America 2022: Threat Level, Critical

When threats reach a scale that cannot readily be processed, lethargy sets in. People begin to reject investigating calamities so big they cannot understand them, problems so large and so broad that even admitting their existence collapses the senses, and with them any idea, plan, or nascent strategy of dealing with the threat. It is far easier to just accept whatever it is the "experts" are saying and go along with the crowd.

People give up and accept whatever they are told by those holding the threat over their heads. They pretend it will all be over soon, and jump on the collectivist virtue bandwagon, the bandwagon that crushed 100,000,000 human beings last century. Because these issues are so big, and our reliance on experts so complete, we wind up in messes like the ones in which we find ourselves today. When individual status is based on getting along, critical thinking vanishes and society goes along, regardless of the consequences.

Hi! My name's Herbert.

We have at least three of these threats hanging over our heads across the West today as the Baby Boomer “Summer of Love” Marcusian cohort of 1967 ages off history’s stage. Having as their life’s goal the destruction of America, the evil half of the Boomers will not go gently into that good night. Their aging explains the acceleration of the attacks on our freedom and our families of the past several years, and why these attacks on what we and millennia of our common forebears see as fundamental rights will continue to accelerate.

The three principal threats we face now are: the hoax of "climate change"; the manmade bioweapon of Covid-19 and its accompanying, perhaps even more lethal "vaccine"; and virulent, Democrat racism being used to attack both private and public sectors of society, our education, and the military. All are existential threats to freedoms and liberties that only exist in the West, and against which these threats have been created to extinguish.

These made-up crises have one goal, a goal that is a threat so big most seem unable or unwilling to process it: the destruction of the Western middle class: our liberty, freedom, prosperity and the futures of our children, Covid was a bad flu to older people and a minor flu to younger, there is no “anthro” in "climate change," and America is the least-racist society in history. Marxism is the goal of Western elites; they have neither time nor interest in those of us making the world go. We are today's Kulaks. Our mere presence is anathema to them, mucking-up their plans and authoritarian demands.

Each of these crises is based on a lie. Take "climate change." Even the U.N. is honest about its goal:

We redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore.

The middle class wants freedom, liberty, law and to live our lives with the fruit of our own labor. The rulers cannot have this, just as they cannot have us point out that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix have no clothes and that their “vaccine” for a pathogen that escaped from their labs is increasing infection rates wherever it goes, or that not one single un-corrupted global temperature data set supports the fantasy of “Climate Change.”

We are not going to agree that 2+2=5. Ever. They cannot allow this. Getting us to say “five” is behind these crises, as it is behind the most-expensive-and-under-prosecuted riots in our history, behind the idiocy of the unnecessary war in Ukraine, and behind the coming Ukraine-war-driven destruction of global food supplies and of the dollar as the global reserve currency. Think inflation is bad now?

The Netherlands and Canada seem intent on replicating the Holodomor, and it's coming next to America. Predictably millions will die at the hands of collectivist leadership, just as the last time. Leftists never learn; more accurately, they learn to kill better next time. Stalin only murdered 34-49 million people in the 1930s; 30 years later, Mao murdered 80,000,000. What will be the Reaper’s toll from Davos Man?

Against the Great Reset

Read it and prepare for the worst.

As for Covid? Requiring a “vaccine” that, somehow, was patented ten days after the Covid genome was sequenced for the first time, a “vaccine” that prevents neither infection nor transmission, but that global data show reduces natural immunity across-the-board, that may be killing in huge numbers, and that destroys fertility, would seem to normal people to be counterproductive: 2+2=4, always and forever.

Those not starved to-death in the Third World by our rulers via ineffective and "more harm than good" Covid lockdowns and by the destruction of global food supplies for "climate change" amelioration will be far more docile than those of us in the West who, uniquely among global cultures, outlawed forced labor centuries ago. Which is why they are vaxxing us, and not them.

A fourth crisis, in fact, exists. Yet another threat so big that just conceptualizing it is problematic. And that is the fact of these elites, rulers and governments, themselves.

We will never give them their “5.” In America, we will not give them trucker strikes and manure sprays. Perhaps America’s destroyers will not give us our very own Holodomor because, we, alone among nations, have the ability, the means and the temperament to fight back.

In the face of the largest communist empire in history—so far—an empire dedicated to destroying family, religion, freedom, liberty, law, prosperity – sound familiar? – one man stood firm. He wrote:

I dare hope that all the peoples who have lived through communism will understand that communism is to blame for the bitter pages of their history.

And:

When one is already on the edge of the grave, why not resist?

That man was Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who knew a thing or two or four about communism.

What does 2+2 equal in your calculations?

 

 

The Trudeau Economy: Smoke & Mirrors

It was rather surprising, several months ago, when Statistics Canada released their Labour Force Survey for 2021 and it showed record job growth. During a pandemic that saw Canada's federal and provincial governments adopt some of the harshest lockdowns and other restrictions in the western world? How?

Well, a new study by the Frasier Institute goes pretty far towards answering that question. The report, "Comparing Government and Private Sector Job Growth in the Covid-19 Era," found that more than 86 percent of those new jobs were in the public sector. Overall, government employment increased by 9.4 percent. Meanwhile, private sector employment remained essentially flat. “Pretty much all of the net job growth, since the start of the pandemic, has been driven by growth in the government sector,” said the study's co-author, Ben Eisen.

In their write-up on the paper, the National Post further notes that, "adjusted for population growth, the share of workers 15 years old and up employed in the private sector also saw a decline, from 49.3 percent to 48.2 percent."

