The Plan for Police Nullification

“I [sic] give my left n** to bang down your door and come for your gun,” said the cop. This statement, made by Branford, Ct., police officer Joseph Peterson in a Facebook conversation earlier this month, created quite a blogosphere firestorm. Internet commenters from Sacramento to Saratoga struck a note of defiance and e-shouted the ancient words of Spartan King Leonidas, “Molon labe!” On the other side there’s Ct. governor Dannel Malloy (D), who said to a gun owner at a March 13 town-hall meeting that the anti-Second Amendment set won and “you lost.” But it occurs to me that in-your-face actions can go both ways.

Pondering this brings to mind yet another type of response to the (anti) Constitution State door-banger: from law-enforcement officers (LEOs) vowing not to enforce unconstitutional gun laws. One of them, a retired career detective responding to Officer Peterson’s statement that his job is only to enforce the law — and that he must do so no matter what form it takes — called Peterson a “fool” and wrote, “Part of the filtering process in criminal justice IS the police choosing whether or not to enforce a law at a particular point in time on a particular person.” This gets at an important point: the “good soldier” cop argument is bunk. No LEO tickets everyone driving 31 in a 30 zone, many laws are on the books but not enforced at all, and no moral cop would obey a command to round up all members of a certain ethnic group for extermination. Police use discretion all the time.

And, if our constitutional rights are to be secure, we need fewer Officer Petersons in the world and more, let’s say, Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We don’t need good-soldier cops — we need good-citizen cops.

The solution to this problem lies in the LEO selection process. If your area is electing a sheriff, there must be an explicit litmus test:

  • Will you protect constitutional rights?
  • And will you disobey unconstitutional orders, no matter their origin?

Any waffling or hesitation should disqualify the candidate. We need LEOs who won’t just yes us to death, for electoral ambitions have a way of greasing the tongue. We need LEOs who are passionate about the issue, stout-hearted cultural and constitutional warriors. And while we can’t read minds, remember this: if you want to know what a person wants you to believe he believes, listen to what he says. If you want to know what he really believes, listen to how he says it. While some people are A-list actors, it’s hard to fake true passion.

But even this isn’t enough. The candidate must also agree to incorporate as part of regular deputy training a comprehensive course on the U.S. Constitution. This course must reflect what is called a strict “originalist” view of the document, but what is really just the only lawful, correct view. (It would be silly to call someone who follows the rules of poker an originalist and someone who doesn’t a “pragmatist.” The latter is called a cheater.) It must emphasize that an unconstitutional law is no law at all.

This brings us to something else Gov. Malloy said to the gun owner at the town hall: “[W]e have courts. Courts are where the constitutionality of things are [sic] decided.”

Actually, no, they’re not.

Courts are where the courts’ position on constitutionality is decided.

As for actual constitutionality, that’s an objective reality that cannot be changed by cheaters who rationalize that rules can be “living” (which is convenient when you‘ve assumed the power of life and death over them).

And “assumed” is the operative word. Nothing in the Constitution grants the courts the power to be the ultimate arbiter of the document’s meaning. So who did grant the courts this power?

The courts themselves!

Chief Justice John Marshall took it upon himself to assert this right in the 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision. This started the transition from the rule of law to the rule of lawyers.

This is why the LEO Constitution course must also incorporate Thomas Jefferson’s correct position on the courts’ role. Our third president wrote in 1819 that he denied “the right they [the courts] usurp of exclusively explaining the constitution…,” saying that if that right became status quo, “then indeed is our constitution a complete felo de se.” That’s Latin, of course.

It means “suicide pact.”

And no American has an obligation to be party to a suicide pact.

Jefferson went on to explain, “For intending to establish three departments, co-ordinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this [judicial review] opinion, to one of them alone, the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one too, which is unelected by, and independent of the nation.” Quite right. And if the courts can unilaterally decide that they have ultimate-arbiter power, guess what?

We can unilaterally decide they don’t.

Yes, in-your-face actions can go both ways.

As for law enforcement, what if you can’t vote for your head LEO because you live in a city in which the mayor appoints a police chief? Then the litmus test a sheriff would have to pass must be applied to a mayoral candidate. If he’s a Bolshevik Bill unwilling to appoint a Constitution-loving-and-fearing chief who will institute the aforementioned Constitution course, tell him sorry, but only true Americans need apply.

As first responders, LEOs can also be first persecutors or first protectors. What they actually will be is up to us.

RELATED STORY: Rep. Keith Ellison: I Wish Democrats Would Come Out Against the Second Amendment

BREAKING: Florida “Cultural Indicators Report” Released

The Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) released the Florida Cultural Indicators Report which was commissioned and published by the FFPC and evaluates the cultural, social and economic condition of our state.  The study will be delivered to every member of the Florida House, Senate, and Cabinet, all legislative committees, media and news agencies across Florida. The 55 page Florida Cultural Indicators Report is available in PDF format here.

Video footage of the announcement including FFPC President John Stemberger’s remarks:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/3-dBCNgRuh8[/youtube]

The 55 page full color document provides statistical data for 37 cultural indicators in 7 different categories including vital statistics, crime, education, family, health, poverty & welfare, and business & government.  Each indicator compares Florida’s status to the rest of the country by using charts, graphs and color images to accompany the raw data.

Among the more remarkable findings of the study include:

  • While Florida’s violent crime rate has fallen 55% since 1990, since 1960 Florida’s violent crime rate has always been 36% above the national average.
  • On average, 83,000 couples are divorced each year. Florida has the ninth highest divorce rate in the nation and the divorce rate has been above the national average for more than 50 years.
  • Florida taxpayers pay $1.95 billion dollars annually as the cost of family fragmentation from divorce and unwed childbearing.
  • The total number of births out of wedlock has jumped from 28% in 1960 to 62% in 2012.  Since 1960, the percentage of births to non-white unmarried women has increased by 126%.
  • Since 1960 the number of single parent families has risen by 260%.
  • Enrolment in Medicare by Florida’s seniors has risen by 61%.
  • Florida has the fifth highest HIV infection rate in the nation with 78% of HIV in men being the result of male on male sexual contact.
  • One in six Floridians now receive food stamps quadrupling this rate since 2008.

John Stemberger, President and General Counsel of the FFPC was on hand to comment and offer analysis regarding the results and implications of the study.  Stemberger stated, “Virtually every domestic policy issue in this report is connected to the level of thriving in marriages and families.  While government’s role is limited in shaping culture, there is still much that legislative leaders can do to strengthen these institutions.  Our plea to government officials and public opinion leaders all across Florida is to begin a dialogue and discussion about how Florida can strengthen the institutions of marriage and family.  Our hope would be that future legislative leaders would create a joint commission, a workshop, a summit, or an OPPAGA study on marriage and family to explore solutions to reduce family fragmentation and increase the thriving of marriages and families.”

Does Climate Change Play a Role in Putin’s Aggression in Ukraine?

1. Russian President Vladimir Putin has bested US President Obama in the Ukraine including the recent annexation of Crimea.

2. Putin is trying to rebuild the former Soviet Union, but may also want Ukraine’s wheat and all the warm water ports of the northern Black Sea because of a potentially dangerous new cold climate.

3. Global warming ended years ago and the next global cold climate epoch has begun because of the Sun going into a reduced state of energy output called a ‘solar hibernation’ – a once every 206 year event.

4. During past cold eras, Russians were heavily dependent on the Ukraine for wheat and the warmer water ports of Crimea. Russia is a cold, far north nation. Most of it lies at the latitude of Alaska.

5. Russian government scientists and their media are free to talk about the new cold climate where US scientists are punished for telling the truth about the climate. The US mainstream media is silent on the coming cold. Russian scientists have said a new “Little Ice Age” begins this year!

6. Russia is no stranger to the ravages of cold and starvation and they are therefore more concerned about the next cold climate. In the US, most have never experienced either. Russian scientists have said their country must prepare for what the new cold epoch will do to them. In the US, just the opposite is happening! President Obama has even said global warming is “accelerating!” – a shockingly false statement.

