Republicans Win No Friends by Joining Climate Caucus

by James Taylor


RINOs who apparently weren't much to begin with.

Unfortunately, a handful of congressional Republicans foolishly joined with Democrats to form a group known as the Climate Solutions Caucus. The Caucus claims to support “economically viable” options to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions.

Apparently, the Republicans in the Caucus believe they can walk a tightrope by calling for both severe restrictions on carbon-dioxide emissions and “affordable” energy options — even though these two competing goals are incompatible. Any means of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions would be economically punitive. Rather than trying to appeal to both sides of the political fence, Republicans who join the Caucus are shooting themselves in the foot with liberals and conservatives alike.

Liberal Republican congressman Carlos Curbelo (FL) co-founded the Caucus at the urging of the leftist Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). The CCL advocates for carbon-dioxide taxes that would immediately raise the cost of all traditional energy sources. Within a decade, the CCL taxes would add more than a dollar per gallon to the price of gasoline, with similar and higher price hikes imposed on other forms of energy. CCL trumpets a social-justice-warrior agenda and routinely advocates for left-wing policies. Why in the world would Republicans sign on to these radical ideas by joining forces with CCL?

Caucus members should know economically viable carbon-dioxide restrictions are a fallacy. Conventional energy sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas dominate because they are substantially more concentrated, affordable, and reliable than wind and solar power. Whether accomplished through government mandates or taxes, transforming our economy from one running on affordable energy sources to one that’s dependent on expensive and unreliable energy would severely punish all consumers and industries.

Some global warming activists attempt to argue a carbon-dioxide tax could be revenue-neutral and thus economy-friendly. However, there’s no credibility to this claim. The whole point of a carbon-dioxide tax is to drive up conventional energy prices so high that consumers won’t purchase them anymore and will instead buy already-expensive wind and solar power. When this occurs, consumers pay higher prices directly to energy providers rather than in government taxes — thus, there is little or no direct government tax revenue collected or returned to consumers to compensate for their higher energy bills. Even worse, energy bills skyrocket and disposable income falls. Even if a carbon dioxide tax were crafted to be “revenue-neutral,” it could never be crafted to be “pocketbook-neutral” or “household budget-neutral.”

So, if these policies are surely doomed to fail, what is motivating Republicans to join the Caucus? For most members, the answer appears to be virtue-signaling and political calculation. Some Republicans believe that expressing concern about global warming will soften their appeal to liberal and moderate voters.

However, polls consistently show voters rank global warming among their least-important concerns. Thus, virtue-signaling on global warming will win over very few, if any, liberal or moderate voters. On the other hand, Republicans joining the Caucus will ostracize their conservative base, encouraging them to stay at home or vote for a third party. These naive GOP members also face a greater risk of drawing a strong challenge from the right in their next Republican primary.

Fortunately, very few Republicans side with Al Gore and the United Nations. The vast majority of GOP congressmen do not believe in a global warming crisis and continue to reject the drumbeat of government intervention promoted by environmental zealots.

The few Republicans on the Caucus represent the liberal fringe of the party. In fact, these Republicans have voted for liberal positions more than conservative positions, according to the Heritage Action “Congressional Scorecard.” By contrast, 84 percent of Republicans who are not part of the Caucus have voted in favor of the conservative position more often than the liberal position. Thus, a good way to determine whether your Republican congressional representative is a RINO — a “Republican in name only” — is to check if he or she is a member of the Caucus.

Republicans should think long and hard before joining the Climate Solutions Caucus. Simply put, the Climate Solutions Caucus is a lose-lose-lose proposition.


Levi Strauss Announces Massive Gun Control Campaign, Turns Employees into Political Activists

by Lisa Payne-Naeger


Levi Strauss & Co. has expanded their original mission beyond the manufacture of blue jeans. This “values driven company” now feels a responsibility to “the communities where we live and work” and will now engage with other gun control groups to fight for “gun violence prevention.”

Chip Berg, CEO of Levi Strauss, wrote an open letter to his customers asking them not to bring firearms onto the premises of their stores, offices or other facilities. For him, it was a matter of safety. Of course, law enforcement was exempt from that request.

“It boils down to this: you shouldn’t have to be concerned about your safety while shopping for clothes or trying on a pair of jeans. Simply put, firearms don’t belong in either of those settings. In the end, I believe we have an obligation to our employees and customers to ensure a safe environment and keeping firearms out of our stores and offices will get us one step closer to achieving that reality.”

So, it’s clear Berg doesn’t subscribe to the theory that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Berg took it a step farther today with an op-ed in Fortune. He explained that as a leader in business “with power in the public and political arenas” he felt the responsibility to break the silence that threatens “the very fabric of the communities where we live and work.”

“So today, on top of our previous actions, Levi Strauss & Co. is lending its support for gun violence prevention in three new areas.”

The company has developed a site that outlines its gun violence prevention strategy complete with mission statements and donation match programs.

“So today, on top of our previous actions, Levi Strauss & Co. is lending its support for gun violence prevention in three new areas.”

The company has developed a site that outlines its gun violence prevention strategy complete with mission statements and donation match programs.

This coalition of like minded executives “has a critical role to play in and a moral obligation to do something about the gun violence epidemic in this country. I encourage every CEO and business leader reading this to consider the impact we could make if we stood together alongside the broad coalition of concerned parents, youth, elders, veterans, and community and faith leaders who are committed to shaping a safer path forward.”

He doesn’t explain any particular plan of action for the Every Town organization other than to infer there may be some think-tank like discussions on how to end gun violence.

And the third leg of the stool involves employee participation. Levi Strauss is doubling its employee donation match to any organizations aligned with its own Safer Tomorrow Fund.

In addition to encouraging employee donations to their own foundation, they are offering to compensate any employee who wishes to volunteer time up to five hours a month. Not only can employees volunteer in their own foundations but political activism is also compensated as well.

Levi Strauss considers this compensation an encouragement to employees “to use their time to make an impact.”

Berg notes that Levi Strauss has always been on the cutting edge of progressivism ideals in company policy and some not so progressive. But he thinks this one will prove to be the right stand in history.

“As a company, we have never been afraid to take an unpopular stand to support a greater good. We integrated our factories in the American South years before the Civil Rights Act was passed. We offered benefits to same-sex partners in the 1990s, long before most companies did. We pulled our financial support for the Boy Scouts of America when it banned gay troop leaders.

“While each one of these stands may have been controversial at the time, history proved the company right in the long run. And I’m convinced that while some will disagree with our stand to end gun violence, history will prove this position right too.”

Mr. Berg, no one disagrees with your stand to end gun violence. Gun violence is a terrible thing.

We just don’t want anyone to eliminate our constitutional right to bear arms at a time when law enforcement officers can’t get to your offices, stores or factories in time to stop mass shooters who would attack innocents in a gun free zone — hypothetically of course.

Has anyone ever asked these social justice warrior business leaders why they can’t coalesce around decreasing the national debt, lowering taxes, returning to state sovereignty, or any number of other things that also “threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work?”



Lisa Payne-Naeger - Contributor, Commentary

An enthusiastic grassroots Tea Party activist, Lisa Payne-Naeger has spent the better part of the last decade lobbying for educational and family issues in her state legislature, and as a keyboard warrior hoping to help along the revolution that empowers the people to retake control of their, out-of-control, government.




Trump is right on anchor babies

by Dr. Orly Taitz, ESQ


On Oct 30, 2018 President Trump announced that he will issue an executive order to end birthright citizenship. He states that he can do it by executive action and he might be right.

The 14th amendment states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Now, an important point in it is the fact that people, who are foreign citizens, are subject to the jurisdiction of their own nations, not US. Their children automatically inherit the citizenship of the countries of their parents, not US, and they automatically are under the jurisdiction of those foreign nations.

