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 COLUMN: 'By Any Means Necessary'

Those of us who weathered the Sixties as teenagers well remember the fraught nature of American society in the annus horribilis of 1968. The Tet offensive in Vietnam. The asssassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy. Riots in dozens of cities across the land. The self-immolation of a president, Lyndon Johnson. The ongoing mess in Vietnam, a war we didn't have to fight and didn't want to win.

The "student" riots at the Democrat convention in Chicago, at which the donkeys chose LBJ's vice-president, Hubert Horatio Humphrey, the quintessential "Minnesota Nice" representative of that quirky state's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party—which believe it or not, still exists and dominates formerly German-Scandinavian and now Mogadishustanian politics to this day. The election of Richard M. Nixon, back from the political graveyard, in November of that year. And much, much more:

One of the ringing phrases of that decade was "by any means necessary," which was included in a 1960 speech by the black French West Indian radical Marxist Frantz Fanon, "Why we use violence." The phrase may have had its roots in the 1948 play Dirty Hands (Les mains sales) by the Existentialist French playwright and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre ("It is not by refusing to lie that we will abolish lies: it is by eradicating class by any means necessary") and then was widely popularized by Malcolm X in 1965 (the year of his own assassination): "We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary." It's a slogan now associated with black American filmmaker Spike Lee, who adopted it from Malcolm while making his eponymous film.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, "by any means necessary" means violence, otherwise known by the 1960s' euphemism, "direct action.

Well, what goes around comes around and here we are, more than half a century later, as the passions that inflamed Americans back then, while different somewhat in their particulars, are still burning bright. We saw "by any means necessary" and "direct action" in action during the George Floyd summer of 2020, when cities burned during "mostly peaceful" protests over the death of a hitherto obscure minor career criminal who expired while under restraint by the hapless Minneapolis police department. Does anyone even remember who George Floyd was? But his death birthed the Black Lives Matter movement, and his memory still graces a couple of blocks of 16th Street NW in Washington, D.C., just steps from the White House. 

Memento mori on 16th Street.

Things fall apart: when one of the capital's main streets, leading directly to the front door of the White House (hence the address, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.), boasting some of the city's leading hotels, including the Hay-Adams, are effectively closed to through traffic, the rule of law no longer obtains. On both sides: who can forget the colossal error in judgment (at the very least) of the January 6 demonstrations, which has resulted in hundreds of arrests, with many people still sitting in prison, and an ongoing show trail run by the Democrats in Congress designed to punish their mortal enemy, Donald J. Trump?

Just last week, former presidential adviser and campaign guru Steve Bannon was convicted by a kangaroo court for "contempt of Congress," a "crime" one or two rungs lower on the tort list from spitting on the sidewalk or picking your feet in Poughkeepsie. (Former Obama attorney general/wingman Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress in 2014, but amazingly the administration declined to prosecute.) 

The old Soviet Union or National Socialist Germany would have been proud of this farce: unable to mount the defense he and his lawyers sought thanks to a series of adverse rulings by the judge, Bannon's team chose no defense at all, but instead will appeal the conviction to a higher court.

The judge barred the defense from calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and members of the Jan. 6 committee to the stand, prevented it from arguing that the select committee violated House rules by calling on Bannon to testify, and from claiming that Bannon ignored the subpoena on the advice of his counsel or at Trump’s direction. Bannon’s legal team cited the earlier rulings as part of their reasoning for keeping him off the stand, saying the defendant “understands that he would be barred from telling the true facts.”

At this point in the sad history of the decline and fall of the American republic, what patriotic citizen doesn't have contempt for Congress and just about every other institution of government that's been corrupted by money, power, unaccountability, and an unabashed loathing for the nation and its people? Forget home rule; Washington is now run by mob rule, and the government's part of the mob. When things go this wrong, who isn't tempted to agree with Al Pacino in this clip from Norman Jewison's 1979 film, "... And Justice for All"?

But it's not just D.C. where political grievances have been taken to the streets. Protests against a perfectly lawful decision by the Supreme Court regarding abortion (returning the matter to the states) were of course met with protests everywhere, and a would-be assassin even got all the way from California to Justice Brett Kavanaugh's home in suburban Maryland before his nerve failed him and he turned himself in. In upstate New York, Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor in one of America's worst and most dysfunctional states, was assaulted with a weapon while giving a campaign speech; the alleged perp was released without bail the next day, but later hit with federal charges. "You're done," he said to Zeldin as he moved toward him, although that may just have been the whisky talking, as the man claimed.

Americans have been driven crazy by events since the election of 2000, which has called into question the validity of every election since, and also by developments abroad, starting with the George W. Bush administration's profoundly witless response to the attacks of 9/11. A long, pointless military exercise against backwater places that had little or nothing to do with Osama bin Laden's private—and extraordinarily effective—jihad against the West culminated in the Biden administration's criminally feckless pullout from Afghanistan in 2021, elevating a rag-tag band of razorless primitives to the best-equipped private army on the planet.

On the home front, a steady diet of woke enormities regarding deviant sexual grooming in the schools, surgical disfigurement and chemical castration of children, the perversion of both biology and the language by woke ideology, the president's son Hunter Biden's open cavorting with hookers, snorting coke, and brokering deals with unsavory places like China and Plucky Little Ukraine, the breakdown of public order, the belated acknowledgment by the media that the Covid "vaccines" neither prevent or ameliorate the damages caused by the virus and may in fact be harmful, and that the entire totalitarian overreaction of 2019-2022 was a great big joke—on us. Not that they're sorry about it, however, because the beta test of tyranny taught the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party that Americans were sheep and can in the future be stripped of their rights and liberties with impunity.

It's that simple!

And then there's the entire "Green Energy" hoax, an all-purpose pretense to raise the cost of fuels, restrict your mobility, and cripple agriculture, all in the name of a demonstrably untrue and malicious Luddite fantasy aimed directly at your survival.

Partisans on both sides of the ideological divide now speak openly of civil war—"direct action" at its rawest—and who can blame them? The country is a mess, its Congress a criminal oligarchy of the elderly, and the presidency controlled by the same few families for the past 40 years (the Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas, the Trumps), with a Trump v. Biden rematch possibly in the cards for 2024, unless either sensible heads prevail or the Grim Reaper finally comes to call for the Baby Boomers.

If war comes, however, it won't be geographical but ideological. The states have split between the parties, while the parties have split the electorate in odd ways: rich whites, especially Democrat women, have adopted the Sixties' clenched fists of "revolution," while the working class, including Latinos, has drifted toward the Republicans, hoping to preserve their rapidly declining standard of living while hunkering down and awaiting the possible succor of the fall elections. 

No one seems very confident that the midterms will sort much out. By now, conservatives have zero expectations that a Mitch McConnell-run Senate and a Kevin McCarthy-led House would do much of anything except continue to line their pockets while shadow-boxing with their sham opposition/friends across the aisle. The system stinks and everybody knows it. Everybody, left and right agrees that something needs to be done. The question is, what? We may not have the answer to that yet, but we do know how: by any means necessary. 

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.

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?

THE COLUMN: In the Ukraine Proxy War, What Price Victory?

"Victory has a thousand fathers," said John F. Kennedy, "but defeat is an orphan." By that measure, America is running a military establishment that more closely resembles an overpopulated Dickensian sweat shop than a modern war machine. Indeed, it's been so long since the United States has won a war -- back when the War Department still existed, in fact -- that hardly any living American knows what "victory" means any more. But what difference does it make? This man's army is now the province of pregnant females, transsexuals, and born-male admirals in skirts. No wonder it can't fight.

But whose army can? As it happens, today is "Victory Day" in the former Soviet Union, marking the defeat of the Wehrmacht by the Red Army under Stalin and Marshal Zhukov in 1945. The occasion will be marked in Russia by strutting military parades, of the good old-fashioned Soviet kind, but minus the, you know, victory. With Russia tied down in its slog against Plucky Little Ukraine, the hollow nature of what was once the world's most formidable land army has now been laid bare for all to see. 

Accordingly, Vladimir Putin is now at a crossroads: to go all in, including the use of tactical or other nuclear weapons, or to withdraw in defeat? Since his grasp on power wouldn't survive the second option, betting the collective farms and the tractor factories of his youth in the U.S.S.R. is the only path open to him, absent some kind of deus ex machina who magically appears and somehow restores the status quo ante. And even then, we're right back where we started.

Where it ended: May 8, 1945.

As I remarked on Facebook the other day (the fascists at Twitter having closed that platform to me for the past two years for no reason they can adequately explain), I'd sleep more easily at night if I thought that a single member of the Biden administration or the "Defense" Department establishment had read War and Peace, a poem by Pushkin, or taken in a performance of Tchaikovsky's opera, Eugene Onegin.

The least we could expect from our crack team of diplomats and REMFs is that they know what or where the Third Rome is, or the story of the conversion of the Kievan Rus, or how deep the roots of the Orthodox Church run in the Muslim-desecrated occupation of the Church of Holy Wisdom and the ruins of Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire. But no, that would be asking too much of the credentialed empty suits who prowl the corridors of "Defense" or State and see the world through the partisan lenses of the JFK School of Government-- which basically comes down to, what have you done for me lately?

Not to mention, had read Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, heard a live performance of Shostakovich's Fifth or Seventh ("Leningrad") symphonies, or seen either Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel or Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at least once in their miserable, Harvard-educated lives. Then, perhaps, they might catch a glimpse, or hear an echo, of the Russian soul, as in this memorably manic scene from the Shostakovich opera's third act, when a shabby peasant in search of booze stumbles upon Zinovy's body hidden in the wine-cellar and the orchestra explodes in an orgy of pent-up, violent hysteria:

But no, that would be too much to ask. Far better to commit the characteristic American sin of regarding all the rest of the world's peoples, cultures, and nations as the rough equivalent, albeit inferior, of our own, and expecting that their savage denizens will react in the same way to the same carrot-and-stick stimuli as our own peasants do. After all, as we learned in Vietnam, inside every benighted foreigner is an American screaming to get out. Why, just look at the southern border!

On the other hand, it would provide a clue to the members of Biden war party why Putin launched his attack on the Ukraine and what he hopes to gain from it. It is wise to remember that this is a man who saw his country shot out from underneath him between 1989 and 1991, and his world turned upside down. Imagine an American politician who witnessed Texas and the southwest being handed back to Mexico and the disputed Oregon Country returned to British Canada in the wake of a catastrophic military defeat or governmental collapse.

Slowly, Putin has been trying to piece together the old Mother Russia, at least as he understands it, which means off-loading the 'stans, neutralizing the Georgians and the Armenians, but reuniting Slavic lands such as Ukraine and Belarus (already firmly in his camp), and eyeing the Baltics as well. His alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church at least gives him a religious fig leaf in his quest to resurrect the Third Rome and motivate his demographically dying country with dreams of past and possibly future glory.

The Kremlin's allies once more.

The bigger, more important question, however, is this: why are the Clinton-Obama-Biden Democrats trying to make the conflict in the Ukraine into a proxy war against Russia? Why, knowing of Putin's increasing desperation to finish the job, have they given him no diplomatic way out? Why instead have they pushed an obsolete NATO right up to his borders, when if there's one thing that makes Russians crazy it's territorial encroachment from the west? Just ask Napoleon how that worked out for him.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization won its war against the U.S.S.R. at the end of 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved on Christmas Day. Accordingly, it has no further reason for existence and should have been dissolved itself decades ago. As Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe, reported to the combined Allied chiefs of staff upon General Jodl's surrender: "The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945."

Short and sweet.

But don't forget the exception to every rule: a bureaucracy, especially the demon child of the military-industrial complex, will never willingly commit suicide. And so NATO has staggered on, expanding rather than contracting, waving the Russian flag as a kind of bogeyman/talisman in order to keep its coffers full and its officers well-fed.

The fact is that the Russians -- the Democrats' favorite allies right up to the minute they cast off Communism! -- needed to be maintained as a threat. And so, in the direct aftermath of her 2016 election loss, Hillary Clinton and her flying monkeys in the media concocted the so-called "Russian collusion" hoax, which is only just beginning to finally unravel in the courts now. 

In the meantime, the Biden forces, hell-bent on finishing the job of "fundamental transformation" of the country that Barack Hussein Obama was just too lazy to complete, are doing everything they can to provoke a shooting war with Putin's Russia. "A weakened Russia" is one of the administration's explicit goals, as the current secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, has declared. And while the administration has denied it, it does appear that the U.S. has been sharing intelligence regarding the targeting of Russian military commanders and other high-value targets -- which is an overt act of war and no doubt is regarded as such by Putin and his officers. And that is very dangerous, especially since they have nowhere else to go.

Many in the American commentariat were on record right up to the moment that Putin sent in his tanks that the Russians wouldn't dare invade; I was convinced he would, on historical and revanchist grounds. Once he did, most expected an easy rollover. What followed was not so much surprise at the rusty Russians' lack of military capability (armies that are not used disintegrate; armies that never know victory are easily demoralized) but the alacrity with which the U.S. and most of Western Europe sprang into action. Sanctions flew, signs sprouted, and the propaganda machine immediately cranked into overdrive, elevating the comedian-president of one of the most corrupt nations in Europe -- and the Bidens' private piggy bank -- to Churchillian status almost overnight with a unanimity remarkable even by current corporate-media lickspittle standards.

America is now flirting with disaster as it engages with a wounded, nuclear-armed bear that won't hesitate to use theater or tactical nukes if it feels an existential threat. And why wouldn't it? It's seen this movie before. Even Jill Biden is currently kicking sand in Putin's face. Meanwhile, here at home, the U.S. is cratering almost as surely as the Soviet Union, riven by irreconcilable domestic moral and political differences; all of its principal constitutional edifices under attack by the Left, including the Supreme Court; the economy circling the drain; the supply chain thoroughly disrupted by an outrageous medical alarum bordering on a malignant hoax; our woke military emasculated; and our civic faith in almost every institution destroyed. Meanwhile, a gerontological elite that rivals in its longevity the Struldbruggs in Swift's Gulliver's Travels continues to heedlessly shuffle its way toward disaster.

So what will it take to bring America to either its senses or its knees? What does victory look like in this pointless war? In 1945 Soviet soldiers waved the hammer and sickle over the ruins of Berlin. In 1989, I stood at the crumbling Wall between the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, and somehow wound up with some Grepo's cap as a souvenir. Luckily, the Cold War never quite turned hot. But if this war -- Biden's War -- goes nuclear, what will be left to grasp? A handful of radioactive dust? Pray that somebody in Washington comes to his senses, and soon -- but don't count on it.

Germany's 'Renewable Energy' Policy: Who's Laughing Now?

In 2019 Germany announced an ambitious "climate change" goal: by 2022, it would close its last nuclear power plant and by 2038, stop burning coal altogether. The Wall Street Journal called it at the time the "world’s dumbest energy policy," but the Germans said it was all part of the Energiewende (German for 'energy turnaround') the ongoing transition to a low carbon, environmentally sound, reliable, and affordable energy supply. Then an event occurred in 2022 which demonstrated how much Green energy was politics. Russia invaded Ukraine.

The repercussions of the invasion rippled like hydrostatic shock through the whole fabric of the European "climate change" agenda. At a stroke the war made natural gas from Moscow on which Germany was dependent politically toxic and killed sacred cows like the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline overnight. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, addressing Germany’s parliament, promised he would "create strategic energy reserves while shifting energy purchases away from Russia." Germany took steps to revive its nuclear power industry by extending the life-span of its remaining nuclear power plants. Even coal was back on the table for Europe, as politicians mooted keeping anything that could produce power going. "All options must be on the table," said the German Economic Affairs and Energy Minister.

Biking may be your best bet, Germany.

But sheer habit and inertia die hard. From the start the Green agenda fought back. John Kerry warned the Russian invasion of Ukraine would worsen climate change. "The top White House climate official said a negative impact of a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be that it sidelines efforts to curb emissions worldwide." Despite the fact that fuel was a basic necessity and Europe's immediate problem was how to get energy from anywhere, such was the power of Green that U.N. Secretary General António Guterres specifically warned against quickly replacing Russian oil if it would "neglect or kneecap policies to cut fossil fuel use."

Trapped between Scylla and Charybdis, Europe's compromise strategy was to "diversify gas supplies to reduce reliance on Russia in the short term... but ultimately to boost renewables and energy efficiency as fast as technically possible."  In effect Europe would try to solve the energy shortage caused by its renewables policy without politically abandoning the climate change ideology.

The first step to walking this tightrope is European energy rationing. Although no specifics have been announced, proposals include include lowering speed limits and introducing car-free Sundays in large cities.  Rationing is being sold as both good for the planet and bad for Putin -- a win-win. "This point is about trying to bring down demand for fossil fuels — this is our true and effective weapon against Vladimir Putin,” a Cambridge University academic said.

But on the supply side there were few quick fixes to the problem of storing the output of wind and solar energy, even assuming that enough could be generated by these means. "The ability to cheaply generate, transport and store a clean replacement fuel like hydrogen to power trucks, cars and airplanes remains years away... [the] chief technology officer of the offshore wind unit at Siemens Gamesa, said that companies like his 'are now forced to do investments based on the prosperous future that we are all waiting for'."

A similar challenge faces the electric grid for it to universally replace the internal combustion engine. By dint of emergency efforts Europe hopes to have a hydrogen infrastructure in place by 2030 -- eight years from now -- a gargantuan task. Green requires a complete overhaul of how people live -- digitalization, smart grids and meters, flexibility markets, the electrification of transport, charging points -- the works. All of it is necessary to store wind and solar power and get it to the consumer.

The triumph of hope over experience.

However exhilarating this transformative vision is, not every country is willing to put all its eggs into the Green basket. Britain and France, perhaps harboring secret doubts, plan to invest in small, new technology nuclear reactors. The normally left wing Guardian ran an op-ed proclaiming "we need to revive the U.K.’s nuclear industry." But even with a change of heart plants take time to build and in the short term Europe has no choice but to import fossil fuels from non-Russian sources, principally the U.S. and the Middle East if it is to avoid economic catastrophe.

From Angola to the U.S. gas is heading for Europe. "Toby Rice, who runs the U.S. largest natural gas producer EQT, told the BBC the U.S. could easily replace Russian supply... He estimated the U.S. has the potential to quadruple its gas output by 2030... U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm urged the country's fuel industry to pump more oil. 'We are on a war footing. That means you producing more right now, where and if you can'." Energiewende may not be "world’s dumbest energy policy" but only because it can repudiate itself.

The nearly comic irony of progressives being in the "drill baby drill" situation is hardly ever pointed out, it being considered bad form to do so. But it may be useful to recall that Germany's delegation at the U.N. General Assembly once laughed during then-President Trump's speech when he suggested that Germany was becoming “totally dependent” upon Russian energy, as shown in this video from the Washington Post. With the benefit of hindsight there's no denying that mistakes were made regarding Russia's suitability as a Green energy partner. Even Mitt Romney pointed out the growing threat posed by Putin during his 2012 presidential campaign against Obama but he too was laughed to scorn. It's fair to say that nobody's laughing now.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Panelling

Without much research I agreed to participate in a women’s environmental conference earlier this week.  I made only two conditions…I would not talk about my clients, nor would I sit in front of an image of the product 'Fit Pit Love'. Turns out one of the conference sponsors is a company called The Green Woman (not sure what they were thinking), and they actually have a product called ‘Fit Pit Love’.  It’s exactly what you would think it would be—a deodorant—except it’s made out of coconut oil, and beyond that I don’t want to know.

Separately, it was an impressive panel that included female mayors from many cities, including the Mayor of Rome whom I’d met once before and would enjoy connecting with again.  Going over the articles on the other participants, I quickly became confused as to why when women join together to save the planet, it becomes feminism-green. I mean—why feminism at all? And why do we have to be so angry? We can’t very well save the planet if we all get cancer.

Along with the pile of articles, they sent over a lot of swag—lots of low-tech balms and natural products in recycled gift wrap. I was about to throw the lot of it in the bin when I spied an Aspinal’s box. YAY! Scarf? French wallet? No. It was a Social Responsibility Diary and it was clear to me it had replaced the much-coveted Aspinal Social Diary that they stopped making a few years back.  Mummy had called several times, hoping to persuade them to publish it again but eventually she gave up.  This wasn’t going to make her happy either. It had no social events whatsoever, only pseudo holidays like Whale Shark Day and Vulture Awareness Day. Really Aspinal? This is your customer base? Women sporting crocodile bags with a concern for vultures?

Have you kissed a whale shark today?

I rang downstairs for some lunch and decided to watch an episode of Ab Fab to get my mind off of this. If anything, I hoped to bring a breath of fresh air to the conference, some sun to go with their moon, and some balanced discourse to their rants. I’m always going to work tirelessly to save our beloved planet but we can’t be seen as harridans if we expect anyone to listen to us. Otherwise we looked like the grown-up versions of what Daddy calls ‘that Swedish troll’. I decided too, I should give him a ring, just to see if I might be missing anything and luckily he picked up. 

‘Hello Jennifer, how’s Marbella?’

‘It’s great, just having lunch, but I might be leaving soon to be on a panel.’ I said. 

‘A solar panel?’ 

‘No Daddy! An actual panel!’

‘So not the ones you have deteriorating on your house in California.’

I decided to let that comment go and began again. ‘So it’s an all-woman panel, and I’ll just be talking about what I love—the planet.’

‘Do you think that's a good idea just now? Women talking about their fantasy version of the world when there’s a war on?’

UGH! I hadn’t thought about that. ‘Do you think I need to cancel? I asked.

‘Goodness no.  There’s not a chance you could offend anyone watching. That’s what you green-niks do isn’t it? Just go around expecting everyone to see things as you do?’

‘Not exactly, Daddy.  You know I’m trying to be the voice of reason while saving the planet.’

‘Do I? Last I heard you were grousing about Davos being cancelled… you know… the event where everyone flies in on a private plane to discuss climate change?’

‘Yes, I’m very clear you’re not a fan, but please try to think about all the good they do.’

‘Yes, well… that should keep me busy well into my old age.’ He laughed and rang off. 

Vultures, vultures everywhere.

I arrived at the conference and the scene was pretty tense. It was as if we were needing to decide the sentence of a very guilty man. Maybe I was too relaxed, having spent the last week at the Marbella Club, so I said my hellos and took my seat on the dais.

The first question was directed at me: ‘Given your recent setback at Swanscombe are you happy that in the end the peninsula is going back to nature?”

‘Hello and thank you for that question' I replied. 'No I am not in the least happy with the setback, I signed on to see that the project was managed in the most responsible manner possible, but to your point, the peninsula is not “going back to nature”. Clean-up is needed. Responsible clean-up. And abandoned mills don’t just become wetlands if left alone.’ 

She interrupted, ‘But surely that doesn’t necessitate building an amusement park on the preserve.’

‘OK, as a point of reference it is not a “preserve", it is a toxic dump, and the beauty of the project is that what is currently harming the ecosphere will now be funded by the developer, and repurposed for many to enjoy. Thank you for your question.’

My phone buzzed. It was a thumbs up from my father.  Oh boy. If he was happy, I wasn’t doing well with this crowd. The next question was also directed at me: ‘How will you be utilising the research and analysis that shows dyslexia could help humans adapt to climate change?’

What?? My phone buzzed again, it was my father again. “WEF asserts Dyslexia fights climate change’. Before I could respond she fired again: ‘As a supporter of the World Economic Forum do you deny that people with dyslexia could use their higher-level strengths to tackle climate change?’ 

How could I deny it? I didn’t even know what the hell she was talking about.  No text from my father either. Ugh. Then— a single text from Daddy: ‘Klaus does!’

It's all about "complementary cognition," you see.

WUT? UGH. I took a deep breath and began again. ‘Thank you for your question, but if I may, and before we delve too deeply into research trends, I just want to say I would like to ask all of you, to dedicate a moment of complete silence, to pray, or to meditate for peace, and for the souls of those who have already been killed, and for those who may be killed in the Ukraine'.

I was wracked with guilt. Not because I didn’t care about the Ukraine, I did. A great deal. But I felt bad that I’d used it at a time when I was also in a pickle. We took a break and I read the article on dyslexia and climate change. It was insanity—worse than insanity. I asked for my coat and texted my driver. They were going to think I was too upset over the war but I couldn’t help that. Anyway the whole venue stank of coconut and hemp and it was making me sick. The planet was going to have to wait for another day.  And Klaus was going to get a phone call in the morning. 

Biden, Big Banks Declare War on Energy Sector

After more than a month of Russian bombs destroying swathes of the Ukraine, and high-minded pronouncements from the American government officials concerning everything from missile payloads to misinformation, Americans have been awakened in an unprecedented way. Revelations about our dependence on foreign sources of energy have caused many to realize the importance of the U.S. energy sector to economic vitality and national security.

While Americans were locked down and their movements constrained by Covid-19-related policies, the Biden administration has been working in the shadows, making a slew of regulatory changes fundamentally harmful to America. Because this administration lacks the necessary majorities in Congress, it has been circumventing the legislative process by using administrative rules to create oil and gas supply scarcity that almost immediately has caused the price of everything to begin to rise.

The administration’s objective is simple—create scarcity via a series of unilateral regulatory changes at various government agencies that will predictably push the prices of oil and gas toward greater parity with alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. Fully understanding that alternative energy sources fall short of meeting the current and future energy needs of the American economy, the Biden administration has persisted with its “make it hurt” strategy that necessarily ignores the impact such a strategy is having and will continue to have on the larger economy. Threatening economic security, food security and national security, this circumvention strategy is a blatant overreach by the executive branch that began when Biden took office last year.

They hate, they really hate you.

Sidestepping Congress entirely, their strategy includes using government agencies to dismantle oil and gas distribution systems, tightening regulations, and suspending leases and permits meant to impede future drilling activity. Where the administration could not sufficiently hamstring the energy sector through unilateral regulatory overreach, it sought allies to lend weight to the effort.

Enter investment bank giants like BlackRock and JP Morgan. Perhaps the most insidious element of the Biden administration’s anti-energy strategy has been its collaboration with investment banks to coerce and if necessary, force divestment in the energy sector. Like all industries, energy producers require capital in order to drill and produce oil and gas assets. By using the pseudo-sophisticated set of investments standards known as "environment, social and governance" (ESG) as the predicate, major investment banks are assisting the administration to destroy domestic energy independence by limiting available capital that would otherwise enable American energy producers to maximize oil and gas production.

The CEOs from these investment banks pronounced the death of fossil fuels in defiance of economic reality before the Biden administration even took office, with complete disregard for national security. They declared climate change an "existential threat" while boldly disregarding the actual threat their banks’ own relationships with China represent to the U.S.—and to the climate for that matter. Trying to sound socially and environmentally "woke" while being totally compromised by their own strategic decisions, these banks have helped beat back any competing views about the dangers of heedless divestment. Their self-interested efforts have unequivocally contributed to the difficult economic conditions Americans are now experiencing and the growing threat China represents to U.S. national security.

As the negative impact of the administration’s strategy has begun to be apparent to everyone, press secretary Jen Psaki has tried to lean in on the “Putin price hike” narrative, blaming Russia for the rising prices the administration’s own domestic policies have created. So desperate is the administration to convince Americans to look the other way, they have even employed never-before-used Tik Tok diplomacy to convince teenagers of their “Russia did it” narrative.

Meanwhile, serious people are beginning to understand what’s been happening since Biden took office 14 months ago. In anticipation of course correction after the mid-terms later this year, consider what the administration has done.

Last week the SEC proposed rule changes that would “standardize climate-related disclosures for investors”. The changes would require registrants to include certain climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports, including information about climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on their business, results of operations, or financial condition, among other reporting requirements. The required information about climate-related risks also would include disclosure of a registrant’s greenhouse gas emissions. With the window still open for public comment until May, corporate leaders should be concerned about the bold overreach. After all, this kind of intervention doesn’t ever stop with one industry.

President Biden abandoned U.S. energy independence immediately upon taking office. The administration then employed un-elected bureaucrats and private investment banks to decide on behalf of all Americans what is good for America, resulting in a fundamental threat to the economy and national security.

Congressional leaders must earnestly begin the work of regaining control of the legislative branch. They should begin by introducing legislation that would require Congressional ratification of all regulations annually. Regulations must be able to withstand normal congressional scrutiny and their impact considered in the light of day. Meanwhile, ESG standards must be relegated to the marketing departments of corporate America and the influence of investment banks constrained from horse-trading America’s global dominance in exchange for their own financial gain. Only then can America take back its destiny.

Biden to Tap Strategic Petroleum Reserve Yet Again

Back in November, Joe Biden released 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the hopes of reducing the inflated price of gasoline his anti-oil and anti-gas policies were responsible for. Americans were getting testy, you see, about elevated gas prices and the rising cost of goods and services which they brought about. And that frustration was eating into the president's approval rating and hurting the Democrats, with the midterm elections just a year away. But the plan failed. Gas prices weren't appreciably affected, the cost of living remained high, and discontent spread.

Then the world's third largest producer of petroleum products started a war, making itself a pariah state and jeopardizing the oil and gas market world wide. Prices soared even further, with gasoline setting a new record national average of $4.33 per gallon. Democrats' midterms hopes fell from Not Promising to Absolute Disaster.

Luckily the White House has come up with a plan to fix all their problems: tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Again. Only this time the plan is to really tap it. Instead of a mere 50 million barrels, Team Biden has announced a plan to release 180 million barrels over the course of three months, by far the biggest drawdown of the reserve since its creation in 1975. Moreover, this release will leave the reserve with fewer than 400 million barrels, their lowest level since 1984.

Will it work? It didn't last time. That's because, as the Wall Street Journal editorial board explains, "the oil will need to be replaced, which will push up future demand." They continue:

Markets don’t respond only to short-term demand and supply fluctuations. They also take into account long-term expectations and policy signals. And the Administration continues to signal that its goal is to bankrupt oil and gas producers. But before shooting them, Mr. Biden wants their political help.

The war in the Ukraine might be responsible for the recent price spikes. But Biden's war on the oil and gas industry set a higher baseline for prices to take off and have made it nearly impossible for the market to recover.

"I did that!"

It is also worth noting that this isn't really what the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for. Its purpose is to defend against the kind of national crisis they had in the 1970s, when the fact that America imported more than 80 percent of our oil proved disastrous when the OPEC declared an oil embargo on the western nations that had supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Oil shortages and rationing followed, creating not just a national energy crisis but a potential national security crisis as well. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created to establish a cushion for just such a situation.

Thankfully, our present situation isn't like that at all, because we've developed our own natural-resource industry; the U.S. was a net energy exporter as recently as 2019. During the Trump administration we became less reliant on foreign dictators than ever. But Biden has worked hard to pull that all down, and now he's spending down the capital better leaders worked hard to build up. Thanks, Joe.

THE COLUMN: No Country for Old Men

The President of the United States, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., who is 79 years old and suffering from senile dementia at the end of a long life of bullying, lying, boasting, conniving, grifting, grafting, and living off the public tit to an extent indecent even by Washington standards, declared war on Russia on Friday. In the course of a typically blustering, hectoring speech, the senescent Biden went off script and interpolated the following peroration: "For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power."

To which the only proper response is: "For God's sake, this man cannot remain in the Oval Office." Joe Biden needs to be removed from the White House as soon as possible, before his failing mind, his erratic behavior, and his proven lack of character get us all killed. The question is, is there enough political will in the capital to do what needs to be done?

Biden's blunder was immediately walked back by the few adults left in the room, called a "gaffe," or—worse—actually defended by the neocons and other leftists as truth-telling on a heroic scale, evocative of Ronald Reagan's 1987 "tear down this wall" speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, which two years later actually did result in the Wall coming down. But his rash words continue to ring, now matter how swiftly his handlers and apologists and even Biden himself try to make us disbelieve our own lying ears:

Mush-mouthed as usual, and delivered with all the Scrantonian sincerity of one of his typical campaign speeches, Biden's address was not only the low-water mark of his presidency so far, but a nadir in the history of the United States and its practice of diplomacy. 

