Fuel Loads Not Climate Change Are Making Bushfires More Severe

Fuel Loads Not Climate Change Are Making Bushfires More Severe, by David Evans.

People have been burning off to keep fuel loads low in Australia for thousands of years. From very long experience, we know that you have to burn off the undergrowth every ten years, and preferably every six. If you don’t, the inevitable fire is too destructive and too intense — a danger to life and property.

How do you start a fire in a fireplace? You stack up dry kindling around the logs and branches. The forests typical of most of Australia are like a fireplace. Building your house in among the trees is lovely, but building in a fireplace might get you killed.

Current fuel loads are now typically 30 tonnes per hectare in the forests of southeast Australia, compared to maybe 8 tonnes per hectare in the recent and ancient pasts. So fires burn hotter and longer. (The figures are hard to obtain, which is scandalous considering their central importance. There is also confusion over whether to include all material dropped by the trees, or just the material less than 6mm thick — it is mainly the finer material that contributes to the flame front.)

The old advice to either fight or flee when a bushfire approached, and to defend property, only made sense when fuel loads were light. The fire wasn’t too hot, it was over in a few minutes, and we could survive. With the high fuel loads of today, fighting the fire is often too dangerous.

Eucalypts love fire, because it gives them an advantage over competing tree species. Eucalypts regenerate very quickly after a fire, much faster than other trees, so periodic fires ensure the dominance of eucalypts in the forest. Eucalypts have evolved to encourage fires, dropping copious amounts of easily flammable litter. Stringy bark trees are the worst, dangling flammable strings of bark that catch alight and detach from the tree to spread the fire a kilometer or two downwind.

Bill Gammage wrote an excellent book, The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia, which was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award in 2012. The first Europeans in Australia noted over and over that Australia looked like a country estate in England, like a park with open woodlands, extensive grassy patches, and abundant wildlife. Where Europeans prevented aborigines from tending their land it became overgrown, and the inevitable fires became dangerous and uncontrollable.

Particularly memorable is the account of driving a horse and carriage from Hobart to Launceston in the early 1800’s, before there were any roads, simply by driving along the grassy park underneath the tree canopies. Try doing that today through any bush in southern Australia.

People will die and property losses will be high until we relearn these lessons and reduce fuel loads again.

The Blame is Obvious

Who changed the policies of millennia and “forgot” to burn off?

When whites came to Australia they didn’t understand at first how to manage the forests. Where they displaced the aboriginals, the wild fires started soon after. But they eventually learned.

What about the modern era of mega fires? Who caused that?

Here is the burn-off and wild fire data for Western Australia:

A big lesson was learned in 1960 after some mega fires, and a regime of burn offs was instituted. Problem solved.

But then from the 1960s onward policy was increasingly influenced by people with romantic but unrealistic notions — the Greens. Their fantasy is that natural is best. They childishly figured that leaving forests alone and not burning or thinning was the most moral policy, the ones that made them feel best.

Dangerous, foolish greens. The graph tells the story. Burn offs declined, fuel loads built up, then the fires started again in earnest.

To solve the problem, change the policies. And to do that, we probably need to replace our current incompetent ruling class.  Incompetent? Well what would you call letting “unprecedented” huge blazes spring up, then blaming it on climate change? Fools or liars, take your pick.

Climate Change?

If there was any specific evidence that linked climate change to bushfires or extreme weather events, we know the usual suspects would be trumpeting it loudly. That they don’t, speaks volumes.

There was a fifteen year hiatus in the rise of average global air temperatures, from 1998 to 2013. Basically the world didn’t warm for a decade and a half. Yet the bushfire situation steadily worsened in Australia in those fifteen years. Hmmm.

A search through old Australian newspapers on Trove reveals that there have been fire seasons this bad before, and/or that started earlier. Hardly hidden information, but not presented to you by the nightly “news.”

The bibles of mainstream climate change are the Assessment Reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) every six years or so. The latest was issued recently, in September 2013. Significantly, it backs away from the link between climate change and specific extreme weather events.

The IPCC says that connections of warming to extreme weather have not been found. “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses [that is, adjusted for exposure and wealth of the increasing populations] have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change.” The IPCC claim only to have “low confidence” in their ability to project “changes in frequency and duration of megadroughts.”

