THE COLUMN: To Save America, Abolish the Regulatory Agencies

Lest you were still laboring under the illusion that we live in a representative democracy, aka a republic, let the scales now once and forever fall from your eyes. The Republic that Boomers of my generation grew up pledging allegiance to every day in the classrooms of 1950s America, hand on heart, is no more. In fact, it died during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, which first bollixed up the recovery from the Great Depression by extending it for a decade while FDR and his "progressive" advisers (some of highly uncertain loyalty) gradually introduced neo-fascist central-planning (they were great admirers of Mussolini). Then they caught a lucky break at Pearl Harbor and suddenly the brakes were off. Washington, D.C. never looked back, booming from a backwater burg to the capital city of the planet Earth in the span of a few decades.

We liked Ike.

Dwight Eisenhower, the victorious Allied senior commander in the European theater, most famously warned the nation at the end of his tenure in January 1961 about the "military-industrial complex." As the general who oversaw the greatest mass mobilization in American history and who fought an industrial-strength war with it, Ike was well-positioned see the danger ahead. That particular danger came and went with the Soviet Union but his words apply today to a newer, domestic threat:

We face a hostile ideology-global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle-with liberty at stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs-balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage-balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between action of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

"Good judgment," however, is precisely what's lacking in today's Washington. Bureaucratic parasitism has only accelerated since start of the Nixon administration (Nixon was Ike's veep), as demands for D.C. to "do something" about pretty much everything grew and grew. Having won the war in Europe with Soviet and British help, and defeated the Japanese Empire practically by themselves, Americans felt there was no task too big to tackle. On Nixon's watch —Tricky Dick's fatal flaw, like Donald Trump's, was the fool's errand of trying to get his enemies (who detested him) to like him—the regulatory agencies were summoned into being, dark golems bent on destroying the Constitution in the guise of trying to Save the Earth.

The Era of Big Government starts here.

One of the first up was the Environmental Protection Agency, the demon spawn of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, which mandated (what an ugly word for a democracy to employ) "environmental impact" statements for future federal projects. Nixon put teeth in the law with the creation by executive order of the Environmental Protection Agency at the end of that same year. Then the unelected bureaucrats took over, and turned what had been sold as benign into a ravenous, uncontrollable, punitive beast. And now here we are:

The Biden administration is planning some of the most stringent auto pollution limits in the world, designed to ensure that all-electric cars make up as much as 67 percent of new passenger vehicles sold in the country by 2032, according to two people familiar with the matter. That would represent a quantum leap for the United States — where just 5.8 percent of vehicles sold last year were all-electric — and would exceed President Biden’s earlier ambitions to have all-electric cars account for half of those sold in the country by 2030.

It would be the federal government’s most aggressive climate regulation and would propel the United States to the front of the global effort to slash the greenhouse gases generated by cars, a major driver of climate change.

Yes, from tree-hugging to the federal government's forcing you to buy an electric car by leaving you no other choice was but the work of a half-century. But that's exactly where a regulatory agency's path inevitably leads. While they are ostensibly created by legislative acts or executive orders, once up and running they are essentially accountable to no one. Even worse, they also have quasi-juridical power, which means as far as you're concerned, they're judge, jury, and executioner. The EPA is dangerous because by its germaphobic, totalitarian logic, anything that can affect "the environment" is fair game for its basilisk glare. That mud puddle in your back yard is tomorrow's "wetland," buddy, so don't even think about turning it into a swimming hole.

The post-Frankfurt School Left almost immediately seized upon the EPA as the perfect vehicle by which to take control of the American political and economic systems, since its authority is unquestionable. It's no coincidence that the first Earth Day also came in 1970; mighty oaks from little acorns grew and today we are in the thrall of a mass hallucination called "climate change" whose unstated but very real goal is to bring our economy to its knees and our way of living to an end, for our own good.

Miss me yet?

