The Press-Dispatch

April 13, 2022

The Press-Dispatch

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The Press-Dispatch Wednesday, April 13, 2022 C-3 OPINION Submit Letters to the Editor: Letters must be signed and received by noon on Mondays. Email: or bring in a hard copy: 820 E. Poplar Street, Petersburg Gibson's bakery scores a victory for truth Periodically, in what seems like a never-ending assault on our basic values and the rule of law, good news emerges. The good news now is the unan- imous decision of a panel of three judges on an Ohio Court of Appeals, supporting a jury decision in favor of Gibson's Bakery in its case against Oberlin College. Gibson's Bakery sued Oberlin Col- lege for libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress and intentional in- terference with a business relation- ship, because of the school's involve- ment and support of student demon- strations accusing the bakery of ra- cial profiling and discrimination. The decision is worthy of our at- tention because it shows just how troubling the situation is at our col- leges and universities. As our nation leans increasingly to the left, as our most basic values — now called conservative values — are being pushed out the door, while they are displaced by the chaos of moral relativism, some bold individ- uals — in this case, the proprietors of Gibson's Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio — refuse to be intimidated and con- cede. And that refusal has paid off for the Gibson family and for all Ameri- cans who care about truth. Oberlin College now must pay $ 33 million in punitive damages and $11 million in compensatory damages to Gibson's Bakery. In brief, a Black student from Oberlin was chased down by the son of the store's proprietor when he saw him shoplift a bottle of wine. The student, and two of his friends who then got involved, were arrest- ed by the police and all subsequent- ly pleaded guilty. But the incident set off student demonstrations outside this mom and pop bakery, started by David Gibson's great-grandfather in 1885. The owners were branded racists, and flyers were handed out claiming that the store had a history of "racial profiling and discrimination." Hopefully, the lawsuit filed and won by the Gibson family will put a damper on the casual use of these horrible accusations. The snapshot we now have of the academic and social reality at Ober- lin College, which has a reputation as one of the nation's premier liber- al arts colleges, is deeply troubling. Oberlin is now on the line for mil- lions of dollars in damages because its own school administrators are so self-absorbed in their own liberal dogma that they can no longer think clearly, honestly and objectively. The college maintains a website dedicated to the case, and now, even after they have experienced such a devastating defeat in court, they are still in denial about what happened. Particularly troubling is that the school administration refuses to ac- cept that this case was not about the First Amendment but about their support of their own students to li- bel the Gibson family. Over the years, I have spoken at al- most 300 colleges and universities, and I have watched and experienced these campuses taken over by dog- ma and left-wing activists. In a study published in 2020 by the National Association of Scholars, 12,372 college and university facul- ty were surveyed regarding political affiliation. Over the full sample, 8.4 were reg- istered Democrat for each registered Republican. At Oberlin College, this ratio was 10.8 to 1. Given that over the whole Amer- ican population, the ratio of those identifying as Democrat to Republi- can is about 1 to 1, we get a picture of the incredibly distorted reality that has captured higher education. In the last presidential election, former President Donald Trump won the vote of those with no college de- gree, 50 % to 48 % . However, he lost the vote of college graduates 43% to 55% . The nation is indebted to the Gib- son family for refusing to be intim- idated by left-wing dogmatists at Oberlin and for standing hard and fast for what is true. But despite this important victo- Never admit anything President Joe Biden says he never talked business with his son. Maybe he didn't. Maybe that Ukrainian gas compa- ny paid Hunter Biden half a million dollars because he has unique busi- ness skills that no one else noticed. It's possible. But unlikely. Now a Justice Department investi- gation may tell us whether Hunter is a sleazy opportunist who broke the law and whether his father knew, or even helped. But equally revealing is the ar- rogance and bias the reporting on Hunter's laptop revealed among wide swaths of media and big tech gate- keepers. Even today, most will not admit they were wrong. The New York Post broke the lap- top story near the end of the pres- idential campaign. The story was explosive, of course, and the media pile-on intense. Some piled on Hunt- er Biden, but more piled on the New York Post. They questioned the au- thenticity of the hard drive and the timing and accuracy of the story. Twitter blocked the story from even being shared. Facebook hid the story. Politico said it might be "Russian disinformation." A Wash- ington Post column called it "laugh- ably weak." A New York Times piece labeled it "farcical retread of the Rus- sian hack-and-leak operation that helped torpedo Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations." The story was mocked and buried. Now, a year and a half later, the Post and Times admit that major parts of the story were accurate. Do you know what they haven't said? "Sorry. We