Our New Left-Wing Overlord — ChatGPT

Our New Left-Wing Overlord — ChatGPT. By David Rozado.

I have recently tested the ability of OpenAI content moderation system to detect hateful comments about a variety of demographic groups. The findings of the experiments suggest that OpenAI automated content moderation system treats several demographic groups markedly unequally.



Exactly reflects the narrative. These biases are what we see in the media every day.


ChatGPT is easily the fastest growing app in history.

hat-tip Stephen Harper

Hunter Biden: More Depraved Than You Knew

Hunter Biden: More Depraved Than You Knew. By John Hinderaker.

From a New York Post link, I learned about Marco Polo, a group that I don’t necessarily endorse — I don’t know enough about them — but that has devoted a lot of time to studying the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop. Its Biden material is here, and the link to Hunter’s laptop that I followed from the Post’s account is here. Naturally, I started with the “Sex-Related Crimes” link.

I don’t think I am easily shocked, but what I found there was astonishing. Hunter Biden’s daily preoccupations are (or were, until recently) crack cocaine and prostitutes. His most frequent communications were with crack dealers and pimps, lining up and paying for prostitutes. It goes on and on, day after day. Is there a drug dealer or a pimp on the East Coast, or in California, who is not on close personal terms with Hunter Biden?

The amount of money Hunter ran through was extraordinary. Where did he get it? Not through any legal and gainful employment, certainly. It is reasonable to assume that Hunter’s share of the Biden crime family’s loot went for crack and prostitutes. Follow the link for details: it went on day after day. Frankly, it is surprising that Hunter is still alive. …

I can’t begin to convey the extent of Hunter’s depravity, as documented by him in photos, videos, texts and emails. … The sheer volume is overwhelming. Pretty much everything Hunter did was both appalling and illegal. …

The last area of depravity I will mention is covered extensively on the Marco Polo site. Hunter had a torrid affair with his brother’s widow, Hallie. Hallie, perhaps knowing Hunter too well, refused to allow him to be alone with her 13-year-old daughter because Hunter’s behavior was “sexually inappropriate.” Imagine that! Hunter bitterly resented this, and complained to, among others, Joe Biden, hoping to get access to the 13-year-old. …

There is vastly more at the Marco Polo site. Dive in at your own risk. You will not feel clean when you emerge. …

Political implications:

The entire Biden family, as we see in the laptop documents as well as other sources, is corrupt to the core. Where do the countless thousands that Hunter blows on crack and prostitutes, along with a generally high-flying lifestyle, come from? He couldn’t make an honest living. So the money all had to be, at some level, payoffs. Bribes intended for Joe Biden. Classified information to which Joe was privy and which Hunter was glad to pass along. Promises of future influence with Joe.

What else could it possibly be? No sane person would entrust millions of dollars to the depraved and hopelessly crack-addicted Hunter Biden for any legitimate reason. But here is the real point: Hunter himself had nothing to sell. He was a nobody. Far from being a trusted member of the Executive Branch, he was a degenerate who wasn’t allowed in the same room with his own niece.

Hunter had one thing, and one thing only, to sell: influence with Joe. And “the Big Guy” obviously not just knew about Hunter’s hoovering up illicit cash, he profited from it. Which was, I take it, the whole point.

Maybe Hunter is disgusted at his circumstance and his family, and is acting out as a protest. Maybe it’s a subconscious cry for help. Or maybe not.

Miranda Devine: Hunter now admits the laptop was his. See this in the MSM?

For more than two years Joe Biden has maintained the fiction that the laptop his son Hunter abandoned at a computer repair shop in Delaware was a “Russian plant.”

Well, yesterday, Hunter finally admitted the laptop is his, only now he says his data was taken without his permission.

Top 10 Signs We Are Entering A New Dark Age

Top 10 Signs We Are Entering A New Dark Age. By Jamie Frater. I thought this would just be rubbishy clickbait when I clicked on it in a moment of weakness, but actually it makes some good points.

10. Social Media Censorship

9. Supression of Speakers on Campuses

8. YouTube Censorship

7. Google Search Destruction

In the last three decades we have handed over the curation of the wealth of human knowledge to a company that had the motto “don’t be evil”; until 2018 when it quietly placed it in the last sentence of its code of conduct, now just an afterthought. The last two years have seen Google progressively destroy the quality of its search results, first filling them with sponsored posts and now, as of May 2020, seemingly-replacing the entire index with results that give Google and its friends financial support during Coronavirus.

Online webmaster forums are full of website owners declaring their sites dead as 50–70% of their traffic from search has been slashed in favor of big brand results from companies aligned with Google’s world view.

It is probably fair to say that the future of the world wide web is one in which most search results end in a 404 error (page not found). Google is effectively shutting down the Internet. With all the search traffic gone, the sites that do remain will be compelled to look to subscription models.

6. Chained Bibles

Remember the chained Bibles from the last Dark Ages (hint: they were chained up because they were incredibly valuable, not to stop people reading them)? Guess what? They’re coming back! As Google has begun what seems to be its final onslaught against small and medium information websites and YouTubers, more information is either disappearing or is being locked behind paywalls and subscription models.

Once all the best content is locked away, we will have finally reached the point where the web is the exact opposite of what it was meant to be. Instead of the dissemination of information to the whole world for free (paid for by ads obviously), we will have a tightly locked vault of knowledge for only those who can afford to read it.

And unlike the Bible in the Middle Ages, we don’t have internet priests who can read it to us every day. This truly is the intentional removal of learning for all but an elite rich.

5. Joe Rogan Spotify

4. Wayback Machine Censorship

“‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’” These words from George Orwell’s frighteningly prescient novel 1984 ring true particularly today. The WayBackMachine or Internet Archive is an amazing site with snapshots of most parts of the world wide web going back decades. It has, on many occasions, been used to reveal deceptive editing from the mainstream media. …

Recently, the WaybackMachine begun marking certain archived pages as disinformation, particularly as it relates to the Coronavirus. It is retroactively stating that historical news or events were not true. It is only a matter of time before they start expunging the original content itself or replacing “misinformation” with “facts” as determined by unnamed movers behind the scenes.

3. Free Discussion in Science

Scientists and doctors are now routinely fired for discoveries (or even espousing theories) that are now deemed contrary to ideas “proven” by scientific consensus (argumentum ad verecundiam anyone?) The fear of causing offense (or worse: causing offense to those with very loud social media presences) is largely behind this dreadful situation. Scientists should not be stifled and it doesn’t matter how offensive their discoveries or views, they should be put out in the fresh air for debate. If we are not allowed to argue against ideas, how can we truly show them to be wrong—or to prove their opposite to be true?

From the environment to race and gender, a new “theology” is being formed and questioning it is tantamount to heresy with shaming and ostracism becoming the new burning at the stake.

2. Zombie Apocalypse

Instead of talking and sharing our experiences and knowledge, instead of reading a book or even a magazine, people are playing games or watching videos on YouTube (the ones Google hasn’t suppressed yet). This is the zombie apocalypse; and it is voluntary. Until you see a city street full of people with vacant faces staring down, you can’t truly appreciate how horrifying this really is. …

1. Historic Information Sources May Vanish

With some places already banning cash due to paper being such a good carrier for the virus, it is plausible to think that institutions of human knowledge such as libraries and, to a lesser degree museums, may eventually also be shuttered in the name of public safety. This would be partially manageable if it weren’t for the fact that the rest of the items on this list are also occurring at the same time.

Once all sites are gone except the highly questionable Wikipedia at the end of Google’s search holocaust, we could find ourselves finally untethered from the shared pool of knowledge of our ancestors upon which we have built our amazing and wonderful society.

Why is this happening?

It is easy to control one large corporation and impossible to control thousands of small ones.

The powers that be, whatever you want to call them, understand that to maintain control of large parts of society and how we think and function requires the end of small businesses. This may not be 100% the reason for the bizarre changes we are now living through, but regardless of the intent, it is safe to say that every single day, more and more information is being removed from the internet and made inaccessible.

We can no longer pretend that we are in a burgeoning golden age of knowledge . . . we stand on the brink of the greatest dark age in human history.

It’s easier to fight a single dog than a swarm of bees.

The Global Cartel of Narrative-Friendly Big Media

The Global Cartel of Narrative-Friendly Big Media. By Tony Thomas.

Last November [the Australian] ABC joined the BBC’s Trusted News Initiative (TNI), a consortium of Big Media and Big Tech global players.

TNI’s gatekeeping goal concerning “misinformation” (i.e. contrary to the official line) is to flag it in real time, coordinate members internally and alert Big Tech’s enforcers to stamp it out.

Part of a global cartel

But on January 10 President John Kennedy’s nephew, Robert F Kennedy Jr, in a Texas District Court launched an anti-trust lawsuit for treble damages from TNI’s biggest news providers, namely the BBC, Washington Post, and global news syndicators Reuters and Associated Press. He wants TNI disbanded as an unlawful cartel. … His brief says “It is also an action to defend the freedom of speech and of the press.”

The ABC is the mothership of the narrative in Australia:

The ABC seems to enjoy its role as a minor Google vassal. …

Google (market cap $US1.3 trillion) found behind its executive sofa $US300 million (equal to roughly a quarter of the ABC’s annual taxpayer gravy) to set up “Google News Initiative” for massaging the media and journalists.