As bad as the State Department is, it's generally been able to enforce some sort of diplomatic protocol on even its loosest cannons. Barack Hussein Obama's spectacular breach of etiquette in his toast to Queen Elizabeth in 2011 was a notable exception. On the other hand, Donald Trump's own Warsaw speech in 2017 was a triumph of forceful, cogent argumentation and a full-throated defense of Western civilization.

But for Biden to end his intemperate saber-rattling with a call for Vladimir Putin to be deposed is something nearly unprecedented in our nation's history. George H.W. Bush, during his feckless and pointless war against Saddam Hussein, effectively did so, at least as a hypothetical, and characteristically hedged his bets:

'I would be be willing to take a new look if the army took matters into their own hands,' said Bush, who noted that the United States would not resume normal relations with Iraq as long as Saddam remains in power. 'If a new regime emerged then I'd like to see what their goals are.' Despite his claim that Saddam 'has got to go,' Bush said again that it is not his intention to involve the United States in Iraq's internal affairs.

But Saddam wasn't deposed, and it was left to Bush II to clean up Poppy's mess, by making an even bigger one.

During his long occupation of a Senate seat, Biden served for many years on the foreign-relations committee, and learned all the wrong lessons without acquiring an ounce of real-world savvy. This is the problem with electing a lifelong senator to the presidency with no prior executive experience except ribbon-cutting ceremonies and attending foreign funerals as veep. Senators' words have no real-world consequences; presidents' do. Senators can say anything they want, because their words carry no executive authority and they cannot be legally held accountable for them. They're meant for the ears of voters back home, not for the guy in the Kremlin with his finger on the button.

For 50 years this creepy blowhard has been dining out off his dead wife and daughter, and more recently, a dead son, parlaying sympathy votes into a lifetime sinecure. Now, by accident/design/hook/crook he's Potus. And God help us, by calling for regime change in Moscow, he's just given the Russians a casus belli, should they choose to accept it. They would be perfectly within their rights to do so under the laws of war.

All in all, it's just another hair-raising moment in the funhouse ride from hell that has been the Biden "presidency" so far. Robinette Junior came to D.C. in the 1970s and he's brought the '70 back along with him to the White House: flaccid leadership, an energy crisis, rampant inflation, and consummate failure abroad. Even the lickspittle media can't disguise the stench of his latest poll numbers

Amid Europe’s largest land war since World War II, 7 in 10 Americans expressed low confidence in President Joe Biden’s ability to deal with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a new NBC News poll, and 8 in 10 voiced worry that the war will increase gas prices and possibly involve nuclear weapons. And during the nation’s largest inflation spike in 40 years, overwhelming majorities said they believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy. Those are some of the major findings of the new national NBC News poll, which found that Biden’s overall job approval rating had declined to 40 percent, the lowest level of his presidency. 

This simply cannot continue if the nation is to survive. The stumbling block, of course, is what would come after him should he be removed via the 25th amendment or suffer an unfortunate act of God or simply reach the end of his rapidly diminishing physical and mental capacity: President Kamala Harris. A vapid affirmative-action female-type person without the slightest aptitude for any job she's so far been handed by the Democratic establishments in California and D.C., she very likely would be even worse than her current boss, at least for the short time she, too, would hold office.

Heroes to zeroes in two years.

But take heart: there is precedent. During the Democrat/Washington Post coup against Richard Nixon in 1974, the first order of business was to remove Tricky Dick's veep, the genially corrupt Spiro T. Agnew, the former Baltimore County executive and governor of Maryland, on conveniently discovered charges of penny-ante bribery, extortion, and income-tax violations. Such things were and remain part of the way business is done in Baltimore—just ask the former Nancy d'Alesandro, now Speaker Pelosi, about corruption in Baltimore—but they suddenly loomed large when it was time to overturn the results of the 1972 presidential election, which saw Nixon win 60.7 percent of the popular vote, carry 49 states (he lost only Massachusetts and D.C.), and garner 520 electoral votes.

Less than two years later, both Agnew (replaced by congressman Gerald Ford) and Nixon were gone. So it can be done, and perfectly legally. And don't worry—if Biden were to leave office early, Nancy Pelosi would not automatically become vice president. The succession pecking order only kicks in when both the senior executive offices suddenly become vacant. 

Removing Biden shouldn't be that difficult. Section 4 reads:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

There's a catch, of course:

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

We can cross that Rubicon when we come to it. America at this point in her history is no country for old men, no matter which party they belong to.

               ELLIS
           ...What you got ain't nothin' new.
           This country is hard on people. Hard
           and crazy. Got the devil in it yet
           folks never seem to hold it to
           account.

                        BELL
           I'm... discouraged.

                          ELLIS
           You can't stop what's comin. Ain't
           all waitin' on you.
The two men look at each other. Ellis shakes his head. ELLIS ...That's vanity.

In the meantime, and for the sake of the nation, Biden must go.