One wrinkle is a decision of the Supreme Court over 100 year ago.

A 1898 Supreme Court decision held that Wong Kim Ark, who was born in San Francisco to Chinese parents residing in the United States, was a citizen because of his birth on American soil.

There can be 2 rebuttals to Wong Kim Ark.

1.Wong Kim Ark’s parents were legal residents, the ruling should not be read as an affirmation of the status of children of undocumented immigrants.

2. The Supreme Court might disavow, overturn this precedent as it was done by overturning 1857 decision in Dred Scott v Sandford. Supreme Court might decide that the decision in Wong Kim Ark needs to be clarified in that a child follows the legal immigration status of his parents. If the parents are legal residents, the child gets status of a legal resident, if the parent is a foreign citizen illegally residing in the US, the child is a foreign resident illegally residing in the US.  Supreme Court might decide that this clarification is needed as birthright citizenship is a magnet that led to an invasion of millions of illegal aliens with the hope of having anchor babies.

According to the US government we have 12 million illegals. According to the Center for immigration studies and the former ambassador of Mexico, we have over 30 million illegals, which is an enormous burden on our welfare system and which causes wages to stagnate.


Is The Swamp Swallowing The Washington Examiner’s Energy And Climate Reporting?


By James Taylor


A publication that has built a reputation for fair and non-biased reporting has lately been inserting leftist propaganda into its energy and environment coverage.

Energy, environment, and climate reporting at the usually solid Washington Examiner are increasingly taking on the left’s language and agenda. Why are the Examiner’s two lead energy and climate reporters advancing leftist politics rather than straight reporting, and why is the paper allowing this to happen?

In June 2017, the Examiner hired Josh Siegel to join John Siciliano covering energy, environment, and climate news. Siciliano had a solid track record of just-the-facts reporting and had worked as a reporter for The Daily Signal, the multimedia news organization of the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation.

Two months after bringing Siegel on board, the Examiner launched Siegel and Siciliano’s “Daily on Energy” report, with each day’s edition containing several short write-ups of energy, environment, and climate issues. Lengthier versions of many of the short write-ups later appeared in the Examiner as stand-alone articles.

Shifting Toward Politicized Language

Since launching the report, Siegel and Siciliano have taken a significant turn toward the political left. Its substance, tone, word choice, and quoted sources consistently advance leftist messaging on energy, environment, and climate issues.

For example, in news articles regarding the Trump administration’s proposal to enhance energy grid reliability by crediting coal and nuclear power for being on-demand power sources with on-site fuel storage, Siegel and Siciliano consistently refer to the proposal as “the coal bailout.” While anti-coal activists can make a shaky argument that assigning monetary value to electric grid security is a “bailout” for the energy sources that provide that security, the argument is exactly that–a political argument.

Siegel and Siciliano refer to the proposal matter-of-factly as “the coal bailout,” as if such a label was factual and beyond dispute rather than a loaded political argument. Just as strikingly, Siegel and Siciliano never use the term “bailout” to describe wind and solar power or the many government programs, subsidies, and policies that benefit them, even though wind and solar power receive more subsidies than all conventional energy sources combined.

When reporting on Sen. Marco Rubio noting that sea level rise will continue, regardless of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, Siegel and Siciliano cite the aggressively leftist Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in an attempt to rebut Rubio. Worse yet, they present the UCS as an objective arbiter of scientific disputes. The journalists claim, in their October 15 report, “What the science says about sea level rise: The Union of Concerned Scientists last week published a report…” (emphasis in the original).

Using Leftist Language To Talk About Climate Science

Siegel and Siciliano also use the left’s biased and loaded language when discussing global warming. In their October 10 report, they write that President Trump “has denied climate science.” Trump has never said there is no such thing as climate science, which would be the factual definition of “denying climate science.” Trump acknowledges climate science exists; he merely sides with the many thousands of scientists who are skeptical about predictions of an imminent crisis.

Moreover, the term “denier” was inserted into the global warming debate by environmental leftists who want a more loaded term than “skeptics” to vilify people who are skeptical of alarming global warming predictions. The term was reportedly chosen in an effort to equate skeptics of an imminent global warming crisis with contemptibly racist Holocaust deniers, which is historically the most common use of the term “denier” in the political context.

Siegel and Siciliano are likely familiar with the history of the term and the strong objection skeptics take to being unfairly besmirched by it. Yet they still used it to describe Trump.

On October 18, the two journalists released another biased and inaccurate criticism of Trump on climate issues. They wrote, “Trump on Tuesday continued to falsely assert that the science is unsettled on climate change and its causes…” Yet the causes of climate change are very unsettled.

For example, a 2016 survey of more than 4,000 American Meteorological Society meteorologists reveals 33 percent believe humans are not responsible for most or all of the earth’s recent warming. Even among the 67 percent, many undoubtedly believe a warming earth will not create the climate catastrophe the the environmental left predicts.

Moreover, every new publication by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contains different predictions than the previous publication, and each report explicitly states there is a degree of uncertainty in its predictions. In fact, IPCC predictions of future climate change have dropped significantly over the years, from a prediction in its initial report, in 1990, of 0.3 degrees Celsius warming per decade, to its current prediction of 0.2 degrees per decade.

Real world observations also show temperatures are rising closer to 0.15 degrees per decade, which defies the predictions in all of the IPCC reports. Yet Siegel and Siciano state that it is false to claim there is scientific uncertainty regarding global warming.

In their same October 18 report, Siegel and Siciliano launched a cheap personal attack on Trump, using a false global warming narrative as a hook. They write that, during a recent media interview, Trump “claimed he has a ‘natural instinct for science’ because his uncle worked as a professor at MIT.”

While Trump claimed a natural instinct for science, and noted earlier in the conversation that his uncle was a professor at MIT, Trump did not say he has a natural instinct because his uncle was a professor at MIT. Siegel and Siciliano’s inaccurate description, while subtle, tells a false narrative that clearly conveys ridicule for a person who he believes his uncle’s work at MIT automatically makes him an expert.

But that is not what Trump said at all. It is difficult to believe such an error, and one that appears designed to ridicule Trump, appeared accidentally.

Why So Biased?

Many more examples exist. Why have Siegel and Siciliano deviated from objective reporting and taken on the left’s language and agenda? People would be forgiven for expecting that from the New York Times or the Huffington Post, but the Washington Examiner? The paper, like the Wall Street Journal, has a conservative editorial board and has historically aimed its news reporting at the middle. But this kind of reporting is not the middle. It better reflects the typical media bias towards the left that the Examiner has built a reputation contrasting with fairer reporting.

Is there a hidden follow-the-money story here? Is there an editor pushing these reporters in a leftist direction? Is this an example of two reporters succumbing to the leftist ideology that is so pervasive inside the Beltway? Or is this just an example of the Washington, D.C. political swamp rearing its ugly head? I don’t know, but it is tragic and sad that the political left has subverted the energy, environment, and climate reporting of a respected newspaper.




James Taylor is senior fellow for environment policy and vice president for external relations at The Heartland Institute.

Pinocchio & How Victimhood Creates Tyranny

by Chris Campbell


In putting together the upcoming book, “99 Things Every Millennial Man Should Know,” I’ve (re-)learned some important lessons.

One of them, weird as it sounds, has to do with Pinocchio. And the incredibly profound messages hidden beneath the surface… one of which is how victimhood turns you into a braying jackass.

But I’ll get to that in a moment.

99 Things is a compendium of powerhouse contributors imparting wisdom.

The underlying theme is answering the Call to Adventure (the “call” to your life’s purpose) and how to survive and thrive through your own “Hero’s Journey” (and, no less, the awesome power of archetypes).

A great explainer video on the Hero’s Journey

The book, since its inception, has taken on a life of its own. 

In large part because of my newfound “tribe” of people who are just as excited about, and emotionally invested in, the project as I am.

