Gays, the Left, Terrorism, and a bit on Oil

w1056We’ve been talking most of the week about gays and conservatives, in a political context. You can find those articles here, here, and here. And yes, I am always very grateful when Jessica chimes in on these matters, I’m an old fuddy-duddy sometimes and a younger (and female, not to mention British) perspective helps quite a lot.

As Jessica said the other day, we are not discussing this as a religious matter. The US, particularly, long ago decided that while most of our citizens are Christians, and a plurality quite strong ones, our government is, and was meant to be, secular, although Christian belief and principles lie at its heart.

Not the least of these is the right to worship (or not worship) as you please. That’s one reason it’s quite difficult for me, and hopefully for many of you to consider Islam as our enemy. They have just as much right to worship Allah, as we have our triune God, or for that matter, as many of our citizens do, to worship ‘the God’s of the Marketplace’.

Radical Islamists are another story, however. They have indisputably (unless you’re a leftist, I guess) made it clear that they are an enemy of our culture. If we are wise, we will recognize both that they are, and act on it. Yes, the world is a complicated place, and not prone to useful over-simplification very often.

The ad that leads this article makes a valid point. I found it both funny and profound, and I found the leftist hysteria that resulted from it even funnier. I haven’t heard even the most radical Christian say that we should be killing gays, have you? Didn’t think so. And that is the difference between Christian and radical Islamist – they do so advocate, and they do so act.

That leaves the question hanging as to why the left insists on propping up the Saudi (and other) fundamentalist Islamic regimes. Canada and the United States have it within our power to impoverish all of these states, to the point they would go back to being the irrelevant hellholes they were when the United States was founded. And make a profit doing it, just like we did with the Soviets.

In fact, the very people that first protested that ad were exactly the same people who killed the Keystone Pipeline. Leaves me wondering if they are simply against progress or against western civilization. Wonder if Jane Kleeb would like to answer that question, since it has cost our joint state of Nebraska several million dollars, just in the construction phase.

So, I can only conclude that those people consider it perfectly fine to kill gays, and support radical Islamists. After all, where I grew up, actions speak louder than words. Of course, as Jessica said the other day, leftists think of various groups as ‘brands’ (check out those WikiLeaks emails for more on this) and like some other mass marketers will say one thing to one group and quite the opposite to another. That’s why for those of us who pay attention, they long ago lost any credibility they ever had. Not the first brand to kill itself off that way, and I doubt it will be the last either.

Of course, none of this is new for the left, in either Britain or America (likely in all of Europe, but I don’t know as much about that). Radical Islam is hardly the first mass-murderer that the left has made an icon of, witness Castro’s executioner, Che Guevara, who the left has made an icon out of, as well as others. Here, find out a bit more about him, and see if you think he is an appropriate hero for anybody who values life, let alone freedom. Hat tip to The Daly Gator.

You’ll excuse me while I wash my mind of the thought of who some of my countrymen think are heroes.

Britain’s global role: stepping up

Fallon

Some of you were surprised, I suspect, that I was (and am) quite taken by Theresa May as Britain’s Prime Minister. It’s true enough that I likely share more beliefs with Andrea Leedsom. But politics is the art of the possible, and in Mrs. May I saw a chance for Britain to resume its confident way, and more than anything for the Conservative Party to reunify. I don’t have many Britons horror of Nigel Farage and the UKIP. In fact, I like them, and think them very good for Britian, but that horror is there.

But one of the things we all expect from Britain is confidence in defense (or should that be defence) matters. And it looks to me that in Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defense, Mrs. May chose well. I’d like to see Americans once again speak as clearly.

FROM THE MoD…

Speech by Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence.

This year marks 70 years on from Winston Churchill’s famous speech “The Sinews of Peace” delivered in Fulton, Missouri in March 1946 in which he talked about the “special relationship.”

While that phrase is well known, it is perhaps less well known that Churchill was in the United States to receive an honorary degree from Westminster College.

An apt name as Westminster was the place he received a large part of his political education.
And Churchill more than anyone seemed to embody the will of the British people.

