UK and US Stuff That Caught My Eye Yesterday: Enjoy

Ramirez:

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One of the really fun things to do here is to feature people who are friends, or at least you get to interact with on a regular basis. One of the people in this video is somewhere on that spectrum. Let’s see if you can figure out which.

Since they’re Brits, the arguments are slightly different than they are here, but I doubt you have many doubts that I admire Laura a good deal. Quite something to watch her take on a couple of leftists (one of whom works for the BBC) and wipe the floor with them. Well done, Laura. And yes, this level of competence in writing and commenting, as well, is much of the reason I enjoy The Conservative Woman as much as I do.

Also from Britain come a very sad story of what happens when the government becomes too big for its britches. From politics. co. uk and that is somewhat unusual, they usually strike me as pretty much statists, at best.

Two elderly ladies in Birmingham have been threatened with fines for sweeping up leaves. They did this because the leaves were a slip hazard – one of them had already fallen over. They left the leaves neatly in bags and tried to arrange for the the council to collect them. But rather than collect them, council officers slapped the bags with ‘illegally dumped garden waste’ stickers and threatened ‘action’.

This is not the first case of this kind. Other people have been fined for putting swept up leaves in their recycling bins. Another man in southern England was told he had to pay for the leaves to be collected, after he and other residents had cleaned their estate for it to look ‘spick and span’ for Christmas (if he put the leaves back on the road, he was told, he would be fined for fly tipping). [essentially littering, I think. Neo]

The maintaining of the street outside your house is one of those traditional, community-spirited things to do, which has rather fallen away. I am always struck with admiration when I see the elderly lady opposite sweeping up her pavement or pulling out stray weeds from the cracks. This is not something that my generation does. Yet community-spirited actions increasingly come into conflict with official rules. The communal space has become something solely occupied by the official actor.

So, it is only for the public authority to sweep up – or fail to sweep up – leaves on the pavement. Any citizen’s action into the public realm appears as a violation and a disruption of bureaucratic order. Spontaneous public action messes up the categories: they put the leaves in the wrong box, in the wrong place, or in the wrong bags. The state cannot appear to manage the interrelations with public action, even though people who have been sweeping up leaves say that they have been doing it for 30 years, and the council never used to have a problem with picking up the bags. It’s not that complicated to pick up a bag.

Right up there with penalizing 8-year-olds for running a lemonade stand, isn’t it? It’ll likely get worse before it gets better, both there and here. It’s why we need to get control back of our government, at all levels.

And finally, we talk some here about echo chambers, and yes, we all have them. The Federalist had an article yesterday about: Here Are The Media Hottakes We’d See If The Chronicles Of Narnia Were Released This Year

The press has certainly taken its lumps lately—and they’re not altogether undeserved. As Federalist contributor Tom Nichols points out in his new book The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge, a great deal of journalism currently exists more to confirm its audience’s preconceived notions than to inform them about reality.

Nichols’ book inspired me to reflect on how politically obsessed and ideologically sequestered our press has become, particularly when it comes to hot-button social issues.  To illustrate this, let’s take the debate into the world of counterfactuals: in the alternate history where C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s fantasy series is released this year and becomes a mega-hit, I think the hot takes would probably look something like these. 

The American Conservative: “Narnia and the Problem of Borders”
By not effectively maintaining border security, King Tirian ensured his nation would be invaded and plundered by the Calormenes. Also, Archenland should’ve been Narnia’s Benedict Option.

The Atlantic: “How World War II Shaped Narnia”
One of those very comprehensive and thoroughly researched articles that’s so long it’s divided up by roman numerals. […]

Including this, and quite a few more.

The Federalist: “17 Reasons Puddleglum Is The Most Hopeful Character In Literature”
We promise, there really is something good to be found in bottom-feeder mass-market material. Also, it has something to do with sex, gender, and Alexis de Tocqueville. Can’t we get that in the title?

