Ukip MP Douglas Carswell Threatened by Protesters in London

I don’t know, but I doubt you happened to catch this story from The Guardian yesterday. It tends to remind us that not all opposition is as civil as it should be, and Britain does have its share of nutters.

The Ukip MP, Douglas Carswell, has been escorted away in a police van after he was surrounded by anti-austerity protesters in central London.

Carswell later tweeted that he had been waiting for a bus when he was attacked by a crowd, describing it as “very very nasty”.

The MP said he had been engaged in peaceful discussions with a small group before being confronted by far larger numbers shouting insults such as “Ukip scum”.

It got extremely, extremely nasty. Their intentions were pretty murderous and I needed a lot of police officers to prevent them from attacking me,” he said, after being taken by officers to another stop to get his bus.

I was stunned. I think MPs should be able to go about their business. It was incredibly intimidating. It was like a lynch mob on the streets of London. I thought this was a country where we had democracy and discussed the issues. 

It just got incredibly ugly. It was an attempted lynching. I am in a state of shock. I do not want to have to worry about going about my business.”

Ukip MP Douglas Carswell surrounded by anti-austerity protesters in London |

Politics | The Guardian.

First, and perhaps least important, how refreshing is it to think of an MP taking a bus? Seen any Congresscritters (or even their junior staffers) doing that lately? Yeah, me either/ Maybe they’d be a bit more in touch with us ordinary mortals if the got out of their limos, and took the bus (or the subway).

But the second and the main point is that in a democratic system there simply isn’t any room for intimidation, and the threat of violence. The left, which the anti-austerity demonstrators represent, lost the election in the UK, to honorable convictions and I think good sense. It’s up to them to come back with a better campaign.

Frankly it’s not all that many years ago that this type of outburst could read to the reading of the Riot Act and use of armed troops to disperse the demonstration. One hesitates to say it was a valid reaction then, so often it got out of hand but one can easily understand how it happened.

In a strange way, we’re seeing the reverse side of the coin in Baltimore, where the police have found so little support from their leadership (and the prosecutor) that they have become afraid to enforce the law, and so society has in great measure, simply collapsed.

Our civilization walks, and always has, a fine line between tyranny of the right and of the left, and if we succumb to either it can be very difficult to return, especially without the good will of all sides, and that seems in increasingly short supply.

 

Around the Web This Week

6a76f4a3-4ad2-4ae2-8a3b-c092e85586afSort of a compendium of odds and ends today, without a lot of commentary from me.

My dearest friend, partner and editor here, Jessica, is celebrating the third anniversary of her blog today, although she is only present in spirit, because of her health problems. My post about it is here.

The Federalist had a bit more on the Amtrak wreck, I think he makes some valid points, especially regarding the unseemliness of many reactions.

The deadly Amtrak derailment this week spawned a frenzy of sleazy opportunism on social media as lefties rushed to declare—before any evidence of the cause of the accident was available—that it clearly showed the need for more federal billions to subsidize Amtrak.

As the official investigation has released actual information, it seems likely that the real cause was excessive speed: the train was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour as it entered a tight curve where the safe limit was 50 miles per hour. How is more government spending supposed to prevent this kind of operator error?

Oh, and contrary to the media’s “Amtrak fan fiction,” as Sean Davis calls it, Congress just authorized $1.4 billion in new subsidies to Amtrak less than five months ago. So there goes that narrative.

There is obviously something unseemly about this—far more unseemly than a violinist distraught over not being able to retrieve the source of her livelihood. This is a tragedy in which people were killed and injured, yet many a media hack’s first thought was about how to score political points against Republicans.

More at The Federalist

National Review has something to say about Paul Krugman’s Pretense of Economic Knowledge

It is wrong to call economics “the dismal science.” Dismal, yes; science, no.

