Oh, the humanity

Last night (Thursday Dec 12 2019) was a great night for Brexit supporters in the UK.


The Conservative Party, which had run pretty much on “Get Brexit done for god’s sake” took 364 of the seats in Parliament. 650 is the total count of seats. That gives the Conservatives an absolute majority of 78 in Parliament.

Smiling Boris Johnson


What does that mean for Brexit? Whatever Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister decides. Each Parliament lasts 5 years unless an extraordinary General Election is called. So Mr Johnson has a large enough majority to guarantee 5 years of power running the UK. How will it turn out? Well I am sure that Brexit will happen – and happen on much more favorable terms for the UK than the anti-Brexit partisans were promoting. Will it happen fast? Good question – we will wait and see.


But what else? Well Boris campaigned on and spoken about a few main areas – beefing up the NHS especially in numbers of nurses and Doctors, though I have not seen how he proposes to actually do it My own personal impression is that this may be more problematical than it appears after all where are all these English speaking and qualified people going to come from? He also promised IIRC, 40 new Hospitals – that is probably a more easily managed promise but – the hospitals have to be manned with qualified people – so?


What will happen with Northern Ireland? Well I am semi-confident that Boris can thread the needle – so we’ll see what happens. I am hoping that a sensible solution will be arrived it. Though, given the history that may be a hope too far.

For Scotland? Well Boris has said on the record that there will be no 2nd Vote on Scottish independence. I support Boris in this – for a very simple reason – this was voted on in 2014 and the Scottish people rejected Independence by 2,001,926 votes to 1,627,989 . Now, 5 years later (and actually for the past 3 years), the Scottish Nationalist Party has been pushing for another referendum presumably because the first referendum did not give them what they wanted.


The same argument that has been advanced by those who oppose the vote on Brexit. The British People voted to leave the EU. What should have happened next was that Parliament should have responded to that vote by getting Great Britain out of the EU forthwith. There was NOTHING to argue about. And THAT delay and unspeakable arrogance from those who sought to kill Brexit has directly led to the stunning victory last night.


The SNP bring up the fact that they have increased their seats in Parliament – by a large amount, They are certainly in a position to negotiate . But they will have to lose the “we want, we demand” because the majority is with the Conservatives and then do not need the approval of the SNP.


Once again I am awestruck by the simple ability of the left wing group-hive to volubly express their contempt and hatred for their fellow citizens . During the whole run up to this election it has been one brain dead virtue signaling lefty celebrity after another attempting to persuade the UK voters to not vote conservatives by accusing the voters of being idiots. Seems like the SNP are going the same way. It will not end well.


There have been two major referenda in the UK in this decade – Scottish Independence and Brexit. There were hard fought campaigns on both occasions and the votes were counted. Scottish Independence was rejected, Brexit was approved.


And still, the left does not wish to support Democracy. Neither do the “Liberal -Democrats” who, despite their name, seem dedicated to NOT doing what the British People voted for – how is that “Liberal” how is it “Democrat”? Asking for a friend…


I am very happy with the result, I am happy that the electorate has emphatically reinforced their Referendum vote for Brexit. I hope that Boris will use the levers of power that have been given to him , not only to get Brexit done but to reform the Civil Service from the top down. It is obvious that the Civil service has decided that its “judgment” supercedes the decisions of the oiks. This needs to change – and change swiftly. The Mandarins of Whitehall need to be shaped up or be shipped out.

If you wish to see peace…

A person’s right to their own self defense is both a self evident right and, in addition the only possible moral building block of a safe and secure society.

That is the proposition I am arguing for.

There is a motto that is both profound and incredibly useful, both in personal and societal usage.

“Si vis pacem, para bellum”

It translates to “If you would see peace, prepare for war”

It derives from the work of the Roman General Vegetius who said “Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum” which translates to “Therefore, who desires peace, prepares for war”.

Please note – and note carefully – it does NOT say “he who wants peace must fight a war” “ or “war brings peace” or anything like that. It merely states that in order for a person or a state to be secure in its peace it must be prepared for war.

But why is this the case?

Immanuel Kant – Perpetual Peace A Philosophical Sketch

Immanuel Kant in an Essay of 1795 entitled “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch” had many things to say about the ingredients of a “perpetual peace” and how it could and should be achieved. I am including a link to that sketch and I would urge you, if you have not read this, to go, now and read it.

