Monday, November 30, 2020

Asteroid Impact: What Are Our Chances?

Young People and Anti-Capitalism Mentality by Dan Mitchell

 I’ve written a couple of times about a disturbingly large share of young people support statist economic policies.

A good example can be seen in this polling data from the Pew Research Center (relevant data circled in red).

Christopher Ingraham wrote about this survey in the Washington Post.

According to the Pew Research Center, 39 percent of adults younger than 30 support the view that people whose personal fortunes exceed $1 billion “is a bad thing,” while 16 percent say billionaires are good for society. …These attitudes were likely sharpened by the Democratic presidential campaign, which at one point pitted a multibillionaire (Mike Bloomberg) against a socialist senator who says that billionaires shouldn’t exist (Bernie Sanders)…the Pew data…suggest that young Americans are concluding that billionaires have amassed their wealth “through their rigging of the tax code, through legal political bribery, through their tax avoidance in shelters like the Cayman Islands, and through lobbying for public policy that benefits them privately.” …“The billionaire class is ‘up there’ because they are standing on our backs pinning us down,” Giridharadas said. …Among respondents 50 and older, just 15 percent say billionaires are a bad thing.

This is depressing data, just like the views of America’s young people in the GIEM survey I wrote about recently.

Some of them don’t like capitalism and wealth even when they’re beneficiaries.

The New York Times has a report on “socialist-minded millennial heirs” who want to use the money they inherited to undermine free enterprise.

“The wealth millennials are inheriting came from a mammoth redistribution away from the working masses, creating a super-rich tiny minority at the expense of a fleeting American dream that is now out of reach to most people,” said Richard D. Wolff, a Marxist and an emeritus economics professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst…he has been professionally arguing against capitalism’s selling points since his teaching career began, in 1967, but that his millennial students “are more open to hearing that message than their parents ever were.” …an individual act of wealth redistribution does not, on its own, change a system. But these heirs see themselves as part of a bigger shift, and are dedicated to funding its momentum. …In short, this means using their money to support more equitable economic infrastructures. This includes investing in or donating to credit unions, worker-owned businesses, community land trusts, and nonprofits aiming to maximize quality of life through democratic decision making, instead of maximizing profits through competition.

Here are three examples from the story.

Sam Jacobs has been…trying to gain access to more of his $30 million trust fund. At 25, he…wants to give it all away. “I want to build a world where someone like me, a young person who controls tens of millions of dollars, is impossible,” he said. A socialist since college, Mr. Jacobs sees his family’s “extreme, plutocratic wealth” as both a moral and economic failure. He wants to put his inheritance toward ending capitalism.

Rachel Gelman, a 30-year-old in Oakland, Calif., who describes her politics as “anticapitalist, anti-imperialist and abolitionist.” …“My money is mostly stocks, which means it comes from underpaying and undervaluing working-class people, and that’s impossible to disconnect from the economic legacies of Indigenous genocide and slavery,” Ms. Gelman said.

Pierce Delahunt, a 32-year-old “socialist, anarchist, Marxist, communist or all of the above,” has a trust fund that was financed by their former stepfather’s outlet mall empire. (Mx. Delahunt takes nongendered pronouns.) “…I think about intersectional oppression,” Mx. Delahunt said. There’s the originally Indigenous land each mall was built on, plus the low wages paid to retail and food service workers, who are disproportionately people of color, and the carbon emissions of manufacturing and transporting the goods. With that on their mind, Mx. Delahunt gives away $10,000 a month, divided between 50 small organizations, most of which have an anticapitalist mission.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with giving away one’s inheritance.

Since I’ve (sadly) never inherited any money, I haven’t had any reason to ponder the issue, but one of my dreams would be to use a windfall of money to help finance school choice so poor kids could escape failing government schools.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t finance anti-capitalist groups, like the folks described above.

But I’m digressing. Let’s return to the issue of misguided young people.

In a column for Law & Liberty, Professor John McGinnis offers suggestions about how to rescue them from statism.

