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they are coming to a neighborhood near you .... wise to have some protection  .... there will be no police to come .... 911 worthless ...  your life matters ...

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8 hours ago, JakeHolman said:

they are coming to a neighborhood near you .... wise to have some protection  .... there will be no police to come .... 911 worthless ...  your life matters ...

Completely paranoid comments. By the way, Jake, precisely who is the "they" coming to neighborhoods and to whom are "they" such a threat? Why don't you spell it out instead of talking in vague generalities?

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I also see that, once again, with the death toll in America now at 126,000 and rising, Jake doesn't seem to think that covid 19 is an important enough topic to post about. Far better to post a video of people shouting about a statue, apparently.


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Media Are Playing Games Yet Again With Anonymous Russia Leaks

Watch nearly the entire corporate media establishment run wild with claims from completely anonymous sources in the intelligence community this week.

Media Are Playing Games Yet Again With Anonymous Russia Leaks

Mollie Hemingway

By Mollie Hemingway

JUNE 30, 2020

Much of the case for the Iraq War was based on the Bush administration’s claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. When the United States declared an end to the war late in 2011, more than 4,400 American military members had been killed and nearly 32,000 wounded. No weapons of mass destruction had been found.

It’s one of the most significant and catastrophic intelligence errors in U.S. history. A bipartisan commission found that U.S. intelligence “seriously misjudged” Iraq’s weapons program because of their “heavy reliance on a human source–codenamed ‘Curveball’–whose information later proved to be unreliable.” The commission wrote, “Even more misleading was the river of intelligence that flowed from the CIA to top policymakers over long periods of time–in the President’s Daily Brief (PDB)” and other reports that were “more alarmist” and “less nuanced.”

Curveball was Germany’s codename for Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, an Iraqi defector who claimed to have built mobile weapons laboratories. President George W. Bush highlighted the claims in his 2003 State of the Union address.

Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech to the United Nations on February 5, 2003, relied heavily on Curveball’s claims. “My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.”

Powell went on to describe Janabi’s claims at length, concluding, “This defector is currently hiding in another country with the certain knowledge that Saddam Hussein will kill him if he finds him. His eyewitness account of these mobile production facilities has been corroborated by other sources.”

Years later, Curveball admitted he had completely fabricated his claims out of a desire to oust Saddam Hussein from power.

The intelligence failure became a widespread media failure when reporters uncritically regurgitated the weapons of mass destruction claims from their intelligence community sources. Academics, pundits, and journalists themselves have decried the media’s performance in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The New York Times and Washington Post even published their regrets about their own coverage, which frequently took the intelligence community’s claims at face value.

It’s important history to remember as you watch nearly the entire corporate media establishment run wild with claims from completely anonymous sources in the intelligence community this week. By comparison, the reporters back in 2002 and 2003 seem to have been downright judicious in their handling of the intelligence community claims.

Our Latest Intel Drama On Russia

On Friday, three New York Times reporters wrote that “American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.”

This allegedly airtight intelligence was “briefed to President Trump,” and “officials” came up with ideas for potential responses, including a diplomatic complaint and sanctions, but the White House had yet to authorize anything. The intelligence, the reporters claimed, had been shared with the British government.

The anonymous leakers of the information, the reporters claimed, are totally certain that “Russian operatives” offered and paid bounties, but they have “greater uncertainty” about who authorized the plan. The reporters included some speculation about why such a bounty operation would be done. There was no speculation about the motivation of the leaking “officials.”

Reaction to the Anonymous Report

It is worth noting that the three New York Times reporters — Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt, and Michael Schwirtz — also played key roles in disseminating the Russia collusion hoax, in which anonymous intelligence officials worked with co-conspirators in the media for years to put out a false and defamatory narrative that President Donald Trump had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election or was otherwise compromised. The New York Times was one of the biggest outlets engaged in the Russia hoax. The reporters even include some of their previous Russia collusion hoax spin, and omit key facts about Trump’s actions against Russia, in their bounty story.

Literally nothing about the political media’s use of anonymous sources to spread republic-damaging disinformation in recent years should lead anyone to treat further anonymously sourced reports with any deference. Yet the entire corporate media establishment immediately ran wild with the story and used it to suggest it was further evidence that Trump was an agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The story dominated cable news over the weekend and into the following week.

Republicans who support continuing the war in Afghanistan indefinitely, even though it has been going on for 19 years, expressed grave concern about the report. Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, whose father had authoritatively claimed in August 2002 there was “no doubt” Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, reflexively accepted the anonymously sourced reports and demanded answers and action.

It turned out that key details of the story were disputed by on-the-record sources. When the White House press secretary said neither Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence had even been briefed on this intelligence, reporters tried a new line of attack.


Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe added, “I have confirmed that neither the President nor the Vice President were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting yesterday. The White House statement addressing this issue earlier today, which denied such a briefing occurred, was accurate. The New York Times reporting, and all other subsequent news reports about such an alleged briefing, are inaccurate.”

White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah disputed that the intelligence was as airtight as the New York Times reporters had claimed, based on their anonymous and unaccountable sources: “POTUS wasn’t briefed on the reports related to Afghanistan because there is no consensus within the intelligence community on the allegations at this point. The veracity of the underlying allegations continues to be evaluated.”

Yet the frenzy from the media continued, almost as if coordinated as part of an operation.

Anonymous Sources Can’t ‘Confirm’ Anything

A quick note on anonymous sourcing. Following the New York Times report, other media outlets ran with stories on the matter also based on anonymous sources. Frequently, this was described as “independent confirmation.”

However, anonymous sources can’t “confirm” anything for a reader, on account of being anonymous. And because they’re anonymous, there is no way to tell if one media outlets’ sources are independent from another’s.

While this should be obvious, perhaps an example from the Russia collusion hoax will help. On Dec. 8, 2017, CNN’s Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb reported that multiple anonymous sources had confirmed an email was sent to Donald Trump, Jr., with advance information about a WikiLeaks document release.

The story was a train wreck, in that it didn’t include any evidence that the random guy who emailed Trump, Jr., was correct in his emailed claims, that the email had been opened, or that the emailer was connected to Russia. But even more than that, it turned out that the multiple anonymous sources had somehow gotten the date of the email wrong. Rather than the email giving advance notice of a WikiLeaks document release, it was an email about a document release that had already happened to great public fanfare.

Before that embarrassing ending for CNN, though, other media outlets claimed to have independently confirmed CNN’s story. CBS claimed to have “confirmed” the story. Russia collusion hoaxer “Fusion” Ken Dilanian claimed “two sources” had confirmed CNN’s report to him.

So what happened? Well, probably two buddies working on a congressional committee both sold the false story to all three outlets. Two buddies working together on a committee that leak the same false information to multiple outlets aren’t independent of each other, much less independent confirmation for each network. They’re just two leakers who somehow aren’t bright enough to know how to properly read dates on emails.

