What Should Libertarians Think about the Civil War? by Phillip Magness

The current national debate over the display and meaning of the Confederate battle flag has reopened a number of longstanding arguments about the meaning of the American Civil War, including within libertarian and classical liberal circles.

Because of its emotional subject matter, lasting political legacies of race and slavery, transformative effects upon American constitutionalism, and sheer magnitude as the most destructive military episode ever to occur on American soil, the Civil War exhibits strong tendencies toward politicization in the modern era.

Unfortunately, bad history often accompanies this politicization, and libertarians are by no means immune from this tendency.

Two common interpretations of the Civil War stand out as particularly problematic:

  1. libertarian support for the Confederacy; and
  2. libertarian support for the Union.

The Problem with Pro-Confederate Libertarianism

The first and perhaps best known “libertarian” approach to the Civil War attempts to find sympathy with the defeated Confederacy because of its resistance to the federal government and northern military authority or its professed cause of free trade and political self-determination.

Some aspects of this position have intuitive appeal that produces sympathy for the Confederate cause: it professes outrage against a Union that is said to have conquered by force, trampled on the rights of states and individuals, unleashed a military invasion, suspended civil liberties, denied government by consent, elevated Lincoln to a “dictator,” and effected a lasting centralization of federal power. In this view, the Union cause and victory is the foundational work for the modern state and all that is anathema to political libertarianism.

This interpretation falters in what it neglects: slavery.

This is no small irony, either, as the anti-slavery cause was arguably the preeminent political occupation of libertarianism’s classical liberal antecedents. A continuum of classical liberal thinkers from Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill and J.E. Cairnes forged the main intellectual case against the slave system.

Abolitionism was also always a preeminent political cause of liberalism, extending from 18th-century statesman Charles James Fox to the 19th century’s Richard Cobden in Great Britain and strongly influencing such figures as William Lloyd Garrison, Lysander Spooner, and Frederick Douglass in the United States.

This is no small matter for the libertarian intellectual tradition either, for in sidestepping the slave question’s intimate connection to the Confederacy, pro-Confederate libertarians also inadvertently abandon what is perhaps the single most important and beneficial contribution that classical liberalism has made to the human condition: the abolition of slavery.

This is not to suggest that libertarian defenders of the Confederacy share its historical affinity for chattel slavery or the plantation system. Rather, they are guilty of turning a tin ear to the one unequivocally beneficial outcome of the war in the permanent destruction of American slavery.

The Problem with Libertarian Unionism

A smaller set of libertarians gravitate to a second common interpretation of the Civil War, defined primarily by its consequential outcome.

Unlike the pro-Confederate position, these libertarian defenders of the North are keenly aware of both the centrality of slavery to the conflict as well as the importance of the abolitionist cause to the liberal intellectual tradition. Standing as a direct antithesis to the pro-Confederate arguments, these faute de mieux Unionists recognize the inherent and fundamental contradiction between slavery and human liberty.

Their position embraces the Union victory on a consequentialist acceptance of the resulting emancipation of the slaves, and disavows any conceivable association between libertarian thought and a brutish Southern slavocracy, born of no other motive or purpose but to entrench and expand that pernicious institution — and deserving of nothing short of a violent and warring elimination by any means or justification.

The argument is both morally appealing and marked by its clarity, but it also suffers from its Manichean simplicity and a tendency to read an inevitable “irrepressible conflict” into the hindsight of the Civil War’s destruction.

This view recognizes slavery and celebrates its abolition, but it tends to neglect or even rationalize the war’s uglier features and consequences: a dramatic weakening of the constitutional federalism laid out in 1787, a rapid acceleration of the scope and power of the federal government, a precedent-setting assault on habeas corpus and expansion of presidential war powers that persists to the present day — and the horrendous destruction itself.

Measured by deaths alone, current estimates place the war’s military toll at 750,000 soldiers. Civilian deaths are more difficult to estimate, though the most common number given is 50,000. And perhaps most telling of all, between 60,000 and 200,000 slaves likely perished as a result of disease and displacement caused by the war.

Why a New Interpretation Is Necessary

Where then does this leave the conscientious libertarian in assessing the Civil War’s legacy?

To address the faults of both the pro-Confederate and pro-Union positions, I’ll offer two propositions for libertarians to consider:

  1. One needn’t be for the Union to be against slavery.
  2. One needn’t be for the Confederacy to object to the North’s prosecution of the war.

Stated differently, a morally consistent libertarian view of the war should strive to dissociate itself from the political actors that waged it, while also seeking to recognize its consequences, both positive and negative.

This much may be seen in the faults of the two views described above. Libertarians who embrace the Confederacy are more often than not reasonably aware of both the evils of slavery and the distinction between the abolitionist cause and the Union.

But they neglect the second rule; because of their distaste for the Union’s wartime policies, they stake their claim to a Confederate cause that, whether they admit it or not, thoroughly attached itself to the moral abomination of slavery.

And libertarians who embrace the Union are also usually aware of the objections one might lodge against its indulgences in unrestricted warfare, suspension of civil liberties, centralization of power, or any of the other charges often made against the Union’s wartime cause or its outcome.

But they thoroughly subordinate these objections to the greater moral purpose of emancipation — a focus that obscures all but the most simplistic reading of the war’s other political and constitutional consequences.

In each argument, the problem is not its primary emphasis, but the complexities it obscures or leaves out.

In place of both views, and in recognition of their deficiencies, libertarians might develop a better appreciation for the Civil War’s complexity by turning their analysis to the nature of the ruinous agency of the conflict itself.

War, whether waged to hold human beings in bondage or subjugate a political rebellion, is a consciously coercive action of the political state in its most expansive and direct form. And armed warfare, as both the Union and Confederacy came to discover across four destructive years, is horrifically messy, unpredictable, and destructive of human life and human liberty.

Military goals and political motives also matter, as they define the objectives of the armies and prioritize their execution. Thus, a military maneuver to capture an opposing political capital will take a very different form from one that eschews political objectives and seeks to maximize the liberation of slaves or the protection of civilians.

There may also be small glimpses of just action amongst individual participants in a far more ambiguous conflict. When the abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson raised the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, an all-black unit composed of escaped slaves, there is little doubt that they were fighting for emancipation, even as larger Union war goals moved far more slowly on this objective.

There is similarly little doubt about the motive of some Southerners who fought for their homes and families as hostile armies marched through their states; even a handful of Confederates — Patrick Cleburne, Duncan Kenner — pressed their government (in vain) to consider emancipation as a means of securing independence.

These graces on the periphery tell us more about the conflict’s moral complexity than anything that may be found in its political objectives. History is not a Manichean struggle between pure good and evil; we are not served by filtering its conflicts through a dualistic moral lens.

Instead of looking for a “side” to champion, we are better served by recognizing that even amid the unbridled horrors of slavery and the devastation of war, there may still be a few who are fighting for something better than their country’s cause.

Phillip Magness

Phil Magness is a policy historian and academic program director at the Institute for Humane Studies.

PRAVDA: U.S. Taxpayers pay $3.5M to Study Lesbian Obesity

Pravda.Ru reports:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has conducted a research to find out how the sexual orientation influences the body build.
The U.S. taxpayers have already paid $3.5 million for the ‘significant’ project, and it is to last till June 30.

Sexual Orientation and Obesity: A Test of a Gendered Biopsychosocial Model,” seeks to determine why there is a disparity in the obesity rates between straight women and lesbian women and straight men and gay men.

According to the study, “It is now well-established that women of minority sexual orientation are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic, with nearly three-quarters of adult lesbians overweight or obese, compared to half of heterosexual women. In stark contrast, among men, heterosexual males have nearly double the risk of obesity compared to gay males.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. government debt is going to beat ‘records’ of WWII.

Read the full article here.

Film ‘Crying Wolf’: An Exposé on How Illegal Wolf Reintroduction has Harmed Nature and Mankind

crying wolf film cover“Crying Wolf: Exposing the Wolf Reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park” is an eye-opening exposé of the illegal introduction of non-native Gray Wolves to Yellowstone and beyond during the Clinton administration.

Film maker Jeff King grew up in the thick of the wolf controversy. This is the real true story from the people who lived it. The wolf on King’s film cover photo [right] was one caught less than a mile from the King family home when Jeff was a teenager.

Crying Wolf is available for purchase on Amazon.com. The first release of Crying Wolf was on Vimeo where it received close to 100,000 hits.

The “Crying Wolf” exposé has been credited with helping to bring the ‘wolf versus mankind’ issue back to the political table in Montana.

EDITORS NOTE: Jeff King’s new film, Blue Beats Green is a critique of the Green Movement with a vision to replace it with a better alternative. You may support Jeff on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bluebeatsgreen, Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bluebeatsgreen and by purchasing Blue Beats Green on Amazon.com.

Marriage and the (Forgotten) Middle Class Welfare State by Daniel Bier

Jason Kuznicki, in his wonderful post on marriage and the state, included this baffling chart of how the marriage penalty/bonus affects couples jointly filing tax returns:

Kuznicki points out that the penalty/bonus part is just an inevitable artifact of the progressive income tax system. The math just works out that way.

But, my friend Sean J. Rosenthal points out, the chart also shows Director’s Law: “Public expenditures are made for the primary benefit of the middle classes, and financed with taxes which are borne in considerable part by the poor and the rich.”

George Stigler, channeling the work of the great Chicago economist Aaron Director, coined the term in a 1970 article in the Journal of Law and Economics.

The logic of Director’s Law is:

Government has coercive power, which allows it to engage in acts (above all, the taking of resources) which could not be performed by voluntary agreement of the members of a society.

Any portion of the society which can secure control of the state’s machinery will employ the machinery to improve its own position.

Under a set of conditions… this dominant group will be the middle income classes.

Stigler went on to describe the Public Choice calculus for a wealthy modern democracy. In a society like ours, with our electoral institutions, the interests of the middle class will always have the biggest sway on public policy, since most people fall in the middle of the income distribution, rather than at bottom or the top.

Politicians will (and must) try to gratify the middle’s desires and shift the costs somewhere else — i.e., the rich and the poor and future generations, since they have relatively less influence on public policy. (Though this general rule is not to say that there aren’t also policies that primarily benefit the poor or the wealthy.)

This explains a lot of features of public policy that don’t fit with the normal “welfare is all about the poor” or “the rich run everything” paradigms.

For instance, Obamacare’s insurance scheme is basically all a big subsidy for older, relatively wealthier middle class people at the expensive of younger, poorer people. The other half of Obamacare, the Medicaid expansion, increases eligibility for Medicaid up to 400% of the poverty line — that safety net is catching some pretty middling fish at this point.

Medicare and Social Security, the marriage penalty/bonus distribution, college student loans, tax write-offs for mortgage payments and employer-sponsored health insurance, small business favoritism, and a host of other policies are essentially giveaways to the middle class, at the expense of the rich and poor.

Nonetheless, we should expect politicians to continue harping on the plight of the middle class, stroking voters’ fears and concerns about the “shrinking middle,” promising to “rebuild the middle class,” pass “tax cuts for the middle class,” save “Main Street,” and on, and on.

And who could ever be against helping middle class? Nobody. And that’s how we end up being content with a marriage policy that punishes poor (and rich) working couples, even while pundits bemoan the state of marriage.

Update #1: As with many later developments in economics, Frederic Bastiat anticipated Public Choice by more than a hundred years. In his Selected Essays on Political Economy, recently republished by FEE, he wrote,

When, under the pretext of fraternity, the legal code imposes mutual sacrifices on the citizens, human nature is not thereby abrogated. Everyone will then direct his efforts toward contributing little to, and taking much from, the common fund of sacrifices.

Now, is it the most unfortunate who gain in this struggle? Certainly not, but rather the most influential and calculating.

Update #2: I see that Director’s Law was first mentioned in the Freeman, before Stigler published on it in JLE, in John Chamberlain’s coverage of the 1969 Mont Pelerin Society meeting in Venezuela.


Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the editor of Anything Peaceful. He writes on issues relating to science, civil liberties, and economic freedom.

Look Who’s Defining Sin… Say What?

My first thoughts were, “Say what?” Yeah. And you’ll be saying “Say what” too after reading this statement from the president of the National Education Association (NEA), Lily Eskelsen Garcia.

First, for those unfamiliar with the NEA, it is the nation’s largest labor union – not just the largest teacher’s union, mind you. But the largest labor union in the country. Period.  It has more than three million members.

Its mission is “to advocate for education professionals” blah, blah, blah. In other words, they are an organization of teachers who unite to demand more money, benefits, better work environments and whatever else they can get their hands on.

They also advocate for just about any left-wing liberal cause that enrages conservatives, even if it has nothing to do with teaching.

One of those left-wing causes is homosexuality. No surprise here for anyone familiar with the NEA. In their own words, the union states it has a “goal of changing public opinion on homosexuality, starting with the youngest generation.”

Clearly, they’re going after your kids, whether you like it or not. At least they’re upfront, honest and forthright about their mission. I’m sure that makes you feel better.

Even so, as brazen as this statement is (telling parents, “To hell with you, it’s all about what WE want your children to believe”) this isn’t …

… and I repeat, this isn’t the “Say what?” experience I’m talking about.

The “Say what” experience happened during NEA’s 2015 Annual Meeting on July 3 in Orlando, Fla.

That’s when the union president, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, took to the stage and said this after applauding the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual marriage:

“My son, Jeremy, called me and said, ‘Ma! Mike and I are no longer living in sin!’ My son and Mike are legally married in the great state of Utah.”

Can you join me in a “Say what” moment?

Does the Supreme Court now decide what is “sin”? Is this the new message to youngsters from the country’s largest teacher’s union … nay, the country’s largest labor union – that the Supreme Court will determine what is sin?

Before laughing off this crazy, overly exuberant rant of the country’s most powerful labor union president, consider the deeper message Lily Eskelsen Garcia is pushing.

Government will now decide what is sin and what is not sin. Not the Bible. Not God.

The word “sin” is decidedly a Judeo-Christian word. There’s no mention of “sin” in the Quran. There’s no such thing as “sin” in Buddhism. And there is no “sin” against God in Hinduism.

So, in reality, the NEA is only concerned about “sins” as defined by the New and Old Testaments. The government will now define those sins.

It’s mighty painful for the NEA – and others on the liberal left – to explain away biblical sins, with homosexuality being a big pain in the butt (no pun intended) as one of those difficult “sins” to dismiss. There are just too many Scriptures condemning homosexuality to brush them aside, reinterpret or reject.

So why not let the government – Big Brother – decide what is sin and what is not?

This is a big advantage for the NEA and their liberal lackeys, whether they are in government, business, media or law enforcement.

Homosexuality is not a sin according to the left. But refusing to serve a cake at a gay wedding is a sin, and punishable with a $135,000 fine, as experienced by the Christian owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa.

Gay marriage is not a sin. But opposing gay marriage is a sin and a punishable offense, as experienced by the CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, who was fired because of his opposition.

The liberal left would love for the government to be in the business of defining sin, as if they aren’t already.

Being anti-gun is not a sin. But being pro-gun can get you arrested, as experienced by a teen-ager in West Virginia who was arrested after wearing an NRA T-shirt to his middle school.

Abortion is not a sin. But protesting abortion can land you in jail, as happened to nine college students in Birmingham, Ala., this year who were arrested for distributing pro-life literature on a public sidewalk at Parker High School.

Radical Islam is not a sin. But exposing it can get you demoted, suspended or fired, as happened to Lt. Col Matthey Dooley who was fired as an instructor at West Point for teaching a course on “Islamic Radicalism.”

Being anti-religious is not a sin.  But say “Bless you” after a fellow classmate sneezes may get you suspended from school, as happened to Kendra Turner at Dyer County High School in Tenesssee.

Opposing the goals of the liberal left is not just about being politically incorrect. It’s about sin. Because clearly these are not criminal acts. This is why they need to redefine these acts as “sins” that can carry severe consequences – jail, fines, loss of jobs, mandatory sensitivity training classes, suspensions and demotions. 

The NEA teacher’s union doesn’t want children to think “Bible” when they hear the word “sin.”  They want them to think government. And if the government does not consider something a sin, then it’s not.

But if it does consider your moral rantings or activities a “sin,” then …

… you better dig deep into your pockets, dust off your résumé and perhaps dress for orange.

I’ve got some disturbing news for the homosexuals who are celebrating their victory and newfound freedom from “sin” – handed to them by the Supreme Court:

The Court may have legalized marriage … but they are still NOT married. They will have to appeal to an authority higher than the Supreme Court for that dispensation.

Did I just hear a “Say what?”

RELATED ARTICLES:

Poll: 59% Believe Businesses Should Be Able to Decline Gay Weddings

After Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling, How We Can Protect Freedom for Everyone

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Lily Eskelsen Garcia.

7 Things the Left Should Apologize For

While attending a gathering of conservatives a few years ago in Washington, D.C., I was confronted by a far Left group conducting an amateur “ambush interview.” They demanded I opine on the comments of a number of 2012 Republican U.S. Senate candidates whom they found objectionable, and it was clear that they were seeking some sort of apology.

The Left loves to demand apologies from conservatives for grievances both real and imagined and, sadly, sometimes we play along with this ridiculous game.

The Left loves to demand apologies from conservatives for grievances both real and imagined and, sadly, sometimes we play along with this ridiculous game. I frequently wonder why conservatives don’t pay back the favor and demand apologies from the Left.

At the macro level, the Left should apologize to America for their continued allegiance to European-style welfare statism. At the micro level, they should apologize for their ongoing use of hateful division politics.

