The political education of Charles Krauthammer 0

” The truth is to be discovered by contention.”

“Libertarianism is an excellent and irreplaceable critique of conservatism, but is too poor and limited to be a governing philosophy.”

“You decide your own ends – but in an ordered universe underpinned by liberty.”

Charles Krauthammer talks about his university education and the formation of his political philosophy, stressing the important influence on him of  John Stuart Mill, in conversation with Charles R. Kesler:

 

Posted under Conservatism, education, Libertarianism, Philosophy, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, June 9, 2018

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Charles Krauthammer 4

This is very sad news.

Fox News reports:

Charles Krauthammer, the beloved and brilliant Fox News Channel personality who gave up a pioneering career in psychiatry to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning political analyst, on Friday revealed the heartbreaking news that he is in the final stages of a losing battle with cancer.

The 68-year-old’s incisive takes on politics of the day have been missing from Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” for nearly a year as he battled an abdominal tumor and subsequent complications, but colleagues and viewers alike had held out hope that he would return to the evening show he helped establish as must-viewing. But in an eloquent, yet unblinking letter to co-workers, friends and Fox News Channel viewers, Krauthammer disclosed that he has just weeks to live.

“I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months,” the letter began. “I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me.”

Krauthammer, who graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1975 despite a first-year diving accident that left him a quadriplegic, explained that he had a malignant tumor removed from his abdomen last August. Although a series of setbacks left him in  the hospital in the ensuing months, he believed until recently that he was on the road to recovery.

“However, recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned,” Krauthammer wrote. “There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over.”

Fox News viewers will undoubtedly miss Krauthammer’s formidable intellect and ability to analyze politics and politicians with a cerebral wit and keen charm. As the dean of “The Fox News All Stars,” the panel of pundits who break down headlines and events nightly on Fox News Channel’s top-rated “Special Report,” Krauthammer could be counted on to make viewers think, question and even chuckle. Krauthammer was on his way to greatness in the medical field when he veered first into policy, and then into journalism. After medical school, he became chief psychiatry resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he studied depression and published ground-breaking findings in top medical journals. But in 1978, he took a job in the Carter administration directing planning in psychiatric research and later served as a speech writer for Vice President Walter Mondale.

It was in the nation’s capital that Krauthammer trained his mind and talents on political analysis and began penning columns for The New Republic, Time magazine and finally the Washington Post. In 1985, he won journalism’s top prize for his weekly political commentary. In his sobering farewell, Krauthammer said he is “grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny”.

“I leave this life with no regrets,” Krauthammer wrote. “It was a wonderful life – full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”

Always a realist, always courageous, he is apparently accepting the approach of his death calmly. As he accepted his paralysis the moment it was caused in his youth.

We have much admired him for many decades. His eloquence, erudition, profundity, wisdom, and his wry, benevolent – often self-deprecating – sense of humor, displayed in his columns and on TV, have been for us among the joys and enrichments of life.

He is a great man.

Posted under Miscellaneous by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 8, 2018

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The traitor president 1

Obama deceived and betrayed the nation he was elected to lead.

The Weekly Standard reports:

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), led by Senator Rob Portman, [has] released a majority report reviewing the Obama administration’s communications and financial maneuverings with Iranian officials at the time of the Iran nuclear deal. The report, Review of U.S. Treasury Department’s License to Convert Iranian Assets Using the U.S. Financial System, reveals in fuller detail the duplicitous ways in which Obama administration sold the agreement.

As part of the Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), according to the testimony of several Obama-era officials including its Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Iran was to be denied access to the U.S. dollar and the U.S. banking system. The administration’s message was clear, both before and after the deal’s signing: Iran would not be given access to the U.S. financial system. Yet the administration circumvented its own stated policy.

