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The “Don’t Say Gay” Bill That Doesn’t Say Gay

Florida’s so-called “Don’t say gay” bill is a parent right’s bill that doesn’t say “don’t say gay.”

Here is what it does say: laws.flrules.org/2022/22 (Download PDF)

Here is the contentious “Don’t Say Gay” portion of the just over 3-page bill:

3. Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.

Charlotte Cushman explains the uproar in Grooming Our Children: We Need to Fight Back.

 

 

Ideology: Candace Owens vs. The Founding Fathers

From Candace Owens:

Wars are fought over land and money—never ideology. Ideology is what those that are in power use to convince those beneath them that they should be willing to lay down their lives on behalf of. Virtues and values are never practiced by those that demand we die for it.

From the Declaration of Independence:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Writes Ayn Rand on ideology:

“A political ideology is a set of principles aimed at establishing or maintaining a certain social system; it is a program of long-range action, with the principles serving to unify and integrate particular steps into a consistent course.”

“It is only by means of principles that men can project the future and choose their actions accordingly.”

“Anti-ideology consists of the attempts to shrink men’s minds down to the range of the immediate moment, without regard to past or future…above all, without memory, so that contradictions cannot be detected, & errors or disasters can be blamed on the victims.”

“In anti-ideological practice, principles are used implicitly and are relied upon to disarm the opposition, but are never acknowledged, and are switched at will, when it suits the purpose of the moment. Whose purpose? The gang’s.”

“Thus men’s moral criterion becomes, not ‘my view of the good—or of the right—or of the truth,’ but ‘my gang, right or wrong.’ ” [“The Wreckage of the Consensus,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal]

 

Mark Levin: Appeasement of Putin Encourages Genocide

According to Levin, “Isolationists believe that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine doesn’t affect us. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As Putin storms Ukraine, history teaches us that appeasement of madmen like Putin only encourages more genocide. And as Mark illustrates, evil exists in more places than just in Russia. And America’s security starts overseas.”

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Conservatives of the “Far Right” for Putin?

“To combat petty larceny as a crucial danger, at a time when murder is being committed, is to sanction the murder.” – Ayn Rand

***

Trump on Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine: Sarcasm or Approval?

From a radio interview with Clay Travis & Buck Sexton:

BUCK: Mr. President, in the last 24 hours we know Russia has said that they are recognizing two breakaway regions of Ukraine, and now this White House is stating that this is an “invasion.” That’s a strong word. What went wrong here? What has the current occupant of the Oval Office done that he could have done differently?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, what went wrong was a rigged election and what went wrong is a candidate that shouldn’t be there and a man that has no concept of what he’s doing. I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, “This is genius.” Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful. (sarcastic)

The word “sarcastic” was included in the written transcript by the interviewers but is not included in those who use the quote to condemn Trump. Was Trump being sarcastic? Much of those condemning Trump’s statements quote it as if Trump was not being sarcastic.

Trump continues:

So, Putin is now saying, “It’s independent,” a large section of Ukraine. I said, “How smart is that?” And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s strongest peace force… We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy… I know him very well. Very, very well.

The “No, but think of it” indicates Trump does not believe Putin’s hype about independence.

Trump then goes on to say that Putin would never even think of invading Ukraine if Trump were in office:

By the way, this never would have happened with us. Had I been in office, not even thinkable. This would never have happened. But here’s a guy that says, you know, “I’m gonna declare a big portion of Ukraine independent,” he used the word “independent,” “and we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep peace.” You gotta say that’s pretty savvy. And you know what the response was from Biden? There was no response. They didn’t have one for that. No, it’s very sad. Very sad.

If Putin’s moves were so “savvy” and “smart”, why would they be “not even thinkable” under a Trump administration? This is because Putin’s, “smart,” “savvy” and “genius” for sending military forces into Ukraine, is not that he invaded Ukraine (which would not be “smart” in Trump’s estimation if done during his term in office), but that Putin did so under a Biden administration.

This is because, as many others have noted, Biden projects weakness. (See The Hill: 62 percent polled say Putin would not be moving against Ukraine if Trump had been president).

