Last night the American Freedom Alliance held their 9th Annual Heroes of Conscience Dinner at the beautiful Riviera Country Club. It was a wonderfully successful evening, as evidenced by the club having to blink the lights an hour after the end of the event to get us to leave.

During cocktails I was so happy to learn of “The Enemies Within” author, Trevor Loudon’s recent marriage and meet his delightful new wife, Victoria. She is as witty and clever as Trevor.

The event began with Cantor Rachel Goldman beautifully singing the national anthem. AFA President, Avi Davis spoke about coming to America from Australia thirty years ago. He used the analogy of the various ingredients in a Jelly Bean coming from multiple countries to join to make a delicious treat, to demonstrate how exceptional America truly is. He then introduced, The Sage of South Central, Larry Elder, as master of ceremonies. Larry received a standing ovation even before Avi could finish his introduction. After the dinner, I asked Larry why he wasn’t running for the Senate seat Barbara Boxer is leaving. He said his last experience with the RNC (they endorsed Carly Fiorina after telling him he’d be a great candidate) soured him on the idea. I asked him to reconsider.

Jesse Lee Peterson, last year’s Heroes of Conscience honoree, gave the invocation. This was followed by a video about American Freedom Alliance. AFA Conference participants such as President Klaus of the Czech Republic, Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, Ambassador Bolton, among others, spoke about the importance of the work American Freedom Alliance is doing.

A video tribute to Honorees James and Marta Enstrom was shown. Jim had been a highly respected researcher and instructor at UCLA for more than thirty years. When he uncovered a fraudulent study used to ban diesel engines from California, rather than being praised by UCLA for exposing the fraud, they fired him. Undaunted, Jim waged a seven year battle for wrongful dismissal and was vindicated this year.

Marta, immigrating from Cuba, was educated here. Earning numerous degrees she became a judge. Marta stood by Jim in his battle to restore his work and reputation.

Next, a video tribute to Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer showed clips from their documentaries, “Mine Your Own Business”, “Not Evil, Just Wrong” and “Fracknation”. It also covered Phelim’s verbatim play, “Ferguson” that used the actual testimony from the Grand Jury. The play caused a great deal of controversy when most of the actors quit because it vindicated Officer Wilson. The video also covered Ann and Phelim’s current project, a feature film, “Gosnell” about Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who ran an abortion clinic that aborted hundreds, if not thousands, of full term babies. Ann and Phelim are fearless in confronting the lies used to cover the evil that is harming this great country.

Both couples honored this night received numerous, well deserved, standing ovations.

The speaker for the evening was George Gilder, an economic thought leader, technology pundit and best selling author of, “The Israel Test”, and “Knowledge and Power”. He spoke about California’s man-made draught. He pointed out that Israel has a similar climate and that although their population has grown faster than expected, they have no such problem. He spoke about unleashing the free market and reminded us that Capitalism is the most successful system in the world.

Avi Davis thanked the Riviera Country Club and it’s staff, Larry Elder and the AFA staff. He thanked everyone for coming and lending their support and ended with, “May God Bless you and may God Bless America”.

Cantor Rachel Goldman then inspired us her beautiful interpretation of “God Bless America”.

When the event concluded, the guests were anxious to speak to James and Marta, Ann and Phelim, Larry and George as well as some of the many notable guests in the audience.

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I must admit I knew next to nothing about the 1915 Armenian genocide, save having my parents tell me to eat my peas because there were starving Armenians. Although I would have happily sent the starving Armenians my peas, I had no idea where they lived or why they were starving. I don’t recall learning anything about it in school.

The last few weeks American Freedom Alliance has had three events commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian genocide. AFA held a radio conference, a forum and a film, “The Armenian Genocide”. Coincidentally, it was also the 70th Anniversary of the German Jewish genocide. When Hitler contemplated the extermination of Jews, he asked if no one cared about the Armenian genocide, why would they care about the Jews?

One of the speakers at the AFA Forum, Professor Levon Marasjlian told of a German newspaper, in 1924, saying what happened to the Armenians in Turkey could very well happen to the Jews in Germany in the near future.