The official report does say that “drought, coupled with extreme heat and low humidity, can increase the risk of wildfire”, but there is no drought in southeast Australia at the moment.

They also say “there is evidence that future climate change could lead to increases in the occurrence of wildfires because of changes in fuel availability, readiness of the fuel to burn and ignition sources.” Carbon dioxide is a potent plant fertilizer. According to NASA satellites there is more living plant matter today, with a 6% increase in the twenty years to 2000. So there is more to burn.

Logic might help. Global warming has increased temperatures by less than one degree since 1900. Temperatures increase as you go north in Australia. So, the global warming since 1900 is like adopting the climate of a place a few hundred kilometers further north. So, if it was climate change causing the changes to fires, you’d expect a given region to adopt the fire profile of what was a few hundred kilometers further north, a century ago. Obviously the current situation is nothing like that. The fire situation near Sydney today is nothing like Newcastle or Port Macquarie in 1900.

The same logic applies to the reef. If warming is so deadly to coral, how does coral further north survive? Furthermore, the reef is hundreds of thousands of years old, yet during the last ice age, which ended ten thousand years ago, the sea was a hundred meters lower and the reef was hundreds of kilometers to the east of where it is now. How did the reef march so far?

Both questions are answered by the fact that the reef is a population of organisms with a range of tolerances and temperatures at which they thrive. When conditions change, different individuals take over or die. When an El Nino event warms the Pacific and sends drought to eastern Australia, which happens every five years or so, the water temperatures along the reef rise a degree or so. Some corals die, but others do better. And when the El Nino recedes, the situation is reversed. This does not mean we have to let international committees dictate our energy use and lifestyles, as some would have it.

Bloomberg is the great centrist hope for Democrats to defeat Trump

Bloomberg is the great centrist hope for Democrats to defeat Trump, by Michael Goodwin. Bloomberg is worth $50bn, far more than Trump. He recently registered for Democrat primaries, so he is going to run.

It is said that every senator looks in the mirror and sees a future president, and now Michael Bloomberg is having a similar moment of self-infatuation. …

Mere months ago, the party was celebrating a field of 25 candidates who comprised a Noah’s Ark of group identities, but the mood has changed dramatically. After panderfest forums, boring speeches and inconclusive debates, many Dems now sound like Peggy Lee as they ask, “Is that all there is?” …

My guess is that [77-year old] Bloomberg finally realized that Biden can’t go the distance. The former veep is lackluster on his best days, and his money woes are a tell that he has peaked.

Bloomy also has to know that fellow New Yorker Trump is not going to let the public forget that Hunter Biden got rich when his father was vice president. Indeed, House Dems’ bid to impeach Trump over Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine could well finish off their own presidential front-runner because GOP members will repeatedly shift the ­focus to the Biden family’s suspect roles there. …

America succeeds when the two parties must compete for centrist voters, a fact that tends to moderate radical impulses on both sides. Trouble is, the nation is polarized, and Dems are in the process of banishing moderates, with Warren especially vicious in demonizing those who don’t agree with her pitch to break the bank on Medicare for All and other harebrained schemes.

Like an Occupy Wall Street brat, she welcomed Bloomberg into the race by ridiculing his wealth and calling him greedy. “Bloomberg has chosen to protect his wealth over everyone else — and that’s why he’d rather spend enormous amounts of money on a presidential run than pay taxes,” she wrote in a fundraising pitch. …

There is little outward evidence that Bloomberg will be well-received on the trail. Jewish, divorced and living with a woman not his wife, a Democrat turned Republican turned independent turned Democrat again, he got just 6% support among Dems in a recent poll, with 32% saying they would never support him. Hardly an auspicious start.

The return of class hatred

The return of class hatred, by Brendan O’Neil.

The chattering classes are praising … this vile snobbery. This 19th-century-style fear of the mob, the crowd, and of their foolish beliefs and ideas. This neo-aristocratic desire for an era when politicians were suspicious of the throng rather than sympathetic to it. …

Those sections of society who conceive of themselves as decent, certainly more decent than the oiks who voted for Brexit, do increasingly think like this. And they are now open about it.