Heh! Part of the reason I like The Federalist is that they occasionally laugh at themselves, as we all should. Read the whole thing™, I LOLed, likely you will as well.

A bit lighter today, because hey, why not.

 

 

Such a Conservative Cabinet?

donald_trump_august_19_2015_croppedIn yesterday’s post, Jessica was addressing the malaise that so many of us felt under Obama. That feeling that the world was going to hell in a handcart. I shared it, of course, and for some reason, Trump’s election has lightened it. That is not to say that Trump is really a conservative, nothing much in his record would so indicate. One of our commenters, Mike, spoke to this, in fact.

I view Ms. Jessica as half right. There is no question Donald is a reaction to everything she points out above. But Donald is not a Joe. So what is he? Why is he the subject of opprobrium? What behavior has he demonstrated that every politician competing for the same office had not? If he’s not Common… what is he?
He’s our reaction to the ruling class. He’s the antithesis of American ‘liberalism’.
It appears he has enjoyed success without the ever present hand of Government feeding it to him.
He represents a Danger to the Democrat Socialism, that Progressive yet patient Communism, which has permeated our (U.S.) political process to the point we have stopped teaching the Founder’s Enlightenment Philosophy to our children, do not require a single class based in Constitutional Law in order to secure one’s Law degree and are seriously considering the removal of any mention of U.S. History and the U.S. Constitution from our Naturalized Citizenship process.
We have wandered far and are in fact lost.
So this brings us to today.
The fear of what Trump represents is disturbing to our home-brewed Socialists because of the difficulty employing the tools of mass media, which they believe they own, to convince us of how stupid we the people are… this time. They’ve been ‘winning ‘ for so long, when confronted with what appears to be a minor set-back in the grand scheme, they’ve literally lost their Collective mind.

He’s not wrong. He has confounded the left, which is a good sign. But he is not to be trusted, ever, no politician is.

But one of the things I look at in a leader is the people he recruits to his team. That’s because experience says that no one man (or woman) can do everything, at all, let alone well. And here, Trump is doing exceptionally well, to my mind. I firmly believe the old saying: First-rate men hire the best men they can find, Second-rate men hire third-rate men, and third-rate men hire lackeys who will say yes to everything. And here, Trump is proving exceptional, on a level with Eisenhower, if perhaps not General Marshall, who had only one misfire in World War II. Others have noticed as well, from  Paul Mirengoff:

It seems clear that Donald Trump will end up with the most conservative Cabinet of any president in my lifetime. And yes, that includes Ronald Reagan (Steve will correct me if I’m wrong).

How did this happen? Maybe Trump, who never seemed all that conservative, has come to embrace conservatism nearly across the board.

He’s right, I can remember (somewhat vaguely) Eisenhower, and this is by quite a bit the most conservative, and I think, likely the most accomplished as well.

Trump might similarly be prepared to adopt conservative policies on domestic issues for the purpose of keeping his base and his party happy enough to let him do what he wants on the matters he truly cares about.

What does Trump truly care about? Pearlstein says what Trump wants is “to demonstrate that he can make good on his promise to cut through the gridlock and get things done.” I would put it this way: Trump is determined to do a few big things to “make America great again.” [Maybe …]

But the theory that Trump is largely indifferent about a wide range of policy issues and wants only to accomplish a few big things may sell the president-elect short. To write off the selection of Rep. Tom Price as throwing a bone to conservatives probably underestimates the extent to which Trump dislikes Obamacare. To write off the selection of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education may underestimate Trump’s disgust with the state of public education and his affinity for school choice.