On February 24, 2016, the report reveals, the Treasury Department issued a license permitting Iran to convert $5.7 billion it held in Oman from Omani rials to U.S. dollars and then into euros. This would have directly violated the sanctions law then in place as well as the terms of the JCPOA. The only reason the transaction never took place is that American banks, despite pressure from the Obama administration, refused to go along, citing “compliance, reputational, and legal risks.” To put it plainly: Obama officials asked U.S. banks to break the law, and the banks said no.

Not only that. When Obama-era officials were questioned by lawmakers about whether Iran would have access to the U.S. banking system, those administration officials failed to disclose that, in fact, they had already actively facilitated Iran’s access.

The PSI report also sheds light on the “roadshows” in which Treasury officials advised foreign companies and foreign subsidiaries of American companies on how to do business with Iran without incurring penalties. U.S. government officials had conducted “roadshows” to advise foreign companies and foreign subsidiaries of American companies on how to avoid penalties in doing business with Iran. In these seminars, the report explains, Treasury officials “downplayed any potential future penalties or fines, stating that 95% of the time, [Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control] sends a warning letter or takes no action.”

Don’t worry about doing business with Iran, in other words. Nobody’s going to punish you.

… When Obama administration officials couldn’t persuade Congress and the public of their outlook, they simply lied about it. … The previous administration, it seems, perpetrated deliberate untruths with calamitous consequences for U.S. policy in the Middle East. We look forward to seeing that administration’s officials held accountable.

But will that ever happen?

We wrote in our post The highest treason (October 12, 2016):

Is there any precedent in history for this?

Has any other head of state ever done what President Obama is doing to help empower an enemy?

Far from preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power, as he and Hillary Clinton glibly claim to the nation, Obama goes to extreme lengths to make sure that Iran WILL BE ARMED WITH NUCLEAR WARHEADS AND THE MISSILES TO DELIVER THEM. 

What motive can Obama possibly have?

The only way to to guess the answer to is to look at what Iran is likely to do when it has its nukes.

Will Iran use them against America? The threat has been made.

Is Iran likely to use them against Israel? Iranian leaders have said repeatedly that they want to destroy Israel. (See here and here.)

So the harming of America and the destruction of Israel are Obama’s objectives?!

Is there any other possible explanation?

Now Robert Spencer writes at Front Page:

In a sane political environment, Barack Obama would be tried for treason.

Barack Hussein Obama has planted seeds that will be bearing bitter fruit for years, and probably decades, to come.

He is, without any doubt, the worst President in American history.

Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan? Yes, the doughface Presidents made the Civil War inevitable, but worse came later.

Grant? Blind to corruption and out of his depth, but there have been worse than he as well.

Wilson? That black-hearted Presbyterian bigot arguably gave the world Hitler and World War II, so he is definitely in the Final Four.

Harding? Nah: his tax cuts and return to “normalcy” got the American economy, and the Twenties, roaring.

Yes! Precisely for that, Harding was one of the best presidents.

FDR and LBJ gave us the modern welfare state and dependent classes automatically voting Democrat; the full bill on the damage they did hasn’t yet been presented.

Nixon? A crook and an economic Leftist, who betrayed Taiwan for the People’s Republic; his record certainly isn’t good.

Carter? Nothing good can be said about his four years of sanctimony and incompetence.

But there is one thing Barack Obama has on all competitors: treason.

He showered hundreds of billions of dollars on the Islamic Republic of Iran. There are those who say, “It was their money. It belonged to the Iranian government but was frozen and not paid since 1979.” Indeed, and there was a reason for that: not even Jimmy Carter, who made the Islamic Republic of Iran possible, thought that money, which had been paid by the Shah’s government in a canceled arms deal, belonged to the mullahs who overthrew the Shah. Likewise Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush all thought that the Islamic Republic was not due money that was owed to the Shah.

Only Barack Obama did.

The definition of treason is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran order their people to chant “Death to America” in mosques every Friday, and repeatedly vow that they will ultimately destroy the United States of America and the state of Israel. How was giving them billions and helping them skirt sanctions applied by the U.S. government not treason?

Other Presidents have been incompetent, corrupt, dishonest, but which has committed treason on a scale to rival the treason of Barack Obama?