On a fundamental level Putin, by invading Ukraine is not “smart”, or more precisely, is not rational. Where he is “smart” to do so, is to select the timing of the invasion: under a Biden administration. This is like a thief who has made the irrational decision to rob a bank but uses his engineering “smarts” to successfully do so.

As Niall Ferguson has noted, “Biden is the idiot.”:

In Russian literature, there is a great novel: Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.

Biden is the idiot.

The reason this happened is because the Biden administration slowed down deliveries of armaments to Ukraine, lifted the sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was supposed to bypass Ukraine, signaled to Russia that the U.S. would not support Ukraine militarily, and therefore made it clear to Putin that he had an opportunity to take military action with only sanctions to fear.

In regards to Biden in Afghanistan, Trump states:

[…]

After 21 years, I wanted out of Afghanistan.

We were gonna be out. I got it down to 2,000 we were getting ready to pull them out, but we were pulling them out with very great strength. We were gonna keep Bagram, not because of Afghanistan. We spent billions building this base, has the biggest and longest runways in the world, and it’s one hour away from where China makes its nuclear weapons. So I was keeping that and keeping it in full force.

But I was getting out of Afghanistan, and we would have gotten out with tremendous strength and dignity and power and respect. Instead, we look like we surrendered — and you know we didn’t lose an American soldier in Afghanistan for 18 months. I had a talk with Abdul, who’s the leader — the current leader also. He was the leader and now he’s current leader.

And we had a very strong talk. And from the time I had that talk, not one American soldier was killed. And it was an amazing thing. Biden actually said that. He said not an American soldier was killed in 18 months, and his people were screaming at him, “Well, keep going! Find out something that was wrong,” and he didn’t do that. No, I was…

We were gonna pull out with great strength, we were gonna keep Bagram, and we were pulling out of other locations, too, where there’s no reason for us to be there. They hate us. We don’t particularly like them.

In regards to NATO, Trump says:

And you look at NATO, I called it a paper tiger. I said, “As soon as a problem comes up, you’re gonna have people that pull away,” and I got them to pay $400 billion. You know they were all delinquent.

Not all. There were eight countries out of 28 that were paid up, including us. We were paid up. We were more than paid up. We were making up the difference. But we have 28 countries, and eight were paid up, and you had 20 countries that were not. And I was asked a question by one of the presidents of one of the countries in a closed meeting, “Does that mean…?”

And the press goes wild over this: “Does that mean that something happened and Russia…?” ‘Cause it used to be the Soviet Union, but Russia. It’s close enough in terms of militarily (chuckles), as you’ve probably noticed this weekend, but, “Do you mean to say that you wouldn’t protect us?” And I said, “You mean you’re not paid up and you want us to protect you?” I said, “That’s right. We will not protect you if you’re not paid up.” You know what happened? The next day, billions of dollars flowed in.

On Biden sending Troops to Eastern Europe:

Well, I’d rather see them send soldiers to our southern border. I’d rather see them… In three weeks, you could finish it. They won’t even let Texas use our military, which is all bought, sitting there waiting to be put up. It could have been erected in less than three weeks. It could have been two and a half years to get started ’cause we had to win 11 lawsuits. I’d rather see our southern border protected. But I don’t like the idea he’s sending a small number of troops.

It’s a joke compared to what the other side does. You know, he sends 3,000 troops I heard this morning, 3,000 troops. What’s that gonna do except get in trouble? No, I would like to see our southern border protected and they are handling Ukraine so badly.

On Biden’s anti-oil policies benefiting Putin:

Remember — I put something out this morning — Russia is becoming very rich because the oil price has been driven up so much and that’s their primary source of income.

So much that those army tanks you see going back and forth all over the place, that’s peanuts compared to the amount of money they’re making: $40 a barrel when I was there, $1.86 a gallon of gasoline and now you have some places where it’s over $7, and it’s going up a lot higher.