The 1920s, so long ago. Followed by the 1930s…

This weekend, the Observer’s Nick Cohen … raged against the old and the uneducated and the mess they have made of this country with their ignorant vote for Brexit. Like a poundshop Nietzsche he rails against ‘the willingness of voters to be lied to’. Brexit voters are like ‘children’, he says, ‘easy to lead and to fool’.

Unleashing his inner classist, his inner patrician, Cohen says ‘the divide in Brexit Britain is not based on class but on age and education’. He points out that ‘70 per cent of voters whose educational achievement was only GCSE or lower’ voted for Brexit. Perhaps we should introduce literacy tests, like they had in the racist American South: that should weed out the uneducated undesirables. ‘Some ideas are so stupid that only the uneducated can believe them’, says Cohen. And, of course, one of those ideas is Brexit. He says there’s a reason conmen ‘prey’ on the uneducated and the elderly – because, unlike him and his Oxbridge-educated chums, these people are easy to ‘fleece’.

So many words. I bet these people miss the days before political correctness when one word would have been enough to communicate their feelings about the poor, the uneducated and the old: scum.

This classism and ageism is not restricted to out-of-touch columnists, of course. It now infuses many middle-class people’s thinking. The hatred for the old is especially visceral. Last week a poll found that 47 per cent of Brits aged between 16 and 34 believe that old people should be prevented from voting on big issues like Brexit or Scottish independence. There’s a website tracking how many old Brexit voters have died since 2016. … This borderline eugenicist hatred for the elderly is one of the most poisonous sentiments in Brexit Britain.

There is class hatred, too. Attend a People’s Vote march and you will see the well-educated middle classes boasting about how the slogans on their placards are at least spelt correctly. ‘The masses didn’t know what they were voting for’ is the most common refrain of the reactionary Remainer lobby. …

Looking upon the masses as latent Nazis is the new, more PC version of calling them white trash. From the left, behold Corbynista Paul Mason venomously attacking the image of ‘the ex-miner sitting in the corner of the pub calling migrants cockroaches’. Never underestimate how much these people despise the working classes. …

A shift has occurred in Britain over the past three years. What had become unsayable is sayable once again. The elite’s fear and loathing of the crowd never really went away, but now it is stated openly in a way that it hasn’t been since the early 20th century. These people have been so stung and disorientated by the vote for Brexit that they have lost all sense of moral and linguistic restraint and now say in public what they would once have only said in private: that the uneducated masses and the unenlightened elderly are corrupting society with their idiocy and their brutishness. We should be grateful for this honestly stated hatred.

So vote accordingly. The globalist, fantasist, anywheres versus the deplorable, realist, somewheres.

The Right: Recitations of facts, outrage at the Left

The Right: Recitations of facts, outrage at the Left. By the Z-Man.

At an event like Mencken [a US conference for the “independent tight”], you can see why conservatism failed. ..

At a conference like Mencken, which is still rooted in the conservative habits, the speeches are all recitations of facts, empirical examinations of the Left’s arguments and appeals to the reason of the audience. The only place you see emotion is outrage at the excesses of the Left. There’s a pride in not allowing that outrage to infiltrate the arguments made on behalf of conservative issues.

That was an effective approach, in a country that was close to 90% white, which was America in the 20th century. The conservative movement turned the GOP from a minority party into the majority. By the 1990’s, even Democrats like Bill Clinton were ready to declare big government dead. Then the effects of demographic replacement started to show up at the ballot box. That overwhelmingly white majority began to decline, so those appeals to reason had a shrinking audience.

That is why Buckley conservatism is dead. It turns out that there are no sound empirical reasons to defend your homeland, at least not ones that will cause men to sacrifice for the effort. Those arguments need passion, not four color graphs with supporting tables and citations. The answer to the Left’s demand for immigration was not a tweedy intellectual, but a man with passion for his people and his way of life, willing to rally his people to do what must be done to defend those lands

Like herding cats:

At the after-party, I was reminded why right-wing resistance to the Left has always fallen to pieces on contact with the Left. Even in a crusty fringe crowd like at Mencken, there is a weird pride in no one toeing the company line. The Left never tolerates free thinkers, which is why they can maintain disciple. The Right has always assumed that the ideological discipline of the Left is a vice, so they have made sure to have a diversity of opinion. The sperg army will never be a match for the Left.

