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Westlake Legal Group > Ronald Reagan

Neil O’Brien: Fifty shades of conservatism

Neil O’Brien is MP for Market Harborough.

You might say socialism and liberalism are ideologies, while Conservatism is more like a character trait. But that’s not quite right. Socialism and liberalism are ideologies about maximising one thing, be it equality or freedom. In contrast, Conservatives believe in a wider variety of ideals.

So what kind of conservative are you?

Since the classic Liberal party gave way to Labour, we’ve been the party of the free market and sound money, even more so since the Thatcher/Reagan era. The free market is a such huge part of what we are about, it tends to dominate, but there’s much more to conservatism.

Perhaps you are a law and order Conservative: patron saint Thomas Hobbes, who, inspired by his experience of the civil war, observed that without strong authority and law and order, life tends to be “nasty, brutish and short.”

But in a nice example of how conservative ideas fit together, a strong law and order policy is also a One Nation policy: because who suffers when there is crime and disorder? Those who live in the most deprived fifth of neighbourhoods are 50 per cent more likely to be victims of crime than those in the richest fifth.

Or perhaps you are a constitutional conservative. Do you believe in keeping the Monarchy? A House of Lords that isn’t elected? Do you believe in keeping first past post elections, and an unwritten constitution? Do you believe in the common law and rule of law? Those ideas are more important now Labour believes in expropriation of your pension, your shares, your house, and anything else that isn’t screwed down.

Perhaps you’re a conservative because you believe in Liberty. Habeas Corpus. Limits on Government. Legal protection of personal and family life. Liberty always raises contentious issues like hunting or drugs. Or think of recent cases like the gay marriage cake. I thought the courts got it right: a business can’t refuse to serve gay people, but people can’t be made to promote political views they don’t hold, even if I disagree with those views.

What do we think about the growing deployment of live facial recognition technology in public places? Liberty lovers might want to ban it. Law and order fans might want to allow it.

Liberty-loving conservatism can also clash with another ideal – social conservatism. Are you worried about family breakdown? What do you think about transgender issues? What do you think about full facial veils? That question pits liberty against traditional pattern of our society. France banned them, we allow them.

Do you think what you get out of the welfare system should be linked to what you put in? And how should we make choices about immigration: do we just think about migrants’ skills and earnings, or how easily they will integrate into our culture? I incline to the latter view.

One big idea that I think fits under social conservatism is the idea of the nation state. National self-determination and the lack of a shared European demos powers the idea of Brexit, but it also explains why we are prepared to make compromises to try and keep the United Kingdom together.

Zooming down from the nation to the individual, conservatism is about individual self-reliance. That’s why we strongly support individual home ownership. Mrs Thatcher expressed this well. She said that people: “are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there’s no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours.”

Things like the doubling of the Income Tax Personal Allowance and the National Living Wage – and also welfare reforms – are about self reliance. George Osborne was onto something when he talked about a “higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare spending” society. Personally, I believe tax should be based on the ability to pay, and so we should bring back the higher tax allowances for children Labour abolished in the 1970s.

But conservatives don’t just believe in individualism. We are the society party. Civic conservatives know that many problems can’t be solved by either the free market or the state. David Cameron said: “There is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same as the state.” When we think about problems like loneliness in an ageing society, we can only solve them by catalysing and helping voluntary groups and family life. The Big Society may have been a good idea, badly timed. But the ideal of voluntary action remains very attractive, I find particularly to younger conservatives.

Conservatism is also about gradualism. Burke attacked the French revolution as a huge, risky, leap-in-the-dark.
Gradualism is behind all our biggest policy successes. Welfare reforms started under Peter Lilley, continued under New Labour, and then under another Conservative government – and now have the record employment. The academy schools programme also spanned governments: from Kenneth Baker to Gavin Williamson.

In contrast, Socialists believe in utopian leaps. In the USSR and under China’s Great Leap Forward millions died, yet John McDonell still says, “I am a Marxist”. In contrast we should be proud gradualists. What do we want? More use of evidence. When do we want it? After randomised control trials.

As well as gradualism, Conservatism is about pluralism and decentralisation. Environmentalists have shown us why it is dangerous to have a monoculture of anything, because if things then go wrong, they do so on a huge scale. Think about the Irish potato famine.

Take a more recent policy example: during the heyday of disastrous progressive teaching methods, they swept all before them. But independent schools and grammar schools were a bastion for traditional methods (like phonics), which could then make a comeback after trendy methods failed.

Devolution allows experimentation. In the US they say the states are “laboratories of democracy”. Ideas like welfare reform or zero tolerance policing were tried locally and taken up nationally when they worked. Conservatives also believe in pluralism in a deeper way. People have different ideas of the good life.

That’s one reason I think we should keep the honours system – to recognise those who are motivated by something other than money, whether they want to serve their country on the battlefield, or help their community by running a youth club. That should inform our thoughts on things like childcare. Do we just focus on maximising employment or education? Or let people choose if they want to be stay at home parents?

