Would Nathan Hale have felt the same if his daughter were murdered during a weekend of gun violence in Chicago? Or murdered by an oft-deported Illegal at Pier 39 in San Francisco. Or incinerated during a hellacious wildfire in Paradise, California that was the inexorable result of a quarter-century trend among “progressive” Democrat Leftists intent on constricting responsible forestry policies, even when it costs human lives, so that they can boast of protecting a spotted owl? Or murdered because the society stopped locking up the pathologically deranged?
“My only regret is that she had but one life to give for climate change and the spotted owl. My only regret is that she had but one life to give so that we could reduce the police presence in our inner city community.”
This stuff really is horrible. Pointless deaths, lost lives, lost dreams and hopes. Children who no longer will giggle. Adults who no longer will aspire and dream. Lives snuffed out in vain. A country too politically correct for almost anyone of authority to stand up and say, “We have to stop these crazy ideological crusades in pursuit of Left-liberal theories when they cost lives.” Go ahead and ban soda or straws or plastic bags, if some existential need exists to control others’ lives. But when society imposes an ideological agenda to the extent that it is killing hundreds of people needlessly, it has to stop.
When it comes to the fallaciously named “Black Lives Matter,” we all may recoil. That is just a game of Leftist newspeak and corruption of language, akin to manipulating other words like “Dreamers” and “Affordable Care” and “Progressive.” For those of us who passionately care about Black lives and about all lives — all humans are created in G-d’s image — nothing could be more hostile to Black lives than a movement dedicated to denigrating law enforcement and to criminalizing everything from the police to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). All lives matter. White lives matter. Blue lives matter. Lives of people of all colors. Rock-ribbed conservatives are the first to declare that Latino and Asian and Black lives matter equally as much as Caucasian lives. When any group succeeds, we all succeed.
When any group falters, everyone else gets hit with taxes to pay their welfare, food stamps, healthcare, increased crime prevention, drug addiction rehab, and the plethora of other government services. Of course conservatives want African Americans to succeed and contribute more Ben Carsons who can lead with breakthroughs in brain surgery for everyone. Of course we want all groups to build successful businesses, to discover cures for cancer, to work alongside us and watch our backs as we watch theirs at the workplace — so that we never become France or Albania. Because we abhor identity politics, we encourage the potential in each human. Nor can we abide the Democrat Left wiping out so many future generations of certain discrete populations with abortions. Liberals project their own prejudices onto others. They set aside quotas as a surrogate for merit and earned achievement. Conservatives just don’t look at Blacks, Latinos, Asians the ways that the Left does. Left liberals like Van Jones, Rachel Maddow, Don Lemon, Nancy Pelosi cannot believe that because they are so race-centric in their own biases that they cannot help but project onto others.
“BlackLivesMatter” — the version that comes in initial caps — is not about Black lives. It is about hating cops and wanting police officers dead. It is in league with black-hooded Antifa Klansmen whose maskings Congress and local governments should have banned long ago. The ongoing murder of African Americans in inner-city Chicago and Baltimore enclaves, week after week, attracts no attention, no sympathy from “Black Lives Matter” because to them Black lives do not matter a darned whit. They are at war with blue-uniformed lives. However, for others of us, Black lives matter deeply.
How many African American mothers and fathers never will see their children grow to adulthood, to graduate from higher schooling, to bring home paychecks and build lives, to marry, to have and rear children into adulthood and higher schooling? How many Black homes this Thanksgiving and Christmas will have empty seats at the dinner table that were meant for sons and daughters who now are dead, martyred to a meme of the Left, murdered in Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago or in other inner-city high-crime zones like Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis, and Memphis? How many were martyred on a Left-Progressive mantra of reducing the police presence and weakening aggressive policing?
Rudy Giuliani, the last real Republican quasi-conservative mayor of New York City, saved more Black lives than Black Lives Matter ever has or will. He enforced law, even broken-windows and jumping-turnstiles law, and he got killers off the streets. How many Black children owe their now-adult lives, unknowingly, to the Republican conservative mayor whose law enforcement initiatives assured that they never even would realize that he had saved their lives from the potential murderers whom he had locked up?