One contributor, Noble Brown (AKA, @Sociopathlete on Twitter), for example, who wrote an excellent piece for the book, called “Engineer the Future”, wrote this…

(Yes, I’m “@StoicGoatFarmer” on Twitter — which, I have found, used wisely, is a great tool. If you “do Twitter,” let’s connect.)

Two lessons here.

One, the power of the ask. It’s cliche, but I think it’s easy to forget: You never know until you ask.

Out of ten supremely bold asks, nine will probably say no or never respond, but that one yes will change everything.

(In the ask, however, increase your chances by providing unmistakable value to them.  As opposed to, “Please do this for me.” James Altucher is a master of this and has simple ways to get started.)

Second, which is tied to this: Whatever you’re doing, you don’t have to go at it alone. 

Left unchecked, I easily fall into a wildly ineffective “Hercules Complex”… this assumption I should shoulder all of the burden of big projects, lest it lose its meaning.

But working with, and building a tribe of great people in the process, is so much more satisfying.

(I plan to go into more detail on this book, and how I’m putting it together, in the private Choose Yourself Publishing Circle…  It’s one great part of Altucher’s self-publishing course, of which I’m leaning on to write this book. If interested in finally crossing “write a book” off your bucket list, come… join us.)

Tonight, I’ll attempt another BIG ask… Jordan Peterson. I’m suiting up and seeing him speak in Cincinnati this evening. 

His lectures have had a remarkable effect on me, especially his Jungian analysis of… this might sound weird… Pinocchio.

(Had I understood all of this earlier, as I described yesterday, I might not have been such a Hellion growing up… in a misguided pursuit of “fitting in.”)

The film Pinocchio is considered by many to be Walt Disney’s greatest achievement.

Superficially, the storyline is easy enough to understand. It’s about going from a puppet to an authentic individual. One who tells the truth, listens to one’s own conscience, and is capable of taking responsibility for one’s own life.

Pinocchio, you might recall, was brought to life by a blue fairy (the “anima,” as described by Jungians).

The fairy told him he could become a real boy if he proved himself to be “brave, truthful, and unselfish.”

Blue Fairy: You must learn to choose between right and wrong. 

Pinocchio: Right and wrong? But how will I know? 

Jiminy Cricket: (watching) How’ll he know! 

The Blue Fairy: (to Pinocchio) Your conscience will tell you. 

Pinocchio: What are conscience? 

Jiminy Cricket: What are conscience! I’ll tell ya! A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to. That’s just the trouble with the world today… 

Pinocchio: Are you my conscience? 

Jiminy Cricket: Who, me?

(Spoiler Alert: The cricket, as it happens, is Pinocchio’s conscience, a good, but imperfect tramp who “bugs” him throughout the movie to do the right thing.)

Going deeper, the overarching message unfolds: The best way to live your life is orient yourself toward the highest good you’re capable of imagining (represented by Geppetto, the woodcarver, wishing upon a star).

Why? Because the capacity for it to come to fruition exists. Not only that, the act of aiming there will open you up to forces which can help you — ones in which wouldn’t otherwise be available to serve you.

What is the highest aim?

To become a fully developed, authentic human being. One who isn’t a marionette. One whose strings are not whipped around by undeveloped (evil) forces of the world.

The Road to Tyranny

At one point in the movie, Pinocchio is convinced by two petty criminals — the fox and the cat — that he is a mere victim of the world. That the world is his enemy. They then lead him to Pleasure Island, a place where all his desires can be fulfilled.

There, boys can smoke, drink, fight, destroy stuff and act like heathens.

Pinocchio and Jiminy discover, however, Pleasure Island is a trap, run by masked goons dressed in black.

With enough badness under the boys’ belts (perhaps literally and figuratively), the boys lose their voices and turn into braying jackasses (donkeys), and are sold as slaves to work in the mines.

The superficial lessons of the overall story are evident:

1. Peer pressure can lead you astray.

2. Growth can emerge from pain.

3. Idle hands do the Devil’s work.

Going deeper, however, the underlying themes present in the book and film are awesome for a mere “children’s story”… 

– Telling the truth will ultimately make your life easier, and taking the seemingly easy route, by lying, has consequences (the more he lied, the more his nose grew and the more complicated his life became)…
– People-pleasing does little more than turn you into a puppet, you give up your own individuality to appease them (when Pinocchio fell under the thumb of Stromboli and became an unearned celebrity he became a slave to Stromboli and the crowd)…

– You have free will not to listen to your conscience (as Pinocchio doesn’t at first) and your conscience is not omnipotent, it is capable of making mistakes (as Jiminy did). The more you listen and learn from your mistakes, however, the more both of you mature and begin to understand the true difference between right and wrong. (Pinocchio and Jiminy grow stronger as the storyline progresses).

And, very apropos to current times… 

– Be wary of those who would have you believe you are a victim. Those who claim to be solely looking out for the oppressed are often on the hunt for unearned power. (Marxist professors come to mind).

– Accepting yourself as a victim, furthermore, will cause you to lose your voice and, perhaps, in the case of Pinocchio and the boys on Pleasure Island, transform you into a braying jackass.

– Great forces will emerge to help you when you aim for your highest good. You don’t have to go at it alone.

– Finally, one of the highest aims is to rescue the old structures from collapse, and reinvigorate them anew. To keep the torch alive and save what is worth saving. Otherwise, all will fall into chaos.

Pinocchio, in the end, is said to represent Geppetto’s ego and persona (how you interact with the external world and mask you wear for it).

Left undeveloped, it’ll remain a young puppet, a slave to the whims of the outside world.

In the end, Geppetto comes to terms with this “inner child” (also giving a nod to the incredible importance of fatherhood — the “outer child”)…

And, ultimately, they save one another.

Geppetto, by giving Pinocchio form and careful attention, and Pinocchio by swimming into the ocean (unconscious) and saving him from the Belly of the Whale (the archetypal Underworld of Chaos).

At the end, Geppetto, though he’s an old man, becomes young in spirit.

And the old structures worth saving in himself (and the world) are given new life, salvaged from total destruction and created anew.

I will tell Millennial Men this.





Published under Creative commons here.

The True Purpose Behind Global Warming

by Allen Williams



Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are growing as a function of the industrialization of the world and particularly the United States.  The IPCC has issued its first report: "..the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a multinational scientific body organized under the auspices of the United Nations, published its first comprehensive report on the topic... the IPCC concluded that "emissions resulting from human activities are substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of ... greenhouse gases..."

Man is viewed as an 'eco-cancer' in the earth by globalists and other crackpot scientists who presume the masses are destroying the earth. Yet there is NO evidence of significant temperature increases across the globe despite CO2 releases many times larger than the earth's natural carbon dioxide content. WHY? Because plants metabolize CO2 at faster rates and more limestone is formed according to the concentration driving force governed by reaction Kinetics.

The  Normal Plant Animal Cycle diagram above depicts the carbon flow between plants and animals.

Limestone Formation:

Carbon dioxide is readily soluble in sea and fresh water forming metallic precipitates such as calcium or magnesium carbonate.

The gas readily dissolves in water sources in equilibrium with its liquid concentration just as in many popular soda beverages. CO2 increases in solubility as water temperatures decrease and atmospheric pressure increases.  Concentration is the driving force that causes greater amounts of CO2 to dissolve in water.  In solution, CO2 reacts with metallic ions in the water to form insoluble CaCO3 precipitates like calcite.

(M+) + CO2  + H2O à MCO3

Calcite is most often seen in caves as stalagmites or stalagmites. It is also the principal constituent of a sedimentary rock known as limestone. Many Invertebrate Sea animals take up calcite from seawater to construct their shells and are an important part of the animal plant environmental cycle. As carbonates are formed and settle out, more CO2 can be absorbed into the water.  This helps to ensure a stable atmospheric concentration of around 0.04 percent (400 ppm) consistent with the law of conservation of mass.

