There’s little I find more annoying than a bunch of rich people lecturing the peons about how something we’re doing is “bad” but then they turn around and do the exact same thing times ten because it’s different when they do it.
I’m talking about environmental hypocrisy.
I like the environment as much as anyone else. I take my reusable bags to the store. I re-use just about everything until it can’t be used any more (a practice I began when I was flat broke and couldn’t afford to add a box of ziplock bags to my grocery cart for school lunches every week.) We try to reduce the amount of trash we create. My family makes all sorts of choices that are good for the environment because we want to be good stewards of the earth.
But it’s pretty annoying to see a bunch of rich people take 114 private jets to an Italian island so they can talk about how crappy the rest of us are to the planet.
And then to hear them say that their private jet flight is “carbon neutral” because they made a financial donation is positively idiotic.
US government-led “coalitions” often have less to them than is claimed. The latest coalition turns out to be the usual suspects in the Middle East: the US, the UK, and Israel. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
When Washington announced a few weeks ago the formation of a maritime “international coalition” to “protect shipping” in the Persian Gulf, many observers were skeptical. Now skepticism has rightly turned to alarm, as the proposed US-led “coalition” transpires to comprise a grand total of just three nations: the US, Britain and Israel.
The term “coalition” has always been a weasel word used by Washington to give its military operations around the world a veneer of international consensus and moral authority. If the US goes ahead with deploying forces in the Persian Gulf the guise of “coalition” is threadbare. It will be seen for what it is: naked aggression.
Iran promptly warned that if the US, Britain and Israel move on their intention to deploy in the Persian Gulf, it will not hesitate to defend itself from a “clear threat”.
Britain has ordered this week another warship, HMS Kent, to the Gulf. The move, significantly, occurred as Trump’s hawkish national security advisor John Bolton was in London for two-day official meetings with PM Boris Johnson and other senior ministers. Bolton praised Britain’s decision to join the US-led Operation Sentinel mission, rather than an alternative proposed European naval mission. It’s not clear if HMS Kent is simply replacing another British warship in the Gulf, HMS Duncan, or if this is a further buildup in force. Either way, the line up of US, Britain and reportedly Israel is a foreboding potential offensive.
Frank Shostak explores the fraud that is the Gross Domestic Product statistic, and its wider implications. From Shostak at mises.org:
To gain insight into the state of an economy, most financial experts and commentators rely on a statistic called the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP framework looks at the value of final goods and services produced during a particular time interval, usually a quarter or a year.
This statistic is constructed in accordance with the view that what drives an economy is not the production of wealth but rather its consumption. What matters here is the demand for final goods and services. Since consumer outlays are the largest part of the overall demand, it is commonly held that consumer demand is the key driver of economic growth.
All that matters in this view is the demand for goods, which in turn will give rise almost immediately to their supply. Because the supply of goods is taken for granted, this framework ignores the whole issue of the various stages of production that precede the emergence of the final good.
However, in order to manufacture a car, there is a need for coal to be employed in the production of steel, which in turn will be employed to manufacture an array of tools. These in turn are used to produce other tools and machinery and so on, until we reach the final stage of the production of a car. The harmonious interaction of the various stages of production results in the final product.
Within the GDP framework, the aspect of funding economic activity never emerges. In this framework goods emerge because of people’s desires. In the real world, it is not enough to have demand for goods – one must have the means to accommodate people’s desires. The means are various final goods that are required to sustain various individuals in the various stages of production.
We’re closing in on the point where everything not explicitly permitted by the government is forbidden. From Dagny Taggart at theorganicprepper.com:
A few weeks ago, I noticed a woman standing in my neighbor’s yard doing something I thought was pretty damn strange: she was measuring blades of grass with a tape measure.
Then I noticed the city truck parked on the street.
Turns out, the woman was with codes compliance or whatever they call it…apparently, her job is to drive around looking for reasons to harass and extort people for things like tall grass.
When I realized who she was and what she was doing, my next thoughts were “Are there not real problems in this city that need attention? There are people who drive around and measure grass for a living? And these employees are paid with taxpayer money…to extort taxpayers?”
It isn’t like there aren’t real problems in this city. Like most regions in the US, there are things like potholes, traffic light outages, crime, and other random issues that, to a logical thinker, seem more pressing than the height of residents’ lawns.
“After watching seven hours of a spectacle that felt much more cruel than enlightening, I cannot avoid pondering a question which honestly gives me no joy to ponder: just how much damage has MSNBC in particular done to the left?” The Hill’s Rising star began, before excoriating her former employer’s “fevered speculations” about an “Infowars conspiracy theory” and the way it hosted people like Jonathan “maybe Trump has been a Russian asset since the 1980s” Chait and “conspiracy gadfly Louise Mensch” in search of ratings bumps.
“This whole setup has done more damage to the Democrats’ chances of winning back the White House than anything that Trump could ever have dreamed up,” Ball argued. “Think about all the time and the journalistic resources that could have been dedicated to stories that, I don’t know, that a broad swath of people might actually care about? Healthcare, wages, the teachers’ movement, whether we’re going to war with Iran? I’m just spitballing here. I actually heard some pundit on Chris Hayes last night opine that independent women in middle America were going to be swayed by what Mueller said yesterday. Are you kidding me? This is almost as bonkers and lacking in factual basis as that time Mimi Rocah said that Bernie Sanders is not pro-women because that was what her feelings told her. Rocah, by the way, a political prosecutor with no political background, is only opining at MSNBC because of her role in leading viewers to believe that any day now SDNY is going to bring down Trump and his entire family.”
So much of what the establishment and its press purveys is, if you think about it all, absolutely horrible. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:
In a recent interview with CBS This Morning host Gayle King, former First Lady Michelle Obama contrasted her husband’s presidency with that of his successor by claiming that unlike Trump, the Obama family had had “no scandal”.
“I had to sit in [Trump’s inauguration] audience, one of a handful of people of color and then listen to that speech, and all that I had sort of held onto for eight years, watching my husband get raked over the coals, feeling like we had to do everything perfectly, you know, no scandal,” Obama said.
“Yeah,” King responded.
“No nothing,” Obama said “No nothing!”
“Yes. No scandal,” King said.
You hear this claim a lot from Democrats. There was a viral tweet with tens of thousands of shares shortly before the 2016 election which read, “8 years. No scandals. No mistresses. No impeachment hearings. Just class and grace, personified.” It’s a very common refrain which resurfaces in memes and tweets periodically, usually as criticisms of the sitting president.
That Robert Mueller had never heard of Fusion GPS tells you all you need to know about his investigation. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
Who imagined that in the climactic scene of the blockbuster RussiaGate fantasy, when the curtain was ripped away, the Wizard at the controls would turn out to be… Captain Queeg! We need not rehearse all the depressing particulars of Robert Mueller’s six-hour public humiliation in two House committee hearings in order to reach a set of conclusions about the conduct of his rogue investigation and the perfidious report issued in his name.
One is that Robert Mueller could not have run his investigation. There is even reason to question that he was briefed on the day-to-day developments by the people who did run it — since, for instance, he apparently never heard the phrase “Fusion GPS,” that is, the swarm of flying monkeys who delivered the whole shebang’s predicate documents known as the Steele Dossier simultaneously to the FBI, The Washington Post, and The New York Times beginning in 2016. By his testimony Wednesday, Mr. Mueller gives fresh and tragic meaning to the term useful idiot.
The two-year inquisition was run by attorneys Andrew Weissmann and Jeanie Rhee, two arch Hillary Clinton partisans (the latter a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation), leading now to the conclusion that the Mueller Investigation itself was no less a Clinton operation than the Steele Dossier. I wonder if it will become known whether Mrs. Clinton herself was in regular communication with Weissmann and Rhee during these years, or who were the intermediaries between them. Surely federal attorney John Durham has the mojo to seize phone records of the Mueller Team and find out exactly who was checking in with whom.
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