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/kant/kant1.htm

I shall be using a couple of quotes from that article – and want to be sure that they are read within the context of the overall article itself.

Section two of the essay has the following opening paragraph:

“The state of peace among men living side by side is not the natural state (status naturalis); the natural state is one of war. This does not always mean open hostilities, but at least an unceasing threat of war. A state of peace, therefore, must be established, for in order to be secured against hostility it is not sufficient that hostilities simply be not committed; and, unless this security is pledged to each by his neighbor (a thing that can occur only in a civil state), each may treat his neighbor, from whom he demands this security, as an enemy.”

Kant goes on to show that the establishment of a peace can only occur when states adhere to a republican form of government. (I am probably being overly cautious here but Kant is not endorsing the Republican Party in the USA or the Republican Guard in Baathist states) Kant goes on to lay out why this is the case and is well worth the read.

“The only constitution which derives from the idea of the original compact, and on which all juridical legislation of a people must be based, is the republican. This constitution is established, firstly, by principles of the freedom of the members of a society (as men); secondly, by principles of dependence of all upon a single common legislation (as subjects); and, thirdly, by the law of their equality (as citizens). The republican constitution, therefore, is, with respect to law, the one which is the original basis of every form of civil constitution. The only question now is: Is it also the one which can lead to perpetual peace?”

Kant’s essay contains some interesting arguments on “republican government” versus “democracy” and lays out the philosophical underpinning of why democracy is a despotic form of government.

But the purpose of this essay/blog post is to lay out why it is that self defense is an inherent human right that, when denied by the ruling class, leads not only to threat and violence but also to decay in the society.

Why must this be the case?

The fundamental building block of a society is the individual.

John Locke in his Second Treatise Concerning Civil Government says:

John Locke – Second Treatise Concerning Civil Government

“every•·individual·man has a property in his own person[= ‘owns himself’]; this is something that nobody else has any right to. The labour of his body and the work of his hands, we may say, are strictly his.” (chapter 5 – Property).

Your right to your life is a building block of any civilized society. It is the ONLY approach that guarantees respect for every individual.

In order to maintain your life you must have the right to defend it from the aggression or ill will of others who might seek to harm you. If you do not have the right to your own defense then you do not have a right to your own life. Does that mean that we are in the Hobbesian nightmare of “ The condition of man… is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.”? No it does not.

What it means is that we owe ourselves a duty to protect our lives. No-one else has that duty to us. Only us. I can defer part of that duty to those who might volunteer to defend me, but the final responsibility is mine – not theirs.

If we return to the quotes at the start of this article – if I am to see peace, I should prepare for war. I should, at all times be willing to defend myself against anyone seeking to harm me. My choice of defense is mine. Not the aggressors, and not the authorities, Mine. It has to be that way because the life I hold is mine.

If we, as a society, are each determined to defend ourselves then we have that in common with each other. We can enter into business and dialog and agreements and contracts and partnerships and families in the knowledge that we share this attribute. We have respect.

But if some force ( the Leviathan that Hobbes thought was the answer) interferes in that compact, what happens?

You no longer know where I stand on the fundamental facts of our existence. Do I respect YOUR life? Do I respect YOUR rights? What was previously an established fact between us has now become a conditional – only resolvable by appeal to a third party. Which has now assumed a power over that one inviolable right – our own lives. And, in a “democracy” that power is wielded by those that command a “majority”.

Thomas Hobbes author of Leviathan

When the power over our own lives, our personal property, becomes the plaything of the mob – we have reached the condition of war of every man against every man. Instead of our own personal judgment we are at the mercy of of rabble-rousers who can command a majority to take away the rights that we should hold.

And once lost those rights will only ever be restored by the blood that established them in the first place.

Kant summed up, nicely, why Democracy is Despotism

“Thus in a despotism the public will is administered by the ruler as his own will. Of the three forms of the state, that of democracy is, properly speaking, necessarily a despotism, because it establishes an executive power in which “all” decide for or even against one who does not agree; that is, “all,” who are not quite all, decide, and this is a contradiction of the general will with itself and with freedom. “

Please re-read that.