…young voters are America’s future, and even if a few years in the workforce brings some greater political wisdom, many people still stick with their youthful paradigms unless some political shock disrupts them. For those who would try to change the mind of this generation (and the following one), it is important to understand how our education, occupational licensing, and entitlement policies are driving them to socialist views which break sharply with America’s political traditions of liberty. …It is not surprising that this structure prompts some young people to demand that the government pony up money for them… More generally, why not vote for radicals in the hope of shaking up the system on the assumption that it can’t get worse for them than it is now? …The classical liberal alternative is clear: reduce the transfers from the young to the old and eliminate those unnecessary barriers to career entry that privilege incumbents.

Here are the reforms that Prof. McGinnis believes would make young people more favorable to liberty.

Reform of the universities thus must be a priority. But it is very difficult. …they are getting worse by the decade if not by the year. Alternative institutions are probably the only answer. …Online education will allow for new challengers to rise, ones who are not as likely to be wedded to political correctness as the incumbents.

…our entitlement structure is currently designed to take from the younger generation and give to the elderly. Social security is a pay-as-you-go system. And given that social security is not actuarially sound, most of the current elderly will get more than they pay in. It is the payment of the young that makes up the difference. Medicare too is a government program from which the elderly benefit at the expense of the young.

The costs of occupational licensing also fall disproportionately on the young. Of course, that burden occurs in part because their elders already have their licenses. But more importantly, the barriers to entering many occupations have grown more expensive over the years.

Since I’ve written about the failures of higher education, the need for entitlement reform, and the downsides of licensing, I obviously have no reason to disagree with any of his suggestions.

But there’s something else that’s needed, especially when you contemplate the Pew data cited at the start of today’s column.

Supporters of free enterprise need to go after cronyism. And not just because the economy will perform better, but also because it’s morally offensive for people to line their pockets thanks to government coercion.

Indeed, half of the main message to young people (and everyone else) should be that honestly earned wealth is great, because that means (as Walter Williams sagely observed) someone accumulated lots of money by serving the needs of others.

And the other half of the main message is that it’s bad to have rich people who obtain loot with subsidies, handouts, protectionism, and other forms of cronyism.

P.S. Before giving up and wondering if young people are simply too stupid to vote, watch this video showing that young people reject socialism when they understand the implications.

We have a Rescue Dog. Meet Carmen

The Next Chapter in the American Story

SOTA Mountain Goat Achieved! from http://www.hamblog.co.uk/

 After six years of trying to climb everything within my reach, I’ve finally done it. I achieved SOTA Mountain Goat status.

In September we visited the Lake District for a holiday (before lockdown 2) and as usual did a lot of walking up to the various peaks in this region. I had four days to activate the 6 summits needed to make Mountain Goat in 2020. It’s not been a great year for SOTA, due to the COVID-19 lockdown across the world, but here I had a small window of possibility.

Driving up to Lake District I had 941 activator points, so me and my wife knew we’d have a lot of walking and multi-day summits to get the remaining 59 points and tip the scales in my favor. But, after reviewing some walking routes passing multiple summits in a day, we worked out it was possible, but still a good challenge.

Here’s my activator log over 5 days (including 1 rest day – enforced, very strong winds and rain!):

DateSummitSummit PointsTotal Points
19/09/2020G/LD-007 (Fairfield)8949
19/09/2020G/LD-010 (St Sunday Crag)8957
19/09/2020G/LD-022 (Seat Sandal)6963
20/09/2020G/LD-009 (Grasmoor)8971
20/09/2020G/LD-015 (Grisedale Pike)6977
21/09/2020G/LD-006 (Pillar)8985
21/09/2020G/LD-014 (Kirk Fell)8993
23/09/2020G/LD-004 (Skiddaw)101003

As you can see my final summit was Skiddaw (G/LD-004, 10 points, 931m), the conditions were predictably awful (it usually is up there!), but it was a fun activation, with plenty of chasers calling in to congratulate me passing the milestone.

Here are some statistics about my road to mountain goat:

  • 6 years taken
  • 243 SOTA activations
  • 143 unique SOTA summits activated
  • 3,504 QSOs (thanks to the many chasers!)
  • Summits activated in:
    • 6 countries
    • 10 SOTA associations
    • 3 continents
SOTA Mountain Goat trophy

SOTA Mountain Goat trophy – hand carved in the Scottish Highlands!

I’ve had a lot of fun with SOTA over the past few years, it’s taken me to some crazy places which I wouldn’t have otherwise visited and has seen me operate in some conditions where you start to really question your sanity.

So what next? I don’t plan on stopping SOTA just because I’ve achieved Mountain Goat, there’s still so many summits left to activate. Some initial ideas include:

  • Achieve 1,000 activator points using VHF alone
  • Achieve 1,000 activator points through unique summits alone
  • Achieve 1,000 chaser points to get my Shack Sloth award (222 points to go)
  • Activate all English SOTA summits

Thanks to all the blog readers who have followed my SOTA (mis)adventures over the years and supported my endeavors. I do intend to continue blogging about the more interesting activations, so stay tuned!

 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Radio Digital Modes.

Elecraft KX2 Settings for WSJT-X

Elecraft KX2 Side Panels - Ham Radio Armor

KX2 features 2

KX2 features

Elecraft KX2 : Receive Tips and Tweaks

Elecraft KX2 AM Mode reception demo

KX2 3D Model Tour By Wayne, N6KR

KX2 Introduction

‘YOU EITHER WENT TO WAR OR YOU DIDN’T’—HOW DEPLOYMENTS DIVIDE THE VETERAN COMMUNITY By Benjamin Abel

 There is an unspoken caste system among veterans—one that no one talks about. The people who wind up in these castes have no choice about which group they end up in. It’s all a matter of luck and geopolitics.

You either went to war or you didn’t.

I’m in the never-went camp, and I don’t know how I feel about it. There are days where I get a flash of regret because I don’t share that experience with those who, like me, raised their teenage hands to promise to die for someone else’s reasons, but who actually faced the consequences of that promise. Regret isn’t the word for the feeling. Regret means there was something good to be had that you didn’t get a chance to experience. I know that there are bonds formed in combat that can’t be duplicated and those must be good, but a lot of other terrible shit happens, too.

It’s more than regret. Different and more complicated, a confusing swell of emotions—like watching those early black-and-white movies, the ones with street scenes where people and horses weave and jostle past one another. Aimlessly, but with purpose. It’s something close to cowardice, but that’s not it, either, because I was ready to go where I was told to go and do very hard things. Belligerent ennui? A bridesmaid’s lament? The chill of being an outsider in a club that I was already a member of?

My father is a known commodity in the special operations community. Iran, Grenada, stuff in Central America that probably still can’t be spoken about. Haiti, Nigeria, Afghanistan. He has most of the cool-guy badges and more “holy shit” stories than even he can remember. His would be a tough shadow for anyone to stand in.

svg%3E
Benjamin Abel during field training at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1998. Photo courtesy of the author.

My wife went to Iraq. We met in a makeshift team room at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in a derelict chow hall allotted to our unit after the building should have been condemned. She stayed in the National Guard after we both got off Army active duty, and her unit got the call in 2003 to head to the Iranian border. By then we had a house and an infant. I spent the days of that year of her deployment working full time at the Army Special Operations Command as a public affairs officer and the nights trying to be a decent father and keep our little family as close together as weekly phone calls and care packages could allow.

Her dad went to Vietnam. Infantry. Americal Division. Our grandfathers served in the Navy in the Pacific.

Mine is a tough family to be in if you are the only veteran who never went to war.

I, of course, could never know what it’s like to be Prince Charles, but I think we could probably commiserate. Who wants to spend a lifetime wondering what they might have done if they had been given the crown and the right to represent their nation, or, in my case, deployment orders and the right to destroy another person’s home and homeland?

My enlistment ran right through what comedian Greg Proops calls the peace and prosperity scare of the 1990s. When I was on active duty, I could have gone to Bosnia or Kosovo, but those missions were beginning to be the domain of the Guard and Reserve. There was a short-notice Grenada-lite thing that almost happened, but fizzled out. In the end, I had a couple of Joint Readiness Training Center rotations, as well as two trips to Venezuela and one to Colombia to fight the nation’s war on drugs. It’s hard to call those deployments, though. We had a swanky apartment in one of the best neighborhoods in Bogota with a full-on garden in the hallway and a maid.

svg%3E
Benjamin Abel and Eric Ellingson, his brother-in-law, prior to a parachute jump at Raeford West Drop Zone in North Carolina, in 1998. Photo courtesy of the author.

