Whoops! CNN Unwittingly Lets Truth Get Aired

Tyler Durden at zerohedge explains in article CNN Accidentally Allows Someone To Tell The Truth On Air.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Less than a week after CNN scrambled to do damage control when their chief medical correspondent was wrecked by Joe Rogan over Ivermectin lies, the network may have another fire to put out…

Indeed, just days after anchor Don Lemon tried to ‘networksplain’ Rogan’s argument, host Brian Stelter made the mistake of allowing former NYT Editor Bari Weiss on air to discuss examples of why the world has gone mad.

Stelter’s first mistake, of course, was having Weiss on his show.

His second mistake was assuming she didn’t have receipts when she said the world has gone mad.

“Where can I start? Well, when you have the chief reporter on the beat of COVID for The New York Times talking about how questioning or pursuing the question of the lab leak is racist, the world has gone mad.

When you’re not able to say out loud and in public there are differences between men and women, the world has gone mad.

When we’re not allowed to acknowledge that rioting is rioting and it is bad and that silence is not violence, but violence is violence, the world has gone mad,” Weiss said.

“When you’re not able to say the Hunter Biden laptop is a story worth pursuing, the world has gone mad.

When, in the name of progress, young school children, as young as kindergarten, are being separated in public schools because of their race, and that is called progress instead of segregation, the world has gone mad. There are dozens of examples.”

Stelter’s third and final mistake was asking Weiss “who” is to blame?

“People that work at networks like, frankly, like the one I’m speaking on right now, who try and claim that it was racist to investigate the lab leak theory,” Weiss shot back, adding later that CNN and the MSM’s actions were “disinformation by omission.”

Watching Stelter’s face alone is worth the price of admission.

How did CNN not “lose” her feed halfway through that?

Economic Freedom is the Way Forward, Reject Woke ESG Corporatism

Anthony B. Kim and Patrick Tyrrell write at Daily Signal Economic Freedom Is the Path to Healthy Environments, Social Progress, and Good Governance—Not Woke Corporatism.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The left is trying to refashion how policy makers and private-sector leaders understand their roles by insisting that their actions must have an “environmental, social, and governance” focus. This agenda is frequently abbreviated to “ESG”—a buzzword that is now being heavily circulated online and in D.C. It’s also completely misguided.

The environmental, social, and governance agenda insists that policy makers and private-sector leaders see themselves as the stewards of a newly “woke” planet. In actuality, it is a way to force companies to take positions in the political arena on issues that may have nothing to do with the company’s actual business activities.

Economic freedom, not the environmental, social, and governance agenda, makes the world cleaner, safer, and better governed. It is not hard to find the economic damage that is inflicted by heavy-handed and misguided government policies, which result in lingering uncertainty, deteriorating entrepreneurial environments, and lower employment growth.

The true path to ensuring environmental, social, governance improvements lies in focusing on policies that enhance economic freedom. As documented in The Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Economic Freedom, the linkage between economic freedom, individual liberty, and prosperity around the world is unambiguous.

This prosperity is not just an end in itself. As the index catalogues, preserving and advancing economic freedom enables individuals, entrepreneurs, and companies to better care for the poor and their environments, create better health care and education systems, ensure an abundance of food and clean water, and solve many of the other societal problems that makes life better for a greater number people.

In countries around the world, economic freedom has been shown to increase the capacity for environmentally friendly innovation. The positive link between economic freedom and higher levels of innovation ensures greater capacity to cope with environmental challenges, and the most remarkable improvements in clean energy use and energy efficiency over the past decades have occurred not as a result of government regulation, but rather because of advances in economic freedom and freer trade.

Equally notable is that countries that provide an environment that is conducive to social progress also largely embrace economic freedom. Countries that allow private-sector competitiveness to thrive free from government interference and open their societies to new ideas, products, and innovations have largely achieved the high levels of social progress that their citizens demand.

It is not massive redistributions of wealth or government dictates on income level that produce the most positive social outcomes.

Greater economic freedom can also provide more fertile ground for effective and democratic governance. Undoubtedly, the achievement of political freedom through a well-functioning democratic system is a messy and often excruciating process, but the positive relationship between economic freedom and democratic governance is undeniable.

By empowering people to exercise greater control of their daily lives, economic freedom ultimately nurtures political reform by making it possible for individuals to gain the economic resources that they can use to challenge entrenched interests or compete for political power, thereby encouraging the creation of more pluralistic societies.

By building on what works, we can accelerate our progress in the face of even the most difficult challenges and chart ever greater success. The key to that is to advance the four pillars of economic freedom—the rule of law, limited government, efficient regulation, and market openness.

Real-world trends already reveal how to advance environmental, social, and responsible governance principles and results. Twenty-seven years of the annual Index of Economic Freedom provide compelling evidence that the pathway to such improvements is not with infringing on people’s economic freedom, but through allowing their economic freedom to flourish.

That responsibility is to advance free people and free markets.

 

Covid/Climate Tyranny: Two sides of same Ideology

Two Sides of the Same Tyranny Coin

Today I saw this tweet:

 I askеd KD about his view on all of this, he said ‘It’s an individual dеcision.’ That’s the antithеsis of what a pandеmic is. You do not havе the privilеge of just looking at yoursеlf. You havе to look at the pеople nеxt to you. That’s how we got to this bеing the most dеadly pandеmic.

Sound familiar? Climatists want to cancel individual satisfactions in order to save the human race. Covid Nazis make the same demand: Give up your individual opinions and choices for humanity.

There are many posts here and elsewhere debunking the climate crisis hoax, but it may be new to realize that covid is neither a pandemic nor as deadly as claimed.  Dr. Ted Noel explains in his American Thinker article Why Is the COVID Case Count So High? Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The CDC used to define a “case” as a patient whose characteristic signs, symptoms, and physical examination matched a disease. Labs were only done if clinically needed. Since the “pandemic,” however, the move to boost case numbers is everywhere.

Instantly, a “positive” RT-PCR test in an asymptomatic person after a drive-through tonsillectomy became a “case.” The CARES Act gives thousands extra to hospitals for every “positive,” with a big bonus if the patient’s shadow is seen in an ICU. It’s a classic “one hand washes the other scenario” between outside labs and hospitals. “If you give me more positive results, I get more money, so I’ll send more tests to you.”

