BBCLGBTQ+ 1

Everyone in Britain who has a TV, or even just a radio, Internet connection, or a Smartphone, has to pay to keep the BBC going – under threat of severe penalty for delinquency.

What has this once much respected, once thoroughly trusted, sensible institution become?

Not respectable, not trustworthy.

Silly and menacing.

As Virginia Hale reports in an article at Breitbart:

The BBC is to fight a “heteronormative culture” with a raft of pro-LGBT reforms, despite figures showing sexual minorities are already overrepresented as much as fivefold in the broadcaster’s workforce.

Staff will be told to use gender-neutral pronouns for workers who say they are “non-binary” — identifying as neither male or female — under new BBC policies, which also detail plans to put additional support in place for transgender individuals, especially while they are “transitioning”.

Workforce training on diversity, inclusion, and “unconscious bias” will also be expanded to include LGBT issues, while non-heterosexual mentors will guide less senior staff who identify as a sexual minority.

Teams working in television, news and radio broadcasting have been told to increase representation of sexual minorities, specifically that they insert more “incidental” portrayals of LGBT relationships and individuals not directly related to a storyline or news item.

In addition, the BBC said it will raise the profile of employees who are not heterosexual and urge them to “bring their whole self to work”.

“Straight Ally” badges will be handed out to heterosexual members of staff.

The reforms were brought in following an internal survey of 300 LGBT members of staff, who called for “improvement” in a number of areas including the demand that the BBC adopt the umbrella term LGBTQ+ for sexual minorities so as to be “inclusive” towards people who claim to belong to identities other than Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, including “Queer”. 

James Purnell, director of radio and education, said: 

One of our big challenges currently is around young audiences. In a recent YouGov survey only 51 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they identified as completely heterosexual. An organisation that appears to have a heteronormative culture is not one that is going to cut ice with them either as a consumer or an employee.

As Breitbart London reported last year, official government figures showing that just 4.1 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds reported themselves to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) was published just a week after an Ipsos Mori poll for the BBC showed only 66 per cent of young people said they were heterosexual.

Pause. Only two-thirds (at most) of the 16 to 25-year-old people of Britain are “completely” heterosexual?

No. To use an overused and much abused word correctly for once – INCREDIBLE!

Announcing in July the results of a confidential staff survey revealing that sexual minorities were overrepresented by about five times at the corporation the BBC praised the “very, very high” proportion of LGBT workers but insisted there was more to be done, suggesting a drive to hire lesbians.

According to the figures, more than 400 transgender individuals are employed at the BBC, while 11 per cent of its total workforce and 12 per cent of senior staff identified as sexual minorities.

The broadcaster’s seeking of an ever-more “diverse” workforce in terms of employing increasing numbers of staff from ethnic and sexual minorities is driven by the BBC’s “commit[ment] to reflecting and representing the diversity of the UK”, it claims.

It is unclear then why the significant underrepresentation of heterosexuals has at no point been raised as an issue of representation in the way lesbian staff numbers were.

Well, because Whites and heterosexuals are born despicable. Criminal. Because their ancestors were patriarchal imperialists. See? Understand now?

And about those “gender-neutral pronouns”. Surely it is not enough that they be used inside the temple itself?

Should they not also be used in the programs? In the news reports? In the drama, the movies, the documentaries? 

Let’s review those Newspeak pronouns.

Here’s an American guide for university students (almost all US universities now being propaganda factories for the far-Left):

So the BBC has gone over, holus-bolus, to the dark side. 

Ne is obsessed to the point of lunacy, as is the entire international Left, with race, “gender”, and the weather a hundred years from now.

(And – yes – also with promoting Islam.)

And the citizens of the United Kingdom are forced to pay for nem.

Posted under Britain, Environmentalism, Leftism, media, Race, Sex, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 13, 2018

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To save the earth 9

A new IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report has been emitted by the UN.

It says in effect, like all the other IPCC reports before it, “Hurry up and do something to save the earth from being burnt up by human activity – or else!”

Not a single prediction by the Warmists, since the first IPCC uttered its dire warning, has come true. But that does not discourage them.

From Investor’s Business Daily:

Assume for the sake of argument that everything environmentalists say about global warming is true. If that’s the case, then there is no chance of stopping it.

That’s what the latest UN report on global warming clearly demonstrates.

The headlines in stories reporting on the UN’s latest climate change report all say something along the lines of: “Urgent changed is needed to prevent global catastrophe.”

If global temperatures climb more than 1.5 degrees Celsius — compared with preindustrial temperatures — all hell will break loose, the UN says. There will be catastrophic flooding, drought, more weather extremes. Hundreds of millions will be susceptible to poverty by midcentury. Even at 1.5 degrees, terrible things will happen. …

Here’s an example of what the UN says would have to happen within the next 12 years [to avoid total disaster]. Keep in mind, this is the low end of the UN’s proposed changes.

  • 60% of the world’s energy would have to come from renewable sources by 2030, and 77% by 2050. (The Department of Energy forecasts that renewables will account for just 27% of the U.S.’s electric power generation by 2050.)
  • Coal use would have to drop 78%, oil 37% and natural gas 25% — compared with 2010 levels — within 12 years. (Last year, global coal demand increased, and use of natural gas has massively climbed in the U.S.)
  • There’d have to be a 59% increase in nuclear power by 2030, and a 150% increase by 2050. (Good luck getting environmentalist to buy into that).
  • Farmers would have to figure out how to cut methane emissions by 24% by 2030 (and still feed a growing world population).

Even those massive reductions won’t reduce enough CO2. So, the UN assumes the world will also remove massive amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere. That’s despite the fact that nobody knows how to do that today.

The UN itself admits [actually hopes – ed] that achieving anything like these levels of greenhouse gas reductions “would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure, and industrial systems”.

It goes on to say that such an undertaking would be “unprecedented in terms of scale”. And it would require a “significant upscaling of investments”. In other words, massive amounts of money.

To say that changes of this magnitude within that time frame are unrealistic would be putting it mildly.

The last big attempt to get the world to cut CO2 emissions turned out to be a farce. As the UN itself admitted, the CO2 reduction pledges made by the 195 countries that signed on to the Paris Accords won’t come anywhere close to the level of CO2 reductions it says are needed to avoid “catastrophe”.

And countries aren’t even living up to those pledges.

On the whole, populations prefer to continue to exist. Obstinate, sinful, on they go.

In the EU, carbon emissions started climbing again last year. Germany is way off its carbon reduction goals, despite plans to spend $580 billion to overhaul its energy system. A recent report showed that only nine of 195 countries have submitted their CO2 reduction plans to the UN.

Does anyone honestly believe that these countries will suddenly decide to entirely decarbonize their economies in three decades?

So, if the chances of avoiding a climate “catastrophe” are gone, what should be done?

To be clear, we are highly skeptical of these doom-and-gloom scenarios. Past predictions of global warming catastrophes have failed to emerge. In the U.S., for example, there’s been no trend toward more extreme weather, drought or flooding, even though the planet has already warmed 1 degree Celsius. This year’s tornado season, in fact, has been the mildest on record. What’s more, environmentalists have issued these “point of no return” warnings for decades, only to revise them once the supposed deadline passes.

But if the alarmist predictions are true, there’s nothing that can plausibly be done at this point to stop it. That’s the real message of the annual UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

The chart contained in the Summary for Policymakers shows projected changes in global temperatures over the next 100 years. It also shows that temperatures will top the supposed 1.5-degree limit by around 2040, even if the world makes drastic reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions within the next two decades.