Another speaker, Nancy Eskijian, the daughter of a genocide survivor and pastor of the Bread of Life Foursquare Gospel Church in Los Angeles, said the United Nations defined genocide as the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a race of people by killing them.

During the 16th and 17th centuries the Ottoman Empire included Turkey and a large part of the Mediterranean coast, the Red Sea coast, the Middle East and eastern Europe. During the height of it’s power, though mostly Sunni Islamic, it was a multinational, multilingual empire ruled by a Sultans. The Sultans allowed the various nationalities to self-govern, however, non-Muslim minorities had fewer rights than Muslims. By the end of the 19th century Christians started demanding equal rights. The Sultan started killing those who rebelled.

In 1908 the Young Turks forced the Sultan from office and took over. They considered the Armenian Christians a threat and in the name of nationalism, they claimed Turkey for the Turkish. Children of any nationality had to be raised as Turks. They started deporting and relocating Armenian Christians. In some cases Armenians, having been told they would be returning, bought train tickets to be packed into cattle cars to be relocated.

Nancy Eskijian explained the genocide was implemented in four stages. The first stage was to conscript men into the military and then kill them. The second phase was to cut the head off the snake and exterminate the leadership. The third phase was to deport or resettle the civilian population. This phase included forced marches into the desert. Women, children and the elderly died along the way. They were given little food or water and not allowed to rest. Mosques told their members that it was patriotic to kill Armenians and many went out and attacked the already weak, starving Armenians. The fourth phase was to deny it happened.
During this time Germany was an ally of Turkey and sent military officers to observe what Turkey was doing about their Armenian problem. Many feel the Armenian genocide was the inspiration for the Jewish genocide.

As they say, if we don’t learn from history we are bound to repeat it. Turkey became determined to not allow anyone to learn the history. It is not taught in schools and Turks who know anything about it say the Armenians were at fault.

Although there have been many books written about it, many personal accounts from survivors, and many confirming reports from American diplomats serving in the area during the genocide, America is not one of the twenty two countries that recognize the Armenian genocide.

Why do we think this is? In 1938 the New Turkish Republic was formed and tried to distance itself from the rule of the Young Turks. They modernized and westernized. America felt Turkey is an important ally in an area of the world unfriendly to America. Europe and the United States courted this new republic as an ally and remembering the genocide became unpopular.

What became apparent to me, from these three AFA events, is that the Armenian genocide wasn’t about Turks exterminating Armenians, it was about Muslims exterminating Christians and when we look at what is happening in the Middle East today, Muslims are exterminating Christians, AGAIN…….we have learned nothing from history.

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Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum conference at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa this weekend was not just informational, but inspirational, with an eclectic group of speakers. They spoke on subjects such as Liberty vs Socialism, Islam, the influence of Christianity on our founding, the evolution of Common Core, the dangers facing the American Church, integrity in the News and Entertainment industry, legislation robbing us of our freedom, and the imperative role of the church in changing America.

Andrew Lowe, an Irish immigrant, said he was a Center left European socialist when he came here. But witnessing how limited government allowed people to rise out of poverty, his heart turned to God and Liberty. He now mentors and educates others on the importance of limited government and protecting individual liberty.

Jamie Glazov, host of the Glazov Gang and author of “United in Hate Talk”, spoke about the influence of media on politics and policies. He spoke about how media supports immigrants speaking their native languages and not assimilating, creating a tower of Babel while at the same time, pushing us to all think alike. If we continue on this path we’ll all be wearing Maoist pajamas. He spoke about not being polite anymore. We need to fight fire with fire. He reminded us of Romney’s tepid reply after Obama “misspoke” about calling Benghazi a terrorist attack. Jamie said Romney should have turned to Obama and told him the blood of those men who died that night was on HIS hands.

One of the main speakers was Mary Byrne, an education expert. She spent half of her talk comparing scripture to our founding documents and quotes from our founders. She pointed out that our founders knew religious morality was necessary to maintain our Constitution and expected it to be taught to our children. Byrne reminded us that a Liberal Arts education was to cultivate a wise and virtuous people. Today a Liberal Arts degree equals a Servile Arts degree.

