Don’t Call Him a Denier!

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that William Happer, a retired Princeton physics professor with no expertise in climatology, will lead a panel called the Presidential Committee on Climate Security.

Happer, unsurprisingly, is a climate change denier with a history of “controversial” comments. He has claimed rising carbon dioxide levels not only aren’t harmful, but also are actually beneficial (they are not). Happer even compared carbon dioxide to Jews in Nazi Germany.

Sorry, what?

“The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler,” Happer said on Squawk Box on CNBC in 2014. He added: “Carbon dioxide is actually a benefit to the world, and so were the Jews.”

What is he, CO2’s PR agent?

Happer, who is on Donald Trump’s National Security Council for some reason, has a history of dropping Nazi references.

Shocking.

In a 2017 interview with ProPublica, Happer said the word “denier,” which is applied to people such as himself who, wait for it, deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, was “carefully chosen to make me look like a Nazi sympathizer.” Um, no. It was chosen to make him look like someone who denies the scientific consensus on a subject he has no expertise in.

In 2009, he called climate science a “cult” and said that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant (not really the issue). Then he dropped another Nazi comparison to those who accept that the overwhelming majority of scientists in relevant fields think climate change is a thing and we should be concerned about it:

“This is George Orwell. This is ‘The Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth,’” he said. “It’s that kind of propaganda.”

In an another interview with The Best Schools, he managed to name-check the Salem witch trials, the French revolution, the Soviet purge, and the Nazis in defense of climate change deniers such as himself.

Methinks the lady doth protest too much. It’s almost like Happer is super defensive about his obviously ludicrous public position on climate change and feels like he has to go to 11 to demonize those who correctly criticize him for it. Where have we seen that before?

Happer’s new panel will determine whether climate change is a national security threat, the Post reported.

I wonder what conclusion they’ll come to?

The Pentagon has already issued a major report detailing that climate change is a significant national security threat.

Tax Ben Stein’s Money

Ben Stein is in the news again, so you know that someone is getting compared to the Nazis in a dreary, monotone voice.

Wow.

On Tuesday, Stein made an appearance on Fox Business to claim that the policies that Rep. Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez is proposing, like the “Green New Deal” and a marginal tax rate of 60-70% on income over $10 million, would “invariably lead to bad things” like genocide.

Let’s see if he connects those dots:

“We have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is promising. And it led to mass murder, it led to dictatorship, it led to genocide. These promises are old promises and they invariably lead to bad things.”

“It’s not about ordering people around, putting them concentration camps. What do you do if a person is a richer or poorer person? What do you do? Do you take him away? Do you shoot him? Well that’s what the communists tried, it didn’t work out very well for them.”

So Ben Stein is afraid that AOC is going to take him away and shoot him? Or that paying a higher marginal tax rate is equivalent to being shot? Was the government shooting rich people during the Eisenhower Administration when the top marginal tax rate was in the 90s? Does he think that a freshman Congresswoman wields as much political power as Stalin, Hitler, or Mao did?

Stein claims the current system “works extremely well” and “allows people to make something of themselves instead of oppressing other people” as they try to earn money.

He is right in that the current system “works extremely well” if you’re already rich and you want to extract wealth from those lower on the economic scale than you are, but not so much for people who have to start at the bottom. Also, paying taxes isn’t oppression, and raising taxes on the rich isn’t the equivalent of ethnic cleansing.

Anyone who’s followed Stein’s career knows that comparing people he disagrees with to the Nazis is kind of his go-to. His intelligent design “documentary” Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is full to bursting with comparing people who don’t think that pseudo-science should be treated as if it were actual science to Hitler and the Nazis.

So I guess under Godwin’ Law, AOC wins?

Ben Carson Goes Full Hitler

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, famous for being the first person to give himself a lobotomy, will not stop talking about the Nazis. Pretty much everyone in the political world wants him to shut up about the Nazis and focus on the non-Hitler parts of his campaign platform, but Carson is a man obsessed.

He dropped by CNN last week and tried explaining to Wolf Blizter that the Holocaust might not have happened had someone with a gun had just stood up to Adolf Hitler.

This was an elaboration of an argument Carson laid out in his new book, “A More Perfect Union”:

German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s, and by the mid-1940s Hitler’s regime had mercilessly slaughtered six million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior… Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.

As can be expected coming from a Republican presidential candidate, Carson’s version of history is exactly backwards. Gun access in Germany was tightly restricted by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, however the restrictions were loosened in 1928 and 1938 (for non-Jews). Also,  there  were in fact instances of organized armed resistance to the Nazis, like the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising, which was crushed by the better-armed and better-trained forces of the Third Reich.

If there was one thing the Nazis were really good at, it was using violence to their advantage. The fact of the matter is that it took the most powerful armies in the world half a decade to dislodge Hitler and the Nazis from power. And Ben Carson expects us to believe that the German citizenry could have thwarted Hitler and his fanatical, militarized regime with lugers and hunting rifles?

But Carson insists that he is in the right, he keeps returning to the Hitler example because he thinks it provides a powerful cautionary tale that bolsters the increasingly mainstream conservative view that gun ownership serves as the ultimate check against a tyrannical federal government.

Despite his apparent belief to the contrary, all this Nazi talk is bad for Carson. Instead of talking about what Ben Carson plans to do as president, he has us talking about Hitler. He’s the Hitler guy in the 2016 campaign.

Generally speaking you don’t want to be the Hitler guy.