7. Putin will do what he can to prevent the European Union or the US or western agricultural conglomerates from getting Ukrainian wheat thus depriving Russia of food for its people. The US food conglomerates are well aware of the next cold climate.

8. Putin will try to stop the US or NATO from controlling northern Black Sea ports for its Navy. If the next “Little Ice Age” (LIA) begins as predicted, Russia’s northern ports along the Baltic Sea will be frozen in for most of the year – crippling its Navy.

9. Putin may be listening to what his scientists and his media are saying about the need to prepare for the coming difficult cold epoch. President Obama continues to place US citizens in harm’s way by making sure we are totally unprepared for the coming food shortages and extreme cold weather.

QUESTION: Does Climate Change Play a Role in Putin’s Aggression in the Ukraine? 

Certainly, it looks as though the primary reason for the Russian action in Ukraine is part of Putin’s long range plan to reconstitute the former Soviet Union. Is climate change on his mind as he executes his militaristic Ukrainian strategy while taking full advantage of the feckless foreign policy of President Obama? Maybe. Should it be? Absolutely!

Putin, two steps ahead of President Obama on international affairs, is actually years ahead of President Obama on climate change. Our hapless President continues to reinforce the myth of man made global warming and engaging in active deception of the American people on the subject.  Putin, however, appears to be doing exactly what he needs to do to prepare for the predicted extreme cold climate that my climate research company, the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC,) and Russia’s leading climate scientists have warned about. That’s right, for those who haven’t been informed yet; global warming ended years ago and a potentially dangerous new cold climate has begun!

The next climate change to a predicted long cold epoch which threatens Russia’s control over the vital national resources of wheat and its long standing need for a warm water port, may be among the more important and undiscussed drivers underlying the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Securing these resources may cause him to insure he has complete control over all of the Ukraine beyond the just annexed Crimea and as much of the northern Black Sea as he can take. This bold assertion rightfully demands some explanation.

The new cold climate, a once-every-206-year event, is brought on as a result of the Sun making historic reductions in its energy output, which is leading us inextricably down the path to a much colder Earth. This “solar hibernation” has already brought about a stunning reversal from the past global warming to a new colder climate leaving the ‘warmist’ and environmental communities scrambling for new reasons for existence, e.g. ocean acidification. The widely available real world temperature data shows that not only have we had no global warming for seventeen years, but that oceanic and atmospheric temperatures have been declining for much of the last eleven years. Sea ice extent globally has reached record levels. The brutal record cold winter of 2013-2014 is but one example of many, that a fundamental change in the climate has arrived. This new cold is like the solar hibernation that has caused it, unstoppable!

The absence of discussion by our media and government, much less action to prepare for the next cold climate epoch in the US, is completely opposite in Russia! It is ironic and deeply saddening that in what was the former communist Soviet Union, scientists are more free to tell the truth about what is really happening with the Earth’s climate, than are their US colleagues. As a result, Russian climate scientists are way ahead of their shackled US counterparts on the status of this next change to a long cold climate. Tragically, here in the US, it would be a career ending move if a government scientist or government funded university climate researcher told the truth about this new cold phenomenon. President Obama has made it clear that US scientists are to mislead the people about what is happening with the climate. He has done so via executive order and in public statements where he has made public policy. In June 2013 at Georgetown University, for example,  he made the statement that global warming was “accelerating” – a shockingly false statement.

Similarly, the Russian media has no problem printing articles from their climate experts about the coming cold climate and its potentially calamitous effects. With the exception of a relatively few like Newsmax and the Orlando Sentinel, major US media outlets are silent on what may become the most important news story of the century. In Russia, the media have reported that researchers at the Russian Academy of Sciences are warning that a new “Little Ice Age” is coming, possibly in 2014! It is this new extreme cold epoch and its many ill-effects that could be an important secondary driver behind Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Unlike the US, Russia is no stranger to bitter cold and nationwide food deprivation. Their history is full of such episodes caused by natural forces and augmented by political turbulence and warfare. It is part of their country’s historical, social, and political makeup. There is a stark difference therefore, between the current US and Russian view of the next climate change. In the US, there is no future cold climate threat! Yet many ‘in the know’ in Russian view it as ‘a clear and present danger!’ As a result, while on the surface their rationale for a Ukraine invasion is political, underneath, the Russians well understand what other ‘jewels’ Ukraine has to offer.

I believe one of those jewels and reasons for a Russian takeover starting in the Crimea, is to secure complete access to Ukrainian wheat and other crops as they did in days of the former Soviet Union. In 2012, Russia proper produced 38 million metric tons of wheat, fifth largest in the world. Ukraine came in with 16 million tons about half of Russia’s output yet, making it number eleven in the global rankings. It is possible under current cold climate scenarios published in the Global Climate Status Report©, a product of the Space and Science Research Corporation, that Russia may see a substantial loss of its grain crops during the next cold climate. This could result in them becoming partially or totally dependent on the Ukraine for much of the bread on Russian tables. The quantities are not the only point – the geography matters too.

The Russian homeland is centered along latitude 60 degrees north. This is the same as northern Canada and Alaska! Russia in the winter is a vast cold land. Even the Ukraine, near the southern most extent of Russia, is about the same latitude as the wheat belt of southern Canada. What if the Russian Academy of Sciences is correct and we see another Little Ice Age start this year or in the next five or even ten years. What if Russia loses much or all its harvest of wheat for years in a row? They will turn as they have before – to Ukraine.

The March 10, 2014 Global Climate Status Report states that this new cold climate will likely “…result in substantial, global, social disruption and loss of life.”  The US government, US agricultural conglomerates and the US mainstream media are well aware of the new cold climate because of frequent updates provided to them over the years by the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC).

Putin cannot allow the western leaning Ukrainian government to permit European, or US agricultural conglomerates to have access to Ukraine’s wheat during the coming cold climate, leaving his people without the food they will be demanding.

History has shown that when the people begin to starve, they take down their government and wars begin. The French revolution of 1789, which eventually placed Napoleon Bonaparte on the throne, took place at the very beginning of the last 206 year solar cycle’s cold phase. Doubtless, President Putin has no interest in seeing any political upheaval on his watch. He will want Ukraine’s crops and will do what is needed to keep European and US agriculture conglomerates out of the way.

But what about the warm water port issue. The world has long known that Russia has historically sought out warm ports where its navy could hold up during winters and to be able to respond year-round to Russian military requirements as they also attempt to project their military force globally. But during this new cold climate, it will be different. The port issue will be paramount!

Again, if the Russian climate researchers are correct, then the far northern waters of the planet especially the Baltic Sea and waters around Russia’s northern ports could be frozen over, not just for a few months in winter, but for most if not all of the year! During the coldest time of the Little Ice Age from 1615 to 1745, the Baltic Sea was so cold for so long that roads, hotels, and shops were built on the frozen sea and people walked between counties over the thick ice. No, this would not be just another cold winter adversely affecting Russia’s fleet for a predictably short few months. This could be a period of time when Russia’s military, especially its navy, could be crippled, making it vulnerable to other foreign designs. Putin cannot permit that either. He will want to hold on to the recently annexed Crimea and its ports and as many other warm water ports along the Black Sea that he can capture, thus prohibiting NATO naval forces from moving in.

All the while, the wily Russian President Putin remains way ahead of President Obama. In the United States, the manmade climate change deception has become a joke. In Russia, as its history of incredible hardships shows, the changing climate may be viewed today as a matter of life and death. The incursion into the Ukraine though essentially political, may also be the first steps the Russians are taking to prepare for the coming cold!

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is of a Russian winter in Arzamas. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Should GOP Conservatives Adjust Their Message for Blacks?

Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote an article stating that the only way for conservatives to reach black voters is to drop their color blind idealism.

Dougherty wrote, “Conservatives in the GOP like to assail identity politics and tout their own ideology as one of color blindness. Sometimes this is stupidly marketed to black voters as a selling point for Republicans. “We don’t categorize you by race,” brags a Republican. The black audience hears: “We don’t take the most salient part of your American political identity seriously.”

I am a real-live black person. When I hear Republicans say “We don’t categorize you by race”, I think, “Thank you for respecting my intelligence enough not to pander to me.” Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, a Republican, dreamed of a day when Americans would focus on principles such as character rather than skin-color (race).

