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Ed Driscoll

The Assault On Reason

The Party of Death

September 25th, 2014 - 7:00 pm

“The greatest cultural victory of the Left has been to disregard the Nazi-Soviet Pact,” Daniel Hannan, posits in the London Telegraph:

To the modern reader, George Orwell’s depiction of how enmity alternates between Eurasia and Eastasia seems far-fetched; but when he published his great novel in 1948, such things were a recent memory. It suited Western Leftists, during and after the War, to argue that Hitler had been uniquely evil, certainly wickeder than Stalin. It was thus necessary to forget the enthusiasm with which the two tyrants had collaborated.

* * * * * * *

In his Sword of Honour trilogy, Evelyn Waugh, largely through gentle subtext, told the story of how Soviet sympathisers in the West used the alliance with the USSR to rehabilitate its doctrines. Hayek, writing in 1944, devoted the greater part of his Road to Serfdom to refuting the idea that Nazism and Communism were opposed ideologies, well aware of how fervently this idea was being promoted.

He was right; but he made little impact. If you want to see how successful the propagandists of the time were, look at the reaction you get today when – as I did recently – you recite a few unadorned facts that point to the socialist nature of fascism.

Yes, it seems odd to argue that national socialism isn’t national socialism, but there we are. On the other hand, as we get closer to November, the American left seems increasingly unafraid to let it all hang out in other ways. Let’s look at how they dropped the mask and revealed their inner liberal fascist for all to see, just this past week alone:

  • Those who contend that global warming “does not exist,” [Robert F. Kennedy Jr.] claimed, are guilty of “a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.”
  • “So that’s the problem with the idea that it’s all going to go to rat shit eventually so let’s make as much money as possible.  Those people will always be a fungus and if I was running the country I would take them out and shoot them frankly, but that’s something else [laughs].” — Terry Gilliam of Monty Python, casting a whole new spin on his dystopian 1985 film Brazil as a how-to guide for totalitarianism.
  • “The ACA’s conservative critics have long knocked Obamacare as a first step toward medical rationing. Read Emanuel’s diatribe against living too long, and suddenly Sarah Palin’s attack on Obamacare’s ‘death panels’ does not seem so far-fetched.” — Victor Davis Hanson on Obamacare architect, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, currently age 57, whose new essay in the Atlantic is titled, “Why I Hope to Die at 75.” Gee, when do babies start having their palms fitted with Logan’s Run lifeclocks?
  • “Gitmo remains open; we are still at war in Afghanistan; we are still at war in Iraq; and all this is true despite a president elected explicitly and clearly to end the failed wars he inherited. This comes perilously close to proving that our democracy doesn’t really have much of a say in whether this perpetual war should continue or not.” — Andrew Sullivan.
  • Speaking about such modest restrictions on abortion as have been enacted over the past several years, Justice Ginsburg lamented that “the impact of all these restrictions is on poor women.” Then she added: “It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people.”
  • “I’m Marching for Full Communism” — sign on display at Sunday’s New York People’s Climate Change March (where RFK Jr. was promising to start build the gulags.
  • “Climate Movement Drops Mask, Admits Communist Agenda” — as displayed in numerous examples in Zombie’s photo-heavy round-up of the Sunday’s Bay Area sister march.
  • “Mr. Goebbels’ words are wise words to live by.” — Alison A. Martin of anti-Second Amendment group, Moms Demand Action.

And to sum up the quotes of the past week, “It’s what we all know is true, but we only whisper it.”

Update: “And that doesn’t even include groundhogs,” PJM reader “Sisyphus Redux” jokes in the comments.

Related: Of course, one day the American left will eventually make it to the promised land, if they don’t first fundamentally transform America into it:

“White House fence jumper had ammunition, machete in car, prosecutors said,” the Washington Post’s headline screams. As always during modern-day politically-related crime stories where weapons are involved, the ideology of the suspect is investigated by the MSM. If the suspect was a man of the right, those details would be in the lede of the article, or in the headline.*

If he’s a man of the left? Well, it’s likely no coincidence that you have dig down eleven paragraphs into the Post’s story for this detail:

According to an affidavit signed by Secret Service officer David Hochman, Gonzalez after his arrest told Agent Lee Smart that he was concerned that the “atmosphere was collapsing” and that he needed to inform the president to get the word out to the people.

However, neither prosecutors nor Gonzalez’s assigned defense attorneys invoked his mental competency as an issue for now. Assistant Federal Public Defender David Bos said Gonzalez understands the proceeding against him.

Yes, if the Post’s reporting is accurate concerning Gonzalez, anyone who believes “the atmosphere is collapsing” is some brand of nutter, and nutters can be found on both sides of the aisle.

But.