The Iranians also operate a global network of jihad terror organizations, one of which, Hizballah, is quite active in Mexico now, with the obvious ultimate intention of crossing the border and committing jihad massacres of Americans. Obama has given a tremendous boost to these initiatives, as well as to Iran’s nuclear program, with his nuclear deal that has given the Iranians hundreds of billions of dollars and essentially a green light to manufacture nuclear weapons, in exchange for absolutely nothing.

There is no telling when the worst consequences of Obama’s aid and comfort to the Islamic Republic of Iran will be felt. But they likely will be felt in one way or another. Even as President Trump moves swiftly to restore sanctions and put Iran on notice that its nuclear activity and global adventurism will not be tolerated, those billions cannot be recovered, and the Iranians have already spent a great deal for their jihad cause.

However this catastrophe plays out, there is one man who will suffer no consequences whatsoever: Barack Obama. That’s Leftist Privilege. It’s good to be a powerful Leftist in Washington nowadays. Laws? Pah! Laws are for conservatives.

Sadly, we think he is right. Obama is unlikely to be punished for his crimes – which include treason.

Will he at least stand condemned in the court of public opinion?

The New York idiocracy’s anti-education plan 3

They’ve been the jewel in the crown of New York City’s public school system: Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech (here’s a longer list). They provided a chance for any of New York’s students, regardless of finances or race or creed or religion, to pass the qualifying test and get a fabulous education among their peers. 

So Neo-Neocon reports and comments.

But that opportunity has met the diversity police in the form of Mayor De Blasio, who has proposed an end to all that …

Mayor de Blasio of New York has a plan to “do away with the single entrance test, instead offering admission to the top 7 percent of graduates from all middle schools. That would make up 90 to 95 percent of admissions, with the remainder coming from a lottery”.

If this plan is implemented, either the failure rate will go up or the curriculum will be dumbed down, or both.

Michael Goodwin writes at the New York Post:

Under Mayor de Blasio, New Yorkers watch as their City Hall becomes a font of bad ideas. Day in, day out, the dumb and the dumber tumble forth with a common flaw: little bang for big bucks.

But de Blasio tops himself with his plan to impose a virtual racial quota on the city’s top high schools. In a single move, he surrenders the effort to improve hundreds of failing schools while simultaneously aiming to undermine the truly excellent ones.

Without doubt, this is his Worst Idea Ever. …

The plan would throw objective, proven test standards out the window, and thus qualifies as educational malpractice. The mayor inadvertently admits as much by saying his new chancellor, Richard Carranza, “is focused on social justice”.

The mission of the Social Justice movement is to ensure that the stupid, the mad, and the criminal (of all races, nationalities, ethnicities, ages, and “genders”, except “cis-heteronormative” white males, and Asian scholars because they are not stupid, mad, or criminal anyway) inherit the earth. (No matter that the criminals will then despatch the stupid and the insane.)

Not so long ago, chancellors were hired to run schools and promote educational excellence for all students. Now they’re hired to engineer outcomes based on race, ethnicity and family income.

The lower the family income the more virtuous and worthy the appointee.

This is justice only if you believe identity trumps all other human attributes, including effort, character and achievement. Sadly, de Blasio and Carranza worship that false god.

It follows that they aim to make the student body at the top high schools more closely reflect the citywide student population, which is 70 percent black and Latino. As it stands, black and Latino students make up about 10 percent of the 15,000 enrolled at the most selective public schools.

That is a serious and longstanding concern, but a fundamental problem with the argument that the schools are not diverse is that Asian students are the single-largest group at most of the schools. They constitute 73.5 percent at Stuyvesant, 65.6 percent at Bronx Science and 61.3 percent at Brooklyn Tech. Overall, Asians of all backgrounds comprise less than 20 percent of students.

Their extraordinary presence in the top schools belies de Blasio’s claim that the schools are exclusionary because many Asian students belong to poor immigrant families where English is not spoken in the home.