It is simple – if we wish to see peace we must be prepared for war.

The Priest Class of Warmism’s Jihad

A longish time ago I ran across the statement that “97% of Scientists agree that human caused global warming is real”. Something like that.

When I first read it, I laughed out loud assuming it was someone’s idea of a joke. But I was, I admit it, wrong. It was the then latest salvo of the PR Barrage coming from the IPCC and other activists around the globe. It seems that they thought they would launch their PR Blitz using a logical fallacy and proceed from there.

Since that point in time I have come to the conclusion that the whole concept of “anthropomorphic climate change” is a fantasy. It is a fantasy being used as a battering ram to force unwanted and viciously totalitarian SOCIAL change.

Having stated my controversy up front please do me a favor and read why I have come to this conclusion.

I mentioned my initial reaction about the “97% agree”. I am a fan of the study of logical fallacies. That statement about “97% of Scientists agree that…” is a logical fallacy that is called The Argument from Numbers (Argumentum ad Populum). It is the misconception that because many believe something it must be correct. I once saw this lampooned hilariously on a usenet Newsgroup called alt.talk.origins as;

“Eat Dung! One billion flies cannot be wrong”.

The assertion (argument) is ridiculous even at first blush – for a number of reasons. Science does not run on consensus – it runs on proof. It runs on theory, experiment and analysis and review. Most scientists supported the aether theory of what exists out in space which was then disproved by the Micelson-Morley experiments. The majority were wrong. Period. And once the work of Michelson and Morley was reviewed, tested and accepted then the scientific view of the cosmos changed.

It is ludicrous at second blush too – the idea that 97% of scientists would agree on anything as nebulous as “anthopomorphic climate change” could only be stated seriously by a PR person because Scientists don’t do things that way.

Later investigation as to where the phrase came from revealed that it was a survey sent out to thousands of scientists who worked or had been associated with environmentalism or climate studies or meteorology and it was the count of those few responses that they got to the survey that came up with 97% of the responses agreed … So if it were to be truthfully stated it should have said “97% of Scientists who believe in anthropomorphic climate change agree that it is real” which lacks the same panache and punch of the original, but false, assertion.

So my first encounter with the Warmist Agenda Keepers Organization (WAKO) was not auspicious.

And so I watched with an admittedly somewhat prejudiced eye as the Warmist Jihad got rolling.

Have you ever been involved in an argument with a Warmist Jihadi? They will quite happily bombard you with whatever facts and figures and tables they have been provided with and ask you to “disprove” them. If you try they will ask you what your “training” in Climate Science is – and imply that you are not qualified to comment on such fancy science work which is way out of your league.

Hmm. This is a bit of conundrum – is it not? Unless you, as a citizen and a tax payer, are prepared to go through 6 years of expensive college you are not permitted to pass opinions on anthropomorphic climate change? You are therefore OBLIGED to accept unreservedly, the opinions of your betters? Say it ain’t so, Joe.

It ain’t so.

The data presented is just a statement (or argument as it is referred to in the Fallacy trade). So while the scientific notation might be awe inspiring the way it is being presented may be less so.

It was in this period that I first encountered the word “Denier”. “He/she denies climate change!!” “he/she is just a denier!” “climate change denial!”. This use of a pejorative label to write off opposition is a common tactic within what passes for political discourse these days. It does not deal with objections but instead attempts to stonewall any opposition by just using the dismissive and moving on.

During this period there was a leak from the University of East Anglia. Emails archived at the Climate Research Unit were unearthed and published much to the dismay of the warmist scientists who found their nasty little words and plans put on public display. Their preferences for silencing opposition, to denying publishing to papers that did not forward the Warmist agenda and so on. The release of those emails should have put paid to the warming “juggernaut” but it did not.

Instead it careened on, trying out various messages of doom and woe. Publishing drop dead timelines when things would become irreversible – and then re-wording them when they failed to come to pass. As each modeled prediction failed – they produced more models. And they brought forth probably the weirdest of their arguments. Their coterie of priest-like “believers”.

A portly politician brought forth a DVD. An Inconvenient Truth. The definitive “argument” for Global Warming?

Gore

But let us apply the warmist test for validity here.

How well trained is Al Gore in Climate Science?

