May 29, 2016

Pee Wee Ryan Officially Enshrines Obama Bathroom Policy

Timothy Birdnow

Paul Ryan, the Pee Wee Herman of American politics, has been caught yet again betraying the conservative base. According to Conservative HQ:

http://www.conservativehq.com/node/23216

"Ryan trying to absolve himself of responsibility for last night’s vote is as shameless a lie as you will ever hear from any politician.

Obama’s executive order, promulgated in July 2014, the precursor to the recent threats against North Carolina’s recently passed privacy law, instructed bureaucrats to sever contracts with companies that don’t follow the Obama mandated sexual identity agenda. This could include companies that don’t allow men into female bathrooms in their private corporate offices. The Maloney amendment to the $37.4 billion FY 2017 Energy &Water Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5055) codified that unilateral act into law.

Speaker Ryan controls the House Floor process completely; no bill or amendment gets to the floor without his approval by being "made in order” by the Rules Committee.

And you will recall that in another betrayal by the Ryan Republicans, just ten days ago conservative Representative Paul Gosar’s (AZ-4) amendment to prohibit illegal aliens from serving in the military failed because the House Rules Committee refused to make it in order for a vote on the House Floor.

So why make a Democratic amendment that betrays the fundamental cultural conservative principles of the Republican Party in order?

As our friend Daniel Horowitz of Conservative Review pointed out in his excellent reporting on last night’s vote:

GOP leaders are forever blocking key conservative initiatives and legislation in order to violate the GOP platform; certainly they can block an anti-religious liberty transgendered amendment from Democrats to protect the integrity of the GOP-controlled House. Could you imagine Democrats allowing an amendment to pass on an issue that violates their very essence while they are in control of the chamber?

GOP leaders are always twisting arms to get conservative members to vote for bad bills. Somehow we are to believe they were impotent in ensuring "moderate” members (what is moderate about transgenderism?) adhere to the party’s platform?

The reality is that Paul Ryan has long been a supporter of ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act), the legislative vehicle for enshrining transgenderism into law and mandating adherence to its dogma on private businesses. That is why he’s been absent in this fight. Moreover, Republicans have failed to allow a single anti-religious bigotry bill to the floor since the illegal gay marriage decision was issued by the Supreme Court, despite the ubiquitous threats against private businesses, states, and private property. Clearly, whipping against this vote was not a priority"

End excerpt.

So now Ryan is giving America his own brand of sexual confusion and predatory sexuality enshrined as law. Does anybody wonder why Obama and the Democrats did not bitterly attack Ryan when he came up for the Speakership?

It's time for the Speaker's Chair to be declared vacated again.

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CBS Political Director Says Media Job is to Protect Hillary

Timothy Birdnow

CBS News political director John Dickerson says the media's job is to steer the conversation away from Bill and Hillary's past. http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/05/cbs-news-political-director-medias-job-steer-away-clintons-past-video/

From the article:

"This stunning admission came Wednesday night in New York City in a live interview that took audience questions. A question surfaced about Bill Clinton’s past and how that could affect Hillary’s chances in the presidential election.

Colbert reiterated the question and added his own tag: "Can Bill Clinton’s past take down Hillary Clinton’s future? I will also say, add Hillary Clinton’s past in there. Can things from the ‘90s count now?”

Dickerson responded:

"Well it’s ah…so it feels like this campaign’s going to be a lot about Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton’s past and Donald Trump’s past. Elections are supposed to be about the future. And it feels like we are not, um, we’re not having that conversation. Although we’ve tried it. Actually, you know, one of our jobs is to try to take the conversation and make it about the future and people’s lives, not about adjudicating the past.”

Dickerson did say an exception could be made if that "past goes to character and temperament which is crucial because we’re not going to be there when the big decisions are made and you need people who have the character and the temperament for the job.”

End excerpt.

And that "past goes to character"are the weasle words to allow CBS to attack Trump while protecting Hillary.

America doesn't have journalism; we have propoganda.

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Bill Nye the Scientism Guy

cid:image002.jpg@01D1B750.2ED39560


Paul Driessen

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Two of my scientist colleagues have written a highly entertaining and informative article, presenting truly novel material on climate change … and taking television celebrity Bill Nye to task for his constant fear-mongering about "dangerous manmade global warming.” (Mr. Nye is actually trained in mechanical engineering and actually told my CFACT colleague Marc Morano he has no problem with "climate deniers” being prosecuted and jailed under RICO!)