These two guiding ideologies of the Left have caused immeasurable poverty, misery and grief. Their intent to divide us is leading to concertina-wire-reinforced borders among the individual race, gender, and religious silos that they have chosen for us.

With the continued focus on the 2016 presidential elections we should start demanding apologies from the Left. Here are seven things the Left is largely responsible for which I’m demanding apologies before Election Day.

The death of four American patriots in Benghazi and the disgusting lies told to the families of the deceased…

  1. Sanctuary cities and the murder of Kate Steinle, by an illegal immigrant deported, an unforgivable five times.
  2. The ruthless political targeting of conservatives by the IRS to silence conservatives and advance the Left’s political agenda.
  3. The Obama economic “recovery,” where a tragic 1 in 5 Americans are now on some form of government welfare and over 90 million Americans are not working.
  4. The continuing destruction of the economies and education infrastructures of America’s once great inner cities by liberal governance.
  5. The massive health insurance premium hikes, outrageously high deductibles, and doctor and hospital restrictions imposed on middle class Americans by the disastrous Obamacare legislation.
  6. The death of four American patriots in Benghazi and the disgusting lies told to the families of the deceased, and to concerned American citizens, by the Obama administration afterwards.
  7. And, most importantly, the continued shredding of our Constitutional Republic, and what little faith we had left in our government.

Demand an apology from the Left for this, America deserves it.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Conservative Review. The featured image of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifying before Congress on Benghazi is courtesy by Bill Clark Roll Call CQ | AP Photo.

Tear Down That Confederate Flag — Or Else!

There are those, a few, who believe this is a racist nation. They point to the fact that Americans fly the Confederate Battle Flag. They claim we honor the racist Generals and Politicians from the Old South. They further claim that in order to stamp out racism that we need to bring down that Confederate Battle Flag. They say we need to ban its use all over the nation by just about everyone. Then they claim we need to dig up every Civil War General’s remains and move them to places not often seen or visited by people. They say we should remove the monuments that have been erected in those Generals honor.

In short, these people wish to try and bleach our history and wipe it clean of what they don’t like. They want to rewrite the pages so that it would appear that those they claim are responsible for slavery are not glorified in any way and are reduced to villains like any other historical villain.

These people, often leftist, and now even some from the middle and the right of the political aisle, have fallen victim to this nonsense.

This lack of true discourse on race relations, acting totally on emotions being whipped up by a fringe few who cannot stand that fact that we are moving away from racism, is driving this destructive paradigm. Its as if we are in a bad zombie movie and everywhere you turn there is another mindless, anti-history nut running around tearing down a Confederate Battle Flag or defacing an historical monument.

These nuts are even going so far as to say that maybe we, as a nation, should tear down the National Monuments of Presidents Jefferson and Lincoln. Why? Because Jefferson owned slaves and Lincoln didn’t really save slaves because he did not make them fully equal when he had the chance to do so. Both ideologies could not be more wrong when you look into these men and what they did over their lifetime.

But when you have folks bent on changing the narrative to fit their own political goals and ambitions, you cannot speak to reason. They will not hear you until they become the victim of their own hate and ignorance. For example, many on the left were happy to jump on the anti-Confederate Battle Flag band wagon until the history Nazi’s decided to hit a favorite pastime. That pastime would be television. Specifically the television program called the Dukes of Hazard. When word spread that a network was pulling the reruns of this popular hour long program, many on the left cried foul.

They forgot for a second that the reason the program was being pulled was because of their own ignorance. The reality is, when the left decided to hit the old flag and paint it as racist, they didn’t think of all the culture that has been built up around that flag. They forgot that they, the left, first raised that flag, first promoted that flag, first glorified that flag, first embedded that flag in our nation’s culture and lexicon. Then they were reminded. And they hated it. But the train of historical hate had already left the yard and there was no way of calling it back into the barn. Now we see business after business and even government at all levels demonizing this flag and what they say it represents.

The truth is, this flag does not represent slavery and racism for most folks. But what the left has done is to successfully, and over a very short period of time, destroy the very foundation that is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. We no longer have the ability to openly believe as we want to believe. If we say or do or believe something that has not been approved, we will be demonized and chased out of Dodge. They will shout that there needs to be a law that prevents you or me from believing what we want to believe.

Some people say that it’s the flag and the representation of racism is their target. I say, they are lying because they know that their target is anything and anyone who is not politically correct.

Their target is freedom itself. Their target is you and me and anyone who still believes in freedom and the notion of live and let live even if you disagree with what the other person believes.

Oh, no. If you do not believe as the left would have you believe, they will fight you, enact laws that affect you and prevent you from being able to discuss why you believe what you believe.

This attack from the left, who built up this flag and the institution of racism in this country is not that simple flag or even what that flag represents.

Their target is plain to see.

Their target is your freedom.

Fossil Fuels and Mankind by Euan Mearns

It has become popular to demonise fossil fuels (FF). Pop stars, press, politicians and now Pontiffs speak with a single voice:

We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas needs to be progressively replaced without delay. Until greater progress is made in developing widely accessible sources of renewable energy, it is legitimate to choose the lesser of two evils or to find short-term solutions. But the international community has still not reached adequate agreements about the responsibility for paying the costs of this energy transition.

Page 122 paragraph 165 of ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

In this post I want to take a brief look at what FF have done for humanity and the environment. I will argue that in the 19th Century, FF first of all saved the whales from extinction and then through averting whole sale deforestation of the planet’s surface FF saved multiple ecosystems from destruction and as a consequence averted the extinction of thousands of species.

Figure 1.

Figure 1 Population growth (blue line), right hand scale. Fossil fuel consumption (million tonnes oil equivalent) left hand scale. The exponential growth in population would not have been possible without FF. We all therefore owe the fabric of our society and our very existence to the use of FF over the past century or more. 

Energy and Man

Every human being on Earth requires energy to survive (see list on Figure 1). Be it a handful of rice for the poorest Bangladeshi or the excesses of suburban life in the West, everything we do requires energy and in 2014 86% of that energy came from FF and 11% from legacy hydro and nuclear plant. Only 3% came from alternative sources. Worryingly, in a step back towards 19th century squalor, much of that 3% came from felling and burning forests.

Figure 2.

Figure 2 This chart shows per capita productivity (a proxy for income) on the Y-axis and per capita energy consumption on the X-axis. The data for each country represent a time series starting in 1970 and normally progressing with time towards greater income and energy consumption. It is plain to see that there is great disparity in the per capita income and per capita energy consumption between countries. As a general rule, developing countries are striving to become wealthy like the OECD and hence show year on year growth in income AND energy consumption. See for example China, Turkey, Brazil and Belarus. To become more wealthy and more prosperous, in the common sense, requires us to use more energy.

It is simple and simplistic to make the argument that there should be a more equitable distribution of wealth and energy consumption. It is certainly rational to propose the reduction of waste and improved energy efficiency in the west. But competition and survival of the fittest is in our genes and makes us who we are. And there are certain benefits that flow from the wealthy to the poor, inoculation against deadly infectious diseases to name but one.

I am not arguing here in favour of greater polarisation of wealth but merely making the observation that it is a natural consequence of the socio economic models that appear to have served us well. I would warn against the growing politics of envy.

To become wealthy, the poor need access to clean drinking water, sanitation, food, and housing. All this requires energy and natural resources.  The simplest and most economic way to provide this is through coal or gas fired power stations and the construction of electricity grids. To deny the poor access to FF is to condemn them to poverty for ever. It is fantasy to believe that the poor can be made wealthy (in the sense that the OECD is wealthy) by deployment of expensive and intermittent renewable energy. Like us, they may become wealthy only from using cheap, reliable and predictable energy supplies. This is not to say that there is no place for niche deployment of renewable energy in some developing countries.

Saving the Whales

During the 19th Century, global population doubled from approximately 0.8 to 1.6 billion (Figure 1). Throughout Europe and N America this coincided with a process of industrialisation, urbanisation and war. Resource consumption was on the rise and as we shall see in the following section forest timber was a key source of building material and fuel. But neither timber nor coal (at that time) could provide the light required in the cities that were being built and it is this niche that was filled by whale oil.

The production of whale oil grew exponentially from 1815 to 1845 and thereafter declined  following a classic “Hubbert curve” (Figure 3). At the same time we know that whales were almost hunted to extinction and this is often held up as an example of over exploitation of a finite resource. Post-peak whale oil production saw prices rise and become volatile suggesting a continued demand for whale oil that could not be met by supply. But the market situation is made more complex by the fact that just in the nick of time for whales, rock oil was discovered in Pennsylvania in the 1850s. It was found that rock oil could be distilled into a number of fractions and that one of those, kerosene, was ideal as lamp oil.

Figure 3.

Figure 3 The production of whale oil in the 19th Century follows a classic Hubbert curve with production dwindling as the stock of whales in the oceans was depleted. Chart source Ugo Bardi.

