Melanie Phillips: David Frost’s reflections on the revolution in Britain

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Edmund Burke, by Joshua Reynolds (1771).

The inestimable Melanie Phillips comments on the recent speech at Brussels university by David Frost, lead UK negotiator with the EU over the post-Brexit trade deal. It was, as she puts it, “a belter.” She continues,

“Straightening his country’s spine from its five-decade scoliosis as a demoralised supplicant at the European table, Frost reclaimed, on behalf of the British government, the moral and intellectual high ground for Britain’s departure from the EU – and for doing so entirely on the UK’s terms.

“This magnificent speech, which deserves to be read in full (as you can mostly do in this edited transcript here) had three essential components: an unequivocal statement that if the EU continues to insist on its “level playing-field” manacles, the UK will walk away; a confident put-down of all those who continue to insist that going it alone would be catastrophic for the UK; and a magisterial statement of why it matters so much that the UK becomes again an independent and self-governing nation.

“Moreover, Frost framed his remarks in the context of Edmund Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France”. Remarkably for a British official, he thus anchored the UK’s restoration of its ancient freedoms firmly in the context of its own culture, history and traditions – as well as calling back into much-needed service the words of the philosopher-genius who gave conservatism its foundational and now almost forgotten purpose of upholding and defending the social contract between the dead, the living and the unborn.”

She quotes Frost as saying – in rather ringing terms, I must say:

“… I do think the EU needs to understand, I mean genuinely understand, not just say it, that countries geographically in Europe can, if they choose it, be independent countries. Independence does not mean a limited degree of freedom in return for accepting some of the norms of the central power. It means – independence – just that. I recognise that some in Brussels might be uncomfortable with that – but the EU must, if it is to achieve what it wants in the world, find a way of relating to its neighbours as friends and genuinely sovereign equals.”

Huzzah! She then continues,

“David Frost has given the EU a lesson in what democracy and national independence actually mean. It was a great speech. It was also the thinking of a patriot who actually has faith in his country. Among our post-national official class who have long believed that Britain cannot survive through its own efforts, this is rare indeed.”

Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest! And, I might say, “Rule Britannia!”

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Tofu: This vegan food staple is damaging the planet | The Tab

Source: Tofu: This vegan food staple is damaging the planet

Some things just make you shake your head. Vegetarians, and especially vegans, tend to get on their self-righteous high-horse about how they’re “saving the planet” by declining to eat meat, and how plant-based diets are both more ecologically and ethically sound than that nasty meat. Turns out – surprise, surprise! – that this may not actually be the case.

“A new study by Dr. Graham McAuliffe has revealed tofu could be more harmful to the planet than chicken, beef and pork. Speaking at the National Farmers Union Dr. Graham McAuliffe of the Rothamsted Institute said after researching  tofu, he’d concluded it potentially causes more environmental damage because of the production to make the processed protein source.

“He said: ‘But if you look at tofu, which is processed so there is more energy going into its production, when you correct for the fact that the protein in it is not as digestible compared to the meat-based products, you can see that it could actually have a higher global warming potential than any of the mono gastric animals. To get the same amount of protein, tofu is worse.'”

Nor is tofu the only staple of vegetarian / vegan diets at which this article takes aim: almond milk, coconut, palm oil, cashews, avacados, and quinoa are among the foods in the cross-hairs. The article is written in a UK publication, for a UK audience, but it’s just as applicable to those of us here in the US.

Bottom line? As Barry Commoner put it in his Fourth Law of Ecology, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

There are trade-offs in everything; and it is sustainable agricultural techniques – that is to say, a move away from industrial, commodity-based agriculture to smaller-scale, more local and natural methods – that are our best bet for ecologically- and ethically-beneficial sourcing of foodstuffs, not replacing animal protein with plant-based (and often highly-processed) substitutes.

 

“So God Made a Farmer” – Paul Harvey | YouTube

Already shared this in my recent post about Bloomberg’s idiocy, but thought it deserved “top billing” in a post! Paul Harvey’s classic paean to the American farmer:

Full text of this marvelous speech may be found here.

 

Bloomberg implied farming doesn’t take intelligence in 2016 comments | Fox News

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Bloomberg: “I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer… Now comes the information economy… You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.”

Source: Bloomberg implied farming doesn’t take intelligence in 2016 comments | Fox News

When you’re not sure which is more breathtaking, the ignorance or the arrogance…! This is the frickin’ idiot that’s running for the Democratic Presidential ticket. I have to say, I don’t like any of them, but this is over the top. “We, the intelligentsia,” indeed. Horse puckey!

From one of the comments: “A farmer can live without Mike Bloomberg but Mike Bloomberg can’t live without a farmer, and I will side with the farmer.” Amen! Yes. So will I. Any day of the week! Bloomberg is a menace, on many levels. I have never liked him, for his opposition to the Second Amendment, but bashing farmers makes me despise him on a whole different level.