Plants increase their rate of growth in higher atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. "Trees respond to CO2 fertilization(1) more strongly than do most other plants, but all plants respond to some extent...plant response to CO2 fertilization is nearly linear with respect to CO2 concentration over the range from 300 to 600 ppm.."

Greenhouse gases

Atmospheric reactions must occur at ambient conditions of constant temperature and pressure either spontaneously or from activation energy available from solar radiation in open atmosphere.  In order for a reaction to be spontaneous, it must have a negative free energy (G) as defined by the requirements of the Gibbs free energy equation, i.e. G = H - TS.  A spontaneous change is probable whenever enthalpy, H is negative or entropy, S is positive, i.e. (H - TdS) <= 0.

This relationship may also be expressed in terms of the ratios of the forward and reverse rate constants for reactions k1 and k2, i.e. the equilibrium constant, K:

                                 K =  k1/k2 = edS/R e-dH/RT

Now, the probability of spontaneous reactions are favorable whenever K is a large positive number, i.e. K >>1. This criterion is a necessary condition for the chemical reaction(s) to proceed. 

So carbon monoxide and Nitrous oxide compounds oxidize over time to carbon dioxide and either Nitrogen oxide or Nitrogen dioxide. So atmospheric equilibrium is maintained and the law of Conservation of Mass is upheld.

The principle objection to NO2 in the atmosphere is the formation of acid rain but it is absolutely essential for natural nitration of the soil. 

Calculation Basis: 


From Appendix C Summary of Calculations

We see that the Incident Air Volume over the U.S. at 10 ft elevation is 1.056 x 1015 ft3 for our chart purposes. Since CO2 occurs naturally in the atmosphere at approximately 0.04% by volumeCO2now. org indicates the current atmospheric CO2 concentration at 400+ parts per million, normal variation within the 0.04% atmospheric concentration. So our atmospheric concentration over the mainland US per the chart is calculated as:

3,787,425 miles2  x   (5,280 ft)2 / 1 mile2  x  10 ft above grade  x  0.04% CO2 / ft3 of air  =  4.22 x 1013 ft3 of CO2 at a 10 ft elevation in our chosen atmospheric bottle.

Appendix D shows the most significant man made sources of greenhouse gases. Note that the single largest contributor to atmospheric greenhouse gas is the industrial use of natural gas followed closely by the automobile. The war on fossil fuel has accomplished nothing more than to increase natural gas consumption. Now you know the underlying motive behind the deindustrialization of America and shipping manufacturing jobs overseas.

Most importantly, note from the Human and Natural Sources of CO2 chart above that if both natural gas consumption and the automobile were totally eliminated, human breathing would be the dominant source of greenhouse gas. The real environmental problem seems to be human breathing accounting for nearly half of the natural CO2 in the atmosphere exclusive of natural gas consumption and the automobile.

But combined utility consumption and people breathing is the underlying impetus for globalists to force the world's population down to around 1/2 to 1 billion people by any and all means available.  ISIS Created by US & NATO Training & Recruiting Jihadists  is very likely one such means  

Killing off vast numbers of the world's population is former science Czar John Holdren's response to climate change in the 1977 book 'Ecoscience', co-authored by Holdren and colleagues Paul and Anne Ehrlich.

Natural News has noted that ".. we've already seen shocking statements from many scientists about their desire to use genetically engineered viral strains to accomplish global depopulation goals." 

The 'final solution' is to kill vast numbers of the population to effect a three-fold reduction in carbon dioxide because fewer people use less gasoline and natural gas which translates to less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


Scientific Manipulation & Fraud

Science has claimed that fat people are responsible for global warming, "warning that the increase in big eaters(2) means more food production - a major cause of CO2 gas emissions warming the planet.  Overweight people are also more likely to drive, adding to environmental damage. Each fat person is said to be responsible for emitting a tonne more of climate-warming (flatulence) carbon dioxide per year than a thin oneproviding extra grub for them to guzzle adds to carbon emissions that heat up the world, melting polar ice caps, raising sea levels and killing rain forests."

Data collected from satellite monitoring of the earth's surface temperatures do not support the assertion of global warming.  NOAA has been caught adjusting temperatures(3) upward to support warming predictions. In a shocking report, errors in a climate change paper(4)showing gains from global warming were retracted.

There is disturbing evidence that atmospheric data have been manipulated by governments and educational institutions in an attempt to demonstrate ecological damage to the environment from high levels of carbon dioxide.  First, the University of East Anglia was involved in a collusion to alter temperature data to support a global warming of earth theory.  The Wall Street Journal reports(5) "Climategate, as readers of these pages know, concerns some of the world's leading climate scientists working in tandem to block freedom of information requests, blackball dissenting scientists, manipulate the peer-review process, and obscure, destroy or massage inconvenient temperature data—facts that were laid bare by last week's disclosure of thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, or CRU.

If we cannot predict weather reliably more than several hours into the future under most circumstances, why should the predictions of a government computer model be taken seriously? Yet, Time® magazine warns that we are likely to see a 6 oF increase in global temperatures by the year 2006(6) which unsurprisingly never occurred. Neither is there data to support the warnings(7) of "Earth in the Balance. "


References:

(1)  Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson, and Willie Soon,  http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm

(2)  Fatties Cause Global Warming, The SUN, April 20, 2009, http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2387203.ece  

(3)  NOAA Fiddles With Climate Data To Erase The 15-Year Global Warming ‘Hiatus’,  Daily Caller, http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/04/noaa-fiddles-with-climate-data-to-erase-the-15-year-global-warming-hiatus/#ixzz3vdeqymrD

(4)  Gremlins” caused errors in climate change paper showing gains from global warming, Retraction Watch, http://retractionwatch.com/2014/05/21/gremlins-caused-errors-in-climate-change-paper-showing-gains-from-global-warming/ 

(5)  Climategate: Follow the Money, The Wall Street Journal, Dec 1, 2009  http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703939404574566124250205490

(6)  Heading for Apocalypse, Time, Vol. 146, No. 14, 1995                    

(7)   Albert Gore Jr., Earth in the Balance, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992












Appeals Court: Police can violate our rights without fear of being sued

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


For those of you that claim we don’t live in a police state, I give you this recent Michigan Appeals Court ruling.

In 2015, Deputy James Dawson went to Joshua Brennan’s home and knocked on his door trying to obtain a breath sample. When Brennan did not answer, Dawson spent an hour and a half knocking at his doors and windows.

Officer Dawson also put crime-scene tape over Brennan’s security cameras to conceal his actions and used his siren and cruiser lights in an attempt to rouse him.

When Brennan finally opened his door, officer Dawson forced him to take a breathalyzer and arrested him for a probation violation even though he blew a 0.000.

All of this was done without a warrant. (Warrantless breathalyzer tests was not a condition of Brennan’s probation.)

If you think, it is obvious to any reasonable person that his rights were violated. Then you don’t know how the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals interprets the Constitution.  The fact that this even went to an Appeals Court, speaks volumes about our justice system but I digress.

Let’s get back to the ruling;  judge John Nalabandian said that officer Dawson did violate Brennan’s Fourth Amendment rights by searching him without a warrant. All is good so far, right?

Not quite, Nalabandian went on to say “police actions that violate the Constitution do not lead to liability.”

The court also ruled that since officer “Dawson’s implied license was not clearly established” and because of that old police standby, “deficient training” he cannot be sued.

To say that the court’s reasoning is frustrating is an understatement. The court said that because “Wilson and Clare County were not on actual or constructive notice that the deputy training was deficient they could not be liable.”

Does anyone really think police are held to a higher standard when they constantly use the “deficient training” excuse?