Well – he doesn’t have any. He went to Harvard and got his degree in “Government”. Reportedly he did not do well in science and maths.

He is a bureaucrat and a Politician. He is the son of a politician and has lived comfortably in the bosom of government largesse for his entire life.

Science guy

He has been lauded by Bill Nye “The Science Guy”. Again lets us apply the warmist test of validity to his status. How much training does Nye have in Climate Science? Well, er… None. He does have an engineering degree – which puts him well ahead of Al Gore but his training was as a mechanical Engineer not in climate sciences. He is “famous” for communicating about Science. But he is not a climate scientist – so by warming standards he has no cred to argue about it.

Next on the list are the celebrity Priest-Kings of Climate Science. Let’s take Leonardo de Caprio . His qualifications for Climatology? None.

Prince Harry of England. His climate science creds? None. He did, however graduate from the Military Academy of Sandhurst in England.

Apatow

Judd Apatow – film director who just recently decided to tweet out about how we are literally murdering our children? His qualifications? None.

Greta

And finally – the Pièce de résistance – Greta Thunberg. A 16 year old Swedish Schoolgirl without even a basic secondary education. According to her mother’s writing Greta has one qualification – she can “see” carbon dioxide.

“Greta is one of the few people who can recognize our carbon dioxide with the naked eye. She sees how greenhouse gases flow from our chimneys, rise to the sky through the wind and turn our atmosphere into a gigantic, invisible heap of waste.”

Other than that her top qualification seems to be her wholesale fear.

According to the Warmist Jihad Handbook – in order to criticize or discuss Climate Change you need to be a climate Scientist. But NONE of these people have any qualifications to do that. Yet the press regularly and forcefully publishes their opinions as if they were somehow more than just gullible drivel.

And to show their commitment to the cause – their wholesale belief in how bad CO2 and emissions are we have Al Gore who has made tens of millions of dollars from exploiting the Global warming Jihad. He owns two large properties on in Montecito CA which is 6,000 square feet and one in Tennessee which is 10,000 square feet. That is one hell of a “footprint” for someone who claims to be all over this Global warming thing. Considering that these two properties are for 2 adults… Obviously being a Priest-King of the Warmist Jihad requires a lot of room.

Or Leonardo de Caprio who is so important to the Jihad that he must take private jets where e’er he goeth. Wafted, presumably by warm winds while the jets spill tons of CO2 per hour – just for him.

Prince Harry – another of the private jet fliers, a man with a modest footprint of an estate in the Cotswolds and house in London all paid for by the taxpayers of the UK. Thank God the man is willing to lecture us mortals on a subject he knows nothing about.

Greta Thunberg at least appears to go for the whole no carbon thing. Planning to sail across the Atlantic in a racing yacht, built of – carbon fiber. Can’t make this stuff up.

And there we have it – ignorant, uneducated people advocating wholesale social change for OTHERS while busily indulging themselves in what they claim to oppose.

Now you may begin to understand why I think this whole thing is a total crock.

Time for a campaign of Civilized Obedience

Seeing the disgusting pictures of an independent journalist attacked by Antifa in Portland at the weekend and, given the total lack of outrage from the leftist mainstream media, I think it is time to mount a campaign of Civilized Obedience.

Here’s my take on this – somehow it has become fashionable to speak of Civil Disobedience as if the phrase itself lends an aura of saintly intent to the activity being described.

But, of course, those who push it these days seem to forget that Gandhi and MLK Jr were advocating for NON-VIOLENT passive resistance to laws they felt were discriminatory in an effort to change them. They were not advocating violent threats and actions to force people to change. The exact opposite in fact.

Not the familiar color scheme

In Portland this weekend a journalist named Andy Ngo who writes and contributes to Quillete, a Libertarian leaning publication, was attacked in the street by Antifa thugs while covering their activities. He ended up in the Emergency Room. There appears to be no coordinated activity to round up street protesters who indulge in illegal activities – not sure why the response to this is so tepid and wonder if the city government is surprised that being nice and polite does not seem to be handling the issue very well.

The right to protest and demonstrate in public is, from my view, sacrosanct. However no-one has a “right” to prevent others from doing the same thing. So if one group wishes to demonstrate in one area then I do believe the government has the duty to allow them to do so and to protect their right to do so. Should some other group wish to protest and announce an opposing view they should certainly be afforded the chance to do so – at a different location, or if the location is key – at a different time or day.