Econometrics and mathematical modeling are enormously valuable, but they also contribute to the pretense of knowledge, which is a lethal intellectual epidemic to which the scientist manqués of the economics world are especially vulnerable. There are competing factions and schools of thought within the proper sciences, of course, but the outsize role played by economic schools — from New Keynesians to Austrians — is evidence of the corrupting influence of politics, which distorts economic analysis in both its weak form (simple political affiliation) and its strong form (servile political advocacy). And as with the scientific case of freelancing gadflies such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, economists damage their individual and corporate credibility the farther they stray from their fields of genuine expertise. It is no surprise that, e.g., purported science guy Bill Nye until recently held foolish and ignorant views on genetically modified crops, views of which he has, to his credit,repented. Nye, who holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering, is more a science enthusiast than a scientist, much less a scientist with any particular expertise in agricultural genetics. There is no reason to suppose that he has particularly well-informed views on any given question, and the temptations of cultural affiliation — the people who are terrified of GMOs are many of the same people who care deeply about climate change and the contents of Texas high-school biology curricula — often lead us astray.

More at National Review

As all know, I’m no particular fan of Jeb Bush, not least because I think there must be a Democrat not named Clinton, and a Republican not named Bush qualified to run for President. I’m not much of a fan of dynasties (at least in America, I rather like Queen Elizabeth, although Prince Charles, not so much, which highlights the problem). In any case, Jeb said some very cogent things about Christianity last weekend at Liberty University.

[…] Giving a fiery speech last month at Tina Brown’s “Women in the World Summit,” Clinton plainly said: “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” so that women can have unfettered access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.”

One would like to imagine that Clinton was speaking only about primitive cultures where children are forced into marriage and childbearing, or where genital cutting is common. But we know that she also meant religious conservatives closer to home whose beliefs get in the way. She explicitly criticized Hobby Lobby for not paying for its employees’ contraception.

By contrast, Jeb Bush, who will become the GOP nominee if Republicans are smart, assumed a much different tone and direction in his recent commencement address at Liberty University.

“How strange, in our own time, to hear Christianity spoken of as some sort of backward and oppressive force,” he said. “It’s a depressing fact that when some people think of Christianity and of Judeo-Christian values, they think of something static, narrow and outdated. . . . I cannot think of any more subversive moral idea ever loosed on the world than ‘the last shall be first, and the first last.’ ”

He also spoke of what our world would have been like without the “unalloyed compassion, such genuine love, such thorough altruism,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described Christianity.

It would be defined, Bush said, by “power without restraint, conflict without reconciliation, oppression without deliverance, corruption without reformation, tragedy without renewal.”

He’s right, of course. More at The Washington Post.

And three links on the British general election, which may well have lessons for us, as well

Dan Hannan: Left’s hatred devoured its own election campaign

Charles Utley: Time to Reflect on the Past and the Future

UEA’s Eastminster: UEA’s experts react to the General Election 2015 result

Enjoy!

UK to build the world’s first tidal lagoon power plants

This actually could be a good idea. Of course, like all potentially good ideas, it’s not new. I can remember reading about it back in the seventies, which doesn’t mean that it hasn’t become viable since.

It’s easy to forget that it’s possible to generate electricity not by burning coal or splitting atoms, but using the power of the sea. One company has thought long and hard about the process and is set to change the way Britain generates its renewable energy. Under new plans, Tidal Lagoon Power hopes to build the world’s first lagoon power plants, creating six giant structures — four of which will be built in Wales, with two in England — that will harness powerful coastal tides and generate as much as 8 percent of the UK’s total power.

The company has already put its best foot forward, starting work on a £1 billion plant in Swansea that already has the backing of energy secretary Ed Davey. Even though it’ll be one of the smallest installations, the lagoon will measure five miles across and stretch two miles out to sea, serving not only as significant power source but also as destination for locals. It’ll work by isolating a large space of water, which drives a series of turbines set into the wall as the tidal levels rise and fall throughout the day.