cannot stand the idea of another Trump term, so we didn't report on bad things Democrats did." The Washington Post finally wrote that the way the media handled the story was an "opportunity for a reck- oning." But then they spent the rest of their editorial making excuses for their mistakes. No one was fired. No one was suspended. No policy was changed. This is nothing new. For months, Facebook blocked any mention of the theory that COVID-19 may have been leaked from a lab. Most media sneered that it was "fake news." The Washington Post called it "a fringe theory." The New York Times, a "con- spiracy theory." PolitiFact rated it "Pants on Fire! " Only when the Biden administra- tion said there might have been a lab leak did Facebook drop its censor- ship. Did Facebook say, "Sorry? We shouldn't censor such important dis- cussion? " No. Did we see apologetic commentar- ies on CNN and MSNBC? I must have missed them. Maybe none of this is a big deal to you, but it's a big deal to me. I make my living posting videos on digital platforms. I made two videos that suggested fears about climate change are overblown. I didn't say climate change isn't real. I didn't say it won't cause prob- lems. In fact, I said it's already caused problems. But because I said the fear might be overblown, Facebook's climate-ac- tivist "fact-checkers" make sure few- er people see my work. I once got millions of views on Facebook. Not anymore. Nothing I'd said in my climate vid- eos was wrong. In one case, Face- book's own fact-checker admitted that I didn't get any facts wrong. Still, Facebook continues to smear my work as "partly false." They even quote me saying some- thing I never said! Yet even after I point that out, Face- book will not make a correction. Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Poynter Institute "fact-check- ers" and most of the elite media are now part information-sharers, part leftist interest groups. I'm neither Democrat nor Repub- lican. I don't obsess over whether Hunter Biden got paid to do sleazy things and whisper in his father's ear. If he did, I doubt that he had much in- fluence, anyway. I feel far more threatened when America's Big Media don't report I guess you could mark me down as a "climate change skeptic." I'm not a climate scientist, so I have no ex- pertise on what is happening with the planet's temperature or severe weather events that can wreak hav- oc on life and property. I am skeptical that "collective ac- tion" through governmental policies will make planet Earth a more hospi- table place. Is this the same govern- ment that can't balance its budget, control its borders, stop the crime spree across America and has al- lowed a 10 percent inflation tax, among other foibles? Now, these same politicians will, like Moses, stop the oceans from rising? Fat chance. And they accuse the United States of being religious zealots. But I do have faith in free markets and the technological advances that for thousands of years have moved us away from the Hobbesian night- mare of humans living in dank caves with life on Earth being "nasty, brut- ish, and short." Deaths from hurricanes, land- slides, tornadoes, earthquakes, droughts, floods, food and energy shortages, severe heat and cold and other disruptions from Mother Earth have fallen sharply over the past cen- tury. The property damage from acts of nature as a share of our GDP con- tinues to drop yearly. For example, more accurate weather reporting prepares people for deadly weather events. Build- ing technologies make mankind smarter about weather- and earth- quake-proofing homes, buildings, bridges and other structures to pro- tect against collapse and rubble. The real "green revolution" on agriculture output has dropped rates of famine and hunger to all-time lows. My mentor, the late, great economist Julian Simon, taught us that the "ultimate resource" to save us from Armageddon is the hu- man mind. Hence, I was thrilled when CNN reported that scientists had invented a new technology that flies planes in- to clouds and injects them with silver iodide to make more rain and snow . The technology could be a cost-ef- fective way to alleviate severe droughts, which have afflicted the western U.S. in recent years. If you're a green climate change activist or scientist, you have to be thrilled, right? It turns out the climate change in- dustrial complex isn't ecstatic. As CNN notes, some climate scientists complain that the technology could be "getting in the way of nature." Read that sentence again because it is so rich with irony. Isn't the entire climate change movement about al- tering Mother Nature? This reaction also makes one won- der whether something is going on here in the climate change indus- trial complex beyond stopping the warming of the planet. Climate change has rap- idly evolved into a multi- trillion-dollar global in- dustry. Inexpensive and non-life-altering solutions aren't part of the plan, just as the folks who said that we were running out of oil attacked the shale revolu- tion, which proved them so tragically wrong. There are thousands of other ex- amples of new technologies beyond the rainmaking breakthroughs just mentioned. They have already in- vented or will invent in the years and decades ahead technologies to make our planet warmer, colder, drier, wet- ter, sunnier or in whatever direction we want to turn the dial. None of these require draconian laws and mandates to destroy our modern-day energy sector and replace our power supply with 19th-century windmills. We have the supposed greatest minds in the world who have al- legedly come to a solution to save the