It is up to law enforcement to actually apply the laws of the land, If someone threatens another with violence they should be arrested and charged. In short I think that in Public discourse the police should be executing a “broken windows” strategy. Every infraction should be acted upon. Someone stands in the street and obstructs traffic – arrest, charge. Someone throws something at someone else – arrest, charge. Milkshake or brick – arrest and charge. Someone spits on someone – arrest and charge. Make sure the local courts are set to deal with the infractions swiftly. No “plea deals” that involve expungement of records. Not advocating for severe punishments – fines can be relatively small just to cover the expenses of policing and jailing and the court. But the offenses should be on the record. And stay there.

If this sounds like a lot of effort – yes it is – but I think it is a far better alternative than allowing things to deteriorate with ever increasing episodes of violence

The right to self defense

I have to admit that the right to self defense is a bit of a hobby-horse of mine.

Any “constitution” or “Bill of Rights” or “Statement of Human rights” that does not affirm this most basic of rights is fatally flawed. If any human does not have the absolute right to defend their own life at  need then the rest of any list really does not matter.

But throughout many parts of the world the right to defend one’s life is conflated with the idea that it somehow means “vigilante justice” of some kind.

This is, patently, ludicrous. But am I wrong?

For example, it is a simple fact that sexual assault is a major problem in many societies. I happen to live in the USA and there is a constant barrage of op-eds and  reports about sexual assault in various areas.

It is another simple fact that men, for the most part are usually stronger and larger than women so any man who is inclined to be such a predator is going to find it easier to find targets that he can overwhelm. Note I said “easier” not “always”.

So why is it not standard practice to teach young women to carry a gun and to learn how to use it properly? I think all women should learn how to carry and use a firearm in their own defense and that training should be thorough. They should be encouraged to apply for a concealed carry permit (if needed in their state) and to carry their weapon all the time.

I also think that if I had a daughter or daughters I would sign them up at a very young age for Krav Maga training. The Israeli Defense Forces developed Krav Maga to train their troops – male and female – in self defense and to defeat abductors. It is a discipline that has been forged in real life.

The above does not mean that I think that boys and young men should not get trained and equipped, I think they should. I also think that good training would provide better discipline for young people.

But back to my statement at the start of this blog – I believe the first right any human being has is the right to defend her or his self from harm.

“we should rely on the police” is a retort that sometimes gets used. but the police are not there to protect me or to protect you they are there to keep society on an even keel . If you get hurt or, god forbid, murdered they will work assiduously to find those who did it. But they are not held responsible for failure to protect you.

Consider that for a minute. It is not the policeman’s job to protect YOU. That is YOUR job. Same as it is my job to protect MYSELF and to extend that protection to my family.

Being as it is my right and responsibility I (and you) should be afforded the ability to at least match and defeat the weapons that might be used against us. Whose choice should it be? Ours. it is OUR right and responsibility. So why do governments insist in getting in the way of this?

What public good does it serve to have citizens as walking targets?

Inept Climate Change enthusiasts abounding

Confession, or transparency declaration or personal bias alert. One of my jobs in the early part of my working life was on Fishing Trawlers out of Lowestoft in England. For nearly two years I worked in the North Sea and North Atlantic as a second engineer for East Coast Fisheries and I saw a lot of fish and endured some of the worst working conditions I ever experienced. Would not change that experience for anything.

I wish to discuss one of the greatest ecological disasters of our times. The loss of an entire inland sea – The Aral Sea. And what caused it.

I also wish to point out the total uselessness of the IPCC and all the “climatologists” throughout the world who seem all consumed with talking about things that may or may not happen in the far future but who lack any sort of credibility in handling issues in the here and the now.

Just before 1960 The Central government of the USSR decided that the waters of two major rivers, The Amu Darya and the Syr Darya would be diverted for agricultural irrigation.

The Aral Sea was a large, salt water lake. It lay between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the south. It was approximately 270 miles north to south and 180 miles from east to west. As those figures indicate it was a substantial body of water, all the more remarkable because it was located in a desert type terrain.

