In a surprising move, Hanoi Jane Fonda nominated President Donald J. Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for his initiatives in support of peace in the Middle East, for extracting the United States from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, for attempting to deter North Korea from starting a war on the Korean peninsula, and for being the first president to not start any new wars.
Jane admitted to CNN that, although she disagreed with President Trump’s stance on climate change, “You have to hate the behavior, but don’t hate the person. You know, I don’t hate him. I feel sad for him.” Her change in sentiment may be related to her own past mistakes as an anti-war activist visiting Hanoi during the Vietnam War. Jane has previously said “I will go to my grave regretting that.”
“I hope he gets recognition he deserves for his wonderful work to end America’s long involvement in foreign wars,” she was reported as having said in private.
“If not, maybe they will finally give it to me for helping to end the war in Vietnam!” Yeah, right….
In response to the blockade of all transportation routes, wired communications paths, and cell towers into and out of the District of Columbia, President Joe Biden issued an executive order to have the US armed forces to initiate the largest airlift since the Berlin Airlift of 1948. “Come on, man,” the President announced on a loudspeaker from the lawn of the White House, “we gave you statehood so we could change America. I thought DC governors would be just as smart as all the white governors.” Meanwhile, a fleet of Army, Navy, Marine, and privately chartered helicopters descended on the new heliport and satellite communications node on the site of the national mall, one of the few remaining open spaces remaining in the shrunken District of Columbia.
Apparently, the President didn’t anticipate such a rough start after statehood was granted to DC. Let’s review how we got into this mess. Shortly after Joe Biden’s inauguration, Congress granted statehood to all but a tiny portion of the District and named it the new State of Columbia. The new state immediately established a state government that assumed all power from the Mayor and DC City Council. Although city officials were stripped of all their former responsibilities, because what else does the state have to govern but the city itself, their jobs were left intact so as to avoid any increase in the unemployment rate.
With a population of about 712K, the new state has more people than Wyoming, which only has about 582K. Although Congress expected a relatively proportional state government (Wyoming has 30 state Senators and 60 state Representatives), the new state decided they needed to make up for years of taxation WITHOUT representation by switching to taxation with LOTS of representation. Not to be outdone by New Hampshire, which is only slightly more populous but has the largest House of Representatives in the nation (400) the new state created a legislature with 400 State Representatives and 60 State Senators. The Governor’s executive branch absorbed all city government agencies and tripled it to ensure it could administer all its new state authorities. A new State Supreme Court was established along with a network of subordinate courts and a proportional increase in the size of the judicial branch.
The first act of the new State of Columbia was to reject the state name, which reeked of white supremacy, and to apply good anti-racist practices by renaming it “The State of Wakonda,” with the state motto of course being “Wakonda Forever.”
The first act of the newly renamed State of Wakonda was to defund the police, replace them with thousands of social workers, psychologists, social media influencers, and anti-fascist neighborhood watch groups, and pass a revenue bill to pay for the newly expanded government, which consisted of thousands of new highly-paid positions. However, it became immediately clear that the cost of state government required a large increase in taxes that they might not be able to raise, so the governor and his legislature immediately demanded a subsidy from Congress to make up for the clear lack of any sustainable revenue base. “How can they expect Wakonda to support itself when we’re so tiny, don’t produce anything, and our wealthiest residents only live here part time?” complained the triple-hatted governor/mayor/commander in chief of the Wakonda National Guard.
After Congress refused to pass a spending bill to support the new state indefinitely, the Governor of Wakonda made the hard decision to build toll booths on all bridges and roads, increase parking rates, impose new taxes on anything that moved into or out of what was left of DC (including fiber optic and cellular communications), and add a special tax especially for federal lobbyists. Congress responded by passing a law exempting all Members of Congress, all employees of the Executive and Judicial branches, and all “certified” federal lobbyists from such taxes, which pretty much left only tourists to bear the burden of the new taxes. Tourism dried up as they realized the toll booth lines were too long anyway.
Maryland then filed suit against Wakonda in the Supreme Court to reclaim all the territory it originally ceded to Congress for creation of the District. They claimed that ownership of the territory was ceded only for the purpose of the creation of a national capital, and that if it was no longer needed, ownership should have been restored to the original and rightful owner. As precedent, Maryland cited the example of Virginia, which also ceded land to the District and later got it back. In 1846, the Virginia portion of the original territory of Columbia, encompassing Old Town Alexandria and Arlington County, was “retroceded” by Congress back to the Commonwealth.
With its back against the wall, the State of Wakonda ordered its National Guard and antifa troops to enact a blockade on the District until such time as Congress agrees to pay up and the Supreme Court rejects Maryland’s claim on its land. Congressional Democrats submitted a new bill proposing to move the national capital back to Philadelphia and asked Pennsylvania to cede up to 10 square miles to establish a new federal city there. The proposal was met with a resounding defeat in the Pennsylvania legislature. “Fat chance we want Congress back here,” the mayor of Phily tweeted.