That isn’t to say that I wasn’t affected by the wars that mushroomed up after the towers fell. As a PAO, I was in an office in the States, but the war was always a phone call away. I’ve written literally hundreds of casualty news releases. Ten paragraphs to encapsulate the life of a son who was shot through the throat in the dead of a cold night in Fallujah or a daughter whose remains fit in a shoe box after her vehicle was obliterated on a Kandahar street. Those baby faces framed in camouflage became less people and more the media’s currency of winning the breaking-news wars. Middle-of-the-night phone calls from the command’s emergency operations center with a notification of a combat death meant someone else’s family would have an empty seat at the table for Thanksgiving.

Not mine.

I wonder how much of a sin it is to be relieved that it wasn’t mine.

The funerals are pretty bad, but at least the family has had time to acknowledge the loss. The worst calls are to meet with Gold Star families before they even had a chance to accept the title. What do you say? How long do you sit with them and listen to the stories of their soldier? How many tears must fall before it is acceptable to get down to the business at hand and determine if they want to stand in front of a reporter’s camera and relive the horror of their new existence?

The funerals are bad, though. Taps will rip out your heart every time, even if you haven’t been to war. It just does.

I don’t regret not going to war, not now. I have a family and a decent job, but more importantly I’ve seen what war gives us. I’ve seen the broken bodies and the broken spirits. I’ve seen men with ropes of scar tissue running down their necks and arms like dripping candle wax as they struggle to stand as members of their unit—the unit where they were disfigured while serving —return in sweaty-funky gyms to trepidatious hugs and kisses from kids and wives and husbands whose faces they almost fail to recognize. I don’t need to have seen the actual act of breaking a human body to know that war, or supporting it so blindly, has real consequences.

svg%3E
Benjamin Abel during a parachute jump with the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg in 1998. Photo courtesy of the author.

So I guess that leaves me in the caste of former soldiers who will always be left to wonder “what if.” It must feel something like the second-string lineman on a football team who gets suited up and stands on the sidelines during the Super Bowl. We both were ready to be sent in to do our jobs, but the timing just wasn’t right.

I’m at peace with being in that caste now, but there will always be that awkward silence that follows, “Yeah, I got out before the wars started” when talking to another veteran. Because there is a difference between those who have been to war and those of us who haven’t, and every single one of us who wore the nation’s uniform knows that to be true.

Editors Note: This article first appeared on The War Horse, an award-winning nonprofit news organization educating the public on military service. Subscribe to their newsletter.

Pasture Ridge - Idaho Submitted by K7VK

 

Summit: 

 W7I/IC-250

Cellular Provider: 
 N/A

Pasture Ridge is one of several SOTA summits near the Magruder Corridor.  This corridor-road divides some of the most wild-country in Idaho, the Selway Bitterroot and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness areas. The trail access to the summit begins at the Historic Magruder Ranger Station.  The Ranger Station dates back into the 1920s and the Ranger’s Residence is now a US Forest Service Rental Cabin.

The Pasture Ridge trail is a steep but provides good access to near the summit where a short off-trail scramble completes the journey.  The summit has been burned over and has many large tree-snags and live trees for hanging wire antennas.  The forest floor will also be covered with numerous wildflowers in late spring/early summer.  Summit views include large wilderness landscapes of wildland fire where lightning fires function in a natural role.  Steep slopes into the Selway River are viewed along the entire trail route. 

This area is frequently open for bear hunting in the spring and fall season so dress appropriately to be seen.  The area has been burned by recent wildfire and numerous tree-snag hazards remain along the trail and on the summit.  Keep alert especially in windy conditions.  The trail is exposed and can be very warm on a typical summer day.  Carry plenty of water. 