If you are upset by the court’s ruling that police are not liable for violating the Constitution I warn you, it only gets worse.

Citizens must prove to judges that violating out rights is unlawful

According to the Sixth Circuit and this speaks volumes about our justice system “the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the right was so well settled that every reasonable official would understand that what he is doing is unlawful.”

In other words, citizens must prove to a “reasonable official” [judge] that a police officer violating the Constitution is unlawful.

The Sixth Circuit claimed that since the Hardesty v. Hamburg Twp. ruling did not set a limit on how long a police officer can harass people at their homes Brennan cannot sue the police.  Even though they admitted that “absent a warrant a police officer has no greater license to remain on the property than a Girl Scout or trick-or-treater.”

The ruling repeatedly admits that “Dawson arguably violated the Constitution.” but states for a second time that “even if a government official violated a constitutional right, that official is entitled to qualified immunity.”

The Sixth Circuit refused to view the “constitutionality of the officer’s conduct or the continuing viability of Hardest and Turk.”

Not only did the Appeals court rule that Brennan cannot sue the police for violating his rights but they dismissed his unlawful arrest claim as well.

Only one judge, Karen Moore dissented and agreed like any “reasonable official” should, saying Brennan’s rights were violated and the officer could be sued.

Why is the media silent when rulings as egregious as this are taking place across the country?

Proving to “reasonable officials” that violating our rights is unlawful? America is fast on its way to becoming a police state.

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Teacher Suspended After ‘Morality Test’ Goes Awry With Incest, Puppy-Killing Questions

by Jack Davis


After an Ohio parent blew the whistle on a morality test given to a high school class, the Hilliard City School District sent the teacher who gave the test to time out.

Students were given a 36-question test about various ethical situations in which they were asked to choose what actions were OK and which were not.

But the questions, given to a 10th-grade language arts class at Hilliard Bradley High School, crossed a line as far as parent Todd Sandberg was concerned, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Sandberg said the test was graded in a way that it would tell students their “moral foundation” and their political leanings.

“What does the teacher need to know that information for?” he asked. “The questions are so out of line for high school language arts.”

Some questions asked about typical conflicts and dilemmas, but some were more disturbing and involved sex and violence.

One question talked about a scenario in which “A man kills a baby rabbit with a knife” on a live TV show. As with all the questions, students had to grade the comment on a scale from “Not OK” to “OK.”

In another instance, according to Fox News, students were asked to respond to this statement: “Using both a condom and a pill, a brother and a sister decide that they want to sleep with each other — just once, to see what it would be like.”

“Sarah’s dog has four puppies,” another scenario read, according to Fox News. “She can only find a home for two of them, so she kills the other two with a stone to the head.”

Sandberg pointed out the questions on a Facebook site for parents.

“My job was to point it out,” Sandberg said. “It is clearly evident that it’s out there in the public. The public eye is aware of it. I knew it was going to cause a firestorm.”

The teacher was placed on administrative leave while the district sorts out what to do next, WTTE reported.

The school district then issued a public apology, according to WTTE.

“Last night, we were made aware of a classroom activity that should never have taken place,” the district stated. “We absolutely share the outrage of our parents and community.”

The statement called the test “an isolated incident, and an activity of this nature would never be considered acceptable.”

Sandberg said the underlying issue is that parents need to talk with their children about what’s going on in school.

“Hey, parents, be on the lookout,” he said. “I love the district. This is an isolated case.”

According to the Canton Repository, documents released by the district said the teacher who gave the test is named Sarah Gillam and she has taught at the school since 2007.


Trump, Educated by Heartland, Makes Bold Pitch for Climate Realism

President Trump has stood up more firmly for sound science and climate realism than any prior president.

President Donald Trump this week stood firm when subjected to a 60 Minutes interrogation on climate, making a bold pitch for climate realism. The Heartland Institute was happy to help the president in his successful efforts.

60 Minutes journalist Leslie Stahl began the interrogation by asking Trump if he thought climate change is a hoax. While declining to use the word “hoax,” Trump cast doubt on the notion that humans are creating a global warming crisis.

“Something’s changing and it’ll change back again…. But I don’t know that it’s manmade,” said Trump.

Trump referenced the economy-killing schemes proposed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as the $100-billion-annual wealth transfers to developing nations under the Paris climate agreement.

“I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t want to be put at a disadvantage,” Trump explained.

When Stahl attempted to argue that scientists at NOAA and NASA make alarming global warming predictions, Trump immediately countered, “We have scientists that disagree with that.”

Scientists affiliated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA have joined scores of other scientists making the case for global warming skepticism at The Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change series. Thousands of other scientists have signed the Oregon Petition, expressing similar skepticism about global warming alarmism.

Trump also noted that climate change has been a natural occurrence for millions of years.

Trump followed up his schooling of Leslie Stahl with an interview this Tuesday with the Associated Press.

Responding to a challenge about hurricanes, Trump observed the many hurricanes 50 or more years ago that were as strong or stronger as recent hurricanes.

“We had worse hurricanes in 1890. We had a worse hurricane 50 years ago. We’ve gone through a period, actually, fairly recently, where we have very few,” said Trump.

“What I’m not willing to do is sacrifice the economic well-being of our country for something that nobody really knows,” Trump insisted. “And you have scientists on both sides of the issue. And I agree the climate changes, but it goes back and forth, back and forth. So we’ll see.”

When presented with a “scientists say” question, Trump quickly saw through the misleading generalization and corrected it.

“No, no. Some say that and some say differently,” Trump noted.

The Heartland Institute has been happy to help President Trump understand the truth about climate change, as well as see through the traps the media constantly tries to spring on climate realists. During the White House transition after Trump’s election in November 2016, The Heartland Institute – at the request of Trump’s top staff – put together a PowerPoint presentation on climate change for the president’s viewing. His bold and powerful messaging on the topic and citation of global warming facts closely reflects The Heartland Institute’s views and published information on the topic.

President Trump has stood up more firmly for sound science and climate realism than any prior president. We look forward to helping him do more of the same throughout his presidency.


Personhood of a Transhuman and the Data Dilemma

by Gourav Krishna Nandi, Montana State University - Bozeman, MT


{An interesting 2014 article on what might constitute personhood in a transhuman- ED}

[“Data” refers to the anthropomorphized android from Star Trek]

Abstract

Personhood is often thought to be a characteristic possessed by those who can make decisions, have moral worth and responsibilities, and can participate in civil and political rights. Are these attributes exclusive to the naturally born and naturally maintained humans? If we, in the foreseeable future, are to adapt to the assimilation of individuals with technological enhancements in society, how should we regard the personhood of such enhanced sentient beings? In this paper, I use Hume's distinction between an idea and a belief to analyze our differences in the perception of personhood in a naturally born human and a transhuman. Using the instance of Julian Savulescu’s intelligent and independent observer and Gene Roddenberry’s android character Data, I argue that personhood is an evolving idea that does not depend on strict social constraints, but is similar to the mathematical definition of infinity, an abstract approximation.


Introduction

This paper explores the notion of anthropocentric bias against a transhuman individual

As neuro-informatics and cognitive sciences continue to flourish and impact the average citizen, the analysis of new technology driven social standards is paramount. I focus on a contemporary issue concerning personhood as a set of societal beliefs that would play such a role, if we are, in the foreseeable future, to adapt to a transhuman society.  At the outset, the paper analyzes the classical attributes of personhood from the lens of ideas and beliefs proposed by David Hume. Owing to the scope of this work, I limit the definition of personhood to its empirical association with the existence of the human, where personhood is an elementary entity that differentiates a human from a non-human; hence, personhood is inseparable from the human. The existence of a human implies the existence of personhood in them. The contrapositive states, if an individual does not possess personhood, they cannot be a human.  Furthermore, considering the limits, I concentrate on how transhumanism fits.