What’s the Criminal Leakers’ Motivation?

DNI Ratcliffe notes that leaks of information such as what the leakers are spreading throughout the media can be quite damaging.


Intelligence collection and intelligence analysis are more art than science. If the Curveball information was presented as airtight and used to launch a protracted war, this intelligence seems to be in only the earliest stages of analysis and heavily in dispute. So why is it being leaked, a criminal offense? And why are the media so anxious to use this sketchy information?

Perhaps their goal is to fight the Trump administration’s efforts to end the 19-year-war in Afghanistan, damage international relations, distract from the Russia collusion hoax currently under investigation, or any number of other things. Sometimes leaks are about internal bureaucratic wars involving people who don’t care about the damage caused by their leaking.

One goal seems to be to paint Trump as someone who does not care about American soldiers. This talking point is odd. Iran reportedly offered the Taliban $1,000 bounties in 2010 for American soldiers’ deaths in Afghanistan. Not only was no action taken by President Obama at the time, six years later, he authorized the payment of $1.7 billion to the regime.

By contrast, President Trump authorized the killing of Iran’s Qasem Soleimani, responsible for the deaths of more than 600 U.S. service members. When that happened, based on what the Trump administration said was responsibility for those deaths and intelligence that further attacks were planned, many in the media questioned the strength of that intelligence analysis.

The Story Keeps Changing

The story also seems to keep changing. At first it was about how Trump had been given airtight intelligence and refused to do anything about it. Then the goalposts shifted to how “White House officials” knew something or other.

An Associated Press story now asserts without evidence that John Bolton, who is on a book tour right now, “told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.” But in a softball interview Sunday by Jake Tapper, a reporter who played a key role in initiating the false Russia collusion hoax at CNN, Bolton repeatedly stressed his lack of knowledge about the story and his suspicion it might not be true.

“First we have to stress there is much we don’t know about this,” he said. “With all due respect to the highly esteemed news services you mention, they get stuff wrong time to time,” he added. “My only caution is before we go too far down the track, just because there are press reports doesn’t mean its accurate.” After a record-breaking use of the word “if” from Tapper, Bolton said, “Well again, underlining the word ‘if’ on whether it’s true…”

It is of course entirely possible that Bolton is leaking to the Associated Press and lying about his views now, or that he was lying then, or that Bolton’s colleagues are leakers and they are lying. But it seems the media aren’t caring about the facts so much as the overarching plan to believe this intelligence is airtight no matter what, that the intelligence was definitely briefed to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, no matter what, and that this story must continue to be pushed on airwaves no matter its deficiencies or the obvious coordination of its rollout.

Democrats, Media Using Story to Perpetuate Russia Hoax

Most exasperating, the media and other partisans seem eager to run back into the comforting arms of the Russia collusion hoax they perpetrated against the country for years.

Tapper, for example, asked Bolton, “Do you think it’s possible that Putin has information on President Trump?” The New York Times reporters also dredged up the debunked Russia collusion theories. And not coincidentally, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spent several minutes pushing the debunked Russiagate conspiracy theory in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.

“With him, all roads lead to Putin. I don’t know what the Russians have on the president politically, personally, financially, or whatever it is. But he wants to ignore, he wants to bring [Russia] back into the G8 despite the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of Ukraine…despite what they yielded to him in Syria, despite his intervention into our elections which is well documented by our intelligence community and despite possibly this allegation which we should have been briefed on,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi’s pushing of the conspiracy theory met virtually no pushback from the former press secretary to President Bill Clinton. In fact, there has been no accountability for any of the actors who spread the false and damaging conspiracy theory about Russia.

None of the criminal leakers have been held accountable. Neither have the reporters who conspired with them to harm the republic, damage the Trump administration, hurt foreign relations, and destroy the lives of conservatives who allied themselves with Trump.

In fact, they’re free to continue their operation with the latest round of Russia stories, seemingly designed to undermine the Trump administration, hamper foreign policy changes that might lead away from the interventionist foreign policy of recent administrations, and otherwise hurt the country.

It is as if our political and media establishments refuse to learn anything from the weapons of mass destruction and Russia collusion hoax intelligence failures of recent years.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. She is Senior Journalism Fellow at Hillsdale College and a Fox News contributor. She is the co-author of Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway 
Photo Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour
Copyright © 2020 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.
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LGBT Lawyers Already Using Supreme Court Ruling To Demand Hysterectomies For Men

LGBT Lawyers Already Using Supreme Court Ruling To Demand Hysterectomies For Men

What **** portrays as discrimination based on gender identity is not sex discrimination under the reasoning of Bostock.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia is but two weeks old, and the mischief has already begun. Last week the leftist group **** Legal Defense filed suit against the Trump administration, arguing the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) recent regulations interpreting the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) prohibition on sex discrimination violates Bostock’s holding that transgender discrimination is illegal sex discrimination. Not only is **** wrong, its lawsuit proves Bostock was wrong too.

Writing for the five-justice majority in Bostock, Justice Neil Gorsuch twisted his way through a series of hypotheticals to conclude that “when an employer fires an employee for being homosexual or transgender, it necessarily and intentionally discriminates against that individual in part because of sex.” Thus, according to the Bostock court, “it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

Thanks for All the New Lawsuits, Neil Gorsuch!

While Bostock addressed the meaning of “sex discrimination” within the context of Title VII’s employment discrimination statute, in its lawsuit filed last week against the Trump administration, **** relies on Gorsuch’s language to challenge the HHS’s newly released regulations that address Section 1557 of the ACA.

Section 1557 prohibits discrimination “on the basis of . . . sex” in “health programs and activities.” President Obama’s HHS had left the meaning of this phrase undefined for the first six years following the ACA’s passage, but in the final year of his presidency, his HHS team promulgated regulations that defined discrimination “on the basis of . . . sex” to include “discrimination on the basis of sex stereotyping, and gender identity.”

The 2016 HHS regulations further defined “gender identity” as “an individual’s internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female, and which may be different from an individual’s sex assigned at birth.”

The Obama HHS went further, with the 2016 regulations mandating that health insurance providers and employee benefits plans “treat individuals consistent with their gender identity.” The 2016 regulations also barred covered insurers from adopting “a categorical coverage exclusion or limitation for all health care services related to gender transition,” claiming that such an exclusion would be “discriminatory on its face.”

HHS rescinded these regulations mere days before the Bostock decision, with the new regulations deleting the Obama administration’s definition of “sex” for purposes of the ACA. Also eliminated were the mandates that health-care providers “treat individuals consistent with their gender identity,” and that insurance companies cover “transition-related services.” No contrary regulations were added, however, with Trump’s HHS merely eliminating what Obama’s team had done, leaving the term “sex” undefined, as it is in Title VII and the ACA.