I’m sure readers will point out things I’ve missed. But those are some of the main elements of Conservatism.
Law and order. The Constitution. Liberty. Social Conservatism. Civic Conservatism. Individual-self reliance.
Gradualism. Pluralism. Ideas that are sometimes in tension, but which fit together.

Conservatism is a bit like the roof of parliament’s Westminster Hall: which is held up by a lot of huge, ancient beams all resting on each other. Likewise, the elements of conservatism fit together, and have also made something really strong and enduring.

This article is based on a contribution by the author to a Centre for Policy Studies event, “Free Exchange: The case for conservatism”, at last week’s Conservative Party Conference.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ryan Bourne: Greta Thunberg and Prince Harry are wrong. Our ingenuity is the earth’s ultimate resource.

Ryan Bourne is Chair in Public Understanding of Economics at the Cato Institute.

Spare a thought for Prince Harry. By all accounts he is finding it difficult to get out of bed in the mornings, due to “eco-anxiety.” The Sun reports from Botswana that he believes “everything is good in the world except for us humans.” He’s not the only one struggling. At the UN recently, Greta Thunberg was visibly shaken as she denounced the people who had stolen her dreams of a cooler world with “fairytales of eternal economic growth.”

In case it wasn’t clear before, more radical parts of the “green movement” hold a consistent preconception: that human beings and our innate desire for betterment are the problem where environmental issues are concerned. We are destroying the planet, devouring its finite resources through selfish fertility and consumption decisions, while pumping greenhouse gases into its atmosphere. “A plague on the earth,” is how David Attenborough once kindly described us.

The high priest of this worldview was Paul Ehrlich, who coined the oft-repeated assertion that “you can’t go on growing forever on a finite planet.” Prince Charles agrees. Earth simply can’t sustain us if more and more people aspire to Western consumption levels, he says. To save the planet therefore requires curbing population growth, rowing back substantially on consumption (so-called degrowth), or both. Little surprise then that contemporary climate change “solutions” from radical environmentalists include economically destructive, rapid carbon mitigation (“Bring on the recession!” as George Monbiot once said) or curbing global population growth.

Yet there’s a big problem here: Ehrlich and Prince Charles’ analysis was and is wrong. Population growth doesn’t “use up” the earth’s finite resources and economic growth possibilities are not finite. That’s because technologies and human ideas are not fixed. Resource constraint worriers ignore that humans adapt, dream up efficiencies, and change behaviours. As countries become much richer, they become better placed, and more willing to, care for the environment. Even on climate change, a classic “externality” problem, it is the same innovative spirit that drives economic progress that will deliver any transition or adaptation to a lower carbon economy and warmer world.

Consider the evidence. If growth in population or consumption were simply about running down scarce resources, we’d expect commodity prices to continuously rise with population or economic growth. Yet from 1980 to 2017, when the world’s population shot up by nearly 70 per cent, prices of a basket of 50 important commodities actually fell by an average of 36 per cent (or 65 per cent, if instead you consider the reduction in time an average human had to work to purchase them).

Population and consumption growth might put pressure on resource availability for any given level of technology or set of demands. But human innovation means, over time, we devise better ideas and forms of technology to access or convert those resources, or shift to other alternatives when prices rise. In the race between the human brain and resource scarcity, we are winning. As my colleague Marian Tupy has said: “the Earth’s atoms may be fixed, but the possible combinations of those atoms are infinite.”

As counterintuitive as it sounds, that same innovation means economic growth doesn’t necessitate more and more resource use either. Greens think of growth as about consuming “stuff.” And for good reason: during and after the industrial revolution, GDP growth really did go hand in hand with energy use growth. But in a service and high productivity world, production and value clearly arises from doing more with less too. The iPhone in your pocket has replaced a clock, diaries, calendars, letters, calculators, photo albums, large telephones, trips to the bank, compasses, a contact book, and much else. Think of all the resources saved! No wonder Ronald Reagan once said “there are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.”

Again, the distinction between a static and dynamic world is crucial when considering the environmental impact of this. As Tim Harford explains, if we were all suddenly a fair bit poorer, we’d probably substitute a hat and coat for heating in our homes. But this doesn’t mean that if our incomes trebled over the next five decades, we’d crank up the heating and boil ourselves in our homes. In fact, as we’ve got richer over the last quarter of a century, total energy use per person has actually been falling in countries such as the US and UK, even beyond that accounted for by offshoring of manufacturing.

This is one good example of how economic growth helps shift us up the hierarchy of needs. As advanced countries have solved problems of food, warmth, and shelter, people can afford to worry more about the natural world around them more broadly too. Recent global growth has gone hand-in-hand with the forested area of the planet increasing since 1982 and a continuous fall in fertility, in part because wealthier people want to invest more in the “quality” of their children.