The UK government is keen to back renewable energy projects, so the £30 billion investment needed to build the ambitious lagoons will be met by taxpayers. Wales will host three lagoons in Cardiff, Newport and Colwyn Bay (as well as the one in Swansea) and there’ll be one in Bridgwater Bay, Somerset and another in West Cumbria.

The good thing about tidal power is that barring a lunar catastrophe, sea movements are completely predictable. Wind turbines can stall if it’s a particularly calm day, while solar panels only achieve maximum output when it’s clear and sunny. Marine experts have their reservations, including fears that fish could be sucked into turbines, but Tidal Lagoon Power believes the lagoons will ultimately benefit local ecosystems by serving as artificial reefs.

More at UK to build the world’s first tidal lagoon power plants, including video.

You know, I could support this type of renewable energy, it has its attractions, if they were willing to bet their own money on it. But they aren’t. They want to do it the corrupt way, betting the taxpayers money, so they’ll get rich, no matter what. The proper model is to build it with your own money, and get rich or lose your shirt.

That’s the way Britain (and the US) did it in the nineteenth century, and history is littered with failures but also incredible successes, sometime both for the same people.

And so, for me, it’s not a viable plan, because they don’t believe in it enough to bet their own money and so why should I?

It’s simply another corrupt corporatist scheme to bilk the taxpayers, this time the British ones, and enrich ‘special interests’.

Hat tip to “The Unit” for the link. :)

Is The Clinton Foundation Just A Foreign Laundering Scheme?

150220_POL_Hillary.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargeI’ve always thought it sad that we have commented more or less forever that we have the best Congress money can buy. particularly since it so often seems true. We deserve better but we are lazy and don’t demand it, so we don’t get it.

Still this nonsense just leaves me shaking my head in bewilderment that anybody thinks that an aging woman with no accomplishments should be president, after she sold out the US State Department to the highest bidder.

BloombergPolitics reported this morning that the Clinton Foundation refused to disclose the identities of at least 1,100 donors, most of whom are not U.S. citizens, to a Clinton Foundation affiliate. The donations were routed through the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada), or CGEPartnership, a Canadian charitable organization. That organization then effectively bundled the foreign donations and sent them along to the Clinton Foundation itself, and it did all of this without ever disclosing the individual foreign sources of the income.

If that sounds to you like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization, that’s because it certainly looks like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization. In this case, however, rather than taking cash from blatantly illegal activities (as far as we know) and then cleaning it up by running it through legitimate businesses before it ends up at its final destination, the Clinton Foundation mops up cash from wealthy foreigners, bundles it within a larger organization to hide the money’s original source, and then funnels the cash from that legitimate charity right into the Clinton Foundation coffers.

After the New York Times uncovered the connections between uranium mining magnate Frank Giustra, his Canadian charitable organization, the Clinton Foundation, and official actions taken by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that benefitted Giustra’s global uranium mining operations, the Clinton Foundation immediately entered spin mode.

Is The Clinton Foundation Just A Foreign Laundering Scheme?.

Hillary Clinton; likely the best candidate for US president that Foreign money can buy!

Is that what we really should have?

The Left’s Burning Cities

Breitbart.com

Breitbart.com

I suppose it’s time to say something about Baltimore, not that I have anything overly pertinent to add. I have noticed though (as has David French, in the linked article) that what is going on is really nothing more than two of the Democratic Party’s prized identity political groups: public employee unions, and welfare recipients, having a disagreement.

In Baltimore, as the National Guard steps in, curfews are imposed, and business owners pick up the pieces from their burned-out, looted stores, let’s not forget why one more American city has been torn apart by racial violence. Blue America has failed at social justice. It has failed at equality. It has failed at accountability. Its competing constituencies are engaged in street battles, and any exploration of “root causes” must necessarily include decades of failed policies — all imposed by steadfastly Democratic mayors and city leaders.

