Give us $, or the trees get it!


The Massachusetts Audubon Society runs a scam popularized by National Lampoon in 1973.

The Massachusetts Audubon Society has long managed its land in western Massachusetts as crucial wildlife habitat… But in 2015, the conservation nonprofit presented California’s top climate regulator with a startling scenario: It could heavily log 9,700 acres of its preserved forests over the next few years. The group raised the possibility of chopping down hundreds of thousands of trees as part of its application to take part in California’s forest offset program.

The program allows forest owners like Mass Audubon to earn so-called carbon credits for preserving trees. Each credit represents a ton of CO2. California polluters … buy these credits so that they can emit more CO2 than they’d otherwise be allowed to under state law. … The Air Resources Board accepted Mass Audubon’s project into its program, requiring the nonprofit to preserve its forests over the next century instead of heavily logging them. The nonprofit received more than 600,000 credits in exchange for its promise. The vast majority were sold through intermediaries to oil and gas companies, records show. … The fossil fuel companies were able to emit more CO2 while abiding by California’s climate laws.

Disgusting.

Hunter, Bounty

Wherein we learn more of why the NY Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop had to be suppressed.

*Cognitive dissonance warning:*
*Those who get their news from Facebook may experience paradigm dysphoria.*

The first 3 links will refresh your memory if needed, but aren’t necessary to peruse. They’re documentation. The last is longish, but documents a Swallwell-type honey trap previously unknown. That was during Hunter’s dalliance with CEFC China Energy (a CCP oil conglomerate), which was later (2018) to collapse when its secretary general Patrick Ho was convicted of bribery in a US federal prosecution. Hunter had described Ho as ‘spy chief of China.’

Hunter’s continuing relationship with BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Company is a separate issue.

2019:
It’s NPR, so Republicans are “reacting” “without evidence” to Hunter Biden’s promise to divest his 10% ownership of BHR, co-owned by the CCP’s Bank of China.
Hunter Biden to step down from Chinese board

2019:
In a weasel-worded whitewash “fact check” Politifact does reveal some of BHR’s dealings:
Fact-checking claims about Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, and China

“Reuters has reported that BHR also invested in China General Nuclear Power Corp, a state-owned company. The company employed a naturalized U.S. citizen and nuclear engineer, Allen Ho, who was indicted in the United States in 2016 for allegedly enlisting U.S.-based nuclear experts to assist in developing and producing special nuclear material in China. “Prosecuting those who unlawfully facilitate the acquisition of sensitive nuclear technology by foreign nations continues to be a top priority of the National Security Division,” the Justice Department said its news release about Ho’s sentencing to 24 months in prison.”

That directly follows this quote from a Boston College political scientist:

“[W]hat was known as the Obama administration pivot toward Asia began in 2010. This predated the creation of BHR. [So?]

“This policy shift aimed to resist Chinese security policy initiatives,” Ross said. “Overall security and economic trends reflected a significant hardening of U.S. policy toward China, as compared to both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. For instance, U.S. policy developed greater security cooperation with South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines to strengthen the alliances and to better contend with Chinese policy.”

But Ross said that he knows of “no U.S. agreements with China that entailed U.S. security interests, much less that compromised U.S. security.”

He must have a different definition of “U.S. agreements” and/or “security interest” than I do. IAC, the Allen Ho indictment was known before Hunter took a $420,000 (2017) ownership stake in BHR.

As of April 29th, 2021:
100 Days Into Biden’s Presidency, Hunter Still Owns Stake In Chinese Private Equity Firm, Business Records Show

“Joe Biden promised in October 2019 that if elected president, nobody in his family would have any business relationship with any foreign corporation or country.

“No one in my family will have an office in the White House, will sit in on meetings as if they are a cabinet member, will, in fact, have any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or a foreign country,” Joe Biden told reporters in Iowa. “Period. Period. End of story.””

Now, the last BHR business filing is from July 2020; 9 months after the promises. Maybe Hunter is shut of the ChiComs by May of 2021. However, Hunter’s lawyer, the White House, and BHR Equity have all declined to comment. You’d expect they would all be happy to tell us if Hunter did, indeed, divest.

On May 8th, 2021:
This is the new part. The UK Daily Mail again does what our media refuses to do.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Your doggy chain necklace is waiting for you.’ Flirty messages from Hunter Biden’s Chinese-American secretary, 29, who worked for him when he partnered with the ‘spy chief of China’ are revealed

It’s harder than it seems to extract yourself from CCP “investments” when you leave blackmail material on a laptop you abandon.

Losing the TERF War

THE WAR ON STANDARDS, WOKE U.S. ARMY EDITION

The U.S. Army apparently has decided to gender-norm scores on the test it administers for combat fitness… women will be judged based on how they perform in relation to other women.

This radical change is a response to the unsurprising fact that women are failing the Army’s combat fitness test to a disproportionate extent. The test in question evaluates soldiers in six events: dead lifts, a two-mile run, push-ups, a shuttle run, a medicine ball throw and leg tucks, in which soldiers must hang from a bar and bring their knees to their elbows. About 54 percent of women and 7 percent of men failed the test last year.

Wait a minute. If trans women ARE women, every soldier is potentially a woman. But biological females can’t compete on the same physical fitness curve as biological males?

The NCAA could not be reached for comment.

The content of CDC’s character

I shared this article regarding CDC vaccine distribution decisions with some friends:
Why I’m Losing Trust in the Institutions – Persuasion

RTWT, but here’s the key:

[There are] some bedrock principles on which virtually all moral philosophers have long agreed.

The first is that we should avoid “leveling down” everyone’s quality of life for the purpose of achieving equality… The second is that we should not use ascriptive characteristics like race or ethnicity to allocate medical resources… The Centers for Disease Control have just thrown both of these principles overboard in the name of social justice.

In one of the most shocking moral misjudgments by a public body I have ever seen, the CDC invoked considerations of “social justice” to recommend providing vaccinations to essential workers before older Americans even though this would, according to its own models, lead to a much greater death toll. After a massive public outcry, the agency has adopted revised recommendations. But though these are a clear improvement, they still violate the two bedrock principles of allocative justice—and are likely to cause unnecessary suffering on a significant scale…

On November 23rd, Kathleen Dooling, a public health official at the CDC, gave a presentation to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices … on who should first get access to the vaccine against Covid… Dooling recommended that 87 million essential workers—a very broad category including bankers and movie crews as well as teachers or supermarket cashiers—should get the vaccine before older Americans, even though the elderly are much more likely to die from the disease. The committee unanimously accepted the recommendations.

Dooling’s presentation laid out three different metrics for evaluating whether 87 million “essential workers” or Americans over the age of 65 should be next in line: feasibility, science, and ethics…

According to the CDC’s model, prioritizing essential workers over the elderly would … likely result in the preventable deaths of thousands of Americans.

And yet, the presentation concluded that science does not provide a reason to prioritize the elderly. For, as Kathleen Dooling wrote in one of the most jaw-dropping sentences I have ever seen in a document written by a public official, differences in expected consequences that could amount to thousands of additional deaths are “minimal.”

This allowed Dooling to focus on “ethical” principles in selecting the best course of action. Highlighting the most important consideration in red, Dooling emphasized that “racial and ethnic minority groups are underrepresented among adults > 65.” In other words, America’s elderly are too white to be considered a top priority for the distribution of the vaccine against Covid.

My emailed comment was:
Whatever your opinion of the politicization of CCP virus treatments, Hydroxychloroquine for example, the CDC decision outlined in the link is an example of callous disregard for human life in the service of Critical Race Theory. Unlike HCQ, where reasonable people could a raise cautionary hand, this was a conscious decision to increase the death toll from the CCP virus. A decision based on skin color and, probably, pressure from unions – especially the American Federation of Teachers. It is disgusting that institutions we set up and pay for have so little regard for anything beyond woke virtue signaling.

The policy undoubtedly led to more black deaths, more elderly deaths, and more black elderly deaths.

One of the email recipients asked this:
Is murder too strong a word? Worse, perhaps, than Benghazi.

To which I replied:
Benghazi was amoral indifference followed by cynical coverup. You could argue that bold faced lies told over the caskets of the people she put in harm’s way was merely another demonstration of Hillary’s horrible character. What did they expect, after all? But she had left the deaths to chance. The deaths were possible, a vile betrayal, would be embarrassing, but were not assured. A reasonable gamble for the soulless if you can get away with it.

On the other hand, CDC’s decision to withhold vaccines from the most vulnerable on the basis of race was contrary to their charter, a moral perversion of their own knowledge, but also premeditated. Excess deaths were what they approved. They thought wokeness would not only let them get away with it, but that it was a praiseworthy moral principle.

Worse than Benghazi.

Murder is not too strong a word. More specifically, geronticide.

Agency: Haves and have nots

Oxford University Scholarship Online defines human agency:

Our self‐understanding as human agents includes commitment to three crucial claims about human agency: That agents must be active, that actions are part of the natural order, and that intentional actions can be explained by the agent’s reasons for acting.

I’ve written about agency in a couple of recent posts, related to the Ma’Khia Bryant tragedy, because it seems to me her most ardent defenders want to strip her of it for political gain. Oh, they grant her agency when it suits them; with implausable claims that she called 911, but they insist that all her other, documented actions are to be excused because of her age and “the system.” Many went so far as to contend teenage knife ‘fights’ are a rite of passage so common that police should ignore them. Ma’Khia lacked agency. Teenagers in general lack agency.

I came across an essay on this conveniently ambiguous attitude at the Manhattan Institute. A short time later I came across a post at Askblog. I strongly urge you to read both, and I’ll try to give you a little incentive below. They shed some light on SJW motivations and reasoning in playing the agency card.

First, a slice from Askblog reader Roger Sweeny in: The mind and moral categories

I recently read Daniel M. Wegner’ and Kurt Gray’s The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters (Viking, 2016), a book that has nothing explicitly to do with politics or wokeness. They ask the question, “Who (and what) do people believe has a mind?” A fetus? A dog? A robot? Google? God? They crunch some numbers and find that people seem to have two groups of characteristics of mindness. One is the ability to experience sensations and emotions. The other is the ability to act, to decide and do.

They tell us that entities that can feel but can’t act turn on our moral senses. Outrage at a man beating a dog. Pity for those in the hospital dying. Moreover, something in us wants to believe that those who are suffering are blameless. But we also want to find moral causes. We want to find something to blame. Best if it is something with a large capacity to act and a small capacity to suffer. Almost always, they say, there is a moral dyad. In fact, whenever there is something with a large capacity to act and a small capacity to suffer, we want to find the other half of the dyad, something relatively powerless and suffering.

Many opponents of wokeness have argued that it “denies agency” to the designated victims, that it treats them as powerless children. So far at least, that charge has not weakened the support for wokeness…

The less there is overt racial discrimination, the more there is a need to believe in a malevolent system. That may seem counter-intuitive, but so is the reality that revolutions do not occur when things are getting worse but when things are (generally) getting better.

Now we’ll turn to a long article at The Manhattan Institute: The Social Construction of Racism in the United States

This paper uses survey data to make the case that racism in America lies, in significant measure, in the eyes of the beholder. This not only concerns people’s perceptions of the prevalence of racism in society but even of their personal experience.

The quality of racism is inversely proportional to the SJW declaimed quantity. Think Jussie Smollett, he was just trying to fulfill the demand.

Tocqueville identified the reasons early on:

The hatred that men bear to privilege increases in proportion as privileges become fewer and less considerable, so that
democratic passions would seem to burn most fiercely just when
they have least fuel. . . . When all conditions are unequal,
no inequality is so great as to offend the eye, whereas the
slightest dissimilarity is odious in the midst of general
uniformity; the more complete this uniformity is, the more
insupportable the sight of such a difference becomes. Hence
it is natural that the love of equality should constantly
increase together with equality itself, and that it should
grow by what it feeds on.
– Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

In a similar vein, Coleman Hughes, in a pathbreaking 2018 essay,
remarks on Tocqueville’s paradox as it concerns racial liberalism
in America: “It seems as if every reduction in racist behavior is
met with a commensurate expansion in our definition of the concept.
Thus, racism has become a conserved quantity akin to mass or energy:
transformable but irreducible.”

This is part of an explanation for Critical Race Theory: Systemic racism is necessary, because it can be winnowed out of every object or human interaction, no matter how benign. Just move the goalposts.

There’s a reason that everything is now viewed through a racial lens. Every day in every way you are bombarded with “evidence” of racism in everything. Over time, this sways minds. Much to our detriment.

Reading a passage from critical race theory author Ta-Nehisi Coates results in a significant 15-point drop in black respondents’ belief that they have control over their lives…

Surveys showed that liberal whites are more supportive of punitive CRT postulates than blacks, who are more likely to aspire to agency and resilience. Moreover, CRT appeared to have a detrimental effect on African- Americans’ feeling of being in control of their lives. This makes CRT a poor choice for policymakers seeking to improve outcomes in the black community.

Finally, my survey results indicate that as much as half of reported racism may be ideologically or psychologically conditioned, and the rise in the proportion of Americans claiming racism to be an important problem is largely socially constructed.

Whites are more affected by social justice/social media conditioning. Blacks are more sensible. I’ll bet there is a correlation with who has read Ta-Nehisi Coates or attended a D’Angelo brainmash session.