Trump Admin’s Return to Sanity Isn’t Discrimination

While ****, on behalf of a sprawling group of plaintiffs including several physicians and activist organizations, claims HHS’s deletion of “sex stereotyping and gender identity” from the regulatory definition of sex discrimination conflicts with the holding of Bostock, it does not.

In Bostock, the Supreme Court majority bypassed the question of what “sex” means, noting that the employers had maintained that “sex” referred to “status as either male or female [as] determined by reproductive biology,” while the plaintiffs argued “the term bore a broader scope, capturing more than anatomy and reaching at least some norms concerning gender identity and sexual orientation.”

The majority, though, found no reason to decide the question and instead “proceed[ed] on the assumption that ‘sex’ . . . referred only to biological distinctions between male and female.” Thus, Bostock does not stand for the proposition that “sex” means “gender identity” for purposes of Title VII, much less as used in the ACA.

Nonetheless, because the Bostock court concluded that “it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex,” **** argues the ACA prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity.” But here **** faces an initial challenge: the newly released regulations do not address whether discrimination based on “gender identity” is illegal. Rather, the regulations are silent on the question, so they cannot possibly violate Bostock.

****’s complaint skims over this defect by arguing that HHS’s elimination of “gender identity” from the definition of sex discrimination “not only invites health care insurers and providers to discriminate against LGBTQ people seeking health care, but it also introduces substantial confusion among health care providers and insurers regarding their legal obligations and the right of the populations they serve to be free from sex discrimination . . .”

In responding to ****’s complaint, HHS will likely argue that the new regulations cannot be challenged for something they do not say, and that the court should wait for a live controversy to interpret the meaning of “sex discrimination” for purposes of the ACA.

Give This Man a Hysterectomy, Stat!

The second problem with ****’s legal argument is more fundamental and proves fatal, whether a court considers the question now or waits until there is an actual controversy in a future case: what **** portrays as discrimination based on gender identity is not sex discrimination under the reasoning of Bostock.

Specifically, **** argues in its complaint that HHS’s revised rules will result in “increased discrimination by health plans, particularly against persons seeking gender-affirming care.” Examples of such “gender-affirming care” that health plans might discriminatorily deny transgender persons, according to ****, include “hair transplant, scalp advancement, brow reduction, lip reduction or augmentation, rhinoplasty, check and chin contouring, jawline modification, blepharoplasty, or other facial feminization techniques”; “laser hair removal and electrolysis, on the face and elsewhere on the body”; “surgeries involving the neck, such as cartilage reduction (modification of the Adam’s Apple) and vocal feminization surgery”; “breast augmentation and reduction”; “other body contouring procedures, such as waist reduction, hip/buttocks implants, at transfer, pectoral implants”; and “lessons/training to modify the vocal range.”

Denying transgender people coverage for these procedures is not discrimination, much less sex discrimination. While the Obama administration’s 2016 regulations barred covered insurers from adopting “a categorical coverage exclusion or limitation for all health care services related to gender transition,” claiming that such an exclusion would be “discriminatory on its face,” Bostock’s reasoning establishes the contrary—that there is no sex discrimination in play. In fact, in attempting to apply Bostock reasoning in the context of a health-care case exposes the fundamental fallacy underlying the Supreme Court’s reasoning: that men and women are indistinguishable.

Also, Give Sarah a Fake ****

Let’s start with the latter point and apply Bostock’s reasoning. In Bostock, in analyzing whether a transgender employee was a victim of sex discrimination, the Supreme Court explained that “if changing the employee’s sex would have yielded a different choice by the employer-a statutory violation has occurred.”

Now, we’ll apply this standard in the context of health insurance coverage or medical care, with a hypothetical woman, Sarah, who suffers from gender dysphoria. Sarah asks her doctor to remove her uterus, but her doctor refuses because Sarah’s uterus is healthy. Sarah’s health insurance company also refuses to pay for the removal of a healthy uterus. Did Sarah’s doctor and health insurance company discriminate against Sarah on the basis of her sex?

No. If Sarah were a man, the doctor would have likewise have refused to remove his . . . uterus? It doesn’t work! Bostock makes no sense when applied in realm of sex-based distinctions.

It is all well and good for the Supreme Court to speak—as it did in Bostock—of traits or activities that an employer would find acceptable for a woman, but not for a man. But there are real differences between men and women, and the Supreme Court’s test ignored that reality.

Failing the Test of Reality

Moreover, even if we manipulate the Supreme Court’s test to accommodate the biological differences between men and women, the result remains: no discrimination. Why? Because if a man asked his doctor to remove his healthy ****, the doctor would refuse, and coverage would be denied.

Now, going further with the hypothetical, there is also no discrimination because Sarah is transgender. That’s because if another woman who is not transgender asked her doctor to remove her healthy uterus, the doctor would refuse as well.

Change healthy uterus for any of the other “gender-affirming” procedures **** claims doctors must perform and health insurance companies must cover, and the result is the same. There is no discrimination. There is no sex discrimination. And there is no transgender discrimination.

But what about the Obama administration’s regulatory mandate that health-care providers “treat individuals consistent with their gender identity”? The newly released HHS regulations rescind that regulation as well. So, will a health-care provider discriminate on the basis of sex under Bostock if the medical caregiver does not treat an individual “consistent with” his or her “gender identity”?

You’re a Bigot If You Don’t Check Men for Cervical Cancer

Revisiting Sarah, our hypothetical woman suffering from gender dysphoria, provides the answer—and the answer is that Bostock is nonsense. Consider, for instance, how a doctor would treat Sarah consistent with her gender identity—that of a male. The doctor would check her prostate, test for signs of testicular cancer, and not perform a cervical examination. And it would be considered discrimination under Bostock if the doctor didn’t (or did) do these sex-based examinations.

After all, Bostock tells us that “if changing the employee’s sex would have yielded a different choice by the employer-a statutory violation has occurred,” and if Sarah were a man, the doctor would have performed a prostate exam and would not have performed a cervical exam. Voila: sex discrimination.

Of course, this is ridiculous, because Sarah is a woman, and not a man, no matter what gender she identifies as. But that doesn’t matter under Bostock, because the court adopted a standard that ignores all biological sex-based distinctions, and purposefully put to the side questions of pronouns, bathrooms, and locker rooms.

Justice Gorsuch had to, though, because when you bring in biological sex-based distinctions, it becomes clear that you are no longer talking about stereotypical traits and actions; and you are no longer talking about a man who is treated differently because he is perceived as too feminine, or a woman discriminated against for a too masculine aura. You are talking about a man who claims to be a woman or a woman who claims to be a man and who demands others—whether they be employers, teachers, or doctors—affirm a lie. You are talking about transgender individuals.

