Bad things in good times 2

Mark Steyn talks about bad things in a recently published (April 25, 2016) video: environmentalism, Islam, state-created art.

Well worth the 27+ minutes it takes to hear it through.

We like the last few minutes best, starting at about 24.40 when he talks about how lucky we are to be living in a warm period.

Posted under Canada, Climate, Commentary, Environmentalism, government, Health, History, India, Islam, Leftism, Muslims, Science, Somalia, Sweden, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 21, 2016

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Too late! 14

Paul Weston of Liberty GB deplores the election of Sadiq Khan, a blatant supporter of Islamic supremacy and the terrorist tactics of the jihadis, as Mayor of London.

“Do something”?

What can you do?

By the waters of the Thames sit down and weep.

It’s too late to save Britain.

Posted under Britain, Commentary, Demography, government, immigration, Islam, jihad, Muslims, United Kingdom, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 7, 2016

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The right choice 9

We are bombarded with comments and emails telling us that we are wrong to support Donald Trump.

Millions are voting for him. He is the Republican nominee for the presidency. Yet most articles about him in the conservative media are emotionally hostile.

Breitbart is an exception.

A. J. Delgado writes at Breitbart:

America’s bullies – the sneering, “we know better than you” establishment classes – have made many cower in silence rather than proclaim that Trump is a tremendous presidential candidate and has earned their support.

It is a replay of the worst aspects of high school peer-pressure, about what’s OK and what isn’t, based on selfish interests and prejudices.

Well, enough of that. Trump is already changing America for the better – and is encouraging us to boldly stand up for our beliefs about what’s best for our nation and best for our fellow Americans.

So let’s get right to it. Shifting America back on course requires Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. Not only is he the only Republican candidate who could win the general election, but he is the only choice Republican voters should consider (and should consider themselves lucky to have on their side).

The author gives 20 good reasons for choosing Donald Trump.

Here are some of them:

His business accomplishments.  Shocker! Imagine having a president who has actually built and created things! Imagine having a president with a proven track record as an enormously successful businessman. But, silly me – why have that when we can have, for instance, a first-term senator, career-politician who’s never even passed any significant legislation or a governor whom, despite some laudable accomplishments, most of the nation, including Republicans, can’t stomach?

He’s pro-women. In the plot to take down Trump, one of the first tactics tried was to cast him as anti-women. But Trump has worked with many peers and sparred against many rivals – male and female alike – and thus actually shows he treats women as equals (e.g., Yes, he joked about Carly Fiorina – he also joked about Rand Paul. Get it?). Or are we, as women, demanding to be coddled and spared the same treatment as the gents? … 

A man of sound morals. For those who judge a man’s character based on whether he called someone a “loser” during a silly Twitter feud, well, there is no helping your stupidity so stop reading this. The rest of us, however, know to look at a man’s actions and his record in life. What is Trump’s? For one, he’s known for treating his workers well. Second, is there no ugly scandal or brush with the law – he seems to lead a fairly straight-arrow life. Then there’s his family life. Two divorces? Sure. Marriages sometimes don’t work out. Ask Newt Gingrich or even Ronald Reagan himself. He’s on friendly terms with both ex-wives, though. What does that tell you? And his children routinely express what a loving, supportive father he’s been. Point me to another businessman of Trump’s money with four adult children, all of whom have stayed away from scandal and disgrace despite growing up in the spotlight. We’d be hard pressed to find one – meaning, Trump clearly did something right. Heck, forget the “Art of the Deal” — Trump should write the “Art of Parenting”. …

His policies are spot-on, particularly immigration. For brevity, this article is not meant to discuss the nuances of Trump’s proposed policies and positions. But he’s right on pretty much every position he espouses, first and foremost that of immigration, the most critical issue facing America.

How about taxes? Trump is the only one willing to take on the hedge-fund managers and blast their ridiculously unfair tax rate. It’s the ideal position – someone with a conservative tax plan but who realizes attacking the hedge-funders’ sweet deal doesn’t make one a “liberal” – and simply shows an individual with an astute understanding of finance and a genuine sense of fairness.

How about a dedication to veterans? Check!

A strong but sensible foreign policy? Check!

Negotiation skills. Presidents have the benefit of being surrounded by highly talented experts in their respective fields – it’s the entire basis for the Cabinet appointments. But, what’s the one area on which a president is on his own? Negotiations. When our leader walks into an international forum, or that one-on-one meeting with the British PM, there is no adviser that can speak for him. It’s the one time the president sinks or swims on his own merits. As such, a stern – even arrogant — president with negotiating expertise is of paramount importance. Governors have keen negotiating skills, sure – so do CEO’s. Trump is so good at it, though, he – literally – wrote the ‘bible’ on it.