My hospital’s Medical Staff President flatly denied any CARES Act benefits at our 2020 Medical Staff Extravaganza, but the incentives can’t be denied. My hospital still sends “coders” out to demand that staff order COVID tests to get more payments. Put bluntly, there’s no way to know what any test means medically if the patient isn’t sick. But “positives” definitely mean money!

MIQE standards list eighty-five parameters that must be met in RT-PCR testing. Does every lab meet them all every time? Around the world, celebrities who test “positive” one day and “negative” the next strongly suggest that a lot of mistakes are being made. This is unsurprising since as early as 2017, the technique was well known for “lack of reproducibility.”

The inventor of the test stated that RT-PCR was never intended to be a diagnostic test and using it as one was scientifically illegitimate. “[It’s] like trying to say whether somebody has bad breath by looking at his fingerprint.”

Proper testing requires checking three genetic elements, widely separated in the genome. For CDC counts and CARES Act payments, only two segments get tested, automatically increasing the number of positive tests – by a lot. The lab starts the RT-PCR by doubling genetic material multiple times to make it easier to identify. In research, if it’s not positive by thirty-five “amplification cycles,”, it’s not positive. FDA guidance indicates that anything found up to 40 cycles is considered “positive.” At forty cycles a glass of water may test positive. Stopping at thirty-five would show that COVID-19 wasn’t any worse than flu, if it was that bad.

There is no pandemic. There never was.

Since only 6% of “COVID deaths” were from only the bug, there have only been about 40,000 total, roughly equal to seasonal flu. In the early days, we didn’t know how to treat it and rationally feared that the new Black Death had arrived. But by May of last year, we already knew that HCQ was probably effective in early cases. Early treatment would cause a (non)crisis to go to waste, and that could not be allowed. So very effective treatments and excellent prophylactic measures were suppressed.

Ineffective masks, social distancing, vaccine passports, lockdowns, and the like were mandated. They became part of an “Orange Man Bad” publicity campaign. Anthony Fauci gave President Trump awful advice following that game plan. Trump’s flair for publicity boomeranged in news conferences where he trumpeted his successes, but all anyone really heard was panic porn.

Certainly, the prospect of centralizing power is intoxicating to the elect. But is that it? Are hospitals the only recipients of largess?

For about twenty years, Fauci’s NIAID used taxpayer money to do “invisible” research on deadly viruses. It received unlawful patents related to a certain virus that might become worth a king’s ransom. Such filthy lucre could become very attractive.

Before you start throwing rotten tomatoes and soiled work boots, please watch David Martin Ph.D. and Reiner Fuellmich tell why they believe Anthony Fauci and his cohorts were neck-deep in the COVID gain-of-function and patent process for at least the last twenty-two years. Among the key patents are some that, if they are for a naturally occurring virus, are illegal according to the Supreme Court. If they’re for an engineered virus, they’re contrary to the Biological Weapons Convention, which became effective in 1975. Martin and Fuellmich allege that the parties to this corrupt process include Anthony Fauci, Ralph Baric, Peter Daszak, Dr. Shi Zhengli (the Wuhan Bat Lady), and—drum roll, please—none other than Bill Gates. Dr. Martin has made available a long list of documents he contends support this claim.

These alleged conspirators have spent a considerable amount of time and effort to set themselves up to profit from a vaccine industry that would likely be given huge subsidies and immunities to respond to a “coronavirus pandemic.” Yes, that’s what they literally war-gamed along the way. Martin and Fuellmich present strong evidence of collusion between the virus creators and vaccine manufacturers. Is it any surprise that an mRNA COVID-19 “vaccine” was ready for early testing within four months of the announcement of the virus?

We cannot leave this subject without asking if the vaccines actually stop infection.

No vaccine can prevent infection. That’s because you must be infected before your T-cells and antibodies (humoral immunity) can crank up.

In COVID-19, the problem is more complicated. Even if you’re vaccinated, COVID aerosols still enter your lungs, where the virus attaches to pneumocytes in your air sacs (alveoli). It multiplies inside those cells, and they shed a lot of virus back into the alveoli, where you can now share it with the next person as effectively as someone who’s sick. Voila! Asymptomatic transmission!

You’ll also be a “case” at your next drive-through impalement. But you aren’t sick and don’t get sick. You don’t have a clinical “case” of COVID, but you’ll be one for the next Panic Porn Live at 6:30! Your vaccination status won’t matter. “At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days.”

If you are immune, some of that virus will still find its way across the alveolar basement membrane into your bloodstream. That’s where your humoral immunity will mop it up and keep you from getting sick. But you are a “case!” And your house cat may be as well. Big cats in the National Zoo have been treated for the Wuhan Flu. Fido can get it, too.

There is nothing we can do to slow down COVID-19. It rapidly spread through society because it was “in the wild.” Vaccinated and unvaccinated can spread the virus equally. Even if every person gets vaccinated, we still won’t have perfect protection because the virus mutates, leaving older vaccine-induced immunity less effective. That’s why two of the most vaccinated regions in the world, Israel and Gibraltar, are having huge spikes in the bug.

The CDC definition of a “COVID case” is a political construct designed to funnel taxpayer money to favored individuals and institutions.

It has nothing to do with the course of the disease. Only 6% of “COVID deaths” were exclusively from COVID. The other 94% would likely have died of their other diseases without the virus. Many of those who died would still be alive if the Feds weren’t suppressing HCQ and Ivermectin early treatment protocols…which our “betters” in Congress are themselves reported to be using.

 

 

Why “Hispanics” is Wrong and Dangerous

This is an informed and timely perspective from a person attributed to be a member of the above “group” in order to join a socio-political US revolution.  Mike Gonzalez explains in an interview with Doug Blair at Daily Signal Why Hispanic Heritage Month Shouldn’t Be a Thing.  Excerpts of transcript with my bolds and images.

Overview

We’re in the first week of Hispanic Heritage Month, yet another 30 days of identity-focused celebration, following on the heels of Black History Month in February and Gay Pride Month in June.

But although the ubiquity of the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” might make it seem that they’ve always been there, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez contends that those terms were invented by Marxist activists attempting to persuade so-called Hispanics that they were oppressed.

“I’m very proud of [my heritage], but this amalgamation, this artificial label that is created, the officiality of it is what I’m opposed to, because I know that it is done on purpose and with malice aforethought toward the country of the United States,” Gonzalez says.

The veteran journalist and communicator joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss the Marxist history of terms such as “Hispanic” and “Latino,” and to detail the radical left’s plans to use identity politics to seize power.

Doug Blair: Our guest today is Mike Gonzalez, a Heritage Foundation senior fellow for foreign policy as well as the Angeles T. Arredondo e pluribus unum fellow. He is also the author of the new book “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution,” highlighting the Marxist underpinnings of the Black Lives Matter movement. Mike, thank you so much for joining us.

Interview

Blair: I wanted to have you on the show today to discuss Hispanic Heritage Month. You’ve done a lot of really fascinating research on terms like Hispanic and Latino and where they come from. So to start off, could you explain to our listeners a brief history of the invention of these terms?

Gonzalez: So, if by Hispanic Heritage Month we were celebrating what unites, actually, all the “Hispanics” in the United States, that is the founding by the Iberian kingdoms of Portugal, Spain of their lands, I probably wouldn’t have any problem with that. I think that we should learn more about Columbus’ exploration, his brave courageous trek across the ocean to join all of humanity finally together. Leif Erikson, a Viking, is said to have done it, but Leif Erikson was not interested in uniting humanity and forging new and permanent links as Columbus did.

If we mean that, then by all means. If we mean the wondrous actions of Junípero Serra in the West to bring the promise of salvation and Christ to the natives of that land; if we mean by no means all good, but still very brave exploration of Cuba, Mexico, Peru, etc. by Velázquez and Cortes and Pizarro, and looking at all aspects of it, looking at the good things they did and the bad things they did; then yeah, I would be for that kind of Hispanic Heritage Month.

What I’m not for is for the creation of a Hispanic category by leftists—well, the instigation of the creation—because the leftist activists in the ’70s were the ones who really went all out and prodded the bureaucracy, a very reluctant bureaucracy, I must add, who did not want to do it, starting in the late ’60s and culminating in 1977, when OMB, the Office of Management and Budget, finally created the Hispanic category.

And the culmination, I guess, would’ve been when it’s placed on the 1980 census for the first time, and this very large and growing group of Americans are hauled off and counted away from the other races that are recognized by anthropologists, not by leftist activists acting on the pay of the Ford Foundation.

So that is what I’m against. And the reason I’m against it, we can go into that later on, depending on what questions you ask, because it is very clear from the beginning that it is done in order to instill grievances in the members of this category in order to transform the country.

Blair: So what it sounds like you’re saying is that these terms like Hispanic and Latino were not naturally occurring. They weren’t invented by the communities that they were invented to describe. It sounds like these were pushed by leftist academics.

So with that being said, do you consider yourself Hispanic?

Gonzalez: So, opposition came not only from the bureaucrats, it also came from the grassroots. The grassroots wanted no part of this. They were the only people that were interested in doing this. And they were very adamant that Hispanic be created. … They always say, the activists, they hate colonization, but Hispanic and Latin America are both words that are used by colonizers.

I consider myself an American, to be honest. I consider myself a father, first of all; a husband; a Catholic, that’s an affiliation that’s very important to me; an American. I consider myself a Cuban American also, although that is less important than the other things I mentioned.

First, I’m very proud of the contributions of Cuban Americans to this country. . .Very proud of my family. I love my family. I love the history of my family, what it accomplished both in Cuba and in Spain before, because I have very recent ancestors, grandparents who are Spaniards. . .My immigrant grandfather, my immigrant five great grandparents, all of whom were poor, who came from Northern Spain and made it in Cuba.

So I’m very proud of all that, but this amalgamation, this artificial label that is created, the officiality of it is what I’m opposed to, because I know that it is done on purpose and with malice and aforethought toward the country of the United States.

Blair: With that history in mind, and with the way you view yourself in mind, I’m curious, what are the views of the communities that these terms were invented to describe, South and Central Mexican nationals, on terms like Latino and Hispanic? Are these terms popular with them? And then further on, how have these terms been embraced by the wider American population? Is this something that they accept as well?

Gonzalez: Well … I don’t know 58 million of them personally. It’s funny, every time somebody says to me, “Hey, do you know this Cuban?”, it’s like, “Nah, there’s almost 2 million Cuban Americans. We don’t really know each other, all of them.”

Look, we can only look at the opinion polls. Pew Research, every poll that I’ve looked at—Pew is very good by the way. It’s center-left and the analysis is center-left, but if you look at the numbers that Pew puts out, I swear by them. And what they find is that between 20% and 25% uses Hispanic or Latino. The rest uses Dominican or Mexican or Puerto Rican or American.

So the Hispanic and Latino—I’d love to get into Latino, by the way, because that story is not known at all. And of course, Latinx, that term only known to NPR and [President] Joe Biden. I can tell you that nobody in Miami is having a cafecito thinking he’s Latinx, and nobody walks into a bodega in Manhattan thinking she’s Latinx. My goodness, my goodness.

Blair: Well, I’m really glad that you actually brought that up, because as radical leftists kind of continue their war on language, and as they decide that these terms are not far enough, Latino and Latinx are now these things. Chicanx, I’ve heard a couple of times. I mean, how does this evolution of identity-based language, like, Latinx, Chicanx, and all these other crazy ones, how does this play into the sort of Marxist underpinnings of the phrases themselves?

Gonzalez: By the way, I often tweet that I did the Ancestry test and I came back 55% Hispanix, 20% Portugex, 20% Irix, and less than 1% Indiax.

So what they do is they create these categories. … And they’re very open about this, by the way. If you listen to Maria Teresa Kumar, who is wonderful in her ability to just speak the truth, sometimes when she’s on Chuck Todd or doing a show with Nikole Hannah-Jones, she will say, “Look, it’s really, really hard.” She’s the head of Voto Latino. “It’s really, really hard to instill grievances into the members of these categories, because they’re not aware that they’re being oppressed.”

This is, of course, pure and classic critical theory and critical legal theory and critical race theory. They believe from the beginning that what happens is that the members of the population are not aware of their oppression.

[Max] Horkheimer, one of the godfathers of critical theory, writes in the 1930s that, “One cannot rely on the proletariat to overthrow the system because the proletariat will not understand that he’s suppressed. He has no idea that he’s suppressed.” His assistant, Herbert Marcuse, then writes in the 1960s that, “Liberation can only start with the consciousness of servitude.”

And so it is with these activists and the heads of these groups, who grab an immigrant from Uruguay or his progeny and say, “You might be happy here. You may have fought really hard to leave Guerrero, Mexico, and immigrate to this country, and you may think this is the land of opportunity and milk and honey, but you’re wrong. You’re enslaved. You’re oppressed. The dissatisfaction of your material needs through capitalism, even though you’re happy with your Wi-Fi and your split-level home, this is a very oppressive, superstructure.”

In fact, in order to apply for the incentives to do this, you get maybe a preference for a city contract, but in order to get a preference for a city contract, you must write down how you were discriminated against 30 years ago. You must never forget. And my goodness, you must never forgive.

So this is very well thought out, and it works if we let it work.

Blair: The question is now, why? What is the motivation here? Is it to bring a new Marxist world order? What is the end goal here?

Gonzalez: Oh, no, of course it is. It is exactly that. It’s liberation. And they say that.

By the way, notice how Marxists never really promise liberty or freedom, because they know they’re not promising liberty or freedom. What they’re promising is liberation because they believe in the oppressed/oppressor narrative. And so they say, “It’s liberation from oppression that we’re after.” And yes, very much so.

And the penny drops for Herbert Marcuse and he writes that, “It is in the ghetto population,” his words, “that you’ll have the revolutionary agents. They must continue to be guided by a communist, a Marxist intellectual class.” They need to have revolutionary consciousness, which he doesn’t believe they have, but they have revolutionary potential, and he sees that they can be prodded into violence.

And you’re quite right, that the unique and exceptional suffering of black Americans, that suffering must be analogized to these new groups, which is wrong, it’s false. And it is in many ways just ugly because obviously, I or my family, my name is Gonzalez, famously, and nothing like what happened to African Americans happened to my family or to anybody named Gonzalez.

That’s not to say that people named Gonzalez did not experience discrimination, especially in Texas and parts of the Southwest. Earlier on in the last century, that was very real, and there’s very substantial evidence of it. And we know from the experience that they relate that that happened, but nothing ever approximates what blacks suffered in this country.

Blair: So we’ve seen some of the consequences of this kind of hyperfocalization or hyperintense scrutiny of race and identity on American politics and American social cohesion. What do you think are some of the most severe consequences of the left’s push to push everything through this lens of race, including Hispanic and black?

Gonzalez: Well, we see it today. I mean, all the polls tell us that Americans, a majority—a substantial majority, not just a plurality, but a substantial majority of Americans—today believe that race relations are the worst they’ve ever been.

We’ve had riots. 2020, we’ve had a spike in the murder rate of 30%—30%. That’s an extra 5,000 people dead in 2020, I believe mostly because of the riots and the instability, which took place mostly because of the instigation of the organization of the Black Lives Matter organizations, obviously, with an assist from Antifa, although Antifa does not have the organizing muscle or the cache or the money that Black Lives Matter has.

So we’ve seen the invasion of critical race theory into all aspects of our lives: how kids are being divided according to race; how white kids have been told that they’re racist and that they are oppressors and they have privilege and black kids are being told what Derrick Bell said, that they will never gain equality with whites, which is false and disgusting to say that to a black child. That’s a form of child abuse.

It’s also child abuse to tell a black child or a kid named Rodriguez that numeracy or literacy or punctuality or linear thinking or the use of reason are not things for them, that sitting in their desk and being quiet and following what the teacher says and paying attention and doing homework are white things.

My goodness. [These are] things that would’ve made the Grand Dragon of the KKK blush 20 years ago, and now is being repeated in our classrooms and we’re paying for it as taxpayers. We’re being trained in our places of work, under penalty of being fired.

This is all wrong and very wrong. And that’s the reason that the American people are rebelling against this.

Blair:  On that note, I’m curious, if we want to talk about issues relating to this specific subsect of people, is there a way that we can refer to these groups without using these sort of racialized terms like Hispanic or Latino? Does it make sense to talk about things, for example, like the Hispanic vote?

Gonzalez: No, that one makes absolutely no sense.

So, the largest group in America, largest nation of origin group, are Mexican Americans. I think they may be 38 million today. And it makes no sense whatsoever to talk about the Mexican American vote, just like it really makes no sense to talk about the German vote—that’s the largest group—or the Irish vote anymore. The Irish vote has been split now, I believe, since the ’60s.

The Mexican American vote in some parts like the Rio Grande Valley is going heavily conservative, heavily Republican; in the cities of Texas, especially among the young, it is going the other way. It’s going not just the Democrats or liberals, but heavily progressive. So I hesitate to talk about the Mexican American vote.

The Hispanic vote makes zero sense because you have Puerto Ricans voting differently in Florida than they do in Hartford or New York or Philadelphia; Cubans voting definitely massively one way in Miami and then that’s not the way they vote in Houston; the Mexican Americans voting in Houston or East LA.

There’s such an animal as the Cuban vote in Miami. That is part of reality. And if you are in that business, then you should talk about it and think of it that way.

I’m told that there’s even such a thing as the Irish vote in Boston. No longer do we have really the Dutch vote in the Hudson River Valley as we did in the days of Jackson, Andy Jackson.

Blair: So my final question for you is, do you think this fight against racial fragmentation and the left’s campaign to do this is a fight that conservatives are winning? And as a secondary follow-up, what are we doing well specifically and where do we need to shore up our defenses?

Gonzalez: I think conservatives have begun well by identifying the problem, talking about it, freezing it. I think the left has been caught by surprise.

By the way, the left doesn’t know what critical race theory is, obviously, or they’re just lying when they say that it is not critical race theory to talk about systemic racism. That is just a lie, that’s just ignorance.

I don’t blame them, but the majority is definitely against them. And they’re playing with fire.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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

 

CEOs Fear Their Woke Employees

An article at AMAC explains Chief Woke Officers Take Over Corporate America.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Mitch McConnell tried to warn them. He said that “If I were running a major corporation, I would stay out of politics” and stop “behaving like a woke parallel government.”

Yet corporations continue to preach endlessly about “systemic racism” and “equity,” and their actions are more indicative of left-wing activist groups than a legitimate business.

What gives? Why do Chief Executive Officers usually run their lives like sensible business people but run their companies like Chief Woke Officers?

It boils down to one simple truth: they’re afraid of the people they hire.

They look out at their company, and who holds the real power? Overeducated, Rachel Maddow-watching, walking HR departments—often actually working in HR.

Woke radicalism has gone mainstream by seizing the once bland world of Human Resources at the innermost layer inside organizations. Now, they’re subverting institutions from within.

As a result, even middle-of-the-road personnel policies today include statements on “equity,” “inclusion,” and even “anti-racism” as standard-issue boilerplate. Far from the traditional HR responsibilities of hiring, firing, and training personnel, today’s HR departments are the woke police of corporate America, enforcing rigid adherence to leftist ideology. Any dissent, even from corporate leadership, is not tolerated. Ever fearful of being tried in the court of public opinion, CEOs and other executives, ostensibly the most powerful people in the company and some of the most powerful people in the country, submit.

CEOs, always more concerned with investor-relations and long-term projects than HR policies, now face a choice.

Do they stand up for what they probably know is common-sense, and fire the mouth-breathers more suited to running a freshman seminar on protest art than running a company?

Or do they take the easier road—surrender to the enemy within, keep cashing their checks, and hope the woke mob cancels someone else?

We’ve seen their answer. Again and again and again. They cave.

Yet while purging companies of radical activists would likely lead to some short-term backlash on Twitter and in the media, it would undoubtedly lead to a healthier business environment in the long-term – and better the lives of employees who just want to earn a living without being unwillingly co-opted into progressive political activism. Unfortunately, thus far, executives have shown a complete unwillingness to do so, apparently content to cede their companies to leftists as long as they can continue collecting a large paycheck.

Woke liberals and the HR departments they run have taken over companies. Now, with CEOs in their grasp, they’re taking over America.

 

 

Steyn’s Situational Sensibility

Key points expressed by Mark Steyn in his address at Gatestone Institute A Hinge Moment of History.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  Complete text of address is at the link above.

I have lived in countries that have real domestic terrorism movements…. Any country blessed enough not to have a domestic terrorism movement should not be inventing one.

We are living in a blizzard of lies.

[W]e are more dependent on a handful of woke billionaires to tell us what reality is. They are far more open than ever that they get to determine what are the agreed facts. Google made an explicit announcement about this recently. They said that sometimes they would put warnings on things that are factually accurate because, even though they are true, they do not think it is in society’s interest for people to be seeing it.

[N]ow you will be banned or deleted or blocked or silenced simply for disagreeing with the official version of events. For example, the Great Barrington declaration, which was written by three of the most prominent epidemiologists in the world from Harvard, Oxford, and I think it was Stanford. That was basically deleted from YouTube, banned from Facebook, simply because it contradicted the WHO, CDC official version of events.

It is just groupthink enforced by a cabal of woke billionaires, who have more power than anyone else on the planet.

The other thing that emerged during this year very quickly is that we are at a hinge moment of history. We were told a generation or two back that, by doing trade with China, China would become more like us. Instead, on issues such as free speech, we are becoming more like China.

American companies are afraid of offending China. American officials are afraid of offending China. We are adopting Chinese norms on issues such as free speech and basic disagreements with the government of China.

We’re living in the early stages of a future that is the direct consequence of poor public policy over the last couple of generations. We are not even aware of that….

Right now, we are witnessing a non‑stop continuous transfer of power to a country that is serious about using that power. This is China’s moment. Take it as someone who grew up, in large part, in a great power in decline. There’s no real explicit handover day. People, in hindsight, expect to pinpoint the day that the baton was passed…. My great worry is that actually, the transfer to China has already happened. The baton has already been passed. We just haven’t formally acknowledged that yet.

I’ll say it straight out loud. I do not think that Joe Biden “won the election.” I don’t think it is a question of “widespread fraud.” I think the way the system works with the Electoral College, you only need actually to spread fraud in six key cities in six key states.

I would like some of these genius jurists, including [US Supreme Court Chief Justice] Mr. Roberts and his colleagues, to then give us a figure on what is the acceptable level of fraud in American elections. Denmark, in its history, has never actually had a plausible accusation of any kind of electoral fraud. As we know, in the United States, in cities like Philadelphia, this is a tradition that has long roots and goes back 150 years.

If you have no basic election integrity, essentially, all the other issues are irrelevant.

Big Tech has essentially wrecked the internet.

Now Facebook is working with state power. The first place these Big Tech guys learned to do this was with China…. I’m in favor of breaking these companies up as soon as we can.

Right now, in the United States we worry because Facebook is canceling some actress or pop star. In Australia right now, Facebook is trying to cancel an entire country. We have left it far too late to take serious moves against these people.

Standard Oil was broken up because of its control over the oil business. Facebook and Google and Apple have far more control over their business than Standard Oil did 110 years ago. The difference is that their business is knowledge and the access to knowledge, which is more important even than oil.

I take Iran seriously. Not so much because of the Iranians, but because of the promises and the expectations in places like Sudan that Iranian nuclear technology will basically be shared with some of the most lethal basket-case states on Earth. Iran is in some sense like Russia and China. These are all, in a certain sense, great civilizations that have become perversions of themselves in a relatively short time.

What we ought to be trying to do is connect the Iranian people with their great glorious past, which actually is a platform on which you can build a future.

At some point, if we’re not prepared to stand up… My whole thing, in all the years, is that Western civilization is sliding off a cliff and most citizens of most Western nations are not even aware of it.

There is a moral component that we are overlooking. We live in an insane world where moral narcissism attaches to whether or not you rampage around some statue of a Confederate general who died 150 years ago. The fact that you’re rampaging around the Confederate general while wearing shoes made by child labor somehow does not impact on your moral virtue at all.

We are the civilization that built the modern world. If you do not like us, we can go back to what it was 500 years ago. Basically, the world functions because of the world we built.

The war on the past is straight out in 1984, straight out of Orwell: Who controls the present, controls the past. Who controls the past, controls the future. If you blow up the past, you make social engineering so much easier because there is nothing to go back to.

I try to restrain myself from seeing obvious metaphorical geopolitical symbolism in trivial events, but that story the other day about how China was making US diplomats undergo COVID anal swabs had too much symbolic power for what China has basically done to the entire planet to let it go.

The big change over the last year is that these issues are no longer abstractions. Everyone in the Western world has had some familiarity with the core meaning of Western liberties, whether you are talking about freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom of religion, they have all become very real, even for people living the most quiet and uncontroversial lives. We have states, a few weeks ago issuing orders on who you were allowed to spend Christmas or July 4th with.

What’s in a Name? Power.

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Johathan Turley writes at The Hill The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

It may be true, as Confucius said, that “the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name,” but it can also be the end of politics. For politicians, labeling controversies is often more important than addressing the controversies themselves. Even well-defined terms used in legislation must change to fit political needs, such as like “infrastructure.” When its real meaning proved too restrictive, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) simply tweeted, “Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure.” Done.

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The same is true with labeling political violence. When protests by Black Lives Matter and other groups turned violent last summer, some media employees were expressly told not to refer to “rioters” but rather “protesters.” Riots causing massive property damage were described by CNN as “fiery but mostly peaceful protests.”

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Conversely, the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol could not be just a riot, let alone a “fiery” protest, but only an “insurrection.” Many in the media continue referring to “the insurrectionists” rather than the rioters. National Public Radio even ran a running account of the “Capitol insurrection.” The term was further driven home by House Democrats by impeaching former President Trump for “incitement to insurrection” despite undermining any chance for an actual conviction. Members of Congress such as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) are still in federal court claiming a conspiracy of “armed and organized insurrectionists.”

The characterization of the attack as an insurrection served myriad political and personal purposes. First, it painted anyone associated with challenging the 2020 election results as supporting sedition and the country’s overthrow. Second, if this was a protest allowed to turn into a riot, there would be more questions about the failure to properly protect the Capitol.

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It is easier to excuse a response to an insurrection than a violent protest. That point was expressly made by former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who insisted, “This was not a demonstration. This was not a failure to plan for a demonstration. This was a planned, coordinated attack on the United States Capitol.”

Despite the adoption of the term by many in the media, there has been a growing disconnect with the actual cases in court. Indeed, a new report from Reuters disclosed that the FBI has apparently struggled to support the account of a coordinated “insurrection” on Jan. 6. Reuters’s FBI sources said that, despite months of intense investigation, they could find “scant evidence” of any “organized plot” and instead found that virtually all of the cases are “one-offs.” One agent explained, “Ninety to 95 percent of these are one-off cases. Then you have 5 percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”

In other words, they found a protest that became a runaway riot as insufficient security preparations quickly collapsed. While there clearly were those set upon trashing the Capitol, most people were shown milling about in the halls; many took selfies and actively described the scene on social media.

More than 570 people have been arrested, but only 40 face conspiracy charges. Those charges are often based on prior discussions about trying to enter Congress or bringing material to use in the riot; some clearly came prepared for rioting with ropes, chemical irritants and other materials. Those cases, however, are a small group among the hundreds charged and an even smaller percentage among the tens of thousands of protesters on that day.

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After five months of dragnet arrests nationwide, a few reporters have noted that no one was actually charged with insurrection or sedition. The vast majority of people face charges such as simple trespass. For example, the latest guilty plea is from San Francisco real estate broker Jennifer Leigh Ryan, who posted an account on social media of how “we’re gonna go down and storm the capitol.” She pleaded guilty this week to “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building” and faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Yet the characterization of the “insurrection” has continued as a virtual article of faith for those reporting on or writing about Jan. 6. Moreover, the treatment of many has remained severe, if not draconian by design. Justice official Michael Sherwin proudly declared in a television interview that “our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe. … It worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C. because they’re like, ‘If we go there, we’re gonna get charged.’ … We wanted to take out those individuals that essentially were thumbing their noses at the public for what they did.”

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That “shock and awe” included holding people without bail and imposing “restrictive housing” for no obvious reason. That includes some of the most notable figures from that day, such as Jacob Chansley (aka Jake Angeli), better known as “Chewbacca man” or the “QAnon shaman” for the distinctive horned headdress he wore during the riot. Angeli, 33, is not accused of attacking anyone while parading around the Senate floor in his bear skin. He always insisted he was not trying to overthrow the nation with his decorative outfit and spear-topped flagpole. While the government did not find that he engaged in sedition, it did learn that he has an array of mental illnesses, including transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. Yet he has been held since the riot and is charged with six crimes, including violent entry, trespass and parading, which collectively could yield up to 28 years in prison.

There is a fair distinction between those who tried to stop the certification of a presidential election and those who burn police stations or businesses during protests.

Yet there remains a striking contrast in how other riots are characterized or prosecuted. Most of those arrested for violent protests after the death of George Floyd saw their charges dropped by state prosecutors. For months, rioters sought to burn federal buildings or occupy state capitals and in some cases seized police stations and sections of cities or even a city hall. They were not declared insurrectionists; they were rioters before being set free after brief arrests.

Many of us remain disgusted and angered by the Jan. 6 riot — but it was a riot. It also was a desecration. These people deserve to be punished, particularly those who went with an intent to try to enter the Congress. The question is whether you can have an insurrection without anyone actually insurrecting. That Zen-like question may find its way into the hearings of some pending cases.

Calling these people “rioters” does not minimize what they did — or undermine the legitimacy of their punishment. However, there is wisdom and even the chance for resolution when we “call things by their proper name.”

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University.

For a tutorial in winning the naming game, see “I am Non-racial”

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Socialists Command, Failures Ensue. Here’s why.

quote-social-engineering-the-art-of-replacing-what-works-with-what-sounds-good-thomas-sowell-133-50-80We are witnessing again politicians attempting to command social outcomes, which in market societies not only fails but makes matters worse.

An insight is provided by an observer of the “Blue State Model” example of NY under Cuomo and DeBlasio.  At AMAC newsline Cuomo Might Be Leaving Office, But His Failed Blue State Model Remains.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Following a sexual harassment scandal that captured the attention of the nation over the past several months, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that he will resign as governor, effective two weeks from yesterday. But while New Yorkers may finally be rid of their creepy, handsy governor, the legacy of Cuomo’s disastrous policies will unfortunately continue its negative impact on the Empire State and weigh down attempts at economic recovery and growth.

Ironically, if Cuomo had prioritized working with small businesses, eliminating bureaucratic red tape, and removing onerous taxes, he could have had more small businesses and lower costs. But he instead chose to move in the opposite direction and, as is usually the case, more government involvement in private industry created a nightmare for companies and consumers.

One law in particular from earlier this year is a perfect case study, not only in Cuomo’s dreadful governing record, but in the bullying, Big Government, Blue State model that he so vividly represented. On April 16, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to impose price controls on high-speed internet. Under this bill, providers were only allowed to charge $15 a month to low-income residents, regardless of the cost of providing service. Governor Cuomo celebrated the law, stating, “This program – the first of its kind in the nation – will ensure that no New Yorker will have to forego having reliable home internet service and no child’s education will have to suffer due to their economic situation.

Almost immediately, the law was challenged by representatives of the telecommunications industry. They asserted that it was grossly illegal and that the state has no legal basis that would permit them to set or regulate the price of internet access.

Cuomo’s office was defiant. They immediately declared, “If these companies want to pick this fight, impede the ability of millions of New Yorkers to access this essential service, and prevent them from participating in our economic recovery, I say bring it on.” The infamously pugilistic Governor made it clear he wasn’t backing down – a trait that would again haunt him during his trial by media over sexual assault allegations a few months later.

In June, a federal court found merit in the industry’s challenge and temporarily banned the measure from being instituted. In the proceedings, it was revealed that the ban and its justification were almost ludicrously ill prepared and planned. When the state was challenged as to how it could legally set the price of a private industry service, they insisted that they weren’t actually setting the price at $15 because providers were free to charge less than $15. Additionally, the $15 price point wasn’t based on any research or knowledge. Even a cursory understanding of the telecom industry would reveal that many providers pay more than $15 per person in taxes and fees alone.

Needless to say, the judge wasn’t buying Cuomo’s argument. Within a matter of months of signing the bill, the state of New York abandoned it and chose to discontinue the case. The decision surprised few insiders. Some analysts theorized the Cuomo plan was mere “political theater.” They alleged that it was an attempt by the Governor to appear tough on corporations while accomplishing very little.

While Cuomo attempted to portray himself as standing up against “big business,” the truth is far more complicated. Many of the fiber optic cables laid across the country are not placed by large corporations. There are a number of small providers who specifically service areas that large providers ignore due to perceived inefficiency and cost. Currently, hundreds of thousands of homes are serviced by these small providers.

These companies had to spend millions of dollars and countless hours fighting Cuomo for their very survival. Additionally, although they technically won the battle, the legacy of the law could lead to a major chilling effect in which providers will be hesitant to provide low-cost fiber optic cables, out of fear they will be financially ruined should a future court rule in favor of a more cunning and well-prepared administration. In effect, Cuomo’s attempt to make internet access more ubiquitous and affordable would have made it more restricted and expensive.

Mercifully, with the three-term governor on his way out, New Yorkers will have a chance to pursue a different direction under hopefully more capable leadership. Unfortunately, however, the failed progressive model that tale exemplifies remains stubbornly in place in Blue State capitals across the country.

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Of course the same Blue State model of governance has produced a mess in California, resulting in a recall campaign against the perpetrator, Gavin Newsom.  Meanwhile at the US federal level, 2021 has seen political command behavior on steroids, and social and economic destruction unprecedented in such a short period of time.

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A deeper discussion of failed progressive administrative behavior is from a previous post reprinted below.

Why Technocrats Deliver Catastrophes

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Mark E. Jeftovic writes insightfully on the ways technology backfires when applied by bureaucrats in his article Why the Technocratic Mindset Produces Only Misery and Failure. H/T Tyler Durden at zerohedge. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Technocrats have the most fundamental aspect of reality backwards

Saw this article come across, come across my news alert for “Transhumanism”. In it Dr. David Eagleman talks about how not only can we augment human senses with fantastic new abilities (like to “see” heat and electromagnetic patterns), but how we’ll even be able to build machines that think too.

There is a line in his thinking that one can glean from the article: on one side of the line are enhancements and augmentations to the human experience which are startling and amazing and which will transform our societies: even more radical life extension will be in the cards quite soon (for those who can afford it).

Where Eagleman crosses into technocratic thinking is when he veers into the idea of being able to build thinking machines. The logic is that because we’ll be able to increasingly bioengineer our own living bodies, it means we should also be able to bioengineer a mind into machines using the same principles.

I think this is wrong and it’s the same theoretical mistake that leads directly to technocratically inspired catastrophes.

Yes, we continue to build on technological advancements, but we also commit a lot of unforced errors that inflict incalculable misery on humanity. These errors may manifest as policy blunders, economic crises and worse. Most recently, for example, we seem to have gotten ourselves into a global pandemic because a bunch of technocrats funded some gain-of-function experiments in hopes of preempting the next pandemic. Do you see the dynamic here?

Over the years a lot of thinkers have pointed out that technocratic policy tracks, devised by centralized groups of experts within an elite managerial class, often bring about the very conditions they were impaneled to obviate.

• Raising minimum wages increases unemployment.
• Holding interest rates to zero creates economic instability and increases wealth inequality.
• Forcing green energy initiatives creates systems with lower energy efficiency and higher carbon footprints.
• Banning guns increases gun violence.
• Censoring “hate” speech fosters more hatred and polarization.

It’s almost as if the managerial class has no awareness of second-order effects. When they inexorably come to pass they are often blamed on the very people who were counselling against the initial policy in the first place.

Thus, financial meltdowns are blamed on runaway free markets and capitalism gone wild. Global warming (if it truly plays out along prognosticated lines) is blamed on industries who are most rapidly transitioning toward greener energy anyway (like Bitcoin mining).

Climate change is another theme that exemplifies the technocratic dynamic: As a society we’re going to transition off of fossil fuels no matter what anybody thinks about the environment because we’re already past peak oil, and peak demand will probably flatline around 100M bpd and start coming down from there in a secular downtrend, for a variety of reasons (prolonged economic malaise and the ascent of green energy).

Yet the most viable pathway toward transitioning away from fossil fuels, nuclear (and in this I include Thorium), is currently relegated as problematic by technocrats and ideologues.

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It all seems backwards and for a long time I’ve been positing a fundamental root cause of this backwardness. The premise is: We have the mind/matter equation completely backwards in the way we think about how the world works.

Conventional thought is that what we experience as consciousness is something that emanates from the brain. Like steam from a kettle. This is also the core assumption of AI. If we build something that resembles a brain, it’ll think. It’s a kind of Frankenstein approach that Eagleman alludes to in his article.

That won’t work and AI will never be achieved as long as the mechanistic, material reductionist worldview persists. Yet, technocrats put a lot of faith in AI, and they think models derived from AI are or will be superior to anything we can figure out on our own because they were outputted by machines with a bigger/faster/hardware brains.

It is completely… wrong.

I think that what we experience as matter are energy patterns that emanate from an underlying, and conscious sub-strata of reality. This is basic quantum theory. Quantum theory can be problematic because it opens the door to all kinds of New Age Woo Woo, which may not even be entirely wrong at its core, but is prone to deeply flawed implementations (like anything, I guess).

People, and probably most living things, have a sense, an intuitive awareness of this sub-strata of reality. Our mythology and sacred texts are probably the stories of sometimes being more attuned to it and sometimes less so. The late British writer Colin Wilson wrote at length on the consciousness of the Egyptians of the upper kingdom, possibly over 7500 years BC. Their consciousness and language was pictorial not linear. It may even be possible (my extrapolation, not his) that the demarcation point between conscious awareness between individuals was blurred somewhat. 

So what happened?

Into this awareness came religions. Organized structures that would begin to dictate the basis on which members of society were to comprehend and approach this Great Sub-Carrier. Priesthoods evolved – the first monopolies. Religions. Hierarchies. Rulers. Subjects.

One of the earliest forms of social deviance was heresy: approaching the Divine Sub-Carrier from a direction outside the religious structure. Can’t have that.

This dynamic is as old as humanity. It could even be argued that historical progress is the story of the public coming to realize that the monopoly thought structure they were in was flawed or obsolete and then society moving on to the next one. The elites of the day would endeavour to halt the progression or when that failed, co-opt whatever came next.

Then new elites would erect a new orthodoxy that placed them directly in the nexus of what was unknowable and what the rabble thought they needed to know in order to perform their primary function of ….servitude.

Today the great sub-carrier is best described by science, not religion. But again, the priesthood is saying that all knowledge of the sub-carrier should come through them. That’s Scientism. That’s Technocracy. Management by Experts.

The last two years of life on earth are a foretaste of a full blown technocracy. Follow The Science™, plebes.

Only our elites can fathom how to approach and extract knowledge from The Great Externality, but this time they’ve made things even worse because they have it exactly backwards. They think the Great Externality doesn’t even exist. It’s for flakes and Bible bangers. The technocratic priesthood holds that material reality is near completely understood and that our minds are side effects of chemical reactions in our brains.

They hold that if only we can crunch enough Big Data and calculate out all the models we’ll be, like God (who doesn’t exist), able to fix everything and eliminate all bad outcomes, for everybody, everywhere. We may even be able to eliminate death, and we could upload our consciousness (which is an illusion) into the cloud and live forever.

Because of this backwardation, we will always be careening from one catastrophe to the next, and most of them will be of our own making. We collectively suffer from an illusion that we are in control.

But we are not in control. We’re a pattern. A dance. A cycle. Waveforms. Vibrations. What we as humans do specifically well, which is our superpower and has led to our technological advancement which could conceivably continue on a trajectory that makes humanity an interstellar phenomenon, is adapt.

What technocrats can’t understand, or admit is that we can’t control what is going to happen. Either on an individual scale of people thinking in ways they’re not supposed to think, or geological, cultural, geopolitical or cosmic scales. We can’t get interest rates right, we can’t get everybody to agree on whether it’s “Gif” or “jif” and somehow we’re going to change the trajectory of the climate? Achieve immortality? Crank out a Singularity?

That is highly unlikely and in trying to preempt theoretical bad outcomes we typically bring about horrible actual outcomes.

The lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, if it occurred and it is looking increasingly likely that it did, was the result of gain-of-function studies on bat coronaviruses. They didn’t do it as a bioweapon. It’s not a global conspiracy to institute a Great Reset (all that talk is opportunism more than planning).

They were trying to figure out how to plan for a future global pandemic that may catch humanity off guard and cause incalculable damage. What did they accomplish? They unleashed a global pandemic that caught humanity off guard and caused incalculable damage. Soon to be compounded by global, de-facto compulsory inoculations with experimental vaccines that have a distinctly politicized impetus behind them.

That same dynamic is applied to economics (its where the .COM crash and Global Financial Crisis came from), and social policy (the Woke movement), to climate is all the same technocratic mindset that doesn’t understand the order of reality (mind, then matter) but even worse thinks it knows it.

We’re stuck with that for awhile because the technocratic mindset is incapable of introspection or entertaining the possibility of being wrong about anything. The only move it knows is to double-down on failure.

The antidote to all this is massive decentralization on a global scale, which has the added benefit that decentralization by definition, is not something that gets decided from the top (it never is). It just happens, even in spite of the people in the centre of power who may feel something about their gravitas melting away.

That’s what has started to happen. A global opt-out. The Great Reject. As sure as the Reformation gave way to the Enlightenment despite the protestations of the Church, we’re headed into a world of networks and the sunset of nations. All the while the propagandists of the old order shrieking that in this direction lies certain doom.

The Enlightenment arose from an increase in the level of abstraction, structurally the universe changed from the Ptolemaic worldview (the world as the centre of all existence) to the Heliocentric solar system.

Now we’re experiencing a similar shift away from static top-down hierarchical structures as the natural shape of civilization and toward shifting, impermanent, overlapping networks.

Footnote:  Another Example of Technocratic Adventurism

From American Thinker The Grave Perils of Genetic Editing.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

A company called Oxitec, based in the U.K., is piloting a program using gene-/information-modified mosquitos to eliminate the invasive female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the Florida Keys. The mosquitoes potentially spread diseases such as Dengue fever and Zika.

Dr. Nathan Rose, head regulator of Oxitec, said mosquito-borne diseases are likely to worsen as a result of climate change. According to the CDC, in a ten-year span between 2010 and 2020, there were 71 cases of Dengue fever transmitted in Florida. In essence, the experiment is being conducted for fear of climate change causing a drastic increase in incidence of Dengue fever. In the Fox article, Rose states that Oxitec will first experiment in Florida, collect data, then “go to the U.S. regulatory agencies to actually get a commercial registration to be able to release these mosquitoes more broadly within the United States.”

Don’t think the Florida Keys just opened their arms with a great big bear hug to this experiment. No, there were pushback and questions. In fact, Oxitec had been pushing this experiment to Key Haven and Key West for years, only to be rejected. Many other places have also declined this experiment. When it was conducted in Brazil, it initially seemed to work, but in the end, the mutated mosquitos transferred mutations to the general public. Thankfully, gene drive was not used in the Brazil experiment, for this type of gene manipulation cannot be reversed and can wipe out a species over time.

Evidently, Oxitec has created a second-generation “friendly mosquito” technology, where new male mosquitoes are programmed to kill only female mosquitoes, with males serving and passing on the modified genes to male offspring for generations. Yes, they are programmed to kill. Oxitec CEO Grey Frandsen announced in 2020 that Oxitec looked forward to working with the Florida Keys community to “demonstrate the effectiveness of our safe, sustainable technology in light of the growing challenges controlling this disease-spreading mosquito.”

Let’s hope the Florida mosquitoes experiment is truly a necessity and not some type of climate-change fear-mongering “sustainable” technology based on speculation.