Byrne said the best way to control man was to obliterate his understanding of history. “No Child Left Behind” empathizes math and literature and minimizes history. The Mayflower Compact, which is the foundation of our Constitution, is no longer in the curriculum. Neither are individual achievements, only collective achievements.

Common Core designers were very clever. They copyrighted the curriculum which means not even a word can be changed without permission. There is no wiggle room for teachers to improvise or try other approaches. Social Studies now teaches about centralized ownership and social justice. It’s very anti-capitalist. It shifts loyalties from family to state.

Brad Dacus from the Pacific Justice Institute spoke about what his group is doing to fight legislation in California. He said the worst legislation was never legislated, Common Core. It was implemented without our knowledge or consent. He said the worst legislation that was passed by the legislature, was the law against homosexual counceling and unisex bathrooms. In a free country how is someone denied counceling, if they want it? His organization is suing on behalf of both issues. The unisex bathrooms issue is about it qualifying for the 2016 election. Groups collected nearly twice the signatures needed to put it on the ballot. The Registrar threw out more than half (something that isn’t statistically possible). If someone filled out the name and address for their spouse and then had him/her sign it, even if the signature matched their registration, they threw out not just your spouses signature, but yours too. He is hoping to get this resolved to get it on the ballot in 2016.

The legislature is now trying to pass an assisted suicide bill. Dacus said that is in violation of the Hippocratic Oath. It was the Hippocratic Oath, first do no harm, that was the beginning of the Western society. It was the first time people had been promised they would not be harmed. If doctors are going to break their oath, where does it end? Zeke Emanuel (Rahm’s brother) thinks 75 years is long enough for anyone to live.

Dacus spoke of the shift from parental rights. Schools need parental consent to give your child an aspirin, but they can take your child for an abortion and not inform you, let alone, get your consent. Dacus said it is the natural order for government to take power. We need to be involved to protect our values and rights.

The keynote speaker for the convention was a man, nearly as well known as his Presidential candidate son, Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Ted Cruz. As Rafael commanded the stage, walking and talking, connecting to the audience, it wasn’t hard to see where Ted gets his passion. Rafael said secular humanism has infected too many churches. He said social justice sounds like a good thing, who wants social injustice? But social justice is collectivism that denies individual liberty. It has no place in the church.

Separation of church and state is not in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. Our founders never intended to prevent the church from having influence over every aspect of life. In fact, it was the pastors running up to the American Revolution who preached about individual liberty. As the revolution was breaking out, Pastor Peter Muhlenberg’s text for the day was Ecclesiastics 3: “to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven….”. He turned to his congregation and said, “there is a time to preach and a time to prey, but that time has passed away…….there is a time to fight and that time is now come”. With that he removed his black robe to reveal his military uniform. He asked who would join him and 300 men did.

Cruz said Congress printed the first Bible in America. It was the primary textbook in our schools. In 1962 the Supreme Court banned prayer from schools, the following year the Bible was banned from schools. The crime rate climbed, morality declined.

Cruz believes our churches must speak out and we must demand it. He said in 1973 when the Supreme Court passed Roe vs Wade, the churches were silent. He quoted Proverbs 17:15, “he who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord”. And Exodus 18:21, “Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them, as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens”.

Cruz also reminded us that many evangelical Christians don’t vote. Their pastors need to preach the importance of it. He said it’s the church’s fault if religious people don’t run for office or vote. And we need to encourage both.

Cruz spoke of Benjamin Franklin. During a difficult point in the Constitutional Convention, when no one was agreeing, he asked why they didn’t pray about it. He said if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without God’s notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? They prayed and fasted for three days and came together to agree on the Constitution.

Cruz said the wicked will legislate their immorality upon us. If we lack moral discrimination, pulpits are to blame. If we are losing interest in religion, pulpits are to blame. Preachers need to preach moral principals.

As I listened, I thought of the Catholic schoolteacher who was fired for posting her support for traditional marriage on her private Facebook page. Her church fired her.

