After a manic weekend, I got the chance to put my all into this Bookworm Beat, which covers politics, homelessness, immigration, antisemitism, and more.
Oh, my gosh, but do I have a lot to share with you — and tonight I’ve got the time to do so. Go get a nice cup of tea or coffee, and maybe a few cookies or a little ice cream, find a comfortable chair, and let’s get going.
I should warn you before you begin that these snippets aren’t in any particular order. I’m writing them down in the order in which I first read them. It’s a little chaotic, but consider it a challenging brain teaser.
Trump is not a show-boater about his patriotism. Saturday was “Wreaths Across America” day, a day on which volunteers descended on military cemeteries all over America to decorate veterans’ graves with wreaths. Without fanfare, Trump showed up at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the fallen. I’ll leave you with a few photos of this present and a past president:
By the way, I know that Obama sometimes carried his own umbrella and that gateways can be tough. Still, there was something about Obama and umbrellas….
The politics of persecution. Mike Flynn did not do anything wrong. The FBI had a transcript of a perfectly legal phone conversation and, instead of honestly asking Flynn about what he said in the conversation, hid from him the fact that they had the transcript and instead asked him a series of questions intended to elicit answers that might conflict with the transcript. Despite this chicanery, which resulted in Flynn mis-remembering some of what he said, the FBI agents conceded that Flynn did not intentionally lie. Nevertheless, they used a process crime unrelated to a real crime to destroy him.
And how did they destroy Flynn? They bankrupted him. While the FBI and the DOJ have virtually unlimited budgets, individuals persecuted by the government have to pay for their lawyers. (I’ve seen this in real time in my career, as I’ve represented businesses caught in regulatory hell with the government.) After losing his family home, and then learning that Mueller intended to go after his family, Flynn caved, pleading guilty to a procedural crime that, in the ordinary world, a court would dismiss as grotesque entrapment.
I mention all this because of Ryan Zinke’s decision to resign from his position as Secretary for the Department of the Interior:
I love working for the President and am incredibly proud of all the good work we’ve accomplished together. However, after 30 years of public service, I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against false allegations. Full statement attached. pic.twitter.com/gwo75SA6bM
— Secretary Ryan Zinke (@SecretaryZinke) December 15, 2018
I was going to say, “this is how a true democratic republic dies.” That statement, though, is not accurate. What’s accurate is to say “this is how totalitarians kill a true democratic republic.”
Borders are barriers to epidemic disease. Although Leftists dream of a government that does everything, the reality is that government has (and, I believe, should have) only a few core functions. National defense, dealings with foreign governments, border protection, stable monetary policy, facilitating trade and transportation . . . and preventing the spread of epidemic diseases. The open borders crowd wants to ignore this last function.
Indeed, Leftists have always wanted to ignore this last function. During the 1980s, when AIDS hit, it was apparent that the bath houses in San Francisco were major disease vectors. I worked briefly for in a San Francisco virology lab that was on the cutting edge of AIDS research, so I knew exactly what was going on in those bath houses. I won’t go into details, but I will say that, with the help of drugs, men were having up to 100 sexual encounters per night.
The City wanted to close the bath houses, something that was entirely consistent with government’s traditional responsibility for stopping the spread of infectious diseases. Gay activists sued to stop the closure and an activist judge agreed. So it was that, while AIDS made few inroads into the heterosexual population, it devastated San Francisco’s gay population — the same population the City tried to protect with its attempt to close the bath houses. There’s irony for you.
But back to today:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used to trace outbreaks to Patient Zero, the index case—the first patient to get, then transmit, a disease. Is this government agency doing due diligence in the cases of the polio-like paralysis infecting hundreds of America’s kids?
By WND’s telling, “the diagnosis of the first cases of AFM, acute flaccid myelitis, in 2014,” coincided with the dispersal of thousands of Central American children among U.S. school children. More conspicuous at that time “was an outbreak of a deadly respiratory illness” that put hundreds of America’s children in intensive care. “Both types of symptoms can probably be caused by enterovirus D68, which happens to be endemic in Central America,” opines Dr. Jane Orient.