How drastic?

The entire world [would have to] become entirely carbon free by 2055 at the latest. That’s just 37 years from now.

THE ENTIRE WORLD? MADE ENTIRELY CARBON FREE? 

If all CO2 is removed, there will be nothing for green plants to feed on, so animals will starve, and then we must starve too.

Right. That’s the message.

For total carbon elimination, the world must be freed of all living things. Then whirl on, Earth, as a bare rock, cleansed of all polluting life and thus saved from overheating.  

Steven Hayward points out that we are a highly adaptable species, and would not find it difficult to live in a world that was warmer by a few degrees.

Trouble is, as we see it, the alarmists would only become more importunate. Ever more drastic changes to our lives would be demanded. We can tolerate warmth, but  can we tolerate the Warmists?

They claim the earth is doomed as long as we live and breathe. So we really have no choice. We must destroy the plants, mercy-kill the animals, and then commit suigenocide. 

Okay. We’ll start getting used to the idea.

But there’s one thing we would like to do first.

WE MUST DESTROY THE UN.  

And who knows but by that one small action we might save ourselves, all the kingdoms of living things, and the planet on which we dwell?

Posted under Capitalism, Climate, Collectivism, Environmentalism, United Nations by Jillian Becker on Thursday, October 11, 2018

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Prize lies 2

Obama claims that the eight years of his presidency were free of scandal. In fact, the scandals were many and appalling.

Obama claims to have stopped Iran becoming a nuclear power. In fact, he entered into a deal that permitted Iran to become a nuclear power.

Obama claims to have improved race relations. In fact, he worsened them. 

Obama claims to have launched an economic boom. In fact, he never achieved even 3% GDP growth.

In sum, he was a weak and destructive president. The harm he did would not be easy to repair, and America is lucky to have found the man to succeed him who could not only mend what he had broken, and is doing so, but is going much further, turning the failure round and achieving success. Even some unprecedented successes. And all in record time.

Obama sees the repair as an undoing of the changes he wrought. As he puts it, “The status quo pushes back.”

The complaint comes from a speech he made at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill., on Sept. 7, 2018, when the university honored him with the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government.

The speech he gave on the occasion of receiving the prize included these claims:

Each time we painstakingly pull ourselves closer to our founding ideals, that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights; the ideals that say every child should have opportunity and every man and woman in this country who’s willing to work hard should be able to find a job and support a family and pursue their small piece of the American Dream; our ideals that say we have a collective responsibility to care for the sick and the infirm, and we have a responsibility to conserve the amazing bounty, the natural resources of this country and of this planet for future generations, each time we’ve gotten closer to those ideals, somebody somewhere has pushed back. The status quo pushes back. Sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change. More often it’s manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep us divided and keep us angry and keep us cynical because that helps them maintain the status quo and keep their power and keep their privilege. …

To which political party does that last sentence most aptly apply? We say the Democratic Party? But then, the Left has a habit of accusing its opponents of the faults, failings, bad emotions, plots, conspiracies, evil intentions, underhand actions, and failures of which itself is guilty.

Most of you don’t remember a time before 9/11, when you didn’t have to take off your shoes at an airport.

Did he mention who was responsible for 9/11 and for us having to take off our shoes at an airport? No. Because he never did and never will blame Islam for its acts of terrorism.

Most of you don’t remember a time when America wasn’t at war, or when money and images and information could travel instantly around the globe, or when the climate wasn’t changing faster than our efforts to address it.

A strange combination of references. No one living remembers a time when America wasn’t at war, if the Cold War is counted. About the money and images he probably meant “remember a time when they could not …”  And then he throws in as a certainty that there was a time when climate was not changing fast, but it is now.

And this was all before a change. What change? Have the wars stopped?

The only change he almost got right was a change to faster communications than ever before.

He claims that all three factors together brought about this consequence:

This change has happened fast, faster than any time in human history. And it created a new economy that has unleashed incredible prosperity.

Only, of the three phenomena he mentioned, could the faster communications be said to have promoted prosperity.

Actually, he just gabbled nonsense. And all to get in a claim to an “unleashed incredible prosperity” – the prosperity he claims as hid own achievement.

He goes on to say how he rescued the economy from wicked men.

[T]he reckless behavior of financial elites triggered a massive financial crisis, ten years ago this week, a crisis that resulted in the worst recession in any of our lifetimes and caused years of hardship for the American people, for many of your parents, for many of your families. Most of you weren’t old enough to fully focus on what was going on at the time, but when I came into office in 2009, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. 800,000. Millions of people were losing their homes. Many were worried we were entering into a second Great Depression. So we worked hard to end that crisis, but also to break some of these longer term trends. And the actions we took during that crisis returned the economy to healthy growth and initiated the longest streak of job creation on record. And we covered another 20 million Americans with health insurance and we cut our deficits by more than half, partly by making sure that people like me, who have been given such amazing opportunities by this country, pay our fair share of taxes to help folks coming up behind me.

While it is true that employment rose before he left office, his claim that higher taxes (on “people like me”) were a formula for prosperity is false. President Trump’s tax cuts (for all tax payers) prove it. Furthermore, Obama heavily regulated business, and President Trump’s lifting of many Obama regulations has been a factor in creating the very real present economic boom.

And by the time I left office, household income was near its all-time high and the uninsured rate had hit an all-time low and wages were rising and poverty rates were falling. I mention all this just so when you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started.

He came on then to his foreign policy.

Even though we took out bin Laden and wound down the wars in Iraq and our combat role in Afghanistan, and got Iran to halt its nuclear program, the world’s still full of threats and disorder. …

And even though your generation is the most diverse in history …

Nonsense! No generation is more “diverse” than any other.

… with a greater acceptance and celebration of our differences than ever before, those are the kinds of conditions that are ripe for exploitation by politicians who have no compunction and no shame about tapping into America’s dark history of racial and ethnic and religious division. …

[O]ver the past few decades, the politics of division, of resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party.

Remember when a Republican Attorney General refused to prosecute a bunch of white people although they were breaking the law, on the grounds that he would not act against “his  people”? No. Neither do we. But we do recall Eric Holder- Obama’s black AG – saying something like that in a case of the Black Panthers …

This Congress has … embraced wild conspiracy theories, like those surrounding Benghazi, or my birth certificate.

The trick: he throws out, in passing, that the (factually accurate) report of his failure to send help to a US ambassador and three servicemen who were killed by Muslim terrorists in Benghazi was a “wild conspiracy theory’, and associates it with an unproved, unlikely, and petty story that he was not born in the United States. But the horrible events in Benghazi were proved and profoundly important.

He comes to his own party’s wild conspiracy theory:

[The Repulicans in power are] undermining our alliances, cozying up to Russia. What happened to the Republican Party? Its central organizing principle in foreign policy was the fight against Communism, and now they’re cozying up to the former head of the KGB, actively blocking legislation that would defend our elections from Russian attack.

And he calls the partial repeal of his unworkable health legislation “sabotage”:

Their sabotage of the Affordable Care Act has already cost more than three million Americans their health insurance. And if they’re still in power next fall, you’d better believe they’re coming at it again. …

He defends the media who gave him uncritical support in all he did, and never stp attacking President Trump. What is indefnsible in his eyes, is Trump hitting back at his media enemies. To do this, he lies again:

I complained plenty about Fox News – but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them enemies of the people.