And now these wildfires in Paradise, California and throughout the state. These wildfires are not about human-made climate change. Stop it already. Stop it. People are dying in material part because California long ago instituted radical ideological policies choking the ways of proper responsible forestry. The timeline is unmistakable — the increased intensity of the hellacious fires parallels the “Progressive” legislation. Corporate profits are hateful to the Left. Whole causes are built around suppressing petroleum companies, hydraulic fracturing, even logging. By contrast, their social media monopolies and entertainment media enterprises, from movie to television production, remain protected. For the past quarter century, dating to the Clinton years, forestry regulations have multiplied to suffocate companies and the government, impeding efforts to cut down all the trees they otherwise would have felled. Even manifestly dead and dying trees — more than 130 million dead trees — are protected. Vast swaths of dried brush, the fuel that feeds massive fires, are sacred pyres that must not be cleared until wildfire ensues. Controlled burns are severely reined in. Trees likewise may not be cleared to open room for wider roadways that would allow fire-fighting machinery more rapid ingress. These rules get sycamore and more each day.
Timber harvesting has been cut in half, so we end up importing lumber from Canada and China. Did you grasp that? We are buying lumber from Trudeau and Xi as though we are living among the “Settlers of Catan” — spending our money to build others’ economies — while our own rich trees stand, waste, and rot, martyred to the spotted owl and climate-change extremists. The crazy thing is that the trees are going to disappear eventually anyway. Only, instead of the wood bolstering our economy, it will murder people by wildfire incineration while releasing massive tons more carbon dioxide into the environment. Meanwhile, radical environmentalists have forced severe logging-permit requirements on the federal government, which owns some 60 percent of California’s forests. But Nature has not changed, so trees still die, leaves and brush still fall, dry out and fuel mass incineration. As explained by former California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, now Vice President of National Initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation:
Some two decades ago, California produced so much wood waste from its timber operations, including brush and small trees from thinning efforts, that the resulting renewable biomass powered electric generating plants across the length of the state. But cheap, subsidized solar power, combined with air quality concerns (wood doesn’t burn as cleanly as natural gas) and a lack of fuel due to cutbacks in logging, led to the closure of many biomass generators. What used to be burned safely in power generators is now burned in catastrophic fires.
Ironically, as Mr. DeVore notes, one major fire alone can release more carbon dioxide than all of California’s climate change programs can save in a year.
With one party controlling everything in California, including the vote-counting apparati and the massive influx of non-Americans into the societal infrastructure, Democrat “Progressives” cannot be stopped in the tarnished-gold state. They do and force through anything they want. It is not only about plastic bags and plastic straws. Consider this great social travesty of the age: the Democrats’ brutal hidden tax imposed against the economically destitute by the wealthy class who have constructed a vicious traffic-fine system that superimposes hidden and unexpected “surcharges” of hundreds of dollars onto lower-priced traffic infractions. A driver who gets a $100 ticket learns in traffic court that the hidden surcharge makes it $500. A more serious $500 moving violation gets surcharged to $2,000. The rich shrug and pay it or do traffic school. At worst, they have lost part of a day’s income. The poor have no choice but to sit all day in traffic court, terrified but hoping haplessly to contest their tickets before traffic judges who are handcuffed by the mandatory hidden surcharges. They learn at day’s end that the Democrats’ hidden-tax system has stolen from them a month’s earnings. They go home broke and too unsophisticated to realize that their votes brought this on themselves.
If the Democrats and their Left allies want to waste $77 billion on a high-speed train from and to nowhere, they cannot be stopped. But when they create deadly rules governing forestry to advance exotic theories about spotted owls and whatever mantra strikes their fancy, the bloods of those lost lives cry out from the earth. (Gen. 4:10) Yet few dare say, “The Emperor not only is naked — but his torso is on fire.” The President tweets and his Interior Secretary reiterates, and the Left media mock and titter. How inappropriate! Yet so many of these deaths are purposeless, martyred to theories and memes that place grizzly bears and spotted owls, stumps, and trunks above human lives. Who among those now dead in Paradise, California would say that her only regret is that she had but one life to give for the spotted owl and for politically correct human-made climate-change theory?