Are the riots caused by the Baltimore Police Department’s “documented history” of abuse? Which party has run Baltimore and allowed its police officers to allegedly run amok? Going deeper, which American political movement lionizes public-employee unions, fiercely protecting them from even the most basic reform? Public-employee unions render employee discipline difficult and often impossible. Jobs are functionally guaranteed for life, and rogue officers can count on the best representation money can buy — courtesy of Blue America.

Continue reading The Left’s Burning Cities | National Review Online.

As always seems to be the case, people despair when they don’t have the self-respect that a job, almost any job, engenders. We innately know, deep within in us, the difference between earning something and simply being given it. And frankly, it’s hard to imagine a much more hostile place, in America, than the city of Baltimore to start a business that would provide jobs. Michael Tanner noticed this as well:

The unemployment rate in Baltimore in February was 8.4 percent, compared with just 5.5 percent nationally. In the Sandtown–Winchester/Harlem Park area, which is near the center of the unrest, more than half of the people did not have jobs, according to a February 2015 report from the Justice Policy Institute and the Prison Policy Initiative.

One reason for this is the city’s — and the state’s — unremitting hostility to business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that only seven states and the District of Columbia have a worse business climate than Maryland. The state’s tax burden is huge and growing. According to the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, Maryland ranks a dismal 40th in terms of business taxes, and an even worse 45th in terms of personal-income taxes. According to this report, Maryland is one of just a few states where the personal-income tax creates “an unnecessary drag on economic activity.” The state’s small businesses face the nation’s seventh-highest marginal tax rates.

As if that were not bad enough, the city of Baltimore adds one of the highest property taxes among comparable cities. Despite a recent modest reduction in property-tax rates, Baltimore still has a tax rate more than twice the rate of most of the rest of the state. A recent study by the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy ranked Baltimore twelfth out of 53 major cities in terms of high property taxes. When the city taxes are combined with state taxes, Baltimore ends up with the ninth worst tax burden out of 50 major American cities.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417619/poverty-despair-and-big-government-michael-tanner

Not where I would start a business, would you? And so, the cycle will continue, until it doesn’t of course, because at some point the politicians will run out of other people’s money.

And at that point, real poverty will ensue. When people find out that they have nowhere to spend their welfare benefits, not even MacDonald’s, what will happen? I don’t know, and doubt anyone else does either,.

I suspect, if we are lucky, Detroit does

 

Cui Bono

English: Graphic illustrating the percentages ...

English: Graphic illustrating the percentages of public opinions on the likelihood of some scientists falsifying global warming research. Based on Rasmussen polling of 1,000 American adults conducted July 29-30, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cui bono is one of those phrases that indicates a skeptical man (or woman). You’d probably not be surprised that it is one of my favorite phrases. Why? because so very often people want us to do things that are (usually obviously) against our rational self-interest, and always, I wonder why. Do they have a higher good in mind, or do they merely seek some benefit at my (and your) expense? Nine times out of ten it has proved to be the latter.

There are people in the world who work selflessly for the common, or higher, good, mostly they are clergy. In my experience they are never politicians, who in my experience have no conception even of what the term means.

Global CoolingWarming, Climate Change, especially Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change is no exception.

Robert Tracinski over at The Federalist has something to say about it the other day, I think we should read it.

What It Would Take to Prove Global Warming

If generally rising temperatures, decreasing diurnal temperature differences, melting glacial and sea ice, smaller snow extent, stronger rainstorms, and warming oceans are not enough to persuade you that man-made climate [change] is occurring, what evidence would be?

This has since been picked up by Jonathan Adler at the Washington Post‘s token right-leaning blog, the Volokh Conspiracy. There’s no pressure: Bailey and Adler merely insinuate that you are “obscurantist”—that is, you hate new knowledge—if you don’t agree.

That, by the way—the smug insistence of global warming alarmists on presenting themselves as the embodiment of scientific knowledge as such—is one of the reasons I stopped taking them seriously. In fact, II have thought about what it would take to convince me global warming is real. And it’s pretty clear that Bailey has not thought about it.