To the extent that both sides in the recent Referendum campaign sought to claim that he would have backed their particular position.

We can’t ever be sure how Churchill would have voted.

We do know that whatever the outcome he would have accepted the result, rolled up his sleeves and got on and delivered using all the considerable powers at his command to help us forge a new path.

Now I’m very much aware that vote has raised questions about the implications for Britain’s role in the world.

I’m here to assure you that we have a new Prime Minister

…technically a new government

…who wants Britain to continue to play a global role

…a government that is determined to make Brexit a success

…but a government that will put security front and centre of its efforts.

Today I’d like to set out the UK’s government’s approach.

It is based around 3 things.

1. Defence of our values

First, on the defence of our values of democracy, of the rule of law, and of freedom.

Back in that speech of 1946, Churchill memorably imagined an “Iron Curtain” spreading from east to west across Europe.

Today the Cold War is over but new threats continue… that spread an equally serious shadow.

In recent weeks we’ve seen the horrific truck attack on innocent men, women and children from France enjoying a summer’s evening on Bastille Day.

That attack and the others we’ve seen over the last year in places as far apart as Orlando, Brussels, Paris, Ankara, and Baghdad are similar r manifestations of extremism.

This isn’t the only danger we’re facing.

We’re seeing a resurgent Russia and a more assertive China.

We’re seeing North Korea continuing to rattle the nuclear sabre.

We’re seeing cyber attacks on states as well as companies and hybrid warfare.

Dangers which, taken together, seek to undermine our rules based international order on which the security and prosperity of ourselves and the next generation depend.

Like Churchill, we believe Britain, like the US, has a responsibility not just to defend its own security but the global system itself.

And we do have have the will and intent to respond to those threats whenever, or wherever, they come from.

Thanks to the Strategic Defence and Security Review we published before the end of last year, we are going to match that will with greater capacity.

Our SDSR gives us stronger defence with more than $200 billion to spend over the next 10 years on a more agile Joint Force with more ships, more planes, more troops at readiness, better equipment for Special Forces, and increased spend on cyber.

Let me tell you about those forces.

Last year our forces were active all round the world.

Some 80,000 soldiers deployed on more than 383 commitments during the year.

More than 30,000 sailors deployed, on over 700 ship visits, from Africa to Asia, Europe to Latin America.

More than 10,000 Royal Air Force personnel deployed in over 60 countries on operations, training exercises and defence engagement.

And we will have a similar level of effort this year.

2. Stronger NATO, stronger defence

My second point is that to defend our values we will rely on a stronger more united NATO.

And we ill continue helping that alliance to adapt.

Two years ago our Prime Minister, David Cameron then stood with your President at the Wales Summit and challenged other nations to step up, to spend more on defence and new capabilities.

Since then we have led by example.

And having honoured our pledge to meet the 2% target we’re now seeing other nations follow suit.

Twenty allies have now increased their spending since Wales and the overall decline in alliance defence spending has been halted.

As well as increasing spending, NATO has now agreed its Readiness Action Plan to ensure that the allies can respond swiftly and strongly.

Once more the UK is at the forefront of these efforts.

Our Typhoons are today conducting Baltic air-policing missions from a base in Estonia.

Our ships are making a significant contribution to NATO’s naval forces.

And we will lead NATO’s Very High Readiness Taskforce next year, with 3,000 UK troops ready to deploy within days.

And at last month’s Warsaw Summit we again helped to lead the way as NATO adapted its deterrence posture to challenges from east and south.

In the east, we are helping to reinforce the Wales’ commitment to act against aggression by delivering an enhanced forward presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.

The UK is one of four nations to lead a framework battalion, including the United States.

These battalions will be defensive in nature, but fully combat capable. Our force will be located in Estonia with 2 UK companies, a headquarters element and equipment including armoured vehicles, Javelin anti-tank guided missiles and mortars.

That contribution will be underpinned by our network of allies, including our partnerships with the French and the Danes… “multi-national by design”, reflecting the “international by design” approach in our SDSR.

