CDC Test for Vaxxed People Comes a Year Too Late

cormasks

Tyler Durden explains at Zero Hedge Caught Red-Handed: CDC Changes Test Thresholds To Virtually Eliminate New COVID Cases Among Vaxx’d.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

New policies will artificially deflate “breakthrough infections” in the vaccinated, while the old rules continue to inflate case numbers in the unvaccinated.

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) is altering its practices of data logging and testing for “Covid19” in order to make it seem the experimental gene-therapy “vaccines” are effective at preventing the alleged disease.

They made no secret of this, announcing the policy changes on their website in late April/early May, (though naturally without admitting the fairly obvious motivation behind the change).

The trick is in their reporting of what they call “breakthrough infections” – that is people who are fully “vaccinated” against Sars-Cov-2 infection, but get infected anyway.

Essentially, Covid19 has long been shown – to those willing to pay attention – to be an entirely created pandemic narrative built on two key factors:

  • False-positive tests. The unreliable PCR test can be manipulated into reporting a high number of false-positives by altering the cycle threshold (CT value)
  • Inflated Case-count. The incredibly broad definition of “Covid case”, used all over the world, lists anyone who receives a positive test as a “Covid19 case”, even if they never experienced any symptoms.

Without these two policies, there would never have been an appreciable pandemic at all, and now the CDC has enacted two policy changes which means they no longer apply to vaccinated people.

Firstly, they are lowering their CT value when testing samples from suspected “breakthrough infections”.

From the CDC’s instructions for state health authorities on handling “possible breakthrough infections” (uploaded to their website in late April):

For cases with a known RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) value, submit only specimens with Ct value ≤28 to CDC for sequencing. (Sequencing is not feasible with higher Ct values.)

Throughout the pandemic, CT values in excess of 35 have been the norm, with labs around the world going into the 40s.

Essentially labs were running as many cycles as necessary to achieve a positive result, despite experts warning that this was pointless (even Fauci himself said anything over 35 cycles is meaningless).

But NOW, and only for fully vaccinated people, the CDC will only accept samples achieved from 28 cycles or fewer. That can only be a deliberate decision in order to decrease the number of “breakthrough infections” being officially recorded.

Secondly, asymptomatic or mild infections will no longer be recorded as “covid cases”.

That’s right. Even if a sample collected at the low CT value of 28 can be sequenced into the virus alleged to cause Covid19, the CDC will no longer be keeping records of breakthrough infections that don’t result in hospitalisation or death.

From their website:

As of May 1, 2021, CDC transitioned from monitoring all reported vaccine breakthrough cases to focus on identifying and investigating only hospitalized or fatal cases due to any cause. This shift will help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance. Previous case counts, which were last updated on April 26, 2021, are available for reference only and will not be updated moving forward.

Just like that, being asymptomatic – or having only minor symptoms – will no longer count as a “Covid case” but only if you’ve been vaccinated.

The CDC has put new policies in place which effectively created a tiered system of diagnosis. Meaning, from now on, unvaccinated people will find it much easier to be diagnosed with Covid19 than vaccinated people.

Consider…

  • Person A has not been vaccinated. They test positive for Covid using a PCR test at 40 cycles and, despite having no symptoms, they are officially a “covid case”.
  • Person B has been vaccinated. They test positive at 28 cycles, and spend six weeks bedridden with a high fever. Because they never went into a hospital and didn’t die they are NOT a Covid case.
  • Person C, who was also vaccinated, did die. After weeks in hospital with a high fever and respiratory problems. Only their positive PCR test was 29 cycles, so they’re not officially a Covid case either.

The CDC is demonstrating the beauty of having a “disease” that can appear or disappear depending on how you measure it.

To be clear: If these new policies had been the global approach to “Covid” since December 2019,  there would never have been a pandemic at all.

If you apply them only to the vaccinated, but keep the old rules for the unvaccinated, the only possible result can be that the official records show “Covid” is much more prevalent among the latter than the former.

This is a policy designed to continuously inflate one number, and systematically minimise the other.

What is that if not an obvious and deliberate act of deception?

Background:  Four Myths Drove Covid Madness
Myth: Sars-CV2 is a new virus and we have no defense.
Fact: Sars-CV2 has not been scientifically established as a virus.
Myth: Testing positive for Sars-CV2 makes you a disease case and a spreader.
Fact: PCR tests say nothing about you being ill or infectious.
Myth: Millions of people have died from Covid19.
Fact: Life expectancy is the same before and after Covid19.
Myth: Wearing masks prevents viral infection.
Fact: Evidence shows masks are symbolic, not effective.

Jack Kerwick has written a series of articles at FrontPage Mag over the last year discussing how facts have been overwhelmed by fears, a mythology replacing scientific knowledge and reason. From the beginning this contagion was different, being the first one in an age of 24/7 cable news and rampant social media. So emotion and exaggeration were spread and political leaders pressured to act as protectors, clamping down on social and economic transactions. This post provides a synopsis of what went wrong, based on Kerwick’s recent essay Masks and Stopping COVID. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

What the science – lots of science – really tells us.

In previous essays, I argued for three theses against the prevailing COVID Orthodoxy:

(1)SARS-CoV-2 has never been isolated, purified, and extracted in accordance with the scientific method that has long been in place for isolating, purifying, and extracting other viruses (like bacteriophages and “giant viruses”), and neither has the scientific method been observed with respect to establishing whether this virus is in fact the cause of a disease called “COVID-19.”
Discussion:

Has the existence of “the Virus” been established according to a universally acknowledged set of scientific procedures that must be observed to establish the existence of any and all other viruses?

From the sounds of it, the answer is a resounding no.

Dr. Tom Cowan, Dr. Andrew Kaufman, and Sally Fallon Morell, are among those who have noted in a paper published last year that in demonstrating the existence of a new virus, samples must, firstly, be taken from the blood, phlegm, or other secretions of hundreds of people exhibiting symptoms that are “unique and specific enough to characterize an illness.”

Then, “without mixing these samples with ANY tissue or products that also contain genetic material, the virologist macerates, filters, and ultracentrifuges, i.e. purifies the specimen.” This, the authors explain, is a “common virology technique, done for decades to isolate bacteriophages [viruses that infect bacteria and reproduce within them] and so-called giant viruses [a virus larger than typical bacteria].”

Thirdly, once virologists perform this procedure, they are then able to “demonstrate with electron microscopy thousands of identically sized and shaped particles.” The latter are “the isolated and purified virus.”

Fourthly, upon determining the purity of these particles, virologists are able to examine their “structure, morphology, and chemical composition [.]”

Fifthly, “the genetic makeup” of the particles [the virus] “is characterized by extracting the genetic material directly from” them and “using genetic-sequencing techniques” that have long been in existence.

Finally, an analysis must be conducted to prove that “these uniform particles are exogenous (outside) in origin” as viruses are held to be and not just “the normal breakdown of products of dead and dying tissues.”

The authors conclude: “If we have come this far then we have fully isolated, characterized, genetically-sequenced an exogenous virus particle” .
They add that nowhere in the literature does it show that any of these steps have been taken with respect to SARS-CoV-2.

Neither—and this is crucial—have the scientific steps for determining that SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of a disease, COVID-19, been taken. What are these steps? There really isn’t much to it:

A group of healthy subjects, typically animals, is first exposed to “this isolated, purified virus in the manner in which the disease is thought to be transmitted.”

Subsequently, virologists will wait to determine whether these subjects fall ill with “the same disease, as confirmed by clinical and autopsy findings [.]” If so, “one has now shown that the virus actually causes a disease.” In other words, the “infectivity and transmission of an infectious agent” will have been demonstrated.

Again, according to the authors, nothing like this has been performed to show that
there is a virus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes what has become known as COVID-19.

An ever growing number of citizen journalists in over ten different countries from around the world have, via the Freedom of Information Acts of their respective homes, requested from scores of health agencies an account of the process by which SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated (i.e. separated out from all other stuff). To date, no account has been provided.

(2) The explosion of COVID “cases” is an illusion generated by a combination of two things: (a) the redefining of a “case” from meaning “infection in need of medical attention”—which is how it was defined in the pre-COVID era—to meaning “anyone who is presumed to have, or to have had, COVID and/or anyone who tests positive for COVID” plus (b) an intrinsically limited PCR test that is deliberately run at a number of cycles guaranteed to produce a tsunami of false-positives.

The official case numbers, in other words, are meaningless.

Discussion:

Right from the jump, it’s crucial to take note of the fact that for the first time ever, beginning just last year, “cases” was radically redefined in such a way that would have been unthinkable in just February of 2020 (one month before The Virus Apocalypse engulfed the universe).

For starters, as indicated above, many of these “cases,” per the CDC, included those patients who were labeled as “probable” carriers of the virus. This means that they were diagnosed as “cases” in the absence of any “confirmatory laboratory testing.” And yet they were identified as COVID “cases.”

Moreover, even when testing is figured into it, with respect to no other virus or disease has the CDC ever counted as a “case” a merely positive test. A positive test, in other words, has never been regarded by the medical establishment as sufficient grounds upon which to determine a “case.” Rather, in order for something to count as a “case,” a person had to have been sick and in need of medical attention like, say, hospitalization.

In the COVID era, however, the CDC began accumulating positive PCR test results (about more of which will be said below) from people the vast majority of whom are “asymptomatic,” meaning they feel just fine, and combining them with positive antibodies tests from people who also feel just fine: The final sum, this compound, comprises all “cases.”

Now, as for those PCR tests: There are two problems.

First, as Karry Mullis bluntly remarked: “Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron.” Who was Karry Mullis? He was the inventor of the PCR test. And he won a Nobel Prize in Science for this achievement. What did the late Dr. Mullis mean by his characterization of his own invention?

“PCR is intended to identify substances qualitatively, but by its very nature is unsuited for estimating numbers [of viruses]. Although there is a common misimpression that the viral load tests actually count the number of viruses in the blood, these tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all; they can only detect proteins that are believed, in some cases wrongly, to be unique to HIV. The tests can detect genetic sequences of viruses, but not viruses themselves” (emphases added).

Lauitsen explains further:

“What PCR does is to select a genetic sequence and then amplify it enormously. It can accomplish the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack; it can amplify that needle into a haystack. Like an electronically amplified antenna, PCR greatly amplified the signal, but it also greatly amplifies the noise” (emphases added).

What this implies is that given that “the amplification is exponential, the slightest error in measurement, the slightest contamination, can result in errors of many orders of magnitude.”

There is still another problem with the PCR test as it is currently being used that guarantees its utter worthlessness. More exactly, that guarantees that the “case” numbers built upon it are wholly inaccurate and, hence, meaningless.

This past fall, none other than the New York Times noted that possibly as high as 90% of all positive test results are false.

Per the CDC and FDA guidelines, the vast majority of PCR tests are run at a threshold of 40 cycles. Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist from Harvard who is quoted in the Times piece, notes that when PCR tests are run at 35 or more cycles, they “may detect not just live virus but also live fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risks—akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left.”

The French researcher Didier Raoult has shown that when the PCR test is run at 25 cycles, about 70% of samples were genuinely positive—meaning infectious. However, when the test is run at a threshold of 30 cycles, only 20% of samples were infectious. At 35 cycles, but three percent of samples were infectious.

And when the test was run above 35 cycles? Zero samples were infectious.

(3)People are getting sick and dying from all manner of things from which people get sick and die each and every year. Only throughout this past year, these causes of sickness and death have been repackaged as COVID sickness and death.
Discussion:

Think about it: a cough, running nose, sore throat, chills, chest congestion, fever, loss of taste and smell—these are all symptoms of a plethora of things, from the common cold to seasonal influenza and a whole lot else. Particularly since the vast majority of COVID cases are “mild,” it’s with the greatest of ease that any single one of these symptoms or any number of combinations of them can be used as a pretext by which to establish a “COVID case.”

This is not necessarily to say that the symptoms in question are not signs of COVID or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is claimed to be its cause. It’s only to note that in the absence of scientifically confirming definitively that (a) there is a unique strain of a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, (b) that it is the cause of something called COVID-19, and that, (3) given the scandalously unreliable PCR test, people do in fact have COVID, symptoms that are associated with the latter are more economically, more plausibly explained by way of reference to illnesses that have long been with us.

The Principle of Parsimony—better known since the 14th century as “Ockham’s Razor”—applies: When confronted with two or more explanatory hypotheses, all things being equal, reason dictates that we opt for the one that is simplest.

Since many of the symptoms now being associated with COVID until recently were explained in terms of, say, the flu, and, given the foregoing facts regarding the science—or lack of science—behind the COVID Narrative, it makes better sense to continue explaining those symptoms in terms of the flu.

Indeed, there is no doubt that a great shell game has been transpiring for a year now as cases of various illnesses have been re-labeled as COVID cases.

For example, over at John Hopkins University, Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the Applied Economics master’s program, used data from the CDC to analyze the effect of COVID-19 deaths in America on all other deaths. Reasonably enough, she had expected to witness a substantial number of excess deaths in 2020, i.e. deaths by all other causes plus the orgy of COVID deaths with which politicians and those in the media had been singularly preoccupied.

She was mistaken. Sorely mistaken. Yanni Gu, a writer for the university’s student newspaper, reports: “Surprisingly, the deaths of older people stayed the same before and after COVID-19.”

This was surprising because COVID (not unlike virtually everything else) overwhelmingly affects elderly people. Thus, “experts expected an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups. However, this increase is not seen from the CDC data.” Furthermore, “the percentages of deaths among all age groups remain relatively the same” (emphases added).

Whoa. Briand would soon discover that the plot was just beginning to thicken. What the “data analyzes suggest,” Gu writes, is “that in contrast to most people’s assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States” (emphases added).

There is a perfectly rational, and simple, explanation to account for the unbridgeable chasm between the media-concocted perception of COVID and the reality that Briand discovered:

Deaths from all other causes were being re-classified—misclassified—as death from COVID.  And how did Briand determine this?
For the first time ever, deaths from all other causes—heart diseases, respiratory diseases, influenza, and pneumonia—decreased.

Especially shocking was the realization that heart disease, which has always been the number one killer in America, appeared to have suddenly lost that distinction with the onset of COVID.

Moreover, deaths from all other causes decreased just in proportion to the extent to which COVID deaths increased. “This trend is completely contrary to the pattern observed in all previous years. Interestingly…the total decrease in deaths by other causes almost exactly equals the increase in deaths by COVID-19.”

Within 24 or so hours of the publication of the article relaying Genevieve Briand’s discoveries, the student paper at John Hopkins University retracted it. They never, however, denied the truth of a single syllable of either Briand’s analysis nor its summary of it. That it was political pressure, and not shoddy scholarship that informed its decision is clear, for the school paper saved its article in a PDF file (to which I link above) for all of the world to read.

Wearing of Masks is Not Supported by Scientific Evidence

In this essay, we will revisit the topic of masks. I’ve already written about the psychological, moral, and social costs of mask-wearing. Here, I will focus specifically on the science—or lack of science—behind it.

Scientists recognize that the RCT—Randomized Control Trial—is the “gold standard” as far as “effectiveness research” is concerned. Drs. Eduardo Hariton and Joseph J. Locasio explain that randomization “reduces bias” while providing “a rigorous tool” by which “to examine cause-effect relationships between an intervention and outcome.” RCTs eliminate the risk of confirmation bias, something that is “not possible with any other study design” (emphases added).

This is critical for our purposes, for the largest study of the effectiveness of mask-wearing by the general public to thwart the transmission of COVID utilized not one, not two, not three, but a staggering 14 randomized control trials.

The study was performed at the University of Hong Kong. What Dr. Jingyi Xiao and her team of researchers there concluded will doubtless be written off as the stuff of “conspiracy theorists” by Mask Nation. So be it. But those on the editorial board of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the widely esteemed journal of none other than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), determined that the findings were worth publishing.

The verdict: Masks are ineffective.

The authors of a review of studies on face masks published last year by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine determined that there is no evidence indicating the effectiveness of cloth masks when it comes to COVID. They lament how the “abandonment of the scientific modus operandi and lack of foresight has left the field [of science] wide open for the play of opinions, radical views and political influence.”

The authors, one an epidemiologist, the other a professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford, do note that all randomized control trials that have been conducted over the last decade or so have demonstrated that “masks alone have no significant effect in interrupting the spread of ILI [Influenza-Like-Illness] or influenza” in neither “the general population…nor in healthcare workers” (emphases added).

We could continue in this same repetitive vein. Readers who are interested in pursuing this topic further can check out this piece of mine from October of last year. I review still other studies there, including remarks from such media-adored “Experts” as Anthony Fauci that dovetail seamlessly with these findings on the essential uselessness of masks with respect to COVID. More research confirming these findings are here, here, here, here, and here. Neither have we yet touched upon the numerous studies showing that countries and states with mask mandates did no better and, in some instances, worse than those places that had no such mandates. Nor have we looked at those studies demonstrating that those who faithfully wore masks were not less likely to contract COVID than those who did not wear masks, with some of these—like this one from the CDC—showing that most people who became infected with COVID wore a mask “always” or “often.”

The science, it should now be obvious, does not support Mask dogma.

cv-2019-2020

 

How Green are my Plastics?

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FINALLY – the Truth about Plastics & the Environment

I recently became aware of this research and video presentation The Great Plastics Distraction  (H/T Patrick Moore).  For those who prefer reading a text to watching a video, I prepared a transcript of the talk below in italics with my bolds added.

My name is Dr Chris DeArmitt and I’m going to tell you about plastics and the environment.

But first i’m going to start with a story. I once read a wonderful book called Factfulness, and it told a story about how important it is that we act based on facts. Before the early 1990s parents were advised to place their infants to sleep on their front, contrary to advice from clinical research. If they had listened to that scientific evidence then they might have prevented over 10,000 infant deaths in the UK and at least 50,000 infant deaths in Europe, the USA and Australasia. But they didn’t listen. In fact it took decades for doctors to change their advice even when the data was so clear that thousands more died unnecessarily.

This talk aims to reset the way we think about plastics in the environment by showing that our current beliefs don’t match reality. The science tells us the exact opposite of what we’re being told online. And the reason it’s important to know the truth is that when we ignore the facts and the science we end up destroying the very thing we set out to protect.

Here’s an outline of the topics we will cover. First a summary of what we believe now. Then a look at what the evidence tells us, and finally we examine reasons why these two things don’t match up.

We all recognize that we can’t believe everything we see in the media. Traditional media is less reliable than it used to be and social media is even worse. Here’s a study that shows us some numbers. Only 20 percent of people believe in the local news and only four percent of people strongly believe in social media. So we all know that we can’t trust the usual sources of information that we use. And yet that’s where our information is coming from.

So how bad is the accuracy of this information? Well they did a study on millions and millions of tweets and they found out that the lies are 70 more likely to be spread than the truth. That means that we absolutely cannot trust anything we hear on social media. Why? Because the lies are more sensational and sound newer than the truth. The truth’s too boring and even when the truth is spread it never really catches up with the lies.

That’s part of what I’m trying to address here. So what are the consequences of being told all of these lies online? Well it turns out that if you repeat a lie enough times people believe it, and it doesn’t matter how smart you are or how good you are at critical thinking, everybody’s susceptible to this. They’ve done large studies on it.

PlasticsParadox1

So these lies that we’re being told all the time sound like the truth because they sound familiar after a while, and we end up becoming brainwashed. And you’ll notice on all the slides that I’m presenting here there’s a little text at the bottom which (I don’t know if you can see it) here at the bottom of the page. “Every time I say something because I’m a scientist I support it with scientific evidence.” That means that there are giant scientific studies to prove what I’m saying and that’s the opposite to what you hear online. When you see something online they just claim something sensational with zero proof. Everything I say here and everything I say in my book is proven.

I just mentioned my book The Plastics Paradox. Let me tell you a little bit about that. I’ve made it my personal mission to collect and read hundreds of scientific articles to uncover the truth. I didn’t go around looking for articles that supported a pre-existing opinion. I went out and found every single piece of information I could. And why me? Well for one thing my kids were being taught lies at school and I found that totally unacceptable. So I decided to go and find the information to present to the teachers and it mushroomed into the book.

Also I’m a leading PhD. polymer scientist, so I’m uniquely qualified for this task. As a scientist I do not make, market or sell plastics. Some people say that they can’t trust a plastics expert to talk about plastics. And I find that interesting. I ask them whether they refuse to speak to a medical expert when they’re sick. Or if they’re sick do they ask a car mechanic for an opinion or a journalist. Of course you go and ask a medical expert when you want a medical opinion. So when you want an opinion about the technical details of plastics, go and ask a doctor in plastics. And that’s me.

Some of my friends ask me why I’ve devoted thousands of hours and thousands of dollars of my own money to this topic when it’s not my job. I sometimes ask myself the same question. This is why. I’m a professional scientist so I believe we should base our opinions and our actions on fact not fiction. Everything we do has an impact on the environment so we have two choices: Either we have to go and move back into caves or we can continue to enjoy the modern lifestyle we love so much while making choices that minimize our impact.

PlasticsParadox2

How do we do that? Well life cycle analysis is the only proven and accepted way to know what is green and what is less green. It considers all environmental impacts. That means raw materials, the manufacturing of a product, the transporting the product, the function of the product in use (for example driving your car around), repairing the product, and also waste and recycling. Companies, governments and environmental groups all rely on life cycle analysis: It’s standardized and also peer-reviewed for consistency and to make sure that nobody cheats. Any system can be improved upon but if we were to abandon life cycle analysis then we’d have to toss a coin to decide what’s green? It’s better to use a tool that’s good but imperfect than to have no tool at all.

The outcome of a life cycle analysis depends on many things including the geographical location that you’re considering so there’s no universal answer. However if you read a hundred of these life cycle analyses, the geographical aspects start to cancel out and average out. And you get some trends. So here are the trends that I’ve noted after reading a bunch of these life cycle analyses. If you can make something out of a hunk of wood, that’s usually the greenest option. So for example, wood decking and wine corks are examples where wood is greener than plastic.

PlasticsParadox3

But most things can’t be made out of wood, so plastic is then usually the greenest choice.  Paper is sometimes greener than plastic, but usually it isn’t. Examples where plastic are greener include shopping bags or grocery bags. I found 24 life cycle analyses on grocery bags and plastics coming out greener in every single case, in every country no matter where they analyzed it. In 24 studies plastic bags were greener than paper bags and not a single case saying the opposite so here we are banning something which is categorically proven to be the greenest option. Banknotes is another example. A lot of bank notes are made of plastic and they’re proven to be greener than the paper ones because they last so much longer.
And mailer envelopes is another example.

Steel, aluminium and glass are far worse due to the extreme heat and the energy needed to make them, and their density which increases the impact of transportation. So these are the general trends that we see.

PlasticsParadox4

Here’s a quick summary of what I discovered when writing The Plastics Paradox and reading all the science. As I said, all of this is soundly proven and you’ll find all the citations in the book and on the website. Statements I quote are verbatim so I copy and paste the statements from the scientific articles to make sure that there’s no spin on it. And as i said it’s all cited so you can check it yourself. If this information is different to what you’ve heard online or in the press, that’s because this is the first time you’ve actually heard the truth backed by hard data and presented by a professional scientist instead of some hack.

Now I want to show you some very very powerful new information I discovered after the book was published. So part of the reason for this talk is to zoom out and not just focus on plastics but look at the overall picture. I was reading a book about materials and the environment and I was absolutely shocked to my core when I turned the page and saw this pie chart on the left.

PlasticsParadox5

The pie chart shows that plastics are only about one percent of the material we use. All we hear about all day long is plastic, as if it were the only material, and we’re drowning in plastic. And now i suddenly discover from this book that plastics are less than one percent. I found this information so incredible that i decided to double and triple check it. And when i did I found out that a number was actually wrong. It’s actually too high: The amount of plastics we use is only 0.4 percent of materials. You can check this yourself using siri and alexa and google to ask: What’s the annual global consumption of plastics; what’s the annual global consumption of materials? And then work out the percentage.

PlasticsParadox6


This is absolutely shocking to hear that we’re obsessing about plastics and it’s 0.4 percent of our problem. So based on that finding I decided to do a little bit more digging. We’re told every day that we’re drowning in plastic waste. Of course no data is ever given. So I decided to go and check the data on how much of this waste is actually plastic. In the book I already found out that 13% of household waste is plastic and about 10 percent of what goes into a landfill is plastic. What i didn’t know then was that household waste is just 3% of all waste; the other 97% is industrial waste. So it turns out that plastic waste is 13% of 3%, which is 0.3% of all waste. So once again we’re told online without evidence that plastic is the cause of all of our worries and it turns out to be 0.3 percent of the waste problem.

And as we saw in The Plastic Paradox book and on the website plastics have actually dramatically reduced waste on top of that. So we’re obsessing about a tiny fraction of the problem. There’s no way we can solve the world’s problems by putting a hundred percent of our effort into 0.3 of a problem.

We hear about plastic in the oceans all the time. In the book I explained there are no huge floating islands, they just don’t exist. Scientists say they don’t exist; the man who discovered the gyres also say that they don’t exist. And there’s no soup either; it’s just been all dramatized for the sake of getting your money out of your pockets by certain environmental groups and journalists who don’t care about the facts. It turns out even in these gyres the maximum amount of plastic that you is about one game die if you were to take a game die from monopoly and put it in an olympic-sized swimming pool. that would be too much.

PlasticsParadox7

I decided to check how much plastic is actually entering the ocean. We see and hear big numbers but we don’t know what it means. It’s very hard to conceptualize these numbers. So it turns out that the amount of plastic entering the oceans is this tiny tiny number I can’t even say it, but the percentage is many many zeros with a six at the end. Clearly I’m not saying there should be plastic in the oceans, but the number is rather small compared to what we’ve been led to believe. No, there will not be more plastic than fish in the sea; that was debunked as well.

I showed that last slide to a friend and he said it would be more meaningful to compare the amount of solid sediment being washed into the oceans from rivers to the amount of plastic. So once again i went looking for the scientific data and I was able to find it. Plastics make up about 0.05 percent of the solid sediment being dumped into our oceans and rivers. It’s mainly polyethylene polypropylene polyethylene terephthalate and polystyrene; which means the plastics that we eat our food out of every day, so they’re not very much of a concern from a health point of view.

Interestingly there are also massive amounts of deadly chemicals, munitions and even nerve gas in the ocean, but no one talks about that. I wonder why they would rather focus on plastics and ignore the things which are actually proven to be toxic. So-called environmental groups are very keen to bring out the turtle pictures. There’s even a famous video of a turtle with a brown cylinder of some kind in its nose; but there was never any evidence that it was made of plastic.  They never analyzed it when they were doing the video; in fact they thought it was a worm, as you can hear in the video soundtrack. They say, “Oh, is it a worm, is it a worm?” and then afterwards they suddenly declare it’s plastic without any analysis whatsoever.

PlasticsParadox8

If you’re concerned about turtles you should be looking at these statistics on the left hand side because I looked up turtle mortality rates and here they are. You can see that shrimp trolling accounts for up to 50,000 turtle deaths; fishery is up to 5000; collisions with boats up to 500; dredging up to 50; and other 200. And nothing at all about plastics. So that’s interesting isn’t it? If you do care about turtles, and you’re not just trying to get sympathy votes out of people and pry their money out of their pockets in terms of donations, then you would be looking at these causes of death which are the actual things that turtles suffer. But they’d rather focus on plastics because it suits their purposes.

As well as turtles we hear a huge amount about whales. I saw another article today about whale deaths, so I decided to look up the many studies on whale deaths. And once again I’ve quoted them all. From the scientific studies quoted the causes of whale deaths: entanglement in fishing gear; natural causes, and vessel strikes where boats hit them. So why are they incessantly telling us that plastics are harming whales when not one single one of these articles even had a mention of the word plastic or bag. These are multi-decade studies with thousands and thousands of whale deaths listed and not one mention of plastic or bag.

I find it absolutely reprehensible a while ago several newspapers covered a story saying that there were these massive amounts of micro plastic raining down on our national parks. They said it was several tons of microplastic deposited every year and I thought wow, that’s hard for me to imagine; let me work it out as a percentage, for example, of dust that’s deposited. So I went and found some studies on that; and i can tell you it’s a lot of work to look up all of these studies. The environmental groups like to argue with you and they like to come out with these claims, and they produce no studies whatsoever. And I’ve been working on my own with no funding, and I’ve turned up all of these studies and double checked and triple checked everything. How much hard work it is to actually check the facts, when it’s easier to spout nonsense.

PlasticsParadox9

So anyway let’s look at the grand canyon. You can calculate there’ll be 12 tons per year of microplastic dust on the grand canyon and that sounds like a lot. And it is a lot, but it depends on how big the grand canyon is. So i went and checked that and correlated that with the total amount of dust that would be deposited on an area that size which is 50 000 tons a year; meaning that microplastics make up 0.03% of all the dust deposited per year. So instead of hearing this tonnage number which means nothing to us, while the actual percentage is rather small. I’m not saying it should be there but again it’s safe plastics like polyethylene polypropylene and things we eat our food out of. But what’s the rest of this dust made of? The 99.97% in large proportion is quartz which is known to cause cancer; it’s also made up of a large amount of heavy metals such as lead and cadmium which are known to be toxic.

So isn’t it interesting that people would rather focus on 0.03% of safe material because it’s plastic and easy to demonize, and totally ignore things which are known to be toxic and known to cause cancer and are being breathed in in giant quantities.

There’s an example where ignoring the science leads you in the wrong direction.  Here I’ve put together an NGO scorecard to see how well these so-called environmental groups are doing at telling us what’s green and what isn’t and what to do. In The Plastics Paradox book as you saw I showed that pretty much everything they’ve told us is untrue; meaning that the science says the exact opposite. And in this talk we’ve zoomed out a little bit to look at the bigger picture. And we found that if we were worried about materials use, concrete, metal and woods would be the things we would focus on.

PlasticsParadox10

But instead these non-governmental organizations want us to talk about plastics. If we’re worried about material waste we will be focused on manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, but instead they want us to focus on plastics. If we were worried about turtles we would be worried about trawling, fishing and boat strikes, but they want us to concentrate on plastic instead. If we’re worried about whales we’ll be looking at trawling, fishing and boat strikes, but instead they want us to talk about plastic. If we were worried about dust we’d be worried about this inorganic dust which contains quartz and heavy metals, but instead they want us to look at plastic. If we were worried about materials that use giant amounts of energy and create co2, we would be worried about gold, platinum and palladium, but they want us to talk about plastic instead. And when it comes to grocery bags, if we’re worried about things that cause harm we’d be looking at paper, cotton and bio plastic bags, but instead they want us to focus on plastic bags which are proven in every single study to be the greenest.

So if we look at how well these so-called environmental groups are doing, they’re not doing very well at all. In fact I can’t find a single area where they’re given evidence which helps the environment or matches the evidence and the science. This means one of two things: Either they’re wildly incompetent, in which case they don’t deserve our funding and our donations. Or they’re actually corrupt, in which case they also don’t deserve our funding and our donations.

How do we know which one of these two things it is? Well, it’s impossible to know somebody’s intent without being inside their mind, but recently there have been some very interesting books by former environmental group members. And they’ve come out and said, I’m ashamed to have been a part of this group. They’re just corrupt and they’re just telling you lies and scaring you to get your donations. So there are insider reports like Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout by Patrick Moore; and there’s Apocalypse Never by Michael Schellenberger. You can find several other books along those lines regarding environmental groups where former members have left ashamed and embarrassed, and published books explaining that these guys are just trying to rip you off.

PlasticsParadox11

So here are the conclusions.
We’ve been lied to again and again by groups keen to enrage us and trick us out of our money.
We need to start basing our opinions and our policies on facts and evidence.
Let’s focus on cleaning up the environment by making wise choices

And if you want to do that please tell your friends about the truths you’ve learned today.
If you know a reporter please tell them;
If you know a CEO or a politician, then please tell them.
And if you know Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey, so we can get some publicity for the truth, then please tell them.

As you’ve seen facts don’t catch up with lies. We need every bit of help we can get because the lies are already in people’s brains. They spread farther and faster than the truth and we’re playing catch up. We really need to make an impact if we’re ever going to change people’s minds. Stop making stupid policies and stop enriching these groups that are lying to us.

The Plastics Paradox book was written so that people could get the story. But all the information is at plasticsparadox.com. And it’s important for you to know I’m not trying to make money out of this presentation. All this information, all the peer-reviewed science is available for free at plasticsparadox.com. No registration; I’m not selling you one thing. All I’m doing as a professional scientist is telling you it’s time to look at the facts and start making progress instead of pedaling backwards.

Sadly some people are so passionately against plastics that they don’t care about the facts. They prefer to attack me online for example and that’s a shame because well-intentioned people are making harmful choices due to bad information. Just like the story about those infant deaths that we told in the beginning. So if you care about making progress please remember what we’ve said here. Go and visit the website and tell anyone you know who’s an influencer that we’ve got to redress this and start to create a brighter future together.

Thank you very much for your time.

Footnote: 

Dr. DeArmitt wondered about why activists target plastics when they are trivial compared to other problems.  To many of us, the answer is obvious:  Plastics are derived from oil and gas, and therefore anathema to climatists.  Fear of climate change is the driving bias behind efforts to demonize plastics, as well as many other products that make modern life possible.

Election Skimming Program Exposed in NH

I have been patiently hoping for some truth to emerge out of the murky 2020 election.  Some flares have been lit in Arizona and Michigan, and a lamp lit this week in Georgia, and a few candles in places like Pennsylvania and, improbably New Hampshire.  This last one involves an audit in Windham, New Hampshire, a town of 14,853 people, which has long been a stalwart Republican stronghold in an otherwise Democrat state.  The pattern of election skimming shows up very clearly, as explained in an article at American Thinker An election audit in New Hampshire may be the pebble that diverts the stream.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  

Windham, New Hampshire, a town of 14,853 people, has long been a stalwart Republican stronghold in an otherwise Democrat state. As was the case throughout New Hampshire, it relied on AccuVote machines to collect and tally its 2020 votes.

When the election in Windham ended, Kristi St. Laurent, the Democrat candidate, had lost by only 24 votes. With that close a margin, she naturally demanded a hand recount.

The hand recount revealed something peculiar: St. Laurent hadn’t lost by 24 votes; she’d lost by 420 votes. In a small election, that meant that her margin of defeat wasn’t 0.005% but was, instead, 9.6%, which is a significant loss.

That same recount revealed an even greater anomaly: across the board, in every Windham election, Republicans had been shortchanged, and Democrats had been overcounted:

Windham NH results


Windham election results by Ken Eyring.

Those kinds of numbers manifestly demanded a full recount, which is what’s happening now in Windham. And as with counts and recounts elsewhere, funny things are happening — not funny-ha-ha, but funny-peculiar:

An audit team sent to conduct a forensic examination of the 2020 election results in Windham, N.H. started the process off well enough on Tuesday. But by Wednesday, they hit a major snag: The live stream cameras that had been broadcasting the audit room around the clock went offline for close to 90 minutes, potentially obscuring any problematic intervention.

The team decided Thursday morning to reinspect the ballot machines on camera in an attempt to maintain observers’ faith in their process. They needed to determine whether the machines had been tampered with over night when the cameras mysteriously went down.

Even if the camera failure is nothing, the consistent Republican deficits cannot be shrugged off as a series of random errors. When a “mistake” repeatedly runs in only one direction over a separate series of events, the hand of man becomes apparent.

New Hampshire was called for Biden, but if the “mistake” was state-wide — that is, if Republicans were undercounted and Democrats overcounted in every county — perhaps Biden didn’t win New Hampshire. And if he didn’t win New Hampshire, maybe he didn’t win in some other states called for him, either.

Our elections need to be tightened — and doing away with voter ID is not the way to do it. Although I seldom look to England for anything good lately (sorry, England, I once loved you as only a true Anglophile could), its approach to voting is superb and getting better. Funnily enough, though, that’s one policy that the left — which is always anxious to show how badly America measures up to the rest of the world — doesn’t want to copy.

Update on Georgia Election Audit:

Georgia Judge Calls For Emergency Audit After Suspicious Discrepancies Found

Back in March, a judge gave an order to unseal absentee ballots in Fulton County so a government watchdog can investigate allegations of voting fraud in the November election.

A lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court contends that fraudulent ballots were cast and other irregularities occurred as workers counted ballots at State Farm Arena on election night. Those allegations were investigated and dismissed by the secretary of state’s office. Nonetheless, Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero — who is overseeing the case — said he’s inclined to order the ballots to be unsealed and reviewed by experts hired by Garland Favorito, a voting-integrity advocate.

And today, May 21, 2021, the same judge went even further called for the motion to unseal ballots after suspicious discrepancies were found.

During a hearing, VoterGA.org lawyers “described large discrepancies (21%) between the number of ballot batches reported by the GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who certified the election, and the number of ballot batches actually provided by court-ordered access in the previous April hearing in the case,” according to CD Media.

“A high number of ballots appear to have been counted twice,” said one witness.

VoterGA.org has been examining the ballot images at a low resolution since the hearing in April, and declared they need the actual physical ballots to understand the number of counterfeit ballots certified.

Favorito is seeking to review absentee ballots in Fulton County. He says county workers likely fabricated ballots and counted some ballots multiple times on election night. As evidence, his lawsuit cites video of the counting, as well as sworn statements from people who were present.

The observers were suspicious of ballots that were printed on a different stock of paper than regular ballots, appeared to have been printed instead of marked by ink in a voter’s hand or were not creased, indicating they had not been placed in an absentee ballot envelope and mailed.

Background from previous post  Election Skimming Program Detected

Update Nov. 13, 2020 at the End

Dr.SHIVA LIVE: MIT PhD Analysis of Michigan Votes Reveals Unfortunate Truth of U.S. Voting Systems

MIT professor Dr. Shiva and colleagues discovered a pattern in Michigan voter data whereby tens of thousands of Trump votes were taken away and added to Biden totals.  As the video describes the program was designed to skim more votes away from large pools of Trump votes and avoid small pools, in order to be less noticeable.  The proportion of straight ticket Republican voters serves as the indicator of precincts where larger numbers of Trump only votes can be switched to Biden only votes (only refers to a vote not part of a party line ballot.  The linear relationship is quite striking and abnormal.  The more voters in a precinct voted Republican party line, the more Trump only votes in that precinct were taken away.

From Jo Nova website:

A “Transistor Function” algorithm has been used to alter voting patterns in Michigan. It has a “Weighted Race” feature.

Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT engineer and Fulbright Scholar, with Phil Evans B.S.E.E. and Benny Smith (election commissioner and data analyst) have back-analyzed the pattern of voting in Michigan and figured out the electronic algorithm used to alter votes. Voting patterns are distorted in a way that can only be explained by a linear transformation (an algebraic equation) and he can approximate that equation and slope of the line. This means he can calculate how many votes were flipped and he does, and it’s massive.

This one form of fraud alone is enough to flip the election to Biden. That’s without all the postal vote backdating, the dead people voting, the out of state votes, the discarded ballots, the crooked media coverups, the pollsters fakery and the Pfizer hiding of the Covid Vaccine news. Trump won the election despite all the other trickery. If there had been real media coverage, honest vaccine headlines, exposure of Hunter Biden and honest polling the election probably could have been called by 8pm on Election day.

The action analysis starts at 13:30 minutes.

In disconcerting news, votes are stored as a decimal fraction. They are not even trying to record votes as whole numbers, as individual choices.

The dashed orange line should be a flat line, instead the downward slope “cuts in” and votes are increasingly distorted in precincts where more Republicans vote.  The ratio depends on the percentage of Republican voters in a precinct. The more Republicans there are, the more likely they are to abandon Trump and vote a Biden-then-Republican ticket.

The slope of that line is “too perfect” — it’s almost perfectly linear. The transistor effect kicks in and shows that the same algorithm was used in different counties across all precincts. The pattern is non-random. Even if you wanted to believe that Rep voters were tired of Trump it would not happen in a perfect line that depended on the number of Rep voters around you. (45 mins.)

Update Nov. 13, 2020


Paul Sperry writes at RealClearInvestigations, Pro-Biden Bug Also Suspected in Georgia’s Vote-Counting Software. Excepts in italics with my bolds.

A curious thing happened as Fulton County, Ga., election officials counted mail-in ballots at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena in the days after the election. In the early hours of Nov. 5, a surge of some 20,000 mail-in votes suddenly appeared for Joe Biden, while approximately 1,000 votes for President Trump mysteriously disappeared from his own totals in the critical swing state, where Biden holds a razor-thin lead.

A poll watcher noticed the suspicious shift in votes while monitoring the interim election results on the Georgia secretary of state website.

“I concluded from looking at these results that this was an irregularity, since there was no obvious reason for President Trump’s totals to have decreased while former Vice President Biden’s totals increased dramatically,” Voter GA co-founder Garland Favorito swore in an affidavit he filed this week with the secretary of state’s office.

Favorito suspects a variety of factors, including that votes were “artificially inflated” for Biden while using the same Dominion Voting system used by Antrim County, Mich., which erroneously transferred 6,000 votes from Trump to Biden. Last year, Georgia contracted with Dominion to automate vote tabulations in all 159 of its counties.

“The software appears to have thrown votes from Trump to Biden here too,” he said in a RealClearInvestigations interview. “Or Biden ballots were manufactured.”

The large disparity of gains between the two candidates “was something I had never witnessed before in my years of election monitoring,” said Favorito, a career IT professional who has been a leading advocate for election integrity in the state over the past two decades. He says he is not a Republican or Trump supporter.

On Nov. 10, Favorito sent his affidavit to Georgia Secretary of State recommending a full, by-hand ballot recount. The next day, his office announced it will conduct such an audit for the presidential race. Biden currently leads Trump by more than 14,000 votes in the state.

001-ben-garrison-vote-fraud-08-e1621569023220

Why Marxism Always Fails

Jordan Peterson delves into the reasons why Marxist ideology fails both in theory and in practice.  For those like me who prefer to read a text, I have made a transcript of Peterson’s talk, with some light editing to transpose a verbal presentation into a written one.  My bolds are added.  H/T Chiefio.

Jordan Peterson’s critique of the Communist Manifesto

Since we are talking about Marxism, I tried to reread the Communist Manifesto. The first time I read it I was 18 years old, more than 40 years ago. When you read something, you you don’t just follow the words and follow the meaning, but you take apart the sentences. And you ask yourself:

At this level of phrase and at the level of sentence and at the level of paragraph, is this true?
Are there counter arguments that can be put forward that are credible?
Is this solid thinking?

And I have to tell you, and I’m not trying to be flippant here, that I have rarely read a tract that made as many errors per sentence, conceptual errors per sentence as the communist manifesto.

It was quite miraculous to re-read it and it was interesting to think about it psychologically as well.

Because I’ve read student papers that were of the same ilk in some sense. Although I’m not suggesting that they were of the same level of glittering literary brilliance and polemic quality. And I also understand that the communist manifesto was a call for revolution and not a standard logical argument.

But that notwithstanding, I have some things to say about the authors psychologically. The first thing is that it doesn’t seem to me that either Marx or Engels grappled with this particular fundamental truth: which is that almost all ideas are wrong. And it doesn’t matter if they’re your ideas or someone else’s ideas, they’re probably wrong. And even if they strike you with the force of brilliance, your job is to assume first of all that they’re probably wrong and then to assault them with everything you have in your arsenal and see if they can survive.

It struck me about the communist manifesto that it was akin to something Jung said about typical thinking, meaning the thinking of people who weren’t trained to think. He said that when the typical thinker has a thought, it appears to them like an object might appear in a room. The thought appears and then they just accept it.

They don’t go the second step which is to think about the thinking, and that’s the real essence of critical thinking. So that’s why you try to teach people in university to read a text and to think about it critically; not to destroy the utility of the text but to separate the wheat from the chaff.

And so when again reading the communist manifesto I tried to separate the wheat from the chaff. And I’m afraid I found, some wheat yes but mostly chaff. And I’m going to explain why in relatively short order. I’m going to outline 10 of the fundamental axioms of the communist manifesto. So these are truths that are basically held as self-evident by the authors. And they’re truths that are presented in some sense as unquestioned. I’m going to question them and tell you why I think they’re unreliable.

Now we should remember that this tract was actually written 170 years ago. That’s a long time ago and we have learned a fair bit since then about human nature, about society, about politics and economics. There’s lots of mysteries left to be solved but we are slightly wiser I presume. So you can forgive the authors to some degree for what they didn’t know. But that doesn’t matter given that the essence of this doctrine is still held as sacrosanct by a large proportion of academics.

The problems start with this one: History is to be viewed primarily as an economic class struggle.  Let’s think about that for a minute. First of all there is the proposition that history is primarily to be viewed through an economic lens, which I think is debatable because there are many other motivations than economics that drive human beings. Those have to be taken into account especially that drive people other than economic competition, like economic cooperation for example. So that’s a problem.

An additional problem is that it’s actually not nearly a pessimistic enough description of the actual situation. To give the devil his due: It is absolutely true that one of the driving forces of history is hierarchical struggle. But it’s deeper than history, it’s biology itself, because organisms of all sorts organize themselves into hierarchies. And one of the problems with hierarchies is that they tend to arrange themselves into a winner-take-all situation.

Of course Marx believed that in a capitalist society capital would accumulate in the hands of fewer and fewer people, and that actually is in keeping with the nature of hierarchical organizations. So there’s accuracy in the accusation being an eternal form of motivation for struggle. But it’s an underestimation of the seriousness of the problem because it is attributed to the structure of human societies rather than the deeper reality of the existence of hierarchical structures per se.

Since hierarchies characterize the animal kingdom to a large degree, they are clearly not only human constructions. And the evidence for hierarchical competition among human beings goes back at least to the paleolithic times.  So the next problem is: This ancient problem of hierarchical structure is clearly not attributable to capitalism because it existed long in human history before capitalism existed. and then it predated human history itself. So why would you necessarily at least implicitly link the class struggle with capitalism given that it’s a far deeper problem?

You’ve need to understand that this is a deeper problem for people on the left not just for people on the right. It is the case that hierarchical structures dispossess those people who are at the bottom, as it does those animals who are at the bottom in their kingdom. That is a fundamental existential problem.

But the other thing that Marx didn’t seem to take into account is that there there are far more reasons that human beings struggle than their economic class struggle, even if you build the hierarchical idea into that. In a more comprehensive way of thinking about it, human beings
struggle with themselves with the malevolence that’s inside themselves, with the evil that they’re capable of doing, with the spiritual and psychological warfare that goes on within them.

And we’re also actually always at odds with nature and this never seems to show up in Marx, and it doesn’t show up in Marxism in general. It’s as if nature doesn’t exist. As far as I’m concerned the primary conflict that human beings engage in is this struggle for life in a cruel and harsh natural world. But that doesn’t exist in the Marxist domain. If human beings have a problem it’s because there’s a class struggle that’s essentially economic. It’s like no human beings have problems because we come into the life starving and lonesome and we have to solve that problem continually. And we make our social arrangements at least in part to ameliorate that.

So there’s also very little understanding in the communist manifesto that any of the hierarchical organizations that human beings have put together might have a positive element. And that’s an absolute catastrophe because hierarchical structures are actually necessary to solve complicated social problems. We have to organize ourselves in some manner and (again giving the devil his due) it is the case that hierarchies dispossess people and that’s a big problem. That’s the fundamental problem of inequality. But it’s also the case that hierarchies happen to be a very efficient way of distributing resources.

And it’s finally the case that human hierarchies are not fundamentally predicated on power. I would say that biological and anthropological data on that are crystal clear. You don’t rise to a position of authority that’s reliable in a human society primarily by exploiting other people. It’s a very unstable means of obtaining power, even though people go about it that way might laugh at the thought.

Another problem that comes up is that Marx also assumes that you can think about history as a binary class struggle with clear divisions between say the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. That’s actually a problem because it’s not so easy to make a firm division between who is exploiter and who is exploitee. Because it’s not obvious, for example, in the case of small shareholders, whether or not they happen to be part of the oppressed or part of the oppressor.

This actually turned out to be a big problem in the Russian revolution, a tremendously big problem because it turned out that you could fragment people into multiple identities. That’s a fairly easy thing to do, and you could usually find some aspect by which they were part of the oppressor class; it might have been a consequence of their education or because of the wealth that they strived to accumulate during their life. Or it might be the fact that they had parents or grandparents who are educated or rich or that they’re a member of the priesthood or that they were socialists, and so on.

Anyways the listing of how it was possible for you to be bourgeois instead of proletariat grew immensely and that was one of the reasons that the red terror claimed all the victims that it did. So that was a huge problem, probably most exemplified by the demolition of the kulaks, who were basically peasant farmers although effective ones in the soviet union. They had managed to raise themselves out of serfdom over a period of about 40 years and to gather some some degree of material security about them. And about 1.8 million of them were exiled, about 400 000 were killed and the net consequence of that was the removal of their private property because of their bourgeois status. There was also the death of six million Ukrainians in the famines of the 1930s showing that the binary class struggle idea led to bad outcomes for many people.

It’s also a very bad idea in another way, and this is a real sleight of hand that Marx pulls off. You have a binary class division–proletariat and bourgeoisie–and you have an implicit idea that all of the good is on the side of the proletariat and all of the evil is on the side of the bourgeoisie. That’s classic group identity thinking and one of the reasons i don’t like identity politics. Because once you divide people into groups and pit them against one another, it’s very easy to assume that all the evil in the world can be attributed to one group–the hypothetical oppressors–and all the good to the other. Well that’s naive beyond comprehension because it’s absolutely foolish to make the presumption that you can identify someone’s moral worth with their economic standing. So that actually turned out to be a real problem as well.

Marx also came up with this idea which is a crazy idea, using the technical term crazy as far as i can tell, and that’s the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat. I really stumbled over that. Okay so what’s the problem? Well the problem is the capitalists own everything— they own all the means of production and they’re oppressing everyone, that means all the workers. And there’s going to be a race to the bottom of wages for the workers as the capitalists strive to extract more and more value from the labor of the proletariat by competing with other capitalists to drive wages downward. By the way, that didn’t happen partly because wage earners can become scarce and that actually drives their market value upward.

But the fact that that you assume a priori that all the evil can be attributed to the capitalists and the bourgeoisie and that all the good could be attributed to the proletariat meant that you could hypothesize that a dictatorship of the proletariat could come about, and that was the first stage in the communist revolution. And remember this is a call for revolution, and not just revolution, but bloody violent revolution and the overthrow of all existing social structures.

So you see the problem is because all the evil isn’t divided so easily up into oppressor and oppressed you can not establish a pure dictator of the proletariat (to the degree that you can do that which you actually can’t because it’s technically impossible, and an absurd project not least because of the centralization problem.) I mean you have to imagine that you can take away all the property of the capitalists and you can replace the capitalist class with a minority of proletariats. How they’re going to be chosen isn’t exactly clear in the communist manifesto nor is it clear how none of the people who are from the proletariat class are going to be corrupted by that sudden access to power despite their being good by definition.

So then you have the good people who are running the world and you also have them centralized so that they can make decisions which are insanely complicated to make; in fact impossibly complicated to make and so that’s a failure conceptually on both dimensions.

Because firstly all the proletariat aren’t going to be good and then you put those people in the same position as the evil capitalists. Marxists certainly believe that social pressure is one of the determining factors of human character. So why then wouldn’t you assume that the proletariat would immediately become as or more corrupt than the capitalists? Which is of course exactly what happened every time this experiment was run.

And then the next problem comes when you take some system as complicated as as a capitalist free market society and centralize that putting decision-making power in the hands of a few people, without specifying the mechanisms by which you’re going to choose them. What makes you think they’re going to have the wisdom or the ability to do what the capitalists were doing unless you assume as Marx did that all of the evil was with the capitalists and all the good was with the proletariats.

And that nothing that capitalists did constituted valid labor which is another thing that marx assumed. Which is palpably absurd unless you are thinking of people like a dissolute aristocrat from 1830 or earlier and you run a feudal estate and all you do is spend your time gambling and chasing prostitutes.  Well then your labor value is zero.

But if you’re running a business and it’s a successful business first of all because you’re not a bloody fool who exploits your workers. Because even if you’re greedy as Sin, you’re not going to extract the maximum amount of labor out of them by doing that. And the notion that you’re adding no productive value as a manager rather than a capitalist is absolutely absurd. All it shows is that you either know nothing whatsoever about how an actual business works or you refuse to know anything about how an actual business works. So that’s also a big problem.

The next problem is the criticism of profit. Well what’s wrong with profit? The problem with profit was that profit was theft from the Marxist perspective. You know profit well can be theft because crooked people can run companies and so sometimes profit is theft. That certainly doesn’t mean that it’s always threat theft, because in part at least if the capitalist is adding value to the corporation then there’s some utility and some fairness in him or her extracting the value of their abstract labor–their thought, their work, their ability to manage the company and to engage in proper competition and product development and efficiency and the proper treatment of the workers. If they can do all of that and then can create a profit, well then they have a little bit of security for times that aren’t so good. And that seems absolutely bloody necessary as far as I’m concerned.

Then the next thing is how can you grow if you don’t have a profit and if you have an enterprise that’s valuable and worthwhile? Some enterprises are valuable and worthwhile then it seems to me that a little bit of profit to help you grow seems to be the right approach. So then the other issue with profit, and you know this if you’ve ever run a business, is it’s really useful constraint. You know it’s not enough to have a good idea, not a good enough to have a good sales and marketing plan and then to implement that and all of, even though that’s bloody difficult in itself. Even with a good idea and plan, it’s not easy to find customers and satisfy them. And so profit constitutes a limitation on what it is that you might reasonably attempt. It provides a good constraint on wasted labor.

Most of the things that I’ve done in my life even psychologically were efforts designed to help people’s psychological health. I tried to run on a for-profit basis and the reason for that, apart from the fact that I’m not averse to making a profit, was partly so my enterprises can grow but was also so that there were forms of stupidity that I couldn’t engage in because I would be punished by the market enough to eradicate the enterprise.

The next issue is a weird one. So Marx and Engels also assume that this dictatorship of the proletariat which involves absurd centralization, the overwhelming probability of corruption, and the impossible task as the proletariat now try to rationally compute the manner in which an entire market economy could run. Which cannot be done because it’s far too complicated for anybody to think through.

The next theory is that somehow the proletariat dictatorship would become magically hyper productive and there’s actually no theory at all about how that’s going to happen. And so i had to infer that the theory seems to be that once you eradicate the bourgeoisie because they’re evil and you get rid of their private property, and you eradicate the profit motive, then all of a sudden magically the small percentage of the proletariat who now run the society determine how they can make their enterprises productive enough so they become hyper productive now.

And they need to become hyper productive for the last error to be logically coherent in relationship to the Marxist theory which is that at some point  the dictatorship of the proletariat will become so hyper productive that there’ll be enough material goods for everyone across all dimensions. And when that happens then people will spontaneously engage in meaningful creative labor from which they had been alienated in the capitalist horror show. And the utopia will be magically ushered in.

But there’s no indication about how that hyper productivity is going to come about and there’s no understanding that the utopia isn’t going to suit everyone because there are great differences between people. And some people are going to find what they want in love, and some are going to find it in social being, and some are going to find it in conflict and competition, and some are going to find it in creativity as Marx pointed out. But the notion that that that will necessarily be the end goal for the utopian state is preposterous.

And then there’s the Dostoyevsky observation, which is one not to be taken lightly. What sort of shallow conception of people do you have that makes you think that if you gave people enough bread and cake, and nothing else to do except busy themselves with the continued continuity of the species that they would all of a sudden become peaceful and heavenly? Dostoyevsky’s idea was that we were built for trouble, and if we were ever handed everything we needed on a silver platter the first thing we would do is engage in some form of creative destruction just so something unexpected could happen; just so we could have the adventure of our lives. I think there’s something honest and true in that.

Then there’s the last error, although by no means was this all of them, and this is one of the strangest parts of the communist manifesto. Marx and Engels admit repeatedly in the communist manifesto that there has never been a system of production in the history of the world that was as effective at producing material commodities in excess than capitalism. That’s extensively documented in the communist manifesto.

So if your proposition is to get as much material security for everyone as as possible as fast as we can, and capitalism already seems to be doing that at a rate unparalleled in human history, wouldn’t the logical thing be just to let the damn system play itself out? Unless you’re assuming that the evil capitalists are just going to take all of the flat screen televisions and put them in one big room and not let anyone else have one. The logical assumption is that you’re already on a road that’s supposed to produce the needed material productivity.

So that’s ten reasons as far as I can tell that what I saw in the communist manifesto is seriously flawed in virtually every way it could possibly be wrong. And also it is evidence that Marx was the kind of narcissistic thinker who could think he was he was very intelligent person, and so was Engels. He thought that what he thought was correct, but he never went to the second stage, which is to ponder:  How could all of this go terribly wrong?

And if you’re a thinker, especially a sociological thinker and on the broad scale a social scientist for example. One of your moral obligations is to consider seriously how you might be wrong about one of your fundamental axioms or two or three or ten of them. As a consequence you have the moral obligation to walk through the damn system and question: What if I’m completely wrong here,and things invert and go exactly the opposite way?

For the life of me, I just can’t understand how anybody could come up with an idea like the dictatorship of the proletariat, especially after advocating its implementation by violent means which is a direct part of the communist manifesto. How could they call for that if they knew anything about human beings and the proclivity for malevolence that’s part and parcel of the individual human being. How could they not know that it could only lead to a special form of hell, which is precisely what did happen.

I’m going to close with a bit of evidence that Marx also thought that what would happen inevitably as a consequence of capitalism is that rich would get richer and the poor would get poorer so there would be inequality. Firstly, we do not know how to set up a human system of economics without inequality. No one has ever managed it, including the communists, and the form of inequality changed and it’s not obvious by any stretch of imagination that the free market economies of the west have more inequality than the less free economies in the rest of the world.

And the one thing you can say about capitalism is that although it produces inequality, which it absolutely does, it also produces wealth while all the other systems just produce inequality. So here’s here’s a few stats. From 1800 to 2017 in free market societies income growth adjusted for inflation grew by 40 times by for production workers and 16 times for unskilled labor. GDP rose by a factor of about 0.5 from 180 a.d. to 1800 a.d. So the increase was almost flat for 1600 years, and then all of a sudden in the last 217 years there’s been this unbelievably upward movement of wealth.

And it doesn’t only characterize the tiny percentage of people at the top who admittedly do have most of the wealth. The question is not only what’s the inequality, but also what’s happening to the absolutely poor at the bottom? And the answer to that is they’re getting richer faster now than they ever have in the history of the world. And we’re eradicating poverty in countries that have adopted moderate free market policies at a rate that’s unparalleled.

For example one of the U.N. Millennial goals was to reduce the the rate of absolute poverty in the world by 50% between 2000 and 2015. And they defined that as $1.90 a day; pretty low you know but you have to start somewhere. We hit that at 2012, three years ahead of schedule. Well, you might be cynical about that and say that it’s an arbitrary number, but the curves are exactly the same $3.80 cents a day and $7.60 a day. Not as many people have hit that but the rate of increase towards that is the same. The bloody U.N. thinks that we’ll be out of poverty defined by a dollar ninety a day by the year 2030. The progress is unparalleled because as rich are getting richer the poor are getting richer too.

Under capitalism, the poor are not getting poorer, but getting richer by a large margin. For example, in Africa the child mortality rate is now the same as the child mortality rate was in Europe in 1952.  That happened within the span of one lifetime. So if you’re for the poor, if you’re actually concerned that the poorest people in the world rise above their starvation levels, then all the evidence suggests that the best way to do that is to implement something approximating a free marke economy.

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Footnote:  Why Marxism is Incompatible with Democracy

The Marxist endgame and democracy’s end

The most basic thing one needs to know about a democratic regime, then, is this: You need to have at least two legitimate political parties for democracy to work. By a legitimate political party, I mean one that is recognized by its rivals as having a right to rule if it wins an election. For example, a liberal party may grant legitimacy to a conservative party (even though they don’t like them much), and in return this conservative party may grant legitimacy to a liberal party (even though they don’t like them much). Indeed, this is the way most modern democratic nations have been governed.

But legitimacy is one of those traditional political concepts that Marxist criticism is now on the verge of destroying.

From the Marxist point of view, our inherited concept of legitimacy is nothing more than an instrument the ruling classes use to perpetuate injustice and oppression. The word legitimacy takes on its true meaning only with reference to the oppressed classes or groups that the Marxist sees as the sole legitimate rulers of the nation. In other words, Marxist political theory confers legitimacy on only one political party—the party of the oppressed, whose aim is the revolutionary reconstitution of society. And this means that the Marxist political framework cannot co-exist with democratic government. Indeed, the entire purpose of democratic government, with its plurality of legitimate parties, is to avoid the violent reconstitution of society that Marxist political theory regards as the only reasonable aim of politics.

Simply put, the Marxist framework and democratic political theory are opposed to one another in principle.

See also Soviet Jokes About Living Under Oppression

Examples:

An old woman asks her granddaughter: “Granddaughter, please explain Communism to me. How will people live under it? They probably teach you all about it in school.”
“Of course they do, Granny. When we reach Communism, the shops will be full–there’ll be butter, and meat, and sausage. You’ll be able to go and buy anything you want…”
“Ah!” exclaimed the old woman joyfully. “Just like it was under the Tsar!”

Q: What’s the difference between a capitalist fairy tale and a Marxist fairy tale?
A: A capitalist fairy tale begins, “Once upon a time, there was….”. A Marxist fairy tale begins, “Some day, there will be….”

A Soviet history professor addressed his university students: “Regarding the final exam, I have good news and bad news. The good news: All the questions are the same as last year. The bad news: Some of the answers are different.”

Mid May 2021 Persistent Arctic Ice

ArcDay135 2007 to 2021

 

Typically in climate observations, averages are referenced without paying attention to the high degree of component variability from year to year, and over longer time periods.  Mid May is when the Spring melt is well underway, but with the Arctic core still frozen solid.  Yet the animation above shows on day 135 over the last 15 years, there are considerable differences as to how much ice is in which regions. 

On the bottom left is Bering Sea which had ice extents on this day ranging from a high of 682k km2 (2012) to a low of 38k km2 (2018).  The day 135 average for Bering is 293k km2, but with a standard deviation of 192k (65%).  Okhotsk center left is the next most variable, from 290k (2012) to 99k (2019), averaging 188k with std. deviation of 63K (33%).  Barents Sea center top has a large variability from 568k km2 (2009) to 223k (2012), averaging 422k km2 +/- 111 k km2.  Other Arctic regions vary little on this day from year to year.  For example, Hudson Bay is close to 1.2M km2 every year on day 135.

The effect on NH total ice extents is presented in the graph below for the period mid April to mid May, comparing the 14-year average with 2021 MASIE and SII, and some other years of interest.

Arctic2021135

Note on average this period shows an ice loss of 1.5M km2.  MASIE 2021 is about 200k km2 below average, 1.6% down, or having the same total extent 3 days ahead of average.  Interestingly, SII shows about 200k higher, matching the MASIE average for day 135.

The table below shows the distribution of sea ice across the Arctic regions.

Region 2021135 Day 135 Average 2021-Ave. 2007135 2021-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 12490666 12692542  -201876  12431928 58738 
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1058904 1044067  14837  1057649 1255 
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 926504 921289  5215  953491 -26987 
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1083562 1081242  2320  1075314 8248 
 (4) Laptev_Sea 852338 881285  -28948  828738 23600 
 (5) Kara_Sea 858111 882730  -24619  876053 -17942 
 (6) Barents_Sea 396873 421592  -24719  351553 45320 
 (7) Greenland_Sea 669899 618664  51235  564865 105035 
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 892167 1093916  -201749  1018780 -126614 
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 852422 838509  13913  830604 21818 
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1160950 1194448  -33497  1167310 -6360 
 (11) Central_Arctic 3242075 3223985  18089  3234305 7769 
 (12) Bering_Sea 271137 293222  -22085  298268 -27130 
 (13) Baltic_Sea 3752 7215 -3463  6368 -2617 
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 220784 188072  32712  164833 55951 

Overall NH extent March 31 was below average by 200k km2,  equivalent to the deficit in Baffin Bay.  Elsewhere smaller deficits were offset with surpluses. The onset of spring melt is as usual in most regions.

The Untaxed Fat Cats: Universities and Foundations

An interesting opinion appeared at Washington Post, of all places.  Despite their slogan being “Democracy Dies in Darkness”, this article is the rare bit of brightness at that news organ given their bent of shining light only on all things progressive, and casting conservative concerns into the outer darkness. The essay by Henry Olsen is So you want to tax the rich? Okay, let’s start with Harvard.  I am sympathetic to his argument because it is universities and foundations culpable above all in spending to spread so much poison into western civilization, including (among others) critical race theory and climate hysteria.  But would the government do anything different with the money from imposing comparable taxes?  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

President Biden and congressional Democrats seem determined to raise taxes on the rich, especially the rate paid on capital gains. If they’re really serious about this, there’s one sector of American wealth that is undertaxed even by today’s standards: universities and foundations.

The amount of wealth held by major colleges and large grant-making foundations is astounding. The National Association of College and University Business Officers’ annual study found that 107 institutions held endowments of $1 billion or more as of June 30, 2019. Together, these institutions of higher learning held $494 billion in assets, or roughly a tenth of the total net worth of all individual billionaires in the United States combined. The university figure is surely much higher today.

Charitable foundations hold even more wealth. One estimate found they held more than $1 trillion in assets in 2017, with the richest five alone holding nearly $100 billion between them. Given that the stock market has risen more than 50 percent since then, their portfolios should be hundreds of billions of dollars richer. That means America’s charitable foundations and billionaire universities hold at least $1.5 trillion in assets. That’s far more wealth than that of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and the founders of Google and Oracle combined.

Democrats often criticize these billionaires for not paying their fair shares, but they pay a lot more than these wealthy institutions. Rich universities and grant-making foundations pay a mere 1.4 percent in federal taxes on their net investment income, a fraction of the 23.8 percent rich people pay on their capital gains. To put this in perspective, if Gates made $100 million in trading Microsoft stock, he would pay $23.8 million in federal capital gains tax, plus any state income taxes he might owe. If the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made the same $100 million trading the same stock, it would pay Uncle Sam a mere $1.4 million.

There’s no reason these billionaire institutions should continue to be exempt from paying normal capital gains rates on their income if the public’s need is so great. Harvard may cry that paying higher taxes on the gains from its nearly $40 billion endowment would force it to crimp spending on student aid or faculty research, but wealthy individuals can make the same argument: Higher taxes would reduce the amount of money they can invest in tech start-ups or other economically productive ventures. Plus, both the wealthy institution and the rich individual have more than enough money to make do and adjust to the higher tax rates, especially if the public spending their taxes would finance is so essential.

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Even taxing rich institutions at lower rates would raise considerable revenue for the federal government. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recently introduced her Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act, which would levy an annual 3 percent wealth tax on individuals with assets of $1 billion or more. Perhaps not coincidentally, it does not apply to institutions such as the former law professor’s old employer, Harvard University. Had Warren applied the same wealth tax on universities, good old Harvard, which had a $39.4 billion endowment as of 2019, would pay nearly $120 million annually under Warren’s proposal, more than twice the $49.8 million it paid on its net investment income in 2019.

Applying Warren’s tax to the combined fortunes of ultra-rich colleges and foundations would easily raise more than $30 billion a year. That’s not chump change.

Democrats would never take up this charge, especially given how much these institutions skew to the left. Only 3 percent of Harvard’s faculty members, for example, are conservatives compared with almost 78 percent who say they are “liberal” or “very liberal.” Harvard isn’t much of an outlier; a recent study found that registered Democrats at 32 elite colleges and universities outnumber registered Republicans by more than 10 to 1. Foundations also tilt heavily to the left, with clearly left-wing foundations possessing more than 10 times the assets of clearly right-wing institutions. Treating institutional wealth the same as Democrats propose treating individual wealth clearly would harm their friends much more than it would harm their enemies.

That shouldn’t matter, however. Wealth is wealth, and massive accumulations of it should be taxed regardless of the source if the federal government needs the money. If Democrats won’t do that, it shows they care more about professors and foundation fat cats than they do about entrepreneurs. I doubt average Americans agree.

alg051221dapr20210512024504

Supremes Asked to Rule on EPA Energy Authorities

wrecking_ball_destroyEPABackground from Reed Smith lawyers The fall of Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy Rule and the strengthened EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gases.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds

The Affordable Clean Energy Rule

The EPA promulgated the ACE Rule in 2019 under the CAA, replacing the Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Power Plan (CPP). Both rules sought to reduce GHG emissions from the power sector; but where the CPP implemented broader industry-wide mechanisms, the ACE Rule limited reduction efforts to the actual source power plants.

The 2015 CPP offered “beyond the fenceline” tools for states to reduce emissions by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources and participating in emissions credit-trading programs; however, in February 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the CPP pending litigation in the D.C. Circuit. During the stay and subsequent freeze of litigation, the Trump administration rescinded the CPP and promulgated the ACE Rule.

In promulgating the ACE Rule, the Trump EPA took an alternative view of the CAA than the Obama EPA and reasoned that the CAA expressly limited the EPA’s power to only “at the source” emissions reduction options, such as heat rate improvement technologies. As a result, the Trump administration removed all of the CPP’s “beyond the fenceline” options and limited emissions restrictions to those applied directly to power plants.

DC Circuit Court of Appeal Ruling January 19, 2021

Judges Millett and Pillard of the D.C. Circuit Court disagreed with the (Trump) EPA’s interpretation. In the majority opinion, the Court concluded that there is “no bases—grammatical, contextual, or otherwise—for the EPA’s assertion” that its authority was limited to “at the source” controls. In the end, the Court vacated the ACE Rule and remanded it back to the EPA just in time for the Biden administration to take over.  The Court’s decision appears to clear the way for the Biden administration to regulate GHG emissions from the power sector.

In his first week in office, President Biden has taken a number of actions to undo many of the Trump administration’s environmental policy decisions, including rejoining the Paris Climate Accord. The new Biden EPA has also requested that the Department of Justice have all Trump-era litigation seeking judicial review of any EPA regulation promulgated between January 20, 2017 and January 20, 2021. Based on the Court’s show of support and the Biden Administration’s actions within the first week, we may see some of the Obama-era or similar regulation brought back to life in the coming months.

Petitions to Supreme Court April 29 and 30, 2021

The May Update at Columbia Climate Law Blog reports the latest development bringing the issue to Supreme Court attention:  States and Coal Company Sought Review of D.C. Circuit Decision Vacating Affordable Clean Energy Rule  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Two petitions for writ of certiorari were filed in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the D.C. Circuit’s January opinion vacating EPA’s repeal and replacement of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan regulations for controlling carbon emissions from existing power plants. The first petition was filed by West Virginia and 18 other states that had intervened to defend the repeal and replacement rule, known as the Affordable Clean Energy rule. The states’ petition presented the question of whether Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act constitutionally authorizes EPA “to issue significant rules—including those capable of reshaping the nation’s electricity grids and unilaterally decarbonizing virtually any sector of the economy—without any limits on what the agency can require so long as it considers cost, nonair impacts, and energy requirements.” They argued that Congress had not clearly authorized EPA to exercise such “expansive” powers and that the D.C. Circuit majority opinion’s interpretation was foreclosed by the statute and violated separation of powers. The states argued that the Supreme Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan while it was under review by the D.C. Circuit in 2016 signaled that the legal framework for the Clean Power Plan “hinges on important issues of federal that EPA then—and the court below now—got so wrong this Court was likely to grant review.” The states contended that further delay in the Court’s resolution of these “weighty issues” would have “serious and far-reaching costs.”

The second petition was filed by a coal mining company. The coal company’s petition presented the question of whether Section 111(d) “grants the EPA authority not only to impose standards based on technology and methods that can be applied at and achieved by that existing source, but also allows the agency to develop industry-wide systems like cap-and-trade regimes.” The company argued that the D.C. Circuit erred by “untethering” Section 111(d) standards from the existing source being regulated. Like the states, the company contended that Supreme Court had already recognized the critical importance of this question when it stayed the Clean Power Plan.

The company argued that debates regarding climate change and policies to address climate change “will not be resolved anytime soon” but that “what must be resolved as soon as possible is who has the authority to decide those issues on an industry-wide scale—Congress or the EPA.”

EPA’s response to the petitions is due June 3, 2021. West Virginia v. EPA, No. 20-1530 (U.S. Apr. 29, 2021); North American Coal Corp. v. EPA, No. 20-1531 (U.S. Apr. 30, 2021).

Comment:  The question of decision authority seems especially urgent since no one knows who is the actual decider for the Executive Branch.

 

The Actual Letter from 120 Generals and Admirals

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Notably, biased journalists like those at Politico published their own disparaging comments about this open letter, including ad hominem attacks against some of the signers.  Read below the actual text of the letter and judge for yourself whether their concerns are reasonable, despite the backlash from progressive media. Thanks to Thinking Conservative for posting the letter.  My bolds added.

Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals

Our Nation is in deep peril. We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776. The conflict is between supporters of Socialism and Marxism vs. supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty.

During the 2020 election an “Open Letter from Senior Military Leaders” was signed by 317 retired Generals and Admirals and, it said the 2020 election could be the most important election since our country was founded. “With the Democrat Party welcoming Socialists and Marxists, our historic way of life is at stake.” Unfortunately, that statement’s truth was quickly revealed, beginning with the election process itself.

Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the “will of the people” our Constitutional Republic is lost. Election integrity demands insuring there is one legal vote cast and counted per citizen. Legal votes are identified by State Legislature’s approved controls using government IDs, verified signatures, etc. Today, many are calling such commonsense controls “racist” in an attempt to avoid having fair and honest elections. Using racial terms to suppress proof of eligibility is itself a tyrannical intimidation tactic. Additionally, the “Rule of Law” must be enforced in our election processes to ensure integrity. The FBI and Supreme Court must act swiftly when election irregularities are surfaced and not ignore them as was done in 2020. Finally, H.R.1 & S.1, (if passed), would destroy election fairness and allow Democrats to forever remain in power violating our Constitution and ending our Representative Republic.

Aside from the election, the Current Administration has launched a full-blown assault on our Constitutional rights in a dictatorial manner, bypassing the Congress, with more than 50 Executive Orders quickly signed, many reversing the previous Administration’s effective policies and regulations. Moreover, population control actions such as excessive lockdowns, school and business closures, and most alarming, censorship of written and verbal expression are all direct assaults on our fundamental Rights. We must support and hold accountable politicians who will act to counter Socialism, Marxism and Progressivism, support our Constitutional Republic, and insist on fiscally responsible governing while focusing on all Americans, especially the middle class, not special interest or extremist groups which are used to divide us into warring factions.

Additional National Security Issues and Actions:

Open borders jeopardize national security by increasing human trafficking, drug cartels, terrorists entry, health/CV19 dangers, and humanitarian crises. Illegals are flooding our Country bringing high economic costs, crime, lowering wages, and illegal voting in some states. We must reestablish border controls and continue building the wall while supporting our dedicated border control personnel. Sovereign nations must have controlled borders.

China is the greatest external threat to America. Establishing cooperative relations with the Chinese Communist Party emboldens them to continue progress toward world domination, militarily, economically, politically and technologically. We must impose more sanctions and restrictions to impede their world domination goal and protect America’s interests.

• The free flow of information is critical to the security of our Republic, as illustrated by freedom of speech and the press being in the 1st Amendment of our Constitution. Censoring speech and expression, distorting speech, spreading disinformation by government officials, private entities, and the media is a method to suppress the free flow of information, a tyrannical technique used in closed societies. We must counter this on all fronts beginning with removing Section 230 protection from big tech.

Re-engaging in the flawed Iran Nuclear Deal would result in Iran acquiring nuclear weapons along with the means to deliver them, thereby upsetting Mideast peace initiatives and aiding a terrorist nation whose slogans and goals include “death to America” and “death to Israel” . We must resist the new China/Iran agreement and not support the Iran Nuclear Deal. In addition, continue with the Mideast peace initiatives, the “Abraham Accords,” and support for Israel.

Stopping the Keystone Pipeline eliminates our recently established energy independence and causes us to be energy dependent on nations not friendly to us, while eliminating valuable US jobs. We must open the Keystone Pipeline and regain our energy independence for national security and economic reasons.

Using the U.S. military as political pawns with thousands of troops deployed around the U.S. Capitol Building, patrolling fences guarding against a non-existent threat, along with forcing Politically Correct policies like the divisive critical race theory into the military at the expense of the War Fighting Mission, seriously degrades readiness to fight and win our Nation’s wars, creating a major national security issue. We must support our Military and Vets; focus on war fighting, eliminate the corrosive infusion of Political Correctness into our military which damages morale and war fighting cohesion.

The “Rule of Law” is fundamental to our Republic and security. Anarchy as seen in certain cities cannot be tolerated. We must support our law enforcement personnel and insist that DAs, our courts, and the DOJ enforce the law equally, fairly, and consistently toward all.

The mental and physical condition of the Commander in Chief cannot be ignored. He must be able to quickly make accurate national security decisions involving life and limb anywhere, day or night. Recent Democrat leadership’s inquiries about nuclear code procedures sends a dangerous national security signal to nuclear armed adversaries, raising the question about who is in charge. We must always have an unquestionable chain of command.

Under a Democrat Congress and the Current Administration, our Country has taken a hard left turn toward Socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government which must be countered now by electing congressional and presidential candidates who will always act to defend our Constitutional Republic. The survival of our Nation and its cherished freedoms, liberty, and historic values are at stake. We urge all citizens to get involved now at the local, state and/or national level to elect political representatives who will act to Save America, our Constitutional Republic, and hold those currently in office accountable. The “will of the people” must be heard and followed.

 

Let’s Demand a Recount . . . of Covid Deaths

Daily Disease Deaths

Statistics on March 19, 2020,  prior to CDC changing rules for reporting Covid19 deaths.

Thomas T. Siler, M.D. makes the case in his American Thinker article Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

How deadly is the SARS-COV-2 virus? Part of the equation depends on accurately determining just who has died from COVID-19 infection. It turns out that, thanks to changes the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) made to its rules, along with Congressional incentives, America’s COVID-19 counts are almost certainly inaccurate.

America counts COVID-19 deaths differently from other countries. According to Dr. Deborah Birx, speaking at the start of the pandemic, “if someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.”

However, we must acknowledge that there is a difference between dying from COVID-19 and dying with COVID-19. This is a familiar uncertainty for doctors during the winter flu season.

In most states, 40-60% of the people dying of SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are elderly persons with multiple medical problems who live in nursing homes. A portion of this same cohort dies every year from the seasonal influenza virus. When that happens, did the flu kill them or their cancer, heart failure, strokes, or liver problems? Doctors use their best judgment to fill out the death certificate correctly, but they do not categorize all of them as “flu” deaths.

According to the CDC, only 6% of those who died with the COVID-19 infection had no other pre-existing health conditions. The other 94% had an average of four medical conditions already affecting their health.

This does not mean that only 6% of these deaths resulted from COVID-19. But it also does not mean that 100% of the deaths among people with other medical conditions should be counted as death from COVID-19 either. If we counted each death that tested positive for flu or had symptoms of flu as an “influenza death,” we would also have hundreds of thousands of flu deaths each year.

When it comes to the flu, though, we don’t tally either the 6% or the 100%. The real answer is in the middle. Applying that same logic to COVID-19 means that conservatively 25-50% of the deaths labeled from COVID-19 more likely died with COVID-19.

According to an October study from the bulletin of Science, Public Health Policy, and the Law, on March 24, 2020, the CDC changed the way it tabulated deaths for the previous 17 years, resulting in inflated COVID-19 death numbers. Moreover, the change affected only deaths relating to COVID-19. Even more surprising, the Federal Register does not mention these changes, so it appears the CDC acted without peer review and oversight by either the Office of Management and Budget or Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which would violate federal law.

The same article says that, in August, the estimate for COVID-19 deaths under the new system was 161,392. However, if the same data had been tabulated under the old system, the COVID-19 death count would be only 9,684. The fundamental difference was that, no matter the patient’s ultimate cause of death, the new system mandated that COVID-19 must always be the first cause of death, with the other conditions listed as “contributing factors” – the opposite of the old system.

The CDC also made influenza deaths magically vanish for this flu season. The CDC created a new category of death from pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19 to lump those causes together. This only created confusion about COVID-19 deaths — and please, don’t say that masking and distancing reduced influenza deaths while not reducing COVID-19 deaths. Assuredly, some influenza deaths were lumped into the COVID-19 category this season.

In addition to a different way of counting deaths, Congress passed the CARES Act, authorizing more money for hospitals that had patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Perhaps done with good intentions, this incentivized financially pushing the COVID-19 diagnosis to the top of the list so that hospitals can pay for the care they give. This too gives more weight to listing a positive COVID test/diagnosis as the cause of death instead of the patient’s other conditions.

In addition to new ways of counting cases and financial incentives for listing cases, some states have been found to have irregularities in their COVID-19 death count. Washington state’s Freedom Foundation investigated COVID-19 deaths in May 2020 and found that 13% of the listed COVID-19 deaths did not mention COVID-19.

A FOIA request revealed that the Washington Department of Health (“DOH”) agreed in private emails that this was true and promised to change. However, when the Freedom Foundation followed up in December, it again found that 340 deaths out of 2,000 (17%) at the time did not mention SARS-COV-2 or only listed SARS-COV-2 as a contributing cause, not the main cause, of death. Once again, the Freedom Foundation challenged Governor Jay Inslee’s DOH, which agreed to remove 200 deaths from the COVID list. The Freedom Foundation concluded that the DOH was not erring; it was attempting to inflate the death count by 10-15%.

In Minnesota in December 2020, lawmakers Mary Farmer and Dr. Scott Jensen conducted a state audit of COVID-19 deaths, eventually sifting through 2,800 death certificates. They found that 800 patients (almost 30%) did not have SARS-COV-2 listed as a cause for death. They have appealed to their state for changes and asked for a national audit of COVID-19 deaths. It is unclear at this point how many states have this problem, but we need a national audit of COVID-19 death reporting.

In sum, due to a very liberal description of a “COVID death,” financial incentives, CDC rule changes and, apparently, outright deception or incompetence from some government agencies, America has inflated the death rate due to SARS-CoV-2. Our mainstream media has also been complicit in trying to maximize fear and panic by failing to investigate and reporting only one side to the story.

This strong bias has led to some egregious examples such as gunshot wounds and suicides being called a “COVID-19 death.” This dishonesty undermines public confidence in how the pandemic was managed.

Using different rules for COVID-19 deaths versus deaths from other infections makes it hard to compare its mortality rates to those in previous pandemics or deaths from other infectious diseases, such as the flu. It seems clear, though, that the COVID-19 pandemic is not as severe as other pandemics. Dr. Marty Makary, a Johns Hopkins physician, estimated that the COVID-19 infection fatality rate is 0.23% which is close to a bad influenza season.

It’s true that the COVID-19 infection is a real threat to the elderly with other medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, obesity, etc.) and this group must be protected. Still, parts of our government and media seem to have made a concerted effort to make the SARS-COV-2 pandemic appear more deadly than it actually is. While America’s Frontline Doctors, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and a handful of other groups have been calling attention to these issues, the medical profession has mostly been silent.

If the CDC ceases to be a reliable source for health data, some of our state governments manipulate data, and the major media outlets have no interest in investigating and reporting the truth, how long will the American people go along with this medical tyranny of lockdowns, masking, social distancing, and financial ruin? We know who needs to be protected and we know how to do it. The time is now to let the rest of our population return to normal life.

Inflating Covid-19

Resist the Great Reset

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Sven and Beatrix von Storch among others are sounding the alarm about the elitist plot to install a “new world order” using the so-called “climate emergency” as the pretext.  Sven recently put out a video, and Beatrix explained what is the plan and why it must be resisted by reasonable and freedom-loving people in her article The Tyranny of Davos: What is the Agenda of the Great Reset?  Excerpts below in italics with my bolds.  And later on a backgrounder describing this new brand of class warfare.

Every year, the captains of industry, finance and politics meet at Davos: This year, World Economic Forum head Klaus Schwab wrote a book entitled “COVID-19: The Great Reset”, laying out a comprehensive agenda for an “accelerated system change“ under cover of the COVID crisis.

Without a doubt, his point of view reflects World Economic Forum debates and goals shared by large parts of the political and financial elite. These ideas are a grave danger to our liberty and democracy. That’s why I have summed them up in this article. Every citizen should know about them.

The Totalitarian Vision of Davos

Let’s summarize what is meant by the Great Reset:

  • The primary goal is a global economic regime under the motto of “global governance” to replace national democracies. The market economy will be replaced by a managed economy.
  • Companies will no longer obey their shareholders, instead being forced to comply with climate and gender policy requirements, due to pressure from the finance industry and aggressive far-left activists. Companies that do not follow suit will be destroyed.
  • This cabal between high finance and far-left activists serves to intimidate political opponents and companies that refuse to show “good will”. Distance rules and “social distancing” are to continue even after the crisis. This will spell the destruction of the middle class, catering, retail and the entertainment industry. Big Tech and e-commerce will take their place.
  • With the new means of digital surveillance and under the guise of public health, workers will be monitored and their behavior recorded.
  • The breakdown in consumer demand in large sections of the population due to the lockdown will be continued, and expanded in order to achieve global climate goals.


This agenda is a grave threat to our civil rights, democracy and the free market economy. It is inherently totalitarian and hostile to freedom.
We have to alert all our citizens to this danger, and use all democratic means to stop it.

 

Background from previous post 2021 Class Warfare: The Elite vs. The Middle

Aristotle Middle Class

Edward Ring explains in his essay at American Greatness Why America’s Elites Want to End the Middle Class.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Feudalism is a viable alternative to tolerating a middle class, especially lucrative to the multinational corporations and globalist billionaires that hide this agenda behind a moral masquerade.

It doesn’t require a conspiracy theorist to suggest these wholesale shifts in American culture are not happening by accident. Nor are they solely the result of nefarious intent, at least not among everyone occupying the highest rungs of power and influence in America. What motivates members of the American elite, billionaires and corporate boards alike, to approve of these radical changes?

Unsustainable Prosperity for Me, But Not for Thee?

One answer comes down to this: They believe the lifestyle of the American middle class is not sustainable, because the planet does not have the carrying capacity to extend an American level of consumption to everyone in the world. By dividing and confusing the American people, while wielding the moral bludgeons of saving the planet and eliminating racism, policies can be implemented that will break the American middle class and habituate them to expect less.

In the name of saving the planet, for example, new suburbs will become almost impossible to construct. Single-family detached homes with yards will be stigmatized as both unsustainable and racist, and to mitigate these evils, subsidized apartments will replace homes, with rent subsidized occupants. As America’s population grows via mass immigration, the footprint of cities will remain fixed. The politically engineered housing shortage will force increasing numbers of Americans into subsidized housing.

All of this is already happening, but it’s just getting started.
Similar cramdowns will occur with respect to all social amenities that consume resources.

Land is just the primary example, but water, energy, and transportation will all be affected. This new political economy will also depopulate rural areas—through corporate consolidation of farmland as regulations and resource costs drive small operations under and through punitive regulations and insurance burdens driving people out of the “urban-wildland interface.” Outside of major cities, for the most part, the only people left will be extremely wealthy landowners and corporate employees.

Joel Kotkin, who has studied and written about demographics and migrations for years, recently authored The Coming of Neo Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. Of all the shorthand descriptions for the political economy that is coming, feudalism may be the best fit. As Kotkin puts it:

The new class structure resembles that of Medieval times. At the apex of the new order are two classes―a reborn clerical elite, the clerisy, which dominates the upper part of the professional ranks, universities, media and culture, and a new aristocracy led by tech oligarchs with unprecedented wealth and growing control of information. These two classes correspond to the old French First and Second Estates.

Below these two classes lies what was once called the Third Estate. This includes the yeomanry, which is made up largely of small businesspeople, minor property owners, skilled workers and private-sector-oriented professionals. Ascendant for much of modern history, this class is in decline while those below them, the new Serfs, grow in numbers―a vast, expanding property-less population.

Both Kotkin and Hanson assert that the trend towards feudalism can be reversed if people understand what is occurring and react effectively. To that end, it is necessary to understand that behind the obvious benefit these new rules have in service of the elites and their interests, there is a moral pretext. How solid is that pretext, that America’s middle class is not sustainable?

It All Comes Down to Energy

Energy is the prerequisite for economic growth. If you have abundant energy, you can have abundant water, transportation, communications, light, heat, mechanized agriculture, refrigerated medicines; everything. And the cold fact confronting America’s elites is this: For everyone on earth to consume half as much energy as Americans consume, total energy production worldwide would have to more than double.

Can America’s middle class sustain its current lifestyle while consuming half as much energy as it does today? Or is it feasible for energy production in the world not merely to double, but quadruple? And if that can be done, is it possible without paying too high a price in terms of environmental impact? And if it cannot be done, can the American experience, which is to enjoy a lifestyle many times greater than that enjoyed by most of the rest of the people on earth, be justified? And if so, why?

These are tough questions. Unequivocal, simple answers to these questions do not exist. But the conventional answer that motivates America’s elites must nonetheless be challenged, because until it is, they will cloak their consolidation of power and their elimination of America’s middle class in the moral imperatives of saving the planet and eliminating racism.

It may seem illogical to suppose the “systemic racism” canard is more easily disposed of, but that’s only because racism, by design, is the ongoing obsession in American media and politics. Despite this well-engineered obsession, resolute opposition to “anti-racist” racism is growing because it is an obvious lie. Racism, from all sources, still exists. But systemic racism against nonwhites, from every angle you look at it in modern American society, simply does not exist. Politicians, journalists, and academics need to find the courage to explain the facts and turn the tide. It can be done.

Saving the planet, on the other hand, is a moral imperative with ongoing urgency.

This urgency may be divided into two broad categories. The first is the traditional concerns of environmentalists, to preserve wildlife and wilderness, and reduce or eliminate sources of pollution. While environmentalists, especially in the United States, often go way too far in addressing these traditional concerns, these are genuine moral imperatives that must be balanced against the economic needs of civilization. This is an important but manageable debate.

The second, new concern of environmentalists, however, is the “climate emergency.” Grossly overblown, hyped for reasons that are transparently opportunistic, fraught with potential for tyranny and punitively expensive, the “climate emergency,” more than anything else, is the moral justification for destroying the American middle class.

In the name of saving the climate, federal and certain state authorities are restricting fossil fuel development, despite the fact that fossil fuels—coal, oil, and gas—still produce 85 percent of worldwide energy, with nuclear and hydropower making up another 11 percent. If energy production is going to double, which at a minimum it must, how on earth will that be accomplished without fossil fuel? It is impossible.

And the planners who are suppressing fossil fuel development worldwide know it. By creating shortages and raising prices for everything, they intend to reduce median rates of consumption in America to a fraction of what it is today, and render a middle-class lifestyle completely out of reach to the average American.

In doing so, they’ll amass even more wealth for themselves.

The Better Way Forward

There is another path. By focusing on the most likely predictions instead of the most catastrophic, nations can focus on climate resiliency—something which is a good idea anyway—while continuing to develop clean fossil fuel and also continuing to develop leapfrog technologies such as nuclear fusion. The environmental benefit of this approach is tangible and profound: with energy comes prosperity, with prosperity comes lower birthrates. With energy, inviting urban centers are possible, and urbanization takes pressure off wilderness. In both cases, with abundant energy, people voluntarily choose to limit their family size and move to cities.

A moral case for fossil fuels can outweigh the supposedly moral case against fossil fuel. Americans have to be willing to fight that fight, along with every other tyrannical edict attendant to the “climate emergency,” starting with the restrictions on urban expansion and single-family homes.

With adherence to the principles and culture that made America great—competition, private ownership, rule of law, minimizing corruption, and rewarding innovation—America’s middle class can survive and grow. But feudalism is a viable alternative, especially lucrative to the multinational corporations and globalist billionaires who will never call it by that name, hiding instead behind a moral masquerade.

Background from Joel Kotkin Modern Politics Seen as Classes Power Game

See also Unmasking Biden’s Climate Shakedown

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