This has been Trump’s foreign policy thought since his Presidency, notes Michael Shellenberger:

For all his fawning over Putin, Donald Trump, back in 2018, defied diplomatic protocol to call out Germany publicly for its dependence on Moscow. “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump said. This prompted Germany’s then-chancellor, Angela Merkel, who had been widely praised in polite circles for being the last serious leader in the West, to say that her country “can make our own policies and make our own decisions.”

The result has been the worst global energy crisis since 1973, driving prices for electricity and gasoline higher around the world. It is a crisis, fundamentally, of inadequate supply. But the scarcity is entirely manufactured.

Europeans—led by figures like Greta Thunberg and European Green Party leaders, and supported by Americans like John Kerry—believed that a healthy relationship with the Earth requires making energy scarce. By turning to renewables, they would show the world how to live without harming the planet. But this was a pipe dream. You can’t power a whole grid with solar and wind, because the sun and the wind are inconstant, and currently existing batteries aren’t even cheap enough to store large quantities of electricity overnight, much less across whole seasons.

In service to green ideology, they made the perfect the enemy of the good—and of Ukraine.

[…]

The reason Europe didn’t have a muscular deterrent threat to prevent Russian aggression—and in fact prevented the U.S. from getting allies to do more—is that it needs Putin’s oil and gas.

***

It’s important to note that Trump is not the only one who makes fawning statements about dictators. For example, COVID fascist Justin Trudeau’s praise of the Chinese dictatorship:

“There is a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime…having a dictatorship where you can do whatever you wanted, that I find quite interesting.”

(For more on Trudeau I refer you to Free Society vs Authoritarian State: Trudeau’s Canada Reveals the Core Conflict of Our Age.)

This is not to approve of Trump’s fawning language over dictators which gives them moral sanction.

Compare this to Ronald Reagan’s condemnation of the communist Soviet Union, or Bush’s identification of the “axis of evil”, though I wonder how sincere it really is, given Trump’s policies, left Putin at a distinct disadvantage. Putin only had to wait for a Biden administration, to implement EU “green” energy policies, that crippled U.S. energy and filled up Putin’s coffers. One also notes, with Putin’s evasion, the EU has changed course and is implementing policies that “dumb” Trump was advocating during his Presidency as Germany-sans Merkel is dramatically increasing military spending.

As Barr notes in his book “One Damn Thing After Another,” Trump could’ve beaten Joe Biden in 2020 if he had “just exercised a modicum of self-restraint, moderating even a little of his pettiness.” Trump tends to be a “stream of consciousness” speaker, which at times means he can be interpreted in many different ways. This is his own fault.

Unfortunately, others are the so-called nationalist, “right” are not open to such a charitable reading.

Pat Buchanan: Putin “the Patriot”

Writes nationalist Pat Buchanan in “Did We Provoke Putin’s War in Ukraine?“:

“Whatever we may think of Putin, he is no Stalin. He has not murdered millions or created a gulag archipelago. Nor is he “irrational,” as some pundits rail. He does not want a war with us, which would be worse than ruinous to us both. Putin is a Russian nationalist, patriot, traditionalist and a cold and ruthless realist looking out to preserve Russia as the great and respected power it once was and he believes it can be again.”

Putin is no “patriot” — a lover of freedom. His idea of nationhood is one where he can use his political power – the power to legally use force – to extract billions from the Russian people: crony politics (falsely identified as “crony capitalism.”) His tradition, are the methods he learned as a KGB agent for communist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. His anti-free market, highly regulated state is setting the Russian economy back a century. His great fear is that the countries that “border” Russia will undermine his iron-fisted rule. Writes Buchanan:

When Russia’s Vladimir Putin demanded that the U.S. rule out Ukraine as a future member of the NATO alliance, the U.S. archly replied: NATO has an open-door policy. Any nation, including Ukraine, may apply for membership and be admitted. We’re not changing that.

On what grounds, or principle, can the Russian de facto dictator, dictate the foreign policy of another country? There is none. Yes, Putin is not Stalin, in practical result (Stalin and Lenin killed far more people than Hitler), but operates under the same principle: observe Putin’s absolute devastation of Ukrainian cities, and the killing of men, women, and children.