Many Latinos love him.  The media keeps insisting Latinos despise Trump. Except, we don’t. In fact, many of us love him. Myriam Wichter, the Columbian immigrant from the recent Las Vegas Trump rally, is not an anomaly. Hang-onto-your-horses for this whopper of a “revelation”: America’s Latinos have the same wants, needs, and concerns as other Americans! Our priorities are the same as “Anglos”: jobs, healthcare, and so on! A truly novel concept!

And here are some more comments made in the course of the article which we like:

The more the powers-that-be try to take Trump down with breathless: “Can you believe he said ____?!” the more the American public shrugs and says: “Eh, sorry, still love him” or, worse yet, as seems to be the case lately: “Hey, actually, we like him even more now! I’m glad someone finally said ___!”

Attempt after attempt on ‘Teflon Trump’ slides right off him and instead backfires and blows up in their collective faces. …

It’s make or break time – and drastic times call for, well, not drastic measures but certainly something different. …

Yes, Trump is different. Guess what? That’s a good thing. His ideas – e.g., a sound immigration policy, returning manufacturing jobs to America, negotiating better trade deals – are not at all radical, but do go against the Washington status-quo. You see, we’re supposed to select another perfectly malleable politician – a Republican not unlike a Democrat – who won’t shake things up too much while in office. Same ol’, same ol’. And you, little person, you are supposed to vote for more of the same and like it. But the American public has reached a tipping point – we’d rather gouge out our eyes than select another career politician or Washington insider.

An exaggeration that, no doubt, but it reflects the mood of those who support the man.

Read it all here.

Posted under Commentary, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 5, 2016

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Historic tragedy: London falls to Islam 13

We had hoped that if Britain leaves the European Union after the referendum to be held on June 23, it would have a chance of saving itself from the Muslim conquest of Europe. 

It was a forlorn hope. Britain is already lost to Islam.

Yahoo reports:

Sadiq Khan, a Muslim lawmaker from Britain’s opposition Labour Party, is the strong favourite to win London’s mayoral election on Thursday after a bitter contest marked by religious tensions and accusations of racism.

Polls show Khan, the son of a bus driver, is as much as 20 percentage points ahead of rival Conservative Zac Goldsmith in the race to run one of the world’s top financial centres. If he wins, he will succeed current Conservative mayor Boris Johnson to become the first Muslim to head a major western capital.

London’s population of 8.6 million is among the most cosmopolitan in the world and it is rare for identity politics to enter British campaigning.

Yet Goldsmith, with the support of Prime Minister David Cameron, has for weeks focussed on Khan’s faith and past appearances alongside radical Muslim speakers, accusing him of giving “platform, oxygen and cover” to extremists.* …

It is the political influence that comes with the post, the second-largest direct electoral mandate of any politician in Europe, that is perhaps most at stake.

“The soft power of the role is very important,” said Tony Travers a professor at the London School of Economics. “The mandate of a city as big as London gives the mayor a voice and authority which goes well beyond that formal mandate.”

Polling shows neither Khan, 45, nor Goldsmith, 41, is likely to slip easily into the shoes of the incumbent Johnson, whose outsized personality was widely recognised from regular TV appearances before he took office.

Johnson’s globe trotting star turns as London’s trade envoy have made him famous, not only boosting the city’s international profile but also making “Boris” one of the most influential voices in the upcoming EU referendum.

The capital of Great Britain will be handed over to Islam largely by ignorant voters who have no understanding of what is at stake: 

Around a third of people couldn’t even name the two mayoral candidates, and knowledge of their policies was even worse, said Laurence Stellings, director at polling firm Populus.

This is a tragedy for Britain and for the whole of Western civilization. 

* Stand f0r Peace, a British research institute, reported one year ago on May 1, 2015, in a paper titled: Counter-Extremism Guide to the 2015 Election:

Sadiq Khan – the shadow Justice Secretary. In 2013, Khan … was listed as a speaker at the Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Peace and Unity conference. Other speakers included Yasir Qadhi, who claims the Holocaust is a hoax; Jamal Badawi, a Muslim Brotherhood activist who describes suicide bombers as “freedom fighters”; and Yusuf Estes, who advises husbands to beat their wives. Khan is a prominent supporter and “friend” of Babar Ahmad, a British Islamist convicted on terrorism charges by a U.S. court in 2014. 

The new Republicanism 0

It is more than likely now that Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s nominee in the presidential election this November.

It is therefore very likely that the Republican platform will be what he wants it to be. And many Republicans, especially the go-along-to-get-along pillars of the Grand Old Party, most prominently its leaders in Congress, do not like what he wants. They repudiate him and his ideas. They say he is unfaithful to conservative principles and will alter long-standing Republican policies. But if their choice is between changing principles and policies to those of Trump or breaking the Party asunder by thwarting the will of the millions of voters he attracts, they will accept – are slowly coming round to  accepting – Trump and his vision for America. (While probably still planning to knock it into a more familiar and acceptable shape.)

