Category Archives: Ethics

There’s No Russia Scandal; But There Are Improprieties Media Prefer To Ignore

Donald Trump, Ethics, Etiquette, Family, Foreign Policy, Russia

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt pulled political strings to help daughter McKenna Pruitt get into law school. Pruitt wanted to get her an internship at the White House, but it had already been taken by … Ivanka Trump.

Seriously, there’s no Russia scandal; but there are improprieties the media prefer to ignore, nepotism both in the case of the Pruitt daughter and in the case of the first daughter and her husband comfortably ensconced in the White House.

Filings show that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Earned More Than $80 Million Last Year.

AND, “Jared Kushner Backed Qatar Blockade a Month After Qataris Wouldn’t Finance His [failing] Property.”

“Liberal Brains Are Pickled In The Formaldehyde Of Identity Politics”

Constitution, Democrats, Donald Trump, Ethics, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Republicans, War

THE NEW COLUMN IS “Liberal Brains Are Pickled In The Formaldehyde Of Identity Politics.” It’s now on WND.com and on the Unz Review.

“There are no more civil libertarians left,” warned celebrated attorney Alan Dershowitz.

The topic was the left. The location was Tucker Carlson’s TV studio, May 30.

Dershowitz, a life-long liberal and civil-libertarian, has refused “to allow partisan politics to pre-empt his views on the Constitution,” in general, and in the matter of Grand Inquisitor Robert Mueller and his tribunal, in particular.

Conversely, the  American Civil Liberties Union has supported the FBI’s manifestly unconstitutional raid on Michael Cohen’s offices, even asserting that the seizing of client-attorney privileged files from the Trump attorney was kosher.

“… all indications thus far are that the search was conducted pursuant to the rule of law,” crowed the ACLU, in “stunning rebuke to the basic concepts behind the [organization’s] mission.”

To ACLU silence—and in contravention of that quaint thing called the Fourth Amendment—Mueller had previously taken possession of tens of thousands of emails exchanged among President Donald Trump’s transition team.

The meek, weak Jeff Sessions has failed miserably to bust these sham, kangaroo-court proceedings, leading former House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz to carp: “The attorney general is just not up to the job.”

In the absence of an effective legal counterweight, Mueller, of course, is getting away with it.

On TV, Dershowitz has been joined by the talented Mr. Turley (Jonathan Turley, Esquire), in protesting the warrantless theft of the Trump campaign’s emails.

Let the record show that Dumbo Napolitano (Fox’s Judge Andrew) seconded Mueller’s legal authority, declaring, on December 18, 2017, that, “Mueller did not improperly obtain Trump’s transition emails.”

Talk to the hand, Judge Napolitano, because this face ain’t listening to you any longer.

“The left is less interested in civil liberties,” observed Tucker, ruefully, to which Alan Dershowitz quipped: “The ACLU is dead in the water when it comes to defending the civil liberties of people they don’t agree with.”

Do “the shoe is on the other foot test,” Dershowitz instructs. Ask yourself: “If the shoe were on the other foot, would you be taking the same position you’re taking today?” Everyone has to pass it.

Having taken the test, you’ll sympathize with the intractable positions against the partisanship of justice, taken by civil libertarians like Alan Dersh and libertarians like this writer. …

…  Another near-extinct political animal is your old-school, antiwar liberal. …

… READ ON. THE NEW COLUMN IS “Liberal Brains Are Pickled In The Formaldehyde Of Identity Politics.” It’s now on WND.com and on the Unz Review.

UPDATED (6/1): Ron Unz Spills The Beans About Another Typical, Parasitical, DC Non-Meritocratic Non-Profit

Conservatism, Ethics, Etiquette, libertarianism, Old Right, Paleoconservatism, Political Philosophy, Racism

“Over the years, various people have expressed curiosity about” Ron Unz’s firing from The American Conservative, now a crypto-liberal, wishy-washy publication.

I was one of the curious. So, the great Ron Unz, now publisher of the far more successful Unz Review has obliged in “Why The American Conservative Purged Its Own Publisher.”

Daniel McCarthy, editor of The American Conservative, beloved of “rightist” libertarians, certainly rejected my copy since 2006. My last piece in TAC was in 2006: “Mackinnon’s Textual Harassment.” “American Creed” was an earlier piece, hardly shabby.

But that’s nothing. It’s one thing to reject controversial copy from independent, unaffiliated scribes. The same “editor” rejected his publisher’s not-insubstantial essays. Oh the sanctimony! Oh the pomposity!

Next, McCarthy, in his self-righteous sanctimony (it bears repeating), tells publisher Ron—he who pays the piper—that his “analytical study of American urban crime” belongs in a White Nationalist hate-site!

Still, The American Conservative, remarks the intellectually honest Mr. Unz, had “a uniquely vigorous opposition to Bush’s foreign wars.” As did I, starting on 9/19/2002. Yet TAC, and most libertarian outlets, for the most, could be relied on to reject my own (dare I say powerful?) anti-war copy.