planet dramatically by hitting a "reset" button on energy by turning to some of the most inefficient sourc- es. That's the best they've got? I was struck by this disdainful comment by UCL A climate scien- tist Donald Swain regarding the rain- making machine: "Resources are National security is contingent on an uninterrupted supply of reli- able, affordable energy. Without it, factories close, transportation slows down, and the military is paralyzed. Just the threat of an energy cut-off can force governments to alter do- mestic and foreign policy. Though Western European lead- ers knew that their "greening" of domestic energy production had left them undesirably dependent on Russian oil and gas, President Vlad- imir Putin's invasion of Ukraine jolt- ed them into realizing just how vul- nerable they had become. Virtually overnight, Germany and other West- ern nations reversed long-held poli- cies, determined to become more en- ergy self-sufficient. Will the U.S. follow suit? Will it un- leash the full productive and innova- tive capacity of the American econ- omy in a renewed drive for energy security? To do this, we must recognize the policy bottlenecks needlessly con- straining energy production and re- move them immediately. The biggest problems right now are government regulations that impede domestic mining for rare earth minerals and the further development of every form of energy, from conventional fuels to nuclear power to renewables. Let's start with rare earth ele- ments, the 17 natural elements that are essential to energy technology innovation. These minerals are need- ed to manufacture almost all high- tech products, including cell phones, batteries, airplanes, solar panels, wind turbine blades, satellites and military technology. Today, we import 80 % of the ra- re earths we need from China. We must make sure the rare earth sup- ply chain cannot be cut off, even tem- porarily. Such disruptions have hap- pened before. About a decade ago, China decided to use its control of rare earth min- ing as a tool against Japan. Rather than suffer in silence, the Japanese reacted by building a re- placement supply chain independent of China. As a result of Tokyo's action, China's global market share dropped from 95% to today's 70 % and gave the Japanese much-need- ed breathing room. The lesson is that mar- kets work … if we let them. The United States must take a similar step. We must di- versify our supply chains to include ensuring access to refining facilities. Beyond that, we must mine more of the rare earths right here in Amer- ica. Currently, the Mountain Pass fa- cility located in California is the only rare earths mine operating in North America. It grosses $100 million an- nually, so there is no question that rare-earth mining in the com- mercially viable. It's not a lack of supply that inhib- its mining here; it's an over-abun- dance of regulations. The current permitting process to commence mining operations takes between 7 and 10 years. No business will risk investing millions up front and not getting a timely permit. The same holds true for other en- ergy infrastructure. The company proposing to build the Keystone XL pipeline to bring a stable oil supply to American refineries first applied for a permit in 2008. One of the first acts of the Biden administration was to block the pipeline's approval. If we can't approve, let alone build, a sin- gle pipeline in 14 years, what signal does that send to prospective ener- gy development investors? Similarly, the success of wind and solar projects will hinge not on more subsidies but more efficient siting and permitting processes for things like the construction of new trans- mission lines. There is plenty more red tape to cut as well. Lawmak- ers should also re- form, if not complete- ly repeal, the National Environmental Policy Act. This federal law re- quires every executive branch department to assess the environmen- tal effects of major pub- lic works projects and other budgetary and regulatory actions with potentially significant effects. NEPA was intend- ed to protect the environment. But, the way the executive branch inter- prets it today slows down progress and drives up costs for clean ener- gy and infrastructure projects that would benefit the environment. Judicial review for NEPA projects takes at least two years and runs up burdensome court costs. Lawmak- ers should reform NEPA by resolv- ing judicial reviews within 60 -120 days. This would immediately drive free-market investment into new green energy projects. When it comes to energy policy, the group on the "right" is calling for more domestic oil, gas and coal pro- duction now, while the group on the "left" is calling for more green en- ergy production now. Somewhere in the middle, a group is calling for more "all of the above" energy pro- duction, including nuclear. Ironical- ly, none of it will be possible until we get serious about cutting red tape. If public policy leaders will once and for all come together around this issue and slash red tape, they will deliver a better present and a more prosperous—and secure—future for the American people. It's time for solutions. More impor- tantly, it is time for action. James Jay Carafano is a leading ex- pert in national security and foreign policy challenges. Race for the Cure By Star Parker Give Me a Break John Stossel Eye on the Economy By Stephen Moore Tech, growth are cures to climate doomsday Heritage Viewpoint By James Jay Carafano An action plan for USA's energy security See BAKERY on page 4 See CLIMATE on page 4 See ADMIT on page 4

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