This represents one of the great energy substitutions of human society. It was to be short-lived since electric lighting would soon take over from kerosene where the electricity was provided by combusting coal. Note that I use the term substitution and not transition since there was a direct substitution of one energy source for the other and whales ceased to be a part of Man’s energy supply mix. Without the discovery and use of rock oil it seems likely that whales would have become extinct in the 19th Century.

Saving The Forests

Prior to the mid nineteenth Century the main fuel source used by Man was forest wood (Figure 4). Wood (biomass) continues to be an important fuel today throughout the developing world.

Figure 4.

Figure 4 The development of Man’s energy supplies has seen the sequential addition of coal, oil, gas, hydro and nuclear to the energy mix. In discussing energy transition, it is wrong to assume that a new energy source replaces what went before. The main pattern is one of addition, not substitution or replacement. Data from Vaclav Smil and BP as compiled by Rembrandt Koppelaar.

Population growth and progressive industrialisation throughout Europe led to wholesale deforestation of the Continent (Figure 5). And then in the mid-nineteenth Century we learned how to burn and mine coal on a grand scale powering the industrial revolution. We can but speculate what might have occurred had this not happened. It seems likely that Europeans would have spread themselves around the globe plundering resources on an even grander scale than took place at that time.

Figure 5.

Figure 5 Data on deforestation is hard to find. This slide from a surprisingly interesting presentation by Sir Mark Walport shows the impact of 2500 years of felling trees in Europe. It was to a large extent the quest for natural resources that sent Europeans around the World in the centuries that followed and that sent Adolf Hitler East in 1941. Our current system of international trade and financial deficits may be imperfect but it seems preferable to the system of plunder that it replaced.

What did happen is that we learned to use coal, then oil and natural gas and ultimately nuclear power. Harnessing the power of fossil fuels provided Man with energy slaves to do work on our behalf. It led directly to the progressive development of the highly sophisticated society we live in today where, life expectancy, health and comfort far exceed levels of 100 years ago for billions of souls. It allowed us to achieve this whilst largely abolishing slavery and ending our dependency on forest wood as a fuel.

When FF runs scarce in a country this can cause great harm to the environment as we saw in Indonesia in 2003. Indonesia was once a member of OPEC and exported oil. But owing to population growth, increased prosperity and then a down turn in oil production, Indonesia found itself facing oil imports. Donning a Green cloak, Indonesia turned to biofuels in the form of palm nut oil, and set about burning virgin rain forest and orang-utans to make way for the plantations.

Those who fail to see the staggering benefits brought to Man through using FF are blinded by dogma. Those who argue that FF should be phased out are making an argument to end prosperity for all.

The Population Paradox

Whilst I argue here, and many others have argued before me, that FF has enabled the human race to flourish, we have been so successful in doing so that over 7 billion souls on planet Earth is now viewed by many as the greatest threat to our continued existence. It is certainly true that there are a multitude of problems that are not evenly distributed about the Earth. These include water shortages, food shortages and malnutrition, air and water pollution, deforestation, social and civil unrest, spreading conflict, displaced persons, infectious diseases and their spread. These are all problems caused by too many people combined with inadequate social, political and economic structures to deal with a rapidly changing world. While certain aspects of air pollution in China and plastics pollution of ocean gyres may be attributed directly to FF, by and large FF are the solution to these problems, not their cause, for example creating clean water supplies and sanitation requires energy as does food production. It is a lack of energy and other resources that lies at the heart of many of the major issues that cause real hardship around the world. It is therefore a mark of extraordinary ignorance and stupidity to believe that withholding these resources may lead to solutions.

The problem of course is that we have become too successful at resolving these issues for many and that inevitably leads to more, not less people and a compounding of the very problems that we are attempting to resolve. Population controls are a subject ducked by virtually all OECD political leaders and organisations. Over population and poverty lies at the heart of many of the major issues confronting humanity and yet no one is prepared to confront this issue. It is certainly an extremely difficult issue to confront and not easily solved.

My own view is that natural evolutionary forces will see global population peak this century followed by decline. That is what the UN central forecast shows. This may happen via the spread of prosperity in some parts and by the spread of deprivation, disease, hunger and war in others. But what is widely viewed as a population problem, will resolve itself in response to various pressures.  A falling global population will present a whole new set of problems for humanity that we will address when the time comes. There will be a growing acceptance that economic growth, welfare, free healthcare and pensions were all temporary aberrations made possible by abundant and cheap FF. As those resources run scarce this century humanity will struggle to maintain the living standards of the past. There is no need to artificially create a major trauma for humanity today by forced withdrawal from the FF era upon which virtually all of our prosperity is based.

An argument can be made for leaving some FF for future generations but that is not the argument being made by Green anti-capitalists.

Past Energy Transitions

Finally, a quick note about past energy transitions as illustrated in Figure 4. Let me repeat what Pope Francis had to say:

We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas needs to beprogressively replaced without delay.

The first key observation from Figure 4 is that energy transition is via addition not substitution. In 150 years we have not replaced any of our major sources of energy with another at the system level. At the smaller scale oil fired power generation may have been replaced by coal and then by natural gas, but that merely freed up some oil or coal for use elsewhere. The second key observation is that “energy transition” has normally followed thermodynamic and economic laws where the new offered advantages over the old. It is therefore in my opinion sheer folly to believe and to propose that FF based technolgies can be replaced en-mass by much inferior, environment wrecking, more expensive renewable energy flows.

Figure 6 Millions visit the gold-plated Vatican every year, arriving in jet aircraft from all over the world, consuming vast amounts of oil and according to Pope Francis creating risks to the stability of Earth’s atmosphere.

Disclaimer

Certain readers may read my bio and then seek to make scurrilous claims that I am somehow wedded to and supported by the FF industries. This is not true. I do however have holdings in certain oil companies and I do object to Green pressure groups trying to talk down the price of energy companies in general. My analysis and opinions are based upon my understanding of thermodynamics, economics and human society. Comments will be heavily moderated. I cannot lay claim to the truth. And so if anyone can demonstrate in a quantitative way how we can migrate away from FF to alternatives with anet benefit to society then please make your case.

I made my alternative energy plan some time ago:

Energy Matters’ 2050 pathway for the UK

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Energy Matters. The featured image is of Prometheus best known as the deity in Greek mythology who was the creator of mankind and its greatest benefactor, who gifted mankind with fire stolen from Mount Olympus.

President Thomas Jefferson’s Koran and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

keith ellison

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN, District 5.

On January 4, 2007, newly elected Congressman Keith Ellison made history. He became not only the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress, but he also took the ceremonial oath of office holding his hand on the Koran that had been owned by Thomas Jefferson. Dozens of television cameras, including one from the Arab network Al-Arabiya, were on hand to record this historical event.

Ellison had explained the importance of this ceremony in an interview the day before, “…in a private ceremony…I’ll put my hand on a book that is the basis of my faith, which is Islam…” (“Keith Ellison and the Jefferson Koran,”The Nation – The Beat Blog, January 3, 2007).

A few weeks after the swearing-in, Ellison said that the Koran “is the scripture that I read every day and it’s the book that I draw inspiration from” (“Rep. Keith Ellison: First Muslim in Congress,” FinalCall.com News, January 20, 2007).

The significance of this event was even recognized two years later, on June 4th, 2009, as President Obama was giving a speech in Cairo, Egypt. In the portion of the speech when Obama was talking about how Muslim-Americans had “enriched” the United States, he pointed out that Congressman Ellison had taken his oath on Jefferson’s “Holy Koran.”

So President Obama and Congressman Ellison proclaimed that Ellison had placed his hand on an actual Koran for this ceremony.

Jefferson’s Koran

The Koran Ellison used was a two volume translation of the Koran done by George Sale, a non-Muslim. It was titled The Koran, Commonly Called the Alcoran of Mohammed. It was first printed in 1734, but the two volume translation used by Ellison was from a second printing done in 1764. Digital copies of both volumes of this second printing can be located online. So let’s examine this particular Koran.

In the first volume Sale had three sections before his actual translation of the Koran began: Dedication,Introduction, and Preliminary Discourse. In the Dedication, Sale lamented the “detestation” with which the name Muhammad was laden. But then Sale contrasted the religion and laws of Muhammad to the laws of Jesus and Moses, “whose laws came really from heaven.” So according to Sale, Muhammad’s religion and laws had not come from heaven. Sale then went on to note that Muhammad used “an imposture [fraud] to set up a new religion.”

In the Introduction, Sale wrote that the Koran was a “forgery” (p. vii) and it “pretends to be the Word of God” (p. xiii). Sale criticized Muhammad for “imposing a false religion on mankind” (p. x). And Sale explained that he was providing “an impartial version of the Koran” because

it is absolutely necessary to undeceive those who, from the ignorant or unfair translations which have appeared, have entertained too favourable an opinion of the original, and also to enable us effectually to expose the imposture [fraud]… (pp. vii-viii)

In the Preliminary Discourse, Sale repeatedly pointed out that Muhammad had “pretended” to be a messenger from God (pp. 52-53, 93, and 96). Sale stated that Muhammad had “pretended” to receive the “revelations…which compose his Koran” (p. 55). And on numerous pages Sale repeated his assertion that Muhammad had “pretended” to receive those revelations (pp. 56, 64, 66, 82, 84, 100, 143, 190, and 192).