In addition, to positing a formed Battalion to Estonia we will also deploy a company group of troops to Poland.

We also continue to train the Ukrainian Armed Forces with a further 4,000 troops due to be trained by this year.

All this is NATO’s response to Russian aggression.

A response rooted in balancing strong defence and dialogue.

Dialogue where it is right and in our interests to deliver hard messages to promote transparency and build the understanding necessary to avoid the risk of miscalculation.

As well as its efforts in the east, the alliance is also enhancing its role in the south.

We are increasingly seeing unstable, or fragile states threaten our collective security.

Putting a greater onus on NATO’s role in tackling potential conflict at source.

And following the Wales Summit NATO now has a defence capacity building initiative, to provide more tailored support to project stability.

And we will conduct more training and capacity building under a NATO auspices inside Iraq.

NATO’s biggest operation is its Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. That mission has helped local forces take on the responsibility for providing security across their country.

As a leading member of NATO, it is right that we stand by our allies and the Afghan people as they seek to build a safer Afghanistan because that also helps to keep our streets safe.

So next year, we will be increasing our t troop contribution by 10% to help build the capacity of the Afghan security institutions. And let me welcome the United States’ on going commitment to that particular mission.

Finally, we have promoted and supported initiatives that respond to the longer-term demands of 21st century warfare with initiatives on cyber and hybrid warfare among others agreed at Warsaw.

Nuclear deterrent

But if our defence and deterrence are to retain their credibility, they must respond to both conventional and nuclear dangers.

NATO remains a nuclear alliance, and our independent nuclear deterrent in Britain makes a key contribution to the overall security of the alliance.

That’s contribution recognised by the Warsaw Communiqué, and I quote:

“The independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France have a deterrent role of their own and contribute to the overall security of the alliance. These allies’ separate centres of decision making contribute to deterrence by complicating the calculations of potential adversaries.”

And what’s clear to us, as the world becomes more dangerous and unpredictable, is that the nuclear threat has not gone away. If anything, it is increasing.

We can’t today second guess the sorts of extreme threats to our very existence that we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s.

So our deterrent gives us that priceless advantage so that our adversaries know that the cost of an attack on the UK or our allies will always be far greater than anything it might hope to gain.

So our Defence Review committed to building 4 new Successor submarines to replace the Vanguard class which start going out of service in the early 2030s.

On Monday this week the Prime Minister made it her first duty in Parliament to lead the debate on renewing that nuclear deterrent.

And the House of Commons voted by an overwhelming majority of 355, over 100 more than when it was last debated in 2007, to maintain our deterrent to protect our way of life and that of our allies.

3. US-UK partnership

A powerful NATO is vital to our future.

So too are our key bilateral relationships.

And leaving the EU means will be we will be working harder to commit to NATO and our key allies.

We are now focused on reshaping our relationship with Europe, restoring sovereignty to the British Parliament but making sure our security, and trading relationship remain strong, while we forge new relationships right across the globe

70 years on from Churchill’s speech, the UK still has no stronger ally than the US.

We’re proud that together we continue to lead the world on security.

Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in our operations against Daesh.

At the end of last year, the UK erased the stain of its previous Syria vote in Parliament in 2013 with the new Parliament voting overwhelmingly to extend our airstrikes from Iraq to Syria.

Since then we’ve upped the intensity of our efforts.

Our aircrews have conducted more airstrikes in Iraq and Syria than any other country other than the United States.

Our aircraft are co-ordinating Coalition aircraft and providing a significant amount of the Coalition’s overall ISR.

And those collective efforts are paying off. Daesh has lost 40% of the territory it once held. Major progress has been made in the key cities of Ramadi, Hit and Fallujah.

But we’re going this year to go further.

At the Counter Daesh ministerial. which I have just come from, we have focused on reviewing our campaign plan and building on the progress we’ve already seen in the Euphrates River Valley and Tigris River Valley.

And we are responding to calls for the Coalition to accelerate its efforts by increasing our presence in Iraq.