Our original national capital was moved out of Philadelphia after the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, when over 400 unpaid and angry Continental soldiers marched on the city, demanding payment for their service during the Revolutionary War and temporarily preventing the delegates to Congress from leaving Independence Hall. Remember, this was before Congress figured out how to print money, and their coffers were empty. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania refused all requests for protection and, after two days, Congress adjourned and fled the capital for Princeton, NJ, which became the new provisional capital. The incident (dare we say “insurrection”?) made a lasting impression. The Framers of the Constitution referenced it over and over again in defending their provision for the creation of a “federal town” (the District of Columbia), which Anti-Federalists persisted in visualizing as a sink of corruption and a potential nursery for tyrants.
Ironically, little did the Federalist framers know that, 238 years after patriots marched on Independence Hall, the District of Columbia would actually be a sink of corruption and a nursery for tyrants – and protestors would again storm the halls of Congress.
vowing to fight for rights (by leftists) => fighting for social justice vowing to fight for rights (by conservatives) => inciting mob violence
death threats (by leftists) => anti-fascist free speech death threats (by right-wing extremists) => hate speech that should be censored
violations of tech platform terms of service (by leftists or dictators) => ignored violations of tech platform terms of service (by conservatives) => suspended/banned for exaggerated infractions
gender identity (of leftists) => determined by a personal declaration racial identity (of leftists) => determined by biological reality gender and racial identity (of conservatives) => determined by biological reality
Hypocrisy is supported by re-defined and divergent definitions based on political orientation:
censorship (for leftists) => suppression of lies and incitement to violence censorship (for conservatives) => politically-motivated suppression of free speech
Black Lives Matter (for leftists) => blacks killed by a cop matter, regardless of cause black lives matter (for conservatives) => blacks deserve equal protection under law
racial inequality (for leftists) => is caused by systemic racism by white oppressors racial inequality (for conservatives) => is mostly caused by socioeconomic disparities
Anti-Racism (for leftists) => discrimination to improve equal outcomes for blacks anti-racism (for conservatives) => colorblindness and equal treatment
equality (for leftists) => outcomes proportionate to group identity (equity) equality (for conservatives) => equal opportunity and rights
hate speech (for leftists) => any speech they hate and want to censor hate speech (for conservatives) => free speech protected by the 1st Amendment hate speech (for Supreme Court) => free speech protected by the 1st Amendment illegal speech (for Supreme Court) => clear and present danger of inciting imminent lawless action
Language is supposed to convey knowledge, or at least information. So when it conveys confusion, it causes a problem. I’ve been a bit confused about all the transgender language now being used, so I decided to research the terms and come up with a quick reference guide to help reduce the confusion. I’m not sure I succeeded, but here it is for your consideration.
Now let’s test your knowledge with a practical exercise.
Question A: What is a lesbian?
A (cisgender) woman who is attracted to another (cisgender) woman.
A trans-woman who is attracted to another trans-woman (also referred to as a homosexual male).
A trans-woman who is attracted to a (cisgender) woman (also referred to as a heterosexual male).
All of the above.
If your answer was #4, you are now culturally proficient in Trans-Newspeak, I think.
Whatever a queer person says they are (undefined).
All of the above.
If your answer was #4, congratulations again! Or maybe I should say I’m sorry I was not able to clarify it better. As Winston Churchill said, “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.”
What separates humans most from the rest of the species on Earth is our ability to use complex communication and to create and use tools. Some other species seem to have a high degree of intelligence, but lack the other skills. We are pretty sure that animals, and maybe even plants, can communicate, but only in simple ways. It’s too bad, because I would love to hear what the rest of the planet thinks of humanity, as if we don’t already know. Some words come to mind: slave traders, genocidal butchers, condescending supremacists, intelligent but evil, capable of love and affection but usually a brutal and uncaring plague upon the Earth. Not exactly the language we use to describe ourselves.
How we use language influences how we see the world. So, the first thing people attempt to do when they try and manipulate thought, is to manipulate language itself. The way in which we characterize ideas can be used to undermine the legitimacy of other opinions and the right of others to express them. If you listen carefully, you can sense that free speech and thought itself is under attack and has been for decades.
In his 1949 novel “1984,” which was a reflection of communist ideology, George Orwell discussed the usurpation of language using Newspeak to control thought. Slogans were constructed to support the simultaneous acceptance of two mutually-opposing beliefs, such as: Freedom is Slavery, War is Peace, and Ignorance is Strength. The Thought Police were constantly monitoring the population for signs of independent thought that deviated from the party line. Today, we see a similar usage of language to undermine opposition.
Here are some examples of phrases that have a built-in bias meant to manipulate thought:
Hate crime: A way of framing a crime in a way that focuses on the motive for the crime rather than the criminal act itself. It implies that the thoughts and speech of the perpetrator are the real crime, not the physical act itself (e.g. murder, assault, defamation). A hate crime is technically just an ordinary crime that was inspired by hate, but because it focuses on speech or thought, it is a direct threat to freedom of speech when an accuser deems that form of speech or thought to be hateful.