The local rainfall was nowhere near enough to replenish what the Sea lost in evaporation each year. Its main sources of supply were the two large rivers.

It had a large and productive fishing industry on its shores, big villages and towns. Hence my empathy for those that lived and made their businesses and their families there.

When the Soviet planners decided to create agriculture where it did not belong it decided to irrigate using the waters of the two rivers. One of the crops they picked was one crop that required copious amounts of water – cotton. The other was mainly wheat. That decision basically turned off the spigot that was keeping the Aral sea in existence and, from 1960 onward it started to evaporate – to dry up and become an alkali desert.

Here is a graphic from Britannica.com that shows the incredibly shrinking of this huge resource.

The incredible shrinking lake

Once the shrinking began there followed a cascade of predictable bad effects – the salinity of the sea exploded killing off the copious fish stocks that existed for millennia. As the sea bed started to be exposed the crystallized salts and alkalis and remnants of large amounts of fertilizer started to be blown in the dry winds causing health problems in the surrounding countries. Thousands were thrown out of work, businesses vanished.

There have been attempts to save the Sea, an effort and a dam in the northern small portion that is left seems to have kept that part of the lake in place but negotiations between countries on water usage got nowhere and as time has gone on the chances of reviving this once magnificent resource grow smaller and smaller.

Lest we lose track of something here – this is not something that is a “result of climate change” it is a result of centralized thinking causing issues that RESULT in changing the local climate. And, it would appear, that for all the hot air about “handling climate change” the IPCC and the hundreds of thousands of people who are making a living with the subject of climate change cannot even manage to get five local national governments together to come up with a realistic and workable solution to a “relatively simple” ecological and climatalogical problem. They can , however release multiple scaremongering reports, they can hold massive conferences at which nothing is fixed or decided, they can talk, pass laws, increase taxes – and none of it handles anything.

How about we demand that they actually prove that something can be done and done successfully before we start giving them the keys to the kingdom ad its treasury?

These are the people who claim to be able to handle things 100 years in the future!!

Think about it for a moment. Demand proof, demand accountability.

Why so uninterested?

I think it fair to opine that Donald J. Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential election was a truly stunning achievement.

Since that time the people that dislike the 45th President have seized on every manner of reason as to why it happened. ranging from tinfoil conspiracy theories about Russian interference to the unfairness of the Electoral College and almost anything in between.

But what I find more concerning is the apparent lack of interest from the GOP as to why Donald Trump is President.

The only truly insightful work I have seen has been from Salena Zito whose brilliant book “The Great Revolt Inside the Populist Coalition reshaping American Politics” . This is a book everyone should read and it should have been the blueprint for an engagement across the USA by the GOP. But it has not. Why not?

Must read.

I reside in a Conservative congressional district, I have not received one communication from the GOP, State or National, even vaguely interested in finding out why I and my wife voted for Trump. I have received plenty of interest in “send money”.

The GOP needs to do something radical – actually talk to the grass roots . Not the “consultants” not the “pollsters” not the “analysts”. Stop trying to get predigested “analysis” but take the time to LISTEN. You might be surprised.

The USPS and Royal Mail – a tale and trail of woe

This going to seem totally bizarre.

On June 12th this year I had to send a document, a three page document, to the UK. It was not an urgent document – but it needed to get there and we wanted to be able to track it. Follow with me while we trace our document’s travels..

The document is in the envelope in the Post Office June 12th 10:35am

Having paid our $35 to send this document by, ahem, Express, and to have it tracked our wee baby went on its way…

How cute! It took 5 days to get to Chicago where it arrived three times and decided to take a two day stay in Chicago (and why not?)

You will note that ouor widdle document arrived in Chicago on the 17th. It would seem that it spent couple of days going off the reservation – presumably taking in the sights – maybe a game at Wrigley Field? It was certainly getting its money’s worht out of its stay.

Tiring of the high life it leaves Chicago…
And arrives in Heathrow, England!! Where it decides, apparently, to set up residence for 13 days.

Now this is just plain weird. Thirteen days in Heathrow? I have spent thirteen hours in Heathrow one time and that was enough for me. Maybe the document was quarantined? Who knows > Well not I of course because all the update kept telling us was that it was “enroute to its next destination” until finally after nearly a fortnight of weallowing in the excesses of a premier airport – it was allowed to leave.