If the mayor wanted an honest answer to the imbalance, he would order educrats to study why so many Asian students excel and try to duplicate their work habits among all students. Instead, Asian success is now being treated as a problem that must be overcome, just as several generations ago, high-achieving Jewish students were restricted by quotas at Harvard and other Ivy League institutions.

De Blasio’s plan would be phased in over three years and do away with the single entrance test, instead offering admission to the top 7 percent of graduates from all middle schools. That would make up 90 to 95 percent of admissions, with the remainder coming from a lottery.

The change would be a case of fixing what isn’t broken. For generations, the vast bulk of the students admitted under the current system succeeded, making those high schools prime feeders for the best colleges in America.

But those facts are ignored by de Blasio because they reveal the real problem — too many elementary and middle schools in black and Latino neighborhoods are perennial failure factories. He talks a good game about fixing them and is throwing a ton of taxpayer money at them, but has little to show for it.

He, like Mayor Michael Bloomberg before him, is making it easier to take the selective school test and offer free prep courses. None of it has made much of a difference in part because de Blasio has turned the schools over to the teachers union and has given up trying to get rid of the teachers who can’t teach.

The mayor is also a big fan of dumbed-down tests and graduation requirements, always with an eye toward engineering a phony racial and ethnic balance in results.

But if those results were real, he wouldn’t need a quota to gain more balance in the top schools.

He even made it next to impossible to suspend unruly and violent students because of a racial tilt, with principals complaining that many classrooms are now chaotic.

The only silver lining is that eliminating the test for some of the schools requires state legislation, and there is little chance of that happening now. Gov. Cuomo, thankfully, doesn’t appear interested, so opponents, including Asian parents’ groups, have an opportunity to organize and stop the quota travesty in its tracks.

They shouldn’t assume common sense will prevail. Not in Albany, and certainly not with de Blasio at City Hall.

 

(Hat-tip Robert Kantor)

Posted under education, Leftism, Race, Sex, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 7, 2018

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Facebook shuts us out 6

Our Facebook page has been shut down by the simple means of depriving us of a space to post something.

The space at the top of the page which normally carries the invitation to “Write something …” has been removed.

Perhaps we have only been suspended and not shut out.

We wait to see.

We have of course complained through the means the company provides. We have heard nothing back.

This follows a gradual shrinking of our “reach” (the number of Facebook subscribers they send our posts to) from thousands to tens – and the removal of many of our posts.

We are being treated by Facebook the way they treat all (?) conservative sites to some degree. But how many are completely silenced?

 

Later:

The space to write something on the page has been restored to us – whether in response to our complaint or not, we have no idea.

Posted under Miscellaneous by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

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The UN criticizes the US 1

… through an Australian living and working in the United States, Professor Philip Alston.

The UN – aka Evil HQ – despises and condemns this free republic.

Dan Calabrese writes (to the citizens of the United States) at Canada Free Press:

You should all be ashamed of yourselves. The United Nations says so.

Six months ago, the UN sent a “human rights investigator” to find out if the poor are worse off under Donald Trump, which of course he and the UN had already decided was the case before he ever got here. He spent a little time here, visited a few run-down areas, and referenced some obsolete census data. Philip Alston, U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty, called on U.S. authorities to provide solid social protection and address underlying problems, rather than “punishing and imprisoning the poor”.

While welfare benefits and access to health insurance are being slashed, President Donald Trump’s tax reform has awarded “financial windfalls” to the mega-rich and large companies, further increasing inequality, he said in a report.

Which was, of course, totally untrue. Everyone except the super-rich benefit from the tax cuts.

U.S. policies since President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty in the 1960s have been “neglectful at best”, he said.

“But the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship,” Alston said.

Almost 41 million people live in poverty, 18.5 million of them in extreme poverty, and children account for one in three poor, he said. The United States has the highest youth poverty rate among industrialized countries, he added.