Although the CDC has provided a perfunctory status-update of its AFM Investigation, the agency’s mention of a possible genetic etiology for Poliomyelitis, a dreadful, highly infectious viral disease, is bizarre. It reads like a cop-out.
Political correctness and science are often mutually exclusive (just think of transgender madness).
Britain is a dead country walking. I just want to share with you a few things that have recently gone on in jolly old England:
Mercy for the drunk Muslim girl gang who brutally attacked a woman, because judge learned that they weren’t used to drinking.
A judge spared a Muslim mother of five who encouraged ISIS terrorist attacks against England, telling her to raise her children.
The BBC reinvents Agatha Christie’s classic The ABC Murders “as a morality tale comparing Brexit to the rise of fascism.” (As an aside, Christie’s books make it clear she hated big government, and would certainly have loathed the EU.)
Britain is our parent country. It gave birth to us. And now our parent country has fatal Alzheimer’s. It’s tragically demented and slowly dying.
Good news on Jerusalem. Here are two bits of somewhat good news regarding Jerusalem. The first is thanks to Trump:
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that his government will recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
However, he said Australia’s embassy would not move from Tel Aviv, until a peace settlement was achieved.
He added Australia also recognised the aspirations of the Palestinians to a state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contested issues between Israel and the Palestinians.
Yes, it’s a hedged recognition, but it’s still a recognition, and we take our victories where we can.
The second bit of good news I actually attribute to, of all people, Obama. By giving power to the Shia Iranians, Obama frightened the Sunni gulf nations so much that they’ve realized Israel is not the most dastardly enemy in the region. Which is how we get this story, which follows on the Australian announcement:
As Palestinians and the Arab League on Saturday condemned Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the move was somewhat surprisingly defended by one Arab nation — Bahrain.
The Arab League in a statement said it “strongly condemns” Australia’s move which it called “irresponsible and biased” and “contrary to international law.” It warned that the decision would only “encourage the occupation to continue its aggression, arrogance, settlement and defiance of international resolutions” and added that the move could have serious ramifications for Arab-Australian relations.
But Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa took issue with the statement, saying in a tweet: “These are irresponsible statements. Australia’s position does not hamper the legitimate demands of the Palestinians and first and foremost East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. It also does not contradict the Arab Peace Initiative.”
Israel and Bahrain do not have diplomatic relations, but are said to have solid clandestine ties. Both countries see in Iran a strategic threat.
Oh, and here’s one headline that I found very surprising:
Of course, as long as Europeans continue to treat Israel as a pariah nation, and continue to back every antisemitic initiative at the UN, I’m not too impressed with their anti-Hamas pose here.
Speaking of Hamas, the IDF sent it a birthday card:
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 16, 2018
I’m not surprised by the antisemitism in Strasbourg. In the mid-1980s, my travels took me to Strasbourg, France. At lunch, our darling little waitress was the most non-Jewish looking gal you’ve ever seen, yet she wore a large Star of David.
“Are you Jewish?” we asked.
“Well, yes, sort of. I wasn’t born Jewish, but my husband is Jewish and I converted.”
Well, from that start, we talked a little, and what we learned was that she’d made a brave and dangerous choice to wear that Star of David. Strasbourg, a city founded in Roman times, had fallen under French rule in 1681. However, in 1871, after the Franco-Prussian War, the city came under German rule, which lasted until 1918, when the Germans were defeated in WWI. The Germans occupied it again during WWII, and it became French again in 1944.
The waitress explained that a significant number of Strasbourgians had assimilated Nazi antisemitism, which therefore remained strong in the town. She was often taunted and had even been physically attacked. As I said, she was brave.
With that in mind, I was not at all surprised to learn what happened at a Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg:
Several tombstones were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti at a Jewish cemetery near the French city of Strasbourg.
The incident was discovered Tuesday in Herrlisheim, a northern suburb, the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities said in a statement. “CRIF = ZOG” and the digits 88 were written on the tombstones. ZOG stands for “Zionist occupation government,” and the number is code for Adolf Hitler.
It’s the fourth time in two months that graffiti featuring far-right anti-Semitic rhetoric has been discovered at sites linked to Jews in the eastern Alsace region. In two incidents, Jewish mayors were the targets.
The combination of French antisemitism (which has deep roots), Alsatian antisemitic (which has deep roots) and, now, Islamic antisemitism (those deep roots again), is pernicious and highly dangerous.
Germany is reverting to its old ways. Maybe you remember that, when Angela Merkel, originally of East Germany, first appeared on the German political scene, people wondered if she was a Stasi plant. I wonder that more than ever.
First of all, thanks to Merkel’s open borders initiative, this is modern Germany, a place Hitler would be proud to call home:
In Germany, protesters chant “Adolf Hitler” and “Allah-O-Akbar” while giving the Nazi Salute as they wave the Palestinian flag. ‘Tis the Season! pic.twitter.com/rCJAeCizOt
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) December 13, 2018
Second, Merkel was just heard demanding that nation states abandon sovereignty, a line taken by both Hitler and the Soviets back in the day:
Merkel: “Nation states must today be prepared to give up their sovereignty”
No this wasn’t something Adolf Hitler said many years ago, this is what German Chancellor Angela Merkel told attendants at an event by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin on Wednesday.
“In an orderly fashion of course,” Merkel went on to say. She even went so far as to condemn those in her own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party who think Germany should withdraw from the controversial UN migration pact:
“There were [politicians]who believed that they could decide when these agreements are no longer valid because they are representing The People”.
“[But] the people are individuals who are living in a country, they are not a group who define themselves as the [German] people,” she stressed.
If Merkel was a communist sleeper, she’s awoken.
You don’t need to look to Strasbourg or Germany for antisemitism. It’s easy to pick on Strasbourg because it deserves it. We deserve it closer to home too:
The biggest problem is that aside from a handful of outraged Jewish students, nobody is talking about this. Not our administrations, not our school newspapers, not our campus minority groups; no one,” lamented Pomona College senior Hallie Goldstein.
A mural at Pomona College that reads “Antisemitism exists. Acknowledge it” in remembrance of the deadliest attack in American Jewish history has been defaced at least twice.
Just days after the shooting, which killed 11 people at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the word “Antisemitism” was erased.
Sometime later, the memorial was vandalized with the words “Palestine exists. Acknowledge it,” and a Palestinian flag was painted.
Senior Hallie Goldstein thinks “the biggest problem is that aside from a handful of outraged Jewish students, nobody is talking about this. Not our administrations, not our school newspapers, not our campus minority groups; no one.
“What stings the most is that whenever any other minority group is targeted in some way, all five of our colleges are buzzing with conversation, with statements of condemnation, with student-written articles and with support resources,” she told JNS. “However, it is [always] a double standard whenever Jews are the subject of a hate crime or discriminatory act.”
And for serious subliminal antisemitism, there’s always the New York Times:
Over the weekend, the New York Times Book Review published a full-length interview with Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple. The very first question: “What books are on your nightstand?” Walker replied with four, the second of which was:
“And the Truth Shall Set You Free,” by David Icke. In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about. A curious person’s dream come true.
This passed without comment from the New York Times interviewer, and the publication passed it on to readers without qualification. This is rather remarkable because the book is an unhinged anti-Semitic conspiracy tract written by one of Britain’s most notorious anti-Semites.
A former soccer player turned professional hate peddler, Icke is one of the most influential conspiracy theorists in Europe, and certainly in Britain. Today, he has over 777,000 followers on Facebook, and speaks to audiences around the world. Like many conspiracy theorists, Icke claims that a secret conspiracy controls the world. And like many conspiracy theorists, Icke claims that this secret conspiracy happens to be Jewish. In And the Truth Shall Set You Free, the word “Jewish” appears 241 times, and the name “Rothschild” is mentioned 374 times. These references are not compliments. Indeed, the book was so obviously anti-Semitic that Icke’s publisher refused to publish it, and he had to print it himself.
In the book and elsewhere, Icke draws liberally upon the infamous anti-Semitic pamphlet, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion—a Russian forgery about an alleged global Jewish cabal that is widely considered one of the most influential anti-Semitic works in history.
Read the rest here. It’s disgusting, horrifying, and ought to (but won’t) embarrass the NYT.
Regarding The Color Purple, I have only two comments. First, I loathed it, because it was the work of an obviously sick misandrist. Second, Alice Walker is a horrible human being.
Interestingly enough, people who are horrible in other areas of their lives are often antisemites, just as countries that are totatlitarian in nature are antisemitic. That is, antisemitism seems to live in the evil parts of people’s and countries’ psyches.
It’s time to get Elon Musk off the government teat. I’ve argued before that, while Elon Musk is probably a genius, he’s also a grifter. The Tesla is a brilliant car, but it works only because of almost half a billion in taxpayer funds, even though only rich people can afford the car. (Of course, one could argue that the same people who can afford the car pay most of the taxes, but that’s a whole other argument.) At American Thinker, Mona Salama writes that it’s time for Tesla to stand on its own two feet, without grifting taxpayers and banks. I couldn’t agree more.
Yes, it’s schadenfreude, but I love Warren’s fall. I’ve mentioned before that Elizabeth Warren was one of my least favorite law school professors. Although she was always perfectly friendly, I found her incoherent and she lied about what would be on exams. It was therefore no surprise to me that she would lie about her race to get a job at Harvard Law. Howie Carr has a great column about the lies catching up with Warren:
Where do I go to get my reputation back?
Do you know how many times I’ve been called a “racist” over the last six years for calling Elizabeth Warren exactly what she just called herself in Baltimore – “not a person of color.”
In other words, a fake Indian.
She finally admitted the obvious on a Friday afternoon, just before Christmas, in front of what she must have assumed would be a somewhat sympathetic audience at a black college.
Two months after offering what she claimed was definitive proof of her Native American ancestry, she is now acknowledging that she’s a honky.
The fake Indian has finally been scalped … by reality.
Here’s the next step for the woman who was white before she was Cherokee before she was white: release your employment applications to the law schools at Harvard and Penn. Since you now admit you’re a white woman, it shouldn’t be a problem to prove once and for all that you never did “check the box” to grab a racial preference you weren’t entitled to.
I had a bit part in that video that she released in October in her final futile Ghost Dance-like attempt to claim Indian heritage. She included tape of me at a Trump rally in Bangor, Maine, in 2016, doing the Indian war whoop live on national TV. The Democrats with press passes were calling me a racist before I even stepped off the stage.
Later, on the plane back to New York, I showed candidate Trump the torrent of faux outrage against me on the internet.
“Whatever you do, don’t apologize,” he told me with a smile, “Jimmy the Greek was doing great until he said he was sorry, and then it was all over. Remember?”
I understood. To quote former Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, “Never complain, never explain.” Especially when you’re right.
Read the rest here.
UT has gone full lefty. I am proud to say that I was not a Harvard Law student. I used to be proud to say that I was a University of Texas Law Student (which is where I had a banking law class with Elizabeth Warren before she became a Native American). Back then, I was one of the rare Democrats in the law school. Indeed, I don’t think Democrats were that common anywhere on the campus. Sure, Guadalupe, or “the Drag,” had its “drag worms,” who were likened to the old hippies on Telegraph Avenue, but UT was a sane place. Because UT is no longer sane, I am no longer proud:
A free speech nonprofit sued the University of Texas system Thursday over policies restricting students from using “biased,” “rude,” “offensive,” and “uncivil” speech.
Speech First sued the UT system for its implementation of four policies banning speech that falls into these “subjective” categories, according to a press release obtained by Campus Reform. In particular, the nonprofit takes issue with UT’s campus climate response team, residence hall manual, “verbal harassment” ban, and acceptable use policy.
“By failing to define highly subjective terms such as ‘offensive,’ ‘biased,’ ‘uncivil,’ and ‘rude,’ the University of Texas has given itself broad discretion…”
“By failing to define highly subjective terms such as ‘offensive,’ ‘biased,’ ‘uncivil,’ and ‘rude,’ the University of Texas has given itself broad discretion to determine which speech – and whose speech – violates their policies,” Speech First President Nicole Neily said in the press release. “Unfortunately, this fails to pass Constitutional muster.”
Speech First claims that UT’s bias response team has investigated more than 100 “expressions of bias” since September 2017. Content designated bias incidents by UT includes “[d]erogatory comments made on a…course Facebook page” and “somebody…creat[ing] a hostile or offensive classroom,” according to the press release.
“Without a doubt, the University of Texas has failed to appropriately safeguard students’ First Amendment rights,” Neily said in the press release. “Students deserve to be able to express themselves and voice their opinions without fear of investigation or punishment – which is why these policies must be reformed.”
That is not the UT of my years. It makes me feel old and sad.
L.A. discovers that “if you build it, they will come.” In L.A.’s case, what it built was a wonderful infrastructure enticing to homeless people. Daniel Greenfield explains:
It wasn’t all that long ago that the nation watched transfixed in horror as fires tore apart California, destroying homes and claiming lives. In all the debates about global warming and forestry management, one singular cause of the fire was left unaddressed.
Global warming wasn’t starting the fires. People were.
Brush fires are just one of the wages of the legalization and subsidization of the homeless. And while these fires are spectacular, they are not the most dangerous consequence.
Los Angeles had doubled its homeless budget to $450 million. Despite that its homeless population had only dropped to 39,826, a reduction of only 256 people. The only surprise in those statistics is that the population dropped at all. Homeless spending has the notorious effect of increasing homeless populations rather than diminishing them as vagrants swarm in and agencies inflate their numbers.
But while doubling its homeless budget didn’t significantly diminish the homeless population in Los Angeles, it did have another spectacular statistical effect on the wellbeing of city residents.
LAPD statistics showed that homeless crime actually increased by nearly 50%, jumping from 5,976 crime reports of homeless perpetrators in most of 2017 to 8,906 crime reports in most of 2018.
Los Angeles had doubled its homeless budget and doubled the amount of homeless crime.
Read the rest here.
When I was growing up, we kids used to insult each other by saying, “You’re so crazy you belong in Napa,” a reference to one of the old-fashioned “insane asylums” that used to dot the American landscape. They were often terrible places, and civil rights activists managed to get all of them shut down.
The resulting problem with that shutdowns was that those with serious mental illnesses, whether organic or resulting from substance abuse, had nowhere to go but the streets. On the streets, their lives are every bit as bad as they were in those insane asylums, but now the mentally ill share that misery by terrorizing the sane (and semi-sane) population. Because they’re committing so many crimes, our prisons are being used as insane asylums, so that people with serious mental illnesses are sharing cells with stone cold predators. It’s horribly cruel to do this.
I have a proposal: How about if all the Lefties pouring money into illegal aliens take even a little bit of that money and invest it in well-managed institutions for the mentally ill. There, they can get humane care, while our cities can revert to being civilized places, free from fecal matter, violence, and fellow citizens living like feral animals because they are incapable of caring for themselves.
L.A. is bankrupting itself. L.A. isn’t just spending taxpayer money to lure violent homeless people to the city. It’s also paying pensions so big that the money is gushing out of taxpayer pockets:
Dozens of retired Los Angeles employees are collecting such generous retirement pay that they exceed pension fund limits set by the Internal Revenue Service, saddling taxpayers with additional costs, a Times data analysis has found.
Their lavish pensions forced the city to establish an “Excess Benefit Plan” to pay what the pension system cannot legally cover, using money that could otherwise be tapped to fix sidewalks, fight homelessness or hire more cops.
In all, the little-known fund has paid $14.6 million to 110 retired employees since 2010, The Times’ analysis showed.
The list of recipients is dominated by former cops and firefighters whose million-dollar payouts from a separate retirement program drove their incomes well over the $220,000 annual limit the IRS allows pension funds to pay.
The top recipient of excess benefits last year was former LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger, whose $251,000 pension alone would have put him over the limit.
But an additional $1.3-million lump sum payment Paysinger got through the Deferred Retirement Option Plan when he retired in 2016 catapulted him way over the top, requiring the city to pay more than half of his pension from the Excess Benefit Plan.
It would be awfully nice if taxpayers would get more exercised about the way in which they’re being abused. If colonial taxpayers in the latter half of the 18th century were as passive and resigned as taxpayers are today, America would never have come into existence. They were lions; we are . . . not even sheep, which can be vicious; we’re worms.
And so it is that we lie supine as thousands of petty monarchs reign dictatorially over us:
The cruelty of the war on opiods. I get that opiate addiction is killing more Americans annually than either guns or cars. Having said that, the medical establishment is being incredibly cruel in the way it’s attacking this problem, because it’s leaving people who have legitimate, chronic pain without necessary pain relief:
It happened slowly. The pain caused by a 1980 back fracture, the result of a tractor-trailer crash, crippled more and more of Jay Lawrence’s body and spirit.
By 2006, the Tennessee native and Navy veteran’s arms and legs were going numb. The excruciating pain reduced him to tears. Multiple surgeries, chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy didn’t work.
He finally found solace in prescription painkillers – 120 milligrams a day of morphine. A high dose, but it dulled the pain enough for him to take walks with his wife, shop for groceries, even take in a few movies.
But last February, the pain clinic doctor delivered jarring news: He was cutting Lawrence’s daily dosage, first to 90 milligrams then, in short stages, down to 30 milligrams. The doctor said the reduced dosage was in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prescribing guidelines released in 2016 as part of a national anti-opioid push, according to Lawrence’s wife, Meredith.
“The doctor said: ‘You know these guidelines are going to become a law eventually. So we’ve decided as a group that we’re going to take all of our patients down,’” she told Fox News in an interview.
Lawrence’s pain returned with a vengeance. He could barely move or sleep. He soiled his pants, unable to make the bathroom in time, Meredith said.
“It feels like every nerve in my body is on fire,” he told his wife.
Meredith said she and her husband went to their primary care physician and asked for a referral to another pain clinic. They were told it would take a minimum of six weeks.
That was too much for Lawrence. In March, on the day of his next medical appointment, when his painkiller dosage was to be reduced again, he instead went to a nearby park with his wife. And on the very spot where they renewed their wedding vows just two years earlier, they held hands.
He raised a gun to his chest and killed himself.
The media lies. One among the many lies the media tells about Trump is the newest theory that, as the L.A. Times puts it, “Trump [is] increasingly isolated as aides leave, friends flip and investigations advance.” I assume this new Trump meme is intended to deflect people’s attention from the fact that there is no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, although there are mountains of evidence that Hillary and the DNC worked with Russians (although probably not Putin himself), to thwart the will of the voters by destroying Trump.
According to Brad Parscale, the new meme is a lie like all the other memes.
Fake news! Was with him all day yesterday, this is just more narrative pushing to tell a FAKE story. Problem is fewer reporters know what is going on because @realDonaldTrump has figured out who the leakers are. Isolation is actually cleaning up the leaks. https://t.co/i0Y9JudMhs
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) December 15, 2018
I’m inclined to believe Parscale because, even though he’s a political operative with an agenda, the agenda doesn’t mean he’s lying. Meanwhile, we know the MSM has lied consistently and relentlessly since Trump became President. Moreover, not all the media’s lies are affirmative misstatements. Sometimes they lie by hiding stories that reflect well on Trump:
Another media blackout for when President Trump does yet another good thing…I thought he was racist tho🧐 https://t.co/zZCkoLe0IC
— ben 🇺🇸 (@1776_ben) December 16, 2018
God forbid Trump should be shown doing something to benefit America’s beleaguered African-American communities.
Perhaps the American people are catching on:
President Trump holds a 49% approval rating today after nearly two years into his first term despite a continued barrage of fake news and vicious media attacks.
This is 5 points higher than Barack Obama at the same point in his presidency.
This is despite national mainstream media reporting negatively on the highly successful President Trump 92% of the time.
Climate changers haven’t thought this whole thing through. After reading the following article, my comment on Twitter was that credulous misanthropes (because climate changistas hate the human race) run smack into reality:
If we want to stop climate change, we’ll have to stop pumping out carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In order to do that, we’ll need to replace all the sources of carbon pollution—like fossil fuel plants and combustion vehicles—with clean, renewable alternatives. But there’s a problem: According to a new study, we might not have enough materials to make that happen.
Plenty of high-tech electronic components, like solar panels, rechargeable batteries, and complex circuits, require specific rare metals. These can include magnetic neodymium, electronic indium, and silver, along with lesser-known metals like praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium. These metals are mined in large quantities in countries around the world, and they make their way into the supply chains of all sorts of electronics and renewables companies.
A group of researchers from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure determinedhow many of these important metals will be required by 2050 in order to make enough solar panels and wind turbines to effectively combat climate change. With plenty of countries, states, cities, and companies pledging to go 100 percent renewable by 2050, the number of both solar panels and wind turbines is expected to skyrocket.
According to the analysis, turbines and solar panels might be skyrocketing a bit too much. Demand for some metals like neodymium and indium could grow by more than a dozen times by 2050, and there simply might not be enough supply to power the green revolution.
To which I say, “heh.”
Can we say “Starbucks, I told you so”? After being accused of racism because one outlet refused to allow a non-customer (who just happened to be black) to use a “customers only” restroom, Starbucks did penance by announcing that anyone who wanted could use the restrooms. The inevitable happened:
Data suggests that the virtue signaling isn’t working out as well as hoped by the corporate leaders. A New York Post team investigated several Manhattan bathrooms and found that there wasn’t an open stall.
…A half-dozen toilets were locked or barricaded for no clear reason. Others were closed for prolonged “cleaning,” which an insider said was needed after extreme soiling caused by drug-using, incontinent vagrants.
“Letting everybody in has resulted in nobody getting in,” an employee at one branch fumed.
“Rest Room closed,” declared signs at 399 Seventh Ave. (entrance on West 32nd Street) and at a branch at Pearl Street and Maiden Lane. At 252 W. 31st St., the road to relief was blocked by garbage cans. Furniture and boxes formed a barrier at 61 W. 56th St.
A rope and traffic cones barred the way at 38 Park Row. When a desperate visitor asked if the loo would reopen any time soon, a barista directed him to a Dunkin’ Donuts nearby.
Why would the bathrooms need “prolonged cleaning”? Perhaps the experience of the Seattle shops provides an explanation:
Several Starbucks workers in Seattle say that they’re encountering hypodermic needles on the job nearly every day and that they’ve had to take antiviral medications to protect themselves from HIV and hepatitis.
Three employees at the coffee giant in northern Seattle told the local news station KIRO 7 that visitors would dispose of the needles in store restrooms, often in tampon-disposal boxes, and that workers would then come in contact with them while cleaning and were sometimes accidentally poked.
KIRO 7 said the three employees provided hospital, pharmacy, and insurance receipts showing that they took antiviral medications to protect against HIV and hepatitis after being poked by needles at work.
You can read more about this predictable debacle here.
My chihuahua would have done the same. A woman in Pennsylvania was almost killed when a bear attacked her. Salvation came in the form of her chihuahua, which mounted a counterattack. Although gravely wounded itself, the dog saved her life. Chihuahuas are little, but mighty.
Senator Hatch can be funny.
I was told there would be more deaths. pic.twitter.com/lN9tGBNcKX
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) December 16, 2018
Barack and Michelle Obama think everyone is stupid. Just a couple of quotations. The first is a classic; the second is a new one from Michelle:
“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” — Barack Obama, during the 2008 campaign.
“I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.: They are not that smart.” — Michelle Obama, 2018
(Obama recently said much the same thing at a speech, but for the life of me, I can’t track that quotation down.)
Not all royals are/were brainless twits. I didn’t know this about Prince Phillip’s mother:
A lovely Christmas song. It’s a very simple song, but sweet and beautiful. (I do love waltzes.)