A BBC spokesperson, echoed by the ABC, said, “The media organisations that now make up TNI’s new Asia-Pacific network have received training, funded by the Google News Initiative, to help their journalists navigate the disinformation environment.” …

Kennedy’s lawsuit, less kindly, claims TNI’s commercial goal is to deplatform and crush the myriad of upstart online publishers who are contradicting the official lines and reducing trust in big media, along with its ad revenues. The legacy, high-cost media are smarting over competition from bloggers in the shift to digital publishing, with 85 per cent of Americans now getting their news online. …

US conservative pundit Tucker Carlson has satirised the Big Media censorship as: “We have a monopoly on telling lies. No one else can talk.” …

How’s that working out with the public?

Among 46 countries, the US media has become the least trusted (only 29 per cent trust it). …

In Australia, reporters are the second-least trusted of 30 occupations, ahead of politicians but behind delivery drivers. Only 43 per cent of Australians trust the media …

Currently Big Media and Big Tech are suppressing revelations from a US sting operation against Pfizer by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas gadfly. … As The Australian’s US correspondent Adam Creighton noted on January 30, the “jaw-dropping” story had racked up 40 million Twitter impressions but mainstream (Democrat-friendly) media in the US -– except Murdoch and his Fox News – wholly ignored it. Google and YouTube have reduced or deleted its visibility. Creighton appears unaware of media cartels, like the ABC’s TNI, coordinating suppression behind the scenes. A search of the ABC website on February 2 likewise yielded no current hits on Veritas or Pfizer, whether because of ABC’s TNI collusion pledge or its normal aversion to news that embarrasses the green-left establishment. …

Kennedy says TNI’s Big Tech members collectively have a gatekeeping power over at least 90 per cent of online news traffic. De-platforming a small news publisher typically costs at least 90 per cent of its traffic. Even well-known major online news publishers can lose up to 50 per cent of their traffic from a seemingly minor change to Google’s search algorithms. Smaller online news publishers have been destroyed completely when shadow-banned, throttled, de-monetized, or de-platformed. …

Kennedy quotes the TNI alleged cartel making admissions. Last year Jamie Angus, then the senior BBC controller of news, said:

the real rivalry now is not between for example the BBC and CNN globally, it’s actually between all trusted news providers and a tidal wave of unchecked” reporting “that’s being piped out mainly through digital platforms … That’s the real competition now in the digital media world. Of course organizations will always compete with one another for audiences.

But the existential threat I think is that overall breakdown in trust, so that trusted news organizations lose in the long term if audiences just, just abandon the idea of a relationship of trust with news organizations.

The lawsuit also references suppression by the TNI group of electoral news harmful to the Democrats and other liberal establishment players.

In particular the lawsuit cites the mainstream news blackout in the weeks before the 2020 Presidential election on the scandalous contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which revealed allocating 10 per cent to “the big guy” — his father, Joe Biden — of Hunter’s lucrative influence peddling with America’s opponent nations. This coordinated blackout was justified by the lie — belatedly withdrawn by the Washington Post and New York Times 18 months post-election — that the laptop was Russian disinformation. Kennedy blames TNI for much of the blackout, thus the “truth controllers” propagated untruths. (The ABC originally in multiple accounts treated the laptop revelations as conspiracies or nutty, and an ABC web search finds no story yet that the laptop is genuine.)…

Climate, of course:

This TNI alliance has common elements with another consortium, Covering Climate Now (CCN), dedicated to climate news manipulation. Like TNI, this group has signed up the same AP, AFP and Reuters syndicators and the Washington Post, but also about 500 other news and opinion outlets. Its total claimed audience is two billion. CCN members pledge to hype global warming scares and suppress ”denialist” items – whether accurate or not. The ABC and SBS have not yet joined CCN, whose chief Australian members are the climate-crazed Guardian and the universities-based The Conversation.

So the future of information is really between a cartel of big media and government players that spread the narrative, and lots of little sites like this that try to find and spread the truth. Well-funded propagandists for those in power, versus the rest on a shoe-string budget.

And they claim that they are “speaking truth to power.” Fully sick.

The Uniparty wants Bigger Government Downunder

The Uniparty wants Bigger Government Downunder. By Henry Ergas.

Yet another post about Australian treasurer Jim Chalmer’s ill-thought-out essay announcing a turn towards more big government in all walks of Australian economic life. But it has brought forth some penetrating and interesting commentary, from people who have lived through this folly before.

Infused with the rage of an old testament prophet, the essay Kevin Rudd published in The Monthly 14 years ago promised to expel the money lenders from the temple and purge markets of greed. Wayne Swan’s essay, which appeared three years later, was even more incandescent, vowing to strangle the last mining magnate with the guts of the last merchant banker.

But this is the age of yoga mats and chai lattes, wellbeing indices and teal voters. Replete with good feelings, Treasurer Jim Chalmers’s essay exudes the spirit of the times, in which Australia’s most affluent constituencies are greener than green while the top end of town is more profoundly anguished by gender equity than by the return on equity.

Chalmers’s method is simplicity itself. It consists of caricaturing his opponents, assaulting straw men, ignoring all contrary evidence, and then failing to explain his own philosophy with any clarity or detail.

No facts are presented, no terms defined, no phrase dear to “Davos man” left unsaid. On reading it carefully, the ghastly thought arises that Jacinda Ardern has been teleported across the Tasman and reincarnated as Australia’s Treasurer.

And as with “Ardern speak” — or, for that matter, texts generated by ChatGPT — it obfuscates and elides more often than it elucidates and clarifies. We are repeatedly told, for example, businesses should be “values-based”; what we are not told is what that would actually entail. Nor is that unimportant: call me cold-hearted, but I would prefer it if Qantas would focus on delivering my luggage rather than on delivering my ethics.

Equally, despite its length, none of the tough questions the government needs to answer are tackled. It is, to take just one example, commendable that Chalmers worries about our productivity slowdown. But given that the collapse in the construction industry’s productivity accounts for a very large share of the decline, it would be even more commendable if he explained how letting the building unions run rampant will help turn the situation around. …

What the essay lacks is any acknowledgment of the challenges that involves. Nothing better highlights those challenges than the market design disasters of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years: the tragedy of the home insulation scheme; the deeply flawed vocational education and training “Fee Help” program, which cost more than $3bn to clean up; and the spectacularly ill-designed and poorly implemented National Disability Insurance Scheme.

What those experiences — and that of Chalmers’s own gas code — highlight is the fundamental difficulty government-designed markets encounter.

Private markets, for all of their weaknesses, have the incentive and capacity to self-correct: when their design is poor, the flaws trigger changes in market structure and conduct that usually ameliorate the problems.

But poorly designed government markets don’t adjust automatically, not least because their parameters are typically locked in by legislation. Indeed, by creating profit opportunities, the distortions in their design attract providers whose interests lie in perpetuating the easy pickings, spawning pressure groups that stymie corrective efforts – with the result that the costs the programs impose continue to mount.

Those realities are ignored by Chalmers: the failings of markets worry him; the failings of government do not. Instead, one catches time and again the familiar accent of the reformer armed with an infallible plan for circumventing the obstacles raised by human folly and perversity.

The so-called opposition:

To make things worse, the Coalition had countless policies, but no overriding policy, in each of those areas. What, for example, was the Coalition’s long-run vision for the structure of our health system? No one knew for sure, any more than anyone knew how it thought our education system should evolve in the years ahead. …

The Coalition lacked the internal cohesion and political courage needed to properly define its vision, preferring the safety of ambiguity to the dangers of an unambiguous stake in the ground.

Whether those weaknesses are the Coalition’s alone remains to be seen. Labor is certainly more adept at spinning grand narratives; but as was apparent in the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years, the yawning gap between those narratives and reality makes them useless at guiding harsh choices.

The risk is that just as the wings have been bred off certain chickens to produce more white meat, so we may have bred a political class (and public service) that is congenitally incapable of the serious thought governing requires — and a political system that punishes those who try.

Chalmers opens and closes his essay by citing Heraclitus’s dictum that one never steps into the same river twice. Perhaps: but one can step many times into the same bathwater, and it gets filthier each time. Unless Chalmers rinses off the woolly rhetoric, and shows a capacity for credible and dispassionate analysis, including of Labor’s own errors, yesterday’s muck will also be tomorrow’s.

When you are the party of the bureaucrats and, increasingly, the big end of town all rolled into one, bigger government and regulation to hinder small upstarts sure seems like a good thing. And the activists in the party are salivating at the thought of using increased government power and social credit to nudge everyone towards the “correct” opinions.

The political axis that is rapidly becoming more relevant throughout the West is whether you would prefer to move towards or away from the old Soviet Union.

“Objectivity Has Got To Go”: News Leaders Call for the End of Objective Journalism

“Objectivity Has Got To Go”: News Leaders Call for the End of Objective Journalism. By Jonathon Turley.

Advocacy journalism is the new touchstone in the media, even as polls show that trust in the media is plummeting.

Now, former executive editor for The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward have released the results of their interviews with over 75 media leaders and concluded that objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle said it plainly: “Objectivity has got to go.” …

Writers, editors, commentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers. This movement includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. …

In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”

Lauren Wolfe, the fired freelance editor for the New York Times, has not only gone public to defend her pro-Biden tweet but published a piece titled “I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.” …

Saying that “Objectivity has got to go” is, of course, liberating. You can dispense with the necessities of neutrality and balance. You can cater to your “base” like columnists and opinion writers. Sharing the opposing view is now dismissed as “bothsidesism.” Done. No need to give credence to opposing views. It is a familiar reality for those of us in higher education, which has been increasingly intolerant of opposing or dissenting views. …

There was a time when all journalists shared a common “identity” as professionals who were able to separate their own bias and values from the reporting of the news.