The government added 366,800 new jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic, the report says, while the private sector was only responsible for adding 56,100.

Now, many government jobs are necessary for the functioning of modern, first-world nations. But, in general, they add no value to a nation's economy. When close to 90 percent of a nation's job growth—366,800 new jobs to 56,100—is in the public sector, that nation's economy is in a dangerously sclerotic state.

So, why has Trudeau gone to war with farmers and the natural-resource and energy sectors, again?

Another Win for the Freedom Convoy

The Conservative Party of Canada have a new leader: Pierre Poilievre, Member of Parliament for Carleton, Ontario.

Unlike in the previous two C.P.C. leadership elections, Poilievre's margin of victory wasn't at all close -- he won 70.7 percent of the vote, compared with 11.6 percent for his nearest rival, former Quebec premier and Red Tory net-zero enthusiast, Jean Charest. He dominated in every province and territory -- his worst showing was in Charest's home province of Quebec, and even there Poilievre won 62 percent of available points to Charest's 32 percent. In the Conservative strongholds of Alberta and Saskatchewan, he won close to 80 percent. The Writ's Éric Grenier comments,

It’s an emphatic victory for Poilievre with few signs of regional weaknesses. In 2004, Harper failed to win Quebec and Atlantic Canada. In 2017, Scheer was second in Quebec and Alberta. In 2020, O’Toole was beaten in the Maritimes. But in 2022, Poilievre won everywhere.

Poilievre's rise can be attributed in large part to the same force which brought down Erin O'Toole, namely the Freedom Convoy. As we wrote at the time of his ouster,

[O'Toole's] feeble response to the Freedom Convoy has encapsulated his problems these past several months, at once desperate to hold onto power and terrified of offending the sensibilities of, well, Liberal voters. For the first time since he became leader, there was energy on his side of the ideological spectrum, and Trudeau's Liberals were off balance. But O'Toole was anxious about being too supportive of what you might call the wrong sort of Canadians.

Poilievre, meanwhile, made himself the truckers' most visible supporter, publicly defending them against media attacks and taking part in their protests. Polling being what it was at the time (even if those polls weren't as straightforward as they appeared), that took real courage.

Most importantly for us at The Pipeline, Poilievre has consistently and vocally opposed the Trudeau government's anti-resource sector policies, pledging over and over again that, should he become prime minister, he would end the carbon tax and revive infrastructure projects like the Energy East and Northern Gateway pipelines which were cancelled under Trudeau. Moreover, he's promised to make Canada the “freest country in the world.”

And while we've heard sentiments like this before -- most recently from "True Blue" O'Toole -- the centrality of actual conservatism to Pierre Poilievre's political brand should give Conservative voters some reason for hope.

Will he succeed in any of this? Well, he would have to beat Trudeau first. And as things stand, beating Trudeau isn't a near-term possibility. The "supply and confidence" agreement between the N.D.P. and the Liberal Party will protect Trudeau from facing the voters until 2025. In the meantime Poilievre will set himself to the work of Opposition Leader, with the task of holding the government to account, something he already does quite well. Writing in the National Post before the leadership race was over, Rex Murphy said,

In what field does Poilievre labour? Why, in opposition, of course. In opposition to the Liberal-NDP consortium, that blunt, Commons-allergic, Emergencies Act-stampeding, insanely overspending, Alberta-hating quasi-coalition that now governs our sad country. That engine of the most grievous and rampant wokery, dilettantes on the world stage and social justice/environmentalist crusaders at home. From the Opposition benches, the few days Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opens the House of Commons to air it out and prevent the curtains from fading, one figure stands out, ready to pin the prime minister during question period, and in the most trenchant and incisive manner raise the dire threats of inflation and overspending. For a government that most sorely needs an opposition, Poilievre is the only truly Thermopylae warrior, the chief inquisitor and the one who clearly brings pain and anguish to the feeble front benches of the Trudeau government.

At the moment, that might be just what Canada needs. And if he does the job well, there's a good chance that he will be rewarded with a better one.

How Trudeau Sold Out Canada to Davos

We Canadians have had it too good for too long, and in Justin Trudeau we have a prime minister set to take advantage of our complacency. He is now “primed” to “minister” to those who would profit from our passivity and deference to authority by foreclosing on the social and political mortgage to our national home and reclaiming it for a consortium of oligarchs, technocrats and political activists known collectively as the Great Reset—the brainchild of the Davos elite at the World Economic Forum (WEF). The New World Order it envisions is, in effect, the Old World Order in contemporary guise, the ancien régime redivivus.

We could say that the First and Second Estates of the present day, comprising the privileged classes of bankers, judges, CEOs, plutocrats, political nomenklatura and assorted ideologues under the authority and direction of a virtual monarch, are transforming a democratic, free-market nation into the political fiefdom of a repressive aristocracy—otherwise known as a China-style Social Credit State. The tools and weapons at their disposal are merely the current version of the earlier and antiquated system of popular control. Vaccine mandates, travel apps, quarantine protocols, digital currencies and Digital Identity Programs replace edicts from the throne circulating on paper or vellum and do not rely on undercover agents or spies on horseback, but the end result is the same.

