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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Chavez the Clown Completes Copenhagen Climate Circus Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, December 17 2009
The ongoing United Nations global warming summit in Copenhagen was a circus of the absurd from its inception. With his triumphant keynote speech to wildly applauding sycophants, however, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez provided the perfect capstone clown act.

The ongoing United Nations global warming summit in Copenhagen was a circus of the absurd from its inception. 

With his triumphant keynote speech to wildly applauding sycophants, however, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez provided the perfect capstone clown act. 

Even without Chavez, of course, the summit was relegated to farcical doom before it even began, for several irredeemable reasons. 

First and foremost, the objective climate data appears to be steering the global warming agenda to the same historical ash heap to which the discredited 1970s global cooling movement was relegated.  That is because despite increasing amounts of carbon dioxide as China and India modernized over the past decade and developed economies continued to grow, global temperatures have actually declined since 1998.  Presumably, with that amount of economic growth and resulting carbon activity, temperatures would have increased.  But the opposite has in fact occurred.  Accordingly, the temperature trend itself undermines the rationale for the summit in the first instance. 

Second, and most dramatically, the now-famous “Climategate” scandal exploded just days before the summit’s opening ceremonies.  For anyone still unaware of this embarrassing scandal, global warming activists at Britain’s University of East Anglia, which serves as the source for much of the UN’s global warming proclamations, had over 3,000 of their damning emails and documents exposed for the entire world to see.  In those communications, the agenda-driven scientists discussed such things as manipulating inconvenient temperature data, blackballing other scientists who questioned the global warming agenda and even targeted scientific journals that dared publish contrary points of view. 

Despite the breaking Climategate scandal, however, Barack Obama and the extremist leaders around the globe buried their heads even deeper into the sand and proceeded with oversized carbon footprint to the boondoggle summit. 

Then, before the summit even began, it was rendered pointless when Barack Obama admitted that it would not result in any actual agreement.  In so doing, he discarded yet another aggrandized campaign promise.  He promised that his election would mark the point at which “the seas stopped rising,” but the world will apparently have to wait a little longer for him to deliver its miraculous salvation. 

Then, reversing himself as he habitually does, Obama promised a “meaningful” agreement as the summit approached. 

But any such agreement is unlikely, because developing nations are demanding enormous handouts from developed nations, whereas developed nations remain mired in the global economic downturn and unsustainable budget deficits.  As a result, cynical developing nations are unlikely to receive the costly tribute they demand, while richer nations cannot risk further crippling their national economies through carbon limits and payouts to the Third World. 

This impasse led the so-called G-77 developing nations to stage a walkout to protest what they labeled “stingy” offers from developed nations, led by China.  Absurdly, China also demanded more dollars from American taxpayers, despite the fact that it holds an increasing share of U.S. debt and seeks to kneecap us at every opportunity. 

Making matters worse, nations like China are even resisting provisions that would allow verification that they were satisfying their promised emissions reductions.  Even famed international pushover John Kerry (D – Massachusetts) admitted that it would be “exceedingly difficult” for the Democrat-controlled Senate to approve emissions limits unless developing nations like China agreed to verification inspections. 

Meanwhile, outside the summit hall, the usual fools’ parade of protesters dressed in every conceivable inane costume had to be pepper-sprayed after descending into violent and destructive protest. 

Enter Chavez the Clown. 

Turning his allotted five-minute speech into twenty-five, Chavez received roaring approval when he labeled capitalism the “silent and terrible ghost in the room.”  Quoting Karl Marx without any sense of irony or historical understanding, he then trumpeted his socialist utopia: 

“Socialism, the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, is the way to save the planet.  Capitalism is the road to Hell.  Let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us!” 

For good measure, he even mocked his bowing pupil Barack Obama: 

“I don’t think Obama is here yet.  He got the Nobel Peace Prize almost the same day as he sent 30,000 soldiers to kill innocent people in Afghanistan.” 

We knew Chavez was an imbecile, but who knew he was also a 9/11 “truther?” 

Hugo Chavez certainly didn’t do anything to facilitate an agreement amongst the Copenhagen climate congregants.  But he did provide an invaluable illustration of the utter absurdity of the entire event.

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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