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Passage to India

Carbon conservatism comes into its own. Also: Jilting the marriage amendment. John Wayne's high notes. Outsource to right to work states. Borscht vs. Blintzes. Plus more.

10.3.07

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WHY NOT ITS FINEST HOUR?
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch's Cameron's Carbon Conservatism:

I never thought of carbon offsets this way before, but I now have this Monty Pythonesque image of the Great White British Conservative Party Leader journeying to India on an airplane, with legions of poor persons in the Commonwealth Countries furiously pedaling irrigation pumps to supply the energy input to move this jet to cross the sky. It puts any project performed in the ancient world with slave labor to shame.
-- Paul Milenkovic
Madison, Wisconsin

Mr. H.G.P. Colebatch provides invaluable perspectives on the Old Empire, and especially the Great Britain of (some of) my ancestors. He writes of the social breakdown now underway in England.

Mr. C's description of the so-called "Conservatives" in Britain today suggests that Labour and the Social Democrats will win another five-year lease to control the government. Sigh. Current Tories make our domestic Republican Party look like the Rock of Gibraltar (hmm, another bit of Empire to be trashed...).

I urge my conservative friends here in the U.S. Midwest: don't slam the door to immigrants. Soon we must welcome to America the next giant wave: a huge flow of European refugees, from our Old Countries lost to the Mohammedan tide that the 20th-century Europeans started but would not stop. Mr. C notes the huge outflow of people already occurring from Britain. Our cousins "vote with their feet," against the Mohammedan slave society they see advancing behind the veil of social leftism.

One thought -- if anyone in the British National Party entertains any notion of "going mainstream," now is the hour to act. Labour and Social Democrats have sold Britain to Europe. The Conservatives forfeit the contest without fighting. Who's left to speak for the (now-dwindling) descendants of Old Britain? Who can inherit the mantle of Cromwell...Pitt...Lloyd George...Churchill...?

May our gracious God grant that Britain's coming history not track that of the Fatherland of some others of my ancestors. Should Mohammedans seize control of the British government we may expect hard totalitarian nightmare to replace the soft secular socialism now ruining the land. Recall the horrid, post-Wilhelmine, let-it-all-hang-out decadence of secularized Germany under the Social Democrats. Germany suffered three horrendous economic and social crashes (1918-19, 1923-24, 1930 on) in a dozen years. Numerous Nietzschean political factions took advantage of the Weimar government's, and society's, shock and lack of will to survive. How did the increasingly desperate Germans deal with the social disorder in their streets, and the growing and varied threats of totalitarian socialism? With emigration--and appeasement. "Let's try to tame the beast. Give that Austrian painter some responsibility and see! He calls for a New Order! He'll drop all those silly overheated rants against the Jews and the Church once he actually has to govern..."

"Finis Germanae" (Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, 1944). Thirty years hence, will anyone then residing in Britain possess even a notion why 1940 remains its "finest hour"?
-- Dave Hanson
Fayette, Iowa

Australian spelunker and policy guru Hal Colebatch is incensed at Conservative Party Leader David Cameron contributing "to a large carbon-offset company, Climate Care, which does things like supplying treadle pumps -- treadmill-type devices-- to Third World villages rather than have them use diesel pumps," in order to undo the CO2 of the turbojet engines that lofted him to an event in still-agrarian India.

This suggests an appropriate energy bonanza in the offing, as energy efficiency in appropriate technology is paramount in curbing CO2. While paddlewheel pumps are ideally matched to the needs of irrigating rice paddies, human treadmill performance falls off direly at turbojet turning rates. Thus to minimize CO2 emissions in connection with environmental diplomacy, the international climate change conference circuit and Eco-Rock concert jet setting, participants in all of the above should transfer their transportation needs to specially retrofitted human powered paddle boats, possibly drawn from the Irawaddy Flotilla, as nobody is going to Burma these days anyway.

Propelled at a sensible 1 1/2 knots by the efforts of several hundred Third World pedestrians glad of such gainful employment , this Great Green Fleet could transport Mr. Gore's cohort from Hollywood to Stockholm or Cannes in six months flat, and whisk the entire International Panel on Climate Change from its venues to its labs and back in under 1,000, for the first time allowing all participants ample deck chair time to read the last edition of their vital work.

Most importantly, it will allow readers writers and editors of journals as diverse as the Nation and the Weekly Standard who now assemble offshore for a hopelessly brief cruise-ship week each year to apply themselves to the formulation of policy in adequate depth. Think how the political environment might be transformed were they to remain outside the 12-mile limit for a minimum of 52 weeks a year?

