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Posts Tagged ‘Democrats

All work and no play makes Lori a dull girl

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Chicago’s Mayor needs a ‘Shining’ ability if she is to communicate her wants and needs to her staff effectively rather than how she’s doing it now with verbal and written communication.

‘Shining’ comes from the famous 1980 horror movie, The Shining, and is the term used by one of the characters to describe psychic abilities that enable mental telepathy between such ‘gifted’ souls.

The alternative is that Mayor Lori Lightfoot (MLL) will have to continue writing emails to her staff like this one recently discovered via FOIA request.

And you thought New Zealand had it bad with the mayors of Auckland and Wellington.

I won’t go so far as to say that Lightfoot is as crazy as a shit-house rat, and I can understand the incredible pressures she’s been under during the last year of Covid lockdowns and Burn Loot Murder/Antifa riots.

But this is not how you communicate with your staff and since she was a law partner you would think that she’d have learned that you don’t do this unless you want to have most of your staff quit and ultimately be fired because your team is not performing. It’s not surprising that her staff turnover has been huge. How she didn’t learn this in the private sector is perhaps more a reflection of the idiosyncratic aspect of law firms and partners.

But she also had many different types of jobs to pay for her university education, including working as an assistant for halls of resident and even as a cook for the school’s football team. She held factory jobs at home during summers to help pay for her education. This background was one of the reasons I had some hope for her as Mayor of Chicago, as well as the fact that she defeated the Daley-machine part of the Chicago Democrat Party so perhaps would not be beholden to those special interests.

Instead we have a fail on all counts.

The whole “Shining” thing arises because people made connections between Lightfoot’s email and this famous scene from the movie.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 19, 2021 at 4:03 pm

Who’s on First? (What’s on second?)

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By mid-2020 some people began to speculate that Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, was making a run for the title of Edith Wilson 2.0.

Edith was the wife of Democrat President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), an all-round POS who was a hard-core racist and segregationist who also took advantage of WWI to execute his wet dream of a command-and-control USA run by genius technocrats like himself. He also managed to fuck up the peace negotiations and US entry into his dream of The League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations.

Luckily he only got about three years to do all this before the GOP won landslide victories in 1920 and reversed almost all of his plans. Good luck also meant his actual efforts were further limited to just two years as the bastard was felled by a stroke in late 1919 that left him severely incapacitated, so much so that he really could not do his job:

“disorders of emotion, impaired impulse control, and defective judgment.”

Dude! I’m getting goosebumps!

Unluckily, Franklin Roosevelt was Wilson’s Secretary of the Navy and in the way of detached, rich men who merely inherit wealth he thought a command-and-control economy was a great idea, although it would take another thirteen years and an economic crisis before he could act on that plan.

Also unluckily it turned out that Edith Wilson was a very competent woman:

Anxious to help the president recover, Tumulty, Grayson, and the First Lady determined what documents the president read and who was allowed to communicate with him. For her influence in the administration, some have described Edith Wilson as “the first female President of the United States.

An accurate observation of that history.

In our time there have been various incidents over the last two years that have steadily reinforced the notion that Joe Biden is just not all there. During his campaign he was kept hidden away as much as possible with frequent “lids” called on activities early in the day to allow him to rest. As President there have been some plaintive public happenings:

“I’d be happy to take questions if that’s what I’m supposed to do, Nance. Whatever you want me to do,”

The live video feed on that was abruptly cut – and that was just questions from Democrat House members.

There have been countless occasions where he’s not even been able to read the teleprompter properly, mangling what he was supposed to say, to things like Jill literally cutting in over the “President” as he stumbled in answering a question about border detention centres.

But it was this photo, an official one from the Whitehouse, that really set people talking. Even in her wildest fever dreams of ambition and tone deaf political skills, Hillary Clinton would never have let a photo like this get out, and Bill’s staff would have doubled down on that.

That’s the President’s chair on Air Force One. I’ve no doubt she has to prep for the G7 given all the nap time the President needs. She’s never far from his side and all that studying shows as she does the speech to the troops and with her “Joe! Pay attention” command keeps the President from being distracted by hot-looking 12 year olds in the audience (“Looks like she’s 19”). Ewwww, but remember folks: “disorders of emotion, impaired impulse control, and defective judgment” emerge not just from stroke victims but senile old men.

Still, I’ll bet the MSM will be all over this, as they would be with any GOP president.

Oh! Right.

To be fair I can see how the Jill Biden thing could be argued as not being a story.

First of all, does anyone really think that Joe Biden, a man who in the prime of his life had all the intellectual power of a root vegetable, is really running things?

Second, it’s not just Jill running him but his Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, plus other members of his team, likely the advisors more than his Cabinet. The COS is a key figure in any Administration and Klain is a connected, savvy guy. We’re basically looking at President Klain.

Somehow I feel comforted knowing that Jill Biden and Klain are on the job.

Of course there are still people who worship the MSM. These are people who are often surprised by real life.

It is correct you moron, and it’s going to get worse. It must in order to deal with the Climate Change Crisis Emergency. But you’ll always have, NO MEAN TWEETS.

Incidentally the title of this post comes from one of the most famous comedy sketches, courtesy of Abbot and Costello, because laughter is the best medicine.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 11, 2021 at 2:13 pm

Jump Joe, Jump

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Manchin that is, Joe Manchin, who is a Democrat Senator from West Virginia – and the jump he should make is to the Republican party since he has just blown up his own party’s plans for destroying the Senate filibuster, thereby screwing a lot of other revolutionary Democrat Party schemes.

Getting rid of the filibuster for all legislation would still have required Vice President Harris to be the tie-braking vote each time, but it would have enabled the Democrats to do whatever they wanted with 51 Senate votes, including packing the Supreme Court.

However the primary goal would have been to pass their “Voting Rights” bill – H.R.1 “For The People Act” (propaganda should always start with a good phrase) – that would federalise (centralise) election management in Washington D.C. and ensure they’d rule the Federal US government as they rule California and Illinois (the Democrats hope).

Manchin told his party to take a hike on that one as well:

I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.

The Democrat Senate caucus meetings may be a tad frosty for a while.

But it’s among the Democrat political activists and MSM journalists where things have naturally dropped to the level of carpet-biting rage, including the following entirely predictable claim about Manchin:

Wow! This is a stunningly original critique from Hill and Jones. It must be all of five minutes since a Republican was called a White Supremacist keen on reviving Jim Crow, but now an Old, White, Male Democrat is getting the treatment! Things must getting serious on “the most dangerous threat to our democracy” front.

Hill is a noted race grifter, having turned a failing gig on ESPN as a sports commentator into a  career as a “journalist” who makes charges of racism against just about everyone who breathes.

However Manchin is not alone. A few weeks ago I noted that he’s been joined in these actions by Arizona Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema, whose “Fuck Off” ring and general demeanour show that she’s a younger generation that is wise to all this MSM/Social Media “rage” bullshit and is not intimidated by it.

I also would not be surprised to learn that there are other Democrat Senators who aren’t that keen on all these grand plans either, given the electoral risks involved, but who are quite happy to use Manchin as a shield.

The voters even more so; while they aren’t vocal, there are still a lot of “liberals” who are more middle of the road politically. Manchin, though he seems like a unicorn, is actually a lot more representative than people think he is.

BTW, nearly 70% of West Virginians voted for Trump so Manchin is basically just representing his constituents, which is his job, and naturally he would also like to keep his job. It’s the reddest state in the union in regards to presidential politics.

As result, every single time a raging leftie Democrat goes after him, he gains more credibility for re-election in that state via Republican voters. The media hate him and his own party despises him. They aren’t trying to earn his support, rather, they are seeking to destroy him.

Moreover do these fanatical FaceTwit idiots understand that all of this may actually drive Manchin into the arms of the Republican Party aside from re-election? He has to know that this isn’t going to get any better. The Democrat Party is not moderating.

The old blue-dog era is dead and buried. Manchin may still have a dream of winding the clock back to 1996 but it’s more a hallucination. Woke politics is now at the forefront, as that old friend of segregationists and tough criminal laws, Joe Biden. shows everyday. Does Manchin really want to stick around so he can get called a racist and a supporter of Jim Crow by his own party?

In fact Manchin doesn’t even have to become a Republican. Instead he can become an independent, negotiate with Republicans for whatever committee assignments he wants in exchange for caucusing with them and tell Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democrats to go fuck themselves.

All of the above is why I wasn’t interested in the hysterical screaming from the US Right when they found themselves facing Democrat control of all three branches of the Federal government after January. That control was razor thin in all three areas. Even with a huge increase in the popular vote the Electoral College win by Biden was slim – in terms of vote difference in the key swing states it was actually smaller than Trump’s win in 2016. The five-six Senate seats the Democrats expected to win never happened and it was only thanks to the unusual event of having not one but two runoff elections in a single state, Georgia, that they even got a tie. As for the House, the GOP lost no seats and cleaned up a dozen or so Democrats, bringing them to within half-a-dozen votes of sending Nancy Pelosi to her final ash heap.

This is nothing like 2008 when the Democrats got all three branches with overwhelming majorities. Back then every US Right winger had serious cause for concern at what they could get done. But sufficient Democrats know how close they are to the razor’s edge to not push things too far.

In theory you could say the same thing about the GOP but the difference here is that it’s the Democrats who are pushing extremist policies across the board, where even a seemingly normal infrastructure bill that could be bipartisan is reduced to being nothing but a porkfest where only simple bribery might get GOP votes. Although the Democrat Operatives with Bylines in the US MSM and around the world do their damndest to portray the opposite, after 2016 few are stupid enough to think that the MSM represents many voters.

The Democrat coalition is unsustainable. The radicals have taken over the leadership, either directly or via proxy, and the further things move left, the more the party splits in two.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 10, 2021 at 3:49 pm

These Six Simple Steps will increase crime

You too can have violent crime like this if you do the following:

  1. Defund the police so that they have to reduce staff and policing activities.
  2. Make it clear that it’s the Police who are the problem, thereby causing officers to quit in large numbers before they become the next scapegoat to political ambition, and severely restrict the policing they do, both of which reinforce step 1.
  3. Have District Attorneys (DA’s) with policies to reduce prison populations by releasing long-term convicted prisoners, including those convicted of violent crime.
  4. Have DA’s release people just arrested by police (no cash bail and so forth), as well as dropping charges against them, especially if they’re BLM or Antifa protestors.
  5. Reduce the thresholds for “minor” crime, like refusing to prosecute unless it’s more than $900-$1000 of theft.
  6. Vote Democrat Party politicians into power in all positions and levels in your city for decades, because One Party control has always worked before.

I should add that there is a seventh step:

Make sure you have an MSM willing to cover your Democrat backside on all this until things become too awful to ignore and then report on it as a surprising new piece of unexpected news.

Burn Loot Murder doesn’t care about Blacks

That’s no surprise to anybody who has studied what they actually do in the inner city areas of the USA.

However, as is usually the case with cults like Antifa, BLM or Stalinists, it takes former members getting woke to the bullshit for other people to start listening, although even then it doesn’t convince the True Believers, or those using it to grift political power, money or even down to the low level of blog comments.

Which is why the following little talk from one Rashad Turner is something to which attention must be paid:

In 2015 Turner helped to found Black Lives Matter in St. Paul, Minnesota. “I believed the organization stood for exactly what the name implies, black lives do matter,” he recounted. “However, after a year on the inside, I learned they have little concern for rebuilding black families and they cared even less about improving the quality of education for students in Minneapolis.”

Well of course they don’t. BLM was created by “trained Marxists” who see such things as tools by which Western capitalist democracies can be damaged enough to be destroyed. That’s always been the dream of Marxists and it’s always been a massive wank that has failed, as will BLM/Antifa.

But not before such Marxists cash in on the sweet, juicy capitalist loot, property ownership and “systemic racism”, all while causing a lot of damage, aided by people like naive people such as Turner who either did not know or did not care about such foundations.

I’d like to think that Turner’s revelation comes purely from a point of personal good will, rather than what I forecast in 2020, which is that in 2021 Democrats would find both BLM and Antifa no longer useful allies following the defeat of OrangeManBad.

Given the ongoing damage to Democrat cities the following should not be a surprise.

Still, there’s 2024 coming up.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 31, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Money. Wall. Pissing against.

You may have thought that the current NZ Labour government was a shocker when it came to spending vast sums of money to no good effect, but as is often the case now, the US state of California leads the way.

As if the high taxes, poverty, filth, crime, killer fires, water problems and energy problems were not bad enough it appears that they can’t even run a basic book keeping process.

This is Betty Yee, and she is the “State Controller” of California, which means that she is the person responsible for:

  • “Accountability and disbursement of the state’s financial resources.”
  • “Auditing all funds disbursed by the state and all claims presented for payments to [her office.]”

Given that California is the world’s fifth largest economy, that is a hell of a lot of spending responsibility. Her office issued 49 million checks in payments worth $320 billion in 2018.

Being in a public office she’s also accountable directly to the public in terms of more than just votes, being required to produce information about all this spending, subject to the usual Official Information Requests that we see across the Western world. There’s always scrapping between such offices and the people demanding the information as to timely releases and so forth – no bureaucrat is ever keen on revealing everything to the proles – but by and large the process works.

So it was no surprise when some activist group called Open the Books (OTB), requested to see the line item details of all these payments, starting in 2013. The letter they finally got in 2019 surprised the hell out of them:

“The State of California, State Controller’s Office does not maintain a centralized vendor contract database which would allow it to identify all contracts regardless of the agency awarding such contract,”

That came from Yee’s general counsel Richard Chivaro, who went further:

“In fact, many state contracts are paid for directly by the contracting agency,” Chivaro continued. “This procedure allows the contracting agency to make such payments as expeditiously as possible thereby taking advantage of an early payment discount which may be available.” 

“Moreover, the Controller’s Office receives literally thousands of claims for payment daily. Claims are batched by date received and are not segregated, logged or otherwise tracked by agency employee or payment type. Consequently, because of the way the claims are batched and processed by this office, we are unable to locate or otherwise provide you with the documents requested,”

The fuck? In other words the Controller’s Office literally cannot answer the question of where all the money went in a $302 billion spending list. They simply do not and cannot know exactly who got the money because they just don’t bother tracking that level of detail.

Incredible. Almost beyond belief.

OTB is suing the state of California but frankly I don’t how that can succeed: if the system doesn’t track this stuff at a line item level (or even a couple of levels up) then what’s the lawsuit going to produce? They have had to sue Illinois and Wyoming in the past to get such data, but they did get it in the end, and they did not need to take such action to get spending records from the other 47 states according to the OTB Chairman:

“We even get the checkbooks from the historically, systemically corrupt Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,” he said. “We do get the second set of books from there.” 

In some respects it’s hardly surprising given an earlier story that blew out of the same state a few months ago:

California Labor Secretary Julie Su told reporters in a conference call Monday that of the $114 billion the state has paid in unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic, 10 percent, or $11.4 billion, involves fraud and another 17 percent is under investigation. 

Nearly all of the fraudulent claims were paid through the federally supported Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The program was approved by Congress to provide unemployment assistance to those who usually wouldn’t be eligible, such as independent contractors. 

The even got scammed by the usual suspects, criminal organisations from Russia and Nigeria, as well as 21,000 prisoners in the state who scored more than $400 million, including 100 prisoners on death row

I like to think the latter group really just did it for kicks, given that they’re not likely to be able to spend any of it.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 29, 2021 at 2:20 pm

His plea on “systemic racism” will be ignored

John McWhorter’s that is. He’s pictured here. He’s a linguist professor at Columbia University, where he also teaches philosophy and music history. His research speciality is creole languages.

Like most linguists he hates the sloppy use of words and grammar, but in this article he goes after the recent term “systemic racism” because he thinks it’s useless, unhelpful and racist itself.

But if the mantra is that what we need to do to solve black America’s problems is “get rid of systemic racism,” we’re in trouble. That analysis, be it explicit or tacit, is based on a third-grader’s understanding of how a society works. More importantly, that analysis does not help black people and often hurts us.

I’m always amused by academics who can’t see the political aspects of what they’re discussing, in this case the simple fact that “systemic racism” is far too politically useful to the Left at the moment to stop being used.

It’s useful in two ways.

First, it puts opponents on the back foot in the same way that hurling the simple word, “racism” does, but with the added benefit of not sounding like a direct attack. The Leftist is not actually calling you a racist – just the system in which we all live; the implication being that if you don’t want to radically change the system it’s likely because you’re privileged by it and… well, you know… You’re a….

McWhorter actually does get this visceral aspect and argues that it’s one of the reasons why the approach is so useless in solving real problems – but he still grants good faith to the people using the term.

The second reason is that it can be used to explain away a multitude of failures in Left-wing institutions that have been built over the last hundred years. Are Blacks and other “People of Colour” (POC) falling behind in education, healthcare and social welfare stats? Well, the explanation is not that Public Health, Public Education and Public Welfare are shoddy structures with poor incentives, or even counter-productive ones built in. No, the explanation is that they’re systemically racist.

Where will it get us, beyond thrilling rhetoric, to pretend that with racism, the difference between past and present doesn’t matter? Most of us get that this is, in the present tense, “racism without racists.”

I can see real problems for the Left in pushing this theory, since the initial proposed solution is a basic re-programming of the minds of all the White people in those institutions. Such brainwashing strategies have a bad history of cruelty and failure. As it fails the next logical step will be to create separate entities for POC: a separate healthcare, education and welfare system.

Is this sounding familiar to you as a New Zealander? It should as He Puapua hoves into view. Ye Olde Tyme Leftie Chris Trotter is already shitting bricks about the implications for his beloved Public world, as he should be.

But back to McWhorter’s critique of “systemic racism” in the US. The article specifically looks at the failure of Black kids in US education – but the argument used there is used in all the other areas of society; that the discrepancies between Black kids education and other American groups is due to systemic racism. This theory has the official stamp of the US government and legal system with the approved term being “Disparate Impact”: if there is disparate impact then it means that racism is present, even when explicitly non-racist practices are used.

McWhorter lists the usual reasons for Black school failure: lousy schools and Black families that perhaps don’t have the “cultural capital” to invest in their kids (unlike Asian families especially). But he points out that the gap exists in good schools and that “hard-pressed, semi-educated” Caribbean and African immigrant families get their kids into top schools.

He then references a detailed study done in 1997 of the attitudes that Black kids have to schools and education:

I know of no study that more elegantly gets across a subtle but determinative difference between how black and white kids tend to process the school thing. For the black kids, school is something “else,” something for “them,” beyond the comfort zone; for the white kids, it is part of the comfort zone.

Casteel’s study pointed up a quieter aspect of something richly documented nationwide – a sense among black teens that school is “white” and that real black kids don’t hit the books. 

But precisely because Casteel’s study did not blame racism the study is argued against by Black academics, even though:

a) Note that our issue here is not assailing black kids for being lazy students.

b) We cannot fall back on the idea that the kids’ white teachers were “racisming” them, because the black kids said they did their work for the teacher, just not their parents.

c) Casteel was not a white Republican or anything close. He is a black man, having been a career educator among many things, deeply devoted to helping the black community.

But what would such a man know compared to someone with a PhD in some aspect of Critical Race Theory?

McWhorter tackles the non-solution of “Systemic Racism” head on:

“Undoing the racism in the system,” in this light, is word magic, not an intelligent prescription for change in the real world.

If our only approach must be to show that we aren’t racists by “eliminating the racism” embedded in societal procedures, then of course the new idea is that we should eliminate whatever it is that is challenging black students. Just tear it down.

But here is where we get whites smiling nervously and pretending to think that actually getting the answer is white, that being competitively tested is white (unless, I guess, it’s on a basketball court or in a rap battle?), that being expected to raise your hand and give an answer is white.

Which leads to this killer point:

And anyone who misses that this is exactly the way Strom Thurmond wanted it is all but working to be ignorant.

Of course that’s “anti-racism” in a nutshell.

A different solution is proposed:

It would seem that our solution to the kind of thing Casteel identified is putting extra effort into training black kids for tests, getting the word out among them about the value of collaboration in studying (which blunts the idea that studying is not what “we” do), valuing black kids learning next to each other in solid charter schools over the idea that they are better off learning next to middle class white kids (despite some evidence of slightly better performance in such cases – priorities will differ), and other things.

But of all of our strategies, “get rid of the racism” is the goofiest, most unreasoning and ultimately most harmful.

Well sure, but that’s the academic in him. Politically “systemic racism” is incredibly useful for the Left, so the harm does not matter, but read the whole thing anyway.

UPDATE:

Well looky here –White privilege’ is infecting the education system – H/T Homepaddock:

“Teachers are being shown videos that instruct them to list their ‘privileges’ and view their students in terms of racial groupings. The training modules we have seen state that ‘education is a form of symbolic violence’ and that the structure of school day doesn’t work for Pacific learners who ‘are not tuned into the different parts of the day’.

As I keep saying, focusing on the USA is worthwhile because almost all of what develops there turns up in New Zealand sooner or later. Also keep note of the “Right-Wing” politicians and activists of the National Party as they mindlessly repeat the term “systemic racism”.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 28, 2021 at 10:48 am

California Screaming – Fire

For decades in the USA there has been a cartoon character who would warn the good people of America that:

Only YOU can prevent forest fires”.

Smokey the Bear was invented in 1944 by the US Forest Service as a way of enlisting the public in helping them fight forest fires, which was also a wartime concern as Japan tried forest fire attacks via balloons launched into the stratosphere aimed at the USA’s West Coast.

In addition to this the US Forest Service decided to throw everything and the kitchen sink at fighting these fires, using as much technology and manpower as they could afford, which was a lot in the booming post-war American economy. Their compatriots in the National Park service followed suit.

But as the years went by they began to notice that the fires were getting worse – much worse – even as they did everything to slow them down and stop them. Finally, in the early 1960’s, the Department of the Interior commissioned a study to look at ecosystem problems across the board in National Park, including predator control (Yellowstone elk were having to be constantly culled) and what came to be called fire ecology.

What the conclusions boiled down to for fire was that the “kill the fire” policy was actually making things worse because it was allowing huge buildups of fuel on the floors of the forests instead of steadily reducing and then stabilising it. So when fires did break out they became monsters.

So by the late 1960’s/early 70’s the policy was changed from suppression to management, allowing fires to burn while keeping an eye on them and acting only to protect developed areas. Events like the massive 1988 Yellowstone fires resulted in public and political backlash about this but although the decision criteria around fire fighting was modified the basic policy remained. However, the environmental movement began to impact this in other ways. Not that they went back to fire suppression, but – thinking that they were being kind to the environment – they started doing things that caused the same problems:

Shortly before leaving office in 2001, Clinton limited the ability of the United States Forest Service to thin out a dense thicket of foliage and downed trees on federal land to bring the West into a pristine state, Bob Zybach, an experienced forester with a PhD in environmental science, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. The former president’s decision created a ticking time bomb, Zybach argues.

“If you don’t start managing these forests, then they are going to start burning up. Thirty years later, they are still ignoring it,”

It was more than just underbrush management:

Under this policy, thousands of miles of forest roads were ripped out, roads built to allow the harvesting of timber, but also used by firefighters to access wildfires in the hinterlands before they spread to populated regions. And timber harvests plunged as much as 84 percent from 12 billion board feet per year to less than 2 billion board feet per year.

California was, as usual, the leader in this policy for the future, being even more fanatical than Clinton’s policies, (although other Western states like Colorado and Oregon are up there) reducing the state’s timber industry to less than a third the size of what it was 60 years ago. The state now imports 80% of its timber.

You would think that, given the natural dryness of California and the massive forests in the state, its leaders would not have been so stupid as to ignore the science. But even worse than the national logging policy, California’s Green sentiment also prevented controlled burns (for fear of disrupting animal habitats) and barred even minor brush-clearing programs.

As a result its forests are now twice as dense as they were 150 years ago — when the population was a fraction of today’s. Behind that unnatural density: state and federal rules that make it nearly impossible (and insanely expensive) to lay a finger on any of this precious overgrowth.

historically, ponderosa pines grew in stands of 20 to 55 trees per acre, but in some areas, they now grow in densities of 300 to 900 trees per acre. The unnatural density allowed what were formerly isolated pockets of insect infestations to morph into massive infestations killing large swaths of forests. There are now more dead trees in many federal forests than live ones, drying out and becoming growing stockpile of fuel for wildfires. Indeed, the U.S. Forest Service estimates more than 190 million acres of public land, almost all of it in the arid west, are at risk of catastrophic fires.

There’s a whole generation
With a new explanation

In addition to the mountain forests the hillsides above the cities of San Francisco, LA and most others are also overgrown with drought-stricken scrub and half-dead trees, in part due to restrictions on grazing, brush removal, as well as logging. They’re the kindling.

And it’s not just the evil Right Wing of the Heritage Foundation that’s pointing this out. Here’s The Guardian:

As part of a project to study California’s fire history, we sampled almost 2,000 fire-scarred trees and stumps in the Sierra Nevada. What was equally arresting as finding 10 or more scars in a single tree, however, is what we did not find. Of the hundreds of living trees we sampled, only a handful had even a single fire scar in the 20th century. 

Naturally, because it’s the Grundian, there’s shout-outs to Global Warming and the genius fire management of indigenous peoples, but the key point is not denied and it’s not just current science but history telling the tale:

… a 2007 paper in the journal Forest Ecology and Management found prior to European colonization in the 1800s, more than 4.4 million acres of California forest and shrub-land burned annually, far more than the area of California that has burned since 2000, which ranges from 90,000 acres to 1,590,000 acres per year.

But even though wildfires have declined over all in the USA (and around the world), in California 10 of the state’s 20 largest, most deadly fires ever occurred in the last decade.

To make things worse California’s leaders, instead of admitting they got it wrong, have actually been using the wildfires of recent years as an excuse to go even crazier on the environmental front, via blaming the fires on AGW.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. They warn of cataclysmic climate change if we don’t suddenly remove the fossil fuel energy on which their state (and the Western world) built its modern, prosperous, comfortable lifestyle. Then they work against any sensible management of California’s forests that would reduce the severity of routine regular wildfires. Then, when the wildfires become record-breaking conflagrations, they point and say, “See, I told you so.”

They’re like arsonists admiring their handiwork from afar.

Just one other example of how these political and media “environmentalists” don’t understand the environment is shown in how they shed tears about the terrible fires destroying the great redwood forests:

“Hundreds of trees burned at Big Basin Redwoods State Park,” reported Shawn Hubler and Kellen Browning for The New York Times. “Park officials closed it on Wednesday, another casualty of the wildfires that have wracked the state with a vengeance that has grown more apocalyptic every year.”

“The protected trees, some 2,500 years old, were nearly wiped out by loggers in the 1800s,” claimed CBS News’ Jonathan Vigliotti. “Now human-caused climate change has damaged or destroyed many of these ancient giants.”

Except that these old-growth redwood forests need fire to survive and thrive. Heat from fire is required for the release and germination of redwood seeds, and to burn up the woody debris on the forest floor. The trees themselves survive – as long as the fires are of normal, historic scale, rather than monsters fueled by the stupidity of environmentalists:

“I see [the current California fires] as a normal event, just not one that happens every year,” Jon Keeley, a leading forest scientist, told me. “On July 30, 2008, we had massive fires throughout northern California due to a series of lightning fires in the middle of the summer,” he said. “It’s not an annual event, but it’s not an unusual event.”

“The idea that fire is somehow new,” said geographer Paul Robbins of the University of Wisconsin, “a product solely of climate change, and part of a moral crusade for the soul of the nation, borders on the insane.” 

The cherry on top is that despite all this sturm and drang, California’s GHG emissions over the past decade have fallen less than 39 other states.

Coastal California is hilly, difficult to build on, and prone to devastating earthquakes. It is semi-arid, without much of an aquifer. The watershed of the Sierra Nevadas is more than 200 miles away. In other words, some of the people most eager to offer green sermons to others live in one of the most artificial and ecologically fragile environments on the planet, and they’ve been managing it very poorly even as they’ve shouted their own praises from the rooftops.

On his final day in office in January 2019, California Governor Jerry Brown admitted as much by quietly signing bills removing impediments to “controlled burns” and allotting $190 million a year to “improve forest health and fire prevention.” Whether this is followed up by enough practical action to slow down the monster fires is yet another question since the state increasingly can’t seem to accomplish anything.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 22, 2021 at 9:43 am

California Screaming – Water

From the 1900’s to the 1970’s California made huge plans for its future, building power stations and the transmission lines to link them, bridges and expressways for transport, and dams, canals, and aqueducts.

The latter was part of a vast system designed to bring water from the snowy mountains of the Sierra Nevadas to the deserts of the Central Valley and the coastal cities.

The dryness of those cities had been noted early on:

Our California ancestors understood this; they saw, after the 1906 earthquake, that the dry hills of San Francisco and the adjoining peninsula could never rebuild without grabbing all the water possible from the distant Hetch Hetchy watershed. I have never met a Bay Area environmentalist or Silicon Valley grandee who didn’t drink or shower with water imported from a far distant water project

It was a golden era and through the 1950’s it was planned for 25 million people. As the 1970’s rolled around new plans for further development were made in all these areas, for a 21st century population of 40 million or more. But then something terrible happened.

Actually that’s being unfair to the hippies, although they did vote for the real problem – Jerry Brown, seen here on a Time cover as he ran for election in 1974.

Jerry’s father was known as the builder of California, especially with the California State Water Project.

Perhaps it was just the usual father-son dynamic but Jerry turned his back on all that and began cancelling such projects as far and as fast as he could. Thanks to the 1960’s Counter-Culture revolution he had plenty of support from California Democrats in the State House and Senate.

The 10 largest reservoirs in California were built between 1927 and 1979. The New Melones Dam was the last of these, work already advanced enough that they couldn’t kill it. It was completed in 1979. Since then, 15 million more people have been added to the state’s population.

To a certain extent the voters cannot be blamed, since they have approved 15 of 16 state water bonds since 1970, yet this did not deliver major new water storage or canals nor maintain existing infrastructure. They can be blamed for voting in the likes of Brown and company who either didn’t care or actively opposed such plans.

Since California is basically a desert state, with a geological history of droughts, this was going to bite them in the bum sooner or later and the irony is that the worst drought in decades started not long after Brown climbed back into the throne in 2011 for another two-terms as Governor.

He wasn’t helped by the fact that his immediate predecessor. two term GOP Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger (2003-2011), while hectoring state residents about global warming, green energy, wind and solar power in a beautiful example of UniParty thinking, allowed things to get even crazier, as this 2010 report noted:

It started with a 2008 federal court order that stopped water flowing from northern tributaries on a supposed need to protect a small fish — the delta smelt — that was getting ground up in the turbines of pump stations that divert the water south. The court knew it was bad law, but Congress refused to exempt the fish from the Endangered Species Act and the diversion didn’t help the fish.

After that, the water cutoff was blamed on “drought,” though northern reservoirs are currently full. Now the cry is “save the salmon,” a reference to water needs of the state’s northern fisheries.

Whatever the excuse, 75% of the fresh water that has historically irrigated California is now being washed to the open sea. For farmers in the southwest part of the valley, last year’s cutoff amounted to 90%.

It was also a waste of time for the fish, as reported by The Wall Street Journal in 2015:

“To protect smelt from water pumps, government regulators have flushed 1.4 trillion gallons of water into the San Francisco Bay since 2008

That would have been enough to sustain 6.4 million Californians for six years. Yet a survey of young adult smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta last fall yielded just eight fish, the lowest level since 1967.”

“Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.”

So no extra storage provided in those eight years either and water sent running to the sea. Actually that’s what Noah Cross did in the movie Chinatown. Of course, he was one of the creepiest movie villains of all time, whereas this was done by Congress and environmentalists, which somehow makes it better.

As a result there was no margin for error left in the system and as the drought grew worse in Brown’s first term he finally had no choice but to impose water restrictions, starting in 2015 with a target of 25% usage reduction and then going even harder in 2018:

California citizens will be limited to using 55 gallons of water a day now and just 50 per day by 2030.

According to the San Jose  Mercury News, the new laws will “require cities, water districts and large agricultural water districts to set strict annual water budgets, face fines of $1,000 per day if they don’t meet them, and $10,000 a day during drought emergencies.”

As some have noted, the restriction could make it difficult for some California citizens to do laundry and take a shower on the same day without going over the limit.

Naturally, rather than blaming themselves for the short-sighted decisions over the years, or changing their minds and policies, the California Democrats began attacking the state’s agricultural industry for “wasting” the water. However:

It’s now popular to deride California agriculture in cost-benefit terms, given that its share of state GNP (anywhere from 4 percent to 8 percent, depending on how one counts related industries) supposedly does not justify its huge allotted consumption of state water (anywhere from 65 percent to 80 percent). But note the irony: California supplies a staggering percentage of the nation’s fresh vegetables and fruits; it’s among the most efficient producers in the world of beef, dairy, and staple crops.

One can purchase an iPhone 6 or a neat new Apple watch, but he still must eat old-fashioned, pre-tech food. There are no calories in Facebook, and even Google can’t supply protein. On the other hand, I can live without an iPad. Who is to say which industry is essential and which isn’t?

The drought would grind on for fifty months as Brown and friends watched in a calm and detached manner the inland parts of the State start to die:

[As of 2015 the]Central California water table has fallen in depth anywhere from 50 to 500 feet—the severity predicated on the distance from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. That decline has prompted the drilling of thousands of new private wells, but at costs often quadruple the pre-drought rate.

Small rural homes with dry wells, especially along the western corridors of the valley, are now often abandoned. If they had been rented out, several years of rental income would not have paid for the exorbitant cost of new replacement domestic wells. Most valley residents, especially those retired, could not afford the $60- to $100-a-foot expense to drill down hundreds of feet to tap falling water.

There were also perverse results in agriculture:

The huge demand for limited drilling rigs, the need to drill to unprecedented levels to find water, the soaring power bills to pump from greater depths, and the increase in permanent orchard and vineyard acreage all conspired to spike agricultural expenses.

Only the record net profits from almonds (between $5,000 and $9,000 per acre) allow new wells to be drilled. The larger the farm, the more frequently profitable almonds are planted, the more reasonably an operation can afford the cost of buying scarce surface water or drilling deeper—and the more likely smaller farmers sell or lease out their ground to those with the capital to make the costly transition to almond and other nut orchards.

So the Big Guys got even bigger thanks to the Democrats and with even more mono-cropping. In addition almonds and other nuts are the most mechanized of all crops, so that crunched down hard on the working classes who otherwise would have had thousands of farm jobs in the vineyards and fruit orchards that were ripped out to plant almonds. The final joke is that these crops use about the same amount of water per year, so no water savings on that front.

The following is an excellent documentary on the Central Valley disaster, Dead Harvest:

Après nous, le déluge

Meteorologists had long forecasted that the cyclical return of the so-called El Niño Southern Oscillation – the rise in temperature of a band of ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific – would end the California drought. The warmer Pacific alters winds, air temperature, and atmospheric pressures and thus reroutes northern storms to their proper course over the Western United States.

At the end of 2015 that is exactly what happened.

The cherry on top of this whole drought disaster was that when the rain and snow finally did start to fall and as the weather turned even wetter through 2016 and 2017, there was nowhere to store all that extra water.

There would have been if the giant reservoirs of The Sites, Los Banos Grandes, and Temperance Flat had been built – basically the second stage of the California State Water Project. They would have drought-proofed the state for years. To make matters worse, the existing, aging infrastructure, starved of maintenance for years, could barely cope, as witnessed by the crumbling spillways of the Oroville Dam, the tallest dam in the United States, which threatened a massive breach in early 2017.

Given the lack of water-storage capacity, and due to environmental diversions, 20 million acre-feet of precious water had simply been washed to the ocean by early 2017. That’s 6.5 trillion gallons or 24.6 trillion litres of water: enough to sustain about twenty million Californians for ten years.

That is criminal mismanagement. About the only thing that is funny about it is that a bunch of arrogant, ignorant environmental fantasists have found themselves at the mercy of early and mid-20th century water systems that they now condemn.

There is also some irony in the fact that while the likes of Brown and Newsom politicised the drought by blaming man-made global warming and leveraged that to obtain even more extreme environmental rules and nutty projects like high speed trains, instead of attending to water infrastructure (among other basics) – the Meteorological analysis that accurately forecast what would end the last drought also works in the opposite direction; a natural, cyclical and slight cooling of the Pacific Ocean will cause future droughts in California.

And that’s before we get to the likelihood of the return of mega-droughts lasting 100, 200 years or more.

Will the Democrat government of Californian be ready for the next drought? I don’t think so. To paraphrase the French diplomat, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, officials in Sacramento “have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.”

But that’s okay. The state needs to shrink drastically anyway. Losing twenty million people to other states would fit the population to the old infrastructure and make the place sustainable again.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 10, 2021 at 6:00 am

Putting White Supremacy in its place

A year ago, as the BLM/Antifa riots were sweeping across cities controlled by the Democrat Party, I rolled my eyes at various claims that it was really just a beatup by the Right-Wing.

There were no apparently no organised groups behind all this and the claims of Communism were just another aspect of US history repeating itself – despite the founders of BLM being quite upfront about their Marxist “training”, as Antifa is about Anarchism. Unlike earlier times in America the Far Left is isn’t exactly hiding behind the bushes.

Jerry Nadler

In fact the grotesque creature seen here – senior Democrat, Jerry Nadler – went so far as to say of Antifa violence that:

“It’s a myth being spread in Washington D.C.”.

But that was pretty typical of the Democrats in 2020, who were afraid of being linked to Antifa, even as they could point to the riots and blame Trump – as well as “systemic racism”.

Almost one year on, things have changed, especially in Antifa’s hometown, Portland, Oregon:

“I’ve extended the state of emergency through the weekend. Our job is to unmask them, arrest them, and prosecute them. I want to personally thank neighbors, family, friends and others who have come forward with vital evidence. People know who these criminals are. They know what they’re up to. If you have any information, please contact the police. Acting Chief Davis will provide specifics shortly.

“I also want you to know that these people often arrive at their so-called direct actions, in cars. And they’re all dressed in all black. If you see this, call the police. If you can provide a license plate, if you can do so safely, that information can help later. Together we can make a stand. We’re doing what we can today. I’m also asking for your help to make a stand and take our city back.”

“Let’s make them hurt a little bit,”

That’s the Democrat mayor of Portland who in 2020 refused to condemn or do anything meaningful to stop Antifa even after they forced him to flee his home and sucker-punched him while he ate at a restaurant.

But that was back when OrangeManBad had to be defeated. To be fair to Mayor Wheeler it at least means that he wasn’t just prepared to sacrifice his voters to the Antifa mob but was willing to put his own body on the line to defeat a GOP President.

Now that’s tribal politics.

It’s not exactly tribal but certainly ideological when one of our commentators back then went as far as saying about the US that:

Everyone makes a fuss for a bit, then they go back to white supremacy as normal.

I guess whiter-than-white Mayor Wheeler is an example of this, given that he’s a Democrat, which is supposedly more Right-wing than the National Party. Of course it may be that even Wheeler is rebelling at the basic message being imparted here about White Americans.

The real problem may come when Wheeler discovers just how many of these Antifa goons are White People, and probably White People of means or with connections, or both.

Clara Kraebber, a wealthy 20 year old Rice University student in New York City was one of eight BLM rioters arrested after they were seen running around a tony part of New York smashing windows, to the tune of $100,000 worth of damage.

Her father is a professor with the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry while her Mother owns an architectural firm in Manhattan. They own a $1.8 million apartment in the Upper East Side. They also own a second home in Connecticut.

I know that you’ll be stunned to find out that she made bail and that the prosecutors dropped all the charges.

Thus does White Supremacy roll in America.

I should probably start a betting pool on the group listed below who were arrested in Portland on just one “normal” night last year: how many have served any jail time at all, aside from cooling their heels overnight before they made bail?

They’re also the sort of White People who love doing shit like this – with the approval of their own conscience.

Jeez dude. They did have good reason: they punched you because you’re a Nazi, and the reason that we know you’re a Nazi is that they punched you.

It seems that the Black people of Burn Loot Murder in Portland have also figured this out, hence a recent letter asking the Woke White Folk to stop ruining things:

As an array of Black writers, speakers, artists, activists, teachers, parents and professionals, we already struggle to survive in a state that makes every effort to reshuffle and erase us. We need our allies in this fight to understand and honor this fact. Understand that doing damage to us, our communities, and our resources undoes the work we do.

Black people are not a monolith, and having a complicit Black person in your planning space does not indicate support from the Black community. For decades, efforts towards Black Liberation have suffered at the hands of both well-meaning allies and predatory opportunists, and over the last year we have watched as people have profited from and damaged our movement without our consent or approval.

Predatory opportunists pretty much sums it up, although that’s the Far Left in a nutshell and covers the BLM leaders themselves when it comes to property. Or holidays:

A Los Angeles-based jail reform group led by BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors spent nearly $26,000 for “meetings” at a luxury Malibu beach resort in 2019, according to campaign finance records reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Now that’s sticking it to The Man. Go Patrisse, you little “trained Marxist” you.

Part of the reason for the Portland BLM letter was that Antifa smashed up The Portland Boys and Girls Club, which largely serves and helps Black and Hispanic children and their families. The Antifa attack was the second time they’d damaged the building and it’s estimated that this damage will cost $20,000.

Or as this Black resident of Portland says, after seeing Antifa smashing up yet another symbol of Capitalism, in this case a Popeye’s Chicken store:

I think that it’s some bullshit. I think that they tearing down our community, and they teaching our kids wrong. Look at these kids. These kids, they grew up in this community. Now, they can’t even go sit down and eat a piece of chicken because they tore up the damn store.”

“I don’t think these are protests“.

She’s right. That is some bullshit.

On the other hand she likely voted for all that enabled it, meaning the Democrat Party, from City to State to Federal level.

Written by Tom Hunter

April 28, 2021 at 12:00 pm