Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Media Balance Newsletter: November 29, 2021


Guaranteed interesting and informative or double your money back.

Welcome! We cover COVID to Climate, as well as Energy to Elections.

  • Note 1: Here is the link for this issue, so please share it on social media. We hope that the Newsletter format makes it easy to scan and read.
  • Note 2: Please see our popular new website (C19Science.info) which has dozens of quality, science-based COVID-19 reports.

A.F. Branco for Sep 17, 2021 | SCT Online 


— This Newsletter's Articles, by Topic —

COVID-19 — Repeated Important Information:

COVID-19 — Therapies:

COVID-19 — Vaccines:

COVID-19 — Vaccine Mandates:

COVID-19 — Models and Data:

COVID-19 — Masks:

COVID-19 — Dr. Fauci:

COVID-19 — Omicron:

COVID-19 — Misc:

Greed Energy Economics & the Environment:

Wind Energy:

Solar Energy:

Nuclear Energy:

Fossil Fuel Energy:

Misc Energy:

Manmade Global Warming — COP26:

Manmade Global Warming — Some Deceptions:

Manmade Global Warming — Misc:

US Election:

US Election — Other State Issues:

US Politics and Socialism:

Religion Related:

Education Related:

Science and Misc Matters:


Please use social media, etc. to pass on this Newsletter to other open-minded citizens… 

John Droz jr., Physicist & Citizen’s Rights Advocate

Revision 11/28/21

If at any time you'd like to be added to (or taken off) the distribution of our popular,  free Media Balance Newsletter, simply send me an email saying that.

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Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone, as some documents (e.g. PDFs) are much easier to read on a large computer screen… We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize display issues.

Note 2: For recent past Newsletter issues see 2020 Archives & 2021 Archives. To accommodate numerous requests received about prior articles over the twelve plus years of the Newsletter, we’ve put together archives since the beginning of the Newsletter — where you can search by year. For a detailed background about the Newsletter, please read this.

Note 3: See this extensive list of reasonable books on climate change. As a parallel effort, we have also put together a list of some good books related to industrial wind energy. Both topics are also extensively covered on my website: WiseEnergy.org.

Note 4: I am not an attorney or a physician, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or the WiseEnergy.org website) should be construed as giving legal or medical advice. My recommendation has always been: consult a competent, licensed attorney when you are involved with legal issues, and consult a competent physician regarding medical matters.

Copyright © 2021; Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (see WiseEnergy.org).

Archbishop Vigano Calls For Action

"If the attack is global, the defense must also be global."

By ——--November 26, 2021

On these pages we have, for months, worked to inform and warn all Americans, and anyone who will listen, that the world is under attack. It is not by aliens, it is not by any single or group of foreign governments. The world is under siege by an anti-God, globalist alliance of public and private institutions, foreign leaders, bankers, politicians and religious leaders. This is spiritual warfare, against an evil conspiracy without equal in human history. It will affect almost every living person on this planet with the potential to kill billions.

Free humanity from the dark forces of globalism

On Wednesday, November 17, 2021, Archbishop Vigano of the Roman Catholic Church called on all people of faith and of good will to unite in a worldwide effort to confront this globalist alliance, to unite against an emerging world totalitarian regime, to “free humanity from the dark forces of globalism.”  There are some who will stop reading here thinking this is all nonsense, because it is beyond their experience to understand or contemplate. The forces at work are counting on that. This globalist push is a drive for global governance, international collectivism...........To Read More.....

If You Read It In The Mainstream Media, It's Wrong -- Plastics Edition

 

By now you must have noticed how many of the big news stories that have political significance to the left, and are hyped for months or years (or even decades) on end throughout the mainstream media, turn out to be false. Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to hack and steal the 2016 election. Kyle Rittenhouse is a white supremacist vigilante who went to Kenosha to make trouble. There is no such thing as Critical Race Theory taught in K-12 schools. “Climate change” is an existential crisis that can be easily solved at little cost by building wind turbines and solar panels. Saturated fat in your diet is bad for you. Feel free to add your own ten or a hundred examples to this list.

One that I had paid little attention to up to now was the narrative about the evils of plastics — that they cause terrible pollution problems, that they have accumulated in vast amounts in the oceans, that they kill sea creatures by the millions, that they accumulate forever and never degrade, and so forth. While I haven’t been paying attention, this narrative, like so many others, has swept to universal acceptance in progressive precincts, which of course includes my own New York City.