This is, of course, the result of generations of conditioning as to what it means to be right-wing. Instead of being a stand-alone, positive set of beliefs and aspirations, it is a laundry list of complaints about the Left and a determination to be the mirror image of what is understood to be left-wing at the moment. To be a right-winger is to never impose discipline on the ranks, so everyone is free to be an army of one. The Left, of course, is then free to pick them off one by one.

Yes, the non-left have become the defenders of reality, on topic after topic. They are reacting to the left, who use their media monopoly to promote fantasies that help them win power and make the changes they want.

Trump uses emotion back on the left, not just the usual recitation of facts. Unforgivable. Other non-left leaders around the West are catching on.

Modern Propaganda: GLAAD wants ‘20% of series regular characters’ to be ‘LGBTQ By 2025’

Modern Propaganda: GLAAD wants ‘20% of series regular characters’ to be ‘LGBTQ By 2025’. By Frank Camp.

GLAAD [formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] President Sarah Kate Ellis states that television plays a crucial role in our culture when it comes to “changing hearts and minds.”  …

The organization’s challenge that “20% of series regular characters on primetime scripted broadcast series” should be LGBTQ by the year 2025 would amount to severe overrepresentation. …

GLAAD’s push for overrepresentation could be a factor in the overestimation of the actual LGBT population by many Americans.

In 2019, Gallup asked respondents: “Just your best guess, what percent of Americans today would you say are gay or lesbian?”

The average respondent believed that 23.6% of the population is gay or lesbian. Broken down further, 35% guessed that the gay and lesbian population was “more than 25%”; 19% guessed that it was between “20% to 25%”; 10% guessed that it was “15% to less than 20%”; and 14% guessed that it was “10% to less than 15%.”

Only 8% guessed that the percentage of gay and lesbian persons in the United States was “less than 5%.”

In fact, about 3% of males are gay and about 1% of females.

It’s just a gay fantasy that 20% are gay: oh, so many more potential partners!

This is how it’s done. Most of us spend several hours a week watching tv, movies etc, so they are part of our reality. But the left are perverting our view of what’s “real.” It’s a fantasy world, where PC reigns and reality is excluded or despised.

On Australian ABC, all the programs for decades have been showcases for progressive values. All the good and normal characters are progressive or espouse progressive values, and only the bad people are non-progressive. A drip, drip, drip of anti-male, anti-white, anti-Christian, anti-western stories. So teachy.

In the old Soviet Union, the Russians were played by good looking actors and the nasty westerners were played by bad looking actors. So easy to spot. Now, on our tv and movies its morals and values. Only slightly more subtle.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

What are Spiteful Mutants? Social Epistasis Amplification model

What are Spiteful Mutants? Social Epistasis Amplification model. By Pedantia. The worlds of science and politics collide. You might be surprised that science has something to say about the political pathologies of today. Are we programmed for this? It certainly explains an awful lot. Perhaps leftists are spiteful mutants, and under specific conditions — such as have existed since the 1960s — can take over and infect the society.

People who engage in behavior that is not only damaging to themselves, but to the broader group they belong to … They can avert the ideals of the culture away from conforming to the good of the group, shifting them from group fitness, 50’s era values, and patriotism to sexual liberation, unrestrained freedom, and tolerance — perhaps even celebration — of various types of low fitness manifestations …

Humans are a group-selected species, which means we thrive best when we work together as a collective unit to build a prospering community or civilization. Because we are so social, we have natural adaption processes that occur which allow us to live more in tune with those around us. In our various communities, our auto adaptation mechanism causes us to copy the actions, ideals, and even the beliefs of those in power and those we respect.

If the ideals are conducive to a way of life that increases our general social and reproductive fitness, then the adaptation naturally is in the best interest of the individual adapting to the community. However, sometimes what one may consider good and acceptable is not always actually in the best interest of the individual nor the community.

If a person adapts to a system that contradicts their reproductive fitness, as well as the fitness of the general group they belong to, then adapting to that particular group becomes something that can be detrimental to the individual.

Cancel that privilege before lecturing the rest of us about how bad we are

Cancel that privilege before lecturing the rest of us about how bad we are, by Brendan O’Neill.

It strikes me that one of the most unfortunate consequences of identity politics has been its hollowing-out of the word privilege and the way this has made it impossible to have a serious debate about where power and authority really lie in 21st-century Western society.

This was brought home to me while watching Mona Eltahawy’s excruciating appearance on the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night. I cringed so hard as I watched Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American feminist and author, spout the F-word and boast about being uncivil. It was all so adolescent. I can’t believe someone over the age of 14 thinks it’s cool to say f..k.

But even more striking than that was how try-hard it felt. It came across as extraordinarily performative. It felt like an act.

Then it struck me. Eltahawy is playing at being oppressed. She’s donning the garb of the downtrodden to distract attention from the fact she has had a very nice, comfortable and, dare I say it, privileged life. …

Well duh.

She said: “I do not have the luxury or the privilege to sit there and be civil with people who do not acknowledge my full humanity.”

In short, she’s a member of the non-privileged. And therefore she is good and you must listen to her.

There’s only one problem with this: it isn’t true.

Eltahawy has had a privileged life. And I’m using the word privilege in its true sense here. She grew up in a middle-class family in Egypt. Her parents had PhDs. They worked in medicine. They even got government grants to study and work overseas, including in Britain and Saudi Arabia.

A third of Egyptians live in extreme poverty. In contrast to them, Eltahawy grew up in great comfort. And that’s an inconvenient fact for someone who’s super keen to be a member of the woke, where being oppressed gives you moral power and social influence. So Woke Mona must pose as someone who lacks “luxury or privilege” and who cannot be expected to be polite to her detractors.

Anti-white racist:

Indeed, Eltahawy insisted on Q&A that words such as civility and respectfulness were invented by white men for the benefit of other white men. Which white men? Rich, powerful white men such as Donald Trump? White men such as my father, an immigrant to Britain who worked on building sites his whole life? The white men who fix the plumbing in Eltahawy’s no doubt lovely apartment block in New York City?

The woke elite’s sweeping, dehumanising category of “white men” erases everything to do with class and wealth. It views all white men, whether dirt poor or filthy rich, as culturally problematic.

So Eltahawy, from her lovely, privileged background, is oppressed while white men, including the ones who have no money or power, are privileged. This is morally perverse and historically illiterate.

Another privilege: Mona Eltahawy and her like are allowed on the government media, while non-left people are either banned completely or ridiculed.

California Dems show us the future. Run for your lives!

California Dems show us the future. Run for your lives! By Ann Coulter.

California is wholly controlled by the Democratic Party. The governor is a Democrat. The lieutenant governor is a Democrat. The attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer are Democrats. All these positions have been held by Democrats since the governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger (who was a Democrat). The state Senate is just under two-thirds Democratic, while the assembly is more than two-thirds Democratic. Both U.S. senators are Democrats, as are 46 of 53 members of Congress.

And what a paradise they’ve created! For the last several years, with a direct pipeline to the fifth-largest treasury on the planet, California has been waging war on decent people in favor of drug addicts, the mentally ill, criminals, the homeless and transgenders.

In the last century, every great thing started in California: surfing, jeans, Disneyland, tax revolts, McDonald’s, movies, car culture, the Grateful Dead, right on red turns, Merle Haggard, skateboarding, Apple computer and the last two elected Republican presidents not named “Bush.”

Big political movements used to begin in California. Proposition 13’s cap on property taxes led to President Ronald Reagan and a nationwide tax revolt. Proposition 209’s ban on affirmative action was followed by Supreme Court rulings restricting the government’s ability to discriminate on the basis of race. …

Ignoring the voters, the left knows best:

The most clear-cut evidence that Democrats do not care about democracy is Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent decision to halt the death penalty (unless administered by an illegal alien, as in the case of Kate Steinle).

Illegal on left murdered citizen on right, got away with it

I doubt any other state’s voters have been more emphatic about their support for the death penalty than Californians, voting for it in statewide initiatives in 1972, 1978, 2012 and again in 2016 — just three years ago.

But earlier this year, Gov. Newsom flagrantly disregarded the voters’ repeated endorsement of capital sentences and single-handedly imposed a moratorium on the death penalty.

Forget Facebook ads. Who cares if Russians hack into our voting machines and change the vote totals? Democrats are going to ignore the results anyway. …

It’s the same with guns. This September, during a fiery debate on guns, the left demanded “red-flag laws” to take guns away from citizens after having their politics, their writings, their previous exercise of free speech examined on a granular level by bureaucrats empowered to revise the Bill of Rights. In the middle of that debate, Gov. Newsom commuted the sentences of 21 convicted felons — almost all of whom were serving lengthy terms for murder or attempted murder with a gun.

And get this: Newsom specifically cited the unfairness of enhancing a criminal’s sentence merely because he used a gun when committing a crime.

It’s all about political power and helping themselves to nice jobs:

Liberals don’t care about guns in the hands of violent criminals. They’re coming after the guns of conservatives.

We’re horrified by people who commit violence with firearms. They’re horrified by people who haven’t committed any violence and never will — but who engage in speech displeasing to Democrats.

Read it all.

hat-tip Chris

California Governor Names ‘Genius’ Feminist Studies Graduate to Transform California’s Power Sector

California Governor Names ‘Genius’ Feminist Studies Graduate to Transform California’s Power Sector, by Robert Wenzel.

Thanks to all kinds of regulations, the California power company with a state-granted monopoly, PG&E, and other monopoly power companies in other regions, are resorting to shutting off power to millions when there is a threat that high winds may knockdown wires and cause fires.

The state has reacted, not by opening up the regions to more competition, which would most certainly include power suppliers who would provide the correct type of power lines to the high wind regions that would not be susceptible to the winds.

Instead, California Governor Gavin Newsom is going more statist.

He has named a new energy czar, Ana Matosantos. No doubt, new regulations are on their way that will distort and suffocate energy production even more with the heavy arm of the state at the helm.

But who is Ana Matosantos?

Gov. Newsom Appoints “Energy Czar” Ana Matosantos to Completely Transform PG&E, by Lloyd Billingsley.

“PG&E as we know it cannot persist and continue,” proclaimed California governor Gavin Newsom last Friday. “It has to be completely transformed, culturally transformed, operationally transformed, with a safety culture first and foremost.”

Embattled and enflamed Californians might wonder how this complete transformation is to be achieved. On Friday, Gov. Newsom provided the answer when he named his cabinet secretary Ana Matosantos the new “Energy Czar.” Gov. Newsom is on record that his cabinet secretary is a “genius” and Capitol Weekly explains that Matosantos “makes the trains run on time.” …

A Puerto Rico native from a wealthy family, Matosantos earned a BA in political science and feminist studies from Stanford. …

In 2016, Congress passed the PROMESA legislation to deal with Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt, and the legislation created the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Board. San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi favored Matosantos for a board post, and President Obama duly appointed her. It was not disclosed that Matosantos was also on the board of the Matosantos Commercial Corporation, owned by her wealthy family, with deep interests in the energy business on the island.

So emblematic of our ruling class. Remember, so goes California so goes the USA, so goes the West.

Hillary Clinton, Establishment Democrats Signal Deepening Panic over Democrat Field

Hillary Clinton, Establishment Democrats Signal Deepening Panic over Democrat Field. By Hannah Bleau.

The elite class and Hillary Clinton, specifically, are unsatisfied with the current Democrat primary field and have signaled their dissatisfaction in a variety of ways in recent weeks, from refusing to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden (D) to dismissing the ultra-far-left candidates’ radical agendas. …

Democrats have, on paper, everything they have claimed to want in terms of diversity in their lineup. … Yet, despite that, Democrat elites like Clinton are unsatisfied, indicating a deepening divide within the Democrat Party.

The first presidential primary is less than three months away, yet select Democrats are still mulling a last-minute run. …

She’s thinking about it:

Time and time again, rather than encouraging Democrats to rally behind a candidate in the existing presidential primary field, Clinton has subtly hinted that she could jump in the race instead. …

“Maybe there does need to be a rematch. I mean, obviously, I can beat him again,” she said. …

Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, has done little to extinguish the mounting rumors, explaining that his wife “may or may not ever run for anything” during an appearance at Georgetown Law’s second annual Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture in Washington, DC, last month.

Most recently, Clinton dodged a question on whether she is planning a last-minute jump into the race, reverting to jogging jokes at the New York Times’ DealBook conference.

