“Some airplanes did something”

You can see one of them here, about to do something:a86a1-911121dc-wtc91139026-911_liberty

I remember this day quite distinctly, but some do not.

Ilhan Omar, for example, is unable to recall the religion, ethnicity or culture of the 9-11 murderers. She described them as “Some people,” who “did something.” Murdering 3,000 people and causing billions of dollars in damage is something, all right. But, we’re not to be reminded of that in a speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

At least her remarks she didn’t go so far as to completely eliminate human agency. For that, you need a New York Times copy editor: NYT Updates Story Blaming Airplanes For Taking Down WTC

Omar and the Times weasel their way around the fact that Islamist fanatics murdered 3,000 people. They are working to erase the memory of it.

They share the idea that the United States is ultimately responsible for it.

Soylent Green

Not The Onion. Not the Babylon Bee.

You have to think this is a PR stunt.

Scientist Says Eating Human Flesh Will Save Planet From Climate Change

To accomplish the goal of reducing CO2 emissions, it would seem as if Magnus Söderlund is not talking about eating people who die of natural causes. One wonders if he’ll be proposing using Swift’s A Modest Proposal, or Logan’s Run as the selection template.

Either way, Paul Ehrlich should be on the selection committee.

The human pestilence problem

I had a note from a reader wondering if I wasn’t being hyperbolic in my contention that by “sustainability” “Green” fanatics intentionally mean to impose lower standards of living and a forced reduction in human population.

We might consider the Malthusian miscalculations of Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book The Population Bomb and his proposals for forced sterilization (which was actually practiced in India); or the more gentle doomsayers calling for a Voluntary Human Extinction.

But, those are theoretical. Let me offer 3 real-world examples. 1) The millions of poor ‘people of color’ who’ve died of malaria and dengue fever because of Rachel Carson’s, campaign to ban DDT, 2) the malnutrition, blindness and death imposed on the third world by the boycott of golden rice, and 3) Clueless Minneapolis City Leaders and Sam Rockwell Are the Problem, Not Natural Gas Use

When politicians value signaling virtue above the health and well being of their constituents they are paving the road of good intentions with human bodies. Intentionally.

I repeat, nuclear power would solve the supposed CAGW problem. Greens oppose it because it doesn’t solve the human pestilence problem.

Keeping it?

At the close of the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was asked what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer: “A republic, if you can keep it.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes disagrees and engages in some tautological pontification: “[T]he weirdest thing about the Electoral College is the fact that if it weren’t specifically in the Constitution for the presidency, it would be unconstitutional.”

Maybe that was the weirdest thing about the Electoral College (for some weird definition of weird) up until he said it. Suddenly, the weirdest thing about the Electoral College became the wobbly perambulations of Hayes’ mind, if mind isn’t too generous a word.

What is unconstitutional is the effort known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to destroy the Republic we were given.

The U.S. is a Democratic Constitutional Republic, and Yes, It Matters

Unsustainable

Four minutes.

Until we see several orders of magnitude better battery energy density (we’re not even close), and we are mining lithium in space, while still also dedicating 30% of the land area in every state to wind and solar generation, and power storage, nuclear power is the clear choice to reduce carbon emissions and maintain a standard of living not tied to near feudal era definitions of good quality of life. Human life is not what is meant by ‘sustainable’ in the renewable power scenario.

By eliminating carbon emissions nuclear power would seem to be a perfect solution, but dedicated Greens say it’s too risky. Well, we have designs from the 1960s that pretty much eliminate the problem.

Also, you’re aware that Teslas spontaneously combust on a regular basis? How do you feel about 20 tons of those batteries piled up in every neighborhood?

The envirostatists ‘sustainability’ mantra comes with a caveat: There are too many of us, living in too much ease. And it must stop.

Estranged from beauty and grace

James Lileks at The Bleat.

“These are people who are estranged from beauty and grace, by their own hand. Not dark souls but lazy ones. Not bleak hearts but banal ones, looking for the perpetual frisson an adolescent male gets when he drifts to the brotherhood of the numb and the bored. They have nothing to rally around except rejection; they have no cause but the tiresome imperative of the Transgressive; they have no idea where they stand in human history, how a hundred million people would claw and climb over a mountain of broken glass to sample the ease and bounty they take for granted. They believe in nothing except the self, but as it happens they hate themselves as well.”

RTWT, it’s almost all that good.

Lileks is talking about the impulses displayed by the Dayton shooter, who apparently took his “pornogrind“ subculture a tad too seriously. Much to the chagrin of his fellow nihilist poseurs.

Jordan Peterson is not so poetic, but he would agree completely.

See also: Meaning and Millennials

Deplorable has already been used up

The New York Times spent two years collaborating with the Democrats in trying to convince everyone that Donald Trump conspired with Russia. What can they do now, noses still raw from rubbing in the abject failure of their attempted coup? Take direction from the drove of Democrat presidential candidates; who are moving directly to a different way of trashing America to get at Trump: Fanning racial division.

