Ukraine and America

In many ways it is difficult for an American to conflate the European Union with freedom, but in some ways we do the EU a disservice. They are far from perfect (so are we) but they are far better than, oh say, Putin’s Russia (soon to be Empire). Watch.

Honestly, even without the disadvantage of our (non)leadership, there is little we could do. The analogy that come to my mind is Hungary in 1956. But now, like then, we can hope and pray for brave souls who are willing to pledge “their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor”. If they truly hunger for freedom they, like the Hungarians, like the Czechs, and like the Poles before them, they are the heirs, like us, of the man who said this.

Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.

Patrick Henry

And so, my question is, “How fares that City upon the Hill, does its light still reach out to the world?”

My answer is , “Yes, yes, it does, but the guardians of the fire have become lax and it is beginning to gutter and flare. They need to be recalled to their duty, still another time.” For we know the light to be far better than darkness.

He’s right, you know. The reason that Lenin had to count on us to sell them the rope to hang us with is because they weren’t aren’t competent enough to make it, let alone design it. What can you say about a superpower whose ruling elite always imported their kitchen ranges from the enemy?

But on another not unconnected story we have some problems of our own that we need to solve.

Erick Erickson had some thoughts yesterday on the Democratic, Demopublican, Republican party. I think and have for a while, that he is exactly correct. The party of Leviathan is in charge whether they claim to be blue or red, and that is not the American way, that we have worked, fought, and yes, died for for over 200 years. Here’s Erick

800px-Texas_Flag_Come_and_Take_It.svg

I was once an elected Republican. I started the College Republicans at my school. I served as the state chair of the College Republicans in Georgia. I have worked for more than two decades to get Republicans elected. But more and more I cannot tell you what it means to be a Republican other than opposition to Barack Obama. I want to be for something, not just against someone. And I surely do not want to be for a party that thinks the problem is Democrats in charge of government and not government itself.

As a former political consultant I know most people want to vote for something or someone, not against something or someone. That, frankly, is one reason why Mitt Romney lost in 2012. He did not really give people something to vote for. He just assumed people would vote against Barack Obama. But a majority liked Barack Obama even if they disagreed with him. New polling shows a majority of people who voted for Barack Obama regret doing so, but they don’t regret not voting for Romney.

What does the GOP stand for?

I know what conservatives stand for — limiting government, local control, free markets, and life. But what of the GOP?

Continue reading Why This Fight

My key takeaway for myself from Erick’s article is this, “I want my government to leave me the Hell alone”. That’s the essence of America, right there.

But does it really matter? Sure I like being free and I’d like my kids to be but it’s a lot of work, and I’d rather drink a beer and watch the ball game.

Well, so would I, but you know something? So would that Ukrainian girl who led this column. And she knows, even if we’ve forgotten that freedom has happened only when a strong people made it so. And she knows that where that “Candy Striped Banner” flies, freedom reigns, as she has for 200 years. That is where the “City on the Hill” is. She doesn’t expect the US Army to do it for her but, she expects us to watch and pray and support how we can. It is our duty, and we are the guardians of the flame. If we don’t support freedom we will lose freedom.

That speech I quoted from above, it was in the Virginia House of Burgesses and it ended this way:

Give me Liberty of Give me Death

 

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Why Do I Write So Much About History?

Statue of Edmund Burke in Washington DC. See i...

Edmund Burke Image via Wikipedia

[Yesterday we ran one of Jessica's older posts and today we're going to represent one of mine, not (entirely) because I'm lazy but, because they have kept their relevance, and we have new readers since they were published. If you visit here often (or even seldomly) you've likely noticed that I write a lot about history. This is why. This was originally published in October of 2011, if you remember it, I'm extremely pleased, if not, I hope it speaks to you as well.]

Firstly: Because I like it.

History is one of my personal favorite things, especially military history and the history of technology (which tend to be all mixed up in each other anyway).

Secondly: Because the world we live in was built on the shoulders of giants.