Now, objectivity is virtually synonymous with prejudice. Kathleen Carroll, former executive editor at the Associated Press declared “It’s objective by whose standard? … That standard seems to be White, educated, and fairly wealthy.

Outlets like NPR are quickly erasing any lines between journalists and advocates. NPR announced that reporters could participate in activities that advocate for “freedom and dignity of human beings” on social media and in real life.

Downie echoes such views and declares “What we found has convinced us that truth-seeking news media must move beyond whatever ‘objectivity’ once meant to produce more trustworthy news.”

Truth has been kicked to the kerb. See how you are being misled by a team of liars? And now they even admit to it — boast of it — in public.

At this stage, the western media is so corrupt it probably needs to burned down and rebuilt from scratch.

In the postmodern woke west, only power matters. The left, especially, has embraced and adapted to the new landscape.

Possibly related:

Exploding the Watergate Myth: It was all lies by the deep state and the Washington Post

Exploding the Watergate Myth: It was all lies by the deep state and the Washington Post. By Bruce Bawer.

Why would the Nixon White House have wanted to burglarize Democratic headquarters in the first place? It was already obvious that Nixon was heading for a landslide victory. He didn’t need any DNC dirt. Even in the movie, an unnamed editor at the Post, played by John McMartin, tells Bradlee: “I don’t believe the story. It doesn’t make sense.” The motive for the burglary remained murky for decades.


The lies

Then, two and a half years ago, John O’Connor — a veteran criminal prosecutor and friend of FBI number-two Mark Felt, who in 2015 admitted to being Deep Throat — published a book entitled Postgate: How the Washington Post Betrayed Deep Throat, Covered Up Watergate, and Began Today’s Partisan Advocacy Journalism.

Alas, that work never made it onto my radar. But now, just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the break-in, O’Connor has given me a second chance. In The Mysteries of Watergate: What Really Happened, which he characterizes as “a more accessible, plainspoken” version of its overly “dense” and “lawyerlike” predecessor. In it, O’Connor leads us, Virgil-like, through the whole convoluted scandal, debunking old conjectures, proffering new information, and ultimately spelling out, with prosecutorial meticulousness, the myriad ways in which the full story deviates from the Post’s accounts.


The truth came out, eventually


By book’s end, Woodward and Bernstein — and their editors — no longer look like heroes. Far from it. Also, the title All the President’s Men turns out to be a misnomer. Watergate wasn’t really a Nixon job. It was a CIA caper.

Yet the Post — which, as O’Connor notes, was founded in 1877 as “the official organ of the Democratic Party” and which in the 1970s, believe it or not, shared a general counsel (Joseph Califano) with the DNC — didn’t want to bring down the CIA. It wanted to bring down Nixon. And after learning that the CIA’s motive for the break-in had to do not with political secrets but with a prostitution referral service that was operating out of DNC headquarters, the Post wanted to protect Democrats.

Nixon was too honorable, apparently:

Why, then, did Nixon pursue the ultimately self-destructive cover-up? Because John Dean — the White House counsel who, unbeknownst to Nixon, had had his own personal reasons for wanting the DNC’s prostitution records — urged Nixon to do so, never informing him that what he was covering up was, in fact, a CIA project. As O’Connor observes, if Nixon hadn’t pursued the cover-up, the truth about the break-in might actually have come out, and Nixon would’ve been seen not as its mastermind but as an innocent fall guy.

You may ask: if the Post hid the truth about Watergate, how did that truth stay hidden for so long? The answer requires you, if you’re old enough, to think back to the pre-Internet era. It was remarkably easy, back then, to hide facts — even facts that had gone public. As it happens, news stories containing key elements of the real Watergate story appeared at the time in various newspapers around the U.S. But they weren’t national newspapers. Their reports weren’t picked up by other media. And so they disappeared quickly down the memory hole.

The journalists lied, because they wanted to get Nixon:

Meanwhile the Post, whose reporting on the subject was considered definitive, consistently — and dishonestly — covered up the truth. And kept doing so in the years that followed.

An example. In 1980, Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy published Will, which O’Connor calls “the most honest of the Watergate memoirs.” Because its publication was a headline event, the editors of the Post felt compelled to weigh in. In an editorial, they dismissed Liddy’s claim that the burglary had (in their words) been “not an attempt to collect political intelligence on President Nixon’s enemies, but an effort master-minded by then White House counsel John Dean to steal pictures of prostitutes” — even though they knew this was true. Woodward was similarly dishonest in his Post review of the book.