The Supreme Court could obfuscate that reality in Bostock, but ****’s lawsuit exposes, not just how extreme the Obama administration was, but how extreme the Supreme Court’s decision was. And when “sex” meets science, Justice Gorsuch will have some serious explaining to do.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.
Photo U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Shane M. Phipps
Copyright © 2020 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.
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A sign on a barrier at an entrance to the so-called "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” in Seattle on June 10, 2020. (David Ryder/Getty Images)
A sign on a barrier at an entrance to the so-called "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” in Seattle on June 10, 2020. (David Ryder/Getty Images)

How to Fight Back in Our New Civil War

June 27, 2020 Updated: June 29, 2020

Many assert there is a “coming” civil war. News flash—we’re in it.

Pure and simple, we are in a modern, information-age civil war for the future of the United States.

War and societal conflict come in many forms. It doesn’t have to be lines of Blue and Gray soldiers with bayonets lined up against each other, and it doesn’t have to be rifle or cannon fire.

Right now, the primary fields of conflict in the modern American civil war are political histrionics, social media perversions of truth, litigation, street mobbery, and financial warfare to interdict revenue streams. Plus, we have foreign players, primarily the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), that are actively stoking our chaos for their own desired outcomes.

We must understand the panorama of the chaos unfolding in front of us so we can decisively take action in the right direction for the good of our republic. Our classically liberal, democratic republic based on a written constitution is the most incredible thing ever created by man (and woman).

Never before has a governance system done so much good for so many people. It’s not perfect, but that’s the beauty of our system, we have processes and methods to address injustices and our warts. This system has never existed before, and never will again if we allow the street chaos to intellectually shut us down, intimidate us, and force us to sit idly by while our incredible Constitution is placed by radical elements in the dustbin of history.

The modern information-age American Civil War is in progress. It’s fundamentally a struggle between a Constitutionalist view of America and globalist elites who despise individual countries, who desire to control societies and populations on a worldwide scale, and prefer to dismiss our Constitution as an asterisk in history to be expediently used or ignored as needed. The domestic branch of the globalist elites has no problem aligning itself with the CCP if it means taking the American White House.

Very disturbing indeed.

‘Somewheres’ Versus ‘Anywheres’

Taking a cue from Prager U’s incredible video presented by former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, there are the “Somewheres”—those whose lives are tied to a particular place—and there are the “Anywheres”—those who can live comfortably in any of several of the world’s great cities.

While there are many “Anywheres” in the globalist camp, there are more of us who are in the “Somewheres” camp, anchored by family, faith, job, community, or other factors. Globalists seem to have control over much of the media, our institutions, academia, and even some local and state governments, and parts of our federal government. Somewheres, though, represent most of the population.

Anywheres seek to replace family, faith, job, and community with a neverending stream of new ideas of how the utopian society should live or look. They’re never satisfied, never ceasing, never ending in driving how society should evolve or be recreated. Whether it’s immediate release with no bond from arrest for street crime, open borders, neverending depictions of new alternative lifestyles, expanding government, criminalization of any questioning of their agenda, or controlling the size of your soft drink—they will never rest.

What does their ceaseless change create? Chaos—exactly what we’re seeing now. A very important caveat on this construct of “Somewheres” and “Anywheres”—this is a very important point—in almost all conflicts, most of the population are “fence-sitters.” They’re just trying to survive and waiting to see which way the conflict trends.

It’s our job to pull enough of the fence-sitters onto our side to secure the victory.

Antifa, the Vanguard

Antifa didn’t come out of thin air. It traces to Baader-Meinhof and Soviet money from the 1980s. Now they’re the brownshirts of the globalists, doing their dirty work for them. Taking perverted and twisted advantage of the injustice of George Floyd’s killing, they’ve seized the momentum.

And a huge accelerant to their momentum is CCP “walking around money” used to incite street mobs. “Walking around money” is an old-school term of tradecraft from the Intelligence community. Admittedly, it’s a page out of our own playbook from the 1950s, when the Dulles brothers strategically refined the organizing street counter-protest art form toward taking off the gloves when necessary against Soviet- and Marxist-inspired instability around the globe.

We’ve lost this art form and need to resurrect it to an extent. Unfortunately, all the little Charlies running around the hallways of the headquarters building at CIA are too busy doing other things—perhaps CNN and MSNBC have openings on either side of the Lisa Page timeslots for Charlie in his post-CIA career.

But the CCP has a limited amount of seed money for street violence in the United States. I would suggest they’ve already blown a lot of their cash reserves in this initial round of chaos. For every additional dollar they steer to Antifa to hand out on the street, that’s one less dollar to restart their economy, fund the Belt and Road Initiative, steal our intellectual property, or build their military. Their resources aren’t endless.

Antifa is simply the next round in the game of the globalists to unseat President Donald Trump. They tried Russiagate, Impeachmentgate, exploited the CCP virus, and now mobs are tearing down statues.

What’s next? We see the adjunct of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) run by Antifa, and we also see the haughty retired generals and admirals harrumphing over the president.

Two quick observations on both (I do have some firsthand knowledge of both). I grew up just north of Capitol Hill—this place was “lost” 50 years ago. Nothing is new or surprising to me about what’s going on there.

And about the generals and admirals, if there’s one thing retired general and flag officers do, they pander, jockey, and compete for board positions and think tank seats. And the way they do it in this town—they do their own version of “virtue-signaling.” Victor Davis Hanson’s piece on this topic is a must-read. There is a craven, self-serving motive behind their choreographed cadence. It’s no coincidence.

Now or Nothing for the CCP

“Statue tearing down” shows good for the cameras and plays well back in Beijing, but don’t be distracted. Focus on imploding the CCP. This “tearing down” is contrived and scripted out of the Maoist playbook—mainly to make them feel good about themselves.

I have never been a fan of Confederate symbology—but street “mobbery” is not the way our democratic society takes care of things. Ultimately, this radical behavior will turn most of the fence-sitters toward our side. The chaos in the Democrat cities is also driving an exodus of lawful citizens.

The tipping point may have been reached already in the Antifa street party. The feckless mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan, is now asserting that Seattle will retake control of the Capitol Hill Zone. I would suggest the litigation liability of the mayor and the city has now reached a point where they have no choice.

But the climax is beginning—the CCP is under immense pressure as dedicated forces relentlessly pursue it out of the world capital markets. Although not well understood, this is the true battle and increases the panic of the CCP and its globalist allies who know they have six months of oxygen left (oxygen being the capital the CCP needs to fund their collapsed economy).

They know they must do two things: outmaneuver the strategy to cut their access to capital, and beat Trump in November. The CCP knows its economy has flatlined, and the globalists see their Democrat-run urban areas collapsing and creating a flood of departures that is depopulating their centers of power. All they will have left are Antifa members and those who are in the country unlawfully. Not a good combination.

A Battle of Wills

Despite the vivid images of chaos, don’t be deterred, this is a battle of wills. All conflicts are ultimately a battle of wills. Countermoves are being conducted, watch these closely.

Get the groups to turn on each other. There is much evidence that Antifa is in great friction with others—this is the ultimate counter-insurgency strategy. The stage is not big enough for the CCP, the globalists, and their brownshirts, Antifa—they will turn on each other.

Focus on pushing the CCP out of the U.S., London, and Tokyo exchanges.

Break up the power of social media. Turning Google and the others into baby Googles by application of antitrust and RICO statutes and remove Section 230 protection so they can be sued.

Ensure the integrity of the U.S. election process by removing those intent on fraud.

Hold governors and mayors accountable for the rational and constitutional behavior of their areas. Make them own their chaos.

Assert Federal intervention only when there is a compelling case for federal action and clear statute supporting the action.

Deter the CCP from military adventurism, such as on the border with India.

Keep calm and carry on—stay focused on the real goal and outcome—imploding the CCP.

Col. (Ret.) John Mills is a national security professional with service in five eras: Cold War, Peace Dividend, War on Terror, World in Chaos, and now—Great Power Competition. He is the former director of cybersecurity policy, strategy, and international affairs at the Department of Defense.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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The Morning Briefing: Lockdown 2, BS Boogaloo Is Upon Us

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas
Lock Down Your Enthusiasm 

We’re back to this already. While enjoying a perfectly lovely dinner with nine other people as we were celebrating a friend’s birthday, I discovered that I’d missed the news that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey had issued another lockdown edict. I really wanted to like Ducey when I moved back to my native state a couple of years ago, but he’s been a continuing disappointment and makes me worry about Arizona’s ability to resist becoming purple for good during this next election.

The move wasn’t entirely surprising. I felt that another lockdown was imminent when Vice President Mike Pence canceled a visit that he was scheduled to make here today because of increasing coronavirus concerns. The weak Ducey was bound to use that as cover to issue Lockdown 2.0.

The move here comes shortly after Greg Abbott in Texas issued another executive order for a partial lockdown and Gavin Newsom in California is quickly slipping back into petty tyrant mode. None of these orders are lockdowns as comprehensive as what we all went through in March and April, but we know that’s coming. Newsom is already signaling as much.

The lockdown virtue-signaling is already back in full bloom. Il Ducey’s Twitter feed was positively insufferable on Monday night. It was almost as if he were auditioning to be the Democrats’ new favorite useful idiot Republican. The liberal responses were so laden with hysteria that I think the poor dears are at greater risk of succumbing to cardiac arrest than they are COVID-19.

What’s most infuriating here is that we’re being asked to engage in some monumental suspension of disbelief and pretend that people hanging out in bars are responsible for some recent spikes in infection rates but that thousands of people marching, rioting, and looting for weeks had nothing to do with it. In fact, those still aren’t going to be shut down. When Ducey was asked about protests he was suddenly a huge fan of the Constitution and the right to peaceable assembly, no matter how lacking in peace the assemblies happen to be.

There will be no lockdown for anyone who wants to break windows downtown but I’m a COVID monster if I want to have a beer at my local pub with a friend.

Matt had a great post on Monday about what a bad idea Lockdown 1.0 was and pointed a finger at the real culprit right now:

Young people, possibly from the recent protests and riots, are likely behind the recent spike in cases, and that tells us a lot about why the data looks the way it does right now. According to the CDC’s current best estimate, the fatality rate of the coronavirus for symptomatic cases only are as follows:

  • 0-49 years old: .05%
  • 50-64 years old: .2%
  • 65+ years old: 1.3%
  • Overall ages: .4%

When you take into account that approximately 30% of coronavirus infections are asymptomatic, that drives the fatality rate down even further.

Again, I’m not in the “possibly” category; I firmly believe it was the riots that are causing the spikes.

We discussed in a Briefing a couple of weeks ago the fact that a frightening number of small businesses probably aren’t going to survive the first round of lockdowns. If there were any that were going to have some new life breathed into them, new lockdowns are going to kill that in a hurry.

The usual suspects will no doubt complain about my irascibility here but the complete lack of honesty about the riots and protests has left me off in the land of the skeptical once again. If we’re doing more lockdowns it would be nice if it were a bit less arbitrary than the first time. As long as we’re pretending that there’s some big magical cone of protection over the looters, I’m going to like Lockdown 2.0 even less.

This makes me feel as if we’ll be in varying degrees of lockdown for at least the rest of the year now. If that’s the case, then Biden will probably be elected and at that point who cares anymore.

I’m a bundle of cheer.

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06/30/2020 16:48:04

Trump Death Clock

Estimated U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Due To POTUS Inaction
In January 2020, the Trump administration was advised that immediate action was required to stop the spread of COVID-19. According to NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, “there was a lot of pushback” to this advice. President Trump declined to act until March 16th. Experts estimate that, had mitigation measures been implemented one week earlier, 60% of American COVID-19 deaths would have been avoided. (For further reading, click here).


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Canadians to be allowed into EU countries, but U.S. citizens shut out

The European Union announced Tuesday that it will reopen its borders to travellers from 14 countries, but most Americans have been refused entry for at least another two weeks due to soaring coronavirus infections in the U.S.

Travellers from other big countries with high infection rates, like Russia, Brazil and India, will also miss out.




So how you doing with all that Winning, Winning, Winning with Trump, Jake?

Algeria, Morocco and Rwanda are among the other nations whose citizens are deemed safer to visit Europe because of their containment of covid 19 than Americans. That's right, Rwanda, one of those "**** hole" countries according to your President, has done a better job than Trump in fighting the disease.


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Why We Should Keep Confederate Statues Standing

Why We Should Keep Confederate Statues Standing

The recent spread of iconoclasm was never just about Confederate monuments or even statues. It's a dangerous expression of the radical left's nihilism.

Back in 2017, soon after the fatal Charlottesville clash, a 22-year-old African-American student named Takiyah Thompson climbed a ladder and tied a tow-strap around the statue of a Confederate soldier in Durham, North Carolina. The bronze statue, dating to 1924 and located in front of Durham’s Old Court House, was then yanked down to the ground from its high pedestal and gleefully stomped.

The crowd that gathered for this staged media event was mainly white and youthful. Sheriff’s deputies were on hand to observe, but did not intervene. The event was organized by far-left political groups, with Thompson belonging to the World Workers Party, a Marxist-Leninist outfit that supports Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro as well as North Korea — where just about everybody gets to be a slave.

This revelatory event was in the early days in the Orwellian crusade for the annihilation of the presence of the past in the nation’s public realm, which has reached fever pitch since the brutal killing of George Floyd at the end of May.

We Must Know Our History

Statuary monuments are landmarks. They help us understand our history, where the nation and the communities comprising it have been and what they’ve been through, the ideals to which they have subscribed, and the leaders they have revered. In some cases, the ideals they embody — as well as their beauty — are enduring.