Men like Archimedes and Aristotle, men like Henry V and Stephan Langton, men like Marlborough and Wolfe (and Montcalm), men like John Paul Jones and Nelson, men like Washington and Jefferson, men like Adam Smith and Edmund Burke. Men like Frederick Douglass and John Calhoun, men like John Bunyan and Henry Ward Beecher, men like Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, men like Carnegie and Edison, men like Alexander Graham Bell and Steve Jobs. And don’t forget the comparable (and incomparable) women like Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, and Abigail Adams who also belong on this list. Without the likes of these people we would still be living in mud huts hunting and gathering our dinner.

Thirdly: If we study how our ancestors solved problems, we give ourselves a head start on solving ours.

While I don’t believe history repeats itself, exactly; but as Mark Twain told us, it surely rhymes. One of the major distinguishing marks of Homo Sapiens is our ability to use external memory; to write things down to help us remember. This is true whether we are memorializing a hunt on a cave wall in France or what I did today on my iPhone. This forms a the basis for a lot of the decisions we make. ” If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Fourthly: Why specifically military and technology?

Because I believe that the individual has much to do with the progress of the human race (for good or ill). The military has several things to offer: It was the very first organization going all the way back to stone age hunting parties, it also preserves our traditions better than we as civilians do, for instance: Do you know why three volleys are fired at a military funeral, it’s not arbitrary, there’s a reason that almost any soldier can tell you. This helps us in uncertain times to build on the past to chart where we want to go in the future. It also has always been the laboratory for leadership.

What technology offers is this: the intelligently lazy man. The guy who got tired of packing his gear who watched a rock roll down the hill and went on to invent the wheel.

OK, I got all that but, I’m an American, what’s with so much English history?

As Americans our history is all mixed up in English history, until 1776 we were English. Our heritage and respect for the individual comes down to us from the Anglo-Saxon Britain, was codified in Magna Charta, reaffirmed in the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution and it’s Bill of Rights which preceded ours. Our philosophers of government were English (or Scottish). The American Dream is founded on English freeman’s rights and obligations.

For that matter our thought processes throughout American history have almost always paralleled the English. Differences? Sure, but rarely on the basics. And now we have been allied for nearly a century. I’m with Churchill here when he said: I’m content to see our countries get more and more mixed up in each others affairs. Great Britain in the European Union is, I think, by the way, an abomination. They belong firmly in an association of the Anglosphere. Never has there been such an accumulation of power based on the individual free man, and that is not Europe’s tradition.

When England won control of the sea between 1588 and 1805, she became the final arbiter of global power, and she used it for mostly good purposes, such as outlawing the slave trade and fostering world trade, generally. When Great Britain essentially went broke during World War I, that mantle passed to the United States. This was as Adam Smith had foreseen in The Wealth of Nations in 1776, as he urged the British government to secure a deal with the North American colonists. They didn’t but, it’s worked out fairly well even so.

Finally, a lot of what I do here is what I was taught in 8th Grade history, that we have forgotten or that our schools no longer teach. The men (and women) who preceded us were smart thinking, observant men. Why wouldn’t we want their input on how to rule ourselves?

The Lean Submariner  put up a post which is exactly on point. If there is one thing we have learned over the millennia it is that paying Danegeld is no good. Whether it’s to keep the Danes out of England, or US trade secure. I agree completely with Captain Bainbridge who wrote to a friend:

“The Dey of Algiers, soon after my arrival, made a demand that the United States’ Ship, George Washington, should carry an Ambassador to Constantinople with presents … Every effort was made by me to evade this demand but it availed nothing. The light in which the chief of this regency looks upon the people of the United States may be inferred by his style of expression. He remarked to me. “You pay me tribute, by which you become my slaves;I have therefore a right to order you as I may think proper.” The unpleasant situation in which I am placed must convince you that I have no alternative left but compliance, or a renewal of hostilities against our commerce. The loss of the frigate and the fear of slavery for myself and crew were the least circumstances to be apprehended, but I know our valuable commerce in these seas would fall a sacrifice to the corsairs of this power of this power, as we have no cruisers to protect it…

I hope I may never again be sent to Algiers with tribute unless I am authorized to deliver it from the mouth of our cannon…”

I recommend that you read his entire post, entitled “Bullies Redux“. If you’ve ever doubted the value of military strength, and the will to use it, you will learn the perils of weakness. Would that our so-called leadership would read and heed article like this.