Our previous post on Terry Gilliam noted that he called those who disagree with his far left environmentalist worldview “a fungus and if I was running the country I would take them out and shoot them.” As I wrote, we live in a media world in which Sarah Palin was tied into the Gabrielle Giffords shooting over clip-art and ABC’s Brian Ross immediately smeared a Tea Party member with the the same name as the Aurora Colorado lunatic who shot up a Batman premiere, ideology trumps insanity in the eyes of the media. Or as Ace of Spades wrote in December of 2012 after the New York Times began politicizing the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT from the left only a few hours after castigating the pro-Constitution side of the aisle for doing the same from their worldview:

Incidentally, the gun-rights people “politicizing” this are doing so pre-emptively, because they’ve seen this play six hundred times before and they know what happens in the Second Act.

I mean, it’s not like we’re as stupid as you claim. We are able to remember things that happened more than a week ago.

This is also why we now immediately search for a gunman’s political affiliation– because we know that’s the first thing you do.

This is the cynical world the media created, in service to their Democrat allies. Once again, the MSM should read Gabriel Malor’s “Tweetable Guide To Media Myths And Left-wing Violence.”

* Of course, by mentioning “ammunition and a machete,” which side of the aisle is the Post implying in its headline?

Related: “Undocumented Visitor Comes Out of Shadows, Jumps White House Fence,” Rush Limbaugh quips. “I thought we were supposed to welcome people that jump fences.  I thought we’re supposed to welcome people who crash our borders.”

Especially, when they share the same eco-apocalyptic doomsday worldview as our recently-retired former president:

Terry Gilliam’s Eliminationist Rhetoric

September 22nd, 2014 - 12:21 pm

At the conclusion of his interview with pop culture Website Collider.com promoting his new film The Zero Theorem, the only American member of Monty Python drops the mask and reveals his inner liberal fascist:

It’s interesting that we look to that as sort of permission to go with that philosophy since I doubt any human being will be around anyway at that point.  We should maybe be looking at our own mortality as the signpost for that.  

GILLIAM: Your Republican will do that, yes.  Your Republican thinks like that.  I remember when Reagan was president, the secretary of the interior was a guy who was an Armageddonist who actually believed the end of days were not too far in the distant future.  He was put in charge of the environment and his approach was of course, not to protect it, but let’s get as much money as we can before Jesus comes back.  And I despise that.  We’re here and we’ve got to do whatever we can to keep the place running.  We think in terms of quarterly statements and we should be thinking a little bit further in advance of that.  At least the communists had ten year plans.  We don’t have that anymore.

A lot of times that kind of thought absolves people of responsibility.  I think a lot of times they go with it because it’s the most convenient thing and it makes the most sense for those quarterly reports. 

GILLIAM: Yeah, I know.  It’s about how you are inside and there will always be those people and there will be all the others that worry about every single thing we do that might cause damage to the planet.  I’m somewhere leaning more towards the damage to the planet side, much more towards that.  This is the problem, it’s like if you happen to be a Presbyterian, which I was as a kid, there’s a thing called predestination that creates the same situation.  You’re going to heaven or hell no matter what you do in life, because you’ve been predestined, so your job is to lead an ethical, moral, and hardworking life while you’re here, but you’re going to go to hell anyway [laughs].  But it’s what you do while you’re here, and what you should be doing is living hopefully and trying to balance your needs and the needs of the world and the planet, and don’t fuck the place up.  So that’s the problem with the idea that it’s all going to go to rat shit eventually so let’s make as much money as possible.  Those people will always be a fungus and if I was running the country I would take them out and shoot them frankly, but that’s something else [laughs].

As I’ve joked before, when Al Gore titled one of his environmentalist tomes The Assault on Reason, he wasn’t kidding, was he?

Just as a reminder, when Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, a Bush #41-appointed judge, and a dozen other victims were shot in Arizona in early 2011, Sarah Palin was crucified by much of old media over bulls-eye clip art. The following year, when an insane gunman in Aurora, Colorado, shot up his local movie theater during the premiere of the last Batman movie, ABC’s Brian Ross immediately smeared a Tea Party member by the same name. Here we have a socialist Hollywood film director who declares those he disagrees with as non-human (“fungus”) and advocates shooting them.

Gilliam’s dystopian 1985 film Brazil ends with Jonathan Pryce’s protagonist being brutally tortured by Michael Palin’s Speer or Eichmann-esque coolly technocratic statist character. Presumably, Pryce’s character dies at the end of the film or shortly afterwards.

Who knew until now Gilliam meant it to be a happy ending and the whole film a how-to guide for big government?

Exit question:

Update: Welcome Instapundit and Hot Air readers. We’re all in this together…

Here’s Robert Kennedy in a 1968 campaign ad that, as I wrote in 2011, shows how quickly the rot seeped into the post-JFK left. Compare RFK’s rhetoric as he tells a classroom of young kids that they are doomed to spend their adult lives trapped in a Soylent Green-style eco-apocalypse, with the can-do optimism of his brother, and it was clear that the end of the New Frontier was well in sight.

That was from my post titled “Welcome Back My Friends, to the Malaise that Never Ends,” which tracked the left’s increasing sense of lethargy from their disillusionment when it became obvious that the Great Society would fail, to their freakout over the election of Richard Nixon in 1968, to the Jimmy Carter “Malaise” speech of 1979, to Occupy Wall Street.

