'A Battle for the Soul of America'

Even a blind pig, as the saying goes, can find a truffle once in a while. And when the porker in question is the Biden administration, including the president himself, any sign of acuity or even sentience is welcome. During last week’s orgy of Democrat schadenfreude over the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 “insurrection” of unarmed Americans wandering through the hall of the Capitol and taking selfies – when not being murdered by trigger-happy policemen – Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., delivered himself of this remark: “I’ve said it many times… we are in a battle for the soul of America.”

Well, it’s true – he has said it many times, especially near the end of the campaign in 2020. The phrase has been a staple of the Democrats’ repertoire of cliches, right up there with “good-paying jobs,” “build back better,” and promises to “shut down” Covid-19. And it’s also true that we are, indeed, a battle for the soul of America – although references to “soul” are pretty funny coming from the party of slavery, segregation, secularism, and sedition.

Let's go, Brandon! No joke.

Pretty funny coming from a party that traces its lineage back to slaveholder Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican party, and whose first vice president, Aaron Burr, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers.

Pretty funny coming from the party that seceded from the Union upon the election of the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln; took up arms against the United States; fought a bloody civil war; and assassinated Lincoln just a few days after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in 1865.

Pretty funny from the party that founded, aided, and abetted the Ku Klux Klan, declared “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” and steadfastly opposed civil-rights legislation from the presidencies of Andrew Johnson to that of Lyndon Baines Johnson, when it suddenly discovered the power of the black vote.

Pretty funny coming from the party that honored its first official “Democrat” president, slaveholder Andrew Jackson – the man who forcibly evicted the Indians of the Southeast and sent them on their way to Oklahoma (“Indian Territory”) via the infamous Trail of Tears – with annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinners across the country, an event that has since changed its name to, among things, the Liberty and Justice Celebration, the Hoosier Hospitality Dinner, the Humphrey-Mondale Dinner, the Johnson-Jordan Dinner, the Kennedy-Clinton Dinner (whoops!), and the Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner.

Pretty funny coming from the party whose most notable president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, prolonged the Depression from 1933 to 1941 thanks to his quasi-socialist economic policies (FDR was an open admirer of Benito Mussolini until that became politically impossible) and then rounded up loyal Japanese-Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor and sent them to concentration camps – with the support of a Supreme Court that Roosevelt had earlier browbeaten into compliance with his policies by threatening to “pack” it. (A tactic the current Democrats are once again considering in order to bring the Court to heel.)

And pretty funny coming from a president who has sided throughout his career with racist Democrats like the late Robert Byrd (a former member of the Ku Klux Klan), who was praised by George Wallace, who viciously attacked Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at his confirmation hearings in 1991, and proudly boasted that his home state of Delaware – a slave state throughout the Civil War, even though it stayed in the Union – was “culturally part of Dixie.” A president who, in a speech in Georgia, just called opponents of the Democrats’ bid to federalize national elections “domestic enemies.”

In sum, what does it tell you about a party that has to run this hard, this fast and this far away from its own past? About a party that has to resort to claims that the two parties somehow miraculously  “switched sides” at some point between the LBJ and Nixon administrations (even though there’s absolutely no evidence that it ever happened)? A party that wants you to forget just about everything it’s stood for until five minutes ago?

It tells me they’re not to be trusted, no matter what they say. Writing as my fictional left-wing lunatic character, David Kahane, in the pages of National Review in 2009, I called them “a criminal organization masquerading as a political party,” and followed that up in 2012 with a short pamphlet called The People v. the Democratic Party, in which I explored the Democrats’ sordid history at some length.

And these are the people with whom we are engaged in a battle for the soul of America.

However, no matter how often the Democrats wrap themselves in the flag, execrate the memory of the Trump presidency – which they view as an unfortunate interregnum between the Obama administration and what is now the third Obama term, with perhaps (if Michelle runs to supplant Biden in 2024) another one or two to come – and, increasingly, regard any opposition as not only unprincipled but seditious, they still can’t run away from their past. Unfortunately for us, their past is just prologue.

Manzanar: brought to you by the Democrat Party.

For all their talk about “our democracy,” the Democrats have never believed in a pluralistic, republican society. Their neo-Jeffersonian ideal is a borderless (and thus unlimited) political entity led by aristocrats with money, education, and social standing, lording it over a vast but tractable plantation of serfs, peons, and other deplorables. (Think Mexico.) The “democracy” they’re building embraces Ivy League graduates, tech zillionaires, familial networks, globalist proclivities, a permanent bureaucracy of “experts” (a legacy of another Democrat president, Woodrow Wilson), and a religion that worships Mammon, not God.