Move over, Churchill, this fellow Cameron may be on to something.
-- Russell Seitz
Cambridge, Massachusetts

I think about the Britain I once knew as a kid when I read Hal Colebatch's "Cameron's Carbon Conservatism" and feel so sad. I hate to think what my father and all those people's other "fathers" and "grandfathers" would say knowing that spineless, clueless and useless politicians have all but wiped out their sacrifices from previous decades. What an abuse of power and trust they illustrate in their behavior, thinking and actions. If the situation wasn't so depressing, it would be laughable that the current crop of 'leaders' across all parties in that once great country have the arrogance to think they are worth the jot. I mourn for the Britain I used to know and love and felt proud of. The politicians "running" the place are not worth the air they breathe, nor the air time they receive.
-- G. Constable
Sydney, Australia

A JOHN WAYNE SYMPHONY
Re: Larry Thornberry's Listen to This, Pilgrim:

Thanks for the report on "Duke" music by Larry Thornberry.

John Wayne was around all of my growing up years. I wasn't particularly a fan of his work and persona until recently. Over the past several months, I've taken to watching my J.W. favorites repeatedly, then getting into some of his old '30s Saturday matinee films.

My first choice Wayne movies are the WWII's: Sands of Iwo Jima, Flying Leathernecks/Tigers, Fighting Seabees, Back to Bataan ... and the WWII look-alikes: The Longest Day; In Harm's Way. Over the last year or so I have converted into one who loves to see John Wayne in any good movie (there are some bad ones ... like the one with air-headed Ann-Margret). The movie that turned me was Fighting Seabees. J.W. still looked pretty young. Girl-next-door cute (and smart) Susan Hayward adds immense enjoyment...good reasons for re-watching. Fighting Seabees reflects patriotism, romance, and idealism that continued in America up until the Left's aggression against our national will and decency during Vietnam. Even then, John Wayne stuck with us.

As far as John Williams' music is concerned, the "Florida Symphony 700" got by far the better deal on football night. No contest. Mr. Thornberry takes it a (musical) bridge too far, however, in Mahler vs. Williams. Just as Aaron Copland is no John Williams; John Williams is no Gustav Mahler.

Well, let's just say that John Wayne was a lovable tough guy who portrayed things the way we like 'em, and leave it at that.
-- Carl Gordon Pyper
Monett, Missouri

REJECTING REALISM
Re: W. James Antle III's Making Amends:

The social conservatives are right about the Federal Marriage Amendment. It's needed. That or coming out strong for EX-gay rights, which will make the FMA unnecessary.

Homosexual attraction and transgender feelings are preventable and treatable. The current crop of GOP candidates knows this (I told them several times), but have a hard time being that "judgmental."

Never mind that millions of people are going through life not understanding what's wrong with them or what they can do about it.

Never mind that "trannies" are undergoing irreversible amputations of their body parts in vain quest for their "true gender."

What a bunch of sissies!

The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality will be having its 2007 meeting October 26-28 in Dallas. Thompson and the rest should go, learn, network, and man up! Leadership sometimes means telling people (including those of one's own party) things they don't want to hear.
-- Sharon Kass
Washington, D.C.

The marriage debate is perhaps one of my biggest points in my idea that conservatives need the Change the Debate, rather than letting liberals define the debate. The problem we run into with things like the marriage amendment is that conservatives, like liberals, have bought the Progressive mind-set, hook, line, and sinker. Now all the progressives have to do is real us in. When a "religious conservative" starts talking about amending the Constitution to define what marriage is, he throws out the "conservative" part of his title and is now just another liberal, using government liberally to promote his particular religious agenda.

Instead of responding to secular liberal same-sex marriage advocates (judicial or legislative) with a religious liberal amendment to define marriage, respond with an appropriately conservative response. What business of the government's is marriage anyways? I've read the Constitution several times, I don't see anywhere in it that says the government, State or Federal, has any right to define a marriage, or provide the licenses for them. Remove the role of government in providing marriage licenses, and they can't define or deny marriage, can they?

The only place where government has right on marriage has to do with taxes. And this is perfect place to pull in the conservative Fair Tax. Give people the right to decide when they are taxed. More important, the major advantage of a government-approved marriage contract (taxes) is gone. And hey, give the people the right to decide their own social union contracts. Leave the government out of it. Marriage is a spiritual union, and is appropriately determined by the church, not the government. Not only does this give power back to the people, but it stops the same-sex marriage advocates in their tracks. After all, if the government isn't changing your taxes based on if you are or are not married, and no longer has any place on saying who is married at all.... How can anyone effect marriage as an institution? You can say you're married. Or not.