During breaks between speakers, Pastor Cruz warmly and graciously greeted attendees, listened to them, comforted them and posed for pictures.

Phyllis Schafly, who is now 90, addressed the convention by video. Her daughter, Anne, represented her in person. She told us the best solution for income inequality is to get married and stay married. She said people, not government, make the difference. Apathy is defeat, energy is victory. We must be involved. We must each find where our talents are best used and concentrate on educating those you can.

Eagle Form’s motto is God, Family, Country. This event was a perfect reflection of their vision.

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Last night FERGUSON – THE PLAY opened to controversy. Days before the opening five actors walked off because they objected to the play not supporting the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” narrative. The next day three more actors walked. The trouble is, this play is taken, directly, from the Michael Brown/Darren Wilson Grand Jury transcripts. Mike Brown never had his hands up, nor did he ever say, “Don’t shoot”.

FERGUSON – THE PLAY is an example of “verbatim theater”. All of the dialogue is verbatim what witnesses testified. Documentarian, journalist, Phelim McAleer condensed 25 days of testimony from the Grand Jury into an hour and 45 minute play.

Some of the actors who walked off did so because they believed the play was one sided and didn’t paint Michael Brown in a favorable enough light, even though the play opens with a Michael Brown friend talking about what a good friend he was, how helpful and generous he was. Many point to the numerous witnesses who testified Big Mike had his hands up, but what they fail to take into consideration is that each of those witnesses were discredited because their testimony didn’t match the forensic evidence. This was demonstrated by a scene in the play were an FBI agent questions one of them. The witness, a close friend of Brown’s, testified that he saw Mike shot in the head and then saw Wilson stand over him and shoot him 4 or 5 times in the back. The problem is Brown was never shot in the back.

Several other actors left because McAleer is a Conservative who produced the documentaries, “FrackNation” and “Not Evil, Just Wrong”, that skewer many of the Left’s anti-Fracking, Climate Change claims. I doubt very much the actors saw either documentary but they were fearful of being associated with a Conservative that fights Liberalism with facts.

McAleer did a masterful job of presenting enough representative testimony from both the witnesses whose testimony agreed with Officer Wilson’s account and the forensic evidence, and from witnesses whose testimony wasn’t supported by forensic evidence or other witnesses. Remember, this case wasn’t investigated by just the local police department but also by the FBI and the DOJ.

As I’m writing this, a talk show host on the radio is mentioning the false narrative of Hands Up, Don’t shoot, only to have a Liberal commentator say there were numerous witnesses who said he had his hands up. True, but those witnesses were discredited when their testimony didn’t match the forensic evidence. If it had, the DOJ wouldn’t have exonerated Wilson. I doubt we’ve ever had a DOJ who was more desirous of finding a way to charge Wilson, but they couldn’t.

I thought I knew quite a bit about facts of the Brown/Wilson case but I learned several things I was surprised by and I thought were very powerful. One was that two shots were fired from inside the police car, not one. And that Wilson had tried to shoot several times more but the gun didn’t go off.

But most powerful was the testimony of a young woman who clearly didn’t want to testify. She was anti police and said so. She was asked about a tattoo, which she declined to show or describe, but, apparently, it said, “Black Power”. She didn’t want to be there but she possessed the integrity to tell what she saw. She and her mother were in a van on the street and had a clear view of all that happened. She described Michael Brown as charging at the officer like a football linebacker. She said the officer kept yelling for him to stop and get on the ground. Brown didn’t stop, nor did he have his hands up. But the most compelling thing she described, in my opinion, was that Officer Wilson was backing up as Brown charged him. I had never heard that before. She said if Wilson hadn’t shot him, Brown would have tackled the officer against his car.

There was a sold out audience that included Dennis Prager and numerous members of the press. The audience gave the actors a lengthy applause. I think if they had come out for a curtain call they would have received a standing ovation. They deserved it. One of the actors said they were surprised by the applause. They didn’t know what to expect.

All the actors did a remarkable job, especially considering most had almost no rehearsal time. I commend each of them for their courage and willingness to tackle a controversial subject.

Kudos to all involved. It was a eye opening evening.