Elevation gain:2200’

Trail Miles:  4.5 miles roundtrip

Off trail miles:  0.5 miles round trip

Water:  After leaving the Selway River, there is no water source above this point.       

Bear Pepper Spray:  Highly recommended in all North Idaho areas. 

Maps:  US Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest, Selway Bitterroot Wilderness

Camping:  The nearest campground is Deep Creek with a vault toilet.  It is located 1.25 miles on the access road northeast of the Magruder Ranger Station. 

Directions: South of Darby, MT approximately 4 miles, leave highway #93 and travel up the West Fork Bitterroot Road for approximately 14 miles.  Turn right, west onto the Nez Perce Fork road #468.  Continue up that road for approximately 17 miles to Nez Perce Pass.  Continue over this paved pass traveling down the Deep Creek to the Selway River.  Here turn south for a quarter mile up the Selway River to the historic Magruder Ranger Station.  The junction is well signed.  The trailhead is near the barn to the south of the Ranger Station parking area.  The small somewhat hidden trail sign is beyond the large sign depicting many different destinations. 

Pictures: 

Hungary and Poland Create The Unbridgeable Gap of the Great Reset by Tom Luongo

 There comes a point where negotiation becomes surrender. Those actively undermining you will always demand more than their right. Those behind the Great Reset have been creating no-win situations for voters for decades to this exact end.

Over the summer Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Poland’s Mariusz Moraweicki led the opposition to the EU’s budget and COVID-19 relief package standing firm that funds not be tied to any internal political decisions member EU states make.

Both of these countries have incurred the wrath of German Chancellor Angela Merkel over things they do she doesn’t like, invoking Article 7 against Poland over changes made to its Supreme Court, for example.

So, this is nothing new. Neither is the way the EU conducts itself in negotiations.

For the past four years we’ve watched the EU put the United Kingdom through the worst kind of psychological torture over Brexit negotiations which have been anything but.

Fishy Brexit Talks

It’s been a calculated and cynical campaign coordinated with global media, foreign governments, paid political propagandists and intelligence agency operatives.

Through bullying, bad arguments, derision and shaming the relentless pressure of sociopaths and psychopaths wears most people down to the point where they negotiate away something that they didn’t have to.

They get you to agree to putting on a mask to make people feel better, accepting “sensible” gun legislation, voting for the guy who promises to only take 25% of your income versus that guy that wants 40%, etc.

In Brexit talks the EU tried to cleave off Northern Ireland as a cost to Brexit or maintain control over British law through the European Court of Justice.

Negotiation is a natural part of human interaction. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, as long as both sides approach the negotiation honestly.

But, in politics, especially when dealing with those of a particularly self-righteous leftism so common today — as as shorthand I’ll just call them Commies — negotiation for them is a tactic in a strategic war.

Because at the core of their argument is always the threat of violence at worst and emotional blackmail at best. And that forms the basis for a negotiation that truly isn’t one, but made to look like you have a say in the outcome.

But in reality you don’t. They want all that you have and are willing to take it from you one bite at a time. In fact, the most psychotic of them truly enjoy this process of consuming you slowly.

Brexit negotiations have supposedly come down to how much French fishermen will still be able to plunder British fishing waters even though the U.K. is supposedly a sovereign country. The latest offer from the clueless Michael Barnier is the Brits get tithed 15 to 18% of what the French steal.

This is supposed to be seen as a breakthrough, according to the breathless regime media. But really it’s an insult. If the U.K. is sovereign and by international law these waters are theirs, then the EU has no rights to them unless the Brits grant them access.

But it seems on this small issue, which has now become symbolic of the entire Brexit process, the U.K. is still saying no. Negotiating even this small point is tantamount to surrender.

And they are right. Because agreeing to anything with these people is ultimately telling them what your price is.

Cigarettes and Blindfolds?

This is why, in all things political from the local to the trans-national, every small victory codified into some rule or same treaty is used as a springboard to the next victory and so on. There is no end to the war until one side achieves total domination or the other side, backed into a corner, stands its ground.

While I’ve used Brexit talks as the metaphor here, it’s not really apropos because Brexit, legally, already happened. In a little over a month there may be no formal relationship between the U.K. and the EU.

