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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Links - 24th September 2022 (2 - Lord of the Rings)

Future Lord of the Rings films should acknowledge the book’s queer leanings - "Viewed through a 21st-century prism (perhaps even a 1930s one) the entirely male-centric events of Lord of the Rings – the bonding, the emotional connections in time of peril, the torment of choosing between heterosexual romance and the company of men – have obvious queer connotations. That does not mean Tolkien wrote them in such a way: it is possible to argue that the author saw the hobbits as childlike innocents, mere sprites who lived long, long ago, in the mists of a sexless, Eden-like, ancient faerie. When the writer describes Tom Bombadil telling the halflings to “run naked on the grass” while he hunts, in a chapter that never made it into the movies, it’s hard to imagine that Tolkien had anything particularly carnal in mind. (The hobbits dutifully obey, by the way.)... it would also be an error to present Tolkien’s world without reference to the realities of 21st-century society. Few batted an eyelid when Jackson invented a romance between an elf and a dwarf in his ill-fated Hobbit prequel, so why shouldn’t some of Middle-earth’s denizens be queer? Tolkien’s world in Lord of the Rings is divided into white men, dwarves and hobbits from a European-style continent, and darker races of men from the east and south (along with their Orcish allies) who have fallen under the spell of the evil Sauron. Clearly recreating this vision for a 21st-century adaptation would be just as inadvisable as making everyone straight"
As Tolkien's friend CS Lewis said, "Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend"
I don't know what world the writer is living in - I saw many people complain about the elf-dwarf romance
When you're transparent about your political motivations

Meme - "Tolkien's new book confirms LGBT relationships in Middle Earth?" "So there is a form of nonsexual love called friendship where people feel closely connected to each other"
"This is clearly about gayness"

Why Lord of the Rings Is the Best Trilogy Ever

Lord of the Rings at 20: How Peter Jackson Trilogy Was a Big Gamble - "Doing three films simultaneously was a practical decision. Jackson and Walsh had scouted some stunning New Zealand locations that were remote; this meant special roads had to be built to access them, and the roads would then be erased, to restore the sites’ original condition. It didn’t make sense to do that three times... Jackson accomplished something no other filmmaker has ever done: He significantly improved his country’s economy, by boosting both filmmaking and tourism."

The Lord of the Rings films are rooted in Tolkien’s pandemic experience - "Tolkien was a member of the Lost Generation, a cohort of literary greats whose work is generally characterized by disillusionment, both with society as a whole and with optimism as a principle. And that’s no great wonder, given the political, economic, and natural disasters that formed the bounds of their lives. So it’s interesting that Tolkien’s work is one of the most illusioned texts of his time. Tolkien spent most of the Great Depression years writing The Hobbit, which debuted in 1937. By the time he’d finished The Lord of the Rings, which was published in the mid-1950s, it was an epic of hope in the face of relentless devastation... Tolkien believed that the history of mankind was a story of a decline from paradise, and the legendarium of Middle-earth is a reflection of that. Evil begets more evil, good begets just enough good to stop it, and both are always dwindling in power. The world changes for the worse in ways that cannot be undone... But blockbuster film didn’t embrace the sincerity of the Lord of the Rings movies — the way they elevated deep and pure emotions to the level of an adult epic — in the same manner. There are still a few films of that kind that break into the cultural consciousness, either as cult favorites (Pacific Rim) or unexpected successes (Mad Max: Fury Road), but they are the exception to the Marvel Studios/DC Films/Sony Pictures/HBO rules of self-referential, self-effacing, sometimes-even-fully-cynical fantasy and hero tales."

The Gamer Features Editor Ben Sledge Accuses The Lord Of The Rings Creator J.R.R Tolkien Of Using Anti-Semitic Stereotypes, Calls Fans Racists - "Before Sledge gets to his accusations, he makes the ironic statement, “Before we get any further, I want to make this clear: whether you’re trolling, gatekeeping, plain old racist, or all of the above, you have no place in this fandom.”"
So much gatekeeping and projection

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power - Why Fandom Has To Embrace Change - "Twenty years ago, there was a similar backlash – including from a teenage me – when Jackson’s films made Arwen a more prominent character than in the books. Looking back, I realize my objections were based on ignorance (of Tolkien’s Appendices, and of the adaptation process in general), unexamined sexism, and entitlement... This sense of fan ownership and attachment isn’t a new phenomenon. In 1893 20,000 readers of The Strand magazine cancelled their subscription upon the death of Sherlock Holmes. In 1980 both critics and Star Wars fans expressed dissatisfaction with The Empire Strikes Back because it changed what had been established in the previous film. The difference here is that these responses weren’t connected to a burgeoning right-wing movement, which is where we find ourselves today. Lord of the Rings has already been co-opted by the far right... There is a significant portion of fandom who are not in a position to be reasoned with. Report them, block them, move on. They cannot create anything new, only distort and destroy what we already have."
When you don't understand the source material and insist on ruining everything with your agenda, just want to spite your political opposites and accuse them of doing what you are guilty of

Perma Banned - Posts | Facebook - "Eowyn: Manages to kill Witch-King, even though Witch-King killed hundreds and her father just moments earlier.
Galadriel: The most powerful existence in Middle Earth during LOTR, even stronger than Sauron at his peak.
Middle Earth: Has Humans (Westron, Easterlings, Haradrim, Umbar etc), Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, Orcs (Gundabad, Uruks, Uruk-Hai etc), Trolls, Ents, Hobbits, Sentient Spiders.
Late Tolkien: *wrote his books drawing on his Anglo-Saxon history knowledge to create a fantasy parable of Medieval Europe*
Amazon: *Not stopping them from destroying a dead man's work to fit their fancy politics, even though their statements are based off lies and observably absolutely no Tolkien fan cared or wanted it.*
Funny how these media talk about how "fans complained" this and that...yet never really prove or substantiate their claims. You know, Late-Tolkien a few times mentioned in his books that a specific "not very nice" faction could not get stronger by creating things from scratch...but rather corrupting things that already exist. Hmmm Saw this coming from miles away when I heard Amazon was "rebooting LOTR" last year."

The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Showrunners Admit They Don't Have The Rights To The Silmarillion Or Unfinished Tales - "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKaye admitted their show does not have a number of rights that depict events from the Second Age of The Lord of the Rings world... they only have the rights to The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, the appendices, and The Hobbit... One wonders why in the world someone would endeavor to bring to live-action the Second Age when you don’t have the rights to the key materials that document the Second Age. Well, McKay has an answer, “There’s a version of everything we need for the Second Age in the books we have the rights to.”... the show’s first trailer and the initial images first published by Vanity Fair reveals they have already egregiously contradicted those books. They turned Galadriel into a commander of the Northern Armies. A northern army was created by King Ondoher and led by him when he defended Gondor from an invasion by the Wainriders of Rhovanion. Ondoher’s creation of this northern army and its use in defending against the Wainrdiers was detailed in Unfinished Tales. Galadriel was not a commander although “she did look upon the Dwarfs also with the eye of a commander, seeing in them the finest warriors to pit against the Orcs,” as Tolkien noted in Unfinished Tales. There is a difference between being a commander and looking upon someone with the eye of a commander... The show also introduces us to a Dwarf princess named Disa. In Appendix A, Tolkien wrote, “Dís was the daughter of Thráin II. She is the only dwarf-woman named in these histories. It was said by Gimli that there are few dwarf-women, probably no more than a third of the whole people.” “They seldom walk abroad except at great need, They are in voice and appearance, and in garb if they must go on a journey, so like to the dwarf-men that the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart. This has given rise to the foolish opinion among Men that there are no dwarf-women, and that the Dwarves ‘grow out of stone,’ he added. Disa does not look like any of the other dwarves the show featured. Another clear egregious contradiction. Nevertheless, Payne and McKay once again showed their hubris and pride that they could do Tolkien’s story better than Tolkien. McKay previously revealed his hubris when he told Vanity Fair, “Can we come up with the novel Tolkien never wrote and do it as the mega-event series that could only happen now?” In this new Vanity Fair article, Payne adds, “We took all these little clues and thought of them as stars in the sky that we then connected to write the novel that Tolkien never wrote about the Second Age.” Interestingly, they try to justify their hubris by claiming, “We worked in conjunction with world-renowned Tolkien scholars and the Tolkien estate to make sure that the ways we connected the dots were Tolkienian and gelled with the experts’ and the estate’s understanding of the material.” However, the production canned Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey. It’s unclear why he was canned. Vanity Fair suggested it was over a NDA breach claiming he gave “an apparently unsanctioned interview to a German fan site that July, opining on what the show could and could not explore. Not long after that, Shippey was no longer involved with the series.” Who knows if that theory is true, but canning a prominent Tolkien scholar and then touting you worked with them to justify your egregious contradictions from Tolkien’s lore is despicable."

Amazon Prime Video Uses Vanity Fair To Attack Critics Of The Lord of The Rings: The Rings Of Power As "Trolls" - "One would think that when adapting a piece of fiction that has a storied history, one might think it would have been natural to reflect what Tolkien actually wrote rather than “what the world actually looks like.” It begs the question as why Amazon would even want to adapt Tolkien if they didn’t want to actually reflect what he wrote. Interestingly, the puff piece by Vanity Fair then paints people who wanted Prime Video to stay true to Tolkien’s work as “trolls.”... They go on to try and deride the fans by citing a so-called Tolkien scholar named Mariana Rios Maldonado. Maldonado is not a Tolkien scholar, but is rather a PhD student at the University of Glasgow who “is interested in ethics, feminist theory, and encountering the Other in Tolkien’s works.” That sounds like a social justice warrior if there ever was one. If that didn’t convince you, Maldonado also happens to be “the Equality and Diversity Officer for the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic.” Nevertheless, Vanity Fair, and one suspects Amazon by association, prop up this feminist as a Tolkien scholar to attack their fans. Maldonado tells Vanity Fair, “Obviously there was going to be push and backlash, but the question is from whom? Who are these people that feel so threatened or disgusted by the idea that an elf is Black or Latino or Asian?” Well, that’s actual fans of Tolkien’s work who want an adaptation of it to stay true it. What a tough question. And wanting to stay true to the work does not mean you or threatened or disgusted to imply as such shows you what kind of Tolkien scholar this person is, their first thought is to attack people. Sounds like a Tolkien villain named Grima Wormtongue. Not only does Vanity Fair and by association Amazon Studios attack The Lord of the Rings fans, but they also reveal that the casting changes were cause for fans to be concerned that if you can’t get that right, you won’t get the rest right either. And that appears to be the case as Vanity Fair reports that showrunners “[JD] Payne and [Patrick] McKay have compressed events into a single point in time.” That’s right they’ve completely done away with Tolkien’s timeline... Ironically, Vanity Fair noted how important the timeline and details were to Tolkien earlier in the article when they stated, “These timelines, genealogies, and notes on language and culture became so important to Tolkien that he even stalled the publication of the final book, The Return of the King, to complete them.”"