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Last night, American Freedom Alliance’s Literary Café hosted a dinner at the home of Robert and Leslie Hamilton with author Stephen Meyer, followed by a discussion of his book, “Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design”.

Stephen Meyer has a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the Philosophy of Science. A former geophysicist and college professor, he now directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. His book was named one of the top books of 2009 by the Times Literary Supplement (London).

Meyer began by explaining he had always been interested in the intersection of science and philosophy. Many of the early philosophers were scientists. He believes our world view is influenced by how science is interpreted.

Meyer spoke of the study of DNA causing many scientists to consider Intelligent Design. He mentioned Dean H. Kenyon, Professor Emeritus of Biology at San Francisco State University, who had believed in biochemical evolution but, after studying DNA, now believed in Intelligent Design.

The study of DNA has revealed that the center core of the DNA molecule contains coding more sophisticated than any computer programmer could design. DNA stores information in digital form. Bill Gates said DNA is like a software program but much more complex. Where does a software program originate? It’s source is an intelligent mind. Where does the DNA coding come from?

Meyer explained that when he went to England to study the origins of life, he was given Darwin’s, “On the Origin if Species by Means of Natural Selection”. He became interested in Darwin’s forensic form of investigation of the past. Unlike present scientific research where you can examine and test a subject and repeat the outcome, studying the past requires one to compare what happened then to causes now known. Darwin used “multiple competing hypothesis” to explain his theory of evolution. Darwin admitted there was the appearance of design but that it was simply the product of natural selection.

Meyer wanted to explain ID (Intelligent Design) using the same forensic methods Darwin used. Darwin never explained where first life came from. Even present day Darwinist, Richard Dawkins admits no one knows where or how life began.

Opponents of ID argue that ID is not testable, therefore, not “science”. Meyer used the same method Darwin used so if ID is not science, neither is Darwin’s theory.

When the DNA double helix structure was discovered by James Watson and Frances Crick in 1953 until about ten years ago, scientists believed a small section of the long strand contained all the information to build protein and the rest was just junk DNA.
In the early 2000’s scientists discovered the coded information contained in the core of the DNA molecule. We now know there was no “junk” DNA. There is nested coding and auto-correct features in DNA, not likely to be the result of accident. This has opened the discussion for many of the secular scientists to the existence of ID.

Meyers was asked what ID explains. He replied that it provides a causal explanation of the origin of life. The only cause of functional information is the mind. DNA contains digital, coded information that must have originated from somewhere….an intelligence.

Dawkins argues if there is ID, who designed the designer? But that question begs counter questions, who designed the evolver? Where did matter and energy come from?

Stephen Hawking’s Ph.D. thesis was on Black Holes. He applied the dynamics of Black Holes to the origin of the universe. He thought all the universe would have been compacted into the smallest sphere. If true, where would matter have come from?

Meyer was asked why there is such intense resistance to ID? What are so many scientists and most politicians afraid of? It’s such an emotionally intense issue.

Meyer told us about an article he wrote called, “Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington” that was the first peer-reviewed article explicitly advancing the theory of intelligent design published in a mainstream scientific periodical (housed at the Smithsonian Institution in DC). After the article was published, the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History erupted in internal controversy, which was soon discovered by the scientific press. The Smithsonian was angry and embarrassed by the editor, Richard Sternberg (an evolutionary biologist with two Ph.D.’s), who published the article. He lost his office, his access to scientific samples and was transferred to a hostile supervisor. This, because he published a peer-reviewed article.

Meyers said ID gives a sense of human purpose. He said if you take Darwin and Dawkins theories to their conclusions, there is no purpose to life. You can’t have a purpose driven life if life has no purpose.

Meyers was asked how ID gets the attention it deserves. The problem is access. The media is not going to report on ID objectively. But there is a network around the world of scientists trying to get the word out. He said between 30% and 40% of English scientists were sympathetic to ID. He said molecular biology is in crisis. It has hit a wall, there is nowhere to go. ID best explains life.