Sale addresses Muhammad’s “Night Journey” on pp. 61-62 of the Preliminary Discourse. In this journey Muhammad claimed to have traveled from Mecca to the seven levels of Heaven. He claimed he was accompanied by the angel Jibril (Gabriel) and rode on Al-Buraq, a white, horse-like animal, smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey. Muhammad claimed that he had visited the first six levels of Heaven, meeting one or more of the earlier prophets on each level. On the seventh level he had met Abraham and Allah, and received certain instructions from Allah. Sale wrote that Muhammad “feigns to have made a journey to heaven,” and only pretended that he had spoken with Allah. Sale summed up his feelings about Muhammad’s “Night Journey”:

And I am apt to think this fiction, notwithstanding its extravagance, was one of the most artful contrivances Mohammed ever put in practice…

And Sale believed that Islam was simply a “human invention” based on violence:

It is certainly one of the most convincing proofs that Mohammedism was no other than a human invention, that it owed its progress and establishment almost entirely to the sword…

(Preliminary Discourse, p. 65)

Questions Sent to Congressman Ellison

There had been much excitement over Congressman Ellison using Jefferson’s Koran for his ceremonial swearing-in. Jefferson’s Koran had been declared an official Koran by Ellison and President Obama. Yet this translation of the Koran had been done by a non-Muslim who not only considered Islam to be a manmade religion “that it owed its progress and establishment almost entirely to the sword,” but who also considered Muhammad to be a charlatan, and the Koran itself to be false and a forgery.

With this in mind, on March 13, 2015, I sent an e-mail to Congressman Ellison in Washington DC, in care of his Communications Director, Mike Casca. The e-mail summarized the information above with regard to Sale’s beliefs about Islam, Muhammad, and the Koran, and I presented the following two questions for the Congressman’s consideration:

  1. Do you think Sale’s negative beliefs about Islam affected the accuracy of his translation of the meaning of each of the verses in the Koran? If they did, how might they have affected that translation, and can his translated work then be accurately referred to as a Koran?
  1. If you consider his work to be an accurate translation of the meaning of the verses in the Koran, how would you explain to your Christian and Jewish constituents verses such as these found in this work:

They are infidels, who say, Verily God is Christ, the son of Mary.

Vol. 1, p. 133  (Koran 5:17)

(So Christians are infidels.)

War is injoined [sic] you against the Infidels…

Vol. 1, p. 38    (Koran 2: 216)

…for the infidels are your open enemies.

Vol. 1, p. 114  (Koran 4:101)

Take not the Jews, or Christians for your friends; they are friends one to the other…

Vol.1, p. 141   (Koran 5:51)

Thou shalt surely find the most violent of all men in enmity against the true believers [Muslims], to be the Jews, and the idolators…

Vol. 1, p. 147  (Koran 5:82)

My first e-mail to the Congressman went unanswered. After I had sent a second e-mail on March 19th, Casca responded that same day asking when I needed the answers. I replied that with the Congressman’s busy schedule, one or two weeks would be fine.

Now, four weeks, and two unanswered e-mails to Casca later, it appears that the Congressman has decided not to respond.

Based on the available evidence, Congressman Ellison apparently considers Sale’s work to be an accurate translation of the meaning of the verses in the Koran, and to also be a legitimate Koran. Consequently, it might be worthwhile for the congressman’s Jewish and Christian constituents to ask him why he has such high esteem for a book that speaks ill of Jews and Christians, and specifically calls Christians the “open enemies” of Muslims.

So let’s close with some verses from the book upon which Congressman Ellison placed his hand, and from which he said he draws inspiration:

As for the infidels…they shall be the fewel [fuel] of hell fire.

Vol. 1, p. 55    (Koran 3:10)

O true believers [Muslims]! wage war against such of the infidels as are near you; and let them find severity in you…

Vol. 1, p. 265  (Koran 9:123)

When ye encounter the unbelievers [non-Muslims], strike off their heads, until ye have made a great slaughter among them…

Vol. 2, p. 376  (Koran 47:4)

Mohammed is the apostle of God: and those who are with him are fierce against the unbelievers, but compassionate towards one another.

Vol. 2, p. 387  (Koran 48:29)

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine. The featured image of a Koran is courtesy of Shutterstock.

UK Counter-terror Police Official was Defender of the Islamic State who “Despised Britain”

The story of Abdullah al Andalusi, aka Mouloud Farid, aka Wazir Leton Rahman, epitomizes the confusion and willful ignorance of the British political class. The British government wouldn’t be able to distinguish a “moderate” from an “extremist” if its life depended on it, and it does. The British intelligentsia will never, even to the point of suicide, admit that the hard and fast, never bridgeable distinction they believe exists between the “moderate” and “extremist” camps is more a figment of its imagination than reality. The British political elites will never, ever admit that much of what they consider to be “extremist,” and that they assume most Muslims in Britain reject, is actually established doctrine of mainstream Islam that Muslims reject only at risk of being declared apostates and heretics. This denial and willful ignorance will be the death of Britain, and Britain is racing eagerly toward its demise.

“By day, at heart of counter-terror policing. And by night, preacher of extremism,” by Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph, July 12, 2015 (thanks to Anne Crockett):

The Government watchdog which inspects police forces’ readiness for terrorism admitted that it employed one of Britain’s most notorious Islamic extremists.

For almost two years Abdullah al Andalusi, led a double life, the Telegraph can reveal.

By night, he taught that the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) was “no different to Western armies,” said that “kaffirs,” non-Muslims, would be “punished in hell” and claimed that the British government wanted to destroy Islam.

By day, using a different name, he went to work for the same British government at the London offices of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the official regulator of all 44 forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The disclosures will be intensely embarassing [sic] to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who has criticised parts of Britain’s Muslim communities for “quietly condoning” Islamist extremism.

HMIC’s staff, who number less than 150, are given privileged access to highly sensitive and classified police and intelligence information to carry out their inspections.

The inspectorate’s work includes scrutinising police forces’ counter-terrorism capabilities and top-secret plans for dealing with terror attacks.

It has also recently published reports on undercover policing and the use of informants.

HMIC admitted that Mr al Andalusi, whose real name is Mouloud Farid, had passed a security vetting check to work as a civil servant at the inspectorate.

He was subsequently promoted to executive grade, a management rank, placing him at the heart of the security establishment.

He was only sacked after bosses spotted him on television defending extremist Islamic positions on behalf of his organisation, the Muslim Debate Initiative, which is heavily dependent on Saudi money.

The inspectorate insisted that he did not handle classified material but former friends of Mr al Andalusi said he had done so.

His work did involve security areas. He said he had a role in overseeing the police response to terrorism and there were areas he couldn’t talk about,” said one former colleague at the Muslim Debate Initiative, who asked to remain anonymous.

“He would discuss the reports that HMIC were working on and the data they needed to present.

“His story is so odd and so scandalous in many respects. He had these two completely incompatible lives that went on for years. He despised Britain, yet worked for the British government. He would talk about the right of oppressed people to take up arms against the oppressor and yet he was overseeing the police….

Under the name by which he was known to HMIC, Mouloud Farid, his links with the Muslim Debate Initiative were a matter of public record.

He was registered as a director of the organisation at Companies House, though he earlier this year changed to yet a third name, Wazir Leton Rahman, on the companies register.

“This man’s unsuitability for sensitive work should have been obvious from the start,” said Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr.

“There is a lack of understanding of different strains of Islam in the civil service. I will be asking why the systems designed to prevent this did not work.”

There certainly is a “lack of understanding of different strains of Islam in the civil service.” British officials assume that every Muslim is a moderate who abhors and rejects the violence committed in the name of Islam and in accord with the texts and teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah, and that everyone who believes otherwise is a racist, bigoted Islamophobe.

Mr al Andalusi, a prominent figure on the extremist lecture circuit, is closely associated with the extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir, which believes that voting and democracy are un-Islamic.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is committed to working toward the imposition of the Sharia all over the world.

He is also a strong supporter of the terrorist lobby group Cage, which sparked outrage earlier this year when it defended the Isil hostage-killer Mohammed Emwazi, “Jihadi John,” as a “beautiful” and “gentle” man who had been radicalised by MI5. Like Cage, Mr al-Andalusi fiercely supports the right of British citizens to travel to Syria to fight.

He spoke at a Cage rally outside his own employer’s parent department, the Home Office, to demonstrate against the arrest of the former Guantanamo detainee, Moazzam Begg, on Syria-related terror charges, later dropped. Alongside him were other high-profile extremists and hate preachers including Haitham al-Haddad and senior figures in Hizb ut Tahrir.