In this light, Prince Harry and Greta’s eco-anxiety is a clear sign of privilege. Neither is having to scramble to illegally chop trees for money to survive, overhunt wild animals as a source of a nutritious diet, or spend half their adult lives pregnant to ensure at least a couple of their kids survive. Many around the world aren’t so lucky, or comfortable enough to put the environment first. A UN poll of 10 million people around the globe showed far more worry about their educational opportunities or whether their kids are starving or dying from disease.

Once you understand this: what growth is, how it is driven by human innovation, and what consequences it has, you see how futile and damaging an “anti-human” approach to global climate change would be. Drastic mitigation would condemn much of humanity to poorer lives, making us worse environmental stewards in other regards and facing much worse consequences of any warming that occurs. Authoritarian population controls would backfire too, reducing the potential market and payoffs for innovators developing climate change remedies in everything from electric cars to solar panels.

No, the only sustainable, credible route to reducing carbon emissions and adapting to warming will come precisely from the sorts of innovation driving the “fairytales” Thunberg bemoans. Acknowledging this does not preclude modest, economically reasonable policies, such as R&D investments, or even a degree of carbon pricing, to speed up and incentivise innovation and entrepreneurship on low carbon climate solutions. What it does rule out is drastically rowing back on our activities, freedoms, or desires for children.

If Prince Harry is to regain his morning sprightliness, he’ll have to find more faith in economic growth and innovation to the challenges that face us. Human ingenuity, far from being a burden, is the world’s most important resource.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Johnson bypasses the broadcasters to talk directly to voters

Yesterday’s announcement of a relaxation of the immigration rules for scientists from around the world was noteworthy for two reasons.

First, because it’s a good idea, long overdue and likely to be popular.

Second, because of how the message was delivered.

There was a press release, and an accompanying evening news package by the BBC, filmed on a Prime Ministerial visit to a fusion power research centre in Oxfordshire. But before either of those went out, the actual announcement took place online, in a Facebook Live broadcast by Boris Johnson.

The video itself was short, hitting key messages on police and NHS spending before trailing the headline news, leaving the detail for the official release shortly afterwards. The fairly simple set contained a few nods to his fans (and detractors) The flag, the ministerial red box (rapped pointedly when he spoke of getting to work) and, nestled away at the back, a red bus.

No, not that red bus. Nor the now-famous red buses built out of painted wine boxes. Rather a red, double-decker, London bus featuring the Back Boris 2008 logo – a memento of the mayoralty which influenced him so much, placed carefully where a TV had stood earlier in the day.

It’s the use of this video as the first point of announcement for an important policy that is particularly significant. It’s no secret that some political broadcasters have at times been a bit antagonistic, and that there are some tensions in the relationship already. More generally, what every politician really desires is an opportunity to communicate their message directly to voters without edit, limit or interpretation.

Breaking news through a social media broadcast, unfiltered, therefore makes sense. Between Facebook and Twitter this clip was seen by at least 450,000 people throughout the course of the evening, which isn’t bad given there was no pre-publicity to warn the audience in advance. My understanding is that this is a first experiment, and there will be more such broadcasts from the Prime Minister, the audience of which will be closely studied in Downing Street.

In an age which values authenticity, this is an approach with potential, particularly for this Prime Minister. Johnson opens with an invitation, the emphasis on the personal nature of the conversation and the privileged access being offered to viewers: “I’m speaking to you live from my desk in Downing Street”. He has built his career on being distinctive, engaging and entertaining; he’s the Government’s most notable media asset. It would be madness to lock that away behind bland scripts and anonymised official statements.

Previous examples of leaders seeking such direct communication with voters spring to mind, some more successful than others. Stanley Baldwin, the UK’s earliest adopter of broadcasting as a political tool; Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous ‘fireside chats’; Harold Wilson’s sometimes ill-advised penchant for television (complete with the affectation of a pipe); Ronald Reagan’s extraordinary run of over 1,000 daily radio commentaries on current affairs prior to becoming President. David Cameron, of course, had WebCameron – sometimes a bit stagey, but always more at ease than Gordon Brown’s rictus efforts at YouTube. There are lessons from each, and all underscore that no politician can afford to stand still while the media changes around him.

It’s encouraging to see the Prime Minister’s team exploring and trying out new ways to cut through to the electorate. Making sure they maintain message discipline while allowing his personality to show will be the key. Relax it too much and it loses its bite; structure it too closely and it risks looking like a hostage video, turning off fans who want to feel they are seeing their Prime Minister as he really is. Get it right, and these broadcasts could have a really big impact.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Atlantic Unearths New Audio, Claims to Show Ronald Reagan Was a Racist

Westlake Legal Group billy-graham-ronald-nancy-reagan-SCREENSHOT-620x330 The Atlantic Unearths New Audio, Claims to Show Ronald Reagan Was a Racist United Nations The Squad tape Taiwan Ronald Reagan Richard Nixon Remarks racist Politics Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elijah cummings donald trump democrats China baltimore Audio Africans

It’s almost like there’s a concerted effort going on here to paint Republicans as racist.