Bill Nye the Scientism Guy

Facts don’t support his hypothesis, so he shouts louder, changes subjects and attacks his critics

Willie Soon and István Markó

True science requires that data, observations and other evidence support a hypothesis – and that it can withstand withering analysis and criticism – or the hypothesis is wrong.

That’s why Albert Einstein once joked, "If the facts don’t fit your theory, change the facts.” When informed that scientists who rejected his theory of relativity had published a pamphlet, 100 authors against Einstein, he replied: "Why 100? If I were wrong, one would be enough.”

In the realm of climate scientism, the rule seems to be: If the facts don’t support your argument, talk louder, twist the facts, and insult your opponents. That’s certainly what self-styled global warming "experts” like Al Gore and Bill Nye http://www.mrctv.org/blog/bill-nye-whos-not-scientist-guy-wants-throw-manmade-climate-change-skeptics-slammerare doing. Rather than debating scientists who don’t accept false claims that humans are causing dangerous climate change, they just proclaim more loudly:

Our theory explains everything that’s happening. Hotter or colder temperatures, wetter or drier weather, less ice in the Arctic, more ice in Antarctica – it’s all due to fossil fuel use.

Climate scientism aggressively misrepresents facts, refuses to discuss energy and climate issues with anyone who points out massive flaws in the manmade climate chaos hypothesis, bullies anyone who won’t condemn carbon dioxide, and brands them as equivalent to Holocaust Deniers.

In a recent Huffington Post article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-nye/why-i-choose-to-challenge_b_10048224.html, Mr. Nye "challenges climate change deniers” by claiming, "The science of global warming is long settled, and one may wonder why the United States, nominally the most technologically advanced country in the world, is not the world leader in addressing the threats.”

Perhaps it’s not so settled. When the Australian government recently shifted funds from studying climate change to addressing threats that might result, 275 research jobs were imperiled. The very scientists who’d been saying there was a 97% consensus howled that there really wasn’t one. Climate change is very complex, they cried (which is true), and much more work must be done if we are to provide more accurate temperature predictions, instead of wild forecasts based on CO2 emissions (also true).

Perhaps Mr. Nye and these Australian researchers should discuss what factors other than carbon dioxide actually cause climate and weather fluctuations. They may also encounter other revelations: that climate science is still young and anything but settled; that we have little understanding of what caused major ice ages, little ice ages, warm periods in between and numerous other events throughout the ages; that computer model predictions thus far have been little better than tarot card divinations.

As for Nye’s assertions that "carbon dioxide has an enormous effect on planetary temperatures” and "climate change was discovered in recent times by comparing the Earth to the planet Venus” – those are truly bizarre, misleading, vacuous claims.

The relatively rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 over the last 30 years has produced only 0.2°C (0.4°F) of global warming – compared to a 1°C (1.8°F) total temperature increase over the past 150 years. That means the planetary temperature increase has slowed down, as carbon dioxide levels rose. In fact, average temperatures have barely budged for nearly 19 years, an inconvenient reality that even the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) now recognizes.

This is an "enormous effect”? By now, it is increasingly clear, the proper scientific conclusion is that the "greenhouse effect” of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide is very minor – as a recent article explains. Mr. Nye and his fans and fellow activists could learn a lot from it. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/12/what-do-we-know-about-co2-and-global-atmospheric-temperatures/

Objective readers, and even Mr. Nye, would also profit from reading a rather devastating critique of one of The Scientism Guy’s "science-is-easy” demonstrations.https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/10/bill-nye-thescienceguy-and-al-gore-not-even-wrong-on-co2-climate-101-experiment-accoding-to-paper-published-in-aip-journal/ It concludes that the greenhouse effect of CO2 molecules is of course real, but Mr. Nye’s clever experiment for Al Gore’s "Climate Reality Project” was the result of "video fakery” and "could never work” as advertised. When will Messrs. Nye and Gore stop peddling their Hollywood special effects?

For that matter, when will they stop playing inter-planetary games? Mr. Nye and the popular media love to tell us that carbon dioxide from oil, gas and coal could soon turn Planet Earth into another Venus: over-heated, barren, rocky and lifeless. Princeton Institute of Advanced Study Professors Freeman Dyson and Will Happer show that this is utter nonsense.

For one thing, Venus is far closer to the sun, so it is subjected to far more solar heat, gravitational pull and surface pressure than Earth is. "If we put a sunshade shielding Venus from sunlight,” Dr. Dyson notes, "it would only take 500 years for its surface to cool down and its atmosphere to condense into a carbon dioxide ocean.” It’s not the high temperature that makes Venus permanently unfriendly to life, he adds; it’s the lack of water.

Second, the amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide are grossly disproportionate. Earth has barely 0.04% carbon dioxide (by volume) in its atmosphere, whereas Venus has 97% and Mars has 95% CO2. Mars much greater distance from the sun also means it has an average surface temperature of -60°C (-80°F) –underscoring yet again how absurd it is to use planetary comparisons to stoke climate change fears.

Third, Earth’s atmosphere used to contain far more carbon dioxide. "For most of the past 550 million years of the Phanerozoic, when multicellular life left a good fossil record, the earth’s CO2 levels were four times, even ten times, higher than now,” Dr. Happer points out. "Yet life flourished on land and in the oceans. Earth never came close to the conditions of Venus.” And it never will.

Fourth, Venus’s much closer proximity to the sun means it receives about twice as much solar flux (radiant energy) as the Earth does: 2637 Watts per square meter versus 1367, Happer explains. The IPCC says doubling atmospheric CO2 concentrations would be equivalent to just 15 W/m2 of additional solar flux. That’s nearly 100 times less than what Venus gets from being closer to the Sun.

Fifth, surface pressure on Venus is about 90 times that of the Earth, and strong convection forces increase the heating of surface air, he continues, making Venus’s surface even hotter. However, dense sulfuric acid clouds prevent most solar heat from ever reaching the planet’s surface. Instead, they reflect most sunlight back into space, which is "one of the reasons Venus is such a lovely morning or evening ‘star.’”

Of course, none of these nerdy details about Earth-Venus differences really matter. We already know plant life on Planet Earth loved the higher CO2 levels that prevailed during the Carboniferous Age and other times when plants enjoyed extraordinary growth.

However, even burning all the economically available fossil fuels would not likely even double current atmospheric CO2 levels – to just 0.08% carbon dioxide, compared to 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, 0.9% argon and 0.1% for all other gases except water vapor. And doubling CO2 would get us away from the near-famine levels for plants that have prevailed for the past tens of millions of years.

Carbon dioxide is absolutely essential for plant growth – and for all life on Earth. https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Full-Report.pdf Volumes of research clearly demonstrate that crop, garden, forest, grassland and ocean plants want more CO2, not less. https://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Molecule-Carbon-Dioxide-Life-ebook/dp/B00Q3GWZTE The increased greening of our Earth over the past 30 years testifies to the desperate need of plants for this most fundamental fertilizer. The more CO2 they get, the better and faster they grow.

More than 70% of the oxygen present in the atmosphere – and without which we could never live – originates from phytoplankton absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Keep this in mind when Bill Nye The Junk Science Guy tells you carbon dioxide is bad for our oceans and climate.

Dr. Willie Soon is an independent scientist who has been studying the Sun and Earth’s climate for 26 years. Dr. István Markó is a professor of chemistry at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and director of the Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Laboratory.

End

A NOTE FROM TIM:

When the authors say Venus is subject to higher gravity they don't mean the planet has higher gravity (it is slightly lower than Earth's) but rather that it is subject to great solar tides than the Earth. Earth is influenced by solar tides but the primary tidal force is the Moon, something Venus lacks. There was an old thoory that the Moon helps suck away the Earth's atmosphere over time, preventing it from growing too voluminous. Certainly the tidal stresses are very different between the two planets.

Also, Venus rotates very slowly and in a retrograde direction (if you could see the sun it would rise in the West and set in the East.)  The result of solar-only tides and slow rotation is that Venus has a very thin crust, and so is subject to high rates of volcanism. The Earth's rotation, along with tidal forces from the Moon, likely helped to move heavier material from the mantle into the crust, keeping volcanic gases in the Earth's interior. venus had no such luck. There is little to stop the planet from outgassing and little to suck away the atmosphere. Couple that with a surface temperature above that of molten lead and what do you get? A searing black calm. Earth was cosmically lucky on a huge scale.