Civil rights leaders and Democrats have abandoned Dr King’s vision of a colorblind America. Especially since Obama, the exploitation of race is the Democrats’ super weapon to win every political battle. Anyone daring to oppose the black president’s socialist/progressive agenda is bombarded with accusations of racism. Checkmate!

Dougherty appears to suggest that we conservatives can not simply stand up for what is right and true. We must adjust our message to fit the Democrats’ false accusations and false assumptions.

For example. Dougherty thinks the GOP should back-off from their push for voter I-D laws because it looks like they are attempting to suppress the black vote. Mr. Dougherty, as a black conservative, I find the concept that blacks are too incompetent to find their way to acquire a photo I-D extremely insulting, demeaning and offensive. Democrats are fighting voter I-D because they seek to steal elections via voter fraud. Will Republicans waving the white flag on this issue win them black votes? I think not.

Dougherty thinks America’s history of racial injustice causes blacks to deal with the issue of race every day. I beg to differ. Neither myself nor my black family, friends and associates deal with racial issues every day.

Despicably, liberals and Democrats strive to make race an issue, polarizing Americans; keeping the fires of racial tensions burning bright for political gain.

I reject Mr Dougherty’s call for conservatives to abandon colorblind politicking. Why must we always allow Democrats and their media buddies to determine the rules of engagement?

We are all Americans and should be dealt with accordingly, rather than doing what the Democrats do; divide Americans into supposed victimized voting blocs and pandering to each group for political exploitation.

In the 1980s, as a young black kid clueless about politics, Ronald Reagan’s one-size-fits-all conservative message of American exceptional-ism spoke to me. Reagan inspired me to be all I could be. His speeches made me feel good about myself and my country.

Admittedly, Conservatism will not resonate with everyone. Some people are born leeches and lazy; always looking for a free ride. These types feel entitled to the fruits of other folk’s labors. Democrats love to pander to them.

But I believe in the character and goodness of a majority of the American people. When presented unfiltered by liberals, conservatism will find a lot of Americans eager to embrace it. Why? Because Conservatism is in-sync with the human spirit.

Please understand. Packaging the conservative message to appeal to various audiences is an excellent idea. However, watering down our principles or choosing not to challenge the Democrats’ false narratives is foolish and wrong.

Certain principles have a universal appeal. Such principles bridge racial divides.

In the 1970s, I was a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art. My fellow black students at the mostly white college were extremely militant and anti-whitey. A group of them demanded that the Black Panthers be allowed to rally on campus.

I was stunned when these same black students approached me extremely excited about this awesome movie, “Rocky”, the Italian stallion. It was remarkable to witness these particular black students so passionately embracing a white boy. The magic ingredient was the “colorblind” principles espoused in that movie which spoke to the humanity in us all.

Mr Dougherty, I respectfully disagree with your article. As an American who happens to be black, I do not desire a “black version” of Conservatism which is rooted in true compassion and common sense.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo montage was created by Soldieranabi. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Fig Pastors: Revelations’ Last Message to the Seven Churches and the End Times

Barren_fig_tree

The BarrenThe fig tree in Matthew 21:19 represented the Jewish nation in the time of Christ, but could also represent America now. The message to the last church in Revelation is addressed to the preachers. America’s condition today may largely be the responsibility of a failed ministry.

Speaking of when the end-time would suddenly come into view, Christ said, now learn a parable of the fig tree. As His own end-time began, the last week of Christ’s life finds Him walking from Bethany, hospitable home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, to Jerusalem where He sees a fig tree in full leaf with promise of figs. But searching it, He finds only leaves, no fruit.

Christ cursed the fig tree as an acted parable. The barren tree with its pretentious foliage was a symbol of the Jewish nation. The Savior desired to make plain to His disciples the cause and the certainty of Israel’s doom. The Jews were ahead of other nations, professing allegiance to God. Though specially favored by God, they were corrupted by the love of the world and the greed of gain.

In saying, Learn a parable of a fig tree (Matthew 24:32), Christ was implying a lesson for us at the end of time. More than any other nation now, America has been blessed with a knowledge of truth that was responsible for its prosperity, but corrupted also by greed of gain the the love of the world, America is about to wither as the fig tree in Matthew 21:19.

From a gardening standpoint, fruit trees can become unmanageable and unproductive in a few years. Fruit appears on new growth, but if the tree is allowed to grow without pruning it, too many branches and blossoms mean not enough support for the fruit.

This is a commentary on religion in America. Lots of fig leaves, which was also what Adam and Eve used to cover their nakedness in Genesis 3:7. Preachers are offering smooth things to not offend any in their large congregations. It may be a gospel of prosperity, or false hope of salvation, but there is not much that people are getting from the Word of God that should prepare us for all issues in life.

God understood this about 2000 years ago when the apostle John was given a letter to the aggelos, the messenger or preacher for the last of seven churches–lukewarm with materialism, not unlike the Jewish nation at the time of Christ’s fig tree parable.

“To whom much is given, of him much is required,” Luke 12:48. This sounds like God will hold preachers accountable for what’s happening (or not happening) as a result of their smooth messages.

“The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple…but who may abide…He is like a refiner’s fire, and He shall purify the sons of Levi [religious leaders]” Malachi 3:1-3.

Readiness for what’s coming [end-times] results from an understanding of the Apocalypse—the book of Revelation. Tragically, most western Christians have little understanding of this book that pronounces a blessing on those who read and keep those things written in it, Revelation 1:3.

Too many Christians have been taught that they will be raptured! Why should they try to understand the book of Revelation? On the other hand, we could have a serious loss in destiny if there’s no rapture and we don’t understand the visions that John penned for us. Most pastors don’t even see America in prophecy.

RELATED STORY: Book “The Harbinger” asks: What will you do on the Day of Judgement?

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo titled “Old Fig Tree” is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Democrats can be racists, too

Two weeks ago, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) set off a firestorm of controversy by saying on the syndicated radio talk show of Bill Bennett: “…we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities, in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work; and so there’s a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with…”

To read the unedited interview, go to: http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/article/2014/mar/14/context-paul-ryans-poverty-comments-racial-attack/

This made up controversy about Ryan is a bunch of garbage. People need to be much more judicious in labeling someone as a “racist.” It is a very damning term that should only be used under the most extreme of circumstances.

What Ryan said was stupid, but not racist. In the 80s, Jesse Jackson referred to New York City as “Hymietown.” Like Ryan, it was stupid but doesn’t make Jackson anti-Semitic. Professional athletes using the word fa**ot in the locker room doesn’t necessarily make them homophobic, but it may be stupid to use in today’s PC climate.

We, who are in public life or have a media platform, all say stupid things at some point in our lives. But our lives should not be destroyed by the mistakes we make. Rather, our lives should be affirmed by the totality of the contributions we make to society. By this standard, Ryan is definitely a good guy.

Not surprisingly, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) sharply criticized Ryan. Strangely, they never direct similar anger at President Obama, even after he for willfully disrespected them and ignored them for five years and counting. Republicans are constantly accused of ignoring the Black community because they are racists. So does that also make Obama a racist? Just asking.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), former head of the CBC, called Ryan’s comments a “thinly veiled racial attack.” House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) spokesman called his remarks “shameful and wrong.”

If you only go by the media coverage, a person can only be a racist if they are a White Republican. So, allow me to give you a little Democratic history.

During the Democratic primary of 2008, our “real” first Black president, Bill Clinton had this to say about Obama’s campaign, “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.” The response from the CBC and white Democrats? Crickets! Nothing. Laryngitis.

The morning after Obama’s 28-point blowout of Hillary in South Carolina, Bill Clinton called Obama another Jesse Jackson (meant in a negative way). Of course, who could forget Bill Clinton’s Sista Soulja moment from the 1992 campaign? Again, Crickets! Nothing. Laryngitis.

I could go on forever with examples of Democrats doing the same thing that Ryan is accused of, but you get the point.

There is also the issue of what I call “White Republicanitis.” I have warned Ryan about this issue, but he didn’t get it. Bob Woodson, founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, has been taking Ryan all across the country to meet with inner city Blacks to discuss possible policy solutions to deal with some of the issues they deem important.

Ryan refused to do any media surrounding this personal initiative with him and Woodson because he’s doing it because he cares, not because he wants media attention.” Paul, they are not mutually exclusive; it’s not either or, but both and.

This is what I call “White Republicanitis:” doing the right thing but in the wrong way. If Ryan had followed my counsel, then he would have some goodwill in the bank to draw down from during his moment of crises.

I have done several media interviews about this Ryan flap and in every instance the comment was made that maybe Ryan needs to go into the Black community and talk with a few Blacks before he opens his mouth. When I shared with the interviewer/host what Woodson was doing with Ryan, they all indicated that they had no knowledge of this. Most looked shocked, as though they couldn’t reconcile the idea of a White Republican going into the Black community because that is the antithesis of their view of a Republican.

Maybe now Ryan will start engaging with the Black media.

But, it’s not just Ryan. I have had similar conversations with the House and Senate leadership about this same issue to no avail.
As far as this feigned outrage from members of the CBC and Pelosi, weak people take strong positions on weak issues.

Confronting Youth Unemployment in Africa by Fiyinfoluwa Elegbebe

There are good ways and bad ways to confront youth unemployment in Africa.

My friend Adewale owns a viewing center in Nigeria where he showcases soccer matches involving European teams. While the business has on and off seasons, the on seasons provide a commendable financial yield—especially when they involve elite teams with large followings in Africa (such as Manchester United, Arsenal FC, and Real Madrid). During football season in Europe, Adewale smiles on his way to the bank every Monday after the weekend fixtures, especially when they involve those elite teams.

Adewale, who used to be one of the several million unemployed youths in Africa, is an innovator. He has managed to create a source of income to pay his way through college, take care of his siblings, and provide a means of employment for youths—all while providing entertainment for his community.

With an estimated 200 million young people in Africa, 60 percent of this youth population forms an army of unemployed on the continent. With discussion and data showing a steadily improving African economy, it can be argued it is not yet time to beat the celebratory drums. We must consider the number of vulnerable youths without any daily means of making ends meet. With only 37 percent actively involved in the labor force—and a projection of the unemployed class to expand more rapidly than that in any other region in the world, according to the OECD—jobless youth represent both promise and peril.

Hence the big question: How can the unemployed youths of Africa be empowered, made productive, and contribute to economic growth?

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of preparing African youth for the future. As the social, economic, and political leaders of the next generation, African youth must somehow be included in Africa’s economic development. But without a private sector that is independent, competitive, and integrated into global markets, unemployed African youth will likely stay at the margins. (Consider “The Economics of the Arab Spring” by Malik and Awadallah, which focuses on North Africa and the Arab World.)

The productivity of young Africans benefits society at large, as Adewale’s job-creating small business shows. The failure to identify the proper role of government, however, has always clogged African economies, holding back youth employment and frustrating efforts to catalyze a robust African economy.

Typical government attempts to provide jobs tend to center on make-work projects and similar means designed primarily to garner political points for authorities. That means a lot of public-sector jobs, for one thing. Of course, the sustainability of public-sector jobs is dubious in terms of actual growth, but even public-sector jobs carry tremendous uncertainty as new governments in Africa may sack people appointed by prior regimes. Such is the case in a newly inaugurated state government in Nigeria, which ended up laying off 2,000 employees (the bulk of whom were appointed by the outgoing state executive). Whatever their merits otherwise, these programs have a negligible effect on African mass unemployment. Programs like the Nigerian government’s YOUWIN! program, which builds in a systematic digression toward a welfare state by awarding prizes (purportedly to women “entrepreneurs”) will scarcely make a dent in youth unemployment. Indeed, if these few chosen young people truly are entrepreneurs, shouldn’t they be rewarded by their customers rather than the Nigerian government?

Government reform efforts to improve youth employment carry two very important responsibilities: (1) Enable private enterprise to thrive by limiting predation and restrictions, and (2) focus public-sector activities solely on the provision of public infrastructure, such as good roads.

Otherwise, for the African tigers truly to emerge, leaders will have to limit bad policies. Here are some examples:

  • Regulations create a forced marriage between the employer and employee. (These are highly counterproductive, according to Magatte Wade, a Senegalese serial entrepreneur.)
  • Bureaucratic bottlenecks encountered by entrepreneurs—such as the difficulty of registering a business in many African countries—impede development.
  • Sound technical and vocational education are scare, as more elitist, culturally dominant academic courses receive resources and privilege despite their questionable value in the market.
  • High customs fees on export and import activities retard the gains from trade between and among nations.
  • A lack of credit facilities limits access to business capital.
  • Multiple taxation systems sap resources without even public infrastructure to show for them.

In Adewale’s case it has been costly—but necessary—to supply energy independently. This lack of a stable, reliable power supply (public or private) limits the ability of creative destroyers to produce goods and services that will require hiring unemployed youth. In other words, growth should be the goal in Africa. The jobs will follow.

Numerous entrepreneurs like Adewale and Magatte Wade are scattered throughout Africa. They have a commendable, energetic spirit. But they are held back by government policies a lack of infrastructure. And they are, therefore, unable to bring their entrepreneurial energies to full fruition.

A recently published Forbes list, “30 Under 30: Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs,” showcases only a select few young African entrepreneurs who have been able to navigate their way around these obstacles. Still, hundreds of millions of potential entrants to such lists are operating within government-imposed restrictions.

Foreign-sponsored initiatives produce resources such as the African Economic Outlook on Youth Employment, which offer viable insights to understanding the challenges of mass youth employment for Africa.

But Alejandro Chafuen—president of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation—outlines a viable framework for the development of productive engagement. Chafuen references the activities of PovertyCure, an international coalition of organizations and individuals committed to entrepreneurial solutions to poverty.  PovertyCure challenges the status quo and champions the creative potential of the individual.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/5naRQakFNEM[/youtube]

The coalition’s activities around the world answer the question of how people in the developing world create prosperity for their families and communities. They also spearhead efforts in the movement from aid to enterprise and from paternalism to partnerships through affiliations around the world. Initiatives such as these provide the competent foreign intervention that will help empower African young people with employment opportunities.

While the issue of so-called “brain drain” is logically associated with emigration, my personal view is that brain drain can also be defined as the misapplication of the intelligent and enterprising energy of African young people who remain in Africa to activities that endanger the future of the continent. Consider the appeal of crime. In a society whose population consists largely of young persons, most of whom are unemployed, the temptation to embrace criminal and predatory activities is often irresistible.

However, capitalizing on the renewed awareness about governance issues—as seen in the Arab Spring and other protests such as those in Nigeria (January 2012) and the Ivory Coast (December 2011)—it is important to suggest healthy channels for these awakenings. That is: can African youths become more productive? Move toward self-empowerment? And become full contributors to a peaceful, prosperous society?

In view of such questions, unless there is a framework for proper institutional restructuring that propels the growth of free enterprise—allowing more African youth to engage in entrepreneurship, voluntary exchange, and mutual benefit—the effort to empower African youths might as well be condemned as a tall dream. Still, young people are vital to a peaceful and prosperous African continent. Africa’s future political and economic leaders should reprioritize in favor of policies that lead to productive engagement and properly orient Africans to the workings of the private sector. An idle hand, as it is said, is indeed the devil’s workshop.

ABOUT FIYINFOLUWA ELEGBEDE

Fiyinfoluwa Elegbede, a young Nigerian, is a contributor to the book Why Peace and contributes a regular column to AfricanLiberty.org. He serves as the Blog Manager for the International Youth Council  and as an Alumnus of the Institute for Humane Studies, in Arlington, Virginia.

Nigeria’s Moment: A visit to a West African nation reveals tragic failure, yet great potential by Doug Bandow

ABUJA, NIGERIA—Arriving in Abuja, Nigeria results in an almost simultaneous impression of poverty and potential. After decades of economic disappointment, even collapse, much of Africa is growing. Yet even its leading states—such as Nigeria—remain locked in an impoverished past and fail to live up to their extraordinary potential.

I’ve arrived with a journalist group organized by SLOK Holding Co., chaired by former governor Orji Uzor Kalu, a potential presidential contender. In Abuja the airport looked more appropriate for a small American town than for a capital city. While less chaotic than some other airports I have suffered through—Dhaka and Islamabad, for instance—it hardly befits what seems destined to be Africa’s leading nation. I changed money at an “exchange” with two men sitting at a small desk, cash in one drawer. The parking lot was cramped and disorganized.

Although cities such as Abuja, Lagos—Nigeria’s most populous urban area—and Port Harcourt—dominated by the nation’s oil industry—enjoy significant development, poverty is never far away. There are paved sidewalks, but usually in disrepair, and dirt roadsides remain common, even the norm, depending on city and district. Trash litters many streets. Most urban buildings are solidly constructed, some even stylish, but most are simple.

In Lagos wealth has created a genuine skyline on Victoria Island. Yet crowded streets filled with poor street vendors sit in the shadows of these fine structures. And the majority of residents live in vast expanses of simple homes crammed together. In Port Harcourt, shacks on overgrown lots dot the city, sometimes adjoining even the best buildings, such banks and hotels. Driving in we passed a pen filled with horses.

Electrical outages are constant, requiring any serious enterprise to maintain a generator. Riding an elevator is especially suspenseful; you find yourself plunged into darkness and brought to a jerky stop for what seems like an eternity, before the brightness returns and you continue on your way. Traffic gridlocks can be worse than Los Angeles, New York, or Washington—in Port Harcourt my group took a couple hours to go a few hundred yards at a particularly bad time.

Rural Nigeria is much poorer. Even the main highways lack even minimal maintenance, while burned and rusted wrecks, stripped of anything useful, litter the sides and medians. Trash is tossed alongside or piled in medians. Roads off the main drag are dirt, always rutted, often muddy, and barely adequate. Most shops are shacks built on dirt just feet from traffic. At times it appears that half of the population subsists by selling merchandise in traffic.

Still, hope remains. Everywhere in Nigeria I saw enterprise. People sit for hours under primitive lean-tos by the highway to sell drinks and food to travelers. Open-air markets, which seem to occur every couple miles, are bustling, with people dashing hither-and-yon selling most everything you can find in a department store or supermarket. At major intersections and along busy streets people sit in the median and walk into traffic hawking fruit, drinks, sim cards, picture frames, newspapers, magazines, cell phone chargers, cigarettes, sunglasses, watches, tools, socks, mops, cooking utensils, and even triangular hazard signs (quite appropriate given Nigeria’s traffic!).

Intellectual capital also is growing. Citizens of this former British colony typically speak English, the global commercial language. I visited a university filled with bright and engaging students hoping to make better lives for themselves and their country. What is desperately needed, said one business executive, a Nigerian who worked in America before returning to help manage his family’s business, is an “enabling environment” for enterprise.

In this the government fails miserably.

One problem is insecurity. Nigeria has suffered dictatorship, civil war, insurgency, militant violence, Islamic extremism, and crime. Kalu said “internal security is critical,” because without a police escort you cannot move throughout much of the country. One newspaper editor cited the risk of robbery in driving papers for distribution at night. Business executives, political figures, and expatriate workers routinely travel with armed escorts, especially in the Niger Delta in the south.

Corruption is rife. One expatriate worker observed: “Nigeria’s not a country. It is an opportunity.” Mundane economic mismanagement bears even greater blame. State enterprises, especially the National Nigerian Petroleum Corporation, are particular founts of abuse. The World Bank ranks Nigeria among the bottom third of nations in its Doing Business report.

Average Nigerians are commonly—indeed, uniformly—frustrated. The young especially crave the opportunities that the country’s dishevelment precludes. A third of adults under 25 are out of work. It’s one reason Nigeria sports a diaspora of millions. The driver of my cab to the airport to start this trip was a Nigerian. Even the more optimistic Nigerians with whom I spoke say much more has to be done, despite the progress they see. Public involvement is essential to create a freer and more honest business environment.

Some see hope in Kalu, a wealthy businessman who understands entrepreneurship and promotes political reform. As a teen he started trading palm oil. He now holds interests in energy, finance, journalism, real estate, and more. Among his recent enterprises is The New Telegraph newspaper. His success—without using government office to his own advantage—is unusual. Noted my Cato Institute colleague Marian Tupy: Nigerian politicians usually “become wealthy during their time in the governor’s mansion.” When talking about his nation’s future, Kalu denounced restrictive licensing and promoted markets; he advocated privatization, including in less traditional areas such as education, which he views as critical for Nigeria’s moral reformation. He told me that he “would like to see small government and big enterprise” and spoke with admiration of Ronald Reagan.

Kalu may run for president in 2015, though his chances are complicated by being an Igbo, a tribe whose members have not held the presidency in a half century.  Substantial problems of ethnic division persist.  Kalu viewed murderous attacks by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is a continuation of many earlier violent episodes.

The bigger question is whether he could actually implement his message of market liberalization if elected. Noted Tupy, Nigeria “has never had a president committed to small government, privatization and liberalization.” But Kalu forcefully argued that committed leadership could make the difference.

Obviously industrialized states have their problems, including sometimes galloping regulation (think ObamaCare!) and fail to fully live up to their potential. Yet they remain far freer, especially in economic affairs, enabling bright, enthusiastic, and hard-working people to prosper. Nigeria needs to follow the same broad growth path that enriched America and Western Europe, and more recently East Asia, including China.

The greatest tragedy of Nigeria’s poverty is that it is so unnecessary. Its people know what to do. The spirit of enterprise is everywhere. It’s time for the Nigerian people to liberate themselves. It’s time for freedom to come to Nigeria.

dougbandow3540ABOUT DOUG BANDOW

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of a number of books on economics and politics. He writes regularly on military non-interventionism.

Atheist’s Nightmare Day: Time to Question Evolution!

We missed the fact that February 12th was “Question Evolution Day”….a day atheists dread because it might get people thinking for themselves.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/DlwLAay4XSU[/youtube]

Here is a video with 15 questions for Evolutionists courtesy of The Evolutionary Truth blog:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/YkArKmj9tvA[/youtube]

A dynamic version of the brochure from Creation.com, “15 Questions for Evolutionists”. (Actually, several of the questions have follow-up questions.) These come from the “Question Evolution” campaign http://creation.com/15-questions. Links are provided for supplemental information. Unless, of course, you blindly accept evolution by faith, and do not want to be confused by facts!

More information refuting evolution and affirming creation is at The Question Evolution Project home page,http://www.piltdownsuperman.com

EXPOSED: The U.S. and British “Sex Industrial Complex”

Former KGB spy and Pedophile Information Exchange (PIE) member Geoffrey Prime (left) and PIE Chairman Tom O’Carroll

The United Kingdom has been rocked by a scandal of major proportions involving government support for pedophilia & pederasty. Child rape has been going on for decades at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) offices. “The BBC will be plunged into a major crisis with the publication of a damning review, expected next month, that will reveal its staff turned a blind eye to the rape and sexual assault of up to 1,000 girls and boys by Jimmy Savile in the corporation’s changing rooms and studios,” reports Daniel Boffey from The Guardian.

The Daily Mail reported,”A vile paedophile group with links to senior Labour politicians was funded with huge amounts of taxpayers’ money, it has emerged. The Paedophile Information Exchange was allegedly given £70,000 by the Home Office between 1977 and 1980 – the equivalent today of about £400,000. The astonishing claims made by a whistleblower are now being investigated by the police and the government.”

Before It’s News reported in January 2013 how PIE became a ‘legal’ paedophile ring:

“This history must start in 1967 when the Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men, both of whom had to have attained the age of 21, in England and Wales. It is important to note that  Homosexuality was not decriminalised in Scotland until 1980, and in Northern Ireland until 1982.

Following the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, homosexuals in parts of the UK other than England and Wales organised in an effort to attain equality in law. One such organisation, founded in 1969, was the Scottish Minorities Group (SMG). The SMG, which was based in Glasgow, was a self-help organisation working for the rights of homosexual men and women, and had the aims of providing counselling, working for law reform and providing meeting places for lesbians and gay men.