This is an example of building on our knowledge base, whether it is Alfred the Great’s experience or Captain Bainbridge’s. This is how the human race makes progress.

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Sunday Stuff

ukraine-priests

This hasn’t got much play in this country but there are huge protests going on in Ukraine. There was a deal negotiated with the EU for the Ukraine to align much more closely with Europe and the government (under pressure from Russia, and Putin) is walking away from it. The people don’t like it, and there is nearly a complete breakdown with Kiev burning. The picture above is of Orthodox clergy standing between the protestors and the police. It’s a picture that is reminiscent of any time in the last 2000 years when the church has stood between the people and an oppressive government. There is more (and good links) at The Victory Girls Blog.

Julie over at Small Town Nebraska found a 3 minute video that covers Nebraska pretty well. Enjoy, we do! :-)

I note that today is Australia Day

John Hinderaker at Powerline Blog notes that Americans are profoundly pessimistic at the moment. I think we all knew that but it’s showing up in polling as well.

 “At the end of the month, President Barack Obama will give his State of the Union to the American people. How would you rate the current state of the country?” The results:

Excellent: 3%
Good: 17%
Fair: 44%
Poor: 36%

These results are dismal: 20% positive, and 80% negative. That is grim; Americans think the country in terrible shape. So, does that mean that people will be tuning in to Obama’s State of the Union speech in search of hope and guidance? No. Harris finds that only 28% of respondents intend to watch the broadcast. 32% won’t touch it with a stick, and the remaining 40% are “maybes,” but I’m pretty sure nearly all of them will decide to tune out. Hardly anyone believes that after five years of failure, Barack Obama still has something important to offer.

Put me in that 36% as well, everything is fixable but not short-term. There’s more at the link. And I note that Americans tend to be amongst the most optimistic people on earth, but not right now.

And some more stuff from Powerline

The important thing is that we have a tranquil and quiet heart and a mind filled with joy, that is, that we be content with the Word and work of God. —Martin Luther, On Ecclesiastes

 

 

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The Rule of Law

The crowned portcullis, symbol of the Parliame...

The crowned portcullis, symbol of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a comment from Daniel Hannan‘s Telegraph blog this morning. It is in reference to Parliament doing the right thing and cutting what they are going to give the EU. In truth, they need to withdraw but still, that’s a good start. Good for them.

Anyway, this comment, unusually for a comment in a Brit paper,  has a whole lot of truth in it, for Britain, for Europe, and for us as well.

rastech

Today 08:11 AM

“The House of Commons discharged its ancient, elemental role to the letter. MPs are there, in the first instance, to approve or deny the taxes which the executive wants to raise. “

As is the House of Lords, but denying the House of Lords its proper Constitutional role, is somehow, ‘ok’. Same with what has been done to the Monarchy and its Constitutional role.

Well, it isn’t ‘ok’ and we are going to continue having problems (likely increasing problems), until our Constitutional structure is rebuilt (because that’s what happens with all the alternatives, that really are alternatives to the Rule of Law, problems increase until collapse, which more often than not, becomes violent collapse).

The bottom line, and inescapable obstacle to the Rule of Law, the real elephant in the room in Europe, is the EU.

If those in High Office and positions of responsibility in our Country (and the other Nations across Europe), are incapable of comprehending the inexcusable risks and very real dangers they have presented to the People by their willful association with this lawless State (which is emphatically what the EU now is, and NOBODY, no matter their means or position in Society, is safe in such an environment – as exampled by the treatment of the leaders of Greece and Italy), then they need to get out (whether they jump voluntarily or are pushed), and let adults back in the room.

