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Being Mao-for-a-day

Being Mao-for-a-day by Peter Burrows 4/30/20 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

Over the years, Thomas Friedman, the renowned New York Times columnist, has fantasized about America being “China for a day,” because then “— we could actually authorize the right solutions, on everything from the economy to the environment.” (Meet the Press, 5/23/10) 

By “authorize” he means “dictate,” and by “right solutions” he means what HE thinks are the right solutions. That’s a little redundant. Friedman’s solutions are obviously the “right” solutions because they’re Friedman’s solutions.  

What Friedman is really saying is that since China is a dictatorship, he, Tom Friedman, would like to be dictator for day, and who was China’s iconic dictator? Why, Mao Zedong, who modernized Chinese agriculture with his “right solutions.”  A few people had to die – 40 to 50 million – but they were just ordinary people, not gifted visionaries like Mao and Friedman.    

I believe Friedman first expressed his Mao-for-a-day dream in a highly acclaimed book he wrote in 2008, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded.” There was a chapter, “China For A Day,” in which the focus of his fantasies was dictating what we would today call the Green New Deal: “–imposing all the right taxes, regulations and standards needed to launch a clean power system in one day.” 

Here are some of the reviews Friedman’s book received, downloaded from Amazon:  

“A convincing case for the green revolution required to rescue us from an unsustainable course.”–USA Today; “He gets the big issues right.”–The Washington Post; “A compelling manifesto that deserves a wide reading, especially by members of Congress.”–The Boston Globe; “If Friedman’s profile and verve take his message where it needs to be heard, into the boardrooms of America and beyond, that can only be good–for all our sakes.”–The New York Times Book Review 

This was back in 2008, and since then Germany has pretty much done what Friedman recommended to achieve a clean power system. By 2025 Germany will have spent $580 billion on renewable energy and will have reduced fossil fuel use by maybe ten percent. Electricity bills have gone up over 50 percent and will go up a great deal more if the country achieves its goal of 100 percent renewable electric generation by 2050.  

California is having a similar experience with its push for renewables, and New Mexico is about to impoverish itself as it pursues the renewable goals in the recently passed Energy Transition Act.  None of the renewable goals, Germany’s, California’s, New Mexico, wherever, are achievable without self-destructive costs.  

This has been known for quite some time.  Bill Gates once said the cost of 100 percent renewable electricity would be “beyond astronomical.” He also said something to the effect that it would be nice if people would “bring a little math” to the problem.   

In time, I have no doubt the math will prevail, but that will take decades. In the meantime, math has no chance against the emotional appeal of a messianic mission to save humanity. The environmentalists and their useful-idiot lawmakers see themselves engaged a moral crusade to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. So far, they have been oblivious to the disastrous consequences of their policies.  

That may change.  Michael Moore’s’ new documentary, “Planet of the Humans.,” available for free on You Tube, pulls the plug on renewable energy and exposes some of the villains involved.  Sadly, it doesn’t mention the number one villain: Government. Without mandates and subsidies, the renewable energy industry disappears.   

Still, Moore’s documentary could provide the emotional fervor that is needed to counter the emotional fervor pushing renewables.  Michael Shellenberger, and others, have long made the argument that renewables aren’t going to save the environment, and in fact we must save the environment FROM renewables.  Moore’s documentary dramatizes that fact.  

Unfortunately, Mao-Moore agrees with Mao-Friedman that the world needs drastic action to avoid an inevitable environmental apocalypse. Since green energy is proving to be a bust, the only thing that can save us is population control.  For over 50 years, environmentalists, most notably Paul Ehrlich, have been predicting mass starvations, but those pesky humans keep figuring out new ways to feed themselves.  

The unacceptable result is that they keep multiplying, using up the earth’s resources and in this greed-driven process, are KILLING THE PLANET!  

What would Mao Zedong do to solve this crisis? We know that if Friedman had been Mao-for-a-day, by now we would have needlessly sacrificed even more billions of dollars on the altar of Global Warming. (Always capitalize a religion.)  With Moore as Mao-for-a-day, would that mean that in ten years we will have sacrificed billions of PEOPLE?  Isn’t that what the real Mao would see as “the right solution” to the “problem” of overpopulation?  

The lesson here is twofold. One, people filled with invincible moral and intellectual certitude are almost always WRONG. Two, such people can do a lot of harm if they are in positions of power.  Examples abound, and not just dictatorships. Neville Chamberlain and Angela Merkle come to mind, as well as L. Ron Hubbard, Jim Jones, and any American president who listens to people with the “right” solutions. The list is long. 

That’s not to say that there shouldn’t occasionally be a Mao-for-a-day.  Some potential Maos are in fact morally and intellectually superior people who would do a lot of good, not just on the big stuff, like climate change, but in helping individuals with their personal problems.  

In this regard, Mao-Burro has noticed both Thomas Friedman and Michael Moore are, to put it charitably, a little chunky.  A couple of years helping Cuba harvest sugar cane would do both of them a lot of good, whether they know it or not.  

Well, fellas, Mao-Burro knows, and someday you’ll thank me.  

 

     

    

New Film: “Planet of the Humans.” Watch it!

New Film: “Planet of the Humans.” Watch it!  by Peter Burrows, Libertarian Leanings, 4/22/20 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

Michael Moore has just posted his latest documentary film, “Planet of the Humans,” on You Tube where you can watch it for free. It’s free because he doesn’t want anything to get in the way of the film’s message: ‘Green’ energy is a disastrous, profit-driven scam. 

It’s an hour and forty minutes long, but it flies by.  Like other Moore documentaries, it’s very one-sided, but unlike other Moore documentaries, green energy doesn’t have a mitigating “side” to show.  Any way you look at it, green energy, aka renewable energy, is an economic waste that does more environmental harm than good.  

The film takes on the big three, wind, solar and biomass, and devastates them all, especially biomass. Along the way, it also devastates a few leading environmentalists, most notably Al Gore and the Sierra Club.  It asks if the green energy pushers are delusional, ignorant, or something else, and comes up with something else, namely they’re in it for the money.  

A disinterested observer would note that “stupid” was left off the list, but stupid is how the noted environmentalist Bill McKibben comes off, pathetically so, and ‘stupid’ is the only way you can describe people who are only now waking up to the fact that wind and solar power are intermittent and therefore need instantaneous backup power, which ADDS to the cost even after ‘free’ sunshine and wind.   

The film even reveals the arcane fact that electric vehicles are charged by fossil fuels, not solar panels, and that there is no company that runs 100% on wind and solar alone, in spite of what they may claim.  That would also apply to any city that made the same claim, but the documentary is tellingly free of criticizing government at any level.  

That’s the main problem I have with the film. The green energy disaster is the result of government policies, not a “cancerous form of capitalism” driven by profits and billionaires who “are not our friends,” as the film claims.    

Nowhere does the film cite government mandates, such as renewable portfolio standards and biofuel blending regulations; nowhere does it mention production tax credits for wind producers or tax credits for solar panel makers; nowhere does it mention tax credits for the wealthy consumers who buy Teslas or put solar panels on their homes. 

The bottom line is that without government incentives, there would be no ‘green energy’ industry.  This is as obvious as the fact that solar panels don’t work at night, but liberals like Michael Moore can’t see it. They blame the recipient for taking the government subsidies, not the government for giving the subsidies. Mindboggling, isn’t it? 

The message the film delivers about green energy has been around for a long time, as anybody who has followed Bill Gate or Michael Shellenberger would know. Those two weren’t mentioned in the film, probably because both advocate nuclear energy as the only viable solution to climate change.  The film’s solution: population control.  

Sigh. Just when the film was about to make total sense, it goes Malthusian on us.  This is the no-fault default position of elitists, as witness the success of Paul Ehrlich, who has been predicting food shortages and mass starvation for years, starting with his book, The Population Bomb, published in 1968.  That’s not a typo: 1968. 

Ignore the apocalyptic parts of the film.  The important thing is the fact that an unassailable liberal icon, Michael Moore, has pulled the plug on renewable energy.  Thanks to him, it’s possible the entire renewable energy push will be questioned, perhaps even ended, not just in America, but around the world.  

Michael Moore has a much better chance to do that than somebody like Bill Gates, a calm guy who throws facts around. Michael Moore is a self-righteous raging bull who throws bombs around, especially “f” bombs. You disagree with him, he’ll get in your face and bellow.  Maybe that’s what it takes.  

