Sowell: Point of No Return

Dr. Thomas Sowell writes at Creators.com The Point of No Return.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.  H\T Tyler Durden

This is an election year. But the issues this year are not about Democrats and Republicans. The big issue is whether this nation has degenerated to a point of no return — a point where we risk destroying ourselves, before our enemies can destroy us.

If there is one moment that symbolized our degeneration, it was when an enraged mob gathered in front of the Supreme Court and a leader of the United States Senate shouted threats against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, saying “You won’t know what hit you!”

There have always been irresponsible demagogues. But there was once a time when anyone who shouted threats to a Supreme Court Justice would see the end of his own political career, and could not show his face in decent society again.

You either believe in laws or you believe in mob rule.

It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the law or agree with the mob on some particular issue. If threats of violence against judges — and publishing where a judge’s children go to school — is the way to settle issues, then there is not much point in having elections or laws.

There is also not much point in expecting to have freedom. Threats and violence were the way the Nazis came to power in Germany. Freedom is not free. If you can’t be bothered to vote against storm-trooper tactics — regardless of who engages in them, or over what issue — then you can forfeit your freedom.

Worse yet, you can forfeit the freedom of generations not yet born.

Some people seem to think that the Supreme Court has banned abortions. It has done nothing of the sort.

The Supreme Court has in fact done something very different, something long overdue and potentially historic. It has said that their own court had no business making policy decisions which nothing in the Constitution gave them the authority to make.

Get out a copy of the Constitution — and see if you can find anything in there that says the federal government is authorized to make laws about abortion.

Check out the 10th Amendment, which says that the federal government is limited to the specific powers it was granted, with all other powers going to the states or to the people.

Why do we elect legislators to do what the voters want done, if unelected judges are going to make up laws on their own, instead of applying the laws that elected officials passed?

This is part of a very long struggle that has been going on for more than 100 years. Back in the early 20th century, Progressives like President Woodrow Wilson decided that the Constitution put too many limits on the powers they wanted to use.

Claiming that it was nearly impossible to amend the Constitution, Progressives advocated that judges “interpret” the Constitutional limits out of the way.

This was just the first in a long series of sophistries.

In reality, the Constitution was amended 4 times in 8 years — from 1913 through 1920 — during the heyday of the Progressive era.

When the people wanted the Constitution amended, it was amended. When the elites wanted the Constitution amended, but the people did not, that is called democracy.

Another great sophistry was the federal government’s authority to regulate interstate commerce to call all sorts of other things interstate commerce. In 1995, elites were shocked when the Supreme Court ruled — 5 to 4— that carrying a gun near a school was not interstate commerce.

States had a right to ban carrying a gun near a school, and most of them did. But the federal government had no such authority. Nor did the Constitution give the federal government the right to make laws about abortion, one way or the other.

What both state and federal laws do have the right to stop
is threats against judges and their families.

This is not a partisan issue. The Republican governor of Virginia is providing protection to Supreme Court Justices who live in that state. But the Republican governor of Maryland seems to think that harassing judges and their families is no big deal.

Voters need to find out who is for or against mob rule, whether they are Democrats or Republicans. We are not going to be a free or decent society otherwise.

See Also On Coercive Climatism: Writings of Bruce Pardy

Only Two Models for Human Society

The Jungle Ecosystem

The Marketplace

 

 

Elites Escalate War Upon the Middle Class

After 19 months of Biden administration, we can see clearly the shape of tactics for making war on the middle class.  The World Bank has come to see personal transportation as key for individuals to overcome poverty by accessing opportunities for work, education and services outside their birthplaces.  So choking off supplies of gasoline (in the name of climate change) keeps the serfs in their place.  The rising underclass is most vulnerable in their transition to financial stability, so policies wreaking inflation take away the middle class dream.  Of course guns must be confiscated lest there be any effective resistance to governmental coercion.  Those who are outspoken against the elite narrative, and who protest injustice against ordinary citizens, must themselves be imprisoned without any of their entitled legal protections.  And the nation is flooded with illegal aliens to drive down the working class income, and to create a permanent underclass dependent and subservient to government largess. Leftist prosecutors condone widespread theft and drug dealing, undermining the ability to gain property security and the motivation to even work productively.

David McGrogan writes at The Brownstone Society vs State: Canada Reveals the Core Conflict of Our Age.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Justin Trudeau’s confrontation with the Canadian truckers may be the single most significant event of the Covid pandemic – not because of its eventual outcome, whatever that may be, but because of what it symbolises. It captures, in perfect microcosm, the tensions between the competing imperatives of the age:

♦ freedom versus security;
♦ the rule of law versus flexible ‘responsive’ governance;
♦ the priorities of the workers versus those of the Zooming bourgeoisie;
♦ the need for real-world human interaction and belonging versus the promises of splendid online isolation;
♦ the experiences of the common man, who knows where it hurts, versus those of the professional expert class, who know nothing that cannot be expressed as a formula.

More than all of that, though, it gives us a lens through which to view a much deeper, much older conflict of much larger scope – one which underlies not just the struggles of the Covid age, but of modernity itself. On the one hand, the state, which seeks to make all of society transparent to its power. On the other, alternative sources of authority – the family, the church, the community, the firm, the farm, and the human individual herself.

For centuries, the state has waged a quiet war against those competitors,
and bent them to its will.

It has done this not through conspiracy or deliberate strategy but merely through the single-minded pursuit, across generation after generation of political leaders, of one goal: legitimacy. Governments and other state organs derive their legitimacy, and therefore their positions of rulership, from convincing the population that they are necessary.

They do this by suggesting that without their intervention, things will go badly;
left to their own devices, ordinary people will suffer.

The family, the church, the community, the firm, the farm, the human individual – these are inadequate to the task of securing human well-being. That task, only the state is equipped to achieve, for only the state can keep the population educated, healthy, safe, prosperous and satisfied. Since this is the case, only the state is fit to deploy power – and only those who govern the state are fit to rule.

The logic of this argument is writ large, of course, in the Covid response across the developed world. What will keep us ‘safe?’ Certainly not traditional sources of succour, such as the church or the family. Certainly not individual people, who cannot be trusted to behave responsibly or assess risks for themselves.

No – it is only the state, first with its lockdowns, then with its social distancing, its mask mandates, its vaccine programs, and lately its vaccine mandates and ‘passports.’ It is only the state’s power that saves and secures. And since only the state can save, it is the only legitimate source of authority – along, of course, with its leaders.

The state portraying itself as saviour in this fashion is patently false and absurd given what has taken place over the past two years.

But as false and absurd as it is, it remains the subtext behind all of Covid policy. Justin Trudeau must derive his legitimacy from somewhere to maintain power. And he senses – political animal that he is – that he can derive it from displaying the Canadian state (with himself at the helm, of course) as the only thing standing between the Canadian public and suffering and death.

It is the state, remember – in this case with its vaccine mandates – that saves and secures. Without it, the reasoning goes, the population would suffer and die as Covid ran riot. The political logic is inescapable. For a man like Trudeau, without principle except that he alone is fit to govern, there is only one path to follow. Insist that it is the state that saves and secures, and that anything that stands in its way – truckers beware – must therefore be crushed beneath its heel.

The truckers, for their part, represent everything that the state despises.

They have a social and political power that is independent from it, and hence form one of the alternative sources of power which it hates and fears. This power derives not from some institution which the truckers dominate, but simply from their status amongst what I will refer to as the yeomanry classes – almost the last bastion of self-sufficiency and independence in a modern society such as Canada.

In a developed economy, most of the professional classes – doctors, academics, teachers, civil servants and the like – derive their incomes and status entirely or partially, directly or indirectly, from the existence of the state. If they are not civil servants, their status is built on regulatory apparatus which only the state can build and enforce. This is also, of course, true of the underclass, who are often almost totally reliant on the state for the meeting of their needs. The members of these classes pose no threat to the state’s legitimacy, because, simply put, they need it. It, as a consequence, is perfectly happy to tolerate their existence – and, indeed, it wishes all of society were that way inclined.

A population entirely reliant on the state is one which will never question the necessity of the growth of its power and hence its capacity to buttress its own legitimacy.

But in the middle are those people, the modern yeomanry, who derive their incomes from private sources, as sole traders, owners of small businesses, or employees of SMEs. Independent-minded, seeing self-sufficiency as a virtue, and relying on themselves and their relationships with others rather than the state, these modern yeomen represent a natural barrier to its authority. Simply put, they do not need it. They earn their money through the use of a particular skill which others value and hence pay for on the open market.

Whether or not the state exists is immaterial to their success – and, indeed, it very frequently stands in their way. These are the type of people who, seeing a problem, tend to want to find a solution for themselves. And they are precisely the kind of people who want to make up their own minds about whether to take a vaccine, and to assess health-related risks in general.

The modern state has waged incessant and covert war against the yeomanry in particular.

At every step, it seeks to regulate their business affairs, restrict their liberty, and confiscate their prosperity. There is always a purportedly ‘good’ reason for this. But it contributes to an incessant whittling away of their independence and strength. It is no accident that they are described in British parlance as the ‘squeezed middle’ – squashed as they are between the welfare-reliant underclass on the one hand, and the white-collar professionals who draw their wealth, directly or indirectly, from the state on the other.

It is also no accident that these modern yeomen have gradually seen their political representation diminish over the course of the last 100 years, in whichever developed society one cares to name; the politicians they would elect would be mostly interested in getting the state out of the way, and modern politicians’ incentives all incline in the opposite direction. Their interest is in the inexorable growth of state power, because that is from where their legitimacy derives.

Justin Trudeau’s contempt for the truckers is therefore genuine and profound.

He sees in them not an obstacle to Covid policy or a potential threat to public health. Not even he could possibly be so stupid as to think it matters whether or not these people take their vaccines. No: he identifies in them a barrier to forces in which his political future is entwined – an ever-increasing scope and scale for governmental authority, and the opportunities to buttress his own legitimacy that would follow from it.

And his contempt for them is outweighed, of course, by his fear. Because he surely recognises that his authority is wafer-thin. Legitimacy cuts both ways. If he fails to suppress the truckers’ revolt, the entire edifice on which his authority rests – as the helmsman of the Canadian state and its purported capacity to protect the population from harm – will come tumbling down.

This conflict is therefore not about Covid – it’s existential. Does it matter if the truckers win or lose? No. What matters is what their efforts have revealed to us about the relationship between the state and society in 2022.

See also:

2021 Class Warfare: The Elite vs. The Middle

Modern Politics Seen as Classes Power Game

Washington Capital Overthrowing the United States

More than 25,000 troops from across the country were dispatched to the US capital on January 13, 2021.

Fake Climate Emergency on Horizon

The editors of IBD explain at Issues and Insights Climate Emergency?  What a Crock.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Joe Biden did not declare a climate emergency last week, as many in his party urged him to do. One Democratic senator claimed that the changing climate required “bold, intense executive action” from the president. Another said Biden needed to move because “the climate crisis is a threat to national security.” But there’s no emergency. It’s a wholly manufactured charade.

Though he put off an executive action, Biden said last Wednesday that he has “a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger. And that’s what climate change is about. It is literally, not figuratively, a clear and present danger. The health of our citizens and our communities is literally at stake.”

His non-COVID fever continued:

“Climate change is literally an existential threat to our nation and to the world. … Right now, 100 million Americans are under heat alert – 100 million Americans. Ninety communities across America set records for high temperatures just this year, including here in New England as we speak.”

On the same day Biden issued an authoritarian’s threat:

“Since Congress is not acting on the climate emergency, I will,” he tweeted. “And in the coming weeks my Administration will begin to announce executive actions to combat this emergency.”

Most Americans who aren’t named Barack Obama like to think that the U.S. is the center of our world if not the universe. But just because much of the country has been hot, it doesn’t mean the entire Earth is on fire. Yet our politicians and media focus on unusual heat despite the obvious:

If the global temperature “is just about average” – and it is –
“then clearly it must be well below average somewhere else.”

The facts, not the Democrats and activists’ political desperation, show that global temperatures have gone nowhere over the past four decades, which is the only period of time they can be accurately measured and compared. Anyone who believes that the temperature record before 1979 is reliable is fooling themselves (and also a blind ideologue).

The only data that can be trusted, that makes a genuine apples-to-apples comparison, are the measurements from satellites. All other temperature reconstructions require faith in subjective readings of often poorly placed primitive instruments, and compromised tree ring signals.

So, then what do the satellite data tell us? That we just went through “the coolest monthly anomaly in over 10 years, the coolest June in 22 years, and the ninth coolest June in the 44 year satellite record,” says University of Alabama at Huntsville climate scientist Roy Spencer. [See Tropics Lead Remarkable Cooling June 2022 Repeat the line:

Last month was “the coolest monthly anomaly in over 10 years,
the coolest June in 22 years,
and the ninth coolest June in the 44 year satellite record.”
Yeah, that’s some emergency.

But then June 2022 is just one month of many. What about the rest of the record? While global temperature based on satellite readings has trended upward, the increase has been slight. “The linear warming trend since January 1979” is a mere 0.13 of a degree Celsius per decade, says Spencer. June 2022 was also cooler than a number of months on Spencer’s chart, quite a few of them going back more than 20 years.

Other evidence than the emergency exists only in the overly political minds of Democrats, their communications department (the mainstream media), and the usual zealots include:

♦  “Despite rhetoric to the contrary, there is still plenty of sea ice over Arctic regions this summer, supplying feeding platforms for polar bears, ice-dependent seals, and walrus cows nursing their young calves.” – Watts Up With That?

♦  “If you took a very careful look with consistent data over long periods of time, you will find that these (natural) disasters are not increasing. In fact, the health of the world is increasing tremendously. For example, deaths from weather disasters and so forth have gone down about 95% in the last hundred years. … They really aren’t increasing in frequency or intensity.” – John Christy, University of Alabama at Huntsville climatologist

♦ “The ice caps on Mars have been shrinking in sync with ice caps on earth. To me, that’s fairly good evidence that the sun is involved but NASA assures us that’s not so.” – Bookworm Room

♦ “Natural variability of the atmosphere was the proximate cause of the (recent) warmth and does not represent an existential threat to the population of Europe. Clearly, there’s no cause for alarm, no matter what the media says. But the media won’t tell you any of that, because it ruins their narrative of being able to blame the heatwave on climate change, while hoping you don’t notice their distortion of the truth about ordinary weather events we see every summer.” – Anthony Watts

It’s probably an even bet that Biden will eventually declare a climate emergency. His handlers probably think doing so would help pull his miserable ratings out of their tailspin. But we don’t think Americans want their presidents to act like dictators, especially when they are as feeble of mind as Biden is.

 

ESG Woke Social Credit System for Global Government

From Think Civics ESG Is A Globalist ‘Scam’ Meant To Usher In ‘One World Government’.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

James Lindsay, author of “Race Marxism” and other books challenging woke narratives, has taken environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores into his crosshairs, calling ESG a weapon in the hands of “social justice warriors” to shake down corporations and a tool in the hands of those seeking to impose “one world government.”

Lindsay told NTD’s “The Nation Speaks” program in a recent interview that the ESG scoring system was initially conceived as a way for investors to track the likelihood that a corporation would be a good bet for investment over the long term.

“In the early 2000s, a few very socially minded socially activist investors got together and thought up this idea that, well, it’s probably the case that companies that are bad at environmental policy, bad with social responsibility, and bad corporate governance are going to be bad bets in long term investment,” he said.

Lindsay believes the ESG concept was suspect from the very beginning and it’s unclear whether higher scores translated into good long-term profitability for participating corporations.  Lack of transparency in how ESG scores are determined is an open door for abuse, Lindsay further contended.

Worse still, he argued that, over time, ESG scores have been hijacked
and “weaponized” by “social justice warriors.”

“They have the leverage to be able to use this like a … financial gun to the head of any corporation that doesn’t do what it wants them to do,” he said, calling it a “blatant weaponization.”

“In fact, it’s racketeering is what it is, is just criminal racketeering, using what looks like a responsible measurement tool as the mechanism. So nobody’s directly responsible for engaging in what is really a mob shakedown of corporations,” he argued.

Even more troubling is Lindsay’s argument that ESG fits into a “broader global agenda” that he said wants to make the West energy poor—to the benefit of countries like China—and as a way of social control.

“They want to implement the exact same control system because they see that it works to control people in China,” adding that, in his view, the “power elite” in the West “often do want to control people.”

“And so they would be using that as a tool to try to get toward one world government,” Lindsay said.

Insider Intelligence estimates that, in 2022, there was $41 trillion in ESG assets under management worldwide.   By 2025, this figure is expected to climb to $50 trillion.

Authored by Cindy Drukier and Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times

See Also Federal Climatists Target US Personal Pension Funds

 

WHO Spells It “Moneypox”

Robert Malone writes at Brownstone Institute Delete the K in Monkeypox.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

In a move that is sure to trigger widespread discussion concerning the independence, objectivity and wisdom of granting authority to the WHO to manage global infectious diseases responses, the monkeypox outbreak has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization.

The declaration was made unilaterally, in direct contradiction of independent review panel advice, by WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Tedros made the declaration despite a lack of consensus among members of the WHO’s emergency committee on the monkeypox outbreak, and in so doing overruled his own review panel, who had voted 9 against, 6 for declaring the PHEIC. Tedros asserted that this committee of experts (who met on Thursday) was unable to reach a consensus, so it fell on him to decide whether to trigger the highest alert possible.

When the group met in June, the breakdown was 11 against and three for. It is not clear what has changed in the intervening four weeks to justify the change in Tedros’ position, although comments from internet pundits raise concerns that the unilateral action was taken in response to pressure from special interest advocacy groups.

There has also been a sudden burst of coordinated social media postings raising concerns regarding Monkeypox risks to children, which raises the question “If Monkeypox is a sexually transmitted disease, why are kids getting it?”

On Friday, the U.S. confirmed the first two cases of monkeypox in children, Centers for Disease Control Prevention and Control (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday. The CDC has said children, especially those under 8 years old, are among those at “especially increased risk” for severe monkeypox disease.

At a virtual event with the Washington Post on Friday focused on new coronavirus variants, Walensky stated that:

“Both of those children are traced back to individuals who come from the men-who-have-sex-with-men community, the gay men’s community,”

The WHO defines a PHEIC as “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.”  

The WHO further explains how this definition implies a situation that is serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected; carries implications for public health beyond an affected country’s border and may require immediate international action.  Since the procedures to declare a PHEIC were implemented in 2005, the WHO has only done so six times. The last time was in early 2020, for Covid-19.

Tedros’ statements clearly demonstrate that he unilaterally substituted his own opinions for those of the convened panel, raising questions of his objectivity, commitment to process and protocol, and whether he has been unduly influenced by external agents.

As the outbreak continues to grow, epidemiologists are split as to whether the WHO’s decision was correct. The meeting was the second time the emergency committee convened, after a meeting on June 23 when it decided the outbreak had not met that threshold.

Dr. Jimmy Whitworth, a professor of international public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine:

“It is a tricky decision for the committee, in some senses, it meets the definition — it is an unprecedented outbreak widespread in many countries and would benefit from increased international coordination.

On the other hand, it seems to be an infection for which we have the necessary tools for control; most cases are mild and the mortality rate is extremely low.”

The PHEIC designation comes from the International Health Regulations (IHR) created in 2005, and it represents an international “agreement” to help the prevent and respond to public health risks that have the potential to spread around the globe.

These are the same IHR which the Biden administration sought to further strengthen, but the attempt to implement proposed modifications were placed on hold after an international, multi-country outcry concerning loss of national autonomy. The unilateral actions of Tedros in this current situation clearly demonstrate that these concerns were warranted.

In an article supportive of the declaration, Vox news provided a summary of the potential financial beneficiaries of this declaration; that being vaccine manufacturers and the holding companies who have invested in them.

My Comment on Monkeypox Hygiene Guidelines

The usual suspects are stirring the panic pot over Monkeypox, and so far our trusted sources of health guidance, like CDC and FDA and NIH, have been silent.  So in the public interest I put forward a two-step program by which every individual can self-protect against Monkeypox.

1.  Do not handle monkeys, squirrels or other rodents,
2.  Do not have sex with anyone who does, or who has open skin sores.

There you go.  Refrain from these two activities and no vaccine required.

More from Dr. Malone, who actually is trustworthy:

Don’t be Worried By Monkeypox (Unless it’s Genetically Altered!)

Beware the Benevolence Bandwagon

In his American Greatness article Roger Kimball warns of Big Government Benevolence.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The union of abstract benevolence, which takes mankind as a whole for its object, with unbridled moralism is a toxic, misery-producing brew.

Consider, for example, the actor Jim Carrey, who back in 2018 told Bill Maher that “we have to say yes to socialism—to the word and everything. We have to stop apologizing.”  What a card! Were socialism to be instituted in the United States, one of the first things that would happen is that people like Jim Carrey—estimated net worth, $180 million—would be instantly pauperized. For what are the two fundamental pillars of socialism? 1) The abolition of private property and 2) the equalization of wealth. And the cherry on top of this fudge sundae is that Jim Carrey actually starred in a movie called “Dumb and Dumber,” which is about “two unintelligent but well-meaning friends from Providence, Rhode Island.” Talk about art imitating life.

Let’s leave the latest incarnation of really-existing-socialism—the country of Venezuela—to one side. That is a laboratory demonstration of what happens when you take a prosperous country and rigorously impose socialist policies on it. The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was partly right when he said that the Venezuela of Hugo Chavez showed that there was “another way” of doing politics and “it’s called socialism.”

Corbyn forgot to add: that way leads to universal immiseration and societal collapse, which is exactly what is happening in the once-rich country of Venezuela now.

Jim Carrey—like “It” Girl Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—likes to talk about the wonders of socialism whenever there are cameras nearby. It is practically a Pavlovian response: bring media into proximity with educationally challenged scions of capitalist success and, glossolalia-like, out pop nostrums in praise of socialism.

It is easy to make fun of such prognostications. But it is important to understand 1) the emotional motor that continues to drive them—hence Carrey, Ocasio-Cortez, Jeremy Corbyn, et al.—and 2) the disastrous reality that is the inevitable obverse of that smiling emotional impulse.

So, what is the emotional motor of socialism? In a word, benevolence.

That may seem counterintuitive. Isn’t benevolence a good thing?

That depends. Benevolence is a curious mental or characterological attribute. It is, as the philosopher David Stove observed, less a virtue than an emotion. To be benevolent means—what? To be disposed to relieve the misery and increase the happiness of others. Whether your benevolent attitude or action actually has that effect is beside the point. Yes, “benevolence, by the very meaning of the word,” Stove writes, “is a desire for the happiness, rather than the misery, of its object.” But here’s the rub:

the fact simply is that its actual effect is often the opposite of the intended one. The adult who had been hopelessly ‘spoilt’ in childhood is the commonest kind of example; that is, someone who is unhappy in adult life because his parents were too successful, when he was a child, in protecting him from every source of unhappiness.

It’s not that benevolence is a bad thing per se. It’s just that, like charity, it works best the more local are its aims. Enlarged, it becomes like that “telescopic philanthropy” Dickens attributes to Mrs. Jellyby in Bleak House. Her philanthropy is more ardent the more abstract and distant its objects. When it comes to her own family, she is hopeless.

The sad truth is that theoretical benevolence is compatible
with any amount of practical indifference or even cruelty.

You feel kindly towards others. That is what matters: your feelings. The effects of your benevolent feelings in the real world are secondary, or rather totally irrelevant. Rousseau was a philosopher of benevolence. So was Karl Marx. Yet everywhere that Marx’s ideas have been put into practice, the result has been universal immiseration. But his intention was the benevolent one of forging a more equitable society by abolishing private property and, to adopt a famous phrase from Barack Obama, by spreading the wealth around.

An absolute commitment to benevolence, like the road that is paved with good intentions, typically leads to an unprofitable destination.

Just so with the modern welfare state. It doesn’t matter that the welfare state actually creates more of the poverty and dependence it was instituted to abolish. The intentions behind it are benevolent. Which is one of the reasons it is so seductive. It flatters the vanity of those who espouse it even as it nourishes the egalitarian ambitions that have always been at the center of Enlightened thought. This is why Stove describes benevolence as “the heroin of the Enlightened.” It is intoxicating, addictive, expensive, and ultimately ruinous.

The intoxicating effects of benevolence help to explain the growing appeal of politically correct attitudes about everything from “the environment” to the fate of the Third World. Why does the consistent failure of statist policies not disabuse their advocates of the statist agenda? One reason is that statist policies have the sanction of benevolence. They are “against poverty,” “against war,” “against oppression,” “for the environment.” And why shouldn’t they be? Where else are the pleasures of smug self-righteousness to be had at so little cost?

The intoxicating effects of benevolence—what Rousseau called the “indescribably sweet” feeling of virtue—also help to explain why unanchored benevolence is inherently expansionist. The party of benevolence is always the party of big government.

The imperatives of benevolence are intrinsically opposed to
the pragmatism that underlies the allegiance to limited government.

The union of abstract benevolence, which takes mankind as a whole for its object, with unbridled moralism is a toxic, misery-producing brew.  This “lethal combination” is by no means peculiar to Communists. It provides the emotional fuel for utopians from Robespierre to the politically correct bureaucrats who preside over more and more of life in Western societies today, not to mention chattering celebrities like Jim Carrey who think it is chic to praise a philosophy that, were it instantiated, would entail his impoverishment and probably his incarceration.

Perhaps these folks mean well. Or perhaps they are just unstoppable narcissists and intolerant ideologues. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they really do seek to boost all mankind up to their own plane of enlightenment. Maybe inequality really does outrage their sense of justice.

Such attitudes are all but ubiquitous in modern democratic societies. Although of relatively recent vintage, they have spread rapidly. The triumph of this aspect of Enlightened thinking, as David Stove notes, marked the moment when “the softening of human life became the great, almost the only, moral desideratum.”

The modern welfare state is one result of the triumph of abstract benevolence. Its chief effects are to institutionalize dependence on the state while also assuring the steady growth of the bureaucracy charged with managing government largess. Both help to explain why the welfare state has proved so difficult to dismantle.

Is there an alternative? Stove quotes Thomas Malthus’ observation, from his famous Essay on the Principle of Population, that “we are indebted for all the noblest exertions of human genius, for everything that distinguishes the civilised from the savage state,” to “the laws of property and marriage, and to the apparently narrow principle of self-interest which prompts each individual to exert himself in bettering his condition.” The apparently narrow principle of self-interest, mind.

Contrast that robust, realistic observation with Robert Owen’s blather about replacing the “individual selfish system” with a “united social” system that, he promised, would bring forth a “new man.”

Stove observes that Malthus’ arguments for the genuinely beneficent effects of “the apparently narrow principle of self-interest” “cannot be too often repeated.” Indeed. Even so, a look around at the childish pretended enthusiasm for socialism makes me think that, for all his emphasis, David Stove understated the case. Jim Carrey and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (and a college student near you) would profit by having a closer acquaintance with the clear-eyed thinking of Thomas Malthus.

Footnote: Don’t Forget Brazil

 

 

 

Stopping Phantom Voters Deciding US Elections

Jay Valentine reports what is known about the phantom voting industry and those fighting it for the sake of US election integrity.  His American Thinker article is Election Heroes Are Stopping Fraudulent Voting…Right Now.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The soul of phantom voter fraud is the occasional, non-committed voter.
They show up at the last minute, delivering winning margins.

Actually, nobody shows up. Nor does anyone return an absentee ballot. That magic comes from a wonderful customer service innovation, the Phantom Voter Concierge, who casts the non-committed voters’ votes for them.

1.  Building Reserves of Phantom Voter Identities

Let’s go there.  Voter rolls are crammed with millions of voters who seldom, occasionally, or never vote.  Democrat-leaning organizations run voter registration drives in edge communities, collecting identities they expect will never vote.  You remember ACORN registering drug addicts on city streets? You might have said, “Why?   They will never vote!”

They aren’t expected to vote. They are simply voter identity placeholders
later used by vote-harvesters.

State-funded groups like ERIC are paid by a dozen state governments, some with clueless Republican governors, to make sure almost nobody is ever taken off voter rolls. The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) provides institutional cover to this national phantom voter scam.

During early voting, vote-harvesters track those who never voted
or have not voted yet and vote for them.

In some states, like Wisconsin, leftist groups had access to the online voter rolls — something nobody else had. They could track every voter and vote for all of them if they did not show up in 2020.

Remember the stories in 2020 of people coming out to vote, often for the first time in years, to be told, “Sorry, you already voted”? Your Voter Concierge voted for you! Saved you the gas money to drive to the polls!

There are people voting from Salvation Army Food Banks who registered at that address twelve years ago. Those people are likely dead or living in a tent in Austin now — but still voting.

There are people at the Alabama college dorm, registered since 1984, still active and voting.

In Wisconsin, the Voter Concierges went to cognitive care facilities, where the patients did not recognize their own children. Their Voter Concierge voted them. Now part of a criminal investigation, this is how it’s done.

So how bad is the problem?

The Wisconsin voter integrity team did a deep dive, using U.S. government and state databases, and found 225,000 active, current voters who had “issues.” Those included addresses that did not exist; locations that could not be a true registration address, like a jail; and scores of others.

Elections are often decided by 1% of the vote. The Wisconsin team identified potential phantom voters easily able to impact an election.

2.  Creating a Surplus of Empty Ballots

The other half of the scam is sending out absentee ballots to addresses that don’t line up.

For instance, there may be an apartment building at 145 Essex Street. The ballot-harvesting industry registers people there, deliberately skipping their apartment number.

Their mail gets returned to — you guessed it, smarty-pants! Those absentee ballots accumulate at the local Post Office.

The Wisconsin voter integrity team, one of the best in the country, found evidence that the Post Office collected those ballots and gave them to the Voter Concierges — to vote. Pretty good USPS customer service!

You might think this would be caught with signature matching. Right! That is why so many states or counties eliminate the signature match — like Maricopa County in Arizona.

If your blood is boiling right now, you just don’t get it. This is customer service on a whole new level. The Voter Concierge gets votes counted – even if the voter never casts that vote.

3.  Scrubbing Clean the Voter Rolls

Voter integrity teams are now applying advanced computer technology to thwart the Voter Concierge by deep-cleaning the rolls.

In 2022, the vote-harvesting industry will again flood the zone in swing counties with over 250,000 new registrants from September to November.

Several voter integrity teams, using advanced artificial intelligence technology, can check every registrant, at silicon speed, against over 30 databases, with a billion records, ensuring that the registrant is not living in an R.V. park, a church, or a UPS store, and that his address meets current legal standards.

Sorry, Beto, but registering every itinerant is no longer the key to the Texas Governor’s Mansion.

For the first time, phantom voters are being identified before their registrations take effect.

Living in an apartment where you do not designate the apartment number? Sorry, pal — you aren’t voting this year. Registering from a church? There had better be enough bathrooms to meet the certificate of occupancy requirements for that county.

More voters showing up in a county than there are eligible citizens? Flagged hourly! Alert issued before the ballots are counted!

4.  Applying Real-Time Voter Integrity Technology

As ballots arrive during early voting, artificial intelligence snapshots aggregate voter identities. That guy who voted on day 2 in person, disappeared on snapshot 8, reappeared on snapshot 11 with his ballot changed to absentee…is identified.   Before that ballot is tabulated, it is red-flagged, and the voter integrity team files a protest.

Thirty-five thousand inactive voters, changed to active — then voted, then changed to inactive again? The A.I. systems pick this up with snapshot analysis. That scam is over!

For the first time, voter integrity teams have technology ballot-harvesters cannot outrun.

When Sheriff Clarke and Mike Lindell started supporting these kinds of technologies, after the 2020 election, the focus was voter roll anomalies. Anomalies were abundant.

The battlefield has changed to real-time analysis, driven by artificial intelligence.

The combined knowledge of a dozen gifted voter integrity teams, with 16 months of experience, is built into an artificial intelligence engine, identifying phantom voters before they are registered, before they can illegally vote.

Every time a fake vote is cast by a Voter Concierge, an American is disenfranchised.  Artificial intelligence helps the good guys protect the vote and gives confidence to all Americans that their elections are legit.

Voter integrity teams learned that chasing 2020 voter fraud after the election is too late.  Some leading election integrity teams are stopping phantom voter fraud before it impacts elections.  Cleaning up voter rolls just became an A.I.-driven, real time endeavor.

Jay Valentine led the team that built the eBay fraud detection engine and the TSA No-Fly List. Jay’s website is JayValentine.com. He can be reached at Jay@ContingencySales.com.

Wrightstone’s Climate Truth Canceled by LinkedIn

Gregory R. Wrightstone writes at Real Clear Energy LinkedIn Shuts Out Truth — Again.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some added images

Censors at LinkedIn have permanently banned me from the social media site after I presented data drawn from peer-reviewed data used by the preeminent promoter of the narrative that man-made global warming threatens the planet— the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

How can this be? Well, first, my offending posts placed today’s level of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the context of geological time, suggesting that life would be well served if there were more CO2 — exactly the opposite of what climate alarmists say. Secondly, I’ve had the audacity to publish facts — also know as the truth, multiple times on LinkedIn— that contradict the theory that humans face an “existential threat” from a harmless gas of which each of us daily exhales two pounds.

“Your account has violated the LinkedIn User Agreement and Professional Community Policies,” read the email from the site. “Due to the number and/or the severity of these violations, this account has been permanently restricted.”

The posts were of two charts. One showed that carbon dioxide levels were nearly 6,000 parts per million (ppm) 600 million years ago when many animal life forms first appeared in the Cambrian Era. Another illustrated a 140-million-year decline of CO2 levels — from 2,500 parts per million (ppm) to the current 420 ppm.

Implied in the data is that carbon dioxide levels eventually would drop to 150 ppm, at which point plants — and ultimately all life — begin to die from CO2 starvation. The concentration got as low as 180 ppm in the last ice age about 12,000 years ago. It was at 280 ppm at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

The addition of 140 ppm since then have likely come from man’s activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels. If so, human activity has saved the planet from the existential threat of too little CO2. In any case, more of the powerful plant food is a good thing, as evidenced by the overall greening of Earth and record crop harvests of recent decades.

As executive director of the CO2 Coalition, I’ve had previous run-ins with LinkedIn censors. One involved a post about a CO2 Coalition paper on global temperatures. Although LinkedIn did not identify the broken rules, the only possible “violation” would have been an admonition to “not share false or misleading content.” The censored paper, The Global Mean Temperature Anomaly Record, was fully sourced and written by two of the top climate scientists in the world, Richard Lindzen and John Christy.

These are no lightweight scientists. Dr. Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is an award recipient of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was a lead author of the IPCC’s third assessment report’s scientific volume.

Professor Christy is the director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and has been Alabama’s State Climatologist since 2000. Along with Dr. Roy Spencer, he has maintained one of the key global temperature data sets relied on by scientists and government bodies. For this achievement, they were awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement.

Figure 4. As in Fig. 3 except for seasonal station and global anomalies. As noted in the text, the inhabitants of the Earth experience the anomalies as noted by the black circles, not the yellow squares.

The main thrust of the paper was to put the modest one-degree rise in temperature since 1900 in its proper perspective. When compared to wide swings in temperature experienced on a daily and yearly basis, that slight rise in global temperature over the last 120 years does not appear as alarming as portrayed by the purveyors of climate doom. Like so many others who challenge the notion of catastrophic man-made warming, the authors risked being censored by the intellectual elite — or those who identify as such. And they were.

The CO2 Coalition has been attacked by other climate cultists, including Facebook and members of a political class that insists on forcing its ideology on everybody. Obviously, we care more about the truth — and our freedom — than anybody’s approval.

As noted philosopher of science Karl Popper said, “Democracy (that is, a form of government devoted to the protection of the open society) cannot flourish if science becomes the exclusive possession of a closed set of specialists.”

Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist, executive director of the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Va., and author of “Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know.” He has been an IPCC expert reviewer.

Woke Rights Nullify Others’ Liberties

Georgi Boorman writes at The Federalist Woke ‘Rights’ Are All Based On Coercion.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The litany of woke entitlements alleged by the left infringe on existing rights,
restricting the freedoms of some in order to benefit others.

When the political left finds a meme they really think sells, they go all-in. Such is the case with “forced birth” or “forced motherhood” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and stated a Constitutional right to abortion does not exist. I wrote recently about how “forced birth” is a nonsensical description of pregnancies resulting (as is almost always the case) from consensual sex. Babies are a natural consequence of sex and procreation is the primary reason sex exists in the first place.

“Forced birth” or “forced motherhood” are projections of the left’s own brutality and reliance on force onto their political and cultural opposition. Abortion is force. Abortion kills; it is a brutal denial of this tiny, developing human’s right to life, the most fundamental of all rights. For the woman’s “right” to be exercised, another life must end.  This wretched truth differs from the left’s construction of other “rights” only in degree, not in kind.

They predicate many of their “fundamental rights” on the coercion of others,
and if a so-called “right” is based on coercion, it is not fundamental,
merely an entitlement guaranteed by a bully state.

Of course, when we speak about coercion, abortion advocates point to exceptional cases such as pregnancy resulting from rape. As I wrote in my last piece, nonconsensual sex, especially resulting in pregnancy, is a grave loss of autonomy. Yet the innocent baby’s more essential right to life supersedes this loss of autonomy for nine months, as difficult a circumstance as it may be. One tragedy should not be compounded by another.

A baby’s right to life obviously doesn’t supersede a mother’s right to life.

That may be a reason to deliver a baby early, even too early to survive, but not a reason for deliberate destruction. What opponents of abortion are referring to, and what is being debated, is not situations in which carrying a preborn baby endangers the mother. The practice we condemn is the premeditated killing of a baby in the womb because that baby is not wanted, whether because of his paternity, apparent defect, or general inconvenience to the parents.

One of the definitions of “coerce” is “to deprive of by force.” So, it is fitting we call this kind of “right” a coercive entitlement. That classification extends far beyond abortion, though abortion is the most heinous of all.

Before further characterizing these coercive entitlements, let me address the other objection that will doubtlessly arise: that all our rights rely on at least the threat of the use of force, so what’s the difference? Force wielded by the state on those who would violate a right, which is the only way rights can be protected, is not the same as coercion or restrictions applied to people in order for a right to be exercised in the first place.

If I give a public speech and someone who hates my views comes and tries to drag me off the stage to shut me up, police should intervene to protect my right and take the perpetrator into custody. If, on the other hand, the police themselves drag me off the stage because my speech violates a law against “hate speech” meant to “protect” certain demographics, or if I don’t make that speech in the first place due to the threat of being dragged off to jail, that is force necessarily applied or threatened in order to guarantee this “right” to not be a victim of “hate speech.”

The Right Not to be Offended

Woke rights are entitlements to coercion and the restriction of others’ rights previously recognized. To protect certain people’s “right to live their true selves,” for example, the far left alleges it has the constitutional right to limit others’ free speech so that some groups are not offended or emotionally wounded. With “misgendering” and “dead-naming,” we must in some cases be forced into certain speech for this right to “be one’s authentic self” to exist.

Again, with transgender athletes: it isn’t “equality” unless all institutions are forced to allow them to compete with the sex with which they identify. The right of parents to protect their children is also threatened by the left as children far below the age of consent are alleged to have the “right” to do permanent and severe damage to their bodies with so-called gender transition. They allege this “right” while children face social contagions they’re poorly equipped to handle and gender doctrines that confuse rather than elucidate. The right of parents to make medical decisions for minors are critical in these circumstances, and the far left would have them erased.

More Coercion Regarding Gays, Lockdowns

The alleged “right to equal treatment” for gay couples a la Masterpiece Cake Shop also relies on coercion. The left claims true “equality” isn’t achieved unless bakers, photographers, and floral designers can be forced to express views or support behaviors they disagree with.

Consider more recently the left’s fervent support for lockdowns in the name of a supposed “right” to not be infected, smearing those who disagree with them, who simply want to exercise their freedom to live a normal life, as “reckless” and “murderous.” The alleged entitlement to a reduced threat of Covid infection (or insert latest panic-inducing pathogen here) is dependent on restricting the more basic freedoms of others. Mask and vaccine mandates follow the same flawed logic.

Affirmative Action and Taxes

Universities likewise violate the right to equal treatment under the law through affirmative action. Applicants of certain minority statuses are given preferential treatment while non-minority applications may be “downgraded” simply due to applicants’ ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. The left would see affirmative action expanded and racial quotas in employment, now banned, used widely.

Even the most basic right to keep the money you earn has been infringed upon for decades by the government expressly for the purpose of distributing it to others who earn less. Those with fewer resources are entitled to the resources gained by others, according to the left.

Supplanting Natural Rights

The new, “woke” set of rights are just more aggressive iterations of this long-standing belief of the left: government must take some of the wealth, opportunity, freedoms, and rights of some in order to benefit others. Thus, the leftist coercive rights supplant natural rights identified by the Framers of our Constitution, rights that come from the Creator. Abortion as a “fundamental” right supplants the right to life. They cannot coexist. The rights to not be “victimized” by disfavored speech and to “be one’s true self” and be “equal” supplant the right to free speech. The “right” to not be infected with a certain pathogen supplants the rights to move about freely and to peaceably assemble. The latter rights must be abridged to uphold the new ones.

The “forced birth” talking point discussed above reminds us what is inside this trojan horse of entitlements alleged to be “civil rights” or “fundamental human rights:” bondage. The only real fundamental right leftists believe in is the right of the state to use force in enacting their agenda. From abortion to so-called gender transition, these new rights are definitionally authoritarian, abridging pre-existing rights to support themselves.

The quest of the woke left to free themselves from biological realities and natural order, as in the case of abortion, gender, and sexuality, and to achieve a more “equitable” society, relies on submission, subjugation, and if necessary, lethal force. The truth remains amid the temper tantrums and the angry memes:

There is no free, thriving society that can be achieved through the use of force
by one group of citizens in the name of another.

 

Monkeypox Hygiene Advice

The usual suspects are stirring the panic pot over Monkeypox, and so far our trusted sources of health guidance, like CDC and FDA and NIH, have been silent.  So in the public interest I put forward a two-step program by which every individual can self-protect against Monkeypox.

1.  Do not handle monkeys, squirrels or other rodents,
2.  Do not have sex with anyone who does, or who has open skin sores.

There you go.  Refrain from these two activities and no vaccine required.

More from Dr. Malone, who actually is trustworthy:

Don’t be Worried By Monkeypox (Unless it’s Genetically Altered!)