Tag: United Nations

The Speech Heard Round the World

 

President Trump’s first address to the UN could have been called The Gathering Storm, the title of Winston Churchill’s 1948 book. While many separate elements of the speech hit on the challenges of our day and time, taken together, there was thunder, wind, and warning combined with hope. Trump first thanked those who have supported our country’s hurricane recovery efforts and mentioned record job creation, market growth and drop in unemployment, then got down to message. “We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity, potential waiting to be unleashed. Yet, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril.”

Military Strength – One of Trump’s first statements (which he reiterates in all his speeches), was sending a message to those present, and especially to those not present, namely Russia, China and North Korea, whose delegation walked out, that he is restoring and upgrading our defenses, which were reduced under Obama — Peace through strength.

Pillars of Peace – Trump reminded the UN body of their original mission. No. 1 under Article 2 of the UN Charter: “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” The UN was designed to keep the peace through the collective effort of all the member countries, it was not designed to ignore the sovereignty of each member or placate countries that ignore the goals that created the institution. Sovereignty – Security – Prosperity. “The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the world is safer when nations are strong, independent and free.”

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley for leading another round of sanctions aimed at North Korea in response to another nuclear test.  They also groan as the Democrat running for governor in Virginia implies that voting her him will give kids there a better chance for success and Jim slams any politician who promises that electing them will solve everyone’s problems.  And they discuss Jim Carrey’s on-air castigation of New York Fashion Week as meaningless, leading Jim to reveal tales of how the recent National Review cruise shared the ship with a lot of people connected to this superficial event.

On this AEI Events Podcast, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley outlined some of the Trump administration’s key considerations in assessing Iranian compliance – an important matter given that next month, President Trump will need to announce whether he finds Iran complying with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran deal.

US law requires the president to certify every 90 days not only that Iran has not materially breached the deal but also that suspending sanctions against Tehran is appropriate and proportionate to Tehran’s behavior and is vital to US national security interests. Therefore, even if Iran has not surpassed the nuclear deal’s limit on uranium enrichment, the Trump administration could decide not to certify the deal if it violates one of the latter requirements. In such a scenario, Ambassador Haley emphasized that Congress would then have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran.

In this series of AEI Events Podcasts, AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt hosts experts and senior officials engaged in the development of human rights in North Korea to commemorate the third anniversary of the “Report of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” They propose an expert update on the human rights situation in North Korea and discuss how Washington and its allies in the region can seek to improve it.

This AEI Events Podcast features Justice Michael Kirby, former chief of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea, discussing international law with AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt. They discuss the mechanisms available under international law to hold the Kim regime accountable.

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The UN is working on laws to make it illegal for white people to partake in the cultures of non-white people. Since it began in 2001, the committee has been working on creating and finishing three pieces of international law that would expand intellectual-property regulations to protect things like Indigenous designs, dances, words and traditional […]

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Nikki Haley: Pushing Back Hard on the UN

 

The United Nations is not on my list of favorite organizations. In fact, I’ve written an OP about leaving, if not disbanding, the institution. But now that Nikki Haley is the US ambassador to the United Nations, I’m having second thoughts.

In her short time in the UN, she has already ruffled some feathers. She’s proposed making cuts in key areas—“Everybody knows there’s fat at the UN. Everybody knows there’s fat in the peacekeeping missions. So that’s why we’re taking [a review of] each one.”

She has also proposed a focus on human rights in national security, and reforming the UN peacekeeping operations. She has said that peacekeeping missions have to be re-evaluated, and if they are not being managed well, countries may lose funding:

It’s Time to Get Rid of the United Nations

 

Please note that I wrote get rid of, not just get out of, the United Nations. Yes, I know we’ve talked about making this move for years, but it’s way past due to act. Let’s do a quick review of this feckless and inconsequential organization. Since many people have written so cogently on this topic, I have let them speak for me to a great extent.

To provide background, the U.N. was formed after World War II:

A Dissenting Voice

 

I want to ask you a question. Do you gravitate to news that agrees with your point of view, be it political or other? Do you want to hear the dissenting voice? How important, as a Ricochet paying customer, is it important to you? While Ricochet promotes itself as a conservative blog, we know that the many members that make up this site are from varying backgrounds, to say the least.