The quintessentially unlawful and just plain dumb idea of an unregulated regulatory agency is, naturally, an American invention, going back to the Interstate Commerce Commission of 1887, initially established to regulate the railroads but quickly mission-creeping its way into control of the roads and waterway and even the oil companies. The ICC was abolished in 1996, but it birthed a parade of little gremlins, which remain with us today:

The assertion of governmental control in other industries led to the creation of many other regulatory agencies modeled upon the ICC, chief among these being the Federal Trade Commission (FTC; 1914), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC; 1934), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC; 1934). In addition, regulatory powers were conferred upon the ordinary executive departments; the Department of Agriculture, for example, was given such powers under the Stockyards and Packers Act (1938). Much of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program of the 1930s was carried out through administrative regulation. During the same period a comparable development took place in state and municipal government. Other, more recent federal agencies included the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC; 1964), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA; 1970), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA; 1971), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC; 1972), the Federal Election Commission (FEC; 1975), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC; 1975), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB; 2010).

This is no way to run a railroad, much less a country. And yet there has been remarkably little pushback against the agencies, probably because their workings are so complex and obscure that few understand the danger they pose to the very idea of Republic of free citizens. "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance," complained the colonists in the Declaration of Independence. Little did they know what was coming.

The structure of the American government has been bitch-slapped by these interlopers for far too long. No self-respecting country can so easily and willingly cede its sovereignty to mamelukes and eunuchs and remain independent for long. Nixon's misguided monster needs to be chased by a pitchforked mob into a ruined windmill (!) and set ablaze, without possibility of resurrection or a sequel. Not just the EPA but all them; it's time to give self-government a chance again. All it takes is strong leadership and a lot of willpower. Surely there's a candidate somewhere on the horizon, perhaps undeclared as yet, who answers that description?

THE COLUMN: To Save America, Repeal the 26th Amendment

For only the second time in their sordid history—the first was the repeal of Prohibition—the Democrats have found a "progressive" law they want to repeal. It's the woefully misbegotten 26th Amendment to the Constitution, the one passed by Congress and ratified by the states that gave 18-year-olds the right to vote. It's one of the briefest pieces of legislation ever to emerge from the bowels of Washington, rushed through in a Vietnam-era fever to mollify the young people who were rallying in their thousands and ten thousands to protest the war. Here it is:

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The impetus behind the amendment was the slogan, "old enough to fight, old enough to vote." The reference was to the draft, which yanked multiple platoons of baby boomers out of their ordinary lives and packed them off with a gun in their hand to fight for LBJ and Tricky Dick Nixon. Well, that's not exactly true: those kids of the era smart enough or rich enough to attend college were deferred under the Selective Service Act, the theory being that there was no need to sacrifice the best and brightest when you could ship a year's worth of high-school mechanics-in-training off to the rice paddies as cannon fodder in a war the American government most certainly did not want to win, while preserving the Robert Strange McNamaras of tomorrow for lives in corporate or governmental servitude. Who knows, you might even get a president—or two or four—who managed to dodge military service and bounce straight from academe or business into the Commander-in-Chief's chair without ever picking up a gun.

Nope from Hope.

Through Joe Biden, a total of 16 presidents (or 14, depending on how you count) never spent any time near a boot camp or one of the service academies, including FDR (who was, however, Asst. Secretary of the Navy from 1913 to 1920), William Howard Taft (Secretary of War 1904-1908), John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, and Calvin Coolidge. These usually were men who came of age during peacetime, in contradistinction to the 31 men who fought for their country, including the five Civil War presidents such as Grant, Hayes, Garfield, and a raft of presidents who saw action during World War II (Eisenhower, JFK, Nixon, et al.). It wasn't until Bill Clinton supplanted veteran George H.W. Bush in 1992 that the era of the draft dodger got fully underway, with only George W. Bush having spent any time in the military among the most recent five presidents.

Amazingly, we heard nary a peep from the likes of Grant and Ike or the men who served under them regarding the "unfairness" of being sent to fight before first casting a ballot. This is partly because the draft, in its various manifestations during American history, generally came during a time of national emergencies and then stopped; a peacetime draft didn't appear until 1940, with the U.S. on the verge of war in both Europe and Asia. The military is now all-volunteer (i.e. a professional standing army, a notion previously abhorrent to Americans).

More important, the vote was considered a privilege, not a "right" (there is no such right in the Constitution), and it was correctly judged that a young man needed to attain his majority and his maturity before he could share in the governance of the Republic. The franchise, therefore, represented a coming-of-age of the men to whom it was granted. It was never intended to be "universal."

Choom Gang this.

