I Have No Answers.  I Don’t Understand.

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Apocryphal “news” stories, insane (or just inane) narratives, names swatted like tennis balls around Twitter… I could retrieve a few, but to what end?  You’ve heard most of them.  East Indians are saying that they can see the Himalayas for the first time in years as their city streets lie comatose.  New Yorkers say they can see fish now in the Hudson as Long Island lies embalmed.  Something about Englishmen and their nightingales—the size of their wings… I couldn’t quite make it out, but in the same genre.  A CNN mouthpiece publishing a letter to his newborn son or toddler (who obviously can’t read, and hence is obviously not the letter’s true target) celebrating the collapse of the U.S. economy as a vast obstacle removed from the Green New Deal’s Juggernaut.  And the prep-school Ocasio girl-woman who masquerades as a hyphenated traditional Latina from the barrio saying… well, basically that it’s a good thing all structure is collapsing around us, because we’re really going to love (those of us who survive) life in Naked-and-Afraid Land.

I hate cars and car culture.  Always have.  I hate the racket, I hate the razed acres of concrete and glass, I hate the stop-and-start enforced focus on material circumstances that won’t allow your thoughts to stray without deadly risk.  I walked six hundred miles of Irish and Scots backroad in a month on two separate occasions in my twenties.  I permitted (not purposely) my driver’s license to lapse as a graduate student in Austin, where I walked to classes and to the grocery store and to the laundromat—and then walked dozens more miles per week for pleasure.  In retirement these days, I aspire to grow nut and fruit groves on my North Georgia 25 acres, and I seldom have either the need or the want to leave my property.  But… but I do have to travel to the grocery store once a week, and I could scarcely hike that sixteen-mile round-trip with a backpack and bring home what my wife and I require to survive.  Much of what I unload from the truck also goes into a refrigerator—and, no, I can’t run that from the turns of a windmill.

I “get it”, you see: I mean, that our high-tech, progressive economy’s artificial world is often a noisy, tasteless, stinking, hectic, sometimes poisonous sprawl.  I’m all for reducing those horrid qualities.  I’m doing what I can on my own to subtract from them.  But…

But I don’t understand the ambition to exterminate the human race, or large parts of it, in order to achieve some sort of green silence.  Even if nothing were at stake but my own suicide, who would look after my saplings if I checked out?  The deer and wild blackberry would gnaw and choke them to nothing within a season.  Mother Nature doesn’t favor diversity.  She gives the victory to the swift, and she allows the strong to throttle everything weaker around them.  Pope Francis says that Mother Nature doesn’t forgive, implying that the human foibles which once found leniency before God’s throne have now grown insufferable before the universe’s new ruler (whom he seems to hold in higher reverence).  Quite right: Mother Nature is best pictured as a ravening animal, a T-Rex.  Without my human hand, the cherry trees would never bear fruit, the bluebirds would have no houses, and the whole forest would eventually go up in smoke after lightning ignited a conflagration in uncleared brush.

So maybe I should live, and others should die in my place.  Maybe all the capitalist car-drivers should go.  What gives me the moral authority to pass a death sentence upon them?  Why, my self-evident virtue, of course!  So let millions starve as we shift all power to solar panels and wind turbines (which will purge more avian species from the earth in less time than any extermination event since the Dinosaur Asteroid), let a PRC-style board of central planning keep my dole coming because I’m one of the faithful (credentials verified by a chip that Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci have planted in my head), and let “the others” shelter-in-place until they rot as squad cars and Humvees cruise the streets.  To make an omelet, you have to break some eggs… or whatever version of Pope Lenin’s holy writ Ms. Ocasio thumbed before deleting it.

Would I be safe then?  With Big Brother enfolding me deep in his warm data bank, would I finally see a quiet dawn gild skies unplowed by any contrails?  Huawei 5G is supposed to combine with the Gates microchip to keep me apprised of any abnormal fluctuations in my vital rhythms.  Rising blood pressure?  I receive a kind of Amber Alert on my cellphone.  Irregular heartbeat?  The same.  Marcus Welby, M.D., will have fused with SuperNanny (in Gestapo apron) to tweak, instantly and minutely, any slightest menace to my good health.  The invasions of privacy pouring in from all directions need not worry me; after all, as that profound ethical philosopher, Andrew Cuomo, has lately opined, nothing is worse than death.  (Or as Claudio answered his sister Isabella’s appeal to his honor, “Death is a fearful thing!”)  And why will the supreme technicians sitting at the invisible nexus of the planetary network take such interest in my prolonged survival?  Why?

Well, why not?  Why wouldn’t they?  They are the People’s Government.  The People’s Government loves the People, by definition.  They will see that I’m cared for in all circumstances.  If I need to stay home in a mask with a can of Lysol, then I will do so as long as They command.  If my job disappears and I have no visible means of support, then They will send a check.  They know what’s best for me—and for you.  For all of us.  They are experts.  Why would you be so selfish as to attempt to frustrate their mapping of our safest course?  Why should you have the right (again channeling philosopher Cuomo’s wisdom) to precipitate my death through your non-compliance?

And so we surrender our collective future, in this swooning vision of the Earthly Father (loving husband of Gaia), to the kind of elite which has deliberately stockpiled 1,500 varieties of corona virus, which specially cultivated one strain in an insecure Wuhan lab to infect humans, which locked its own citizens indoors with infected family members until entire buildings became death traps, which ordered survivors back to work in patently unsafe conditions lest the GDP suffer further, which destroyed documentation and silenced medical professionals lest the truth of its lethal incompetence leak out… which, by the way, has been forcing self-sufficient farmers of the sort I aspire to be off the land (no longer their land, but the People’s land) and into overcrowded cities for decades… this is the paradigm of our Uncle Li who will ensure our long, healthy lives.  This is the new pater patriae, the upgraded and non-slaveholding (merely slave-ruling) George Washington.  This is the collectivist Nurse Practitioner whose service to humanity in the Wuhan Institute of Virology was financed by 3.7 millions of donated Fauci money, its sister facility in the same city pursuing the same redacted mission statement with more millions from Saint William of Gates.  This is the colossus whose gaze blank and pitiless as the sun will save us from our own childish, destructive behavior.  This is what CNN reporters and Governor Cuomo and Ms. Latina-Campesina would put at the helm of the good ship New Green Deal.  This defoliator of the African continent and heaviest polluter of Earth’s atmosphere in the planet’s history is supposed to redeem us from our great capitalist garbage dump.

I have no answers to such stupefying idiocy.  I don’t understand.  I cannot comprehend how tens of millions of pampered, college-educated upper-crusters eagerly, even fanatically long to pull the plug on the system that has lofted them to the lap of luxury lest the haunts of their hazily recalled Spring Breaks slip under water in ten years—how this is their Awful Horror, yet they don’t give a damn about an unsecured power grid whose toasting in an inevitable solar storm will leave nine in ten of them dead within months.  It’s as if the dismantling of something high-tech can somehow save their puny lives, but the simple, cheap supplementation of the technology on which they tweet and chirp and insta-blather every day must not happen.  They must live, cowering under their beds with chips in their heads: they must live at all costs.  But… but if only the Great Satan may die, then a weedy, viney planet prowled only by insects and rats is a small price to pay.  If anyone lives, then they must live; but if there’s a chance of wiping humanity off the earth, then they’ll volunteer their lives as deliriously as the zealous of Jonestown or Heaven’s Gate.

You can call it childish, or stupid, or insane.  Columnists, bloggers, and commentators do so all the time.  But that doesn’t explain anything.  I’m not interested in marking tallies on a scorecard: I’m trying to understand.  Why are full adults more emotionally retarded than toddlers?  Why are Ivy League graduates duller than a frozen egg?  How can people who design websites and compile spreadsheets leap out a twelve-story window thinking they’re Superman?  It’s not a laughing matter, inasmuch as it’s likely to kill our children and grandchildren.  What exactly is it?  Why is it happening?

Is it a response to the hyper-technologizing of society?  Young people texting each other across the table on dates have become an endless stock of jokes… but our capitalist economy, after all, has created them.  They can’t be very happy in their state.  Is “it” a reflexive attack upon the Dr. Frankenstein who gave them the life of a mute, neutered freak?