And the malaise goes on today! Here’s RFK Jr. revealing his “climate rage,” as our YouTube caption writer neatly described his freakout, when PJTV’s Michelle Fields asked him if he would give up his cell phone and other electrically powered devices made from a petroleum derivative (plastic) in order to lead by example. His rambling statements about the Koch brothers running the entire country from dog catcher to Congress and the cognitive dissonance that allows him to recommend “free market solutions” to the environment — which consist of all but banning automobiles — is a sight to behold:

Tom Wolfe popularized the phrase “the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.” Similarly, the enviro-apocalpyse has been continuously been this close to descending upon the world, but as the above clips featuring RFK and RFK Jr. 46 years apart illustrate, despite a half century of Chicken Littles predicting the world will come to an end, the sky never quite seems to fall.

Perhaps it’s time for the left to update its century-old playbook on agitating the masses and enter the 21st century along with the rest of us, especially as so many examples of their not-so-final countdowns keep piling up.

Related: Mark Steyn spots “The Barbra Streisand Effect on Steroids.”

Symmetrical Sophistry

September 12th, 2014 - 10:19 pm

“There Are Now 52 Explanations For The Pause In Global Warming,” Michael Bastasch of the Daily Caller writes:

It’s been a busy year for climate scientists, who have been trying to explain why there has been no global warming for nearly two decades.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reported in February there were eight mainstream explanations for the pause, but there are now a whopping 52 explanations for why there has been no warming trend for the last 215 months.

Which oddly makes sense: the savants of settled science are proffering almost as many explanations as to why there’s no global warming as the number of maladies supposedly caused by global warming.

I blame Leonard Nimoy.

‘Gearing Up for the Post-Radio Shack World’

September 10th, 2014 - 2:00 pm

It’s “Mourning in America” for Scott Ott, as he watches the slow and painful death of a once ubiquitous American institution:

Then, most Wednesdays, if we didn’t need a haircut at the barbershop — a Princeton: tight on the sides, longer on top, looped over with a generous handful of Vitalis — it was off to one of three destinations in the Doylestown Shopping Center:

1) W.T. Grant: a five-and-dime, if we needed school clothes or supplies, or to look at the tropical fish, chameleons and pet rodents.

2) Sears: where my brothers and I played Pong, or fished through the discount 45′s bin while Pop shopped for tools.

3) Radio Shack: AKA Heaven for Boys

While the first two had their charms, it was Radio Shack that cast a spell on us, drawing us in at a dead run.

Gadgets and kits, lights and switches, buzzing and whirring and crackling — things that were cool before “cool” became “bad” or “sick” or “ridiculous” or whatever “cool” is now.

There was nothing like Radio Shack.

Today, I read that Radio Shack is sick — actually sick, perhaps dying — almost certainly headed for bankruptcy.

Troubled electronics retailer RadioShack Corp’s shares have lost nearly a third of their value since brokerage Wedbush Securities said on Tuesday the company could file for bankruptcy soon, making the stock worthless by the end of this year.

The stock fell as much as 20 percent to 76 cents on Wednesday, adding to a 23 percent plunge on Tuesday.

“Our price target reflects our expectation that creditors will force a reorganization and wipe out RadioShack’s equity,” Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a note.

I too grew up spending many hours as a kid pouring over Radio Shack catalogs, wiring together 150-in-one Electronics Projects kits, where I was sure I would ultimately craft the device that saves planet earth from an all-out interstellar alien attack. A few years later, the first personal computer I ever owned was a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I, which I eventually tricked out with a blazing 300 baud Hayes modem and connected to CompuServe and various BBSs in the early 1980s. Good times.

But in a way, having played a major role in birthing the personal computer revolution a generation ago, Radio Shack in the 21st century is an unwitting victim to that industry’s staggering success. At the start of the year, Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute spotted a 1991 Radio Shack ad featuring “13 electronic products for $5k (and 290 hrs. work) can now be replaced with a $200 iPhone (10 hrs.):

Buffalo (NY) journalist and historian Steve Cichon has an article on the Trending Buffalo website (“Everything from 1991 Radio Shack ad I now do with my phone“) featuring a full-page Radio Shack ad from the Buffalo News on February 16, 1991 (see graphic above). Of the 15 electronics products featured in the Radio Shack ad, 13 of them can now be replaced with a $200 iPhone according to Steve’s analysis. The 13 Radio Shack items in the ad (all-weather personal stereo, AM/FM clock radio, headphones, calculator, computer, camcorder, cell phone, regular phone, CD player, CB radio, scanner, phone answering machine, and cassette recorder) would have cost a total of $3,055 in 1991, which is equivalent in today’s dollars to $5,225. Versus only $200 for an iPhone 5S.

In hours worked at the average wage, the 13 electronics items in 1991 would have had a “time cost” of 290.4 hours of work at the average hourly wage then of $10.52 (or 7.25 weeks or 36.3 days). Today, the $200 iPhone would have a “time cost” of fewer than 10 hours (9.82) of work at the average hourly wage today of $20.35, and just one day of work, plus a few extra hours.

MP: When you consider that an iPhone can fit in your pocket and has many apps and features that were either not available in 1991 (GPS, text messaging, Internet access, mobile access to movies, more than 900,000 apps, iCloud access, etc.) or not listed in the 1991 Radio Shack ad (camera, photo-editing), it’s amazing how much progress we’ve made in just several decades, and how affordable electronic productions have become.

Which dovetails nicely with an observation by David Harsanyi in the Federalist today that “Global Warming was Worth It:”

In a piece in the Atlantic, adapted from his new book, “Sustainability: A History” (which I haven’t read), historian Jeremy Caradonna challenges prevailing notions regarding the Industrial Revolution. Was the explosion of industry and subsequent rise in productivity and technology good for humanity? Not if you believe there are too many people living way too long and emitting way too much carbon into the atmosphere. And this “ecological crisis” – the greatest threat to ever challenge mankind – has its roots in the Industrial Revolution.

So if, for some reason, you embrace a “narrative” that says the rise of laissez faire economics – and the resulting efficiency and technological advancements – were moral because they freed millions from poverty and made modern life possible, you’re not thinking clearly. If you cling to the narrative that prosperity creates economic stability which in turn creates an environment that makes political stability possible, you’re just being didactic.

As Steve Green writes in response, “For 50 years now at least, progressivism has been about casting one’s self-loathing with a wide enough net to cover all of humanity. That’s self-evident of any ideology wanting far fewer (if any) people in the world, most in suffering under state-mandated shivering destitution.”

And don’t forget the notion that James Delingpole of Ricochet and Breitbart UK, dubs “The Drawbridge Effect.” Leftwing wealthy elitists have theirs; they want to dramatically reduce the odds that anyone else will succeed on a similar level:

You’ve made your money. Now the very last thing you want is for all those trashy middle class people below you to have a fair shot at getting as rich as you are. That’s why you want to make energy more expensive by opposing Keystone XL; why you’re all for environmental land sequestration (because you already own your exclusive country property); and Agenda 21 — which will make all Americans poorer, but you not so much, because you’ve enough cash to cushion you from the higher taxes and regulation with which the greenies want to hamstring the economy.

Finally, to return to the nostalgic opening of Scott’s post, while I love the Internet, tablets, the PC, the Web, and the ubiquitous 21st century technology we take for granted, I will miss the shopping mall — shopping for CDs at Sam Goody’s and Tower Records, DVDs and books at Borders, and gadgets at Radio Shack. I realize it’s all available at Amazon (which I also love), but the afternoon walking through the mall is often a pleasurable activity as well. Will we miss it when it’s gone?

this_is_progress_2-28-14

“This was the week when global warming jumped the shark. Just like it did last week. And the one before…”, James Delingpole writes at Breitbart London:

Doctors at a Washington, D.C. paediatric clinic are increasingly prescribing sunshine and outdoors – “nature time” – for their young clients, reports Lynne Peeples for HuffPo.

But the story isn’t as heartwarming as you might think from the first paragraphs. That’s because stalking this charming scene like a ravening, blood-crazed, razor-fanged death creature with a sinister cowl kind of like a wicked evil monk’s probably concealing a grinning death’s head face and an evil as old as time, is climate change.

Yes, Peeples has managed to find at least two eco campaigners so shameless and utterly desperate that they have been prepared to put their names to quotes suggesting that “climate change” is threatening to make outdoors a no-go zone.

“Nature is critical to health,” says Martha Berger, a children’s health officer with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Climate change, she added, could “further alienate kids from nature.”

“One of the things contributing to [kids not getting enough play outdoors], along with many societal factors, is that some of the conditions are becoming more difficult to deal with,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, during a media call last month for the group’s report, “Ticked Off: America’s Outdoor Experience and Climate Change.”

As Delingpole writes, “Soon children will have forgotten what outdoors looks like, claims HuffPo.”

Yes, it could happen as soon as 1978 — because in 1968, Bobby Kennedy was making these exact claims in his presidential campaign ads, which repudiated the New Frontier optimism of his late brothers. In ten years, JFK thought we’d be landing on the moon. In ten years, Bobby believed we’d all be wearing gas masks outdoors:

As I noted in 2011, while Jimmy Carter didn’t make his infamous “Malaise Speech” until 1979, the intellectual rot and box canyon thinking that drove its depressing assumptions had seeped into the left shortly after it was obvious that LBJ’s Great Society was a failure — and as the excerpt above from James Delingpole’s post above spotlights, the left haven’t yet found a way to break the endless Mobius Loop they’ve been trapped in ever since.

For my interview in April with James on his Little Green Book of Eco-Fascism, click here to listen.

Just NBC the Hypocrisy

September 4th, 2014 - 10:41 am

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

“Katie Couric and Matt Lauer Blame Hurricanes On Global Warming.”

—Headline, NewsBusters, September 21st, 2005.

“Matt Lauer’s helicopter rides to and from his Hamptons mansion are ‘paid for by NBC’ – despite earning $20million a year.”

—Headline, the London Daily Mail, today.

And I hope Matt doesn’t leave any lights on his mansion:

Related: “The 5-ton, 12 mile/gallon [Mercedes-Benz Unimog Truck] Arnold Schwarzenegger bought after signing strict emissions law goes on sale for $273,250.”

 

Is There Nothing It Can’t Do?

August 28th, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Shot:

Chaser:

As Britain’s Malcolm Muggeridge noted a half century ago, there’s no way for any satirist to compete with real life — and real leftists — for pure absurdity.

(Of course, the moral equivalence that compares global terror with global warming is nothing new for the far left. Freud called it displacement — as did columnist Julia Gorin, when she noted the connection in 2006 in the Christian Science Monitor.)

Spot the Correlation

August 26th, 2014 - 11:48 pm

Shot:

Chaser:

 

Earlier: How to Lose Friends and Alienate Customers.

Related: “If I have understood this ridiculous situation correctly, the EPA is now in a position in which it may have to admit in court that some of its previous official statements about ocean acidification were not supported by available evidence.”

And from Roger L. Simon: “Climate Change to the Rescue?”

“Bear Flag State Turns Bearish,” Steve Green writes, linking to a column on the formerly golden state at Investor’s Business Daily. Of course, for those of who still live here, our first thought is, “Turns?”

his time last year, liberals around the country were trumpeting the big fiscal comeback of the Golden State in the wake of Jerry Brown’s giant tax increase — Proposition 30.

That initiative was passed by voters on Nov. 6, 2012, and it raised the personal income-tax rate on taxpayers making over $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for married couples to as high as 13% — which is the heaviest tax penalty on working and investing in the nation outside of New York City.

What was especially devious is that the tax hit was made retroactive to January 2012. Sacramento was so desperate for money that nobody seemed to mind this after-the fact taxation is really a form of confiscation.

In the short term, it worked and revenues climbed a whopping 21% because California’s top 2% had to pay taxes twice in 2013 — once on their current-year income and a supplemental check to pay for the retroactive tax on income from the year before.

As Steve adds, “So it turns out that ‘California Comeback’ was based on smoke and mirrors.” I wouldn’t recommend smoking whatever Jerry Brown’s sycophants are puffing (just ask Maureen Dowd) and those mirrors can be be deadly:

Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one “streamer” every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator’s application to build a still-bigger version.

And thus, the radical environmental left comes full circle:

Wasn’t it obvious that when Al Gore titled one of his books “The Assault on Reason,” he meant it as a how-to guide?

And finally, in other news from the socialist state, at City Journal, Rory Cohen writes, that Los Angeles’ “infrastructure crumbles as public-employee compensation balloons.” But then, that describes much of the rest of California as well, which has some of the worst roads — even NPR admits it — and the most graffiti in the nation.

“ISIS, the modern day heirs to The Mongol Horde, have either captured this dam, or are perilously close to capturing it depending on who you believe. Based on their prior performance, I seriously doubt their first point of order upon reaching the dam will be to Seamlessly Transition Into the Dam Failure Prevention Business,” one of Ace of Spades’ co-bloggers writes:

3. The Peshmerga, who are The One Eyed Man in The Country of the Blind militarily speaking, are currently providing protection for this dam. This would be the same Peshmerga who had to withdraw from engagements with ISIS earlier this week due to shortages of ammunition. So, while these troops are tougher than a $2 ribeye, they might not be able to defend this structure if they’re down to fighting with harsh language, sharpened garden tools, and weaponized unicorn farts.

4. ISIS has a track record of destroying anything in their path that is not strictly adherent to The Koran. Since (as far as I know), the Koran has no commentary on “magical portland cement concrete and compacted clay that prevent water from seeping through soil rapidly”, my guess is that The Mosul Dam and its reservoir are considered to be Satan’s In-Ground Swimming Pool by these sub-geniuses. And even if they were so inclined to preserve this structure, the process of injecting bentonite into the soils beneath this structure might be “a bridge too far” for their technical competence. Did Allah have any commentary regarding pumps? I do not know. But I have my suspicions.

To be fair, perhaps the would-be dam busters of ISIS simply want to appear in an American Express commercial of their own, as the similarities between America’s and the Middle East’s “Socialist Critics of Capitalism” continue to follow remarkably similar tracks. Right, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)?

In 2010, Deanna Archuleta, then Obama’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior, was quoted as promising the religious environmental left hat “You will never see another federal dam” in America. No doubt ISIS is taking that motto to heart in Iraq as well.

Obama: Promises Made, Promises Kept

July 31st, 2014 - 10:48 am

Shot:

chris_hayes_forgets_obamas_war_on_coal_7-31-14

Chaser:

Or as Jon Gabriel of Ricochet tweets in reply to Hayes, “Your #WarOnCoal is working. Glad you looked in the eyes of your victims.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time that an MSNBC newsreader forgot about the ramifications of the anti-energy policies they’re forced to defend.

Obama-VW-Lemon-Parody-8-6-10

“The very expensive death of the Chevy Volt,” as diagnosed by John Hayward at Breitbart.com:

I’ve been a student of the Chevy Volt electric-car debacle since the first time I took a stab at figuring out the actual per-unit cost of each car, with the subsidies figured in.  The thing launched with a sticker price of $41,000, but direct state and federal subsidies – i.e. taxpaying chumps forced at gunpoint to pay for part of your shiny new electric car – could take it down to $33,500 or less.  But if you figured in all the subsidies those taxpayer chumps were forced to give manufacturers, they really cost at least $81,000 apiece.  You paid $33k or so, while people who will never drive a Volt, and maybe never buy a Chevy, covered the rest.

Later Voltologists suggested I was being far too generous to this boondoggle, because the subsidies indirectly drawn into production of the vehicle and its battery were far larger than the direct nuts-and-bolts subsidies I was counting.  It has been suggested the real unit cost was closer to $200,000 per car.

Hayward goes on to note:

Well, here we are in 2014, and it can be decisively stated that skyrocketing Volt sales are not in the cards.  In fact, Detroit News reports that the European version of the Vault is being scrapped completely.  As for domestic sales…

Volt sales have also struggled and never met GM’s initial forecasts for sales growth.

Volt sales fell 34 percent in June in the United States to 1,777 and are down 12.6 percent this year to 8,615. GM cut prices of its plug-in hybrid Volt last year. It’s also offering hefty incentives for its slow-selling plug-in Cadillac ELR, which has sold just 390 vehicles in the first half of the year.

Last September, then GM CEO Dan Akerson told The Detroit News the automaker would take on upstart EV automaker Tesla Motors. Akerson said the Detroit automaker plans to confront Tesla via its Cadillac brand.

“If you want to compete head-to-head with Tesla, and we ultimately will, you want to do it with a Cadillac,” he said.

Yes, and you want to do it with your own money, you corporate parasite.  What’s the big strategy for the crippled Volt taking down the arthritic Tesla in the Who-Gives-A-Damn electric car micro-market?

While GM will cheerfully continue rake in tax payer dollars to build their hybrids, their deep down sense of shame is perhaps reflected in their recent ad for the coal-powered Cadillac, whose strutting theme is the antithesis of the welfare state, corporate and otherwise:

“It’s not pretty, even if your credentials are impeccable,” Neo-Neocon writes:

John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, says he remembers the morning he spotted a well-known colleague at a gathering of climate experts.

“I walked over and held out my hand to greet him,” Dr. Christy recalled. “He looked me in the eye, and he said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Come on, shake hands with me.’ And he said, ‘No.’ ”

Neo adds, “It’s fortunate for Dr. Christy that burning at the stake has gone out of style.” But paradoxically amongst carbon-obsessed warmists, book-burning is making a rapid comeback, at least at San Jose State:

At speaking of the academic left believing that books have evil talismanic powers, Aaron Clarey spots a hilariously overblown reaction from a librarian who came across my February interview with Aaron on his then-new book Bachelor Pad Economics.

A hundred years ago, a central tenet of the left was “epater la bourgeoisie” — or shock the middle class. Apparently, they didn’t consider that their ideology would become so sclerotic and brittle that it would eventually transform them into a remarkably vapour-prone class of the bourgeois in constant search of the fainting couch. But then, as original Saturday Night Live writer Anne Beatts once said, you can only be avant-garde for so long before you come garde.

Al Gore Hardest Hit

July 14th, 2014 - 12:38 pm

“People who claim to worry about climate change use more electricity,” the London Telegraph reports:

People who claim to worry about climate change use more electricity than those who do not, a Government study has found.

Those who say they are concerned about the prospect of climate change consume more energy than those who say it is “too far into the future to worry about,” the study commissioned by the Department for Energy and Climate Change found.

That is in part due to age, as people over 65 are more frugal with electricity but much less concerned about global warming.

However, even when pensioners are discounted, there is only a “weak trend” to show that people who profess to care about climate change do much to cut their energy use.

Al Gore could not be reached to comment from the other side of his three monitors, plasma screen TVs, private jets, mansions and former TV channel sold in 2013 to an Arab oil emirate.

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The Mean Girls of Global Warming

July 8th, 2014 - 8:55 am

“Show business is high school with money,” comedian Martin Mull famously said. And the news media is ultimately a form of show business as well, particularly with its chromium or chroma-keyed virtual sets to create the proper theatrics and faux-gravitas around men reading from teleprompters, computer graphics, and reliance on prefab narratives in which the left are always the winners. Which is why, when it comes to the MSM’s attack on global warming skeptics, “You know what this is?”, Robert Tracinski asks at the Federalist, “This is high school:”

It’s not your high school science class, but the high school of cliques, snubbing, ostracism, and mockery as an all-powerful weapon.

Now we can fully understand the contemporary phenomenon of the satirical fake news show—Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and the rest—and why it’s so popular on the left. These shows are created by and for people who never really graduated from high school, the ones who wanted to be part of the clique and to ostracize those who didn’t fit in. These guys weren’t the kind of bullies who beat you up outside the girls’ locker room. (John Oliver looks more like the type who was beaten up.) Instead, they’re the kind who rose in the clique through mockery and humiliation directed at their rivals.

Think of them as the “mean girls” of global warming.

But notice that they’re not using mockery directly as a weapon against the skeptics. Remember back to high school, if you can. If you didn’t really care about being in the clique, they were pretty much irrelevant to you. It was only those who really wanted to fit in and be popular who got caught up in all of the manufactured drama. The mean girls are always meanest to each other.

So the real target on which our mean girls of global warming train the power of their mockery is not the general public, nor is it the ideological right. Their target is the mainstream media.

Read the whole thing. You sort of get the feeling that deep down inside, everyone on the left is terrified of letting his inner Sheldon Cooper emerge and risk an atomic wedgie in the locker room. No wonder “real” “journalists” on the left — aka Democrat operatives with bylines — have such admiration for the smug postmodern pantomime of Stewart, Colbert, and more recently John Oliver, whom Tracinski dubs Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s “nebbishy British version of Jon Stewart” — their staff writers always ensure they win the argument.

And when they fail, their editors will always save them.

Look on the bright side — the New York Times has finally found a business it can defend, pushing back against the dangers of the left insanely promoting income inequality as a meme in the process:

The acquisition also included the expensive Beats headphones — $300 and up in a variety of colors so they also serve as fashion accessory. People will still pay large money for devices, and this weekend, thousands of people will spend at least $250 for three-day access to the Governor’s Ball Music Festival in New York. It’s a curious disconnect: Fans will pay top dollar for a music accessory or a music event. They just won’t pay for, oh yeah, music.

Writing in The Daily Beast last week, the musician Van Dyke Parks said that in the good old days, a song he recently wrote with Ringo Starr would have provided him “with a house and a pool.” But at current royalty rates, he estimated that he and the former Beatle would make less than $80, which means he will have to choose between a dollhouse and a kiddie pool and then share it with Mr. Starr.

Superstars like Beyoncé can drop an unannounced bomb on iTunes and sell a million copies in under two weeks, but most artists are having trouble treading water in the stream. Streaming services argue that as their subscriber base grows, musicians will be able to survive on many small slices of a very big pie.

On the bus ride home from dinner last week, I streamed most of the wonderful new album from Parquet Courts, courtesy of the Something for Nothing paradox. The $6 grapes were delicious, by the way, but I consumed them slowly and consciously, each one carrying not only lusciousness, but the knowledge that I had paid for them.

As someone who has watched the music industry go from a vibrant hit-making machine to near irrelevancy in the course of a couple of decades, I’m sympathetic to archliberal David Carr’s article, but the Times is arguably the worst place for it to be running. This is the newspaper that regularly rails against excessive consumerism by publishing profiles feigning praise for New Yorkers who have lived without toilet paper for a year, or articles on why the Third World should forgo the same air conditioning that cools the Times’ Eighth Avenue office building and Thomas Friedman’s mansion. (Even as the Times defends aerosol-powered graffiti vandals over the owners of private property they’ve defaced.) The paper that began the 1990s by running Al Gore’s manifesto comparing global warming to Kristallnacht, and concluded 2012 by calling for an end to the Constitution. If the environment is in such perilous condition that we must forgo air conditioning and toilet paper, CDs and iPods are the ultimate non-essential luxury.

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This Is CNN

June 6th, 2014 - 3:34 pm

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Journalist who said Romney “happy to party with black people drowning” is now CNN’s political director, Brendan Bordelon writes at the Daily Caller:

Cable news network CNN has promoted David Chalian — a man fired in 2012 from Yahoo News for claiming the GOP is “happy to party with black people drowning” — to the powerful position of political director.

“As we head into midterm election season and begin to lay the groundwork for the coming presidential campaign, it gives us great pleasure to announce that David Chalian has accepted the position of CNN Political Director,” an announcement from the network, obtained by FishbowlDC, read.

Chalian was hired by CNN last July to be the supervising producer for “Crossfire,” the political debate program brought back to the network last summer after an eight-year hiatus.

But Chalian had previously worked as Yahoo News’ Washington bureau chief until August 2012, when he was summarily fired over a hot-mic incident during live coverage of the ongoing Republican National Convention held in Tampa, Florida.

Objectivity — you’re doing it wrong, CNN. But then, as Glenn Reynolds likes to say, most members of the MSM really are simply Democrat operatives with bylines.

Speaking of doing it wrong, as Tony Lee recently noted at Big Journalism, “CNN boss Jeff Zucker wants to revamp the struggling network, but nobody reportedly wants to work there:”

A CNN source told the New York Post that the unstable network is having problems recruiting key talent to a place that was once known as “the most trusted name in news.”

“We can’t find talent who wants to come to CNN. No one wants to come because we scrap things after a year,” the source told the Post. “Every talent agency we contact can’t get us anyone… Even talent from larger local markets refuse to come here, because they are afraid.”

Daytime anchors Brooke Baldwin and Carol Costello will reportedly be moving from Atlanta to New York to be closer to Zucker while Don Lemon is angling for a primetime show, even though nearly every in-house talent the network has tried to force upon its primetime viewers has tanked.

CNN’s ratings have plummeted the more the network tries to conceal its liberal biases and masquerades as an “objective” station. That may even be changing, as Zucker recently admitted that even though the network’s own viewers are not interested in CNN’s climate change stories, he will try to find more creative ways to force them to care.

“Climate change is one of those stories that deserves more attention, that we all talk about, but we haven’t figured out how to engage the audience in that story in a meaningful way,” Zucker recently said at an awards dinner in New York. “When we do do those stories, there does tend to be a tremendous amount of lack of interest on the audience’s part.”

Perhaps it’s because they know that if CNN can’t convince its colleagues working down the hall in other branches of the giant Time-Warner-CNN-HBO entertainment conglomerate that global warming is a crisis, there’s no reason for them to worry about the issue.

Earlier this year, Time-Warner-owned Sports Illustrated hired a converted Boeing airliner to fly model Kate Upton in simulated zero-gravity conditions, merely for a photo shoot. Such frivolous gestures graphically illustrate that a corporation that has chided both the general public and President Obama specifically for imagined environmental damage caused by excessive jet travel clearly isn’t concerned about its own carbon footprint.

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(They illustrate other details too, but these aren’t quite as germane to the topics of our post…)

“Prince Charles has called for an end to capitalism as we know it in order to save the planet from global warming,” the London Telegraph reports (warning before clicking over: the Telegraph hasn’t yet given up on annoying auto-play videos just yet):

In a speech to business leaders in London, the Prince said that a “fundamental transformation of global capitalism” was necessary in order to halt “dangerously accelerating climate change” that would “bring us to our own destruction”.

What capitalism? To paraphrase that sage economic journalist Don Henley, England hasn’t had that spirit there since 1939. Initially it lost it in response to another world figure who wanted to bring capitalism under his boot — and then permanently, in its own quest to nationalize its socialism:

Charles goes on to bloviate:

He called for companies to focus on “approaches that achieve lasting and meaningful returns” by protecting the environment, improving their employment practices and helping the vulnerable to develop a new “inclusive capitalism”.

The Prince was taking part in his first major UK public engagement since sparking a diplomatic row last week by likening the behaviour of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to Adolf Hitler.

In a politically-charged speech at the Inclusive Capitalism conference, the Prince said: “I remember when the Iron Curtain came down there was a certain amount of shouting about the triumph of capitalism over communism. Being somewhat contrary, I didn’t think it was quite as simple as that. I felt that unless the business world considered the social, community and environmental dimensions, we might end up coming full circle.”

Charles is perhaps more right than he knows. As Ayn Rand wrote in December of 1962, and republished in her early 1960s non-fiction anthology, The Virtue of Selfishness:

Socialism may be established by force, as in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — or by vote, as in Nazi (National Socialist) Germany. The degree of socialization may be total, as in Russia — or partial, as in England. Theoretically, the differences are superficial; practically, they are only a matter of time. The basic principle, in all cases, is the same.

The alleged goals of socialism were: the abolition of poverty, the achievement of general prosperity, progress, peace and human brotherhood. The results have been a terrifying failure — terrifying, that is, if one’s motive is men’s welfare.

Instead of prosperity, socialism has brought economic paralysis and/or collapse to every country that tried it. The degree of socialization has been the degree of disaster. The consequences have varied accordingly.

England, once the freest and proudest nation of Europe, has been reduced to the status of a second-rate power and is perishing slowly from hemophilia, losing the best of her economic blood: the middle class and the professions. The able, competent, productive, independent men are leaving by the thousands, migrating to Canada or the United States, in search of freedom. They are escaping from the reign of mediocrity, from the mawkish poorhouse where, having sold their rights in exchange for free dentures, the inmates are now whining that they’d rather be Red than dead.

As Mark Steyn noted in our interview last week, England would only get worse in the following decade, until Margaret Thatcher’s much-needed reforms. And now Charles would like to take them “full circle” — which is a polite euphemism in this case for circling the drain.

Oh and speaking of Gaia and socialism, as we noted, Google could barely rouse themselves yesterday to commemorate Memorial Day, only sticking an 80X70 pixel American flag and yellow ribbon on their homepage sometime around mid-day.

But for proto enviro-crank Rachel Carson, who “was to DDT what Jenny McCarthy is to measles vaccine,” as Iowahawk noted today on Twitter, that’s another story entirely.

Update: “The Left Doesn’t Really Believe in Climate Change,” Jon Gabriel writes at Ricochet:

Every time a real-world solution is provided to a promised calamity, leftist leaders move the goalposts. To be sure, many well-meaning parishioners have bought the con and piously observe the demanding rituals of earth worship. But the high priests still jet around the globe, chasing checks from energy tycoons to build monstrous mansions along doomed coastlines.

That’s because the Left doesn’t really believe in climate change. Their true religion is raising taxes, increasing government, impeding capitalism and reducing national sovereignty. Climate change is just a temporary excuse to achieve those ends.

Read the whole thing.™