'Go woke, go broke': Lord Of The Rings fans debate the franchise's most diverse cast ever - "Many of his literary influences stemmed from the folklore of Norsemen, the Celts and the Anglo-Saxons, which are viewed by many people as typically white ethnic groups... A seemingly aggrieved enthusiast replied underneath Amazon's Rings Of Power trailer: 'Go woke go broke. How about you just respect the source material.'... a quote thought to derive from Tolkien himself also circulated on the social media platform, reading: 'Evil cannot create anything new, they can only corrupt and ruin what good forces have invented or made.' Others, however, created a contrasting narrative, with one fan tweeting: 'Imagine being upset about a black elf in a series where the trees talk and wizards ride on eagles'. Another lengthy insight read: 'Silly comments. Whether it is good will depend entirely on the writing and plot, not the gender or race of the actors or the fact the visuals might deviate from your preferences. 'That said, most of these shows have bad writing, so we'll see.'... Executive producer Lindsey Weber explained: 'It felt only natural to us that an adaptation of Tolkien's work would reflect what the world actually looks like. 'Tolkien is for everyone. His stories are about his fictional races doing their best work when they leave the isolation of their own cultures and come together.'...
Reports of an on-set 'intimacy coordinator' — a sure sign of sex scenes, which were very much not part of Tolkien's vision — have set alarm bells ringing across Middle-earth... Not merely content with demanding a dragon's hoard of gold for the TV rights, the Tolkien estate laid down the law on what the new series could and couldn't do. The screenwriters have described how difficult it was to construct a narrative in which, in order to be faithful to Tolkien, every season should span 200 years and see the mortal human characters die off. Tolkien's heirs made it clear that while they would tolerate some immortal characters (such as the elf queen Galadriel) appearing in the new production, using mortal characters such as Frodo or Bilbo Baggins in the prequel was forbidden. The estate also insisted Amazon dispense with such Tolkien stalwarts as wizards and hobbits, as neither played much part in the Second Age. But Amazon was able to address modern sensitivity about racial representation by introducing the harfoots, a type of hobbit that Tolkien did mention and specified had darker skins than their peers. Amazon has been obsessively secretive about its new series in the hope this will generate interest. When, in 2019, the venture's dedicated Tolkien scholar, British medievalist Tom Shippey, gave a reportedly unapproved interview to a German Tolkien fan website and offered a few hints on what might be in the series, he was removed from the project."
Fantasy and sci-fi means there're no rules you need to follow, which is why Rey was a Mary Sue and the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy was incoherent
Wasn't Tolkien racist for not being inspired by non-white cultures?

Why There's So Little Hype for Amazon's Rings of Power Series

Meme - "One of the commonly cited issues with Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings series from the early 2000s is its lack of diversity, but it looks like that's about to change.
The Babylon Bee: "Prophecy fulfilled
Amazon's New Lord Of The Rings Series To Include Bisexual Transgender Elf In Wheelchair"

Rumor: The Lord Of The Rings Scholar Tom Shippey Fired For Telling Prime Video They Were "Polluting The Lore" - "When Prime Video first announced The Lord of the Rings series in July 2019, they revealed Shippey was part of the production as a Tolkien Scholar. However, back in February, Vanity Fair led their readers to believe that Shippey was canned for giving an “unsanctioned interview to a German fan site” where he opined “on what the show could and could not explore.”... “It’s because I heard from three separate sources that he would weekly tell the Bobbsey Twins of Payne and McKay that Prime was polluting the lore.” Not only would Molho detail this rumor regarding Shippey’s firing, but he would also excoriate Prime Video for including nudity in the show as revealed in a number of behind-the-scenes photos from the production as well as a newly released photo from the show. Molho says, “The professor never once hinted at carnal nudity or lascivious sexuality ever in his writing. Period. End of statement.” He later stated, “This John Ronald Reuel Tolkien we’re talking about. A man who never sold out his writing or what he believed for cheap thrills of exposed nipples.”... “Then they tell us, ‘No, there’s not going to be any types of Game of Thrones style sex.’ And then they bring on an intimacy coordinator. They’re saying that’s just for some kissing scenes, not for the LGBTQ scenes, which we are going to explore. Not going to be for the nudity or sex scenes, which we are going to explore. No. But we hired an intimacy coordinator. And they put out a casting notice in New Zealand.” Towards the end of his video, Molho also noted Prime Video believes “this is the perfect opportunity to not only dishonor Tolkien, to use the Estate — the Tolkien Estate, who all they care about is cashing a check — but this is a way to cement our legacy and honor Bezos’ command, “Bring me Game of Thron

Meme - "Saw a tweet about hobbits being anarchists because they have no king. Here's the thing. Gondor had no king until a bunch of hobbits went through a heck of a lot of trouble putting one loyal to them on that throne. They're not anarchists. They're the CIA."

Meme - ""[She] was a WoMaN OF GREAT BeAUTY, smalLer Than WERE MosT WOMEN OF ThaT LaNd, WITh BRIGHT Eyes..."
"Tar-Miriel The Queen, fairer Than siLver OR Ivory OR pearls" - JRR ToLkien
TOLKIEN *White woman*
amazon *Black woman*"
Clearly the fans just hate People of Colour on the screen, which is why they also hated Black Panther and Shang Chi and bitched about them /s

Meme Authoritarian Left: Orcs Obeys and follows their diefied leader
Armies are mass-produced and are given the bare minimum
They all have the same maggoty bread
Authoritarian Right: Men
Literally waited almost a thousand years for their king
Easily corrupted if offered power
Thinks they know what's best for everyone
Centre: Hobbits
Doesn't care for magic rings
Just wants to be left alone to eat, drink and smoke pipe-weed
Libertarian Left: Elves
Lives in trees
Can't tell their gender for the most part
Whole race leaves before things get dicey
Libertarian Right: Dwarves
Only cares for gold and ore
Will literally mine so much that they wake ancient demons
Hide in their mountains away from sunlight"

‘The history of fantasy is racialized’: Lord of the Rings series sparks debate over race - "The question, Thomas says, is not merely of accuracy, but of authenticity, and given that race is an arbitrary construct anyway, it’s not somehow less authentic to cast Black actors than it is to cast white ones"
Of course the Guardian pretends that "harassment" only comes from "the right", pretends there is no contradiction with canon and conveniently forgets to mention the hypocrisy of how race-swapping used to be denounced as bad

Facebook - "it also feels relevant to talk about how selective this diversity is, and where they chose to NOT incorporate it. Specifically, all dark skinned characters are heroes, or at the very least on the side of good. Meanwhile the three evil human/elf characters we've seen so far are all white. They also made all the orcs white skinned, with some having blue eyes. This despite Tolkien describing orcs with green, brown and black skin. This is of course not a coincidence, but very much deliberate choices. Some might find it a bit harsh, but there's no other way of saying it: Rings of Power is anti-white."

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power - "The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power (Amazon Prime) is so staggeringly bad, it's hilarious. Everything about it is ill-judged to a spectacular extreme. The cliche-laden script, the dire acting, the leaden pace, the sheer inconsistency and confusion as it lurches between styles – where do we start? Let's start with the budget: a billion dollars. Let that sink in. One thousand million bucks, about £860,000,000, such a colossal investment even for Amazon that industry rumour says the brand is gambling its entire future as a film production company. If this show fails, say insiders, executives could be forced to shut down Amazon Studios... it's impossible to guess whether The Rings Of Power is meant for children, for hardcore fans or for general viewers – because it fails them all. One fight sequence features elf princess Galadriel in acrobatic action against an angry troll, who pops up from off-stage like an adversary in a Dungeons & Dragons boardgame. Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) cartwheels and whirls her enchanted sword before despatching the giant fiend with a bloodless blow. It's highly stylised, like a Japanese manga cartoon. An episode later, the healer Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) and her son fight an orc, and this time the violence is as brutal as anything in Game Of Thrones... Bronwyn and her boyfriend Arondir the elf share some marvellous exchanges: 'I must follow the passage,' he tells her, pointing to an underground cavern. 'You don't know what's down there!' she cries. 'That,' he replies portentously, 'is the reason I must go.' Without a shred of irony, Galadriel declares to her elf platoon, 'The order is given! We march at first light!'... Even when there's no dialogue, some of the acting is abysmal. Galadriel's elf patrol, caught in a snowstorm, battle their way across the screen with their arms outstretched like a troupe of mimes. At least they're not talking. Most of the elf scenes are rigid, as two characters in robes take it in turns to dump mounds of exposition over each other's heads."

In what context did Tolkien say "evil cannot create anything new"? - "It doesn't appear to be anything that Tolkien ever said or wrote, but a paraphrase:
"No, they eat and drink, Sam. The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own. I don't think it gave life to the orcs, it only ruined them and twisted them; and if they are to live at all, they have to live like other living creatures." -- The Return of The King
For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Ilúvatar; and naught that had life of its own, nor the semblance of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindalë before the Beginning: so say the wise. -- The Silmarillion
In fact, it appears to de a direct quote from TV Tropes"

Why Tolkien’s elves had long hair: The final evidence! - "Whenever Tolkien described a specific elven character he always wrote long hair. In the only drawing we know of where Tolkien painted an elf, he had long dark hair flowing behind him... If the above quotations and Tolkien’s own illustration are not proof enough that the hair of elves were long, here are some further evidence from his writings... Tolkien stated that all the Noldor had long dark hair, and that Finwë (one of the Noldor) did not have longer or more beautiful hair than the other races of elves. Thus, it seems quite clear that all elves must indeed have had long abundant hair! It’s also the case that many of the Noldor have “hair names” – Finwë, Fingolfin, Finarfin, Findis, Fingon, Finrod, Finduilas, all contain “fin” which is “hair”. This is no doubt significant... There are 29 hits for ”hair” in the Silmarillion only, describing how the hair of elves was ”long” and of ”great length”... if long hair was so common and prized even among men, just imagine how it would be among the elves! Did Tolkien ever even describe a character as having short hair? I don’t think so and couldn’t find any, except for hobbits. But we have numerous descriptions of long hair, both in elves and men... “That doesn’t have to mean that some elves didn’t have short hair, since Tolkien never specifically stated that ALL elves had long hair?” No, not necessarily, but there simply are no evidence for short haired elves whatsoever, in contrary to the heavy proofs stating that they had indeed long hair. We don’t have any evidence that some elves didn’t have purple hair either, and it would be weird to make it the new standard, when hair colors they actually had is regularly described... Either the people in Amazon working on character designs have something personal against long-haired men, or they are just looking for ways to provoke the fanbase and put their own mark on it. One thing is certain: Amazon is definitely aiming to provoke on many levels, and I don’t think it will benefit them, as long as they don’t let it make sense lorewise"
So much for Arondir, the elf with a buzz cut. Or indeed the rest

Meme - "It began with the forging of the great films. Threads were given by Tolkien, immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Rights were granted to Jackson, great miner and craftsman of the mountain of lore. And nine, nine hours were gifted to the race of men, who above all else, desire quality. But they were all of them deceived, for another show was made. In the land of Amazon, in the fires of Mount Prime, the Dark Lord Bezos forged in secret a master flop. And into this show he poured his money, his greed and his will to dominate all film. One show to ruin them all. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER"

Adding Asian actors to Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ would be too ‘politically correct’ - "Chinese cultural observers said it would be too “politically correct” for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series to force in a role played by an Asian actor and might trigger some racial problems if the newly added role was a negative one. The comment came after Chinese Canadian actor Ludi Lin posted on Twitter on Thursday, complaining that the mega-budget fantasy series did not have any Asian actors. “It’s going to be difficult to justify building a ‘huge world’ without any characters that look Asian. Turn that imagine on us. It’s not hard, we’re right here”... “Middle-Earth is an imaginary world created by Tolkien, just like Chinese writer Wu Chengen’s literature work Journey to the West. It would be too ‘politically correct’ to force in a white actor if a white actor criticized Journey to the West for not having any white actors,” Shi Wenxue, a film critic, told the Global Times... He suspected that the Asian actor was trying to use the call for “diversity” to hype his own popularity. “If the role played by an Asian actor was an ugly one like a dwarf or a half-human half-animal, some Asian-American groups might try to boycott it, calling it ‘racist.’” Shi pointed out that discrimination against Asians and Asian stereotypes in the US have a long history. For example, the film Crazy Rich Asians, which had an all-Asian cast, is a typical work full of Asian stereotypes."
When Amazon digs its own grave

Rings of Power: The new hobbits are filthy, hungry simpletons with stage-Irish accents. That’s $1bn well spent - "for Irish viewers the $1 billion series evokes less welcome memories. It features a race of simpleton proto-hobbits, rosy of cheek, slathered in muck, wearing twigs in their hair and speaking in stage-Irish accents that make the cast of Wild Mountain Thyme sound like Daniel Day-Lewis. Twenty minutes in, I’m having flashbacks to that 1997 EastEnders episode with the fightin’ villagers and donkeys walking the streets... If they don’t quite keep livestock in the livingroom, they are otherwise a laundry list of 19th-century Hibernophobic caricatures. The accents embark on a wild journey from Donegal to Kerry and then stop off in inner-city Dublin. The Harfoots themselves are twee and guileless and say things like: “Put yer backs into it, lads.” One is portrayed by Lenny Henry, a great comedian and actor who deserves better than having to deliver lines such as “De both of ye, dis does not bode will” (in an appalling Irish accent). Scouring the internet, there is no evidence of any Irish actors having been involved... The portrayal of “Irish” characters as pre-industrial and childlike – simpletons, really – threads neatly into the Anglosphere’s rich tapestry of disdain for Celtic peoples. It brings us all the way back to the 70s – the 1870s. There’s an early scene in which we see the Harfoots, wearing filthy rags, scrabble in the ground for food. What is this, Famine cosplay? The Scots get it too in The Rings of Power. Stand-ins for the dwarfs, they are portrayed as aggressive and argumentative. It gets to the point where I expect Durin, prince of Khazad-dûm, to whip out a deep-fried Mars bar. Every other “mad Jock” cliche has already been ticked off. This all tracks with JRR Tolkien’s disdain for Celtic culture. “They have bright colours,” he said of Irish and Welsh mythology, “but are like a broken stained glass window reassembled without design”. Perhaps he protested too much. Many scholars today draw a line between Tolkien’s elves – willowy immortals from across the sea – and the Irish Tuatha Dé Danann, a semidivine race immune to sickness or age. The parallels between the Irish mythological figure Balor of the Evil Eye and Sauron, the flaming-red iris of Barad-dûr, are similarly obvious. And Tolkien’s great romantic tragedy, Beren and Lúthien (which was inspired in part by the author’s own romance with his wife, Edith Bratt), carries echoes of the old Gaelic epic The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne. So if anyone should sound “Irish” it is the elves. They even have a high king. Instead, and of course, these noble sophisticates have upper-class English accents. The grubbier humans sound like Lancashire mill workers – not as cultured as the elves but a long way ahead of the O’Harfoots in the pecking order. Somehow the Victorian caste system has been smuggled into a 21st-century American fantasy series."
Too bad. No one cares about white people

Fans are left underwhelmed by hotly anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power - "Diehard LOTR fans took to Twitter to admit they 'had trouble' even getting through the first episodes of Amazon Prime's billion-dollar Tolkien epic, while others described the characters and plot as 'dull.'"

IMPRESSIVE: Amazon's $1-billion LOTR flop currently has a lower audience approval than Joseph R. Biden - "You can ignore the critic rating. These days, it only serves as a benchmark of whether or not something is woke trash or just trash trash. If the critics love it but the audience hates it, it's just gonna be a boring, preachy thing that's basically woke Sunday School. If both hate it, it's just bad film."

Feminists treat men badly. It’s bad for feminism.

From 2016. Of course things have only gotten worse since (with trans mania also thrown into the mix)


Feminists treat men badly. It’s bad for feminism. - The Washington Post

"Feminist male-bashing has come to sound like a cliche — a misogynist caricature. Feminism, its loudest proponents vow, is about fighting for equality. The man-hating label is either a smear or a misunderstanding.

Yet a lot of feminist rhetoric today does cross the line from attacks on sexism into attacks on men, with a strong focus on personal behavior: the way they talk, the way they approach relationships, even the way they sit on public transit. Male faults are stated as sweeping condemnations; objecting to such generalizations is taken as a sign of complicity. Meanwhile, similar indictments of women would be considered grossly misogynistic.

This gender antagonism does nothing to advance the unfinished business of equality. If anything, the fixation on men behaving badly is a distraction from more fundamental issues, such as changes in the workplace to promote work-life balance. What’s more, male-bashing not only sours many men — and quite a few women — on feminism. It often drives them into Internet subcultures where critiques of feminism mix with hostility toward women.


To some extent, the challenge to men and male power has always been inherent in feminism, from the time the 1848 Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments catalogued the grievances of “woman” against “man.” However, these grievances were directed more at institutions than at individuals. In “The Feminine Mystique,” which sparked the great feminist revival of the 1960s, Betty Friedan saw men not as villains but as fellow victims burdened by societal pressures and by the expectations of their wives, who depended on them for both livelihood and identity.

That began to change in the 1970s with the rise of radical feminism. This movement, with its slogan, “The personal is political,” brought a wave of female anger at men’s collective and individual transgressions. Authors like Andrea Dworkin and Marilyn French depicted ordinary men as patriarchy’s brutal foot soldiers.

This tendency has reached a troubling new peak, as radical feminist theories that view modern Western civilization as a patriarchy have migrated from academic and activist fringes into mainstream conversation. One reason for this trend is social media, with its instant amplification of personal narratives and its addiction to outrage. We live in a time when jerky male attempts at cyber-flirting can be collected on a blog called Straight White Boys Texting (which carries a disclaimer that prejudice against white males is not racist or sexist, since it is not directed at the oppressed) and then deplored in an article titled “Dear Men: This Is Why Women Have Every Right To Be Disgusted With Us.”

Whatever the reasons for the current cycle of misandry — yes, that’s a word, derided but also adopted for ironic use by many feminists — its existence is quite real. Consider, for example, the number of neologisms that use “man” as a derogatory prefix and that have entered everyday media language: “mansplaining,” “manspreading” and “manterrupting.” Are these primarily male behaviors that justify the gender-specific terms? Not necessarily: The study that is cited as evidence of excessive male interruption of women actually found that the most frequent interrupting is female-on-female (“femterrupting”?).

Sitting with legs apart may be a guy thing, but there is plenty of visual documentation of women hogging extra space on public transit with purses, shopping bags and feet on seats. As for “mansplaining,” these days it seems to mean little more than a man making an argument a woman dislikes. Slate correspondent Dahlia Lithwick has admitted using the term to “dismiss anything said by men” in debates about Hillary Clinton. And the day after Clinton claimed the Democratic presidential nomination, political analyst David Axelrod was slammed as a “mansplainer” on Twitter for his observation that it’s a measure of our country’s “great progress” that “many younger women find the nomination of a woman unremarkable.”

Men who gripe about their ex-girlfriends and advise other men to avoid relationships with women are generally relegated to the seedy underbelly of the Internet — various forums and websites in the “manosphere,” recently chronicled by Stephen Marche in the Guardian. Yet a leading voice of the new feminist generation, British writer Laurie Penny, can use her column in the New Statesman to decry ex-boyfriends who “turned mean or walked away” and to urge straight young women to stay single instead of “wasting years in succession on lacklustre, unappreciative, boring child-men.”

Feminist commentary routinely puts the nastiest possible spin on male behavior and motives. Consider the backlash against the concept of the “friend zone,” or being relegated to “friends-only” status when seeking a romantic relationship — usually, though not exclusively, in reference to men being “friend zoned” by women. Since the term has a clear negative connotation, feminist critics say it reflects the assumption that a man is owed sex as a reward for treating a woman well. Yet it’s at least as likely that, as feminist writer Rachel Hills argued in a rare dissent in the Atlantic, the lament of the “friend zoned” is about “loneliness and romantic frustration,” not sexual entitlement.

Things have gotten to a point where casual low-level male-bashing is a constant white noise in the hip progressive online media. Take a recent piece on Broadly, the women’s section of Vice, titled, “Men Are Creepy, New Study Confirms” — promoted with a Vice Facebook post that said: “Are you a man? You’re probably a creep.” The actual study found something very different: that both men and women overwhelmingly think someone described as “creepy” is more likely to be male. If a study had found that a negative trait was widely associated with women (or gays or Muslims), surely this would have been reported as deplorable stereotyping, not confirmation of reality.