“Its citizens live shorter and sicker lives compared to those living in all other rich democracies, eradicable tropical diseases are increasingly prevalent and it has the world’s highest incarceration rate … and the highest obesity levels in the developed world,” Alston said.

Oh, happy is the country whose problem is that its people are too fat!

However, the data from the U.S. Census Bureau he cited covers only the period through 2016, and he gave no comparative figures on the extent of poverty before and after Trump came into office in January 2017.

The Australian, a veteran U.N. rights expert and New York University law professor, will present his report to the United Nations Human Rights Council later this month.

It is based on his mission in December to several U.S. states, including rural Alabama, a slum in downtown Los Angeles, California, and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Actually bothering to rebut this point-by-point would be an exercise in absurdity, but the defining fact here is that this fool wants to blame Trump for all this while citing December 2016 census data to support all his points.

As for his view of the problems and the cause/effect, let’s just say Americans have been debating for centuries the best economic and societal policies to employ, and the debate continues, but apparently that’s all over now that a “UN human rights investigator” has pronounced from on high how things are.

Remember, this is the same UN that has allowed the likes of Syria, Iran and Cuba to serve as members of its Human Rights Commission, and that blames Israel for every bit of violence that occurs in the Middle East. The UN is a complete joke. Can someone tell me again why we bother to pay for the privilege of membership in this schlock organization?

A very bad joke. A very bad institution.

The UN must be destroyed!

Posted under United Nations, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

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Fall of an idol? 5

Is Bill Clinton’s reputation now mud forever?

Mark Steyn comments, as always brilliantly, wittily, accurately:

 

Posted under Commentary, Sex, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, June 5, 2018

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On loneliness 22

The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and to a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.  – Tom Wolfe

There was a time not very long ago when loneliness was mitigated for many individuals by their being a part of a family.

Now it is not the fashion among the peoples of the civilized (which is to say the Western) world to marry. And it is even less the “done thing” for people to have children.

In general, the childless are surely destined to be more lonely in their old age than parents and grandparents.

Yet to the president of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice for England and Wales, the end of traditional family life is a Good Thing.

Random relationships – parody “families” –  are better for individual happiness, he seems to think.

Jack Montgomery reports at Breitbart:

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice for England and Wales , has said society should “welcome and applaud” the collapse of traditional nuclear-family life.

“What is the family?” asked the wealthy 69-year-old in a lecture at the University of Liverpool. “Time was when most people probably thought the answer was not merely clear but obvious. Today it is more complex,” he suggested.

“In contemporary Britain the family takes an almost infinite variety of forms. Many marry according to the rites of non-Christian faiths. People live together as couples, married or not, and with partners who may not always be of the other sex. Children live in households where their parents may be married or unmarried. They may be brought up by a single parent, by two parents or even by three parents. Their parents may or may not be their natural parents. They may be children of parents with very different religious, ethnic or national backgrounds, and they may be the children of polygamous marriages,” he suggested — likely in reference to the explosion in Islamic polygamy in Britain, which is flourishing in spite of the country’s long-standing anti-bigamy laws.

So polygamy is okay with Munby. (Under sharia law, if parents are divorced, the father gets the sole custody of the children when they have passed their infancy.)

The fact is that many adults and children, whether through choice or circumstance, live in families more or less removed from what, until comparatively recently, would have been recognised as the typical nuclear family,” the judge continued. “This, I stress, is not merely the reality; it is, I believe, a reality which we should welcome and applaud.”

The shocking statement is not the first controversial commentary on the state of British family life by England’s most senior family judge.

In 2014, Sir James gave an equally charged speech in which he issued a damning and partisan indictment of “Victorian values” and railed against “the dominant influence wielded by the Christian churches” in the past.

We have no quarrel with him when he rails against the Christian churches. We do it too. But let’s get back to families.

To whom will the multitudes of the barren look for companionship and comfort in their old age? If they survive very long, their friends – if they had them – will have died; or if not, they will have have reached the years of dependence themselves.

Will the Lonely Old look to the cold comfort of the state?