We have all faiths or no faith, we have different education levels, incomes levels, political views. This site is promoted as primarily politically-leaning, yet we enjoy poets, photographers, comedians, artists, doctors, lawyers, journalists, TV personalities, military, and so forth. What makes it such an interesting site is there is a community atmosphere, where all views are welcome. You get to know personalities, personal challenges. We even pray for each other – that’s right. There are groups within groups, on every interest you can imagine. It’s all monitored by a code of conduct – called respect. The sky is the limit with regards to topic and discussion, but there are no personal attacks allowed. People become friends, and support each other.

A case in point is the support of @TitusTechera and his summer in America, a citizen of Romania. His trip was funded by members who wanted Titus to come to America. We wanted to share with him who we are, and show how much we value him. What would Ricochet be without Titus? Another example is our @Claire. I fell in love with her books, her talent, her writing by accident. My sister found her book Menace in Europe, in a pile of used books in a thrift shop in Amish country, small-town America (sorry Claire). She saw the book, bought other things, went back to her car, got out of the car and went back in and bought the book. She could not forget the cover or the story. My sister read it in amazement and shipped it to me in FL. She said you have to read this book!!

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Chanukah is the celebration of dissidents defeating well-meaning globalist universalist intolerant fundamentalists. It’s a particularist Jewish holiday, but the first two modern Chanukah images that came to mind were Christian bakers and the Little Sisters of the Poor. Preview Open

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Obama May Sign Israel’s Death Warrant

 

Netanyahu obama israelFor the past eight years, President Obama has insulted, denigrated, criticized and condemned Israel and its leaders. By taking these steps, he has alienated our best Western ally in the Middle East. In his 2015, as the Free Beacon reported, Michael Oren listed the many ways that Obama and his administration damaged the US relationship with Israel.

But it appears that Obama isn’t finished. He may be planning a final blow against Israel as part of his legacy. In his syndicated weekly column in National Review, Charles Krauthammer cites John Hannah of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who believes that Obama may go to the UN to force a two-state solution on Israel. (Hannah’s article is behind a fire wall.)

UNESCO has already tried to deny that the city of Jerusalem belongs to Israel. As Krauthammer says,

Live-stream Today: A “Climate Realist” Briefing on COP-21 in Paris

 

The welcoming party at COP-21 in Paris for those who don't believe in the faith of man-caused global warming.The Heartland Institute just got back from Paris for COP-21, the “Conference of the Parties,” commonly known as the United Nations’ annual global climate conference. The world declared COP-21 a historic moment: The “Paris Agreement” will stop humanity from raising the global temperature by 2 degrees Celsius before the end of the 21st Century!

Balderdash! Hubris of the highest order. Not only does humanity not have the ability to put its collective hand on the global thermostat, humans are not causing a climate crisis.

Heartland’s contingent to Paris presented something unique and sorely needed: the only examination and explanation of the latest climate science, economics, and sensible global energy policy one could find in the city.

Eco-fascists’ Mockery of Justice

 
<small>Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein: The smiling faces of mock tyranny.</small>

Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein

I just returned from Paris for the UN’s COP-21 climate conference. There were a lot of nutty things that went on, but this might be the nuttiest, and most disturbing: at the so-called “People’s Climate Summit” in Montreuil, a suburb north of Paris, author Naomi Klein and climate activist Bill McKibben put on an event called “The People vs. ExxonMobil: A Public Trial for the Greatest Climate Crime of the Century.”

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The past couple of times I’ve been to a movie theatre (you can read my review of Hyena Road here), the following advertisement has been shown before the main feature: <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.fastcompany.com/embed/5a622c9bf4c8a?rel=1&src=embed&veggiemode=1″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” allowfullscreen></iframe> Preview Open

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A Rotting Sofa That Seats 193

 

Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.comYears ago, I asked my father why a ratty old sofa was still in the house. He replied simply: “It’s there because it’s there.” The words had a strange finality about them. Almost metaphysical in their profundity. What we were talking about was a sofa purchased years ago, used and abused by the family, and then unceremonious shunted into an obscure room when the newer model arrived. As I recall. on delivery day there had been talk of carting away the ratty old sofa. The haulers had offered to take it, for a price. My father balked and so it has remained. A dusty old sofa living out its days, slowly crumbling into the parquet.