Putin is no creator like American businessman Elon Musk but is a destroyer.

***

Unfortunately, a similar tact to Buchanan is taken by Candace Owens (whose views on domestic policies, though not perfect, are far better):

Candace Owens: NATO At Fault

Writes Ms. Owens in a tweet:

“I suggest every American who wants to know what’s actually going on in Russia and Ukraine read this transcript of Putin’s address. As I’ve said for months—NATO (under direction from the United States) is violating previous agreements and expanding eastward. WE are at fault.”

Again NATO’s “expansion” is only possible by mutual agreements between nations. A foreign leader has no say in what a sovereign, semi-free country like Ukraine, agrees to. That they wish to form closer alliances with Europe, as opposed to Putin’s Russia, is no grounds for invasion.

Bob Moran cartoonTucker Carlson: Why Do You Hate Putin?

Ask Tucker Carlson, on his number one political TV show:

“Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle-class job in my town to Russia? Did he manufacture a worldwide pandemic that wrecked my business and kept me indoors for two years? Is he teaching my children to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl? Is he trying to snuff out Christianity?”

Much as the “left” is using Putin’s aggression to deflect from their domestic failures (such as COVID fascism of government vaccine mandates and scientifically unjustified lockdowns of the healthy), Carlson’s argument ends up deflecting blame for Putin to attack those failures. The Putin-lite failures of COVID fascists are something that needs to be attacked, but not at the expense of attacking Putin as the two are not mutually exclusive, but are manifestations of the same, anti-freedom, statist principles.

Tucker Carlson is right in condemning rights-violating actions (to the extent they are rights-violating) on the domestic front, but his line of thought is no defense of the dictator Putin.

What Putin did do is kill/imprison people who disagreed with him, rob Russians of billions of dollars through political cronyism, and annihilate entire cities in Ukraine.

One wonders if Mr. Carlson is in fact the one on fentanyl.

As Ayn Rand observes:

To combat petty larceny as a crucial danger, at a time when murder is being committed, is to sanction the murder.

The otherwise intelligent Carson should know better. Thankfully in later shows he has shifted from condemning “petty larceny” and is using his platform to go after the “murderer.”

Mark Levin: Putin is a murdering, genocidal maniac

As conservative-constitutionalist, Mark Levin, author of American Marxism (recommended by Leonard Peikoff) notes:

Isolationists believe that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine doesn’t affect us. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As Putin storms Ukraine, history teaches us that appeasement of madmen like Putin only encourages more genocide. And as Mark illustrates, evil exists in more places than just in Russia. And America’s security starts overseas.

 

(Though I agree with Levin on the U.S. being involved in battling dictatorships, this should not involve shedding American blood in other countries where the U.S. has no self-interest. Levin does not advocate sending troops into Ukraine.)

Daniel Duffy: Lack of Moral Clarity About Putin Dilutes Thinking

  • World

Writes veteran Daniel Duffy on how “American Appeasement of Russia Led to War in Ukraine” in The American Thinker:

In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia.  Shortly after, President Obama announced a “reset” policy with Russia.  This was consistent with President Bush, who found Putin “straightforward and trustworthy.”  In 2014, Putin punished Ukraine for ousting its pro-Russian puppet president by annexing Crimea.  The West responded with tepid sanctions.  President Trump equated Putin’s killings of journalists and dissidents with the actions of the United States not once, but twice.  “There are a lot of killers,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly in a 2017 interview.  “You think our country’s so innocent?”  In 2015, he said, “I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe, so you know.”  He continued to describe Putin as a leader and someone whom he respects.

No, the United States isn’t perfect. But the lack of moral clarity when equating a country that has representational government, freedom of speech, real elections, a mostly free economy, and a separation of church and state with the monstrosity of a dictator like Putin emboldens the Kremlin and does real damage. Putting Putin on an equal footing affects the way we think of our relations with him.

If someone were your moral equal, why would you hesitate to become largely dependent on him for natural gas? To Trump’s credit, he did in fact warn Europe that this was not a good idea. But the point is that the lack of moral clarity dilutes our thinking.