He really hasn’t. He’s thought a lot about the various scientific claims made by those who insist global warming is a man-made catastrophe. But he has not thought about how those claims add up or how they would have to add up to be convincing. All Bailey’s piece amounts to is: here is a long list of factual claims that seem to support the global warming scare; how high do I have to pile up these claims before you are convinced?

There is no sense that the proof of global warming has to proceed according to some systematic method, requiring it to clear specific hurdles at specific stages. Which betrays an unscientific way of thinking.

When I refer to “global warming,” and when Bailey and Adler refer to it, that term is a stand-in, not just for the trivial claim that average global temperatures are rising, but for “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”: i.e., global temperatures are rising, it’s our fault, and we’re all gonna die.

What It Would Take to Prove Global Warming.

Did you read his article? Good for you! He makes a good case, I think. What it takes to convince me is very similar. I would also say this, I’ll be more likely to believe that we can predict the climate, when we can reliably predict the weather a couple of weeks in advance. No, they aren’t the same but they are related, and why should I believe you can predict the far more complicated climate, if you can’t do the short-term characteristics of it, the weather?

To convince me you have a multi step project.

First you have to convince me that the climate wouldn’t change normally, because I’m one of those people who remember back around the year 1200 or so, there were farms in Greenland, that had to be abandoned later because the climate got too cold. the climate has always been changing, to suddenly believe that it’s caused by man (and almost only, man) strikes me as a severe case of hubris and little more.

Then you have to convince me that it’s catastrophic. It might be, I suppose, it might also be beneficial. How many more people could we feed if we could grow crops a couple of hundred miles further north (or south)? I don’t know, and I don’t think anyone else does either. I haven’t seen any scientific evidence (reputable or not) on the subject. What I have seen is nothing more than attempts to scare us, and that ain’t evidence.

That leaves you with the hardest one of all, you have to convince me that we (mankind) did it and that we can (and should) undo it. Most of us supported environmental legislation in the 1960s and 1970s because we could see that we were making a mess. When one gets sick from breathing and we’re watching rivers burn, well, that’s pretty clear, isn’t it? And it was clear that we were doing it, as well. And so it was time to fix it, and we did a pretty good job of it, overall.

None, not one, of the parameters of that are met in this amorphous mess of ‘Climate Change’. It’s called climate change, you’ll recall, because they can’t figure out if we’re making it warmer, or cooler, or to stay the same.

And then at the end of this article we get to the title of it. Cui Bono. Webster defines it this way:

1:  a principle that probable responsibility for an act or event lies with one having something to gain

It’s a pretty useful concept, not least here. Our air and water is actually pretty damn clean, often our rivers are actually cleaner downstream from cities than they are upstream anymore, the fish are back, and safe once again, to eat. The air is fit to breathe once again. What’s a poor environmentalist to do to raise the money that pays his (her) exorbitant salary? Why start another crusade, of course, one can’t expect these people to get productive jobs, all they know is to scare people into giving them money, for them to give to politicians, if any is left after the fund-raising expenses, of course.

So add to that all the advertising agencies involved and the professional fund-raisers on the front end whose living disappears when this is debunked.

Then we get to the politicians, the bought dispensers of our money, whose power is directly attributable to the amount of our money that they can manage to divert to their (so-called) friends. And who, in addition, have an insatiable desire to control us, the people.

Amongst the recipients are those very universities that have made such a good thing out of generating this crisis, and so cooked the research books to keep the golden eggs coming in.

Cui bono? Almost everybody except the poor shmuck out there that gets to pay for all this with his money, while paying more for everything he needs to make a living, if his job hasn’t been exported to China, which is more worried about making a living than this nonsense.

And then they have the sheer effrontery to claim that they have our best interest at heart while simultaneously telling us that a damned polar bear is more important than our children.

Like I said above, when these patronising fools can predict the weather two weeks out, maybe I’ll start to listen to their shrill screaming but until then…

Well mostly we can expect them to keep screaming, “Shut up and sit down you little people. What do you know?”

%d bloggers like this: