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Rational Conservatives

A YOUNGER AMERICA

[This is the speech I would have liked to have seen Ted Cruz give]

I want to talk today to the young people of America – to Americans who are young in age, to Americans who are still young at heart, and to Americans who want to feel young again.

I want a younger America, not an infantilized America. 

An America young in spirit like it used to be and can be again, an America of opportunity and optimism – not an America old and tired in spirit, an America of opportunism and pessimism.

An infantilized America is what Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Socialists like Bernie Sanders, and Demagogues like Donald Trump want. All three preach the politics of subservience

Hillary and Bernie want you to be subservient to the state.  Donald wants you to be subservient to him.  He has no politics other than Himself, no policies other than whatever will get people to worship him like Juan Perón or any other Banana Republic Dictator.

So let me ask you – do you want to be subservient or do you want to be free?

Which is it?  If you want the former – well, be my guest, be a Clinton or Sanders or Trump acolyte.

If you want the latter, I ask your support in helping me getting rid of what I think is America’s Number One Problem.

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AT LAST – GREENIES AS MOVIE VILLAINS

The Green religion is dying. You can see the evidence of this in the latest Gallup survey showing the number of Americans who identify as “Environmentalist” down to 42 percent (from 78 percent in 1991).  But even more telling, I think, are the glimmers of anti-Green skepticism we’re now starting to see in movieland and on TV.

See, for example, Kingsman (2014) which cast Samuel L Jackson as an insane Malthusian bent on wiping out most of the human race for the good of the planet; and also Utopia (2013), the genius, black as your hat thriller about a similar “the Earth has a cancer; the cancer is man” type conspiracy.

Now there’s a Nordic Noir TV series I strongly recommend you watch – just out on DVD – called Follow The Money.

Anders Heinrichsen, Natalie Madueño, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Lars Simonsen og Waage Sandø. Foto: Christian Geisnæs

The Guardian hated it – which is a recommendation in itself. But what’s even better is the reason why I suspect the Guardian hated it: it couldn’t quite get its head around the fact that the bad guys aren’t in Big Oil or the Military Industrial Complex or some faceless corporation. Instead, the baddies work for a renewable energy company with the caring, sharing name Energreen.

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THE FARMER AND THE SNAKE

Coiled_SnakeA Farmer walked through his field one cold winter morning. On the ground lay a Snake, stiff and frozen with the cold. The Farmer knew how deadly the Snake could be, and yet he picked it up and put it in his bosom to warm it back to life.
 
The Snake soon revived, and when it had enough strength, bit the man who had been so kind to it. The bite was deadly and the Farmer felt that he must die. “Oh,” cried the Farmer with his last breath, “I am rightly served for pitying a scoundrel.”

The Greatest Kindness Will Not Bind the Ungrateful.

The moral of this Aesopian fable from a mere 2500 years ago is that doing good to evil will only lead to more evil. Aiding those who kill only brings more death, not life. It is human nature to think that people will return good for good and evil for evil. This kind of thinking perversely leads some to assume that if they are being assaulted, then they must have done something to deserve it. This logic is routinely used to argue that Islamic terrorists are simply paying us back in the same coin.

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HALF-FULL REPORT 04/29/16

I happen to be a big fan of Carly Fiorina. I thought she was scapegoated at HP. I thought she was about as good a U.S. Senate candidate as anyone could reasonably ask of a first-timer, especially running in California. She has shown herself remarkably knowledgeable on an extraordinary range of issues, right on most of them, and courageous throughout.

But it’s not my job to tell you what I want to be true: I’m here to tell you what I honestly think. And Ted’s picking Carly for VP just one day after his Northeastern nightmare gives me enormous pause.

On a more positive note, fears have run high that the #NeverTrump movement and those Trump supporters who say they’ll never vote Republican if he’s not the nominee are in a GOP suicide pact. But there’s a factor everyone’s leaving out that makes all of this irrelevant, and greatly improves the eventual Republican nominee’s chances.

Speaking of Trump, his assault on the delegate system — which so far has provided him with 200 more delegates than he would have under the proportional system he claims to prefer — is growing into an assault on the American Constitutional order. This has…consequences. 

Oh, and Obama’s bare-knuckled threat against Britain? It’s backfiring, big time.

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AN OPEN LETTER TO REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN REINCE PRIEBUS

Dear Chairman Priebus,

Last Friday (4/22), Politico ran a story headlined:  Delegates Face Death Threats From Trump Supporters.

Such threats are becoming commonplace throughout the country.  This is criminal activity, not political.  Perhaps the most revealing line in the Politico article is: “The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.”

By not making any effort to ensure this criminal activity conducted by his supporters ceases and desists, Mr. Trump is aiding and abetting it, thus becoming an accomplice to the crime.

Trump supporters issuing threats of violence are neither conservatives nor Republicans of any stripe.  They are thugs. Pure and simple.  They are not engaging in democratic political activity.  They are attempting to replace our democracy with a thugocracy.  This can not be tolerated.

One of the more prominent examples of this is a Trump supporter named Gary Forbes, publisher of “Trump Magazine.”  He’s compiling a database of photos of GOP convention delegates and their families, and overtly threatening them with “an extremely vicious response” should they vote for Cruz on a second ballot.

What follows is a quote directly from Forbes’ website.  He has a very large following of thousands of Trump supporters all over the country.  This is what he is explicitly advising them to do regarding a contested convention (underlining mine, italics his):

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THE FRAUD OF THE SO-CALLED CONSERVATIVE MEDIA

We know from the nasty things they say that some Trumpkins don’t care what the truth is.  But I doubt that 38 percent of Republican primary voters are cultists, or racists, or morons.  They’ve been misled.  The truth about Donald Trump and his dismal electoral prospects has been concealed from them.

The Trump candidacy is a product of his total domination of the news media.  He’s been given billions of dollars worth of free publicity, hours upon hours of nearly uncritical coverage.

The “mainstream” media have an ulterior motive.  They want Republicans to nominate the weakest possible candidate to run against Hillary in the fall.  But most conservatives learned long ago not to put too much trust in the Lying Swine. 

The worst offenders have been in the so-called “conservative” media, especially Fox News and (much of) talk radio.  From Hannity to Rush to Drudge and so many more, they’ve sold out their country in persuading their listeners to support a liberal Democrat crony capitalist pretending to be conservative. 

In their support of Trump, they have exposed themselves to be only pretend conservatives like him.

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NEVER MEANS NEVER

So, the conventional wisdom goes, the pressure is now on #NeverTrump.

The logic goes something like this: now that Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, #NeverTrump supporters will stab Trump in the back if they don’t support him. We must all unify behind the authoritarian con man who believes in precisely zero conservative principles; if we don’t, we’ve betrayed the country.

There’s enough irony there to overwhelm you.

There is a certain irony to the fact that triumphant Trump supporters who have been touting the strength of their candidate for months – who have, in fact, suggested that those who don’t support Trump are unnecessary vestiges of an outdated philosophy – are now preemptively declaring their candidate a loser, and blaming others in the process.

There’s also irony to the notion that Trump can openly proclaim that if he doesn’t win the nomination, his voters will stay home – yet if his opponents say the same, they’re the traitors. Thus the Trump Cult has defined the enemies of the godking.

But let’s put the irony aside, and examine whether there’s a continuing argument for #NeverTrump.

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BOURGEOIS EQUALITY

It took me two months to read this 650-page, small-type book, the third volume in a trilogy. In that time I read several other books, absorbing Deirdre McCloskey’s Bourgeois Equality in small doses on trains, ships, sofas and beds.

If that sounds like faint praise, it’s not. I wanted to savor every sentence of this remarkable feast of prose.

The subtitle is: How Ideas, Not Capital or Investment Enriched the World. It is a giant of a book about a giant of a topic: the “great enrichment” of humanity over the past 300 years. It is so rich in vocabulary, allusion and fact as to be a contender for the great book of our age.

The gist of her argument is that the Industrial Revolution (which was not a revolution, for it started extremely slowly and is still gathering pace) was not caused by an accumulation of capital, or the exploitation of colonies, or science, or government policy, or a change in institutions.

All these explanations are too small or arrive too late to explain the astonishing 2,900% increase in real incomes of westerners.

The cause was a change in values that allowed merchants to engage in trade without being despised and persecuted, “a bourgeois rhetorical tsunami around 1700 in the North Sea.”

Before — and in many places, since — “the sneer by the aristocrat, the damning by the priest, the envy by the peasant, all directed against trade and profit and the bourgeoisie, conventional in every literature since ancient times, has long sufficed to kill economic growth.”

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HOW CONSERVATIVES CAN STOP LOSING THE WARMISM DEBATE

Most people don’t realize this yet, but if a Democrat gets the keys to the White House next year it’s game over for the US economy.

This isn’t just for the obvious reason that liberals like  Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton don’t understand free markets or small government.

It’s because the left has got its hands on the magic formula that enables it to do at both federal and local level all the things that lefties love to do – the meddling, the nannying, the taxing, the regulating, the confiscating, the cronyism – virtually unopposed by the people who should be opposing them.

The left is cunning. Like the Taliban – “you have the watches, we have the time” – it plays a very long game. The tactics it has been using in the environmental wars date at least back to Saul Alinsky and probably as far back as the Cultural Marxists of the 1930s Frankfurt School.

What’s certain is for several decades now – and most especially since the Fall of the Berlin Wall supposedly won the capitalist argument – the left has been using environmentalism as a cloak to disguise its usual controlling, misanthropic, puritanical, big government agenda with a kindly aura of bunny-hugging caringness.

There’s a solution to this and it’s actually pretty simple.

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CAN THE SAUDIS REALLY PULL THIS OFF?

Saudi Arabia has launched a radical ‘Thatcherite’  shake-up to an avert economic crisis and prepare the kingdom for the post-carbon world, stunning analysts with claims that it could break reliance on oil within just four years.

Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the country’s de facto ruler, vows to build a $3 trillion wealth fund and break onto the world stage as an investment superpower, the spearhead of an historic package of measures intended to bring the deformed economy kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

Salman, a 31 year-old tornado determined to smash the status quo, has amassed immense power over the economy and defense that belies his title as deputy crown prince, filling the cabinet with modern technocrats and startling his sinecure cousins from the Al Saud family with the unfamiliar prospect of hard work.

The plan known as “Vision2030” aims to slash $80bn of wasteful spending each year and impose some degree of order on the kingdom’s chaotic finances with a consumption tax and fresh levies.  Can the Saudi Prince really pull this off?

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