Sometimes, their resonance is universal, as with the majestic Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. In other cases, their appeal is more complex and complicated. That’s because history is complex and complicated. Our typically college-educated iconoclasts appear to be entirely incapable of dealing with that complexity.

A great many Americans are well aware of the landmark value of our monumental heritage. They also know that many statues’ originally intended symbolism is thankfully obsolete. This is most notably the case for the many monuments that implicitly enshrine the Confederate “Lost Cause” as a matter of vindicating states’s rights while ignoring the “peculiar institution” that caused the Civil War.

These statues, however, still retain cultural value as part of the historic fabric of American communities. More specifically, most Americans can appreciate that such monuments retain artistic value apart from any ideological baggage they might carry simply because they are of higher quality than the memorials we are apt to produce today.

Not surprisingly, a recent Morning Consult-Politico poll shows only 32 percent of respondents favor the removal of Confederate statues. Still, the number of those favoring removal is rising, while the number who say they should remain standing is falling — which is hardly surprising given the legacy media’s coverage of the issue.

Because the current iconoclastic mania was initially precipitated by Confederate memorials, which range from the heroic equestrian figures of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and J.E.B. Stuart along Richmond’s Monument Avenue to the many solitary soldier statues across the South, such as the demolished Durham figure, we should be mindful of the issues they raise.

What many conservative politicians seem never to have grasped about the removal or defacement of these monuments is that they were always just the initial appetizer on the menu, never the main course. We are now at the point where an anti-democratic minority is hell-bent on discarding the nation’s public realm of all statuary at which it takes offense, usually in total contempt of the law.

The distinguished Civil War historian James M. McPherson addressed the Confederate landmark issue in a 2017 interview:

I can certainly sympathize with a point of view that people who fought to break up the United States with the purpose of preserving slavery should not be celebrated, but it happened. Many of these monuments, which were put up from about 1890 to 1920, illustrate the ‘Lost Cause’ mentality of the Confederacy. I think that that needs to be understood as part of the mythology of the Civil War — and people live as much by myths as by reality. If you try to wipe that out, you’re shortchanging an important part of our understanding of history. As a historian, I don’t like the idea of banning statues. I think the better way would be to leave most of these memorials where they are with some kind of explanation of who put them up, and when, why, and what they stand for.

Conservative politicians have failed to absorb the wisdom of McPherson’s remarks. And McPherson is no conservative. He simply articulated the common sense informing a wide swathe of American public opinion: to destroy public monuments, Confederate or not, is to destroy part of the nation’s history.

We should be hearing this message loud and clear from senators and representatives in Washington. We’re not, and this reflects a troubling hollowness at the core of contemporary American conservativism. Tucker Carlson is one of the few commentators to forcefully denounce it.

This Was Never Just About Confederate Statues
Columbus, Washington, Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Grant, and even Abraham Lincoln are all apparently fair game now. The American Museum of Natural History elected to part with the equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt, flanked by figures of a Native American and an African-American (the latter two on foot) because the museum deems it racist.

Facing New York City’s Central Park and framed by John Russell Pope’s magnificent museum entrance and Ionic colonnade, this statuary group, the work of James Earle Fraser, forms part of an extraordinarily fine civic composition. Would we arrange the statuary figures in the same way now? No. Does that mean the sculpture should go? No.

The ideology and rhetoric of the vandals are clear. When they destroy statues of Columbus, they tell us the European settlement of this continent was illegitimate, a simple matter of unbridled greed and plunder unredeemed by any higher civilization-building dynamic. When they go after statues of distinguished figures in our nation’s history, they tell us the American political system was erected on a foundation of “systemic racism.”

Because a Civil War hero, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, is portrayed on horseback amidst the black infantrymen under his command, his monument on the Boston Common has been defaced as a loathsome symbol of white supremacy. The Confederacy evidently differed from the rest of the country simply by being more explicit in its racism.

Thus, the vandals see history in simplistic, vacuous terms, reduced to slogans and Twitter memes. The media types who indulge them have been indoctrinated in similarly simplistic national-guilt narratives at our colleges and universities and dwell in a social-media echo chamber in which deviation from current orthodoxies often has quite unpleasant consequences.

The almost certainly imminent removal of the Confederate statues along Monument Avenue — Jefferson Davis was toppled on June 10 — is particularly noteworthy. This elegant, mile-long thoroughfare is one of the great civic art venues in the United States. It is a National Historic Landmark.

The removal of its handsome statuary is foolish. It will impoverish the River City’s cultural patrimony. And it will do absolutely nothing to improve life for black Richmonders.

Salon sophisticates, of course, assume they must fervently and unanimously support the avenue’s statuary purging. How do they know? On Monument Avenue, as elsewhere, video footage shows the vandal gangs converging on their targets are mainly college-age white kids. This is hardly the Paris of the French Revolution, with half-starved sans-culottes raising hell.

The Importance of Symbols
Everyone knows there would have been no Civil War but for the existence of slavery, and almost everyone knows the right side prevailed. But that doesn’t mean everyone who fought for the South did so because he was a devotee of the “peculiar institution” — let alone a slaveowner. Many Southerners fought mainly because they believed their homeland was being invaded. Many thousands gave their lives to defend it.

Princeton historian Sean Wilentz would have us believe Monument Avenue’s statuary panoply was not about redeeming the Lost Cause. Rather, Confederate monuments were intended “to celebrate … the re-subjugation of the formerly enslaved and their progeny into the economic peonage and racial caste system of Jim Crow.”

Wilentz also ignores the almost religious veneration white Southerners held for the men who led them through years of extreme privation and misery. Beyond their romantic exaltation of the Lost Cause, they also idealize the virtues of honor and bravery. Similar veneration, of course, inspired legions of Civil War monuments in the northern states.

Historical memory is grounded in the literary and documentary narratives of different kinds and in symbolic works such as statuary monuments, which often seek to redeem historical experience by idealizing its noblest aspects. Monuments are thus selective — history without warts — and there is a vital and by no means necessarily tidy interplay between them and historical actuality.

The underlying objective of the crusade of modern iconoclasts is to undermine our civilization by demolishing its symbols. Symbols resonate at a metaphysical level. The thirst of the vandals for the destruction of artistic manifestations of higher ideals guiding our nation and its leaders throughout its often turbulent history.

This is just another facet of modernity’s war on the metaphysical dimension of our being, without which no civilization worthy of the name can survive. Material prosperity helps civilization thrive, but its survival requires more than material prosperity. If conservative leaders can’t figure that out, this country is in serious trouble.

Jim Crow went down more than half a century ago. Few if any of our statue-desecrators have ever experienced real political oppression or economic privation. Far more likely, their fanaticism answers not so much to an unjust world as to a profound emptiness within themselves — a spiritual void that must be papered over with narcissism and hatred. They should not be allowed to inflict their nihilism on the rest of us.