It was a couple of years ago, as this anti-plastics narrative gained traction, that plastic straws first began to disappear from New York City restaurants, generally replaced by paper straws that are much less pleasant to drink from. And the campaign against plastic convenience items has only accelerated. A ban on single-use plastic bags in grocery stores was enacted to take effect in March 2020. That ban got delayed by litigation, but the state prevailed, and enforcement has gradually kicked in over the intervening period. Today, if you go to a grocery store, the formerly standard plastic carry-home bags are gone. You will need to pay to get a paper grocery bag, or alternatively pay even more for a “reusable” bag made of some kind of textile. The disappearance of plastic straws in restaurants has been gradual, but according to this article in the Daily News, an actual ban took effect just a couple of weeks ago on November 1 of this year.

So clearly, there must be something really horrible about these plastic bags and straws, and probably everything else made of plastic. At this point it’s one of those things that everybody just knows.

I thought it was time to learn something about the issue, and therefore when the Competitive Enterprise Institute invited me to an online presentation today on the subject, I signed up. The main presenter was a guy named Chris DeArmitt. DeArmitt calls himself a “plastics materials scientist,” and he has made a detailed study of the relative environmental impacts of plastic versus other alternative materials for applications including bags and straws, as well as other things such as textiles and cars. DeArmitt also has a recent book by the title “The Plastics Paradox,” and a website called plasticsparadox.com.

And of course it turns out that plastic bags and straws (as well as many other items made of plastic for many different applications) have minimal environmental impacts, and most importantly, have far lower environmental impacts than any reasonably available alternatives for the applications in question. DeArmitt points out that there is a formal method of analysis of environmental impacts called “life cycle assessment,” or LCA, that takes account of all of the environmental impacts of use of a given material for a given application at all stages of the process, from extraction through disposal. And there are dozens upon dozens of environmental LCA studies of plastics versus other materials, among which there will be multiple studies for any application you can think of.

So consider the situation as to plastic bags. DeArmitt:

Lifecycle assessments (LCA) are the only internationally accepted method for comparing the environmental impact of materials and products. They are used by governments, companies and environmental groups, including GreenPeace and are independently audited. The LCA method takes into account all the energy, materials, water, emissions and so on associated with the manufacture and disposal of a product. No tool is perfect, but LCA is by far the best, most widely-accepted way to see what is really green.

DeArmitt found some 24 LCA studies considering the subject of environmental impacts of plastic bags versus alternatives. The results:

LCA analyses are done by government agencies in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and Denmark. They all agree that the single-use polyethylene bags we use today have much lower environmental impact than potential replacements such as bioplastics, paper, unbleached paper, cotton or organic cotton. . . . To replace plastic bags with paper bags requires 2.7x more energy, 1.6x more carbon dioxide emissions and 17x more water usage. It has also been estimated that replacing the plastic bags in the EU would require cutting down an astonishing 2.2 million more trees per year and require 60 000 Olympic swimming pools more water.

Here are some conclusions from the above:

I was surprised to find that our traditional PE and PP bags are far greener than the alternatives that are being thrust upon us. That means that the bans being implemented are actually harming our environment. . . . I was also deeply disappointed with the so-called environmental groups. I had assumed that they had done their homework and given us good advice. After all, they collect millions in donations and have had decades to find the best path forward. How is it that with all that funding they did not find ten minutes to type “LCA plastic bag” into Google? Why are they advocating bans that harm our planet? It makes me seriously question their competence and motives.

DeArmitt has generated enormous amounts of information that can keep you busy learning about the environmental benefits of plastics for as long as you have time available. As examples, plastic beverage bottles are far lighter than glass, leading to large saving in energy consumption for transportation. And similarly, plastic components in cars and trucks are also far lighter than the alternatives, leading to much less energy consumption in use of the vehicles.

The big mystery of the campaign against plastics is the seeming religious zeal of the big environmental groups and of the mainstream media in the efforts to get rid of them. Could it really just be that they are too lazy to “find ten minutes to type ‘LCA plastic bag’ into Google,” and if they did that they would promptly come around to rationality? Unfortunately, I think that DeArmitt is deceiving himself there. When a religious or quasi-religious cause is in play, the human mind quickly becomes impervious to rational thought and appeals to evidence. That’s the essence of progressivism. I don’t expect the return of plastic bags or straws any time soon.