As fast as they can, they are rendering irrelevant the idea of federalism in favor of a concentration of power in a few hands in Washington, D.C., a neutered Congress, and rule by executive order that evokes nothing less than ancient Rome during the violent Caesarian transition from Republic to Dictatorship. Slowly, steadily during their long march through the institutions they have nationalized medicine, fundamentally transformed the military from a fighting force to a sure-to-be-fatal exercise in diversity, inclusion, and equity, destroyed public education, demolished the monuments of the past and, should they stay in power, promise you a “Great Reset” future in which you’ll own nothing, like it, and dine on bugs.

Like the Wizard of Oz, Joe Biden shouts at you to pay no attention to the figurehead standing at the podium while his wicked witches and flying monkeys ready another assault on America-as-founded and its institutions. Biden and his party answer to a higher authority, perceive an arc of history that bends toward their idea of “justice,” and will “by any means necessary” compel your conformity. They wake up every morning and ask themselves: how can we punish our enemies today? And then they set about doing just that.

So Biden was right. He’s said it many times. This really is a battle for the soul of America. And you’re the enemy.

Covid, 'Climate Change,' and the Theory of Everything

Since classical physics seemingly clashed with quantum mechanics, scientists have tried to find an overarching theory. Searching for the Theory of Everything is the catchiest way to describe the grand quest. My quest is more base than grand, being steeped in political calculation. Yet it has a commonality of sorts with the theory of everything. I’m after a common factor which explains the loss of public support for three political leaders. Each quite different from one another.

My three subjects are Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, and Scott Morrison. According to the polls, support for each of them has plummeted since they were elected. If elections were held today each of them and their respective parties would be routed.

On the political spectrum, Biden has gone from (supposedly) moderately left to green-new-deal junkie. Johnson has gone from an irreverent, freedom-loving Brexit hero to a tax-raising, Covid-panicking, climate zealot. Morrison, true to expedient form, has embraced net-zero to appease wets among his colleagues, to assuage corporate carpetbaggers and, so I understand, to please Scandinavians.

Nobel Peace Prize here we come.

In the past, the issues of the day were more bread and butter than they are now. Generally, the state of the economy determined whether a government was returned or kicked out. "It’s the economy stupid," used to be the theory of everything.

Clearly, inflation is affecting the popularity of Biden. A touch of the past there. But that certainly isn’t playing out in the U.K. or in Australia to nearly the same extent. Nor does the dreaded Wuhan virus tip the balance either way in my view.

My impression is that those seeking safety, and astonishingly they are in their legions, are happy enough with their government. That’s because all three leaders have reacted with feckless paranoia at the least sign of sickness. Moreover, those hardy folk who are prepared to take a risk or two for freedom’s sake have largely been battered into submission by media and government propaganda machines. Being constantly told that your freedom poses a deadly risk to the vulnerable is unnerving.  Who wants to be accused of recklessly killing grannies and grandpas? No one. Game, set and re-election.

Biden has a border problem, as does Johnson to a lesser extent. This undoubtedly affects their popularity. But among which voters? That’s key, as I’ll come to.

Australia has the advantage of being an island continent. It’s easier to keep so-called asylum seekers out. Boats have to travel a fair way. Still, you have to be prepared to turn them back. Under Tony Abbott, prime minister from 2013-2015, they were turned back. If they scuttled their boats, hoping to be rescued and brought ashore, they were provided with life boats and pointed seaward.

As foretold by prophecy.

Of course, the usual suspects were outraged. However, no political party, except the delusional Greens, has ever risked going to an election promising to overturn the policy of turning back boats. They would like to. But they sniff the votes. The votes they’re sniffing are not those of the inner cities, the professional and corporate types, the public servants, the educators. They’re all now overwhelmingly left-cum-green voters. The votes at risk are in blue-collar outer suburbia, and in regional and rural towns.

John Howard, Australia’s prime minister from 1996 to 2007, won repeatedly by attracting the “Howard battlers.” Voters who in days past would have voted for the Labor Party. This section of the voting block also brought Boris Johnson his victory in 2019, as the so-called “red wall” of Labour constituencies in the Midlands, Northern England and in parts of Wales fell to the Tories. This story applies in similar measure to Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 and also to Scott Morrison’s come-from-behind win in 2019.

It’s not so much the issue as the constituency. Trump appealed to America first; in other words, to old-fashioned patriotism. A lot followed from that. Defending the southern border; protecting American industry from predatory international competition and from onerous regulations; and withdrawing from draining foreign military engagements.