Conversely, Jason Richwine and political operative Jack Hunter were embraced by TAC, but not Ron Unz’s work (and certainly not my own, whose writings preceded the first two youngsters by at least a decade). I wonder why?

Hunter, says Mr. Unz, brought with him to TAC the usual libertarian worship of Ron and Rand Paul. (Oh, I see: I’ve criticized the two plenty although I like ’em. Libertarians pray to their sacred cows like mainstream. I believe it was Karen De Coster who once blurted out, in frustration, “They’re still politicians, for heaven’s sake.”)

The late Larry Auster eviscerated the “founding editor of The American Conservative,” calling Scott McConnell “The Paleostinian Conservative,” and pointing out that McConnell “twice endorsed Obama for president yet continued to call himself a conservative.”

As Ron Unz details—and following the funding model of DC Swamp think tanks and their websites—The American Conservative spent their benefactor’s money on hiring their kids and hiking salaries. That’s how the non-meritocratic swamp works.

Duly, Mr. Unz soon noted the “large growth in TAC’s operating expenses, staffing levels being disproportionate to actual output, minimal workload required and full-time editorial and business employees.” What a gig if you can get it!

Look, talent that writes in the tradition of the Old Right could be syndicated in every paleoconservative or paleolibertarian publication there is. We could mount a fight against mainstream if we united and were not afraid to harness talent and let it do what talent does. We’d get the readers. Instead, each Old Right publication fortifies itself in some atrophying, barely read ideological attic, deluding itself that it has a reach.

Total solipsism.

Each of our webzines or print magazines puts on airs and graces, rejecting talent (for some reason) and sticking with the comfort zone.

Just like the mainstream, our side reverts to the compliant, mediocre mean.

We on the Old Right are losers because our think-tanks and publications, such that they are, divide and expunge, while the neocons and the cons unite and dominate. I mean, who reads Mona Charen, yet she remains a syndicated feature because the monied gate-keepers want it that way.

UPDATE (6/1):

“The nadir [on TAC] was The Southern Avenger lecturing us on how bad blacks and gays have it.”

Tom Piatak At Chronicles writes:

Rod Dreher [of TAC] used his perch at The American Conservative to attack one of the men who founded that magazine, Pat Buchanan. Dreher charged that Buchanan’s column from the previous Tuesday, “If We Erase Our History, Who Are We?”, was a “shameful defense of white supremacy,” “abhorrent,” and “disgusting, racist, indefensible.”

Asia: Turning Exotic Species Into Meals, Pets And Snake Oil Potions

America, Asia, Culture, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Ethics, The West

It’s a tragic truth, but wild life will go the way of Western culture. By that I mean that when the West is no longer; wild life, now on the wane, will likely die out, too.

“Asia’s appetite for endangered species is” insatiable, warns The Economist.

In Indonesia, if not for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), “an American NGO, which helps bring half of all cases of wildlife crime to court,” there would be no convictions and hence no deterrent to the orgiastic culling, poaching, trafficking:

… The Indonesian island straddles the boundary between Asiatic and Australian species—and boasts an extraordinary number of species found nowhere else. But the market also symbolises how Asia’s amazing biodiversity is under threat. Most of the species on sale in Tomohon have seen populations crash because of overhunting (habitat destruction has played a part too). Fewer than 6,000 crested macaques now inhabit the forests. The cuscus hangs on by its fingertips—or its curling, prehensile tail. …

… Trade in wild birds is supposedly circumscribed. Yet the ferries are crammed with them: Indonesian soldiers returning from a tour in Papua typically pack a few wild cockatoos or lories to sell. One in five urban households in Indonesia keeps birds. Bitung feeds Java’s huge bird markets. The port is also a shipment point on a bird-smuggling route to the Philippines and then to China, Taiwan, even Europe. Crooked officials enable the racket. …

… As for the tiger, in China and Vietnam its bones and penis feature in traditional medicine, while tiger fangs and claws are emblems of status and power. Fewer than 4,000 tigers survive in the wild. The pressure from poachers is severe, especially in India. The parts of over 1,700 tigers have been seized since 2000. …

…  Owing to Asian demand for horns, the number of rhinos poached in South Africa leapt from 13 in 2007 to 1,028 last year. The new frontline is South America. A jaguar’s four fangs, ten claws, pelt and genitalia sell for $20,000 in Asia. Between 2013 and 2016 authorities in Bolivia seized 380 jaguar fangs.

South Africa auctions permits to hunt a few rhinos each year, with the proceeds supposed to fund conservation. This has provided cover for poachers. One Thai smuggler used prostitutes to pose as legal trophy hunters; the dead beasts’ horns ended up in Asia. Schemes to farm animals, which some said would undercut incentives to poach, have proved equally harmful. Lion parts from South African farms are sold in Asia as a cheaper substitute for tiger, or passed off as tiger—either way, stimulating demand. The farming of tigers in China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam provides cover for the trafficking of wild tiger parts. Meanwhile, wild animals retain their cachet—consumers of rhino horn believe the wild rhino grazes only on medicinal plants.

THE REST: “Asia’s appetite for endangered species is relentless.”