Meyers was then asked if the political climate didn’t have something to do with the resistance to ID. Judeo-Christian philosophy says God loves man and wants him to be free. The Left wants central planning and control over man’s activities.
Meyers believed that was possible but ultimately truth surfaces. People don’t go to a museum and think wind and erosion caused the Rosetta Stone. You either believe life originated from random material causes or a mind.

Meyers believes that the acceptance of God or Intelligent Design would lead to more fruitful and productive scientific endeavors.

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Robert Renner is a very clever filmmaker, although not a very honest one. He opened his film at the Magic Castle in Hollywood with a magician explaining the slight off hand. If you can divert people’s attention from what you are actually doing, you can make them believe something else.

He then spent the first part of his film showing endless clips of tobacco company executives saying smoking doesn’t cause cancer. Ahhhh… I’m a little slow here, am I supposed to believe that proves global warming skeptics are lying? Scientists whose life long research doesn’t agree with the catastrophic claims of Warmers are equal to highly paid tobacco executives who make a living selling cigarettes?

The film then went on to slander well known skeptics such as Senator Jim Inhofe, “Junk Science” Steve Malloy and Austrian-born, physicist and emeritus professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia, Fred Singer, among others. The film implies they are funded by BIG oil, tobacco and chemical companies to deny anthropogenic global warming. Professor Singer’s work had been highly respected for decades. He was a leading scientist in our early space research and was involved in the development of observation satellites. But we’re to believe he all of a sudden decided to take bribes from oil companies to deny science.

By the way, I don’t understand the demonization of oil companies. Cheap abundant oil is directly responsible for the development of this country, the high standard of living we all enjoy (even our poorest), and our ability to travel where and when we want. You can’t compare oil companies to tobacco companies whose product does none of those things.

James Hansen was heavily featured in Merchants of Doubt. Hansen served as head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies from 1981 to 2013. He is one of the most well known global warming activists. Hansen did extensive studies of Venus and asserts that several billion years ago Venus’s atmosphere was more like earth’s but greenhouse gases caused the temperature to increase to the point life was not possible. Hmm, yet there is no evidence SUV’s were ever on Venus.

Hansen has become more of an activist than a scientist these days. He has been arrested several times protesting the Keystone pipeline. Physicist Freeman Dyson criticized Hansen saying, “Hansen has turned his science into ideology”. Fifty former NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists wrote a letter to Hansen objecting to his using NASA and the Goddard Institute to promote what they believe is NOT “settled science”. I guess the film didn’t have time to include that information.

One of the most prominent people featured in the film (as she co-authored it) was Naomi Oreskes. She is a Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.

Oreskes asserts there are only a “handful” of scientists who obscure the truth of global warming. She claims (as all Warmers do) that a “consensus of scientists”, in fact 97%, all believe in anthropogenic global warming. She claims that “handful” of skeptics are denying the facts and fighting science. She implies but never proves, they are being funded by BIG Oil, BIG Tobacco and BIG Chemical companies.

Oreskes then mentions “The PetitionProject” that 31,000+ scientists signed. She dismisses it out of hand. She said Mickey Mouse and other phony signatures appear on the petition. Even if that were true, how would that discount the thousands of real scientists who signed it? However, it isn’t true. I met the scientists who circulated the petition at the Climate Change Conference in Las Vegas last July. Dr. Willie Soon sat at my table. He explained, while they were collecting signatures, they heard people were going to sign phony names to debunk the project so they vetted EVERY SINGLE name……and still the Warmers make the claim because who is going to go through 31K signatures to prove them wrong?

Oreskes claim of a consensus of scientists was debunked:
However, that isn’t mentioned in the film either.

One of the more amusing segments (and I’m not sure why they included it as it doesn’t help their argument) was focused on former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis. He explained that he had changed his mind on global warming when he visited the Artic several times and saw ice cores that showed CO2 increased after the industrial revolution (did he see ice cores from the Jurassic period when CO2 was 5 times higher than now?).

Inglis introduced HR2380 that imposed a carbon tax. He was primaried the next election and lost BIG TIME to Trey Gowdy. Apparently, Inglis is still running for something. The film followed him from a speaking engagement to a local radio station where he was interviewed by a host who was a skeptic and cut his interview short.

