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D.C.’s Discrimination Escalation

From The Scrapbook

Dec 12, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 13 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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Enter IJ, which sued in federal court, arguing that Louisiana’s restriction served no public purpose (in a state where caskets are not required for burial) but only enriched a government-protected private group and squelched the monks’ right to earn an honest living. In July, a federal judge in New Orleans agreed and struck down the law.

The funeral cartel has appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, perhaps bringing nearer IJ’s strategic goal: a historic Supreme Court ruling that government favoritism toward certain private economic interests is unconstitutional. Already there is disagreement among appeals courts: A unanimous 6th Circuit struck down Tennessee’s nearly identical casket monopoly in 2002, while the 10th Circuit upheld Oklahoma’s law in 2004​—​both times in cases brought by IJ. The issue is ripening.

And The Scrapbook is looking forward to the day when 20 years’ gallant work pays off and Goliath is buried.


Have Yourself a Merry Little Climate Change

Elsewhere in this issue, you can read Steven F. Hayward’s account of the second batch of emails to be leaked from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, exposing yet more evidence of chicanery among the global warming smart set. What caught the eye of The Scrapbook in the latest cache was an email less substantive than the ones Hayward focuses on, but nonetheless highly revealing of the spirit of the climate change enterprise. 

Following the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 to Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), one of the more egregious brawlers of the climate science community, emailed the following lyrics that the NCAR folks sang at their holiday office party (to the tune of “The First Noël”):

Our First Nobel

Our First Nobel, for the IPCC,

Goes to Beth, Bette, Bill, Jerry, Kathy and Guy.

Kevin, Linda, Paty, Re-to and so many more,

And we’re sharing the honor with Mister Al Gore.

Nobel, Nobel, a story to tell,

We hope our coworkers’ egos don’t swell.

The First Working Group said to sound the alarm,

Rising CO2 levels are causing great harm.

Temperatures and greenhouse gas are racing up neck and neck,

Soon the whole Earth will be hotter than heck.

Nobel, Nobel, the planet’s unwell,

This is the future the models foretell.

The Second Working Group said that change is assured,

From the melting of glaciers to migration of birds.

From loss of land and crops to habitats,

How can they make it much clearer than that?

Nobel, Nobel, the oceans swell,

Polar bears search for new places to dwell.

We must work to mitigate, tells us Working Group Three,

Change from fossil consumption to clean energy.

If we all do our share in reversing the trend,

Our children might have a clean Earth in the end.

Nobel, Nobel, sound the warning bell,

Let’s make a future where all can live well.

Nobel, Nobel, we are stars for a day,

Can an Oscar be far away?

We’re sure you’ll agree with The Scrapbook that it was bad enough when the climate campaigners subverted sound science, marginalized skeptics, and stampeded the world towards a growth-killing agenda of socialist planning and high carbon taxes. But an awkward parody of a lovely Cornish Christmas carol? Now they’ve gone too far.

Hot Gossip, Hot off the Presses

Readers need no introduction to Joseph Epstein, scholar, essayist, iconoclast, and wit​—​and, of course, a contributing editor to this magazine. Cranking up the cliché machine, we are bold to say that his wry observations and penetrating insights, frequently appearing in these pages, are among the ornaments of language in our age. Which is The Scrapbook’s way of announcing that his latest gem, Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit (Houghton Mifflin, 256 pp., $25), has just been published.

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