Yes, California is natural desert land, rife for forest fire. Of course, no matter what, there will be many forest fires in California. The state experiences some years with some or even heavy rain, many other years with little or no rain, even parching drought. A few times yearly, the region contends with enormously powerful desert winds, the “Santa Ana winds” as they are known in Southern California, and they can and do churn a small fire, perhaps initiated inadvertently by a car’s or lawnmower’s sparks, into a ferocious hellfire. No question that these perilous natural phenomena also are at play and always will be, regardless of public foresting policy. And yes, in certain ways at certain times in certain places, the climate assuredly does change. Science cannot be denied — just as the science cannot be denied that a fetus at some point during its gestation in the womb is a life.
So, yes, the climate changes. Sometimes it heats up for a cycle of years. Then it cools off for a cycle. Then it heats up. Sometimes for decades in one direction and sometimes in the other. And with all the air pollution in the newly developing countries and unregulated factories in China and India and unregulated oil production in Saudi Arabia, it is a zero-sum game: The oil we do not produce here gets produced dirtier in Saudi Arabia for us to purchase it from those who hacked and acid-washed Khashoggi. The trees we do not log here will be harvested and logged in China with fewer environmental or humanitarian protections. The planet’s climate will not benefit a smidgeon by radical “progressive” environmental regulations.
This epoch of deadly wildfires will continue — and scores upon scores of beautiful dear lives will continue to be wasted — until public policy changes. This time, though, celebrities’ mansions in Malibu were impacted, too. That is the way of California now. When it hits the homes of the celebrities and the Silicon Valley billionaires, public policy changes. Otherwise, only Left memes and mantras. With the Hollywood or Silicon Valley and San Francisco power brokers, if they did not live by double-standards they would have no standards at all. Hollywood supports increased taxes on everyone. But Hollywood itself demands for itself tax abatements in movie production — or they move out of state to other locales that give them tax breaks. Hollywood opposes guns and The Wall, but they live with armed guards behind their huge fenced-and-walled Malibu and Beverly Hills estates. Hollywood and Silicon Valley oppose big money in politics, but they draw on Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer and George Soros and the whole Silicon Valley crowd for hundreds of millions to impact elections. They yell about Putin impacting elections, but they rigidly control the news that is disseminated on their Facebook and Twitter and CNN platforms, even down to blacklisting the ridiculous-but-sweet Diamond & Silk and the targeted advertising that is permitted. Hollywood and Silicon Valley care for the Homeless, but they zealously protect their own low-concentration rigid zoning laws that prevent or otherwise minimize residential construction in their restricted, low density communities. No homeless encampments in Beverly Hills or Malibu.
Hollywood demands restrictions on police but expects maximized day-and-night patrols through their neighborhoods. Hollywood and Silicon Valley oppose charter schools for the inner cities, but all their children attend private schools that others cannot dream of affording. Hollywood and Silicon Valley oppose forestry that would endanger a dead tree or some spotted owl, but their own homes are replete with topiary gardening and meticulously gardened-and-cleaned lush grounds, courtesy of under-paid and exploited Latinos whose arrivals they promote from south of the border. Hollywood and Silicon Valley defend allowing the Homeless to congregate and shoot needles and defecate and urinate on the streets of San Francisco, but they arrange for their own employees to eat their lunches and dinners on the companies’ Silicon Valley campuses so that they may avoid encountering Frisco’s decay. Perhaps the greatest enduring image of Hollywood Left hypocrisy: demanding that the Cleveland baseball team abandon its “Indians” logo and sobriquet, and the same for the Washington Redskins football squad — but Jane Fonda gleefully waving a tomahawk, shamelessly cheering on the Atlanta Braves when she was married to that team’s owner, the Democrat Left billionaire who also created CNN.
Of course the dry desert climate always will play its part in California’s wildfires. But the man-made tragedy stoking those flames is not of climate change but of extreme radical environmental forestry policies that stump the reasonable. The metaphoric result: a Golden State where Democrat Progressive Hellfires now consume Paradise.