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into human society. In other words, can we consider a transhuman to be a human-individual who possesses personhood? How would technology affect such an idea? In an attempt to answer this, I contrast the separation of the human and the natural, from an oriental perspective proposed by Ryuichi Ida in his essay “Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.”4    Lastly, I examine a concrete instance of what it means to be a human by using Gene Roddenberry’s android character Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation  to argue that being human and possessing personhood is an intangible idea, a mathematically and materialistically unreachable quantity, which is founded on the conceptions laid down by social constraints.5

 

2. Of Beliefs and Ideas:


According to David Hume, the belief of a concept is a subset of the idea of the concept itself.6 Every aspect of a belief is constrained in the set of ideas. 7  Mathematically, this results in the possible existence of the certain properties of a concept in which we can conceive and not believe. Hume further hypothesizes that the notion of both our ideas and our beliefs as molded by our experiences is empirically

4.  Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogatio n from an Asian Perspective., Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human  Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

5.  Roddenberry, Gene. Star Trek: The Next Generation.

6.  “The idea of an object is an essential part of the belief of it, but not the whole.” Sec. vii Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.  A Treatise of Human Nature.

7.  “We conceive many things, which we do not believe.” Sec. vii Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief. A Treatise of Human Nature.

 
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axiomatic.8   An idea of a concept is an immediate result of the sensory experiences of the world and its possible logical consequences, whereas, the belief  of a certain idea is dependent on the objective laws that the world is subjected to, in accordance to our senses. Hume provides the examples of a companion proposing the events concerning the death of Caesar in his bed, and mercury being heavier than gold.9   According to the proposed conjecture, the idea of Caesar’s death on his bed is conceivable through our sensory inputs, but the experience of the world with the historical evidence suggests otherwise.10  Caesar’s death on his bed is thus merely an idea , owing to the definition of death, a bed and our acquaintance with Caesar. I dismiss it as a belief   because history disproves it.

To equate this characteristic to the idea of transhumanism, I perform an empirical analysis. Let us begin with an example of a conception along Hume’s distinction of relations of ideas and matters of fact.11


Ideas/ Caesar’s death on his bed

Beliefs/ Caesar’s death by Brutus

 

Where does the personhood of a Transhuman lie in this venn diagram?

 

8.   Hume, D. Sec. vii  Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.  A Treatise of Human Nature.

9.  Sec. vii Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.

A Treatise of Human Nature. “more fusible, than lead, or mercury heavier than gold; it is evident, that notwithstanding my incredulity, I clearly understand his meaning, and form all the same ideas, which he forms ... is it possible for him to conceive any idea, which I cannot conceive; nor conjoin any, which I cannot conjoin.”

10.   Julius Caesar (100 BCE - 44 BCE) was assassinated in the Roman senate

11.   Hume, D. Sec. vii Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.  A Treatise of Human Nature.


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In the Enquiry (1748), Hume states that all ideas are derived from their impressions, which he maintains are the results of sensations.12  What I deduce from experience are therefore copies of my sensations. He reasons that even the basic axioms require oneself to possess knowledge which are the results of the accumulation of sense experiences, impressions, that cannot be exclusively deduced by reason.13   The idea of a green grass-blade, for an instance, consists of several components, all of which may be reduced to the senses. The perception of the color of the grass-blade is dependent on my visual senses. The visible light waves, consisting of various wavelengths reflect from the blade. The color that I perceive as green is the result of the absorption of all other wavelengths by the grass-blade. The shape of the blade is subjected to my touch senses. As such, the idea of a grass-blade is dependent on the conception of its various components. The existence of the grass blade in my mind is what Hume calls an idea.14   The components of the conception of the blade are constant in me as a result of previous experiences. However, the capability to stretch the idea of the grass blade in accordance to my conceptions is what I further contemplate, as the idea of personhood and its relation to the concept of transhumanism. The belief of the grass, on the other hand, includes just the possibility of the occurrence of the idea.  For instance, my brain has noticed in the past, the presence of snow on a grass-blade. But, it never contemplates the existence of a white grass-blade, for it is in the domain of an idea and not a belief. The green-ness of the blade is a component of its concept, and I

 

12.  Hume, D.An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.

13.   Hume, D. Sec. vii Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.  A Treatise of Human Nature.

14.  Hume, D. Sec. vii  Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief.  A Treatise of Human Nature.

 

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argue that such contemplation of notion of a white grass blade is similar to the concept of a human transhuman, an individual who is transhuman despite possessing the properties of personhood. Let us contemplate the accepted notions of being a human. Humans are born naturally; they have naturally endowed characteristics, which a transhuman does not possess. Hence, I have a socially held belief on whom to assign the “human” tag. Transhumanism underscores the idea of surpassing the natural order, in order to improve the physical and the mental faculty of the human.15   In the next chapter, I use the analogy of Hume’s empirical propositions to classify physical enhancements and broadly the notion of personhood, as an approximation.16

 

2.1 Ryuichi Ida’s concept review

 

It might be assumed as an axiom, under the constraint of our technological and sociological progress, that a human becomes a transhuman only after the application of enhancements, which would not have been present without the existence of present technology.

Ryuichi Ida asserts that the concept of enhancements that pertains to physical and mental enhancements are artificial; a nano-chip inserted into the brain to increase


15.  I describe the natural order as is done by Ida: enhancing the individual in a way that wouldnot have been possible without the humans.

16.  Approximation is equivalent to limiting value in calculus. I use the word to attribute the abilityof, say ‘n’ to reach a value ‘b’. When we state that n is an approximation to the value b, it impliesthat n limits toward the value of b, but never reaches b. Mathematically, n ~  b, but n not = b.

 

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memory and to aid in extensive learning can provide an instance in this regard.17   The existence of the humans is paramount to the existence of the nano-chip. The nano-chip needed the humans to be in the current state of technology. According to Ida, the enhancement using the nano-chip is not natural, i.e, had the humans been absent from the chain of events, the chip would never have existed. However, this stance does not affirm that the existence of the humans is unnatural.

Now, every mention of an improvement in the physical and mental capabilities of a human underscores an artificial enhancement. Ida asserts there is a difference between natural enhancements and artificial enhancements of an individual. He provides an objective illustration: A candidate studying every day for a demanding examination and being rewarded with the highest grade can be termed as the realization of the person using their naturally given capabilities. The mental enhancement that results from a continuous practice using the natural endowments of a person is what, according to the Ida, constitutes the oriental definition of a natural enhancement. However, he opposes the view, where an examinee uses genetic enhancement to improve their performance in the examination. Such a modification, according to Ida, is artificial and accounts for the “control and management of nature through knowledge and technology.”18    I may conclude that Ida’s position implies that every enhancement that is possible due to the presence of the modern humans and

 

17.  Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.

Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

18.   Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.

Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

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their technological growth is termed as unnatural. Here, the usage of the word “modern” is important, as the enhancements caused due to pre-historic agricultural and urban settlements are considered by Ida as natural.19

 

3. Enhancements as beliefs and concepts

 

Despite Ida’s perception of technology as artificial, he maintains that the humans are fundamentally natural. However, the way the humans have used the natural resources during their evolution to develop technology has separated them from nature, and is thus, unnatural. As such, transhumans can exist if only we develop artificial enhancements. Such individuals cannot be termed as natural and therefore personhood cannot be associated with a transhuman. In the Venn diagram of ideas and beliefs, Ida would place the personhood of a transhuman outside the domain of beliefs.  Humans are thought to have a natural order, and the enhancements acts as a deviation from the natural to create a transhuman is unnatural.