For Hungary and Poland, however, the situation is far more existential. And it is why they had to veto the 7-year EU budget and with it the COVID-19 relief package two weeks ago.

This piece of news is truly one of the most historic decisions made by any national leader in 2020. And if not for the U.S. presidential election fraud it may well have been the biggest story of the past month.

Neither Hungary nor Poland have the economic or political power of even the U.K. Together they aren’t close to the U.K. in global influence. And because of that have much more to lose in angering the EU gods in Brussels than the Brits ever did.

It’s why both Prime Ministers Orban and Moraweicki tread lightly and go along with so many terrible edicts that come from the EU — really from France and Germany — against their will.

Both men understand the difficult position their countries are in, trapped between no less than three major powers — the U.S., the EU and Russia. The balancing act between those three powers is, at best, a difficult one. At worst, it’s a complete nightmare.

So them standing tall here is truly a momentous event and most probably a harbinger of big changes coming to the EU. They’ll both be under the most intense pressure to cave. Expect activation of Soros-bots in Hungary.

The smartest thing either could do right now is to open up new rounds of talks with the Russians who just announced they are pretty much done with negotiating anything more with the EU.

That would give them both tremendous leverage with Brussels, by cutting down their list of ‘enemies’ from three to two, even if it means courting further sanctions from Merkel and her new Stasi.

Where the State, as an institution, is at its most pernicious is in providing a vector by which these people, when their arguments are rejected via persuasion, can force them into being through the ballot box or legislative fiat.

And since we all agreed to be governed by these rules, so the argument goes, then you have to submit to the outcome otherwise there is chaos. And that’s the rhetorical and psychological wedge tyrants use to separate you from your liberty and, most importantly, your money.

When in the Course of Human Events…

But what happens when the people in the negotiations lie, cheat, manipulate and bend the rules? What happens when negotiations at one point in time, say July at the European Council Summit, yield one outcome and the final legislation says the exact opposite?

If you are Viktor Orban and Mariusz Moraweiki you stand your ground and realize that anything less than outright rejection is full on surrender, no different than the argument over EU fishing access to UK waters.

This is what these men had to do. Because by tying vague EU standards of what constitutes violations of the ‘rule of law’ to disbursement of funds under the budget is far more than what Hungarians or Poles signed up for when they entered the EU in the first place.

It is precisely because of this creeping centralization of control to the unelected bureaucracy in Brussels that the Brits voted for Brexit, in effect, twice. The second time they did so even more emphatically than in 2016.

Hungary and Poland are very clear as to what their problems are and why they will not budge. Read their joint statement here. The most important part is the final paragraph however.

Our common proposal is to facilitate the speedy adoption of the financial package by establishing a two-track process. On the one hand, to limit the scope of any additional budgetary conditionality to the protection of the financial interests of the Union in accordance with the July conclusions of the European Council. On the other hand, to discuss in the European Council, whether a link between the Rule of Law and the financial interests of the Union should be established. If it is so decided, then the appropriate procedures foreseen by the Treaties, including convening an intergovernmental conference, should be considered in order to negotiate the necessary modification of the Treaties.

Note they use the word ‘negotiation.’ But they also tie the outcome of that negotiation to a modification of the Treaties signed by each member state. In effect, saying, we as heads of state will negotiate the best possible offer, but it will still be up to you, the people, to ratify this.

And if you turn us down, then so be it.

This, of course, is anathema to the World Economic Forum, Open Society Foundation and the rest of the burgeoning technocracy being built through the expansion of powers wielded by the European Commission, which this budget and relief package sought to greatly expand.

We all know how voters choose in Europe when it comes to the European Union and the vote is open, fair and the people well-informed. The EU would never survive such a vote on the amendment of the Treaties which form it.

Orban, especially, knows this. And he has taken on the leadership role in this fight. You know he is effective because they despise him, drawing him up as a cartoonishly evil cross between Snidely Whiplash and Vlad the Impaler.

And despite the massive amount of money Soros spends in Hungary to overthrow Orban it hasn’t worked. So, something will have to be done quickly to remove him from the game board or we’ve reach Peak EU.