Johnson also keyed into patriotism. Brexit was won on patriotism not on financial calculations. Who's patriotic anymore? You’d mostly search in vain in white-collar inner-suburbia. Patriotism lives among blue-collar workers and in regional and rural communities.

It wasn’t patriotism per se that Morrison tapped into in 2019 but it was related and the constituency was the same. Climate-change apocalypticism threatened the coal industry in Northern New South Wales and Queensland and, with it, the livelihoods and way of life of surrounding communities. The common factor in the victories of Morrison and Johnson and Trump before them was their appeal to the national interest. Their thinking was spot on.

Learn to code, bro.

From spot on to derangement.  Climate-change apocalypticism has finally had its way. Nobody illustrated that better than Biden in New Hampshire at the end of 2019:

Anybody who can go down 300 to 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well...Give me a break! Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for god's sake!

Of course, the extent of Biden’s derangement is a special case. Nonetheless, the common factor in the falling popularity of all three leaders is their embrace of globalism in the place of the national interest. And, hence, their willingness to sacrifice the well-being of multitudes of their citizens in a quixotic quest to cool the planet. Maniacal, inexplicable, but true.

Maybe Biden didn’t really have much of a choice with AOC and Bernie Sanders snapping at his throat. Not so with Johnson and Morrison. Though I suppose, in part excuse, Johnson has his leftist wife, Prince Charles, and David Attenborough to deal with. I can’t find much of an excuse for Morrison.

Enemy of the People: Scott Morrison.

Last time he did a Trump and put Australia first. There was a big contrast between his Party’s climate policy and the opposition Labor Party’s. Now they are both aiming for net-zero; bizarrely dependent on unknown future technologies. In the meantime, onward with wind and solar boondoggles; and to blazes with Australia’s fossil fuel industries and the communities which live off them. There will be a comeuppance. As the votes of such communities drift away to conservative-minded independents, Morrison can forget about winning.

By and large, most Republicans understand today’s political landscape, I think. Johnson and Morrison seemingly don’t. Johnson has more time to change course. He won’t. His party needs to change him. Morrison, having swallowed the poisonous climate bait will likely meet his doleful fate. Dispatched to the opposition benches in the forthcoming May election.

Build Back Biden

Want to know why gas prices are so high? The Daily Signalthe publication of the Heritage Foundation, has prepared this short video to explain it all for you.

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden revoked the Keystone XL pipeline permit via Executive Order 13990. With the stroke of a pen, Biden canceled a project that would have boosted U.S. gross domestic product by more than $3 billion, carried 830,000 barrels of oil daily from Canada to the United States, and directly and indirectly provided up to 26,000 jobs—11,000 of which were instantly lost.

Climate czar John Kerry lent a sympathetic voice to the plight of the newly laid-off workers: “Go to work to make the solar panels.”

At least there's no more mean tweets!

Do You Believe in Santa Claus?

Few 21st century adults believe in Santa Claus, at least not in the small-scale Santas in department stores, who are obviously employees, nor in the old man reputedly at the north pole who yearly presides over a supply chain of elves to deliver billions of presents each year on Christmas eve.

Yet many of these same sophisticated skeptics nevertheless believe in the existence of Santa Claus on a far larger scale, who give away trillions, convinced government can pay for things so taxpayers don't have to. According to the New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman, Washington could scare the public into accepting printed money by faking a space alien invasion:

“If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack, and we needed a massive build-up to counter the space alien threat, and inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months,” Krugman says, referencing an episode of The Twilight Show [sic; should be The Twilight Zone] in which an alien threat was manufactured to bring about world peace.

To them Santa looks like Joe Biden who has promised to make sure everyone, including foreign dictators who don't believe in Christmas, gets presents under the Christmas tree  paid for with debt.  "Just after midnight, the House passed a bill to raise the debt limit by $2.5 trillion, sending the bill to President Biden’s desk just in time for the deadline... that should allow the U.S. to pay its bills through 2022 and into 2023."

What's the matter, afraid of something for nothing? Don't worry the elves in Washington, D.C., have an ideology, called Modern Monetary Theory, to explain why all our debts will be paid by the Future. If government spend its it will come.

For these advocates of modern monetary theory, the insistence by both political parties that all the $550 billion of new spending be matched by offsetting revenue, known as “payfors,” goes against their belief that money is merely a tool for government.

