Farmers’ protests in Europe.

Wow. It somehow feels pre-ordained.

                  Wheat fields in Ukraine

The world is facing food shortages brought on, in part by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The little known fact is that Ukraine is a key agricultural supplier of grain and vegetables, particularly to the middle east, where much of the wheat goes into producing the daily bread of millions of people in Egypt and Lebanon. Interrupting Ukraine agricultural production puts a damper on predicted supply and thus prices in the world market start to rise.

At the same time many western countries have just announced initiatives that will result in reducing food supply from many countries. Several European countries are moving to take agricultural land out of use by government fiat. The one that has attracted the greatest interest has been the Netherlands because the farmers’ reaction to being told that one third of them are going to lose their family farms to reduce nitrogen fertilizer use has brought about massive protests from the farming community. But the Netherlands is far from being the only country to announce this measure – Germany, Italy, France, Belgium and Canada have announced similar measures. Great Britain has opted for paying the farmers to get out of farming, offering buy outs to the oldest (and most experienced of course) farmers.

It is worth noting that none of these decision are being made with the intent of INCREASING agricultural production. Removing high nitrogen fertilizers from use will, provably (see Sri Linka), reduce crop yields dramatically and, at the same time they are taking land out of production.

Sri Lanka some three years ago banned the import of high nitrogen fertilizer. The President claimed it was a virtuous move to reduce emissions, but, in reality it was forced because the country lacked foreign reserves to pay for the import of high nitrogen fertilizer. The results? Crop yields collapsed and the middle class disappeared into poverty.

A person whom I admire, very much, Neil Oliver who has become an international figure for his sane commentaries and observations on real life as seen from Scotland has, in recent weeks, been stating that amidst all the confusion of Covid, lock downs, energy bills spiking, Inflation, energy supplies in Europe becoming problematical one philosophical principle helps make things understandable:

The simplest explanation that fits all the facts is probably the correct one” – a paraphrase of Occam’s Razor. I heartily agree with Mr Oliver on this.

Why are the governments of Europe enacting a policy that most voters seem to have no clue about? Why are they choosing (or being told to choose) such a course of action at this time?

At the same time that they are doing this, those self same governments have been investing untold billions of dollars into windmills and solar panels, forcing their populations to transfer their transportation to Electric Powered vehicles, adopt electric heating and not gas, in the UK’s case they wish people to adopt “heat pumps” instead of gas heating, Note all these “choices” will cost far more than the current options, Installing a heat pump is a minimum of ten thousand pounds, electric vehicles are more expensive to buy than petrol or diesel vehicles and will require a massive increase in building up of the national power grid.

The investments required for all this are ENORMOUS.  And the results are not even definite, there is no proof at all that this will result in some sort of perfect planet. Or that things will magically become cheaper. Most people will be financially much worse off than they are now.

Neil Oliver said it best – at least for me. “They are taking away choice“. The governments of this world, or at least the western part of it, have decided that it is time to restrict the ability of ordinary members of their country to make choices. They are adopting policies that will increase the cost of energy and travel which will force us out of cars and onto buses, they are adopting policies that will dramatically increase the price of food, particularly meat, so that anything other than a very basic meal plan will be out of most of our reach. They are doing this without asking. They are merely telling.

In T.H. White’s seminal work “The Once and Future King” there is a part where Merlin the Wizard is instructing the young Arthur by using examples from the animal kingdom. You may remember the Walt Disney cartoon “The Sword in the Stone” which was a telling of part of this. He turns Arthur into a fish and a bird as life lessons. In the book there are more examples – one of which involved turning Arthur into an ant. Arthur got to see what the motto of the Kingdom of the Ants was;

“Everything not forbidden is compulsory”

Why do people “panic buy” when they fear a shortage, thus, apparently, making it worse?

The recent fuel “crisis” in the UK is a case in point. On Monday September 28th 2021, Mike Graham, the host of the TalkRadio morning program “The Independent Republic of Mike Graham” has been loudly and frequently snorting with derision and contempt for those who are “panic buying” and who are “making it worse”.

 

What is ironic is, that Mike himself is creating part of the “panic”. Once you discuss IN PUBLIC a possible shortage of something that people need for every day use you are making them aware of a possible problem in THEIR LIFE. Even if you are poo-pooing the idea of a shortage, it makes no difference.

Why? Because for everyone who hears that “there could not possibly be a shortage” the idea of “shortage” had not been on their minds. Now it is.

 

Having been advised that the item “fuel shortage” is now in the public domain how is an ordinary motorist supposed to react? First of all – if there is a shortage how long is it going to last? Answer – no way to tell because people are only talking about “no need to panic”. What to do? Fill up your tank (or tanks if you own more than one car) !

Why? Because it gives you more control over your life. Pure and simple. If you have errands to run, children to drop off and pick up, work to commute to, business to attend to, you are probably going to need to have the car available. If you car is not full then the correct step now is to fill it so that you can plan to attempt to do things so that the one tank of gas will last as long as possible. If the shortage turns out to be a rumor, at least you have full tank of gas. If it turns out to be true, well there will probably be rationing and if you start with a full tank, chances are good you will be able to cope.

 

If you do nothing? Well if it turns out not be true you might be inconvenienced by those who have decided to fill up but if you have enough gas in your car the whole thing should blow over. If it turns out to be true; then you are getting into the game late and now you are faced with the inconvenience – possibly- of not having enough gas for your needs. A huge potential problem for a person in many circumstances.

 

It is clear from the choices that, unless you have a full tank of gas already, the sensible choice, even it is only a rumor, is to fill up your gas tank at your first opportunity. Now that is not necessarily the best choice for society. This is what Mr Grahame loudly and frequently pointed out on his radio show. It also was loudly bruited around on social media about what ‘wankers’ people were to “panic buy”. Nowhere in the loud din was there the mention that maybe it was ordinary people trying to take the best course open to them THAT THEY COULD CONTROL.

 

And that to me is the crux of the matter. If you throw uncertainty into the lives of ordinary people, especially if the uncertainty deals with thing that they need to function. People will react. The smart ones will try to get as much control of the situation as they can. That is their responsibility.

 

The looming threat of violence generated by the left

There are perceptions and narratives that abound in the current climate, the oft repeated Government line that “the biggest threat to the USA from a terrorist perspective is White Supremacy” is one, the leftist cry of  “if only the rich would pay their fair share what a paradise we would build” is another. There are more of course.

But one thing that is never questioned is what destruction will be wrought if the left has its way on destroying or dismantling Capitalism.

It is something that few seem to be able to visualize.

What happens if the left succeeds in bankrupting the country? Overwhelming the systems that exist? What happens when the trucks stop running – and they will when the fuel does not arrive, when the means of paying for the freight are not available? How will hospitals be funded? When paychecks no longer arrive or in a currency that is no longer supported what happens? What happens to the nations food supplies when farmers can no longer hedge their harvest on a futures market that will no longer be there? How will energy supplies be secured?

The cost in lives lost is going to be huge. Not just in the confusion and and struggling for control but in starvation and illness. The gradual reduction in treatment of serious conditions will reduce the lifespans of those who are receiving service.

No-one that I have been able to see has modeled what the left’s programs will do in real life.  The reality is that leftist regimes always have shortages. Leftist regimes rely upon government force executed by heavily armed police and loyal military units to enforce government fiat.  The only people who will be somewhat more able to cope will be those furthest from the centers of government.

As for the rich, well most will have transferred a lot of the wealth out of the country and beyond the reach of the USA – this will have been done during the runs on the currency that precede the total collapse.

What the left wants to do comes with a HUGE price in human lives lost, human misery expanded and human existence devalued.

It is, by far, the worst option for any country or government.

https://www.historyextra.com/period/modern/classics-racial-hatred-how-far-right-hijacked-ancient-greco-roman-world In the third paragraph of this lengthy article the author, Katherine Harloe, professor at Reading University laid out her scant regard for actual facts and gave the shaky foundation for her whole screed. "In January 2021, history seemed to repeat itself as a political demonstration with white nationalist elements in the United States again turned violent. This time, a crowd of Donald Trump supporters, arguably encouraged by the outgoing president himself, attempted to storm the Federal United States Capitol to disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes to confirm Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 US presidential election. The Congress session was suspended when rioters entered the building; politicians were locked down in offices for hours. Five people died and more than 100 were injured. It is alleged that some among the crowd aimed to assassinate the US vice-president, Mike Pence." I read this one paragraph with an ever growing incredulity. How could someone who is a 'historian' blatantly use logical fallacy and outright disinformation to stake out the point she was trying to prove with her article? Let us examine this paragraph and see how it breaks down. 1. "In January 2021, history seemed to repeat itself as a political demonstration with white nationalist elements in the United States again turned violent." Here she is referring to her earlier paragraph about the demonstration and violence which took place in Charlottesville Virginia in August 2017.  The problem with her sentence in this paragraph is that she begs the question. She assumed "white nationalist elements" without actually stating what this construct actually covers. In Virginia, if I remember correctly, the organizing group opposed to taking down of the statue of Robert E Lee did have support from groups that would fall under the description White Supremacists. Not sure on the size of the groups involve. And not content with that logical fallacy she follows up with the vague "again turned violent." 2. "This time, a crowd of Donald Trump supporters, arguably encouraged by the outgoing president himself, attempted to storm the Federal United States Capitol to disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes to confirm Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 US presidential election. " This sentence contains mainly propaganda mixed with untruthful statements.  First of all the word "arguably" means that the information which follows is garbage. Apparently Ms Harloe did not actually listen to the freely available videos of the speech that Trump delivered but instead tries, by innuendo, to suggest that what he actually said was not what he said. Now for the next bit of this paragraph "attempted to storm the Federal United States Capitol". This is curious because to 'storm' something is to violently assault it. The problem is that the protesters entered the Capital building through the doors opened and directed by the Capital Police. They ambled up to the Capital building and walked in. The word "storm" is a deliberate use of a word with connotations of violence. But as the protesters approached the building they were not violent. 3. "to disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes to confirm Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 US presidential election" Actually - and if the historian had availed herself of the available speech transcript - they were there to give support to and strength to the Republicans most of whom had sat silently by while what Conservatives thought was clear evidence of voter fraud, went unchallenged. Now - once the protesters were inside the Capital building it is certainly true that they became both rowdy and intimidating. This is suggestive of it being an unorganized and undirected crowd.  And the situation devolved fairly rapidly into some people becoming both aggressive and intimidating and the vast majority who started seeking a way to exit the building. Once again - the 'historian' who, living in England certainly has knowledge of, if not direct experience with, how crowds can become rowdy and intimidating given the UKs's perennial issues with football hooligans, strikes and other examples. 4. "Five people died and more than 100 were injured." Ooh, Ms Historian. You are forwarding an untruth. Proof positive that the very thing you are using as a cornerstone for your thesis is built upon a shifting sand. One person was killed in the "riot" ( actually riot is the wrong word but it is part of the narrative that the 'historian' is forwarding) . The person who was killed was an unarmed female named Ashley Babbit. She was a USAF  Veteran of 14 years service, medals for service in Iraq. She was climbing through a broken window in the door to the Speakers Lobby.  She was shot by a plain clothes police officer at close range. At the time she was shot there were already armed police on the stairway behind the crowd.  Now if you do a search on this tragedy you will see copious references from the press that the Police Officer claimed that he saved hundreds of lives that day. What no-one asked him was how he came to that conclusion. How was one unarmed medium sized women going to visit so much mayhem ? This is prima facie - total bollocks. Yet Ms Harloe forwards the narrative, Totally unexamined. Our historian does not actually break down the "5 died" because, certifiably and as reported by the press and the Capital Police force - only one person died in the "riot". So where does she get the total of 5? Primarily I suspect from reading a newspaper. But certainly not from examining the claim. 2 of those who died were from natural causes - heart attacks. One from a meth overdose, Ashli Babbit who was shot by a policeman. 3 of those four were Trump Supporters. So who was the fifth? Again we can see that Ms Harloe is just forwarding the narrative - presenting things out of context and with the inference that the Trump supporters were somehow the violent ones when that is clearly not the case. She does not delineate how she arrived at the number "5" because she did not explain it. 5. "It is alleged that some among the crowd aimed to assassinate the US vice-president, Mike Pence."  He we see Ms Harloe taking rumor or gossip as fact for her to bolster the absurd assertion she has made. This is, I regret to say, typical of the BBC in general. An institution that used to pride itself on the thoroughness of it's checking and reportage has now become a haven for people who indulge in narrative spinning rather than accuracy. And, in  a nutshell - this is why I stopped subscribing to the Magazine.">How a UK Historian forwards the left’s narrative in Historical Magazine article

The Highway to god knows where

The Headlines are being pumped out by the smugly and cooperative media in the USA – GM is going to switch over to all electrical car and truck production by 2035, Ford is going to follow suit.

We are going to see the end of the internal combustion engine and move forward to the bright, renewable, ever clean future. The wind and the sun will pour their energy into our electrical system and we will gratefully take this bounty and go about our lives singing praises to Nature and all her wonders.


But to what end does this tale of idyll lead us to?


Let us advance into the real world.


Electrical vehicles rely, completely on operating systems – complex programs that balance loads and needs, power consumption and so on.

When you decide you wish to upgrade your Tesla for more features – Tesla tells your operating system that you are now allowed to use the enhanced features.


In the idyllic world of the future there is going to be a cost of upgrading the country’s Electrical supply infrastructure to replace the daily 2.65 trillion Kwh of electricity generated by fossil fuels (63 % of the total) and the 168 billion Kwh currently consumed by gasoline and diesel powered cars. Currentl solar and wind supply 363 billion KWhs a day.


I leave you to do the maths on this. It is going to require a 50% increase I solar and wind production to make up the energy load transferred to the generating systems by the demands of electrical vehicles that have replaced the internal combustion engine vehicles in our idyllic future. It is going to take 700% increase in wind and solar generation to replace the fossil fuels that underpin the grid.


That leaves a lot of room for discussion right there. But I want to drill down on another aspect.


Road infrastructure is financed mainly by the federal gasoline tax.


What will finance that infrastructure if there is no gasoline being used?


Well. Hmm. It is somehow going to have to be tied to the electric vehicles themselves.


But, of course! The software! It already contains all the information needed, it knows how far you have traveled and will happily keep that total available for any tax agency who asks for it.


Without a series of governments bound and determined to respect the Bill of Rights and respect the privacy of the citizenry I foresee the following scenario unfolding in front of us.


The first step will be explaining – just as I have done here – that with the gas tax dwindling rapidly there needs to be a new source of funding for roads and surely, the fairest way to do that is to just a fixed mileage rate? Equality all round! The rate will be meticulously worked out the first time around to demonstrate the absolute fairness of it all and all cars will be retrofitted with new software which automatically reports your mileage, once a week, to the tax authorities.

Now to make it easier and to reduce costs, the government will mandate that you must have a certain amount in the account of course so that payment is automatic.


But what about people who don’t pay? Or let the bills build up? No worries the government will come along – and in the name of fairness for all – software will be installed that will shut you off if you cannot pay. But the good news is that as soon as you do cough up they can turn you back on again promptly (for a small fee of course).


But we’ll all be paying the same rate! Fairness all round! Or will that solid statement stand for more than a couple of years while lobbyists for various interests ensure a way for ‘deserving” people to get a discounted rate? Politicians, city councilpersons. The list will grow – because it always does.


And, of course safety! Software will be inserted which will force your vehicle to adhere to speed limits broadcast to it. The next step will be to install a stop switch in the software that can be activated by the police. End of all car chases of course – there will not be many anyway because cars will no longer be able to exceed the speed limit.


Once it starts, it will not stop. Advance will follow advance. If you find this hard to believe consider this most people carry smart phones with them that they never turn off and which records their exact position many times a day. Now there is nothing overtly nefarious about that – your phone needs to know where you are in relation to telephone masts so you can use your phone. But how you use your phone, what you buy with it, what sites you visit on line, who you call who calls you so on and so on. It tracks it all.


Nothing I have said about electric car software is out of range of current software. In fact I am probably selling it short.


What I do know is that once government finds ways to tax, it does not give them up easily. When people find out how simply things can be enforced simply by turning of switches in software they will agitate to start doing it.


After all who would have thought that people would go trawling through a persons posts/tweets/messages/texts to find things to use to get them banned from jobs, forced out of jobs?

Who would have thought that a country where debate and freedom of speech are a cherished foundation of the country itself find itself in a position where people who cannot win arguments by force of logic and persuasion merely get their friends in power to shut of the place to debate?

If it can be done – sooner or later the temptation will be too great,.

Well…

So Biden has been sworn in as President.

The best I can say about this incoming administration is that I have such low expectations for their performance they should be able to surprise me, quite easily, with something semi-good.

I have already noted the same slavering and emoting about how wonderful it all is from the nation’s mainstream media which in turn convinces me that my low expectations may be setting the bar a little too high. It is a given that the same media who could find no scandals when Biden was last in the Administration are probably going to apply their carefully honed investigative instincts into finding not very much at all about this incoming one.

When Biden was vice-president he preened on video in a meeting bragging about he threatened to withhold US aide from Ukraine if they did not get rid of a prosecutor he did not like. However you might like or dislike Biden, like or dislike the Ukraine – this is a scandal. The main stream media have NEVER covered it. Apparently 60 minutes never heard of the Ukraine.

I do not hold a lot of confidence that Biden has changed and I have absolutely no faith in Harris’ ability to lead anything other than an assault on the civil rights of the black community.

Humor, the forgotten tool

There is a wonderful, but small, concept that has vanished, almost utterly, from American political life.

Self-deprecating humor is its name.

It used to be common for people to make a humorous comment or two about themselves or something that they did in order to show that they did not take themselves too seriously. It was a way of showing that a person could admit they could be wrong, that they could see oddities about themselves and their positions and still communicate.

Now, in the howling world of the Left Fascist Bloc which is seeking control over all speech and thought – this is a revolutionary idea. Admit a fault and the bots, gnats and bloodsuckers of twitter, Facebook Google will pounce on it and try to make it seem like every joke is somehow a weakness to be exploited for political gain. Why do they do that? Because it causes people to watch what they say.

Humor is one of the greatest tools of social interaction. It can make people laugh with you – rather than at you. It can be used to project an atmosphere of broad willingness to change and adapt and with that comes opportunities for agreements.

Without it – it all just becomes balkanized. It becomes the political equivalent of trench warfare. Things move only very slowly with vast effort.

Let’s get back to a world where satire, self deprecation, laughing at ourselves and our own foibles become the norm.

A Royal Druid

Prince Charles is the “heir to the throne of Great Britain”. That means that he has been standing around for a half century waiting for his Mother to pass on so he can have a real job.

Prince Chuckie

In an article in the Daily Telegraph January 11th 2021 by Victoria Ward he is quoted :

The Prince of Wales has warned that the coronavirus pandemic will not be the last unless more effort is put into healing the natural world.

He suggested that by ignoring humanity’s intrinsic links with nature, we were increasingly making ourselves “vulnerable to all sorts of diseases and problems

It would seem that lacking his Mother’s status as the Head of the Church of England Charles is putting himself in the running for Chief Druid.

It takes a bold and supremely plankish man to announce that the answer to the pandemic is to blame ourselves and accept the Green devolution.

And the supreme irony…

Amazon announces :

Amazon has suspended Parler from its Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit, for violating AWS’s terms of services by failing to effectively deal with a steady increase in violent content on the social networking service.

https://www.newsmax.com/us/amazon-parler/2021/01/09/id/1004920/

I trust that the irony is not lost upon you, dear reader. A service which produces some pretty violent movies and TV series, has decided that it is now going to be the arbiter of what people who rent server space from them are allowed to do.

Seriously, you cannot make this up – I am seriously pissed off that a bunch of billionaires are taking it upon themselves to determine what people can and cannot talk about.

If you ain’t concerned then you are really need to give yourself a slap around the chops and perk up some – you need to be in this fight.