Climate change denier: A phrase that declares that people who challenge the accepted narrative on climate change are denying what is known to be absolute truth. There is no allowing for the possibility of any deviation from what is known even if based on scientific inquiry or changing data. Such a phrase delegitimizes all speech that questions the current theory, even though the most basic premise of scientific inquiry requires the ability to question and test what is hypothesized. The phrase therefore is an attack not just on speech, but scientific inquiry itself.
Black Lives Matter: While seeming to promote the obvious notion, with which the overwhelming majority agree, it is only used in protest when a black person is killed by a white person. It therefore insinuates that black lives are mostly in jeopardy because of the actions of non-black people, and especially of police officers. This is contrary to facts that show that 89% of black murders are perpetrated by other blacks, but those crimes rarely spark protests or media coverage.
Anti-Racist: A term that identifies someone who actively works to oppose racism. In practice, however, it is a way of racializing problems by claiming problems are almost always caused by racism rather than other factors. Anti-racists ironically use racial stereotypes to assign blame or victimhood, which is a core part of the definition of racism (“the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another”). So, in effect, an anti-racist is generally acting in a racist manner while labeling those who do not participate in racial stereotyping as racists.
Transphobia: A label applied to describe people who disagree with the legitimacy of transgender beliefs by declaring that their thoughts are based on fear and therefore illigitimate. There is no allowing for the possibility of rational disagreement on the relationship between biology and gender.
Misgendering: A way of saying that the timeless practice of equating gender with biological characteristics is a mistake that could even be called harassment or legal misconduct because gender and sex are now alleged to be unrelated. A human male is no longer necessarily a man and a human female is no longer necessarily a woman, which is contrary to almost universally accepted language. The term gender has been associated with grammar for most of history and only started to move towards it being a malleable cultural construct in the 1950s and 1960s. United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “The word ‘gender’ has acquired the new and useful connotation of cultural or attitudinal characteristics (as opposed to physical characteristics) distinctive to the sexes. That is to say, gender is to sex as feminine is to female and masculine is to male.”
Woman: A term now considered hateful or a microaggression when used contrary to the preferred gender of a trans person. The term woman has historically been used interchangeably with reference to the female human body, though more recently this usage has been viewed as controversial and redefined by some feminists and LGBTQ+ activists.
Gender-affirming treatment: A way of characterizing medical methods for altering one’s hormones or external biological features as something that correctly recognizes one’s gender rather than a medical procedure that only superficially changes the appearance of one’s biology to match a preference.
Pro Life: An implication that opponents favor death rather than pregnancy, and applies to abortions conducted at any stage of development, from 1 minute to 9 months after conception. However, it is limited to one narrow issue, abortion, and does not imply an overall stance on death, such as opposition to euthanasia (assisted suicide), to the death penalty, or to military service (for conscientious objectors).
Progressive: A political label that implies that one favors human progress, as opposed to opponents who must therefore oppose progress.
Liberal: A political label that implies that one is open-minded and focused on civil rights and helping those in need through government action, as opposed to those who must oppose equality and justice. Not to be confused with a Classical Liberal, which emphasized individual liberty, tolerance and protection of minority rights, economic freedom, and limited government action, most of which are now considered to be Conservative values. The current term flips the ideal of liberalism on its head.
Barbarian or Savage: Terms historically used to describe cultures that were vastly different from those of the West (or non-Chinese) and therefore not worthy of respect. Those using the term generally supported policies to subjugate or enslave them.
Social Construct: A term that implies something isn’t scientifically real because it is only an idea constructed by society.
Social Construction of Beauty: Beauty is a term that is now attacked for being a socially-constructed ideal based on nothing more than a biased view of gender and race. Previously, characteristics that were considered most attractive to a majority of people were based on scientific Darwinian biological theories of sexual selection. Theoretical and empirical findings have long suggested that mate preferences are mainly cued on visual, vocal and chemical cues that reveal health including developmental health. Beautiful and irresistible features have evolved numerous times in plants and animals due to sexual selection. Although beauty standards may vary between cultures and between times, the underlying selection pressures, which shaped the standards, are the same.
Use of Capitalization: There has been a recent phenomenon that involves capitalizing words that are not supposed to be capitalized according to the rules of grammar. In such cases, a message is being sent. When used in reference to race, why is the word “Black” now capitalized by social justice writers, while “brown” and “white” are generally not? None are considered proper nouns. The implication is that Black people, or their concerns about racial equality, are more important than any other concerns. Otherwise, all racial groups would be capitalized equally, much like ethnic or national group names (e.g. Hispanic, Asian).
Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superperson! Faster than a speeding Supreme Court nomination, more powerful than the mighty pen, able to leap over logic and science in a single bound, it’s Superperson!
Yes, it’s Superperson – queer undocumented alien from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal people. Superperson – challenger of law and order. Champion of equal rights, valiant, courageous fighter against the forces of hate and prejudice, who disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered transspecies cisgender reporter for a great metropolitan liberal newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for anti-racist truth, social justice and the new American way.
The Origin of Superperson
Superperson is born Kal-El on the undocumented alien planet Krypton. His parents, climate scientists Jor-El and Lara, become aware of Krypton’s impending destruction due to the effects of Kryptonian-driven climate change and Jor-El begins constructing a spacecraft to carry Kal-El to Earth. During Krypton’s last moments, Jor-El places young Kal-El in the spacecraft and launches it. Jor-El and Lara die as the spacecraft barely escapes Krypton’s fate. The explosion transforms planetary debris into kryptonite, a radioactive substance that is lethal to superpowered (as by Earth’s yellow sun) Kryptonians.
The spacecraft lands in an abandoned manufacturing plant in an urban blue state of the United States, where it is found by a homeless, transgender, transracial family. Jonathan and Martha Kent adopt Kal-El and temporarily assign him as a man with the white cisgender name Clark Kent. As Clark grows up on Earth, he and his adoptive parents discover that he is a white cisgender man born inherently racist, but has the superhuman powers of a social justice warrior. The Kents teach Clark to use these powers responsibly to help oppressed minorities and fight hate speech and hate crimes.
Clark keeps his powers secret in order to protect his family and friends, who might be endangered by their racist, sexist, transphobic, misogynistic, white supremacist criminal enemies. In order to use his powers to help humanity, Clark creates the alter ego of Superperson, a transhuman, queer, transracial person of colour. A number of elements are added to each identity to keep them distinct enough to prevent the casual observer from matching them. Superman wears a characteristic rainbow costume with the emblem “S” and a cape and uses the pronouns they/them/their and sometimes ze/zir. Clark Kent takes to wearing glasses, styling their hair different from the cisnormative style, changing their body language, significantly altering their voice to deviate from social expectations, and wearing loose clothing that hides their stereotypical male physique.
Clark Kent moves to Metropolis and takes a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet, where ze meets zir friends and co-workers, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and works under the white supremacist opressor editor Perry White. Superman becomes the subject of frequent headline stories written by Lois, and the two become sexually but not romantically attracted to each other with occasional bisexual threesomes with Jimmy or Batperson.
Superperson, for the first time in their life, faces an enemy against which ze is entirely powerless. That enemy is a piece of the planet Krypton – kryptonite, it is called – which a few days ago struck Earth in the form of a meteor and was retrieved by evil fracking supporter and President of the United States Donald Trump. A full understanding of the danger came to Superperson when ze approached the kryptonite for the first time and realized that embedded within the rock is all the archived scientific and cultural knowledge of the planet Krypton. As ze came within five feet of the mass of metal, which glowed like a green diamond and emitted the knowledge that Krypton was a colorblind, racially and culturally tolerant society of free speech, equality, law and order composed of two equal but biologically different sexes, ze suddenly felt weak, as if all zir strength had been drained from zir.
We hope you enjoyed this first episode of The Adventures of Superperson! Stay tuned for more exciting adventures of the social justice warrior!
How many seats would make for a good Supreme Court of the United States? First, a bit of history. The Constitution established the Supreme Court but left it to Congress to decide how many justices should make up the court. The Judiciary Act of 1789 set the number at six. In 1807, Congress increased the number of justices to seven. In 1869, Congress raised the number of justices to nine, where it has stood ever since.
But lately, we’ve heard a call to “pack” the court with additional seats. But to keep this from being a partisan issue, let’s ask ourselves what would be the best thing to do for the country? Some say that all Americans need representation. A recent Washington Post column lamented that President Trump’s nomination of conservative Amy Coney Barrett effectively stole a seat that would otherwise have been filled by the type of person Joe Biden pledged to appoint, a liberal black woman. During a presidential primary debate, Biden said, “I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a Black woman on the Supreme Court to make sure we in fact get everyone represented.” Of course, the article notes that even President Barack Obama failed to appoint a black woman and, instead, he nominated an Hispanic woman and a white woman.
That raises an obvious question. What would it take to get the Supreme Court to get everyone represented? Let’s figure it out. We would need to make sure that every significant group received their share of the court. Let’s start by looking at all the possible combinations. To keep from getting out of control, we can’t come up with quotas by demographic numbers and would have to put some limits on the number of groups represented. I wouldn’t want to be accused of being unreasonable. These categories are mostly derived from the census and legally protected groups who may face discrimination.
7 choices for Race/Ethnicity: Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, White, Multiracial. We could expand this list, but where would it end?
6 choices for Religion: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Other. Please don’t be offended if you are an “other,” but we just can’t go down that road.
3 choices for Age: 60+, 30-59, 18-29. I’m sorry if you are under 18. You need to grow up first.
3 choices for Biological Sexes: Male, Female, Intersex/Other. Again, if you are an “other,” this should be sufficient.
3 choices for Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual, Homosexual, Bisexual. There may be others, but I hope one of the gender preferences below will suffice.
8 choices for Gender Preference: Man, TransMan, Woman, TransWoman, Nonbinary, Pangender, Agender, and Queer. I know that there are many more, at least according to Facebook, but we have to draw the line somewhere. If you are “other,” I think Queer should cover it. If not, I don’t know what else to say.
2 choices for Disability: disabled and not disabled. No need to list all the possible disabilities, I hope.
But we’re not quite done yet. I’ve read comments such as “Clarence Thomas is only black on the outside.” Ouch! Sounds pretty darn racist to me, but let’s consider the possibility that what is on the inside is at least as important as what is on the outside.
3 choices for Political Orientation: Liberal, Conservative, Moderate. I’m not even going to add an “other” because, well, that could lead to some uncomfortable court sessions.
Now to get the total number of seats, we can’t just add these up. Because a person is composed of multiple dimensions and will not be a good representative if they are not all taken into account. For instance, a conservative heterosexual black Christian woman isn’t even close to a liberal lesbian black Christian woman. That means we have to multiply all the factors for each characteristic if we really want everyone to be represented.
I know it sounds like a lot, but it could have been worse. And it is likely that not all seats will be filled. For example, it might be hard to find a disabled conservative Jewish Asian male lesbian transwoman who is qualified to serve at the age of 19. Hearing cases might be a bit tricky, but we just need a large stadium like the Roman Colosseum or a really big screen for a Zoom call. Justices would just have to give a thumbs up or down.
Definition of a Superhero: “A fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers” or also “An exceptionally skillful or successful person.”
No, this isn’t just another attempt to bring diversity to the universe of superheroes, which is obviously dominated by white males. But I will admit that there aren’t exactly many well-known black female superheroes. Black Widow isn’t even black. Marvel’s Storm (from X-Men) is one of the few. The movie Black Panther introduced us to Okoye and Shuri, but Okoye is just a bodyguard with exceptional martial arts skills and Shuri is only their chief scientist. Still, just because people don’t have superhuman skills doesn’t mean they cannot accomplish super results. We could really use a bit of “truth, justice, and the American way” these days, but Superman isn’t here to deliver. So what do we do?
What makes superheroes super is their ability to save us from something that mere mortals cannot. What is it that only black female conservatives can do? I contend that they are best suited to lift the black community out of poverty, broken families, and crime and can therefore save all of America from the divisive, self-inflicted hatred coming from those who claim that our entire society is cursed by inherent and systemic white privilege, racism and sexism.
Black women sit at the intersection of several major social issues. But whereas most white liberals and black community activists generally take the view that racism and sexism are to blame, conservative black women like Candace Owens take the view that racism and sexism are no longer the primary obstacles to success in the black community. Instead, they cite factors such as the growing problem of teenage pregnancies and abortions, broken, fatherless families, where most black children are born out of wedlock and live with an unmarried working mother, and a male culture that lacks respect for women, education and authority. They assert that these factors, and a shortage of successful male role models within their neighborhoods, lead to lower educational performance, lower wages, and disrespectful young black males engaging in criminal activities that make poor neighborhoods even more dangerous and threaten its youth with violent death or time in prison.
When a non-black person tries to make a connection between these factors and lower socio-economic performance, the emotional political reaction is to call them out as racists who are trying to blame the victim and have no right to even talk about black issues. Except, of course, for the white liberals who are praised for placing blame on white fragility and privilege. Conservative black women cannot realistically be called racists, although some have tried. Some call them “race traitors” or accuse them of “acting white,” which are themselves vicious, racist attacks. Opponents have even engaged in “book stomping,” which I guess is just short of book burning. For the most part, however, the name calling doesn’t stick. Conservative black women are relatively immune to such unfair attacks. It is their relative invulnerability, combined with their willingness to stand up and fight for real solutions for their community, that makes them superheroes.
In the movie Wonder Woman, our hero leads soldiers through no-man’s land by drawing fire while shielding herself and her team of soldiers from the spray of bullets. It is a perfect analogy for the role of the conservative black woman in politics today. They draw fire from the left since they are a mortal threat to the narratives of systemic racism and sexism. They provide a shield against the unfair accusations fired upon everyone who disputes the narrative that racism and sexism are solely to blame for black poverty, female oppression, and rampant inequity. Without the leadership and protection of our superheroes, this barrage of false accusations, perpetuated by the mainstream media and supported by the storm troopers of cancel culture, would take down even the best and most sincere activists, who are merely trying to find effective solutions to real problems.
Some would say, without proof and in the face of evidence to the contrary, that these black women are speaking out for the money or publicity or are merely being used as propaganda tools by white supremacists. No, they don’t make money the way fake Black Lives Matter activists do, have to deal with constant hate mail and death threats, and get little respect or admiration. Not to mention that no self-respecting white supremacist would ever hide behind a black woman, would he? No, these women have the superpower of being able to actually think for themselves and face the hatred that it inspires. To discover who is being used, we need look no further than the entire black community, which has been used election after election by politicians who promote victimization theories to shift blame onto their opponents and gather votes. This isn’t a new idea. It was expressed by civil rights leader Malcolm X, who was assassinated two days after writing the following words in 1965.
“The white liberal is the worst enemy to America, and the worst enemy to the black man…. They are fighting each other for power and prestige, and the one that is the football in the game is the Negro, 20 million black people. A political football, a political pawn, an economic football, and economic pawn. A social football, a social pawn. The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro. Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative. So that anything that the Negro does is never for his own good, never for his own advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal. The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems…. Our problems will never be solved by the white man. The only way that our problem will be solved is when the black man wakes up, cleans himself up, stands on his own feet and stops begging the white man, and takes immediate steps to do for ourselves the things that we have been waiting on the white man to do for us.”
Conservative black woman Candace Owens believes that power comes from personal responsibility, hard work and liberation, not from victimhood. And she isn’t even a feminist. I could swear she is channeling Malcolm X when she says, “Let us turn the lights off in the liberal establishments of America as we shut the door behind us.”
A Storm is coming–Avengers assemble! Leading with sword and shield, conservative black women superheroes have begun to advance the banner of Blexit to save America from itself!
It’s time for a thought experiment about climate change. Let’s assume that climate change is real, has indeed been caused primarily by human activity, and will be irreversible and catastrophic if not stopped very soon. Many activists believe all of this is true and furthermore insist that no disagreement can be tolerated because the science is unequivocal and no longer open to debate. As an aside, I don’t think any good scientist would ever agree to close debate on a subject, since the willingness to continue to try and disprove a theory is really the only way to find flaws or make new discoveries. But for the purpose of this experiment, let’s just assume it is true that humanity faces a clear and present existential threat.
What do we do about it? Spend years negotiating a treaty full of compromises and voluntary efforts? Implement a “carbon tax” that allows polluters to pay others who promise to decrease their emissions, but without effective verification and enforcement? Imagine that some kind of viral infection or alien invasion threatened to destroy life on Earth as we know it within a few decades if not stopped. It would mean war. Literally. As in, we do whatever we need to do to stop the plague and accept whatever casualties are needed to ensure we survive. That is how you deal with an existential threat. Not through half-hearted negotiations where nobody has any incentive to do more than anybody else. But are activists approaching climate change solutions with the deadly seriousness of war? Not exactly.
Part of the United Nations climate change plan includes getting developed nations to pay $100 billion per year to “meet the needs of developing nations.” According to the UN, “Taking climate action now makes good economic sense. The more we delay, the more we pay. We can promote economic growth, eradicate extreme poverty, and improve people’s health and well-being by acting today.” Sorry, what exactly does eradicating poverty and improving health and well-being have to do with saving the planet? And who gets “economic growth” out of all this spending? Let me guess, the developing nations? A cynical person might think it is some kind of scheme to transfer wealth from developed to developing nations rather than an urgent plan to save humanity from disaster. What we need to do is triage the patient (Earth) by first stopping the bleeding.
Plan B: How to abort climate change.
What is allegedly causing the most damage to the planet? Coal-fired power plants are the largest contributors to the atmospheric CO2 concentrations and contribute 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to the UN, the problem is getting worse and we need to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030. So, getting rid of all coal plants worldwide still only gets us a bit more than halfway there, but we’ve got to start where we can get the biggest bang for the buck, so to speak.
The US still operates many, but most of the coal plants are in China and India, and they are still building more. Do we say, “we’ll eliminate all our coal plants, and you should do the same, but we understand that you are still a developing country, so it wouldn’t be fair to ask that much from you?” Hell no! If all our lives are on the line, we shut them down. Now! Sorry it affects you more than us. You will just have to delay your economic development until you can develop clean energy. Should the nations that first developed modern economies have to suffer the most just to be “fair” if we are all in jeopardy? Or do we take the most effective action to deal with the problem? In war, we do what we have to do. If China refuses to cooperate, do we just throw up our hands and find ways to unilaterally harm our own economy even more? Are coal plants going to kill us all or not?
Here is the first strategic campaign plan for Plan B. We start blowing up Chinese and Indian coal plants if they don’t agree to shut them all down. Precision-guided munitions might work, but if they shoot down our planes and missiles, we start using small nukes. Maybe we even abrogate the Outer Space Treaty that prohibits weapons of mass destruction in space. We put weapons in space and keep taking out the plants. Is it life or death for the planet or not? If so, isn’t nuclear war a risk we just have to take?
With Plan B, the only viable non-fossil fuel energy alternatives are nuclear, solar, and some wind power, since there are only limited scalable applications for other clean technologies. Nuclear, you ask indignantly? Of course! Why do activists still oppose nuclear power when it is actually the safest and cleanest form of reliable (always on) power? Especially from the perspective of climate change. Should we be more afraid of the problem of nuclear safety and waste disposal, which are just engineering challenges, than climate change? Making the shift to nuclear and solar or wind will be expensive and slow, but are we serious or not?