No Agreement, Treaty, Arrangement, Contract, Property, Right, Liberty, Freedom, or anything else, is worth the paper it is written on, by a lawless State, let alone its ‘word’.

No Nation across Europe has time to sustain the damage that can be done to them between now and the day a referendum can be held. The only answer is to kick the EU out, and kick it out NOW!

Forget ‘negotiating’ a withdrawal, or the sham of a ‘Free Trade‘ arrangement, it will not be worth the waste of breath or the paperwork involved.

Cameron, and the rest (of whatever Party or Public Service), you have duties and responsibilities to the People of Britain, their Constitution, their Bill of Rights, their Common Law, and their Rule of Law.

Start abiding by them.

Or else.

Read the article, it’s quite interesting MPs have remembered what they’re there for – that’s the real significance of the vote to cut the EU budget

Emphasis mine.

That is the bankruptcy of moral relativism laid bare. If the law applies to me but not to thee, it is an unjust law and the just action is oppose it by any, repeat any, means necessary.

The rule of Law, not Men, is a primary foundation of a free society.

As traditional politics perishes, iDemocracy is quickening in the womb – Telegraph Blogs

Picture of Daniel Hannan at a conference in th...

Picture of Daniel Hannan at a conference in the Grosvenor House hotel in London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daniel Hannan writing in his Telegraph blog the other day has some ideas on where technology may take us. He’s talking about the UK but it strikes me as pretty applicable here as well. One thing we are finding in business is that the closer we are to our customers, the better the can serve them. Of course, as a private business, that’s more important to us than it is to government bureaucrats who get paid, good service or not.

Which is a very good reason for privatising as many government operations as we can. There are some caveats involved here because it’s very easy to get locked into crony-capitalism here, like what some of the private prison operations seem to have, that serves the citizens perhaps even more poorly, so we have to be careful about this.
But where we can make it legitimately competitive, it’s a very good idea.

How many more of Hannan’s ideas can I get away with nicking?’

Things can’t go on like this!’ say conservatives. They have a point. Governments throughout the West have outgrown their capacity. Their treasuries are empty, their voters restive. Unable to squeeze more revenue from their citizens, they have taken to taxing the one constituency that can’t complain: future generations. But there comes a point when even the credit of what Shakespeare called  ‘your children yet unborn and unbegot’ runs out. Things can’t go on like this.

So what next? This is the bit that many conservatives are vague about. But not Douglas Carswell. He makes a point that is so obvious that only the pessimistic predisposition of some Rightists prevents them from seeing it.

If things can’t go on like this, they won’t. If the government can’t grow any further, it won’t. If the state can’t assume new responsibilities, it won’t. If the machine is broken, it will splutter to a halt.

At the very moment that government action reaches its limit, says Douglas, technological change renders it redundant. The Internet puts into the hands of a private citizen information which, 15 years ago, an entire department would have struggled to compile. The revolution in communications is cutting out the middleman.

Douglas draws on his experience as an Essex MP (an incorruptible Roundhead, he is the authentic voice of that radical county). He describes how state restrictions on building in part of his constituency, imposed by a quango concerned with flooding, created one of the most wretched places in England. He remarks on the way in which certain forms of constituency casework – lobbying on the creation of a school, for example – disappeared once campaigners could network directly with one another. He explains, in practical rather than theoretical terms, why state action tends to be the problem, and private initiative the solution.

Douglas knows at first hand that large parts of a politician’s work are no longer needed. How long until that logic is imposed on government ministries?

Continue reading As traditional politics perishes, iDemocracy is quickening in the womb – Telegraph Blogs.

I think that if we pay attention to what we are doing, we can solve a lot of problems with technology. In some ways, I believe we can bring back the medieval model of the extended family (3 or 4 generations) living closely together as a cohesive unit, strengthen our religions and reduce the interference of the state in our lives, all at the same time, while improving quality of life as well.

Tell me what you think about this?