And, as the authors state, Mars is colder than a welldiggers a, er, posterior, even though it's atmosphere is almost entirely carbon dioxide. It's so cold in facth that a large volume of it freezes in winter, forming huge dry ice caps. But Mars' atmosphere is more voluminous than Earth's because of the lower surface gravity. It is a hundred times less in total amount but the surface pressure is a scant 7 to 15 millibars - a bar is sea level norm, so it is 7 to 15/1000th of the Earth's pressure!  And when air pressure increases the wind picks up a bunch of dust, cooling the planet back down. Mars has been stuck in a bitter ice age for millions of years.

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Russia, Solzhenitsyn, and the Reset Button

Fay Voshell

In 2009, Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State, presented her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, with a "reset” button she thought symbolized a new era for Russian and American diplomacy. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7930047.stm

Lavrov pointed out the word the Americans had chosen, "peregruzka,” meant "overcharged,” not "reset.” Though the two leaders laughed off the mistake, the mistranslated button was a symbol of persistent misunderstanding between the two nations.

Russia has long been characterized by many in the West as enigmatic; indeed, almost beyond understanding. It was Winston Churchill who in October of 1939, mere weeks after the invasion of Poland by Nazi armed forces, speculated on the role of Russia in the war, famously depicting Russia as "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/RusnEnig.html

He added: "…but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest. It cannot be in accordance with the interest of the safety of Russia that Germany should plant itself upon the shores of the Black Sea, or that it should overrun the Balkan States and subjugate the Slavonic peoples of south eastern Europe. That would be contrary to the historic life-interests of Russia.”

In other words, Churchill could not envision the dismemberment of the Soviet Union by the German war machine without Russia fighting for her "life interests.” History proved him right. Russia survived, though gravely wounded.

The claims of Russia to her unique, historic life interests again came to the forefront when the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s and Russia the nation and empire appeared on the verge of total disintegration. Russia found itself in desperate need of a Weltanschauung that would replace the communist ideology that had held the nation in its grip for seventy years. If she did not, she might even face the prospect of radical shrinkage back to the proportions of Kievan Rus, her empire absorbed into Eastern Europe and the Far East. For some, if not most, of Russia’s political and intellectual leaders, the prospect of seeing the Russian empire virtually disappear was unthinkable.

Discerning that a U.S. Marshall Plan was not in order for Russia, several main figures came forward with ideas for a Russian reset button, one which they saw as including the "historic life interests” of Russia in the post-communist era. One, of course, is Vladimir Putin, whose embrace of Russian Orthodoxy has been a reason for the elevation of Christianity to a place of influence it occupied for over a millennium.

One of the spiritual and philosophical influences behind Putin has been Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Partly due to Putin’s influence, Solzhenitsyn’s master work The Gulag Archipelago is now required reading in Russian schools.

Solzhenitsyn openly rejected the secularist and leftist liberal political philosophy dominating the cultures of Europe and America. Russia, he said, had her own unique spiritual and historic heritage, a heritage that clashed with the dominant ideology of the West. Though he admired the spirituality of the American heartland, he saw the West in general as drowning in a vortex created by moral degradation, anti-religious sentiment, and extreme individualism.

Perhaps the most succinct and prescient analyses of the errors of the liberal democratic West and the failure of the West to understand Russia and Russian spirituality is found in his speech at Harvard University, given in 1978 some eleven years before the collapse of East Germany and the Soviet Union.

Solzhenitsyn reminded the Harvard graduates that the West was not the one and only advanced culture. Russia also deserved high regard as an ancient and autonomous entity:

"Any ancient and deeply rooted, autonomous culture… constitutes an autonomous world, full of riddles and surprises to Western thinking… For one thousand years Russia belonged to such a category, although Western thinking systematically committed the mistake of denying its autonomous character and therefore never understood it…”

End quote.

In other words, if Russia was an enigma, it was due to Western blindness, a blindness that was largely due to spiritual cataracts. If Russia seemed inscrutable, it was because American and the rest of the West failed to understand the Russian soul and the Russian nation. No reset was possible unless the West returned to its own Christian spiritual roots. Until spiritual eyeglasses provided vision, the materialistic but powerful West would remain blinded by its sense of total superiority.

The West, he went on to say, thought of itself as possessing the most attractive system, and regarded other nations as culturally inferior entities that needed to come up to speed, rejecting their "wicked governments” and "their own barbarity” in order to take "the way of western pluralistic democracy and adopting the Western way of life. Countries are judged on the merit of their progress in this direction. However, it is a conception which develops out of Western incomprehension of the essence of other worlds, out of the mistake of measuring them all with a Western yardstick.”