By 1971, however, the Vietnam War had already been going on for nearly a decade, and under the spectacularly bad management of phony veteran Lyndon Baines Johnson (Silver Star for riding in an airplane) and the quintessential egghead, McNamara (disqualified for combat service during WW2 by "bad vision"), and three years after Nixon promised he had a "secret plan" to end the war, the natives were growing restive. Especially the Boomer generation, who had experienced neither the Depression nor the war, as their parents had; hardship was unknown to them.

During that period, a college education—once reserved for the upper classes and meritocratic strivers—was gradually transforming from something that only a very small minority of American men and women enjoyed into something deemed to be necessary to achieving a middle-and-upper-class lifestyle. This was when a wag-the-dog attitude toward higher education began to take root, not least in academe itself. Because holders of a college degree generally earned more than their high-school-only counterpart, it became axiomatic that the degree itself caused the rise in income. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

Further, graduate degrees at that time tended to be highly specialized; the figure of the Eternal Graduate Student appeared, in part to continue avoiding exposure to Selective Service, although those deferments were eventually done away with as well by the time the draft was finally abolished in 1973. It is this context, therefore, that the move to lower the voting age took hold and eventually, in the teeth of massive opposition to the draft—not the war, which most Americans supported until LBJ's ineptitude had become clear to all—must be considered.

Five deferments for asthma.

The war is long gone, lost from the start by American unwillingness to devote the resources necessary for victory, but the 26th amendment lives on. So I wish I could hail the latest Democrat proposal to repeal the 26th, but alas I can't, since the cure is worse than the disease:

More than a dozen House Democrats this week proposed an amendment to the Constitution to allow 16-year-olds to vote in an apparent attempt to make it easier to enact left-leaning policies like gun control and pro-environmental measures. Democratic Rep. Grace Meng of New York introduced a resolution that would do away with the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows U.S. citizens to vote if they are at least 18 years of age. The resolution would replace that with new language that says: "The right of citizens of the United States, who are sixteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age."

Meng hadn’t released a statement on her proposal by early Thursday afternoon. But she released a statement in the last Congress, indicating a belief that lowering the voting age by amending the Constitution would let younger people have a say on many of the positions supported by Democrats. "Our young people, including 16- and 17-year-olds, continue to fight and advocate for so many issues that they are passionate about from gun safety to the climate crisis," she said. "They have been tremendously engaged on policies affecting their lives and their futures."

Yes, you read that right: 16. At an age when boys are eating boogers and lighting farts, getting more tattoos than the average sailor, and having sex with high school girls. At an age when girls (they're not even close to being "women") are pondering sex change operations and seeking out abortion services and getting even more tattoos than the average hooker. And these are the unformed humanoids with whom the Democrats (unformed humanoids themselves, to be sure) want to entrust the nation's future?

Missed me by this much.

So yes: repeal the 26th. And then restore the status quo ante, to 21. It was an amendment passed in the heat of the moment and under tremendous political pressure. It didn't do Nixon any good; a year after it became law, he was forced to resign over the now-trivial matter of Watergate, less than two years after he had won one of the greatest landslides in American history. (America's first media coup; Trump was the second). Like Trump, he was reviled from the start, cordially loathed by the Democrat/Media Complex, tortured weekly by the Washington Post's singularly nasty political cartoonist, Herbert Block, and never handed an even break.

Ditto Trump with the Covid hoax, played for a fool by Anthony Fauci and the Democrats and maneuvered by media pressure into crashing a "vaccine" that has proven more deadly than the semi-imaginary disease it was meant to "cure," the news of which was conveniently withheld by Big Pharma and the media until after the election, at which point it was administered to a reluctant populace at gunpoint by a party of political opportunists who now want to bring you... the 16-year-old voter.

Where will it stop? It won't, until we stop it. As I like to say, they never stop, they never sleep, they never quit. Next will be the 12-year-old voter, then the 8-year-old voter; by the time the Democrats reach the unborn voter they may finally reconsider their position on abortion, but by then the Republic will have passed into history, the victim of its own unlimited appetite for diversity, tolerance, and "progress." The parable of Chesterton's Fence comes once more to mind, except this time the fence has been demolished, the teenagers are not about to bring it back, and the grownups are long gone.

THE COLUMN: Why Are We In Ukraine?