Of course, we still have to worry about children, insurance, and divorces, right?

This is where "social union contract" comes in. All the government acknowledges is that you have made a social union contract, a contract of mutual support (you men and women who wanna get hitched can call this marriage everywhere but the legal document) that is open ended (i.e., anyone can enter into said contract). This will force people to agree, beforehand, how mutual property will be divided upon a split. It can also provide for child support and custody, again before the union is signed.

As for insurance… well, insurance companies already accept "domestic partners" at their own discretion and under their own rules.

Now, think about just how elegant this solution is. Marriage is automatically protected, because it's no longer the purview of the government and out of the hand of any justice to change it. It goes back to what it was before Progressive government, a church function. And won't that make the Religious Right so very happy?

And being that same-sex couples can't be denied a marriage contract (because there aren't any) what can they complain about?

Okay, so they'll probably start lobbying the church to accept them. But hey, no judges can get involved there. J

That being said, I think Mr. Antle has the right idea. This is a bad issue to use to litmus-test your candidate. Use the Fair-Tax. Listen for the idea of Less Government. Not More Amendments.

Using those ideas, the front runners are Huckabee, Paul, and Thompson.

Giuliani and Romney are every bit as progressive as Clinton and Obama. They just have a different spin on it. And that's what we should really be thinking about this primary season.

Our Children depend on us.

Fight for your freedom, vote against government.
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

Mr. Antle is spot on in his article today. The Evangelical Christian, so called leaders, such as Dr. Dobson, etc. are their own worst enemies. They are never satisfied with anything other than 100% capitulation to their views. They never learn.

The Christian Right movement, like the Arlington Group, the Eagle Forum, etc. fought their guts out to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, and they won. Did they learn nothing of value in that fight? Instead, they learned the wrong lesson. They learned how powerful they were, not how to effectively go about effecting human behavior and national policy.

Roe v. Wade was decided by judges on a one-size-fits-all basis, and it is a disaster. Now the Christian Right "leaders" want to undo that disaster with a national one size fits all sweeping solution. They haven't been able to do that in all this time, despite their hard work. Have they learned nothing? With Federalism, we could have several states now that protect the lives of babies.

Now they are mad with Fred Thompson for his failure to sign on to a national, one size fits all DOMA. They are not going to get it. You can not get 67% of the Senate of the United States to vote to send it out for ratification. Heck, you couldn't get that many to vote on one common wording of the amendment. They can't even vote to protect the flag with a national amendment.

The NRA understands this common sense political reality. They have fought the gun rights battle state by state while working to block the draconian measures proposed in the national legislature. What is their track record of success? We now have "Shall Issue" concealed carry laws in all but a tiny handful of states. We now have "Castle Doctrine" laws of self defense in a significant number of states and the list expands every year. Do the Christian Right "leaders" not notice these results? Do they learn nothing from the NRA track record? Are they stupid?

I am very afraid that the Christian Right "leaders" are not really interested in results. They are solely interested in power, in flexing their political muscle. You are either 100% with them, or you are their enemy to be defeated. I am just so very sorry that there are so many folks that will sheepishly follow the dictates of such as Dr. Dobson and his like minded leaders.

I am interested in results. I would like to see marriage reserved for a man and a woman. But I am interested in the result, not who gets the credit, or how we get there. The same can be said about my interests regarding the protecting of babies in the womb. Fred Thompson has a solution to the marriage controversy that has an actual chance of working, take it out of the hands of federal judges and subject it to the will of the electorate, according to the principles of Federalism that this nation was founded upon.

We are a representative republic, not a democracy, and the nation's founders meant that the states should be paramount in all but a very limited set of truly national issues, like war and national defense. It is apparent that Dr. Dobson, and like minded leaders, would rather not see results in the push to ban same sex marriage, he would rather see his power confirmed. They are perfectly willing to withhold support from, and hopefully defeat Fred Thompson, than to get what they want in a form that they themselves didn't devise. I am betting that these ego centric, so-called leaders have decided that a Hillary Clinton Presidency or a Mayor Rudy Presidency would be good for their fundraising.
-- Ken Shreve
Surrounded by states that will NOT approve a DOMA

QUESTIONING McCAIN
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Political McCain Nation:

If the Constitution established the United States as a Christian nation, as Sen. John McCain said, how the devil did it happen that slavery was institutionalized in that sacred document? Is slavery a Christian value?
-- Fred Bales
Albuquerque, New Mexico

The irrepressible Jay D. Homnick quipped: "Most of us may think that Sura is the name of Tom Cruise's baby."