The Atlantic is touting newly unearthed audio showing former President Ronald Reagan disparaging African delegates at the United Nations. That’s African, as in countries on the continent, not Americans.

The day after the United Nations voted to recognize the People’s Republic of China, then–California Governor Ronald Reagan phoned President Richard Nixon at the White House and vented his frustration at the delegates who had sided against the United States. “Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did,” Reagan said. “Yeah,” Nixon interjected. Reagan forged ahead with his complaint: “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!” Nixon gave a huge laugh.

This took place in 1971. The context is that the UN, being the dumpster fire of an organization that it is, had just voted to recognize China over Taiwan. Some African nations sided against the United States (who history would undoubtedly prove right) and that obviously had Reagan and Nixon incensed.

As to the remark, the early 70s were obviously a very different time with very different standards, even if we agree those standards today were not good. Secondly, it’s not even clear that Reagan meant this as broad “racism” as much as a criticism of the behavior of a specific African country.

When the UN took its vote to seat a delegation from Beijing instead of from Taiwan in 1971, members of the Tanzanian delegation started dancing in the General Assembly. Reagan, a devoted defender of Taiwan, was incensed, and tried to reach Nixon the night of the vote. Reagan despised the United Nations, which he described as a “kangaroo court” filled with “bums,” and he wanted the U.S. to withdraw from full participation immediately. Nixon was asleep when Reagan called, so they spoke the next morning.

The point is, I don’t know what was in the guy’s heart, nor do I think a single line defines a person anyway. The remark was ill-advised and insensitive, but I don’t believe Reagan meant it as a racist indictment of all black people. I think he was really mad at some of the African delegates and vented in an offensive manner. Nothing about his record showed him to actually believe blacks were “inferior,” as the article supposes.

This hit piece from The Atlantic is bad faith all around, but that’s been their mark for a long time. Of course, this was all dug up specifically to hit Donald Trump.

The past month has brought presidential racism back into the headlines. This October 1971 exchange between current and future presidents is a reminder that other presidents have subscribed to the racist belief that Africans or African Americans are somehow inferior. The most novel aspect of President Donald Trump’s racist gibes isn’t that he said them, but that he said them in public.

In other words, Reagan was a racist but Trump is worse because he said things in public.

Never mind that nothing Trump said was objectively racist. The comments on “the squad” could be loosely described as xenophobic if you make certain assumptions, but there was no racial element at all. Trump was clearly not targeting them because of their race but because they are the most outspoken, radical elements of the Democrat party.

As to his latest comments,  there was no racial connotation whatsoever in his criticism of Baltimore and Elijah Cummings. In that case, we know exactly why he targeted Cummings. It was over a dishonest, gross rant he aimed at Sec. McAleenan. Baltimore is the most murderous city in the world and has extreme levels of poverty in the city proper. Those were all the reasons the President needed. There was no secret racist motive and we know that because Trump has used language like “drug-infested” before to describe predominantly white areas like New Hampshire.

Yet, it was racist because the smart set in the media told us it was. And to prove their point that this is a normal, evil Republican thing, they went and dug up this old tape of Reagan to slander his legacy because getting Trump is always worth it.

Of course, you could find more examples than you can count of past Democrat Presidents saying and doing racist things, especially given they are the party of Jim Crow and segregation. That doesn’t fit the narrative though, so going after Ronald Reagan gets the go ahead instead.

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The post The Atlantic Unearths New Audio, Claims to Show Ronald Reagan Was a Racist appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Reagan1-300x156 The Atlantic Unearths New Audio, Claims to Show Ronald Reagan Was a Racist United Nations The Squad tape Taiwan Ronald Reagan Richard Nixon Remarks racist Politics Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elijah cummings donald trump democrats China baltimore Audio Africans   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Lord Ashcroft: Will voters still give Johnson the benefit of the doubt? We’re about to find out.

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC is an international businessman, philanthropist, author and pollster. For more information about his work, visit www.lordashcroft.com and www.lordashcroftpolls.com.

Six years ago, I published some research entirely dedicated to the Boris Johnson phenomenon. The title of the report – Are You Serious? – encapsulated two things: the reaction of Johnson-sceptics to the idea that he might rise to an office greater than the London Mayoralty, and the question many voters, intrigued but not altogether convinced by this unusual adornment to public life, were asking of Johnson himself.

We know the answer to the second question, if it was ever in doubt: yes, deadly. His pursuit of the top job has been skilful and relentless. His apparently playful approach to life masks a fierce determination, which voters can sense. If the achievement of his ambition were not itself proof enough, his ruthless remaking of the Government around his central policy of a Halloween Brexit puts to rest any doubt about the seriousness of his intent.