And here it is – now taking in the sights of Coventry. No sign of it making it to it’s destination yet though.

Seriously the voyages of “Document” are the stuff of legend. It looks like it was picked up for delivery by VanderVecken on his ship The Flying Dutchman.

But wait!! By June 28th we realized we were running out of time and we really need to get that document to where it needed to be. So we created a new one, got it witnessed and sent it Global Express Guaranteed delivery date. And paid $85 for the privilege.

It arrived a day late so they had to refund the cost. So we are only out the original $35 which has provided some entertainment…

Update Update Update!! In fairness – it is now reported as delivered. See below – 23 days for an “Express” document.

If you have ever wondered why these esteemed institutions lose money…

Elizabeth Warren and living true

I have made mockery of Elizabeth Warren for her egregious hijacking of a mythical Native American ancestry in order to help her along in her career. I think she thoroughly deserves to be mocked for it and also for her trying to slither her way out of it. But I find there is a deeper and much darker side underneath all this.

That she publicly, in print characterized herself as Cherokee is beyond doubt.

From Elizabeth Warren’s campfire cooking

It’s a small thing of course – but this is someone who later went on to Harvard where they were happy to claim her as a Native American Professor of Law

Harvard Crimson October 22nd 1996

“Although the conventional wisdom among students and faculty is that the Law School faculty includes no minority women, [spokesperson Mike] Chmura said Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren is Native American,”

Warren denied ever seeing that reference or the listing of her in a Harvard Faculty list as a woman of color. No way to prove that she did actually see it – but she would be the first politician in the history of mankind who did not avidly lap up every positive press mention of his or herself.

But, leaving that to one side. There is no doubt she has identified herself in public as being of Cherokee Ancestry and she says that she claimed that because of family folk lore about her heritage. And you know what? I can actually believe that – being told something interesting about your heritage when you are young and that appealed to your sense of identity would definitely cause you to seek additional affirmation of that. It even has a name – confirmation bias.

So I am not, in this article, going to claim that she was acting out of malice or any sort of nefarious motive like that. I could concede that she honestly thought she had Cherokee ancestry and didn’t mind encouraging the idea.

But – of course there is a but – if she held an honest belief of Cherokee ancestry what did she do to benefit the tribe that she felt she belonged to?

There is no doubt that the Native American community as a whole could have used a Harvard Law Professor publicly helping them out. Offering advice and legal opinion, willing to lead a team of lawyers and volunteers to tackle things like the BIA mismanagement of the trust set up for the tribes that has been a massive bone of contention for a very long time.

There were and are many opportunities that Professor Warren could have taken on to have provided service to a tribe and an organization that she had claimed to be a part of. She took none of them.

That she gained advantage from her claim – even if only in beneficial commentary in print – is beyond doubt.

That she did nothing to help the people she used is also beyond doubt.

My own opinion is that Elizabeth Warren has shown herself to be an exploiter and an abuser of an unearned “privilege”. Sorry, I find this a lot more disgusting than just the false claiming accusation.

Be warned Democrats – she will not feel obliged to help you. She did not bother to help people who really could have used it even while she was claiming to be one of them.

Iranian tide must be turned

Iran is the latest incarnation of a “power” in the Middle East. It has been a center for an Empire and has been, for a long time, a powerful and sometimes baleful influence on the surrounding countries, tribes and economies.

Mohammed Rez Pahlavi Shah of Iran

In recent times probably the most successful engagement by the West was support for the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi who ruled Iran from 1941 until 1979. He was overthrown by a revolution led by Theocrats and Ruhollah Khomeini became the new leader of the “Islamic Republic” and the country has since been run by a religious leader (Ayatollah) via Religious Councils. The formation of a Revolutionary Guard military component under the control of the religious councils apart from the main military establishment has been a key in maintaining control – very similar to the set up of the regimes in both NAZI Germany and Soviet Russia.

Iran under the theocratic regime has devoted a large amount of money and resources to overseas activity. Their Revolutionary Guards special forces – Quds Force is active in enabling terror cells and resistance organizations throughout the Middle East.