Oreskes and others in the film frame themselves as the “good guys” and the skeptics as the “bad guys”. They accuse skeptics (bad guys) of being free market fundamentalists who oppose environmental regulations, but, although, they acknowledge many environmentalists (good guys) are socialists who love regulations, they say that doesn’t mean global warming is a myth (nor does it mean it isn’t).

According to Oreskes the public doesn’t have a good grasp of the essential scientific facts about global warming and that is the fault of the skeptics and the media coverage of their disinformation. Actually, studies have shown the media coverage of global warming is very much weighted in favor of anthropologic global warming.
Oreskes admits all the problems caused by global warming (if it were true and catastrophic) require BIG government to address. But she says it’s necessary because “People Will Die”.

“Merchants of Doubt” is based on a book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. The following is an objective review of the book and this film:

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Last night I attended a debate at UCLA between Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal and Law Professor Randall Kennedy of Harvard University.

Jason Riley is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal where he is a member of the Editorial Board. He is a commentator for Fox News and has written two books, “Let Them In” which argues for more free-market oriented immigration policy and his most recent, “Please Stop Helping Us”, which is about the efforts of government to help Blacks actually harming them.

Randall Kennedy teaches courses on race relations and freedom of expression at Harvard University. He makes numerous appearances on the lecture circuit and has written six books, including “Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word” and recently “For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law”.

Jason Riley started off the debate, however, I missed the beginning of his remarks wandering around UCLA looking for Rolfe Hall. As I entered he was quoting Martin Luther King, “Do you know that Negroes are 10% of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58% of the crimes? We’ve got to do something about our moral standards….We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can’t keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves.”

Riley said the first time he used that quote the media accused him of making it up. They couldn’t believe MLK would say such a thing. He suggested they do their job and google it. He said it’s too easy for Black leaders to blame Black problems on white racism.

Riley spoke of a Black culture that doesn’t value education and produces Black children who fear sounding “White”. He spoke of the importance of self help and self development. As long as Blacks see themselves as victims of White racism nothing will change. He pointed out that Blacks were making greater strides when there was more racism than there is now. Riley said the only poverty program needed is getting married before you have children.

Professor Kennedy began by praising the Civil Rights Acts and Voting Rights Act. He said Liberal Social Policies were about insurance against catastrophe. He said you buy insurance against floods and other catastrophes so how is insurance against social catastrophes different.

Kennedy said Riley spoke of welfare killing incentive. He said we have social programs that help Veterans and they don’t appear to kill incentive. (My answer to that would be that Veterans are highly trained, highly motivated and willing to put their lives on the line to protect this country. The average welfare recipient is generally not.)

Kennedy said there are 45 million impoverished Americans. What about their children? Yes, he continued, their parents may, very well, be schmucks. Are the children to be blamed for their parents being schmucks?

Very dramatically (he would have put Johnny Cochran to shame), Kennedy said it’s about JOBS. He said he believed the government should provide jobs for everyone who wants one. He said what government should NOT do, is say, “you are on your own.”

Riley rebutted by saying, government providing jobs can’t work. It’s not whether to help, but how to help. He asked if the policies have actually helped the poverty rate, or the crime rate, or the number of single parent families. He said between 1940 and 1960 the Black poverty rate fell 40%. After 1965 it continued to fall but at a much slower rate. He said between 1940 and 1970 the number of Black “white collar” workers quadrupled without Affirmative Action.

Riley said Affirmative Action takes a psychological toll on Blacks. It makes them victims that can’t succeed unless the bar is lowered.

Kennedy admonished Mr. Riley, saying he obscures the achievements made since Civil Rights. He said if Liberal policies harmed Blacks, the Republican Presidents since it was passed, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr., would bear some of the responsibility.

He said there was nothing wrong with being a victim. There are victims of rape, victims of natural disasters, and victims of racism. He said racism isn’t responsible for all Black problems but it is one of the causes.