US coal plants have a capacity of about 246,187 MegaWatts of power. The largest US nuclear plant has 3 reactors and produces about 3,937 MW of electric power, but a small plant might only produce 1,100 MW. That means we would need about 62 large or 224 small additional nuclear plants to replace the energy coming from coal plants. The US currently has 58 nuclear plants and has generated 20% of its electricity from nuclear since 1990. China has over a million MegaWatts of coal power, so they would need 255 large or 913 small nuclear plants. China already has 46 reactors, but produces only about 5% of its electricity from nuclear.
The mean construction time of a nuclear power plant is 7.5 years, but there is no way we could build so many that quickly. And even a small plant can cost up to $9 billion. So, we are talking about costs in the trillions of dollars and decades of construction time! We are told we are almost out of time. The United Nations even says that “Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions are stopped.” Does that mean we are screwed no matter what? Are we going to war over climate change or not? If so, crank up the nuclear plants baby or start turning off the lights, heat, and economy! It is of course ironic that nuclear technology may be the one thing that can either destroy or save us. Global warming or nuclear winter, here we come!
I’ll bet you think solar would be better. According to Elon Musk, “If you wanted to power the entire U.S. with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States. The batteries you need to store the energy, to make sure you have 24/7 power, is … one square-mile. That’s it.” But the time and cost to build such an enormous number of solar panels and batteries would be huge. We’re not even sure we can make enough batteries for the current growth in electric cars. And we would still need more reliable sources of energy for periods of bad weather and a better distribution network. China and India would need even more time and space to replace their coal energy. Depending on where you live, guess what needs to be cut down to make room for solar panels? Trees.
What about the deforestation of the planet? Countries like Brazil still have an extensive rainforest that is critical to the absorption of CO2. Do we let them continue to chop down the forest? I admit that we were foolish to have already chopped down so many of our trees, but we didn’t know any better back then and can’t go back in time. Do we give Brazil a pass just because we did it, or do we stop them from further destruction by whatever means necessary? Brazil thinks rich countries should pay them $12 billion dollars per year. But if that doesn’t work, how about a coup or an invasion? In other words, whatever is needed to protect the rainforest. Is it life and death for the planet or not? If so, we send the Army to save the rainforests and start planting new trees everywhere as quickly as possible. As long as there is still room for the solar farms, I guess.
I think you get the point. If climate change is such a serious problem, and the time estimates keep getting shorter, why are we not treating it with the urgency of an existential threat? There is a time for negotiation and a time for war. Unless of course, we aren’t quite as sure of the science as some would have us believe.
The House of Representatives climate and environment subcommittee, led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Secretary of State John Kerry, proposes the total elimination of carbon pollution from power plants across the country by 2035. Never mind that we are told we need it by 2030. So, they want to eliminate not just coal, but also most natural gas and petroleum-based plants. They suggest replacing them with 500 million solar panels, 60,000 wind turbines, lots of batteries, and energy efficiency in housing and cars. We will have to run on solar and wind-powered batteries most of the time, with some natural gas and nuclear to cover the gaps. And this is just for the US, never mind all those Chinese and Indian coal plants.
Proponents talk about all green energy jobs that will be created, but not the old energy jobs that will be lost, or the cost of building this new infrastructure. Where will the money come from? US taxpayers? The Chinese? I think they will need everything they have to rebuild their own infrastructure. Will the cost of financing drive up the financing costs for all other economic needs? If we abandon fossil fuels and their prices drop, will other countries simply benefit from lower prices and laugh at us or follow us down the crazy green road to bankruptcy?
Frankly, I don’t see any possible way we can even meet the global CO2 reduction objectives that climate change advocates say we must, even if we use the threat of nuclear war to bend the entire world to our will and sink every dollar of investment into rebuilding our energy infrastructure. What am I missing? Is there a real, achievable, affordable global plan that I just can’t conceive? Does it require a government takeover of our economy and a military attack against China and India?
If we only had more time. Or do we? Who can imagine what kind of energy technology humanity will develop in the next 100 years? And who knows, we might be able to suck every bit of greenhouse gas back out of the atmosphere by then! I’m betting on time, technological innovation, and competition to save us, not hysterical activism. I’m still going to buy an electric car because I think they are pretty cool, even if they are fueled by coal-fired electricity.
The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming … again! In the 1966 movie, they came by submarine. Today, they are coming through cyberspace to, um, start World War III? Or maybe, to get us to elect a president crazy enough to “put America first” and “rebuild the military” and “make America great again?” Wait, that won’t exactly help their cause. Maybe they want us to elect someone crazy enough to think he can try to make America great again, which will drive his opponents so crazy that they will burn the country down just to stop him? Yeah, that could be the plan. In any case, whatever those Ruskies are up to can’t be good. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it is foreign “election interference,” otherwise known as “why the Democrats lost the 2016 presidential election and who they can blame it on if they lose again in 2020.”