Russia had its own ancient and autonomous character and was in some ways more advanced than the secularist West, which he saw as declining in courage, and as inclined toward overemphasis on individual rights seldom ameliorated by a corresponding emphasis on individual obligations. Such was the emphasis on individual rights that "destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space.” The result was that evil had boundless freedom to expand in every part of society, expressing itself as individual "rights,” be those rights exhibiting themselves in pornography, violence, and even anarchy. A firm belief in the basic goodness of human nature coupled with an almost complete misapprehension of the evil inherent in human nature had led the West to embracing what amounted to spiritual and moral anarchy.

The spiritual condition of the West meant its system was not the ideal model for Russia, which Solzhenitsyn characterized as possessing spiritual strength the West had once possessed, but which it had rejected. The West was spiritually exhausted due to the repudiation of the Christian principles on which it was based. As Russia was, even in the midst of the communist regime, gaining her spiritual strength, a vitiated West had virtually nothing to say to her beyond advocacy of runaway materialism and out-of-control individualism.

Solzhenitsyn went on to point out the basic error that led to the decadence of the West; namely, the assumption of the Enlightenment that mankind has no higher force above him, but is autonomous -- mankind as the center of everything that exists. In effect, the West, including America, which at its inception believed quite differently, rejected the idea that all "individual human rights were granted because man is God’s creature.” Freedom, he said, is conditional in that it has grave religious responsibilities, an idea that had roots thousands of years old.

He concluded any commonality between Russia and the West had to be spiritual:

"[If] the world has not come to its end, it has approached a major turn in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will exact from us a spiritual upsurge: We shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era. This ascension will be similar to climbing onto the next anthropologic stage. No one on earth has any other way left but -- upward.”

End quote.

For Solzhenitsyn, Christianity, specifically the Russian Orthodox Church, had informed the Russian soul and Russia since the end of the first millennium, with roots going back to the Eastern Roman Empire. The path leading to restoration of true greatness lay in a return to God and a repudiation of the dark inheritance of a so-called Enlightenment that fostered atheism and sought to tear down Christianity.

Having experienced firsthand the brutality of a regime motivated by atheism, Solzhenitsyn saw a similar deleterious influence at the core of the crisis of the West. Once again, runaway atheism was revealing its inherently destructive nature. In his Templeton Prize Lecture of May 1983, "Godlessness: The First Step to the Gulag,” he said:

"And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God. The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century.

"…the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot.

[In the West] …the concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short lived value. It has become embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system.”

End quote.

The West, including America, was sliding toward an abyss of its own making. The young were deliberately being taught godlessness and hatred of their own society. The subsequent corrosion of the human heart and hatred was fast becoming the signature of the contemporary free world, which appeared anxious to export to the rest of the world its own philosophy of godlessness and immorality.

The solution, he concluded, was repentance and return to God:

"…[W]e can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unfortunate twentieth century and our bands be directed to setting them right. There is nothing else to cling to in the landslide: the combined vision of all the thinkers of the Enlightenment amounts to nothing… If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone.”

End quote.

Solzhenitsyn’s powerful insights hold much truth. If there is to be a reset between the West and Russia, it must be based on the mutual and ancient Christian roots of both entities. Here in the United States, there is a Christian commonality that still exists, but it desperately requires fostering and revival.

In the meantime, Christianity in the West and in Russia remains a key to the relationship between the two.

Therein lies a way to rapprochement.

Therein lies a possibility of a "reset button.”

The way will not be easy, as the present leaders of the West have largely bowed to the forces of a spiritually arid and atheistic secularism.

But there is hope that some will seek to hear and to heed the voice that says, "This is the way. Walk in it.”

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Why Morality is the Only Thing We Should Legislate

By Selwyn Duke

"You can’t legislate morality!” is a common battle cry today. It’s thought to be a quintessentially American idea, even though the Founding Fathers never expressed such a sentiment. Nor did the early Americans who would unabashedly enforce a biblically based code of morality in their localities, both via social pressure and governmental laws, with transgressors sometimes spending time in stocks — or worse. No, our common battle cry is a modern idea, and one of modernism. It also betrays a fundamental, and dangerous, misunderstanding of law’s nature.

In reality, the only thing we should legislate is morality. The only other option is legislating whims or immorality.

