Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship

Conservatives care about the environment too. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. It is my opinion that this declaration is the answer.

The Cornwall Declaration intro-
Download the Cornwall Declaration (pdf)

The past millennium brought unprecedented improvements in human health, nutrition, and life expectancy, especially among those most blessed by political and economic liberty and advances in science and technology. At the dawn of a new millennium, the opportunity exists to build on these advances and to extend them to more of the earth’s people.

At the same time, many are concerned that liberty, science, and technology are more a threat to the environment than a blessing to humanity and nature. Out of shared reverence for God and His creation and love for our neighbors, we Jews, Catholics, and Protestants, speaking for ourselves and not officially on behalf of our respective communities, joined by others of good will, and committed to justice and compassion, unite in this declaration of our common concerns, beliefs, and aspirations.

Read the listed concerns and beliefs in the body of the declaration here.

The Conclusion-

Our Aspirations

In light of these beliefs and concerns, we declare the following principled aspirations:

  1. 1. We aspire to a world in which human beings care wisely and humbly for all creatures, first and foremost for their fellow human beings, recognizing their proper place in the created order.
  2. We aspire to a world in which objective moral principles—not personal prejudices—guide moral action.
  3. We aspire to a world in which right reason (including sound theology and the careful use of scientific methods) guides the stewardship of human and ecological relationships.
  4. We aspire to a world in which liberty as a condition of moral action is preferred over government-initiated management of the environment as a means to common goals.
  5. We aspire to a world in which the relationships between stewardship and private property are fully appreciated, allowing people’s natural incentive to care for their own property to reduce the need for collective ownership and control of resources and enterprises, and in which collective action, when deemed necessary, takes place at the most local level possible.
  6. We aspire to a world in which widespread economic freedom—which is integral to private, market economies— makes sound ecological stewardship available to ever greater numbers.
  7. We aspire to a world in which advancements in agriculture, industry, and commerce not only minimize pollution and transform most waste products into efficiently used resources but also improve the material conditions of life for people everywhere.

Click here to sign the Cornwall Declaration!

An Open Letter to the World

The following essay was written in 1988 by Rabbi Meir Kahane, only a couple of years before he was murdered by an Arab terrorist, Egyptian-born El Sayyid Nosair, who not only was convicted of his murder but also of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.


It appears that you are hard to please. I understand that you are upset over us, here in Israel. Indeed, it appears that you are quite upset, even angry and outraged? Indeed, every few years you seem to become upset over us. Today, it is the brutal repression of the Palestinians; yesterday, it was Lebanon; before that it was the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Baghdad and the Yom Kippur War campaign. It appears that Jews who triumph and who, therefore, live, upset you most extraordinarily.

Of course, dear world, long before there was an Israel, we, the Jewish people - upset you. We upset a German people who elected a Hitler and we upset an Austrian people who cheered his entry into Vienna and we upset a whole slew of Slavic nations - Poles, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians, Romanians. And we go back a long, long way in the history of world upset. We upset the Cossacks of Chmielnicki who massacred tens of thousands of us in 1648-49; we upset the Crusaders who, on their way to liberate the Holy Land, were so upset at Jews that they slaughtered untold numbers of us. We upset, for centuries, a Roman Catholic Church that did its best to define our relationship through Inquisitions. And we upset the arch-enemy of the Church, Martin Luther, who, in his call to burn the synagogues and the Jews within them, showed an admirable Christian ecumenical spirit.

It is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear world, that we decided to leave you - in a manner of speaking - and establish a Jewish State. The reasoning was that living in close contact with you, as resident-strangers in the various countries that comprise you, we upset you, irritate you, disturb you. What better notion, then, than to leave you and thus love you - and have you love us? And so we decided to come home - to the same homeland from which we were driven out 1,900 years earlier by a Roman world that, apparently, we also upset.

Alas, dear world, it appears that you are hard to please. Having left you and your Pogroms and Inquisitions and Crusades and Holocausts, having taken our leave of the general world to live alone in our own little state - we continue to upset you.

You are upset that we repress the poor Palestinians. You are deeply angered over the fact that we do not give up the lands of 1967, which are clearly the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Moscow is upset and Washington is upset. The Arabs are upset and the gentle Egyptian moderates are upset. Well, dear world, consider the reaction of a normal Jew from Israel. In 1920, 1921 and 1929, there were no territories of 1967 to impede peace between Jews and Arabs. Indeed, there was no Jewish State to upset anybody. Nevertheless, the same oppressed and repressed Palestinians slaughtered hundreds of Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Safed and Hebron. Indeed, 67 Jews were slaughtered one day in Hebron - in 1929.

Dear World, why did the Arabs - the Palestinians - massacre 67 Jews in one day in 1929? Could it have been their anger over Israeli aggression in 1967? And why were 510 Jewish men, women and children slaughtered in Arab riots in 1936-39? Was it because of Arab upset over 1967? And when you, World, proposed a U.N. Partition Plan in 1947 that would have created a Palestinian State alongside a tiny Israel and the Arabs cried and went to war and killed 6,000 Jews - was that upset stomach caused by the aggression of 1967? And, by the way, dear world, why did we not hear your cry of upset then?

The poor Palestinians who today kill Jews with explosives and firebombs and stones are part of the same people who - when they had all the territories they now demand be given them for their state - attempted to drive the Jewish State into the sea. The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of "idbah-al-yahud" - "Slaughter the Jews!" that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream - destroy Israel. What they failed to do yesterday, they dream of today - but we should not "repress" them.

Dear World, you stood by the Holocaust and you stood by in 1948 as seven states launched a war that the Arab League proudly compared to the Mongol massacres. You stood by in 1967 as Nasser, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Arab capital in the world, vowed to drive the Jews into the sea. And you would stand by tomorrow if Israel were facing extinction. And since we know that the Arabs-Palestinians daily dream of that extinction, we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own land. If that bothers you, dear world, well - think of how many times in the past you bothered us. In any event, dear world, if you are bothered by us, here is one Jew in Israel who could not care less.

A wonderful video tribute to Rabbi Kahane's Letter.

The Scientific Community, Academic Freedom and Hypocrisy Exposed

This is a movie the scientific and academic world doesn't want you to see. Ben Stein is brilliant and it is coming to theaters across the country April 18, 2008. Don't miss Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

Ken Ham says:

After seeing the movie, I urge all people NOT to miss it. It is eye-opening, astonishing, exposing, fascinating, entertaining, and intriguing! Ben Stein (presidential speechwriter, commentator, and comedian—and starring as the boring economics teacher in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) does a masterful job of exposing the overwhelming bias against belief in any intelligent design behind the origin of life on earth, something that is so rife through the scientific academic community.

You will be shocked by what you see and hear because you will begin to experience the hypocrisy in the scientific world concerning so-called academic freedom. The interviews with God-hating atheist Richard Dawkins (from Oxford University) will stun you. At the end of the movie, Richard Dawkins, considered the world’s leading evolutionary spokesperson, makes one of the most amazing statements I have ever heard him utter—admitting, without realizing or understanding what he himself said, and totally contradicting the other statements he made, that there has to be an intelligence behind life on earth—something he rejects! You have got to see this clip in April to believe it!
Watch the trailer.

What the women in Obama's life reveal about him.

This little article was sent to me by a friend. It has an interesting take on the whole "who is Barack Obama really" debate that has titlated the blogisphere of late.

"Cherchez la femme," advised Alexander Dumas in: "When you want to uncover an unspecified secret, look for the woman." In the case of Barack Obama, we have two: his late mother, the went-native anthropologist Ann Dunham, and his rancorous wife Michelle. Obama's women reveal his secret: he hates America.

We know less about Senator Obama than about any prospective president in American history. His uplifting rhetoric is empty, as Hillary Clinton helplessly protests. His career bears no trace of his own character, not an article for the Harvard Law Review he edited, or a single piece of legislation. He appears to be an empty vessel filled with the wishful thinking of those around him. But there is a real Barack Obama. No man - least of all one abandoned in infancy by his father - can conceal the imprint of an impassioned mother, or the influence of a brilliant wife (emphasis mine).

I have some difficulty with this analysis, perhaps because of my own bias. Like Obama, I too was more or less abandoned by my father at an early age and there can be little doubt that the greatest influence on upbringing was my mother followed closely by my maternal grandmother. Despite that, my mother and I are very different people. She remains a Hubert Humphrey Democrat and I as my readers know, am very much a man of the right.

We have similarities of course-we share a commitment to free trade and a hostility to illegal immigration. We are also both deeply patriotic with an ill concealed contempt for hippies. In the final analysis though, I think it would be a mistake presume that the ideology of the child will mirror the parent. If Obama's followers are guilty of wishful thinking about how he will govern (and they are), we on the right who oppose him should not be similarly guilty of filling in the blanks in a way that suits our proposes. Better to ask hard questions and demand answers than to brand Obama anti-American because of his wife and mother.

"Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers. Everyone shall be put to death because of their own sins" (Deut. 24:16).

"The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the son's iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous will be upon him and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon him" (Ezekiel 18:20).

Echo Park Time Travel Mart.

I have got to visit this place.

Derelict London.

Amazing views of urban decay.