PIE, originally chaired by Michael Hanson,  began as a special interest group in 1974 under the SMG umbrella organisation. Note that paedophilia was no less illegal than homosexuality in Scotland at this time. PIE relocated to London in 1975 under a new chairman Keith Hose.

Read more.

Dr. Judith Reisman states, “‘The Sex Industrial Complex’ is an economic and attitudinal merger of pedophile and pederast crusaders with ‘sexology’ and its allies in other academic fields, along with commercial pornographers.  The pharmaceutical and abortion industries–both obviously profit from sexual promiscuity–are satellite players in the SIC. It was the academic pedophile/pederasty crusaders, largely employed by the pornography industry, with whom I locked horns in Wales when I presented my research on child pornography at the ‘British Psychological Association Conference on Love and Attraction’ in 1976.”

“Chasing down [Alfred] Kinsey and his closeted sexual revisionists is one of the most mesmerizing detective sagas in social history.  For, tracking the path of brazen clues left by liberal left ‘social scientists,’ we can learn a great deal about how and why our national moral philosophy was overturned,” notes Reisman.

Tom O’Carroll, the head of PIE, Pedophile Information Exchange, a pedophile supported by radical British political leaders, explained in his child molester’s handbook, Paedophilia, The Radical Case: “erotica had a powerful influence on my own attitudes, an influence almost as powerful and revolutionary as the impact on me of Ford and Beach and Kinsey.”  O’Carroll, the pioneering organizer of the English and European academic pedophile movement, nicely links together for us three key agents of “The Sex Industrial Complex” (SIC) discussed in detail in Chapter 5 of Reisman’s book Kinseyan Anthropology as relying upon three-key bodies of change agents:

a)  The pedophile/pederasty crusaders, (heterosexual and homosexual child molesters)
b)  Kinsey’s disciples in sexology and allied disciplines and
c)   The pornography industry.

We are seeing the same thing happen in the United States. Peter Bella in an August 2011 Washington Times article stated, “The modern age has been hailed as post-gender and post-racial. Meaning that we’ve grown as a society beyond petty discrimination against people on the basis of race or gender identity, and such discrimination is met with the entire wrath our legal and social institutions can muster. If some people have their way, this modern age will soon be post-pedophilia.   And playgrounds will be empty.”

According to Bella, “B4U-ACT is a Maryland-based group of mental health professionals, psychiatrists and pedophiles who want to normalize pedophilia. Instead of pejoratively calling them ‘pedophiles,’ ‘fiends,’ ‘deviants,’ ‘freaks,’ ‘perverts,’ ‘degenerates,’ ‘predators’ or ‘pedophiles,’ they would prefer that society refer to them by the sensitive and socially-accepting term: minor attracted persons.” (Daily Caller)

The target of pedophiles and pederasts remain our children. Call it what you may, it is wrong in so very many ways.

RELATED STORIES:

1977 Guardian article with Reisman quotes
How did the pro-paedophile group PIE exist openly for 10 years?
Pensioner backed Paedophile Information Exchange and may hold key to links with left wing groups
Home Office ‘gave Paedophile Information Exchange £70,000′: Group allegedly given taxpayers’ money between 1977 and 1980

Divided We Stand: A Traditionalist Manifesto

Conservatives are generally very nice people — who never saw a culture war they couldn’t lose. That is to say, we often hear cracks about how Barack Obama and his ilk may “evolve” on issues, but conservatives exhibit that tendency, too, and their evolution goes something like this:

“Marriage is between one man and one woman, period!”

Five years later…

“I can accept civil unions, but marriage should not be redefined.”

After five years more:

“The states can do whatever they want, just keep the feds out of it.”

And 10 years further on:

“People can do what they want. How does faux marriage affect me, anyway?” (This is the point British “conservatives” have reached.)

And at an even later juncture it’s, “Why shouldn’t homosexuals have the right to ‘marry’? It’s a matter of equality.” (Just ask some “conservatives” in Sweden.)

Oh, this isn’t limited to marriage or anything else some dismiss as “social issues.” Conservatives were against Social Security (in FDR’s time) before they tolerated it before they were for it before they demanded it. And they are against socialized medicine. But should it endure for 15 years, their children will tolerate it and then accept it and then expect it — as today’s conservatives do in Western Europe.

This gets at the only consistent definition of conservatism: a desire to “conserve,” to preserve the status quo. This is why while 1950s conservatives in the US were staunchly anti-communist, conservatives in the USSR were communist. As the status quo changes, so does the nature of the prevailing conservatism. And it is liberals, as the agents of change (without the hope), who shape tomorrow’s status quo.

Here’s how it works: the liberals come to the bargaining table demanding a change. The conservatives don’t like it, but being “reasonable” they give the other side some part of what they want. And it doesn’t matter if it amounts to 50 percent, 30, 15 or just 1 percent.

Because the libs will be back, next year, next election cycle, next decade.

Again and again and again.

And each time the cons will get conned, giving the libs a few more slices, until the left has the whole loaf and those ideological loafers, conservatives, are left with crumbs and a crumbled culture.

In a word, today’s conservatives are generally people who have assimilated into yesterday’s liberals’ culture. And every time we compromise — on civil unions, big-government programs or whatever it may be — we assimilate further. And what is the nature of this evolution?
It is nothing less than a superior culture being subsumed by an inferior one.

Now, all this perhaps sounds hopeless. Are we damned to inexorable and irrevocable movement toward the “left,” at least until the complete collapse of civilization is wrought? Well, there is an alternative to assimilation.

Separation.

There has been some talk of secession lately. But note that there is a prerequisite for political separation: cultural separation. Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Slovenia didn’t become their own nations because they suddenly thought the name Yugoslavia was no longer cool, but because of profound cultural differences. And Catalans in Spain some time back empowered parties that have called for an independence referendum this year because of cultural differences. Make the cultural differences great enough, and separation (assuming you can avoid bondage via a governmental iron fist, which is the other possibility) is a natural by-product.

But a key to increasing that cultural divide is avoiding assimilation. Did you ever hear of an Ainu (Japan’s original people) independence movement in Japan? No, because they’ve been largely absorbed by the wider culture, sort of how traditionalists get absorbed by our modernistic culture and end up having, at best, children who’ll reflect today’s liberals and be called tomorrow’s conservatives. So how can further assimilation be avoided?

We only need to look at how it’s done all over the world. And there are two ways. To illustrate the first, consider how ardent Muslims avoid being subsumed. They don’t view fellow citizens in a host nation as national brothers.

But as the “other.”

Oh, the others may occupy the same borders, but they are as alien as anyone outside them. Their culture is to be rejected not just because it’s decadent and despicable — and our liberal-created variety is certainly those things — but because it is of the other. So it is with the others’ laws, social codes, and traditions, too: they are born of an infidel, alien culture and are to be viewed with extreme suspicion if not hostility.

And this is precisely how leftists should be viewed.

For this to work, our instincts must be thus: If liberals say left, we go right. If they say down, we say up. If they scream “Change!” we shout all the louder “Tradition!” and then push for our own change — tradition’s restoration.

Note here that I’m not speaking of a cold intellectual understanding of the issues, which, don’t get me wrong, is important. But just as it is passion that makes a man fight for a woman, it is passion that makes you fight for a cause. Loathe what the liberals stand for, meet their agenda with animosity, cultivate a visceral desire to wipe it from the face of the Earth. Hate, hate, hate it with the fires of a thousand burning suns.

One drawback to this tactic for division, however, is that it constitutes a blind defiance that could conceivably reject virtue along with vice. An example of this is when elements of the black community dismiss education, Christianity and higher culture because they view embracing them as “acting white.” Yet since liberals are right only about 0.4 percent of the time (and I’m perhaps being generous), this isn’t the greatest of dangers at the moment. Nonetheless, this brings us to the ideal method for separation.

