“What’s your comfort number, Lefties?” asks The Phantom over at The Phantom Soapbox. Even before taking office, She Guevara has already threatened the President’s son with a subpoena because of an effective meme on Twitter, and Eric Swalwell has expressed a willingness to use nuclear weapons to enforce gun control. Both may be joking or speaking hyperbolically, but they tipped their hands. It’s clear that these socialists are willing to use government power to force through the social changes they want.
P. J. O’Rourke once suggested that we should not favor any government program that we were not willing to kill our own grandmother for. He reasoned that if she didn’t pay her taxes to support the program, the government would send an agent with a gun to collect the taxes and that further resistance could be fatal, so we only should support a government program if we really supported such an outcome. The Phantom wonders how many of our grandmothers these socialists are willing to sacrifice—
So there’s really only one question worth asking DemocRats in the USA and Liberals here: how many people are you willing to throw out of work to get your socialist plan enacted? How many will you imprison to enforce your regulation? How many senior citizens are you willing to freeze to death for your ecological fuel tax? How many resisters will you kill? Hmm?
The Communist’s answer was 100 million in the 20th Century. The entire nation of Canada, four times over, died for the myth of the Worker’s Paradise. The Chinese Communists are still at it.
Read the whole thing.
Over the past day or so, there have been rumblings on the Interwebz of financial distress at certain websites. It appears that the Weekly Standard is on the chopping block and that sites such as BuzzFeed and Vice are struggling. TWS was doing OK until it devolved into the premier Never Trump outlet on the web, alienating a significant portion of its readers. BuzzFeed, Vice, Vox Media, Group Nine Media, Refinery29, and the like have failed to find a way to build viable business models which target SJWs who believe that they are entitled to stuff for free.
Wokeness may feel good. It may even have merit in some virtue signaling sense. But it doesn’t seem to have value in the marketplace, and … what’s the socially just newspeak word for the sexist oldspeak word attaboys? Goodfeels? I’ll try that … and goodfeels can’t be used to pay the rent. Meanwhile, sites that develop are relationship with readers and work to provide them with content worth paying for are making a living for their operators. (See, eg., The Other McCain.) And while many of these successful sites have some sort of presence on social media, their main emphasis is a stand-alone entities in the manner of the early-21st-century blogosphere. They may use Facebook or Twitter to opportunistically promote themselves, but their focus is on creating content for themselves to bring readers to their own sites rather than letting main stream social media have it for free. It’s hard to make a living when you give everything away for free.
15 years ago, an independent blogosphere seemed to the be the future of the Internet. As people begin to understand what “free” social media costs, we may find ourselves going back to that future..
I think so, Brain … but if we save some money, it might be worth something again.
Remember when Barack Obama pooh-poohed Mitt Romney’s claim that Russia was America’s potential adversary? Well, the plant closings and layoffs announced yesterday by GM show that Romney was right again. He wrote that as a result of the bailout given to GM a decade ago, the company’s failure “will be virtually guaranteed” because it would not be forced to undergo radical restructuring to be competitive in the marketplace. By subsidizing GM’s failing business culture, the federal government would be making a sucker bet with taxpayer dollars and forestalling the inevitable.
The Chevy Volt is one of the models being dropped. Barack Obama promised GM workers that he would drive a Volt when he left office. If he hasn’t bought one yet, he’d better hurry. And if he likes his Volt, he can keep it.
There’s a post up over at Watts Up With That? which takes a look at She Guevara’s proposal for a Green New Deal. I suppose it’s “green” because the “thinking” behind it isn’t ripe yet. One of the goals for her Green New Deal would be “decarbonizing the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries” within ten years. Let’s set aside the financial cost of decarbonizing agriculture and simply consider biology and physics.
Human beings are carbon-based life forms. The vast majority of the energy that our bodies use to keep us alive is derived from chemical reactions that amount to burning the carbon in the food we eat. That food, whether plant or animal, was from other carbon-based life forms which, in turn, were alive because those critters grew by burning carbon. (Many plants actually store more carbon than they burn. That’s why animals eat them or humans burn them for fuel.)
Over my lifetime (I’ll be 71 on New Year’s Eve), hunger and malnutrition around the world have been greatly reduced by the mechanization of agriculture and the use of chemical supplements to fertilize and protect crops. All of that required an expenditure of energy that wasn’t possible by manual or animal-powered labor. How many windmills would it take to power a tractor and planting and harvesting equipment on a farm? A windmill is a set of sails catching the wind. Image a sail-powered tractor. Now add the additional losses of power transmission over wires and charging and discharging batteries. How much hydro? How large a solar array? And how much farm land would be lost to solar arrays? Most crops don’t do well in the shade. Oh, and most man-made pesticides are organic (that is, carbon-based) chemicals; so are most natural bug killers. Where will we get the energy needed to produce and distribute those chemicals to farms and apply them to the crops? Or will more of our fields’ produce go to feeding insects and less to people?
We’ve used so-called carbon-based energy over the past couple of centuries to power the revolutions in industry and agriculture that have drastically reduced hunger and made life better around the world. Actually, all of that energy has come from the Sun. The energy in sunshine from tens of millions of years ago was stored in chemical reactions in living organisms which were turned into coal, petroleum, and natural gas. We’ve been tapping into that stored energy. It may be that we’re returning carbon in the form of combustion products into the environment at an unhealthy rate. If so, we have other options. The uranium and thorium here on Earth are the decay products of heavy elements forged in stars that went supernova billions of years ago. We can tap into that stored energy, but there’s a different set of dangers in those sources.
Every time we do something, anything, the amount of entropy in the Universe increases. Everything has a cost. Thus far, the free market has shown superior performance over all other economic systems. Efficient agriculture developed in the US—but not in the USSR. The free market puts less of a drag on society than its competitors. Going to a what amounts to a green command economy seems doubly foolish—likely poorer performance in food production and proven worse efficiency in economic resource management.
Here’s an iron law of nature: There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Congress lacks to power to repeal it.
Damian Reilly has a post over at Spectator|USA about woke entertainers and businesses experiencing difficulties in the marketplace. Katy Perry has had an album with disappointing sales. Nike’s stock is down below its pre-Kaepernick price. Teen Vogue has lost half its viewers, and CNN’s ratings have sunk below Nickelodeon’s. Reilly takes note of some comments by Bill Maher that seem to indicate that Progressives (who began a grieving process with the election of Donald Trump) may now be entering the fifth stage of grief characterized by feelings of guilt.
If I’m right and liberal America – having worked through shock, denial, anger and bargaining – really is now at the fifth stage of grief, then the good news is the remaining two stages aren’t so bad: depression and then acceptance.
For celebrities and companies, the trick will be to avoid the ‘get woke, go broke’ trap and to arrive at acceptance with life savings and brand intact. The market doesn’t lie: political correctness is a dead ideology. It’s time to get over it.
Reality keeps getting in the way of ideology.
There’s one surefire way to tell that one of Brett Kimberlin’s websites failed to generate enough hits on the Donate button. Take a look at what’s happening to i360watch dot org.Another one bites the dust.