Strangely, the first question – can this possibly be happening? – is alive and well among elements of the commentating class, as well as some of his adversaries. Here there are echoes of the reaction not just of the EU referendum result and the election of Donald Trump – which stemmed from an inability to understand why a reasonable person could vote for either – but more distantly to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Despite their opponents’ continued belief that they were too hapless, dim or otherwise unqualified for public office, both were re-elected – partly because of their critics’ inevitable tendency to underestimate someone whose rise to power seemed to them some sort of cosmic mistake. If this is how Johnson’s elevation appears to those who already want to see the back of him, that can only work to his advantage.

Despite coming down on the side of Jeremy Hunt in the leadership election, I wrote a few weeks ago on this site that I did not fear disaster in the event of a Johnson victory. Both are proper Tories, committed to honouring the referendum result, personally engaging and with good ideas. The first hours of his administration have confirmed that. Though I wonder about some of his appointments – the loss of Penny Mordaunt is particularly regrettable – the sense of direction is unmistakeable and refreshing.

His speech on entering Downing Street was ambitious and wide-ranging, and more specific in some of its ideas than many would have expected. And while the cynics increasingly equate optimism with delusion, tone matters, and the cheerful sense of belief he exudes is already a welcome contrast from the last three glum years. Most important of all, he is making it clear that he intends to do everything he can to deliver on his promise, at a time when so many are exasperated with parliament’s inability or refusal to carry out the country’s wishes.

But this is only day three. When the smoke clears from the initial burst of shock and awe, the tiresome reality will come back into focus – the precarious parliamentary maths and the so far unwavering stance of the European Union. There is also the fact that sooner or later, voters are going to pass judgment on their new Prime Minister – their third in 37 months.

Here is it instructive to look at what people actually said about him in my 2013 study. A majority of voters thought of him as “different from most politicians, and in a good way”, while the next most popular view was that he was “not really a politician at all”. While he was famous for speaking his mind (“He says it how it is. In a very posh voice,” as one of our focus group participants put it), most were at a loss to say where he stood on any particular issue, including Europe.

And though obviously a Tory, he seemed somewhat detached from the party and had his own appeal. Though people thought he was a good Mayor of London, many thought the role was about being an ambassador for the city rather than carrying any executive authority (“do we want someone on zipwires making decisions about the NHS and education and going to war?” Johnson as Prime Minister “would be excellent until it all went tits up.”) Offered a range of potential descriptions for him, people were most likely to choose “likeable” and “a people person”; they were least likely to say he was “on my side” or “a safe pair of hands.”

As it happened, he did not have to alleviate these concerns (which still persist, along with others, as my research during the leadership contest confirmed) before reaching Number Ten. But he will have to do so if he wants to stay there. Though he remains unlike any other politician, he and the Conservative Party, and the Conservative Government, are no longer mere nodding acquaintances. Despite his declaration that EU migrants in Britain can stay and his appointment of the most diverse Cabinet ever, he seems unlikely to re-emerge as the cuddly cosmopolitan of a kind who could persuade socially liberal London to give him the biggest personal mandate in British politics.

When it comes to executive ability, people will make their judgments as they see him in action – just as they will as to whether he is on their side, especially if they put something other than Brexit at the top of their priority list. Retrieving those voters tempted by the Brexit Party is crucial – but neither can the Tories afford to lose those at the other end of their voting coalition.

One more thing leaps out at me from my six year-old study. Despite the regular mishaps, outrages and minor scandals that seemed to punctuate his career, people often went out of their way to put a generous interpretation on them. I observed that “Boris is given the benefit of the doubt to an extent that other politicians can only dream of”. We’re about to find out how true that still is.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

‘Dirty Work’ Everyman Star Mike Rowe Responds to the Nike Recall – & Hits the Nail on the Head, as Usual

Westlake Legal Group tool-2222458_1280-620x413 ‘Dirty Work’ Everyman Star Mike Rowe Responds to the Nike Recall – & Hits the Nail on the Head, as Usual Uncategorized socialism Ronald Reagan Patriotism nike military Mike Rowe independence day Front Page Stories Featured Story dirty work Culture colin kaepernick Betsy Ross Allow Media Exception 4th of july

 

 

It’s not easy to come across as an ultimate everyman and an exceptionally smart guy at the same time. But somehow, Mike Rowe pulls it off.

He drops bombs of profundity via the simplest of language in a way I may not have ever before observed.

With his inimitable style, Mike took to Facebook on the 4th to answer a Nike/Kaepernick question from one Karen Murphy, who inquired the following:

“Why would anyone in their right mind support Nike after this latest round of nonsense? Why would any public company with an image to protect take advice from an athlete? How can our attention be sucked up by people with nothing better to do than complain about fireworks and tanks on the fourth of July? Our country seems be losing its mind, or at the very least, its sense of history and perspective. As a man who has always seemed comfortable with our country’s flag, I was hoping you might have some insight to share on this, especially today.”

If you’re unaware of the situation at the Swoosh, the iconic athletic company pulled from stores a sneaker featuring Betsy Ross’s U.S. flag following former football player Colin Kaepernick’s suggestion that it may offend some due to America’s history of slavery (here and here).

Ready to get Rowed?

Here we go…

Mike replied:

“I think Nike has the right to decorate their shoes with whatever flag they desire. I think Kaepernick has the right to offer marketing advice to any company that’ll take it. And I think you and I have the right to purchase whatever brand of tennis shoes we choose. The reason these rights exist, is because we live in the United States, and the reason the states are united, is because we decided, two and a half centuries ago, to be free of our British masters. So, we fought a war. Happily, the results of that war made us a free country.”

But we didn’t stay the way we were:

“Then, four score and seven years later, we decided we could not call ourselves a free country, as long as slavery existed. So, we fought another war. Happily, the results of that war made us freer still. Had either conflict gone the other way, our county would not exist – not as we know it, anyway. And the flag we fly today would look nothing like the one I’m proud to stand for.”

Mike went on to note that there’s nothing dangerous about Nike listening to Colin, or with complaining about patriotic military displays (please see more on that absurdity here).

He also, however, cited Ronald Reagan’s warning of the country perpetually being only one generation away from losing our liberty:

“Along with the siren song of socialism, the persistent promise of “free” stuff, and the breathtaking level of censorship on our college campuses, I worry about the growing belief among many that we can somehow improve our present by erasing our past; by toppling statues, outlawing “problematic” symbols, or rewriting specific pieces of our history in ways that leave us feeling less offended. George Orwell said it best… ‘The most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their understanding of history.’”

You got that right!

The former Dirty Work host observed that we shouldn’t overlook Colin’s mistake.

He’s windin’ up, folks:

[Colin] has argued that the Betsy Ross flag is ‘racist,’ because it flew at a time when slavery was legal in America. By that definition, aren’t crosses are also racist? Weren’t they on churches attended by slave-owning congregants? Why not demand their removal? What about the Bald Eagle? Wasn’t our national bird flying around when slaves were held? Why not protest it as well? What about the Great Seal? E Pluribus Unum? The Liberty Bell? It rang countless times while slavery was still the law of the land. Why not demand its removal? Kaepernick’s argument is unpersuasive, not because it’s unpopular, or unpatriotic. It’s unpersuasive because it’s completely void of logic.”

The man knows how to make a concrete point.

Mike closed with a statement patriotism, again quoting Orwell:

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

Mike Rowe has a gift. Not only is he able to make powerful points in the most efficient, understandable way possible, but — in my opinion — he does so in a manner poised to compel even those who might otherwise want to oppose him.

He’s a living ode to yet another Orwell quote which he cited in his response to Karen:

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

But more than most, he makes people want to hear it.

Thanks, Mike.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: herehere, and here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

Hillary’s Spokesman Praises The New Fab Four: AOC & Her Peers Define The ‘Moral Center Of Today’s Democratic Party’

Jonesin’ For The Juvenile Vote? Bernie Sanders Swoops Down To Defend Woke AOC From Old-Timer Biden’s Put-Down

Amazon Bans Books On Conversion Therapy For Homosexuals Who Want To Change Their Lives

Find all my RedState work here.

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Lindsey Graham Repeats to Trump: Invade Venezuela Like Reagan Did in Grenada. Beyond That, One Nation is Key

Westlake Legal Group lindsey-graham-venezuela-grenada-fox-news-SCREENSHOT-620x333 Lindsey Graham Repeats to Trump: Invade Venezuela Like Reagan Did in Grenada. Beyond That, One Nation is Key white house washington D.C. Venezuela Uncategorized Ronald Reagan Politico Nicolas Maduro military Lindsey Graham International Affairs grenada Front Page Stories fox news Foreign Policy donald trump Allow Media Exception

[Screenshot from CNN, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm4IRWE0gRI]

 

On Fox News Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham urged President Trump to make a major move in the continuing battle over Venezuela’s presidency: Use military force.

During his morning appearance on the news network, Lindsey was asked about foreign policy difficulties for The Donald, including the fact that the in-dire-straits country’s leader — Nicolas Maduro — is refusing to step down.

Meanwhile, Iran’s allegedly attacked four oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and North Korea’s continuing its “what agreement?” attitude toward shooting rockets.

“It’s a time of testing,” he noted.

As for Iran, Lindsey means business. But he’s willing to start light:

“I would start with naval escorts. If there’s a new attack down the road, I would sink their navy.”

He don’t play. Like here, here, and here. Gotta love the fire.

Lindsey gave Trump props:

“I give a lot of credit to the President to get the North Koreans to slow down their program. I give him a lot of credit going after the Iran nuclear deal, getting out of it. Standing up to Maduro.”

But he said fixing Venezuela is key to quelling the inflamed international affairs:

“[W]e need points on the board. Start with your own backyard. Tell Cuba, ‘If you’re not out of Venezuela in a week.’ And people are starving and dying in Venezuela because Maduro’s such a thug, then we’re making a mistake. Fix Venezuela, and everybody else will know you’re serious.”

Lindsey asserted Cuba’s exit will kneecap Maduro.

“[Trump] said Maduro has to go. He’s right. Give Cuba an ultimatum. Without Cuba, Maduro doesn’t last one day. Tell Cuba to get out of Venezuela.”

But the senator also touted a military force option:

“Do what Reagan did in Grenada. “

And what did he do?

As described by Politico:

Citing the threat posed to American nationals on the Caribb;ean nation of Grenada by that nation’s pro-Marxist regime, on this day in 1983 President Ronald Reagan ordered U.S. forces to invade the island and to secure their safety. In little more than a week, Grenada’s government was overthrown.

Lindsey reiterated on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show:

“When Cuba got involved in Grenada, what did Ronald Reagan do?” Graham, a close Republican ally of President Donald Trump, asked. “He kicked them out. That is what I’d do with Venezuela.”

This ain’t Lindsey’s first time reference Grenada in relation to the suffering nation. On May 22nd, he wrote an 0p-ed for the Wallstreet Journal suggesting the same.

In fact, reportedly, Trump mentioned it himself — last year, as covered by RedState’s T.LaDuke.

What do you think about military force to the southeast? I look forward to your insight.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: here, here, and here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

While Trying To Lick The Cow Fart Problem, AOC Craps Up: Calls Reagan Racist, James Woods Responds

America Needs A Christian Revival

Senator Lindsey Graham: ‘Let’s Vote On The New Deal!’ His Motives May Not Be Wholly Altruistic

Find all my RedState work here.

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D-Day Remarks By President Reagan June-6-1984

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Today we mark the solemn anniversary of the 75 years since D-Day was begun. President Trump and other world leaders will meet today in France to honor the sacrifice the free world made all those years ago to free a continent and her people.

President Reagan also had this honor back in 1984 for the 40th anniversary of this occasion and his speeches are still recalled to this day for their eloquence.

Below is the video of one of the two speeches he made that day courtesy of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

The end of his speech has often been quoted and I hope it is still true today in this country.

We Will Always Remember
We Will Always Be Proud
We Will Always Be Prepared
So We May Be Always Free

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Ocasio-Cortez Clowns Herself With Attack On Free Speech After Video Compares Her to Dictators

Westlake Legal Group aoc-ocasio-cortez-2-620x413 Ocasio-Cortez Clowns Herself With Attack On Free Speech After Video Compares Her to Dictators Ronald Reagan Politics Grizzlies Front Page Stories Fresno Free Speech Featured Story enemy of freedom democrats AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ SXSW 2019 by nrkbeta, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Over Memorial Day, the Fresno Grizzlies released a video of a speech being given by Ronald Reagan about the importance of freedom and those who have sacrificed for it. Near the end of the video, Reagan mentions the enemies of freedom and pictures flashed of domestic terrorist group Antifa, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The Grizzlies apologized after outrage erupted, but apologizing to the social justice left of which Ocasio-Cortez is a part, is a useless gesture.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to the video as well and claimed that videos like this inspire death threats to come at her constantly and that the first thing she does every morning is to review pictures of the “men” who want to kill her.

“What people don’t (maybe do) realize is when orgs air these hateful messages, my life changes bc of the flood of death threats they inspire,” tweeted AOC. “I‘ve had mornings where I wake up & the 1st thing I do w/ my coffee is review photos of the men (it’s always men) who want to kill me.”

AOC added that these threats increase when “Fox gets particularly aggressive + hateful,” and that her interns are seeing hateful messages all the time.

The socialist democrat from New York ended by stating that words matter and have consequences for safety. Words that lead exactly where you’re thinking they’re going.

“For those who believe in “free speech”: whose free speech do you believe in?” tweeted AOC. “[Because] some folks using free speech to defend racism are also supporting folks passing laws to allow running over protesters.”

I’m going to skip over the sexism AOC injected into her thread here, as the fact that she’s sexist has been covered ad nauseum by multiple outlets, including this one, and by me on multiple occasions. In fact, all you really need to do is lightly scroll through her Twitter feed and you’ll see her blaming men for something.

The elephant in the room here is the fact that our democratic socialist sweetheart just advocated for the restriction of free speech by questioning free speech advocates on how far it should go…right after being mad about being compared to dictators.

To be clear, death threats against sitting officials are already a felony, and I have yet to meet anyone who supports the advocation of a death of a person or people. I’m not saying they don’t exist, but I am saying that this is a fraction of a fraction of people that the vast majority would disagree with, and that those threatening her are breaking the law.

Free speech has its limits, even in America, and our boundaries are pretty clear. People making death threats crossed them. You’d figure a person elected to make laws would know this.

