If you wish to make a European “social democrat” roll his or her eyes in a full dramatic fashion a good way to do that is to announce to them that you own firearms as a defense against tyranny.
The very idea that an individual citizen might think that he or she can use their firearm to defy the government? Oh my, that is just so stupid ( it helps is you say that to yourself in a European type accent). It is patently ridiculous to think about using force to resist a tyrannical government because they just do not exist!!
At this point in the conversation I usually say ‘Srebenica!” . And that, of course, elicits another eye roll. Well that was in Bosnia, hardly Paris or Rome.
The European civilian in general seems to have forgotten, completely, that WW II happened and was kicked off in Europe. That the “civilized” Europeans that surrendered to the Germans ( most of them) with one magnificent exception (Denmark) cooperated with their conquerors to round up their own citizens and send them to be massacred. Seriously. To understand how short a time ago this grotesque piece of tyranny happened – there are lots of people alive today who lost their direct families, Parents, grand parents sisters and brothers to this horror. And then, in 1995 in a town 260 miles from Austria, 290 miles from Italy, 316 miles from Greece, 377 miles from Rome, 463 miles from Munich, 642 miles from Berlin, 8000 men and boys were systematically murdered, massacred, by the Bosnian Serb Army. While European “peace keepers” stood by.
Allow me to translate those distances into something my fellow Americans might understand – the massacre by the Bosnian Serb army took place in a town closer to the center of Europe than Chicago is to New York.
Please take a moment for that to sink in. In a continent that fifty five years earlier had been cooperating in the execution of its own citizens on an unbelievable scale, they stood by while it happened again under their noses – and this was 25 years ago.
You might feel wonderment at the idea that Europeans would have the hubris to express surprise at the idea that governments are capable of – and have done – the most horrific of acts. And only armed citizens of other countries – Primarily the USA and the British Empire saved them from it.
You would be forgiven for wondering how it is that they managed to miss all those military graveyards scattered around Europe filled with the US and UK (and yes, others) dead. My own uncle, a Brit soldier, is buried in Holland and I have visited his grave.
The absolute irony that it took ARMED Americans and ARMED Brits to dig the European continent out of the Slough of Despond it had churned itself into, never, ever seems to cross their minds.
You will notice, I hope, that I have refrained – up to this point – from bringing in the stunning example of long term “civilized” countries – like China rounding up its own citizens and forcing them into re-education camps, or Iran shooting en masse its citizens that protest against the government. And yet “woke” people express dismay at the idea of citizens of their own countries wishing to possess and bear firearms in order to oppose tyranny by the government.
Boeing may be feeling somewhat slighted. They launched a test flight of their Starliner capsule to the Space Station on December 20th.
The launch went fine but the main boost failed to fire as scheduled in order to push the capsule to the correct course to the Space Station. This led to bringing the capsule back to earth successfully and safely without it making it to the Space Station.
From the reactions in the media one could be forgiven for thinking that this was just a gnats hair away from a total catastrophe.
Which kind of makes me wonder what the media thinks the point of testing actually is?
Something is tested because the performance of the system under “test” is not yet proven to be reliable. That’s why it is being tested.
So Boeing tested their system – it did not perform as expected. Of course it did show that, had the capsule been manned, the crew inside would have been perfectly safe and would have been returned to earth unharmed along with the capsule.
And now – investigation of the error will, hopefully, reveal not just why the error happened but whether there are underlying assumptions which helped bring the error about and the system will be corrected to take care of it. Making it safer and more effective.
President Trump approved the targeting of the Iranian General in charge of the “Quds Force” . Just so we are clear about this “force”. It is a unit within the “Revolutionary Guard Corps” of the Iranian governing hierarchy.
“Responsible for extraterritorial operations, the Quds Force supports non-state actors in many countries, including Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Yemeni Houthis, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.”
The “Quds Force” was designated as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” in April of 2019. Qassim Suleiman, the targeted individual, was in Baghdad when he was attacked, he was the leader of a terrorist organization, in a country that did not invite him and at the scene of terrorist activity being carried out by his organization. Let’s keep that ALL in mind. He was a legitimate target of war.
President Trump’s decision was right, the action was carried out flawlessly and a disgusting Terrorist Organization was struck a decisive blow.
So why the hysteria by the left – from Kaepernick to the Squid – oops squad – and the rest of the sycophantic twats of the left? They criticized the President for taking firm and decisive action against an enemy of the USA who has a proven track record of organizing strikes against our military.
The Washington post referred to the Terrorist in chief as “ (Iran’s) most revered military leader”. I draw attention to that little gem because, apparently, the Washington Post believes that the head of a terrorist network in a country ruled by secret police and revolutionary guards and which imprisons dissidents and executes gays is somehow “revered”. The WAPO of course does not actually state how it arrives at the conclusion that this thug is “revered” though I am sure there are some Iranian fanatics who love the guy.
And a quick review of the World’s press shows a general undertone of “fear” from those governments who fear “escalation” by President Trump – but who do not, it would seem, fear escalation by Iran which has in recent years exported its revolutionary tactics and personnel to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq as three primary examples. But fight back? Exert force against people bent on creating havoc? OMG! How awful.
The Obama administration paid off Iran with pallets of cash. Some of that cash was used to bankroll Quds and the terrorist organizations it supports ( Like Hamas and Hizbollah) and some of it used to bankroll Iran’s atomic research. Such escalation seemed to escape the Washington Post and other media “entities” and passed by without critical comment.
There can be no negotiating with terrorists who have already announced that the reason for their existence is the eradication of their enemies.
Only idiots and poltroons think that one should try to pacify a person or entity that has said that its ‘raison d’etre’ is your destruction. They are the ones who have set the rules of this conflict and they must be dealt with before they can achieve their aim.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
“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”.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Judd Apatow – film director who just recently decided to tweet out about how we are literally murdering our children? His qualifications? None.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.