What do his conservative Republican critics object to in particular?

In an article hostile to Donald Trump, but accepting that he is almost certain to be the Republican nominee, Linda Chavez writes at Townhall:

Trump represents a repudiation of the Republican Party’s commitment to smaller government, free trade and an internationalist foreign policy.

Let’s consider these commitments one by one, and assess how far Trump is likely to change them, and how bad the change would be.

Smaller government is certainly a cherished principle of conservative Republicanism. We list it among our core conservative ideals, along with individual freedom, a market economy, and strong defense. Regretfully we admit that government is not likely ever again to be actually small, but does Trump not say anything that suggests he would reduce the hugely overblown bureaucracy oppressing Americans now? He does. He says he will lower taxes. Lower taxes must mean some shrinking of government. And that’s probably the most any conservative Republican could do.

It’s on free trade that we have a difference of opinion with Trump. He has indicated that he would match tariff barriers with tariff barriers. We think that’s counter-productive. But it’s not enough to induce us to call Trump a wrecker of American prosperity. In fact, most of his economic thinking is likely to increase American prosperity very considerably. He would stop foreign aid unless America got something back for it. He would make those countries that want American military protection contribute to the cost of it. And he has plans for job creation which we’re inclined to trust because, as an extremely successful businessman, he has done it.

As for the Republican “internationalist foreign policy” – we’re coming to that.

Here are some points from Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column on Trump’s recent foreign policy speech. Much as we respect Charles Krauthammer, on this rare occasion we disagree with him.

On the Republican side … foreign policy has been the subject of furious debate. To which Donald Trump has contributed significantly, much of it off-the-cuff, contradictory and confused. Hence his foreign policy speech on Wednesday. It was meant to make him appear consistent, serious and presidential. …

Its major theme, announced right at the top [was]: America First. Classically populist and invariably popular, it is nonetheless quite fraught. On the one hand, it can be meaningless — isn’t every president trying to advance American interests? …

On the other hand, America First does have a history. In 1940, when Britain was fighting for its life and Churchill was begging for U.S. help, it was the name of the group most virulently opposed to U.S. intervention. It disbanded — totally discredited — four days after Pearl Harbor. …

The irony is … it is the underlying theme of [Obama’s] foreign policy — which Trump constantly denounces as a series of disasters. Obama, like Trump, is animated by the view that we are overextended and overinvested abroad. …

Both the left and right have a long history of advocating American retreat and retrenchment. The difference is that liberals want to come home because they think we are not good enough for the world. Conservatives want to wash their hands of the world because they think the world is not good enough for us.

That’s nicely put! Our disagreements will come below.

For Obama, we are morally unworthy to act as world hegemon. Our hands are not clean. He’s gone abroad confessing our various sins — everything from the Iranian coup of 1953 to our unkind treatment of Castro’s Cuba to the ultimate blot, Hiroshima, a penitential visit to which Obama is currently considering.

Trump would be rightly appalled by such a self-indicting trip. His foreign policy stems from a proud nationalism that believes that these recalcitrant tribes and nations are unworthy of American expenditures of blood and treasure.

At least Krauthammer calls it “a proud nationalism”. Linda Chavez, in her article, likens Trump’s nationalism to disreputable [?] European nationalist groups which are better described as tribal. She seems to forget that the United States has for centuries been a melting-pot, and the American nation has been – until very recently under Obama – the least tribal in the world. And Trump’s “nationalism” is better described as patriotism. That’s what an American’s “proud nationalism” really is.

This has been the underlying view of conservative isolationism … It is not without its attractions. Trump’s version, however, is inconsistent and often contradictory. After all, he pledged to bring stability to the Middle East. How do you do that without presence, risk and expenditures (financial and military)? He attacked Obama for letting Iran become a “great power.” But doesn’t resisting that automatically imply engagement?

More incoherent still is Trump’s insistence on being unpredictable. An asset perhaps in real estate deals, but in a Hobbesian world American allies rely on American consistency, often as a matter of life or death. Yet Trump excoriated the Obama-Clinton foreign policy for losing the trust of our allies precisely because of its capriciousness. The tilt toward Iran. The red line in Syria. Canceling the Eastern European missile defense. Abandoning Hosni Mubarak.

Trump’s scripted, telepromptered speech was intended to finally clarify his foreign policy. It produced instead a jumble. The basic principle seems to be this: Continue the inexorable Obama-Clinton retreat, though for reasons of national self-interest, rather than of national self-doubt. And except when, with studied inconsistency, he decides otherwise.

Is Trump’s patriotism a “version of isolationism”?  Is it “inconsistent and often contradictory”? By “unpredictable” did he mean what Krauthammer is taking his words to mean?

What did Trump actually say?