Dynasties, Witchcraft, and Midnight Burials in the Sandinista Socialist Utopia

November 15, 2021 @ Sultan Knish Blog

In the 80s, the Sandinista Marxist terrorists were hotter than pastel suits and shoulder pads.

Sandinista! by The Clash was eating up the music charts and Hollywood celebrities like Ed Asner and Mike Farrell bypassed Cuba for the exciting new socialist nightmare in Nicaragua.

When Marxist butcher Daniel Ortega appeared at a New York Athletic Club reception in 1984, CBS' Mike Wallace, Michael Douglas, and the entire media showed up to give the terrorist and his accomplices a tongue bath.

"To try to get the guy to bed, and then kill him! Fantastic," the wife of the MTV president at the reception gushed over a female Sandinista terrorist who had laid a honey trap for a Nicaraguan official. "That's my dream, to do that to Reagan, George Bush, go right down the line.”

But no one fell in love with the Sandinistas quite as hard as John Kerry who, along with other Democrats, wrote love letters addressing the Marxist terror leader as Dear Commandante.

Shortly after taking office, John Kerry flew to Nicaragua to meet with Ortega and returned bearing Sandinista propaganda.

“These are just poor people, no money, no food, just like Vietnam, and they are just trying to stay alive. They just want peace," Kerry whined.

Hollywood is much less interested in Ortega and the Sandinistas these days though the glorification of the Marxist terror group hasn’t entirely halted with the ¡Las Sandinistas! documentary making the rounds of film festivals. And Kerry no longer writes to Ortega.

Every leftist revolution begins with terrorism, passes through a giddy phase of utopian socialism, and ends in evil misery. With a 40% poverty rate, the socialist revolution in Nicaragua is nearly complete. The number of people starving has quadrupled in the past few years, and the regime is conducting “express burials” at night to cover up the death toll from the coronavirus.

Family members are given a few hours at night to bury a body in a black bag under police supervision and the dying in this mostly Catholic country are being denied last rites.

Ortega, once heralded as a revolutionary leader, has grown old in power. The 75-year-old Marxist dictator appointed his wife as his vice president and is planning a dynasty to take his place. That won’t include his stepdaughter who had accused him of molesting her as a child.

And while Nicaraguans starve, protest, and die, Ortega’s wife erects “magical trees”.

Rosario Murillo, gaunt, gruesome, and bejeweled, has gone from a bad erotic poet to a worse tyrant. Latin American politics is no stranger to harsh rhetoric, but for the last 30 years, Nicaraguan preachers have accused her of being in league with the devil. And they meant it.

Today, anti-regime protesters chant Christian prayers to nullify her perceived powers.

It all began when “Comrade Rosario”, her preferred title, though the popular one is “La Chamuca” or female devil, joined her husband’s presidential campaign in the 90s by announcing an international conference on witchcraft. And it just got worse from there.

Murillo, who first met Ortega when she visited him in prison, became his government’s chief spokeswoman, and then occupied a variety of positions until her daughter accused him of rape. The Comrade stood by her Comandante against her daughter and he repaid her with power.

Now it’s widely assumed that she controls Nicaragua.

While much of the country lives in poverty and hunger, Murillo spent millions putting up metal trees covered in illuminated lights. The "Trees of Life", based on Klimt's Tree of Life, a mural symbolically depicting a tree "rising from the underworld through our world", were viewed by some as having occult significance. And when the latest protests broke out against the Sandinista regime, cheering protesters toppled and smashed Murillo’s towering metal trees.

“Once, I received one as a gift from a guy I had met during the protests. In a joking tone, he let me know that before giving me the lightbulb, he had asked a priest to bless it with holy water, ‘just in case’”, a journalist noted.

Latin American Marxist regimes turning to tyranny and the occult are not an unusual phenomenon. Venezuela’s brutal tyrant, Nicolas Maduro, claimed that his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, had returned to him in the form of a bird. Marxist dictators who oppose Christianity and Judaism typically resort to pagan religions to provide them with spiritual sanction.

Fidel Castro built ties to the Santeria cult which viewed him as being chosen by their pagan gods. Shortly before he was forced to step down, a Santeria priest declared that the Yoruba gods say Castro "is the one that should be there and so he is untouchable".

That did not prove to be the case.

Whether Comrade Rosario’s occult posturing is real or not, the Sandinista revolution has gone from Bianca Jagger to a haggard old witch, from hip guerrillas to yet another corrupt dynasty, even while the poverty, the hunger, and the tyranny destroying Nicaragua only deepened.

Back in the 80s, Senator Chris Dodd, then a mere House member, used to write "Dear Comandante" letters to Ortega. In 2010, Ortega joked that Dodd was a longtime "Sandinista sympathizer". These days, Dodd has been forced to rethink his sympathies, complaining that Ortega and his wife hadn't even tried to improve relations with Biden.

“This has been a flat-out rejection,” Dodd said. “It’s been terribly disappointing.”

Perhaps Dodd can also rethink his past lie, "Ortega is not Marcos or Noriega. He has a real popular base in his country", now that the Marxist dictator is dismantling free and open elections, and jailing opponents and rivals, while maintaining a ruthless grip on power.

What do the events in a tiny Marxist country matter to Americans?

“Vermont could set an example to the rest of the nation similar to the type of example Nicaragua is setting for the rest of Latin America," Bernie Sanders used to boast. Nicaragua has set a hell of an example, but none of its former fans, from Kerry to Bernie, are learning the lesson.

Ortega and the Sandinistas did not suddenly descend into tyranny. They were always killers, not to mention bigots, who admired the Soviet Union not because either side cared about the working class or revolutionary ideals, but because they were greedy for money and power.

The current state of Nicaragua is not a betrayal of the revolution, but its successful implementation. Or as George Orwell wrote in 1984, “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”

The Sandinistas were not liberators, like every leftist movement, they were dictators-in-waiting.

Had the glitterati rushing to shake Ortega’s bloodsoaked hand at the New York Athletic Club in 1984 understood the lessons of the eponymous book, they might have pulled back just a little.

Two generations later the old Sandinista fan club in America is at the apogee of its power. From John Kerry to Bill de Blasio to Bernie Sanders, the older and younger fans of the Marxist terror thugs have carved their own way to power in America and the nation is all the worse for it.

But the lessons of the old revolutions are quickly forgotten in the rush to the next revolution.

Meanwhile the Sandinista revolution that inspired so many youthful American radicals in the age of mullets and fanny packs has, much like its American fans, aged badly. The regime once touted as a socialist model now consists of a haggard witch and her puppet husband trying to hold on to power long enough to hand over the throne to one of their children. In the villages the people starve, bodies are buried at midnight, and the dictator’s wife puts up electric trees.

Hollywood, once so enthusiastic about the Sandinistas, looks elsewhere. Murder never dampened the enthusiasm of millionaire celebrities for Marxist terrorists, but Ortega and the Sandinistas committed the ultimate crime that a socialist regime can commit in their eyes.

Not tyranny or mass murder.

Like Brezhnev, Raul Castro, and Xi Jinping, Ortega and the Sandinistas have become uncool.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Tags: , , , , Author Image About Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield is a journalist investigating Islamic terrorism and the Left. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Davi

Rent Control Lunacy

November 14, 2021 by Dan Mitchell @ International Literacy  

There are some issues – such as class-warfare tax rates and the minimum wage – where intelligent people on the left will privately admit being wrong (or at least they will admit adverse consequences).

Another example is rent control.

 

Indeed, it’s so obvious that imposing price controls on housing will create shortages that some folks on the left even admit publicly that it’s a bad idea. Yet leftist politicians are drawn to the policy for the simple reason that renters outnumber landlords. Simply stated, they’re willing to impose considerable damage so long as they can grab a few extra votes.

Let’s look at some evidence about the folly of rent control, and we’ll start with a hot-off-the-presses column by Ryan Mills for National Review.


Democratic leaders in Minnesota’s capital city are scrambling for solutions after developers put several large projects on hold across St. Paul in the wake of last week’s election, when residents approved what may be the strictest rent-control policy in the country. …left-wing activists on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River succeeded in their effort to cap rent increases at 3 percent annually, including on new construction, a step most communities that have imposed rent-control policies have specifically avoided out of concern that it would discourage future investments. The St. Paul initiative passed last week with 53 percent support. …Large developers who spoke to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press told reporters that they’re pausing their projects across the city, and they are “re-evaluating what – if any – future business we’ll be doing in St. Paul.” Lenders are pulling out of new projects, they say, worried about the impact of the new policy. …dozens of buildings…have had 2022 rehabilitation projects stopped.

Wow. Sounds like St. Paul wants to supplant Minneapolis as the worst-governed city in the state.  Speaking of poorly governed cities, Christian Britschgi of Reason wrote early last year about what’s happening with rent control in New York City.


When the New York legislature passed major changes to the state’s rent regulations in June 2019, critics warned the new law would reduce investment in, and renovations of, rental properties in New York City. …those predictions are bearing out. …sales of apartment buildings in the Big Apple fell by 36 percent in 2019, and…the money spent on those sales fell by 40 percent. The prices investors were paying for rent-stabilized units—where allowable rent increases are set by the government and usually capped at around 1 or 2 percent per year—fell by 7 percent. …69 percent of building owners have cut their spending on apartment upgrades by more than 75 percent since the passage of the state’s rent regulations. Another 11 percent of the landlords in the survey decreased investments in their properties by more than 50 percent.

Some European cities also have adopted price controls on housing. In a column for the Foundation for Economic Education, Jon Miltimore explains the damage this approach has caused in Stockholm.


Stockholm is just one of many Swedish cities struggling with a housing shortage. It’s not just that prices are too high; wait times for flats are also stunningly long. In Stockholm, for example, the average waiting time for a typical property is about nine years…, but wait-time in Stockholm’s most attractive neighbourhoods can run double that. …For younger Swedes in particular, the housing situation is a real problem—and it stems from Sweden’s decades-long embrace of rent control policies, which stretch back to World War II. …the results of Sweden’s rent control policies were quite predictable. The reality is price controls and other government regulations can’t fix housing problems.

The mess in Stockholm has even attracted attention from the BBC, as illustrated by the excerpt in this tweet.  Jon Miltimore also wrote about disastrous impact of rent control in Berlin.


In February 2020, Berlin introduced the so-called Mietendeckel—a cap on rent—to keep Berlin from becoming the next London or New York, cities where pricey rents have driven out many lower- and middle-class residents. The rent caps didn’t apply to everyone, however. They applied to properties built prior to 2014, freezing rent at June 18, 2019 levels. …Well, a year later, and the results of Berlin’s experiment are in. …Housing supply has shrunk and many landlords have reportedly exited the market, making the shortage much worse. …The lesson? Rent control has effects on housing supply, and those effects are not good.

And it you want more bad news from Germany, Berlin voters just approved a scheme to confiscate some apartments.  Here’s the story from the EU Observer.


Berliners voted in favour of expropriating apartments owned by big real-estate companies, with 56 percent of voters in the German capital saying ‘yes’ in the non-binding referendum at this weekend, the Financial Times reported on Monday. Now Berlin’s new municipal government has to decide how to proceed, since the expropriation of housing units could be legally challenged as against the German constitution.

I don’t know the outcome (if any) of the court challenge, but I do know that rent control is horrible policy.  And other economists agree.

P.S. Price controls are also bad news for pharmaceutical products and emergency supplies.


Monday, November 29, 2021

Meet the Technology That's Uncovering 2020's Voter Fraud

The search for phantom voters is over.  Phantom voters are sitting next to you at the restaurant or standing next to you at the bank.  They are your friend and neighbor.  You may be a phantom and not know it.  Phantom voters, the definition, is morphing from fake voters hiding in UPS boxes to people who advanced computer models predict will not vote.

Don't get me wrong — there are thousands of phantom voters living in churches, R.V. parks, cemeteries, homeless shelters, hotels, and virtual mailboxes.  It's just that there are as many, perhaps more, who live active, healthy, honest lives on voter rolls.  They just don't know they voted.  You've heard the stories, denied by the mainstream press and almost every secretary of state: there is no significant voter fraud.  Why not say that?  There is no way you can check.

Now there is..........To Read More.....

Thought For the Day