 

3.1 Savulescu’s independent observer

 

Extending Ida’s premise of the natural human, I state two possible attributes of being human: it is an attainable state of existence or it is a mathematical state of approximation.20  If the notion of personhood an intangible concept, like infinity, personhood can be approximated to, but never reached physically. Whereas, if it is an

 

19.  Ida considers agriculture, which involves the cultivation of the land and the manipulation of the

natural order in the land ecosystem. His concerns begins with technology. I consider, in a later section, the definition of technology. Should any tool making be termed as technology, or is it just the modern improvements? In other words, how different is the building of a chisel to that of a computer?

20.  I use the terms being human and personhood interchangeably

 

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attainable state, there is a set of clauses, obtaining which, an individual can possess personhood. Moreover, if human nature is a mathematical approximation of propositions, individuals whom I consider transhumans in the contemporary society, may be defined as humans in a transhumanist society, for a change in the social paradigms would witness the growth of the set of beliefs. Here, I reason that enhancement cannot make us any more or any less human, using the view of an independent observer, a view which is against the oriental perspective as asserted by Ida.21

 

3.1.1 The Natural and the Artificial to the Independent Observer

 

The differentiation of the human and the natural underscores the separation of the two. It asserts the East Asian perspective upheld by Ida, who considers living amidst nature, but excludes the human when considering natural.22  However, the differentiation of the unnatural from the natural enhancement is a propensity that is historically evident in both the Eastern and the Western traditions, where philosophers have sought to distinguish between the natural and the human.

In an attempt to nullify this distinction, I consider Savulescu’s independent observer. Let us contemplate a hypothetical scenario where there exists an intelligent species on a different star system, who apparently, have developed warp drive and traveled to Earth to observe human activities. From the perspective of our visitor,

 

21.  Savulescu, Julian. Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings.  Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

22.  Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.

Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

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anthropocentric values are inconsistent; their superior intelligence affirms that our technological developments and the reworking of the Earth’s surface, to them, is synonymous to our view of say, the chimpanzee using tools and displaying empathy. Savulescu terms such an observer, an independent one, who is not only devoid of my anthropocentric biases, but is also able to comprehend human intelligence. Our premise examines if the independent observer would consider our creations natural. We often attribute the same characteristic of animals using tools to the chimpanzee who uses a tool and the hummingbird who builds its nest. I reason that the association of our building of a modern city and the building of the ant-hill by the army ants to the intelligent observer is coherent and logically consistent with the premise that the observer is more intelligent than both the species. To them, without the presence of the army ants on the planet, the ant colonies and the ant-hill would never have existed, as would a city of humans without the humans. The hypothesis is also a reminder to us that our creation of advanced tools and computer technology is but a better manipulation of the natural resources available to us. The army ant uses its own armor (its natural endowment) and twigs (utilization of natural resources) to dig the soil and create the ant-hill. Similarly, we use advanced iron ore, and bricks and cement (advanced utilization of natural resources) to create buildings in a city. Evidently, to the observer, the distinction between the ants and the humans is in the advancements of tool making. As such, when we invent physical enhancements to create a transhuman, the inherent nature of the device would be termed natural to such an observer. The argument bridges the gap between the human and the natural, which in the first place existed because of our human-centric approach to the problem. The transhuman, I can


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reason, is a natural product, owing to the advanced use of the natural resources available to us.

To return to the initial argument concerning the beliefs and the ideas of a natural and an artificial enhancement, I conclude that the enhancement as a natural process is an idea for Ida, which exists as a belief to the independent observer. So far, I have concluded that the enhancements required to create a transhuman are natural; let us now explore the personhood of a transhuman. Due to the scope of this paper, I limit myself to the attribution of personhood to the transhuman individual. I assume personhood as a natural characteristic of the human individual owing to its development in us without any unnatural process. The human tag is associated with an individual who possesses personhood, as I discussed in the introduction. To analyze the possibility of a transhuman to be perceived as a human, in the following section, I study the fictional character Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

 

4. Data and Personhood

 

Data is an android character created by Gene Roddenberry for his popular science fiction series. The android is anthropomorphic in its appearance and functions. Data is programmed to evolve, and his goal is to become more and more human. According to Gene Roddenberry, the character was to be the closest one can be to a human without being a human.23  Nevertheless, the quintessential requirement to be a human, as mentioned above, is the possession of personhood. Data is a transhuman;

 

23.   Savulescu, Julian.  Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings.Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

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he has capabilities, which transcends the physical and mental capacities of the average human. He is stronger, can think faster, and though made of silicon, he is able to evolve. At the outset, I shall consider Data a life form, as urged by Roddenberry.24   Besides, according the prevalent NASA’s definition of life, Data is capable to reproducing and evolving in a Darwinian approach. However, is Data a person? To answer this question, I retreat to Hume’s ideas and beliefs  to differentiate between Data’s personhood considering our social paradigms.



4.1 Beliefs and Ideas concerning transhumanism


According to Ida, Data does not possess the characteristics about the ideals of personhood, owing to his artificial birth. I shall analyze Data’s status quo as a human, despite his physical differences. Ida’s foremost appeal towards a human person is arguably an attempt to nullify the idea of unnatural improvements. In the previous two sections, we have concluded that from the view of an unbiased, independent observer, the improvements are natural, even if they include an enhancement using technology.

According to the Star Trek canon, given the right circumstances, Data acts like a human.25  Alan Turing pioneered the idea of a machine imitating a human in his famous experiment where the machine is able to fool the human into making him think that the machine was a human. He delved into the idea of a thinking machine. Data’s nature is similar to the dichotomy I analyzed in the first section. Firstly, he is an android. He is made of silicon chips rather than flesh and blood. He lacks the accepted definition of a human, but Roddenberry came up with the idea of an emotion chip, a device when

 

24.  Roddenberry, Gene. “Datalore”.  Star Trek: The Next Generation, Paramount, 1987. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.

25.  Roddenberry, Gene.  Star Trek: The Next Generation.

 

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placed in Data’s circuits makes him “experience” human emotions.26   Often, Data is incapable of handling the emotions that he is subjected to due to their mathematical complexity, but the fact that he can experience a new emotion that is not controlled by the machine acts for the argument of assigning personhood with Data. He is able to think, to sacrifice, to love, to feel pain and even get confused with the emotion chip. As such, with the device implanted in Data’s body transforms the android into an individual having personhood. But should such an individual be called a human being? It can be argued that Data acts as a nonhuman with the subtraction of a certain chemical in their brain, but I reason that the lack of certain chemicals in the human brain can render a naturally born human, a non-person. As such, the criteria I discussed about Data’s personhood is consistent with humans as well; the fact that it’s an emotion chip that prevents Data from being a human is compatible logically.

 

4.2 Personhood as an approximation

 

As such, I can reason that the concept of transhuman is just an idea of an extended human. It’s a trans-person, someone more capable in some respect and less capable in other aspects of an individual socially accepted as a human. This is especially true for those who claim that being human cannot be reduced to a set of specific clauses; it is an intangible property.

 At the beginning of the paper, I limited myself to the empirical association of personhood to being human. Every individual who is a human possesses personhood. This condition does not necessarily imply that every possessor of personhood is a human. Rather, anyone not having personhood devoid themselves off the idea of being

 

26.  Roddenberry, Gene. “Generations”. Star Trek: The Next Generation, Paramount, 1987. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.

 

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a human. Data, on the other hand, as I concluded, has personhood. He shows every characteristic that would tag him the notion of being a human. As such, being human has a necessary condition in personhood. Since, I have concluded that personhood is limited mostly by my acceptance of ideas into beliefs, I reason, there are no set of reducible clauses that would define the personhood of an individual.

