Thursday, January 29, 2015

Federal judge blasts DOJ lawyers in case of ATF whistle-blower

A federal judge angrily accused Justice Department attorneys in newly unsealed documents of "fraud upon the court" by intimidating a witness in a case involving a former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent who alleges the agency trashed his reputation.

Judge Francis Allegra, who was appointed to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in 1998 by President Bill Clinton, is presiding over a suit brought by former ATF agent Jay Dobyns against the government agency, which he claims retaliated against him and damaged his reputation. Dobyns infiltrated Hell's Angels and worked on cases involving the Aryan Brotherhood and MS-13 during his law enforcement career.

In a newly unsealed, Dec. 1, 2014, court ruling that legal experts said was highly unusual, Allegra accused seven Justice Department lawyers of "fraud upon the court, banned them from making any further filings in the case and took the unusual step of directly notifying Attorney General Eric Holder.

“In 40 years of legal practice, government and private, I've never seen that done,” said David Hardy, a constitutional law expert who formerly worked in the U.S. Solicitor General’s Office.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Afghan villager who saved Navy SEAL in hiding, seeking US asylum

By Maxim Lott | Published January 19, 2015 |

An Afghan villager who saved a Navy SEAL and was portrayed in a Hollywood film faces death threats from the Taliban and is having a tough time getting permission to come to the U.S., according to his lawyer.

Mohammad Gulab's ordeal began in 2005, when Marcus Luttrell and three fellow Navy SEALs were ambushed by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. A fierce fight left three dead and Luttrell, the only American survivor, with a broken back and several shrapnel wounds. Luttrell credits Gulab with saving his life, as the Afghan brought the wounded soldier into his home and protected him from the Taliban until U.S. reinforcements arrived.

The scene was depicted in the 2013 movie “Lone Survivor.” Luttrell was also a friend of Chris Kyle, the subject of the new record-smashing movie American Sniper, and went through sniper training with him.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Econ book acclaimed by left based on faulty premise, factual errors, study finds

A book by a French economist who became a darling of 99 percenters and his lefty peers is riddled with errors, cherry-picked data and flawed premises, according to two new studies.

Thomas Piketty's “Capital in the 21st Century,” which New York Times columnist and Nobel-prize winner Paul Krugman called “the most important economics book of the year — and maybe of the decade,” calls for an 80 percent income tax to stop wealth inequality from increasing. The book earned its author an invitation to the White House to meet with Obama administration Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

But it contains more than 10 factual errors, according to one new study accepted by the Journal of Private Enterprise and conducted by economists Phillip Magness of George Mason University and Robert P. Murphy of the Institute for Energy Research. The errors they report range from relatively simple mistakes such as getting several historical dates wrong to mis-attributing a massive tax increase to President Franklin Roosevelt that was actually passed by President Herbert Hoover, to incorrectly claiming that the minimum wage never increased under either George W. Bush or George H.W. Bush, who both oversaw increases.

The authors write that they see a pattern in the errors.

They also conclude that, in building some of his charts, Piketty switched between data sets in a way that was biased in favor of his argument. In his graph on wealth in the U.S., for instance, Piketty relied on data from one study going up until 1950, then for 1960 he switched to another study, and then for 1970 he went back to relying on the first study again.

The authors conclude that Piketty used “cherry-picked data points to construct a trend line that mirrors his predictions.”

The authors also found that, in one Piketty graph about US historical tax revenue, he only had data going back until 1900; yet he made the graph go back to 1870 by assuming those years were the same as 1900 and by adding or subtracting a seemingly arbitrary number to make the data appear plausible.

For Piketty's response and other alleged errors, see the article on

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Botched environmental predictions for 2015

By Maxim Lott | Published January 01 |

You’ve heard the warnings: Global warming could doom humanity. Overpopulation and deforestation will destroy the planet. We’re going to run out of energy.

It isn’t happening right now, experts say, but it could happen in a few decades. Yet, decades ago, experts warned that many catastrophes would happen now – by the year 2015. Yet they have not. found five predictions that went astray.

1) UN overestimated global warming by 2015

Two decades ago, the UN came up with several models that all predicted that by 2015, the Earth would have warmed by at least a degree Fahrenheit. Yet in the last two decades, there has instead been virtually no warming according to satellite temperature measurements.

Most climate scientists say this is just a temporary pause and that warming will soon pick up again, though some say they now expect to see less warming in the future due to the pause.

2) All Rainforest Species Will Be Extinct

Dr. Paul Ehrich, the President of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University, got famous for his 1968 book “the Population Bomb” which predicted that increasing human populations would spell doom.

One part of that doom, he warned in his 1981 book “Extinction,” was that all rainforest species would likely soon go extinct due to environmental destruction.

“Half of the populations and species in tropical moist forests would be extinct early in the next century [the 2000s] and none would be left by 2025,” he warns on page 291. He added that that his model indicated that, on the upper bound, complete extinction would occur as soon as 2010.

Elsewhere in the book, he also wrote that his model’s assumptions were “more realistic” than those typically used and that “unless appropriate steps are taken soon… humanity faces a catastrophe fully as serious as an all-out thermonuclear war.” Continue reading at to find out what Obama Science Advisor John Holdren predicted in the 1980s...

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