Obama’s Dirty Energy List – Marita Noon

 

 

This time around I have little to add to what Maria Noon writing in Townhall has to say. I will add that she is correct in every part of this report, and it is frightening that so many of our citizens support a President that espouses policies that will lead to a lower standard of living, a poorer diet, poorer health and shorter lives, by design. Here’s Marita

During a recent trip to Washington DC, I heard that “by the end of his second term, President Obama wants 40% of our natural resources to be imported.” Like Harry Reid’s “Bain Capital investor,” my source is reliable: a Capitol Hill staffer. While I do not have a secret White House memo to validate the premise, it explains a lot.

Oil

During his 2008 campaign, candidate Obama made it clear that he doesn’t have a problem with $4-a-gallon gas. His Energy Secretary is on record as having said that he thinks our gasoline prices should be more in line with those of Europe—which are typically more than double ours in the US. We know that supply issues are one of the leading drivers of higher gasoline prices, yet Obama’s policy decisions—such as Keystone—lead to reducing the resource.



In his first campaign ad of the season, President Obama touted his record on oil, claiming that we have more domestic production in America than at any time in recent history. While this is true, it is not thanks to his policies. The majority of the oil extraction is on private land, mostly thanks to North Dakota’s Bakken Field. The development that is being done on federal lands is thanks to leases made and wells permitted during the Bush administration.

New oil and gas leases and permits on federal land are down 50% under the Obama administration compared to the Clinton administration. Because of the time it takes to bring a federal lease into production (5-10 years)—especially with the Obama Department of Interior policies, he is likely setting the US up for an oil shortage (even without Middle Eastern unrest) by the end of a potential second term that will send gasoline prices past his acceptable $4 a gallon, toward Secretary Chu’s “European levels.” With a dearth of new American oil development, we’ll need to import more from places like Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.

Coal

Candidate Obama’s comment about bankrupting anyone wanting to build a coal-fueled power plant is now widely known. His EPA’s actions surely support the statement as we are seeing record power plant closures. But it is not just power generation that is under attack, it is the extraction of the source fuel: coal, as well. Earlier this year, the EPA’s decision to pull a legally issued coal-mining permit that had been through years of environmental impact studies and analysis was overturned by the US District Court. Last week, his EPA was shot down once again. On July 31, the DC district court sided with coal miners. The decision declared that the EPA’s insistence that water discharged from a coal mine be clearer than bottled water was an overreach and should not hold up new mining permits.

While blocking new coal mining will probably not cause the US to import coal, it will prevent us from exporting it. Currently coal is a major export—one of our few exports—that helps bring a balancing element to our trade deficit.

Rare Earth Elements

On March 13, President Obama announced that the US was joining with Japan and the European Union to file a trade complaint before the World Trade Organization in Brussels to insure that China keeps exporting rare-earth elements. These unique elements, with names like neodymium, europium and dysprosium are what the Japanese call the “seeds of technology” due to their astounding electrical, magnetic, phosphorescent, catalytic and chemical capabilities. While most Americans are unaware of their existence, rare earths enable everything high-tech we use today—from MRIs, cellphones and iPods to hybrid automobiles and wind turbines—and are extremely important to today’s high-tech defense capabilities.

President Obama is going after China because the Chinese produce more than 95% of all rare earths used in the world by high-tech industry, while sitting on only 23% of the world’s resources. Obama insists that the Chinese continue to ship rare earths to the rest of the world’s economies despite the fact that the Chinese require the use of essentially all of their rare-earth production in Chinese industries.

The Chinese had announced, in 2011, they could become net importers of some of the most critical rare earths by 2015.  But in July, they said they would be importers a year sooner—in 2014.  And on top of that, the Chinese are creating a national rare-earths stockpile, shutting down production from the worst polluters, and tacking on higher tariffs for those rare earths they will export.

We don’t need a protracted legal hassle in Brussels that won’t produce a single American job or a pound of rare earth produced from America. The solution is streamlined and accelerated permitting, recognizing that American miners and manufacturers employ the world’s best environmental scientists and engineers and geologists. Instead of paying lawyers to push paper in Brussels, we need to be creating jobs from mining and the upgrading of rare earths in America, providing a secure domestic source of these vital “seeds of technology.”

