Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

27 July 2022

Washington Post: Italian farmers are facing 'stomach-churching' heat and dryness

The erudite Washington Post, Protector of Democracy from Death in Darkness, reveals its environmentalist religious fervor in a front-page, above the fold article on a hot and dry spell in parts of Italy that is destroying the rice crop yields in the risotto heartland.

Note the secondary headline:  "Farmers in risotto heartland are facing 'stomach-churching' heat and dryness"

Yet in the fourth paragraph of the text, the Italian farmer says "It's stomach-churning."

No where in the article do the authors claim that this heat and dryness is the result of catastrophic man-made global warming.  There is actually a map in the article that shows that much of Italy is wetter than usual, just as much is drier than usual.  That map is not mentioned in the text at all.  The chef of a restaurant near the Rizzotti farm is quoted as saying, "As far as I am concerned, this is the beginning of a series of crises that will happen again and again."  She is perhaps implying that this event is due to catastrophic man-made global warming.

But, the authors wisely make no such claim.  This is the case more and more often I find.  The catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis has suffered such severe scientific failure that the religious environmentalists that want the idea to take firm hold of the minds of the people can themselves no longer risk their reputations on claiming it is scientifically validated.  Now, they set up cherry-picked articles for which they know the response of many people will be to assume that the ill event was caused by catastrophic man-made global warming.  This article is one such example.  It serves the political purposes of those who wish to return to the Medieval Period, however.

The article is a stomach-churning example of the stomach-churching environmentalists expressing their religious fervor for their irrational cause.  As the churches of the Medieval Period were in opposition to the scientific method, so too are the stomach-churching environmentalists.

30 June 2022

Supreme Court Rules EPA Must Obey the Law

It should be obvious that the EPA must obey the law.  However, the EPA and every other regulatory agency has long adopted the principle that they can exercise whatever flights of fantasy they wish in interpreting the laws passed by Congress that the agency has been empowered to enforce.   The EPA has declared that carbon dioxide is a pollutant under the Clean Air Act and claimed that that gave it the power to control its emissions from power plants. Carbon dioxide was certainly not considered a pollutant when the Clean Air Act was passed into law.  It was declared a pollutant by the EPA under the Obama administration under the claim that it caused catastrophic man-made global warming.  That declaration of carbon dioxide as a pollutant had particularly threatening effects upon existing coal-fired power plants.  The Supreme Court put a temporary hold on the Obama EPA rules for carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.  In 2017, the Trump EPA changed those rules to make them more lenient, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided the Trump EPA rules were invalid.  This caused West Virginia and 18 other states to appeal that ruling to the Supreme Court.

If carbon dioxide actually did cause catastrophic man-made global warming, that would still not actually make it a pollutant and it would not really have been addressed by the Clean Air Act.  The EPA is required to provide scientific studies proving that an emitted gas is a pollutant.  The EPA cited no actual science proving that carbon dioxide caused catastrophic man-made global warming.  It did point at the UN IPCC reports, but those reports are only political documents fulfilling the desires of the governments of the world.  They are not scientific analyses, though they mascaraed as such.  The Summary for Policymakers for each report is written by the political representatives of the governments and any failures of the more detailed "science" sections of the report to support the political Summary for Policymakers are corrected as required.  There have been many re-writes of the science sections to make them more supportive of the political ends of the governments.  Nonetheless, the unwarranted assumptions and the holes in the scientific argument for catastrophic man-made global warming are apparent to any careful reader of the "science" sections of the UN IPCC reports.  Over the years, many of the scientists who wrote the original science sections stopped participating in the writing of the IPCC reports because they were furious about how the science sections were rewritten either by the scientists on the take or by purely political hacks.

In a 6 - 3 ruling, written by Chief Justice Roberts, the Supreme Court said that it was implausible that the Congress would have given the EPA the power to control carbon dioxide emissions of power plants without saying so clearly and explicitly in the Clean Air Act.  He also said that such controls have such a strong effect upon our energy service that such a power requires that Congress address it in law explicitly if those controls are entrusted to a government agency.  Indeed, the implication was that any agency making decisions with great magnitude and consequence must have been given that power very explicitly by our elected representatives.

This ruling is of huge importance for American energy infrastructure and the cost and reliability of power for Americans.  It will likely also result in a welcome reduction of regulatory overreach so common for most of our government regulatory agencies.  It will force Congress to make laws addressing many issues for which they might rather not take responsibility.  The rate of new rulings of government agencies far surpass the rate of new laws produced by Congress.  This court ruling will serve as a brake on the rapid growth of government micromanagement of most all aspects of our lives.

I propose we make 30 June a national holiday called Freedom from Regulation Day.

27 June 2022

Self Ownership, Obamacare, and Abortion Rights

I was asked to publish the following article at the Savvy Street.  I agreed, but I wanted to revise it a bit.  The revised version is entitled The Ninth Amendment, Self-Ownership, and Abortion Rights.  

The Supreme Court has noted that abortion is not mentioned in the U. S. Constitution.  It is not.  Neither is it mentioned explicitly that every individual owns his or her own life.  Yet those rights acknowledged explicitly in the Constitution in the First and Second Amendments would seem to have a basis in an assumption that every individual owns his or her own life.  The right to self-ownership is surely one of the rights that was meant to be protected by the Ninth Amendment.  "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

The Ninth Amendment is the most important amendment in the Bill of Rights philosophically because it recognizes that an individual's rights are not just a grant of government.  It recognizes, as did the Declaration of Independence, that all men are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness --"  It is the Ninth Amendment that recognizes the sovereignty of the individual in accordance with our philosophy of government spelled out in The Declaration of Independence.

Tragically, those who seek to expand the powers of government far beyond its enumerated powers in the Constitution, have never wanted to acknowledge the sovereignty of the individual.  His broad rights to self-ownership, to freedom of conscience, and to freedom of association have been subject to frequent violation by government too eager to control the lives of its citizens.  The central role of the Declaration of Independence and of the Ninth Amendment have both been denied.  This means that many government overreaches that should have been held unconstitutional on the basis of the Ninth Amendment have not been so thwarted.  The Ninth Amendment has been almost totally ignored.  This has led to many very contorted rulings by the federal courts trying to find some protection of rights that many Americans believe they have somewhere in the Constitution.  Justice Clarence Thomas has been notable for his lone attempts to point this problem out.

It has been noted by many that the Justice Alito argument that abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution and therefore is not a right recognized by the Constitution, opens the door for making a similar argument against a right to same-sex marriages, the use of contraceptives, and interracial marriages.  Based on the Alito argument, each of these rights might be returned to the states for legislation limiting or protecting them.  These rights, as is the case with an abortion right, must have their proper basis in the right to self-ownership and freedom of association, both of which should be seen as protected by the Ninth Amendment.

The abortion rights decision by the Supreme Court has greatly angered many people, most of whom have consistently voted for the Democratic Party, though a sizeable fraction of Republicans also believe in abortion rights. The Democratic Party has been most vociferous in its denial of the right to self-ownership in all contexts but one and in its denial of the protections of the Ninth Amendment.  The existence of an abortion right must start with a woman's ownership of her own body. 

One of the best examples of the Democratic Party interfering with the right to self-ownership was the enactment of Obamacare.  Every Democrat Senator and 87% of the Democrats in the House of Representatives voted for Obamacare.  They spent an incredible amount of political capital on this highly unpopular legislation.  While there were other reasons why many Democrats wanted this control over the maintenance of every American's mind and body, many wanted and understood that they were  really asserting a principle that no one owned their own mind and body exclusively.  They asserted that there was a collective ownership of every person's mind and body, which gave the collective, acting through the government, the right to dictate how every American would maintain his or her own mind and body.  The principle of collective ownership of our minds and bodies was explicitly noted in the first income tax return Obamacare applied to that designated the tax penalty line Shared Collective Responsibility.  I made the argument at the time that this assertion of collective ownership was the real issue with Obamacare, but almost no one supported me in this.

So now many women are furious that their abortion rights may be limited by the state they or other women live in.  They insist that they own their own bodies and should have the right to decide for themselves whether they will have an abortion or not.  Unfortunately, it does not dawn on them that if there is a right to self-ownership, then it applies far more broadly than just to abortion issues.  It surely also applies to the right that every individual, man or woman, has to determine how they will use and maintain their bodies.  It applied to Obamacare and many other examples of government limits on our board sovereign individual rights to self-ownership, including the ownership of our labor and our freedom of contract.  But no, selective assertion of a broad principle is all they care about.  Because of that failure to think in terms of principles, the Supreme Court now has no basis to assert any national abortion right.  The matter has been turned over to the states to decide.

I believe a woman has an abortion right, but its boundary is limited by that time when the development of a fetus makes it a human being protected from murder, or by when it is capable of independent life.  I am not asserting where that boundary is.  That is a thorny problem.  Perhaps that is a problem best left to the states and the more local beliefs of the people who live in those states.  However, wherever those decisions are made, if a woman has an abortion right, it is critically dependent upon her right to self-ownership.  Women who want to assert this right, ought to assert the right to self-ownership for every individual, man or woman, in all the contexts to which it applies.  If they do this, government will be far more limited than it is today and everyone but a few invidious special interests will benefit immensely.

16 June 2022

USA Gasoline Price Skyrockets in Accordance with Democrat Energy Policy

 The USA average gasoline price from June 2020 to June 2022 is charted below:

For the last 6 months of 2020, the price of gasoline averaged about $2.20/gal.  The outcome of the 2020 election put the Democrats solidly in control of US energy policy.   The Democrats were really going to be able to pursue their long-stated goal of seeking the death of the American oil and gas industry, since they controlled the Presidency and both houses of the Congress.  The oil and gas industry had no choice but to respond with drastic investment caution as the Democrats canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline once again, canceled oil and gas leases, and put huge tracts of US land with great deposits of oil and gas off limits for development.  Over time, it also became clear that the government was canceling many other environmental permits actually needed to produce oil from existing oil leases and that it was generally preventing the building of new oil and gas pipelines.

Keeping oil and gas production in the US at a constant level requires a constant investment of effort and money.  This is even more true now that so much of our production is due to fracking.  The inevitable result of the Democrat anti-carbon fuel policies was that the US oil and gas industry was not willing to invest enough money to increase production enough to keep gasoline prices low.  The Democrats made it too hard to do so and any investment the oil and gas industry made was subject to later annihilation as the Democrats pursued their stated goal to kill the oil and gas industry.

The Democrats and the Federal Reserve also proceeded to flood the economy with new money.  The Treasury Department money presses printed money day and night, without pause.  The employees manning the presses and verifying the paper and ink ingredients were virtually flogged to print record amounts of new money.  Congress passed major spending bills and the Federal Reserve pursued its own money supply expansion policies.  The result was that the measure of the money supply called M2 increased rapidly from June 2021 to January 2022.  This generated a general price increase in almost all goods and services.  Oil and gas products could not be an exception.

Biden and the Democrats keep claiming these factors are not the cause of the gas price increases.  They say they were caused by increased demand as the economy recovered from Covid-19 and by Putin.  The economy was recovering, but the oil and gas industry had been readily able to supply an economy of equal size prior to the Covid-19 contraction.  Despite the Democrats, the oil and gas industry has steadily increased the number of active oil rigs since the minimum in the July to September 2020 period.  But, the number presently employed is still not as many as were employed prior to the Covid-19 downturn.  Democrat policies make banks and other lenders unwilling to lend money to the oil and gas industry and their own investors have reason to exercise extra caution in pursuing only the most lucrative projects with supporting infrastructure already in place.

As for Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that effect is responsible for the spike on the gas price curve, but note that there appears to be a rapid price increase before and after that spike that seems to be based at least mostly on other factors in play prior to the Russian invasion.

The increase in gasoline and diesel fuel prices are deleterious for our entire economy.  Add these to the high price increases in almost all goods and services, and many Americans are struggling to get by.  Americans with low incomes are hurting the most.  The Democrats say they care, but they do not care the least little bit.  They are determined to pursue their expensive oil and gas price policies with an aim to murder the oil and gas industry, no matter how many Americans are hurt.

After all, they claim it is because carbon dioxide emissions by man are an existential threat to the planet.  I have demolished that argument many times on this blog.  Others have also shown the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis to have failed in its scientific predictions.  On the basis of the scientific method, this Democrat argument holds no water, but they cling to it as though it is a religion.  It is a truth that people have chosen to annihilate millions of others due to their differing religions or lack thereof, so it is hardly surprising that Democrats of the catastrophic man-made global warming religion are very willing to do great harm to the standard of living of many, many of their fellow countrymen and of many in the developing world who desperately need the advantages of affordable oil and gas.

Those who hunger for ever-increasing power are willing to use that power brutally.  The Democrats are demonstrating that general truism by driving up the cost of our goods and services while leaving our incomes behind the curve.  This is just one more instance showing the foolishness of those many Americans deceived into believing the Democrats were the "kind" party.  Constant expressions of caring about others are a sign that someone is trying very hard to pull the wool over the eyes of the na├»ve.  This has been the one thing that Democrats have been very accomplished at doing.  Dealing with reality is another thing entirely.

03 May 2022

The New York Times, Racism, and Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson often notes that Dr. Martin Luther King believed that Black Americans should be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.  The New York Times responds by claiming that Tucker Carlson’s show is the “most racist program in the history of cable news.” 

There is much more of interest in The American Spectator article by Jeffrey Lord on the New York Times and its claims that Tucker Carlson is a racist.  Tucker once said that the mass immigration of illegals made America poorer and dirtier.  Of course the immediate effect of the immigrants lack of wealth and income was to make America poorer, but the dirtier comment was especially met with howls of protest.  Yet, many federal and state reports had previously noted that the illegal aliens had left huge amounts of garbage behind them along our border areas and very extensive and expensive clean-ups had been required over the years.  Tucker had to explain this was what he was alluding to, though it would have been better had he explained that immediately.  The New York Times made further attacks on Carlson, whose criticisms hit the sensitive nerve centers of the left so often.

The Lord article makes many interesting observations about The New York Times and racism.  For the record, the newspaper that claims to be the newspaper of the record, The New York Times, is owned by a family whose wealth derived from the ownership of slaves.  Adolph S. Ochs began his publishing career as owner of The Chattanooga Times before he acquired The New York Times.  Several of his family members had fought for the Confederacy.  His mother had smuggled medicine to the Confederate Army.  In 1900, Ochs’ New York Times editorialized that the Democratic Party “may justly insist that the evils of negro suffrage were wantonly inflicted on them.”  The Lord article notes that Ochs made many contributions to the erection of Confederate memorials. 

The New York Times has ever since been true to the Democratic Party that embraced and fought for slavery for many decades and then denied Black Americans the vote for many more decades.  To this day, The New York Times and the Democratic Party tell us we ought to judge people by the color of their skin.  They tell us that Black Americans cannot be competitive in a merit-based society, so we must declare any appreciation of merit to be racist.  The logical conclusion of their belief is that Black Americans should not even seek to develop merit in their character.  They still tell us it is racist to judge individuals by the content of their character, just as they did historically.  Give them credit for the consistency of their racism, even as you declare their beliefs terribly wrongheaded.

I look forward to the day when my granddaughters will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.  That will not happen if The New York Times and the Democratic Party have their way.

02 May 2022

The Soviets had their KGB, now we have our DGB

The Soviets had their KGB for security, now we have our DGB in the well-armed Department of Homeland Security.  We are now all relieved of the effort to identify the truth.  Government bureaucrats will do it for us.  They call themselves authorities on the subject and we are supposed to believe them and become ignorant serfs.  Their success as "Climate Change" authorities and as "Pandemic" authorities has paved the way for their general declaration of themselves as "Truth" authorities.

All Hail to the Disinformation Governance Board.  They tell us it is going to emphasize correcting information taken up in minority groups.  This is a clear indication that the Democrat authoritarians are worried that they are losing the massive vote tallies they have long counted on from many minority groups.  The mid-term elections cannot come soon enough if we are to maintain freedom of speech.

09 April 2022

Scientific Illiteracy at the CDC and White House

Nancy Pelosi kissed the Pretender in Chief Biden on his cheek before she was known to have Covid-19.  But no worry.  The White House says she was not within 6 feet of him for 15 minutes, so according to the CDC criteria for close contact for Covid-19, she was under the time limit.  No worry.

Most people have enough sense to understand the how close they were matters.  They were not 6 feet apart, they were an inch apart.  Common sense proves here to be vastly superior to the "science" of the CDC and the regulatory sense of the White House.

Let us see if we can explain this to the scientifically illiterate of the CDC and the White House.  A simple model of the dispersion of the virus as it spreads out over distance is that it is diluted as the cubic power of the distance between the people involved.  The density of the virus in the air is approximately proportional to the volume of a sphere centered on the point of emission.  Now the distance between Nancy and Joe was about 1 inch and its cube is 1 cubic inch.  6 feet in inches is 72 inches, whose cube is 373,248 cubic inches.  So the dose rate of virus someone 6 feet away from Nancy is about 1/373,248 times that which Joe experienced.  This number is 2.68 millionths.

The threshold viral dose for close contact is this viral density times the time of exposure.  The CDC critical time is 15 minutes, so the critical time when the dose rate is 373,248 times greater than it is at 6 feet is 15 minutes/373,248 = 0.000040 minutes or 0.0024 seconds.

Nancy must be the fastest kisser ever if she managed to smack the Great Pretender in less than 0.0024 seconds.  Not to mention that she had to have spent some additional time within that 6 foot distance.

Science and good old American common sense agree that the CDC and the White House are wacko!

You know, if Nancy can move so fast that her bussing the Great Pretender on the cheek was really no cause of Covid-19 concern, then her propulsion system is so good, we should send her on the first human mission to Alpha Centauri.  She can traverse that 4 light years distance in no time at all.  Nancy, it is your patriotic duty to take on this mission to Alpha Centauri!  Do it right now.

As for the CDC, that distance within 6 feet matters hugely and cannot be ignored in any scientific criterion for close contact.

04 April 2022

A Milestone in the Objectivist Movement

At last! The philosophy of reality, reasoning independent minds, individual self-interest, and a free market society always had to recognize that its movement had to embrace all of these within itself. Yet the Ayn Rand Institute long refused to do this.  To an apparently significant degree, ARI is now ready to do a better job of doing so and allow a popular movement to blossom without excessive schisms and attempts to control all Objectivist thinkers.

We have always needed more recognition that independent-minded individuals with their many varied interests and experiences would reasonably hold somewhat different principles and apply them to the complexities of life differently. Objectivism as a philosophy by which one can live your own life, has to contain within it the flexibility to handle the salient fact of our individuality. Yes, at a high level we all agree on some central principles, but in our individual lives one has to work out a host of sub-principles that apply to yourself as an individual. One cannot apply to Ayn Rand or to ARI for approval of how you make these judgments, because "No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." 

To be a successful movement, the Objectivist movement needs to believe that there is a free market in Objectivist ideas. That market of rational, independent-minded individuals will sort out the good and the bad ideas. Unfortunately, some Objectivists had too little confidence that there were enough rational, independent-minded individuals for this to work out successfully. Yet only if there are, will Objectivism ever succeed as a major popular movement.

See The Atlas Society comments on the ARI release for the main ways in which the ARI policy will now open up Objectivism to more independent-minded thinkers.  Robert Tracinski has also made interesting observations on this.

21 March 2022

The SEC Proposes Rule on Infrared-Absorbing Gas Emissions and Climate Risk

The SEC wants to force publicly traded businesses to predict how climate change might harm their businesses and how they might be a cause of global warming themselves.  They proposed rules for such on Monday, 21 March 2022.

Few companies are themselves expert in predicting the future climate or future weather.  They are being asked to use the available scientific knowledge about future climate and future weather. They also have to use this available scientific knowledge about the role that emissions of infrared-absorbing gases, commonly called greenhouse gases, will have on these future climate and weather conditions.  What is more, they are to be forced to predict how governments in the USA will limit and condition their operations based on fears of climate change.  Still worse, they are to be forced to make predictions of how people and nations around the world will respond to fears of climate change.

All of these requirements are proposed within a framework of censored science and of poor science with a very wide range of predictions, most of which predict much larger effects due to infrared-absorbing gases then have actually been observed.  For instance, temperature increases and the frequency of bad weather events have consistently failed to live up to the predictions of the greenhouse gas climate scare-mongers.  How can a company predict what the effect of global warming and increased bad weather events will be on its operations when the published, rubbish science cannot predict what the relation between infrared-absorbing gas emissions and subsequent warming and nasty weather events will be?  The reality, which the Democrats who have proposed these SEC rules ignore, is that increased infrared-absorbing gases in the atmosphere has a very, very small effect in causing additional warming.  The requirement, however, will be that companies will have to make their predictions based on exaggerated warming and bad weather events in line with the climate scare-mongers.

The climate fright-masters will no doubt also require that companies make these exaggerated effect predictions based on exaggerated negative effects upon their own business.  These predictions will also have to be based on some exaggerated overall effects upon the US economy and on the world economy.  They will also assume that many nations will long continue to raise the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations due to lax regulations limiting their emissions.  Exaggerated individual company effects will justify further exaggerations of the general negative effects upon the US and the world economies.

The effort for a company to perform these predictions honestly would be tremendous.  Honest predictions have nothing to do with the purpose of the proposed SEC regulations, however.  Formulas will be adopted for this purpose, which the publicly traded companies will be forced to adhere to.

So why is this being done?  The reason is that every publicly traded company is to be made to appear to believe in catastrophic man-made global warming and to take it seriously.  This in turn is to rachet up the fear that Americans have of catastrophic man-made global warming.  The self-reporting of company activities that might be affected by bad and warming weather and of company gas emissions will also give the government further information it can twist into a story of future disaster.  That disaster story will then allow even more regulation of businesses, no doubt expanding far beyond those that are publicly traded.

Catastrophic man-made global warming due to adding infrared-absorbing gases to the atmosphere given its present composition is a failed hypothesis.  For Democrats and some Republicans, this is not a reason not to use the fear of it to justify ever-increasing governmental controls over our lives.  Governmental controls are always resisted by the people, unless they are afraid of something.  Catastrophic man-made global warming is another such fear-creating tool.  The claim that businesses generally want to do harm to people has long been such a tool and is still at play in this SEC proposed rule as well.

12 March 2022

Who was buying Russian Oil?

I have read that though Germany was buying more Russian oil relative to its GDP than was the USA, the USA was paying Russia more money for oil than any other country.  This is not true unless Red China is paying vastly less per barrel of oil than we are.  Germany and the Netherlands must be paying less per barrel as well.  Just look at the actual amount of oil countries were buying from Russia.

It has been Red China that has made the largest contribution by far to the Russian war machine.

Inflation and its Effects are Worse than Most People Think

You know that the government's consumer price index leaped up to 7.9% in February, compared to a year ago.  We have all heard that this is its highest level in 40 years.  Frequently, the government likes to remove the effects of food and energy prices, because they can fluctuate greatly and because they affect the non-elites the most.  That gasless, foodless inflation rate leaves an inflation rate of 6.4% for February compared to a year earlier.  The Producer Price Index went up even more at 9.7% compared to a year ago.  This promises price increases going forward.

Barron's has stripped out all the costs except those that are not necessary goods for everyone.  Essential foods, housing, gasoline, and utilities constitute these necessary core items.  The inflation rate for these critical items for February was 16%.

Since then, about one-tenth of the world's oil and about a quarter of the exported wheat has vanished, thanks to the Russian invasion of the Breadbasket of Europe, namely Ukraine.

It is not enough that less than wealthy Americans lost their jobs and small businesses in horrific waves of brutal Covid-19 mandates.  Now the senseless over-spending of the Biden administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate and House of Representatives has drastically diluted the value of the dollar.  The same Americans most hurt by the Chinese Communist Party generated and released Covid-19, the Democrat fear-driven response of mandates directed at small businesses, and the rising energy costs due to the irrational belief in catastrophic man-made global warming are being slammed to Earth. 

The Democrats are brutally unfeeling and staggeringly irrational.  About half of all Americans voted for them and gave them the power to do this this evil work.  Many of them are now the greatest victims of the Democrat misuse of their rule.

08 March 2022

Biden Administration Misdirection on US Oil Production

 The Biden administration is making a habit of misdirecting Americans on the causes of the increases in the cost of oil in several respects.  They have repeatedly made the claim that U.S. crude oil production is at an all-time high, for instance.  Here is the actual data on U.S. Crude Oil production per week according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

The peak in average daily crude oil production was in the weeks of 28 February and 13 March 2020 when the average daily oil production was 13,100 thousand or 13.1 million barrels of oil.  Oil production was reduced after that due to the Covid-19 pandemic and expected lowering of demand for oil as people stayed home or at least stayed closer to home.  The week of 29 January 2021, Biden's first full week in office, the daily average oil production was 10.9 million barrels of oil per day.  The week of 25 February 2022 the daily average crude oil production was 11.6 million barrels.  This was due to some recovery in oil demand and the price of oil due to the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic.  This is still 1.5 million barrels per day below the U.S. peak oil production.

Another Biden administration misdirection is the claim that 9,000 oil leases for oil production means that any shortfall in oil production is the fault of oil production companies.  The Biden administration has made it abundantly clear that they want the prices of oil and natural gas to skyrocket, which means they want their production to lag the demand for them.  They want this to encourage the massive mistake of a false belief in an existential catastrophe due to man-made global warming.  Oil and gas production has no long-term future according to their belief system.  Twice the Keystone XL pipeline was put on track for construction and twice its construction was halted by the Democrats and the Russian-funded environmentalist special interest groups with whom they collaborate.  This has caused the loss of massive sums of capital to its investors.  Other pipeline projects have also suffered as the Democrats ruined the investment climate.

One cannot make use of a lease to drill oil if one is not allowed to produce on that lease under reasonable environmental rules.  One cannot make use of an oil lease if one cannot build a pipeline to deliver the oil to a refinery.  One commonly cannot drill or build a pipeline if one cannot borrow money from banks and other lending institutions.  The Biden administration has been strongly discouraging banks and other lenders from making loans for purposes tied to oil production, oil transport, and oil product production.  They have discouraged liquification facilities and liquified gas transport capability.  They have also placed a moratorium on further leases on federal land and on offshore oil drilling. 

If the Biden administration were to give you the go ahead to invest a billion dollars into an oil and gas production effort, would you feel comfortable that they would not halt you in the midst of your investment or at a late stage in that investment?  If you were not very cognizant of that risk, you would certainly not be someone who should have any control over the investment of a billion dollars.

The Biden administration is definitely responsible for an unfavorable climate for oil and gas production.  It is extremely dishonest of them to claim that any shortfall in oil and gas production is due to the failure of the oil and gas industries.


Red Famine - Stalin's War on Ukraine

Anne Applebaum tells the horrible story of the Holodomor, the Stalin-lead extermination of Ukrainians by hunger in Red Famine - Stalin's War on Ukraine.  The Russians proved brutal and anything but good Slavic cousins to the Ukrainians.

Thanks to Stalin's policies, at least 5 million people died due to famine in Russia from 1931 to 1934.  Of these, it was the Ukrainians in the Breadbasket of Europe who died in the largest numbers.  At least 3.9 million Ukrainians starved to death.  Stalin had Russians thugs take all of their food from them and would not allow them to leave to find food elsewhere.

This was not the end of his attempts to destroy any possible dissent in Ukraine.  As the famine struck down so many Ukrainians, Stalin also had virtually all Ukrainian intellectuals, educated professionals, and public officials rounded up and jailed or murdered.  Any Ukrainian associated with the independent Ukrainian Republic from 1917 to 1922 was especially eliminated.  People who had promoted Ukrainian history or the Ukrainian language or literature were sent to labor camps or murdered.  Stalin feared the desire of Ukrainians to be Ukrainians and to be independent.  He wanted to squash all aspirations of a separate Ukrainian nation.  Putin is of the same mind.

02 March 2022

Russia is Ruled by Men Inured to Death Who Grew Up in the USSR

 Emeritus Professor R. J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii estimates that the Soviet Empire murdered about 62 million people between 1917 and 1987.  Putin and the Oligarchs of Russia grew up in the Soviet Union environment.  To them, the murder of people to support the power of those who rule the country is the ingrained method of ruling.  Murder is the primary tool of a strong ruler.  Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and now Putin have all utilized this tool with devotion.  The vast regions of the Russian Federation would not have such a low population density were those 62 million people to have survived and thrived and multiplied.

The West needs to understand this, though it seems very incomprehensible.  Ukrainians certainly have greatly suffered from this in the past and are doing so once again.  One day the Russians will surely fall victim to an expanding Red China eager to wrest the Asian lands of an underpopulated Russia from it as well.  Russia has lost an incredible sum of human talent and will lose its Empire as a result.  Time is heavily against Russia.

28 February 2022

Great Russians Explain Ukraine Invasion as Need to Make them Little Russians

The following statement occurred in several Russian state media as justification for the Invasion of Ukraine:

Russia is restoring its unity – the tragedy of 1991, this terrible catastrophe in our history, its unnatural dislocation, has been overcome. Yes, at a great cost, yes, through the tragic events of a virtual civil war, because now brothers, separated by belonging to the Russian and Ukrainian armies, are still shooting at each other, but there will be no more Ukraine as anti-Russia. Russia is restoring its historical fullness, gathering the Russian world, the Russian people together – in its entirety of Great Russians, Belarusians and Little Russians. If we had abandoned this, if we had allowed the temporary division to take hold for centuries, then we would not only betray the memory of our ancestors, but would also be cursed by our descendants for allowing the disintegration of the Russian land.

So Russia believes it is justified in using force to unite its superior Great Russians with the inferior Little Russians.  Did it never occur to those idiot Great Russians that the Ukrainians might not find the idea of being their subservient Little Russians a very appealing idea?  Those Little Russians sure are looking stout in their courageous rejection of Great Russian enslavement as their serfs.  They are acting like Ukrainians, not Little Russians.

I Condemn Russia and Red China as an Axis of Evil

The Russian Federation, signatory with the USA and the United Kingdom of a guarantee of independent Ukraine's borders in 1994, has invaded Ukraine.  These guarantees were a critical reason Ukraine gave up the world's third largest number of nuclear weapons on its soil after the dissolution of the USSR.  Yes, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, so NATO is not obligated by treaty to defend Ukraine, but the USA and the United Kingdom are obligated by their 1994 treaty.  Both are defaulting on that obligation now as they did in 2014 when Russia took the Crimea.  To be sure, the treaty was perhaps an ill-considered one by the Clinton administration, but that administration was also very concerned, with justification, about the many nuclear weapons then in Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as a result of the dissolution of the USSR.  To uphold our treaty, we would have had to provide more military aid and training to Ukraine, which might have stimulated Russia to an earlier invasion.  This was a very knotty problem.

Putin claims that Ukrainians are Russians or at least their close brothers.  He says that historically, Ukraine was part of Russia.  He claims they are both Orthodox by religion and share a language.  This being the case, Ukraine must be re-united with the Russians.

Actually, the Kievan Rus was a separate country with its own court, language, large capital city Kiev, now Kyiv, and distinct farming economy when the Duchy of Muscovy was a small fur-trading town.  The Kievan Rus was the largest country in Europe.  It had extensive interactions with the French court and its court was one of the most advanced in Europe for a couple hundred years (1000 - 1200 AD approximately), which was a status Moscow never achieved.  Present day Ukraine consists of an eastern part that Russia conquered and was largely brought under Russian control by Catherine the Great.  The eastern Ukraine generally became Orthodox in religion and the Russians worked hard to force the Ukrainians to speak Russian.  The western part of Ukraine was united with Lithuania and Poland in various combinations for hundreds of years, then was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the late 1700s until after WW1, when it became part of Poland.  The western Ukraine is largely Catholic.  There is also a large Jewish population in Ukraine, including the present President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Putin claims is a Nazi.

How have the Russians treated their Ukrainian brothers?  In Czarist times, the authoritarian Czars were constantly suppressing the more freedom-loving Ukrainians.  They discriminated against them for government posts, for education, and tended to call them denigrating names, such as Little Russians.  Then eastern Ukraine, which had briefly won independence when the Czarist government fell in 1917, was brought under brutal Russian Communist control in stages in the early 1920s.  When the Russian Communists implemented the collective farm programs and stole the farmland of the Kulaks, the richer farmers, Ukraine was hit harder than the rest of the USSR.  By about 1900, Ukraine had become known as the Breadbasket of Europe.  Many of its farmers were comparatively well off.  These hardworking people had their land stolen and the professional class of people in the many well-developed cities of Ukraine also lost their property.  Then in 1932 - 1933, the Russians took all the food the Ukrainians had grown and left millions of them to starve.  Once again, Ukrainians were discriminated against for government jobs and all jobs in the USSR were government jobs.  They were also discriminated against in education.  They were thought of by Russians as though they were hillbillies, the actual word a Russian Jewish scientist told me they were.

Putin was a KGB agent and a member of the Russian Mafia.  He climbed to power over the bodies of many Russians, let alone many Ukrainians.  Neither he nor the general Russian are someone any rational Ukrainian would want as a brother.  A brother does not steal the land of his brothers, yet Russians did this to Ukrainians.  A brother does not use brutal force to steal all the food grown by another brother and leave him to starve.  A brother does not prevent another brother from having a good job or a good education.  All around, the Putin claim that Ukrainians are Russian brothers is absurd.  He has managed to heighten that absurdity with his claim upon experiencing considerable Ukrainian resistance to his occupation of Ukraine by stating that he needed to set his nuclear forces at a high level of readiness because he cannot image in world without Russia.  Does he really think that Ukrainian resistance to invasion is a threat to the existence of Russia?  Well, perhaps it is a threat to his rule of Russia and he is a much a megalomaniac as Hitler, who could see no use in the continuation of the Third Reich without himself at its head.  Putin, as is the case with many long term dictators, has become mentally unstable and quite divorced from reality.

Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe, if you count Russia as a European country.  It is larger or about the size of France, and larger than Spain, Sweden, Germany, and Finland.  Kyiv, pronounced Kay-eve, contrary to what you hear on the news, is Europe's seventh largest city.  It is not an Appalachian hollow hamlet.  Lviv, of the western Ukraine and very near Poland, is known as the Cultural Center of Ukraine.  

Lviv is about 60 miles west of the small town from which my wife's family came.  Her older brother and sister were born in that town.  Her father, John Palka, was the village mayor and owned a wealthy enough farm of less than 40 acres, that he was a Kulak.  He also had a history of fighting the Communists, when as a 16 year-old he fought in the Ukrainian Army trying to resist the Communist takeover of Ukraine in the early 1920s.  When the Soviets took over the western Ukraine at the start of WWII upon the heinous partition of Poland between Germany and the USSR, he had to flee his home.  When the Germans attacked the USSR and soon took the western Ukraine, he returned and resumed his duties as mayor.  When the Soviets again returned in the closing period of WWII, Anna's family fled Ukraine and wound up in West Germany in the American sector at the end of the war.  They emigrated to the USA in late 1947 and arrived when Anna, my wife, was about 8 months old.  They settled in Cleveland, Ohio and became part of the large Ukrainian community of Cleveland.  The Palka family was active in the Ukrainian Catholic Church and Ukrainian Scouts.  Anna proudly became a U.S. citizen when she was a student at Case Western Reserve University.

I met Anna when I set up a dinner group to meet at the CWRU Hospital cafeteria of people interested in the works and philosophy of Ayn Rand.  I was working on my Ph.D. in Physics at Case Western Reserve University and Anna was working as a microbiologist at the Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital of CWRU.  We married in December 1973 and I became an adjunct member of her Ukrainian family, though with my deficient skills in learning languages, I never learned to speak Ukrainian.  This and my lack of dancing skills required some tolerance on their part.  Still worse, was my lack of belief in God and Catholicism.  Nonetheless, these good people were quite welcoming.

Some will dismiss my moral and  strategic analysis of the role of the Russian Federation as overly influenced by family bias now, but my family experience is also rich in the lessons of history, about which too few Americans have knowledge. 

The United States have contributed to Putin's ability to invade Ukraine by restraining its own oil, gas, and coal production since the start of the Biden administration.  This has caused the cost of oil and natural gas to rise and 40% of the Russian economy is due to its energy resources.  This was crucial to Russia since its total GDP is smaller than that of either Italy, Canada, or South Korea and barely larger than that of Brazil or Australia.  This is a direct result of the lack of freedom, property rights, and individual initiative in Russia.  Not only have we removed American oil, gas, and coal from the global economy, but we have taken to actually importing Russian oil!  We have been providing Russia with the money to pay its military, provide it with arms, and to assemble for the attack on Ukraine.  We aided Putin in building up a $600 billion war-chest so he can weather the relatively weak economic sanctions being applied to Russia.  We have crippled our own energy production at the urging of radical environmentalists who have received considerable Russian funding to achieve that purpose.  Both Russia and China have long promoted false claims of catastrophic man-made global warming in America to scare us into destroying our own great energy advantages to our economy and to global strategic policy.

Putin and the execrable Xi of Red China have entered into some sort of mutually supportive pact to aid their aggressions against their neighbors and to diminish the effects of any economic sanctions by moral indignant countries.  Just as Putin can cause many European nations great harm by cutting off the supply of natural gas and oil to them through a web of pipelines, so can Red China cause tremendous economic harm now that it was cornered so much of the world's manufacturing capacity.  With its cheap and often slave labor, its lack of concern for the environment, its currency manipulations, and its extensive use of coal-fired power plants, China has managed to become the world's largest manufacturer.  In 2018, the value of its manufacturing output was one and two-thirds that of the USA.  China is the dominant supplier of solar panels, rare earth metals for powerful magnets used in wind generators and other electric motors, chemicals for pharmaceutical production and for the Mexican drug cartels, and LEDs.  They are a huge beneficiary of the wrongheaded goal to establish solar and wind generation as the primary sources of electricity in the developed countries.  China's biggest trade partner is the European Union, closely followed by the USA.  The West is assiduously investing gigantic sums of capital in building manufacturing operations in China.  We are truly providing this evil country the rope to hang us with, just as the early Communists assured one another that the Capitalists would do.

Red China is a totalitarian country whose people outside of the annexed and suppressed Hong Kong have never known freedom.  People who have never or only long ago enjoyed freedom are not a moral people.  Morality only thrives among a free people.  Our Founders were fond of saying that a people could be and remain free only if they behaved morally.  The inverse is also true.  A nation which has long lacked freedom, lacks morality.  This applies to Russia as well as to Red China.

Biden has stated that Ukraine should not be admitted to NATO because corruption was widespread in Ukraine.  Rather than encouraging Ukraine to become less corrupt, the Biden family business actively took part in the corruption in Ukraine.  The Biden family business has also been extremely active in business operations in Red China which are controlled by the intelligence and military agencies of the Chinese Communist Party, including acquiring US company defense intellectual property.  It is not a wonder at all that Biden has worked hard to disassemble the American carbon-based fuel industries.  It is not a wonder that the Biden administration has proven such a weak ally to Ukraine.

Americans should become much more reluctant to purchase goods made in China.  They should encourage our government to allow the US carbon-based industries to greatly increase their production of these plenteous and reliable energy sources.  Americans should strongly condemn the ubiquitous violations of individual rights in the Russian Federation and in Red China.

The U.N. Security Council vote on a resolution to "deplore" the Russian invasion of Ukraine was approved by the USA, France, Britain, Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, and Norway.  China, India, and the United Arab Emirates abstained on the vote, which the Russian Federation vetoed.  We should remember the immoral choices that China, India, and the United Arab Emirates made on this resolution.