We did hear that his administration “spied on members of the media, illegally seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists. Fox News reporter James Rosen called Obama ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’ after being threatened with possible jail time for refusing to reveal one of his sources”. (See our quotations from Matt Margolis below.)

Next, he endorses the lie that President Trump sympathizes with Nazis:

We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination. And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up, clearly and unequivocally, to Nazi sympathizers.

How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.

How hard can it be to say that Islamic terrorism is bad? That Communism is bad? Too hard for him, it appeared.

Then comes the most blatantly impudent accusation of them all:

And we won’t win people over by calling them names, or dismissing entire chunks of the country as racist, or sexist, or homophobic.

Who, every minute of every day, calls whom “racist, or sexist, or homophobic”? Or all three?

Matt Margolis comments at PJ Media:

Today we saw just how far academia is going to perpetuate the myth of Obama’s “scandal-free” administration when he was awarded the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government by the University of Illinois. Not since the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize has Obama been so undeserving of an award. But, I submit that this award is even worse than the Nobel Peace Prize he didn’t deserve. In 2009, the Nobel committee was at least ignorant of what Obama’s record would turn out to be. There is simply no excuse in 2018 for Obama to be receiving an Ethics in Government award. … The Paul H. Douglas Award is now forever tainted.

What, exactly, did the committee at the University of Illinois think Obama did to earn an Ethics in Government award? The Obama years were plagued by scandal and defined by a hyper-partisan government.

Last month I cited six Obama scandals where a special counsel should have been appointed to investigate but was not. Unlike Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Obama’s attorneys general, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, were partisan lackeys who did everything they could to protect Obama from being held accountable. Obama, Holder, and Lynch knew that if they left the investigating to Republicans in Congress they could write them off as partisan witch hunts and use any and all tactics possible to obstruct and stonewall those investigations, or in some cases, run their own sham investigation that cleared them of any wrongdoing.

I document thirty different scandals in my book The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama. Each scandal on its own makes the idea of Obama receiving an ethics award laughable. All of them together make this award blasphemous. From the moment Obama took office he was under a dark cloud of scandal, having been involved in illegal negotiations with [the condemned criminal] Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to give him a cabinet position in exchange for Blagojevich nominating an Obama-preferred candidate to his vacated Senate seat … yet Obama just received an Ethics in Government award? What a joke!…

There are plenty of well-known scandals that the committee that decided to award Obama had to have been aware of but chose to ignore. There was the Fast and Furious scandal, which involved sending guns to Mexico in the hopes of tracking them to drug cartel leaders. Not only did they lose track of a large number of guns, but one gun was found to have been used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The Obama administration tried to cover it up, and they stonewalled a congressional investigation, resulting in Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents. Is this what constitutes “ethics in government” to the University of Illinois?

The Obama administration also abused the Espionage Act to target reporters and their sources. They even spied on members of the media, illegally seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists. Fox News reporter James Rosen called Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation” after being threatened with possible jail time for refusing to reveal one of his sources.  Is this what constitutes “ethics in government” to the University of Illinois? …

There were also –

The Solyndra scandal [see here], the Benghazi cover-up, Uranium One, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the covering up of thousands of deaths of veterans waiting for care at VA hospitals, manipulating intelligence, paying ransom money to Iran, Project Cassandra [see here], spying on Donald Trump, the Hillary email scandal, which I should add, also implicated Obama, who communicated with Hillary via her private email address and used a pseudonym himself.

It’s bad enough when Obama claims he was scandal-free. But, when he receives an ethics in government award, it diminishes the meaning of ethics. It’s time to stop pretending Obama was scandal-free or ethical. … I’ve only scratched the surface of Obama’s scandalous and unethical presidency. 

The only reason why Barack Obama was elected president was that he was black. He had nothing else to offer. A sufficient number of white Americans voted for him to get him into the White House for no better reason than that they needed to feel good, to prove to themselves, and the country and the world, that they were not “racist“.

Barack Obama, for all his expensive education, was ill-informed and strangely ignorant – and he embraced ideologies inimical to America. He seemed not to know how many states there were in the country he governed. He thought Austrians spoke a language called Austrian. He did not know how to pronounce “corpsman”. And he was a follower of the Communist “community organizer” Saul Alinsky, and a lackey of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He lied and commanded others to lie. Under his leadership, his party worked an elaborate plot, which it still pursues, to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump with false and slanderous allegations of treason.

If prizes were awarded for lying, Obama would deserve them all.

Global cooling coming soon 6

It has long seemed to us that prophecy of the planet burning up was theological rather than scientific.

Now we learn (somewhat belatedly) that a “mini ice age” is coming soon. In just 12 years from now (this being 2018), the earth will become colder. Much colder.

That is, if those scientists were right whose prediction Jon Austin wrote about in the Express in December 2o15:

A team of European researchers have unveiled a scientific model showing that the Earth is likely to experience a “mini ice age” from 2030 to 2040 as a result of decreased solar activity.

Their findings will infuriate environmental campaigners who argue by 2030 we could be facing increased sea levels and flooding due to glacial melt at the poles.

At the National Astronomy Meeting in Wales, Northumbria University professor Valentina Zharkova said there will be a freeze the like of which has not been experienced since the 1600s. From 1645 to 1715 global temperatures dropped due to low solar activity so much that the planet experienced a 70-year ice age known as Maunder Minimum which saw the River Thames in London completely frozen.

The researchers have now developed a “double dynamo” model that can better predict when the next freeze will be. Based on current cycles, they predict solar activity dwindling for ten years from 2030.

Professor Zharkova said two magnetic waves will cancel each other out in about 2030, leading to a drop in sun spots and solar flares of about 60 per cent.

Sunspots are dark concentrations of magnetic field flux on the surface that reduce surface temperature in that area, while solar flares are bursts of radiation and solar energy that fire out across the solar system, but the Earth’s atmosphere protects us from the otherwise devastating effects.

She said: “In cycle 26, the two waves exactly mirror each other, peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the Sun.  “We predict that this will lead to the properties of a Maunder Minimum.”

The test of good science is whether it predicts accurately.

While we do not relish the coming of a great shiver, there would be a certain intellectual satisfaction – not to mention a degree of Schadenfreude – in store for climate skeptics like us if it transpires that the prophets of cooling were right and the prophets of warming were wrong.

Posted under Climate, Environmentalism by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 18, 2018

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Capitalism is best for the environment 2

Or, to put it another way, the Invisible Hand – not of a Deity, not of Nature, but of Free Economic Man (in the generic sense of “man”) – looks after land and sea best.* 

From the Conservative Tribune:

You have no doubt heard environmentalists say on multiple occasions that humans are utterly destroying the world’s forested areas, a terrible development that will dramatically increase the catastrophic effects of global warming and devastate the earth as we know it.

That assertion was put forward recently in a BBC report on the prospects of survival for Koala Bears in Australia, in which Deborah Tabart of the Australian Koala Foundation declared that “85 percent of the world’s forests are now gone”.

That shocking statistic likely came from a 2014 article by GreenActionNews, which asserted that 80 percent of the world’s forested areas had been destroyed, largely through human activity such as deforestation — a problem that would likely get worse unless regulations to restrict the rate of deforestation were implemented around the globe.

But a recent article in HumanProgress took great issue with the assertion that the world’s forested areas are disappearing, and offered up facts to dispute the claim.

