The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Policy-based Evidence Making

Trust is a fragile quantity, and once lost, it's extremely hard to rebuild. During the Covid hysteria that ran from early 2020 to (at least) late 2022, we were repeatedly told that our government leaders followed "the science" as they promoted and then reinforced increasingly authoritarian policies. Virtually every one of those policies have now been proven incorrect, not to mention catastrophically damaging.

I have, in numerous posts, labeled federal, state and local politicians, deep state bureaucrats in a variety of alphabet agencies, their many enthusiastic media enablers, and the large cohort of Covid hysterics as Team Apocalypse (TA). It is not hyperbolic to suggest that TA broke our country. Specifically,

  • It broke our trust in the federal government.
  • It broke our trust in government agencies that were originally formed to protect us.
  • It broke tens of thousands of small businesses.
  • It broke the work ethic of millions of people.
  • It broke our economy and lead to an inflationary cycle and increased public debt that cannot be sustained.
  • It broke the culture of many cities and lead to chaos with city boundaries that seems to be accelerating.
  • It broke our public schools and the learning environment for many children who attend them with contemporaneous drops in test scores for core subjects.
  • It broke our trust in both mainstream and social media that worked as a censorship arm of the federal government.
  • It broke our trust in the medical profession (many of whom bought into Covid insanity and acted to silence the many brave doctors who challenged that insanity).
  • And by distorting and bastardizing science, it broke our faith that scientific findings would be reported accurately, never censored, and always challenged.

In the words of Steven F. Hayward, we have entered an era that rejects "evidence-based policy making" and entered an era of "policy-based evidence making." Hayward comments:

We should have known we were in for a new level of flim-flam when government officials started saying that the public should “follow ‘the science’.” Attaching the definite modifier to “science” implies that “science” on whatever subject is uniform and “settled,” as we’re endlessly told by the climate cult, and more recently the Covid cult, aka the "Branch Covidians."

This is the antithesis of science and the scientific method, which emphasizes hypothesis, skepticism, dissent, competing theories, vigorous debate, testing and re-testing. The history of science, as Thomas Kuhn explained in his influential but oft misunderstood Structure of Scientific Revolutions, is a series of dominant scientific models that are overturned by subsequent challenge. Sometimes the challenges are suppressed by incumbent institutions, and the example of Galileo is usually offered as an example of something that could never happen in our modern, enlightened times. In fact the kind of reputational damage and official opposition Galileo experienced is still happening on a daily basis.

The evidence mounts that virtually none of our scientific establishment can be trusted—certainly none that has any connection to or dependence on government funding. Government agencies based on their supposed technical expertise claim that they practice “evidence-based policy making,” but the truth is the reverse: we live in an age where governments practice policy-based evidence-making.

Team Apocalypse was the catalyst for all of this, and they're going to try to do it again and again. They'll hopefully fail with a Covid re-run, but another "pandemic" scare could happen at any time. And becuase no one was held accountable for the catastrophic mistakes that were made by TA, there is absolutely no incentive to correct them.

As I noted in a post in July, it appears that battlefield preparation is already underway to create hysteria around "climate change." The media arm of Team Apocalypse is working overtime to inculcate fear as they hype floods, droughts, high temps, hurricanes and a wide variety of weather phenomenon as a harbinger of climate apocalypse. From that, the Team will advocate a "climate emergency" with all of the draconian policies based on evidence that they have manipulated to justify their draconian policies.

Hayward comments on the climate change component using an example that I covered in a recent post:

The omerta of the “science-based community” has nowhere been more evident than in "climate change," where the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) systematically excludes dissenting scientists, pressures journals not to publish contrary findings, and marginalizes contrary publications that somehow manage to slip through, all in service of creating a manufactured “consensus” that demands absolute fealty.

The latest example of this is the recent mini-scandal involved Nature magazine, which recently published a highly technical article assessing the effect "climate change" is having on wildfire risk in California. The author, Patrick Brown of Johns Hopkins University, is not a climate skeptic by any means, and his article agreed with the popular wisdom that "climate change" likely increased California’s wildfire risk, though the wide range of the potential effects was heavily dependent on variables that are difficult to quantify and don’t necessarily all run in one direction. But Brown went on to write for Bari Weiss’s Free Press site that he pulled his punches in the article, deliberately leaving out relevant considerations of wildfire risk, such as better forest management, which might mitigate climate risk completely. His reason was straightforward:

In my recent Nature paper, which I authored with seven others, I focused narrowly on the influence of climate change on extreme wildfire behavior. Make no mistake: that influence is very real. But there are also other factors that can be just as or more important, such as poor forest management and the increasing number of people who start wildfires either accidentally or purposely. (A startling fact: over 80 percent of wildfires in the U.S. are ignited by humans.)

In my paper, we didn’t bother to study the influence of these other obviously relevant factors. Did I know that including them would make for a more realistic and useful analysis? I did. But I also knew that it would detract from the clean narrative centered on the negative impact of climate change and thus decrease the odds that the paper would pass muster with Nature’s editors and reviewers. This type of framing, with the influence of climate change unrealistically considered in isolation, is the norm for high-profile research papers.

There ensued a predictable firestorm from the climate cult, because Brown clearly embarrassed them. Kudos to Brown for being an honest scientist. There aren’t very many of those.

Policy-based evidence making is NOT science. It is NOT good government. It is NOT being done in your best interest. It is a fraud perpetrated by those who have an affinity to authoritarian control. It must be called-out every time it is encountered, regardless of the credentials of those who promulgate it.  

UPDATE (10-02-2023):

In recent posts I have argued that the government- and media-nurtured hysteria that led to catastrophically damaging Covid policies has become a prototype for what will become catastrophically damaging climate policy. I know, I know ... Team Apocalypse screeches that this is all the stuff of "conspiracy theories," and there's nothing to worry about. And then ... you take a hard look at what some members of TA are recommending. 

The blog Climate Depot reports:

Consumer Science & Analytics (CSA): (Via Google translate) Engineer Jean-Marc Jancovici, an expert on climate change [and enthusiastic member of TA], once again called for drastically limiting plane travel, and declared the need to establish a quota of 4 flights per person in a lifetime...

HERE and the CSA Institute have just carried out a survey among the French on a possible restriction of the use of airplanes to fight against global warming and to anticipate the depletion of resources. Questioned by the CSA institute, 64% of French people aged 18 and over say they are in favor of reducing their use of airplanes in the medium term for environmental reasons.

Philippine van TICHELEN, General Director of HERE. "These figures show a very clear majority in favor of a reduction in the use of the plane. Ecological awareness is obvious in a context where natural disasters worsened by global warming (extreme heatwaves, fires, etc.) themselves have repercussions on the vacation plans of the French in Greece and Italy in the very short term." We once again find a higher score among those under 35 (48%)...and this rises to 59% of 18-24 year olds. 

This study was conducted by the CSA Institute and carried out online, on July 18, 2023, with a representative sample of 1,010 French people aged 18 and over, constituted using the quota method.

Admittedly, this poll is limited by age and nationality, but the results are concerning. TA has succeeded in propagandizing a significant subset of at least one population to give up one of their freedoms because they have succumbed to non-scientific hysteria that threatens an apocalypse if they do not. 

You can bet your life that the global elites who will endorse policies like this will NEVER give up their private jets, or their yachts, or their 20,000 square foot houses. But the rest of us will be asked to "sacrifice to save the planet."

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Goldilocks Rule

If nothing else, you have to give Joe Biden's Democrat defenders in the House and Senate (not to mention his trained hamsters in the propaganda media) credit for chutzpa.  

Now that the House impeachment inquiry has begun, we hear continual cries of "no evidence" and wails that any investigation is a sham— that the selling of the "Biden brand" and the obvious enrichment (think: off-shore companies and hardcopy bank records) of close family members is just business as usual in D.C. One brainless Democratic congresswoman, Jasmine Crockett, (D-TX), reiterated the tired trope that the "only thing Joe Biden is guilty of is loving his child," as if Hunter was a wayward 11-year old who had stolen a bar of candy from the local WaWa.

The Wall Street Journal does a good job of summarizing the facts as we currently know them. Much of the information in the WSJ report has been discussed in previous posts in this blog (e.g., here). One thing is certain, the stench of influence peddling is in the air.

Georgetown Law Professor Jonathan Turley discusses the "Goldilocks Rule" when referring to the typical corruption that pervades political Washington. Those in the Congress and the executive branch can enrich themselves and their families, but they must do so subtly (often after they leave office [1] ) and they MUST stay within certain undeclared boundaries (you know, "not too hot or too cold—juuusst right).

Joe Biden's family were piggish in the exploitation of the Biden Brand. They set up offshore shell LLCs, they strong-armed foreign actors to pay for play, and they did this under the nose of the "Big Guy"—Joe Biden himself. It strains credulity to suggest that Biden didn't know. If he did know, he probably thought the Goldilocks Rule applied.

It's very likely that Joe Biden knew and Joe Biden profited in ways that may or may not be easily traced. 

If the big guy did nothing wrong, his administration should work with the impeachment inquiry, and provide the documents they require and put the entire matter to rest quickly. Unlike the Democrats who impeached Biden's predecessor for a single phone call (BTW, Biden participated in 20 phone calls that are all suspect), the GOP has NOT impeached Biden, merely launched an investigation to determine if the existing evidence of influence peddling will lead to facts that warrant impeachment.

That's what terrifies to Dems, and that's why they're throwing a hissy fit.


[1]  As a near-comic aside and good example of the Goldilocks rule, Michelle Obama was recently paid $741,000 for a one-hour speech. At the risk of being partisan, I would argue that nothing Mrs. Obama has to say over 60 minutes is worth 3/4 of a million dollars, but that's just me.


The New York Post was the mainstream media outlet to break the Hunter Biden laptop story—the catalyst that has led to the Biden corruption scandal. The Post was condemned by other media sources and Democrat-friendly deep state operatives (including many in the FBI and intelligence community) for reporting "Russian disinformation" and then censored and banned for doing so. There was only one problem—the NY Post was 100% correct. Continued reporting by the newspaper is one of the few bright lights amid the propaganda media silence and lies associated with the Biden scandal. 

After delineating, yet again, the facts and evidence that clearly and unequivocally support an impeachment inquiry, the Post Editorial Board writes:

The inquiry hearing itself saw Dems make a desperate, last-stand effort to pretend it was insane to ask if all this somehow benefited Joe.

That’s even though Joe knowingly signaled that paying Hunter would influence him.

One “expert” witness the Dems called up compared it to giving a ticket to Joe if Hunter was caught speeding in his dad’s car. Ha! 

All they have is the lame line: There’s no proof Joe benefited personally

We say: yet. 

I say—good. Not because Joe Biden is a cognitively-disabled, corrupt politician, but because political corruption is toxic, and for once, the perpetrators should be held accountable.


After describing the "no evidence" meme that seems to be the only way that Democrats and their trained hamsters in the propaganda media can respond the the mountains of actual EVIDENCE that is arrayed as part of the Biden scandal, Matt Margolis writes:

I know that’s not true. You know that’s not true. Frankly, they know it’s not true as well, but they’ll keep saying it repeatedly, hoping to convince the public that there is no evidence. Besides the sworn testimony, bank records, emails, phone calls, videos and photos, text messages, and White House visitor logs [emphasis mine] we already know about, new evidence released this week further undermines the “no evidence” narrative.

According to text messages obtained by the House Ways and Means Committee, Joe Biden personally requested a meeting with a Chinese oil executive, Ye Jianming, whose company had paid millions of dollars in consulting fees to Hunter Biden.

In an August 27, 2017, WhatsApp message to CEFC director Gongwen Dong, Hunter Biden mentioned that his uncle’s “brother” would be in New York City and wanted to meet with Ye.

“My uncle will be here with his BROTHER who would like to say hello to the Chairman,” Hunter Biden said in a text message to Dong. “So please give me location and time. Jim’s BROTHER if he is coming just wants to say hello he will not be stopping for lunch.”

Given their backing by the propaganda media, the Dems have become masters at gaslighting. But only fantasy thinkers could believe that there is any legitimate purpose for a political family to create 20 off-shore shell companies. One, maybe? Two, possibly ... but 20? Heh.


Funny how "no evidence" leads to more evidence and still more evidence ... and all that evidence needs to be further investigated, refined and explained. Just this week, the House Ways and Means Committee released more than 700 pages of documents that contain email exchanges that imply prosecutorial bias in the Hunter Biden case, a conscious effort to limit any investigation of Joe Biden, more on the Biden (both Joe and Hunter) efforts to kill the Ukrainian investigation of corruption at Burisma, And other juicy tidbits.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


A few posts back, I wrote about the many, many accomplishments of Elon Musk and the companies he runs. I also noted that his demonization by many on the Left and a few on the Right has a lot more to do with ideology than common sense. 

Yesterday, I ran across a blog post that demonstrates the power of Musk's insistence on developing tech that defies conventional thinking. That power manifests in remarkable new products and systems, lower cost, higher quality, and a distinct and measureable benefit to society. Most of his critics (on the left particularly), think virtuous words are all that matter, rejecting tangible accomplishments and an insistence on merit.

The blogger, Brian Wang, noted that environmental lawfare and ponderous government regulation have made it difficult to improve our above-ground, land-based transportation infrastructure. New railroad routes and highways have become nearly impossible to build. The alternative, underground transport (e.g., subways and the like), face fewer legal and governmental obstacles but have been exorbitantly expensive. For example, using existing tech and machines, subways cost about $1 billion per mile! Maybe that's why Wang notes that only 20 miles of subway tunnel have been built in the USA is the last 20 years!

Enter Elon Musk and The Boring Company. Wang writes:

US subways and tunnels costs of $600M to $4B per mile and most cost $1B/mile.
Europe/Japan subway and tunnels cost $200M-$1B/mile.

Phase 1 of the New York 2nd Ave line, [96th Street, 86th Street and 72nd Street stations and 1.8 miles (2.9 km) of tunnel], cost $4.45 billion. A 1.5-mile (2.4 km), $6 billion second phase from 96th to 125th Streets is in planning as of 2023.

Elon Musk's The Boring Company (TBC) has [developed] its Prufrock-2 tunneling machine. It can dig up to 1 mile/week. 

A tunnel the length of the Las Vegas strip (approximately 4 miles) can be completed in a month.

Prufrock-3 is faster, with the medium term goal of 1/10 human walking speed, or 7 miles/day. If TBC produces 1 new Prufrock machine per month, then TBC will be introducing 600 miles/year of capacity ...

One Prufrock-3 machine per month is twelve- 4200 miles/year of capacity. Forty Prufrock-3 machines by 2028 for 10,000 miles of tunnel per year even with some machine downtime.

Time to go underground!

BTW, Musk completed a 2.2 mile underground loop in Las Vegas last year at a cost of $25 million per mile. That's about 40 times less than the average cost of subway tunnels in the U.S.!

Also time to recognize that Musk (yet again) has already and will continue to contribute far more to our society than any of the virtue signaling environmentalists or corrupt politicians who villanize him.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

No Happy Ending

In an extremely thorough substack post (read the whole thing) on the history of the region that is now Ukraine (going back to the 9th century) and geopolitical influences that led to the current Russian invasion and the war that has resulted, Leighton Woodhouse avoids a black and white discussion of the conflict and comes to the conclusion that continuing the war will be worse than settling it now. He writes:

There is no happy ending to this conflict. A combination of Russian aggression and Western recklessness [which he discusses in the post] has destroyed Ukraine’s brief experiment in independence. If the current [Ukrainian] counteroffensive fails, as it seems likely to, there will be no good options for the country. Either Ukraine will be partitioned now under one peace treaty, or it will be partitioned in the future under another, and only after many more people have died and a great deal more destruction has been wrought on Ukraine’s infrastructure and economy. In either case, the country will revert back to its centuries-long struggle for national unification, with Russia playing its old historical role as the enemy of that project. This is the price Ukrainians will pay for peace, a price that both Russia and the United States have imposed on them. But the cost of further war will be much greater.

No fair-minded person is happy about these grim prospects for Ukraine. But as one of the two countries capable of ending the conflict, it’s time for the United States to take stock of reality and accept that there is no winning this war. Our generals, our diplomats, and the American elite will be the last to accept this. Left to their own devices, they will allow the fighting to go on forever. It’s time we force them to make a different choice.

An alliance of the neocon Right and the Biden-focused Left dismisses any suggestion of suing for a peace settlement as "pro-Putin." But the alternative is anti-human. Ukraine's infrastructure has already been decimated, its economy is in shambles, its population has been reduced (through war related deaths) and dispersed (through outward migration), and its young military-age men killed and maimed. If victory were possible, I suppose one could argue that the horrible price was worth it. But Ukrainian victory is no more likely today, than U.S. victory was in Viet Nam in the 1970s.

It's time for the conflict to end. 


Conrad Black states what every person who has not succumbed to fantasy thinking (i.e., Ukraine can "win" the conflict) already knows, negotiations between Ukraine and Russia must begin—now. And that requires U.S. and NATO pressure on Ukrainian leadership. He writes:

An American president with greater stature in the world could broker the agreement that awaits: retention by Russia of most of what it has occupied, with the right of all Ukrainians to relocate to Ukraine or to Russia, and with absolute guarantees from Russia, Belarus, and all of NATO of Ukraine’s independence within its new borders.

It would be necessary to assure that these were real guarantees and not the false assurances of no value that were given to Ukraine as well as Belarus and Kazakhstan when they voluntarily gave up their post-Soviet and nuclear arsenals. With NATO’s ironclad guarantee, Ukraine could remain outside NATO.

Military assistance should then be transformed into economic assistance to rebuild from the war damage and prepare Ukraine for membership in the European Union. Everyone knows this is the outline of a reasonable compromise but there’s no evidence that anyone is at this point trying to negotiate it. President Biden still has a year to try to produce a success for his administration. 

This suggestion does not lead to a "happy ending to the conflict," but it would lead to an end that is palatable, if, in fact, you believe that it's better to save Ukrainian lives and the country's economy and infrastructure than it is to listen to war-mongering demogogues on both the left and right.


Sunday, September 24, 2023

A DoJ Trifecta

Gosh, did you know that recent events provide slam dunk "proof" that the DoJ isn't weaponizing the law to target the primary contender for the 2024 presidency, nor is it slow walking charges against Joe Biden's son, nor is it VERY hesitant to investigate copious evidence indicating clearly that Joe Biden profited from a pay-to-play scandal while he was Barack Obama's VP? Because just this week—breaking news!!!—a monumentally corrupt Democrat Senator, Robert Menendez, is under serious investigation for corrupt practices!

There's little doubt that Menendez is a gangster, not unlike more than a few of his congressional colleagues. In fact, he's already been in the dock as noted by Jonathan Turley:

Menendez [went] on trial in 2017 in a major bribery and fraud case involving luxury gifts allegedly exchanged for official favors. Most of us expected the worst when, during jury deliberations, one juror asked the court, “What is a senator?” Menendez dodged the bullet. The jury hung and the Justice Department dropped all charges.

With a collective sigh of relief, the Dems asked everyone to look the other way as the DoJ dropped charges, and their trained hamsters in the propaganda media did exactly that.  How convenient. 

And now—out of the blue and six years later—the DoJ has decided to resume it's hunt for corruption. Turley continues:

Now Menendez has been slapped with a massive new bribery indictment. The facts are all too familiar, with a long list of lavish gifts allegedly made in exchange for favors.

The indictment details gold bars, hundreds of thousands of dollars, furnishings and other gifts.  His wife was allegedly actively involved in this corruption conspiracy and is also facing criminal charges.

And of course, Both Congressional Ds and Rs will react in predictable ways:

... get ready for politicians to suddenly declare themselves “shocked, shocked” by the allegations against Menendez. These are the same people who made Menendez the head of the Foreign Relations Committee, twice. They gave him the power of leverage with countries where bribery is an accepted practice. It was like making a known arsonist the CEO of the International Paper Corporation. 

But a few questions arise. Why Menendez, and why an indictment at this point in time?

It could be that the DoJ, recognizes that virtually all members of the GOP, many Independents, and even a few Democrats are feeling uneasy with the DoJ's highly partisan behavior over the past five years or so. What better than to find a corrupt, sacrificial lamb who also happens to be a Dem. And even better, it provides them with a trifecta in optics:

  1. It allows the DoJ to argue that they are applying the law equally to Democrats and Republicans.
  2. It allows their trained hamsters in the propaganda media to follow a corruption story that does not involve the Bidens.
  3. It takes at least some of the pressure off them to prosecute Hunter Biden with vigor ("Look how we're going after Senator Bob.") and at the same time slow-walk any investigation of the 'Big Guy.' ("Our resources are stretched thin, and we don't see Joe Biden with any gold bars, do we?")

This is a classic "Look, there's a squirrel moment." Menendez will take the fall (unless there's a convenient hung jury), and the Bidens will skate.


Monday, September 18, 2023


It began with the Left's top dog, Bernie Sanders. Without even a moment's hesitation, the trained hamsters in the media picked up the theme, and then the entertainers piled on. Bernie complained about billionaires and lied about the taxes they pay, but that's just Bernie being the Marxist he actually is. Then it got much more personal and much, much more vicious as the target of their rage took over a playing field that they and they alone dominated, censored, and used as a uncontested indication of their power.

What/Who am I referring to? We'll discuss that in a moment, but first a digression.

The Left loves to define villains, real and imagined—the politics of the personal is their M.O. A villain is anyone who threatens their hold over a pervasive communications network that allows them to spread their many narratives far and wide. It's through their narratives that they can effectively sway public opinion and direct attention away from their many failed policies. Their many allies within the deep state then implement policies that are not supported by real-world economics, are not backed by hard science, and are not intended to improve public welfare, but are quite effective in growing government and consolidating the power of leftist politicians and the government agencies they control.

And because a villain represents a threat, he or she must be neutralized via demonization. If that's ineffective, then the next steps become far nastier—covert and even overt censorship, government investigations, sanctions, and even indictments are not out of the question. That's the game plan, and it has established a new set of rules that have poisoned politics in both political parties.

But back to the original question—who or what am I referring to in the opening paragraph of this post?

Was Donald Trump the target of Sanders, et al? In general that's a given, but it's not Trump I'm alluding to. Sure, Trump has been Villain #1 since his election in 2016. I kinda get that, even though I think the tsunami of hatred that has washed over Trump is a bit deranged.

I was referring to someone who has become a newly minted villain of the Left—a man who has accomplished more over the last 15 years than any other American—private or public sector. That man is Elon Musk.

The reason Musk has become a villain? He believes in free, unfettered speech.  He has acquired the Left's censorship playground, Twitter (now called X), transforming it into a place where all opinions, even toxic ones, can be heard. But far more important, some of those opinions challenge the Left's narratives, and that is deemed unacceptable. 

So ... the new rules were applied—demonization by politicians like Bernie Sanders, derision by clowns in late night entertainment, condemnation by the Left's talking heads, bogus government investigations by the Biden administration and opprobrium by the Left's trained hamsters in the propaganda media. All focused on a man who has accomplished more than all of them and all of their organizations—combined. 

Elon Musk is far from perfect. Walter Isaacson's outstanding book on the man proves that. In fact, Musk a difficult person with an unusual psychological profile who does not suffer fools gladly. But he has done an order of magnitude more to improve the environment, provide tens of thousands well-paid jobs, bring focused manufacturing back to the USA, single-handedly transformed the automotive industry, put America back into space in a cost effective way, provide satellite communications to those who live in rural locations, been on the bleeding edge of A.I. research (along with taking a responsible, very public position on the dangers of A.I.) and yes, encouraging a return to the free speech philosophy that made our country what it is.

As an example, a little history and Musk-related commentary on his efforts in manufacturing from Walter Isaacson:

“Beginning with the theology of globalization in the 1980s, and relentlessly driven by cost-cutting CEOs and their activist investors, American companies shut down domestic factories and offshored manufacturing. The trend accelerated in the early 2000s, when Tesla was getting started. Between 2000 and 2010, the U.S. lost one-third of its manufacturing jobs. By sending their factories abroad, American companies saved labor costs, but they lost the daily feel for ways to improve their products. 

Musk bucked this trend, largely because he wanted to have tight control of the manufacturing process. He believed that designing the factory to build a car—“ the machine that builds the machine”—was as important as designing the car itself. Tesla’s design-manufacturing feedback loop gave it a competitive advantage, allowing it to innovate on a daily basis ... 

Isaacson goes on to discuss the difference between Musk and Apple's Steve Jobs:

What set them apart is that Musk, unlike Jobs, applied that obsession not just to the design of a product but also to the underlying science, engineering, and manufacturing. “Steve just had to get the conception and software right, but the manufacturing was outsourced,” [Amazon's founder, Larry] Ellison says. “Elon took on the manufacturing, the materials, the huge factories.” Jobs loved to walk through Apple’s design studio on a daily basis, but he never visited his factories in China. Musk, in contrast, spent more time walking assembly lines than he did walking around the design studio. “The brain strain of designing the car is tiny compared to the brain strain of designing the factory,” he says.”
I sometimes think that leftist ideology reflexively hates those who accomplish great things, who actually turn their words and ideas into real accomplishments, who reject meaningless gestures and instead build things that better people and society in a measurable way, and, of course, who have opinions that directly conflict with leftist ideology and through accomplishment, demonstrate the vacuity of many of the Left's narratives.

That's why Musk is a "villain." We need more villains like him.


Sitting among the elite leftists who hate, hate, hate Elon Musk is Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a shameless demagogue who once claimed she was a native American (think: "Fauxkahontis") to put herself at the front of the hiring line at Harvard. 

Warren is rarely right about any subject, and she maintains that tradition when she recently demanded that the U.S. government "investigate" Musk and his satellite communications company, Starlink, because Musk refused to enable satellite communications that would have allowed Ukraine to conduct a major sneak attack on Russian naval vessels sure to escalate the already deadly conflict.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal comment:

The old cliché about no good deed going unpunished applies. Starlink, a privately owned network, has provided $100 million in free service to Ukraine since the war began, letting the country defend itself and re-establish communications destroyed by hundreds of Russian missiles. [emphasis mine]

What’s more, Mr. Musk says he would have complied if President Biden ordered him to turn on his privately owned network for Ukraine: “While I’m not President Biden’s biggest fan, if I had received a presidential directive to turn it on, I would have done so. Because I do regard the president as the chief executive officer of the country. Whether I want that person to be president or not, I still respect the office.”

That is a lot more respect than Ms. Warren has shown for Mr. Musk. She owes him an apology. 

An apology from Warren? Don't hold your breath. 


When you become a villain, the deep state does everything possible to slow you down, particularly if your accomplishments will make the general public ask whether your villain status is justified. SpaceX, another Elon Musk company, is developing a superheavy rocket named "Starship" that is the first step toward a journey to Mars. It's launch will be worldwide news and will, many believe, capture the imagination of the public.

So ... the deep state has decided to slow things down, using the powers of hyper-regulation to impede Musk's progress in an effort to punish him for not toeing the party line (and for criticizing Joe Biden on a number of occasions).

Robert Zimmerman reports:

... until the Biden administration, SpaceX was not required to get a detailed environmental reassessment after every Boca Chica test launch. Fish & Wildlife was not involved, as it shouldn’t be. SpaceX made its engineering investigation, the FAA reviewed it quickly, and the company launched again, at a pace of almost one test launch a month, with almost every launch resulting in a crash landing or an explosion [typical for early rocket models, regardless of the manufacturer].

Under the Biden administration the rules suddenly changed. Now, all launches are environmental concerns, even though we have empirical data for more than seventy years at Cape Canaveral that rocket launches not only do no harm to wildlife, they allow it to thrive because the spaceport creates large zones where nothing can be developed.

In other words, the Biden administration is playing a raw and cruel political game, designed to kill Starship/Superheavy. And it is succeeding, because it will be impossible to develop this rocket on time for its investors and NASA at a pace of only one test launch per year.

Yeah, the anonymous cabal that controls the Biden administration (a cognitively-disabled Biden himself is probably incapable of distinguishing between a rocket and a firecracker) has the best interests of our country and our future in mind ... don't they?

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Covid Theft

The Covid pandemic debacle is the most profound example of government dishonesty, incompetence, ineffectiveness, waste, and authoritarianism in my lifetime. It did virtually nothing to blunt the effects of a flu-like virus that was statistically little more that a bad cold for any healthy person under the age of 60. Yet, the federal and many state governments, with the help of a dishonest media and a cowed medical/public health establishment, shut down the country, mandated ineffective and (now we have learned) health-threatening masks, shuttered schools, closed public places (e.g., playgrounds, outdoor basketball courts, parks, beaches), touted "vaccines and boosters" that did NOT stop infections, did NOT stop the spread, and did have serious side effects that were unreported and then censored. If you've read dozens of Covid-related posts in this blog over the past three years, you already knew all of that.

Now we learn that the feds and their pawns at the state level allowed the hysteria that they themselves encouraged to precipitate the theft of an estimated $135 billion in federally funded emergency unemployment benefits that were only necessary because they mandated the shutdown of the economy. But that's just part of the theft. The government's own SBA reports:

... the SBA disbursed over $200 billion in potentially fraudulent COVID-19 EIDLs, EIDL Targeted Advances, Supplemental Targeted Advances, and PPP loans. This means at least 17 percent of all COVID-19 EIDL and PPP funds were disbursed to potentially fraudulent actors.
So, we're looking at an estimated $335 billion (the actual number is most likely significantly higher) that was stolen as Covid hysteria reigned.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal report on the unemployment piece:

The $135 billion finding places the pandemic unemployment program in a new tier of government disaster. Fraud claimed 11% to 15% of the nearly $900 billion that Washington paid out over three years. The theft rate is another demerit for a program that caused incredible harm even when it worked as planned. Federal and state governments provided an incentive for millions of people not to work with a $600 weekly jobless bonus in 2020 and up to 79 weeks of total unemployment benefits.

The GAO reports that states had recovered only $1.2 billion of stolen payments by May, out of about $56 billion of identified fraud cases. Recoveries have been sluggish despite $1.4 billion in federal aid to help states track and penalize fraudsters.

House Republicans passed a bill in May that boosts the incentive to recoup stolen payments, letting states keep up to a quarter of the federal cash they get back. Yet few Democrats signed on, the Senate hasn’t voted on it, and the White House blasted the bill as a threat to Washington’s “well-functioning UI system.”

Well-functioning? In a sane government, the fraud explosion would be a call to action. But in today’s Washington all that matters to politicians is how much money they can spend, not whether it’s wasted or stolen.

In reality, there is absolutely no incentive for government to make any legitimate attempt to reduce, much less eliminate, fraud and waste. The $335 billion will NOT be uncovered. As usual, the shrinking number of honest taxpayers will (as they always do) cover the loss. No federal or state employee will be demoted or fired for incompetence. Not one.

The inflationary effects of trillions of dollars injected into the economy will last for years and act as a hidden tax on every American. 

And the hysterics who supported the mendacious fools who were the authors of this mess will allow confirmation bias to cloud the reality that they were grifted. That the months or years they spent hiding in their basements was time unnecessarily lost—even after they contracted the virus anyway. And now, some of those same hysterics are advocated for re-masking as yet another Covid "variant" is trotted out to frighten them. Incredible.

There is no adjective that adequately describes the idiocy of mass hysteria that led to all this. There is no level of condemnation that adequately addresses the stupidity or complicity of government functionaries who didn't or wouldn't recognize the opportunity for theft and put mechanisms in place to prevent it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Major League baseball (actually, only the American League) instituted the "designated hitter" rule in 1973. Almost 50 years later, the national league followed.

It's time to institute a political position called "designated liar." During the Trump era, the Democratic party had their Designated Liar, Congressman Adam Schiff from CA. His ability to shamelessly lie about everything was impressive. In fact, his 'lying average' wasn't a measly .300, but probably approached something like .700 — Hall of Fame caliber.

But the current number one designated liar, drafted by the Biden Administration as their spokesperson, is Karen Jean-Pierre (KJP). Impressive because she has virtually no command of the facts, imposing because she can't seem to answer any question without reading a response from prepared notes, and adored by the vast majority of White House reporters who ask only softball questions (pun intended) and never, ever follow-up or dispute KJP's dishonest responses.

Just today, KJP was asked to comment on the House Impeachment Inquiry. Like any good designated liar, KJP feigning outrage and responded:

"Even House Republicans have said the evidence does not exist. House Republicans have said that to my friend in the back who just yelled at, which is incredibly inappropriate."

"But House Republicans have said that there doesn't — there doesn't — it doesn't exist. Their own investigations have actually debunked their ridiculous attacks. And the only reason Speaker [Kevin] McCarthy is doing this — is doing this political stunt — and we have seen it, you all have reported, is because Marjorie Taylor Greene has said — she threatened to shut down the government." 

In the long and impressive tradition of Adam Schiff, KJP is just doing the job of a designated liar. But there's a problem—you have to characterize your lies so that they can't be instantly vetted and dismissed. Apparently, KJP is too inept to accomplish that.

No evidence, huh?

Maybe it's just that KJP doesn't understand what the word "evidence" means. After all, when you have copies of texts, emails, reports, and forms written by the people under investigation; when you have corporate records indicating the creation of shell companies that served no purpose other than a pipeline for illicit money; when you have bank records that indicate that members of Joe Biden's family were enriched via transfers from those companies; when you have admissions that Joe Biden participated in business phone calls made by his son; when you have Biden on videotape admitting he threatened Ukraine with the withholding of aid unless they fired a prosecutor who was investigated Burisma—his son was a paid Board Member of that company; when you have not one or two by many whistleblowers who indicated that Biden's DoJ has slow walked the investigation of his son and limited any investigation of Biden himself—you.have.evidence. It may not be conclusive as yet, but it is evidence

BTW, KJP conveniently omitted any discussion of why the GOP initiated an impeachment inquiry if they believed there is no "evidence."


On the subject of evidence:

Something is going on and it's not good for Joe Biden and the anonymous cabal that runs the country. This from CNN:

Wow ... when even CNN is beginning to imply wrongdoing, it's a clear sign that the Dem elites want Biden gone. In fact, privately, I suspect they're more than a little happy that the GOP is doing their dirty work for them.

And with regard to their "Facts First" comment. That's a lot like saying that millions made by a Drug Kingpin are passed through off-shore companies and that the Kingpin knew nothing about them; that the Ferrari and Rolls Royce owned by the Drug Kingpin's otherwise unemployed brother are innocent gifts, that the 15-room mansion owned by his daughter-in-law have nothing whatsoever to do with the "family business." The Kingpin is the reason the family business exists. And, the "big guy" is the kingpin for the Biden family business.

UPDATE-2 (09-14-2023):

I have on numerous occasions noted that leftist Democrats embrace fantasy thinking as their go-to position when their narrative is threatened. In May, I defined fantasy thinking this way:

Fantasy thinkers reject facts that conflict with a leftist narrative that they fervently believe, seeing the world through a distorted lens. That lens transforms obvious failures into successes (think: Afghanistan); converts objectively bad decisions into good ones (think: COVID policy in 2021 and 2022); recasts profligate spending into "investments" (think: Biden's massive inflationary spending); questions the morality, integrity and intelligence of those who point out the fantasy, and most important, leads to authoritarian tendencies and censorship as necessary actions to "save democracy."

In the case of Joe Biden's corrupt actions while V.P. under Barack Obama, their current fantasy narrative (established only after they denied that Hunter Biden did anything wrong for over five years) is this: 

"Yeah, Hunter did some shady stuff and made a lot of money from some shady people, but Joe Biden, bless him, was a dupe in all of it. He knew nothing about Hunter's business or the people his son was working with. He  had no idea that Hunter was selling influence using Joe's access and influence, and god forbid (!!) never did anything approaching using his influence to justify Hunter's 'fees' "

Okay then. It truly does take fantasy thinking to believe all of that, but entire articles have been written with the "no evidence" premise. For example, Dan Friedman in left-wing Mother Jones discusses the eyewitness accounts of Joe Biden's meeting with Hunter's clients and then writes:

[House Speaker Kevin] McCarthy also cited claims by “eyewitnesses” that Hunter Biden arranged brief interactions with his father for some clients and allowed a few to listen in when Joe Biden called to chat. McCarthy claimed those interactions “resulted in cars and millions of dollars that went to his [son] and his son’s business partners.”

The speaker failed to mention that these eyewitness accounts did not establish that Joe Biden knew he was meeting with people who were paying Hunter Biden. A key witness who testified about the phone calls referenced by McCarthy said that as far as he knew, President Biden was likely unaware his son was allowing others to listen in on their calls.

What House Republicans have uncovered looks like a pattern of Hunter Biden pretending that he could corruptly influence his father as Hunter extracted large payments from foreign clients. But Hunter was apparently lying. Empty promises of corruption are, arguably, a form of corruption. But they are not the kind of corruption—Joe Biden actually altering US policy in exchange for bribes—that Republicans allege. 
The only person "pretending" here is Dan Friedman, who is doing the bidding of his Democrat overlords [satirical link, but worth reading] who are themselves faux-pretending that Joe is pure as the wind-driven snow.

In a way, it's comical to watch the Dems try so hard to spin such obvious corruption by suggesting that there's no evidence to link Joe to Hunter's influence peddling. If that truly were the case, Joe Biden was so clueless during that period, he should haven been impeached for rank stupidity.

UPDATE-3 (09-15-2023):

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals effectively ruled that the Biden Administration violated the constitution by coercing social media organizations into censoring opinions that did not conform to the White House narrative on Covid during the hysteria of 2020 and 2021. 
As if that ruling meant nothing, the White House Counsel's office sent an email to its trained hamsters in the propaganda media, urging them to investigate those who are about to conduct an impeachment inquiry. Part of the memo again echoes the refrain that there is no evidence connecting then-VP Biden and the obvious influence peddling scheme (and its tens of millions of dollars in revenue/bribes) that was Hunter Biden's business. The trained hamsters quickly complied with dozens of "no evidence" stories and opinion pieces.
Don Surber offers this snarky comment:
Every time someone in the media says there’s no evidence, they mean the allegation is true, you just haven’t proved it to them because their eyes are shut.

As the evidence mounts, prosecutors finally indicted Sonny Biden — Hunter — not for corruption, but rather it is for owning a gun. It is a way to pretend that no man is above the law without throwing him in prison for 7 years for touching a cop for three seconds.

Connecting Biden to his corruption is verboten because if the feds start going after actual corruption, the District of Columbia would collapse.

But the hamsters have another master. The Dem elites are really worried that Biden might lose, given his abysmal poll numbers (and his catastrophic record as a president). They need to replace Biden and jettison Harris, so the hamsters have begun writing pieces that suggest (gently) that Biden is "too old." No mention of his obvious cognitive decline or the stench of corruption—just too old. Heh.

UPDATE-4 (09-17-2023):

It truly is remarkable that Democrat politicians and their spokespeople (e.g., KJP) can use blatant gaslighting—"There is no evidence!"—and their trained hamsters in the propaganda media allow them to get away with it. 

It's a bit of a rehash, but it's worth noting what Jeremy Carl writes about their claim of a lack of "evidence":

As I’ve said before of the evidence in the case, it’s a smoking gun next to a bloody corpse. If I could get in the face of any of these CNN propagandists, I’d destroy them with a single question: Why did these “shell companies” exist? The only answer an honest person can give is, “To conceal the bribery money.” If the millions of dollars received from foreigners by Hunter Biden and his associates had any legitimate purpose — if it were something other than bribery — they would have no need to hide it. And what was it that Hunter Biden and his associates were selling? What service did they have to offer, except the influence of the then-Vice President? Isn’t the nature of this arrangement self-evident in the fact that Ukraine prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Hunter’s client Burisma for corruption, was fired in 2016 on the demand of Joe Biden? Joe Biden publicly bragged about this.

As the Dems say, "Joe Biden's only crime is being a loving father. He knew nothing about his son's business." 

Given that BIden's current cognitive ability is so diminished, that might actually be true today. But not 10 years ago. Then, he was just stupid and corrupt, lurking on Hunter's business calls to provide credence to his son's influence peddling schemes and meeting with shady foreigners to (one would surmise) better understand their needs and identify the terms of their business relationship.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Broad and Deep

Whether it's the size and scope of the federal government, immigration policies, education at the K-12 level, academia, some of the science establishment, urban crime, racial issues, climate change, Covid policy, gender identity or any of dozens of political hot-button topics, the Left rules the roost. Adherents to leftist ideology have largely taken over or guide the direction of mainstream and social media, large tech companies, large corporate entities, major government agencies, at lease some within the justice system, and the entertainment industry. As a consequence, leftist ideology is ubiquitous. In fact, it is impossible to avoid it because every one of the entities noted is part of a broad and deep communication network from which virtually every U.S citizen along with tens of millions of both legal and illegal non-citizens form their world-view.

And yet, for all of the communication power that this 'broad and deep network' provides, a significant percentage of all Americans looks askance at many of the narratives it promulgates. 

Maybe that's why the progressive left have made a dramatic pivot over the past few decades—a pivot that accelerated dramatically over the past 6 or 7 years. In the past, it was progressives who were the champions of free speech. Left-wing activists insisted they had the right and obligation to "speak truth to power" whenever government overstepped the bounds imposed by our Constitution. But now that the broad and deep communication network confers enormous power to the ideological left, free speech rights of opponents to that power represent a substantial threat.

The solution has been covert and overt censorship. Ambiguous words and phrases such as mis- and dis-information, hate speech, and conspiracy theory are now used to justify broad-based attempts to censor opposing views. Private entities that include both mainstream and social media companies have become the governments censorship arm. Government agencies are tasks with promoting policies and producing cherry-picked "facts" that support their preferred narrative and the policies that weaponize it.

With this as background, the editors of the Wall Street Journal report:

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday against federal officials for colluding with tech platforms to suppress speech, but you’d hardly know it from the limited press coverage. The decision in Missouri v. Biden deserves more attention because it defines the constitutional limits to coordination between government and private actors and may be headed to the Supreme Court.

Missouri and Louisiana—joined by individuals whose posts opposing government views on Covid were censored—sued various federal officials for violating their First Amendment rights. Federal Judge Terry Doughty ruled against the government on nearly all points. The three-judge Fifth Circuit panel largely upheld his findings of fact and law while narrowing his injunction.

The unsigned 74-page opinion begins by detailing the unprecedented coordination during the pandemic between government agencies and social-media platforms. Tech employees “attended regular meetings” with government officials and “seemingly stepped-up their efforts” to remove content to appease them, the decision explains.

Platforms “gave the officials access to an expedited reporting system, downgraded or removed flagged posts, and deplatformed users,” the opinion says. And they “changed their internal policies to capture more flagged content and sent steady reports on their moderation activities to the officials.”

The Biden Administration argued that the tech platforms acted independently, and that communications by federal officials are protected “government speech.” The Fifth Circuit disagreed, holding that officials crossed the First Amendment line by coercing platforms with threats of antitrust action and legal liability for user content under Section 230.

Over the past few years, those of us who value free speech have been highly critical of the censorship that has been implemented at the behest of leftist politicians, activists, and government agencies (e.g., here, here, and here). The clear intent of this censorship is to stifle any opinion that criticizes the narrative and/or policies derived from it. In some cases, the censorship is wholly political, but in others, (Covid lockdowns, masking, and the efficacy/dangers of mRNA vaccine come to mind) such censorship endangers the public and leads to destructive outcomes. It looks like the Federal courts now agree.

But here's the thing. It takes years for cases like Missouri v. Biden to move through the courts. In the meantime, those who favor censorship, who weaponize government and stifle opposing views have free reign. As a consequence, they win in the short term, even if they're ultimately enjoined in the longer term. And that is their strategy—to unethically or illegally put their destructive policies in place, even when they know they are borderline or actually unconstitutional. It's the modus operandi of the Left and it's not going to change.

Monday, September 11, 2023

New Rules

I have stated in a number of recent posts (e.g., here and here) that the indictments levied against Donald Trump have questionable legal merit, have established precedents that never should  have been established, have defined a new set of quasi-legal 'rules,' and will lead to political retribution down the road. I have also indicated that political retribution is bad for the country.

Yet ... if these indictments are allowed to stand, if the prosecutors are allowed to levy them against their political opposition without consequences to them and their political party, they will not stop. After all, state criminal indictments or RICO charges, no matter how spurious, create serious problems for those who are indicted.

Conservative firebrand Kurt Schlichter has a few suggestions concerning political retribution:

See, we can’t have one set of rules for one group and another set of rules for another. If you really like the Old Rules, you’re not going to get them back by empowering your enemy to violate the norms while, like a little submissive, you obediently continue to pretend that it is still 2005 ...  I understand the risks [of retaliating]. The risks of not retaliating here are much, much worse than the risk of going too far. And by retaliating, I mean (mis)applying the law to them [the Democrats] precisely as they are (mis)applying it to us [the GOP]. If you want to stop this nonsense, you have to make it painful.

Time to deal with pain.

Let’s look at the nature of some of these charges. They are vague and gauzy and ambiguous, like asserting there’s some sort of giant conspiracy out there to subvert the rights of people even though no people’s rights were subverted, nor would they have been subverted, and even if they would’ve been subverted, that subversion is within the scope of allowable political activity and the First Amendment.

A lot of these novel Democrat charges ...  are phrased as making illegal any attempt to prevent someone from exercising his rights. That’s pretty vague, which is pretty useful when you want to abuse the statutes. And a lot of states have these laws. A lot of red states have them. And guess what? A lot of people in Washington D.C. have been violating them, arguably, if you accept that we are going to apply these laws to political activity ...

Again, I think this is a terrible idea. This is not what these laws were designed to do. But there’s a thing called ‘precedent’, and they’re making it. They’ve established that you can use these laws to screw over your political opponents, and I say screwing is a two-way street.

So, for example, the attorney general of Missouri, or even a red district attorney in some red district in red Missouri, could go out and find a citizen who was forced into a mask and not allowed to make his living and denied the right to go to church ... during the COVID idiocy. And who was behind that? Well, that was Anthony Fauci and all his friends at the CDC and the NIH and all the other acronym places. So you indict them. All of them. Charge them for RICO on a conspiracy to defraud the rights of Missouri citizens or some such nonsense. I mean, most of these indictments are just a bunch of random words strung together anyway, so we need to do that too. But the important thing is to indict them in state court. And, of course, we will watch them seek to remove those cases to federal court and watch the hilarious 180 turns of all the legal morons on MSNBC who are mad because the defendants in the Atlanta frame job are doing the same thing.

I don’t think these laws were meant to prosecute dumb bureaucrats in Washington for saying stupid things that they knew were untrue and apparently getting rich off of it as well. Still, I made my opinion clear, and my opinion has been disregarded. The New Rule is that you do precisely that, that somebody out in the hinterlands who feels wronged by someone making a decision back in Washington can get his local constable to file charges and boom, welcome to court in Cowcakes County, rich men north of Richmond.

Schlichter discusses other possible 'over-the-line' indictments, but I'm sure you get the idea. The point is to use the New Rules established by the Democrats within the DoJ and at state levels and apply them equally. He continues:

[The Democrats] will scream and yell, and I think it will be funny. And I think it will be beautiful too. I am a big fan of symmetry. What they do to us, we do to them twice as hard. Suddenly, a whole bunch of them will be looking to the fed courts to 86 these nonsense cases, and, luckily for them, I think the federal courts will eventually throw out these nonsense Trump cases and create a precedent for throwing out theirs. Or not. So, they may beat the rap, but they will take the ride, just like thousands of good conservatives had to when leftists manipulated the legal system to screw over their political enemies. Like I said, screwing goes two ways.

And so ... what-goes-around-comes-around begins.


It's beginning ... and it's well past time that it has. Athena Thorne writes:

At long last, Republicans have begun to embrace the New Rules bestowed upon our society by the Marxist Left. Just yesterday, my colleague Chris Queen reported on Georgia’s Attorney General Chris Carr following the example recently set by Fulton County DA Fani Willis and wielding the state’s RICO laws. But unlike Willis’s acrobatic interpretation of the statutes to go after Orange Man Bad, Carr is using them to bust up the passel of actual domestic terrorists who have been terrorizing Atlanta over its plans to build a public safety training center.

It seems only fair that the "police are white supremacists" crowd gets the same legal treatment as the "elections are corrupt" crowd.  

It's very important that the people who have established the New Rules come to understand that those rules can also be applied against groups who they support and sometimes admire. 


It's continuing ... this time with more than a little justification.

Although the propaganda media is doing everything possible to bury the growing influence peddling/outright bribery scandal that has engulfed Joe Biden, it looks like the New Rules that the Dems established to destroy their opposition are yet again going to be used against them. Victor Davis Hansen comments:

In modern times, the nation has not rushed to impeach a president without a special counsel investigation to determine whether the chief executive was guilty of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

But thanks to the Democrats, recent impeachments now have destroyed all those guardrails. After all, Trump was impeached the first time on the fumes of an exhaustive but fruitless 22-month, $40 million special counsel investigation—one designed to find him guilty of Russian “collusion” and thus to be removed from office but found no actionable offenses at all.

Instead, dejected Democrats moved immediately for a second try. In September 2019 a few weeks after Trump had announced his 2020 reelection bid, the Democratic House began to impeach the president on the new grounds that he had talked to the President Zelensky of Ukraine and said he might delay offensive arms shipments—unless the Ukrainians could demonstrate that they had ended corruption and, in particular, were no longer influenced by the Biden family quid pro quo shakedowns.

Trump was impeached for one phone call. As Obama's VP, Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid for Ukraine unless a prosecutor investigating Burisma (think: Hunter) was fired.  Hmmm.

The Dems created these new impeachment rules. Now they've gotta live with them. Payback is gonna a bitch.

Friday, September 08, 2023

No Joke

My last two posts (here and here) have discussed the faux science and media propaganda that are used to intentionally fuel climate hysteria. The intent, it appears, is to set the stage for authoritarian "climate emergency' policies and regulations. The anonymous cabal that rules the country (Joe Biden is cognitively-disabled) has decided that (1) rising gas prices;(2)  the destruction of energy independence (something we had achieved in 2019); (3) the reliance on sketchy regimes (think: Saudi Arabia and Venezuela) for oil, and (4) the enabling of Vladimir Putin to continue his aggression in the Ukraine by propping up Russian oil prices are all working because ... "climate crisis!!!"  They. Are. Idiots.

But idiocy can be forgiven. What can't be forgiven is a total disregard for the unintended consequences of their climate preening. Consequences that will impact lives and livelihoods today, not in 100 years when their inaccurate and scientifically indefensible models "predict" that the East and West coasts will be under water.

Like the oh-so-moral activists who glued themselves to the tennis stadium at the U.S. Open yesterday—all in the name of banning fossil fuels—the Biden administration has decided that meaningless gestures are needed as it continues its war on the middle class. The editors of the Wall Street Journal report:

The Interior Department on Wednesday canceled seven oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and moved to limit development on 13 million acres in the state’s National Petroleum Reserve. “President Biden is delivering on the most ambitious climate and conservation agenda in history,” Secretary Deb Haaland boasted ... 

She points to “insufficient analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act, including failure to adequately analyze a reasonable range of alternatives and properly quantify downstream greenhouse gas emissions.” NEPA doesn’t require a climate analysis. The Administration has written new requirements into NEPA to scotch fossil-fuel projects.

Speaking of deficiencies, Ms. Haaland says the Administration’s actions are “based on the best available science and in recognition of the Indigenous Knowledge.” Last year the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memo directing agencies to “include Indigenous Knowledge as an aspect of the best available science.” No joke.

Draining our strategic petroleum reserve to tamp down rising oil prices is "no joke." Destroying our country's energy independence is "no joke." Making us dependent on bad actors is "no joke." 

The only joke is the Biden administration—a Team of 1s developing energy policy that appears to be designed to increase economic dislocation and make life more miserable for working people. And really, that's "no joke" either.

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Fake Science

Over the past two decades, and significantly over the past five years or so, "climate science" has been a lot less about actual science (where opposing views and skepticism are a normal part of the process) and a lot more about the advocacy of a leftist narrative that is approved by Team Apocalypse and its climate hysterics in academic, political leadership, the propaganda media, and major government agencies.

In my last post, I discussed some of this and was going to leave the subject for a while when I ran across a Substack article written by Patrick T. Brown. Brown is a climate scientist, and like all scientists and academics, getting published in prestigious journals is very good for a career. He discusses the research he submitted to the once-respected journal, Nature, indicating how he had to toe the party line on climate in order to get past the journal's internal vetting process.

Brown begins by noting typical media reports on wild fires that use scientific publications as references :

If you’ve been reading any news about wildfires this summer—from Canada to Europe to Maui—you will surely get the impression that they are mostly the result of climate change.

Here’s the AP: Climate change keeps making wildfires and smoke worse. Scientists call it the “new abnormal.

And PBS NewsHour: Wildfires driven by climate change are on the rise—Spain must do more to prepare, experts say.

And The New York Times: How Climate Change Turned Lush Hawaii Into a Tinderbox.

And Bloomberg: Maui Fires Show Climate Change’s Ugly Reach.

I am a climate scientist. And while climate change is an important factor affecting wildfires over many parts of the world, it isn’t close to the only factor that deserves our sole focus. [emphasis mine]

So why does the press focus so intently on climate change as the root cause? Perhaps for the same reasons I just did in an academic paper about wildfires in Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious journals: it fits a simple storyline that rewards the person telling it.

The paper I just published—“Climate warming increases extreme daily wildfire growth risk in California”—focuses exclusively on how climate change has affected extreme wildfire behavior. I knew not to try to quantify key aspects other than climate change in my research because it would dilute the story that prestigious journals like Nature and its rival, Science, want to tell. [emphasis mine]

This matters because it is critically important for scientists to be published in high-profile journals; in many ways, they are the gatekeepers for career success in academia. And the editors of these journals have made it abundantly clear, both by what they publish and what they reject, that they want climate papers that support certain preapproved narratives—even when those narratives come at the expense of broader knowledge for society.

To put it bluntly, climate science has become less about understanding the complexities of the world and more about serving as a kind of Cassandra, urgently warning the public about the dangers of climate change. 

But that's the whole point. Instead of a calm and thorough investigation of the effects of human activity on climate, we get alarmist propaganda—all designed IMO to set the stage for what may be authoritarian "emergency" policies and regulations that will accomplish nothing but will increase the power of government over the rights of the individual.

It's becoming increasingly difficult for scientists and researchers in any field—climate science, genetics, biology, sociology, criminology, education, etc.—to publish any finding that conflicts with the prevailing narrative. As Brown states:

It starts with the fact that a researcher’s career depends on his or her work being cited widely and perceived as important. This triggers the self-reinforcing feedback loops of name recognition, funding, quality applications from aspiring PhD students and postdocs, and of course, accolades ...

In theory, scientific research should prize curiosity, dispassionate objectivity, and a commitment to uncovering the truth. Surely those are the qualities that editors of scientific journals should value.

In reality, though, the biases of the editors (and the reviewers they call upon to evaluate submissions) exert a major influence on the collective output of entire fields. They select what gets published from a large pool of entries, and in doing so, they also shape how research is conducted more broadly. Savvy researchers tailor their studies to maximize the likelihood that their work is accepted. I know this because I am one of them.

At least Brown has the integrity and courage to admit it. 

Maybe it's time to coin a new phrase—"fake science," and require appropriate labeling of any scientific paper that does not provide context, does not include data that might conflict with its conclusions, and does not treat findings as tentative, recognizing that all science changes with time—the debate in NEVER over.

But in the worldview of leftists—and make no mistake—fake science is worshiped by the Left when it conforms to its dominant narratives, there can be no opposition. Maybe that because fake science cannot be defending when actual science is discussed.

UPDATE (09-16-2023):

The hysterical (both meanings of the word) headlines continue, and just keep getting better. This unintentionally comical tweet from the NYT—the clarion voice of the Left and charter member of Team Apocalypse—warns us of "eco-anxiety":

Even the most extreme catastrophists claim (without any meaningful proof and much science to refute the claim) that warming will occur over the next century. Who in their right mind would suffer from "anxiety" due to something that will take 100 years to occur. Oh ... wait ... they're not in their right mind ... so ...