Mr al Andalusi has spoken at at least three other Cage events in the last ten months, including on September 20 last year when he claimed that, as part of its “war against Islam,” the British government wanted to force Muslims to eat non-halal meat.

He says that Western liberal society is committed to the “destruction” of all Muslim belief and shows on his Facebook page a picture a concentration camp with a Nazi swastika and “21st century” written on the watchtower.

In the foreground is a gallows with a short route to the hangman’s noose for “Islamists” and a longer route for “Muslim moderates.”…

In a talk at Queen Mary University, in East London, on 16 January, he asked why the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, was treated as a terrorist organisation by the West while the moderate Free Syrian Army was not.

He condemned memorials to 9/11, describing the terror attacks as “the day a vicious world empire [the US] found a publicly-acceptable excuse to bomb others, invade non-threatening nations, torture political dissidents and kill at least 300,000 innocent people.”

After Isil took over large portions of Iraq last year, he wrote that “most Muslims would be jubilant at the return of the caliphate [Islamic state], which is a vital obligation upon Muslims that has been conspicuously missing for so long.”

He condemned the group for killing civilians but said that the West had “no basis to judge Islamic State” because “IS are no different to Western armies and even some of the ‘founding fathers’ of Western nations… IS’s crime is being actually a good student of the West, right down to their corporate structure and organisation and ability to use social media.”

He said that “those who reject IS merely because IS’s school of thought is disagreeable to them should remember that Islam permits difference of opinion. To reject something as outside the fold of Islam, due to it being a different school of thought to one’s own, makes one a purveyor of disunity among Muslims.”…

One said that he was disturbed by a meeting at which he and Mr al Andalusi heard another man say he wanted to join al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda franchise, and regarded civilian airliners as legitimate weapons of war. The former friend reported the conversation to police.

The former friend said Mr al-Andalusi used a number of psuedonyms and was always secretive about his real name but eventually revealed it in discussions with them.

Mr al Andalusi, who lives in a subsidised £750,000 housing association flat in Westminster, said last night that as Mouloud Farid he was “proud to work for a public watchdog which holds those in power to account. Cage are peaceful and not proscribed. Kaffir is a theological term which has no relation to non-Muslims.”….

Why is he living in subsidized housing when obviously he has gainful employ?

“Kaffir is a theological term which has no relation to non-Muslims” — that is an outright lie. Kaffir is generally translated as unbeliever or infidel, and it has everything to do with non-Muslims. The Qur’an declares that those Christians who believe that “Allah is Christ, the son of Mary” have “certainly disbelieved” (5:17, 72). The Arabic word used here is kafara, (كَفَرَ); it is a form of kufr, unbelief, and is related to kaffir, unbeliever.

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Keep Sex out of Kindergarten by Hannah Phillips

It’s the first day of kindergarten. Each child is excited to learn about the alphabet, numbers, and – sex? Under the guise of “family life” or “health” education, children are exposed to graphic sexual images and ideas that damage their young minds. A child’s undeveloped brain is not prepared to make decisions regarding sexuality.

Obscenity Exemptions

Outside of the classroom, it is illegal to expose children to sexually explicit material. For example, Virginia law prohibits any person to “print, copy, manufacture, produce, or reproduce any obscene item for purposes of sale or distribution.”[1] Schools, however, are the exception. Under Virginia law, the prohibition does not apply to the “purchase, distribution, exhibition, or loan of any book, magazine, or other printed or manuscript material by any library, school, or institution of higher learning.”[2] According to Dr. Judith Reisman and Mary McAlister, children “are exposed to otherwise illegal sexually explicit materials because of ‘obscenity exemptions’ granted to schools, libraries, and other organizations.”[3] The young minds that should be protected in their innocence are instead exploited in the name of education.

Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Planned Parenthood and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) are the frontrunners of comprehensive sexuality education taught from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Many advocates claim that comprehensive sexuality education in early grades is necessary for a child’s healthy development. In 2004, SIECUS published its third edition of Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Kindergarten through 12th Grade. A “national task force of experts” devised the Guidelines to “help educators create new sexuality education programs and evaluate already existing curricula.”[4] In addition to over 100,000 copies that have been dispersed across the United States, more than 1,000 people each month download the Guidelines from SIECUS’ website.[5] SIECUS praises the Guidelines as “popular and valuable.”[6] The National Guidelines Task Force that developed the Guidelines originally consisted of members from Planned Parenthood, Indiana University, and various public school systems. Although SIECUS claims that a “majority of parents want schools to provide comprehensive education about sexuality,” many parents do not know what schools are teaching their children.[7]

SIECUS’ Guidelines presents comprehensive sexuality education as a “lifelong process” that begins at birth and continues throughout adulthood.[8] As SIECUS’ ultimate goal, a “sexually healthy adult” will “affirm that human development includes sexual development which may . . . include . . . sexual experience,” “affirm one’s own sexual orientation,” and “affirm one’s own gender identities.”[9] The Guidelines recommend that schools teach children, ages 5 through 8, about masturbation, sexual intercourse, abortion, and sexual orientation. Little children are taught that “touching and rubbing one’s own genitals to feel good is called masturbation” and that “some boys and girls masturbate” in a “private place.”[10] Educators are supposed to instruct five-year-olds on “vaginal intercourse – when a penis is placed inside a vagina.”[11] The Guidelines describe abortion as the solution for circumstances in which “women become pregnant when they do not want to be or are unable to care for a child.”[12] Kindergarteners learn that “human beings can love people of the same gender and people of another gender,” according to a person’s sexual orientation.[13] Under SIECUS’ Guidelines, sexual perversions are deemed natural, favorable, and void of all consequences. Similarly, Planned Parenthood promotes initiating comprehensive sex education in kindergarten because “sexuality is an integral part of each person’s identity.”[14] Although Planned Parenthood does not lay out its own guidelines for comprehensive sexuality education, it directs interested educators to SIECUS’ Guidelines.[15]

Schools and libraries provide children with access to explicit sexual material and ideas in books. Recommended by SIECUS’ Guidelines as a resource for children, the book It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris covers topics such as sexual reproduction, sexual desire, sexual intercourse, and homosexuality. Although the book is designed for children ages ten and up, it includes cartoon images of a naked man and woman engaging in sexual intercourse, two men and two women in homosexual relationships, and multiple naked men and women depicted at different stages in life.[16] Advocates of comprehensive sexuality education in kindergarten assure cautious parents that sex education teaches only scientific facts. According to SIECUS, however, comprehensive sexuality education includes “forming attitudes, beliefs, and values about . . . identity, relationships, and intimacy.”[17] Sex education does not only teach facts, but it also teaches values. As religious and traditional values become irrelevant, sexual promiscuity becomes rampant.

The Man behind Comprehensive Sexuality Education

The current traumatization of children with explicit sexual images and ideas finds its roots in the work of “scientist” Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s. According to Stolen Honor Stolen Innocence, Kinsey claimed that “children are . . . unharmed by sexual activity even from birth.”[18] In his book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Kinsey included several tables depicting the “erotic arousal” of between “1,746 to 2,035 boys and girls” based on “instrumental measurement” and “timed with a stopwatch.”[19] Kinsey recruited pedophiles, parents, and nursery personnel to molest and rape children under the guise of “scientific research.”[20] Kinsey used his infamous Table 34 to support his contention that children are capable of “orgasm.” Table 34 “reported around-the-clock experimental ‘data’ on infants and young boys,” with the youngest child being five months old.[21] The infants and children who were sexually stimulated responded with pain, fright, “extreme tension with violent convulsion,” or fainting – a reaction which Kinsey considered “orgasm.”[22] What Kinsey deemed an “orgasm” in infants, however, can only be interpreted as an absolute protest to the violation of their bodies. From his “data,” Kinsey concluded that children are sexual from birth and can benefit from “incest or sex with adults” and that all forms of sexual behavior are both permissible and beneficial.[23]

The recent shift toward teaching explicit sex education in early grades is entirely based on the fraudulent research of this child rapist. Before Kinsey’s reports were published, all sexuality education was the “responsibility of parents or legal guardians.”[24] However, after Kinsey, school teachers became the primary instructors of sexuality information and health. Kinsey’s corrupt ideas are currently taught under deceptive pseudonyms such as “sex education, AIDS prevention or awareness, family life, health, hygiene, home economics, physical education, even ‘abstinence’ education.”[25] Based on Kinsey’s false ideologies, Planned Parenthood endorses teaching children comprehensive sexuality education in kindergarten since “learning about sexuality . . . begin[s] at birth and continue[s] throughout our lives.”[26] The false contention that children are sexual from birth remains prevalent in our schools today. Just as Kinsey violated the fragile bodies of thousands of infants and children, schools are violating the fragile minds of children.

