I don’t think anyone doubts that the future of any political party lies in the young leaders. The Republicans have Dan Crenshaw. And the Democrats have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AOC grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, and attended the prestigious Boston University. After graduating, she worked as a bartender / waitress. But she has opinions about running U.S. economic policy.
Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) cheered the news that oil futures plunged below zero on Monday as demand due to the coronavirus pandemic continued to plummet.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “You absolutely love to see it. This along with record low interest rates means it’s the right time for a worker-led, mass investment in green infrastructure to save our planet. *cough*
Ocasio-Cortez wrote her statement while promoting a tweet that stated: “Oil prices now at ‘negative values,’ meaning oil producers have to pay people to take it off their hands and store it because when demand plunges (like now), that is less expensive for them than building more storage and/or shutting wells down.”
So, I have two thoughts about this.
First thought is that the reason that energy companies don’t invest in green energy is because wind and solar power are far more expensive than conventional sources of power like coal, natural gas and nuclear. That is not even considering the inconsistency of wind and solar, or the murderous effects on wildlife, especially birds. If conventional sources of energy like crude oil are priced LOW, then that makes them an even better deal than green energy. The only way green energy would be viable is if the price of conventional sources were HIGH. This woman has a degree in “economics” from Boston University. I think you can see why she was working as a bartender / waitress for her entire career after graduating.
Second thought is that the Democrats need the economy to go into a recession so they can win in November. Trump’s policies led to amazing economic growth. We’re struggling right now because of the Wuhan virus, but the economy is set for a strong (STRONG!) recovery in the second half of the year. The only hope that the Democrats have is to destroy the economy. And that’s why their allies in the news media are trying to trumpet any bad news they can find in order to keep the economy shut down long enough that we really do go into a recession.
Now, you might think that AOC isn’t all bad, and that she is supporting efforts to provide relief to small businesses impacted by the government’s stay-at-home orders. But you’d be wrong.
Meanwhile, negotiators from the House, Senate and White House are close to finalizing an accord on the so-called “phase 3.5” response to the coronavirus pandemic and hope to have an agreement late Monday or Tuesday, Fox News is told.
The response will include $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers grants to small businesses struggling to make payroll, sources tell Fox News. The $350 billion fund depleted last Thursday.
A separate provision worth $60 billion (including $50 billion in loans and $10 billion in grants) would be allocated to economic disaster loans. Also included: $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing. The total of the package would be north of $470 billion.
Ocasio-Cortez has said she’ll oppose the plan in its current form because it doesn’t do enough for illegal immigrants, among others. It’s wrong for Congress to pass an incomplete package and then “peace out” for several weeks, she remarked.
It doesn’t do enough for illegal immigrants, so she can’t support it. I hope you are learning something about Democrats, because this is where the party is going in the future.
I’m not a big fan of National Review these days, but I wanted to link to this article because it quoted a bunch of pay-walled articles to make some good points about how we got the Wuhan virus. Not only is China to blame for the Wuhan virus, but they are actually trying to cover it up now, and shift the blame to the countries that they are damaging.
Here are the main points of the article:
China destroyed samples and suppressed information about the Wuhan Virus since December 2019, leaving other nations in the dark and unprepared
Chinese doctors who warned about patients with the Wuhan virus were silenced by the communist regime in China
In January, Chinese authorities denied that the Wuhan virus could be spread between people, and allowed huge gatherings of people in Wuhan
The President of China knew about the Wuhan virus for weeks but refused to tell anyone about it
The communist China government let 5 million people leave Wuhan without screening them
Critics of China’s handling of the Wuhan virus – even rich businessmen – are disappearing
I love the article, because it links to articles behind paywalls from the UK Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, etc.
Chinese laboratories identified a mystery virus as a highly infectious new pathogen by late December last year, but they were ordered to stop tests, destroy samples and suppress the news, a Chinese media outlet has revealed.
A regional health official in Wuhan, centre of the outbreak, demanded the destruction of the lab samples that established the cause of unexplained viral pneumonia on January 1. China did not acknowledge there was human-to-human transmission until more than three weeks later.
The detailed revelations by Caixin Global, a respected independent publication, provide the clearest evidence yet of the scale of the cover-up in the crucial early weeks when the opportunity was lost to control the outbreak.
As word of a mysterious virus mounted, Li Wenliang shared suspicions in a private chat with his fellow medical school graduates.
The doctor said that seven people seemed to have contracted SARS — the respiratory illness that spread from China to more than two dozen countries and left hundreds dead in the early 2000s. One patient was quarantined at his hospital in Wuhan, China, Li said. He urged people to be careful.
Li and seven other doctors were quickly summoned by Chinese authorities for propagating “rumors” about SARS-like cases in the area — but their warnings were prescient. Soon, health officials worldwide would be scrambling to combat a novel virus with a striking genetic resemblance to SARS.
Here is something else I found on the Daily Wire – the response of the atheistic communist Chinese regime to being caught:
The National Security Council blasted the Chinese Communist Party on Tuesday for expelling journalists from the country and spreading false information about the origin of the virus instead of focusing on stopping the virus, which originated in China.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to expel journalists from China and Hong Kong is yet another step toward depriving the Chinese people and the world of access to true information about China,” the NSC said in a statement. “The United States calls on China’s leaders to refocus their efforts from expelling journalists and spreading disinformation to joining all nations in stopping the Wuhan coronavirus.”
The statement from the NSC comes after China announced it would expel American journalists working for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
“It also demanded that those outlets, as well as the Voice of America and Time magazine, provide the Chinese government with detailed information about their operations,” The New York Times reported. “The announcement went on to say that the American journalists now working in mainland China ‘will not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People’s Republic of China, including its Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.’ The two territories are semiautonomous and in theory have greater press freedoms than the mainland.”
Rather than admit responsibility, apologize and make restitution, they are responding by throwing out the journalists who criticize them. And you can bet those journalists would be murdered in secret if they were not American citizens. After all, the communist Chinese regime has been credibly accused of a massive organ harvesting operation – including harvesting the organs of living victims as they are being killed:
Last week, the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China issued its final report concluding that China engages in the systematic human-rights atrocity of killing political and other prisoners and harvesting their organs.
[…]The Judgment convincingly concludes that China is guilty as charged. According to the report, beginning at page 415, there are four methods by which China kills prisoners and harvests their organs.
Organ harvesting from prisoners incompletely executed by shooting;
Organ harvesting from prisoners after lethal injection;
Execution by organ explanation (killing by organ harvesting);
Organ harvesting under the pretext of brain death (taking organs from people not really dead).
The United States is not alone in suffering major economic and public safety consequences because of the decisions of the communist Chinese government. There is even talk of demanding reparations. We are already in a bear market, and there is likely to be a recession because of their suppression of the evidence. And I also think that there is a lesson there for our election in November – this is what people on the secular left always do when they fail to deliver on their promises. They deny responsibility and silence or destroy those who warned them. It’s standard operating procedure for communists. Communism requires atheism. And without God, any immorality you can imagine is possible.
I wanted to look at who has been doing the most to cut carbon emissions. Then we’ll look at whether the secular left supports the technologies that achieved actual cuts in carbon emissions. Then we’ll look at the technologies that the secular left supports, to see whether they achieve similar success. Then we’ll draw a conclusion about the environmentalism of the secular left.
Let’s start with the data on carbon emissions. As you can see from the graph above, the biggest offenders are China and India. These countries make a show about caring for the environment to shame America, but the truth is that they are the biggest polluters of all, and getting worse.
The United States led the entire world in reducing CO2 emissions last year while also experiencing solid economic growth, according to a newly released report.
“The United States saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis – a fall of 140 Mt, or 2.9%, to 4.8 Gt,” The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported on Tuesday. “US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period.”
[…]The IEA noted that 80% of the increase in CO2 emissions came from Asia and that China and India both contributed significantly to the increase.
So how was America able to do that? The answer is that they they adopted zero-emission technologies, specifically fracking and nuclear power:
[…][C]heap, natural gas, made available by fracking, has already made the U.S. the world leader in carbon emissions reduction. By allowing gas to displace coal as the leading fuel for domestic power generation, fracking has already done more to reduce emissions than the combined activity of all the environmental activists in human history. Renewables such as wind and solar, which still play only a minor role in generation, cannot operate without the flexible backup that gas provides for those times when the wind stops and the sun sets or goes behind a cloud.
Natural gas will help reduce carbon emissions in the short run. But nuclear is the only long-term answer if you’re worried about climate change.
It should be noted that the secular left opposes both fracking and nuclear power, and that’s because they’re either lying about their concern for the environment (possible) or they think that renewable energies like wind and solar can do the job. But can they?
While most of a turbine can be recycled or find a second life on another wind farm, researchers estimate the U.S. will have more than 720,000 tons of blade material to dispose of over the next 20 years, a figure that doesn’t include newer, taller higher-capacity versions.
There aren’t many options to recycle or trash turbine blades, and what options do exist are expensive, partly because the U.S. wind industry is so young. It’s a waste problem that runs counter to what the industry is held up to be: a perfect solution for environmentalists looking to combat climate change.
It’s difficult to transport the blades. There are few landfills big enough to accommodate them. And no one has the expensive equipment to cut them down to smaller sizes. But wait! There are more problems.
My problems with wind and solar power are simple. They are extremely expensive, which raises the cost of electricity to consumers and businesses. They are extremely unreliable, and require constant maintenance and backup-support from traditional high-pollution sources. And most importantly, they mass murder birds, including protected birds, by the millions. That last reason along is enough to make me oppose them. I love birds!
Forbes magazine points out problems with the wind and solar power favored by the secular left:
In reality, solar farms require hundreds of times more land, an order of magnitude more mining for materials, and create hundreds of times more waste, than do nuclear plants.
And wind farms kill hundreds of thousands of threatened and endangered birds, may make the hoary bat go extinct, and kill more people than nuclear plants.
We can find out what happens when the secular-leftists get their way on energy policy by looking at France and Germany, where it’s already been tried:
Just contrast Germany and France. Germany has done much of what the Green New Deal calls for. By 2025 it will have spent $580 billion on renewables and related accoutrement, while shutting down its nuclear plants.
All that Germany will have gotten for its “energy transition” is a 50% increase in electricity prices, flat emissions, and an electricity supply that is 10 times more carbon-intensive than France’s.
[…]France spent $30 billion on renewables and saw the carbon intensity of its electricity supply, and electricity prices, rise.
France and Germany and every other real world situation prove that nuclear power is the only way to significantly, deeply, and cheaply decarbonize energy supplies, and thus address climate change.
The problem with nuclear is that it doesn’t demand the radical re-making of society, like renewables do, and it doesn’t require grand fantasies of humankind harmonizing with nature.
Nor does nuclear provide cover for funnelling billions to progressive interest groups in the name of “community-controlled renewable energy, local organic agriculture, or transit systems.”
The secular left opposes zero-emission technologies like fracking and nuclear, and there’s a reason for that. Those technologies reduce the cost of electricity. Which means that people can use as much electricity as they like. But the secular left doesn’t want people to have low-cost electricity. They can only NATIONALIZE the energy industry (i.e. – COMMUNISM) because people complain about the high costs of electricity. The secular left has already been pursuing this policy of raising the cost of education and healthcare with government subsidies and regulations, in order to convince voters that the only solution to (artificially) inflated costs is for government to step in and take control. In countries like Canada, this is the exact model they adopted, (e.g. Ontario Hydro under Kathleen Wynne), in order to raise the prices of electricity. That is their real goal.
We do not want this, because the seizing of private property, redistribution of wealth, and nationalization of industry are precisely the policies that lead countries like Venezuela and Cuba into long-term poverty. The secular leftists don’t care if the quality of your utilities, education and health care drop precipitously because it is run by the government. Their goal is for the elites to fly around in private jets with armed security, while the little people wait in bread lines for food, wait for health care for months, and are indoctrinated to love communism in college.
So, I’ve been watching the Democrat debates, and I’ve noticed that all of their candidates are proposing economic policies that they say will improve the lives of Americans. But have the candidates ever been able to try out these policies, and proven that they work? One way to evaluate policies is to look at other countries that have tried them, to see if those policies are proven to work.
I’ve been reading a book called “Money, Greed and God” with my friend Carla, which talks about what does and does not work to alleviate poverty. The author basically outlined two approaches. In the first approach, the government 1) confiscates the wealth of the most productive workers, 2) nationalizes (takes control of) the businesses of the most successful entrepreneurs, 3) restricts trading between citizens and with other countries, with minimum wage, price controls and tariffs. In the second approach, the government does the opposite: 1) lowers taxes on the most productive workers, and 2) lets entrepreneurs compete to provide goods and services to consumers, and 3) lowers restrictions on internal trading and trading with other countries, e.g. – eliminating minimum wage, tariffs and price controls.
Let’s take a look at two Latin American countries that went in opposite directions. Venezuela and Chile. Then we can finally find out which policies actually achieve results for the people.
Prices for the majority of basic goods were fixed by the government in 1973. Even though Chile was and still is a small economy, the level of protectionism was high. By the end of 1973, the nominal average tariff for imports was 105 percent, with a maximum of 750 percent. Non-tariff barriers also impeded the import of more than 3,000 out of 5,125 registered goods. Just as economic theory predicts, large queues in front of stores were usual in Santiago and other cities in Chile as a result of the scarcity caused by price controls.
PROBLEM: Government taking over private businesses:
The decline in GDP during 1973 reflected a shrinking productive sector in which the main assets were gradually falling under government control or ownership through expropriations and other government interventions in the economy.
PROBLEM: Deficit spending and government printing money:
The fiscal situation was chaotic. The deficit reached 55 percent of expenditures and 20 percent of GDP and was the main cause of inflation because the Central Bank was issuing money to finance the government deficit.
SOLUTION: lower or eliminate restrictions on trade:
The most important economic reform in Chile was to open trade, primarily through a flat, low tariff on imports. Much of the credit for Chilean economic reforms in the following 30 years should be given to the decision to open our economy to the rest of the world. The strength of Chilean firms, productive sectors, and institutions grew up thanks to that fundamental change.
SOLUTION: let competing entrepreneurs in the private sector provide goods and services to consumers:
A second fundamental reform was to allow the private sector to recover, adding dynamism to the economy. In fact, important sectors such as electricity generation and distribution and telecommunications were still managed by state companies. After we implemented a massive privatization plan that included more than 50,000 new direct shareholders and several million indirect (through pension funds) shareholders, these companies were managed by private entrepreneurs that carried out important expansion plans.
SOLUTION: let people take responsibility for their own lives instead of depending on government:
The 1981 reform of the Chilean pension fund system deserves special mention. Under the leadership of Minister José Piñera, an individual capitalization account program was designed with specific contributions, administered by private institutions selected by the workers. The Chilean Administradoras de Fondos de Pension (Pension Fund Administrators or AFP) has been replicated in more than 20 countries, and more than 100 million workers in different parts of the world use these accounts to save for retirement.
SOLUTION: allow parents to choose the school that fits their needs from competing education providers, and push school administration down from the federal government to the municipal level, where it would be more responsive to voter’s needs:
In 1981, Chile introduced a universal educational voucher system for students in both its elementary and secondary schools. At the same time, the central government transferred the administration of public schools to municipal governments… The financial value of the voucher did not depend on family income.
RESULTS: And I was able to find a nice short, description of how all that worked out for them on the far-left Wikipedia, of all places:
The economy of Chile is a high-income economy as ranked by the World Bank, and is considered one of South America’s most stable and prosperous nations, leading Latin American nations in competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption.
In 2006, Chile became the country with the highest nominal GDP per capita in Latin America. In May 2010 Chile became the first South American country to join the OECD. Tax revenues, all together 20.2% of GDP in 2013, were the second lowest among the 34 OECD countries, and the lowest in 2010. In 2017, only 0.7% of the population lived on less than US$1.90 a day.
According to the Heritage Foundation, Chile is ranked as the 18th freest economy in the world. The World Bank ranked Chile as the 50th highest GDP per capita for 2018, just below Hungary and above Poland.
Now, you can contrast those results with Venezuela. I have been blogging about Venezuela for years on this blog, and documenting how they raised taxes, banned guns, nationalized private sector companies, raised tariffs, and increased regulations. They are now ranked JUST ABOVE NORTH KOREA for economic freedom – #179 out of 180 countries measured. Basically, they did the opposite of everything that Chile did – transferring power away from parents, workers, business owners, churches and municipal governments to the powerful centralized federal government.
Wikipedia explains how Hugo Chavez took over in 1999 and enacted a communist revolution.
Since the Bolivarian Revolution half-dismantled its PDVSA oil giant corporation in 2002 by firing most of its 20,000-strong dissident professional human capital and imposed stringent currency controls in 2003 in an attempt to prevent capital flight, there has been a steady decline in oil production and exports. Further yet, price controls, expropriation of numerous farmlands and various industries, among other government authoritarian policies… have resulted in severe shortages in Venezuela and steep price rises of all common goods, including food, water, household products, spare parts, tools and medical supplies; forcing many manufacturers to either cut production or close down, with many ultimately abandoning the country as has been the case with several technological firms and most automobile makers.
They confiscated private property, took over private sector businesses, implemented tariffs and price controls, redistributed wealth via massive welfare programs, and pushed all decision-making out of families and municipal governments up to the federal government. By depriving the producers of their earnings, the country caused massive shortages of goods and services, to the point where people are fleeing the country, consuming zoo animals, and selling their bodies as prostitutes in order to get food and water.
In the next election, we are not picking a tribe because of how they make us feel about ourselves. We are not choosing in order to see ourselves as “nice” and “not nice”. We need to look at specific policies being proposed, and see what works and what doesn’t work. The examples of Chile (rags-to-riches) and Venezuela (riches-to-rags) are helpful for voters who want to get RESULTS instead of FEELINGS.
I’ll leave you with a list of links from previous posts so you can see how communism worked out for Venezuela.
One of the strangest things I have heard from atheists is the assertion that Christianity is somehow connected to the fascism, such as the fascism that existed under Adolf Hitler. Two posts by Jewish author Jonah Goldberg from National Review supply us with the facts to set the record straight.
1) Hitler wanted Christianity removed from the public square
Like the engineers of that proverbial railway bridge, the Nazis worked relentlessly to replace the nuts and bolts of traditional Christianity with a new political religion. The shrewdest way to accomplish this was to co-opt Christianity via the Gleichschaltung while at the same time shrinking traditional religion’s role in civil society.
2) Hitler banned the giving of donations to churches
Hitler banned religious charity, crippling the churches’ role as a counterweight to the state. Clergy were put on government salary, hence subjected to state authority. “The parsons will be made to dig their own graves,” Hitler cackled. “They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable little jobs and incomes.”
3) Hitler replaced Christian celebrations with celebrations of the state
Following the Jacobin example, the Nazis replaced the traditional Christian calendar. The new year began on January 30 with the Day of the Seizure of Power. Each November the streets of central Munich were dedicated to a Nazi Passion play depicting Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch. The martyrdom of Horst Wessel and his “old fighters” replaced Jesus and the apostles. Plays and official histories were rewritten to glorify pagan Aryans bravely fighting against Christianizing foreign armies. Anticipating some feminist pseudo history, witches became martyrs to the bloodthirsty oppression of Christianity.
4) Hitler favored the complete elimination of Christianity
When some Protestant bishops visited the Fuhrer to register complaints, Hitler’s rage got the better of him. “Christianity will disappear from Germany just as it has done in Russia . . . The Germanrace has existed without Christianity for thousands of years . . . and will continue after Christianity has disappeared . . . We must get used to the teachings of blood and race.”
5) Hitler favored the removal of mandatory prayers in schools
In 1935 mandatory prayer in school was abolished…
6) Hitler favored the banning of Christmas carols and nativity plays
…and in 1938 carols and Nativity plays were banned entirely.
7) Hitler abolished religious instruction for children
By 1941 religious instruction for children fourteen years and up had been abolished altogether….
8) Hitler opposed the ideas of universal truth and objective moral absolutes
…Just as the Nazi attack on Christianity was part of a larger war on the idea of universal truth, whole postmodern cosmologies have been created to prove that traditional religious morality is a scam, that there are no fixed truths or “natural” categories, and that all knowledge is socially constructed.
Practically everything this man believed was 100% anti-Christian. But he fits in fine on the secular left.
Adolf Hitler was a man influenced by two big ideas: evolution and socialism. His party was the national SOCIALIST party. He favored a strong role for the state in interfering with the free market. He was in favor of regulating the family so that the state could have a bigger influence on children. And he favored the idea of survival of the fittest. His ideas are 100% incompatible with Christianity and with capitalism as well. Christians value individual rights and freedoms, small government and the autonomy of the family against the state. The commandments about not coveting and not stealing are incompatible with redistribution of wealth from those who produce to those who “need”. The differences are clear and significant. The Bible favors voluntary charity by individuals and churches. It does not favor redistribution of wealth by a secular government to equalize life outcomes regardless of personal responsibility.
Ignorant atheists and their myths
In a recent debate between Matt Dillahunty and David Robertson, Dillahunty made the claim that Hitler was a Christian, because in a campaign speech, he told a Catholic audience that secular schools were bad, and religious schools were good. Dillahunty thought that this meant that Hitler was a Christian. Robertson asked him when those words were spoken, and whether they formed the basis of any POLICY after Hitler was elected. Dillahunty didn’t know, because he just cited the quotation without knowing anything about the context, or about the historical period. Robertson informed him that the words were spoken in a campaign speech, prior to Hitler’s rise to power, and that nothing in Hitler’s policies ever took the words seriously after he came to power. It was the equivalent of Obama claiming to support natural marriage, then legalizing same-sex marriage once elected. He lied in order to be elected. This kind of ignorance is very prominent in the atheist (“secular humanist”) community, which survives on mythology which is never subjected to rational inquiry. Here’s another good example of this ignorance.
Incidentally, Dillahunty later said, in the same debate no less, that he “didn’t know” if the Holocaust was morally wrong. Right – because on atheism right and wrong are meaningless concepts, rationally speaking. They are reduced to personal preferences only, where each opinion is as valid as the opposite opinion, since there is no objective standard by which to judge different opinions. That’s why atheists can’t make moral judgements about anything, they just have preferences, like their preference for certain foods and certain clothes. Very important to realize this when talking to atheists, because they use moral language to describe their personal feelings and opinions.
Whenever I hear atheists speculating about whether Hitler was a Christian, I immediately know that they have not investigated anything very carefully, and are merely being insulting. It’s not worth having a conversation with people who are stupid AND insulting.