Happy New Year from Omicron!
Journalist Matt Taibbi, who along with Glenn Greenwald is one of the few honest media people on the Left, passes along this end of the year salute to the our long national nightmare, Covid-19, and its media enablers.
Journalist Matt Taibbi, who along with Glenn Greenwald is one of the few honest media people on the Left, passes along this end of the year salute to the our long national nightmare, Covid-19, and its media enablers.
Look out Americans! If the Canadian media is a reliable indicator, the days leading up to Halloween and Thanksgiving (and Christmas down the road) will be filled with news stories and public statements urging people to take satisfaction in excluding the unvaccinated from holiday events and telling them they’re bad people.
“Unvaccinated relatives?” a Global News headline read in the days leading up to Canadian Thanksgiving (October 11 this year), “Here are the risks around the Thanksgiving table.” The article demonstrates how far journalists are willing to go to maintain fear and compliance amongst the public.
Don’t feel guilty for shunning relatives on Thanksgiving, writer Rachel Gilmore advises. It’s the unvaccinated who should feel guilty, and it’s your right—perhaps even your duty -- to try to make them so. Health authorities are quoted providing “safety” suggestions, such as setting the table outdoors (bring your parka!) and forcing dinner guests to be tested for Covid before ringing the doorbell. It certainly seems that the much-anticipated vaccines, far from providing our route back to normality, have become the occasion for even greater paranoia.
While pretending to be reasonable and empathetic, the article deliberately stokes division. According to the author, “research shows” that it is best to conduct conversations with the great unvaxxed with “empathy and respect.” One wouldn’t have thought research was necessary for such a facile insight, but it sounds fine in theory.
Yet how can one manifest empathy and respect in the absence of any understanding of the rational concerns that motivate the unvaccinated? How can there be respect when the quoted experts compare the unvaccinated to drunk drivers, stressing their lethal (and perhaps criminal) recklessness? How can there be empathy when there is no mention whatsoever of vaccine risks or the far superior immunity of those who have already had and recovered from the virus?
Moreover, the article provides at best half-truths about vaccination, tying itself in logical knots from the start. “The vaccines are really effective, but they’re most effective when you’re surrounded by vaccinated people,” we’re told by an assistant dean of biomedical sciences at McMaster U. How “well” is a vaccine working when it can’t protect against the virus it was created to protect against?
And how odd that, just as with the masks we’ve had to wear for a year and a half—which allegedly provide protection mainly to those around us (thus justifying moral outrage against the unmasked)—that we now find the vaccines, too, are primarily about doing our part for others.
In celebrating the vaccines and warning against the danger of the unvaccinated, the Thanksgiving article manifests two irreconcilable goals: 1) to stress that the vaccines can’t protect you from the unvaccinated; and 2) to defend the efficacy of the vaccines. These goals cannot be accomplished together without significant logical contortion and repeated mental squinting of the eyes.
“Breakthrough” infections (i.e. infections experienced by the vaccinated) are very rare, the article stresses, but they’re not rare enough to be disregarded. Okay. What about breakthrough infections caused by the vaccinated? Most of us have by now heard about the study showing that even in an environment with a 96.2 percent vaccination rate, and even with the vaccinated persons wearing medical masks, virus transmission can and does occur.
But this fact is not mentioned in the article because it would interfere with the straightforward moral polarity the author is promoting. If even the vaccinated may pose a danger, whom can one safely invite to dinner? And perhaps just as importantly, how can one lecture others on their moral irresponsibility if no one is pure? The sensible solution—to recognize that nothing in life is without risk and to practice ethical humility—is never considered here.
Not content with sowing division amongst family members, the article goes even further. Without any logical transition, it expands its purview to include the imposition by government and other powerful entities of mandates that coerce vaccination.
The article quotes Vardit Ravitsky, bio-ethicist at the Université de Montréal, about the justice of suspending human rights during Covid. “Usually, our human rights and freedoms are the main consideration in our society,” she announces casually (and we know a big BUT is on its way), “but we’re living in a very particular point in time.” It’s quite a leap from eating turkey alone to being forced to surrender basic rights and freedoms, yet Ravitsky links both in the logically strained and simplistic manner we’ve grown accustomed to from our health authorities. “This is all temporary. We will get out of this,” she reassures us vaguely, “But in order to get out of it and get back to respect for human rights and your liberty to choose what to do, we need the vaccine.”
