June 9, 2021

Posted by orrinj at 10:02 PM


Anti-Vaxxer's Testimony In Ohio Legislature Goes Seriously Wrong (David Badash, June 10 | 2021, National Memo)

After falsely claiming that 5000 Americans have died from the coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Tenpenny told lawmakers that the injections, which have saved countless lives around the world, make people magnetic.

"Right now we're all kind of hypothesizing," a fast-talking Tenpenny said, after being asked about the "EMF frequencies," also known as electromagnetic frequencies, that she "hypothesizes" are associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I mean what is it that's actually being transmitted that's causing all of these things? Is it a combination of the protein which now we're finding has a metal attached to it?" Tenpenny posited to lawmakers.

"I'm sure you've seen the pictures all over the internet of people who've had these shots and now they're magnetized, and put a key on their forehead, it sticks, they can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick because now we think that there's a metal piece to that," she claimed, not saying who "we" refers to.

Their obsessions with Hunter Biden and Dr. Fauci are hardly their most bizarre psychoses.

Posted by orrinj at 5:53 PM


Keystone XL pipeline project scuttled, in major win for environmentalists (Timothy Puko, 6/09/21, MarketWatch)

It was stillborn.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Consent: the dynamite at the heart of the British constitutionPopular sovereignty is fundamental, but our politicians forgot it until Brexit. If they forget again, they will blow apart the country (Helen Thompson, June 9, 2021, Prospect)

Only now, with this half-century period in our history over, does it become possible to understand how EU membership became a very British story about the perils of ignoring democratic consent. But if this chapter is closed, its lessons remain urgent: the three-century long Anglo-Scottish Union is reaching another crisis point, and we are again reckoning with the demands of consent for the constitutional order.

From the beginning, the contrast between the British constitutional tradition and that of the legal order of the European Community that Britain would join in the early 1970s appeared stark. The British constitution was conventionally rendered as the idea that no parliament could bind its successor. This characterisation oversimplified. But the emphasis on parliamentary sovereignty did highlight one undeniable disparity with the EC: the absence of a constitutional court that could set aside the laws parliament passed.

It is inconceivable that the law lords--who then comprised the highest UK court--would have engaged in anything akin to what Perry Anderson, in a recent trio of essays for the London Review of Books, describes as the "brilliant coup" achieved by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In successive decisions in 1963 and 1964, the ECJ asserted the primacy of Community law over national law, getting the six member states to accept this doctrine as a constraining constitutional principle on their politics. Falling between Britain's first (1961-1963) and second (1967) unsuccessful applications to join the Community, these rulings heightened the constitutional implications of eventual accession. If the UK were an EC member, there would be new laws with direct effect across the UK authorised by a legislative body other than Westminster.

Aware of the problem, those who drafted the 1972 European Communities Act tried to muddy the waters--by structuring the legislation so that the formal applicability of EC law in the UK was conditional on the British parliament having legislated for it to have effect. Otherwise, the Conservative prime minister Edward Heath and his ministers fell back on obfuscation. "Essential national sovereignty," they insisted, remained in place, as if Britain retaining a veto in the Council of Ministers was the same as parliament retaining the sole right to legislate. Heath himself was also outright dishonest with the electorate about how he envisaged the Community's authority developing: as a telegram he sent to his chancellor in March 1973 quietly noted, his government's "goal" was "economic and monetary union," something then being pushed by the West German government.

But from the off, it was an aspect of the British constitution less lauded than parliamentary sovereignty that proved more troublesome for such ambitions. Heath himself had at one point acknowledged that membership would require the "full-hearted consent of the British parliament and people." Given his manifesto ("our commitment is to negotiate; no more no less") though, it was a struggle for him to claim a mandate for accession from the 1970 general election. In ultimately deciding that parliamentary assent alone was sufficient to bring about EC entry, Heath committed a constitutional sin by ignoring the issue of the electorate's consent to a major constitutional change.

No law is legitimate if the people did not consent to it and it does not bind everyone equally. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Tasmania reaches 100 pct renewables - but climate action doesn't stop there (Rupert Posner and Simon Graham 9 June 2021, Renew Economy)

Getting to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and 100% renewable energy might seem the end game for climate action. But what if, like Tasmania, you've already ticked both those goals off your list?

Net-zero means emissions are still being generated, but they're offset by the same amount elsewhere. Tasmania reached net-zero in 2015, because its vast forests and other natural landscapes absorb and store more carbon each year than the state emits.

And in November last year, Tasmania became fully powered by renewable electricity, thanks to the island state's wind and hydro-electricity projects.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Trump backers lose big as Ciattarelli claims GOP nomination in N.J. (MATT FRIEDMAN, 06/08/2021, Politico)

New Jersey Republicans looked past Donald Trump Tuesday, nominating a challenger to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy who once called the former president a "charlatan" and later acknowledged Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Jack Ciattarelli, a three-term former member of the New Jersey General Assembly who was backed by the state's GOP establishment, defeated three other Republicans -- two of whom centered their campaigns around loyalty to the former president -- to win his party's gubernatorial nomination. The selection of Ciattarelli in heavily Democratic New Jersey bucks a national trend of Republicans supporting candidates linked to the former president.

In his victory speech, delivered shortly after 10 p.m., Ciattarelli didn't mention Trump -- instead name checking Abraham Lincoln. "The fact is, I'm an Abraham Lincoln Republican -- one who believes in tolerance, mutual respect and the power and beauty of diversity," he said.

Populism isn't popular.