Your Papers Please, Comrade

We are seeing the beginning of the end - or is it the end of the beginning? – of the CCP (the Climate Covid Party) "emergencies." For those who may have doubted these were linked, I give you the G20 summit. It seems the G have decided that Covid digital passports are to be required to move freely about the planet. For those who wondered what Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab were doing speaking this week to a meeting of national leadership: now we know.

Because the G20, with the exception of China, are at least putative democracies, an objective observer would assume this is the result of what the people wanted. One would be wrong. No one voted for or against this; it's never been presented for the approval of the representative governments, or citizens or subjects of the G20, or the people of any other nations.

We know these passports have nothing to do with the spread of this manufactured virus. Just last month BigPharma testified to the European Parliament that these injections were never tested for their ability to repress or stop the transmission of Covid-19. If an injection won't stop transmission, which has been the stance of the CDC for months, the purpose of getting a "vaccine" to travel, would be... what, exactly?

Yup.

At the same time as G20 is COP27, the annual boondoggle of those so worried about the climate that they all take private jets from around the planet (spewing millions of tons of "greenhouse gasses" along the way) to consume vast quantities of exotic foods (flown in from around the planet) cooked (with GHG) and served to them as they meet in air-conditioned ballrooms to discuss how we, the workers and families of the world—the productive classes—are destroying the planet with our transportation, stoves, and HVAC.

As we've discussed here before, this virus was most likely man-made. No trace has been found of it or a progenitor in nature in well over two years of investigation or the testing of over 50,000 animal subjects. Once Dr. Fauci admitted the “possibility” of its creation in a lab and covering emails began showing up, that jig was up. The "vaccine" was created and patented ten days after the first sequence of the Covid genome. This simply is not possible unless both were concurrently designed and manufactured. And, yes, the "vaccine" was designed; it is not from an inactivated virus, as all other,genuine vaccines have been in medical history. It's an artificially-created DNA map.

Various studies based on governmental databases of adverse events show that these "vaccines" may have killed as many as 600,000 Americans, and perhaps, millions, worldwide. While these numbers may or may not be high, the numbers of adverse events are so high that many countries are recommending against vaccinating people under 30, and Big Pharma, belatedly, has decided to investigate whether their injections are causing myocarditis, a term in common use today of which few of us were aware in the Before Times.

Which brings us to Klaus Schwab. Herr Schwab, of course, leads his WEF creation, a cohort believing that the global population must be reduced to under one billion souls from the current eight-plus billion. “We just don’t need the vast majority of the population,” in the words of WEF Advisor/Historian Yuval Noah Harari, because most of us, evidently, are “useless eaters.” An invented virus that kills millions, an injection killing millions more and inducing infertility to reduce future populations are but two steps on the road to the goal of our elites, those running the Covid & Climate scams.

[The accuracy of the documentary linked above, which has been of course banned by YouTube, has been questioned by the usual suspects in academe, the medical establishment, and the media. A sample:

Members of the anti-vaccination movement and of its media arm excel at portraying themselves as “those who care.” The rest of us—scientists, doctors, politicians, journalists—are represented as either apathetic or simply evil. The latest “documentary” to emerge from this movement, Died Suddenly, is an exercise in reframing compassion. It also represents the apogee of conspiritualist ideas, where grand conspiracy theories surrounding vaccines are painted on a canvas so large, they involve a Biblical war between the forces of absolute good and those of pure evil.

Who are portrayed as ringing the alarm for Armageddon in Died Suddenly? Embalmers... The problem is that embalmers and funeral directors are not medical professionals. Don’t take it from me, but from the National Funeral Directors Association in the United States, whose representative told me as much, and from Ben Schmidt, a funeral director and embalmer with a bachelor’s degree in natural science. Schmidt wrote a detailed explanation of what is happening here. Clots can easily form after death, as the liquid and solid parts of blood separate and as formaldehyde and calcium-containing water used in the embalming process catalyze clotting. Refrigeration can also be to blame, especially when a rapid influx of bodies due to COVID necessitates longer stays in the cooler as embalmers make their way through their backlog.

[Watch it and decide for yourself.]

Another step down the road to perdition is digital "money." If I must have a digital passport to travel, why not just digitize my money as an added convenience? And since Schwab has told us we "all" will be chipped one day, coding "our" money and vaccine passport into an injected chip that automatically access “our” “money” at the Fed (banks will be useless and so closed; think of the taxing advantages!) and provides our "vaccination" status to a digital reader, perhaps even as we just walk past a sensor entering a store or airport or transit station, would be convenient, no? Hello, Bill Gates.

President Biden has decreed via executive order, without presentation to representative government or to the citizens of the United States (perhaps it is now "subjects") for our approval, that the Federal Reserve explore the creation of a “Central Bank Digital Currency,” “CBDC,” or digital “dollar,” and MIT is working it out.

President Biden will sign an Executive Order outlining the first ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology. The Order lays out a national policy for digital assets across six key priorities: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit finance; U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation. Specifically, the Executive Order calls for measures to:

  • Protect U.S. Consumers, Investors, and Businesses by directing the Department of the Treasury and other agency partners to assess and develop policy recommendations to address the implications of the growing digital asset sector and changes in financial markets for consumers, investors, businesses, and equitable economic growth. The Order also encourages regulators to ensure sufficient oversight and safeguard against any systemic financial risks posed by digital assets.
  • Protect U.S. and Global Financial Stability and Mitigate Systemic Risk by encouraging the Financial Stability Oversight Council to identify and mitigate economy-wide (i.e., systemic) financial risks posed by digital assets and to develop appropriate policy recommendations to address any regulatory gaps.
  • Mitigate the Illicit Finance and National Security Risks Posed by the Illicit Use of Digital Assets by directing an unprecedented focus of coordinated action across all relevant U.S. Government agencies to mitigate these risks. It also directs agencies to work with our allies and partners to ensure international frameworks, capabilities, and partnerships are aligned and responsive to risks.
  • Promote U.S. Leadership in Technology and Economic Competitiveness to Reinforce U.S. Leadership in the Global Financial System by directing the Department of Commerce to work across the U.S. Government in establishing a framework to drive U.S. competitiveness and leadership in, and leveraging of digital asset technologies. This framework will serve as a foundation for agencies and integrate this as a priority into their policy, research and development, and operational approaches to digital assets.
  • Promote Equitable Access to Safe and Affordable Financial Services by affirming the critical need for safe, affordable, and accessible financial services as a U.S. national interest that must inform our approach to digital asset innovation, including disparate impact risk. Such safe access is especially important for communities that have long had insufficient access to financial services.  The Secretary of the Treasury, working with all relevant agencies, will produce a report on the future of money and payment systems, to include implications for economic growth, financial growth and inclusion, national security, and the extent to which technological innovation may influence that future.
  • Support Technological Advances and Ensure Responsible Development and Use of Digital Assets by directing the U.S. Government to take concrete steps to study and support technological advances in the responsible development, design, and implementation of digital asset systems while prioritizing privacy, security, combating illicit exploitation, and reducing negative climate impacts.
  • Explore a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) by placing urgency on research and development of a potential United States CBDC, should issuance be deemed in the national interest. The Order directs the U.S. Government to assess the technological infrastructure and capacity needs for a potential U.S. CBDC in a manner that protects Americans’ interests. The Order also encourages the Federal Reserve to continue its research, development, and assessment efforts for a U.S. CBDC, including development of a plan for broader U.S. Government action in support of their work. This effort prioritizes U.S. participation in multi-country experimentation, and ensures U.S. leadership internationally to promote CBDC development that is consistent with U.S. priorities and democratic values.

Which now brings the climate scam into the discussion. What has digital money to do with climate? Lots.

If I've consumed my "climate allotment" of gasoline this month I could be prevented from using “my” digital “money,” to fill my tank. You didn't think a "climate lockdown" would be voluntary, did you? The jet set wouldn't trust us to stay home, even after so many millions of us voluntarily did so for "two weeks to flatten the curve," wore one mask or two, and agitated against, and sometimes attacked, our fellow human beings for not going along with the crowd.

So you were on your way to Yellowstone and now neither can continue nor return home with the kids? Sorry! Buy a steak for supper tonight? But you had one two weeks ago! Your commute uses so much gasoline you'll need to move to an apartment near a mass transit station in the inner city? It's for the common good. You run a feedlot and can't buy feed for your hundreds of heads of cattle? Oh, well. You need to restock your ammunition? LOL.

They're coming for us, too. Once we all are chipped and our travel and spending controlled, the “emergencies” will be over. None of this has ever been about a virus or the weather. It's always been about destroying the middle class, our representative governments, and the liberty have convinced ourselves we have. We don't.

"Papers, please!" to travel our world, and needing the government's permission to spend our own money—the fruits of our own labor—are but the end of the beginning of global totalitarianism. These are why we are, and why you should be, Against the Great Reset.

The Coming Struggle to Stay Warm

One of the first columns I wrote for The Pipeline almost three years ago employed the metaphor of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object to forecast the likely consequences of Green politics. The irresistible force was the imposition of a policy of Net-Zero carbon emissions upon the populations of the West, in particular those of Anglosphere, and the immovable object was the democratic electorates of these countries.

It might take time, I argued, but when the voters found that Green Deals and such meant higher energy prices, higher taxes, immiseration of the less well-off, and harshly puritan lifestyles for the rest of us, an almighty smash-up would ensue.

And so it has. Indeed, the smash-up has come sooner than I expected, namely this year, and it will almost certainly be harsher because the negative impact of Net-Zero has been aggravated by the Russo-Ukraine war and sanctions adopted by the U.S. and the E.U. in response to it.

To stop train, pull handle. But think first.

What I didn’t expect, however, is that the smash-up would take place in slow-motion. But that is what’s happening.

Almost wherever you look, there’s some not-very-important story that tips you off to a subterranean explosion whose full impact won’t be properly felt for a while. The effect is something like the delayed impact of depth charges or deadpan jokes.

Here, for instance, is the London Daily Telegraph telling us that the Brits will be wearing new styles of underwear this winter—and not because they’re hoping for a more exotic sex-life:

Households are stockpiling thermal underwear to avoid turning on the heating this winter as energy bills spiral. John Lewis, Britain’s biggest department store chain, said shoppers had rushed to buy warmer clothes in recent weeks, with sales of winter thermals having doubled last week compared to a week earlier. Sales of dressing gowns are up 76pc compared to last year.

That’s the precautionary principle reduced to the bare essentials. Like everyone else in the northern hemisphere, ordinary Brits are expecting a chilly winter this year because of the following factors (which didn't start with Mr. Putin’s war); Like most Western governments, the U.K. powers-that-be have neglected to invest enough in energy security because they quite consciously preferred to invest in transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy. That is the orthodoxy of Net-Zero (sometimes enforced by treaties) in E.U. countries such as Germany, non-E.U. countries like Britain, and the U.S.

It’s a massive enterprise because until recently fossil fuels provided more than 85 percent of total energy to even the most technically advanced economies. In pursuit of this vision of a future of all-renewable energy, Germany has shut down almost all its nuclear power stations, keeps equivocating over whether the shut down the few remaining ones, and ends up relying on “dirty coal” now that cheap Russian energy is as unreliable as "renewables."

California, dreaming...

Over the Pond the Biden administration has been refusing to license oil-and-gas explorations on federal land with the embarrassing result that it has to import oil from Venezuela. And the U.K. government too has banned “fracking” that would exploit the nation's plentiful reserves of natural gas. As a result almost all of these countries are facing the risk of energy shortfalls to the point at which energy “blackouts” and rationing are seriously entertained by utilities and regulators if the winter is severe. California too.

Moreover, the costs of transitioning to renewables are not only high, they are rising. The International Energy Agency has just revised its estimate of the investment needed to limit global temperatures to meet the Net-Zero target under the Paris Accords upwards. That will now rise from the 390 billion dollars annually today to 1.3 trillion dollars a year between now and 2030. If met, those targets would eliminate emissions from the energy sector by 2035 in the advanced world and by 2040 in developing countries. But they are unlikely to be met. On present trends Net-Zero won’t be achieved until 2060—and present trends look too optimistic in the light of the present energy crisis.

The upshot of which is that almost all the West’s governments face slightly different versions of two serious problems: uncertain energy supplies, and existing high indebtedness.

Take energy supplies first. Germany is facing a serious crisis of its fundamental economic model in the post-Ukraine world, Its two foundations were exporting cars to China and importing cheap energy from Russia. For the foreseeable future, neither now looks like a reliable prospect or even a possible one. Berlin must now struggle to replace the Russian energy half-forbidden by the sanctions it supports diplomatically.

Artifacts of an ancient civilization, if Greens get their way.

Similarly, because Britain neglected nuclear investment—its target of 25 percent of energy from nuclear power stations will be reached in 2050!—the country is heavily dependent on imported natural gas which it needs to solve the renewables’ “intermittency problem”: there are days when the wind doesn’t blow nor the sun shine. As Andrew Stuttaford points out, that makes the earlier decision of the U.K. government to close down its biggest natural gas storage capacity an especially shortsighted one. Even the French, who sensibly went nuclear in a big way in the 1970s, now have to spend on repairs and modernization.

What of the second aspect of the crisis: overspending? Two sorts of spending need to be financed here—that for Net-Zero, and that to finance the energy security national governments have neglected. Unfortunately, however necessary they are, they come on top of the massive sums of money that the same governments have already spent during the Covid-19 pandemic on locking down their economies and paying their people to stay at home. That backlog of indebtedness explains why the financial markets are becoming nervous of lending money to governments that don’t make financial responsibility their top priority. Interest rates are rising again in response to rising inflation, and that's a problem for governments that want to borrow money.

We saw that very recently when the British government fell because the markets thought it was adopting a cavalier attitude to debt. That impression was both exaggerated--the U.K.’s national debt as a percentage of GDP is one of the lowest in Europe--and largely the result of rash but trivial political misjudgments by ex-Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng. All the same, the market brought them down because they were planning to add to an already high total of government spending.

Long johns, here we come.

When that happens, every spending program becomes the enemy of every other program. If restoring energy security becomes a priority for governments, then spending on Net-Zero will—and should—come under pressure. After all, Britain's short financial crisis became a political one in part because it was leading to a rise in mortgage payments. Like rising sales of warm thermal underwear, rising mortgage payments are another symptom of the price that the Brits will be paying for ill-judged energy policies. Voters' shoes are beginning to pinch; the immovable object is beginning to stiffen.

Of course, the irresistible force (in the form of support for Net-Zero from an alliance of the establishment and radical Green anarchists) has neither vanished nor much diminished. At almost every stage it has objected to policies that looked likely to prioritize energy security over the transition to renewables. With the arrival of a new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, it has been flexing its muscles to warn him that it will tolerate no lifting of the ban on fracking that the doomed Liz Truss tried to bring about. Net-Zero is an obstruction to restoring the energy security that it undermined in the first place. The circle closes.

My impression is that Sunak is taking his time to assess what Leonid Brezhnev used to call “the correlation of forces.” On the one hand, he has said that he will keep the ban on fracking unless evidence appears that suggests it is not dangerous to the environment; on the other, he has decided not to attend the U.N.’s COP 27 Climate Summit on the grounds that, in effect, he’s got more important things to do in London. My translation: he doesn’t want to attend and be trapped into making commitments on Net-Zero that might later be inconvenient to his overall energy and budgetary policies.

He may also think that Winter when the snow falls and Britain’s bedrooms freeze will be time also when the irresistible force of Net-Zero becomes much less irresistible and the immovable object of voter resistance much more resistant. And irremovable.

New Nukes, More Nukes, not No Nukes

The war in Ukraine created a new energy reality. Russian petrochemicals, including natural gas once bound for Europe, are now being sold to India, China and other customers in Asia. Offering discounts out of necessity, Russia has displaced 'gray market' Iranian and even Gulf oil in Asian countries. The distribution has rearranged the map of buyers and sellers, but there is little doubt that the market for petrochemicals has shrunk for a long time to come.

The world is reeling from the economic impact of steeply rising fuel costs but bureaucrats at the International Energy Agency (IEA) can scarcely contain their delight at the shortage of 'fossil fuels.' They hope to avoid any further investment in petroleum and meet the entire energy shortfall through increases in renewables. "Global fossil fuel use has grown alongside GDP since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century: putting this rise into reverse will be a pivotal moment in energy history... Today’s growth rates for deployment of solar PV, wind, EVs and batteries, if maintained, would lead to a much faster transformation than projected in the Stated Policies Scenario, although this would require supportive policies not just in the early leading markets for these technologies but across the world." In other words subsidies and incentives for renewables will still be needed to save the day.

First World problems.

Prominently missing from the IEA's list of preferred energy technologies is nuclear power, which despite a high regulatory cost burden that must be capitalized is nevertheless "cost competitive with renewable generation when capital cost is in the region of 2000-3000 ($/KW)." It is extremely reliable and insensitive to fluctuations in fuel costs because the fissile material is replenished so infrequently. Moreover the big reactors -- unlike renewables -- are 'load following', that is to say able to increase or decrease their output in response to the demands of the grid. Because they are so useful, planned nuclear power capacity worldwide will increase steadily with about 55 reactors under construction, mostly in the Asian region.

Nuclear power technology is also advancing steadily. "More than a dozen advanced reactor designs are in various stages of development." The most mainstream of the new designs are the Generation IVs. The Generation IV International Forum (GIF), initiated by the US Department of Energy in 2000, has 13 member countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Switzerland, China, Russia, Australia, U.K., U.S.A.) plus Euratom jointly developing next generation nuclear technology. Six designs have been readied so far. They feature:

Perhaps the most exciting development is the availability of commercial small nuclear reactors, which are perhaps the most tested kind of all. Many hundreds of smaller power reactors have been built for naval use accumulating over 12,000 reactor years of experience. They are inherently safer. "This is largely due to their higher surface area to volume (and core heat) ratio compared with large units. It means that a lot of the engineering for safety including heat removal in large reactors is not needed in the small reactors." But their biggest advantage is they can be located—even airlifted—anywhere, even where the local grid is limited or nonexistent.

By contrast solar PV, wind, EVs and batteries require a smart grid to smooth out supply and demand. Solar farms built in North Africa, for example, need huge, kilometers-long undersea power cables to send electricity to overcast Europe. Called the EuroAfrica Interconnector, it will have 1000 MW capacity in the first stage, only equal to an average nuclear power plant. But unlike a nuclear power plant, which can be securely located near the user, a solar array in North Africa has to be secured along a long, vulnerable line of communications across national boundaries.

Given these factors, why aren't Green activists turning more to nuclear power to redress the energy crisis exacerbated by the Ukraine war? The counterintuitive reason is that cheap and reliable nuclear power would enable wasteful capitalist consumption and undo the Green agenda. Environmentalist Paul Ehrlich said in 1975:

In fact, giving society cheap, abundant energy at this point would be the moral equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun. With cheap, abundant energy, the attempt clearly would be made to pave, develop, industrialize, and exploit every last bit of the planet—a trend that would inevitably lead to a collapse of the life-support systems upon which civilization depends.

Cheap nuclear power would allow ordinary people, even in the Third World, to afford big screen TVs, game consoles, electric vehicles, lights, air conditioning, etc., all of which in the Leftist view would spell disaster.

The Catch-22 is that hardcore Greens prefers power to be expensive in order to cut consumption. As an op-ed in the Seattle Times put it: "High gas prices? They’re just what we need." The Green nightmare is billions of Africans living like Americans. The advantage of solar and wind over nuclear is it sets a hard limit on the lifestyle it will support. In that way Americans would live like Africans. As filmmaker Robert Stone put it: "as you provide societies with more energy it enables them to do more environmental destruction. The idea of tying us to the natural forces the wind and the sun was very appealing in that it would limit and constrain human development."

For the radical Greens, that's a good thing.

OPEC Slashes Production: Dems, Your Wallet Hardest Hit

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC+, has agreed to a major cut in oil production. According to CNN, the supercartel -- which includes the 13 member nations of OPEC as well as a loose grouping of ten or eleven other oil producing states like Russia, Mexico, and Kazakhstan -- will slash production by "2 million barrels per day, the biggest cut since the start of the pandemic," a reduction "equivalent to about 2 percent of global oil demand."

Always concerned about the fate of their beloved Democrats, the CNN report makes it a point to mention that this "threatens to push gasoline prices higher just weeks before U.S. midterm elections." No kidding. Of course, for our captured commentariat, the disruption this might cause to their political narrative is a bigger deal than the disruption to people's lives. Gas prices have come down since their summer peak, but they are still outrageously high compared to just a couple of years ago. Americans are already struggling to fuel their cars and handle the soaring price of groceries and other necessities that have been inflated by soaring gas prices.

Still, they're not wrong. Despite some frankly terrible candidate selections on the GOP side, widespread dissatisfaction with Democratic policies have made several midterm races closer than they have any right to be. Oil and gasoline prices trending upwards again, especially just as heating season is getting underway, is likely to tip the balance further to the right.

No wonder Politico reports that Democrats are "seething" at the vote, and are frustrated that the Biden administration's attempts to influence OPEC decision making -- including a presidential visit to Saudi Arabia in July -- were all for naught. While visiting Riyadh, Biden's charm-offensive infamously included a fist-bump for the cameras with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to kick-off their meeting. Maybe he would have gotten better results if Biden hadn't pledged during his presidential campaign to make the Kingdom a "pariah" state. Wanna bet the Crown Prince took exception to those remarks?

Hoping to get out ahead of GOP point-scoring, Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), put out a statement saying, “I hope that Republicans will join me in supporting [economic retaliation] rather than wishing high gas prices on the American people so they win an election."

Nice try, but the Democrats are responsible for this mess, and they're going to have to live with the consequences. If they weren't so focused on killing Keystone XL (the original sin of this administration's energy and economic policies); on banning oil and gas leases (and then half-heartedly reintroducing them); on pushing ESG on their big bank cronies at every turn; on backing the closure of U.S. oil refineries, or their conversion into BioFuel processing plants; all while appointing devout Green New Dealers to the cabinet; and generally waging war on the resource sector, we wouldn't be in anything like the mess we're in.

Not to worry though -- the White House is looking to make it all better by releasing 10 million more barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (because that worked so well the last time) while easing sanctions on Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro's oil-rich authoritarian regime. Maybe Glenn Reynolds was right when he said the real issue here is

[Our] domestic oil industry enriches people — and states — Democrats don’t like." Money going to Saudis, Russians or Venezuelans is one thing, but money going to Texans, Oklahomans or South Dakotans is another. Truth is, red states and their inhabitants rank higher on the administration’s enemies list than do shady foreign nations.

One year ago, right here at The Pipeline, this author wrote that, under this administration, "OPEC is back in the driver's seat." Sometimes, you hate to be right.

Who Blew Up the Nord Stream Pipelines?

The Nord Stream pipelines, which run under the Baltic Sea, have been severed by an explosion, causing huge amounts of natural gas to spill out into the ocean. That much is certain. Moreover, sabotage was the most likely cause. After all, one pipeline being breached by an explosion would be suspicious. But two? In three separate places? Especially with those pipelines being a bone of contention between major powers in the midst of a war? High unlikely.

And it isn't just the multiplying of coincidences -- according to Bloomberg, there is hard evidence that it was not an accident:

Germany suspects the damage to the Nord Stream pipeline system used to transport Russian gas to Europe was the result of sabotage. The evidence points to a violent act, rather than a technical issue, according to a German security official, who asked not to be identified because the matter is being probed. In response to the pipeline leaks in the Baltic Sea, Denmark is tightening security around energy assets.

So who is responsible? Early statements from Western leaders have pointed the finger at Russia, but it seems extremely unlikely that Vladimir Putin would order the destruction of his own pipeline. Especially since he has been using Nord Stream to remind German Chancellor Olaf Scholz of the cost to his country for the continuation of the war in Ukraine into the winter months. As this author wrote recently, the Russians have "cut down natural gas flows to Germany by 60 percent, blaming mechanical problems while ostentatiously burning $10 million worth of natural gas per day at the mouth of the Nord Stream pipeline rather than sending it to Germany."

Why would Putin cut off his own pressure point? And if not him, who? Tucker Carlson has a theory. Perhaps it was the Biden White House. It sounds crazy: could Biden, Carlson asks, and his merry band of environmentalists intentionally leak millions of gallons of liquid natural gas into the ocean, and from there into the atmosphere, when they are always going on about the horrible effects of gas on the environment?

At the same time, Carlson and his team have unearthed footage of President Biden and the State Department's Victoria Nuland (who always seems to be caught up in the affairs of Ukraine) assuring the American people that if Putin invades, than (in Biden's words) "there will be no longer a Nord Stream... We will bring an end to it."

Moreover, Carlson points to a tweet from Polish politician Radek Sikorski, who is overjoyed by this development and clearly thinks it has Biden's fingerprints on it.

Sikorski is a member of the neo-liberal Civic Platform party (which the Biden administration would love to see come back into power in Poland) and previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under Donald Tusk, who went onto become president of the European Union. He's also married to The Atlantic's Anne Applebaum, who Carlson rightly refers to as the liberal world order's "regime stenographer." All of which is to say, he's very well connected and this is more than conjecture on his part.

What would be the consequences if it does turn out that the America is responsible? Mark Antonio Wright thinks it would mean a serious breach between Germany and the United States:

It shouldn’t need to be said, however, that the fingerprints of the United States on this incident would break the Western alliance. Whether or not it was bad economic and geopolitical policy on the part of the Germans to build this pipeline (and it surely was), the Germans would never forgive America for such an action. Do you think that German politicians would be able to withstand the political pressure from a very cold German public during a very cold German winter if America could be shown to be responsible for some of that trouble? I don’t. The Germans would throw the Ukrainians overboard, and the United States would have surrendered the moral high ground and probably lost this war in a single stroke.

Tucker Carlson's take is even darker. He argues that this would be a direct provocation of "the largest nuclear power in the world." Not, he says, that we should expect it to go nuclear immediately. But it would give Russia a real excuse to engage in some industrial sabotage of its own. Which could, very quickly, "cascade downward" into the homes of average Americans.

Watch his report and make your own decision.

THE COLUMN: 'Not Worth the Bones of a Single Grenadier'

Otto von Bismarck, Germany's Iron Chancellor and the man who united most of the German states into a unified Second Reich in the second half of the 19th century, once famously observed that Der ganze Balkan ist nicht die gesunden Knochen eines einzigen pommerschen Grenadiers wert. "The entire Balkans aren't worth the sound bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier." The joke being that a) the Balkans had always been an intractable mess and always would be, b) Pomerania itself had a long history of being conquered and reconquered by Prussians, Poles, Lithuanians, and Swedes, and Pomeranians were regarded as lousy soldiers, and c) a Pomeranian is a breed of small yipping dog. 

Bismarck was right about the Balkans, but he might as well have been speaking of the Ukraine, a troubled land (its name means "borderland"), oft-conquered, rarely independent, generally restive, and almost always miserable. Like the Kurds, the Ukrainians are for reasons of geography basically a people without a country, long dominated by Russia both in its czarist and Soviet incarnations; indeed, Russians regard the Ukrainian capital of Kiev as an essential part of the Motherland, celebrated in both architecture and music by Viktor Hartmann and Modest Mussorgsky: 

The Ukraine won its independence after the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991. As part of the deal, the Ukrainians were persuaded/coerced by Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, among other signatories to the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, to surrender the nuclear weapons stationed on their soil. The key point for Russia was that the Ukraine, as a buffer state between itself and the West, should never be allowed to threaten the Russian homeland. The Russians, with their tenuous hold on a vast continental empire, the biggest nation on Earth, have long memories of foreign (particularly Teutonic) invasions that stretch well before Napoleon won his pyrrhic victory at Borodino and then had to retreat from a burning Moscow, destroying the Grande Armée. The idea was that Russia wouldn't threaten its former Warsaw Pact states and in return NATO wouldn't edge up to Russia's borders.

You say Kyiv, they say Kiev.

The West, of course, welshed on the deal, and has gradually been impressing other satellite countries near Russia's western border into the service of a now-explicitly anti-Russian (as opposed to anti-Soviet) North Atlantic Treaty Organization: Albania and Croatia in 2009 and, more recently, the military powerhouses of Montenegro and North Macedonia. More are likely on their way, including Finland and Sweden, historically both enemies of Russia. The Ukraine clearly wishes to join NATO as well, especially latterly, under its president Vladimir Zelensky—but at the moment is prevented from doing so by among other things a law passed under its own former government in 2010. 

The biggest cheerleaders for the Ukraine in the current war have turned out to be, surprise, Joe Biden and his always-wrong, America Last foreign policy establishment, headed by secretary of state Anthony Blinken, a retread from both the Clinton and Obama administrations. Biden and his noxious family have long used the Ukraine—the most corrupt country in Europe—as their personal piggybank and money laundromat, and in the recent past he has openly boasted about his ability to legally blackmail Ukrainian officials into doing his bidding. His word as a Biden!

But then, why wouldn't he? As a bloviating senator of nearly half a century, Biden is thoroughly accustomed to never being held responsible for a single thing he says. He's dined out on the death of his wife and daughter in a car accident for 50 years, blithely accusing the other driver of being drunk, which he wasn't, among the many, many other malicious lies he's told. He casually slandered good men like Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas and never lost a moment of sleep over his scurrilous remarks. Biden is emblematic of our parlous politics, the worm in the rotten apple who has finally made his journey from the calyx to the pedicel and emerged into the sunlight, a doddering old fool, vacant-eyed (except when animated by hatred), slack-jawed, wandering aimlessly in search of another hand to shake or another pocket to pick, which as a lifelong politician is all he knows how to do. 

Now, however, he's actually dangerous; presidential pronouncements have consequences. The definition of Irish Alzheimer's—you only remember the grudges—fits him to a T. In his Fredo brain, never very impressive to begin with, he's focusing his animus on Russia because that's the country that most threatens to bring the whole Biden house of cards down around his head. He knows that even the Praetorian Media, which throttles bad news (especially about the louche Hunter, of which there is a seemingly endless supply) in its cradle, won't be able to protect him forever, that he's got two years before his improbable and wholly regrettable presidency is over, and that his choleric chickens will eventually come home to roost. 

And so, with Vladimir Putin calling up the reserves to bolster his faltering invasion (or reclamation) of at least parts of the Ukraine, Biden and his brain trust are turning the conflict into a proxy war between the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R. Never mind that the American military has finally reached the limits of its tolerance, and is cracking under the stress of wokism being imposed upon it from above. It's in no position to fight even a proxy war, much less engage in a nuclear exchange with Russia, but that's exactly where this is heading if the president doesn't stop recklessly shooting off his mouth:

It would help if the castrati in Congress would at least pretend to try and rein Biden in, but under the "leadership" of a malign Chuck Schumer and a rapacious minority leader, Mitch McConnell, not to mention the superannuated, bibulous speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, the first branch of government has taken its lead from the second branch under Biden and is only in it for the money, of which it plans to take all it can get. Declare war? Restrain the powers of the presidency? Stop the march of the spending bills? Surely you jest: don't you know there's still a Covid emergency on, no matter what the man behind the prompter says?

In the meantime, billions and billions of freshly printed greenbacks flow to the Ukraine, where Zelensky conducts a photo-op war that, strangely, never includes any first-hand footage from the front by the American news media. Then again, media mopes are even lazier than Congresscritters, so if they don't see it on Twitter or TikTok, it's not news. They're all Taylor Lorenz now, and they don't care who knows it, as long as their bosses don't find out.

Live! From Kyiv! It's World War III.

Putin is a man who has watched his country shot out from underneath him, the Soviet sphere of influence dramatically reduced, NATO encroaching across his western frontier, his country's birth rate falling, and the once-vaunted Red Army apparently taking a licking from Ukrainians armed by a consort of nations that includes Great Britain and the old "principal enemy,: the U.S.A. So it's well to remember that Russians are used to being pushed to the last extremity before ferociously snapping back and eviscerating their tormentors, whatever the cost to them.

In 1410 the Teutonic Knights were annihilated by a combined Polish-Lithuanian force at the battle of Tannenberg, in the same part of Prussia as Pomerania. In 1943, the Wehrmacht's frozen Sixth Army surrendered to the Soviets at Stalingrad. And in the awful winter of 1812, Napoleon's dreams of total European conquest died in the snows of Eastern Europe as well. It's a bad neighborhood filled with guys a lot tougher than Joe Biden and Tony Blinken. The Ukraine-Russia war is not our fight, and isn't worth the strong bones of a single American soldier or civilian. Let's hope they—and we—don't have to learn that the hard way. Just ask Napoleon.

'The Lamps Are Going Out All Over Europe'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Ukraine, Cold War II Meets the 'Great Reset'

Luckily for humanity, the outbreak of the Second Cold War has hampered the Great Reset project by fragmenting the international order on whose concerted coordination it is premised. The international order is split anew. For the first time since the end of Cold War I, Russian oligarchs were not welcome at the annual World Economic Forum gathering. "Russia’s absence at Davos," write Fidler and Simmons at the Wall Street Journal, "marks the unraveling of Globalization... The Davos meeting ... came to symbolize the era of globalization... Now, many participants are convinced that the era is over, its demise accelerated by the war in Ukraine."

Even before Putin's armies actually crossed the Ukrainian frontier, it was clear that an important part of the global world order had broken down. At a speech before the Munich Security Conference on Feb 19, 2022, three days before the invasion, British prime minister Boris Johnson said "we have to steel ourselves for the possibility of a protracted crisis, with Russia maintaining the pressure and searching for weaknesses over an extended period, and we must together refuse to be worn down. What Europe needs is strategic endurance, and we should focus our energies on preserving our unity and on deepening trans-Atlantic cooperation... After a generation of freedom, we’re now staring at a generation of bloodshed and misery."

Four months later, during a visit to embattled Kyiv, Johnson confirmed his prediction based on battlefield events. "I am afraid that we need to steel ourselves for a long war, as Putin resorts to a campaign of attrition, trying to grind down Ukraine by sheer brutality... the U.K. and our friends must respond by ensuring that Ukraine has the strategic endurance to survive and eventually prevail. Everything will depend on whether Ukraine can strengthen its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its capacity to attack... Our task is to enlist time on Ukraine's side."

Time running out for Plucky Little Ukraine?

Historians in the future may well regard Boris Johnson's "strategic endurance" speech as the equivalent of Churchill's Iron Curtain warning, when the unity of the anti-Nazi coalition collapsed into the first Cold War. "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent," the old lion warned less than a year after Nazi Germany surrendered. It took a little longer after the fall of the USSR to happen, but Russia and China are also building a separate world.

Foreign Affairs puts the date the split formally began as Feb 4, 2022: "There they were, meeting in Beijing on February 4: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Shortly before the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics, the two leaders released a remarkable 5,300-word joint statement about how the partnership between China and Russia would have no limits: "the existing world order, which aspired to build a global commonwealth, had already been failing." Twenty days later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

Yet neither the Davoisie nor the Biden administration saw it coming. Instead of recognizing the pandemic that China covered up as the death knell of the global world, they saw it as a chance for its fulfillment. Up until the outbreak of the war both Europe and America were obsessed with "climate change," so when Russian oil and Ukrainian wheat went off the world market Washington was caught completely off guard by the energy crisis and threat of famine that ensued. Biden, reports Politico, is racing against time to unlock Ukraine’s trapped grain. "The Biden administration is desperate to find ways to move as much grain as possible out of the war-torn country. They estimate the blockade is holding back more than 20 million tons of grain from the world food supply, driving food prices and world hunger to near-crisis levels." The current world clearly has higher priorities than the diversity, inclusion and environmentalism envisioned by the Great Resetters. It needs in the first instance, simply to eat.

Time for a volte-face?

There are no quick fixes. The fuel crisis has forced Biden to wrench his energy policy into reverse. But even those desperate reversals, says the New York Times, "which environmentalists and many Democrats oppose because they would retard efforts to combat climate change — would have little immediate impact because it takes months for new oil wells to start producing and pipelines can take years to build." Bill Maher ripped Biden for getting off fossil fuels without a replacement and with the president now begging Saudi Arabia for oil. "But the truth is that when people get off fossil fuels before they have a replacement, they wind up going back to even worse fossil fuels," Maher added, "Germany said, 'We don’t want nuclear power anymore,' which is the cleanest, and what did they have to go back to? Coal."

Coal is what China and India have never stopped doing in a big way. "If you think the world is moving beyond coal, think again. The post-Covid economic rebound and surging electricity demand have resulted in big increases in coal prices and coal demand. Since January, the Newcastle benchmark price for coal has doubled. And over the past few weeks, China and India have announced plans to increase their domestic coal production by a combined total of 700 million tons per year. For perspective, U.S. coal production this year will total about 600 million tons." Edward Grey's famous remark from August 3, 1914 comes to mind. "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

But today Grey might add that the oil would keep the lamps burning in China. Few realized that at best renewables would take decades to implement; that it would take trillions to revamp the grid and other infrastructure before wind and solar could be depended on to any major extent. Biden and the Western Europeans failed to account for this, or assumed that the Woke West could surreptitiously make up the difference from Russian imports indefinitely -- and are now paying the price.

A British military think tank  argues that if the West is to have any hope winning the new long war against Russia and China -- acquire strategic endurance in Boris Johnson's words -- it must reindustrialize immediately. "The war in Ukraine has proven that the age of industrial warfare is still here. The massive consumption of equipment, vehicles and ammunition requires a large-scale industrial base for resupply – quantity still has a quality of its own."

This reality should be a concrete warning to Western countries, who have scaled down military industrial capacity and sacrificed scale and effectiveness for efficiency. This strategy relies on flawed assumptions about the future of war, and has been influenced by both the bureaucratic culture in Western governments and the legacy of low-intensity conflicts. Currently, the West may not have the industrial capacity to fight a large-scale war.

Even achieving stalemate in Ukraine would mean re-shoring industry and reducing dependence on China/Russia. That would mean the end of the global world, and for the moment at least, a halt to the dream of Davos and the Great Reset. While this would be a cruel disappointment to the Left there's no help for it. The West will need vast quantities of everything Woke doesn't make to win Cold War II: food, energy, freedom, healthy demographics and testosterone. It is possible to win Cold War II or be Woke, but not both. This is the fundamental choice Western politics must wrestle with in the coming years.

Seven-Dollar Gas Just Around the Corner

We've just passed Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, and most Americans have already begun to map out their vacation plans for this year. After two summers lost to the Wuhan coronavirus there seems to be a widespread desire to make up for lost time by packing the kids into the car and heading out for an adventure.

Unfortunately, the price of gasoline figures to take up a significantly larger chunk of the vacation budget this year. The Energy Information Administration's average gas price tracker has been helpfully demonstrating the fact that, with more-or-less every update, we set a new record for prices at the pump. That record for the week ending on May 30th is $4.727 per gallon, with prices in some places in California topping the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour according to CBS News. These are almost unimaginable sums considering the fact that the price was $2.464 when Joe Biden took office.

And it's going to get worse. Fuel price analyst Patrick De Haan predicts that the price of gas will hit $5 per gall by June 17th. JPMorgan analyst Natasha Kaneva predicts that we will be paying $6.20 nationally by August. Both of those projections came out before the announcement that the European Union would ban Russian oil and gas imports by the end of 2022, which led to a significant increase in the per-barrel price of oil. Which is to say, those might be underestimates. We could be close to $6 per gallon by the Fourth of July. Maybe by Labor Day we'll be nearing $7.

Speaking of Russia, Ed Morrisey deftly counters the ridiculous White House spin that this is a crisis of Putin's making, saying "Gas prices have escalated by 91% under Joe Biden … so far. They went up 43% before Vladimir Putin began positioning troops around Ukraine, in fact." Had Biden not declared war on the oil and gas industry right out of the gate, we would have been better able to absorb Putin's blow to oil markets. Indeed, we would have been well positioned to step into the role of Europe's preferred energy supplier, likely bringing about a Russian energy embargo much sooner and possibly preventing the war from dragging on as long as it has.

Luckily Biden's attempt to pass the buck doesn't seem to be fooling anyone--  a new poll by the Trafalgar Group found that 60 percent of Americans believe Biden's policies are primarily to blame for our current economic woes. That bodes well for the midterm elections and, if it holds, for the elections in 2024.

Maybe those will lead to the types of policy changes that will turn this crisis around. Unfortunately they won't happen soon enough to keep gas prices from ruining our summer.

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?