Put another way, human rights and the freedom to choose are so important that they can be—must be—suspended for an indeterminate period of time precisely so that we can return to them at some vague point in the distant future. And until that time, don’t gripe about your rights.
One might respond to Ravitsky that it is precisely when our legal and human rights principles are tested during difficult times that we need to stand by them most staunchly; rights only matter when they are threatened. But it doesn’t seem that Ravitsky is genuinely very interested in individual rights—or ethics, for that matter. Is it ethical to bully a family member, on pain of withdrawal of solidarity, to take a medication with not-insignificant adverse effects and unknown long-term risks? Ravitsky certainly thinks so.
This smarmy article clearly shows that, whatever else it has done, Covid has provided the convenient rationale for an unprecedented degree of self-righteous intrusion by experts into the private lives of allegedly free citizens. It is a testimony to the inordinate fear produced by this virus, out of all proportion to its real threat (as shown by the low infection fatality rate), that so many people have not only been willing to endorse the meddling—and to follow the often-ludicrous guidelines—but even to demand more.
As we enter the final week of the U.S. presidential election campaign, the alarming truth is that the political issue dominating all else is whether the mainstream media and Big Tech are justified in refusing to cover news about a possible corruption scandal linking the Biden family, Ukraine, and China which might influence the election result.
That’s an acid commentary on the quality of election debate, of course, since it concedes that most of the formal election issues from foreign policy to taxation haven’t seriously captured the attention of voters as they have in most elections since 1945.
Though President Trump and challenger Joe Biden went through the motions of discussing them in the final (relatively calm) debate—and though the election will broadly determine which of two very different approaches will be followed—the voters don’t seem very excited by these bread-and-butter choices. They give the impression of being absorbed instead in a larger cultural struggle over the meaning of America which is also, oddly enough, a struggle with strong overtones of social class.
Interestingly, Mr. Biden himself referred to this in an 2019 interview with the New York Times editorial board when he described how even Democrat politicians were drifting away from their working class base:
We stopped showing up at the Polish American club. We stopped showing up, and we all went to you, the really smart people. We had a new kind of coalition we were putting together. College-educated women and college men and boom, boom, boom and so on.
To be clear, Biden was not endorsing this drift. He argued that there was no necessary conflict between progressive values and working class values, and he urged Democrats to make the progressive case to their traditional supporters. But even if that were true—and it is at least questionable—there is clearly a conflict between progressive policies and blue-collar interests. And it has come out into the open in the debate over natural gas and fracking.
Fracking is an important matter because it has revived America’s energy independence, shifted much energy production from dirtier fuels to clean natural gas, enabled America’s pre-Covid economic boom to take place alongside lower carbon emissions, and created energy industry jobs in several states, notably “swing state” Pennsylvania, where today the employment of tens of thousands of Americans is dependent on fracking. So it’s an issue that has to be handled carefully.
It would be fair comment to say that Joe Biden has mishandled the issue carefully. From the early primaries to last week’s debate with Trump, Joe Biden has taken every possible position on the fracking issue depending on who was his main opponent at the time. He’s been for fracking, against fracking, and in favor of encouraging it while removing government “subsidies” to it.
And that opens up a vulnerability in the Biden campaign. Indeed, an article in The Nation (which is strongly against fracking) gives Biden firm advice, exquisitely tailored to reflect voter preferences in a specially commissioned opinion poll, that he should back off any idea of a fracking ban: “[W]e observed significant movement away from a fracking ban, support for which dropped seven points, from 46 percent before the debates to 39 percent after them."
“Don’t mention the ban,” however, is a strategy that can only work if the media plays along with it. And by and large the media has been, ahem, compliant. Biden has not been subjected to any serious media cross-examination over his contortions on fracking—nor, indeed, over his previous incautious statements that he wants to phase out fossil fuels altogether.
If the media were to subject Biden’s wider energy policies—"achieving a 100 percent carbon-pollution-free electricity grid by 2035 [and] a $2 trillion investment in new clean-energy infrastructure,” as The Nation describes them—to a cost-benefit analysis that offered realistic estimates of substantially higher taxes and electricity prices as experienced in Germany under similar policies, it can be reasonably guessed that they would become as unpopular with the voters as the fracking ban is currently.
That is unlikely to happen, however, as everyone knows even if they formally deny it for the record. Though popular concern has concentrated in the last few weeks on the “scandalous” aspects of the Biden campaign, the real increase in media bias—and the willingness of media professionals to justify it openly—has developed above all in relation to climate change and energy. On those topics, major news organizations such as the BBC have stated as a matter of principle that they regard the science of climate change as settled and that climate change skeptics should be treated as a lesser breed of experts.
Admittedly, it is true that the degree of media bias over the evidence of corruption in Hunter Biden’s laptop has been extreme. For Twitter and Facebook to lock the New York Post’s story about it out of their systems amounts to outright censorship which, incidentally, is not improved because it is imposed by a private company.
Worse than that, not only have journalists not objected loudly to it, as they almost invariably did in the past to lesser infractions of press freedom, but some have attacked the minority of mainstream reporters who have developed the Post story further, and others have advanced justifications for suppressing it that suggest a nascent totalitarian mindset in the trade: for instance, the Washington Post column which argued that blocking its New York rival was justified even if the story was true.
Message: the media gatekeepers are back, and we should all be grateful for the fact. Biden’s “really smart . . . college-educated women and college educated men,” will be controlling the narrative again.
Might this have gone unnoticed if the motives of the censors were not transparently partisan and their actions occurring in the two weeks before an election? Probably not. Censoring one side in an election campaign is simply too outrageous to be ignored. What makes a bigger difference, however, is that the election has given the people on the other side of the class divide a rare opportunity to protest their being treated as too stupid and reactionary to decide for themselves what to make of the news.
That is the explanation, I think, of the lively, multi-ethnic crowds of ordinary patriotic Americans who have been turning up in amazingly large numbers not only at Trump’s rallies but also at points on the routes to the rallies. They’re saying “We know the game is rigged against us, and we’re not going take it lying down.” It is a great and glorious collective “No!”
It may not forecast a surprise Trump victory, however. The really smart side of the conflict is fired up too, and it controls not only the narrative but most of the institutions that will decide a very close election. That said, every election leads . . . to the next election. Goldwater’s landslide defeat inspired the routed GOP conservatives to turn their insurrection into a political movement that led . . . to a conservative landslide in the 1966 mid-term elections and to Richard Nixon’s narrow victory in 1968. Politics never goes on vacation.
In the meantime, depending on the result, both sides will be re-designing their institutional armor for the next battle—the new blue-collar Right its “alternative” media and social media (suggested title: Samizdata), and the “really smart people” more effective ways of controlling the narrative, if possible covertly, since some of them are queasy about open censorship.
And they’ll have problems—especially on the big scientific issues where most people don’t usually pay close attention but which they now find intruding massively into their everyday lives and become “woke” to them.
For instance, the science underpinning Covid-19 “lockdown” is coming under serious criticism as the lockdowns grow more draconian and a solution to the pandemic more distant. British and Australian political writers are predicting U-turns by their governments on pandemic policy. Similarly, as climate science becomes a more crowded field, so the number of skeptics increases, and the publication of “inconvenient facts” grows, not exponentially perhaps but impressively and worryingly.
As we have seen, Joe Biden and The Nation offer "achieving a 100 percent carbon-pollution-free electricity grid by 2035 [and] a $2 trillion investment in new clean-energy infrastructure” as their climate policies. That’s a lot of money. But how well have we spent similar sums in the past?
That question is answered in a recent study by five Irish and American scientists who examine how much money was spent worldwide on climate and energy policies between 2011 and 2018. Here is an extract from their executive summary:
US$3660 billion has been spent on global climate change projects over the period 2011–2018. Fifty-five percent of this expenditure has gone to wind and solar energy. According to world energy reports, the contribution of wind and solar to world energy consumption has increased from 0.5% to 3% over this period. Meanwhile, coal, oil, and gas continue to supply 85% of the world’s energy consumption, with hydroelectricity and nuclear providing most of the remainder.