We will be sending additional trainers to Al Asad Airbase in Western Iraq to instruct more Iraqi Troops in how they counter improvised explosive devices, improve infantry skills and provide combat first aid.

Those extra trainers will be working closely with US and Danish forces, providing training to the Iraqi Army 7th Division to their Border Guards and Federal Police.

We’re providing more people to assist in guarding the airbase, personnel to form an HQ to command the mission, and an engineering squadron to build the necessary infrastructure.

Those efforts as part of the Counter-Daesh coalition are just a small illustration of our co-operation with the US.

A collaboration as broad as it is deep.

And that joint-working is only set to intensify.

On exercises we’ve recently agreed to integrate a UK division more effectively into a US corps.

And on equipment there’s on going collaboration on F-35 and a week ago we saw this fifth generation fighter soaring over our new Queen Elizabeth carrier from whose decks they will fly in years to come.

And I look forward to the day when not only do our planes fly from your carriers but your planes too fly from ours.

And our carriers will be protected by another of our new equipment collaborations.

Our 9 new P-8 maritime patrol aircraft whose multi-billion dollar purchase I announced last week…alongside a further decision to buy 50 Apache attack helicopters.

But besides thinking of today’s technologies, we’re looking together with the US to tomorrow’s.

Last year, on his visit to London, Ash Carter and I challenged our 2 teams to develop together new technologies, new disruptive capabilities and new concepts of operation.

And we’re now seizing on the exciting opportunities. Last week, we announced the first project to develop autonomous robotic technologies…driverless technology that can ferry equipment over that last, most dangerous mile up to the frontline

That’s the kind of collaboration that will help us maintain the West’s technological edge.

And it’s that fraternal association between Britain and the US that Churchill was speaking about 70 years ago when he said:

“If all British moral and material forces and convictions are joined with your own in fraternal association, the high roads of the future will be clear, not only for us but for all, not only for our time, but for a century to come”

Conclusion

In conclusion, let me reassure you, Britain is not stepping back. On the contrary, we’re stepping up.

Standing up for our values.

Strengthening NATO.

Backing our nuclear deterrent.

And seeking a stronger alliance than ever with you in the US.

There’s been much speculation in recent weeks about our defence and security policy.

Let me reassure you.

The UK is leaving the EU.

But we’ve not forgotten that deterrence and defence are underpinned by cohesion and solidarity.

We’re still committed to those vital sinews of peace.

And we remain committed to European security and we are not turning our back on Europe or the world.

from Ministry of Defence – Activity on GOV.UK http://ift.tt/2adSNZ6

 

via Speech: Britain’s global role: stepping up – Think Defence

Critics of “Gays for Trump” Party Miss the Point |

An interesting follow-on from the GOP convention, and many bad things happening in the world.

Gay rights activists have not traditionally found a political home on the right. Yet gay activist and alternative-right icon Milo Yiannopoulus wants to change that, arguing that while the Republican party may not love homosexuality, Islam wants gays dead, and therefore gay people should support Trump (who Milo calls “Daddy”).

This was the theme of “WAKE UP,” billed as “the most fab party at the RNC,” which brought Milo together with controversial activist Pamela Geller who has gained notoriety for her “Draw Mohammed”cartoon competition as well as billboards in New York which read: “In the war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

The event was panned by media outlets such as Salon in a piece which shrugged off the event as a “virulently anti-Islam party at the RNC” and The Nation, which slammed it as “Islamophobes, White Supremacists, and Gays for Trump—the Alt-Right Arrives at the RNC.”

Teen Vogue said the event “perpetuates Islamophobia.” The Nation’s piece revealed the alarmingly open presence of white nationalists at the event and the seemingly small numbers of gay people who showed up.

Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who spoke at the event, referred to Europe as “Eurabia” and said, “Islam is the problem.”

If they would have looked to France, they would have seen that gay support for the far right has already happened there. In 2015 a national scandal occurred when it emerged that the winner of France’s largest gay magazine’s beauty contest was an outspoken supporter of France’s right wing Front Nationale.