[…] So what’s wrong with the precedents set by all these administrations? The common denominator is that they negate the nature of Russia. The West views these events — the invasion of Georgia here, attacking American troops there — as episodic. Westerners haven’t connected the dots.

Read the rest.

WSJ: Protection From COVID Through Natural Infection

From “Hybrid Immunity Kept Omicron Deaths Low in Countries Where Millions Aren’t Fully Vaccinated” in the WSJ:

When the highly infectious Omicron variant reached Asia a few months ago, India and Indonesia had a major gap in their defenses: Two-thirds of their populations were yet to be fully vaccinated.

But the countries are emerging from their most recent Covid-19 waves with a fraction of the deaths they recorded during the onslaught of the earlier Delta variant. Their deaths per capita are even lower than more vaccinated places that have better healthcare systems such as South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.

A big part of the reason, epidemiologists say, is that developing nations hit hard by the Delta wave last year acquired high levels of immunity through infection. And that protection appears to have endured. Studies in India, Indonesia and South Africa show widespread prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies, far outstripping their vaccination rates.

[…]

Natural immunity, which refers to antibodies acquired through infection, was widespread in Indonesia when Omicron arrived. One study from October to December of roughly 20,000 Indonesians found that 74% of unvaccinated Indonesians had protective antibodies, according to Pandu Riono, a University of Indonesia epidemiologist who worked with government researchers on the study.

[…]

Government serological surveys in India conducted last year have similarly shown that 97% of New Delhi residents and 87% of Mumbai residents have antibodies against Covid-19.

[…]

Some research suggests that immunity from infection lasts longer than immunity from vaccination. Dorry Segev, a professor of surgery and population health at NYU Langone Health, an academic medical center, led a team that published a research letter last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that unvaccinated people maintained natural immunity up to 20 months after infection. He said that further research under review shows that this immunity was substantially protective against Omicron. Research from Israel and the U.K. show waning immunity from vaccination after a few months.

Novak Djokovic, Hero For The Right to Body Autonomy, Will Not Be Barred From Playing in the French Open

From Tennis Now:

Reigning Roland Garros champion Djokovic will be permitted to defend his crown in May after the French government announced it will end mandatory masking indoors and COVID-19 vaccination pass requirements on March 14th.

That ruling means the unvaccinated Djokovic, who was booted from Australia and unable to defend his Melbourne crown, can play the clay-court major starting May 22nd and the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters set for April 10-17th provided governmental protocol stands.

French Prime Minister Jean Castrex announced vaccine passports will no longer be required to enter venues or arenas as of March 14th.

The COVID-negative Djokovic was deported from Australia for being an “icon” for body autonomy (“anti-vaccination sentiment”) by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison — who as I write this has tested COVID positive “but will continue his official duties while isolating.”

 

Joe Biden: America’s Racist in Chief

 

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

 

“The person I nominate…will be the first Black woman nominated to the United States Supreme Court.” – U.S. President Joe Biden

The nominee, is a Democrat Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a capable candidate (any rejection of her would be due to the political bent of her judgments, and not because of her IQ).

I don’t have an opinion on Jackson, but her skin color or that she has a womb and XY chromosomes (is a woman) should have no bearing on whether one is nominated as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Such “affirmative action” hires only stigmatize those selected as not being able to earn their position based on merit.

As for the Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, here is what he has to say:

Other zingers:

The Hill: 62 percent polled say Putin would not be moving against Ukraine if Trump had been president

From “62 percent of voters say Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine if Trump were president: poll“:

62 percent of those polled believed Putin would not be moving against Ukraine if Trump had been president

“A majority of American voters say that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have invaded Ukraine had former President Trump still been in office, according to a new survey released on Friday.

“A new Harvard Center for American Political Studies (CAPS)-Harris Poll survey released Friday found that 62 percent of those polled believed Putin would not be moving against Ukraine if Trump had been president. When looking strictly at the answers of Democrats and Republicans, 85 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats answered this way.