Land Access

Early in President Obama’s first term, he announced his intention to increase the quantity of national monuments and introduced a new “wild lands” designation—both of which serve to limit the extraction of natural resources. Two such cases I’ve repeatedly addressed are the proposed tungsten mine in Montana and the swath of land that extends from the Mexican border up into rich farming/ranching land that also includes potential oil, gas, and rare-earth extraction in New Mexico.

In the Montana case, the Forest Service continually throws obstacles to extraction in the way of potential mining activity. Because the tungsten—needed for the manufacture of steel—is located in an inventoried roadless area, the Forest Service has mandated that, among other things, the site must be cleared and, later reclaimed, with hand tools. The drilling equipment must be hauled to the site with a team of pack mules which must be fed certified weed-free hay—all this to move equipment less than 1000 feet from a Forest Service road. If the case were not so tragic, so representative of similar stories being played out all over America, it would be comical.

In the New Mexico case, ranchers and farmers fear being thrown off of land that has been in their family for generations. With a simple stroke of President Obama’s executive-order pen he could remove 2.5 million acres—though 600,000 is the number generally bandied about—from any economic development or useful purpose by creating a new national monument.

Natural Gas

Currently the verbiage coming out of the White House favors natural gas extraction—but actions speak louder than words. America’s newfound natural gas abundance is made possible through the use of multi-stage hydraulic fracturing—which Obama’s EPA has, unsuccessfully, been trying to link to the contamination of drinking water. Plus, we know that much of Obama’s energy policy is driven by an environmentalist agenda—with the Keystone pipeline being the most obvious example.

A few weeks ago, the Sierra Club announced its “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign attacking natural gas, saying “The natural gas industry is dirty, dangerous and running amok,” and “the closer we look at natural gas, the dirtier it appears; and the less of it we burn, the better off we will be.” With this in mind, by the end of an Obama second term, we can expect the availability of natural gas to be diminished—and what we will have will be far more expensive, driving up the price of what is currently low-cost electricity generation.

Nuclear

We may not think of electricity as a natural resource, but effective, efficient, economical electricity generation requires natural resources: coal, natural gas, uranium, and, occasionally, oil. Uranium is the source fuel for nuclear power and we have an abundance of it in America—yet we import more than 90% of what we use. A couple of days ago, it was announced that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission “would stop issuing licenses for nuclear plants until it addresses problems with its nuclear-waste policy.” The “problems with nuclear-waste” are a direct result of White House policy. The Obama administration effectively shut down Yucca Mountain with a 2009 decision to reduce Yucca Mountain’s budget. This new problem for nuclear power has the potential to impact many US reactors.

In Germany, they used to export their nuclear-generated electricity. Since they shut down nearly half of their reactors, they are importing electricity from other countries.

More Exports

Former Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee has been out talking about getting the economy “revved up.” Part of his solution? “More exports.” Yet, as you can see, the Obama plan seems to call for more natural resource imports. 40% by 2016 adds up.

The countries with the best human health and the most material wealth are the countries with the highest energy consumption. So, why is it that Obama’s policies push us to use less energy, while paying more for it?

As we head toward the November 6 Election Day, keep in mind the stark contrast the satellite photo of the Korean Peninsula at night points out—the country without freedom, North Korea, is dark. With nothing separating them but an invisible line and a vastly different style of government, South Korea, the free-market, democratic, and developed country is bright.

Which do you want?

Do you want a bright future badly enough to step out of your comfort zone and talk to friends, family and neighbors; to talk to them about energy and its importance? Take the points made here and share them in good, old-fashioned conversations, and through new media like Facebook and Twitter.

We are down to 86 days to save America. Can we do it? With your engagement, “yes, we can!”

Emphasis mine.

Obama’s Dirty Energy List – Marita Noon – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

 

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