Assisting in that effort, the Pink Lady is embarking on a project to convince Americans that the United States was founded on slavery, with side shots at capitalism. The Time’s effort is called the 1619 project, after the 400th anniversary of the first slave imported to the US. Which they will refer to as The Founding.
JOHN KASS: Robert Mueller crushed their dreams, so Democrats pivot to race.

After withering Twitter criticism over a headline above a story on Trump’s remarks after the recent back-to-back mass shootings, the Times changed the headline from ‘Trump urges unity vs racism’ to ‘Assailing Hate But Not Guns.’ This sent the newsroom into a navel gazing downward morale spiral. Not because of the change, but because someone could have lacked sufficient wokeness to sully the Times propaganda goals by posting the first headline at all. They had a staff meeting to discuss it.

The truly amazing leaked transcript of that meeting is up at Slate. Should you wish to give them a click, remove the ‘x’ at the end of that otherwise broken link. I include just one example of the discussion about the NYT pre-election plans.

Baquet is executive editor Dean Baquet. The exchange is prompted by an earlier question/answer (I paraphrase), “Why don’t we call Trump a racist more often?” The answer was, “There are more subtle and powerful ways to call him a racist.”

Staffer: Hello, I have another question about racism. I’m wondering to what extent you think that the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of this country should play into our reporting. Just because it feels to me like it should be a starting point, you know? Like these conversations about what is racist, what isn’t racist. I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting. And so, to me, it’s less about the individual instances of racism, and sort of how we’re thinking about racism and white supremacy as the foundation of all of the systems in the country. And I think particularly as we are launching a 1619 Project, I feel like that’s going to open us up to even more criticism from people who are like, “OK, well you’re saying this, and you’re producing this big project about this. But are you guys actually considering this in your daily reporting?”

Baquet: You know, it’s interesting, the argument you just made, to go back to the use of the word racist. I didn’t agree with all of this from [NPR’s] Keith Woods, [but] …his argument, which is pretty provocative, boils down to this: Pretty much everything is racist. His view is that a huge percentage of American conversation is racist, so why isolate this one comment from Donald Trump? His argument is that he could cite things that people say in their everyday lives that we don’t characterize that way, which is always interesting. You know, I don’t know how to answer that, other than I do think that that race has always played a huge part in the American story.

And I do think that race and understanding of race should be a part of how we cover the American story. Sometimes news organizations sort of forget that in the moment. But of course it should be. I mean, one reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that. Race in the next year—and I think this is, to be frank, what I would hope you come away from this discussion with—race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story. And I mean, race in terms of not only African Americans and their relationship with Donald Trump, but Latinos and immigration.”

So, a staffer asks if the NYT marching orders are, “When writing a story about anything, first and foremost consider how you can include racism as a fundamental characteristic of the United States.” And Baquet says, yes, but don’t be too obvious about it.

They act like this is a new idea, but I’m so old I can remember when they told us the words “Chicago,” and “golf” were racist.

Anyway, you will be hearing this a lot in the next year(s). So, here are two articles debunking the 1619 project that may assist you in refuting the histrionic flurry of statism and race baiting sure to come from Progressives with whom you may be trapped in an elevator.

Slavery Did Not Make America Rich
The Anti-Capitalist Ideology of Slavery

Meaning and Millennials

“I think that often people come to the conclusion that life is meaningless because that is a better conclusion to come to than the reverse, because if life is meaningless, well then who cares what you do. But if life is meaningful, if what you do matters, then everything you do matters, and that puts a terrible responsibility on the individual. And I think that people are generally unwilling to bear that.”

-Jordan Peterson

Professors Jordan Peterson and John Vervaeke are colleagues in the University of Toronto Department of Psychology. They share an interest in the study of life’s meaning and reject moral relativism as nihilistic. They’re students of science and metaphysics.

Vervaeke, psychology specialties: Perception, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
PhD 1997 University of Toronto, Philosophy
BSc 1991 University of Toronto, Specialist in Cognitive Science
MA 1985 University of Toronto, Philosophy
HBA 1984 McMaster University, Philosophy, Summa Cum Laude

Peterson, psychology specialties: Social, Personality and Abnormal
PhD 1991 McGill University, Clinical Psychology
BSc 1984 University of Alberta, Psychology
BSc 1982 University of Alberta, Political Science

Their voices are sorely needed as the Humanities move ever deeper into postmodern despair, absurdity and self-deception; and Science faces political pressure to abandon scientific method as sexist and/or racist.

Our educational system has gone to a lot of trouble to replace such sources of meaning as family, competence and merit by deconstructing individual responsibility into a collectivist competition for victimhood participation trophies. Reason is similarly challenged: There are no truths, only interpretations.

This has negative consequences, especially for those who grew up during this cultural shift. To be sure, much of what follows doesn’t apply to most Millennials, but we see evidence daily that there’s a problem.

One example: We’re told Millennials in the workplace desire “purpose over paycheck.”

Purpose should be easy: “You do this. We pay you.”

Instead, it seems likely “purpose” in that phrase substitutes for “precisely aligned with my life values and goals,” or “meaningful.” There’s nothing wrong with such an aspiration, but it isn’t realistic. For one thing, your colleagues would all have to be of one mind. That’s one reason jobs that provide life meaning are not common. Even self-employed I couldn’t be sure my job would always fulfill a particular “purpose,” including meeting payroll. And who could make sure the customers would co-operate? But, some people expect job “purpose” to be supplied by others.

In any case, as we’ll see, Millennials don’t appear to be finding deep meaning through their employment. That might indicate they are incapable of finding it in themselves.

And why would they be? They’ve been conditioned by effusive praise to expect meaning to find them. Meaning becomes external. Like a job. Or ‘Likes’ on Facebook.

A Millennial meaning deficit is strongly suggested by the fact that Millennial suicide rates are soaring: They experience high rates of depression: And they may be the “quintessential postmodern generation.”

They’ve been cut adrift in a sea of narcissism by their parents and their professors, who should have taught them moral values and how to think, but handed them participation trophies and moral nihilism instead. Many Millennials have come to expect constant and instantaneous validation of their merit, whether they’ve displayed any or not. That applies to their opinions too, many of them are convinced that simply taking offense grants them some sort of moral authority.

They’ve been misled about their capabilities. They’ve been lied to about their prospects. They’ve been suckered into huge student debt by what amounts to academic fraud.

A growing cultural anomie should not be surprising. Nor should we wonder why Millennials flock to hear Jordan Peterson, and increasingly John Vervaeke, speak for two hours about how to find meaning. For a dozen lectures.

Reason and meaning are under siege because of guilt by association with Western Civilization. Peterson and Vervaeke are playing defense. Some examples:

I’d say watch the whole thing, but this link will start at 2:04. Watch until you want to stop. TWT is 20:49.
Jordan Peterson *NEW* The Meaning of Life

Here’s an interview about meaning: John Vervaeke: The Meaning Crisis (39 minutes) Again, the whole thing is worthwhile, but the link starts at 18:32. There, Vervaeke puts his finger on the epistemological question raised by Postmodernism. It’s a serious question.

Vervaeke has recently started a series of lectures on YouTube: ‘Awakening From the Meaning Crisis.

Environmental and economic insanity

“The interesting thing about the Green New Deal,” he said, “is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.” [Sam] Ricketts [Climate director for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D)] greeted this startling notion with an attentive poker face. “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” [Saikat] Chakrabarti continued. “Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

Saikat Chakrabarti, was chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Was” chief of staff. But he perpetrated too many outrageous gaffes even for AOC. Starting with the insanity of Green New Deal, a totalitarian aspiration of which Chakrabarti was the primary author, and culminating with a Tweet “comparing a Native American congresswoman to the Ku Klux Klan.

Yes, it’s a “change-the-entire-economy thing;” to levels of misery not seen since feudalism. And, in exchange for that, we get environmental degradation.

The Environmental Disaster of Solar Energy
“[T]he volume of waste produced by solar panels and wind turbines vastly exceeds that associated with reliable power sources…

“Vastly” is right, and solar panels are the worst offender. Check the chart at the link above.

There’s a lot of highly toxic cadmium behind the glass in those panels.

For Most Things, Recycling Harms the Environment

But for most other things [aside from aluminum cans and corrugated cardboard], recycling harms the environment. I’m not (just) saying it’s costly. I’m saying recycling is harmful. If you care about the environment, you should put your bottles and other glass in the regular garbage, every time.”

There’s a lot of glass in solar panels, which should be put in landfills – except for the Cadmium… Maybe we can put the solar panel waste in Yucca Mountain.

And wind isn’t any better:
Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy
(That article is from 2017, and the only change is that wind has gone from .46% to 2% of electricity generation, according to some more recent articles. Whether that’s all usable power is another question.)

…world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years…

If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000.. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry…

…that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels

As for resource consumption and environmental impacts, the direct effects of wind turbines — killing birds and bats, sinking concrete foundations deep into wild lands — is bad enough. But out of sight and out of mind is the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale…

It gets worse. Wind turbines, apart from the fibreglass blades, are made mostly of steel, with concrete bases. They need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine. Steel is made with coal… Cement is also often made using coal. The machinery of ‘clean’ renewables is the output of the fossil fuel economy, and largely the coal economy.

…you’re talking 150 tonnes of coal per turbine. Now if we are to build 350,000 wind turbines a year… just to keep up with increasing energy demand, that will require 50 million tonnes of coal a year. That’s about half the EU’s hard coal–mining output.

If the envirostatists really believe we have only a few years to “save the planet,” they should be pushing for a crash program to build nuclear plants. Financed by the money they could save if they stopped flying their private jets to environmental conferences.

See also, The “New Energy Economy”: An Exercise in Magical Thinking.