Surprise! Mike Pompeo’s “Human Rights” Agenda Applies To Only Some Humans

Just Security obtained a copy of Mike Pompeo’s human rights plan, based on what he called “natural law.”

Some of us are old enough to remember when that phrase was used mostly by the Catholic Church to justify their views on marriage and procreation. But apparently the evangelicals have put their own gloss on it so that it excludes the usual suspects – gays, transgender people, and other miscreants – from human rights.

So that is what Pompeo would inflict on us and the world. Trump has already carried out parts of it in his actions against transgender people. I’m not sure that brown families seeking refuge are explicitly listed as those not qualified for human rights, but the administration has sure been acting that way.

Just Security also analyzes where this “natural law” theory came from. It seems to come primarily from several individuals’ needs to demonize teh gays. And, of course, it comes from God or human nature or whatever you need to make your argument unanswerable.

As a 2017 Heritage Foundation report framed the issue: “Civil and political rights are products of government; natural rights are not.”

It’s disturbing that so many in the government belong to extremist sects and are pushing those extremist beliefs. I’d like to see a reporter pin down Pompeo on what he believes about the Rapture. Nobody who believes that should be anywhere near the control of nuclear weapons.

 

 








Followup Open Thread – Looks Like The Jasons Have a Home

Who would have guessed that Secretary “D in Meats” would turn out to be the most competent and honest in Trump’s cabinet?

 








Oleg Deripaska Comes To Kentucky

Do you remember Oleg Deripaska, Paul Manafort’s business partner to whom he owed $17 million? The Russian aluminum oligarch?

Well, he’s building an aluminum plant in, of all places, Kentucky, the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Sanctions have been lifted, of course.

Here’s the announcement from Deripaska’s company, RUSAL.

Just a matter of a canny businessman seeing an opportunity, I’m sure.

 








Thursday Morning Open Thread: Quit Trump-Stunting & End the Shutdown


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The Fourth National Climate Assessment

Photo: Hurricane damage in Florida

 

Friday afternoon the government released its Fourth National Climate Assessment, mandated by Congress. Friday afternoon of the four-day weekend, of course, is a good time to bury it. But we’ve become accustomed to these tactics, and the report did not go unnoticed.

Thirteen government agencies contributed. The report looks solid, an indication that Donald Trump and his climate deniers couldn’t mess with the agencies’ mandates. This is a pattern that has shown up before in sanctions against Russia. Trump tweets one thing, his political appointees toe his line, and the agencies do their job. It’s encouraging that parts of the government can do their jobs.

Unfortunately, the report is written in relatively difficult language, so it’s slow going. Here are the summary findings.

Communities. Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.

Economy. Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.

Interconnected Impacts. Climate change affects the natural, built, and social systems we rely on individually and through their connections to one another. These interconnected systems are increasingly vulnerable to cascading impacts that are often difficult to predict, threatening essential services within and beyond the Nation’s borders.

Actions to Reduce Risks. Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.

Water. The quality and quantity of water available for use by people and ecosystems across the country are being affected by climate change, increasing risks and costs to agriculture, energy production, industry, recreation, and the environment.

Health. Impacts from climate change on extreme weather and climate-related events, air quality, and the transmission of disease through insects and pests, food, and water increasingly threaten the health and well-being of the American people, particularly populations that are already vulnerable.

Indigenous Peoples. Climate change increasingly threatens Indigenous communities’ livelihoods, economies, health, and cultural identities by disrupting interconnected social, physical, and ecological systems.

Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services. Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society are being altered by climate change, and these impacts are projected to continue. Without substantial and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, transformative impacts on some ecosystems will occur; some coral reef and sea ice ecosystems are already experiencing such transformational changes.

Agriculture. Rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, wildfire on rangelands, and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly disrupt agricultural productivity in the United States. Expected increases in challenges to livestock health, declines in crop yields and quality, and changes in extreme events in the United States and abroad threaten rural livelihoods, sustainable food security, and price stability.

Infrastructure. Our Nation’s aging and deteriorating infrastructure is further stressed by increases in heavy precipitation events, coastal flooding, heat, wildfires, and other extreme events, as well as changes to average precipitation and temperature. Without adaptation, climate change will continue to degrade infrastructure performance over the rest of the century, with the potential for cascading impacts that threaten our economy, national security, essential services, and health and well-being.

Oceans & Coasts. Coastal communities and the ecosystems that support them are increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change. Without significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions and regional adaptation measures, many coastal regions will be transformed by the latter part of this century, with impacts affecting other regions and sectors. Even in a future with lower greenhouse gas emissions, many communities are expected to suffer financial impacts as chronic high-tide flooding leads to higher costs and lower property values.

Tourism and Recreation. Outdoor recreation, tourist economies, and quality of life are reliant on benefits provided by our natural environment that will be degraded by the impacts of climate change in many ways.

There’s not much surprising, although changes seem to be taking place more rapidly than anyone expected.

The New York Times, Washington Post, and AP all have pretty good summaries.