Stay tuned folks. This is going to get VERY interesting.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE 

  

   

Mail-in Ballots? No thanks

Mail-in Ballots? No thanks by Peter Burrows 4/17/20 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

The New Mexico Supreme Court last Tuesday unanimously rejected a petition by New Mexico Democrats to hold the upcoming June 2 primary entirely by mail.  The Court authorized ballot APPLICATIONS to be sent to all registered voters, but not ballots. The distinction is important, because applications require voter signatures and address verifications. 

 If the Court would have approved the Democrats’ request, I have no doubt the next step would have been mail-in ballots for all statewide elections, not just primaries. That would have opened a Pandora’s Box of problems, not the least of which would be the opportunity to steal elections. Democrats are quick to claim there is no evidence of voter fraud here in New Mexico, but that is simply not true. For examples, Google the following:   

-Espanola vote fraud 

Torres-small vote fraud 

-Public interest legal foundation new mexico voter registration  

In general, while both Republicans and Democrats have been guilty of stealing elections, it’s the Democrats who are really good at it. They do so with a clear conscience because they believe that government is a force for good, Since Democrats are morally superior people, they are therefore the best people to be in charge of the government. If it takes voter fraud to win elections, it’s for the good of the country. (1)  

That explains why Democrats always advocate for anything that makes voting easier, and oppose anything that makes voting a verified act by a living citizen, done once.  The idea of a special voting ID, such as Mexico requires, is opposed as racist “voter suppression.”   

True to form, the Coronovirus pandemic has inspired not just New Mexico Democrats, but also Democrats in Washington. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has proposed Federal laws that would require every state to allow mail-in voting, same day registration, 30 days of early voting, and a sworn statement of identity instead of a voter ID. Gosh, what could go wrong?  

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has joined the parade and wants vote-by-mail for the upcoming presidential election: “A voter gets a ballot with a postage-paid return envelope. They vote, they sign it, and they send it back. It’s easy to vote by mail,”  

“It’s easy to vote by mail.” Really? In fact, national vote-by-mail would be enormously difficult and would need years to implement. It isn’t as simple as absentee ballot voting, where a ballot is requested by a registered voter.  This ProPublica article is a good accounting of the problems:    

https://www.propublica.org/article/voting-by-mail-would-reduce-coronavirus-transmission-but-it-has-other-risks  

While voting by mail has a number of advantages, such as convenience and higher voter turnout, especially in local elections, whether it saves money is debatable.  Printing and mailing costs can be substantial and may be in addition to normal polling place expenses.    

What is not debatable is the potential to steal elections. Charles Stewart, who studies election administration at MIT, said “The consensus among people who study fraud carefully is that voting by mail is a much more fertile area for fraud than voting in person.” He was referring to absentee ballots. Imagine if all the ballots were mail-in.  

J.Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, said, “Absentee ballot fraud is the most common the most expensive to investigate, and can never be reversed after an election. The status quo was already bad for mail balloting. The proposed emergency fix is worse.” 

That’s because ballots would be mailed to every registered voter, and voter registration records are notoriously inaccurate. Nationwide, the Government Accountability Institute estimates that there are 24 million inaccurate or ineligible voter registrations, including 2 million dead voters and nearly three million registered in more than one state.   

 As an aside, I have never heard of an initiative, anywhere in the country, by the Democrat Party to clean up the voter registration lists.  It’s always the Republicans who want accurate voter rolls. Why is that?  

You may be surprised to know that in the 2016 Presidential election, 21 percent of the votes were already mail-in votes, and that there are five states that allow voting by mail for all elections, including federal elections.   Four of the five states, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Hawaii, were won by Hillary Clinton and one, Utah, by Donald Trump. The camel’s nose is in the tent, folks.     

While Presidential elections should be the most difficult to steal thanks to the Electoral College, it only takes a key state or two to do the trick, e.g., Illinois swung the 1960 election to JFK thanks to widespread voter fraud in Chicago, and disputed votes in Florida almost swung the 2000 election to Al Gore.  With mail-in voting, it won’t take the Democrats long before the swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio join New York, California and Illinois as permanent Democrat strongholds.   