We quote his speech in part (find all of it here):

America first will be the major and overriding theme of my administration. But to chart our path forward, we must first briefly take a look back. We have a lot to be proud of.

In the 1940s we saved the world. The greatest generation beat back the Nazis and Japanese imperialists. Then we saved the world again. This time, from totalitarianism and communism. The Cold War lasted for decades but, guess what, we won and we won big. …

Does he regret those American involvements? Not at all. He is proud of them.

Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. … We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.

With that we could not agree more strongly. It is not possible to turn states like Iraq and Afghanistan – Arab states, Islamic states – into Western style democracies.

And as for his comment on Obama’s actions – they have been “unpredictable” in that they make no logical sense. Krauthammer chooses them as examples of unpredictability to condemn Trump’s recommendation of it, when in fact Trump means something entirely different – as we shall see.

We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.

They have benefited so much, so sadly, for us. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy.

Trump goes on to “identify weaknesses in our foreign policy” and to say how he would fix them. Among them (they are worth reading in full) is this:

We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country. He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. And under a Trump administration, will never, ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon …

At the end of his analysis and outline of his intentions he promises:

 This will all change when I become president.

To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies.

Does that sound isolationist?

We need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam.Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.

Absolutely right! And no other politician, as far as we can recall, has said it before.

He goes on to speak of “working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world”, which is one of the few points on which we disagree. There can be no such thing as an American ally in the Muslim world, precisely because “the philosophical struggle” prohibits it. Islam is ideologically opposed to the West.

… And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now. But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly.

So that is what Trump means by “unpredicatble”. A commander-in-chief does not announce to his country’s enemy just when its army will stop fighting and when he will withdraw his troops – as Obama has done. It is a military absurdity!

He goes on to say “we have to rebuild our military and our economy”.

The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.

And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.

We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.

Does that sound “isolationist”?

But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, right now we have so much debt that nobody even knows how to address the problem. But I do. No one dollar can be wasted. Not one single dollar can we waste. We’re also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again. And to put Americans first again.

But, he says …

I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.

Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.

Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect.

We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it. …

To be militarily strong again, and at the same time try to negotiate better relations with an aggressive Russia and China – is that “contradictory” or is it speaking softly while carrying a big stick? 

I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win. …

Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules. In other words, if they do not treat us fairly. Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand. Believe me.

My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas … We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing

No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony.  I am skeptical of international unions  … And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs. …

I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. …

The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed humanity itself, but to play the role, we must make America strong again. … We have to and we will make America great again.

Where are the alleged “inconsistencies”? Where is the “jumble”. (We urge doubters to read the whole speech and tell us if they find any inconsistencies or contradictions that we have overlooked.)

The speech as a whole could be taken as a manifesto of the new Republicanism – what the Republican Party will stand for under the leadership of Donald Trump. He will take the Party forward, but not in the direction it has long wanted to go. It wanted to go, but did not move. He will make both good and bad decisions, as leaders generally do. But he will make them in the interests of a strong and prosperous America, and that is an America that is good for the world.

The most popular unpopular man in US history 4

The media – Left and Right – declare Donald Trump to be hugely unpopular. Pollsters, asking some unknown question, announce that overwhelming majorities of the American public don’t like Trump and would not vote for him.

Isn’t it then passing strange that tens of thousands of voters fill vast stadiums to overflowing to hear this unpopular man speak – and cheer him to the rafters?

Furthermore ….

The New York Post reports:

Donald Trump will likely wind up winning the most primary votes of any GOP presidential candidate in modern history

After convincing victories in Tuesday’s primaries in five East Coast states, Trump has roughly 10.1 million votes, about 200,000 more than Mitt Romney got during the entire 2012 primary campaign.

He won every congressional district in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, all but six in Connecticut and one in Rhode Island.

And with the primaries ahead — including in populous states such as California, New Jersey and Indiana — [he] should easily break the modern record of 10.8 million held by George W. Bush in 2000

But hardly anyone likes him? Very few voters will vote for him in the general election? Most people would rather have, as president of the United States, a physically weak, infamously crooked, deeply dishonest old woman who lived in the White House in the 1990s and took its furnishings and valuables away with her when she had to leave it? And who inspires close to zero enthusiasm? (See herehere, here, here and here.) And whose Party is shrinking? Even as the GOP is growing according to Trump (though the Washington Post denies it).

The Democrats are putting out that the only Republican candidate they fear could beat their corrupt, old, sick candidate is a sentimental bore “awaiting a signal from God” (name of Kasich) who’s won only the state he is governor of. Seriously? How many do they think they’re fooling?

How long will old guard Republicans, the Democratic Party and the media be able to carry on with the fiction that the nasty, corrupt, sick old woman is likely to win the presidency in a race against the powerful, successful, energetic Donald Trump for whom a very large part of the nation is loudly cheering?