For starters, roughly 4 billion hectares of forested areas exist around the globe, which in its entirety encompasses approximately 14.8 billion hectares of land, both above and beneath the earth’s oceans and seas.

If 4 billion hectares of forest were to remain after 80 percent of forests had been destroyed, that would mean 135 percent of the earth would have been covered by forests, and some 5.2 billion hectares of forest would have been removed from the oceans and seas.

Obviously those numbers don’t add up. The world’s plethora of deserts, frozen tundra, grasslands and swamps obviously disprove the notion that the entirety of the earth’s land surface was once covered by forests.

Furthermore, the GreenActionNews piece suggests the world’s remaining intact forest areas were “unevenly distributed”, as the five most forest-rich nations were Brazil, Canada, China, Russia and the United States. Though obviously not a precise correlation, it shouldn’t be surprising that a significant portion of the world’s forests are found in five of the world’s largest nations by landmass. Indeed, for every 7.6 million hectares of forest lost worldwide per year, some 4.3 million hectares of forest were added, meaning the globe was losing its forested areas by a rate of only 0.08 percent per year, hardly as dramatic as environmentalists would have you believe.

Making matters worse for the leftist environmentalists, the areas where afforestation or reforestation were occurring were happening in economically developed regions of the world. In fact, regions that have embraced forms of capitalist economic systems, like North America and Europe, have actually increased their forested areas in recent decades, in some places to more than pre-industrialization levels.

This phenomenon is also occurring in many still developing regions and has come to be known as the “Environmental Kuznets curve,” which posits that economic development will initially lead to environmental degradation, but as economies grow and improve that degradation will eventually reverse course.

That usually occurs around the same time a nation reaches approximately $4,500 GDP per capita, which has been dubbed the “forest transition” point, which is when forested areas begin to increase instead of shrink. The phenomenon also appears to apply to a nation’s biodiversity as well, such that animal species initially feared as nearing extinction will tend to stabilize their populations and begin to bounce back in more economically developed regions.

Thus, it would appear that — contrary to the assertions of radical environmentalists — a rapidly developing economy and urbanization are actually good overall for the environment, as rich nations can afford to spend money on environmental protection policies and more people living in cities means more land outside those cities can be returned to its original state of nature.

Bear in mind that radical environmentalism is, at its core, just an offshoot of Marxism and the marxist obsession with inequality would rather see all humankind be equally miserable in poverty than see some people rise farther and faster than others through capitalism.

While it is true that forest areas are declining in some regions of the world, they are actually being replaced and growing in others, typically those that have adopted a form of capitalism as their economic model.

Sorry environmentalists, but that is a form of inequality that we can manage to live with.

 

*From the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Invisible hand, metaphor, introduced by the 18th-century Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith … characterizes the mechanisms through which beneficial social and economic outcomes may arise from the accumulated self-interested actions of individuals, none of whom intends to bring about such outcomes.

Posted under Economics, Environmentalism by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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Man-made(-up) global warming on trial 6

Race. Sex. Global warming.

The three planks in the platform of the Left.

And the greatest of these is global warming.

It is wicked of us human beings to cause it. We must do penance, and make amends.

James Delingpole writes at Breitbart:

The climate alarmists have finally got their day in court against those pesky free-thinking intelligent people they call “climate deniers”.

Big mistake. The overconfident alarmists appear to have bitten off more than they can chew. They imagined that they’d fool the world into thinking that this was a case about ordinary, wronged citizens – specifically the cities of San Francisco and neighboring Oakland – taking on the evil, sea-level-raising, planet-destroying might of Big Oil.

In reality, as is becoming clearer by the day, it’s the “science” of climate change which is really on trial here. And given that the “science” of climate change is so shaky that it might as well be called “witchcraft” this is not a discussion that’s likely to end well for the shysters who are promoting it …

The cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing five Big Oil firms – Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell – alleging that they have conspired, Big-Tobacco-style, to conceal the harm of their products. Apparently, these oil majors ought to be compelled to pay billions of dollars in compensation for the damage they have done, inter alia by causing sea levels to rise.

Already the plaintiffs have run into a major problem. Judge William Alsup – who by rights really ought to have been one of their guys, given that he’s a Clinton appointment who lives in California – turns out to be the real deal. … [He]  has pretty much dismissed the … conspiracy theory. “From what I’ve seen, and feel free to send me other documentation, but all I’ve seen so far is that someone [from an oil major] went to the IPCC conference and took notes. That’s not a conspiracy,” he said.

This does not augur well for the plaintiffs.

The oil majors have been about as helpful as a chocolate fireguard in this case. You’d think that with all those billions, they’d have a little to set aside to make a decent fight in defense of their own industry. But in fact, for reasons ranging from cowardice to convenience to cynicism, most of them are heavily invested in the alarmist cause. Exxon’s Rex Tillerson wanted the U.S. to stay in the Paris Climate Accord; Shell’s CEO Ben Van Beurden is a veritable Uriah Heep when it comes to grovelling about the evils of his industry; BP once tried to rebrand itself “Beyond Petroleum” lest anyone confuse it with a company whose business model depended on extracting sticky black stuff from the ground.

When the judge asked the various parties to give him a tutorial on climate change, only Chevron bothered to do so. Instead, most of the best scientific arguments have been made for them by skeptics offering amicus curiae – “friends of the court” – briefs. Despite what you hear claimed by climate alarmists, skeptics receive little if any financial support from the oil industry because the oil industry just doesn’t want the flak – and it knows that skeptics are so committed to their cause they’re prepared to say this stuff for free, so why bother?

One amicus curiae team, supported by the Heartland Institute, comprises Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates and William Briggs. … Here … is a short summary [of their  brief]:

There is no “consensus” among scientists that recent global warming was chiefly anthropogenic, still less that unmitigated anthropogenic warming has been or will be dangerous or catastrophic …

Even if it be assumed [for the sake of argument] that all of the 0.8 degC global warming since anthropogenic influence first became potentially significant in 1950 was attributable to us, in the present century little more than 1.2 degC of global warming is to be expected, not the 3.3 degC that the  IPCC had predicted.

The other team comprises William Happer, Steven Koonin and Richard Lindzen. Here is a summary of their argument:

The climate is always changing; changes like those of the past half-century are common in the geologic record, driven by powerful natural phenomena.

Human influences on the climate are a small (1%) perturbation to natural energy flows.

It is not possible to tell how much of the modest recent warming can be ascribed to human influences.

There have been no detrimental changes observed in the most salient climate variables and today’s projections of future changes are highly uncertain.

[The plaintiffs] have two major problems: a) they’re not intellectually in the same league as the skeptics and b) the science just doesn’t support them.

The Warmist team’s leading academic is Professor Myles Allen of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University. This sounds impressive. But he didn’t do himself many favors when at one point, he told the court “Now oxygen is almost 29 percent of the atmosphere.” OK, so perhaps he was just having a Condor moment (the correct figure is 21 percent). His bigger difficulty is that his argument for the existence of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory is riddled with omissions and inaccuracies which are cruelly exposed.  Allen’s presentation, for example, made much of Svante Arrhenius, the Swedish chemist who posited that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations would cause “global warming” (though Arrhenius considered this to be a good thing, not a bad thing). But our understanding of climate change has moved on since then, not least in the recognition that water vapor is a far more significant greenhouse gas than CO2.

As [an] anonymous demolisher notes …

Myles Allen points out that CO2 is potent relative to the non-GHGs of O2 and N2, but fails to address H2O. That is like claiming an aspirin cured the pain AFTER being given a huge dose of morphine, and never mentioning the morphine.

There is much more in this scathing vein, such as this dismissal of Allen’s claim to the court that carbon dioxide is rising to levels not seen for 20 million years.

Cherry picking at its best. CO2 has been as high as 7,000 ppm and NEVER caused catastrophic warming or ocean acidification. Life has thrived through all levels of atmospheric CO2. Coral  Reefs formed during periods where there was much higher CO2. The globe fell into an ice age when CO2 was 4,000 ppm, 10x what it is today. BTW, plants die when CO2 falls below 180 ppm.We are near the lowest level in geological history for CO2, and we are dangerously close to the level where plants starve to death.

Warming is infinitely preferable to an ice age.

Funny how Dr. Myles Allen forgot to include the longer-term CO2 graphic [which] follows standard of living far better than temperatures.

The bottom line is, if you’re going to duke it out on the science, you’d better make damn sure that your science is better than your opponent’s science. In the Alarmists’ case this just isn’t an option.

Up till now the Alarmists have understood this. It’s why they roll the way they do, preferring to use the Appeal to Authority (and underhand bullying and smearing attacks) rather than engage skeptics in public debate. Whenever they’ve done the latter, they’ve tended to lose – as Tony Thomas notes at  “Do not debate!”, that has been warmist policy  ever since their talent was trounced by the sceptic team in a two-hour New York public debate at Radio City Hall in 2007.

The audience initially polled 57.3% to 29.9% for a “Global Warming Crisis”, but after the debate that flipped 46.2% to 42.2% in favour of the sceptics. US warmist “experts” subsequently refused even to share platforms with sceptic rivals if informed critics of their shtick are given equal standing.

In March, 2013, Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA/GISS climate group, fled the TV interview room when he learned Roy Spencer, an expert on earth temperature readings from satellite, was arriving and would subject him to questions. A year later Dan Weiss, the director of climate strategy at the liberal Center for American Progress, did an equivalent runner rather than face sceptic Marc Morano in debate, as did Hollywood icon and “Titanic” director James Cameron in 2010.

In a recent exception, warmist Jon Christensen (UCal LA) and sceptic Willie Soon (Harvard) went head to head at a Comedy Club in Los Angeles in January. The result was not scored but the audience jeered whenever Christensen denied California’s soaring power prices were hurting low-income families.

This attempt by alarmists to take on five oil majors smacks of hubris. Or desperation. Or suicidal complacency. Or perhaps a mix of all three. Because the alarmist position happens also to be the longstanding establishment position, it’s possible that they have been lulled into forgetting the trial belongs to another era: the one before Donald Trump came along and drove a coach and horses through the so-called climate “consensus”.

This cannot end well for the Alarmists who brought this dishonest, vexatious, and expensive case.

What did they think they were playing at?

And wasn’t it all drummed up for political ends? That at least was the understanding among the Nomenklatura who orchestrated it all.

From our post Turning point (April 4, 2016]:

If they were honest, the climate alarmists would [all] admit that they are not working feverishly to hold down global temperatures — they would acknowledge that they are instead consumed with the goal of holding down capitalism and establishing a global welfare state.

Have doubts? Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015:

One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.

For those who want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn’t really mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also said:

The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.

Mad as they are, Edenhofer’s comments are nevertheless consistent with other alarmists who have spilled the movement’s dirty secret. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, made a similar statement in anticipation of last year’s Paris climate summit. [From which President Trump sensibly withdrew the United States.]

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution. This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.

So world-wide redistribution is the aim. Global Communism dictated by those who know how the world should be managed.

And must manage it. To avert planetary disaster. It’s that big a crisis and only they can save us. Because … global warming.

Deconstructing whiteness 7

This is not a satirical sketch by us or The Onion. It is a true report (we trust) found at Breitbart, written by Thomas D. Williams:

A student group formed to address “white privilege” at Ohio’s Kenyon College bars white members from asking questions of a person of color as part of a process to combat racism.

“Racism is a white people problem,” said the group’s student founder, Juniper Cruz—a self-described “Queer Afro-Latinx Muslim”—at the first meeting, which drew about 50 students.

The Whiteness Group, run through the school’s multicultural center, “works to educate students on whiteness, what it means to be white, and ways to deconstruct whiteness to work towards anti-racist actions”, Cruz said …

“The discussions explore what it means to be a white person while benefiting from societal privilege, as well as what it means to be a white ally to marginalized groups,” according to campus news reports from the Gambier, Ohio, college.

The group’s second meeting was attended by Rachel Kessler, an Episcopalian priest and chaplain of Kenyon College, who afterward wrote in an email to the school newspaper, “As white people, we can become paralyzed by our sense of shame for our racial privilege or by our fear of accidentally saying something problematic. Neither of those impulses are actually productive for combating racism and white supremacy.”

Founded as a Christian seminary for the formation of Episcopal clergy, Kenyon College opened its doors to women in 1969 and now takes great pride in its diversity, as well as its commitment to “green initiatives”. 

“At Kenyon, we see diversity as central to who we are and what we do — an ideal of inclusiveness that we strive to put into practice every day,” the school’s website states. “We believe that it’s vital to foster diversity in all facets of campus culture, from the people who work and study here, to the experiences they have, to the environment in which they live — the spirit of the place.”

The Whiteness Group exemplifies the school’s quest for a certain sort of diversity typical of modern liberal arts colleges in America, where all opinions and viewpoints are welcome as long as they do not challenge the liberal Zeitgeist.

The group encourages a certain amount of debate but also has regulations.

“Some ground rules at the Snowden Multicultural Center’s Whiteness Group: If you have an unpopular opinion, speak up. No white person can ask a person of color questions; white people must try to answer their questions for themselves. And no spreading rumors about what people say during the meetings,” the Kenyon Collegian reported.

Cruz said the chief aim of the group is to create “a sustainable form of activism”.

Leftist activism forever!

Now, students, write an appreciation of the Whiteness Group and its aims, using these words, phrases, names, slogans, prefixes, each of them at least once: “Racist”, “racism”, “diversity”, “inclusiveness”, “who we are”, “white privilege”, “patriarchy”, “dead white men”, “green”, “sustainable”, “renewables”, “multicultural”, “activism”, “resistance”, “global warming”, “open borders”, “pro-choice”, “abortion”, “sexist”, “sexism”, “LGBQT”, “gender”, “xie”, “ze”, “zir”, “Islamophobia”, “hijab”, “religion of peace”, “xenophobia”, “xenophobic”, “bigot”, “bigotry”, “KKK”, “Nazi”, “neo-Nazi”, “Hitler”, “fascist”, “Trump”, “Russia”, “collusion”, “womyn”, “gender”, “social construct”, “social justice”, “cis-“, “trans-“, “fair share”, “rape”, “vagina”, “pussy”, “nasty woman”, “Linda Sarsour”, “Michelle Obama”, “Nancy Pelosi”, “Hillary”, “black lives matter”, “hands up don’t shoot”, “pigs”, “flag”, “anthem”, “black”, “brown”, “whiteness”, “deconstruct”, “hegemony”, “empower”, “narrative”, “conversation”, “liberation”, “post-modern”, “post-humanist”, “sanctuary cities”, “safe place”, “hate crime”, “Dreamers”, “DACA”, “refugees”, “Palestine”, “intersectionality”. Plagiarism will not be penalized. 

Agenda 21 and the Ministry of Loneliness 19

In our town, and almost certainly in your town, and most of the towns (cities) of the United States, tall buildings are springing up at or near railway and bus stations, consisting of hundreds of very small living-units for single occupants. No areas are provided for cars, though there is accommodation for a limited number of bicycles. Occupants are encouraged to use public transport.

The living-units we have seen contain a narrow bunk bed, a small wardrobe and a couple of drawers to hold a few (standard issue) clothes, a desk big enough for a (frequently called-in and replaced) lap-top computer to stand on, a shelf where a very few books or a framed photograph or two might be displayed. And there is a narrow shower-closet, with the usual facilities, where the luxuries of rationed soap and toilet tissue may perhaps be enjoyed in the hours when the water is centrally turned on. We do not know for sure that there are recording devices hidden here and there, but we very reasonably suspect there are.

These buildings are part of the implementation by your local council of Agenda 21.

A video, issued in January 2009, explains what Agenda 21 is:

So families are to be broken up or never formed. That’s why the new living-units are for single people only.

Yes, the single persons will be lonely. That’s a vital part of the plan. 

The British Prime Minister (by what accumulation of errors?) Theresa May is the first political leader to appoint a Minister of Loneliness. Her name (it would of course be a woman) is Tracey Crouch. She is also the Minister of Sports (and “Digital, Culture, and Media”) who knows everything about team work, uniforms, mass transport, rules, penalties … Good choice, Theresa!

So as not to offend the Muslim community – which must never be offended even if its members rape and murder that little daughter of yours who has been taken away to be educated in group-think – males and females will be separated for all communal activities (pretty well the only kind of activities that will be allowed).

But also not to offend the LGBQTetc communities, there will have to be further separation for sports teams, work forces, organized social gatherings … Public toilet facilities, however, will be as open to all-comers as the borders of the late nation-states.

The human race will be relieved of the sin of private ownership. And of the burden of self-support. And of the responsibility of family support.  And of any cause to envy your neighbor.

Oh, brave new low-CO2 world that has such collectives in it!

Against nature 4

Biologically speaking, the only perceptible purpose we have is to reproduce. A biologist once said: “An egg gives rise to a chicken in order to ensure that there will be another egg.” The same applies to a human (fertilized) egg. Or with equal validity it could be said that a fetus gives rise to a fertile adult in order to ensure that there will be another fetus.

To nature, a man or a woman is not more valuable than a fetus. To the man or woman – in whom the only consciousness of consciousness exists in all the universe as far as anybody knows – there may be not only an instinct but a thought that the continuation of the human species is profoundly desirable. Or perhaps the idea is more often understood and articulated in the negative: the human species cannot be allowed to die. Which is why weapons of mass destruction are much more feared than guns or conventional bombs.

And that’s the reason – and a reason it is, however much urged on by emotion, be it lust or love – why women (excluding transgendered “women” of course), are a natural and truly “sustainable” resource, necessary to the greatest of all causes, the survival of the species; the species which carries the consciousness of the universe; the species that names and orders the parts of the universe; the species without which the universe is nothing but a vast variety of dumb forms of energy.

And yet … The fact is, no matter what we do, all will come to an end. To only a few generations, born in our Age of Science, has it been known that Everything will come to an end. True, it will come about billions of years from now. But an end there will be. Time will have a stop. The universe will be gone. And then – if not long before – the human species will be gone.

How conscious is the informed section of humanity in our time that this is the case? Could it be that the knowledge of ultimate doom, however far off, the certainty of extinction makes the men and women of the informed section discard the reason and resist the instinct for reproduction? Is that why, in plain terms, most Europeans, in Europe and outside it, have given up having children? How consciously are they abandoning all care for the future of the species, choosing instead to live as pleasurably as they can as individuals? What is sure because it is observeable, is that most of them do not care if their own culture survives them. For their comfort – their security, their pensions, their health care – they need people. But why give birth to them and raise them – a costly and trying enterprise – when you can simply import them? Any people will do, as long as there are a lot of them to keep the welfare state going …  You know the rest. And hence the death of Europe – billions of years before the end of the universe.

In self-contradiction, half of those who are ideologically for the welfare state, those who constitute the political Left, want the human species to be thinned down. Some – fanatics who worship the planet – want the entire species gone, and to start dying out now. They see it as a filthy thing, whose total elimination would make the planet healthy and happy.

A variety of reasons there are then for not having children; for aborting them in the womb if the pleasure involved in the act of reproduction has the tragic result of conception.

As a leading man of the Left put it not long ago, who wants to be “punished with a baby”?

You are pregnant? How horrid for you! My condolences! Abort, abort, abort!

 

Jillian Becker    January 24, 2018

Posted under Articles, Commentary, Environmentalism, Philosophy by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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Trump, Trumpism, and THEM 2

It’s altogether too much for THEM to bear! The man is a billionaire who loves life, lives well, and enjoys himself tremendously both at work and at play; has a wife who is one of the most beautiful women in the world, and is also graceful, gentle, intelligent and competent; has handsome successful children and bright charming grandchildren; and, on top of all that, has become the most powerful man in the world. To add a final insult to THEM, he is perfectly healthy at the age 0f 71; immensely energetic and strong; and fully capable of continuing to do what he wants to do.

And then, try as THEY might to find something he has done terribly wrong to blot his intolerably immaculate escutcheon, THEY cannot find anything!

Actually, it is even worse for THEM. Far worse. Because not only is he victorious, THEY are defeated. Probably (with luck) irrecoverably. He has risen to power at a moment when THEY had  almost conquered the world; almost made it poor; almost brought the nations – possibly even including the USA – into universal homogeneity at the lowest level of subsistence in subjection to THEM running a world communist government (in order to “save the planet” from people using cars and making things in factories); almost destroyed Western civilization.

We are enthusiasts for Trumpism because we are warriors against THEM.

As such, do we exaggerate his achievements? If so, by how much? Overlook his flaws? If so, what are they?

As a corrective to our possibly overindulgent judgment of the president, we reproduce an article by Victor Davis Hanson; surely a reasonable and fair assessment of the Trump presidency thus far and prospectively. It is also necessary to know that it appeared at the mostly, persistently, and emphatically anti-Trump National Review:

As President Trump finished his first full year in office, he could look back at an impressive record of achievement of a kind rarely attained by an incoming president — much less by one who arrived in office as a private-sector billionaire without either prior political office or military service.

As unintended proof of his accomplishments, Trump’s many liberal opponents have gone from initially declaring him an incompetent to warning that he has become effective — insanely so — in overturning the Obama progressive agenda. Never Trump Republicans acknowledge that Trump has realized much of what they once only dreamed of — from tax reform and deregulation to a government about-face on climate change, the ending of the Obamacare individual mandate, and expansion of energy production.

Trump so far has not enacted the Never Trump nightmare agenda. The U.S. is not leaving NATO. It is not colluding with Vladimir Putin, but maintaining sanctions against Russia and arming Ukrainians. It is not starting a tariff war with China. The administration is not appointing either liberals or incompetents to the federal courts. A politicized FBI, DOJ, and IRS was Obama’s legacy, not Trump’s doing, as some of the Never Trump circle predicted. Indeed, the Never Trump movement is now mostly calcified, as even some of its formerly staunch adherents concede. It was done in by the Trump record and the monotony of having to redefine a once-welcomed conservative agenda as suddenly unpalatable due to Trump’s crude fingerprints on it.

On the short side, Trump has still not started to build his much-promised border wall, to insist on free but far fairer trade with Asia and Europe, or to enact an infrastructure-rebuilding program. Nonetheless, Trump’s multitude of critics is unable to argue that his record is shoddy and must instead insist that his list of achievements is due mostly to the Republican Congress. Or they claim he is beholden to the legacy of the Obama administration. Or they insist that credit belongs with his own impressive economic and national-security cabinet-level appointments. Or that whatever good came of Trump’s first year is nullified by Trump’s persistent personal odiousness.

At the conclusion of Trump’s first year, the stock market and small-business confidence are at record highs, and consumer confidence has not been higher in 17 years. Trump’s loud campaign promises to lure back capital and industry to the heartland no longer look quixotic, given new tax and deregulatory incentives and far cheaper energy costs than in most of Europe and Japan. Trump has now ended 66 regulations for every one he has added. Few believed a Republican president could cut the corporate-tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent while capping state- and local-tax deductions for mostly high earners to $10,000. Those are the highlights of a comprehensive tax-reform and -reduction agenda that will likely accelerate the economy to an even more rapid growth rate than Trump’s first two full quarters of annualized increases in GDP of more than 3 percent. Dozens of large companies are already passing along some of their anticipated tax cuts to employees through increased wages or bonuses — dismissed as “crumbs” by House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Rising workers’ wages and anticipated tax credits and savings for the lower and middle classes for now are rendering almost mute the age-old fights about state-mandated minimum-wage laws.

The mostly unheralded nixing of the Obamacare individual mandate — once the great ideological battlefield of the Affordable Care Act — will insidiously recalibrate the ACA into a mostly private-market enterprise.

Domestic oil production is slated to exceed 2017 record levels and soon may hit an astonishing 11 million barrels a day. “Peak oil” for now is an ossified idea, as are massive wind and solar Solyndra-like government subsidies and the mostly unworkable Paris Climate Accord. Gas, oil, and coal production are expected to rise even higher with new Trump initiatives to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge field in Alaska, encourage more fracking on federal lands and offshore, and complete needed pipeline links while encouraging coal exportation.

For all the political horse-trading over extending or ending the Obama executive orders on DACA, illegal immigration has declined according to some metrics by over 60 percent. It is now at the lowest levels in the 21st century — even before the ending of chain migration and enacting of new border-security initiatives. Abroad, the ISIS caliphate is for all purposes now extinct. Its demise is in part due to Trump’s outsourcing of the conflict to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who liberated ground commanders from Obama-administration-era legalistic rules of engagement. Trump’s appointees, such as Mattis, National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have worked in concert to restore U.S. deterrence.

Variously called “principled realism” or a new “Jacksonianism”,  the Trump doctrine has now replaced the “strategic patience” and “lead from behind” recessionals of the prior administration and not emulated the neoconservative nation-building of the George W. Bush administration. New pressures on nuclear North Korea have prompted the toughest U.N. trade sanctions in history on the rogue state. After Trump’s fiery and erratic rhetoric and muscular displays of U.S. naval and air power in the Pacific, Pyongyang has agreed to landmark talks with Seoul. China is slowly beginning to pressure North Korea to stop launching missiles. Beijing’s Asian neighbors are beefing up missile defense and growing closer to the U.S. For now, the bad cop Trump and the good cops Mattis and McMaster have encouraged friends and frightened enemies, although the shelf life of such diplomatic gymnastics is limited.

Trump almost immediately voiced support for mass demonstrations in Iran, in a manner Obama failed to do in 2009. An ironic fallout of the disastrous 2015 Iran deal may be that the theocracy so hyped its cash windfalls from American relaxation of embargoes and sanctions that it inadvertently raised Iranians’ expectations of a rise in the standard of living. Then it dashed just those hopes by squandering hundreds of millions of newfound dollars in subsidizing Hezbollah, conducting a costly expeditionary war to save the genocidal Bashar al-Assad regime, and likely continuing an exorbitantly costly nuclear-weapons program. What is different about Iran’s internal unrest this time around is twofold. The Trump administration is not invested in any “landmark” deal with Tehran that requires ignoring protesters in the street. Trump also does not envision revolutionary and terror-sponsoring Iran as a “very successful regional power” with “legitimate defense concerns”. Rather, he sees Tehran, along with ISIS and al-Qaeda, as the chief source of Middle East unrest and anti-Americanism.

Moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, in line with past congressional mandates, along with threatening to curtail Palestinian aid, only reifies what is now widely accepted. The new Middle East is not the old. There are no longer any ongoing and viable “peace plans”, “road maps”, or “summits”.  America is becoming energy-independent and immune to oil boycotts. There are new and greater threats than Israel to Arab regimes, from nuclear Iran to the scourge of Islamic terrorism in Iraq and Syria. Patience is wearing thin as after 30 years the Palestinians still cannot create transparent and consensual government. Seventy years after the birth of Israel, the Palestinians still insist on being called “refugees” — when most of the world’s millions of displaced persons decades ago moved on.

Yet as Trump heads into the 2018 midterms, his favorability ratings are unimpressive. Because of loud Democratic threats of using impeachment proceedings to undermine the Trump project, the 2018 fight for the House is taking on historic importance. It is not just a referendum on the Trump agenda, but likely a means to seek to discredit or remove Trump himself — even if the prosecution in the Senate would likely never find the necessary 67 votes. In sum, an embattled Trump now finds himself in a war on all fronts. The first and most important conflict is one of favorability. Trump’s actual approval ratings, as in 2016, are probably somewhat higher than the low 40s reported in many polls. But Trump’s image is still astonishingly dismal in relation to his unappreciated achievements. For congressional Republicans to survive the midterms and retain majorities, Trump perhaps has to hope that the economy will grow not just at 3 percent but even more robustly — with marked rises in workers’ take-home wages due to tax cuts and labor shortages. Is it really true that politics can be reduced to “It’s the economy, stupid”? Obama failed to achieve 3 percent growth per annum over his eight years. As a result he may have lost both houses of Congress, but he also was reelected. More likely, no one quite knows the exact political consequences of economic growth. Between November 1983 and November 1984, the economy grew at 7 percent and ipso facto ushered the once “amiable dunce” Ronald Reagan into a landslide reelection victory over a previously thought-to-be-far-more-impressive Walter Mondale. Yet this time it may be that 3 percent GDP growth will not mitigate Trump’s personal negatives but 4–5 percent would.

It is said that Trump is also at war with himself, in the sense that his tweeting alienates the key constituencies of women voters and independents. Conventional wisdom assures that Trump’s off-the-cuff invectives only fuel his critics and overshadow his achievements. In the heart of immigration negotiations, Trump was quoted secondhand as having called Haiti and other formerly Third World countries “sh**hole” countries and thus undesirable sources of mass immigration to the U.S. Whatever the reliability of reports of the slur, Trump is certainly not the sort of politician to have said instead, “It would seem wiser to encourage diverse immigration, including immigration from the most developed countries as well as the least developed” — even as many people privately agree with Trump’s earthy assessment that immigration should be far more selective and include a far greater variety of countries of origin.

Both Trump’s spoken and electronic stream-of-consciousness venting can be unorthodox, crude and cruel, and often extraneous. But can anyone measure whether and to what degree his Twitter account energizes and widens his base more than it loses him supporters otherwise sympathetic to his agenda? The orthodox wisdom is that Trump should let his achievements speak for themselves, curb his raucous campaign rallies, and restrict his daily tweets to expansions on his agenda and achievement and leave the feuding to subordinates. When Trump has avoided ad hominem spats, and been filmed conducting policy sessions with his cabinet and congressional enemies and friends, he has looked and acted “presidential”.  How good then must Trump’s record become to overshadow both the prejudices against him and his own inner demons to achieve favorability ratings that will provide coattails for his congressional supporters and fuel an even more ambitious second-year agenda? Again, time is running out, and in the next ten months the economy must boom as never before or Trump must learn to sound more like a Ronald Reagan than a Howard Stern.

Trump is simultaneously at war with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Once again, the critical element is time in the sense of the looming midterm elections. So far, after months of media speculation and press leaks, there is no evidence of Russian–Trump collusion. Robert Mueller’s investigative team has been riddled by charges of conflicts of interest, workplace unprofessionalism, and political bias. The basis of the entire writ against Trump, the Fusion GPS–Steele dossier, is now mostly discredited. The file’s lurid sexual accusations alone likely won it notoriety in 2016 among journalists and Obama-administration enablers. The more that is learned about the Steele opposition-research file — paid for by the Clinton campaign, polluted by Russian rumor-mongering, peddled to the FBI, manipulated by the Obama administration to justify FISA surveillance, likely leaked to pet reporters by Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign officials — the more apparent it may become that Mueller is investigating Russian collusion in entirely the wrong place. Another irony is that pushback against the Mueller fishing expedition may prompt reinvestigations into the earlier election-cycle-aborted inquiries about Clinton email improprieties. The Obama administration also likely acted improperly in ignoring the Clinton–Uranium One connections and Hillary Clinton’s violations of agreements with the Obama administration to report the sources of all private donations to the Clinton Foundation during her tenure. So far resistance at both the Department of Justice and the FBI to releasing documents pertaining to all these avenues of interest has stymied House and Senate inquiries. If the Republicans lose the Congress, these investigations will shut down entirely. Democratic majorities will give Mueller a free hand to do as he pleases without worries about past complaints over the ethical shortcomings of his investigation. Select Intelligence and Judiciary Committee hearings will likely give way in the House to impeachment proceedings. But if within the next nine months there are new explosive revelations about the improper or even illegal uses of the Steele dossier and the Clinton scandals, while the Mueller team settles for face-saving indictments of former Trump subordinates for transgressions that have little to do with the original Mueller mandate to investigate Russian–Trump collusion, then Trump will win the legal war. In that case, Trump finally will not only weather the collusion crisis but find himself a political beneficiary of one of the most scandalous efforts to subvert a political campaign and improperly surveil American citizens in recent American history.

Trump wages a fourth war against the proverbial mainstream media, whose coverage, according to disinterested analyses, runs over 90 percent anti-Trump. Negative Trump news fuels Trump-assassination chic in popular culture, the rants of late-night-television comedians, the political effort to grandstand with impeachment writs, calls to invoke the 25th Amendment, and lawsuits alleging violations of the emoluments clause. The threats of a Madonna, the raving of Representative Maxine Waters, the boasts of the “Resistance,” the efforts of blue states to nullify federal immigration law or to dodge compliance with unwelcome new federal tax statutes, and the conspiracy fables of Representative Adam Schiff are all fueled by media attention and preconceived narratives hostile to Trump. The anti-Trump news is still determined to accomplish what so far the Clinton campaign, Obama holdovers, and deep-state bureaucrats have not: so discredit Trump the messenger that his message becomes irrelevant. Trump apparently fights his war against the media in the fashion in which toxic chemotherapy battles cancer. His personal and electronic rants against “fake news” and “crooked” journalists are intended to exhibit media biases and thus discredit negative coverage just before the public tires of Trump’s own off-putting venom. On the one hand, Trump’s anemic approval ratings might suggest the media are winning in their 24/7 efforts to portray Trump as a Russian colluder, rank profiteer, distracted golfer, tax cheat, sexual predator, trigger-happy warmonger, or senile septuagenarian. On the other hand, the media are polling worse than Trump. And his battle has nearly destroyed the credibility of CNN, which has fired marquee journalists for false anti-Trump narratives, been embarrassed by hosts mouthing scatological venom, suffered employees’ hot-mic wishes for Trump’s death, and seen its anchors and special correspondents reduced to on-air rants. For now, no one knows whether Trump’s war against the media is pyrrhic, in that he may defeat his journalist enemies and even render their entire networks discredited, but at such costs that he is no longer politically viable.

Trump is waging a fifth and final war against Democrats. So far Trump has sucked all the oxygen out of the Democratic atmosphere. Politicians and operatives are so obsessed with proving Trump a liar, a cheat, a pervert, a con artist, or an incompetent that they have offered so far no viable opposition leader or alternative agenda. But will just being not-Trump make Democrats preferable? The centrist Democratic party of the 1990s no longer exists. It has become instead a coalition of patched-together progressive causes. The redistributionism and neo-socialism of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are now Democratic economic mainstays. Barack Obama’s lead-from-behind legacy remains Democratic foreign policy. Identity politics still constitutes the culture of the party establishment.

In more practical terms, for all the animus against Trump the person, his agenda — tax cuts, deterrence, reindustrialization, middle-class job growth, closing the borders, the melting pot — is increasingly polling well. In many cases, Trumpism is more popular than Democratic signature issues such as tax hikes, larger government, more entitlements, open borders, more identity politics, and European Union–like internationalism.

The idea of Oprah Winfrey as the 2020 Democratic nominee and the unwillingness of Democrats to secure the border reveal what can happen when a party is reduced to defining itself as not being the incumbent president. The Republicans learned that lesson in their four-time failure to defeat the hated Roosevelt. Democrats in the 1980s had little to offer the country other than not being the supposed buffoon Ronald Reagan. Shutting down the government is also rarely a winning strategy for an out party — as the Republicans learned in their politically disastrous 1995–96 showdown with Bill Clinton. In 2018, it may be enough for congressional candidates to run on anti-Trump invective without expressing strong views on the issues or identifying with any particular national leader. But it won’t be so in 2020, especially if the Trump agenda grows more popular and Trump allows it rather than himself to become his signature message.

For now, all that is certain about Trump’s first year is the 2016 truism that past prognostications and current polls are irrelevant. The jester candidate, Donald Trump, destroyed, not just beat, his 16 primary rivals. The doomed candidate Trump defeated the most well-financed, experienced, and media-favored Democratic candidate in memory. The inept President Trump’s first year was not liberal or directionless, but marked the most successful and conservative governance since Ronald Reagan’s. Trump’s critics insist that his comeuppance is on the horizon. They assure us that character is destiny. Trump’s supposed hubris will finally earn an appropriately occasioned nemesis. But in the meantime, nearly half the country may be happy that the establishment was not just wrong but nearly discredited in its non-ending, prejudicial dismissal of the Trump agenda and, so far, the successful Trump presidency.

So: HOWL globalists, socialists, warmists, feminists, Muslims, and Democrats.

He is impervious to your insults.

He is charitable and generous. Yes, he is.

He is not a “racist” or “anti-woman”. Certainly not.

He does not take drugs, drink alcohol – or even coffee.

He has not colluded with the Russians, or any other foreign power. (Obama did with the Russians and the Iranians. Hillary Clinton did with anyone who would pay her.)

He flourishes, he laughs, he acts, he wins.

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