Monday, 27 July 2015

Canada's clean air and water prove the Pope's wrong about capitalism.

Capitalism continues to lift millions out of poverty when given a chance. It also pays for cleaning up the air and water.   Pollution is way down in Canada as the Fraser Institute has to remind us every year.
"It is precisely in the countries where markets are relatively free, and where private enterprise is allowed to pursue profits, that we have seen the greatest gains in environmental quality over the past half century. The best examples of this are two decidedly capitalist countries, Canada and the United States.    On almost all measures, Canadians currently experience significantly better air quality than at any other time since continuous monitoring of air quality began in the 1970s. Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, for instance, have decreased sharply. Concentrations of carbon monoxide, a potent toxic emission, have decreased everywhere in Canada. And it’s not simply air quality that has improved. As previous reports have documented, water quality in Canada is generally quite good, and forests are no longer harvested beyond levels that are considered environmentally protective. More and more waste water is subject to high levels of treatment before being released to the environment, more solid waste is being diverted to recycling, soil quality has improved, and the size of protected areas has increased over recent decades. The United States has seen similar (if not greater) improvements in environmental protection. A 2005 report published by the U.S. Department of State summarized 30 years of environmental progress thus: “During this time, the U.S. economy grew by 187 per cent, population grew by 39 percent, and energy consumption increased by 47 per cent, yet air pollution decreased by 48 percent. In 2002, 94 per cent of Americans were served by community water systems that met all health-based standards, up from 79 per cent of the population in 1993.” And improvements continue. As of 2013, according to the EPA, ambient concentrations of carbon monoxide decreased by 84 per cent of their 1980 levels; ozone had fallen by 33 per cent; ambient lead by 92 per cent, and sulfur dioxide by 81 per cent over the same time span."
Pope Francis should make his point by telling the world: "Search out lands where smog is beaten back and sewage kept from streams. Such emulate".

If you click on the "lift millions out of poverty" link above, you'll find Michael Totten's article on the miracle turnaround in Vietnam, a sample herewith:
"State subsidies were abolished. Private businesses were allowed to operate again. Businessmen, investors, and employees could keep their profits and wages. Farmers could sell their produce on the open market and keep the proceeds instead of giving them up to the state. The results were spectacular. It took some time for a middle class to emerge, but from 1993 to 2004, the percentage of Vietnamese living in poverty dropped from 60 percent to 20 percent. Before Doi Moi, the command economy contracted, and inflation topped out at over 700 percent; it would eventually shrink to single digits. After years of chronic rice shortages, Vietnam became the world’s second-largest exporter of rice."

Saturday, 25 July 2015

President Trump: A credible preview.

This WHAT IF scenario comes from Roger Simon.  ("Get Used To It").
Amidst the humor you learn Trump has a drinks business in Israel and are reminded that negotiations will be brisk, that ISIS won't be getting any love, some deadwood will be fired and the private sector will be pumping out new jobs.  Iran will be out and Israel will be in.

"Trigger warnings" will be silly again.

Political Philosophies That Weaponize Losers

Use this meme to prevail in argument.  Sourced from Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit and applied to Western followers of ISIS and Communism.

More at Holland's "Political Pilgrims".  People who seek Utopian "hope and change" are driven by a deep discontent with their own societies, which leads them to deny or excuse the myriad moral defects of the places they visit. (Paraphrased).

Friday, 24 July 2015

The Trump Test: Are You More Populist Than Conservative?

Are you appalled at Trump's policy but drawn to his plain speech?  He's no conservative but he is a populist.  Populism is more democratic than conservatism.  Conservatism depends on policy, not how governments surrender to change.    I must be more populist than conservative because I want a break from suck-up phony language more than I want a balanced budget.

From Commentary Magazine:   Populism has been defined as “an ideology which pits a virtuous and homogeneous people against a set of elites and dangerous ‘others’ who are together depicted as depriving (or attempting to deprive) the sovereign people of their rights, values, prosperity, identity and voice.”
The encroachment of elites on my speech and behaviour in the personal realm has been bothering me more of late than the deficits, debasing of currency, and tentacular expansion of the state in the financial realm.  Some plain talk is needed.  Maybe homosexuality isn't the greatest or even a particularly good choice.  Maybe having children isn't bad and possibly even an awesome undertaking.   Maybe making nice to nasty people won't re-set the world and might even make it a more dangerous place.   Maybe letting kids play on their own as long as they get home in time for bed isn't child abandonment and possibly even a good way to bring them up.   Trump isn't saying that but the topics he has hit on get that kind of plain talk.

Two loudmouths (National Post)
Now that the US has it's own Rob Ford, embrace it for a bit.  Trump is as much of a political genius as your typical Hollywood star who likes to pontificate in front of a microphone.  But he has the ability to change the way the wind sock of public debate is pointing.  Even the current GOP roster of candidates will speak more plainly, if only to combat Trump.    I'll be listening to the August 6th debate.  (Hoping to see Walker shine and sorry Fiorina will miss).