What exactly does “election interference” mean and should we be worried about it? Are foreign agents conspiring to get their hands on our ballots and change our votes, or simply trying to influence our opinions so we vote for the wrong guy or gal? If it is just about influence, they have plenty of competition from the mainstream media, alternate news sources, political parties, special interest groups, candidates for office, and anyone with an opinion on social media. Why would anyone think that foreign actors are any better at political influence than good old home-grown partisanship? The evidence seems to show that they are not.
What we now call political disinformation used to be called propaganda, especially during war. While propaganda often includes false information, it doesn’t have to. And it usually comes from a foreign source, but again, it doesn’t have to. There’s nothing inherently foreign about the rise and spread of disinformation. We’ve been doing it to ourselves for as long as there have been journalists and politicians. Remember the term “yellow journalism” first coined in the 1890s, and how it helped to incite the Spanish-American War? No? Well, it used to be covered in high school American history classes, but I would not be surprised if it is no longer part of the curriculum.
Disinformation has just become easier with so many new social media apps accessible to all 24×7 on a billion mobile devices. It only takes a meme or image or short video or a sentence to feed an uncritical mind the equivalent of sugar injected directly into the bloodstream. Is it someone else’s fault if we believe everything that is pushed to our screens? Are we so gullible that everything we see needs to be moderated by someone appointed to check its validity? Are the appointed ones even objective and do they even help? Is disinformation itself the problem or could it be our own lack of critical thinking skills?
A 2017 Yale study found that labeling Facebook content with “disputed” tags made participants only 3.7 percent more likely to judge headlines as false. According to one of the study authors, “All of these effects are tiny. Even to the extent it’s doing anything, it’s a small effect.” That doesn’t sound like much bang for the buck. The sheer volume of information that floods Facebook makes it impossible for the fact checkers to address every story. Therefore, when there are flags on some, but not all, false stories, people could be more likely to believe any story that was not flagged. And when stories are flagged as “false” but the quoted source of “truth” is disputed by other reputable sources, the entire system becomes suspect. The existence of uncertainty, where facts are either not known with certainty or precision, are in dispute, or are taken out of context, makes fact checking often untenable.
We don’t even know if people believe the stories they read and repost, or if they even read them before hitting the share button! Some comments clearly show that some people have no idea what they just shared. I have to admit to a feeling of evil pleasure in repeating a story that you know isn’t true, but makes you laugh or makes your opponent look bad. Even when you know that everybody else knows it isn’t real. It is our own political polarization that makes us easy targets for malign actors. Fear, hate and distrust can always be exploited by online trolls, by the mainstream “yellow” media, and even by our own malicious nature. Maybe we are the real exploiters, who like to push polarizing lies because it is fun! Almost as fun as a violent protests, burning and breaking things, looting a store for free stuff, or posting viral videos of others having a literal riot! Did you like the show America’s Funniest Home Videos? Even though you know a lot of them were staged? It’s like being back in high school. I bet people would love a show called America’s Meanest Political Trash Talk.
In any case, isn’t disinformation just free speech, whether foreign or domestic? Facebook has come under intense criticism by some who claim it is not doing enough to stop alleged misinformation (free speech), and by others for giving in to the demands of those who would suppress free speech (alleged misinformation). The compromise is an army of fact checkers who can dispute alleged misinformation (free speech) without actually banning free speech (alleged misinformation). Sounds like a reasonable attempt to show your critics that you are “doing something” even if it is a waste of time that cannot possibly keep up with the free speech of billions of people on the planet, most of whom seem to have something to say or just like to repeat what somebody else said.
It is not illegal for a citizen of a foreign country to express a political opinion in public forum in this country, or to do so anonymously or under a false name or to pay a US citizen who espouses similar views. I could do that any day of the week. Wait a minute, I think I’m expressing an anonymous political opinion right now! And you don’t even know if I’m a US citizen or if someone paid me to post! If I made you think, am I engaged in election interference? I hope so, comrade.
At least the growing fact-checker industry provides badly-needed employment, especially for out-of-work journalists. Because who wants to pay for information when there is so much getting tweeted out there for free? But who would have predicted the emergence of another job category that produces nothing and fails to solve the problem for which it was intended, which may not even be a problem? Facebook will not release any data to show whether fact checkers are even effective in identifying or slowing the spread of disinformation.
It is any wonder that US worker productivity has slowed to a crawl over the past decade? When people aren’t wasting time on social media, fact checkers are wasting time making sure we aren’t wasting our time in vain (that is, on a quest for the truth). The faceless new industry of fact checkers spends every day scrutinizing a never-ending stream of social media posts looking for the same never-ending stream of questionable factoids. It reminds me of the episode on the I Love Lucy Show with the chocolates racing down the conveyor belt faster than Lucy can wrap them. It would be funny if it wasn’t true.
I was always told there is no cure for stupid, but Facebook is under the gun to give it a try. Of course, Forrest Gump’s momma also told him “stupid is as stupid does.” They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. OK, enough platitudes. I think you get the idea.