The radical transformation going on in Canada today is ironically reminiscent in some ways of the events surrounding the French Revolution, in both its conduct and the precedent situation—minus the bloodshed, the parade of executions, and the enraged and violent multitudes, of course. Once allowance for context is accepted, the structural similarities with some of the excesses of the French revolt are quite remarkable. For example:

A Committee of Public Safety, which controlled the Revolutionary Tribunal, passed the Law of Suspects, according to which anyone suspected of resisting or criticizing the Revolution could be summarily arrested without proof of criminal behavior. Canada also has a Public Safety Agency responsible for national security, and it is not hesitant to act. The recent arrest and detention of Trucker Freedom Convoy organizers, such as Tamara Lich, to take one notorious instance, on the flimsiest grounds of public mischief, is straight out of the Law of Suspects.

If it was good enough for Danton...

The executions in the bloodiest days of the Revolution had become a daily diversion, with crowds of onlookers enjoying the spectacle. In the current circumstances, the media—press and platform—have whipped up mesmerizing and largely fraudulent accounts of misdemeanours and potential crimes that were said to occur during the Trucker protest. Events were sensationalized for a rapt and fascinated public, many if not most of whom cheered on the brutal and illegal putdown of the Truckers, their families and their supporters. The mob is the mob whether in the Place de Grève or on Twitter.

During the six years of the Revolution, from 1789 to 1795, Christians were particularly targeted for prosecution, nonjuring clergy arrested and stripped of their livings, and Christian churches regularly defiled. Over the last few years in this country, Justin Trudeau (and his provincial counterparts) had no problem presiding over the burning of churches and the jailing of pastors.

Respectable citizens in Paris and in lesser cities, known as the Septembrists, joined in the orgy of bloodshed in support of the Revolutionary councils. In the context of the Covid pandemic, respectable citizens became snitches and collaborators and reveled in shunning, denouncing and punishing the unvaccinated, joining in the government campaign to vilify and exclude from public life those who opposed its mandates. Perform a historical thought-experiment and we might find the majority of our citizens morally equivalent to the sans-culottes and their ilk, which is to say, equally indecent.

But the differences between the French Revolution and the Canadian exemplar are no less, if not more, dramatic. 

Spelled the same in French.

Paradoxically, the “Canadian Revolution” proceeds in a reverse direction from its predecessor, reproducing the conditions that the Revolution struggled to correct and recruiting the public into the process of their own dispossession. Prior to 1789, the Third Estate (middle class, peasants, laborers) were overburdened with taxes in every department of life: taxes on income, land, property, transport, goods and comestibles, crops, salt, tobacco, wine, cider, you name it. Commoners were subject to autocratic rule. The parlements met only at checkered intervals. The nobles consumed most of the country’s wealth. The same is the case in contemporary Canada, as ordinary citizens are loaded down with crushing taxes on products and services, face food and fuel shortages, can expect no respite from an oft-prorogued parliament, and grapple to meet the inflationary costs for the necessities of life, while wealth accrues in the hands of large corporations and financial magnates. 

The irony is unmistakable. As the country undergoes a gradual but decisive transition—in effect, a tacit revolution—from a condition of democratic freedom and economic prosperity to demagogic rule and dwindling resources, nothing in the way of a popular revolt seems to be brewing, despite the hopeful assumptions of patriot thought-leaders. 

The prospect is forbidding: reduction of liberty to a pale simulacrum of what the country once enjoyed, enthronement of a soi-disant Bourbon wannabe who, like Louis XVI, was interested not in improving the lot of his people but in his own personal projects and empty-headed notions, and the creation of an autocratic regime paradoxically enabled by the public itself—a public in part indifferent and in part enthusiastic. One thinks of Benjamin Franklin’s famous remark. Leaving the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he was asked what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer: “A republic, if you can keep it.” We had a constitutional democracy, but we couldn’t keep it.

The depressing fact is that none of the ills befalling our nation, including the multiple electoral victories of the indisputably worst prime minister ever to desecrate the storied precinct of Parliament Hill, could not have occurred without the complicity of an approving or stupefied public—harsh words but true. Justin Trudeau and his associates in finance, public policy, media, the academy and the corporate world are the de facto spawn of an electorate that has allowed and materially advanced the descent of a favored and democratic country into the realm of looming economic collapse and mounting political tyranny. The general population is an accessory before, during and after the fact, having been made to see, in Jonathan Swift’s memorable words from his 1710 Examiner essay The Art of Political Lying, “their ruin in their interest and their interest in their ruin.” This may explain why more and more Canadians, those who are aware of the imminent crisis and cannot tolerate the specter of encroaching despotism, are leaving the country for, shall we say, freer pastures.

The government and the majority of the people are at one, which is the major difference between the two revolutions. When the people adopt an oppressive government’s beliefs and actions as their own, there is little chance of preserving our heritage. The French Revolution gave us the ringing motto Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, and to some extent, following the Napoleonic interregnum, managed to achieve it. The slogan of the Canadian Revolution might well be "Servitude, Polarization, and Enmity," and it is in process of achieving it as we speak. Mutatis mutandis, the ancien régime is once again on the rise as Canada, in a historical parody of the French Revolution, slips back, perhaps irrevocably, into the pre-democratic past.

'The Lamps Are Going Out All Over Europe'

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in Canada recently begging Justin Trudeau for Liquified Natural Gas. “Canada is our partner of choice,” said Scholz, adding “we hope that Canadian LNG will play a major role” in his country's attempt to wean itself off Russian energy.

Trudeau was characteristically dismissive, saying there has “never been a strong business case” for exporting Canadian LNG to Europe. Of course, he was also letting himself off the hook for his government's entrenched anti-resource-sector policies: Canada currently has not one single LNG active export terminal, and Canada's regulatory framework is responsible for the outright rejection of sixteen of the eighteen proposed terminal construction projects since Trudeau took power. In any event, Scholz had to content himself with a far less value hydrogen trade agreement.