 

5.  Conclusion

 

The essay began with an inspiration in popular science fiction, and how the ideas relating to personhood apply to Data, the anthropomorphized android from Star Trek.27

 

 I borrow the idea of mathematical infinity to reflect upon his goal. Infinity, for all its uses in

calculus, has never been defined. It is the abstract notion of a number which is larger than every other number imagined by the human mind. From Hume’s empirical point of view, infinity is not in the domain of a belief, for it’s incoherent with human experience. The only way I can define infinity is by limiting myself to the idea.  As an instance a statement in symbolic mathematics,

 

limn  --> infinity 1/ n = 0

implies that the value of 1/ n is 0, when n tends to infinity. Here, n is an integer; it never actually reaches infinity for an integer is presumed to be in the domain of a belief, it has an empirical existence in the human mind. As such, despite the immensity of its value, n always represents a number, which excludes the possibility of being infinite. The above expression, thus is concerned about the value that 1/n obtains, as n becomes larger,

 

27.  The choice to include Data ahead of C3PO or other androids is based on Data’s goal throughout the Star Trek series:  to become as close to being a human without becoming a human.

 

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which is 0.  In other words, the statement doesn’t prove the equivalence of the value of

n to infinity but of the equivalence of the value of 1/n to 0.

 

The analysis of Data’s personhood has synonymity in the definition of his goal: to become human.

 

Ideas/ Personhood of Data

Beliefs/ Accepted notion of personhood

 

The figure points out two constraints:

•to be a member of the set of beliefs, a concept has to be a set of ideas (Hume’s definition).

•the set of beliefs and the set of ideas are not necessarily equal. In other words, there are ideas which may not be beliefs.

Data’s personhood would be recognized by the social constraints as I learn that from an independent observer’s position, it’s our limitations that would not confer personhood on Data in the present society. I have drawn the set of beliefs in dotted lines to represent an ever changing set of the societal paradigms and our acceptance of who is a human; a notion that, in time, will broaden enough to include the personhood of Data. Personhood, as such, is alike infinity which is abstract, on its own, but tends to function when applied to a physical object to which I am acquainted. As I, from an unbiased approach define the relationship of Data and the notion of being human, I

 

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observe an equivalence between Data and a human, as he evolves towards his personhood.28

 

Mathematically,

 

limData --> Personhood Data = Human”


28.  Savulescu, Julian. Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings.  Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

PAGE 17:  REFERENCES

Hume, D. Sec. vii

Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief. A Treatise of Human Nature.

 

Hume, D. Sec. vii

Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief. A Treatise of Human Nature.

 

Hume, D., An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.

 

Hume, D. Sec. vii

Of the Nature of the Idea or Belief. A Treatise of Human Nature

 

.•Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.

Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

Ida, Ryuichi. Should we Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective.

Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

Manzo, Silvia. "Francis Bacon: Freedom, Authority and Science."  British Journal for the History of Philosophy  14.2 (2006): 245-73. ProQuest.Web. 29 Apr. 2013.

 

Morris, John. "Pattern Recognition in Descartes' Automata."  Isis  60 (1969): 451-60. ProQuest.

Web. 29 Apr. 2013.

Rozemond, Marleen. "Descartes's Case for Dualism."  Journal of the History of Philosophy

 33.1 (1995): 29-63.  ProQuest. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.

Roddenberry, Gene.  Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Savulescu, Julian. Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings. Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

 

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Roddenberry, Gene. Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Savulescu, Julian. Prejudice and Moral Status of Enhanced Beings.  Savulescu, Julian; Bostrom, Nick, eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009: 59-70.

Roddenberry, Gene. “Datalore”. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Paramount, 1987. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.

Roddenberry, Gene. “Generations”. Star Trek: The Next Generation, Paramount, 1987. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.

Taub, Liba. Ptolemy's Universe: The Natural Philosophical and Ethical Foundations of Ptolemy's Astronomy., 1993. ProQuest. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.

Xenophanes, Clement of Alexandria, Book V. 110.


FOOTNOTES:

1.  I generalize the notion of a transhuman, where an  individual with any form of enhancement that enables them to better their functioning, physically or mentally, is called a transhuman.

Also, considering that our understanding is materialized by perception, I consider bias to be an a-priori tautology. We perceive matter, as it were, through the senses. In other words, spatial and temporal occurrences in nature trigger the stimulus that engender into (engender into?) the perceptions we undergo. What we perceive as physical objects are the result of the reactions due to events that cause the materialization of the physical objects.

2.  “Personhood” is often taken to have a very special and specific meaning in philosophy —those things with personhood have moral latency; that is, they are objects of moral concern, are worthy of being cared about, have rights, have responsibilities, etc. Persons often are thought to be those things that can make decisions, or, at the very least, are things that we make decisions about legally and morally, because they are important and worthy of moral judgment.

3.  Personhood => Human

               not (Human) => not(Personhood)





[Note:  Amazing -- another plunge into philosophy -- this time by a transhumanist using a modern philosopher (Hume-the-empiricist and utilitarian) and a special mathematical formula to justify Posthuman “Personhood” -- specifically, the “personhood” of Data, the Star Trek android!  If ever there was an example of someone using the subject matter and method of one field (math) while trying to analyze the subject matter of a different field (philosophical anthropology, or how to define “a human being”) it is this article -- and apparently he doesn’t even know that he is violating the division and methods of the “sciences”!  (Same weird phenomenon with engineers, physicists and mathematicians doing human genetics in biology!).  E.g., you can’t study math with a microscope, and you don’t have a bus driver perform brain surgery!  Another sizzling failure of NanoBioInfoCogno.  (Whoever thought that up?!).

Not to mention that all “modern” philosophies (including utilitarian bioethics) are riddled with problems that real philosophers are fully aware of, and Hume is no exception -- especially the theoretically devastating “mind/body split”.   Additionally, David Hume (1711-1776):

“ ... questioned common notions of personal identity, and argued that there is no permanent “self” that continues over time. He dismissed standard accounts of causality and argued that our conceptions of cause-effect relations are grounded in habits of thinking, rather than in the perception of causal forces in the external world itself.  ...  In the philosophy of religion, he argued that it is unreasonable to believe testimonies of alleged miraculous events, and he hints, accordingly, that we should reject religions that are founded on miracle testimonies. ...  In moral theory, against the common view that God plays an important role in the creation and reinforcement of moral values, he offered one of the first purely secular moral theories, which grounded morality in the pleasing and useful consequences that result from our actions. He introduced the term “utility” into our moral vocabulary, and his theory is the immediate forerunner to the classic utilitarian views of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.”  Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, at:  http://www.iep.utm.edu/hume/

But this writer is apparently clueless as to the “cons” of Humean philosophy or of utilitarian bioethics which render irrelevant this writer’s wished-for conclusion below --including the “cons” of transhumanist/bioethicist student of Peter Singer, Savulescu.  In a real philosophical analysis it is required to acknowledge both the “pros” and the “cons” of any particular philosophical position and respond to those “cons” before adopting that philosophical position as your own -- otherwise your opponent will gladly hurl them at you.  You can’t just pick and choose bits and pieces of a particular philosophical tradition that please you and gets you where you want to go, and ignore the bits and pieces that you don’t want.

And while some “personhood” standards and definitions of "a human being" are simply matters of "evolving" social constructions (such as that proposed in the following article), not all “personhood” standards are.  Indeed, some are inherently empirically grounded in our objective knowledge of human beings -- whole human beings, that is.  [See Irving, “Philosophical and scientific expertise:  An evaluation of the arguments on ‘personhood’”, Linacre Quarterly February 1993, 60:1:18-46, at:  http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_04person1.html;   also "What is 'bioethics'?" (June 3, 2000), at:  http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_36whatisbioethics01.html].

I do wonder what kind of “academic” organization would even want to post the following hypothetical space-alien perspective of the "independent observer" using symbolic mathematical/utilitarian philosophical/bioethical  “analysis” to argue for the possible social-constructed “personhood” for posthumans based on infinity.   But I’m sure NBIC and WTEC -- and Roddenberry -- will love it.  PS -- if you can’t follow the “logic” of the following article, or get dizzy, it’s not you.  The article first appeared here. --  DNI]