MMTers detest payfors as wrongheaded thinking about money. Money only exists because of government spending, and under MMT, the government should just create as much as it needs to finance its projects. In a tight economy—like we have now—MMT might want offsets to new spending. But higher taxes or lower spending elsewhere would be aimed at avoiding inflation, not at balancing the budget... The most important claim of MMT is that a government need never default on debt issued in its own currency."

It's like having an irrevocable credit card. And it won't cause inflation, MMTers argue, as long as government taxes the rich enough to take the printed money out of circulation. "Taxes are, they concede, sometimes necessary to stave off inflation, and as a consequence, preventing inflation can require cutting back on deficit spending by hiking taxes. But the lower inflation caused by higher taxes is not an effect of 'lowering the deficit'; the lower deficit is just an artifact of the choice to raise taxes to fight inflation." So long as inflation is kept low enough to match the real rate of growth that somehow arrives from the future this process can continue indefinitely.

But this is intellectually unsatisfactory. Who is this future Santa? Why is the future necessarily fecund, such that humanity can rely on it to pay its debts? The probable answer is that life, if not stifled, gets "smarter" as time goes. It struggles to its feet despite government burdens. The definition of life is that it grows. It finds ways to turn natural "free energy" into information and intelligence that 'transformative' governments can use to pay their bills.

Entropy reduction is another way of saying bringing order from disorder. As Jeremy England of MIT recently argued, life may well have originated as process of dissipating the energy that was so abundant in the universe by inventing patterns. As England put it, "a great way of dissipating more is to make more copies of yourself.” Life turns energy into information and that energy was present at the outset, all the way back to the Big Bang or its equivalent. We discover it's Santas all the way down!

As far as the eye can see...

This Santa business turns out to be more puzzling than it initially seems. Gottfried Leibniz posed it as what may be the greatest philosophical puzzle of all, namely: why is there something rather than nothing? "The question is a challenging one because it seems perfectly possible that there might have been nothing whatsoever – no Earth, no stars, no galaxies, no universe." This puzzled even the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who remarked to Watson in The Naval Treaty:

“Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”

In this Christmas season, when even the Davos Economic Forum itself has been postponed by the pandemic, it is well to recall that it is life that resets institutions, not the other way round. That the Great Reset has been reset should be humbling. As governments fruitlessly plot to control the climate as if it were some oversized air conditioner, in various countries humble life will work a miracle. Parents will give their children gifts they can hardly afford, especially in this time of inflation; a cheap sweet, a hand enhanced article of clothing, some plastic thing from China, paid for perhaps by dint of missed meals and foregone bus rides. And the earth will continue to move. For while nobody believes in department store Santas, Leibniz's question remains: "who lit this flame in us? No war can put it out, conquer it." What made life grow? Perhaps only faith can explain it.

Merry Christmas from Joe Manchin

Senator Joe Manchin, last of the Blue Dog Democrats, has announced that he is officially a "No" on the fiscally irresponsible, $3.5 trillion "Build Back Better" bill. Which is to say that he's dropped a lump of West Virginia coal into Joe Biden's stocking, while delivering mirth and jollity to the rest of us. Just call him Father Christmas!

The details are spicy -- supposedly Senator Manchin was angry (understandably) at the White House for releasing personalized statements targeting him for holding up BBB (at a time when he's been continually harassed by far left activists, who've taken to camping outside his house) when they know full well that he's far from the only Democratic senator with serious reservations about the bill.

In the end, frustrated by the long, pointless negotiations, he gave the White House just 30 minutes' notice before he went on Fox News to drop his bombshell. In the interim, he refused to take the panicked phone calls of White House staffers, desperate to head him off at the pass.

So, what did the senior senator from West Virginia save us from? The New York Post explains:

The $5 trillion BBB bill would have been a handout to Democrat-backed unions, federalizing child-care and pre-K workers into their ranks. It was full of gifts for everyone from rich people living in Democratic states (via the state and local tax deduction) to journalists (via media subsidies). Besides being a colossal waste of money, its “climate change” subsidies would have hurt Manchin’s state of West Virginia...

The legislation would have driven up the cost of everything for everyone — adding to our already historic inflation. It was nowhere close to being “paid for,” as President Biden claimed. And yes, it is $5 trillion, not the $1.75 trillion Democrats dishonestly advertised — by pretending programs would disappear after a year or two, when they knew they’d extend them forever. Even not accounting for that gimmick, the bill would add at least $367 billion to the federal deficit.