Humiliating, but what else could he do? Beggars can't be choosers, and Germany is very much a beggar. As we've discussed before, Germany's mad environmentalist politicians pushed the country into transitioning to "renewable" energy sources which don't produce anywhere near the amount of power necessary to run a first world country, let alone the largest economy in Europe. The only way to make the transition "work" was to import large amounts of Russian gas to make up the difference. Now they're trying to break their reliance on that so as to comply with Western sanctions imposed in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and it isn't going well.

And Russia knows it -- that's why they've cut down natural gas flows to Germany by 60 percent, blaming mechanical problems while ostentatiously burning $10 million worth of natural gas per day at the mouth of the Nord Stream pipeline rather than sending it to Germany. It's their way of reminding the Germans who really needs whom. Putin can afford to cut them out because western sanctions have contributed to a worldwide energy scarcity, driving up prices significantly to nobody's benefit but Russia's.

The story is much the same throughout the continent -- in Poland people have been lining up in their cars for multiple days in the hopes of buying rationed coal to get them through the next several months (the E.U. has also embargoed Russian coal imports). The manager of Finland's power grid has begun telling the country to "prepare for shortages this winter." The British were recently informed that their heat and energy costs would increase by 80 percent as of October 1, and their national grid managers, too, have begun to talk more about shortages than cost.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo recently said that Europe could be looking at ten years worth of tough winters, as far as heat and power were concerned. Dutch energy prices are currently sitting at "15 times the average for this time of the year," according to Bloomberg. Italy, which is also heavily dependent on Russian energy, is already on the brink of a debt crisis -- what will their economy look like after months of rolling black-outs, frozen pipes, and freezing people?

Sir Edward Grey in 1915: déjà vu vu all over again.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaking of the difficult months ahead, asked his countrymen to “accept paying the price for our freedom and our values,” referring to the cost of Europe's unreservedly supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Andrew Stuttaford rightly points out that "European voters are... entitled to wonder why they should continue to support politicians who left them so exposed to Russian blackmail in the first place." He's got that right -- this crisis has been brought about almost entirely by a western elite who cared more about rubbing elbows with Greta Thunberg and her comrades than about their national interests or the welfare of their countrymen.

It looks like they're about to get their reward.

Where's the Beef?

Where IS the beef? Prices may very well be keeping it out of your refrigerator and inflation has something to do with that. But there’s another factor in play, involving where the beef was before it hit the grocer’s shelves. The meat packing industry has consolidated in recent decades to the point where four companies control about 85 percent of the market. Pretty much everyone agrees that’s a problem, but bipartisanship only goes so far. The difference between Republicans and Democrats on this issue involves what to do about it.

Republicans urge President Biden to use the tools he has and enforce existing anti-trust legislation like the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and the Clayton Act. Unlike President Trump, whose Department of Justice did indeed investigate Big Beef, Biden has carefully limited himself to criticism while taking no substantive action. He, or whoever comes up his talking points, is smart enough to know that five dollars per pound for ground beef is a bit exorbitant for most Americans. Don’t let those crocodile tears fool you though. The climate change crowd is cheering the trend and if there is one constituency that Dems are careful never to offend, it’s climate change alarmists.

And, yes, I'd love a burger, thanks.

The big four meat packers in the United States are: Cargill, Tyson Foods, JBS SA and the National Beef Packing Company. The first two are American-owned and the latter two are Brazilian. Consolidation in the industry started in the late seventies, when the big four controlled about twenty five percent of the market. The industry was robust and decentralized back then, including many small shops (plants that process less than 500 head per week) scattered about the country.

Today, the small meat packer has all but disappeared in the United States. In their place, the Big Four have relied upon mega packing plants that can process thousands of head per day. In most industries, larger plants benefit from economies of scale, driving prices down. In the weird world of meat packing, it hasn’t worked that way, prompting just about everyone to suspect that if it smells like price fixing, it probably is price fixing.

Weirder still is that the prices that the Big Four pay to American ranchers for cattle has and continues to drop. Increasing imports of cheap beef from countries like Canada and New Zealand drives cattle prices down and gives the American rancher with little choice but to accept contracts with the Big Four that ties the rancher to under-valued pricing. So we have the unique situation of an industry in which the price of the raw material (cattle) drops, but price of the product (beef) heads in the other direction. One doesn’t require a degree in economics to understand that the increasing spread is making somebody a lot of money.

Reacting to the President’s criticism of the meat-packing industry, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem agreed with the President’s view of the problem, but was critical of his unwillingness to take concrete action to address it. Appearing on Hannity, a visibly frustrated Noem said:

He's willing to go out there and spend more money and pursue other ideas and not just do the basic job of government, and that's to make sure you're implementing the laws correctly, you're making sure people are following the rules, and his Department of Justice has every single tool to make sure that people aren't attacked under the situation that they're in today.

What causes a politician like Biden to talk the talk, but refuse to walk the walk? These days the answers are almost always either “sexism," “racism,” or “global warming.” Since we are not yet aware of people who choose to identify as bovines (but we of course defend their right to do so) the answer, by default, is indeed global warming. Again.

More than twenty years ago I wrote a tongue in cheek column describing the EPA’s comprehensive catalog of data with respect to cow flatulence. They have data classifying the gas-passing abilities of cattle by breed, by diet, by location and God only Knows what else. I started to speculate on how that data was acquired and by whom, before deciding that some things are better off unknown. And I jokingly observed that if were classifying cow farts, what’s next? Are we going to start regulating them?

Cow farts: who wants the job?

It was all great fun, but it was all unwittingly prescient. If the Dems can’t quite bring themselves to pass a bill regulating bovine flatulence – probably out of fear that the ensuing Kamala Harris giggle fit would force the session into the wee hours – they do the next best thing. They look the other way as Big Beef happily makes their product more and more expensive, reducing consumption, but who really cares so long as those beautiful margins continue to grow? Dems get what they want, fewer cows cutting the cheese and the Big Four getting some very happy shareholders. It is, from the Democrat perspective, a win/win.

For the record, according to the latest EPA Greenhouse Gas report, methane emissions from American cows contribute about 6,800,000 tonnes per year of methane to the atmosphere. That’s equivalent to about 170,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Sounds like a lot, until one realizes that annual worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions average about 50,000,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent gas per year. Thus, Bessie and Elsie and their pals on American farms account for a little more than 0.3 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Does reducing that tiny fraction to a slightly tinier fraction justify five dollar plus per pound hamburger? Joe Biden seems to think so. But then when you regularly shake hands with invisible people, you can pretty much believe anything.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Beefing

As it is the year of Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee, and I’m of an age, Judith (mummy) flatly insisted that I host something of my own for London Hat Week. SNORE! I thought of hopping a plane back to my home in Los Angeles but as Daddy pointed out… it wasn’t that much of an ask. 

Of course he was right, but I can tell you I had no interest in gathering up what would amount to an evening of shrill bursts and the too-loud chatter from the daughters of her friends along with a few of my school chums lumped-in to keep me from blowing my brains out. Alcohol was a must. As was limiting the total number. I agreed to the Calvary Club because it would tickle the heart of the grandfather I never met, and because every fashionable venue was booked. 

I decided to impose a green-spin on things and asked that everyone recycle/reuse a previously worn hat rather than buy new. The idea came to me in the dressing room at Harvey Nicks whilst standing among a literal mountain of discards and trying to decide between Carolina Herrera and Huishan Zhang. 

Sometimes a girl's just gotta eat.

With dress in hand, I walked into Hélène Darroze to get a plate of pasta, only to be told they were booked. They weren’t. It was early and they knew me here, except everyone who knew me wasn’t in yet, so I had to put up with the indignity of having their ‘concept’ explained to me by the twenty-something who, more than anything, sounded as though she was trying to convince herself. 

In our three Michelin-star restaurant, each dish is grounded in seasonal produce sourced from the farmers, makers and growers carefully chosen by Hélène. And every menu is a reflection of your personal tastes, as our chefs transform your selected ingredients into original works of culinary art. Pierre Yovanovitch’s cocooning interior sets the perfect tone for this intimate dining experience. Blush shades, curved lines, and deep velvet and leather seating reflect the restaurant’s warm, approachable ethos. A blue blown-glass chandelier and exposed wooden tabletops add a bold, contemporary edge. Almost every element is custom-made, once again placing craftsmanship in the limelight.

Defeated, I walked into the bar where I ordered Iberico ham, and a vegetarian club. If one arrives early enough one generally avoids the pre-theatre throng of tourists whom the management is happy to fleece with trendy cocktails costing upwards of £100. It is for this reason I didn’t flinch when I heard the gentleman to my left introduce himself. Mind you his accent sounded decidedly West County when he said, ‘Vegetarian? You should get the meat while you can!’ 

As he was paying his bill (and ostensibly leaving) I assumed it was safe to respond. But I knew what he was getting at…farmers from Norway to New Zealand were either paying taxes on livestock burps, or being asked to kill their herds in the name of saving our planet. I held up my hand and said ‘Before you get started I’m an environmentalist’. 

‘Of course you are,’ he said. 'The ham should have tipped me off’. 

‘Excuse me,’ I said, ‘I’m also a vegetarian…mostly.  But greenhouse gases are killing our planet!’

‘Well, we don’t agree on this’ he said, ‘but if you’re prepared to pay £400 for a pound for ham, you likely won’t mind when beef costs the same’.

Dearer every day.

‘If you’ll excuse me…’ I said, fishing a vibrating phone out of my bag and stepping away from the bar. It was my father, wanting to know if I was coming home for dinner.  

‘OMG you called in the nick of time!’ I said, ‘I was just getting lectured by some stranger who doesn’t understand why we MUST eliminate much of the livestock if we have any hope of lessening greenhouse gases’. 

‘Not a love match I take it?’ I ignored him.  

‘ANYWAY’ I continued, ‘I found a dress for the thing mummy is making me do and in addition to requiring no new hats, I…’ 

‘Excuse me Jennifer…’ he pounced,  ‘You do understand it is in fact—Hat Week?’ 

‘Yes, I’m borrowing something of Judith’s’.

‘And for the others who don’t have a mother whose shopping habits would supply the V&A?’

Again I ignored him. UGH! People would just have to manage. The man at the bar had gone and so I walked back to my seat and waited for Daddy to say something. And say he did! 

‘Jennifer…’ He began in the softest tone, ‘I fear you’ve lost the point of the exercise. It is Hat Week. It is not Green Week, it is not Earth Day. You are hosting an event at a club that predates the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the Ford Model T. It also happens to be the year of the Queen’s Jubilee, and although her own son is your fellow green-nik, I can promise you this is neither the time nor the place. You will not be serving bugs, you will not be composting, and you will not be asking everyone to bring their own tin cups. Do you understand me?’

Gulp. ‘Of course I do’.  I said, and downed the rest of my champagne. 

‘After this event,’ he continued ‘you may go back to flying around the world in your design to save the planet. You may schedule whole tours to Sri Lanka to ask people how freeing it is to have only thirty percent of the food they previously enjoyed, and just how much they are enjoying that near-perfect ESG score that toppled their country. You can even go to Canada and convince farmers that a fertiliser ban is a win-win for those who want to spend less time harvesting and more time on yoga, but this week my dear, in your new dress and your mother’s repurposed hat, you will keep your eco-battle to yourself’.

All we needed was Bono and Greta.

Obviously he meant it. I wondered if he’d change his mind if I got Leo DiCaprio to come but I said nothing.

The event was a small disaster. Not enough of my friends, and I was clearly out-flanked by the enemy—the new crop of twenty-somethings. They knew of me and flattered themselves that they understood the challenges facing the planet but they were the worst kind of informed. They knew Bono, they knew Greta, they knew about my glamorous bug parties and they knew about the near-death incident with the composter.

It only took half an hour before the all-too familiar rise and fall of their high-pitched voices became the steady soundtrack for the evening. They’d also taken the ‘repurpose’ directive as an excuse to don any old hat that might be better suited to sifting rice in the Mekong Delta. The overall look was comical, with me, the elder, looking every bit the finishing-school instructor who needed to be put out to pasture.

This would not do. At their age I was already a lock for the Olympic Equestrian Team and had a firm understanding of the larger scheme. I led the auction of our hats for charity which finally managed to coax the men out from an ante-room. I was followed by the twenty-somethings who tugged at their too-short dresses and fiddled with their over-processed hair whilst saying nothing terribly bright. Alas. Not so easy as it looks I wanted to say. Just then my phone buzzed… it was a text from Leo. It read:

‘Sorry I couldn’t make it Doll,…raincheck?’

Oh how I wanted to share the text!  But I stopped myself. I would savour it. I would invite these girls back when I had Leo. And I would serve them bugs

The Cattle Raid of Greeney

Last week this writer pointed out Canada's almost hilarious insistence on following the trail blazed— sometimes literally—by Sri Lanka and the Netherlands before it. Well, now another extremely impressionable nation has decided to follow suit: The Financial Times reports that "Ireland’s coalition government has reached a bitterly contested deal to slash climate emissions from the country’s key agriculture sector by 25 percent by 2030." Bitterly contested because the actual farmers whose livelihoods will be effected by the deal were hoping those numbers would be lower, whereas the government—currently a coalition of the traditionally "rival" parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael along with the Green Party—wanted 30 percent emission cuts by 2030.

This deal is most likely the brainchild of Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, an environmentalist zealot who owes his outsized and wholly malevolent influence on the Republic of Ireland to his party's being the lynchpin of the unstable coalition, formed two years ago:

Members of the environmental party decided by a 76 percent majority to form an administration with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil... It signed up to a programme that promises radical action on climate change... Its deputy leader, Catherine Martin, said: “Now we will move forward together, respecting the democratic wishes of the majority of our party at all times, listening to each other … working in unity to protect our country and our planet.” The two larger parties needed the support of the Greens to have a working majority in the Irish parliament, equating to about 80 seats.

Ryan, who serves as the coalition's Environment Minister (of course), suggested that the cuts outlined in this deal are just the beginning, saying that they represented “a significant step in the right direction.”

For the farmers however, even these numbers are a bridge too far:

Tim Cullinan, president of the Irish Farmers’ Association, called the 25 percent cut a “massive, massive ask” that could cost farmers €2bn a year and said the government had outlined no budget to help them achieve it.... Pat McCormack, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association, said the agreement made “whole classes of farms unviable” and would push up prices. He added: “Our livestock industry — both dairy and beef — is the lifeblood of rural Ireland and Minister [of agriculture] McConalogue and the three party leaders of the coalition have struck it at its very heart today.”.... “It’s really impossible to see how we can achieve [these] targets... without reducing herds — and that’s an income issue for us,” said Brian Rushe, a dairy farmer.

Never mind that cattle have formed the basis of the Irish economy for more than two millennia. The most famous Irish epic poem is probably The Cattle Raid of Cooley (Táin bó Cuailnge), featuring the legendary hero Cú Chulainn. But modern Ireland is too smart and sophisticated to care about its heritage, one of the oldest continuous cultures in Europe, and so the cows must be sacrificed on the altar of "climate change."

One particular line in this piece is worth considering -- Tim Cullinan is quoted as saying: "This deal between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green party is all about the survival of the government rather than survival of rural Ireland." He is assuredly correct. The priority of these politicians is maintaining power, both by keeping the Green Party on side and by maintaining the good opinion of overseas elites -- rather than defending the interests of their country.

Eamon Ryan: no cow is safe around him.

But, as the uprising in Sri Lanka is showing us, focusing on the former while ignoring the latter is a good way of losing both. While the Irish economy is unlikely to bottom out like Sri Lanka's—Ireland's status as a tax haven for American corporations makes it too important for western governments to allow that to happen—a significant standard of living increase on top of the country's ongoing Covid-instigated recession has the potential to inspire an earthquake in Irish politics. And Sinn Féin, the Socialist/Nationalist party that the coalition government exists to keep out of power will likely be the beneficiary. Judging by their refusal to support agricultural emissions cuts, despite their own environmentalist commitments, they know it.

When the coalition took power after the 2020 election, outgoing prime minister Leo Varadkar famously proclaimed, "today civil war politics ends in our parliament," a reference to the two main parties' beginnings on opposing sides of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, which culminated in the country's civil war. Varadkar might have been saying more than he realized — while Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been taking turns in government since the election of Éamon de Valera in 1932, actions like this might ensure they never win another election.

Then again, the "ranked choice" electoral system, known in Ireland as the "single transferable vote" (coupled, by the way, with the equally questionable "proportional representation"), practically begs for rigged outcomes designed to keep the Tweedledum and Tweedledee parties in power forever. If there's one thing the Irish know how to do it's run a racket (see: Hall, Tammany), and in Ireland, it's not who votes, but who counts the votes, and how they are counted, that matters. Amazingly, it always comes out just the way the racket wants it. Here's a taste of how the system works:

From a voter’s perspective [single transferable vote] is very simple. Just rank the candidates in order of your choice starting with 1. The counting of votes is a different matter and can appear very complicated to the uninitiated. The first thing to understand is that a quota is set for each constituency depending on the number of seats to be filled and the number of people who have voted. The quota is arrived at by dividing the number of valid votes by the number of seats plus one, and then adding one to the resulting total.

For instance if 40,000 votes are cast in a three-seat constituency the quota would be calculated by dividing the number of votes by four and then adding one making it 10,001. The formula means that no more than three people can reach the quota.

After the first count when all the number ones have been counted the first thing to happen is that the surplus votes of a successful candidate who has exceeded the quota will be distributed. This is done by checking the second preferences on all the ballot papers of the candidate and distributing his or her number twos in proportion.

When all the first-count surpluses have been distributed the returning officer will then move on to eliminating the candidate with the lowest number of votes. The number twos will be counted and allocated to the other candidates. The next lowest will be eliminated and so on until there are only three candidates left for the three seats.

As the counts progress a vote that was cast for a candidate eliminated early in the count will move on to the number two. If that candidate is eliminated in turn it will go on to number three and so on. If the candidate getting the number two is already elected or eliminated the vote will move on to the next available candidate still in the race.

There is a complication about distributing the surplus of a candidate elected after the first count with the help of transfers. Instead of counting all of the candidate’s votes to allocate the next available preference, only the last bundles of votes received are counted to see where the next preferences goes.

Got that? This crazy system was, of course, foisted on Ireland by the vengeful British, who bitterly hated losing their first and most despised colony:

It was imposed on this country as part of the Home Rule Act in 1912 and later incorporated in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 with the objective of protecting the unionist minority and ensuring they had representation in an Irish parliament. The system was later included in de Valera's 1937 constitution and two attempts to abolish it, in 1959 and 1966, were rejected by the electorate. The same system is used in Malta, the Australian senate and Northern Ireland Assembly.

Malta, Australia and the rump British province of "Northern Ireland," known in Ireland as the Six Counties, or "Ulster" (well, part of Ulster, anyway)—those paragons of democracy. No wonder the livestock is terrified: against crackpots like Ryan and the Greens, they don't stand a chance. And neither do the people, unless they finally wise up.

The Netherlands, Sri Lanka, and... Canada?

Golly, this story out of Canada sounds so familiar:

Provincial agriculture ministers are expressing frustration with the Trudeau government over plans to effectively reduce fertilizer use by Canada’s farmers in the name of fighting climate change.... The federal government is looking to impose a requirement to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizers saying it is a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.... The Trudeau government is demanding an absolute reduction in emissions, which farmers say will result in less food being produced at a time when the world can ill afford it.

Now where have we heard of similar government demands happening recently? Oh, well, in the Netherlands for one, where farmers in the world’s second-biggest agricultural exporter blocked roads and sprayed manure on government buildings after their environmentalist government attempted to force them to drastically cut their livestock numbers and sell their land to the government in order to cut emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030.

And then, of course, there was Sri Lanka, where President Gotabaya Rajapaksa enacted an almost-overnight ban on on pesticides and all synthetic fertilizers with the object of drastically reducing emissions and juicing his nation's ESG investment score. Well, "mission accomplished!" on that final point at least, but what came with that victory was an absolute disaster for Sri Lanka, with the nation's currency on the verge of collapse, with inflation running at around 112 percent, and devastation for the rice and tea harvests, the backbone of the nation's economy (and the Sri Lankan diet).

Let them eat bugs.

These are apparently the types of disorder that Justin Trudeau wants to import to Canada. Jordan Peterson made the same connection in his recent cri de coeur on the present state of his beloved homeland in the National Post:

How have Canadians failed to realize that our government holds them in contempt?... That the Trudeau Liberals are perfectly willing to make us all poor, miserable and demoralized just to utterly fail in their efforts to save the planet?... That we could be the freest, richest, cleanest country in the world but that we are trying hard to be none of those three?...

That all the data on the environmental front indicates that the fastest way to improve the ecosystems on which we all depend is to make people richer, not poorer (and to do that with good old capitalism) so they have the luxury to think about the long run and the habitat of their children?... Or that we are pursuing an energy policy generated by ideologues that will not only impoverish our populace by making energy unreasonably expensive... but that will only increase the probability that countries such as China will have to rely on coal to produce electricity instead of accessing, say, our plentiful natural gas. And that will therefore make the CO2 burden borne by the atmosphere greater instead of lesser.

And... (and in the aftermath of the Dutch farmer protests), that we are trying to reduce the absolute levels of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide produced by those who grow our food regardless of the amount of those crops produced in consequence. And that we’re doing that by threat and force — shades of Covid policy — instead of working with the farmers to find mutually acceptable and truly sustainable economic and environmental solutions.

Read the whole thing. Even if chances are slim to none that Justin Trudeau will do the same.

Hope Springs Infernal: Pawlowski, Lich, and Canadian 'Justice'

As with Monty Python’s Lancelot and Galahad, there was much rejoicing in the Conservative corner of this “nasty, sad country” over the recent Alberta appeals court victory of pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother, Dawid. In a court injunction dated May 6, 2021, they were found guilty of disobeying a ban placed on so-called “illegal” protests—which is to say, they were guilty of abiding by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The drama naturally centers on the more famous pastor, who was jailed several times, and even “SWATted,” over the last two years for defying Canada’s blatantly illegal Covid dictatorship by continuing to serve his congregation, providing free meals to the poor, and preaching a message of hope to the Truckers’ movement in its protest against vaccine mandates.

As a result of the Appeals Court judgment, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is compelled to reimburse Pawlowski for all costs and fines levied, a small compensation for the outrageous treatment meted out to him, the harsh conditions of incarceration, house arrest, and restrictions on his Charter right of association.

Of course, the abuse Pawlowski suffered at the hands of Alberta’s Conservative premier Jason Kenney was not a single case. As LifeSite reports, “Under Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, many were fined and others jailed for fighting against his government’s draconian Covid rules, which severely impacted thousands of businesses.” Pawlowski, however, was among the most visible of the country’s dissidents against an out-of-control government and its camarilla of unelected judges and demagogic health authorities.

His victory and restitution are to be celebrated, but, as we will see, it is a modest triumph. It is not easy to parse the gnarled legalese of the Appeals Court document, but it is obvious that Pawloski’s and his brother’s vindication was only partial, the original judgment being “set aside” on a question of equivocal language rather than substance—that is, the initial judgment was reversed on a technicality. The drafting of the earlier proceedings apparently “created an ambiguity and potential confusion when the language identifying who is subject to the order refers to the prohibited conduct without clearly stating that all persons are subject to the injunction” (Article 56).

In other words, because the injunction “referred to other parties ‘acting independently to like effect’, so as to apply to the Pawlowskis,” the finding of contempt was dropped (Article 59)—though, as the panel of judges affirmed, “Without condoning the actions of the Pawlowskis” (Article 48). Exculpation, it seems, does not cancel guilt. 

Thus, deploying the verbose dialect of a privileged and exclusionary class, the panel members essentially practiced the art of weasel words to reverse an unpopular decision in order to maintain the endogenic fiction of juridical dignity. In effect, the court rendered a Pyrrhic judgment and the Pawlowskis evaded sentencing on the strength of a presumed ambiguity. 

 The war against justice, truth and democracy will continue to claim its victims. The federal authority brandished by Justin Trudeau has no intention of relenting in its campaign to silence and harass its targets. Artur Pawlowski has an equally noble, brave and persecuted peer in Tamara Lich, a soft-spoken, gentle and patriotic organizer of the Truckers Freedom Convoy. All of five feet tall, this amiable grandmother of Metis origin towers over the diminutive moral stature of a disreputable prime minister who, through his juridical lackeys, has had her twice imprisoned for her support of the Truckers and her legitimate contestation of tyrannical power. Forced to serve a jail sentence without bail, she was deliberately prevented from receiving in person the George Jonas Freedom Award at a ceremony held in her honor in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby on July 13 of this year.

The event was addressed by the Honorable Brian Peckford, the last living signatory to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Constitution, in which he praised Tamara Lich as an honest, hard-working Canadian fighting for our rights and freedoms. “Need I cite that this latest arrest is most egregious in that everyone knew where Tamara was—in her home city of Medicine Hat, and yet a country wide warrant was issued for her arrest as if she was some kind of serial rapist or murderer. The tragic irony of it all makes Greek Tragedy look lame as a Freedom Award Winner is displayed as a practitioner of high treason.” 

Artur Pawlowski is free—for now—and Tamara Lich has just been released—also, for now. The federal court is not likely to experience the same qualms of dispensation as the Alberta court. Lich will be kept under strict surveillance. One false move, the slightest contravention of onerous bail conditions, and she will be quickly remanded. Phrases like “show trial” and “kangaroo court” come immediately to mind.

One thinks of Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon as a premonition of the Sovietization of Canadian justice. Meanwhile, the unvaccinated are still subject to quarantine and crushing fines thanks to Trudeau’s infamous ArriveCAN app wielded against millions of Canadians. Legislation is in the works to cripple internet communication under the guise of preventing “hate speech,” shorthand for anything the government disapproves of. The violation of democratic principles is rapidly becoming synonymous with the law of the land. 

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As Brian Peckford said in his peroration, we are experiencing a dark day in our Constitutional history, “aided and abetted by a failed parliamentary system that obstructed justice [and] ignored the accusation of misogynists and racists levelled by the Prime Minister at some of his own citizens, and rendered the Members of Parliament mere instruments of abuse…making a mockery of the democratic principle of accountability.” Provincial courts in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and other jurisdictions were equally complicit in following the federal example. 

There may be rejoicing over the release of Artur Pawlowski and his brother, and now with respect to Tamara Lich, but there is no joy in Mudville as long as Justin Trudeau is in the batter’s box, and, unlike Casey in the famous poem, gives no indication of striking out.