G.K. Chesterton once said, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” A good example of love-driven separation is the Amish. They do try to avoid hating anyone (although I suspect they hate certain ideas), yet their love for their culture is so great that they remain a people apart. Of course, where they fall short is that they won’t fight at all, even politically. And this philosophy will not yield separation on a wide scale because the left simply won’t allow millions of people to live “off the grid.” Someone has to fund the nanny state, after all.

But the proper combination is obvious. We need sort of an Amish jihad, a deep love of the good and hatred of the evil that translates into action. But there is a prerequisite for this, and it brings us to something both the Amish and Muslim jihadists have in common.

They believe in Truth.

Sure, the Muslims may call it the will of Allah; the Amish, God’s law. But the point is that they aren’t awash in a relativism that, amounting to the Protagorean notion that “man is the measure of all things,” is unduly influenced by man. They don’t see a large number of people lobbying for some loony social innovation and figure that, with man as arbiter, they have to “get with the times.” Rooted to what they see as eternal, they don’t bend to the ephemeral.

Quite the opposite of G.W. Bush, I’m a divider — not a uniter. If this sounds bad, note that Jesus himself said He had not come to unite the world but as a sword to divide brother against brother. And while I certainly don’t claim to be God or even godly, I do know that tolerance of evil in unity’s name is a vice — and blessed division a virtue.

We can hate what is in front of us, love what is behind us, or both. But if we’re sheep and not soldiers, compromisers and not crusaders, Western civilization’s days will be behind us — and in front, perhaps, a thousand years of darkness.

England Goes Back to the 17th Century: The Insane Wood Bonfire

The Brits have decided to Save the Planet by going back to burning wood instead of coal. The giant DRAX power plant in Yorkshire, which provides about 6% of Britain’s electricity – you know, heat, lights, telly – is being converted from burning coal to burning wood, 100 year-old hardwood, the kind prized for making furniture. American wood, from North Carolina.

No, I’m not making this up. No sane person could make this up. I know because I’ve read it in a British newspaper by a proper Brit reporter.

MoS2 Template Master

The Daily Mail is a rather skeptical Brit newspaper, meaning they don’t seem to uncritically accept what the Brit upper class tells them is good for them, like Charles, Prince of …let’s not go there.

I’m telling you this because the people who support the claims of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) are so world class stupid that explaining the science to them does no good. Perhaps pointing out the idiocy of their remedies for the non-existent “global warming crisis” will make an impression. The reductio ad absurdum works in math and logic; perhaps it will rouse our voters to get rid of these morons.

Secretary of State John Kerry confuses carbon dioxide, equally diffused through the atmosphere, with ozone, mostly in the stratosphere. Senator Nelson believes sea level will rise enough by 2100 to put 28 million Floridians under water. These are people who believe their highest priority – yes, that’s what Kerry said – is stopping – totally – the increase of “carbon pollution” in Earth’s atmosphere. We all exhale “carbon pollution” with every breath; it’s really carbon dioxide, invisible, odorless, and essential to all life on this planet. I really wish Kerry and Nelson would walk their talk – but, these are politicians – and stop exhaling their “carbon pollution.”

So, what did the Brit fishwrap say? A few quotes:

On a perfect spring day in the coastal forest of North Carolina I hike along a nature trail – a thread of dry gravel between the pools of the Roanoke river backwaters. A glistening otter dives for lunch just a few feet away.

Majestic trees soar straight and tall, their roots sunk deep in the swampland: maples, sweetgums and several kinds of oak. A pileated woodpecker – the world’s largest species, with a wingspan of almost 2ft – whistles as it flutters across the canopy. There the leaves are starting to bud, 100ft above the ground.
The trees seem to stretch to the horizon: a serene and timeless landscape.

Sounds pleasant. Not fast-growing trash trees, like pines for pulp. What else?

The UK is committed by law to a radical shift to renewable energy. By 2020, the proportion of Britain’s electricity generated from ‘renewable’ sources is supposed to almost triple to 30 per cent, with more than a third of that from what is called ‘biomass’.

The only large-scale way to do this is by burning wood, man’s oldest fuel – because EU rules have determined it is ‘carbon-neutral’.
So our biggest power station, the leviathan Drax plant near Selby in North Yorkshire, is switching from dirty, non-renewable coal. Biomass is far more expensive, but the consumer helps the process by paying subsidies via levies on energy bills.

So this “renewable biomass” (from America) will cost much more than coal. It also costs much more than natural gas – of which Britain still has a fair amount. They could have far more, of course, if they began fracking, but the EU disapproves of fracking. But, surely, this will save the planet by reducing carbon dioxide emission, right? No!

In fact, Burdett admits, Drax’s wood-fuelled furnaces actually produce three per cent more carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal – and well over twice as much as gas: 870g per megawatt hour (MW/hr) is belched out by wood, compared to just 400g for gas.

Then there’s the extra CO2 produced by manufacturing the pellets and transporting them 3,800 miles. According to Burdett, when all that is taken into account, using biomass for generating power produces 20 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than coal.

There are additional reasons to believe this is insanity run amok, but why belabor the obvious? These are rules from the European Union. Now you understand why Vladimir Putin can take over Crimea without objection from the EU. Angela Merkel and Germany get 40% of their energy from Russian gas. The BMW production line will not shut down for Crimea.

Surely, the British voters will rise up and sweep out of power the government that fosters such policies? No; there are three major parties in Britain (Labour, Liberal, and Conservatives), who all support this green stupidity. No hope there.

But, no doubt OUR Environmental Protection Agency will step in to protect the home of the pileated woodpecker? No; American wind farms have been given a license to kill bald eagles, golden eagles, other raptors, bats… EPA works for the Marxist thug in the White House, who’s been sitting on the Keystone XL decision for five years. Three more years of stupid.

The word “bonfire” comes from “bonfire”, in the years when the Black Death created dead bodies faster than they could be buried. Now the Green Death is sweeping across Europe – and America. Goodbye, pileated woodpecker.

RELATED STORIES:

New Study: President Obama a “member of the Flat Earth Society” on Climate Change

Climate Truth and US Government Climate Policy

Even a child could understand climate change

EDITORS NOTE: The feature image of a bonfire is by Janne Karaste. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Ought Implies Can by Steven Horwitz

Ethical Pronouncements without Economics Lead to Disastrous Public Policies.

One of the most common objections to free markets is that they ignore ethical considerations. In particular, critics argue that there are many things we “ought” to do that they believe will make people’s lives better off. We ought to “redistribute” income to the poor, they say. We ought to make health care a right. We ought to fix the economy by bailing out the financial industry.

The problem with all these “oughts” is that they eventually confront the principle ought implies can. Can the desired end (improving the welfare of the poor, for example) be achieved by the chosen means (income “redistribution”)? If not, then what does the “ought” really mean? “Oughts” without “cans”–ethical pronouncements without economics–are likely to lead to disastrous public policies.

In exploring the relationship between economics and ethics, we can start with two definitions that seem relevant here. The economist David Prychitko once defined economics as “the art of putting parameters on our utopias.” And in a particularly insightful definition, Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek wrote that “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” What both definitions suggest is that economics deals with the realm of the possibleand in doing so demarcates the limits to what should be imaginable. Before we say we “ought” to do something, perhaps we should be sure we can do it, in the sense that the action is likely to achieve the intended ends. Put differently: ought implies can.

Ethicists can imagine all kinds of schemes to remedy perceived social ills, but none of the aspiring benefactors can afford to ignore economic analysis. Being able to dream something doesn’t guarantee it is possible. Too often ethical pronouncements have an air of hubris about them, as the pronouncer simply assumes we can do what he says we ought to do. By contrast, economics demands some humility. We always have to ask whether it’s humanly possible to do what the ethicists say we ought. To say we ought to do something we cannot do, in the sense that it won’t achieve our end, is to engage in a pointless exercise. If we cannot do it, to say that we ought to is to command the impossible.

So contrary to the commonly heard complaint, it is not that economists ignore ethical issues. Rather we attempt to describe the likely results of putting particular ethical rules into practice. For example, someone can argue that a living wage is an ethical imperative, but that doesn’t change the economic analysis of minimum-wage laws. Those laws increase unemployment and/or lead to reductions in nonmonetary forms of compensation among all unskilled workers, but especially the young, male, and nonwhite. No matter how much we think we ought to pass such legislation as a way of helping the poor, the reality remains that economics shows us that we cannot help them that way. Those who argue we ought to have such a law can still pass it if they want, but they should do it with eyes wide open to the fact that it will not achieve the result they wish, no matter how much they think we ought to have it.

It might be more accurate to say that ethicists ignore economics than that economists ignore ethics. To the extent that good economics shows what we can and cannot do with social policy, it is engaged with ethics. After all, if the point of saying we ought to do X is that we think it will achieve some set of morally desirable goals, then knowing whether or not doing X will actually achieve those goals is, or at least should be, a key part of moral inquiry. One of the tasks that economists should set for themselves is to engage in this sort of dialogue with moral philosophers and others who argue from “oughts.” Economist Leland Yeager’s recent book Ethics as Social Science is a good example of how economics can inform ethical questions just this way.

Studying “Ought,” Ignoring “Can”

The more interesting question is the degree to which moral philosophers are engaged with economics as they develop their theories. It might be true that introductory economics courses do not consider moral questions as often as they might, but it would seem at least as true that courses in ethics and religious studies are unlikely to confront either economic arguments or economic data that relate to their subjects. Exploring the “ought” without broaching the “can” will not get one far in designing policies that will achieve the intended results. One exception to this neglect of economics is the philosopher Daniel Shapiro’s Is the Welfare State Justified? In that book he brings to bear a good deal of empirical data and economic theory on the question of whether the welfare state can do what its proponents claim for it. From the philosophy side, this is the kind of work that needs to be done.

Can Doesn’t Imply Ought

Once we recognize the insight behind “ought implies can,” we can see that the reverse is true as well. Just as we cannot do everything people say we ought, we ought not do everything we can. We see this in the frequent calls for political actors to “do something” in the face of a crisis. There are many things politicians can actually do in a crisis, and doing them is often fairly easy, especially if the politicians can generate a climate of fear to help make the “ought” seem more pressing. But the fact that they can do something does not always mean they ought to. Even if it is true that “yes we can,” understanding the unseen and unintended consequences of what politicians are able to do should help us to decide whether they ought to do it.

Both ways of looking at “ought implies can” put economists in the position of throwing cold water on the plans and designs of social engineers left and right. This is what Prychitko and Hayek mean. Economists are thus often seen as only knocking down the ideas of others without coming up with solutions of their own. There is some truth to this claim. That is how economists spend much of their time. But it’s an important function: showing why a proposed solution would only make matters worse is a valuable contribution to the broader process of solving the problem.

More relevant, however, is that economics teaches us that solutions are much more often found in the actions of individuals and organizations responding entrepreneurially to the situations they face. The notion of a top-down solution to any social problem is going to attract the economist’s critical eye. In terms of “ought implies can,” economists are often reluctant to say what everyone ought to do because no one person or group knows what people can do. If ought implies can, and “can” is particular people in particular contexts developing solutions to their problems, then it is difficult to say what we all ought to do, especially in a crisis. This is the way that Prychitko’s and Hayek’s definitions cash out in the real world.

All the themes above have been on display in the current economic crisis. The bailout of the financial sector is a classic example of both letting the “ought” blot out the “can” and of assuming we ought to do whatever apparently can be done. The original promise of the bailout was that government would buy up the bad assets of troubled financial institutions then later resell the assets, making the real cost substantially less than the original $700 billion. Many critics, including many economists, suggested not only that this plan was counterproductive–because it only enhanced the likelihood that other firms would take unwise risks in the future–but also that the availability of those funds would lead to demands for the government to use them in other equally unproductive ways. That is more or less what has happened, as the bailout expanded to partial government ownership of banks and then demands from the auto and insurance companies to get in on the goodies. The plan changed again when the government announced it wouldn’t purchase troubled assets but instead would inject money directly into banks and other kinds of businesses. But soon all the “oughts” were crashing against the limits of what can be done via government intervention. Meanwhile, the machinery of government did many things it can do–borrow and create money, for example–without the planners thinking very much about whether they ought to do any of those things.

Social scientists who disregard ethical issues abandon one of their central roles in bettering the human condition, and ethicists who ignore social science in formulating their moral prescriptions are negligent for not asking whether those solutions will achieve their stated ends. Only when both realize that ought implies can will we get public policies based on an accurate understanding of human interaction.

ABOUT STEVEN HORWITZ

Contributing editor and Freeman Online columnist Steven Horwitz is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University and the author of Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective, now in paperback. This summer, he will be lecturing for FEE at Rebels with a Cause.

EDITORS NOTE: The feature image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

University of Michigan: Pro-“Palestinian” activists violently threaten pro-Israel students

SAFESitIn-300x210We see this again and again: Leftists and Islamic supremacists increasingly imitate Hitler’s Brownshirts, violently menacing anyone who dares stand up against their support for jihad terror, oppression and hatred. It is a tacit admission of abject intellectual bankruptcy, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t potentially lethal.

“Palestinian Activists Violently Threaten Pro-Israel Students,” by Adam Kredo for the Washington Free Beacon, March 21:

Pro-Palestinian activists on the University of Michigan campus have had the cops called on them for threatening pro-Israel students and staging a sit-in over the student government’s refusal to back an anti-Israel initiative to divest from the Jewish state.

University of Michigan police were contacted Wednesday evening after two pro-Palestinian activists allegedly threatened a student who refused to support their boycott initiative.

The threatening rhetoric used by these pro-Palestinian activists is part of wider campaign by the University of Michigan’s pro-Palestine group Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), which is part of the virulently anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement (BDS).

The pro-Palestinian faction’s violent rhetoric has sparked an atmosphere of fear among pro-Israel students and led at least one to ask that the police launch an investigation into these threats.

SAFE, which describes itself as “a Palestinian solidarity group at the University of Michigan,” has beenstaging sit-ins at the university’s student government chambers and elsewhere, according to insiders and the group’s Facebook page.

On Wednesday of this week, SAFE apparently staged one of its sit-ins in the university’s student government chambers. That is when SAFE activists started shouting threats at those who do not support BDS, according to a police report and University of Michigan Police official.

“A student reported that around 6:30 p.m., two males yelled threats at him while they were in the Central Student Government chambers,” states a “threat of violence” police report from that evening. “They are described as Arabic males, approximately 20 years old and wearing white scarves. One reportedly had light brown skin, black hair, and a trimmed beard. The other was described as shorter than the other subject and thinner hair.”

An official with the university police told the Washington Free Beacon that the past week has been rife with tension following “an effort by a pro-Palestinian group” to promote divestment from Israel.

“There have been sit-ins conducted in those chambers by both students and non-students who are supporting a pro-Palestinian perspective,” said the police official.

“This report we took Wednesday evening was a student who was in the chambers and he alleges that two unknown men described in the incident [report] had yelled at him some threats and he left the area.”

While the official could not reveal the name of the individual who was threatened, she told the Free Beacon that these pro-Palestinian activists have been staging these BDS events for several days.

The university student involved in the incident stated on his Facebook page Thursday that police are looking into multiple threats leveled over a 48-hour period this week.

“I am immensely thankful to the University of Michigan’s Department of Public Safety for continuing to investigate all the threats against me over the last forty-eight hours,” the student stated in a posting obtained by the Free Beacon, which is withholding the individual’s name….

Campus insiders said the Michigan incident is just the latest heavy-handed campaign by anti-Israel activists bent on using U.S. college campuses as a means to foment hate for the Jewish state….

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Obamacare Victims: 50 States, 50 Stories

David Rutz from the Washington Free Beacon reports, “Whether it’s been soaring premiums, insurance cancellations, frustrations with the state and federal exchanges, cutting employee hours or even day care centers closing down, the Affordable Care Act’s negative effects have touched all 50 states. Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) saw it a different way in a strange outburst on the floor Feb. 26, calling all Obamacare horror stories ‘lies’ and ‘stories made up from whole cloth.’”

Here are 50 states worth of Harry Reid’s liars.

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RELATED STORY: John Goodman: ObamaCare’s Fourth Anniversary—A Costly Failed Experiment – Wall Street Journal