He went on to say he is a champion of Affirmative Action. He is an Affirmative Action baby and he is certainly not embarrassed to be one. At that point I submitted a question (they ran out of time before getting to it) asking if he was admitting, without Affirmative Action, he didn’t have the intellect, grades or talent to become what he has become.

Kennedy said it is not an accident that before Civil Rights there were no Black Cabinet members. Kennedy is forgetting or failing to mention there was a Black Speaker of the House and eight Black Senators in the 1800’s.

The debate ended at this point and they opened it up to Q&A. Riley was asked if he thought “red lining” contributed to Black hopelessness. Riley replied, no, there are no neighborhoods Blacks can’t live in if they can afford to live there. This is true for any race. He said the problem is when government tries to shoehorn people into neighborhoods they can’t afford to live in.

Riley said if you poll Blacks they prefer to live in Black neighborhoods. Kennedy said he had no rebuttal.

The next question was for Kennedy. He was asked when we will know when Affirmative Action is no longer necessary. He said he believes Affirmative Action should be used for any and all disadvantaged groups. He couldn’t say when or if it should ever end……maybe when race is no big deal.

Riley replied that Affirmative Action should end IMMIDIATELY. He pointed out that no Affirmative Action program has come close to the outcomes for Blacks before Affirmative Action. He said in 1996, Proposition 209 ended racial preferences in college admissions. Black graduation rates increased 50% AFTER the preferences ended. Affirmative Action funnels kids into schools and programs they aren’t prepared for. They might be sent to MIT where they can’t keep up, instead of a less competitive school where they would excel. Riley said Kennedy was justifying Affirmative Action instead of talking about the results.

Kennedy replied that the Civil Rights Act of 1988 apologized to the Japanese who were put in interment camps and it gave them reparations. I didn’t understand what that had to do with the debate but then I noticed Kennedy tended to digress quite often. Very dramatically, Kennedy said every American should address racial inequities.

The next question was for Kennedy. He was asked if he didn’t think there was more benefit in rewarding merit than racial identity. Kennedy said he didn’t think merit mattered. Social need was more important. He gave the example of the Russians putting Sputnick in space. He said it inspired us to put more emphasis on math and sciences. He said it was a complicated issue with many trade offs.

Riley said Liberals won’t be satisfied until racial proportioning is achieved. They constantly say there are not enough women, not enough Blacks, not enough of something. But groups are different, they have different priorities. When Blacks are graduating with an 8th grade reading level, Affirmative Action is not going to make up for that.

Riley was asked if he was denying racial bias. He replied that Blacks made more strides between 1940 and 1960 during Jim Crow laws when there was more racism, than they are now with Affirmative Action. Two out of three Black children were raised with two parents. Now, 70% to 90% of Black children are being raised by single parents.

Kennedy then went off on a tangent about criminal justice. He said all communities, especially poor minority communities, need good police forces. But that blatant abuse of the Rule of Law by the guardians of the Rule of Law can’t be tolerated. The blatant abuse of prosecutors and Grand Juries protecting rogue cops can’t be tolerated. They must be held to a higher standard!

Riley reminded Kennedy that our Criminal Justice system is run by a Black man…… who answers to a Black man. He said we can all agree that rogue cops need to be prosecuted but that rogue cops don’t explain Black crime. Pretending our morgues are filled with young Black men shot by police is a false narrative. Police shootings are only 2% of Black violent deaths. Riley said Blacks shoot Blacks. He asked if Blacks valued Black lives.

Riley continued that Black crime and incarceration is higher now than in the 40’s. He said Blacks aren’t killing each other because of White racism or rogue cops. He said fatherless homes, hopelessness and lack of values is what needs to be focused on.

Riley asked if we wanted to reduce the Black body count should we focus on the 2% who are killed by cops or the more than 90% killed by other Blacks? He said if we passed a law tomorrow against cops shooting Blacks for any reason, it wouldn’t make a dent in the Black mortality rate. He said young Black men aren’t walking around being afraid of being shot by cops, they are walking around being afraid of being shot by other young Black men. That is the reality.

The speakers graciously stayed a good 45 minutes to an hour after the debate to speak to members of the audience.

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