The fear that the Earth faces an unprecedented threat from “human-induced climate change” has become an article of faith among the chattering classes. Open dialogue has all-but disappeared, as even professional societies succumb to groupthink. Scientists who stray from the so-called “consensus” are subjected to professional censure. One is Alberta’s Allan MacRae, who had the temerity to write about the damage done to humanity and the environment by radical greens. “The takeover of environmental institutions by extremists is now almost complete,” write Tom Harris and Dr. Jay Lehr on PJ Media, and truth is only one of the victims.
Great news for Deadwood fans – a movie version’s out! The HBO TV series vividly traced the history of Deadwood, South Dakota, from a rough-and-ready 1870s mining camp into a thriving small town, bawdily showing how civil society and functioning politics can overtake a lawless state of nature. The May 31 release of the new Deadwood movie enabled Robert Herritt to reflect on its deeper themes in The New Atlantis. “Deadwood inverts a certain rationalist picture of the social and political — of top-down, technocratic deliberation as the ideal of proper action,” Herritt writes. In recognizing reason as subordinate to the exigencies of life, Deadwood subtly presents a Burkean philosophy. That’s certainly one explanation for the aptly named Swearengen’s continuous F-word eruptions.
In 1961 U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned of the “military-industrial complex,” an unholy alliance that would devour revenues, undermine democratic politics and commit America to endless wars. Early this century American man of letters Gore Vidal updated Eisenhower with his description of the “permanent war party,” one wing of which was called “Democrat” and the other “Republican.” In his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to extricate the United States from military adventurism and end America’s “forever wars.” Andrew Bacevich, writing in The American Conservative, was initially hopeful that Trump would follow through. The latest tensions with Iran, however, lead Bacevich to think Trump will likely not prevail against his generals and bellicose advisors.
New York Mayor Bill Deblasio jumped into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination this week, expanding the field to 21, and doubling down on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Green New Deal by decreeing that another conventional glass and steel high-rise tower will never be built in the “Big Green Apple.” At times like this one needs a bracing dose of rational energy economics analysis from the Manhattan Institute.
Initially you had to look and listen hard to the news about the Easter massacre in Sri Lanka to learn that it was committed by Islamofanatics. In this it was unlike the recent mosque slaughter in New Zealand, for example, which immediately touched off a tsunami of news about the dreaded global menace of violent white extremism. But here and there you could find stories about western liberalism’s willful blindness to growing international violence against and persecution of Christians, among them this moving piece by Ross Douthat.
Like all things Trump-related, the release of the Mueller report was divisive. Even the Democrats are split over whether it should trigger impeachment proceedings. The evidence of amoral behaviour is certainly malodorous, as this piece from the never-Trump conservatives at The Bulwark make clear, but that’s hardly news, let alone a crime. Over at the left-leaning Intercept Glenn Greenwald painstakingly shows that Mueller found no actual proof of collusion with the Russians. Less clear is whether the White House tried to obstruct the investigation, but the Dems will be hard pressed to convince Americans the president should be impeached for covering up a crime that wasn’t proven.