I will say one thing: this male (I won’t call him a man), and the rest of his “intelligentsia” (read: the arrogant coastal / urban elite) couldn’t live a week without what they disparage as “flyover country,” and the basket of deplorables, bitterly clinging to God and guns, who live there.

This individual is not only a sorry excuse for a political candidate, but he is a sorry excuse for a human being. Not that that’s new information, for me! I’ve known it for a long time; this is merely additional grist for the mill. I’d say he’s is full of bullsh_t, but that would be insulting to bulls. Putrid pustule of a person!

Because I hate to end on a negative note – Paul Harvey, among others, is one who thought of farmers rather differently than Bloomberg. Here he is:

 

Virginia’s New Secession Crisis | The Imaginative Conservative

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Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, West Virginia. Credit: Kevin King. (https://wvrivers.org/2019/12/survey/)

The governor of West Virginia has invited the disaffected counties of Virginia to leave the Old Dominion and become a part of the mountain state. The loss of these counties and their “deplorables” would mark an end to what little is left of the Old Dominion’s influence in the counsels of the nation.

Source: Virginia’s New Secession Crisis ~ The Imaginative Conservative

To be honest, I have historically had mixed feelings about the very existence of West Virginia (despite my great love for John Denver’s splendid song about her) – no offense whatsoever intended to the good people living there!

But it is, to say the least, deeply ironic that the same Federal government which refused to allow the Southern States to secede from the Union – launching a horrific, bloody war to bring them back by force – was perfectly okay with allowing a separatist rump legislature to secede what is now West Virginia from the Old Dominion.

But that’s history. And history, important (indeed, vital) as it is, is sometimes taken over by current events! Given the present situation, in which (as this essay notes)

“Governor Northam and the leadership of the misnamed Democratic Party [believe] they [are] in a position to issue diktats expanding abortion, curtailing the second amendment, and punishing those who dare to criticize them,”

I am now more than half-tempted to believe that West Virginia was actually saved by an act of Divine Providence to be – potentially – a safe haven for conservative counties now part of the Old Dominion (and perhaps my home State of Maryland, too).

Whether or not this will prove possible remains to be seen, but even the prospect is encouraging. And if it does (as, again, this essay points out),

“Virginia, which is now a microcosm of the country’s culture wars, could lead a new secession movement that could go a long way to relieving the considerable pressures along the fault lines of conflict in America.”

It is true that, as author John Devanny comments,

“West Virginia may not be acting from pure motives in encouraging the secession of Virginia counties from the Richmond Junta and into a union with West Virginia. Tax revenue, economic development, and congressional representation are at stake here. But so too are the important cultural issues.”

As he also accurately notes, America is a nation built on secession. “Secession” of settlers from their native lands, the great secession of the United Colonies from Great Britain – led to military victory by General, later President, George Washington (whose birthday today, February 22nd, is) – in the American War of Independence, and of course the attempted secession of the Confederacy from the Union, in the War Between the States (which this essay also discusses, as background).

In the mid-19th century, the great divide in this country was between North and South, and although slavery played a role, it was by no means the only factor, as Davenny recounts. Nor did the divide begin in the 19th century, nor was the South the first to consider secession – points which the dominant narrative conveniently ignores.

But now, the great divide is between the urban, mostly coastal, “elites” – what Democratic presidential hopeful and multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg has openly, arrogantly, and largely erroneously called the “intelligentsia” (with its implication that all who oppose this new quasi-aristocracy are unintelligent and uneducated, the “unwashed masses” his ilk were born to dominate), and the so-called “deplorables” (e.g., those still “bitterly clinging” to God and guns – my people, in other words) in what used to be called “America’s Heartland,” but is now disparaged by the “elite” as mere “flyover country.”

The divide seems to be growing and hardening, and if something doesn’t happen to change, could end up as bitter as the divide over States’ rights, the tariff, and slavery was in the mid-1800s. And if that happens, a similarly bloody outcome is not, unfortunately, entirely inconceivable. Are we seeing a glimmer of a way out, in which States and counties realign themselves into more amenable configurations? A rebirth of authentic Federalism?

It is too early to be sure, of course. The idea that whole counties might “vote with their feet” (as well as the ballot-box) and actually switch States would have been unthinkable even a few years ago; but with the Governor of West Virginia actively inviting it, and some Virginia counties apparently considering the option, it just might be the safety value we need to keep the pressure-cooker from exploding.

Speaking personally, as much as I love Maryland, I would be very happy to join a West Virginia that protected my Second Amendment rights, did not consider that killing unborn children right up to delivery (and in the case of some radicals, possibly even after) was somehow virtuous, and in general respected those of us the “elites” deplore.

That would be, shall I say…

Almost heaven.