Sir James Munby, who is strongly against begetting children, does not answer that question.

He also celebrated the role played by the contraceptive pill and abortion on demand in removing “the fear of unwanted pregnancy and the fear of the consequences of contraceptive failure” transforming sex into “something to be enjoyed, if one wished, for purposes having nothing to do with procreation” by the end of the 1960s.

“A fundamental link – the connection between sex and procreation – was irretrievably broken,” he gloated.

In the Munby mind, procreation is to be avoided.

We ask our readers: What are your thoughts on this?

Posted under Commentary, Miscellaneous, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Sunday, June 3, 2018

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The old man and the KGB 5

We do not hold Ernest Hemingway in high esteem (or any) as a novelist, but many do. Will this information about the man himself come as a shock to them?

Humberto Fontova writes at Townhall:

“There’s no politics here ….In fact, there’s no clear no evidence that Hemingway was a Castro enthusiast, or critic,” says Sandra Spanier, an English professor at Penn State University who is the editor of the Hemingway Letters Project. “He felt that it was important, as a guest living in another country, that he be apolitical,” Spanier said in an interview. (Los Angeles Times story on the restoration of Ernest Hemingway’s mansion Finca Vigia near Havana, Cuba, May 30 [2018].)

Got it, amigos? According to the Los Angeles Times a former KGB agent living in a KBG-founded and mentored Soviet satrapy while singing its praises makes him antiseptically “apolitical”.

What?….some of you weren’t aware that declassified Soviet documents proved that Ernest Hemingway officially signed up with the KGB as “Agent Argo” in 1941?

Well, don’t take it from me. After all I’m a “rabidly right-wing Cuban exile!” Instead take it from the crypto-commie (but well-sourced) UK Guardian.

But you just loved The Old Man and the Sea? And especially Gary Cooper as Robert Jordan and Ingrid Bergman as Maria in For Whom the Bell Tolls? So you just can’t bring yourself to believe something so shockingly repulsive about one of your favorite authors Ernest Hemingway?

OK, fine.  I understand. Then try this: “According to transcripts of NKVD files prepared by a Russian historian who subsequently fled to the West, Hemingway “was recruited for our work on ideological grounds” by an operative named Jacob Golos.

Turns out that Papa failed pathetically at his KGB assignment.  But hey, it’s the thought that counts!  And the thought was to be a member of the most murderous organization in modern history during its most murderous phase. (Stalin’s NKVD under Lavrenti Beria.) A singular honor, surely!

“There’s no clear evidence that Hemingway was a Castro enthusiast,” sniffs the Los Angeles Times. Oh, really? Well chew on these a bit:

“Castro’s revolution is very pure and beautiful. I’m encouraged by it. The Cuban people now have a decent chance for the first time. The Cubans getting shot all deserve it.” – Ernest Hemingway, 1960.

Quite fittingly, when Soviet diplomat Anastas Mikoyan finished his courtesy calls on Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in Havana in 1960 — this long-time Stalin and Beria confidant made it a point to call on Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway knew full well what was going on behind the scenes of Castro and Che’s “pure and beautiful” revolution. Accounts of “Papa” Hemingway’s eager presence at many of the Katyn-like massacres of untried Cubans comes courtesy of Hemingway’s own friend, the late George Plimpton (not exactly an “embittered rabidly right-wing Cuban exile!”) who worked as editor of the Paris Review, (not exactly a “McCarthyite scandal sheet”.)

In 1958 George Plimpton interviewed Hemingway in Cuba for one of the Paris Review’s most famous pieces. They became friends and the following year Hemingway again invited Plimpton down to his Finca Vigia just outside Havana. An editor at The Paris Review during the 1990’s, while relating how this high-brow publication passed on serializing the manuscript that became Che Guevara’s Motorcycle Diaries, reveals “Papa’s” unwitting role in the rejection.

“I took the paper-clipped excerpt upstairs to the Boss (Plimpton),” writes James Scott Linville, “and said I had something strange and good. As I started to tell him about it, his smile faded. I stopped my pitch and said, ‘Boss, what’s the matter?'”