Or are we seeing some more specific kind of technological conditioning?  Have “social media” and all the rest—the screens, screens, screens that mediate between the human mind and material reality at every turn—produced a freak insufficiently self-conscious to appreciate its freakishness?  Do these cyber-human hybrids quite literally not know how to evaluate human nature or to calculate human happiness?

Would they have turned out better if we’d had them read great literature in school?  Generations of Westerners used to acquire an immense amount of self-knowledge at an accelerated rate by reading literary classics—as opposed to the propagandistic screeds ramrodded into the curriculum by a corrupt academic establishment.  But what, then, corrupted the academic establishment?

Was it our abandonment of the land, of nature—of the daily tutorial in natural limitation which repelling grasshoppers from the garden and keeping foxes out of the henhouse provided?  Did we lose our common sense when we all migrated to the city and achieved a much higher lifestyle by spinning basic facts to favor deep-pocketed scoundrels?

At this point, does the ultimate cause even make any difference (to paraphrase yet another great thinker of our times, Ms. Clinton—always pronounced “Missus Clinton”)?  Science analyzes causes with a view to comprehending complex chain-reactions and, perhaps, intervening at critical links to forestall catastrophe.  Yet we’ve already arrived at the last link; and the chain, in any case, appears to be a “one and out” proposition.  You can protect your peanut patch better next summer if you figure out what devastated it last summer.  Once civilization’s wagon trundles over the cliff, however, there’s no restraining its free fall for a try at a better outcome.

Maybe I’d just like to know, for my personal satisfaction.  I’d like to understand the race of cowering, wired-up inepts lining up—with masks and observing strict social-distancing—outside the door of the slaughterhouse.  If the unexamined life is not worth living, as Socrates insisted, then maybe the examined life offers modest rewards.

But when examination brings no insights… then I suppose we must await enlightenment from a source that Socrates but dimly divined beyond this valley of shadows.  In the meantime… I have no answers.  I just don’t understand.

 

Why We Must Push Back Against “Climate Change” Hysteria

The other day I filmed a short video catalogued in my website archive (semperluxmundi.org) under “A Culture of Slanders and Slurs”.  The library of about two dozen videos now addresses topics related to religious faith in a straightforward manner: no virtue-signaling allowed.  I thought it was time in this particular series to call out the unscrupulous among us who abuse language in such a way as to sequester defenders of certain views from consideration as human beings.  Of course, “racist” is now such a slur, and I am about to dedicate another video to the word “Nazi”.  “Climate-change denier” has never really caught on, thanks to being quite unwieldy—but the notion behind the phrase is the same: those who “deny” climate change deserve whatever mistreatment comes their way.  Not only must we not give them a hearing; we should entertain giving them jail time, or maybe shooting them like dogs.

I placed the word “deny” in quotations above because denial isn’t even what’s properly at issue (any more than is “climate change” per se; the mandatory article of faith is really that global climate is rapidly, radically changing due to manmade influences).  My talk—and you can do just so much in fifteen minutes, alas—began by stressing that, as a lifelong enemy of the automobile and of our congested urban environments, I have left considerably lighter carbon footprints behind me than most people.  I then spent several minutes emphasizing that mere measurement of relevant climatic data is an enormously complex task.  Readings must be obtained at uniform geographical and chronological intervals from around the world, a requirement which undermines confident conclusions at our point in history right out of the gate.  Perceived changes in weather during one human lifetime qualify as evidence neither by the spatial nor the temporal standard; for none of us spends an hour per month at a hundred locations equally spaced around Earth’s sphere, and none of us lives the many centuries necessary to uncover a meaningful pattern.

This doesn’t make me a “denier”; it makes me a voice of restraint before those who insist upon rushing to unjustified conclusions.  I wish I’d had time to handle more adequately the dubious motives of many at the “movement’s” fore who busy themselves stirring the rush into a stampede.  Peter Helmes has often offered analyses of that caliber through his site, Die Deutsche Konservativen. One of his posts a couple of weeks ago noted that Greta Thunberg’s father has grown rather wealthy off of two concerns dedicated to marketing his eerily wooden and humorless “Green Joan of Arc” daughter; and the post concludes, all in boldface, Um es nochmals klar zu sagen: Dahinter stehen keine Idealisten, sondern knallharte Großkapitalisten. Wo deren Interesse liegt, dürfte jedem normal denkenden Menschen klar sein. Translation: “To say it plainly, there are no idealists standing behind [climate change hysteria], but hard-boiled capitalist tycoons.  Every competently thoughtful person should be clear about where the interests of such types lie.”

When I still possessed a small soapbox in academe from which to prod freshmen, I tended to proceed very cautiously into the realms of chemistry and atmospheric science.  Those weren’t my field.  Some of my students could have diagrammed complex molecules while I was still trying to figure out how carbon dioxide can poison plants.  (Can it?  An intrepid investigator probing a volcanic lake on the History Channel made that claim within my hearing… but the minute rise in global CO2 seems to be feeding plants handsomely in locations that aren’t fuming with sulfur.)  Behind my rostrum, then, I always contented myself with making a few very basic, even “dummy” observations.  1) Carbon dioxide is less than one half of one hundredth of one percent of the earth’s atmosphere; it’s hard to see how fluctuations in thousandths of a percentage point spell Armageddon.  2) Of that tiny amount, only about two percent arises from manmade sources.  3) Of those manmade sources, India and China are by far the most prolific contributors—and neither of those nations is in the least interested in curbing its industrial growth.

If the West, and the U.S. in particular, were to fragment its industrial/technological foundation for the very doubtful purpose of reducing CO2 emissions by .00003%, the following disastrous environmental consequence would therefore follow.  The “People’s Republic” of China would have a path free and clear to dominate utterly the world’s economy, and hence to determine in large measure the social and political organization of every individual society. In other words, the single greatest environmental poisoner in our planet’s history (with the possible exception of the post-Chernobyl Soviet Union) would be calling all the tunes globally.

Is this what we want?  Is this what any person sincerely concerned about life on Earth would want?  For several decades, we have seen (if we have eyes to see) how much the Chinese oligarchy cares about its own citizens.  I’ve noticed in reading the testimonies of Chinese citizens who speak out too daringly and are “invited for a cup of tea” at police headquarters that practically all detainees, when they know they’re not going home for several weeks, worry about not having their meds.  Everyone in urban China is on meds!  That’s because the air is poison to breathe.  (Remember a few years back when a massive effort was made to cleanse to skies temporarily over Beijing for the opening Olympic ceremony?)  We’re getting a refresher course right now, if we need one, on just how highly the PRC elite value the lives of ordinary people.  To the Party’s chosen few, handling the Coronavirus is primarily an exercise in public-relations damage control.  If the disease isn’t diagnosed, then ensuing death cannot be attributed to it… and only about one patient in ten was being tested for infection even in the early days of the outbreak, before resources gave out.

These are the people to whom we will surrender the planet’s health, should we throttle all fossil-fuel consumption, refuse to build nuclear power plants, and wait for the wind to turn blades on the high plains.  This is the “green” plan to save us all!

I also used to stress to my students, as I stress in the video and continue to underscore, that pointing all solutions in the direction of a more intrusive government smells very, very fishy.  It is especially so inasmuch as big government created most of the problem, to begin with.  After World War II, our federal government, favoring certain players in the transportation sector over others, pumped millions into producing a national car- and airline-dependency among us while leaving our substantial railways to languish.  (Trains move loads about fifteen times more cost-effectively, by the way, than trucks… but the Teamsters’ Union had a louder voice.)  On a local level, municipalities of the Fifties rigorously began to zone out your corner drugstore, your handy barber shop, your neighborhood school and pediatrician—which, of course, created real estate and building booms as well as forcing Middle America to invest heavily in cars, in gas and oil, in insurance, and so forth.  Meanwhile, lawyers, lawsuits, regulations, and inspectors converged upon Plainville, USA, the way vultures compete for a carcass.  Federal bureaucracies like OSHA hounded small-business owners even after they had duly shifted their shingle from Laurel Lane to Main Street.  Many of these hard-working people surrendered, dissolving their business and entering the daily rush-hour file of traffic to get to a corporation’s megalopolitan plant or office tower.

If we simply eradicated these zoning restrictions and micro-managing bureaucracies, we would preserve immense amounts of oil, reduce incalculable volumes of traffic-related stress and injury, almost nullify the crime endemic to periodically emptied neighborhoods, foster an environment where citizens were much happier thanks to a much more human level of contact with each other… but no.  No.  More government, more regimentation—that’s worked so well for us in the past! Let’s just amp it up.

Meanwhile, merely for raising your hand and daring to ask a question about any aspect of the “climate change agenda”, you make yourself a target for doxing, canceling, incarcerating… you’re a public spittoon.  This is your reward for suggesting that, if the emperor’s new clothes are invisible, maybe it’s because they don’t exist rather than because you’re blind.  This is our current level of insanity.  This is how well we’ve been groomed for rule by the idiot-producing ideologues controlling our classrooms, and by marketplace and political despots ranging from George Soros to Xi Jinping (who both turn out to be financing much of what happens in our classrooms).

Indeed, my ultimate question of our “social conscience” warriors—far down the list, and not an item that I would ask in a townhall meeting—nags at me more than any uncertainty I have about science.  How many of these self-declared moral beacons, I should like to know, who lead the chanting chorus of, “Climate-change denier!” as the mob gathers, are being remunerated rather directly by Soros, Xi, Robert Fink, or the Rothschilds’ Bank of England?  Conspiracy theory?  Why, hell yes, it’s conspiracy theory!  Have you not yet awakened to the fact that all truth in these “post-fact” times is suffocating under the bedsheets of conspiracy-theory quarantine?

Pessimist’s Progress: Congressional Incompetence Lets a Ray of Hope Slip Through

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On the one hand, a pessimist is constantly beset by the feeling that apologies are in order, as if he had pulled everyone into the ditch during a serene walk in the countryside.  On the other hand, I can’t pretend that a train hasn’t jumped the track and that I don’t see it barreling straight toward our scenic lane.  A couple of weeks ago, an Iowa judge sentenced a Hispanic youth to 16 years of jail for burning an LGBTQ flag… and this atrocity from the bench was reported almost nowhere.  I heard of it through Michael Savage: the one print source I’ve tracked down suppresses the offender’s age and ethnicity.  I’m not entirely sure which is worse, according my pessimist’s handbook: the insane verdict and penalty (for even the verdict was insane) or our news media’s conspiratorial silence on all such stories, and especially on “perpetrator details” that conflict with other narratives.  If a gun-loving white male Southerner had drawn the sentence….

And, yes, the outrageous serial-suffocation of the truth practiced by our mainstream news media is a conspiracy—and, yes, that word still has both a meaning distinct from “lunatic fantasy” and a presence in everyday events.  Yet the operatives of George Soros can dictate vocabulary to the Fourth Estate with such effect that, in the EU, the non-compliant are deprived of their livelihood (cf. Michelle Malkin’s comments about the Rome Charter Association and Hope Not Hate, both Soros-hatchlings, in Open Borders Inc).   Over here, merely dropping the name “Soros” draws charges of “anti-Semitism” after a psychedelic demolition-derby of unconnected dots.

Meanwhile, one-time conservative superstar Mike Lee is joining the congressional chorus of baboons who smell leopard because the president used his powers as commander-in-chief after a fashion just approved by both houses; and the real danger faced by us all—attack from terrorists or cartel-hirelings that nestle abundantly in all our major cities, is ignored by virtually every member of Congress while we debate whether Iranian rockets might start a war if they actually hit a target.  As if we didn’t have a war on low-but-rising simmer right here on our front door….

Ironically, I registered my first burst of optimism since well before Christmas when I heard Dr. Peter Pry reveal (on Frank Gaffney’s Secure Freedom Radio broadcast of 1/8) that our congressmen had accidentally done something useful while rubber-stamping the 3000+ page National Defense Authorization Act read by none of them (and authorizing, by the way, the President’s power to wage war).  Secreted in the NDAA were three provisions that greatly advance the hardening of our frightfully vulnerable power grid.  Indeed, if there’s one reason to dread the aftermath of Qassem Soleimani’s elimination that has more nightmare-potential than a Hezbollah/MS-13 alliance, it’s our susceptibility to blackouts lasting for months.  Of course, said alliance could exploit our insecure grid rather easily… but it’s already a ticking time-bomb without the ingredient of human evil.  Just add a major solar flare pointed in Earth’s direction.  A potentially catastrophic flood of ionized particles narrowly missed us in March of 2014.

I call the Congress’s final green-lighting of energy protection—after about two decades of criminal negligence—ironic (in addition to moronic) because it’s probably a result of… well, of nobody’s having bothered to read the damn bill.  Any damn bill.  Are you getting that?  The single greatest cause for rejoicing we’ve had so far this year has been Congress’s runaway incompetence.  Sometimes you can get to the watering hole unmolested while the baboons are slinging excrement at a rug with spots that fell out of a garbage truck.

Now, exactly why Congress has shown such contempt for, if not hostility to, the concern over EMP raised by figures like Dr. Pry is a mystery that must draw more speculation than clear fact.  Republicans, at least, seem to have been sufficiently bribed by power companies to keep the shadow of a virtual extinction-event stubbornly to their blind-eye side.  (Every Republican has at least one blind eye: Dan Crenshaw just happens to wear a patch.)  But Democrats?  Can you imagine an issue better tailored to their conventional narrative?  “Evil private-sector monopolies bet the deaths of nine in ten Americans against the opportunity to make a marginal profit in a game of existential blackjack!”  What’s up with Democrats?  They’re alarmed that plants enjoy carbon dioxide, apparently—which composes less than a half of a hundredth of one percent of the atmosphere (and of that, less than two percent is manmade).  Their hair is on fire because California and Australia are burning… but the cause is always too much CO2, never idiotic environmental regulations prohibiting the culling of deadwood, never careless human populations wandering hither and yon nomadically.

Well, what about a genuine threat to human survival supported by hard science (as opposed to Michael Mann’s hockey-stick graph compiled from medieval measurements that he retrieved via Ouija board)?  If our civilization is to be hanged for a lamb, how about hanging it for a sheep?  You can hang us for both, you know, guys—the mother of all necktie parties.

But no: Democrats and their shills in propaganda-outposts like The Weather Channel are as insistent that the EMP threat is pure hoax (that’s right: conspiracy theory) as they are dead-red certain that fish will swim down the streets of Nashville and Kansas City by 2030.  Why is the former anathema while the latter is rigid orthodoxy?  Why?

I would observe that both positions have a critical element in common: the promotion of a Soros-like one-world government (euphemistically called “the open society” in a phrase hijacked from libertarian Karl Popper).  What’s the solution to climate change/global warming/global climate irregularity?  Massive doses of atmospheric Ex-Lax?  How about we just drive less by disposing of over-aggressive zoning laws and combining residential and commercial functions within neighborhoods, as was done for 99.9% of human history (or so say 99.9% of “scientists”)?  No, no—none of that.  The only possible answer is to create massive national-tending-toward-global bureaucracies that minutely decree what you eat, where you vacation, how you travel, how many cows you can raise, where your thermostat must sit… and this while banishing your source of employment from the face of the earth and confiscating any loot you may have saved to bequeath to your children.  Period.

And how does hostility to securing the power grid dovetail into this maniacally statist program?  President Obama told Dr. Pry explicitly upon shelving the report of the latter’s EMP Commission—well, almost explicitly.  Read between the lines.  The explanation offered for inaction was that, in paying attention to our exposed grid, we would make the Russians and the Chinese suppose that we considered them enemies.  This would turn down the thermostat of international diplomacy and send a chill through the room.  Ergo… no defenses.

Now, such numbskull sensitivity makes sense if your ultimate objective is, in fact, to fuse the United States government with those of other nations that might wish to destroy us.  As Diana West has lately chronicled (with painfully irrefutable accuracy), our elite has been kissing up to communist totalitarians since FDR used Lend-Lease to shuffle Stalin the tools needed to murder about forty million Russians and East Europeans (oh, yeah… and defeat Hitler).  The difference then was that we actually had the nuclear materials that we were passing under the table to Uncle Joe.  Now we do not have a secure grid, unlike Russia and the PRC.  We’re not sharing our trump cards with them, because we have none; we’re discarding everything in our hand higher than a five.

That, at least, is the game we were playing until Congress—Democrats and Republicans—entertained visions of dancing sugar plums in their heads as the NDAA was ramrodded through.  Now we’re in the survival game again… just barely.  Securing the grid may take years, even without the Soros/utopian Deep State seeking to ambush the initiative at every turn.  Our government, let us never forget, continues to be composed approximately half of ideological traitors: fools, that is, who aren’t necessarily on the take, but who really believe that the world will be a much better place when just a chosen few such as they are allowed to micro-manage everyone else’s life.  And of the remaining half, at least half are on the take.

Our judiciary is utterly out of control; our cities and towns are deeply infused with terrorist cells allowed through our porous border that merely await a signal; our news media tell lies with pride and conviction in the virtue of their project; our “science” establishment is largely and increasingly funded by advocates of the socialist agenda; our universities promote handling opposition to “science” with prison time; our “representatives” hawk their race and sexual preference when they should be explaining how they plan to protect us; our young children are taught that all was sweet on earth until white Europeans appeared… the little Dutch boy hasn’t enough fingers on his two hands to stanch the leaks in this dike.  When something good happens, the happy event is owed to the rampant incompetence, laziness, and cocksure stupidity of those who wield power.  Mr. Hannity has rapid-fire exchanges with Mr. Jarrett and Mr. Gowdy about what the Constitution permits and what “history” will say; but, alas, we have no Constitution.  The Constitution is dead, murdered by five hundred knives in the back and several hundred feet trampling from comfy benches.  History?  There is no history!  History is the product of thoughtful, informed, fair-minded people casting a careful eye back over the past.  We have no such people in a position to have their labors published.

After about two months of traveling a dark tunnel during the so-called holidays, I begin to see a small prick of light… or else the neurons are firing randomly as carbon dioxide suffocates them!  But, since ‘tis the season to wax prophetic, I will dare to share a few “grimly optimistic” thoughts next time.  Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Find a Water Source and Stuff Your Cupboard: Happy 2020!

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2019 ended with my having discovered Daniel Horowitz’s podcast, Conservative Review (originally a video broadcast on The Blaze network). Once Horowitz and his guest Steve Deace had combined to dissect the omnibus bill, promptly signed by President Trump amid high-fives all around FOX News, I knew that any peace I was to find over the holidays must come from within. That’s not a bad realization. I have spent most of the past two weeks, in fact, enjoying my son’s visit and completing a manuscript about my religious faith. We should remind ourselves once in a while that anyone whose hopes rest upon this world is doomed to disappointment.

Nevertheless, a year that began with my dedicating a futile tome to a poor bloke who will rot away for the rest of his life in a Georgia prison because a jury couldn’t understand “reasonable doubt”, then continued with my unearthing (mostly through Diana West’s labors) how the hundred-million-murder march of Stalinist/Maoist communism was made possible by FDR… well, let’s just say the 2019 nag ran true to form all the way to the finish line. Mr. Trump is vastly preferable to the socialist alternative. On the other hand, he isn’t Washington crossing the Delaware, contrary to memes circulated throughout social media by wishful thinkers. He’s certainly not the return of Christ (another favorite meme). He’s a man who loves attention, receives some very bad advice, and “cuts deals” by entering an absurdly high initial bid and then gulping down the come-back without any dickering. Happy 2020.

My advocacy on behalf of securing the power grid was also plugged into a dead socket. Nobody cares. I’m not sure that I even care any more. Do you want to believe “studies” designed by power companies to conclude a) that an electro-magnetic pulse would be almost impossible to create, and b) that the grid is rock-solid, anyway? Okay. I guess we’ll find out when the next major solar storm flares up (oh… and those studies forgot to mention solar storms, by the way). I’ve probably got 500 gallons of rainwater collected in various tubs around the property, and I have the means to purify it. Our cupboard is full of rice and canned nuts, and I’ve stocked up on shotgun shells. I do wish that my son didn’t live on the fringe of a sanctuary city, where rioting and looting will exceed even Hollywood’s ability to project after all the power has been off for a couple of weeks; but he has water-purification tablets, guns, and a few close friends who know how to shoot.

As for the rest of the nation… let’s just leave it at this. When one of my letters to an elected representative finally drew a response, I was told (and I condense): “Climate change is of great concern to me. That’s why I am working hard to promote clean energy through the construction of the —– nuclear power facility.” A Republican senator in action: keep those campaign contributions from the power companies coming, and also try (weakly and vainly) to outflank the Left by hugging some trees. Umm… EMP and climate change, Senator, are not… oh, forget it.

I subsequently had the bright idea, shared in this space, that the “demography is destiny” prophets of doom might be gainsaid if we could actually encourage some non-Caucasian conservatives in their bid for public office. My efforts drew comments on social media that reminded me of my promotion of Ted Cruz years earlier. Oh my God, Heidi Cruz has worked for Goldman-Sachs! Oh my God, Lerah Lee admits that she admired Barbara Bush as a child because both had attended the same high school! Apparently, a much, much better idea would be to nominate (in one case) a quondam registered Democrat whose daughter and her husband share more than a few ideaas with Liz and Bernie, or to nominate (in the other case) a white woman so wealthy that she can finance her campaign largely from her own bank account. Haven’t I already read this Republican script a few dozen times—didn’t I just read it a few days ago? “Climate change is of great concern to me….”

This week, I had kicked around a similar idea about “outreach”. Since our nation is now so flooded in illegal residents that we can’t accurately number them within ten million, since several states are eagerly issuing driver’s licenses to them, and since we know that many have already voted in past elections… well, would there be any way to peel some of them off of the Nanny State pap? Perhaps by appealing to their dignity, their manhood? Perhaps by circulating fluent Spanish-speakers through their communities warning, “The free stuff will run out! You’re being played—your vote is being bought! Free school, free health care, free road repairs, free police protection… the nation is going bankrupt, and you will be the first to feel the squeeze! You’re being set up! Don’t you want to contribute, to be respected? To be a part of the broader community? Or do you want your sons joining gangs when there’s no more free anything, and your daughters being kidnapped and enslaved when it’s no longer safe to walk out the front door?”

And so forth. Except that I finally got a hold of Michelle Malkin’s Open Borders, Inc. The first chapter was enough to enlighten me. Most of our beloved “refugees” aren’t fleeing cartel violence and a complicit, corrupt police force. Their way is paved by complex international bureaucracies, almost literally, mile after mile. Billionaire subversives and US-hostile nations conniving at our dissolution are bankrolling elaborate networks to keep the spate of migrants flowing. Everybody at the table wins (though you and I don’t get through the door). Mexico and other “donor” nations reap billions annually from wages sent back home, even as they relieve themselves of an indigent population that had posed nothing but problems in the past. The PRC primes the same pump, sits back, and watches our political system collapse. The New World Order oligarch-hopefuls see their empire of innumerable servile minions taking shape. Mainstream churches harvest a little more in the collection plate if they can woo some of the newcomers into their congregation—but the big money is paid by our tax dollars to church organizations that “resettle” the “refugees”. Democrats acquire tens of thousands of new voters in various localities; and Republicans… well, they have another occasion to display their compassion as their constituents watch taxes, culture, order, and rule of law thrown into the bonfire. Republicans are concerned about climate change, you know.

So… no, I don’t think a Spanish-language appeal to dignity and manhood would make a dint on this crowd of money-hungry adventurers who use their children as passports. The real “backbone of Mexico” is back in Mexico, trying to ride out a civil war that didn’t need months of blackout to erupt. Their communities are unraveling because their footloose, opportunistic brethren have taken off for the Yanqui Klondike: the nearly 600 sanctuary cities, where abogados and advocacy groups tell you how to milk the cash cow (Apple has an app, according to Malkin, that puts illegals instantly in touch with such vital information). With so much money filtering back to the old country through such irregular channels, a farmer who wants to grow his melons and peppers is an endangered species. Adiós, America… yes, and Adiós, Mexico.

For good news, I turn to… wait a minute, still looking… ah, yes. The Second-Amendment Sanctuary movement in Virginia, proceeding county by county. The newly elected Virginia duma is already licking its collective chops at the prospect of calling in the National Guard to gun down non-compliant citizens, so we may expect to see something like Janet Reno’s Waco before the year’s end. And then… then, unlike the aftermath of Waco, the shooting will just be starting. Fort Sumter might be a better analogy, once the smoke clears.

And that’s the good news. But remember: Republicans, too, are concerned about climate change.

Polarization Can Be Good… But Not in Cases of Magnetic Fraud

My wife insists that the whippoorwill fond of cranking it up every dawn outside our window isn’t the real thing—that she recalls the song’s full range from her childhood, and that this strident alarm clock doesn’t have it down properly.  Interesting.  You can believe me or not… but cardinals no longer sound the same as they once did.  I realize that we’ve moved much farther east, and that birds have dialects; but even when we yet lived in Texas, and even for years before I was married, the cardinal’s repertoire had been much reduced from what I distinctly recall as a boy.  For some reason, I have a very good aural memory (to compensate for my poor retention of faces).

What could explain this phenomenon of the bird world—the equivalent of great-great-grandfather Feathers handing down the line, “The wind, it bloweth where it listeth,” only to have the contemporary generation produce, “Wow, breeze comin’ from everwure today!”  We humans (or those few of us who remain alert to such things) understand that cultural impoverishment occurs when a population disperses over too much area too rapidly.  I dimly recall that Ortega y Gasset wrote an essay about how badly the Latin language decayed around the Empire’s peripheries during the second and third centuries.  Is it so far-fetched to suppose that bird populations have been similarly stressed by human activity?  They’ve had to spread out rapidly and resourcefully, just to survive.  In the process, the songs that they transmitted to the next generation were truncated, simplified, and—in a word—impoverished.

This doesn’t mean that our world will end in twelve years, or that we can stabilize the avian repertoire if we will only drive hybrid cars.  Yet I find in it a measure of how risky our high-tech, progressive, ever more urbanized habits of living have become.  We’re mutilating a quality of life constantly whose former richness we don’t begin to suspect.  I used to observe to students that Edgar Allen Poe’s Monsieur Dupin (the forefather of Sherlock Holmes) could direct a friend’s gaze to the Andromeda Galaxy from the streets of Paris without drawing a cry of “foul” from Poe’s readership.  These days, you’d need a pair of binoculars to locate the same one-degree swirl of stardust out in the boondocks.  Now, Poe never actually traveled to Paris… but the point is that his claim seemed plausible a little less than two hundred years ago. Our skies were once incredibly clean.

Am I somehow being a “defector from conservatism” to volunteer such concerns?  That would be an odd association of ideas, inasmuch as I’m speaking on behalf of conserving our natural environment from tasteless, needless, often poisonous artifice.  Yet so it is, in our lunatic present.  Because the Green movement has been kidnapped by One World Order types who want a central government to peer into every facet of our daily routine, any protest against commercialist exploitation that leaves forests or plains in ruins (such as wind turbines, may I say) is a kind of closet-Marxism. At least that’s what I’m given to understand in certain quarters that consider their right-wing bona fides irreproachable.

I’ve recently been “tweeting” (in notes far less lyrical than a cardinal’s) with a veteran of the armed services about the extreme inadvisability of the Pompeo-Bolton campaign of saber-rattling in Iran’s face.  Our own border is under assault—and we’re trying to ignite a powder keg halfway around the world because… because we wish to preempt the evil influence of Islam on global peace and create a terrestrial paradise.  I thought we’d worked—or I thought the putative Right had worked—through such utopian delusions during the two terms of the junior Mr. Bush.  Yet I’m a traitor, in some eyes, for not wanting to send Xenophon into Persia with ten thousand Spartans.  Wasn’t Mr. Trump supposed to have been elected in large measure because our society had had quite enough of such adventurous meddling in foreign affairs under Bush and Obama?  (And, for that matter, isn’t a solidifying of relations with Russia, drawing her away from our real and ultimate enemy—the PRC—a much more rational path to world peace?  And how will stirring up things in Iran extend an olive branch to Russia?)

About a month ago, I posted a piece about my change of heart on capital punishment.  I initially thought it a rather boring scribble—but few things I’ve ever published have drawn more fire… or, I should correct, “spirited exception”.  I’m of the opinion that the sore spots I apparently mashed exist because those opposed to the death penalty don’t mince words about what ravenous animals their adversaries are.  The discussion on this issue, as on most other national issues, has grown so polarized that a flag of truce soliciting a conference is immediately mistaken for the battle flag of a charging phalanx.

This past week, my adoptive state of Georgia and her immediate neighbor Alabama have drawn the ire of various Hollywood ghouls and media darlings for pushing back the highly permissive limits surrounding legal abortion.  My position is pro-Tenth Amendment.  Since abortion isn’t a right guaranteed to all Americans under the Bill of Rights (and, no, there is no Abortion Amendment implied in the Fourteenth’s ban of slavery, contrary to Hollywood analysis), let individual states set the boundary where they deem it appropriate.  Similarly, why may not the marriage ceremony be purged of any civil (read “tax/insurance”) significance and returned to its pristine religious dimension?  Faiths or denominations that choose to bless the union of two men or two women—or a human and a dog—may do so.  I don’t have to subscribe to them.  I shouldn’t even be required to say pleasant things about them in public… but the law prevents me from hurling rocks through windows or delivering dead cats to doorsteps.  That’s the nature of a liberal (i.e., free) society.

How “right-extremist” is the previous paragraph, and how “left-anarchic”?  I wouldn’t say that it was any of either… but it depends upon whom you ask, doesn’t it?  Invisibly, imperceptibly, a checklist of necessary positions appears to have evolved for either “side”—and I must throw quotes around “side”, because I myself see no very coherent line separating the rows of boxes, but only an insane zigzag.  If the Left’s hyperventilating hysteria over the “Trump Phenomenon” has any degree of validity, it must center upon the abject devotion registered by the man’s followers… you know, like that pledged so often on the Left to their endless stream of Peerless Leaders, Big Brothers, and Dear Friends.  Yeah, that worries me, too: wherever I see it, it worries me.  I very much doubt that Mr. Trump himself has ever before thought deeply about some the crises suddenly confronting him (hence his being persuaded to trust people like Pompeo and Bolton).

I’m not going to finish by writing, “Maybe we can all just calm down a bit.”  I’m not calm.  I have a son living in Denver, whose space-cadet town council seems intent on legalizing every hallucinogen known to shaman or rockstar.  I wish we could be “uncalm” in a consistent manner, however.  People of principle get worked up about behaviors that shred their principles; people of uncomposed mind get worked up about anything whose appearance in their peripheral vision startles them.

Fire: The Rude, Wild Friend

The affect of a blazing fire on body and mind always amazes me.  You’ve seen campfires a million times on television—always very faked campfires; for a flame chewing through wood is a living animal, a carnivore at its meat.  On the first day of Spring this past week, we performed our third or fourth burn of brushwood since moving to 25 acres of wilderness last July.  The hilltop had been cleared years earlier for a domicile that was never built; and the result was that, robust trees having been bulldozed and piled into various remote corners, briar and vine and gnarly trees more akin to shrubs took over around the “compound”.  The piles of deadwood (for none was carted off) also became a breeding ground for unwholesome things.  Cedars are strangely dying hither and yon in the forest, and I have to wonder if one cause might be an imbalance in the ecosystem that unleashed some kind of boring beetle upon them.

I certainly can’t put all of that straight by slashing and burning my way through vines and wild blackberry… but I can protect, perhaps, the substantial parts of the old forest that remain.  I can also ensure that, in the catastrophic event of a local brushfire, my property isn’t a tenderbox just waiting to pass along the wall of flame in a grim relay race.

Just standing over the maw of the fire pit, however, you’re unaware of any long-term endeavor.  The effect of the sheet of warmth that comes flapping against your chest and face is hypnotic.  Sometimes, if the breeze abruptly shifts (as it’s wont to do around an open fire), a wreath of acrid smoke sends you running away in a crouch, your eyes wincing in tears.  Probably it was at one such time that my sweatshirt got singed by an ember.  I never noticed: my wife pointed the hole out to me when she was washing clothes.  When you try to make a pet of a big puma whose nature is to tear passing shoulders apart, you discover claw marks all over your hands and forearms after every “playtime”.

We had plenty of brush and deadwood to sunder and shift into the pit; but even without that activity, standing before the flames proves to be oddly exhausting.  You come away parched and worn out, as wrung of vital energy as a fruit of its juice after some gorilla hand has fingered it.  How firefighters work for days on end, sleeping a couple of hours here and there, during a major forest fire is a mystery I’ll never solve.

The trick with this or any controlled fire is to concentrate the flames.  A piece of paper or some pine needles will catch fire at once, but the flame will not endure.  The temperature must rise high enough to eat into the heart of a solid block of wood… and then you have a fire that won’t burn itself out for days, as long as new blocks are pressed into the coals.  On the day after a burn, if it hasn’t rained, you can toss a forgotten limb into the ashes—and within minutes you see an orange tongue lapping and a string of white smoke rising.  Even two days—even three days—after the burn, you can get the whole show started again by stirring a few fresh blocks and chips into the ashes.  The pit doesn’t go completely cold for perhaps five days.

I elected not to have a wood-burning fireplace in our house, merely because the scent of burnt wood often troubles my sinuses.  Now I feel that I blundered somewhat into a very wise decision.  The power of a genuine wood-fed fire is fearful.  If our slightly fraudulent gas-fed fire is ever hooked up, it will be immensely easier to tame and control.  Even if some sort of calamity cuts off all gas and electricity indefinitely, the fire pit forty feet from the house will be a rude, wild friend quite close enough for my taste.  We might want a large watchdog at some point, too—but we won’t keep him indoors.  Shuttling forty feet to and from the ashes with supper would not be an agonizing hardship; and ashes, by the way, are a fine stove.  Anything you shove well into them for five minutes, wrapped tightly in foil, is cooked through and through.

Everyone who hasn’t grown up in a cave is well aware in this nineteenth year of the new millennium that exhalations from human settlements into the atmosphere may give cause for concern.  When you’ve actually lived side by side with one of these “existential threats” as it snoozes in its lair, however, you acquire a less theatrical respect for it that more resembles a working relationship.  We can’t rid ourselves of carbon emissions any more than we can of solar radiation—and we don’t want to, if we intend to stay alive.  Plants need carbon dioxide; and my fire pit’s ash, finally cool, goes on the yard to give nourishing carbon in another form to my garden.  Amputation of any appendage is cultic lunacy.  You don’t eliminate threatening realities: you learn to live with them, and indeed through them.

Adapt and adjust—don’t eradicate.  The crematoria of Auschwitz were built by “visionaries” to purge with fire one of the human race’s “blemishes”.  All they did was char an entire civilization for as long as collective memory will endure.

Use fire, admire fire… but keep your distance from it, as from everything excessive by nature.

Panic Attacks: The Canary Stops Singing

Panic attacks, by definition, are irrational.  They tend to have a specific cause, at least at the beginning; but the element of panic becomes fully, painfully discernible when the merest mental movement in the direction of the “raw” area instantly elevates heart rate and sends up blood pressure.  Veins pound in the head, ears ring, breathing becomes almost as difficult as if one were suffocating… and perhaps the worst is the fear that lingers after the event passes; for, since the attack appeared from nowhere, it might reappear at any moment without notice.

These observations are not simply the fruit of browsing the Internet: they describe my own experience of attacks.  The odd thing is that I hadn’t suffered them for years… until the past couple of weeks.  They used to be almost crippling when, as an academic, I held tenure-track jobs and would grow aware (as I inevitably did, it seemed) that I was doomed to be turned out of house and home for causes over which I had no control.  (On two such occasions, for instance, I had rendered myself persona non grata unwittingly by publishing scholarly articles: small schools nourish large egos, and I had stolen a little sunlight from people who craved every beam.)

Why I should be revisiting this hellish terrain in retirement is somewhat mysterious to me.  I suppose the closest thing to a specific cause was my reflecting that I might be invited to jury duty one fine day—and then I would have to enter into elaborate and humiliating explanation of my inability to sit still for hours on end, thanks to a shrunken bladder.  (Yeah, I know: this is a natural part of aging—but I also tend to trace it to a period of overexposure to an ancient generation of computers that featured cathode ray tubes.  Those months catalyzed other nagging problems, as well, at which “medical professionals” sneered and scoffed… part of the reason why I stay away from doctors and treat myself with homeopathy.)

I don’t like being under the power of other people, for the very real reason that my experience of such relationships has taught me that they veer to the abusive, sooner or later.  I certainly see nothing in the world of politics that inclines me to reconsider my “problem with authority”.  Very nearly being saddled with a socialist governor last fall just after moving to the state of Georgia did nothing to calm my nerves; watching the movement to enfranchise masses of people who have entered the country illegally hasn’t pacified me; and trying in my own paltry way to assist a man serving three life sentences for crimes he didn’t commit has opened up a whole new vista of abused authority to me.

Add to that my ongoing battles to have FedEx, UPS, and the USPS deliver packages all the way to the end of my half-mile driveway… then the ever-present knowledge that my son now lives a thousand miles away in a city that wants to fund the heroin habit of its drug addicts… and, well, retirement hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses.  True, we can always find things to worry about; but when I was working, at least I had to ignore the horizon’s clouds for hours on end and address the tasks at hand.

I still have such tasks—and working on my garden or in my nascent orchard is, indeed, just what this doctor ordered.  As I lowered my shovel from an innovative type of raised garden bed yesterday, attracted by what I had long supposed to be turkey calls, I discovered a V of cranes making straight north… and then another.  The peace I felt at that moment utterly annihilated whatever serpentine shadows were coiling within me.  And even indoors, I can write, as I am doing now.

What I cannot do is, in a moment of foolish confidence, revisit the origins of the panic with a view to unraveling them rationally.  After every sequence of calm explanation and reasonable solution, a voice howls back, “But people are not reasonable!  Your behavioral autopsies have no relevance, no bite—people will do whatever their black hearts urge them to do!  Their hunger for power upon more power is insatiable, even to the point of self-destruction!”  And then another tailspin and another nosedive… all thanks to the attempt to be rational.

I understand why some sufferers cling to crosses.  I’ve tried that.  It may work a little bit for a while.  One really does have the sensation, you know, of fighting with the devil—with an assertive force of lunacy that wraps every effort at dispassionate analysis into an obscene adornment for his tail.  The Cross: “See this!  Stand back!”  It works better for hearts not so dominated by the mind as is mine.

At some point, my mind asked, “What does it work at all, even for a little?  What does the Cross represent that frightens this devil away?”  My son counseled me to live in the present moment and not allow questions about the invisible future to torment me.  He is all aglow with Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now (at least for now).  I began reading the book and, I confess, found myself immediately challenged to overcome the man’s aura of millenarian charism, his ecstatic “my light would transform the world if only the world could rend the veil before it”… his egotism.  At last, in a Tolle-like revelation, I toyed with the notion that living in the Now is precisely the wrong way to beat the devil—that the devil, in fact, enjoys the suffocating confines of Now and can cut the soul’s mooring very adroitly within them.  Or to say it from another angle: the true Now is Always.  The Cross is that Now, that Always within which a lifetime of struggles is but one moment.  To continue in the struggle, to insist upon the struggle’s purpose and ultimate success, to understand its victory as already secure merely by virtue of a struggle’s being made….  We win when we refuse to slide easily downstream.  We ride a rising tide that absorbs all streams into the great wide ocean.

Does Tolle reject that Now Is Always in his Always Now?  I’ll have to read the book through.  But the fact that my son has been able to allay his own devils with Mr. Tolle’s help advises me that young people in our aging and ailing society stand in grave need of a guru—a doctor who doesn’t simply laugh at their anguish and tell them that it’s imaginary.  To be sure, many gurus are false prophets: perhaps most.  Having such power over impressionable hearts is a heady drought, and few can resist its intoxicating effects.  None of that neutralizes the evidence that we were not made to lead the highly artificial lives that progressive technology has imposed upon us.  Though only two people in a hundred (according to Wikipedia) suffer panic attacks such as mine, I find it more than a little likely that our current political nuttiness is symptomatic of a collective panic.  What is the unhinged, hysterical insistence upon the planet’s impending meltdown if not the distorted cry of a generation cut off from its natural roots?

I wish these children of the iPod and iPhone were not so trusting of the very types whose lust for power could indeed render our lives unlivable—therein lies a major component of my own disposition to panic.  But I do understand the refrain of, “The sky is falling.”  Individually, we must strive to live in that completed moment when the sky has already fallen rather than, collectively, trying to build artificial staircases to the zenith.

 

“Sea Cities”: A Better Option Than Going to Mars

I don’t remember the date of my first encounter with the subject of floating cities.  I would guess that the documentary I view on the subject might have appeared as early as a decade ago.  At that time, it seemed that the engineering problems were already well along the way to being solved.  The proposed substructure consisted of hundreds (or potentially thousands) of discrete units that created just enough flexibility to even out wave-effect virtually to nothing.  Shocks were simply absorbed.  I can’t recall how the whole was to be motorized—but the claim was made confidently that these islands would be capable of averting dangerous weather systems.  Perhaps independent ships would drag them from harm’s way.

That, as I say, was a while back.  Having brought the subject up casually last week, I continued to ask myself where the technology might be today—and why one hears no more about it.  And I began to think about all the problems that “sea cities” could effectively resolve.  Let’s say that the polar ice caps start to melt: that doesn’t seem to be happening at all, but let us stipulate that our coasts begin to creep in on us.  All of the plans on the board to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (assuming that these were responsible for “coastal creep”—another whopping and unsubstantiated assumption) would merely plunge us into abject poverty while applying far too little antidote to the crisis far too late.  Such “plans” are idiotic, to be blunt.  A floating city, on the other hand, is an obvious and complete solution.  So where are the drawing boards featuring that plan?

As I also wrote last time, floating cities could tightly control access.  Crime would diminish to a fraction of current measures.  Undesirables and unwanted substances could be kept out with high efficiency.  Indeed, one of my concerns about the paradigm is that we could be contemplating crucibles for horrendous despotism, where abject obedience is enforced and flight is about as difficult as we find it, say, from Castro’s Cuba.  But if we really wish to grow more Balkan and more tribal, as appears to be the case… then here’s our chance.  Island A could be all heterosexual or all gay, if you like; B could be all Mormon; C could speak only Breton, an enclave of Celtic revivalists; D could require all citizens to carry a gun—or to give up even their pocket knives.  Landbound communities are always compromised in such endeavor by the ease of “infection” from the outside.  Here such frustration would be virtually removed.

It occurs to me that islands might also exert an influence against despotism in this respect.  The greater federation operating on the mainland would face a challenge in enforcing its most Procrustean decrees if dozens of island-cites declared, ‘Hell, no!” and slipped their moorings.  What would Mainland Nanny do?  Send patrol boats out to harass the rebels?  But the islands would be equipped with their own defense systems (necessary to stave off piracy and invasion), ratcheting up any such act of chastisement into a bloody civil war.  From the air, islands would pose slowly moving targets—but targets capable of movement, nonetheless.  Given an hour’s warning, their security officers could probably draw them out of an ICBM’s bull’s eye, if not liberate them from the ruin rained down by coastal rocket launchers.  Yet I imagine them having anti-aircraft capabilities as well as their own small defensive fleets, which might well include submarines—useful for hauling them about, but also equipped to take out hostiles along the coast.

This discussion opened as a response to “global warming” hysteria, so it is worth remarking that an island environment could greatly reduce energy consumption and facilitate energy production.  Trailing islands supplied with solar panels could be created, and perhaps something less cumbersome and space-consuming than the standard wind-turbine could be designed.  Ocean currents could be harvested for energy.  Inhabitants would live in a relatively confined area, so they would do much walking rather than gadding about in wasteful, needless conveyances.  Life could also be lived in a less horizontal, more vertical manner to address temperature extremes.  A substantial underwater community could serve as a retreat when the surface became either very cold or very hot (for water provides excellent insulation against both cold and heat).  Surface activities, however, would keep residents in touch with their Circadian rhythms—and often, as we know, the temperature at sea level is very pleasant.

With plenty of sun, the surface would also feature roof-space and slanting walls thickly planted in edible vegetation.  Naturally, as with solar panels, food provision could also be addressed through a kind of archipelago whose trailing islets were dedicated to agriculture.   And need I say that the sea herself is an abundant provider?  If the island produced quantities of “garbage” fully edible and healthy for populations of marine animals, then these latter could be harvested regularly and readily without any risk of depletion incurred.

How to make garbage edible or recyclable?  That may be the golden question… but it appears answerable, if one considers that designers of interplanetary transport are already well along to creating biospheres where all waste products are put back into service.  Why, may I ask, are we so very far advanced in our plans to leave Earth, yet we seem in no hurry at all to develop a healthy and secure method of existing on her oceans?

Could it be because populating the ocean, as I have shown, would likely liberate our planet’s various peoples to a degree of political independence and cultural autonomy that her megalomaniac elite begrudges the human race?  Could it be that the only dreams we are allowed to pursue on any drawing board are those that promote centralization?  Why is it that “progress”, in the warped minds of certain Global Warming Hystericals, necessarily involves the transformation of the human species into an anthill?

Climates Change, But Not the Wicked Tilt of the Human Heart

I’ve written about “climate change” before… but my objections seem to require reiteration every time the subject comes up.  So…

Climates change.  It’s what they do.  The severity of this winter compared to last winter or even this decade’s summers compared to last decade’s is not climate study.  Data must cover centuries for conclusions to have value.  We have no such data: we have computer software that creates various models.

“Climate change” is an academic industry.  In the current political climate, you don’t get grants by discovering that our climate’s vagaries are staying within the range of normal deviation (any more than you get grants for concluding that maleness is not toxic or that gender is biological).  The academy is grinding out propaganda because professors are busily crafting careers for themselves.  Look, if Shell Oil or BP can fund a study showing that gasoline tastes great on cornflakes and builds strong bones, then the Nanny State/Ivory Tower/Turbine & Solar Conglomerate can operate a boondoggle from their side of the street.

Carbon dioxide is less than half of one tenth of one percent of our atmosphere.  Its abundance appears to have ticked up infinitesimally in recent years—actually fueling a growth in global vegetation, by the way.  With more vegetation comes more rain—and let’s add more heat just for the exercise, which brings yet more rain.  Good.  Now we have taken a small step toward replenishing our catastrophically dwindling groundwater supply.  Twenty years ago, that concern was among the top five that preoccupied earth scientists alarmed over our lifestyle’s sustainability.  I haven’t heard a peep about the levels of continental water tables for years, even though human beings die a lot faster from water deprivation than from having their Myrtle Beach time-share washed under.  Odd, that silence.

And as for scientists… no cardiologist, or phoneticist, or archaeologist, knows any more about climate than a truck-driver—and meteorologists are themselves not necessarily qualified to air out an opinion on climate.  I grow so very weary of the remark, “We should trust the experts”!  We must first identify the “experts”, which most of us have not done; and then we must ask ourselves what kind of game the less conscientious of them (for being an “expert” does not inoculate one against moral depravity) might be playing with our future.  Neils Bohr, Werner von Braun, and Philipp Bouhler were all expert in their field in the Thirties and Forties.  How did common humanity make out under their watchful eye?

Wind and solar power are neither clean, cheap, nor sustainable.  The rare-earth elements required in their assembly are ghastly contaminants for those who must mine them, their promotion is perhaps the great unreported scandal in the new century’s already long history of corporate rip-offs, and their hardware functions—not forever—but for two or three decades before needing replacement.  They would also claim almost every inch of free space around us to have even the remotest chance of replacing fossil fuels.  Read Paul Driessen on the subject: he’s an expert (though the Oracle of Apollo at Wikipedia is pleased to call him a “lobbyist” because he opposes the academic/statist complex).

Nullifying our conventional energy resources as we pay out billions to Third World nations and also allow China and India to continue belching pollutants into the atmosphere will save nobody—but it will surely tighten the noose around the necks of Americans preferentially.  Is that the objective: mass suicide?  Are the Paris Accords the third and final great act of Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate—is that how we achieve escape velocity into the next life?  Do most of you understand that such is the choice to which you are being urged by your “leaders” and “experts”?

Now, a new idea: why not spend our time and wealth on a solution which would actually alleviate the problem?  What about creating a series of floating cities?  The level of the world’s oceans would be a matter of virtual indifference to their residents.  Such island-states could control intrusions much more easily that landbound metropolises, and would hence be much safer from crime.  They could evade major storms and so escape the cost incurred when devastating hurricanes make landfall.  They could supply many of their essential needs directly from the sea (probably even tapping into wave and current somehow to generate electricity).  Most significantly for those who truly care about world peace and prosperity, they could reduce the risk of global conflict almost to zero; for nuclear assault on targets so widely dispersed would mean death to the assailant as well as the target.  The highly effective dissuading factors behind Mutually Assured Destruction would be revived.  Most of the world does not share the Green Movement’s craving for a propitiatory mass suicide.

The blueprints for such cities are already on the drawing board.  Why has the political Left no interest in solutions that actually hold promise of working?  Why is the response of its adherents always some version of, “No, no, no!  I’m not listening!  I’ve stopped my ears!  Nah-nah-nah!  Not listening, not listening!”

Does it not strike you that people who so resist open discussion and consideration of alternatives may be a) mentally unstable or b) working an angle too sinister to make known publicly?  Will you please weigh these matters seriously?  Please?

Netflix Unwittingly Reveals Serious Trouble in Body Politic

I have been a constant critic of Netflix offerings, which I consider too often tasteless, sensationalized, and politically warped… but then, I’ve just described the character of the entertainment industry for most of my time on earth; and for the most part, I’m afraid that these NF hacks are giving the public what it craves.  Panem et circenses.

I’ve been able to watch to the end neither of the two episodes of the documentary serial Dirty Money that I’ve undertaken to watch.  My blood pressure spikes, and I pull the plug on the ordeal. There’s no reason to endure needless misery. But the true misery behind these botched stories doesn’t have an “off” switch and isn’t going away.

Hard NOx addresses the Volkswagen scam of a couple of years ago, and actually originating in corporate decisions made six or eight years ago.  (The word play in the series titles is probably the point in these features where the most creativity is lavished: nitrogen oxide is a toxic byproduct found abundantly in the burning of diesel fuel.)  VW attempted to market its new diesel line in this nation as incredibly clean.  Had the claim been true, the car would have achieved stunning fuel mileage without facing the public with an unsavory trade-off in pollutants… but the claim was a deliberate lie.  Management had at first mounted a straight bluff, but performance tests eventually unmasked the fraud.  A recall followed, and the motor was indeed redesigned—but not so as to reduce the toxicity of its byproducts.  Instead, it was fitted with special software that cleverly disguised its true performance under the simulated driving conditions of most tests: a “defeat device”, as it’s known in the biz.  Yet this subterfuge, as well, was doomed to be detected once tested vehicles were removed from the lab and examined closely in actual drives.

VW was disgraced, lost tens of millions in sales, and paid hundreds of millions in damages and fines.  End of story?

No, not exactly.  What most annoys me about the documentary format, as practiced in our time, is its apparent tolerance of shamefully lengthy and subjective intrusions on the part of the documentarian.  We see this one in the opening frames taking his VW fraudster for one of its last spins and liberally dropping F-bombs to show outrage.  Why, he’s a raped consumer, just like you and me!  He’s one of us, and he’s going to get to the bottom of this!  The bulk of the film thereafter is in fact pretty disciplined and informative, though hints about corporate greed are salted in regularly.  The level of preachiness usually hovered in an implicit gray zone, and was tolerable.  I hit the “off” switch with about six minutes to go, however, when we were informed that President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords had given the green flag to Big Business for further ruination of the environment.

I’m not going to stray this morning into the vast boondoggle which is “climate change”.  Suffice it to say that the complete and willful mischaracterization of resistance to the Paris agreement—a scam exponentially greater than VW’s—terminally disrupted my attention to the doc’s intended message.  In European idiom, it was a red-card foul.

The other blunders were ratiocinative.  I can forgive a foolish F-bomber for supposing that Big Government is the mortal enemy of Big Business, and that we need more of the former to chasten the latter.  It’s a stupid proposition, and the doc’s own evidence shows its fallacy: European governments are encountering vastly more trouble than ours did as they try to get the stinking VW off their narrow streets because… because agencies within those governments are on the take.  The “Bigs” are forever sneaking under the sheets with each other.  More regulation means more pressure for small businesses to stay in compliance, which means more bankruptcy among the shoestring-budgeted competition, which means that big businesses become bigger—and fewer, and more influential upon public policy.  Big business is big government.

Most Americans still don’t understand this, even as the sun is setting upon their basic freedoms and a corporatist night without stars descends.  Netflix isn’t brainwashing anybody here: it’s recycling to the masses the dismally ignorant pabulum that they think they know for gospel truth.

And then, yesterday… another documentary in the same series, titled Payday.  I won’t supply many details: the piece is well done up to a point, and you can fill in the background if you wish by watching it—watching all of it, if your stomach is stronger than mine.

Scott Tucker is not a particularly likable fellow, and he found a way to game the system.  Specifically, his organization offered loans that people supposed themselves to be paying off when, each month, the loan’s renewal fee was simply being siphoned from their account.  In effect, they were screwed if they didn’t pay off principle and interest within about a month.  Now, almost everyone who needs a quick $300 to get by is inexperienced in complex contracts, so most Payday customers believed that the monthly deduction from their bank account was in fact applied only to principle and interest.  Many ended up paying a grand for those three quick “c” notes.

Disgusting?  Yes, I fully concur.  I’ve been there—not with Payday, but with an outfit calling itself (at the time) Christian Business Solutions.  For $5,000, CBS sold me some cheap software whose functions could have been performed with pen and paper.  At the time, I had a stay-at-home wife and young son and was facing imminent unemployment.  Upon requesting from CBS the assistance that was implied in the deal, I was told that a) the company had disbanding, and b) I should be capable of drumming up my own business without the “team” holding my hand.  I had deposited five grand in this preacher’s collection plate, and for that I got a sermon on growing up and doing things for myself.

Did I want to break a few of the Reverend’s ribs?  Oh, yeah.  Did I want to see his family terrorized by a SWAT team, his assets so thoroughly confiscated that he couldn’t afford a lawyer, and his indictment so larded with malfeasance that he was facing life in prison?  No, I would have settled for sixty seconds alone with him in an elevator.  Scott Tucker was treated to all of the above by our “justice” system.  He behaved like a scoundrel and a sleaze… but everything he did was legal.  You can’t put a man in a cage for life because his marks are too dumb to read a contract.

Except that you can, actually.  In the US of A, twenty-first century version.  The prosecutors interviewed on the doc determined that an “ordinary person” would have a “very hard time” understanding the contract they signed… and so they decided to treat the “perpetrator” like El Chapo.  Apparently, all of the “victims” interviewed were just fine with living in a depraved police state—and I place “victims” in quotation marks because these people truly fell victim only to their own fear and gullibility.  Like me.  I lost my money because I behaved like an idiot.  In a way, the “preacher” was right: I should have been a grown-up and made my own way.

We who vote every two years for an ever more intrusive state do not crave the life of grown-ups.  We want Nanny to come between us and the evil corporations (which exist, to begin with, because Nanny’s rules have killed off all the small competition).  We want exploitative capitalists living in 10,000-square-foot mansions to be taxed at a 90 percent rate and tossed in an oubliette if they squeal.  We’re pathetic.  We disgust me.