Monthly Archives: June 2014

GlobaL Warming: Useful Idiots and Useful Innocents

Peter Burrows and 6/29/14

Not long ago I watched a guest on a PBS show tell the host that he, the guest, who was an “expert” on global warming (GW), did not know of any serious scientific disagreement on the GW issue, i.e. all the scientists saw GW as real, man made, and dangerous. The host was nodding in agreement and I thought, “What a useful idiot that guy is.  He believes anything he‘s told if it agrees with his bias.”

Then I thought, “That’s not fair, Burro. The Public TV kid is just trying to do his job. Probably suffers from a really expensive, almost useless college education that didn’t prepare him to be skeptical of government pushed agendas.  Besides, you don’t even know just what constitutes a ‘useful idiot.’”

So, for my own peace of mind, I went to Wikipedia and found that ‘useful idiot’ refers to “ people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.”  The term has historically been used to describe slavish followers of Communism and is usually attributed to Lenin, though there’s no record of him ever using the term.

Wikipedia goes on to tell us of a similar term, useful innocents, coined by the late economist Ludwig von Mises.  Von Mises said useful innocents are “confused and misguided sympathizers,” and he was also referring to liberals being used by communists.

I like ‘useful innocents.’  It’s a better term for MOST people than ‘useful idiots,’ which I’ve always associated with unblinking true believers and fanatics. Useful innocents, for example, is a good description of most people who back increasing the minimum wage.  Most folks don’t spend any time studying economics or thinking about the minimum wage, they just think raising it is a good idea and go on their way. These are not the folks found picketing outside of fast food restaurants demanding higher minimum wages. Those folks are useful idiots.

Back to the PBS show.  I had it wrong.  The host was a useful innocent, nodding in agreement on a topic he knew little about.  It was the guest who was the a useful idiot, busily spreading one of the bedrock lies of  GW propaganda, which is that no serious scientist disputes global warming, and by implication, the global warming agenda. This is WRONG.

When confronted by a global warmist who says there’s a consensus on the scientific merits of GW– and ergo the proposed efforts to counter GW — do not a useful innocent be.  Simply give the useful idiot a copy of the following list of names, all gleaned from over twenty years of files gathered on the subject of global warming.

These are all respected scientists, engineers, and/or climate experts who disagree with some or most of the current Global Warming religion. The list could be four or five times as long, but I don’t expect anybody to check more than a few names.  For a really long list of GW skeptics, Google “Oregon petition” or “NASA letter climate change.”  The site  “”  is also a good, if ironic, source.

Whether the below individuals are right or wrong is not the point.  The point is that anybody who says there is a broad scientific consensus on climate change, its causes and consequences, is a useful idiot.  Maybe not so useful.

In no particular order after Dr. Evans.

1)   Dr. David M.W. Evans, Australian mathematician/engineer.  See “The Skeptic’s Case” 2/3/12.  Definitive.
2)   Dr. Judith Curry, Georgia Tech.
3)   Dr. Willie Soon, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
4)   Dr. Richard Lindzen, Harvard
5)   Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, Swedish sea-level expert
6)   Dr. David Deming, University of Oklahoma
7)   Dr. Roy W. Spencer, University of Alabama
8)   Dr. H. Abdussamatov (Better hope this guy is wrong!) Director of Space Physics, Polkovo Observatory
9)   Dr. William Happer, Princeton
10) Dr. James Lovelock, Gaia Theorist, global warming reversal of opinion
11) Dr. Robert Balling, Arizona State
12) Dr. Henrik Svensmark (Google with CERN) Director, Center for Sun-Climate Research, Denmark
13) Lennart Bengtsson, Swedish meteorologist
14) Joe Bastadi, American meteorologist
15) Burt Rutan, Aerospace engineer


Hillary: The Girl Can’t Help It

Hillary: The Girl Can’t Help It    Peter Burrows   6/25/14

“She can’t help it, the girl can’t help it.” Bobby Troup, 1956

Some years ago, then Nebraska Senator Robert Kerrey said of President Bill Clinton: “Clinton’s an unusually good liar.  Unusually good.”  Kerrey, a two term Democrat, went on to become President of The New School, a New York City university.  He tried to regain his seat in 2012, but lost to Republican Deb Fischer. I hope she’s as honest as he was.

Kerrey’s comment came to mind when I saw Hillary “We Were Dead Broke” Clinton pushing her new book on TV.  It also brought to mind a George Will column (Sleaze The Sequel, 3/20/2000) in which Will noted, “–the bargain that (Bill Clinton) and his wife call a marriage refutes the axiom that opposites attract.”

I would have to say about Hillary Clinton, borrowing from Senator Kerrey, that she’s not a good liar. In fact, she’s an unusually bad liar.  Bad liars tell lies that can easily be shown to be lies, but they lie anyway because they just can’t help it.

Example number one in Hillary’s case is claiming she was named after the famous New Zealand mountain climber, Edmond Hillary, who gained fame only when he became the first to scale Mt. Everest in 1953, some SIX YEARS AFTER HILLARY WAS BORN.

Just a detail.  Her parents no doubt foresaw Edmund Hillary’s success because they were good friends with Edgar Cayce, or maybe the Rodham clan are descendents of Nostradamus.  Whatever.

Even husband Bill bought into that one, as he said on page 870 (870!) of his autobiography: “Sir Edmund Hillary, who had explored the South Pole in the 1950s, was the first man to reach the top of Mount Everest and, most important, was the man Chelsea’s mother had been named for.”

Get that?  MOST IMPORTANT!! Humility is something else Hill and Bill share.

I guess someone could say that Hillary’s parents told her that little fib to explain why she wasn’t named something more ordinary, e.g. Alice, Mary, or Eleanor. Ooops! That reminds me. Hillary says she’s chatted over the years with FDR’s wife for advice and inspiration, Mahatma Ghandi, too.

Maybe it was Eleanor who told Hillary to  “Duck!!” when the snipers opened up on Hillary and daughter Chelsea when they deplaned at Tuzla, Bosnia, in March, 1996.  Nobody ELSE saw or heard the bullets flying, but if Hillary did, never mind Eleanor, that’s good enough for the NOW crowd.

Not good enough, however, for the Washington Post: “Clinton’s tale of landing at Tuzla airport ‘under sniper fire’ and then running for cover us simply not credible. Photographs and video of the arrival — tell a very different story. Four Pinocchios.”

The girl can’t help it.

My favorite Hillary-Pinocchio goes back to her days as a brilliant commodity trader, when she turned a thousand bucks into ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND before giving it all up to stand by her man as he battled the forces of evil as Governor of Arkansas.  She said she gleaned the necessary information from the pages of The Wall Street Journal, though later admitted that she had some help with her commodity investments from a high official at Tyson Foods.  Help? Yeah.

Mark Steyn hit the nail on the head when he observed about Hillary, “There’s something weird about the need to tell quite so many unnecessary fictions.”  I wonder how long before the next “unnecessary fiction.”  There will be more. The girl can’t help it.