That said, she brought up more than threats in her tweet. She brought up the idea of “defending racism,” which on the social justice left can mean anything from actual racism to people simply disagreeing with a person of color on a policy. The social justice left has a habit of blowing oppositional speech out of proportion, and I have zero doubt she’s doing so again here.

We know she has a habit of altering intent as she did call Ben Shapiro’s offer to debate a “catcall.”

Here’s the kicker…

What Ocasio-Cortez just did is call for the stripping — or at least the restriction — of a Constitutional freedom due to the fact that she received death threats. I don’t doubt she did receive them. I see President Donald Trump get them quite openly too often. However, her target wasn’t at the death threats themselves.

Her target was the video that listed her an enemy of freedom and defenders of “racism” because they allegedly generate death threats. Her advocacy for the reduction of freedoms from the citizenry…sort of…kind of…but actually definitely makes her an enemy of freedom.

So I guess the Grizzlies were right.

 

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‘Fat Sex Therapist’ Says Fitness Trainers Are Nazis, That Children Dieting Is Sexual Assault

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Westlake Legal Group Screenshot_23-620x353 ‘Fat Sex Therapist’ Says Fitness Trainers Are Nazis, That Children Dieting Is Sexual Assault white supremacy university Ronald Reagan Politics insane Gender Studies Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Fat Sex Therapist Crazy Bonkers

No, that headline is not me just being mean. There is actually a lady who bills herself as a “Fat Sex Therapist,” and she’s apparently in demand enough to be booked for a two hour speech at St. Olaf College.

I’ll give you one guess to what department at the college she was giving this speech too.

Correct. It was the “Women’s and Gender Studies” department because who else would think this woman is worthy of listening to for two hours? In the course of her speech, she hit a little bit of everything, from comparing fitness trainers to nazis, accusing child dieting of being sexual assault, and asserting that the Christchurch shooting was a result of white supremacist fitness.

Campus Reform has the story.

I truly believe that a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex,” Sonalee Rashatwar, whose Instagram username is “The Fat Sex Therapist,” proclaimed Thursday from the main stage of St. Olaf College.

She continued, “I experience diet culture as a form of assault because it impacts the way that I experience my body.”

These comments and more were made in the context of her two-hour speech, sponsored by St. Olaf College’s Wellness Center, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, and Center for Equity and Inclusion, on the topic of “radical fat liberation.” The talk included assertions that fitness contributed to the recent Christchurch shooting, that people should “challenge” the rule of law, as well as the authority of and the police.

“Tonight we’re gonna start by talking about how to politicize our definition of body image,” Rashatwar began, “because oftentimes we actually get stuck thinking of it from a white supremacist lense.” She explained how “white supremacy happens every day in all these little little things.”

During the course of her talk, Rashatwar listed science as one of these supposedly white supremacist everyday things.

“We should be critical of the use of science and the production of knowledge to continue promoting this idea that certain bodies are fit, able, and desirable…is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure, or is it my experience of weight stigma?” Rashatwar asked. She then connected the science suggesting that obesity is unhealthy to Nazism, saying that “fatphobic” science is “often actually eugenic science….eugenic science is Nazi science.”

What in the actual…

“This conversation about pushing off our own wellbeing onto the individual is part of these 1980s Reagan era policies that again try to move that structural obligation of a system and this social safety net onto the individual,” Rashatwar said, “instead of thinking that there should be social supports that also help me to subsidize my food costs.”

There it is. I just knew it’d end up being a Republican’s fault. Apparently Reagan refused to subsidize her food costs or something? I don’t know, this woman is clearly certifiable so it’s hard to keep up.

She then jumped into recent events by bring up the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Finally, Rashatwar took a crack at recent events, particularly the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand.

“I do not think it’s surprising that the man who shot up Christchurch, New Zealand was also a fitness instructor,” Rashatwar said. After making this claim, she added that the shooting is “a clear communication that there’s still an idealized body. Nazis really love this idea of an idealized body, and so it makes a lot of sense to me that a fitness instructor…might also think about an idealized body in this thin white supremacist way.”

The shooter in Christchurch had a lot of crazy motivations. As far as I know, weight loss wasn’t one of them.

Crazed liberals can connect white supremacy to literally anything they don’t like. In this case, this woman’s obviously self-destructive, morbid obesity isn’t her own fault. It’s instead the fault of Ronald Reagan and white supremacists. I didn’t say it had to make sense.

As hilarious as this is, and I’d recommend reading the entire thing at the link because it’s completely bonkers, it really shows the depravity of the university system in this country. There’s is essentially nothing too insane to entertain as long as it projects an inter-sectional narrative. Everything is white supremacy. Everything is someone else’s fault. Is it it any wonder so many young adults emerge from this crazy factories with no actual life skills?

What value is a gender studies degree from this place? What job is going say “well, you really learned a lot from that fat sex therapist lecture so you’re hired!”

The entire concept of college in America needs to be re-thought at this point because people going hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt to end up with useless degrees and being indoctrinated by nonsense like this isn’t a good investment.

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