“I’m sorry, to run? You know, I have always been a very, very slow runner. I am embarrassingly slow,” she said, continuing her bit. …

Clinton, however, refused to answer the question directly. …

Ocasio-Cortez’s infamous feud with Pelosi over the summer was almost a foreshadowing of the internal strife to be seen within the Democrat Party in the presidential primary. There is an ongoing, although largely unsaid, matchup between establishment Democrats and the unabashedly socialist “new” left. Ultimately, the Democrat establishment worries the progressive flank will hand Trump, and his MAGA agenda, four more years in the White House.

Speaking of the new left craziness and departure from reality:

Elizabeth Warren: Black Trans, Nonbinary People Are ‘Backbone of Our Democracy’, by Hannah Bleau.

“Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy,” said a Thursday statement from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Warren issued the remark after sealing the endorsement of the radical activist group dubbed “Black Womxn For.”

Warren has “a deep understanding of how racism and gender discrimination don’t just compound income inequality but are actually central to maintaining the status quo,” the group declared.

Sure.

And who could forget their war on traditional America:

hat-tip Charles

Where the Right Lost the Cultural War

Where the Right Lost the Cultural War, by the Z-Man.

If you wanted to locate a point on the timeline as to when America began its descent into the current crisis, a good candidate would be when the Right decided to focus on economics over culture. While there is no specific day on which they made the shift, it happened somewhere during the cultural revolution of the 1960’s and 1970’s, largely in response to that culture war. …

What happened to the American Right is it embraced the materialism of the Left, but sought to use those arguments to arrive at traditional ends. Rather than reject the hollow materialism of socialism and communism, the New Right would embrace it and celebrate it. Man was no longer a spiritual being operating in a material world, but a narrowly self-interested economic unit, who pursued his subjectively-defined ends in the most efficient way possible. Culture now took a back seat to economics.

Of course, what they were doing, even if they did not understand it at the time, was conceding the culture war to the Left. By shifting from a defense of culture and tradition on their own terms, the Right was no longer going to challenge the moral claims made by the Left. Instead of disputing the morality of Progressive reforms, the Right would put on the green eye shade and explain why those reforms were too expensive or upsetting to the economy. The Right became the accounting department of the Left.

Again, at the time, this probably seemed like a clever strategy. … The Reagan Revolution of the 1980’s looked like a proof of concept.

The trouble was this could work as long as the general culture remained intact, ready to simply say no to the latest Progressive innovations. It turned out that 20th century conservatism was a free rider, living off the cultural surplus of post-war society. Like the Left, the New Right consumed this cultural surplus, but never contributed anything back to the cultural stock of society. More important, it allowed to atrophy the tools a people need to defend their culture and traditions from the Left. …

Culture change is a real problem, climate change not so much

This is why the cultural decline is accelerating. In the 1990’s, the mainstream of the Left snickered at homosexual marriage. A generation later and you get fired from your job if you are insufficiently enthusiastic for the guy in accounting, who recently started pretending to be a woman. The political Right has no answer for why this madness is intolerable, as they cannot find an economic argument suggesting it is too expensive or bad for global finance. They don’t know why transvestite story time is wrong.

Culture is upstream of politics. Until the non-left starts expressing and defending  moral choices again, it will keep on losing. Whatever feels good at the time is not good enough. That is simply returning us to pre-Christian times, which were pretty nasty.

It’s more than just economics versus morality, of course. Society generally is dumbing down, while competency is being thrown out the window in favor of diversity. Both leftist policies (high immigration from third world, encouraging smarter woman to have careers instead of kids). So many failures are stacking up.

UK election 2019: Labour MPs support Boris as party takes spending back to 1970s

UK election 2019: Labour MPs support Boris as party takes spending back to 1970s, by Jacquelin Magnay. This election is so wide open and different.

A former Labour minister and two other senior Labour figures have urged voters to back Boris Johnson, hours after the party’s deputy leader resigned and stood down as an MP.

Former minister Ian Austin told Labour supporters: “I’m not a Tory” but said “decent, traditional voters” should back Mr Johnson’s party because “Jeremy Corbyn is totally unfit to lead this country.”

Meanwhile, shadow chancellor John McDonnell unleashed a torrent of spending promises, with $750bn of investment to address social deprivation and the climate emergency in an “impossible” move that would take public spending to the highest level since the 1970s.