“James, I’m sorry.” Linville recalls Plimpton replying. A sad look came over him, and he said, “Years ago, after we’d done the interview, Papa invited me down again to Cuba. It was right after the revolution.

“There’s something you should see,” Hemingway told Plimpton while preparing a shaker of drinks for the outing.

They got in the car with a few others and drove some way out of town. They got out, set up chairs and took out the drinks, as if they were going to watch the sunset. Soon, a truck arrived. This, explained George, was what they’d been waiting for. It came, as Hemingway knew, the same time each day. It stopped and some men with guns got out of it. In the back were a couple of dozen others who were tied up. Prisoners. The men with guns hustled the others out of the back of the truck, and lined them up. Then they shot them. They put the bodies back into the truck.

And so it started. Within a few years 16,000 men and boys (some of them U.S. citizens) would fill mass graves after scenes like the ones that so charmed Papa Hemingway with his thermos of specially-prepared Daiquiris. The figure for the Castroite murder tally is not difficult to find. Simply open “The Black Book of Communism,” written by French scholars and published in English by Harvard University Press (neither exactly an outpost of “embittered rabidly right-wing Cuban exiles!”) …

“Pure and beautiful” indeed, Mr “apolitical” Hemingway.

To live in Castro’s Cuba and not be outraged, would not be a condition of mind describable as “apolitical”, but “inhumane”.

An inhumane novelist, Ernest Hemingway.

Posted under Cuba, Soviet Union by Jillian Becker on Saturday, June 2, 2018

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Huge benefits of hydrocarbon production 1

The Obama administration was against increasing US oil production; against drilling in new fields; against fracking. Obama would rather Americans bought oil from other countries, in particular Muslim countries of the Middle East.

President Trump – intent on making America great again – has a different policy. It is enormously successful.

The New York Post reports:

In February, oil output hit 10.2 million barrels per day and gas production hit 87.6 billion cubic feet per day. The fact that US oil and gas companies are producing such prodigious quantities of energy — and by doing so, are saving consumers billions of dollars per year — should be headline news. …

The shale revolution has turned the US into an energy superpower. The combination of horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other technologies … has resulted in “the fastest and biggest addition to world energy supply that has ever occurred in history”.

How big is that addition? Over the past decade, merely the increase — I repeat, just the increase — in US oil and gas production is equal to seven times the total energy production of every wind turbine and solar project in the United States.

Climate-change activists like to claim that renewable energy can power the entire economy and that we should “do the math”. I couldn’t agree more — on the math part. In 2008, US oil production was about 5.2 million barrels per day. Today, it’s about 10.2 million barrels per day. In 2008, domestic gas production averaged about 55.1 billion cubic feet per day. Today, it’s about 87.6 billion cubic feet per day.

That’s an increase of about 32.5 billion cubic feet per day, which is equivalent to about 5.5 million barrels of oil per day. Thus, over the past decade, US oil and gas output has jumped by about 10.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Let’s compare that to domestic solar and wind production which, since 2008, has increased by 4,800 percent and 450 percent, respectively. While those percentage increases are impressive, the total energy produced from those sources remains small when compared to oil and gas.

In 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration, US solar production totaled about 77 terawatt-hours and wind production totaled about 254 terawatt-hours, for a combined total of 331 terawatt-hours. That’s the equivalent of about 1.5 million barrels of oil per day.

Simple division (10.5 divided by 1.5) shows that since 2008, the increase in energy production from oil and gas is equal to seven times the energy output of all domestic solar and wind.

This surge in hydrocarbon production has resulted in huge benefits to the US economy. Over the past half-decade, foreign and domestic companies have invested about $160 billion in new chemical-manufacturing facilities in the United States. A 2016 study by IHS found that lower natural-gas prices have created about 1.4 million jobs and increased disposable income by about $156 billion.

Posted under Energy, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 1, 2018

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