As early as 2012, 26% of the gay community in Paris supported the Front Nationale, as opposed to 16% of straight people.

The rationale is startlingly simple. Milo’s cult status as an online provocateur has been generated by making controversial statements and pushing the accepted boundaries of discussion. He has been able to tap into the large and growing alt-right movement — a disparate collection of mostly young white males who support socially liberal policies but who hold the left in contempt for their perceived abandonment of liberal values when it comes to human rights abuses committed in the name of Islam.

Because of this, Milo and others make the argument that only the right will stand up to defend gay people against Islamist extremism.

The movement also partially consists of white nationalists and racists, who are able to maintain their foothold because they have consistently spoken out against radical Islam (and indeed Islam in general.)

Put simply, people would rather be racist than dead.

That’s very true, of course, even very socially conservatives don’t want to kill gays. They may want to ‘cure’ them or ‘convert’ them or something of that nature, but they universally realize that conversion at the muzzle of a gun is likely to be insincere, and invalid.

Personally, I would be more pleased if the gay activists would realize that many of us, on the right, simply don’t care, in civil manners about any groups, our quest is for individual rights for each and every one. What Martin Luther King referred to as the content of the character, rather than the color of the skin (and we could easily add sexual preference to that). That underpins all of our belief structure, including the free market.

However the ideology in question is not Islam, as Geert Wilders would argue, but is Islamism, the theocratic political project which seeks to impose the religion of Islam over everyone in the world and implementsharia governance, complete with hudud punishments. This ideology does threaten the freedoms of all Americans.

Tarring all Muslims with the same brush is not only morally wrong, but also facilitates the very thinking propagated by the Islamic State and other Islamist groups –- by dividing the world into two camps, Muslims and non-Muslims.

However, the refusal of the elites around the world — with a few notable exceptions such as the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron — to correctly name and challenge the issue has created a vacuum.

People know there is a problem and know that it needs to be tackled.

When the Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) object to billboards calling on Muslims to talk to the FBI if they become suspicious of terrorism, when President Obama and Hillary Clinton point blank refuse to name the ideology at fault, people will start to draw their own conclusions about who is to blame and take action accordingly.

via Critics of “Gays for Trump” Party Miss the Point |

And so our elites themselves have prepared the battleground for the battle between the west, and not our real enemy radical Islam, but Islam itself, and quite possibly our own elites, as well. But we should forestall that, for defeating the wrong army is not victory. We need discernment in our leaders as much as we need courage enough to see and identify the enemy. And yes, there is one, and no it is not Islam. It is radical Islam, and when we fight this battle, we will do enough inadvertent damage to Islam, without confusing Islam itself with it in our minds.

This is the mistake that our political leadership (all across the west) makes. The west will be defended in the end, but there should be enough leadership to show that proper targeting will save many, many lives, on both sides.

I see little reason to fear radical Islam once proper defense measures are put in place, ones that do not overly infringe on our desiderata: individual freedom. But we have leadership that appears to be using radical Islam as a means to control their own populations, rather than defend our civilization. That is unlikely to end well for them, for us, or for Islam.

Brexit: a Month On

w10564Well, we are a month on from the Brexit vote, and it still echoes around Europe and indeed the west. Perhaps it would be a good time to review.

Everything is connected: Brexit, Trump, le Pen, Isis – even Ghostbusters. They’re all part of the same story.

It’s been nearly a month since the Brexit vote and Remainers are still in a daze. Most struggle to articulate why it’s so emotional, why we feel so bereft and angry. Surely this isn’t all for the EU itself, an institution no-one showed any real love for in the years leading up to the referendum, or even now as we hope to get back in. […]

It’s because this was never about the EU. This was the culture war. It is the single greatest question of our lifetime, the one which defines this moment for the West: do we accept globalisation? Do we share goods and people and culture across the world, or do we retreat into our closed identities? Nativism versus globalism.[…]

This correlates to the chaotic changes we’ve seen in the two main Westminster parties. Labour is in a state of absolute disarray, but the clash of personalities just reflects a deeper ideological malaise. Immigration is a wound at the heart of the party, preventing it from bringing together traditional support in its northern working class heartlands with middle class liberalism in London and the cities.