Right now, conservatives need not worry much about why Trump has appointed such a conservative Cabinet. The point is that he’s appointed one, and that it likely will help the GOP reverse the statist, hyper-liberal course President Obama has charted and imposed.

via Why such a conservative cabinet? | Power Line Do read the whole thing! ™

For me that’s the bottom line, these are really good men, with bags of integrity. If Trump appointed them to provide cover, he’s going to have loads of internal trouble, because these guys and gals will fight their corner, as they always have. I think Trump knows that, and he appointed them because that is the prescription he thinks America needs to

Make America Great Again

Engineering Club Sensible

electoral-smallBy outlook, if not degree, I’m an engineer. My basic question is always, “Will it work, as designed, and can we build and run it on budget (or below)?” As far as I’m concerned, it’s what built the world we live in. It has nothing whatsoever to do with good intentions, it has much indeed to do with elegance. Maybe this is our year because it’s overwhelmingly a real world philosophy. It’s also overtly American, because America epitomizes the practical, yes, Americans are a very idealistic people, but down at bedrock, almost every American asks, “Does it work?”

Catherine Priestley wrote something about this the other day in The Spectator. Here’s some of it.

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it is that the times are changing. When news of the Trump victory unfolded across the world, we watched from Sydney University’s Manning Bar. Never had it been so packed. Students piled in to watch history, all-consumed by the bright red map of America flashing on the screen.

My engineering friends bought me a beer and together we observed the room. On one side were slumped shoulders, ashen faces and tears from tragic left-wing students, whose world-view had suffered the rejection of the ballot box. The other side was a sea of red caps and raucous applause with each Trump gain; the unmistakable ecstasy of a formerly ostracised group, finally on the ascent.

The engineers are sensible people and don’t really belong to either extreme. Instead, they drink to democracy and are glad that a blow has at last been struck against political correctness. They talk excitedly of how they’d improve the data analysis of flawed polling and have a purely factual discussion about how the construction of the wall might be done. The upending of the status quo means the engineers, typically outsiders who stick to an isolated building on campus far away from frenzied student politics, are now invigorated to participate.

Leading up to Trump’s victory, one could sense change in the air. Doomsday articles threatening stock market crashes, polls that placed Trump firmly behind; all had a Brexit parallel about them. When Joe Hockey addressed the US Studies Centre the week before Trump’s election, he said that 70 per cent of Americans felt the country was heading in the wrong direction. ‘This is normally a game changer in politics,’ he remarked. […]

Although uncertainty is trending, one thing we can be sure of is that Outsiders everywhere are on the rise. In general, they are a broad alignment of people across all parties and factions who share a love of common sense and find themselves more consequential to politics now than they have been for some time. Perhaps they find themselves on the Left, but feel isolated due to the dogma of political correctness and identity politics. Or they are of the Right and have become angry with the authoritarian Insiders who appear to restrict personal freedoms. Either way, they are all members of what the late Christopher Pearson might have termed ‘Club Sensible’. While major parties appear to fragment and shrink in these changing times, Club Sensible’s membership base steadily grows.

via Engineering Club Sensible | The Spectator

I think she’s on to something here. That map at the top of the page, is about as red as I’ve ever seen, and overwhelmingly, the red parts are where people deal with the real world, you know the one where reality rules and good intentions don’t cut it.

Will Trump fix the world? No. But he may well drain at least some of the swamp, although that might anger some of the alligators that are up to our ass. We all know it out here, “No good deed goes unpunished,” we say. That’s all right, we also say, “What must be done, will be done.”

And so far, from the quality of the people he is picking, well, I’m very encouraged. It looks to me like he is picking some of the best of America, and that is the mark of the first-rate leader. That’s something that every grunt on a job site or enlisted soldier knows, but a whole lot of officers forget when they get stars in their eyes. But not all of them.

There’s a reason why 3d US Army had the fewest casualties while conquering the most ground back there in 1944. It was called “Lucky”. If I was an opponent of America’s, I would be praying very hard, because I think its new name may well be ‘Chaos’.