Posted under government, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, April 28, 2016

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“I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion” 1

We welcome the foreign policy speech Donald Trump made today. So does David Horowitz, writing at Front Page.

We quote the whole article:

If Mitt Romney had given the speech that Donald Trump did today, and if he had followed its strategy during the third presidential debate with Obama on foreign policy, he would have won the 2012 election.

Trump’s themes were straightforward: Make America strong again, put America’s interests first. The Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy has strengthened our enemies, disparaged our allies, and earned us global disrespect. It has led to disasters that include the rise of ISIS and the destabilization of the Middle East. The theme of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry years has been the weakening of America – point Trump made with maximum bite: “If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.” And of course the Jeremiah Wright-Billy-Ayers-radical-Barack Obama did set out deliberately to do just that.

Obama’s agenda is American weakness, which leads to losing. Trump’s agenda: we must start winning. There were specifics.

First a rejection of the neo-conservative dream of democratizing the world, and in its place old-fashioned conservatism: limited foreign policy goals and stability, as the framework of peace: “We are getting out of the nation-building business, and instead focusing on creating stability in the world.”

And second, a rejection of liberal internationalism, and a defense of the nation state, in particular this nation state with its unique political culture: “Under a Trump Administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of foreign countries. I will view the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again, but will instead embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are.”

And the (accurate) justification for this nationalism: “The world is most peaceful, and most prosperous, when America is strongest.”

These were reassuring clarifications by Trump about his foreign policy views and should be a step towards satisfying his conservative critics although obviously a speech can also be only that – words to pacify critics. We’ll have to wait and see how he elaborates it further in response to specific events. But this was a very good beginning.

Our only point of criticism: Mitt Romney could not possibly have given such a speech, because Mitt Romney – as far as the American public knows – did not have these ideas.

Trump is saying now what has needed to be said for sixteen years. May he be given the opportunity to put the ideas into practice!

Posted under America, Defense, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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“The Great Die-Off” 6

… that never happened.

On the first Earth Day in 1970, environmentalists predicted the direst imaginable consequences, including the possible extinction of the human race, within 30 years.

That is, if we earthlings didn’t obey them and go back to living the life of the savage: “poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.  They didn’t put it that way exactly. But that’s what their wishes would have brought us to.

“Solitary” should also be in that quotation from Thomas Hobbes, but that wouldn’t be the case because the doomsday environmentalists are collectivists to a man and feminist.

Not a single one of their predictions has come true.

Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute writes:

In the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine, award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article titled Earth Day, Then and Now to provide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day, and in the years following, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic predictions” and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article. Well, it’s now the 46th anniversary of  Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that Bailey asked 16 years ago: How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong,” according to Bailey. Here are 18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made around 1970 when the “green holy day” (aka Earth Day) started:

1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind”. 

2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.

3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”

4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By 1975 some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”

6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off”. 

7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.

8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

9. In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support … the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution … by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half. …”

10. Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”

11. Barry Commoner predicted that decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate.

12. Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in his 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone”. Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.

13. Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945″. Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946 … now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out.

14. Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate … that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any’.”

15. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated the humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.

16. Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

17. In 1975, Paul Ehrlich predicted that “since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it”.

18. Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

The Daily Caller notes just how wrong some of those predictions have turned out to be:

1: “Civilization Will End Within 15 Or 30 Years”

Harvard biologist Dr. George Wald warned shortly before the first Earth Day in 1970 that civilization would soon end “unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind”. Three years before his projection, Wald was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Wald was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War and the nuclear arms race. He even flew to Moscow at one point to advise the leader of the Soviet Union on environmental policy. Despite his assistance to a communist government, civilization still exists. The percentage of Americans who are concerned about environmental threats has fallen as civilization failed to end by environmental catastrophe.

2: “100-200 Million People Per Year Will Be Starving To Death During The Next Ten Years”

Stanford professor Dr. Paul Ehrlich declared in April 1970 that mass starvation was imminent. His dire predictions failed to materialize as the number of people living in poverty has significantly declined and the amount of food per person has steadily increased, despite population growth. The world’s Gross Domestic Product per person has immeasurably grown despite increases in population.

Ehrlich is largely responsible for this view, having co-published The Population Bomb with The Sierra Club in 1968. The book made a number of claims including that millions of humans would starve to death in the 1970s and 1980s, mass famines would sweep England leading to the country’s demise, and that ecological destruction would devastate the planet causing the collapse of civilization.

3: “Population Will Inevitably And Completely Outstrip Whatever Small Increases In Food Supplies We Make”

Paul Ehrlich also made the above claim in 1970, shortly before an agricultural revolution that caused the world’s food supply to rapidly increase.

Ehrlich has consistently failed to revise his predictions when confronted with the fact that they did not occur, stating in 2009 that “perhaps the most serious flaw in The Bomb was that it was much too optimistic about the future”.