Meanwhile, men can get raked over the (virtual) coals for voicing even the mildest unpopular opinion on something feminism-related. Just recently, YouTube film reviewer James Rolfe, who goes by “Angry Video Game Nerd,” was roundly vilified as a misogynistic “man-baby” in social media and the online press after announcing that he would not watch the female-led “Ghostbusters” remake because of what he felt was its failure to acknowledge the original franchise.


This matters, and not just because it can make men less sympathetic to the problems women face. At a time when we constantly hear that womanpower is triumphant and “the end of men” — or at least of traditional manhood — is nigh, men face some real problems of their own. Women are now earning about 60 percent of college degrees; male college enrollment after high school has stalled at 61 percent since 1994, even as female enrollment has risen from 63 percent to 71 percent. Predominantly male blue-collar jobs are on the decline, and the rise of single motherhood has left many men disconnected from family life. The old model of marriage and fatherhood has been declared obsolete, but new ideals remain elusive.

Perhaps mocking and berating men is not the way to show that the feminist revolution is about equality and that they have a stake in the new game. The message that feminism can help men, too — by placing equal value on their role as parents or by encouraging better mental health care and reducing male suicide — is undercut by gender warriors like Australian pundit Clementine Ford, whose “ironic misandry” often seems entirely non-ironic and who has angrily insisted that feminism stands only for women. Gibes about “male tears” — for instance, on a T-shirt sported by writer Jessica Valenti in a photo taunting her detractors — seem particularly unfortunate if feminists are serious about challenging the stereotype of the stoic, pain-suppressing male. Dismissing concerns about wrongful accusations of rape with a snarky “What about the menz” is not a great way to show that women’s liberation does not infringe on men’s civil rights. And telling men that their proper role in the movement for gender equality is to listen to women and patiently endure anti-male slams is not the best way to win support.

Valenti and others argue that man-hating cannot do any real damage because men have the power and privilege. Few would deny the historical reality of male dominance. But today, when men can lose their jobs because of sexist missteps and be expelled from college over allegations of sexual misconduct, that’s a blinkered view, particularly since the war on male sins can often target individuals’ trivial transgressions. Take the media shaming of former “Harry Potter” podcaster Benjamin Schoen, pilloried for some mildly obnoxious tweets (and then an insufficiently gracious email apology) to a woman who had blocked him on Facebook after an attempt at flirting. While sexist verbal abuse toward women online is widely deplored, there is little sympathy for men who are attacked as misogynists, mocked as “man-babies” or “angry virgins,” or even smeared as sexual predators in Internet disputes.

We are headed into an election with what is likely to be a nearly unprecedented gender gap among voters. To some extent, these numbers reflect policy differences. Yet it is not too far-fetched to see the pro-Donald Trump sentiment as fueled, at least in part, by a backlash against feminism. And while some of this backlash may be of the old-fashioned “put women in their place” variety, there is little doubt that for the younger generation, the perception of feminism as extremist and anti-male plays a role, too.

This theme emerged in Conor Friedersdorf’s recent interview in the Atlantic with a Trump supporter, a college-educated, 22-year-old resident of San Francisco who considers himself a feminist and expects his career to take a back seat to that of his higher-earning fiancee — but who also complains about being “shamed” as a white man and voices concern about false accusations of rape.

As this campaign shows, our fractured culture is badly in need of healing — from the gender wars as well as other divisions. To be a part of this healing, feminism must include men, not just as supportive allies but as partners, with an equal voice and equal humanity.

Links - 24th September 2022 (1 - Climate Change)

How climate change could be exacerbating the spread of diseases like monkeypox and Japanese encephalitis
"Global warming causes gays to have unprotected sex and spread disease?"

Gas For Me But Not For Thee: Obama To Install Massive Propane Tanks In New England Mansion - "Former President Barack Obama has ordered three massive propane tanks for his Martha’s Vineyard property as energy prices nationwide continue to surge... Obama has consistently argued for the importance of fighting climate change and limiting fossil fuel emissions"
Environmentalism - modern day sumptuary laws

Feminist prof who practices occult calls for human extinction to save planet - "Bloomsbury Academic published a call to action for all those who care about “climate change.” The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene by Patricia MacCormack, a professor of continental philosophy at Angelia Ruskin University, cuts to the chase and advocates for the ultimate solution to global warming: The end of the human race. For MacCormack, “Extinction Rebellion” has a whole different meaning...   “The book also argues that we need to dismantle religion,” she went on, “and other overriding powers like the church of capitalism or the cult of self, as it makes people act upon enforced rules rather than respond thoughtfully to the situations in front of them.” Presumably, MacCormack believes her solution of human extinction is an example of responding thoughtfully to the facts in front of us, although she doesn’t explain how she’s going to get people to care about “climate change” by removing the primary motivation that is offered for caring about “climate change,” which is the preservation of the planet for people and their progeny. She admits this, noting that “Everyone’s okay with the ideas of the book until they’re told they’d have to act on it.”   Not so very long ago, the term “death cult” was considered to be a sinister term, not an aspirational description of the human race"
When you see humans as a blight on the environment, human extinction is the logical end goal

Meme - "China's Carbon Emission Change Since 2000: +208% *Greta happy*
India's Carbon Emission Change Since 2000 +155% *Greta happy*
United States's Carbon Emission Change Since 2000: -10 *Greta: how dare you!*"

Greta Thunberg on Twitter - "Tomorrow the European Parliament will decide whether fossil gas and nuclear will be considered "sustainable" in the EU taxonomy. But no amount of lobbyism and greenwashing will ever make it "green". We desperately need real renewable energy, not false solutions. #NotMyTaxonomy"
Ironic, given that the EU burns wood and pretends it's green
How you know she isn't actually interested in reducing carbon emissions, just like most environmentalists

Are Dutch Trains Really Running Completely on Renewable Power? - "In an “anything goes” era of news and social media, it’s not often that a post jumps off the page. But a recent piece of news about electricity caught my attention. The headline: “Netherlands Trains Now Running on 100% Wind Power”.  Of course, we’ve seen headlines of this type before. For example, in 2015, Burlington, Vermont, became the first city to announce it was running totally on renewable power. That’s true, of course. Burlington’s biggest source of electricity is hydropower imported from across the region. The city also gets about a third of its power from a large biomass plant. The rest is supplied by wind and solar power, which contribute about a fifth of the city’s power. In other words, the two oldest sources of renewable power, water and wood, are carrying most of the burden for Burlington’s renewable achievement, not the sources that might come to mind when people read the headline.  Do the claims about Netherlands trains also require further explanation? You bet.  The claim by the Dutch railway network, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), is almost entirely a sleight of hand. In fact, an investigation by Energy Matters finds that the electrified portion of NS mainly runs on electricity derived from coal and natural gas.  “NS claims 100% wind power because it has a contract with various wind farms to produce enough energy to power its rail system, but this is just an accounting transaction,” writes author Roger Andrews. “Only a small fraction of the power delivered to its trains actually comes from wind.”... “Putting these numbers together indicates that only 10-15% of the electricity consumed annually by NS’s electric trains will come from wind, with the rest a mixture that includes mostly Dutch gas and coal plus a small amount of Belgian and German coal, nuclear and lignite – and maybe even a little German solar”... When challenged on its claim, NS clarified that only the electrified portion of its system runs completely on wind power. This is about two-thirds of the system. But of course even two-thirds of the NS system doesn’t run “completely” on wind power. The electrons that run the electrified portion of the NS system come from many sources, including wind, but also from coal, natural gas, and nuclear. The truth is that it’s impossible to determine the source of electrons actually moving NS trains down the track. What is clear is that most of those electrons didn’t originate from wind turbines."

The Global Elite are trying to deplatform me using lies. - "A new hit piece against myself has just dropped from a very influential think tank funded by among others George Soros' foundation and Bill Gates' foundation. It is called "Institute for Strategic Dialogue" (ISD for short)... I am in good company however, as other people on their list are well known people like John Stossel and Michael Shellenberger, listing us as "super spreaders" because of our reach on social media (which just means that many people agree with us). Further in their report, they are repeatedly trying to push for social media platforms to deplatform me (and others) because I write things on climate change that they do not like. They are acting like pure Communists attempting to shut down people that they dislike.  This is the kind of thing that happened in the Soviet Union. It is scandalous that it is now happening in the year 2022.  This organization claim to be dedicated to "safeguarding human rights" and to "push back the forces threatening democracy". Why then are they trying to cancel people with opinions that they disagree with?  Why are they opposed to people's right to free speech, the most fundamental human right and something that is also vital to uphold democracy? Is protecting dissident views not one of the most important things in a democracy?  Without free-speech, we do not have democracy.  Funnily enough, in their report they claim that me comparing climate change fanaticism to Communism, is actually a "dog-whistle to antisemitic tropes". This is of course absolute nonsense. Why are they equating Communism with Jews? If anything, they are the anti-semites here. I have Jewish friends who are not Communists!... But it doesn't stop there. They further try and paint a picture of me as being some kind of "Nazi", claiming that I have engaged in Holocaust denial among other things. This is categorically false and libel. This is being done to try and discredit me with lies and name calling... The report has been cleverly written, with many citations to make it look professional. However if you actually look at the citations they have provided when trying to character assassinate me, you will find that they are from discredited far-left extremists.  The main source they use against me is the British far-left extremist group "Hope Not Hate". They wrote a hit piece against me many years ago containing nothing but lies and libel. I have already completely debunked that hit piece on my website. They even claimed I was "British" which is laughable and something I quickly documented to be a lie... This "Hope Not Hate" organization is so discredited, that even the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) labelled them as far-left extremists! Considering Sweden is a pretty Socialist country, that should be really telling... Not only that, but they also doxed me and published my home address and also my parents address online. Shortly thereafter, the family dog was poisoned by far-left extremists and I had to move for my own safety after receiving death threats. Why doesn't the ISD mention this in their report? I and my family are victims of far-left extremist attacks, but that they ignore. Not only that, but I have also received death threats from the far-right and from Nazis because of my work to support freedom.  These are the far-left extremists that the ISD is using as a source to try and character assassinate me. In fact, just to show how insane the claims of "Nazism" and Holocaust denial really is, I can reveal that I have been a member of MIFF in Norway, the largest European pro-Israel group... So what is their definition of "climate change misinformation"? See for yourself. So if you don't believe in "the unequivocal human influence on climate change" and the need for "urgent action" in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, they want you censored on social media.  If you post things that "erode trust in climate science" and "experts" they want you censored on social media... This climate change hysteria is weaponized to bring about more control in society... If you look at who is behind this ISD you will get a look at the who is who of the elite. In fact, they get funding from very large organizations indeed... We find Microsoft, YouTube, Google among others. We also find many state sponsors like the Swedish Ministry of Integration, US State Department, UN organizations, European Commission, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs just to name a few.  It almost looks like a who is who list of the World Economic Forum attendees.  This attack on me is coming from the very top, from the elite of the elite... I have called out the hypocrisy of the global elite for saying one thing about climate change, while doing another themselves... That is the job of a real journalist. Holding the powerful to account. And now the powerful are coming after me..."
Liberals claim that Israel is worse than Hitler, so his supporting Israel is just more evidence he is a far right Nazi

The ‘Green Energy’ That Might Be Ruining the Planet - "If a tree falls in a forest—and then it’s driven to a mill, where it’s chopped and chipped and compressed into wood pellets, which are then driven to a port and shipped across the ocean to be burned for electricity in European power plants—does it warm the planet?  Most scientists and environmentalists say yes... policymakers in the U.S. Congress and governments around the world have declared that no, burning wood for power isn’t a climate threat—it’s actually a green climate solution. In Europe, “biomass power,” as it’s technically called, is now counted and subsidized as zero-emissions renewable energy. As a result, European utilities now import tons of wood from U.S. forests every year—and Europe’s supposedly eco-friendly economy now generates more energy from burning wood than from wind and solar combined... The idea that setting trees on fire could be carbon-neutral sounds even odder to experts who know that biomass emits more carbon than coal at the smokestack, plus the carbon released by logging, processing logs into vitamin-sized pellets and transporting them overseas. And solar panels can produce 100 times as much power per acre as biomass... Enviva’s chief sustainability officer, Jennifer Jenkins, is a Ph.D. forest scientist and self-described climate activist who worked on bioenergy for Obama’s EPA. She says burning wood can help keep lights on when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing—in other words, when there’s no other renewable electricity available... Steven Berry, an economist at Yale, describes the case for biomass power as “bizarre Rube Goldberg economics” and says the models used to justify it are riddled with biased assumptions, logical contradictions and outright errors. “They don’t reflect the real world, and they don’t show up in the top journals”... U.S. pellet mills have often been located in predominantly minority communities, which has added an environmental justice angle to the politics of biomass. A local activist named Belinda Joyner, who is Black, once confronted a Black state regulator about Enviva’s expansion of the Northampton mill. Joyner told the regulator his agency was ignoring a minority community’s complaints about truck traffic and dust and a debarker that rattled at night as if someone had left a quarter in the dryer. The regulator said he was sympathetic, but as long as Enviva complied with air quality laws, he had no choice but to issue the permit...   The environmental justice case against the pellet industry has never gained much traction; no mill has ever been denied a permit, and local Black leaders told me the Northampton mill is popular with their constituents as a source of jobs and a buyer of wood... “the wood pellet industry … does not advance North Carolina’s clean energy economy,” and concluded that “biomass production releases carbon into the atmosphere at a faster pace than if those forests were left intact.”... I happened to watch a legislative hearing about biomass in the Danish parliament; afterward, leaders from the left-leaning governing party and the center-right opposition both told me they were shocked by the evidence that wood-burning was a fake climate solution, and determined to push Denmark toward a different renewable path. So far, though, they haven’t. Denmark’s plan to reach its Paris goals depends heavily on biomass, eventually with carbon capture and storage; ditching biomass would require some excruciating political choices."
The scam of "renewable" energy deepens
Presumably the mills should be situated far from black communities - then the jobs won't go to black people and that will be "proof", once again, of racism

E.U. climate goals at COP26 in Glasgow tied to carbon-heavy biomass emissions - The Washington Post - "The European Union brags that its climate ambitions are more aggressive than anywhere else in the world. There’s just one problem: If the world behaved like Europe, it would be burning an awful lot of wood. Europe gets 60 percent of its renewable energy from biomass fuels... U.N. rules allow the European Union to write off the emissions as carbon-neutral, so long as sustainable guidelines are met, even though burning the fuel can release more warming gases into the atmosphere than coal... At the U.N. climate conference underway in Glasgow, the bloc’s top climate official, Frans Timmermans, a devoted environmentalist, doubled down on biomass this week, saying Europe needed it as a substitute for worse alternatives.  “To be perfectly blunt with you, biomass will have to be part of our energy mix if we want to remove our dependency on fossil fuels,” Timmermans told reporters. “I do admit that it’s quite complicated to get this right.”... An E.U. study released this year found that about half of the wood-based biomass used for energy came from industry byproducts and recycled wood: About 37 percent came from treetops, branches and other tree parts, and only 14 percent probably came from whole trees."
Of course, nuclear power is not kosher
This ignores the inefficiency of biomass

Let's stop pretending that decarbonising the economy is good for jobs - "Sunderland’s canny voters have been spectacularly vindicated. Told endlessly that if they voted to leave the EU, Nissan would quit their town, they politely disregarded the advice. On Thursday, Nissan announced that, far from pulling out, it was pouring a cool billion into the old port city to make electric cars and the batteries that power them. Sunderland one, experts nil.  It’s terrific news. But let’s not overdo it by pretending that we are “creating” the extra 6,200 jobs. Those jobs are coming into existence largely in response to legislation that will destroy other jobs. From 2030, it will be illegal to sell a car with a petrol or diesel engine. This has forced the sector to invest in alternative power sources. There may well be a strong ecological case for it; but there is no economic case.  Do I really need to spell this out? A government cannot “create” jobs – at least, not in the round. If jobs in alternative energy were truly more productive, there would be no need for legislation – investors would already have piled in. When we tax people so as to subsidise some new industry, we eliminate the jobs that their spending would otherwise have sustained.   In any case, jobs are a cost, not a benefit. Getting 100 people to build a car is plainly more expensive than letting one person build it and releasing the other 99 to do different things. In every age, people have struggled with that logic, fretting that new technologies would lead to mass unemployment. Yet every advance in mechanisation has led to more jobs as well as higher living standards... people notice subsidies more readily than their cost, and that this makes them politically popular, if economically harmful"
And this was before the explosion of inflation

Terence Corcoran: Carbon race to the bottom for subsidies - "Whether the objectives are achievable remains a great unknown, but there is no shortage of corporate executives, politicians and government officials ready to channel taxpayer dollars into projects and industries that carry massive risks and uncertainties.  A good example of the carbon subsidy rush is a recent Public Policy Forum “paper” titled “Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage — The Time is Now.” The six-page document is endorsed by the Energy Future Forum, a mini-who’s who of elite Canadian energy and financial corporations — Suncor, CIBC, Imperial Oil, RBC, Shell Canada, TC Energy — along with a cabal of green sustainability activists such as the ubiquitous Ivey Foundation and the Pembina Institute. The theme of the paper can be summarized: We want massive taxpayer funding and government regulatory support to guarantee that if the whole scheme is bonkers we won’t be left with the tab... A new report from the IEA this month — The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions — documents key problems behind what appears to be wildly optimistic claims that the world can transition to electric vehicles and other clean technology without running up against massive and insurmountable shortages of commodities.  The chemicals that will enable carbon-free transition are in short supply and current investment plans “fall well short” of what is needed to support an accelerated deployment of solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles. Many minerals come from a small number of producers. For example, in the cases of graphite, cobalt and rare earth elements, the world’s top three producers control well over three-quarters of global output. Prices for nickel, copper and other commodities could soar. One commentator noted the IEA observation that “A typical electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car, and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas-fired power plant.”  Warns the IEA: “High geographical concentration, the long lead times to bring new mineral production on stream, the declining resource quality in some areas and social impacts all raise concerns around reliable and sustainable supplies of minerals to support the energy transition. These hazards are real, but they are surmountable.”  How can they be surmounted? Take a guess."

Can't make it up: California asks residents to stop charging electric cars on strained grid the week after passing a law to ban gas-powered cars - "Just days after passing a ban on all new gas vehicles starting in 2035, California has had to ask their Tesla and other electric vehicle owners to stop plugging their cars in because they can't spare the electricity. But don't worry, they'll be totally ready for 100% EVs in like 13 years... This is just a small taste of the spectacular failures to come"

Tesla owner in Canada blasts “piece of trash” car for $28K battery - "A Tesla owner in Canada is not impressed with the company after he was quoted close to $28,000 to replace the battery – even though the issue began when his car was reportedly still under warranty... the air conditioner condensing unit hose leaked water onto the battery, ruining it. He was locked out of the vehicle completely and the battery replacement cost was estimated at $28,000... he had spent over $142,000 for the Tesla, and a new battery would cost $28,000 with tax and provided a TD bank receipt and an estimate from Tesla as proof... He’s warning people to not buy Teslas and hopes that his story can serve as a warning to others."

WATCH: YouTubers Claim Test with Electric Truck Ends After 85 Miles - "A group of YouTubers called Fast Lane Truck tested electric and gas-powered trucks to see how far they could haul a trailer, and the results seemed to speak for themselves...   Fifty miles into the journey, the electric pickup reportedly could not reach Colorado Springs, so the driver later headed toward Castle Rock.  But the gas pickup’s computer apparently said it had 129 miles of range, which was enough to get back to Longmont.  Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s administration’s recent push for more citizens to drive electric vehicles (EV) has become less viable as EV prices have increased over the last year, according to data... the electric pickup’s computer had trouble calculating the distance and was forced to pull over and charge approximately 85 miles into the trip"

Why some electric cars could soon be more costly to run than petrol motors - "Electric cars could soon be more expensive to drive than their petrol equivalents amid soaring energy prices."

E.W. Niedermeyer on Twitter - "EVs are currently selling at an average transaction price of $66,000, higher than the average transaction price for luxury cars.  The fact that a billionaire can't get the EV he wants is actually a pretty good encapsulation of where our EV adoption policies have led us.
We've been pumping subsidies into the premium EV segment for over a decade, believing that stimulating high-end EV demand would lead to broad-based EV adoption across the market. Instead it lead to an overheated premium EV market and fewer affordable EVs than when we started.
My Brother in Environmental Activism, simply continuing to drive your seven year old Chevy Volt might actually be the best course of action for the planet?"

What do we really know about the IPCC? | The Spectator Australia - "Having concluded the latest Climate Change talk-fest – the United Nations COP26 in 2021 in Glasgow – the confected outburst of ‘unprecedented’ events has achieved little in the world of public opinion...   Yet again, tipping points have threatened and failed to materialise.  In 1972, the first UN Environment Program director gave the planet 10 years to avoid catastrophe. In 1982 the UN gave a date of 2000. By 1989, the UN had brought this forward to 1992.  Prince Charles has submitted various ‘end of the world’ scenarios. In 2010, he gave us 8 years. In 2018, we had only 18 months left to save the word.  The current outbreak of Australian glue-related environmental activism distracts us from real-world events and forces climate attention. A close look at the figurehead of the movement, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), is certainly warranted...   The IPCC was founded in 1988 in large part due to the contribution of Maurice Strong. Strong was a paradox, existing as a socialist oil billionaire with an underlying agenda of wealth redistribution...   Maurice Strong was one of the original catastrophists, arguing in 1972 that we had just 10 years before irreversible Climate Change occurred. As various tipping points have passed, the organisation has become mainstream, increasing in size and influence... In the real world, most scientists insist that the dividing line between science and pseudoscience is whether advocates of a hypothesis deliberately search for evidence that could falsify it, and accept the hypothesis only if it survives… Over the years there has been a tendency for an increasing disconnect between the scientific work and the summaries used by policymakers, there has also been an increasing purging of information that does not fit the required agenda.  The most recent IPCC report, the sixth, was published in August 2021, yet again it described tipping points to irreversible Climate Change, tipping points which have regularly failed to materialise in the past; the latest of these is scheduled for 2030...   In 2014, a survey of The American Meteorological Society found that 52 per cent of members believed global warming was ‘mostly human in origin’ – not really confirming the settled science...   With each gathering, the warnings of extreme heat, sea-level rise, floods and droughts, cyclones, and ice-melt are increasing, but even the IPCC now admits to overstatement as their computer models have failed to deliver the predicted outcomes. With the apocalyptic predictions recognised as unreliable, the need for more media sensationalism becomes is increasingly necessary to maintain the fervour... From Australia’s perspective, the outcome of accelerated CO2 reduction would demand the country’s economic ruin, with further jobs exported, a decline in living standards, and no discernible effect on the world climate; this seems to be the trajectory our politicians have planned."


Airlines Fly Tons of Extra Fuel to Save Money, but Emit More CO2: BBC - "The broadcaster detailed a process — known as fuel tankering — whereby planes carry much more fuel than they need for a trip.  Companies do this to avoid buying fuel in places where it costs more"
Instead of bashing the airlines, why not bash the airports for "profiteering"?

Vox - Posts | Facebook - "Your gas stove is releasing methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides into your home, even when it's turned off.  That’s according to a recent peer-reviewed study. Researchers found that roughly three-quarters of the methane emitted from stoves came when they weren’t running; and that the methane emissions from stoves are roughly equivalent to the carbon dioxide released by half a million gas-powered cars in a year.  Gas stoves are a relatively small source of methane compared to pipelines and refineries, and they aren’t even the biggest gas-guzzling appliance in buildings. But they’re a feature of roughly 40 million American homes. Multiplied together, that’s “a lot of natural gas reaching our air,” the study’s co-author said. Methane also contributes to ground-level ozone that harms human health. Inside the home, the level of methane is low enough that the researchers don’t consider leaks to be a health threat. The bigger health problem is when the gas is lit, because that produces nitrogen dioxide as a byproduct. The new research could help scientists piece together a better understanding of gas stoves’ impact on climate change, and bolster climate advocates’ arguments that the natural gas system is too leaky to continue. It could even hasten the transition away from gas reliance in cities."
First they came for the shark's fin
Then they came for the foie gras

I Was Invited to Testify on Energy Policy. Then Democrats Didn't Let Me Speak - "Representatives Sean Casten of Illinois and Jared Huffman of California, both Democrats, used the whole of their allotted time to claim that I am not a real environmentalist, that I am not a qualified expert, and that I am motivated by money.  Had I been given a chance to respond, I would have noted that: I have been a climate activist for 20 years; my new book, Apocalypse Never, has received strong praise from leading environmental scientists and scholars; the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently invited me to serve as an expert reviewer; and that I have always been financially independent of industry interests. But I wasn’t given the chance to say any of that. After Casten and Huffman lied about me, Rep. Garret Graves asked the committee’s chairperson, Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, to let me respond. She refused and abruptly ended the hearing... climate change was distracting us from a far greater and more urgent threat, which is the global domination of nuclear energy by China and Russia, which could be disastrous for US interests and the future of liberalism and democracy around the world... several Democratic members claimed that renewables today are cheaper than existing grid electricity. But if that were true, I replied, why do solar and wind developers require hundreds of billions of dollars from American taxpayers in the form of subsidies?  The Democrats are basing their climate agenda on what California did. But California’s electricity rates since 2011 rose six times more than they did in the rest of the US, thanks mainly to the deployment of renewables and the infrastructure they require, such as transmission lines. Instead of answering that question, Democrats claimed that solar and wind projects were somehow part of the battle for environmental justice. In reality, I noted, solar and wind projects are imposed on poorer communities and successfully resisted by wealthier ones.  In fact, a major new report found nearly 200 cases of human rights violations when renewable energy projects were imposed on poor communities. In Hawaii and Nebraska, indigenous leaders are resisting wind energy projects that threaten native bird species, including the nene and whooping crane, whose number one cause of mortality is transmission lines. Instead of answering that question, Democrats claimed that solar and wind projects were somehow part of the battle for environmental justice. In reality, I noted, solar and wind projects are imposed on poorer communities and successfully resisted by wealthier ones.  In fact, a major new report found nearly 200 cases of human rights violations when renewable energy projects were imposed on poor communities. In Hawaii and Nebraska, indigenous leaders are resisting wind energy projects that threaten native bird species, including the nene and whooping crane, whose number one cause of mortality is transmission lines. What’s going on? Why do Democrats, who imagine themselves to be on the side of working people and the poor, advocate for renewables and against nuclear? It’s hard not to notice that some of the Democrats’ largest donors, including Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg, are renewable energy and natural gas investors. Even one of my main antagonists, Rep. Casten, was a renewable energy investor before joining Congress. Democratic interest in subsidizing renewables comes at a time when industrial renewable energy projects are being blocked around the world... The last time Democrats spent big on renewables, during the 2009 green stimulus, 10 members of former President Barack Obama’s finance committee, and more than 12 of his “bundlers,” benefited from $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in stimulus loans... Steyer, Bloomberg, and many other renewable energy investors also donate hundreds of millions of dollars to groups like the Sierra Club, which turn around and lobby for more spending on renewables, and for the closure of nuclear power plants. Killing nuclear plants is a lucrative business for competitor fossil fuel and renewable energy companies. That’s because nuclear plants generate such large amounts of electricity."
Conflict of interest is only a problem when liberals decide it is

Facebook - "Everyone applauded when Japan promised CO₂ cuts of 46% by 2030 Turns out close to impossible and "the Japanese public has not been primed for the 𝘀𝗮𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀 it will require." Doesn't quite fit the standard story that green makes us richer?"

Facebook - "The Left says they can't control gasoline prices... but the weather is something they can fix."

Friday, September 23, 2022

Links - 23rd September 2022 (2 - Trump)

Meme - Nicholas J. Fuentes @NickJFuentes: "The biggest lesson of the Trump Presidency is that we have to wield state power effectively to reward our allies, punish our enemies, consolidate power, and shape the society. Almost none of this happened in the last four years and now we'll pay for it under Biden- Harris."

Nick Adams on Twitter - "2015 - We got him now
2016 - We got him now
2017 - We got him now
2018 - We got him now
2019 - We got him now
2020 - We got him now
2021 - We got him now
2022 - We got him now"

Librarian fired after allegedly burning books by Trump and Ann Coulter - "The Chattanooga public library dismissed Cameron Dequintez Williams after he allegedly posted videos of himself in his backyard in December pouring lighter fluid over Coulter’s How to Talk to Liberals (If You Must) and Trump’s Crippled America.  Documents from a local council meeting suggest Williams live-streamed himself in the act, while local reports suggest the sound of the popular anti-Trump anthem FDT played in the background.  Williams, a Black Lives Matter protester, said he has been unfairly treated, and that he was simply following a library instruction to remove any “old, damaged or untruthful books”... “The items in question that were featured in the video were not flagged for removal. We have a very rigorous and thorough standard practice for collection management. And it’s part of the American Library Association, so it’s something all libraries follow,” a library spokesperson said... Williams was arrested last summer during the protests following George Floyd’s death for allegedly blocking an emergency vehicle during the demonstrations. He said the library was targeting because of his race. “I was treated as a token Black man,” he told the Washington Post. “But as soon as I speak forcefully for Black people, they essentially tried to assassinate my character.”"
Damn right wing conservatives "banning" books!

Meme - @llwynogdu: "Man, imagine putting 'UltraMAGA' in your profile like... it's a good thing. But, hey, thanks for the warning."
"@llwynogdu she/her I autistic I *rainbow flag* | BLM | TLM *trans flag* | ACAB"

Escape The Echo Chamber - Posts | Facebook - "So far the efforts to get Trump disqualified from the 2024 election aren’t working at reducing his popularity. While his poll numbers are not high they are higher than any other political leader in Washington, including Biden. They have been successful in making the Republican Party a smidge more radical. The impeachment efforts resulted in a couple of moderate Republican incumbents losing in their primary, with winners being more hard line. The Democrats needed those moderates to help pass their legislation or to moderate Republican legislation.  Is impressive to consider what the Democrats have accomplished to get usable dirt on Trump. A key Democratic operative representing Trump’s former attorney negotiated a plea deal with prosecutors that included an admission of facts that implied Trump acting illegally. This gave cover to start for an impeachment investigation that allowed the Democrats to access normally confidential information and subpoena additional records. The House then held private hearings to ferret out the most damming narrative and replayed those selected details in produced committee TV shows. They then referred that evidence to the FBI who use that as reasonable suspicion for gain warrant on the former president and his inner circle, side stepping the executive privilege argument.   The FBI may file charges against Trump. Under the often poorly worded federal legislation its not that hard to get a judge to accept for trial a case with the facts as they are known. Because the legislation is so poorly worded good lawyers, which Trump can afford, have a good chance of winning at trial (see the following post on the presidents ability to declassify information). Ultimately, these efforts to go after Trump (contrasted with Hillary Clinton’s classified communications and documents that passed through her insecure email server, that led to no charges) have given him a stage to play the victim role and energize his base — a base that has been sending violent messages to key players in this saga. This has bolstered Trump’s standing within the Republican Party and created a cause célèbre for the more extremist elements within the party. This likely improves Trump’s chances of winning the next presidential primary. He’d have a chance at beating a vulnerable Democratic president in the general election (and a President Trump would likely have a Republican controlled Congress to pass his agenda). I see little of this as being helpful to the republic. This is feeding division and hyper partisanship. These efforts likely won’t be as beneficial to the Democrats as they hope."

Meme - "Have you noticed that women who support Trump are always smiling and happy, and the women who hate Trump and are always scowling and angry? And usually ugly?"

Meme - Jeff Tiedrich @itsJeffTiedrich Replying to @realDonaldTrump: "sir, this is a Wendy's drive-thru" *14 identical tweets from 2018 to 2020*
Comment: "Why do they call us NPCs?"

Media's Unpunished Lies Hurt Us Far Worse Than Trump's Tweets - "A U.S. senator read into the congressional record accusations, wholly without evidence, that an honorable and accomplished man is a gang-rapist for no reason other than that fair democratic elections have rendered them politically impotent to stop his nomination to the Supreme Court. When this happens and, in turn, is enabled and cheered on by the media industrial complex, don’t expect Trump supporters to feel convicted or responsible for what Trump does or says.  When nearly every major news agency in the country is implicated in the vicious social media pile-on and physical threats directed at a Catholic high school kid for the crime of wearing a MAGA hat, to the point outlets such as CNN are quietly settling libel suits, you start to see why Trump voters are nonplussed right now.  When Trump is singled out for his outrageous comments, while Joe Biden gets portrayed as an avuncular goofball for decades of horrifying behavior, it starts to make sense why Trump voters can’t be bothered to care. In 2012, Biden told black voters Mitt Romney was going to “put y’all back in chains.” That’s about as vicious as it gets. Since Biden started running for president in 2020, he has actually threatened to hit another voter who questioned him about his campaign’s addled position on gun rights. He’s also called a voter fat and a liar, and challenged him to an IQ test because he had the audacity to ask Biden about his son’s suspect million-dollars-a-year at a dodgy Ukrainian gas company.   In case you’re wondering if there are any media double standards at work here when Biden gratuitously insults people, this is CNN: “In a human moment defending his son, Biden showed the authenticity, emotion and readiness for a fight that appeals to so many Democrats as they look for someone who can take on Trump.”  Beyond the damage these tweets are doing to this poor deceased woman’s family, are Trump supporters supposed to be outraged that the president is trafficking in a conspiracy theory? Trump-Russia dominated the news for years, the story was largely social media-driven, and the premise behind it was, by the way, completely wrong and rife with obvious factual problems from the outset. Just because the media establishment credulously marched in lockstep, that doesn’t make their reporting on the dominant news story of Trump’s presidency any less of a conspiracy theory. It enabled lawbreaking, dramatically undermined public trust in media and law enforcement, and destroyed lives in the process.   Is the problem that social media platforms aren’t enforcing policies against the president that would get other users banned? Somehow social media platforms have no trouble banning and censoring mainstream conservative outlets, to say nothing of how the mere mention of a Chinese propaganda agency causes Google to disappear your comments. The president getting a hall pass isn’t going to outrage anyone on Team Trump when you consider how social media platforms are generally perceived as having policies that are inconsistent, unfair, and cavalier about censorship...   If we want a society where our leaders act virtuously, their critics need to be virtuous as well. The only way to really hold Trump accountable is to hold ourselves and our institutions to higher standards, so that when we reject mean-spiritedness we do it according to a set of principles we all agree on.  Trump merely exposed existing contradictions, where the decorum and civility of official Washington had already become fig leaves for wielding power in a way that ran roughshod over the desires of “deplorable” and “irredeemable” citizens"
To the left, 50 steps laughing at 100 steps is bad but 100 steps laughing at 50 steps is good

Questions raised after slide with Pres. Trump shown at Loch Raven High - "Upset parents are contacting Baltimore County Schools about a slide that was shown in their child's history class this week at Loch Raven High School... Dr. Richard Vatz, a professor at Towson University, said: "High schools are not supposed to take advocacy positions against presidents. They’re supposed to explain how political advocacy works, if that’s what they’re doing. They’re certainly not to take a position that the president is comparable to these awful leaders of the past."  Vatz teaches a course on political persuasion. When asked if the image is appropriate for an AP, college-level course, Vatz said: "Absolutely, if the context is acceptable.”  But he questions the explanation given from county schools about the context of the image."
Escape The Echo Chamber - Posts | Facebook - "A high school in Maryland is facing controversy as a teacher put up a picture that compares Trump to Nazi and communist dictatorships.  Obviously pro-Trump parents will be upset but the larger concern is that an instructor may have been dumbing down the horrors of Nazis and Stalinists to the equivalent of Trump’s efforts against illegal immigration. Many find the later alarming, but it pales in comparison.  Even FDR illegally locking up 100,000 Americans into detainment camps pales as well. Children should come out of school understanding the horrors of the gulags and concentration camps (and know about the Uighurs locked in Chinese camps today)."
Proof that teachers aren't trying to indoctrinate students
Anyone upset at this just doesn't want "accurate history" to be taught

Jimmy Dore on Twitter - "“I’m for censorship if it helps my side politically…I mean, I just can’t see a downside to thinking like this cuz I don’t read history and I’m super smarter than you” -@SamHarrisOrg"
Viva Frei on Twitter - "In the @triggerpod interview with @SamHarris, if you look closely, you can literally see the moment @KonstantinKisin cannot believe that he is witnessing the demise of an individual in real time."

KINSELLA: FBI search of Trump's Florida compound big – and getting bigger | Toronto Sun - "  Consider these five points:  One, the precedent. Democrats may be delighted that their most-hated political adversary may soon be facing indictment. But that’s short-term thinking. Long-term, the Republicans will one day be returned to power — in the White House, the Senate, the House, or all three. And you can be certain that the GOP will be working overtime to return the favour with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, or whomever is then a Democrat of significance. Count on it... Three, as a smart political friend said to me in the aftermath: “Right now, this looks like they’re going after Trump for neglecting to return a late library book.” And it’s true: going after Trump for neglecting to return some classified documents? That’s ridiculous. That’s chickens***. It may be a crime for archivists, but no one else cares. If Trump was selling the contents to parties unknown, however, that’s clearly a crime. Or, the search for classified documents is a pretext…  Which is point four. As assorted pundits have noted, the FBI loves using minor crimes to find evidence of major crimes. As in, use the classified documents offence as a pretext to search for the bigger prize: evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing on Jan. 6, and in overturning the election result? Ask Al Capone: the feds are really, really good at using smaller offences to prosecute bigger offences. It works."

Andrew Cuomo on Twitter - "DOJ must immediately explain the reason for its raid & it must be more than a search for inconsequential archives or it will be viewed as a political tactic and undermine any future credible investigation & legitimacy of January 6 investigations."

Jesse Kelly on Twitter - Rep. Eric Swalwell @RepSwalwell: "Donald Trump has a copy of the search warrant. He’d show us the warrant if he were so wronged. Show it or shut it."
"A good reminder that the guy who went peas deep in a Chinese spy is still sitting on the House Intelligence Committee."

Perma Banned - Posts | Facebook - "“We heard you like redactions, so we redacted the reasons for our redactions so that explanations for our redactions are redacted!” - 3-letter-goodguys. This really is like a South Park Episode, but real life"

Clay Travis on Twitter - "The judge who allegedly signed off on the warrant to raid Donald Trump’s private residence had posted how much he disliked Trump on social media. Yikes:"

Bill is Right on Twitter - ""Is this administration weaponizing the Justice Department against political opponents?"  Karine Jean-Pierre REFUSES to answer EVERY question from Fox's Peter Doocy."
"Refusing to answer simple yes or no questions is not a good look from the most transparent presidential administration in American history"

Scott Adams on Twitter - "If you believe Trump squirreled-away some nuclear secrets at Mar-a-Lago -- and refused to return them -- because you heard the Washington Post say two anonymous sources (that CNN can't confirm) told them it was true, I give you some useful context. . ."
Meme - "How many of these hoaxes do you still believe are true?
1. Russia Collusion Hoax
2. Steele Dossier hooker story
3. Russia paying bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan
4. Trump called Neo-Nazis "Fine people."
5. Trump suggested drinkingfinjecting bleach to fight COVID
6. Trump overfed koi fish in Japan
7. Trump cleared protestors with tear gas for a bible photo op
8. Hunter's laptop was Russian disinformation.
9. Elections were fair because no court found major fraud.
10. January was an "insurrection" to overthrow the government
11. Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of The Beast"

POLITICO Playbook: After the search: GOP torches FBI, hugs Trump - "One perplexing aspect of the Mar-a-Lago search, at least to some legal analysts, is that the crime reportedly being investigated does not seem to match the unprecedented tactic of an FBI search of a former president’s residence.  “If they raided his home just to find classified documents he took from The White House,” one legal expert noted, “he will be re-elected president in 2024, hands down. It will prove to be the greatest law enforcement mistake in history.” There was a burst of excitement on Democratic legal Twitter after MARC ELIAS pointed out that one of the penalties for violating the statute on improper handling of government records is being “disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”  But as NYT’s Charlie Savage expertly explains, that issue was well-ventilated back when conservatives wanted to throw HILLARY CLINTON in jail for allegedly violating the same law, and many scholars concluded that, as applied to a presidential candidate, it’s unconstitutional because the Constitution alone sets the eligibility criteria for the presidency. (Former A.G. MICHAEL MUKASEY was a fan of this theory, but Savage notes that he later recanted.)"

Meme - (((Tara Dublin))) @taradublinrocks - "The FBI doesn't serve search warrants on innocent people, Greg"

Meme Anita @TripleAnita - "Fbi can search my house any time of the day or night without a warrent because I am not guilty of any crime and would welcome an inspection and welcome them to take my passport too for inspection as I am not guilty , if you believe in search warrants maybe you're guilty."

Washington’s Mar-a-Lago Prosecution by Leaks - WSJ - "Merrick Garland opened a press briefing two weeks ago with the words, “Since I became Attorney General, I have made clear that the Department of Justice will speak through its court filings and its work.” Then how does the Right Honorable Attorney General explain the multiple leaks to the press concerning the Department of Justice investigation of Donald Trump’s handling of presidential documents? It sure looks like someone is prosecuting the case through the media... As the leakers know, these reports are an attempt to justify to the public the extraordinary search of a former President’s home. They have the effect of suggesting that Mr. Trump may have committed a crime in mishandling the documents. They also keep the former President at the center of the 2022 midterm election campaign, which is exactly where Democrats in Congress want him.  Meanwhile, Mr. Garland’s lawyers are telling federal Judge Bruce Reinhart that the legal affidavit with more details about the search shouldn’t be released to the public. Or that, if the judge releases it, the affidavit should be so heavily redacted as to tell the public and Mr. Trump’s lawyers very little.  In other words, “a person briefed on the matter” can leak details about the investigation to the press that the public is supposed to credit as true. But the actual “court filings and its work,” in Mr. Garland’s phrase, must remain secret. And these people wonder why tens of millions of Americans don’t trust the Justice Department and FBI?  If this all sounds familiar, you may be thinking of the Russia collusion probe. That story was also fed by leaks to the press with episodes that were portrayed as ominous—“the walls are closing in”—but often turned out to have innocent provenance or far less consequence. We later found out the entire collusion probe was a political concoction promoted by a lawyer for Hillary Clinton with an assist from Justice and James Comey’s FBI... Two weeks since the Mar-a-Lago search, the legal case also doesn’t look any stronger. Lawyers David Rivkin and Lee Casey made a compelling case Tuesday on these pages that Mr. Trump has every right to hold the documents for a time at his home under the 1978 Presidential Records Act. If there is a dispute over them, that is a matter for negotiation and at most a minor sanction. Their argument is stronger than anything we’ve read so far about possible violations by Mr. Trump of the Espionage Act or some obstruction of justice charge.  Perhaps Mr. Garland’s prosecutors are sitting on bombshell evidence that Mr. Trump did something nefarious with the documents. But then putting that doubt in the public mind is one purpose of the leaks—make it all look bad without having to prove it."

Facebook - "Looks like a nothingburger. No offer, no quid pro quo. Even Auntie Beeb notes: "The July call occurred days after Mr Trump directed the US government to withhold about $391m (£316m) in military aid to Ukraine. There is no discussion of that money in the memorandum released by the White House""

We're in a permanent coup - "My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having a bad president.   The Trump presidency is the first to reveal a full-blown schism between the intelligence community and the White House. Senior figures in the CIA, NSA, FBI and other agencies made an open break from their would-be boss before Trump’s inauguration, commencing a public war of leaks that has not stopped... Imagine if a similar situation had taken place in January of 2009, involving president-elect Barack Obama. Picture a meeting between Obama and the heads of the CIA, NSA, and FBI, along with the DIA, in which the newly-elected president is presented with a report complied by, say, Judicial Watch, accusing him of links to al-Qaeda. Imagine further that they tell Obama they are presenting him with this information to make him aware of a blackmail threat, and to reassure him they won’t give news agencies a “hook” to publish the news.  Now imagine if that news came out on Fox days later. Imagine further that within a year, one of the four officials became a paid Fox contributor. Democrats would lose their minds in this set of circumstances... Trump’s campaign antagonism toward the military and intelligence world was at best a millimeter thick. Like almost everything else he said as a candidate, it was a gimmick, designed to get votes. That he was insincere and full of it and irresponsible, at first at least, when he attacked the “deep state” and the “fake news media,” doesn’t change the reality of what’s happened since. Even paranoiacs have enemies, and even Donald “Deep State” Trump is a legitimately elected president whose ouster is being actively sought by the intelligence community... while Donald Trump conducting foreign policy based on what he sees on Fox and Friends is troubling, it’s not in the same ballpark as CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post and the New York Times engaging in de facto coverage partnerships with the FBI and CIA to push highly politicized, phony narratives like Russiagate.  Trump’s tinpot Twitter threats and cancellation of White House privileges for dolts like Jim Acosta also don’t begin to compare to the danger posed by Facebook, Google, and Twitter – under pressure from the Senate – organizing with groups like the Atlantic Council to fight “fake news” in the name of preventing the “foment of discord.” I don’t believe most Americans have thought through what a successful campaign to oust Donald Trump would look like. Most casual news consumers can only think of it in terms of Mike Pence becoming president. The real problem would be the precedent of a de facto intelligence community veto over elections, using the lunatic spookworld brand of politics that has dominated the last three years of anti-Trump agitation. CIA/FBI-backed impeachment could also be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If Donald Trump thinks he’s going to be jailed upon leaving office, he’ll sooner or later figure out that his only real move is to start acting like the “dictator” MSNBC and CNN keep insisting he is"

Meme - "Democratic donor convicted of trading meth for sex in fatal overdos..."
PurdueJetzer @MarkJetzer: "Trying to figure out why his politics are a factor in this story other than to fan flames. My journalism classes taught me to only include the relevant facts. And you wonder why reporting has a bad"
"Jeffrey Epstein taken into custody in New York on new charges related to..."
PurdueJetzer @MarkJ...: "Trump said of Epstein in 2002: "I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as do, and many of them are on the younger side."

Putin Wanted a Trump Victory to Create 'Social Turmoil' in United States
Russia also boosted BLM. But TDS people don't want to talk about that

Nikki Fried on Twitter - "Ron DeSantis is worse than Trump."
When liberals identify a new threat

Outgoing Syria Envoy Admits Hiding US Troop Numbers; Praises Trump’s Mideast Record - "Four years after signing the now-infamous “Never Trump” letter condemning then-presidential candidate Donald Trump as a danger to America, retiring diplomat Jim Jeffrey is recommending that the incoming Biden administration stick with Trump’s foreign policy in the Middle East.  But even as he praises the president’s support of what he describes as a successful “realpolitik” approach to the region, he acknowledges that his team routinely misled senior leaders about troop levels in Syria... Jeffrey now says that Trump’s “modest” and transactional approach to the Middle East has yielded a more stable region than either of his predecessors’ more transformational policies... Jeffrey believes Trump has achieved a kind of political and military “stalemate” in a number of different cold and hot conflicts, producing a situation that is about the best any administration could hope for in such a messy, volatile region."
The deep state is a myth, but it is good that the deep state opposed Trump

We need to talk about how Donald Trump’s presidency wasn’t a complete disaster - "Mr Trump has presided over one of the strongest economic rallies in US history.   While the seeds might have been sown years before, Mr Trump’s aggressive, expansionary agenda of deregulation, higher government spending, tax cuts and pressure on the US Federal Reserve spurred the economy despite the economist consensus in 2016 the US had reached full employment. He brought back US$1 trillion of investments to American shores, encouraged more Americans than ever to find a job, and boosted median households income by nearly 10 per cent since 2016. These have benefited the broad middle of Americans. Poverty rates for youths, Asian, Black and Hispanic Americans reached historic lows.  Due credit for his economic programmes is often lacking.   His tax cuts have mostly been framed as pandering to the super-rich, when technical policy nuances shaping commercial decisions for the greater good were missed.   Incentives to create new opportunities in impoverished communities to spur US$100 billion in long-term capital investment, which were part of the same tax cut package, received less attention for example... Overall, investor outlook remains strong, with the S&P 500 up by almost half since Trump’s 2016 election win. US manufacturers expressed some of the strongest optimism about the future in 20 years... Mr Trump has also done more for women and minorities than the conventional narrative suggests. Mr Trump presided over the expansion of help for women, in getting tougher on sex trafficking, setting an example by providing paid parental leave for federal government employees and ensuring mothers have breastfeeding spaces in airports. His administration also championed criminal justice reforms to tackle outdated sentencing laws disproportionately affecting minorities. Perhaps the outrage here was his First Step Act not going far enough...   He made NATO allies increase defence spending instead of free-riding on the US security umbrella. He wagged the finger at North Korea’s nuclear programme.  And he focused American minds on the Asia-Pacific, where managing US-China relations has emerged as the indisputable chief foreign policy priority that generally enjoys bipartisan consensus.   In fact, reading last week’s freshly declassified national security documents outlining the US' Indo-Pacific strategy suggests a tick on many policy goals in these boxes over the last few years. Part of this was enabled because Mr Trump created huge manoeuvering space in the Middle East for the US. Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is no more. US troops in Afghanistan have been drawn down to their lowest levels since 2001. Israel has normalised ties with one more Arab state.  Part of it was Mr Trump’s focus on China from day one, through his executive orders on 5G, Chinese Big Business and more, though these have created fresh tensions and may have sparked an unhealthy zero-sum dynamic.  Still, under Mr Trump, American credibility in taking swift, decisive action has been restored. US rebalancing towards Asia has accelerated."

FBI investigating incident where ‘Trump train’ surrounded Biden bus - "The police department also said it has researched the crash and watched online video. It said the “at-fault vehicle” may be the Biden-Harris staffer’s car, while the “victim” appears to be one of the Trump vehicles."

Mrs. Betty Bowers on Twitter - "Someone captioned this pic "Uncle Tom's Cabinet." I'm dead."
There's no racism like liberal racism

IRS data proves Trump tax cuts benefited middle, working-class Americans most - "Income data published by the IRS clearly show that on average all income brackets benefited substantially from the Republicans’ tax reform law, with the biggest beneficiaries being working and middle-income filers, not the top 1 percent, as so many Democrats have argued... every income bracket with filers earning $200,000 or more increased its tax burden in 2018 compared to 2017, and every income bracket with a top limit lower than $200,000 paid a smaller proportion of the total personal tax revenue collected.  That means that Republicans’ tax reform law resulted in the tax code becoming slightly more progressive — the exact opposite of what Democrats have claimed over the past four years...   The IRS data further shows that the tax reform law — which included a variety of business tax cuts, including a large reduction in the corporate income tax rate — spurred economic mobility."

Trump’s Plan to Decriminalize Homosexuality Is an Old Racist Tactic - "The Trump administration is set to launch a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in dozens of nations where anti-gay laws are still on the books, NBC News reported Monday. While on its surface, the move looks like an atypically benevolent decision by the Trump administration, the details of the campaign belie a different story. Rather than actually being about helping queer people around the world, the campaign looks more like another instance of the right using queer people as a pawn to amass power and enact its own agenda...  the decriminalization campaign is set to begin in Berlin where LGBTQ+ activists from across Europe will meet to hatch a plan that is “mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean.”  That sentence alone should set off several alarm bells. First of all, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean are huge geopolitical entities. Attitudes toward gay people differ greatly among countries and regions within those entities and attempting to gather a room of European activists on how to deal with queer issues in those regions is the definition of paternalism."
When you beg the question, you can prove anything
The power of intersectionality!

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