I traced that information to its original source from an article by James Delingpole on Breitbart—a samizdat writer appearing in an alternative news website who added his own characteristic touch of tabasco: “Renewable energy is cripplingly expensive, hopelessly unreliable, massacres wildlife, destroys landscapes, destabilises the grid, harms indigenous peoples, and causes climate change. But apart from that it’s great.”
While such samizdata exists and reports genuine news, the attempts of mainstream media and Big Tech at controlling the narrative can never really succeed. On current trends, however, how long will that be?
We all probably played connect the dots as kids. You know, follow the numbers in order and you see the picture. In real life countless scribblers financed through tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) non-profit outfits, themselves funded almost entirely by rich leftists and organizations who are connecting dots to imaginary bogeymen in their heads.
One such organization, the Public Accountability Initiative (PAI) was the source of a Guardian article, which targeted the fossil fuel industry “as common enemy in struggle for racial and environmental justice in America.” The underlying notion is that the U.S. is and always has been plagued by systemic racism, in which the police lay a major role. In fact, there is no systemic racism and the fossil fuel industry which provides abundant and cheap energy has played a significant role in reducing pollution and poverty.
Systemic racism is counter-factual propaganda, and in this case the promoters of this nonsense on which the Guardian relies warrant some dot-connecting, too. The article relies on the Initiative's work and that, in turn, relies on the Initiative's “research database project “LittleSis." LittleSis describes its operation as “a grassroots network connecting the dots between the world’s most powerful people and organizations.”
Perhaps they ought to spend some time connecting the dots between their donors and their own work and the work of their allies.
Of all donations made to nonprofits, 71 percent comes from individuals. (The Balance) "Individuals gave more than $286 billion in 2017, according to Charity Navigator, making individual charitable contributions one of the best nonprofit funding sources."
The actual source of the money is difficult to trace as it’s listed simply as “donations.” And often one major non-profit creates subsidiaries which it then funds. So it is with the Public Accountability Initiative and its offshoot, LittleSis.
The Public Accountability Initiative is a left-of-center research organization that publishes reports on the lobbying relationships between businesses and politicians, particularly with regards to the conventional energy industry. Its central project is LittleSis.org, a left-of-center database that complies the interpersonal relationships of political and business figures, especially if they support center-right or right-of-center causes.
It was funded in its early years by the Sunlight Foundation, a left-of-center government transparency group that incubated projects through its now-closed Sunlight Labs division.  The group’s executive director, Kevin Connor, previously worked for the 1199SEIU labor union, which has been characterized as “the union that rules New York.”
And is promoted by the SEIU (Service Employees International Union).
The PAI receives funding from a variety of foundations, nonprofits, unions, and individuals. Major supporters over the past three years include the American Federation of Teachers, the Ford Foundation, and -- of course -- George Soros' Open Society Foundation.
Certainly readers know the background of the Ford and Soros Open Society foundations, but here is the background on some of the other Initiative donors from their own online descriptions. Click on the links to find out more about each organization.
The Sagner Family Foundation is a private foundation located in New York City. The organization was established in 2017, though it had charitable trust status as early as 1961.  The Foundation supports left-progressive advocacy groups that advance social, economic, and racial issues, including the Tides Foundation, the ACLU, and Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. 
Foundation president Deborah Sagner, the daughter of former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey commissioner and Clinton administration-era Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chair Alan Sagner, is a prominent donor to left-progressive racial advocacy associated with the Black Lives Matter movement and the radical-left Movement for Black Lives organization that purports to lead it.
So left wing donors, contribute to leftwing operations to provide leftwing publications like Guardian with copy that promotes their views. It's almost like it's one big racket.
Is there much to the claim that oil and gas companies, private utilities and financial institutions contribute to police foundations? Probably so. In this country, unlike most statist European countries, private charities are ubiquitous and generously funded.
Most businesses try to support institutions in the communities they serve to promote worthwhile things that government resources are insufficient or unavailable to fully fund. Is there any problem with the fact that, as the article asserts, this money is used “to pay for training, weapons, equipment and surveillance technology for departments across the U.S.”? Only if you, like they, believe the police “tyrannize the very communities these corporate actors pollute.” Only if you believe that police departments are overfunded as they do.
Only if you agree with Carroll Muffett president of the Center for International Environmental Law that ‘“police violence and systemic racism intersect with the climate crisis.”’ I will concede, that for raking in dough from left wing funders, Muffett manages to hit all the hot buttons—systemic racism, pollution, and climate crisis. In a contra factual world of left wing foundations this blather should work to drive donations which seems to be the point of so many of these outfits whose IRS reports indicate most of what they rake in goes for employee compensation and travel.
In the real world, it takes capital to remediate pollution. Bangladesh, Pakistan and India lead the world in pollution in large part because they haven’t enough capital to do the job; it's easier and more cost-effective to simply pollute and let others worry about the cleanup. Moreover, it takes ample, cheap energy to lift all economic boats. The poorest 20 percent of Americans are richer than most European nations. That is due in significant part to the abundance of resources not the least of which is reasonably priced energy.
A groundbreaking study by Just Facts has discovered that after accounting for all income, charity, and non-cash welfare benefits like subsidized housing and food stamps, the poorest 20 percent of Americans consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent countries. This includes the majority of countries in the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including its European members. In other words, if the US “poor” were a nation, it would be one of the world’s richest.
(It’s just a thought, but if these Foundations were really interested in reducing worldwide pollution and poverty they’d get a better return on their money by investing in energy production and transmission in the poorest countries instead of shelling it out to people who want to reduce energy resources here.)
The Guardian asserts that “Donald Trump is deploying militarized security forces to cities such as Seattle and Chicago to quell anti-racism protests amid growing public demands to relocate some police funds into environmental, health and social services, to create safer, healthier and racially just communities. ”This is a preposterous charge, which has not worn well. There’s already significant opposition even in far left Seattle to defunding the police. The Chicago mayor has finally agreed to the deployment of federal troops to protect her city from further destruction.
Trying to track the donors to the foundations whose executives and missions the Guardian endorses is very hard. The scant IRS reports do not require much detail, but the interlocking of foundation executives, and donors, mirrors the interlocking of those outfits and their press promoters. So it is more than ironic to see the Guardian complain of the lack of transparency respecting police foundation resources, “since they are not subject to the same transparency rules as public entities such as law enforcement agencies.”
There isn't a great deal of transparency between the recipients of donations from one tax-exempt foundation to another. On the other hand, put a nice-sounding title like “Public” or “Rights “or “Justice” in your name and you can be sure major media will not look very closely into who is actually paying you.
After a week of violent rioting -- aka, "largely peaceful protests" -- over the death of a man nobody had ever heard of a fortnight ago, the rationale behind the continuing home imprisonment of law-abiding citizens over the phantom menace of the Wuhan Flu no longer make any sense, if it ever did. Trading the economic and social health of nations indefinitely for a variant of the seasonal flu was always a bad bargain, but now that the doctors' scheme has been revealed as purely political, it's time to stop.
The great Covid-19 pandemic was always a #NursingHomeDisease. It disproportionately struck the elderly who also had underlying health problems (comorbidities) that were exacerbated by the opportunistic Chinese bug. Let the facts be submitted to a candid world:
The Most Important Coronavirus Statistic: 42% Of U.S. Deaths Are From 0.6% Of The Population
According to an analysis that Gregg Girvan and I [Avik Roy] conducted for the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, as of May 22, in the 43 states that currently report such figures, an astounding 42% of all COVID-19 deaths have taken place in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Let that sink in: 42% of all COVID-19 deaths are taking place in facilities that house 0.62% of the U.S. population.
And 42% could be an undercount. States like New York exclude from their nursing home death tallies those who die in a hospital, even if they were originally infected in a long-term care facility. Outside of New York, more than half of all deaths from COVID-19 are of residents in long-term care facilities.
This is astounding. The Forbes piece goes on to note that in Ohio, a full 70 percent of the deaths attributed to the virus occured in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities; in Minnesota, the figure is 81 percent. Most of the damage, however, has been in the New York City metropolitan area, with tentacles as far south as Virginia and reaching north up into New England.
Another way to cut the data is to look at nursing home and assisted living facility deaths as a share of the population that lives in those facilities. On that basis, three states stand out in the negative direction: New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
In Massachusetts and Connecticut, COVID deaths per 10,000 nursing home and assisted living facility residents were 703 and 827, respectively. In New Jersey, nearly 10 percent of all long-term care facility residents—954 in 10,000—have died from the novel coronavirus.
The tragedy is that it didn’t have to be this way. On March 17, as the pandemic was just beginning to accelerate, Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis warned that “even some so-called mild or common-cold-type coronaviruses have been known for decades [to] have case fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect people in nursing homes.” Ioannidis was ignored.
Instead, of course, states such as New York deliberately forced the disease-incubating nursing homes to accept Covid-19 patients, with results we now all can see. Combine this with the deliberate cruelty of restricting access to the dying, and you have a hell on earth that only a Democrat could have created.
The bogus excuse for the lockdowns, now strikingly apparent in retrospect, was that we didn't want hospitals overwhelmed with the millions of patients and half a million deaths in Britain alone that "experts" like Professor Pantsdown of the Imperial College in London had predicted. Nor did we see the deaths linked to "climate change" and air pollution that Harvard experts were forced to walk back. No wonder Dr. Fauci barely shows his face any more.
In short, nearly everything they told us about the second coming of the Black Death turned out to be wrong. And for this, our betters ravaged the economies of the West, bullied the honest citizenry, and suspended the Bill of Rights -- and then when the riots came, excused them on the non-medical grounds that "racism" (a neologism in common usage only since about 1970) is a worse health threat than, well, Covid-19. [What follows is not a parody.]
Public Health Experts Say the Pandemic Is Exactly Why Protests Must Continue
There has been a lot of concern on how the protests over the past several days may produce a wave of coronavirus cases. This discussion is often framed as though the pandemic and protests in support of black lives are wholly separate issues, and tackling one requires neglecting the other. But some public health experts are pushing people to understand the deep connection between the two.
Facing a slew of media requests asking about how protests might be a risk for COVID-19 transmission, a group of infectious disease experts at the University of Washington, with input from other colleagues, drafted a collective response. In an open letter published Sunday, they write that “protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must be supported.”
This is pure neo-Marxist bunkum, of course, a collectivist bit of agitprop that might have come from the Soviet Union in the 1970s. Indeed, the hive mind behind this tripe argue that the protesters are actually performing a public service by their selfless willingness to act as guinea pigs who can test the limits of the unconstitutional lockdowns for the greater good.
The letter and the experts who signed it make a case for viewing the protests not primarily as something that could add to cases of coronavirus (though they might) but as a tool to promote public health in and of themselves. Protests address “the paramount public health problem of pervasive racism,” the letter notes. “We express solidarity and gratitude toward demonstrators who have already taken on enormous personal risk to advocate for their own health, the health of their communities, and the public health of the United States.”
The real reason, though, is propaganda, as this Slate story eventually gets around to admitting:
By Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,000 epidemiologists, doctors, social workers, medical students, and other health experts had signed the letter. The creators had to close a Google Sheet with signatures to the public after alt-right messages popped up, but they plan to publish a final list soon, says Rachel Bender Ignacio, an infectious disease specialist and one of the letter’s creators. The hopes for the letter are twofold. The first goal is to help public health workers formulate anti-racist responses to media questions about the health implications. The second is to generate press to address a general public that may be concerned about protests spreading the virus.
There is a linkage between the coronavirus hoax and the riots -- it's just not what they say it is. From the moment Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election, the Left has been determined to destroy not only the Trump presidency but also the very country that allowed such an enormity to occur. They -- the DNC, the big media, academe -- have thrown everything they have into the fight, and that they have now turned to outright violence in its late stages ought to tell you something, both about the "resistance's" history, and the future it has planned for you.
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.