Catesby Leigh’s commentary on public art and architecture has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, City Journal, Weekly Standard, National Review, and other publications. He lives in Washington.
Photo Mobilus In Mobili / Flickr

Copyright © 2020 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.

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June 30, 2020

Now It's Woodrow Wilson's Turn

Woodrow Wilson with Princeton students [Image by Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives from Staunton, VA / No restrictions, via wikimedia commons, resized]

Now that statues of Presidents

Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, and Theodore Roosevelt have been desecrated, vandalized, toppled, and smashed, it appears Woodrow Wilson's time has come. The cultural revolution has come to the Ivy League.

Though Wilson attended Princeton as an undergraduate, taught there, and served from 1902 to 1910 as president, his name is to be removed from Princeton's School of Public and International Affairs.         

And why is this icon of American liberals to be so dishonored? Because Thomas Woodrow Wilson disbelieved in racial equality. Says Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber: "Wilson's racist opinions and policies make him an inappropriate namesake." Moreover, Wilson's "racism was significant and consequential even by the standards of his own time."          

And what exactly were Wilson's sins? "Wilson was... a racist," writes Eisgruber, who "discouraged black applicants from applying to Princeton. While president of the United States he segregated the previously integrated civil service."

Another of Wilson's crimes was overlooked by Eisgruber. In February 1915, following a White House screening of Birth of a Nation, which depicted the Ku Klux Klan as heroic defenders of white womanhood in the South after the Civil War, a stunned Wilson said: "It's like writing history with lightning. My only regret is that it is all so terribly true."      

Princeton's board of trustees has endorsed Eisgruber's capitulation, declaring that Woodrow Wilson's "racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school or college whose scholars, students, and alumni must stand firmly against racism in all its forms."          

Yet, as Wilson left the U.S. presidency a century ago and has been dead for 96 years, one wonders: Was Princeton unaware that Wilson had re-segregated the civil service? When did Princeton discover this?        

Wilson's support of segregation was a matter of record in his own time and is a subject about which every biographer and historian of that period has been aware. When did Princeton discover that this Southern-born president, the most famous son in the school's history, like so many of his presidential predecessors, did not believe in integration?

Four years ago, Eisgruber rebuffed student demands to wipe Wilson's name off the public policy institute, because, as he wrote last week, Wilson "transformed" Princeton "from a sleepy college to a world-class university."

Talk of ingratitude! Woodrow Wilson is being dishonored today by the house that Woodrow Wilson built.

Wilson was also a history-making liberal Democrat, a two-term president who took us into the Great War, advanced his "14 Points" as a basis for peace, became an architect of the Versailles Treaty, championed a League of Nations, and won the Nobel Prize for Peace. True, it did not all work out well.         

Sold as "the war to end war" and "to make the world safe for democracy" Wilson took us in, in April 1917, as an associate power of four empires. And rather than make the world safe for democracy, the war made the world that emerged accessible to Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler.           

Yet, if Wilson's disbelief in equality is sufficient to get the most famous son Princeton produced from having his name on a public institute, this is likely just the beginning.           

The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress in 1968, a nonpartisan policy forum led today by ex-Congresswoman Jane Harman, is the official memorial to President Wilson in Washington, D.C. It, too, is likely to be headed for the chopping block. One of the largest and most integrated public high schools in D.C. is Woodrow Wilson High, which has stood since before World War II in the northwest corner of the city. Is that name to be changed as well? What of the D.C. Beltway's Wilson Bridge, south of the city, which has brought traffic into, out of, and around the capital for decades? Will we need a name change there as well?

Theodore Roosevelt is under fire for his negative views of Native Americans. Yet, he, too, has a bridge over the Potomac named after him—and a D.C. high school as well.       

The Key Bridge connects Georgetown to Virginia's Lee Highway, which was named for General Robert E. Lee in 1919. The bridge is named after Francis Scott Key, author of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and whose statue was lately toppled in Golden Gate Park.           

If support for segregation is a disqualification for honor in the new America, is it likely that the oldest of three Senate office buildings on Capitol Hill can remain named for Sen. Richard B. Russell of Georgia? A confidant and ally of President Lyndon Johnson, Russell was a co-signer of the Southern Manifesto of 1956, which called for "massive resistance" to integrating public schools. Russell also voted against every major civil rights bill in his 40 years in the Senate.      

If D.C. ever becomes a state surrounding the Capitol, Mall, White House, and major monuments, look for the sweeping destruction of statues and monuments and a changing of the names of streets, parks, and circles.

Where does the madness end?    

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.


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Trying to Significantly Reduce Energy Demand Is a Fool’s Errand.

Carbon makes the world move: climate activists need to accept that.

ByAndrew I. Fillat and Henry I. MilleronJune 24, 2020


Our previous article argued that the COVID-19 pandemic has offered important insights into the enormous economic cost of suppressing demand as a way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The most practical demand-side strategy to even approach the deep GHG reduction of the recent lockdowns (by an average of about 17%, according to some studies) would be to adopt some of the less-debilitating lockdown changes to our lifestyle: less commuting and more work being done remotely. But this is probably the only low-cost, straightforward way to reduce demand on carbon-based energy—and even then, the impact would be minimal compared to the lockdowns.

Broad-based consumer acceptance of electric vehicles is also far from certain: recharging them is a much more time-consuming process than pulling into a gas station.

Some demand-side proposals include new consumer technologies, like the oft-cited idea of expanded use of electric vehicles (EVs), but given the energy required to make and recharge the batteries, the benefit is lower than imagined. Broad-based consumer acceptance of electric vehicles is also far from certain: recharging them is a much more time-consuming process than pulling into a gas station. Other demand-side proposals similarly fall short: investing billions in high-speed rail to displace automobiles; gasoline efficiency targets for cars that are uneconomical and/or unachievable; involuntary rolling blackouts; and overly burdensome taxes that will put the U.S. at an international disadvantage in innovation, production, and trade.

That leaves us primarily with supply side interventions to achieve the significant emissions reductions needed to confront climate change—which gets tricky when you consider the societal reluctance to invest in less popular energy solutions (like nuclear energy), and the limitations of the energy solutions in vogue—solar and wind.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that the United States, which is responsible for only approximately 15% of the world’s emissions, has already achieved a steady decline, from a peak of approximately 6.8 trillion metric tons (TMT) of GHG emissions in 2007 to 5.8 TMT in 2019. Thus, we are already part of the solution.

Activism-impelled fears of a catastrophic event like the Three Mile Island near-miss, the Chernobyl reactor design failure, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown are slowly but surely driving the possibility for robust nuclear power out of the realm of possibility domestically. We hope this opposition can be overcome, because it deprives us of a safe, emissions-free energy source only matched by hydroelectric and geothermal power—which, because they occur in nature, have severe limitations in terms of placement or availability.

Solar and wind continue to attract attention from climate activists, but when we consider the manufacturing of the various components required for these energy systems, neither solar nor wind power is GHG-free, and their intermittent nature (i.e., the sun shines only during sunny days but not at night, and the wind doesn’t blow on command) creates significant challenges to storing energy and managing a power grid.

The bottom line is that, just as on the demand side, there is no magical solution on the supply side of energy production that can significantly offset the inexorable growth in demand for energy, and the resulting carbon emissions. This means that in the absence of much more widespread use of nuclear power, which is currently under constant attack by (pseudo-)environmentalists, we will need to focus on ways to cope with increased carbon emissions—not simply promote new, impractical ways to cut down.

Wind and solar energy.

Wind and solar energy.


Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute offers an astute analysis of these supply-side energy innovations in a report, “The New Energy Economy: An Exercise in Magical Thinking,” published last year. His thesis is that those who argue that the technologies of wind and solar power and battery storage are creating the kind of disruption we have seen in computing and communications (markedly lowering costs and increasing efficiency) are simply wrong. That flawed analogy, he says, “glosses over profound differences, grounded in physics, between systems that produce energy and those that produce information.”

Counting on major gains from battery technology is far too optimistic and tenuous a plan.

We summarize some of his key points here:

The first realization about idealistic but unrealistic approaches concerns the cost-effectiveness of renewables—or lack thereof. Mills’ analysis shows that for every $1 million spent on natural gas shale extraction, approximately 300 million kilowatt hours (KwH) of electricity is produced over 30 years. The comparable output for $1 million spent for solar panels is 40 million KwH; for wind, 55 million KwH. That makes natural gas (a carbon-containing, non-renewable) more than five times more capital efficient than either wind or solar. And that does not count the investment required to compensate for the intermittent nature of these renewable sources (to provide backup because of natural, weather-based interruptions), or the cost and impact of extraction of natural resources required to build the solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries necessary to support wind and solar energy.

There is also an unavoidable mismatch between power demand peaks, which are driven by the consumers of power, and by supply levels from the renewable sources. Commercial and individuals’ usage patterns do not cause the wind to pick up or the sun to emerge from behind the clouds. Employing geographical diversity (switching to locations that are windy or sunny and have power farms) to compensate for nature’s behavior is limited by transmission loss and the availability of connecting infrastructure, and is rarely feasible at the required scale. Also, the current power grid cannot handle abrupt, frequent, and widespread changes in energy flow (because it wasn’t built with that in mind), which therefore requires robust and rapidly available backup solutions—namely, energy storage.

The existing proposed solution to these interruptions is hydrocarbon-driven generators that can be brought online quickly. There have been attempts to replace them with various other energy storage devices, but thus far, batteries—the approach that minimizes energy loss, while not consuming much of the energy in the process—appear to be the most feasible non-hydrocarbon option to provide energy on short notice.

Existing batteries, however, are currently not up to the task, and there have been no major breakthroughs in battery technology for decades—most of the gains have come from improvements in manufacturing. Counting on major gains from battery technology is far too optimistic and tenuous a plan. The argument that we can achieve “salvation by battery” reminds us of a favorite cartoon:

Credit: S. Harris.

Credit: S. Harris.

Maintaining reserves of energy to address the intermittency can also be understood using oil as a benchmark. For oil (gas is actually cheaper to store in large tanks), the storage cost is about a dollar per barrel to store a two-month supply. The capital cost of batteries to achieve the same storage capacity is about $200. That makes the breakeven point approximately 34 years—but batteries rarely last even a third of that time. And while the barrel weighs about 300 pounds, batteries weigh 10 tons for the same storage capacity; when scaled up, we end up with quite a load (pun intended).

The laws of physics place constraints on the efficiency of energy conversion from sunlight and wind to electricity.

Using the U.S. government’s Strategic Oil Reserve to illustrate the weight—and, therefore, the problem—the reserve currently stands at about 635 million barrels, or about 34 days of oil usage only (not total energy). For an energy-equivalent backstop of battery-based energy, a total of around 6.35 billion tons of batteries would need to be produced. To put that in perspective, Tesla’s “Gigafactory” produces only about .0001% of that tonnage in a year.

Putting the final nail in the coffin of ‘salvation by battery,’ to achieve the energy storage of a single pound of hydrocarbons would require around 60 pounds of battery, which would in turn require the mining of 400-500 pounds of raw materials like lithium, cobalt, magnesium, and rare earth elements. Mining itself requires energy and creates pollution and environmental degradation, not to mention that many of the minerals are available in locations that the U.S. might find difficult and unreliable to access (e.g., China, Congo, Chile, Russia, Argentina, South Africa). Moreover, batteries require and compete for many of the same minerals as solar panels, while wind turbines require vast amounts of steel and fiberglass. It can’t be ignored that all three technologies require significant energy and large amounts of natural resources to produce.

There are other constraints on improving the solar panels and wind turbines themselves. The laws of physics place constraints on the efficiency of energy conversion from sunlight and wind to electricity. To put it simply, there is a loss of energy as it travels through transmission lines, or is converted from one form to another. For solar energy, the maximum efficiency for conversion to electricity is about 33%, and most solar panels are already about 25-27% efficient. For wind, the limit is about 60%, and the current state of the art is over 45%. This is not analogous to microchip improvements, where computing power doubles over and over. There is simply a limit to how useful these technologies can be.

Oil rig.

Oil rig.


We are left with the inescapable conclusion that there are no major gains from innovation to be discovered in the efficiency of existing renewable energy. Growth will mainly be achieved in these sectors through wider deployment. On the other hand, nuclear energy (which as we noted above is currently out of favor) offers promising opportunities such as small-scale plants, but these continue to be a hard sell to voters because of relentless, anti-nuclear activism.

It’s time for climate warriors to wake up, smell the petroleum, and realize that the focus needs to shift toward coping with the effects of increased carbon emissions.

Although the setting of ambitious international goals by politicians may resonate, that does not make them practical or even possible, short of lockdowns or deprivation of a magnitude that would dwarf the misery of the pandemic. Instead, we are left with a long slog that will consist of multiple incremental improvements.

It’s time for climate warriors to wake up, smell the petroleum, and realize that the focus needs to shift toward coping with the effects of increased carbon emissions.

How best to do that? We believe the most cost-effective and readily achievable approach is rapid and intense reforestation to absorb emitted carbon dioxide. In addition, some mitigating actions such as flood control, limiting low-lying development, and adjustment of farming practices will be needed. Technology might eventually supply us with techniques to capture emissions and sequester or recycle them, though carbon sequestration is already currently deployed where feasible.

So, climate-change warriors, in the absence of nuclear plants (which, in an ideal world, would be an integral part of the plan), start planting trees!

Human Events
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