It is worth noting here that Iran is run by clerics of the Shia “wing” of Islam. Shia Muslims are the smaller of the two larger sects of Islam. They comprise between 10 and 15% of the total number of Muslims. The bigger Sect are the Sunni Muslims – comprising somewhere around 80% of the total of Muslims in the world. Iran is the center of Shia with a population that has about a third of the total Shia muslims of the world.

The difference between Shia and Sunni , while important to the believers in both camps, is not really within the scope of this post. The reason I bring it up is that some of what Iran does needs to be viewed from the religious angle and their support of Shia communities in countries where they are in the minority. Iran also utilizes Shia paramilitary groups (like Hezbollah) in its on-going fight against Israel.

Young ladies studying in Iran during the Shah

During the reign of the Shah, the US had good relations with Iran – and so did Israel. The country itself was fairly westernized in it’s social life – I have included a picture of women in the street in Teheran during the rein of Pahlavi and a different picture of women in the street under the current regime.

The current antagonistic stance between the USA and Iran is relatively recent. A point to bear in mind.

Iran is the second largest Middle East country just behind Egypt. https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing-middle-east.asp lists Iran as the third most powerful military force in the Middle East with Turkey at the top, and Egypt second. Israel is listed as fourth. Iran is not a lightweight.

Quds Forces on parade in Iran

President Trump’s strategy all along has been to keep the pressure on Iran in the arena where it is most vulnerable – its economy. Iran has, since the revolution in 1979, been gradually altering the balance of power in the Middle east away from Israel and from Saudi Arabia by using it’s wealth, particularly oil, to finance and underwrite large scale paramilitary organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran dedicates more of its GDP to this endeavor than any other countries in the Middle East. By doing this it has enabled Hamas, for example, to build a large organization and equip it with rockets and armaments to threaten Israel directly, at the same time it has financed large scale recruitment and training for Hezbollah in Lebanon on Israel’s northern border.

Map showing the State of Israel and the surrounding countries with international borders, Gaza and West Bank, district boundaries, district capitals, major cities, main roads, railroads and airports.

That developed infrastructure enabled Iran to become a player in the Syrian conflict via its Hezbollah proxy. For those who do not know the Geography of the Middle East I have included a map which if you look at the north of Israel you will see that Iran has forces inimical to Israel in Syria and in Lebanon and also via Hamas in the West Bank in the center of Israel. IN short – that treasure has been widely spent to exert pressure on – and ultimately to destroy – the state of Israel.

Lest there be doubts about this – here are four quotes about the official Iranian line on Israel – taken from an article in The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/03/Iranian-View-of-Israel/387085/

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” (2001)

Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps: “With God’s help the time has come for the Zionist regime’s death sentence.” (2008)

Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei’s representative to the Moustazafan Foundation: “We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary to replace [sic] Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.” (2010)

Ahmad Alamolhoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts: “The destruction of Israel is the idea of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime. We cannot claim that we have no intention of going to war with Israel.” (2013)

Iran is determined to destroy Israel. This is not some slogan – this is a policy they have been working on for 40 years.

Please bear this in mind – we sent billions of dollars under the Obama Administration in cash – in CASH! – to the Iranian government. Pallets of it. WE sent money to a regime that has stated and re-stated its aim is to destroy our closest ally in the Middle east.

I ask you to re-read the section that starts “Lest there be doubts…” again because it needs to be crystal clear to us all that President Trump needs to be supported by all of us while he navigates the waters here. No-one wants to go to war. But the message has to be driven home to the leadership of Iran at the every option short of that is on the table.

The only way for the sanctions to have a real and lasting effect on Iran is for them to force the Iranian regime to divert funds from its terrorist infrastructure and back to it’s own people. Seriously. The Iran regime will only start responding to the sanctions when the unhappiness with the situation inside Iran starts to threaten the regime’s existence.

Iran has its own internal pressures to deal with and those pressures will only increase the longer it all goes on.

We need to support President Trump on this – we need to start loudly pointing out to our European “allies” that their continuing to play footsy with this regime is barbaric and unconscionable and it needs to stop. Only by shutting off their spigot can we get Iran to change its course.

The alternative if we don’t stay with this all the way is – is war. We are negotiating and dealing with a regime whose greatest interest is the destruction of another country. Not the well being of its own people or country – but the destruction of another country. Remember that.