The Tories would be in precisely the same state right now if it weren’t for one little rule, a very sensible rule which has saved them as a functioning party: the three month window between membership and voting for the leader.[…]

Look overseas and see our own problems mirrored a thousand times over. Donald Trump is a walking Brexit. Where the phrase ‘take back control’ dominated the referendum, he promises a wall against Mexico and a ban on Muslims entering the US. But it’s not just the policy – the emotions are identical too. Take Trump’s promise to make Mexico pay for the wall. That’s the real kicker in the policy. Crowds at his rallies love the way it implies strength, total dominance, superiority. It is identical to the swaggering ignorance of Brexiters talking about how the EU will accept whatever trade deal we give it, or how Brussels doesn’t get to call the shots anymore. It’s the emotional frustration of those who feel powerless, disguised with bravado.

via A new politics forms in the furnace of Brexit

In a way, it’s funny: I (and many conservatives) am at heart a free trader. Like many of us, I recognize that the best chance for our poor to have upward mobility includes free trade, not least because protectionism mostly hurts the poor. If you doubt that a visit to WalMart will disabuse you. Free trade provides many, many things at a low cost that without other countries would be very expensive indeed, if even available. Like your Chinese made iPhone. But, we almost all, at least American ones, supported Brexit. Why, because from our vantage point, we could see that the EU had become the problem, not part of the solution. A protectionist continent, that was doing undue harm on its inhabitants. I wanted to say citizens in that sentence, but Europeans had long lost control of the bureaucracy of the EU. We, or at least me, don’t see the Brexiteers as little Englanders so much as we see the Remainers as little Europeans; and the Brexiteers as a free trade possibility for us.

What Mr. Dunt says above about the referendum as part of a larger story that includes Trump and le Pen is, I think, true, although I think ISIS is a point too far. ISIS is, I think, merely reacting to weakness in the west, and an inability to effectively defend ourselves. Yes, part of it is related to our mishandling of the middle east going back at least to Sykes-Picot, but that’s not really that novel anymore is it.

Chalcedon makes the point this morning that the founders of the EU were profoundly influenced by their Catholic heritage. I think him correct, as usual. He decries that England specifically lacks that heritage. Also true, but perhaps that is why England above all had the vision to see that the EU had become unfit for purpose, and should be scrapped, as it scrapped the hierarchy of the Catholic church during the English Reformation.

Theodore Dalrymple also wrote on this recently, his thoughts are also interesting.

[…]Certainly, many young people selectively interviewed by the media said that they felt that their future had been stolen from them by those who voted for Brexit. (The fact that the youth unemployment rate in Belgium and France was 25 percent, in Portugal 30 percent, in Italy 39 percent, in Spain 45 percent and Greece 49 percent did not seem to worry them. They were not of the youth-unemployment class.) And it was the old, who predominantly voted to leave, who had snatched their glorious future from them.

Actually, this is not the whole truth. The proportion of the electorate who voted in the referendum increased sharply with age, those over 80 being more than twice as likely to vote as the young, despite it requiring much more of a physical effort for them to do so. It seems, then, that the elderly care more about the future of their country, or have a greater sense of civic responsibility, than the young.[…]

The statistical correlation between both age and relatively low levels of education, on the one hand, and a vote to leave on the other, was much remarked upon, not only in Britain but throughout Europe and the rest of the world.[…] And only the young and educated know what the right way is.

While age is certainly not a guarantee of political wisdom, the ever-increasing experience of life might be expected to conduce to it.[…]

The relation between political wisdom and levels of education is far from straightforward. It was educated people who initiated and carried out the Terror in the French Revolution. The Russian Revolution, and all the great joy that it brought to the Russian people, was the denouement of decades of propaganda and agitation by the educated elite. There was no shortage of educated people among the Nazi leadership. And the leaders of the Khmer Rouge were also relatively highly-educated, as it happens in France. The founder of Sendero Luminoso, who might have been the Pol Pot of Peru, was a professor of philosophy who wrote his doctoral thesis on Kant.

via: Who Understands the European Project?