Reset This!

Because the Great Reset is predicated on a few things occurring.

  1. The EU having a budget and mechanism in place where the Commission has tax/spend and debt issuance capability.
  2. This gives them the political bludgeon necessary to consolidate power in Brussels the same way income tax redistribution undermined Federalism in the U.S.
  3. Extending the COVID-19 narrative to purposefully destroy what’s left of the middle class in Europe and the U.S.
  4. Donald Trump being overthrown as President of the U.S. restoring power there to those loyal to the WEF.
  5. All Populist leaders in Europe – like Matteo Salvini, Geert Wilders, Boris Johnson, Germany’s AfD, Austria’s Freedom Party — neutralized leaving Orban alone against Angela Merkel.
  6. Brexit undermined to the point where either Boris Johnson’s government falls or the U.K. collapses into a failed police state indistinguishable from V for Vendetta.
  7. Control not only over traditional television media but also the flow of information through the newer social media networks, limiting access to any countervailing narratives.

Most of these are in place. Johnson’s personal weakness has squandered one of the greatest political victories of the past century in less than a year.

Trump’s chances of overturning a fraudulent election are at best a coin flip, and realistically, vanishingly small.

AfD has been neutralized in Germany. Italy’s electoral situation is mixed. Austria has been consolidated under a fake populist Sebastian Kurz.

Local police are openly despotic in enforcing the most draconian lockdown regulations.

But Orban and Moraweicki have stood their ground. Trump is standing his ground. David Frost in the U.K., not Boris Johnson, is standing his ground. Will their example inspire others to do the same?

It’s a good question. The sheer desperation of articles like one from the Spectator, entitled “The Visegrád bloc are threatening to tear apart the EU,” speaks volumes when the author realizes the Visegrads don’t hate the EU for its freedom:

It is tempting to focus only on the individuals involved in the budget crisis: to dismiss Orbán and Morawiecki as rogue despots with no public mandate for their actions and to assume that, if full and fair democratic processes were observed, both Poland and Hungary would favour policies similar to those found in Northern and Western Europe.

Yet such a view does not chime with the democratic elections held in the V4 region this year: Duda won the Polish presidency in an affirmation of socially conservative values, while elections in the Czech Republic and Slovakia saw very strong performances by anti-immigration parties. It also ignores the fact that the Visegrád Four – whose histories of war, occupation, and communist authoritarian rule in the twentieth century differ so greatly from their northern and western counterparts – have long pursued policies in opposition to some of the EU’s core tenets.

And what core tenets do the EU practice other than extortion, bribery, backroom dealing and arm-twisting, pray tell? Because on display right now all across Europe, from where I’m sitting, there ain’t a lotta tolerance, equality and compassion.

Oh, right, those are ‘mostly peaceful’ water cannons they’re using in Berlin.

Negotiating with Terrorists

And up until the past two weeks or so, decent, productive people have negotiated, they have bargained in the Kubler-Ross model of grief, rather than accept the need to openly confront the real problems in their governments.

The lesson of 2020 to this point has been that negotiation is no longer an option. There can be no settlement on fishing for the Brits, the rule-of-law for EU member states.

For Americans all negotiating has achieved is a terminally corrupt central government running sham elections with a compliant and hostile media telling them they are deplorable scum.

We are now expected to accept the results because they said so. Um, yeah, no.

The only way to accept the current reality is to believe the very people who you wouldn’t buy a used couch from no less lead your government are telling you the unvarnished truth.

Accepting any version of the narrative that this was a close election in the U.S. is the most pathetic form of negotiating your own surrender I’ve seen in quite a long time.

This is the unbridgeable gap of modern politics. It is the infinite gulf between surrender and negotiating with terrorists.

The realization is fast dawning on the people across the West that the terrorists don’t wear odd clothes, carry Ak-47s and speak in foreign tongues.

They are the ones telling you to let Grandma die of loneliness in a nursing home, forbidding you from buying a Turkey for Christmas that can feed more than 6 people and spitting on people for not wearing a mask in public.