votes next year as part of the earlier and expanded “Super Tuesday,” which comes on March 3 and includes neighboring Texas.

University of Oklahoma political science professor Keith Gaddie said Sanders’ powwow visit was unusual because the tribe, which well-known, is not a particularly large Native American nation.

“There’s no reason, in order to win the state, that you’d have to go down to that event,” Gaddie said.

Warren has made her family’s down-home, financial struggles after her father had a heart attack and couldn’t work — forcing her mother to get a minimum wage job — a central theme of her campaign. Sanders and Warren are friends who agree on many policy issues, including the “Medicare for All” universal health insurance plan.

Both also have refused to attack one another, ducking questions about whether they eventually will have to compete for the Democratic Party’s most liberal wing. But a Des Moines Register-CNN-Mediacom poll released Saturday showed Warren outpacing Sanders in Iowa, which launches the 2020 Democratic nominating contest on Feb. 3, and running about even with former Vice President Joe Biden, who had been the crowded field’s front runner.

Sanders planned a rally at the University of Oklahoma before speaking at the powwow.

___

Weissert reported from Washington.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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News

Support term limits: Final push before we send the petition to DC

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Support term limits Final push before we send the petition to DC

Two months ago, we hit 150,000 signatures in our petition to demand term limits on Capitol Hill. Things seem to have slowed since then; falling off the homepage and neglect on my part have stalled signatures to the point they’re at a crawl. My hope was to get 250,000 signatures before sending. Now, it seems the time has come to send what we can get.

This is the last call. The final push. We will give this petition five more days to collect as many more signatures as possible, then we will send it to every member of Congress, Senate, and the White House itself.

Unless… If we’re able to rejuvenate the campaign and get another large burst of signatures, we will ride that wave for longer than five days. Momentum builds more momentum when it comes to signatures, which is why it’s so important that those who support this initiative share it with as many people as possible. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, phone, fax – it doesn’t matter how you reach people. Please get this word spread as quickly as possible. The more signatures we’re able to secure, the more likely it is that Congress will take note.

The fight doesn’t end with the petition. Once we send it off to DC, we will continue to promote the concept and push lawmakers to make the hard choice. It doesn’t behoove them to have term limits, but it definitely behooves the people they represent. They have a choice coming in 2020 – support limits to their own power or risk losing all political power at the ballot box. While not everyone is up for election in 2020, the House and a third of the Senate is up. Let’s make sure they know this is an important issue to us.

The only way to slow the rampant corruption and apathy on Capitol Hill is to limit the time in which each of them spends there. This will eliminate perpetual campaigning and compel them to act in the time they’re given. Let’s send this message loudly.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Opinions

Debunking the religion of ‘settled science’

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Once upon a time there was a government that actually listened to the scientific community…

Nope. Never happened.

What actually happens is a lot more mysterious than the twists and turns of scientific inquiry. You see, those bits of information come from squinty-eyed lab coats that ask uncomfortable questions and get answers even they don’t like. But I digress.

In the 1950s some researchers had found that a diet rich in animal fats seemed to raise serum cholesterol. Ancel Keys firmly believed that this led to more heart attacks, so he studied diet and health in seven countries from 1958-1964. He chose not to include France and Switzerland, two countries likely to contradict his theory. Instead he used Greece, Italy, and Yugoslavia, countries that were undergoing massive dietary changes due in part to post World War II economic changes. In Finland 992 men per 10,000 died of heart attacks. In Crete only 9 of 10,000 did. It had to be the olive oil on Crete instead of the animal fats in Finland that made the difference.

True scientists would note that Keys didn’t prove anything about animal fats and heart attacks. First, his “selection bias” led to an experiment designed to support his beliefs. Second, East Finland had three times as many heart attacks as West Finland, in spite of all other factors being equal. But let’s leave the terrible design of the Seven Countries Study for the moment.