The Harm Caused by Comprehensive Sexuality Education

A Child’s Brain

According to Dr. Judith Reisman and Mary McAlister, every “child or young person who views sexually explicit images suffers real harm.”[27] This harm is irreversible on a child’s brain. Brains are “far more impressionable in early life than in maturity.”[28] A child cannot process auditory and visual information like an adult. In contrast to an adult, “young children’s brains are more vulnerable to developmental problems should their environment prove especially impoverished or un-nurturing.”[29] In “Soft Porn” Plays Hardball, Dr. Reisman recognizes that “the human brain experiences conflicting and confusing images and information when viewing pornography.”[30] An impressionable child is confused when forced to absorb sexually explicit material. Describing pornography’s influence, Dr. Reisman continues, “When one reaches a state of emotional arousal faster than the body can rally its adaptive reactions, a form of stress follows.”[31] Children who are exposed to sexually explicit images experience stress and anxiety that carries into their adulthood.

The Rights of Parents

“Obscenity exemptions” provided for schools erodes the rights of parents. According to Pierce, the Supreme Court declared, “The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.”[32] All parents have the right and responsibility to educate their children. President Obama, however, endorsed teaching “medically accurate, age-appropriate, and responsible sex education” in kindergarten as “the right thing to do.”[33] Who determines what is age-appropriate for a kindergartener? Planned Parenthood? Local school boards? The federal government? Since schools have “obscenity exemptions,” schools can expose children to sexually explicit material and deem it “age-appropriate” by their own standards. SIECUS considers teaching about masturbation, sexual orientation, and sexual intercourse to be “age appropriate” for five-year-olds. Parents have a duty to protect their children from harm. Schools that indoctrinate young students with comprehensive sexuality education usurp the authority of parents.

Conclusion

SIECUS “believes that all people have the right to comprehensive sexuality education that addresses the socio-cultural, biological, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of sexuality by . . . exploring feelings, values and attitudes.”[34] Do five-year-olds have the right to digest sexually explicit material in school? Does SIECUS or the federal government have the right to impose their perverse and twisted values on your children? On that first day of kindergarten, each child anticipates learning about numbers and the alphabet. Let’s keep sex out of it.

RELATED ARTICLE: Planned Parenthood wins as Hawaii makes it harder to opt out of controversial sex ed lessons

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the Liberty Center for Law and Policy website. It is reprinted with permission.

REFERENCES:

[1] VA Code Ann. § 18.2-374.

[2] VA Code Ann. § 18.2-383.

[3] Judith Reisman and Mary E. McAlister, “‘Obscenity Exemptions’ for Educators Violate Children’s Civil Rights by Creating a Hostile Learning Environment” (executive summary, Liberty University School of Law, 2015), 1.

[4] “Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Kindergarten through 12th Grade,” Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (2004): 5, http://www.siecus.org/_data/global/images/guidelines.pdf (accessed June 29, 2015).

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid., 13.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid., 16.

[10] Ibid., 51-52.

[11] Ibid., 26.

[12] Ibid., 61.

[13] Ibid., 29.

[14] Planned Parenthood, http://www.plannedparenthood.org/educators/implementing-sex-education (accessed June 29, 2015).

[15] Ibid.

[16] Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley, It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing, Sex, and Sexual Health (Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2009), 14-20.

[17] “Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Kindergarten through 12th Grade,” 13.

[18] Judith Reisman, PhD, Stolen Honor Stolen Innocence: How America was Betrayed by the Lies and Sexual Crimes of a Mad “Scientist” (Orlando, FL: New Revolution Publishers, 2013), 133.

[19] Ibid., 135.

[20] The Kinsey Syndrome: How One Man Destroyed the Morality of America, DVD, Directed by Christian J. Pinto (American History Films, 2008).

[21] Reisman, Stolen Honor Stolen Innocence, 144.

[22] Ibid., 146-147.

[23] Ibid., 170.

[24] Ibid., 133.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Planned Parenthood, http://www.plannedparenthood.org/educators/implementing-sex-education (accessed June 29, 2015).

[27] Judith Reisman and Mary E. McAlister, “‘Obscenity Exemptions’ for Educators Violate Children’s Civil Rights by Creating a Hostile Learning Environment” (executive summary, Liberty University School of Law, 2015), 1.

[28] Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddler, and Families, http://main.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer? pagename=ter_key_brainFAQ (accessed July 2, 2015).

[29] Ibid.

[30] Judith Reisman, PhD, “Soft Porn” Plays Hardball: Its Tragic Effects on Women, Children, and the Family (Lafayette, LA: Huntington House Publishers, 1991), 17.

[31] Ibid., 18.

[32] Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925).

[33] Terence P. Jeffrey, “Obama: Sex Ed for Kindergarteners is the ‘Right Thing to Do,’” CNS News, http://cnsnews. com/news/article/obama-sex-ed-kindergartners-right-thing-do (accessed July 2, 2015).

[34] Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Kindergarten through 12th Grade, 13.

 

The Marriage Between the Church and the United States of America

The Christian Church and the USA have been “married” from day one. Time to get it back on track.

As William Lane Craig, noted Christian apologist wrote, “God has necessarily decreed that human beings are to be treated as ends in themselves rather merely as means to ends.” It is the individual that controls government, not the other way around.

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Gays Throw Human Excrement At Christians, Wipe Their Anuses With Pages of The Bible by Theodore Shoebat

When up to a thousand conservative Christian parents in Germany were protesting against a new pro-homosexual “sexual diversity” curriculum in their schools, homosexuals charged at them and thew human excrement at the Christians. They also ripped pages of the Bible, wiped their anuses with the pages, crumpled them up and threw them at the Christians.

What makes these sodomites so different than Muslims who defecate in churches? The answer is nothing.

According to the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians:

They were spit at, eggs were thrown, and little bags with feces or color. Cables of loud speakers were torn out …Pages were ripped out of the bible and used to wipe backsides, then formed into a ball and thrown at the parents. …Christians were deeply hurt in this process. At least one banner was snatched and destroyed in front of the eyes of the parents. Marshals were target[ed] with pepper sprays. Shouting by counter-demonstrator[s] made the planned public speaking partly impossible.

The police, instead of bringing order, came and took the side of the sodomites, telling the Christian protesters to leave. As the organizers stated:

Police urged the organizers to dissolve the rally, in order ‘to avoid escalation.

This is why we support the current law in Russia in regards to homosexual propaganda. The sodomites must be suppressed in order to prevent their agenda from spreading and taking root in any component of civilized. This is why God gave us this law:

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)

But since the Divine Law has been replaced by the dictates of politicians whose souls are seized by the devil, these sodomites “fill the land with violence and continually arouse” the anger of God (Ezekiel 8:17)

St. Peter described governors as “them that are sent by him [God] for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. (1 Peter 2:14) Evildoers would include sodomites, since St. Peter’s moral code would have been from the Divine Law.

In the words of St. Paul when he addressed the sodomites in his Epistle to the Romans:

Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:32)

The sodomites know they do evil, and we as Christians know that the Divine Law must be imposed upon them, or else they will “continue to do these very things”.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Shoebat.com.

Ralph Nader Says Anti-Semitism Includes Arabs?

Ralph Nader, the consumer crusader, five time presidential candidate and pro-Arab defender has a new cause; expropriating anti-Semitism to include Arabs.  Manfred Gerstenfeld in our review and interview about his latest book, The War of a Million Cuts, noted such examples of flagrant abuse of semantics. Examples, like accusing the Israelis of being the new Nazis and Palestinians as the oppressed Jews. Raphael Medoff, of the David S Wyman Center for Holocaust Studies in Washington, DC, wrote about Nader’s latest twist- anti-Semitism applies to Arabs- because it is about common Semitic linguistics. This is the subject of Medoff’s Algemeiner op-ed  Ralph Nader Targets ‘The Jews’ and Linguistically Hijacks Anti-Semitism.

Here is what Nader said at the American –Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) convention  in Washington:

You never avoid using the word anti-Semitism when Arabs and Arab-Americans are discriminated against, are arrested without charges, are exposed to all kinds of swears and bars against employment and all kinds of discrimination that goes on, and that is anti-Semitism. The Semitic race is Arabs and Jews and the Jews do not own the phrase anti-Semitism.

Medoff asks the relevant question:

Is the Semitic race “Arabs and Jews,” as Nader asserted? Actually, it’s not. “Semitic” refers to a group of Middle Eastern languages. There’s no such thing as a “Semitic race.”

In his critically acclaimed 1986 book, Semites and Anti-Semites, Bernard Lewis (professor emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University) wrote, “‘Semitic’ is a linguistic and cultural classification… It has nothing whatever to do with race in the anthropological sense that is now common usage.”

Medoff goes on to provide the origin of the term anti-Semitism in 19th Century  Europe:

The German anti-Jewish agitator Wilhelm Marr in 1879 coined the term “Antisemitism” (“antisemitismus” in German). His target was still Jews; he simply believed the new phrase would make his brand of hatred sound more legitimate and even scientific. The organization he founded to further these aims was called the Antisemiten-Liga, or League of Antisemites.

