This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
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Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight rail and saved it from looming oblivion.

At the time of passage, the U.S. economy muddled along amid ongoing malaise, and our rail industry teetered due to decades of overly bureaucratic sclerosis.  Many other domestic U.S. industries had disappeared, and our railroads faced the same fate.  But by passing the Staggers Rail Act, Congress restored a deregulatory approach that in the 1980s allowed other U.S. industries to thrive.  No longer would government determine what services railroads could offer, their rates or their routes, instead restoring greater authority to the railroads themselves based upon cost-efficiency.

Today, U.S. rail flourishes even amid the coronavirus pandemic…[more]

October 13, 2020 • 11:09 PM

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ClimateGate in Perspective: The Road Ahead Print
By CFIF Staff
Thursday, December 10 2009
Public perception of at least honest, objective intentions of the climate alarmists is eroding more quickly than the island nations driven to the point of hysteria by cataclysmic visions of Atlantis. An endpoint to the loss of public confidence cannot be reasonably projected, but further, much further is guaranteed.

The global fallout resulting from the scandalous revelations of ClimateGate cannot be overestimated or overstated.  Some of the most prominent scientists promoting climate alarmism are, as evidenced by their own email missives, guilty of unethical, unscientific behavior, at the very least, and possibly much worse.

The smoking-gun emails, accumulated at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in England, are important, because they have focused and will intensify closer scrutiny of the entire house of speculation portrayed as “consensus” science. 

A public that does not understand, and cannot be reasonably expected to, the multiple scientific disciplines required to gauge and understand climate change well understands the coarse language and coarser intent of those emails, which can now be read by anyone, anywhere in the world with a computer and internet access.

Public perception of at least honest, objective intentions of the climate alarmists is eroding more quickly than the island nations driven to the point of hysteria by cataclysmic visions of Atlantis.  An endpoint to the loss of public confidence cannot be reasonably projected, but further, much further is guaranteed.

Public perception will descend further, because the environmentalists, the scientists and the politicians who participated in what is being referred to by some as the greatest attempted fraud of all time are responding with precisely the wrong tactics.  They deny, they deflect, they ignore, they try to buy time, they repeat their memorized mantra, they bully, they lie some more and they try to kill the messengers.  To use a current cliché, those groups are doubling down on a hand full of Jokers.  As they fall all over each other, their efforts will become only more damaging to public perception.

Al Gore’s repeated insistence in a television interview that the emails are all 10 years old is but a tiny and petty example, but it is so demonstrably stupid as a defense and so demonstrably false on its face that it defies reason and offends reasonable people.

The public threat issued on December 10 by an unnamed Obama administration official to Congress is even more reprehensible.  In an effort to pry loose so-called cap-and-trade legislation before the ClimateGate revelations (and more to come) derail it forever, the official said:  “If you don’t pass this legislation, then...the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area.  And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more [economic] uncertainty.”

That is no way to build public confidence in regulatory activity, when the underlying scientific “consensus” for such activity may well be just a bunch of charlatans and incompetents behind a curtain pulling the strings of political puppets.

The CRU emails, which have received the lion’s share of attention to date, are but the tail that wags the dog.  The data will tell the true story, and it is now dead certain from developing scrutiny that at least some data were diddled.  It is absolutely granted that the now-revealed data is a small part of the whole, but its importance was over-inflated and over-hyped for some time (despite now-revealed misgivings even by some who were participants in the email exchanges).  In addition, much of the data have been hidden, purposefully, to avoid the scrutiny that is now inevitable.

The public is not yet ready for a discussion of Yamal 12 versus Yamal All or the Medieval Warming Period that was made to disappear or the real versus manipulated temperature data from Darwin I or the battling Kilimanjaro studies or the physicists versus the paleo-climatologists versus the oceanographers versus the volcanologists versus the statisticians.

Before the public is ready for those discussions, given current trends, the public is going to be ready to tear some heads off, most likely those of the politicians who are the most visible and most vulnerable to public action.

There is only one course that political and scientific leaders can take if they have any interest in resolving rather than exacerbating a conflict that is right now going nowhere good for anyone.  And that is to say: “While we believe that climate change is dangerous and must be mitigated to the extent that humans and their governments can, we recognize that recent developments have cast doubt on climate science to the extent that it is losing credibility.  We therefore declare a moratorium on government activity aimed at such mitigation while we reevaluate the science, after which we will issue a full report, including reputable dissenting views and accompanied by all data.  Included will be realistic recommendations of what we can do and what that is expected to accomplish at what cost.”

We wait to report even the slightest indication of such responsibility.

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was the first 20th century presidential candidate to call for a Presidential Debate?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"In nominating Barrett to the Supreme Court, [President Trump] kept his promise by choosing an undaunted originalist -- someone who interprets the Constitution based on the understanding held by its ratifiers.Trump's most profound effect on the Constitution will come when she and the other Trump Justices apply that originalism to the questions of liberty and equality."Read entire article here.…[more]
 
 
—John C. Yoo, Heller Professor Law at U.C. Berkeley School of Law
— John C. Yoo, Heller Professor Law at U.C. Berkeley School of Law
 
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