Climate change stuns Rushdie attacker, Hadi Matar

As something of a Thanksgiving treat, allow me to serve three media turkeys at one sumptuous sitting. Admittedly, these misreported stories have little in common, but in the holiday spirit I am going to jam them all in anyhow.

The story begins in Western New York. This often overlooked area finally made the news last week – but not for the upcoming trial of Hadi Matar, the Islamic radical who tried to kill author Salman Rushdie, and very nearly did.

No, who cares about Rushdie, let alone Matar? Old news. I doubt if one "journalist" out of a hundred in the New York Times newsroom could tell you who Matar was, despite the fact that, according to the Jerusalem Post, this Islamic radical had been in contact with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

I suspect, however, that 99 out of a hundred could tell you who David DePape is. DePape's alleged hammer attack on Paul Pelosi should be taken very seriously, Tori Otten of the New Republic tells us, "The attack could have escalated into something far worse."

"DePape," writes Otten, presumably with a straight face, "has clearly said what motivated him: the desire to capture Nancy Pelosi, harm her to threaten other members of Congress, and use her to lure others into his dangerous hands too. We should take his word for it."

DePape had a better chance of hijacking a SpaceX Starship and flying it to Pluto than he did of holding Congress hostage with his hammer. Tori, take my word for it.

Once again, Western New York made the news for the only thing that it ever makes the news for: snow. Sitting in the Chautauqua County jail in Mayville, New York – a town no bigger, nor slicker than the fictional Mayberry – Matar got a ringside seat on the hell climate change is wreaking on America.

Faced with a massive snowfall in November, climate change experts recalled with relief the wisdom of surreptitiously switching terminology from "global warming" to "climate change" some years back.

Still, explaining this monster away took some effort. For years, as Yale Climate Connections reports, experts had admittedly been telling us, "As human-produced greenhouse gases warm the climate, it's reasonable to expect that U.S. snowfall in general will decline."

But – and there's always a "but" – Lake Erie was warmer than usual this year. So the headline of the Yale article tells us, "Unusually warm lakes lead to mammoth snowfall."

Although there is nothing in the body of the article by Bob Henson to support this contention, I checked and found that, yes, the lake temperature has been slightly warmer than usual but, not nearly as warm as, say, 1931.

Henson cites a 2015 study to show why we should be concerned, to wit, "Lake effect snow will still occur in a warming world, but by the late 21st century, we can expect a shortened lake effect snow season." Late 21st century? Shortened season? Even if true, that is not the stuff that makes for a good "climate crisis."

Then, too, the "if true" is a major caveat. I have reason to be skeptical. For about the 20 years preceding 2015, climate scientists argued that Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes were drying up. A 2002 National Geographic, "Down the Drain: The Incredible Shrinking Great Lakes," was one of many such articles to sound the alarm.

In 2012, National Geographic doubled down on the shrinkage bet with another alarmist article, "Warming Lakes: Climate Change and Variability Drive Low Water Levels on the Great Lakes."

I have a summer place on Lake Erie. In 2020, I had to invest 100K in a seawall because Lake Erie decided to ignore the science of climate change and rise. Maybe I will go to my County Courthouse in Mayville to get reimbursed.

But maybe not. They are kind of busy there right now, shoveling out 19 inches of snow – no big deal, they average 157 inches a season – so the trial of Hadi Matar can proceed, not that anyone would notice if it didn't.

Of the first 50 articles about "Hadi Matar" listed on Google, the only ones more recent than August, when Rushdie was attacked, come from the local New York state newspapers.

The most recent is by Gregory Bacon of the Dunkirk Evening Observer. He reports that "New Jersey resident" Matar returned to Chautauqua County Court on Monday when District Attorney Jason Schmidt officially filed for a Certificate of Compliance.

For those who are curious, a Spanish newspaper reported last month that the 75-year-old Rushdie suffered three serious neck wounds and 15 more to his chest and torso. He has lost sight in his left eye and the use of his right arm.

And who can blame Matar? As he saw things, Rushdie's book, "The Satanic Verses," disrespected Islam, a valued partner in the multicultural coalition.

Now, back to that hammer attack.

To catch Jack Cashill's podcast, "Upstream with Cashill and Edge," see

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