One problem with addressing this issue, which I have done several times, is that many readers have a reason-clouding emotional reaction induced by the assumption that I’m advocating big government. So I’ll preface what follows by saying that even if we enact just one law — let’s say, prohibiting murder — we have legislated morality. The only people who could credibly say they wouldn’t legislate morality are those who wouldn’t legislate at all: anarchists.

I’ll start by putting this simply. Could you imagine a legislator saying, "This law doesn’t prevent something that’s wrong, but I’m going to impose it on you anyway”? What if he said, "This other law doesn’t mandate anything that is a good, but I’ll compel you to adhere to it simply because I feel like it”? Would you suppose his legislation had a sound basis? Or would you think that, unlike a prohibition against murder or theft, the imposition of something lacking a moral foundation ("rightness” or "wrongness”) was the very definition of tyranny?

Generally speaking, a law is by definition the imposition of a value (which can be positive, negative or neutral), and a just law is the imposition of a moral principle (good by definition). This is because a law — with the exception of laws for naming post offices and such (which don’t constrain us and which won’t be included henceforth when I speak of "laws”) — states that there is something you must or must not do, ostensibly because the action is a moral imperative, is morally wrong, or is a corollary thereof. If this is not the case, again, with what credibility do you legislate in the given area? There is no point imposing something that doesn’t prevent a wrong or mandate some good. This is why there will never be a powerful movement lobbying to criminalize strawberry ice cream or kumquats.

As an example, what is the possible justification for speed laws? Well, there is the idea that it’s wrong to endanger others or yourself, and, in the latter case, it could be based on the idea that it's wrong to engage in reckless actions that could cause you to become a burden on society. Of course, some or all of these arguments may be valid or not, but the point is this: if a law is not underpinned by a valid moral principle, it is not a just law. Without morality, laws can be based on nothing but air.

One cause of the strong negative reaction (generally among libertarian-leaners) to the above is the word "morality” itself; as with "capitalism” in liberal circles, the term has taken on a negative connotation. Yet this is partially due to a narrow and incorrect view of what morality is. Use the word, and many imagine the Church Lady or a preacher breathing fire and brimstone; moreover, reflecting our libertine age’s spirit, people’s minds often automatically go to sex. "Stay out of the bedroom!” we hear, even though the only side legislating bedroom-related matters today is the Left (e.g., contraception mandate, forcing businesses to cater faux weddings). It’s almost as if, dare I say, some people are worried that others may ruin their fun.

Morality encompasses far more than sexual matters, however. Yet it is narrow in one way: it includes only correct principles of rightness. And, again, when these are not the stuff of laws, elements of wrongness will be.

Speaking of which, everyone advocating legislation seeks to impose a conception of morality or, as modernists are wont to put it, a "values” set. For example, the only justification for forcing bakers to service faux weddings is the (incorrect) notion that it’s "wrong” to deny such service. ObamaCare could only be justified based on the idea that providing medical care for those who can’t afford it is a moral imperative. And "transgender” bathroom laws would have to be based on the fancy that it’s wrong to disallow someone from using facilities associated with his "gender identity.”

A common argument I’ve heard in response to the above is "No, I don’t legislate morality; something should only be illegal if it harms another.” Other arguments are that we should merely prohibit "force” or protect "property rights.” Leaving alone the deep matter of what constitutes "harm,” these assertions are, with all due respect, dodges. Is it "wrong” to harm another, use unjust force against him or violate property rights? If not, why trouble over it?

People making the harm, force or property-rights argument are almost universally sincere, except with themselves, as it’s self-deception. It’s a way of preserving a mistaken ideological principle ("Don’t legislate morality”) by obscuring what it is you’re actually doing when making law. It’s also dangerous because it keeps things on a more superficial level. It’s a way relativistic moderns can avoid dealing with something they consider inconvenient, messy and divisive: determining "What is good?” But when you don’t work hard to settle what is good, you end up with what is bad.

Another reason many people are oblivious to the morality underpinning their conception of law is that many moral principles are now woven so seamlessly into our civilization’s fabric that we don’t recognize them as "morality.” Yet a moral does not cease to be a moral because it becomes a meme. Consider that while we take for granted that theft, murder and slavery should be governmentally prohibited, most pre-Christian pagans would have found such an idea foreign. Pillaging for a living, Viking-style, was common and accepted; might made right. And while you might not murder or enslave your fellow group members (one problem Athenians had with Spartans was that the latter enslaved other Greeks: the Helots), outsiders were fair game. In fact, if there had been such a thing as a libertarian Roman, he just might have said to Christians endeavoring to outlaw the brutality of the arena, "You can’t legislate morality!”

There can be no such thing as a separation of morality and state. That is, unless we want to regress to man’s default, the immoral state.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

"You can’t legislate morality!” is a common battle cry today. It’s thought to be a quintessentially American idea, even though the Founding Fathers never expressed such a sentiment. Nor did the early Americans who would unabashedly enforce a biblically based code of morality in their localities, both via social pressure and governmental laws, with transgressors sometimes spending time in stocks — or worse. No, our common battle cry is a modern idea, and one of modernism. It also betrays a fundamental, and dangerous, misunderstanding of law’s nature.

In reality, the only thing we should legislate is morality. The only other option is legislating whims or immorality.

One problem with addressing this issue, which I have done several times, is that many readers have a reason-clouding emotional reaction induced by the assumption that I’m advocating big government. So I’ll preface what follows by saying that even if we enact just one law — let’s say, prohibiting murder — we have legislated morality. The only people who could credibly say they wouldn’t legislate morality are those who wouldn’t legislate at all: anarchists.

I’ll start by putting this simply. Could you imagine a legislator saying, "This law doesn’t prevent something that’s wrong, but I’m going to impose it on you anyway”? What if he said, "This other law doesn’t mandate anything that is a good, but I’ll compel you to adhere to it simply because I feel like it”? Would you suppose his legislation had a sound basis? Or would you think that, unlike a prohibition against murder or theft, the imposition of something lacking a moral foundation ("rightness” or "wrongness”) was the very definition of tyranny?

Generally speaking, a law is by definition the imposition of a value (which can be positive, negative or neutral), and a just law is the imposition of a moral principle (good by definition). This is because a law — with the exception of laws for naming post offices and such (which don’t constrain us and which won’t be included henceforth when I speak of "laws”) — states that there is something you must or must not do, ostensibly because the action is a moral imperative, is morally wrong, or is a corollary thereof. If this is not the case, again, with what credibility do you legislate in the given area? There is no point imposing something that doesn’t prevent a wrong or mandate some good. This is why there will never be a powerful movement lobbying to criminalize strawberry ice cream or kumquats.

As an example, what is the possible justification for speed laws? Well, there is the idea that it’s wrong to endanger others or yourself, and, in the latter case, it could be based on the idea that it's wrong to engage in reckless actions that could cause you to become a burden on society. Of course, some or all of these arguments may be valid or not, but the point is this: if a law is not underpinned by a valid moral principle, it is not a just law. Without morality, laws can be based on nothing but air.

One cause of the strong negative reaction (generally among libertarian-leaners) to the above is the word "morality” itself; as with "capitalism” in liberal circles, the term has taken on a negative connotation. Yet this is partially due to a narrow and incorrect view of what morality is. Use the word, and many imagine the Church Lady or a preacher breathing fire and brimstone; moreover, reflecting our libertine age’s spirit, people’s minds often automatically go to sex. "Stay out of the bedroom!” we hear, even though the only side legislating bedroom-related matters today is the Left (e.g., contraception mandate, forcing businesses to cater faux weddings). It’s almost as if, dare I say, some people are worried that others may ruin their fun.

Morality encompasses far more than sexual matters, however. Yet it is narrow in one way: it includes only correct principles of rightness. And, again, when these are not the stuff of laws, elements of wrongness will be.

Speaking of which, everyone advocating legislation seeks to impose a conception of morality or, as modernists are wont to put it, a "values” set. For example, the only justification for forcing bakers to service faux weddings is the (incorrect) notion that it’s "wrong” to deny such service. ObamaCare could only be justified based on the idea that providing medical care for those who can’t afford it is a moral imperative. And "transgender” bathroom laws would have to be based on the fancy that it’s wrong to disallow someone from using facilities associated with his "gender identity.”

A common argument I’ve heard in response to the above is "No, I don’t legislate morality; something should only be illegal if it harms another.” Other arguments are that we should merely prohibit "force” or protect "property rights.” Leaving alone the deep matter of what constitutes "harm,” these assertions are, with all due respect, dodges. Is it "wrong” to harm another, use unjust force against him or violate property rights? If not, why trouble over it?

People making the harm, force or property-rights argument are almost universally sincere, except with themselves, as it’s self-deception. It’s a way of preserving a mistaken ideological principle ("Don’t legislate morality”) by obscuring what it is you’re actually doing when making law. It’s also dangerous because it keeps things on a more superficial level. It’s a way relativistic moderns can avoid dealing with something they consider inconvenient, messy and divisive: determining "What is good?” But when you don’t work hard to settle what is good, you end up with what is bad.

Another reason many people are oblivious to the morality underpinning their conception of law is that many moral principles are now woven so seamlessly into our civilization’s fabric that we don’t recognize them as "morality.” Yet a moral does not cease to be a moral because it becomes a meme. Consider that while we take for granted that theft, murder and slavery should be governmentally prohibited, most pre-Christian pagans would have found such an idea foreign. Pillaging for a living, Viking-style, was common and accepted; might made right. And while you might not murder or enslave your fellow group members (one problem Athenians had with Spartans was that the latter enslaved other Greeks: the Helots), outsiders were fair game. In fact, if there had been such a thing as a libertarian Roman, he just might have said to Christians endeavoring to outlaw the brutality of the arena, "You can’t legislate morality!”

There can be no such thing as a separation of morality and state. That is, unless we want to regress to man’s default, the immoral state.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:39 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 28, 2016

A Civilian Gives His All to Honor Veterans and Rosie The Riveter Returns to Republic Field

Jack Kemp

Memorial Day weekend at Long Island's American Airpower Museum started with an air show pilot giving his life while honoring flying veterans in the Museum's P-47, "Jacky's Revenge." And he did it in a plane built during WWII on the very grounds of the Museum itself. On Friday night, Bill Gordon was flying that P-47 over the Hudson River near New Jersey (and across from the Intrepid Museum) when he realized something was wrong. Rather than attempting to land the bottle shaped fighter plane on land or even the nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, he chose to take it down into the River to, I would assume, give the rare plane the best chance of being salvaged in one piece. His picture can be seen in a NY Post article as well as a close up of him in the P-47 he was flying this past Friday at http://nypost.com/2016/05/27/plane-crashes-into-hudson-river/ 
Unfortunately for Bill, he was not able to escape the sinking fighter plane and his body was recovered from under the water. More detailed facts await an investigation of both Mr. Gordon's health condition at the time of the crash as well as the mechanical condition of the airplane. When I got a chance the next afternoon to ask the Museum's Director, Gary Lewi, whether the pilot Bill Gordon was a military veteran, he quickly answered, "no."

The P-47 Gordon flew was built by Republic Aircraft on the very grounds of the American Airpower Museum where it was displayed, adjoining modern day Republic Field. The company built P-47s, F-84sm F-105 Thunderchiefs and A-10 Warthogs at that site. And it was well known that many of the workers who built these planes were women. And many women of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots flew them from the factories to military airbases in the States and overseas. Memorial Day Weekend brings out many people who both know about and lived those earlier times - and children (of all ages) who are fascinated by these stories. When I asked a senior museum guide (I regret not getting his name) about the actual location of the factory grounds, he began to talk of a long stream of things that few people know. He told of the exploits of the 555th Parachute Infantry Batallion of WWII, an all-black unit that was sent to put out the fires that the Japanese created when they sent thousands of balloons with incendiary devices on the winds to the forests of Oregon and Washington State. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/555th_Parachute_Infantry_Battalion_%28United_States%29  When he met a visiting member of that paratrooper group at the Museum and refered to him by the group nickname, "The Triple Nickel," the retired soldier told him that he was the first white man he ever met who used that name. And then the guide casually remarked that one of the original Rosie the Riveters, who built planes from P-47s modern fighters in the 1980s was on the grounds of the museum this day in a wheelchair. Having seen her before, I immediately went looking for her again.

Josephine Racheiele, a real Rosie the Riveter



Her sister got an office job at Republic Aircraft in 1942 and when Josephine put in an application in 1943, she was hired as...a riveter. I didn't ask the lady her age, but some simple math would put her around 90 years of age today - or more. Josephine comes to these Memorial Day gatherings to honor the veterans and recall the work she did for the military aircraft maker Republic. Cheerful, fully understanding my questions and giving me additional details, one could see how happy she was to be there this Saturday.

The Missing Man Formation for Bill Gordon