He then delves into the purpose of Nader’s  abusive  semantics:

Ralph Nader’s real aim, however, is not linguistic accuracy. As he explained to the ADC convention, he wants to use language as a tool to advance the Arab campaign against Israel.

“Once you use that word, you have equivalence with the other use of that word. It’s anti-Semitism against Arabs, anti-Semitism against Jews—why ignore one to the other?” Nader said.

According to this formula, Arabs would gain victim status just like Jews.

Nader seems to be particularly sensitive to the fact that some hatred of Israel is perceived as anti-Semitic—and he wants to prevent that perception from taking hold.

[Supporters of Israel] know how to accuse people of anti-Semitism if any issue on Israel is criticized, even though the worst anti-Semitism in the world today is against Arabs and Arab-Americans and they know how to use the language, he complained. I suspect AIPAC spends more money on hotels for their national meeting in five hours than ADC’s entire budget, so it’s important to ask the question: “What does it take in terms of human hours and resources to get things turned around?”

I got to know Nader  up close and personal in the late 60’s to early 1970’s before my association came to a screeching halt.

Having collaborated and  co-authored pieces with Nader  and testified  on Capitol Hill on worker safety issues  back in 1968 to 1970, I  came to know what he was like. Fortunately,  I was never a so-called “Nader’s Raider” nor employed in any of his various ‘Centers’. My involvement preceded those developments.  I was an independent researcher and later a systems consultant for a decade in DC.

I left Nader ’s circle  because of two things: his monumental jihadist ego and his maltreatment of subordinates. Some of my comments about this are contained in a chapter on Nader  in Playing for Keeps in Washington, 1977 by Laurence Leamer.

Nader  in his earlier days as the mysterious “white knight of consumerism” lived a monk like existence in a rooming house not far from DuPont Circle in DC. At the time he had a colleague, the indefatigable  Ted Jacobs. Nader was paranoid and a control freak. One day he walked in to Ted’s office and basically told him that he was fired, locked him out of his office and secured all his files!!

Nader  developed a messiah like complex that went well beyond the consumer issues. He  subsequently became an icon in the anti-war movement allied with anti-Israel leftists  like Noam Chomsky. The fact is that he may have mistakenly identified his  Lebanese Maronite Christian immigrant parents as Arabs because they spoke Arabic.  He bought into the Arab vision with all of its attendant problems, including being a dhimmi fellow traveler and an anti-Semite of the 20th  Century variety. Not surprising as Nader  had a Princeton undergraduate  major in Arabic studies. One wonders if he had Professor Bernard Lewis for any of his undergraduate professors at Princeton.

He subsequently earned a law degree from Harvard, became a plaintiff’s  attorney opening offices in Hartford , Connecticut .  His real climb to fame began when the late Senator Pat Moynihan, former aide to New York  Governor Averill Harriman, moved to Washington as a Kennedy  appointee. Moynihan brought with him the treasure trove of his auto crash data files. Nader sought access to that, wrote Moynihan when the later was Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy Evaluation and Research  in 1961-62. Nader  was invited down to  plough through  Moynihan’s files  virtually camping out in Moynihan’s office mining the auto crash data files.   From that research emerged  the Chevy Corvair controversy, the breathless J’accuse against GM in Nader’s best seller Unsafe at Any Speed. Because GM didn’t know who he was they hired a private detective to check him out which led to a suit by Nader that resulted in  a $400,000 legal settlement with GM  in 1964 for violating his privacy.  The settlement, initial and subsequent  book royalties created Nader’s  personnel wealth. Nader was wise enough to  hire a real pro investing the settlement funds for several decades .  Nader  also had a reputation for not spending  much on himself or for that matter on anyone else. Funds for the Center for Auto Safety and Public Citizens were raised from donations.

Nader always reminded  me of  Girolamo Savonarola, the famous mad monk who ruled  Florence and drove Florentines to burn books, art and other alleged fripperies in the famous Bonfire of the Vanities. He sought to found a New Jerusalem in Florence as a world center of Christianity following the invasion of Italy by French King Charles VII. After the ousting of the Medicis,  Savonarola  ruled  Florence  as the head of a virtual populist republic from 1494 to 1498. After refusing  fealty to Pope Vincent VI’s  Holy League against the French, Savonarola was invited to Rome,  tried and excommunicated. He and two Dominican Friars were ultimately condemned, tried by both church and civil authorities, hung and burned in May 1498.  There is a famous statue  in Ferrara, Italy where gaunt like Savonarola  looks as if he’s uttering that famous Italian expression: “ecco uomo.” Nader  resembles a leftist  American version of  Savonarola.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Islamic Shari’ah Law: The Threat to Western Civilization

The differences between shari’ah law and United States law is as separate as night is from day.  Contrary to the overbearing all-consuming nature of shari’ah and the Muslim’s efforts to force it upon everyone worldwide. U.S. law is fundamentally territorial and is mostly contained within it’s geographic boundaries.  Laws created in the United States (until more recent years) are positive laws (as opposed to divine laws), enacted by Congress or other United States authorities.

Further, it is a longstanding principle of legal construction that positive law is territorial in nature.  As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., wrote, “The general and almost universal rule is that the character of an act as lawful or unlawful must be determined wholly by the law of the country where the act is done.”  This principle is axiomatic to the American legal system.

Therefore, while shari’ah travels with a Muslim wherever he goes and is expected to be enforced universally over the law of any other nation.  That is why bigoted Muslims try to take over wherever they move to.  For example, Dearbornistan,MI.  U.S. law is generally limited to the United States and does not apply in other nations.

Unlike here in the west, where separate nation-states are the political norm, Islam “assumes that all people are to be subject or bound to one giant Muslim community, bound by the brutal law of one ruler.  Because Islam asserts that Allah revealed all laws, both religious and secular (in a Western sense), through his prophet Muhammad to the entire ummah community of Islamic believers), Islam is a divine, universal “Nomocracy” meaning a universal state governed by divine law.  Thus, every Muslim is bound by shari’ah, which “binds individuals, not territorial groups.”

As a result, to Muslims, shari’ah supersedes all other law.   Americans can forget the concept of Muslims ever respecting the national sovereignty of the United States, or truthfully pledging allegiance to our republic and what she should be standing for.  While they want to take over the world and abuse non-Muslims throughout the Middle East and Europe, Muslims are calling the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq crusades against Islam.  Funny thing, Muslims desecrate Christian symbols and destroy ancient Christian and Jewish sites and artifacts with regularity.  All in the name of Allah. Mind you, these are the same holy people who marry and sexually abuse nine year old undeveloped little girls.  That alone discredits their peaceful holy religion concept they proclaim to the world.

In the legal context, the loyalty to the Islamic ummah (community of believers) can be seen in the “active international grouping at the United Nations and elsewhere, [by fifty-seven] Muslim governments, which together constitute the so-called Islamic states have joined together to defend and spread Islam universality and require every Muslim to safeguard the “binding divine commands… of Allah.”  Moreover, Islam divides the planet into two territories:  dar al-isla, the territory of islam and dar al-harb, the territory of war.  The dar al-Islam consists of all territories under Muslim rule.  These two territories will always be in strife until (in the eyes of Muslims) Islam conquers the entire world.  (So they believe)

Although the necessary exclusivity of the uhmah (community of believers) distinguishes the “infidels” of the outside world from the community of believers, the ultimate goal of the Islamists is to forcibly bring the entire world into obedience to Allah and his law.

Because Islam grew out of belief in complete world domination, by the sword, every dedicated Muslim is obligated to labor in his own way toward achieving that goal.  It does not matter where he lives or who claims his allegiance.  That is why, it is impossible for a Muslim (not radical, but dedicated) adhering strictly to shari’ah to honestly swear no loyalty to anyone besides Allah.  At the very heart of Islam is the existence of a single Islamic state, which is “entirely exclusive” of all other gods.

Consequently, every Muslim’s obligatory allegiance to the global Islamic state is inherently incompatible with any other oath of allegiance.  That includes an oath of allegiance to the United States of America.  So it was no surprise to witness thousands of Muslims dancing in the streets of Dearbornistan, MI when their Muslim brothers slammed airliners into the World Trade Center on September eleventh 2001.  The Muslims have vowed to bring down America and to force shariah law upon all of us.  In my opinion, that is a declaration of war and “we the People” of America must pray to the same and real God who blessed the founding fathers and the patriots who defeated the British Empire.  Hopefully His wisdom and Providential guidance will once again be sought and utilized. If not, The United States will simply be, one nation gone under.  Many thanks to the American Center for Law and Justice for their contributions.

EDITORS NOTE: The threat doctrine of the enemy of the free world is Islam. The overarching strategy of the Global Islamic Movement (GIM) is Fitna. To understand more about Islam, shariah laws, the threat and why Muslims slaughter visit Fitnaphobia.com.