And so, in some sense, you pays your money and makes your choice, but I think it very important that we don’t make the mistake of considering these things in their own little vacuum bags, what happens in Europe affects America, and vice-versa. If we don’t defend the least (pick whatever measure you prefer) of our citizens, we defend none of them, and that is where ISIS enters the equation. But we also owe them the duty not to arbitrarily make their lives worse, and that is exactly what protectionism will do. It was no coincidence that because FDR continued and strengthened Hoovers anti-trade policies, the Great Depression continued and worsened until World War Two ended it. That is not a good model to follow. We should learn from history, not strive to repeat it.

GOP Environmental Platform, a Nice Dream

Good stuff, here, from the Republican Environmental Platform.

“The most powerful environmental policy is liberty, the central organizing principle of the American Republic and its people.”

The Republican platform on the environment is factual and realistic. It focuses on real environmental issues and not the trumped up one of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a pollutant. It looks to science but also political economy. “Science allows us to weigh the costs and benefits of a policy so that we can prudently deal with our resources,” the platform reads.“This is especially important when the causes and long-range effects of a phenomenon are uncertain.”

And better yet: “We must restore scientific integrity to our public research institutions and remove political incentives from publicly funded research.” Climate science research, it is time to go honest or go home.

Free-market environmental policy complements and supplements the Republican’s free-market energy policies, discussed yesterday. It puts people first. It reflects a Julian Simon view of the world.

And finally, private ownership, a staple of free market environmentalism. is elevated. After all, “The enduring truth is that people best protect what they own.”

The Platform follows.

Protecting Our Environment

The environment is getting cleaner and healthier. The nation’s air and waterways, as a whole, are much healthier than they were just a few decades ago.

Efforts to reduce pollution, encourage recycling, educate the public, and avoid ecological degradation have been a success. To ensure their continued support by the American people, however, we need a dramatic change in the attitude of officials in Washington, a shift from a job-killing punitive mentality to a spirit of cooperation with producers, landowners, and the public.

An important factor is full transparency in development of the data and modeling that drive regulations. Legislation to restore the authority of States in environmental protection is essential. We encourage the use of agricultural best management practices among the States to reduce pollution.

Our Republican Party’s Commitment to Conservation

Conservation is a conservative value. As the pioneer of conservation over a century ago, the Republican Party believes in the moral obligation of the people to be good stewards of the God-given natural beauty and resources of our country and bases environmental policy on several common-sense principles.

For example, we believe people are the most valuable resource, and human health and safety are the most important measurements of success. A policy protecting these objectives, however, must balance economic development and private property rights in the short run with conservation goals over the long run. Also, public access to public lands for recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting should be permitted on all appropriate federal lands

via GOP Environmental Platform: Free Market Directions – Master Resource

There’s considerably more at the link, and it’s all good, I think. As always, of course, the question is whether anybody at all sees it as a sketch plan to be implemented, or whether its all flights of fancy merely written to help get elected. I’m cynical enough these days, to suspect strongly the latter. But even so, the mere fact of it being adopted by one of the major parties is good. Except hardly anyone will bother reading it.

That has much to do with the root cause of our malaise, I think. We have, in far too great a measure, become, not a Republic, let alone the Great Republic, but a society who every four years elects our form of a God-king. That has consequences, especially in a world where no man is fit to govern himself, we increasingly give one man (or woman) the power to rule 300 million, nearly unchecked.

And that is the rub. Good intentions are lovely, but we all know the road to hell is paved with them, and so it is here. Many of our problems can be traced to never thinking anything through to the ultimate results. Could it have been seen back in 1964 or so that paying (especially black) women more to raise kids without a father, than if he was present would lead to single parent homes? Of course, we could, but I don’t remember anyone saying so, at the time. It’s been the same in almost every aspect of the growth of government, look for instant gratification, never mind the medium and/or long term results. That is how we got into the mess we are in now.