4: “Demographers Agree Almost Unanimously … Thirty Years From Now, The Entire World … Will Be In Famine”

Environmentalists in 1970 truly believed in a scientific consensus predicting global famine due to population growth in the developing world, especially in India. …

[But] India, where the famines were supposed to begin, recently became one of the world’s largest exporters of agricultural products and food supply per person in the country has drastically increased in recent years. In fact, the number of people in every country listed by Gunter has risen dramatically since 1970.

5: “In A Decade, Urban Dwellers Will Have To Wear Gas Masks To Survive Air Pollution”

Life magazine stated in January 1970 that scientist had “solid experimental and theoretical evidence” to believe that “in a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution … by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching Earth by one half”.

Despite the prediction, air quality has been improving worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Air pollution has also sharply declined in industrialized countries.

Carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas environmentalists are worried about today, is odorless, invisible and harmless to humans in normal amounts.

6: “Childbearing [Will Be] A Punishable Crime Against Society, Unless The Parents Hold A Government License”

David Brower, the first executive director of The Sierra Club made the above claim and went on to say that “all potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing”. Brower was also essential in founding Friends of the Earth and the League Of Conservation Voters and much of the modern environmental movement.

Brower believed that most environmental problems were ultimately attributable to new technology that allowed humans to pass natural limits on population size. He famously stated before his death in 2000 that “all technology should be assumed guilty until proven innocent” and repeatedly advocated for mandatory birth control.

Today, the only major government to ever get close to his vision has been China, which ended its one-child policy last October.

7: “By The Year 2000 … There Won’t Be Any More Crude Oil”

On Earth Day in 1970 ecologist Kenneth Watt famously predicted that the world would run out of oil saying, “You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any’.”

Numerous academics like Watt predicted that American oil production peaked in 1970 and would gradually decline, likely causing a global economic meltdown. However, the successful application of massive hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, caused American oil production to come roaring back and there is currently too much oil on the market.

American oil and natural gas reserves are at their highest levels since 1972 and American oil production in 2014 was 80 percent higher than in 2008 thanks to fracking.

Furthermore, the U.S. now controls the world’s largest untapped oil reserve, the Green River Formation in Colorado. This formation alone contains up to 3 trillion barrels of untapped oil shale, half of which may be recoverable. That’s five and a half times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. This single geologic formation could contain more oil than the rest of the world’s proven reserves combined.

We’ll give Mark Perry the last word:

Let’s keep those spectacularly wrong predictions from the first Earth Day 1970 in mind when we’re bombarded [around Earth Day 2016] with media hype, and claims like this from the 2015 Earth Day website:

Scientists warn us that climate change could accelerate beyond our control, threatening our survival and everything we love. We call on you to keep global temperature rise under the unacceptably dangerous level of 2 degrees C, by phasing out carbon pollution to zero. To achieve this, you must urgently forge realistic global, national and local agreements, to rapidly shift our societies and economies to 100% clean energy by 2050. Do this fairly, with support to the most vulnerable among us. Our world is worth saving and now is our moment to act. But to change everything, we need everyone. Join us.

Finally, think about this question, posed by Ronald Bailey in 2000: What will Earth look like when Earth Day 60 rolls around in 2030? Bailey predicts a much cleaner, and much richer future world, with less hunger and malnutrition, less poverty, and longer life expectancy, and with lower mineral and metal prices.

But he makes one final prediction about Earth Day 2030: “There will be a disproportionately influential group of doomsters predicting that the future – and the present – never looked so bleak.”

In other words, the hype, hysteria and spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions will continue, promoted by the “environmental grievance hustlers”.

Pretzels from Neptune 6

We are about to make sweeping generalizations, with no attempt to accommodate all shades of opinion. ( Shades of opinion are welcome in comment.) 

Left and Right inhabit different universes of discourse. Completely different issues concern them.

The biggest issues on the American Left (in random order) are:

  • Climate and the Environment
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Social Justice

To elaborate a little more:

The Left – internationally – holds man-made global warming to be an urgent threat to all life on earth, and tries in the name of saving the planet to force redistribution of wealth over the whole world, the redistributing agent being ideally a world government run according to Leftist values.

The one freedom the Left passionately advocates for is that of Each to seek sexual satisfaction of any kind, and for Each to choose a personal sexual identity, all personal choices connected with sex to be protected by law and subsidized financially, where required, by government.

The Left catalogues all Americans and all foreign nations according to a race analysis, according to which the white race is privileged and oppressive, and all institutions, led by government, have a moral duty to compensate non-whites and handicap whites.

All inequalities between sexes, races, and classes are considered by the Left to be unjust, the injustice being perpetrated by institutions and needing to be corrected by government using any means, including quotas for opportunity and advancement; adjustment of standards for inclusion and compensation; enforced limitations on the expression of dissenting opinion; the redistribution of wealth and power.

The Right does not concern itself with these issues unless compelled to, in which case its dismissive opinion of them is:

Man-made global warming is not true and would not be a bad thing if it were.

Sex is a private matter, only of public concern if it harms children.

Race is irrelevant to all political issues.

All justice is personal, having no meaning apart from the individual; standards must be upheld; power belongs to the powerful and cannot be bestowed; wealth is inescapably unequal in a free society, equality and liberty being mutually exclusive.

The biggest issues on the American Right (also in random order) are:

  • Individual freedom
  • The economy
  • Defense
  • The Constitution

A little more:

The Right holds that individual freedom is the highest value. All innovation, all progress, depends on it.  It requires absolute freedom of speech. The prime duty of government is to protect it.

Capitalism is the only system that lifts people out of poverty and secures prosperity. The Right wants the free market to be left to operate without government interference.

The government’s duty of protection requires a strong military to defend the nation from foreign attack; to maintain America’s superpower status of which the Right is proud; and specifically at this time to stop the advance of Islam and its terrorism.

The Constitution established the best possible system of government for a free society and the Right holds that it must be upheld and defended in its entirety.

The Left does not concern itself with these issues unless compelled to, in which case its dismissive opinion of them is:

The individual is less important than the collective, and individual interests are always subordinate to those of the collective.

Capitalism is evil, it values profits above people, it allows some to be rich while it keeps the many poor. The economy needs to be planned centrally by government for the equal good of all.

Wars should never be fought. Spending money on the military is a huge waste. America should not be the world’s policeman. It should not be a superower.

The Constitution is an outdated document. It says nothing about slavery. It stands in the way of an enlightened executive, such as President Obama’s, hampering his laudable efforts to change America into a more equal society.

Plainly, there is no common ground between Left and Right.

Dennis Prager writes at Townhall:

Just about all candidates for president regularly announce their intent to unite Americans, to “bring us together”.

It’s a gimmick.

If they are sincere, they are profoundly naive; if they are just muttering sweet nothings in order to seduce Americans to vote for them, they are manipulative.

In his acceptance speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, John Kerry, one of the most polarizing figures in modern American political history, said, “Maybe some just see us divided into those red states and blue states, but I see us as one America: red, white and blue.”

And President Barack Obama, who has disunited Americans by race, class and gender perhaps more than any president since the beginning of the 20th century, regularly campaigned on the theme of uniting Americans.

In his 2008 victory speech, President-elect Barack Obama said: “We have never been just a collection of … red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.”

In their current campaigns for president, Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democrat Hillary Clinton regularly proclaim their intention to bring Americans together. He, one suspects, because he is naive, and she, because she will say pretzels come from Neptune if it will garner votes.

Bringing people together is actually the theme of John Kasich’s entire campaign.

One headline on the “Meet John” page of his website says, “BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER, LIFTING PEOPLE UP.”

Senator Rob Portman said of Kasich on Feb. 1, 2016, “I am endorsing John Kasich because I believe he is the person our country needs to bring Americans together.”

And Clinton, who, according to CNN, is tied with Trump for the most negatives in presidential polling for either Republicans or Democrats since 1984, also speaks repeatedly about her ability and desire to bring Americans together.

The “Hillary Clinton for President Supporters” Facebook page has even said, “We’re in the business of bringing people together.”

What’s more, on April 6, 2016, CNN posted a YouTube video titled: “Hillary Clinton — We need a president who can bring people together.”

Lanny Davis, who served as special counsel to former President Bill Clinton, wrote on The Hill website that “Clinton wants to bring us together”.

Beyond Kasich and Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders made this a major theme in one of his ads called “Together”, which begins with Sanders saying, “Our job is to bring people together.”

Even Trump, who divides Republicans – not to mention other Americans – like no Republican ever has, uses this mantra.

A January article on The Hill site quoted Trump saying, “I can really bring people together.”

Gov. Chris Christie introduced Trump on Super Tuesday, and a NJ.com column released that night was titled, “Christie on Super Tuesday: Trump is ‘bringing the country together’.”

For the record, Sen. Ted Cruz speaks about uniting Republicans, but not often about uniting all Americans.

All calls for unity by Democrats are particularly fraudulent. Dividing Americans by race, gender and class is how the left views America and how Democratic candidates seek to win elections.

But calls for unity are meaningless no matter who makes them, because no one who calls for unity tells you what they really mean. What they really mean is that they want to unite Americans around their values — and around their values only.

Would Clinton be willing to unite all Americans around recognizing the human rights of the unborn? Would she be willing to unite all Americans around support for widespread gun ownership?

Of course not.

She is willing to unite Americans provided they adopt her views.

Would Sanders like to “bring people together” in support of reducing corporate and individual income taxes in order to spur the economy?

Would Kasich be in favor of “bringing Americans together” by having them all support increasing the size of government and the national debt? One hopes not.

I first realized the dishonesty of just about all calls for unity during a 10-year period in which I engaged in weekly dialogues with clergy of all faiths. Protestant and Catholic clergymen and women would routinely call for Christian unity. When I asked Protestants if they would support such unity if it entailed them adopting the sacraments of the Catholic Church and recognizing the pope as the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the discussion ended. Similarly, when I asked Catholic priests if they would give up the sacraments and the papacy in order to achieve unity with Protestant Christians, all talk of unity stopped. And, of course, the same would hold true for both Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews who routinely call for Jewish unity.

Even more absurd are the calls of naive Christians and Jews to have all the “children of Abraham” – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – unite.

The calls themselves can even be dangerous. One would be hard-pressed to name a single free society that was ever united outside of wartime. The only truly united countries are totalitarian states.

So, why do presidential candidates repeat this nonsense every four years? Because Americans fall for it every four years.

But it’s time to grow up.

The gap between the left and right is unbridgeable. Their worldviews are mutually exclusive.

The Left is dangerously wrong.

Why Trump triumphs 5

The Republican establishment has not used its powers, as the majority in both the House and the Senate, to stop President Obama from carrying out his sabotage of the country he was tragically elected to lead.

On the contrary, the Republican “opposition” has passively allowed, and even actively assisted, the destructive process.

And despite the YUGE message that is being sent to them by the millions of righteously wrathful Republican voters who support Donald Trump – with his anti-establishment message – for the presidency, they are still doing it!

Genevieve Wood, writing at the Daily Signal of the Heritage Foundation, gives some examples of their … what? Arrogance? Cluelessness? Corruption? Sloth? Deliberate defiance of their base? We’d say, all those things.

To watch the recent happenings on Capitol Hill, you would think this was just another typical presidential election year — a few bumps here and there, but no sign of a major shake-up, no indication voters were in revolt, nothing to suggest business as usual in Washington was perhaps falling out of fashion among the American public.

What else explains the lackluster, uninspiring, and I would suggest, “sell-out your base” agenda of GOP congressional leadership?

For example, the Senate GOP sold out its base on the issue of Common Core this week. Despite the fact Republicans have a majority in the Senate, seven members of the GOP joined a majority of Democrats to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominee, John B. King, Jr., education secretary. King is an avowed supporter of Common Core and other top-down, government knows best, education policies.

But at least the GOP is going to put up a fight on government spending, right? No, actually, they aren’t.

Apparently House and Senate leadership have decided the budget deal former House Speaker John Boehner and Obama agreed to last year is such a good one that they will keep it. That’s right, despite the fact Congress passed a Budget Control Act, supposedly to control the budget, [Speaker] Boehner and Obama blew through it, adding another $30 billion.

And despite the fact that Boehner’s compliance in this matter is one of the primary reasons he is no longer in Congress, the current leadership is taking the same path. Their reasoning? Obama will fight us if we try to “cut” spending.

Instead of fighting Obama, GOP leadership would rather fight its conservative members who refuse to go-along-spend-along based on promises of future reforms.

They apparently believe you’re supposed not to try and do what you told voters you would try and do. Ultimately, this means it’s unlikely the GOP will fulfill its promise to pass a budget this year and once again Congress will kick the problem further down the road.

Then there is the ongoing issue of judicial nominations. Republicans ran in 2014 on a platform promising to put a stop wherever possible to Obama’s executive overreach. One way of doing that is putting a halt on Obama’s judicial nominees—especially those for lifetime positions. … Obama nominees, including Wilhelmina Wright who once accused President Ronald Reagan of “bigotry,” were confirmed just last month, and four more are on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s schedule this week. …

A president who has repeatedly usurped the power of Congress, should not be rewarded by Congress with judges who will no doubt rubber stamp his reckless view of the separation of powers. …

Considering a recent survey by the American Perceptions Initiative found that 75 percent of Americans agree that “Congress has the responsibility to make sure the president does not skirt the law or overturn the will of the people as reflected in those laws”, a battle over judicial nominations seems like a very good [issue] for the GOP to remind people that Obama, from executive amnesty to rewriting parts of Obamacare, has been doing just that.

Perhaps they think the country isn’t paying attention to what’s happening on Capitol Hill because everyone is focused on the presidential race. What they should understand is that people have been paying attention all along and a presidential race no one in Washington expected is a direct result.

160315_Mitch_Kuhlman-1250x650

Guilty Men

Afterword: Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader, has just said on Fox that he will support the Republican nominee the people vote for, whoever he is. Which makes him now a little less guilty than many of the other GOP leaders.

Posted under Commentary, corruption, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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