In addition, Democrats want to expand the number of eligible voters, most notably by reducing the voting age to 16.  You may not be old enough to purchase a gun, an alcoholic drink, or a cigarette, but you’re old enough to vote for a Democrat. They would also allow voting by felons, even if still in prison, and voting by both legal and illegal aliens.  Do it all by mail, and Democrats will soon control congress and enough states to be able to change the Constitution in any way they please.  

Some of you are thinking, “All that from mail-in voting, Burro?” Well, it’s a start and we shouldn’t allow it to happen.  

(1) There are a number of books about Democrats stealing elections, but none that I could find about Republicans doing the same. On Amazon, you will find the following books: “Stealing Elections,” by John Fund; “Who’s Counting?” by John Fund and Hans Von Spakovsky; “If it isn’t close, they can’t steal it” by Hugh, Hewitt; and “Fraud” by Eric Eggers. 

 

Verily, It is Written: “He who does not work, neither shall he eat.”

Verily, It Is Written: “He who does not work, neither shall he eat” by Peter Burrows, elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 4/1/20 

“He who does not work, neither shall he eat.” I bet some of you progressives are thinking, “Old Burro is showing his Evangelical roots, quoting some Biblical parable to justify Trump’s latest effort to take food stamps away from millions of able-bodied Democrats who can’t find dignified, living wage jobs with the government.”  

No, I didn’t find that little cautionary aphorism in the Bible.  Take another guess.  

“Hmmm.  Sounds like something from the Republican Party National Platform.  Just what you’d expect from Republicans. No compassion for the poor! They’d let people starve in the streets. One more reason we need Bernie! Food justice, baby, food justice! Food is a right! FREE food is a right!” 

Sorry, wrong again. The line is from the 1936 Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. From Article 12: “In the U.S.S.R. work is a duty and a matter of honour for every able-bodied citizen, in accordance with the principle: ‘He who does not work, neither shall he eat.’” 

It should come as no surprise that in the Workers’ Paradise “work is a duty and a matter of honour.” What is surprising is that part about “neither shall he eat.” That doesn’t seem to jibe with what Karl Marx famously said would be the denouement of Communism: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” 

I think we can all agree that there is no more basic “need” than the need to eat. In fairness to Marx, this utopian state would occur only when the basic goodness and generosity of people were freed from bourgeois selfishness. Here’s what Marx wrote: 

“ —after labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” 

In essence, after Communism has abolished private property, nobody will work for exploiting capitalists. Everyone will work for themselves and people will WANT to work more than anything else in life. The result will be an abundance of production, the “cooperative wealth” which will flow to those who need it.  

Marx thought that eventually no government would be needed to enforce this emergent “from-to” benevolence of humanity. Some of you may think that’s obviously absurd, that Marx had no inkling about human nature.  

It was worse than that. Marx thought human nature could be changed, indeed, would change, if only people were ruled by the right kind of government. Of course, people would need lots of reeducation, lots of RULING before they were perfected.  

While this was going on, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat would determine the real “needs” of people as opposed to what people thought were their “needs.” After all, is there anything more subjective than “needs”?  

More ominously, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat would also determine what abilities people had. For example, a commissar would immediately see that a talentless soul such as myself has the ability to dig ditches, pick up garbage, whatever, even though I may not have known I had such abilities.    

And if I didn’t work as ordered? In theory, that’s where “neither shall he eat” kicks in.  In practice, workers who went on strike in the Workers’ Paradise of the U.S.S.R. were simply shot. That’s a lot quicker than starvation, although millions of people also starved to death in Russia, something happening now in Venezuela.  

I wonder if Bernie Sanders, who honeymooned in Russia in 1988, would stick to Marx’s utopian ideal or if Bernie would agree with the practical change that Stalin made to socialist doctrine. If old Bernie goes with Uncle Joe, we should expect some changes, or at least some qualifications, to calls for more food stamps, higher minimum wages or demands for a “living wage” law.  

Here is the rest of Article 12 from the 1936 Constitution of the U.S.S.R quoted above.  Observant readers will note the slight change Stalin made to Marx’s glorious nonsense: 

“The principle applied in the U.S.S.R. is that of socialism: From each according to his ability, to each according to his work.”