Not jolly enough for you yet? Then check out this piece at NPR, which sobs over Manchin's decision to destroy the world in a climate change-y blaze just for kicks:

With billions of dollars for clean energy, the Build Back Better legislation has the potential to substantially and rapidly cut heat-trapping emissions in the U.S. But Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., rejected the bill on Sunday, and that means Build Back Better is effectively dead at a time when scientists say the world can't afford to wait on climate change. "It's really disheartening," says Leah Stokes, associate professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "We don't have any more decades left to waste, and failure is not an option."

Why on earth did they seek out a poli-sci professor to comment on the climate situation? More:

The legislation earmarked $555 billion for renewable energy and clean transportation incentives over a decade in the country's largest climate change investment ever. The policies are crucial for President Biden's goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 50%-52% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. Even that goal may not be enough to avoid climate change's most destructive impacts, scientists warn.

Note that even BBB wasn't extreme enough for these people, for all their wailing and gnashing of teeth over its demise. Build Back Better is already pretty unpopular in Manchin's home state (it polls worse there than in the country overall, and that's saying something). In any event, for braving this near universal condemnation, Senator Manchin has made all of the right enemies. Merry Christmas, Senator!

The Covid Policy Octopus Strangles Everything

Any fan of the James Bond films knows that S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is the nefarious global organization whose symbol was an octopus, because its influence extended everywhere, and it could manipulate world events.  If we didn’t know better, one might think Dr. Anthony Fauci’s gain-of-function research was actually a S.P.E.C.T.R.E. operation, because Covid has become a society-destroying octopus in ways that go far beyond making elderly people sick.

The foolish and unnecessary lockdowns will kill more people and create more suffering than the virus, thanks to both short-term and long-term effects on mental and physical health.

Cancer screening and treatment is one such area where the Covid policy octopus has done, and will do, tremendous damage.  Cancer screening in the U.K. was suspended and routine diagnostic work was postponed following the lockdown beginning in March of 2020; a British study reported sobering findings:

Substantial increases in the number of avoidable cancer deaths in England are to be expected as a result of diagnostic delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. Urgent policy interventions are necessary, particularly the need to manage the backlog within routine diagnostic services to mitigate the expected impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on patients with cancer.

A plot worthy of a Bond villain.

Specifically, compared with pre-pandemic figures, the study estimated an 8 to 10 percent increase in the number of deaths due to breast cancer, a 15-17 percent increase for colorectal cancer, 5 percent increase; for lung cancer, and 6 percent increase for esophageal cancer. Translated, the total years of life lost is between 59,000 and 63,000. And that's just the U.K.

One can find incidents of increased cancer rates across the globe.  At the Weill Cornell Medicine Center in New York City, the number of lung cancer patients seen by medical professionals declined by half during the lockdown, and there was a “significant increase in the proportion of patients with Stage IV disease” after re-opening.

In Draconian New Zealand, the backlog for breast cancer screenings stands at 50,000 and there's been a 14 percent increase in skin cancer.  Another paper revealed that “screenings for breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancers were lower by 85 percent, 75 percent, 74 percent, and 56 percent, respectively” in April 2020.  That was just for a 6-week period at the start of this nonsense.

The entire world was already facing a mental health crisis prior to the lockdowns.  This was exacerbated by throwing people out of work for months, adding financial stress to already-vulnerable households, particularly low-income and minority households.

The Covid policy tentacles also reached far into the homes of domestic abuse.  A meta-analysis of 37 different studies showed a 7.86 percent increase in domestic violence, revealing that, “the stay-at-home measures have placed those most vulnerable to violence and abuse in close proximity to their potential abuser, and this may lead to a continued increase in the risk factors associated with domestic violence.”

That's using the old noodle.

Ya think?

There are 10 million incidents of domestic violence annually.  As if all this trauma and its mental and physical effects on victims weren’t enough, the lockdowns forced the abused right back into the home with their now-unemployed abuser. The mean increase, according to the meta-study, was another 76,800 incidents of violence, mostly against women.

Fueling this violence, as well as being a separate category of collateral damage, was the rise in hazardous alcohol use.  Another study found hazardous alcohol use increased from 21 percent among April 2020’s cohort to 40.7 percent for the September group. Alcohol dependence exploded from 8 percent to 29 percent.

She's fine, really she is.

We already know that Covid was harshest on the elderly, especially those trapped in nursing homes.  While everyone needs human contact, and the lack of it was unquestionably harmful to most people, the elderly suffered the most.  They are already isolated, often forgotten or disposed of, by our culture.  The lockdowns prevented  family from visiting them.  Grandchildren are a source of joy, optimism, and energy for so many older folks, and they were robbed of that resource.

Yet beyond that, the caregivers in these facilities were so busy caring for those with the virus, that those without it were sometimes neglected.  Inspectors and advocates could not visit and maintain proper working conditions.  This story from the Associated Press goes into sad detail on this travesty.

Hale and happy before the pandemic, the 75-year-old retired Alabama truck driver became so malnourished and dehydrated that he dropped to 98 pounds and looked to his son like he’d been in a concentration camp. Septic shock suggested an untreated urinary infection, E. coli in his body from his own feces hinted at poor hygiene, and aspiration pneumonia indicated Wallace, who needed help with meals, had likely choked on his food.

“He couldn’t even hold his head up straight because he had gotten so weak,” said his son, Kevin Amerson. “They stopped taking care of him. They abandoned him.”

The tentacles yanked children out of school for no reason whatsoever.  Not only are children the least likely to suffer any ill effects, but they have the lowest chance of mortality unless they are severally ill already.  The most vulnerable populations were, again, disproportionately impacted.

Young children not only require education, but a vital part of childhood development is seeing faces, reading cues, and simple social interaction.  They were robbed of all these things.  Worse, they were thrown onto computers to allegedly learn.  As if they weren’t already spending enough time staring at screens, now they were supposed to have long attention spans to absorb lessons.

Now imagine everything you’ve just read, and consider the long-term effects of each of these issues on each demographic as this insanity continues.  Then consider all the other vulnerable populations that weren’t even discussed.

It's not unreasonable to suggest that the government and media are policy terrorists. They struck terror in the minds and souls of Americans, particularly the most vulnerable.  Most of this data was available early in the lockdown, yet no changes were made. And now, in light of Joe Biden's speech today, it’s unconscionable. But it's going to continue unless and until the American people demand a stop to it.

The Shape of Things to Come

Our rulers have recently completed another greendoggle on foreign shores, flying in on their private jets to congratulate one another on their plans to deprive us of liberty and property; life, too, if they’re all up for it. How much easier it would be for them if we all just died.

The primary job of any politician is communication. Communications nowadays are instantaneous and global. No reason exists for this gathering to disgorge thousand of metric tons of GHG to gather to communicate about excess GHG. If our entire $20 trillion economy can work from home and on video-calls for well over a year, these few penny-ante taxpayer-and-corruption-funded millionaires can, too.

If they must get together, if drinking maskless and telling happy lies and sitting around watching the same old PowerPoint presentations they heard last year and the year before (which can be emailed to them) are critical to their well-being, well – again, as comms are global (and if they absolutely refuse to videoconference) they can take the train, or a ship and then a train, all of which emit less GHG per passenger than Gulfstreams and Lears and Cessnas and 85-car motorcades. The longer they are in-transit, the less harm they are to the productive middle classes. If they want to extend these ridiculous and childish meets to 24 x 7 x 365, who are we to complain? As long as they are out of our hair and pocketbooks.

Look who's here.

If Congress wanted to pass a useful bill and work seriously on revitalizing friendships with our European “allies,” and do the world a favor, they could strip the citizenship from Uncle Joe while he’s gone, sell Air Force-1 to the French in exchange for screwing them on the Aussie sub deal, and purchase an abandoned castle somewhere in the U.K. for President Brandon to live out his daze.

But – they seem to think they know best, so let’s take a brief look at some of the scare stories in the media being drummed-up by our betters, and the reality behind them. After all, if we’re going to have our liberty and property taken-away extra-judicially, it’s a good idea to understand the problems causing our unprecedented loss of freedom by those who would rule us without our permission. Normally when people are asked to sacrifice, there’s a good reason for them to comply. Invasion, Global War, stuff like that. So let’s take a quick look at some of the things for which our sacrifice (is it a “sacrifice” when it’s not voluntary?) is demanded.

Arguably the biggest problem of Baby Boomers in government (other than they’re not retiring and just going away to prattle amongst themselves and stop damaging the rest of us) is that they have this childish idea that nothing changes – ever. That everything has been the way it has been over their pampered, safe, wealthy lives enriched by the Industrial Revolution they now demand to reverse;  that the world they see through Disney’s lens is the real world. For the rest of us to listen to them is absurd. Seas rise, mountains slump and volcanoes volcano.

Here in the real world, actual data show none of the “ills” with which our betters were entertaining one another in vodka-fueled stories around the Glasgow campfire at COP26. The Lancet, in fact, (via the WSJ) a journal the elite rely on when it tells stories they like, reports that, no, we’re not all going to die from the heat in 12 years.

The Lancet published what is arguably the largest study ever to examine excess mortality associated with temperature. The study’s authors, 68 scientists representing universities and research institutes in 33 countries spanning all regions of the world, came to two clear conclusions: cold temperatures contribute to far more deaths each year than warmer temperatures, and deaths associated with extreme temperatures, hot or cold, are declining. Referencing data on more than 130 million deaths from 43 countries, located in five continents they found that 5,083,173 deaths were associated with non-optimal temperatures per year, with most of these excess deaths tied to cold temperatures.

Maybe our betters are complaining that we aren’t dying fast enough? Perhaps we’re reading the entire global warming fantasy incorrectly and they want us to get colder so we can die more quickly?

Who needs heat?

It’s also what those searching for extra-terrestrial life are saying by looking for an off-world home that is five degrees C warmer than earth for optimal conditions for human life. And, of course, all food plants thrive at warmer temperatures and increased CO2, thus allowing the poor to be fed. I guess the elites don’t really care about the poor.

I’m with 'em – let’s find a warmer place and ship Davos Man there. Better for them. Better for us. Less hot air, too.

The Phony Climate War

President Biden is on record as saying that top Pentagon officials consider climate change to be the "greatest threat" to America’s national security in the coming years. Go figure. Military men mistaking hot days for onrushing barbarian hordes?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that some aging or retired military men (not all, I rush to say) go soft in the head, so to speak. And, if it isn’t universally acknowledged, it should be. I took a tour in Israel in November 2014, organised by Shurat HaDin. The tour had a military and intelligence bent. At one point we stood near the “Green Line” (the border in 1967, prior to the Six-Day War) at Alfei Menashe. Tel Aviv was a mere 16 km away as the crow or armoured shell flies. It’s obviously an indefensible border for Israel. A retired general was speaking to us. Wars don’t solve anything, he said.

Being a troublemaker, I queried, what about WWII? He was obviously annoyed with me and retorted that WWII was an exception. I just about resisted piping up with, how about the Six-Day War? What I took away is that you don’t necessarily want retired generals fighting your wars lest they’ve become deluded peacemakers in the face of implacable enemies or, worse, woke.

Talking of woke, General Mark Milley, struggling with his white rage, is not yet retired, sadly. David Morrison, chief of the Australian Army from 2011 to 2015, whose forte was diversity and inclusion, is retired, thankfully. Regrettably, neither stands out from the crowd these days among senior military men, former and current. Assertive masculinity has taken a bit of a hit among the top brass in Western armies in modern times. Colonel Jessup need not apply. For our survival, we can only hope that China is not slipping behind in the diversity, inclusion, and transgender-surgery stakes.

The forgoing is a bridge to my lack of surprise to find a new climate group popping up in Australia, populated mostly by former senior commanders in the army, navy and air force. Australian Security Leaders Climate Group (ASLCG) is its moniker. “Missing in Action” is the title of its first report, issued in September this year.

Who is missing in action? Why Australia; which, according to the report, “has repeatedly ignored the risks and is ill-prepared for the security implications of devastating climate impacts at home and in the Asia-Pacific.” Much hype follows; e.g., “responding to the climate threat is fundamental to the survival of the nation.” But it’s the lies rather than the rhetorical hyperbole which got my attention.

Maybe I’m old fashioned. Military types may turn into shadows of their former gung-ho selves; they may even become susceptible to wokeness and green Kool-Aid. I don’t expect them to speak with forked tongues. Yet there it was staring at me:

Today, unimaginable new climate extremes confront us: record-breaking droughts and floods, cruel heatwaves, unstoppable bushfires, broken infrastructure, and coastal inundation. Worse is expected to come.

A wild thought. If man-made catastrophic climate change is so compelling, why do they have to make up lies about it?

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I will take the ASLCG falsehoods in turn; mostly with reference to the experiences of the United States and Australia. I won’t turn to graphs and trends and the like. I’ll just pick out some teaching events. Events which might broaden the historical perspective of these born-again climate warriors; and, maybe, even deter them, and others like them, from telling porkies quite as brazenly as they seem inclined to do. First to droughts.

According to NOAA, “the 1930s ‘Dust Bowl’ drought remains the most significant drought – meteorological and agricultural – in the United States’ historical record.” According to National Museum Australia, “the ‘Federation Drought’ from 1895 to 1903 was the worst in Australia’s history, if measured by the enormous stock losses it caused [moreover] South-Eastern Australia experienced 27 drought years between 1788 and 1860, and at least 10 major droughts between 1860 and 2000.” From ten-a-penny droughts to flooding plains.

The Mississippi Flood of 1927 is “one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States.” In Australia on 24 June 1852, “a catastrophic flood swept through the New South Wales town of Gundagai… The disaster is still the deadliest flood in Australia’s recorded history.” To heat waves...

The period from 1930 to 1936 brought some of the hottest summers recorded in the United States. “For the Upper Mississippi River Valley, the first few weeks of July 1936 provided the hottest temperatures of that period, including many all-time record highs.” Despite the Australian Bureau of Meteorology trying to scrub the inconvenient measurement from history, the highest temperature ever recorded in Australia was 51.7°C in Bourke, in outback NSW, on January 3, 1909. How much CO2 was around then?

G'day, mate!

On bushfires, I’ll stick with Australia. You will might recall that “Australia ablaze” set the Hollywood set abuzz during the 2019-20 Australian summer. Here’s Bjorn Lomborg: “Fires burned 10 percent of Australia's land surface on average every year in 20th century… this century 6 percent [and in] 2019-20 [less than] 4 percent.” Those pesky inconvenient facts again, undoing lies.

On broken infrastructure, let’s go to Galveston in 1900 and to the greatest natural disaster in the history of the United States. Evidently, former military men are in need of a history lesson and a geography lesson too when it comes to inundation. To wit, the plight of sinking Pacific Islands never fails to bring out the begging bowls at annual COPs. Inconveniently, recent research by the University of Auckland, “found atolls in the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and the Maldives archipelago have grown up to eight percent in size over the past six decades, despite sea level rise.”

It's a case of never mind the truth when it comes to the phony climate war.  The retired military brass wants to see Australia “mobilising all the resources necessary to reach zero emissions as fast as possible.” Apparently, the cause is so flimsy that only propaganda will rally the troops. Incidentally, I haven’t nearly picked up all of the make-believe. Prime example: “In vulnerable countries, governments have collapsed and civil wars have erupted, forcefully displacing millions of people looking for a safe haven.” They must live in an alternative universe or in a Walter Mitty world. And to think, we might once have depended on them in time of a real war -- or will have to again.

Biden's Blame Shifting Comes for Big Oil

Despite being cagey about the topic on the campaign trail, Joe Biden went all in on environmentalism immediately upon entering the White House. Desperate for the approval of the climate crowd, the president killed the Keystone XL pipeline project on his first day in office, rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, and enacted a moratorium on oil and gas leases on federal land, all to squeals of delight from environmental activists worldwide.

Fast forward a few months and we're in an energy crisis. Now, Biden's green policies aren't solely to blame -- these are complex problems, and pandemic-related disruptions (which can themselves be blamed on the government, at least in part) are probably the bigger culprit. Still, they're making recovery harder than it needs to be.

What's more, it's no coincidence that the rising cost of fuel -- currently at a seven-year high, and expected to keep climbing -- tracks very closely with the president's tanking poll numbers. That collapse at the polls contributed to one Democratic candidate losing the Virginia gubernatorial race and another nearly losing in deep-blue New Jersey, and in the wake of those warning shots Biden's partisans have really started to panic. If things keep on this trajectory, next year's midterm elections are going to be devastating for their party, making the 2010 midterms, which saw the GOP pick up seven senate seats and 63 in the House, pale in comparison. At least in 2010, Barrack Obama was personally popular, even if his agenda was not. Joe Biden has neither going for him.

So Biden is desperate to turn things around. A month ago that meant begging resource companies to lower prices.

That didn't work -- shocker -- because that's not how markets work. So his administration has changed tactics. Their new plan is to open an investigation into the oil and gas industry for "anti-consumer behavior."

President Biden is asking the head of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look into whether oil companies are illegally increasing prices as consumers face high costs at the pump. "The Federal Trade Commission has authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so immediately," Biden wrote in a letter to FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan on Wednesday.

As Luke Thompson put it, "This is vintage Biden. Create a problem. Blame others. Then try to demagogue the issue to avoid accountability." "Fortunately," Thompson continues, "his polling suggests Americans see what’s happening."

The truth is, the Biden administration's environmental actions fall neatly into the very category of "anti-consumer behavior" he's accusing the resource sector of engaging in. We'd be better off if he would change course, open the taps, build the pipelines, grant the leases. That is, steer the ship of state back towards energy independence, and not fret so much about what AOC and the Green New Dealers have to say. (By the way, they're likely popping champagne at the moment, as they did mid-pandemic when the price of oil went negative, a blow from which the industry is still recovering).

But chances are he'll just keep looking to shift the blame.

Enemies of the People: Let's Go, Brandon!