By now, it's a commonplace to observe that, in accordance with Conquest's Third Law of Politics, our country is ruled by a cabal of her enemies. The brief Trump interregnum between 24 years of Clinton/Bush/Obama—in retrospect, nearly indistinguishable in the havoc each wreaked on the United States—and now the first term of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., is barely a blip on the radar screen of Progressivism. As Mark Antony observes during Caesar's funeral oration: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” Welcome to the boneyard of America.

This is, alas, true regardless of whether the men themselves were of good character. Clinton wasn't, Bush more or less was, Obama isn't, and Biden is one of the worst men ever to assume the presidency: a bully, a liar, a plagiarist, a mediocrity and, at this stage of his senescence, a clear and present danger. As for Trump, no one ever mistook him for a secular saint, and indeed he was brought down and done in by his own manifest personal imperfections, poor personnel choices, and chronic inability to control his self-destructive solipsistic nature. But in Trump's case the good he did has already been interred with the bones of his presidency, and we are now left at the mercy of a vengeful Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party determined to bring us to heel and ruination.

Case in point: the Ukraine. Back in 1965, an accidental president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, hit upon the brilliant idea of fully involving the U.S. in a pointless war in Vietnam and southeast Asia. Nobody wanted this war. "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong," observed Muhammad Ali around that time, upon learning that his vengeful draft board had just reclassified the heavyweight champion of the world from 1-Y (qualified for service only in time of war or national emergency) to 1-A. Most Americans agreed with him. LBJ, however, didn't care. We had to save Asian boys from the consequences of their imported Gallic laziness and martial impotence.

What a steaming pile of Texas codswallop that was, and even those of us who were in high school at the time knew it. But thus began the Forever Wars, the latest incarnation of which is currently being held in Kiev, Ukraine, formerly the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Although it's in a war zone, the manifest lack of danger to visiting American politicians and aging rock stars is quite obvious, as Jill Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and even Mitch McConnell have all showed up in party attire to what's supposed to be a live-fire zone, to take in the sights and perhaps enjoy a few golden oldies. Cui bono, or should I say cui Bono? As the playwright David Mamet notes in his new book, Recessional: The Death of Free Speech and the Cost of a Free Lunch: "When all politicians are agreed, someone is getting bought off."

This would be the same Ukraine whose dirty fingerprints are all over every significant scandal of the past several years, including the odiferous Burisma deal with the Biden family, as well as various electoral shenanigans in which prominent members of the amoral establishment political-consulting class have been involved up to their eyeballs, including David "Jake Lingle" Axelrod, Steve Schmidt, Mark Penn, Paul Begala, and Paul Manafort. As U.S. News noted in 2014:

Manafort isn’t alone in plying his trade in the former Soviet republic; as the Times noted in 2007, former Bill Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg was working for Ukraine’s then-president, Viktor Yushchenko, as were GOP operatives Steve Schmidt and Neil Newhouse. By the 2010 presidential campaign, the Times reported, Yuschenko had retained another former Clinton strategist, Mark Penn, while then-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko had hired David Axelrod’s old firm, AKPD Media. (It’s a small world after all: Schmidt would go on to manage John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign against AKPD client Barack Obama; Newhouse would in 2012 poll for long-time client Mitt Romney in his presidential bid.)

The U.S.-Ukraine political nexus hasn’t just involved campaign work. As Reuters’ Mark Hosenball and Warren Strobel reported last December, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, “a Brussels-based organization sympathetic to [Yanukovych] and his political party” had paid nearly $1.5 million over the preceding two years to the firms of lobbying heavyweights like Republican former Reps. Vin Weber and Billy Tauzin and Democrat Anthony Podesta (whose brother John is a senior counselor in the White House). Where the Centre gets its funding is unclear, Reuters reported: “In a filing with the European Union, the group listed its budget for the financial year ending in November as 10,000 euros, or about $14,000 – a fraction of the $1.46 million it paid the Washington lobbyists.”

It's also the birthplace of Alexander Vindman, the professional rat fink who was one of the central figures in the bogus first impeachment of Donald Trump, which was occasioned by Trump's raising the issue of the Biden family's involvement in the Ukrainian financial sewer system:

I was a 44-year-old U.S. Army lieutenant colonel assigned to a position equivalent to that of a two-star general, three levels above my rank. Since July 2018, I’d been at the National Security Council, serving as the director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Russia. Recently, deep concerns had been growing throughout the U.S. foreign-policy community regarding two of the countries I was responsible for. We’d long been confused by the president’s policy of accommodation and appeasement toward Russia. But now there were new, rapidly emerging worries. This time the issue was the president’s inexplicable hostility toward a U.S. partner crucial to our Russia strategy: Ukraine.

"Our" Russia strategy"? Easy enough for a guy born in Kiev to say. And "inexplicable" only if you're rooting for the other side. But if like all of the Democrats and at least half the Republicans in Congress you're on the bipartisan team Gravy Train, elbow deep in the one supply chain—the military-industrial complex's arms-procurement racket— that's working just fine, you're sitting pretty while real Americans suffer. After all, nothing's too good for keyboard whiz Volodymyr Zelensky and Plucky Little Ukraine, so the hell with your baby formula.

True, the latest money-laundering bill to emerge from Maerose Prizzi and Yertle the Turtle's congress is temporarily on hold because that skunk at the garden party, Rand Paul, refused to make unanimous this latest looting of the American treasury:

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul defied leaders of both parties Thursday and delayed until next week Senate approval of an additional $40 billion to help Ukraine and its allies withstand Russia's three-month old invasion. With the Senate poised to debate and vote on the package of military and economic aid, Paul denied leaders the unanimous agreement they needed to proceed. The bipartisan measure, backed by President Joe Biden, underscores U.S. determination to reinforce its support for Ukraine's outnumbered forces.

The legislation has been approved overwhelmingly by the House and has strong bipartisan support in the Senate. Final passage is not in doubt.

Of course it's not. Why would it be? From LBJ's Vietnam to Bush pere et fils' unfathomable obsession with Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Establishment's newfound fealty to the Ukraine and its roundheeled banks and politicians, and their proxy war with Russia, Americans of my generation have hardly known a moment's peace. And for what? No bono here: the nation's economy is shot, its infrastructure's a joke, its military can't fight, its police are hamstrung in the face of decriminalized crime, its institutions are all under assault by the demon spawn of the Frankfurt School, and its domestic tranquility has been torn asunder.

Instead of listening to Johnson, we should have listened to a far greater president, the man who won the war in Europe, and one of the finest military/logistical minds this country has ever produced. Naturally, in his day, he was scorned by the Democrats as "stupid" and "inarticulate," just as pretty much every Republican president elected since has been. But hear him out:

All class, and not bad from a poor kid from Abilene, Kansas. Ike's gift was a clear-eyed assessment of reality, an understanding of his enemies, and the willpower to get the job done. He, better than most of his contemporaries, grasped the rapid increase in technological change and its unholy partnership with the federal government occasioned by World War II. "Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields." But even with (and perhaps due to) his long years of military service, beginning at West Point and ending as Commander-in-Chief, he was under no illusions about the dangers of such a partnership ahead:

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction... American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions... This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience... Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications....

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic process. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

The ancient Romans had a stricture against keeping legions under arms in the Italian heartland. It was Caesar's defiance of this edict in 49 B.C. when he crossed the Rubicon with the Thirteenth Legion and headed for Rome, that ultimately spelled the end of the Republic and the descent into civil war. Now here we are, being driven toward war with Vladimir Putin's Russia by a relentless military-industrial propaganda campaign organized by a corrupt gerontocracy in command of our armed forces in support of a dubious cause, for absolutely no good reason of state. 

What are we going to do about it?

Our 'Comprehensive' Political-Media Complex

Liberals are always banging on about "comprehensive" solutions to this or that generally non-existent problem. "Comprehensiveness" appeals to their innate control-freakism, their passion for "settled" issues (such as science, or abortion), their faith in a priestly class of secular experts to guide the unwashed, and most of all their desire to supervise both their surroundings and their fellow man. The 20th century was filled with such examples, from Mussolini's Fascism to Hitler's National Socialism, to Marxist-Leninism and Stalinist Communism, to Maoism in China. The death tolls ran into the many, many millions, but so what? Comprehensiveness doesn't come either cheap or easy. After all, another word for "comprehensive" is "totalitarian."

That their "comprehensive" solution to the largely illusory "problem" of "climate change" would destroy the legacy of Western technological civilization from the Industrial Revolution to the present is of no moment to them since they, personally, would not suffer in the slightest. Like the nomenklatura of the old Soviet Union, they exempt themselves from the more onerous strictures they've prescribed for the hoi polloi. After all, what good are private jets and beachfront property if you can't use and enjoy them?

The masses, however, are still stubbornly refusing to cooperate. So it has been with unutterable joy that the international Left has greeted the timely arrival of the coronavirus as a wedge with which to crack open the commoners' resistance to their desired "new normal," a world that will make the human ant farm that is China look like Texas by comparison.

Behold the once-respectable British magazine, The Economist, which like most other formerly journalistic organizations in Britain, Europe, and the U.S., has gone all in for the Brave New World in which the citizenry sacrifices liberty for safety and the slaves thank their masters for taking care of them:

"The first law of Ecology,” as the environmentalist Barry Commoner put it some five decades ago, is that “Everything Is Connected With Everything Else”. That is particularly true of global warming. It ties together almost all of the world’s means of transport, manufacture and growth; its buried geological past and its melting Arctic ice. Like the covid-19 pandemic, climate change is a global problem. They both feed a sense of unease by being the result of everyday human behaviour at the same time as being propelled by unbiddable forces supremely indifferent to humanity. The responses to both require levels of co-operation that governments find hard. To help readers appreciate these challenges, The Economist is running a series of six weekly climate briefs alongside its extensive covid-19 coverage. The first looks at the politics of climate change. Other themes include climate science, carbon cycles and the energy transition.

"The first looks at the politics of climate change." Of course it does: to a thoroughly politicized media, everything is a political issue. Newspapers and magazines once had dedicated science and medical beat reporters with backgrounds in the fields they were covering. Like the arts, the science beats was not the province of general-assignment reporters but of specialists: sending City Hall reporters to cover the opera or the latest developments in vaccines would have been unthinkable. Not, that is, if the publication wanted to retain any credibility with its readers.

Today, everything is political. At the root of every story concerning just about anything is this fundamental premise: how will this affect the next election? In the current climate, this has been expanded to: how can we use this to destroy Trump/conservatives/the Republicans/Christians/white men/other enemies of the people? Just yesterday, The New York Times essentially awarded itself a Pulitzer Prize for its bogus "1619 Project," a thoroughly dishonest piece of crude cultural-Marxist clickbait masquerading as resentful historical revisionism whose central thesis was that the preservation of African slavery was the principal reason for the American Revolution.

As it was designed to do, The New York Times’ woefully mistaken 1619 Project just won a Pulitzer Prize. Worse, the award for commentary actually went to Nikole Hannah-Jones for her essay introducing the series — that is, to the article that brought the most sustained criticism from historians across the spectrum for its naked errors of fact.

The project’s central conceit is that “out of slavery grew nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional: its economic might, its industrial power, its electoral system.” Hannah-Jones even argued that the main reason American Revolution was fought to preserve slavery — a claim so contrary to the truth that the Times eventually corrected that part of her essay, though only to add two words: Now it says “some of” the founders fought chiefly for that reason.

Apparently, willful error can now win you the most elite prize in journalism.

Ah, but facts don't matter any more -- and, minus facts, it's easy to win journalism's equivalent of an Oscar. Post-modernist "facts" are mere constructs, to be manipulated by the media for partisan political advantage. Never mind that slavery was far from the animating principle behind the Founders' desire for personal and political freedom. Never mind that Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant puts their careers and lives on the line to free black Americans, and that Lincoln died for it. Never mind that the "climate" has changed, and will continue to change, countless times. And never mind that prior to this year, a severe but still minor virus like Wuhan, never shut down those very industries the Greens wish to destroy. 

What a coincidence. And how convenient that the tightening "comprehensive solutions" to the waning coronavirus panic/pandemic should be exactly the same as the comprehensive solutions to "global warming." And how wonderful that the formerly adversarial media has become such a willing mouthpiece for governments everywhere.

In his farewell address, President Eisenhower -- the supreme Allied commander in World War II -- famously warned of the "military-industrial" complex that even by 1961, when he left office, had wrapped the Pentagon's tentacles around the institutions of government. Today, we might more aptly worry about the political-media complex, abetted by the tech companies, that comprehensively controls the means of discussion, and wants to make damn sure that you never realize it.