Then there’s the Baker report, issued in 1974 by Tennessee Senator Howard Baker and other Republican members of the Ervin Committee. In it, they pegged Watergate as a CIA job. O’Connor calls the Baker report “a stunning revelation.” But in a Post preview of the report, Laurence Stern emphasized one of its least important details while deep-sixing its spectacular conclusions. The point, as O’Connor writes, was “to tell the public, falsely, that the report would be ho-hum.”

Yes, Woodward and Bernstein mentioned Deep Throat’s bombshell about “the entire U.S. intelligence community” in their book, and allowed it to be included in the film, because it needed that jolt of drama and danger toward the end. But neither the book nor the movie ever elaborated on the “intelligence community” angle. Nor did anything of the kind find its way into Woodstein’s articles for the Post.

Bottom line: the Post, that vaunted bulwark of American freedom, was, as O’Connor puts it, “guilty of a cover-up far more significant than Nixon’s.”

There’s another relatively new Watergate book that’s well worth reading. In The Nixon Conspiracy: Watergate and the Plot to Remove the President, Geoff Shepard, who was a young lawyer in the Nixon White House, doesn’t focus overmuch on the Post or the CIA or the reasons for the DNC break-in, but instead laments Nixon’s betrayal by appointees like John Dean and Elliott Richardson, demonstrates that Nixon was a victim of “extensive judicial and prosecutorial abuse,” and shows how, once Nixon was in their crosshairs, leading figures in the Deep State … cynically worked together to remove from the Oval Office a man who’d just been re-elected by an overwhelming margin of 520 to 17 electoral votes, but whom they, the Beltway insiders who felt their own judgment should trump that of the American people, uniformly despised.

And they won.

So it went. As both O’Connor and Shepard illustrate, there are plenty of scoundrels in the annals of Watergate. But when it comes to long-term impact, none of them compare to Woodward and Bernstein. …

Journalists grabbed a great deal of power after forcing Nixon to resign. They stopped being mere reporters, but players.

Thanks to their selective, slanted reporting, Americans started revering journalists, of all people — a habit that they began to shake off only a few years ago. Consider that, if all the facts of Watergate had been properly reported, Americans’ disdain would have been aimed primarily at the intelligence community — which, in real life, it took most of us another half a century to learn to distrust.

Woodward and Bernstein didn’t just destroy Nixon. They radically altered the course of American history. By bringing down Nixon, they gave us Jimmy Carter. They revealed to their colleagues in the American news media just how much power they all had to shape public opinion — and how much wealth and prestige they could accrue by bending the facts to fit a partisan narrative.

Woodstein’s example made possible the news media’s use, decades later, of endlessly repeated lies about Donald Trump to bring down yet another successful presidency.

How power is truly wielded by the deep state and the bureaucrats.

The Deep State has been around for yonks.

hat-tip Stephen Neil, Scott of the Pacific

First, They Lied About the Range . . .

First, They Lied About the Range . . . By Eric Peters.

There is a creepy consanguinity between the marketing and selling of the “masks” and then “vaccines” –- and the marketing and selling of electric vehicles. …

They arose as the “solution” to supposedly dire problems that — we were told — required immediate, right now amelioration. No time to wait and see — or even think before we’re obliged to act. The rush-rush tactics of the time-share selling fraudster, in other words. The “virus” is going to kill tens of millions — maybe more! — unless everyone “masks,” right now (and forever more). Stays home — and stays away from others. The “climate” is going to “change” — unless we change, overnight, to driving electric cars.

And never mind whether they actually “work,” either.

Just as it was with “masks” — and then the “vaccines” — all the accruing evidence that they don’t was suppressed and pilloried. We were told half-truths and outright lies to get us to “mask” – and then to take the drugs that didn’t confer immunity on anyone, either. But did confer myocarditis – and god-only-knows-what-else – on many who were tricked into taking them.

Just the same with electric cars.

People were not told that their touted ranges were frequently much less-than-advertised and could (and do) plummet by 50 percent or more in cold weather. Or — in the case of electric trucks — when used to do the things trucks are expected to do, such as pull a trailer. Instead they were only told — as in the case of Ford’s F-150 Lightning electric truck — that it could pull a 10,000 pound trailer. Which is true. Just not for long.

Or rather, far.

Left out was the relevant fact that if they attempted to actually pull a trailer, they’d be stopping for a lengthy recharge every 80 miles or so.

They were also told they could recharge at home — which is also true. As far as it goes.

But they were not told how very long that takes. Instead, they were led to believe they could get going again in only 30-45 minutes or so. But that is only possible by visiting so-called “fast” chargers, which are not at home. And they were not told that using these “fast” chargers” regularly is hard on the battery and for that reason is likely to decrease the battery’s useful service life — an extremely relevant thing since not using the “fast” charger greatly time-limits one’s mobility. It takes at least several hours — at home — to instill even a partial charge in an electric car, using a 240V stove/dryer-type outlet that most homes do not have wired up in the garage – and so close enough to plug the EV into them – necessitating that the homeowner pay to have an electrician install the outlet where it is close enough.

Even if it is installed, it still takes 9-11 hours to fully recharge an EV at home — so as to avoid having to rely on the “fast” chargers that can damage/shorten the service life of the EV’s most expensive component — its battery.

Catch meet 22.

People were also told the cost of EVs would go down as more EVs were made – and “technology” improved. In fact, the cost of EVs has increased -– hugely — because it costs more rather than less to make EVs, which require a huge quantity of hard-to-get and expensive to get materials such as lithium and cobalt.

Now it comes out that it doesn’t cost less to drive an EV, either. … The cost of electricity has risen to parity with the cost of gas, such that it now costs about the same to put the equivalent power into an EV needed to drive the EV 100 miles as it does to put enough gas into a non-EV to travel the same distance: $11.29 for the latter and $11.60 for the former. And the former is what it costs to charge the EV at home — where the cost of the hours’-long wait is not included. It costs an average of $14.40 to instill the same 100 miles’ worth of range at a so-called “fast” charger, costing the EV owner more than it costs someone who just pours three or four gallons of gas into his non-EV to drive the same 100 miles. …

Electric cars cost more to buy, cost more time – and cost more money to drive. …

Probably the next truth to drop will be the revelation that EVs aren’t “zero emissions,” after all. As people have been told they are. Wait until they are told the truth about the emitting that happens as a result of all the mining necessary to get the raw materials used to make EVs. And — hoo-boy! — the emitting that occurs at the power plants that generate the massive amounts of high-voltage electricity EVs “burn.”

Apparently, only about 15 percent of the public is getting “boosted” — the rest having gotten wise to the truth about the “vaccines.” It is likely something congruent will manifest as more and more people learn the truth they’ve been lied to about EVs.

Just as well carbon dioxide doesn’t actually cause much global warming. The climate models are hopelessly wrong, as the world will soon find out.

Bureaucratic corruption of our money system is unsustainable

Bureaucratic corruption of our money system is unsustainable. By Jeff Deist.

The great financial writer James Grant probably knows more about interest rates than anyone on the planet. So we should pay attention when he suggests America’s four-decade experiment in rates that only go down, down, and down appears to be over.

The striking thing about the bond market and interest rates is that they tend to rise and fall in generation-length intervals. No other financial security that I know of exhibits that same characteristic. But interest rates have done that going back to the Civil War period, when they fell persistently from 1865 to 1900. They then rose from 1900 to 1920, fell from 1920 or so to 1946, and then rose from 1946 to 1981—and did they ever rise in the last five or 10 years of that 35-year period. Then they fell again from 1981 to 2019–20.

So each of these cycles was very long-lived. This current one has been, let’s say, 40 years. That’s one-and-a-half successful Wall Street careers. You could be working in this business for a long time and never have seen a bear market in bonds. And I think that that muscle memory has deadened the perception of financial forces that would conspire to lead to higher rates.

—James Grant, speaking to the Octavian Report …

One fears our under-forty financiers really have little understanding of the basic function of interest rates, a function Mises explained so clearly more than one hundred years ago. Interest rates should act as “prices,” as Mr. Grant states, or more precisely, as exchange ratios. They bring together borrowers and savers, thus performing a critical function of capital markets and allocating resources to their best and highest uses.

Yet, in 2022, interest rates are widely viewed as policy tools. They are economic controls, determined and tinkered with by technocratic central bankers when the economy overheats or chills. We expect central banks to “set” interest rates, an impossibility in the long run but also a perverse goal in a supposedly free economy.

What other prices do we want centrally planned? Food, energy, housing? Should the Fed direct how many cars GM produces in 2022, the price of a bushel of wheat, or the hourly wage for an Amazon warehouse employee? Is this the Soviet Union?

Of course not. But those who view money as a political creation are once again prone to fundamental errors. They don’t understand money qua money. They certainly cannot imagine a world without “monetary policy,” which is plainly a form of central planning. …

This four-decade experiment in price fixing of interest rates, described as cyclical by Mr. Grant, not surprisingly corresponds with a dramatic rise in the US M1 money supply. In January 1982, the Fed’s “narrow money” was less than $450 billion. In January 2022, it was more than $20 trillion — roughly forty-four times bigger!