The philosophy of furnishing a suburban home is important. It reveals something about the human psyche. When we spend a lot of time and effort bringing something into our lives, we become reluctant to dispense with it. When that particular something is a big and bulky item, requiring great effort to remove, lethargy places its death grip upon it. Think of how many things in your life where you can say that “It’s there because it’s there.”

Gingerly moving from the life of individuals to the life of nations we run into the same problem. Things that are there because no one has bothered to get rid of them. In the dim and distant recesses of the national memory a purpose was once understood. That purpose is long done and gone. Habit and lethargy defend the otherwise indefensible. This brings us to the ratty old sofa of geopolitics: the United Nations.

No One Remembers “Everything But the Squeal”

 

shutterstock_169653197Okay, so yesterday world leaders salved their collective consumption consciences by eating a lunch made with garbage. Yes, after wasting thousands of gallons of jet fuel flying in from all over the world with their enormous entourages, they wore their Savile Row suits and Italian leather shoes to an upscale lunch, eating landfill salad with their veggie burgers (made of juicing pulp) and corn-starch French fries. No word on how the consumables were obtained for this groundbreaking luncheon. Surely they came from the kitchen garbage right there at the United Nations.

This dinner was all about addressing food waste by Western cultures. I know, I know, I always throw out my pulp after juicing. Oh, wait, no I don’t. I don’t juice. It’s stupid because you throw out all the parts of the fruits and vegetables that are actually good for you — like half the vitamins and all the fiber — so you can get the sweet, sweet sugars and tell yourself you’ve extracted all the good parts. You’re better off eating an apple from your local farmer’s market with a glass of low-sodium V-8, or just having a colorful salad without all the good parts like bacon and cheese.

But I digress.

Sovereignty, Technical and Actual

 

cropped-iStock_000017452286XSmallIn this interview (hat tip to Melissa P), Senator Ted Cruz explains why he believes Senator Jeff Sessions is mistaken in the claim that the Trans-Pacific Partnership proposal would undermine America’s sovereignty.

Cruz points out that the international body a trade agreement like this sets up is merely advisory. In a trade dispute, the court would mediate between the two nations to judge whether or not the original agreement has been honored. But it would not be able to enforce its judgement. That lack of force is the difference between a government and … well, that other thing.

It’s not clear why a standing court, theoretically neutral, is superior to mediating disputes more directly or by more spontaneous mediation. I welcome arguments for why an international body might be merited.

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When someone pointed me to this document, I figured it had to be a hoax. It was mentioned in an unconvincing conspiracy theory video about JADE HELM 15 that I endured out of respect for the person who sent it to me. But it turns out that the document is listed among the US Senate’s […]

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March Madness at the UN

 

This past week was a bad one for Israel, and her supporters around the world, especially here in America. After another victory for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party on Tuesday, the White House started floating the idea that it might change its relationship with Israel in the United Nations. In Politico, Michael Crowley wrote:

In the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decisive reelection, the Obama administration is revisiting longtime assumptions about America’s role as a shield for Israel against international pressure.

One Small Step for Business

 

moon-openUnder the 1967 Outer Space Treaty — to which the United States is a signatory — neither nations nor private citizens can make territorial claims on the Moon or other celestial bodies. However, this doesn’t mean that people can’t use resources they find there. If you want to mine for Helium-3 or water, go right ahead; just know that you can’t legally claim the mine as your own or keep anyone else out, any more than a fisherman can keep other people away from a school of tuna (admittedly, it’s a little unclear whether you can sell those materials back on Earth as your property).

From a property rights perspective, this is a shame in that it discourages exploration and development. Besides being cool, this means that there are resources sitting there that potentially aren’t being used simply because we haven’t adopted a legal framework that allows people to profit from their work. Still, it could be worse: neither the United States nor any other space-capable country signed the Moon Treaty, which explicitly banned commercial operations on the Moon. As if that isn’t bad enough, the language it uses is the sort that most Model UN participants would find too utopian, collectivist, and bureaucratic (“The Moon and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind… Neither the surface nor the subsurface of the Moon, nor any part thereof or natural resources in place, shall become property of any State, international intergovernmental or non-governmental organization, national organization or non-governmental entity or of any natural person.”).

Fortunately, there’s been a smidgeon of good news on the subject. It’s been revealed that, late last year, the FAA wrote a letter to an American aerospace company confirming that it would use its licensing authority to keep other (American) companies out of its way if it proceeded with its planned moon base: