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I appeared on Silvio Canto Jr's talk show from Dallas.  It's here.

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 24-25,  2023

COULD IT BE?  ARE WE ACTUALLY SEEING SOME MATURE, REASONED COMMENTS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE?  THE SIGNS LOOK GOOD.  FROM THE GREAT GLENN H. REYNOLDS IN THE NEW YORK POST: 

Has the air gone out of the “climate crisis” balloon? 

It’s starting to look like it. Some other causes du jour are looking limp lately, too.

Oh, hysteria is still out there. In Boston this month, I passed a church whose door bore a lurid poster reading “DUE TO GLOBAL CLIMATE CRISIS, WORSHIP IN SANCTUARY 9-17-23 CANCELED.”

If it were really a global crisis, wouldn’t you want to be praying?...

...Bill Gates, however, is pumping the brakes on climate panic. 

Speaking at a New York Times event, he observed that heavy-handed policies won’t work: “If you try to do climate by brute force, you will get people who say, ‘I like climate but I don’t want to bear that cost and reduce my standard of living.’”

As Gates noted, many of these people are in middle-income countries, like China and India, that are the biggest contributors to carbon emissions today and whose emissions (unlike those of the United States) have been growing.

He also rained on the greens’ apocalyptic parade, saying “no temperate country is going to become uninhabitable.” 

And he cautioned against untested approaches like massive tree planting:  “Are we the science people or are we the idiots? Which one do we want to be?”

Well, the climate policies the political system supports are mostly the ones likely to yield the most graft, and those the corporate world supports are mostly the ones involving massive government subsidies.

But it’s interesting to see Gates softening his tone; it feels as if climate outrage has passed its sell-by date.

Oh, sure, there are still kooks in Europe gluing themselves to roadways and the occasional nut throwing oil on famous works of art, but it’s all started to seem rather forced.

When you see a shift in a social trend like this, it’s almost always happening for the same reason: The people behind it have figured out it’s doing the left more harm than good.

It’s of a piece with the sudden de-emphasis of ESG (environmental, social, governance) as a tool of corporate management. 

In both cases, the detached, well-off white people who mostly run the left dreamed up causes and slogans, which their follow-the-herd peers uncritically adopted until they ran into reality and the rest of the world noticed. 

The reality, as Gates is reminding us, is there’s not actually a climate “crisis” calling for drastic action tomorrow, and running businesses and institutions as if there is one is counterproductive and even outright destructive. 

Another reality is the great mass of people around the globe knows this and has lost patience with it.  

Likewise, investors have figured out ESG is just a way for managers to substitute fuzzy, hard-to-assess performance metrics — basically a “net wokeness” calculus — for clear and well-defined metrics like, you know, how much profit managers produce for shareholders.

It’s not really surprising that, on reflection, shareholders would rather have profit than trendy causes, and voters would rather have jobs and functioning societies than nonstop apocalyptic rhetoric.

COMMENT:  Read the rest.  Very well argued.  Maybe people, including voting people, are waking up to the fact that "the sky is falling" is the oldest political scam.  It isn't falling, and climate change is not about to destroy the planet. 

The war for sanity is starting to show some victories.  I hope that the next nut cause to fall is the alleged need for electric vehicles.  It seems that many of them are winding up on the "unsold" lots, and their cost may well be prohibitiveAnd will someone please tell me how much it will take out of the family budget to charge an electric vehicle every night of the month?  Not much talk about that, is there?

September 25, 2023       Permalink

 

HOLLYWOOD SURVIVES, MAYBE:  The writers strike has apparently been settled.  From Fox Business:  (Full disclosure:  I am a member of the Writers Guild of America.)

A tentative agreement has been reached between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the labor union announced Sunday night.

After nearly five months on strike, the WGA Negotiating Committee says it has potentially made a deal with studios, streaming services and production companies, and, as of Sunday, is suspending picketing.

"We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language," the committee wrote in an update.

Though specific details have not yet been made public, the WGA said the agreement is "exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership."

The WGA said while picketing is suspended, the strike is ongoing and "no one is to return to work until specifically authorized." It encouraged writers to join actors this week on the SAG-AFTRA picket lines.

Before the strike officially ends, the WGA's board and members must vote to approve the deal.

The writers strike began May 2 when approximately 11,500 WGA members walked off the job in protest of better pay, the size of staff on shows and the use of AI in scripts, marking the first screenwriters strike since 2007 and the longest since 1988.

"This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days," WGA West said in a statement to Fox News.

Hollywood actors, who joined the WGA members on strike in July, remain on the picket lines with no deal in the works at this moment.

COMMENT:  We await the verdict of the WGA members.  I will say nothing else.

September 25, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 22-23,  2023

THE BIDEN COLLAPSE?  One consistent factor in the early presidential polls being taken is the weakness of Joe Biden.  There may be a "wanting of Biden" in some groups, but it is hard to find.  The new, detailed, Washington Post poll gives a good picture of the extent of President Biden's political decline.  From ABC News: 

President Joe Biden's job approval rating is 19 points underwater, his ratings for handling the economy and immigration are at career lows. A record number of Americans say they've become worse off under his presidency, three-quarters say he's too old for another term and Donald Trump is looking better in retrospect -- all severe challenges for Biden in his reelection campaign ahead.

Forty-four percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say they've gotten worse off financially under Biden's presidency, the most for any president in ABC/Post polls since 1986. Just 37% approve of his job performance, while 56% disapprove. Still fewer approve of Biden's performance on the economy, 30%.

On handling immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, Biden's rating is even lower, with 23% approval. In terms of intensity of sentiment, 20% strongly approve of his work overall, while 45% strongly disapprove. And the 74% who say he's too old for a second term is up 6 percentage points since May. Views that Trump is too old also are up, but to 50% in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.

Such is down-on-Biden sentiment that if a government shutdown occurs at month's end, 40% say they'd chiefly blame him and the Democrats in Congress, versus 33% who'd pin it on the Republicans in Congress -- even given the GOP infighting behind the budget impasse.

What is equally remarkable is the new standing for Donald Trump.

Trump, for his part, has improved in retrospect. When he reluctantly left office in January 2021, 38% approved of his work as president, essentially the same as Biden's rating now. But currently, looking back, 48% say they approve of Trump's performance when he was in office -- matching his peak as president. Essentially as many -- 49% -- now disapprove, down from 60% when he left the White House.

Comparison with Biden may be a factor. Among the 56% of Americans who disapprove of Biden's work in office, a wide 75% say that, looking back, they approve of Trump.

COMMENT:  Again, as we always say, polls are snapshots in time.  But many of the snapshots are starting to say the same thing, that the public would prefer someone else to be the Democratic presidential nominee.  Inevitably, we get the feeling that, if Biden wins the general election, it won't be because of any love for him, but only because of a new dislike for Trump.

There is no joy in our current politics.  Where are the heroes?

September 23, 2023       Permalink


THE DISGRACE:  They used to call Baltimore "charm city."  They used to note that Baltimore was where "The Star Spangled Banner" was written.  Baltimore was important.

Now Baltimore is known for something else, and it doesn't say "charm."  It is symbolic of what is happening in many other American cities.  From FoxBaltimore.com: 

BALTIMORE (WBFF) — The latest round of state test results is raising alarm in Baltimore City Schools. Project Baltimore found that 40% of Baltimore City high schools, where the state exam was given, did not have any students score "proficient" in math. Not one student.

“This is educational homicide,” said Jason Rodriguez, deputy director of People Empowered by the Struggle, a Baltimore-based nonprofit.

In 2021, the group held rallies calling on Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises to resign over low test scores, falling graduation rates, and a lack of transparency. Now, after seeing what Project Baltimore discovered, Rodriguez is renewing those calls.

“There is no excuse,” he said. “We have a system that's just running rogue, and it starts at the top.”

Fox45 obtained unredacted state test results for every school in Baltimore City through a source within the school system, and the results are hard to believe.

Students took the tests in the spring of 2023, just a few months ago. Project Baltimore found 13 Baltimore City high schools where not one student who took the state math test scored "proficient" in math. Not one student.

In total, students at 33 Baltimore City high schools took the state math exam last spring. Project Baltimore did not include Eager Street Academy in our analysis because it’s located in the Baltimore City Detention Center.

Of the 32 high schools remaining, if 13 had zero students test proficient, that means 40% of Baltimore City high schools could not produce a single student doing math at grade level. The list of 13 schools includes some of Baltimore’s most well-known high schools, including Patterson High School, Frederick Douglass, and Reginald F. Lewis.

COMMENT:  What is remarkable is that results similar to this are found in many urban school systems, and yet there is so little sense of alarm.  We recall Daniel Patrick Moynihan's phrase, "defining deviancy down."  Basically, society responds to failure by conveniently lowering standards, thus making failure acceptable.  And who leads that lowering of standards?  Why, it's usually educators and politicians, and sometimes even misguided parents, who don't want children to be seen as failing.  In the end, that's cruel to those very children.

 

No high standards, no high achievement.  And no future.

September 23, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      of The New York Times.


"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
     - Jacques Barzun

"Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain."
     - Schiller

 

 

 

 



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