“However, 38 percent of all Americans polled believed that Putin would have invaded Ukraine even if Trump had been president.”

The majority believe Putin Saw Weakness in Biden

“A majority of Americans polled — 59 percent — also said they believed that the Russian president moved on Ukraine because Putin saw weakness in President Biden, while 41 percent said that it was not a factor in Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

U.S. “Selective” Sanctions Does Not Kick Russia Out of SWIFT

“The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Russian financial institutions, Russian elites and their family members, the Nord Stream 2 AG — the parent company of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline — and, the White House confirmed Friday, Putin himself, among other entities.

“However, the U.S. has resisted calls to kick Russia out of the SWIFT international banking system, despite appeals from Ukrainian officials and some U.S. lawmakers.

Niall Ferguson: “Biden is the idiot.”

  • World

Historian Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, speaking on Bari Weiss podcast on “Russia’s War on Ukraine: A Roundtable“:

In Russian literature, there is a great novel: Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.

Biden is the idiot.

The reason this happened is because the Biden administration slowed down deliveries of armaments to Ukraine, lifted the sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was supposed to bypass Ukraine, signaled to Russia that the U.S. would not support Ukraine militarily, and therefore made it clear to Putin that he had an opportunity to take military action with only sanctions to fear.

The administration’s strategy was to threaten the worst sanctions—as if sanctions were going to deter Putin. Then they tried something even crazier, which was to say, “You’re going to invade, and we know the date”—as if that was somehow going to stop him from invading. And the worst thing they tried was to get the Chinese to dissuade him from invading, when the Chinese had given him the green light on the condition that he didn’t go until after the Beijing Olympics.

This has been a debacle that has allowed a massive war to break out, one that could have been prevented had there not been such clear signs of weakness.

(Joe Biden apologist, Francis Fukuyama, disagrees.)

Ferguson later adds:

The problem is that we created the possibility of Ukraine’s joining NATO and joining the European Union. But our actual attitude was like that New Yorker cartoon of the guy on the phone who says, “No, I can’t do Thursday. How about never?” We never seriously meant for them to join NATO or the EU. We didn’t supply nearly enough armaments for them to deter Russia from attacking. And as a consequence, we have a massive geopolitical crisis that could have been avoided. Telling people that you saw it coming is not an act of strategic genius. It’s an act of strategic feebleness.

The consequences of this are far-reaching indeed. First of all, in the administration’s anxiety to avoid even higher inflation, they’re desperately trying to resuscitate the Iran nuclear deal and get Iranian oil back onto the world market in the process, making all kinds of concessions that I think will come back to haunt them. Meanwhile, in China, Xi Jinping is watching this fiasco and saying to himself, “Well, if the most I have to fear is the threat of sanctions, then if I decide to take control of Taiwan, I’m in good shape.” And when Putin took out his little nuclear saber and rattled it, we were immediately deterred. The Europeans were so terrified that they immediately canceled the plan to make fighter jets available to the Ukrainians, which they had offered in the early days after the invasion.

Listen to the podcast.

***

As an aside:

Brook: Elon Musk Best Represents “The Spirit of America”

Yaron Brook is at his finest as he explains why capitalist Elon Musk best represents “the Spirit of America”:

Starlink is high-speed, low-latency broadband satellite internet engineered by SpaceX.

Shellenberger: How Green Ideology Empowered Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine

  • World

Michael Shellenberger on how green ideology empowered Putin and when it comes to understanding the relationship between energy independence and political-economic security Putin is “smart” and Europe and much of the West has been “dumb”:

How has Vladimir Putin—a man ruling a country with an economy smaller than that of Texas, with an average life expectancy 10 years lower than that of France—managed to launch an unprovoked full-scale assault on Ukraine?

[…]

Missing from that explanation, though, is a story about material reality and basic economics—two things that Putin seems to understand far better than his counterparts in the free world and especially in Europe. 

[…]

The reason Europe didn’t have a muscular deterrent threat to prevent Russian aggression—and in fact prevented the U.S. from getting allies to do more—is that it needs Putin’s oil and gas. 

[…]

For all his fawning over Putin, Donald Trump, back in 2018, defied diplomatic protocol to call out Germany publicly for its dependence on Moscow. “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump said. This prompted Germany’s then-chancellor, Angela Merkel, who had been widely praised in polite circles for being the last serious leader in the West, to say that her country “can make our own policies and make our own decisions.”

The result has been the worst global energy crisis since 1973, driving prices for electricity and gasoline higher around the world. It is a crisis, fundamentally, of inadequate supply. But the scarcity is entirely manufactured.

Read the rest…

Related:

Ukranian Kira Rudik: On Why She Fights For Freedom

 

China: “Taiwan is not Ukraine”

  • World

From “Lawmakers fear Russian invasion could increase Chinese threat to Taiwan” (Washington Examiner):

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are sounding the alarm that Russia’s attack on Ukraine could increase the threat of China invading Taiwan, with some calling for the United States to ramp up its efforts to deter an incursion. These concerns spiked after China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday that “Taiwan is not Ukraine,” arguing it has “always been an inalienable part of China” and refusing to call Russia’s actions an invasion.

[…]

House Foreign Affairs ranking member Micheal McCaul said he believes it is “only a matter of time” before China invades Taiwan, noting that at least nine Chinese military jets have already been seen crossing into the self-governed island’s airspace. “I think we all saw this unholy alliance coming together at the Beijing Olympics, where Putin and [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] were hand-in-hand condemning NATO’s ‘aggression’ and calling for the West to stay out of the South China Sea and Taiwan,” the Texas Republican said in an interview.

“So these two events are interconnected and intertwined, and I think Putin has always wanted to do this, it was all about the right time. And I think Xi has always wanted to take Taiwan — it’s about basically going back to the glory of their empires.”

[…]

McCaul said that after speaking with military officials, he believes the U.S. needs to help provide Taiwan with the resources necessary for the island to prepare for an attack.

Deterrence is always a key. I didn’t really see any deterrence with respect to Ukraine. In fact, waving the Nord Stream 2 sanctions [last May] was, in my judgment, a really bad mistake and emboldened Putin,” he said in an interview.

Recommended:

 

Enes Freedom Booted From NBA For Defending Freedom

Writes Marc Thiessen in the Washington Post on why “Enes Freedom was cut for exposing how U.S. corporations became foreign agents of Communist China“:

When the United States supported China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in the 1990s, through its admission in 2001, the hope was that U.S. businesses would influence China to be less repressive. Instead, U.S. businesses became lobbyists for the totalitarian regime here at home. It’s not the Chinese government that is trying to silence Freedom; it’s the NBA — worried about its bottom line and its corporate sponsors — who pressured Freedom to stop criticizing China, and then clearly drove him from the court when he refused. The Chinese Communist Party sat back and watched while its paid vassals did its dirty work.

Their malign influence extends beyond the basketball court. U.S. corporations now effectively act as foreign agents of the Chinese regime, lobbying Congress on its behalf. Freedom pointed out that U.S. corporations such as Apple, Coca-Cola and Nike lobbied against the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which bans imported goods made with slave labor. “Instead of Communist Party, they are the ones that are doing their propaganda,” he said.

Then there is the hypocrisy. Companies such as Coca-Cola spoke out against Georgia’s voting law but now sponsor the Olympics in a country engaged in genocide. They “preach social justice at home but ignore it when it could affect their revenue” from China, Freedom says.

[…]

When he became a U.S. citizen in November, he changed his last name from Kanter to Freedom. Now, for exercising his newfound freedoms, he might lose his basketball career. “I’m 29,” he told me. “I’m healthy. I can play another six years. So, hope that’s not the case.” But he adds, “If that is the reason that I am not going to be able to play basketball again, then you know what? Oh well. I can look back at least and say I did the right thing.”

Many other athletes share Enes Kanter Freedom’s convictions, but not his courage — which is why Beijing made an example of him. The Chinese regime might have the power to silence its critics at home. But for the NBA to help a totalitarian dictatorship reach into this country and punish one of its leading critics is a disgrace.