Mr. Homnick, I've heard rumors that Mr. Cruise so enjoys the Italian version of lawn-bowling that he gave that child the middle name of "Boccie". (And no, I'm not going to mount a defense for that one!)
-- David Gonzalez
Wheeling, Illinois

A NATURAL COMPARISON
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Reading Laura:

I love Malamud's book, The Natural. But I hate Redford's movie. Malamud, a much better writer than most Nobel Prize winners, wrote a true classic. His book was a tragedy; based on two real life incidents: the shooting of a baseball player who survived and played several seasons; and the Black Sox scandal.

Redford turned it into a typical piece of Hollywood schlock; complete with himself running around the bases with a dorky smile on his face after hitting a home run. In the book, the hero is disgraced by a scandal and the book ends with a kid telling him (as in the Shoeless Joe Jackson legend), say it ain't so.
-- Raymundo Aleman
San Antonio, Texas

I have always thought Laura to be a very exceptional person, but never knew of her difficulties until now. Now she is very special. Thank you for this wonderful information.
-- Gene Hauber
Meshoppen, Pennsylvania

LET'S NOT GO OVERBOARD
Re: Patrick Skurka's and Owen H. Carneal's letters in Reader Mail's Auto Worker Comeuppance and Eric Peters's Striking It Poor:

In his "Race to the Bottom" letter Owen Carneal mentions the comparative advantage of building cars overseas as a way to "kill[ing] their union albatross" and suggests that Chrysler, GM and Ford do just that. While his thesis has merit, his solution goes too far. There is no need to move production overseas. Instead, relocate to right-to-work states like Alabama and Tennessee, where unions are weak. In fact, it is even possible to set up shop in a non-right-to-work state like Ohio and succeed if the unions can be avoided. If the Germans (BMW, Mercedes) and the Japanese (Toyota, Honda, Nissan) can profitably do this the Big Three should be able to as well.
-- Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

Patrick Skurka in the Letters to the Editor column has it correctly. The UNION (UAW) is more at fault, and the culture it cultivated with the assembly line workers as Mr. Skurka explained in detail. The original article by Eric Peters has it correctly as well.

I am a daughter of the automotive industry, Generations of my family worked for Ford, GM and Chrysler. One family member, my Grandfather's uncle, was one of the founders of the United Auto Workers. Don't worry; you won't see his name on any UAW official history web site. Got to go back to the print and microfilms for that. NONE of that ancestor's descendants, not his grandchildren, nor his grand-nephews went into "the Union."

There are a few early books out that tarnish my relative's life with some associations with organized crime, but I know the real stories and that was not his way.

The current generation, "my" generation, none of us are in the automotive industry directly. A cousins' daughter's husband is the first in three generations to be in the industry once more. My father was in "management" all through the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s and till retirement in the early 1990s. For much of that time, the "union guys" he supervised had MORE medical and dental benefits for their families than the salary guys, and working "shifts" made a more money than the management guys. My father earned a college degree, because of GM paying a portion of the tuition and fees, he later became a quality control inspector after he finished his Masters at GM, sent there by the Company. One of the few benefits that "salary" had over "Union."

I saw the divisive culture first hand. When dad earned his college degree, our older working class neighborhood was no longer all that safe for us. The Strike in 1970 proved that. Several other families, kids I attended school with, that worked with my cad at the plant also moved at the same time, to the "other ghetto" the middle management one.

Older relatives still on the line were proud of dad, but anytime the issue of labor relations came up, it could get uncomfortable around the big dinner table at Grandma's.

There is a divide, and funny, the "rabble rousers" never lived in the "old" neighborhoods, and the "Union Reps" above a certain level, had more money and lived a different lifestyle than the rest, including management. Those "inside" the workings of the Union were different and seemed to make sure "the line" stayed in line.

None of my generation could even get a "starter" job in the factory since we had "management" relatives, although some high school friends of mine paid for college working at the assembly lines. There WAS a time where the union WAS a necessary organization. Now, it's the parasite that is killing the host.
-- S. Dent

Memo to the UAW:

When you find yourself in a hole, you should stop digging your own grave.
-- Mark Murphy

DEADLY RIVALS
Re: Jackie Mason's My Night with Bill Clinton:

Jackie Mason, as always, is spot on. I also always enjoy spell-check induced typos; to wit:

"The other night I tried to come back to my apartment after an evening of rivalry (basically borscht and blintzes), and found the way to my apartment blocked, and dozens of policemen and police cars in the street."

I guess I want to know which one won: The borscht or the blintzes?

Cheers!
-- Glen Leinbach
Ft. Collins, Colorado

Was that rivalry, or revelry? Seems like it could go either way.
-- Tom Bledsoe
Calhoun, Georgia

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