Some say that is characteristic of democracy. That’s plausible, but we are supposedly a representational democratic republic. We elect people to devote full time to study the best ways to implement our goals. What we get are time servers who never think of anything beyond getting re-elected to the gravy train.

The only solution is to put government back into the box that the founders confined it to. When it again become a duty to serve, usually to one’s own detriment, will we again have a government that truly represents the people’s interest.

Jim Demint on Rights Without Natural Law, and more

CiceroKnollerMedJim Demint is a familiar name to most of us, former Senator and now head of Heritage. Recently he had something to say about unalienable rights, here’s some of it.

While musing on the writings of author and philosopher G.K. Chesterton in his personal notebook, a young John F. Kennedy wrote, “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.” Fences hold things in we want to keep close, and protect us from things we want to keep out. But Chesterton and JFK were not making a point about physical fences. They were speaking of the ideas, principles, and institutions that surround the things that make life worth living, and protect us from threats to those things we value and love.

This is the sort of fence we are currently “taking down” in America. Since its inception, America has been surrounded and protected by a unique set of ideas that created the strongest, most prosperous, most secure and compassionate land of opportunity that has ever existed. These ideas were considered by America’s founders to be “self-evident” because they were based on the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” (from the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence).

Generations of Americans have lived in security and freedom because our leaders have generally been faithful to the belief that nature’s God, the Creator, imbued all people with unalienable rights, including the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The second sentence of the Declaration is all based on the assumption of what we call natural law:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

via You Have No Rights Without Natural Law

He goes on a bit and he is correct.

In the meantime, Laurence W Maher was writing in The Spectator about ‘hate speech’,

Will we live to see anything to match the suddenness, the scale and the ferocity of the eruption of hatred and loathing directed by the global know-it-alls at the 17.5 million Britons who, when invited to express their democratic wishes, had the temerity to vote in favour of the UK leaving the EU? Those envious, uneducated, ignorant, poor fools simply don’t understand: Inclusion rules OK!

Some Australians share the horror of the know-it-alls. The prescriptions of some of them reflect the (post)modern curse of abstractionitis. There are taboo ideas. We are told which words we must or must not use. They insist that ‘debate’ is bad. We must always ‘engage’ one another in ‘conversation’ (provided it is ‘meaningful’). We must be ‘inclusive’ and ‘respectful’ and otherwise comply with many other abstract multicultural pieties. We must tremble and wring our hands in timidity if we are exposed to anything remotely ‘divisive’ or ‘unsafe’.

This prescriptive school of democratic correctness is backed up by the legally enforceable censorious command of the Australian Human Rights Commission that we worship at the high altar of difference and diversity. A word search of the AHRC online archive demonstrates that the word ‘dissent’ is not part of its vocabulary. Its motto is ‘everyone, everywhere, everyday’. (The online anagram generator produced ‘evade or eye envy or nervy eye’). In truth, the AHRC is exhorting Australians to think and speak according to a simple rule – diversity in everything, EXCEPT OPINION OK!

via Ironic triumph of hate speech

Strikes me as pretty much diametrically opposite. And that marks the reason why Demint (and I) see it as a problem. As many including George Orwell demonstrated there is no real freedom without free speech. Has it perhaps been abused to cover trash as art and such things? Perhaps, but art is in the eye of the beholder, and like the old legal saying that it is better to release 1000 guilty men than convict one innocent man. That holds here, as well. And that is one of the things about America and Americans, we understand that the right to free speech is exactly consonant with the right to offend.

Demint ends with this, which is fairly obviously true as well.

Politicians will not rebuild the fence of natural law. It must be rebuilt by individuals, families, churches, schools, businesses, and volunteer organizations. It will only be rebuilt by We the People if we have the courage to tie our rights back to an eternal natural order.

%d bloggers like this: