How Progressives Took Democracy Hostage


Anthony J. Constantini explains in his American Mind article Democracy’s Progressive Police.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some added images.

Self-government is hostage to hostile captors.

While people generally welcome democracy in principle—men typically wish to govern themselves—liberal democracy, with its emphasis on sometimes very progressive individual liberties, has been welcomed less and less in recent years. Why? Because as leftist policies have grown more extreme, liberal democracy as a concept has transitioned from support for individual liberty to support for progressive politics, including the full legalization of abortion, full rights for a constantly growing list of sexual minorities, and a belief in multiculturalism as a master value. If a state adopts laws against progressive values, its leader is not merely labeled socially conservative, but is declared to be anti-democratic, even if he was elected democratically and passed laws legally.

Many shrug at these distinctions as merely academic. But all who care about the future of the West should oppose the forced merger of “democracy” and “progressivism.” Far from a matter of semantic disputation, this shifted definition of democracy is a threat to democracy’s survival.

After the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the United States, using methods strikingly similar to the “civilizing” attempts of British and French colonists in the nineteenth century, established a liberal democracy in an attempt to graft Western values into the country. Had the U.S. opted instead for an electoral democracy with elementary protections based on the rule of law, and not attempted to force Western liberalism onto a culture which clearly did not want it, Afghans may, possibly, have been more willing to buy into the system. But a conservative Islamic democracy, with popular local support, was not the model preferred by the U.S. State Department.

The European Union has acted ignominiously toward two of its more conservative members, Poland and Hungary. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (shortened to PiS in Polish) has for years controlled the parliament and the presidency. Due to the party’s conservative policies, some in the opposition, along with progressive European Union bureaucrats, claimed that if PiS were to win the 2020 elections and stay in power it would be the last free election in Polish history. PiS went on to win the elections, but nevertheless, anti-PiS former Polish Prime Minister (and former European Union Council President) Donald Tusk returned to Polish politics to lead the main opposition party. If one believes that Poland just had its last free election, why would anyone wish to head the opposition? The only logical conclusion would be that Polish elections are still free and that those who claimed otherwise were merely trying to scare voters and drum up foreign opposition to a Polish government that insists on putting the interests of Poland above the demands of Brussels.

Similar games are being played against Hungary as well. The ruling Fidesz Party, led by PM Viktor Orbán, banned the dissemination to minors of materials relating to homosexuality. The backlash from liberal democrats was fierce. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte even stated that Hungary should be expelled from the EU over the law. LGBT rights appear nowhere in the Treaty of Maastricht, the EU’s founding document, nor does any definition of “European” include maximal support for LGBT rights. Hungary went against Western progressivism, and as a result is no longer a true democracy in the eyes of progressives.

But the Fidesz Party has democratically won parliamentary majorities for over a decade, and many Hungarians who do not support Orbán are skeptical of LGBT rights. Orbán is counting on this and has announced a referendum on the law. It is likely the referendum will pass, democratically, by a sizable majority. If Orbán wins the referendum and liberal democrats still attempts to punish Hungary, then it will be indisputable that liberal democrats do not support “democracy” as most people understand it.

This same story has been repeated throughout the West. Italy elects a migrant-skeptical coalition government, and Brussels reacts by tut-tutting the Italians and implying that elements of fascism exist in the democratically-elected coalition. America elects an establishment-skeptical president, and Democrats spend four years delegitimizing the election. Progressives are trying the same thing in Hungary, but this time the hypocrisy is undeniable. When democracy gives liberal democrats power, they accept it. But when democracy produces policies which go against their ideology, they abandon democracy in a heartbeat and just keep the liberalism.

This substituting of definitions fundamentally misunderstands (or purposefully twists) what democracy is supposed to be, and how people see it writ large. When people hear “democracy” they think of the will of the people.

They do not understand that “democracy” is a term of art that refers to whatever policy Western progressives have cooked up at a given time.

By trying to merge the definitions of progressivism and democracy, liberal democrats could ultimately cause the collapse of democracy itself across the West. If liberal democrats malign democracies every time they vote conservatively and lambast citizenries for being “anti-democratic,” eventually those citizenries will no longer care. The West just watched this happen in Afghanistan, and we would be foolish to imagine such a collapse could not happen elsewhere.

If democracy becomes a byword for “progressive politics,” then people across the West will not just reject liberalism—they will reject democracy too.

Anthony J. Constantini is writing his PhD on populism and early American democracy at the University of Vienna in Austria. Previously he received an MA in Arms Control and Strategic Studies from St. Petersburg State University in Russia. In 2016 he was the War Room Director for the NRSC. He currently resides in Vienna.

 

Beware the Green Bubble Popping

David P. Goldman writes at Asia Times Green bubbles threaten to pop stock markets.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Magical US thinking of a Green agenda financed by endless amounts of printing-press money will only end in tears

Prices for all energy commodities jumped during the past month, some by record margins, as a global energy shortage set off a scramble for gas, coal and oil. Brent crude has doubled in the past year, Newcastle coal has quadrupled, and Netherlands natural has risen seven-fold.  There are many small reasons for the global energy squeeze, and one big one:

Investment in hydrocarbons has collapsed under pressure from the Green agenda adopted by international consensus.

Energy investment in the United States has dwindled as large institutional investors boycott fossil fuel investments. China’s critical electricity shortage is the result of draconian regulation of coal mining, exacerbated by Beijing’s punitive ban on Australian coal imports.

The idea is fanciful that the world can re-direct US$100 trillion in capital investment during the next 30 years to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050, as the International Energy Agency has proposed. . . To put in context what this number implies, the entire free cash flow of the world’s private corporations would barely make up a third of the Global Reset investment budget.

The political pressure of the Green agenda has virtually wiped out investment in the US oil and gas industry. Capital expenditures for US exploration and development companies during 2021 (and projected for 2022) are only a fifth of the 2015 peak of $150 billion.

Meanwhile, oil and gas companies are sitting on mountains of cash. The free cash flow of the oil and gas industry will rise to $50 billion next year, the highest on record. In 2015 the oil and gas industry showed negative free cash flow because it borrowed to expand production.

Now oil and gas companies are paying down debt and returning cash to shareholders rather than take hydrocarbons out of the ground.

Virtually the whole of the world’s political elite has signed on to the carbon neutrality agenda, including the government of China, which appears to believe that support for carbon neutrality (which China has pledged by 2060) will mitigate hostility to China in the West.

But the energy market suggests that the hard reality of supply constraints will overwhelm the Green agenda before it gets started.

The cost of shelter, which comprises about two-fifths of the US Consumer Price Index, continues to rise at a record pace in the United States. This hasn’t turned up in the official data, because it takes time for old rental leases to expire and new leases to be written.

But several additional percentage points of inflation are now programmed into US inflation for the next two years.

As the Fed forced down the “real” interest rate, by reducing its overnight rate to zero and by purchasing hundreds of billions of dollars in TIPS, investors were forced into stocks.

At some point, the Fed’s game is going to come to an end. The magical thinking of a green agenda financed by endless amounts of printing-press money will be followed by a nasty hangover. Rates will rise and the asset bubble will pop.

Exactly when that will happen is beyond anyone’s capacity to forecast, but the unpleasant September in US equity markets was a foretaste of what we can expect.

A worker installs polycrystalline silicon solar panels as terrestrial photovoltaic power project starts on November 17, 2015 in Yantai, China. Photo: Getty

Why Merck Dissed Its Own Invention Ivermectin

Update: Oct. 2  The Dr. Yo video has been blocked.
“This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”

The video Is New COVID Drug Molnupiravir Better than Ivermectin? can be seen here:

https://odysee.com/@yodoctoryo:d/is-new-covid-drug-molnupiravir-better:9

Reuters reports October 1, 2021 Merck pill seen as ‘a huge advance’, raises hope of preventing COVID-19 deathsExcerpts in italics with my bolds.

  • Co will seek U.S. approval for pill as soon as possible
  • If approved, would be 1st oral antiviral COVID-19 drug
  • Merck shares rally, some vaccine makers fall
  • U.S govt agreed to buy 1.7 mln courses at $700 each

An antiviral pill developed by U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co (MRK.N) could half the chances of dying or being hospitalized for those most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19, with experts hailing it as a potential breakthrough in how the virus is treated.

If it gets authorization, molnupiravir, which is designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus, would be the first oral antiviral medication for COVID-19.

“An oral antiviral that can impact hospitalization risk to such a degree would be game changing,” said Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“This is going to change the dialogue around how to manage COVID-19,” Merck Chief Executive Robert Davis told Reuters.

Existing treatments are “cumbersome and logistically challenging to administer. A simple oral pill would be the opposite of that,” Adalja added.

The results from the Phase III trial, which sent Merck shares up more than 9%, were so strong that the study is being stopped early at the recommendation of outside monitors.
(considered unethical to withhold it from placebo group)

Merck says it can deliver 10MM doses of the new drug, called Molnupiravir, by the end of the year, by which it should be approved by the FDA and possibly foreign regulators as well (the wheels of bureaucracy are reportedly turning as quickly as they can). Merck is submitting an emergency application for authorization of the drug, and we may see it in use during the next two weeks. The regimen is 2 pills a day for 5 days, and it’s most helpful within 5 days of infection.

[Comment:  Does that pill and regimen sound familiar?   It should, it’s called Ivermectin.]

The back story comes from Blaze Media Merck rejects ivermectin for COVID treatment after getting $1.2 billion gov’t contract for expensive, unproven drug.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

On Feb. 4, 2021 Merck came out with a shocking statement warning against the use of ivermectin to treat COVID. The statement claimed there was “no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies” and that there was “a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.”

This was quite a bizarre assertion given that 59 studies, including 30 randomized controlled trials, have shown the drug to be extremely effective at all stages of the virus.

The statement regarding safety concerns was even more ludicrous given that nearly 4 billion doses of this drug have been dispensed for parasitic ailments, it won the Nobel prize, and it is listed among the WHO’s most essential drugs. There is no logical reason why someone would somehow begin experiencing dangerous side effects if he happens to use ivermectin for COVID instead of for scabies or river blindness.

Nonetheless, Merck’s statement served as a strong blow to the use of ivermectin, because Merck was a large dispenser of this drug. After all, why would the company dump on its own drug?

Well, now we have an answer. On June 9, Merck announced that it had entered into a procurement agreement. Merck will receive approximately $1.2 billion to supply approximately 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir to the United States government. Molnupiravir is a new drug Merck is currently evaluating in a Phase 3 clinical trials to serve as the wonder drug to treat COVID. The estimated cost of the drug per treatment is $700!

So now we can understand why the company would swap out its own drug that has already been proven safe and effective for something new and experimental. Without the government sending a penny to Merck, I can buy a lifesaving dose of ivermectin for just $26 through GoodRX.

Comparing Molnupiravir and Ivermectin

What is particularly disturbing is that it appears that molnupiravir contains some of the same molecular qualities as ivermectin, which makes you wonder if Merck knows that ivermectin is effective and just sought a more expensive drug that could be marketed as exclusive and new for COVID, thereby justifying another budget blowout by Washington policymakers.

One of several antiviral qualities to ivermectin is that it disrupts viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) enzymes. Two Italian doctors in a study published in Nature described the process as follows:

The RdRP residing in nsp12 is the centerpiece of the coronavirus replication and transcription complex and has been suggested as a promising drug target as it is a crucial enzyme in the virus life cycle both for replication of the viral genome but also for transcription of subgenomic mRNAs (sgRNAs) [34]. Ivermectin binds to the viral rdrp and disrupts it. The highly efficient binding of ivermectin to nsp14 confirms its role in inhibiting viral replication and assembly. It is well known that nsp14 is essential in transcription and replication.

Dr. Pierre Kory, the president of Frontline Covid19 Critical Care Alliance and one of the most prominent advocates of ivermectin, believes that the new drug developed by Merck acts in a similar way.

Dr. Syed Mobeen, who hosts a daily medical show and often hosts Dr. Kory for discussions about COVID treatment, told me that “it seems that molnupiravir is a copy of one of Ivermectin’s mechanisms.”

“This mechanism is to disrupt the SARS-COV-2 virus’ RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) enzyme,” said Dr. Mobeen, who runs a medical education center. “Copying this mechanism will give Merck a way to earn from an existing cheap drug’s action by relabeling it; however, I believe that molnupiravir will continue to be less effective as studies show that ivermectin has more mechanisms to disrupt the SARS-COV-2 replication and spread.

Hence, ivermectin will continue to be a superior choice over molnupirivir or other RdRp disrupters.”

Summary:

Thus, with ivermectin,  a non-invasive, cheap, and safe drug that doesn’t require one to lock down or wear a mask, we could largely solve the problem. Why would the medical establishment not take yes for an answer?

Now we know, in the case of Merck, there are 1.2 billion reasons why not. For some of the larger special interests, that number is exponentially higher and is all backed by the Fed’s printing press and guaranteed by the media they have paid and influenced. Welcome to science and medicine.

 

Plentiful Arctic Ice Sept. 2021

September daily extents are now fully reported and the 2021 September monthly results can be compared with those of the previous 14 years.  MASIE showed 2021 at 5.2M km2  and SII was close behind, reaching 4.9M for the month.  Analysis below shows that the 2021 Minimum was 1/2 Wadham ( 1M km2) higher than the 14 year average, and 1¼ Wadhams more than 2007

In August, 4.4M km2 was the median estimate for the September monthly average extent from the SIPN (Sea Ice Prediction Network) who use the reports from SII (Sea Ice Index), the NASA team satellite product from passive microwave sensors. The SII actual ice extent was 1/2 Wadham higher.

The graph below shows September comparisons through day 273 (Sept. 30).

Note that both MASIE and SII started the month higher than average, hit bottom earlier and then increased the surplus. SII tracked much lower up to ~400k km2 less than MASIE before ending just 143k km2 down.  The other years, 2007, 2019 and 2020 were much lower than average. The animation below shows the ice extents for day 273 each of the last 15 years.

The table shows ice extents in the regions for 2021, 14 year averages and 2007 for day 273. Averages refer to 2007 through 2020 inclusive.

Region 2021273 Day 273 Average 2021-Ave. 2007273 2021-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 5371075 4879409 491666 4086883 1284192
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 776885 542936 233948 498743 278142
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 485260 189321 295939 51 485209
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 416429 299075 117355 311 416118
 (4) Laptev_Sea 58277 150394 -92117 235245 -176967
 (5) Kara_Sea 71952 23909 48043 15367 56585
 (6) Barents_Sea 18 15305 -15287 4851 -4833
 (7) Greenland_Sea 124689 241619 -116930 353210 -228522
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 59581 52823 6758 42247 17334
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 441822 391718 50104 307135 134687
 (10) Hudson_Bay 2260 3832 -1572 1936 323
 (11) Central_Arctic 2932779 2967366 -34586 2626511 306268

Deficits in Laptev and Greenland Seas are more than offset by surpluses in Beaufort, Chukchi, and East Siberian Seas.  Extents in Kara and Canadian Archipelago are also well above average.   Overall, the NH ice extent is surplus by 492k km2 or 10% over 14 year average.

Summary

Earlier observations showed that Arctic ice extents were low in the 1940s, grew thereafter up to a peak in 1977, before declining.  That decline was gentle until 1996 which started a decade of multi-year ice loss through the Fram Strait.  There was also a major earthquake under the north pole in that period.  In any case, the effects and the decline ceased in 2007, 30 years after the previous peak.  Now we have a plateau in ice extents, which could be the precursor of a growing phase of the quasi-60 year Arctic ice oscillation.

For context, note that the average maximum has been 15M, so on average the extent shrinks to 30% of the March high before growing back the following winter.  In 2021 about 35% of the March maximum was retained, so the melt season losses were considerably less than in the past.

Background 

A commenter previously asked, where do they get their data? The answer is primarily from NIC’s Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS). From the documentation, the multiple sources feeding IMS are:

Platform(s) AQUA, DMSP, DMSP 5D-3/F17, GOES-10, GOES-11, GOES-13, GOES-9, METEOSAT, MSG, MTSAT-1R, MTSAT-2, NOAA-14, NOAA-15, NOAA-16, NOAA-17, NOAA-18, NOAA-N, RADARSAT-2, SUOMI-NPP, TERRA

Sensor(s): AMSU-A, ATMS, AVHRR, GOES I-M IMAGER, MODIS, MTSAT 1R Imager, MTSAT 2 Imager, MVIRI, SAR, SEVIRI, SSM/I, SSMIS, VIIRS

Summary: IMS Daily Northern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Analysis

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA/NESDIS) has an extensive history of monitoring snow and ice coverage.Accurate monitoring of global snow/ice cover is a key component in the study of climate and global change as well as daily weather forecasting.

The Polar and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite programs (POES/GOES) operated by NESDIS provide invaluable visible and infrared spectral data in support of these efforts. Clear-sky imagery from both the POES and the GOES sensors show snow/ice boundaries very well; however, the visible and infrared techniques may suffer from persistent cloud cover near the snowline, making observations difficult (Ramsay, 1995). The microwave products (DMSP and AMSR-E) are unobstructed by clouds and thus can be used as another observational platform in most regions. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery also provides all-weather, near daily capacities to discriminate sea and lake ice. With several other derived snow/ice products of varying accuracy, such as those from NCEP and the NWS NOHRSC, it is highly desirable for analysts to be able to interactively compare and contrast the products so that a more accurate composite map can be produced.

The Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) of NESDIS first began generating Northern Hemisphere Weekly Snow and Ice Cover analysis charts derived from the visible satellite imagery in November, 1966. The spatial and temporal resolutions of the analysis (190 km and 7 days, respectively) remained unchanged for the product’s 33-year lifespan.

As a result of increasing customer needs and expectations, it was decided that an efficient, interactive workstation application should be constructed which would enable SAB to produce snow/ice analyses at a higher resolution and on a daily basis (~25 km / 1024 x 1024 grid and once per day) using a consolidated array of new as well as existing satellite and surface imagery products. The Daily Northern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Cover chart has been produced since February, 1997 by SAB meteorologists on the IMS.

Another large resolution improvement began in early 2004, when improved technology allowed the SAB to begin creation of a daily ~4 km (6144×6144) grid. At this time, both the ~4 km and ~24 km products are available from NSIDC with a slight delay. Near real-time gridded data is available in ASCII format by request.

In March 2008, the product was migrated from SAB to the National Ice Center (NIC) of NESDIS. The production system and methodology was preserved during the migration. Improved access to DMSP, SAR, and modeled data sources is expected as a short-term from the migration, with longer term plans of twice daily production, GRIB2 output format, a Southern Hemisphere analysis, and an expanded suite of integrated snow and ice variable on horizon.

http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/ims_1.html

Footnote

Some people unhappy with the higher amounts of ice extent shown by MASIE continue to claim that Sea Ice Index is the only dataset that can be used. This is false in fact and in logic. Why should anyone accept that the highest quality picture of ice day to day has no shelf life, that one year’s charts can not be compared with another year?

MASIE is rigorous, reliable, serves as calibration for satellite products, and continues the long and honorable tradition of naval ice charting using modern technologies. More on this at my post Support MASIE Arctic Ice Dataset

 

Will Evergrande Sink China (and others)?

Daniel Lacalle, PhD, economist and fund manager, writes at CD Media Evergrande Isn’t China’s “Lehman Moment.” It Could Be Worse Than That. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The bankruptcy of the Chinese real estate company Evergrande is much more than a “Chinese Lehman.” Lehman Brothers was much more diversified than Evergrande and better capitalized. In fact, the total assets of Evergrande that are on the brink of bankruptcy outnumber the entire subprime bubble of the United States.

The problem with Evergrande is that it is not an anecdote, but a symptom of a model based on leveraged growth and seeking to inflate GDP at any cost with ghost cities, unused infrastructure, and wild construction. The indebtedness chain model of Evergrande is not uncommon in China. Many Chinese companies follow the “running to stand still” strategy of piling on ever-increasing debt to compensate for poor cash flow generation and weak margins. Many promoters get into massive debt to build a promotion that either is not sold or is left with many unsold units, then efinance that debt by adding more credit for new projects using unsaleable or already leveraged assets as collateral.

The total liabilities of Evergrande account for more than double its official debt figure (more than 2 trillion yuan). Evergrande’s financial hole is equivalent to almost a third of Russia’s GDP. Its annual revenues do not reach $70 billion, and it is more than debatable whether those revenues are real, since a relevant part comes from payment commitments whose collection is doubtful. Even if they were real, these revenues are not enough to address the bond maturities, which exceed $250 billion in the short term.

Evergrande is much more dangerous than it seems.

All the “Keynesian” solutions that you are hearing these days have already been implemented. Massive liquidity injections, low interest rates, full implicit and explicit support from the Chinese government … Let’s not forget that Evergrande was the largest issuer of commercial paper in China, $32 billion issued in 2020, a 390 percent increase from 2015, according to Reuters.

Evergrande represents less than 4 percent of the overall Chinese market but its model has been used by many Chinese promoters. The ten biggest real estate developers account for 34 percent of the market and aggressive leverage practices are widespread.

The real estate sector is huge in China. Its direct and indirect weight, according to JP Morgan, is 25 percent of GDP, more than double the size of the real estate bubble in Japan or Spain. The sector has been growing with an indebted model at 15 percent per year in the last three years. The Chinese government has introduced regulations to reduce the excess, but because it benefits from the increase in GDP and job creation, it has maintained a complacent position regarding the corporate debt model.

Chinese real estate companies, according to JP Morgan, have “reduced” their indebtedness to 92 percent of total assets from a monster 140 percent in 2018, with a profit margin of 9–13 percent. But those figures still show a larger and more concerning problem than what headlines imply. Most Chinese real estate developers have total liabilities of 50 percent to total assets, according to JP Morgan.  The problem is that the value of those assets and the capacity to sell them is more than questionable.

The implications of an Evergrande collapse are far greater than what investment banks tell us.

The first risk is a domino effect in a very aggressively indebted sector. There is also a significant impact on all those banks exposed to China and emerging markets, where China has financed ruinous projects in recent years. And there is also impact on global growth and countries that export to China, because the slowdown was already more than evident. Additionally, we cannot ignore the impact on the solvency of the financial system despite billions of dollars injected by the People’s Bank of China.

A Solvency Problem Cannot Be Solved with Liquidity.

The hope that the government will fix everything contrasts with the magnitude of the financial hole. Be that as it may, we cannot overlook the negative effect on those sectors highly exposed to real estate growth, infrastructure, electricity, services, and in the hundreds of thousands of citizens who have paid an upfront fee for flats that are not going to be built.

The problem with China is that the entire economy is a huge indebted model that needs almost ten units of debt to generate one unit of GDP, three times more than a decade ago, and all this catastrophe was already more than evident months ago. With total debt of 300 percent debt to GDP according to the Institute of International Finance, China is not the strong economy swimming in with cash that it was a couple of decades ago.

The market assumed that because it is China, the government was going to hide these risks. Even worse, the Evergrande collapse only shows a dangerous reality in several Chinese sectors: excessive indebtedness without real income or assets to support it.

This episode comes at the worst possible time, after the government has launched a massive crackdown on large companies. International investors are already concerned about corporate governance and intervention in China and now the fears of credit contagion make the risk even worse.

Evergrande is not an anecdote, it is a symptom.

 

 

We Are CO2

Raymond has published a new slide on the World of CO2, shown above.  Carbon is an essential part of every human body, as explained in the accompanying text:

The organic molecules of the human body consist of carbon chains that are used to build carbohydrates, fats, nucleic acids and proteins. The breakdown of carbon compounds is the source of energy we need to live. The air we breathe provides the oxygen needed to break the carbon bond, which then produces CO2, that we exhale.

The set of 14 infographics can be accessed at The World of CO2 – RIC Communications

Infographics can be helpful, in making things simple to understand. CO2 is a complex topic with a lot of information and statistics. These simple step by step charts should help to give you an idea of CO2’s importance. Without CO2, plants wouldn’t be able to live on this planet. Just remember, that if CO2 falls below 150 ppm, all plant life would cease to exist.

– N° 1 Earth’s atmospheric composition
– N° 2 Natural sources of CO2 emissions
– N° 3 Global anthropogenic CO2 emissions
– N° 4 CO2 – Carbon dioxide molecule
– N° 5 The global carbon cycle
– N° 6 Carbon and plant respiration
– N° 7 Plant categories and abundance (C3, C4 & CAM Plants)
– N° 8 Photosynthesis, the C3 vs C4 gap
– N° 9 Plant respiration and CO2
– N° 10 The logarithmic temperature rise of higher CO2 levels.
– N° 11 Earth’s atmospheric composition in relationship to CO2
– N° 12 Human respiration and CO2 concentrations.
– N° 13 600 million years of temperature change and atmospheric CO2

There is also a high quality introductory video:

Raymond has also produced a second series of Simple Science graphics on the theme The World of Climate Change.

Infographics can be helpful, in making things simple to understand. Climate change is a complex topic with a lot of information and statistics. These simple step by step charts are here to better understand what is occurring naturally and what could be caused by humans. What is cause for alarm and what isn’t cause for alarmism if at all. Only through learning is it possible to get the big picture so as to make the right decisions for the future.

– N° 1 600 million years of global temperature change
– N° 2 Earth‘s temperature record for the last 400,000 years
– N° 3 Holocene period and average northern hemispheric temperatures
– N° 4 140 years of global mean temperature
– N° 5 120 m of sea level rise over the past 20‘000 years
– N° 6 Eastern European alpine glacier history during the Holocene period.

For example:

Japan PM Ends COVID-19 Emergency Restrictions

From Yahoo News:  Japan to lift all coronavirus emergency steps nationwide  Excerpts in italics with my bolds,

Japan’s government announced Tuesday that the coronavirus state of emergency will end this week to help rejuvenate the economy as infections slow.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the emergency will end Thursday and virus restrictions will be eased gradually “in order to resume daily lives despite the presence of the virus.” He said the government will create more temporary COVID-19 treatment facilities and continue vaccinations to prepare for any future resurgence.

“Our fight against the coronavirus is now entering a new phase,” Suga said. “Finally, we can see social and economic activities starting to normalize.”

When the measures end on Thursday, it will be the first time since April 4 that none of the country’s 47 prefectures have been under a state of emergency or quasi-state of emergency. While the state of emergency measures are wrapping up, there will be some restrictions still in place for another month, with restaurants and bars expected to close by 8pm local time or those with stricter Covid-19 safety measures by 9pm.

Comment:  The article misses the significance of this ruling for physicians applying home treatment protocols for their patients. From the previous post below, a public statement came from another prominent Japanese physician, Dr. Kazuhiro Nagao, who appeared on Japanese television proposing that COVID-19 should be treated as a Class 5 illness as opposed to its current classification as a Class 2. In Japan, illnesses are categorized by a classification system; approaching COVID as a Class 5 illness would mean that it could be treated like a seasonal flu.

Normalization may provide a basis to reconsider how the infection is treated.  Japan Times explains COVID-19’s classification in Japan is limiting treatment. Now doctors want it changed. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

With a rise in COVID-19 cases this summer having led to the deaths of patients who were isolating at home without medical support due to a lack of hospital capacity, some doctors have begun to call more aggressively for a downgrading of the disease’s classification — to one on par with influenza — to enable the prompt treatment of suspected patients without them having to go through cumbersome procedures just to get a doctor’s attention.

The debate on whether to downgrade the disease, which is currently classified alongside some of the most serious infectious diseases, to a less-threatening Class V disease has been gaining momentum as the government mulls its pandemic exit strategy. Health minister Norihisa Tamura signaled in July that the government would actively look into the issue, taking into account progress in the vaccine rollout, new infection figures and the number of hospital beds.

The proposed change to a Class V disease would not mean that the coronavirus has become less threatening. Rather, the revision would allow suspected patients to get treatment at any hospital using health insurance at their own cost, rather than having all the medical fees paid at the public expense. Tens of thousands of people now isolating at home could receive treatment there from a doctor, instead of going without medical support from doctors and having to rely only on remote monitoring by health centers, as existing rules limit who can receive medical care and where.

In addition, current tough measures taken by the government and health centers would no longer be in place and restraints on social activities would be lifted.

Advocates of the change cite difficulties in accessing the health care system in a timely manner as one reason behind increased cases of serious disease or even death.

One of the most vocal proponents for the change is Dr. Kazuhiro Nagao, head of Nagao Clinic in Hyogo Prefecture. He has argued on his website that 90% of medical institutions are refusing to see patients with a fever, as they’re afraid of getting a two-week business suspension order from a public health center for causing a cluster of infections. The change would allow hospitals to promptly provide medical services to COVID-19 patients, reducing the number of severe cases and deaths, he says.

Background from previous post:  Japanese Medical Chairman Doubles Down on IVM

In February 2021, Dr. Ozaki Chairman of the Tokyo Medical Association declared that Japan’s physicians should get a greenlight to prescribe IVM (Ivermectin) at the first sign of SARS CV infections.

Now in August, Tokyo Medical Association chairman Haruo Ozaki reiterated that ivermectin should be widely used and said that his early recommendations have not been heeded in Japan.  See Lifesite article August 30, 2021 Japanese medical chairman doubles down on ivermectin support after early calls went ignored.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds

In an interview with the The Yomiuri Shimbun on August 5, Ozaki spoke in detail about his opinion that ivermectin should be used in Japan and said that his early calls for usage have seemingly not been heeded.

He stated that there is evidence from multiple countries that ivermectin has proven effective for patients diagnosed with COVID: “I am aware that there are many papers that ivermectin is effective in the prevention and treatment of [coronavirus], mainly in Central and South America and Asia.”

Chairman Ozaki stated that despite evidence suggesting the efficacy of ivermectin, it is difficult to obtain the medication. He added that while ivermectin’s established effectiveness is increasingly clear, the U.S. company that manufactures the drug, Merck & Co., Inc., have currently limited distribution because they claim that the drug is ineffective at treating COVID.

“With the view that it is not effective for the treatment and prevention of sickness, there is an intention that it should not be used for anything other than skin diseases such as psoriasis.”

This has led to a situation where, according to Ozaki, “Even if a doctor writes a prescription for ivermectin, there is no drug in the pharmacy.” He said that this has rendered the drug practically “unusable.”

He contends that the fact that supply has been stopped by Merck & Co. is evidence that it does in fact work at treating COVID: “But (Merck) says that ivermectin doesn’t work, so there shouldn’t be any need to limit supply. If it doesn’t work, there’s no demand. I believe it works, so block supply. It looks like you are.”

He said that he “also told the Japan Olympic Committee that ivermectin should be used effectively when holding the Tokyo Olympics. But the government didn’t do anything.”

He addressed the reluctance on behalf of the medical establishment in using ivermectin to treat COVID. He said “there are problems for researchers in academia and professors in universities. Many do not do anything by themselves, but they are of the opinion of international organizations such as the WHO and large health organizations in the United States and Europe that ‘it is not yet certain whether ivermectin will work for the [coronavirus].’”

“We don’t do it on our own initiative, but only on the opinions of others. Why don’t we try to see for ourselves why ivermectin works? It is deplorable that there are critics, researchers, and scholars who are constantly criticizing without doing anything. I hope that Japanese academics will contribute more actively.”

Evidence that ivermectin is effective in treating COVID has been well attested in developing nations where vaccines are not widely distributed. Another study in France also suggested that ivermectin ought to be used as a remedy for COVID.

On May 25, the Indian Bar Association served a legal notice to Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, a Chief Scientist for the World Health Organization (WHO), relating to the harm she allegedly caused the people of India by campaigning against the use of ivermectin.

In Mexico city, a home-treatment-kit, including ivermectin was created, for its 22 million-strong population on December 28, 2020, following a spike in cases of COVID-19. Also, doctors were encouraged to use Ivermectin and other therapeutic drugs in their practice when dealing with COVID-positive patients. The effort resulted in a 52–76 percent reduction in hospitalizations, according to research by the Mexican Digital Agency for Public Innovation (DAPI), Mexico’s Ministry of Health, and the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).

Following that came a public statement by another prominent Japanese physician, Dr. Kazuhiro Nagao, who appeared on Japanese television proposing that COVID-19 should be treated as a Class 5 illness as opposed to its current classification as a Class 2. In Japan, illnesses are categorized by a classification system; approaching COVID as a Class 5 illness would mean that it could be treated like a seasonal flu.

Dr. Nagao said he has used Ivermectin as an early treatment for over 500 COVID patients with practically a 100% success rate, and that it should be used nationwide.

About the effectiveness of Ivermectin in treating COVID patients, he said: “It starts being effective the very next day… My patients can reach me by message 24/7 and they tell me they feel better the next day.”

Nagao was asked by the TV anchor when patients should take Ivermectin if diagnosed with COVID-19. He replied: “The same day, I mean if you are infected today, you take it today… It is a medication that should be given for mildly ill patients. If you give it to hospital patients, it’s too late. This is also the case for the majority of drugs… So you have to give Ivermectin. I am asking our Prime Minister Suga to distribute this drug ‘made in Japan’ on a large scale in the country.

He added that four pills should be distributed to everyone in the country, so that people can take them “as soon as you are infected.”

Footnote: 

As Dr. Ozaki suggests Big Pharma wants to banish any treatments that are cheap and effective. Doing the math:

An Ivermectin course for COVID is less than twenty dollars.

A course of REMDESEVIR is currently right at $8800 dollars. (and often doesn’t work)

An outpatient treatment with monoclonal antibodies is right at $23,000 – 25,000 dollars with all the infusion costs added.

That’s not to mention obscene vaccine profits.

Covid Absurdies Madebyjimbob

This post was triggered by an article by Mike Solana at American Thinker Aborting reason. Some excerpts in italics with my bolds before jimbob takes over.

This month, as fate would have it, a controversial Texas abortion ban, shouted down from coast to coast with cries of “my body, my choice,” coursed a horrified media landscape just days before Biden introduced the concept of a national vaccine mandate. This is a very polite way of saying “forced medical procedures for almost everyone.” Across the ideological spectrum roles and rhetoric were promptly reversed.

Demands that a person’s right to their own body be honored were ridiculed and rebuffed by many of the same people who had in some cases just hours prior made impassioned arguments on behalf of a person’s right to their own body. It was an almost perfect cognitive dissonance, and it should have been enough, once illustrated, to jar even the most ardent partisan hack from their bullshit.Long story short, approximately zero partisan hacks were jarred from their bullshit. My body, my choice? Depends on who’s asking, and for what reason. But setting aside the committed idiocy of our loudest talking heads, the question at the heart of Biden’s mandatory vaccination is as old as the concepts of society and liberty: when personal freedom and social good enter conflict, what the hell do we do?

A subversion of liberty so significant as forcing someone to undergo a medical procedure they don’t want can potentially—if regrettably, and rarely—be justified. . . In addition, Americans are reluctant to trust what our institutional leaders have to say about the vaccine because Americans no longer trust our institutions. We especially don’t trust our political leaders or media. After the last few years, why would we?

Provided the vaccine hesitant aren’t literally crazy (they mostly aren’t), and the rest of us are pretty much safe (we are), there is no ethical justification for forcing anyone to undergo a medical procedure they don’t want. And until there is?

My body, my choice.

Forced vaccination at the scale of our entire country is presently an unjustifiable grab for power, and the thing about power? Sure, once a man gets a taste of it there’s never enough, and we should all expect more authoritarianism from this administration.

 

 

 

Leftist Bias More Evidence

Sally Satel reports at The Atlantic The Experts Somehow Overlooked Authoritarians on the Left. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

In February 2020, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology held a symposium called “Is Left-Wing Authoritarianism Real? Evidence on Both Sides of the Debate.”

An ambitious new study on the subject by the Emory University researcher Thomas H. Costello and five colleagues should settle the question. It proposes a rigorous new measure of antidemocratic attitudes on the left. And, by drawing on a survey of 7,258 adults, Costello’s team firmly establishes that such attitudes exist on both sides of the American electorate. (One co-author on the paper, I should note, was Costello’s adviser, the late Scott Lilienfeld—with whom I wrote a 2013 book and numerous articles.) Intriguingly, the researchers found some common traits between left-wing and right-wing authoritarians, including a “preference for social uniformity, prejudice towards different others, willingness to wield group authority to coerce behavior, cognitive rigidity, aggression and punitiveness towards perceived enemies, outsized concern for hierarchy, and moral absolutism.”

[Comment: They also noted;  “Still, relative to right-wing authoritarians (RWA), left-wing authoritarians (LWA) were lower in dogmatism and cognitive rigidity, higher in negative emotionality, and expressed stronger support for a political system with substantial centralized state control. Our results also indicate that LWA powerfully predicts behavioral aggression and is strongly correlated with participation in political violence. “]

Published last month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Costello team’s paper is persuasive, to the point that you have to wonder: How could past researchers have overlooked left-wing authoritarianism for so long? “For 70 years, the lore in the social sciences has been that authoritarianism was to be found exclusively on the political right,” the Rutgers University social psychologist Lee Jussim, who wasn’t involved in the new study, told me in an email. In the 1950 book The Authoritarian Personality, an inquiry into the psychological makeup of people strongly drawn to autocratic rule and repressive politics, the German-born scholar Theodor W. Adorno and three other psychologists measured people along dimensions such as conformity to societal norms, rigid thinking, and sexual repression. And they concluded that “the authoritarian type of human”— the kind of person whose enthusiastic support allows someone like Hitler to exercise power—was found only among conservatives. In the mid-1990s, the influential Canadian psychologist Bob Altemeyer described left-wing authoritarianism as “the Loch Ness Monster of political psychology—an occasional shadow, but no monster. ” Subsequently, other psychologists reached the same conclusion.

The Trump era likely deepened psychology’s conventional wisdom that authoritarians are almost always conservatives; the insurrection at the Capitol earlier this year showed the urgency of understanding the phenomenon. And yet calls to de-platform controversial speakers and online campaigns to get people fired for heterodox views suggest that a commitment to open democratic norms is eroding, at least in some quarters, on the left. Much further along the authoritarian continuum, people purporting to be antiracist or antifascist protesters have set fires and committed other acts of violence since the summer of 2020. These acts stop short of, say, the 1970s bombing campaign by the far-left Weather Underground, but surely call the prevailing wisdom into doubt. (Supporters of revolutionary regimes overseas have demonstrated even more clearly that some people on the left try to get their way through intimidation and force.)

But one reason left-wing authoritarianism barely shows up in social-psychology research is that most academic experts in the field are based at institutions where prevailing attitudes are far to the left of society as a whole. Scholars who personally support the left’s social vision—such as redistributing income, countering racism, and more—may simply be slow to identify authoritarianism among people with similar goals.

One doesn’t need to believe that left-wing authoritarians are as numerous or as threatening as their right-wing counterparts to grasp that both phenomena are a problem. While liberals—both inside and outside of academia—may derive some comfort from believing that left-wing authoritarianism doesn’t exist, that fiction ignores a significant source of instability and polarization in our politics and society.

Ideological blind spots can indeed affect researchers with a strongly conservative or merely right-of-center outlook, but there just aren’t enough of them to matter. If academic psychology had more viewpoint diversity, the political biases that distort researchers’ work would all counterbalance one another. In American universities today, those biases generally point in the same direction. In psychology, the belief that only conservatives can be authoritarians, and that therefore only conservative authoritarians warrant serious study, has proved self-reinforcing over the course of decades.

As both left- and right-wing autocracies metastasize around the globe—a “pandemic of global authoritarianism” that has “persisted and deepened” over the past 15 years, in the words of the Stanford sociologist Larry Diamond—and as the speed of radicalization of recruits has hastened, the modest cadre of researchers interested in the subject will likely grow. By recasting left-wing authoritarianism in more specific terms—anti-hierarchical aggression, top-down censorship, and anti-conventionalism—Costello and his colleagues offer other researchers and the general public a new vocabulary for discussing antidemocratic attitudes on that side of the political spectrum.

See also Know-it-alls, Drama Queens & Control Freaks

 

What is a “Vote” Anyway?

Ted Noel writes at Town Hall In the Arizona Audit, Words Matter.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

This is one of those times when we wish that people would have used more circumspect language. Both the Arizona auditors and John Solomon committed a cardinal error that has allowed the Left to celebrate victory and ignore the fine print. Both note that Biden got more “votes” than Trump. That conclusion is incorrect, because it ignores the rest of the story.

A vote is an indication of preference cast by an eligible, registered voter.

It must be cast in the time, place, and manner prescribed by law. Anything else is not a vote. In Arizona, it is cast on paper ballots and read by machines. All the “accurate count” showed was that the machines counted the pieces of paper accurately. That’s all machines do. They do not count “ballots.”

The canvass did not answer the primary question, “How many of the pieces of paper were lawful ballots and how many should have been excluded because they were not lawful votes?” All the “accurate count” proves is that there was no outside effort to tweak the numbers by changing them by some direct internet chicanery. But it does not prove that Biden won. Or not. And that is the problem.  I won’t repeat all the details the auditors droned on through, but there are several key findings.

Over 50,000 “ballots” were unlawfully cast.

There were dead people, new addresses without re-registration, double votes, envelopes with no signatures, ballots received that were never sent out, and so on. Every one of those “ballots” were unlawful. They should have been rejected to remove them from the canvass. Since the margin between Trump and Biden was around ten thousand, this is far more than enough to cast doubt on the outcome. And then comes the drama.Maricopa County did everything it could to block the audit. If it was confident that it had done its job correctly, then one would expect that it would cooperate fully. Indeed, with the hand count matching the canvas, it seems that all should be well. But then we find that hundreds of thousands of election files were deleted from Maricopa County’s computer servers the day before the audit began. That smacks of guilty knowledge.

We also know that the servers allowed election data to be seen from the internet. Security was extremely lax, and even though it appears no votes were changed, other issues arise. Legally required signature matching on absentee ballots basically evaporated as the original tally went on.

Was someone watching from outside, then advising local officials on how to let unlawful ballots through to obtain the desired result?

At a bare minimum, the Arizona Presidential election was irretrievably tainted. The taint was large enough to make determination of the actual winner impossible. That’s why I wrote before January 6 that VP Pence should send several slates of electors back to their respective state legislatures for a final determination.

Those states, by repeated violations of their own state laws, did not hold elections. The processes they followed did not allow a tally of lawful votes.

The Arizona legislature should vote to decertify the electors for the 2020 election. This may have no legal effect, but if it leads two or three other states to the same conclusion, we may have a Constitutional crisis, and there are no guideposts for this trail. The Constitution simply did not foresee the compounding of raw power applied to prevent the proper administration of a Presidential election. The Supreme Court may deny cert based on the passage of time beyond the designated Electoral College date. Or it could decide to hear the case and ultimately find that Biden’s election is a nullity ab initio. Or something in between. Who knows?

What we do know is that we simply cannot declare who won the Arizona election with any degree of certainty. Even if that changes nothing else, it should give us a resolve to fix our elections so that they cannot be manipulated outside the law.

Pieces of paper with marks on them are not ballots until it is determined that those marks were made by a lawful voter in the time and manner prescribed by the legislature. Only after that bar is crossed for every ballot is it possible to have an election. Biden did not win the Arizona election because there was no Arizona election. It is impossible to truthfully say that he got more “votes” than Donald Trump. Nobody actually knows.