In The Big Fat Surprise, Nina Teicholz tells about Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a Harvard trained anthropologist who lived with the Inuit in the Canadian arctic in 1906. He lived their life style, with 70-80% of all calories from animal fat. Red meat was dog food. Vegetables were added only when they were unsuccessful at hunting. (“Vegetarian” is an Inuit word for “bad hunter.”) During the polar night, light was so poor that they could not do much outside safely, so they didn’t even exercise much. Yet, in Stefansson’s 1946 book Not by Bread Alone, he noted that the Inuit were the “healthiest people I had ever lived with.” They had no obesity and almost no disease.

In 1928, Stefansson and a colleague, under rigorous supervision, ate nothing but meat and water for a full year. After the year, the two men were carefully examined, and found to be fully healthy. They didn’t even get scurvy, since they ate the whole animal, including bones, liver, and brain, which have Vitamin C. So thirty years before Ancel Keys, we already knew that he was wrong.

The problem is simple. There’s no such thing as “settled science.” But anyone who wrote contradicting Keys got such a tongue-lashing in the journals that they tucked their tails between their legs and slunk away.

“Science” is not an answer, it’s a method. First, a researcher sets up a test designed to prove his theory wrong. You read that correctly. Every good piece of science is set up to show that the researcher’s idea is bad. Only good ideas can survive that sort of inquiry. Then, when the first researcher says, “My study showed that the ‘null hypothesis’ is wrong,” another researcher sets up a different way to prove the idea wrong. Only when the experimental hypothesis is confirmed by repeated experimentation can we have real confidence in our answer. By the way, most studies can’t be confirmed.

As a physician, I have lived this process for decades. There are many ideas in medicine that have been promoted as “gospel truth,” just to be disproved later. But this kind of uncertainty is simply not good enough for the political class.

The Political Prime Directive is “Do Something!” It doesn’t have to work. In fact, you don’t really have to do anything. You just have to look busy. That will tell gullible voters that you are “fighting for them.” Reality is unimportant.

In the case of diet, we find that the McGovern Committee of the Senate created in response to an overhyped 1967 CBS “documentary” titled “Hunger in America” was the prime mover. The Committee pushed for federal guidelines on nutrition best exemplified by the “food pyramid.”

Food Pyramid

The “bread, cereal, rice, and pasta group” makes up half of the dietary recommendation. If we add fruits, which have lots of sugar, that portion increases. Add in “use fats and oils sparingly,” and we have the High Carb/Low Fat modern dietary recommendations. And as Dr. Jason Fung shows in The Diabetes Code, high carbohydrate intake causes Type II Diabetes. The only cure is a High Fat/Low Carb diet with intermittent fasting. When I titled my YouTube video on the subject Your Government is Out to Kill You, I meant it. Let’s consider the facts.

Scientific inquiry is never finished, and even such simple ideas as Newton’s three Laws of Motion are never fully explained. Quantum theory continues with more and more detailed understanding, at times contradicting what was proposed before. We thought that general relativity required time dilation at high speeds, but now we believe that space itself may be able to move through space. And if that’s confusing, then imagine how legislators must feel when they consider scientific questions.

Most legislators are trained in law, not science. So when a “scientist” comes to them with an apparent answer to a supposed problem, they are, like most gullible people, ready to buy into the proposed solution. After all, they’ve been hired to “do something,” and when someone with the right letters after their name comes to the Emerald City, the Great and Powerful Oz must follow their recommendations.

There are many others with proper academic credentials who present information that contradicts the High Priests of Carbohydrates. But those researchers don’t represent farmers who “need” protection from crop failures and can contribute to political campaigns. So our benevolent CongressCritters vote for wheat and sugar subsidies that kill us with obesity and Type II Diabetes in exchange for a never-ending stream of money for them. All this is justified under the General Welfare clause of the Preamble to the US Constitution.

Not surprisingly, wheat and sugar subsidies result in more wheat and sugar being grown. To prevent a glut in these commodities, Congress passed various bills to limit the acreage devoted to them. So now farmers could get paid for not growing crops. A series of “fixes” has followed, but no one seems willing to challenge the wisdom of promoting crops that kill us. Or for that matter, promoting anything from DC.

And that brings us to another imagined pending apocalypse. We’ve been serenaded by a chorus claiming that 97% of scientists agree that we are facing a man-made crisis in our climate. The carbon dioxide we make as a by-product of fossil fuels is somehow turning the earth into an oven. Alexandria Airhead-Cortez has declared that we have only twelve years left, and every Democrat Presidential Candidate has taken up the refrain.

Rather than debunk of the 97% myth again, let us simply realize that it is “a lie of epic proportions.” So is almost everything else about “global warming.” Remember the nature of science. It makes predictions. If the UN IPCC predictions fail, then the ideas that support those predictions are scientifically wrong.

Certain facts are abundantly clear. Our current global temperature is cooler than it was during the Roman Climate Optimum or the Medieval Warm Period, yet the prophets of climate doom deny this fact to create a “hockey stick” graphic supposedly showing a catastrophic warming trend. They use this “garbage in, garbage out” starting point to create a set of computer models that predict massive warming if we did not reduce our CO2 output.

Temperature Anomoly

But the recent path of temperatures hasn’t been so supportive of their predictions. Since 1998, there has been no net warming. The UAH (light green) graphic is the gold standard of the data, and its average (dotted line) is flattening. Ditto for the HadCrut data.

IPCC Predictions

In short, the IPCC has been crying “Wolf!” And when we plot actual global temperatures, we find that they have nothing to do with CO2.

Geological Timescale

In particular, the medieval warm period ended in the Little Ice Age about 1250AD. And it was only one of several warm periods unrelated to industrial activity or burning of fossil fuels. In short, something bigger is going on.

Average Near-Surface Temperatures

Is that big thing solar cycles? El Nino/La Nina? Cloud dynamics? Ozone holes? Volcanic activity? Cow farts? There are so many factors and so many possibilities that no one has anything close to a complete understanding. About the only thing we can be sure about is that CO2 isn’t a problem. The Gospel of Man-Caused Global Warming is a religion, it’s not a scientific truth.

The current level of atmospheric CO2 is far below the level easily identified in ancient times. And life was flourishing then, just as it is now. If CO2 levels were to rise, as greenhouse operators do artificially, plants would grow better. And they would use less water, making sub-Saharan Africa into a garden. If CO2 falls by a third, most plants would die. Then what would all those carbon-free vegans eat?

CO2 isn’t even a potent greenhouse gas. It’s easily outstripped by methane, which is utterly dwarfed by water vapor. In short, the tiff over CO2 is about as important as worrying about what Congress will do when it isn’t in session. If you want to control the earth’s temperature, control its clouds.

But we have a spectacle every few weeks where uninformed and overexposed Democrats blather on about a non-existent catastrophe that has been perpetually just around the next corner. New York and Miami are about to be flooded by a rising sea level. Reality simply can’t enter their bubble for the same reason that crop subsidies don’t die. “Climate Change” creates massive donations to political campaigns. Once elected those ignorant legislators create subsidies to their favored researchers and businesses who return the favor with more money and alarmist projections.

The Law of Subsidy is again proven. When you subsidize climate hysteria, you get more of it. It becomes more expensive because its rent-seekers promote rules that cost you and me money through CAFE standards, eagle-killing windmills, and loan guarantees to Solyndra. There are lots of Tesla cars on the road because the Feds gave Tesla over $700 million in subsidies, just in the third quarter of 2018. (Who said Elon Musk wasn’t smart?) The possibilities are endless. As Ronald Reagan said, “The closest thing to immortality is a federal program.” The reason is simple. The Law of Subsidy creates harmful and perverse incentives.

Subsidies create financial gains for donors and power for those inside the Beltway. If Congress were to eliminate subsidies to climate hysteria or agriculture, CongressCritters would lose mutually beneficial relationships with those donors. What’s not to like?

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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