Bureaucratic fiddling with interest rates creates the illusion of wealth (look at how much money our assets are worth!), but only in the short term. And look who benefited most:

We can call this monetary hedonism: a combination of low rates and ever-growing money supply designed to create an illusion of real wealth. Monetary hedonism is an arrangement which encourages our whole society to live beyond its means, using monetary policy rather than direct tax-and-spend policy. It directly benefits both the Beltway and the banking classes, who enjoy an exorbitant political privilege due to their proximity to newly created cheap money. After all, Congress can service $30 trillion+ of debt with interest payments of less than $400 billion—thanks to a weighted average interest rate of only about 1.6 percent on that debt. …

Yet there is always a price to be paid for unearned profligacy. The hangover follows the party. We all sense it. A reckoning is coming for the inflationary US dollar. That reckoning will come for entitlements, for congressional spending, for deranged US foreign policy, and for Treasury holders.

But this economic reckoning is not the full story. We must also consider the incalculable but rarely considered social and cultural costs.

What happens to society when spending is encouraged and saving is for chumps? … This is the perversity of our times: with inflation rates higher than savings rates, the overwhelming incentive is to spend and borrow rather than produce and save. …

The good old days were different:

When lots of people save and invest, across society, we call it capital accumulation. And as Hoppe posits, this is not just economic — it is cultural and civilizational. Thrifty people like our grandparents, generation after generation, bequeathed to us an almost unimaginable world of affordable food, water, habitation, transportation, communication, medicine, and material goods of every kind. They did this out of love and sacrifice, but they also did it because the monetary system rewarded saving.

Today, the opposite is true. Monetary policy across the West is an agent of decivilization. It upends the natural, innate human impulse to save for a rainy day and leave our children better off. It encourages consumption over production, profligacy over thrift, and political promises today that will be paid for by savers and taxpayers tomorrow. Monetary policy degrades and deforms the economy, but ultimately its corrosive effects impact the broader culture.

The culmination of banking evolution draws nearer, as real debt levels creep ever higher.

Corporate Australia’s crocodile tears

Corporate Australia’s crocodile tears. By Damian Coory.

Having sat on their hands while liberalism was annihilated in Australia, our corporate leaders are reportedly in shock at the news we have a Treasurer and Prime Minister determined to drive the greatest central control of our economy since the Whitlam era.

Spare me. …

The only business people who will suffer are — as always — small business, tradies, and the self-employed. The segment that employs more than half the nation’s workers, pays most of the tax, and is by far the most productive.

Those who enjoy the comforts and hide in the cracks of incompetence and inefficiency that riddle large organisational structures, will remain untouched, whether they’re public servants or corporate bureaucrats. Not only won’t they feel any pain from the Albo-Chalmers’ socialist ego trip, they’ll benefit from it. Hence bullets made of cotton wool are being fired from the organisations that claim to speak for private enterprise.

Large business hates small business. Small business represents the people who were good enough at their jobs and confident enough to walk away from the ‘machine’ to make it on their own two feet. They provide services and products more efficiently and more cheaply and often with a much better attitude than big business could ever hope to. The only way big business can win is to tie them up in bureaucracy. Red and green tape that is designed to suffocate…

Big corporations, both global and domestic, love it when big government talks about regulation. They know that only they have the size and scale to absorb the ridiculous waste inherent in meeting all the increased administrative requirements and paperwork and approvals that big government regulation brings in the name of ‘fairness’ and ‘safety’. Admin is toxic to small business and owner-operators. Every minute stuck behind a computer doing admin is one less minute spent doing the job that adds real value. Since most of that stuff is done ‘after hours’ it’s time stolen from small business peoples’ family and social lives too. Often too big a price to pay for many. …

Has he thought this through?

Went straight from his PhD in Canberra into politics. No private sector experience.

Jim Chalmers’ 600-word manifesto (+5,400 words of insufferable undergraduate-level waffle) promises a ‘new sustainable finance architecture which will rate the climate impact of different investments’.

The 44-year-old boy from Logan, who holds a PhD in political science but has never run a business, is sure that where 20th century leftist leaders dramatically failed, he will succeed.

Jim Chalmers can ‘fix capitalism’, according to … Jim Chalmers.

Good government:

Somebody forgot to tell Jim that capitalism works best when you don’t try to ‘fix’ it, but lightly regulate its excesses and then leave it alone.

Benefits of the free market come from the ‘free’ bit. Leave the market to do its thing, and innovation will thrive, inefficient operators will fail and die out, those who add the most value will flourish, competition will drive profit margins and prices down, and everyone benefits.

It’s inherently democratic — millions of people making millions of tiny decisions daily — leading almost always to the best outcomes.

Good government doesn’t seek to change that. Good government seeks only to lightly regulate where the market fails, which is usually where competition is lost to monopoly, or adverse consequences require some standards to be set and policed, to ensure a level playing field.

Good government is a referee, but Jim and his ilk want to play the game. And they want to play in every position on the field all at once, happy to sideline the Ronaldos and Maradonas while they do so. What could possibly go wrong?

Our education system has been run by lefties for a couple of decades, and most are too old to remember Whitlam’s economic problems, so here we are in Australia about to learn the lesson again.