We’ve also been known to say with Jim Lovell, “There are people who make things happen, there are people who
watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.”

bad-decisions

Kellyanne Conway becomes First Woman to Win Presidency!

downloadEventually, I’ll have something more to say about the election but, I simply didn’t believe Trump had much chance, and so I didn’t have my thoughts ordered. In fact, 2012 rather demoralized me, more than I knew, and nothing since has lifted that gloom. Your mileage may differ, but I bet I’m not alone. Meantime, an old friend of mine has written on it, and I pretty much agree, I think, with her. Enjoy!

Hooray, hallelujah, thank the Good Lord, the Wicked Witch has melted. The improbable Donald Trump slayed her, benefiting from the widespread dislike for Hillary Clinton across party lines. I went to my bed for an evening of crossword puzzles and reading (oblivion) as soon as I got a look at the earliest returns showing her way ahead in key states. I was resigned, and sad, and prepared to shed a tear, no more, when I turned on the computer in the morning to find “Madame President” splashed across the news. And when I did turn to the computer, I first went to email and there I found a message from someone I worked with in Bosnia, hadn’t heard from him for a long, long time — he was gloating at the upset– against all odds! he crowed. My heart leapt, I turned to Fox News to find that the glorious American people have thrown the bums out! And Ms. Conway became the first woman ever to guide a presidential campaign to victory. Wow. I did shed tears, but joyful ones, and I did praise God for the outcome. I had even prayed Tuesday evening with my birds that God would smile on Trump’s venture. My birds are as happy as I am, although less demonstrative.

Here is what we won: our future. Trump will name at least one if not more Supreme Court justices, thus securing the Court for the foreseeable future. And by the way, Ruth Bader Ginsburg publicly declared she would retire from the Court should Trump win. I’m waiting as are we all. That would be two wicked witches downed.

 

via Kellyanne Conway becomes First Woman to Win Presidency! | Ooobie on Everything

“Dickileaks”

hillary-and-weinerSo, while we were off having a life, this blew up. From the Bookworm Room, mostly because I haven’t caught up yet.

I go out to have coffee with a friend and — boom!! — Dickileaks breaks. I honestly don’t think there could be anything more perfect than learning that more of Hillary’s illegal emails showed up, this time on the phone of a serial flasher and possible pedophile. In a weird election season, this is the most appropriate denouement possible.

So the question is: Why now? Why this?

My own theory is that Dickileaks came about because Comey was terrified that those FBI agents with integrity enough to care about the disgraceful investigation and it’s more disgraceful premature closure were threatening his career. The newly revealed emails allowed Comey to reopen the investigation without losing face over his past decisions. It’s also entirely possible that the new emails are so explosive that, even if Comey could tamp down FBI disconnect over the prior investigation, he couldn’t do so with this one.

What I’m also wondering is whether this new batch of emails is sufficiently different — in location and content — as to circumvent the prior immunity deals that Comey earlier handed out like freebie coupons at a mall. If the immunity deals stand, it seems to me that this investigation will go nowhere fast . . . which would, of course, explain why Comey opened it up. That is, it would just be more Kabuki theater from the guy who’s been the beneficiary of Clinton Foundation money. With that most recent revelation about his ties to Clinton, Inc., not to mention boiling discontent in FBI ranks, Comey had to do something, and the best “something” to do is the kind of thing that ultimately turns out to be nothing.

Read it all at: “Dickileaks” – Bookworm Room.

Yeah, those questions are important. It could be enough to put Hillary in prison, it could also amount to nothing. The biggest difference this time, I think, is that various things have come together, in other words, the Weiner and Clinton stories intersected, and that makes it hard to ignore for the media, after all even those fools know that sex sells, and child pornography amongst the famous (or maybe infamous is the right word) sells even better. So we’ll see.

I also note that Assange has said that the next Wikileaks release will put Clinton in jail. We’ll have to see about that as well.

I’ve also noticed that Obamacare is making for a spectacular crash.

My heavens, what an interesting election, no time for coffee breaks, is there?

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.

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