Is It Ethical to Purchase a Lithium Battery Powered EV?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

With numerous state governors have issued executive orders to phase out the purchasing of gasoline-driven cars within the next decade or so, and the automobile manufacturers’ efforts to phase into only manufacturing EVs here’s some food for thought about the lack of transparency about “Clean Energy Exploitations”.

The top image is an oil well, where 100 percent organic material is pumped out of the ground, taking up around 500 to 1000 square feet. Then it flows in pipelines safely transporting the oil to refineries to be manufactured into usable oil derivatives that are the basis of more than 6,000 products for society, and into transportation fuels needed by the world’s heavy-weight and long-range infrastructures of aviation, merchant ships, cruise ships, and militaries.

The lower image is just one lithium supply mine where entire mountains are eliminated. Each mine usually consists of thirty-five to forty humongous 797 Caterpillar haul trucks along with hundreds of other large equipment. Each 797 uses around half a million gallons of diesel a year. So, with an inventory of just thirty-five, the haul trucks alone are using 17.5 million gallons of fuel a year for just one lithium site.

There is virtually non-existing transparency of the environmental degradation and the human rights abuses occurring in developing countries with yellow, brown, and black-skinned people. Both human rights abuses and environmental degradation are directly connected to the mining of the exotic minerals and metals that are required to manufacture wind turbines, solar panels, and EV batteries.

Today, a typical EV battery weighs one thousand pounds. It contains twenty-five pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds of cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside are over 6,000 individual lithium-ion cells.

It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each EV auto battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just one battery.

The current fossil fuel infrastructure is less invasive than mining for the exotic minerals and metals required to create the batteries needed to store “green energy”. In developing countries, these mining operations exploit child labor and are responsible for the most egregious human rights’ violations of vulnerable minority populations. These operations are also directly destroying the planet through environmental degradation. The 2022 Pulitzer Prize-nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations – Helping Citizens Understand the Environmental and Humanity Abuses That Support Clean Energy“, does an excellent job of discussing the lack of transparency to the world of the green movement’s impact upon humanity.

How many environmentalists are going to support lithium mines in America? There are two things needed to make the EV technology work for the billions of lightweight cars:

Get the mining practices for these exotic minerals and metals to the point that they are acceptable to the environmental movement and stop the environmental degradation and humanity atrocities occurring in developing countries where people are being exploited with yellow, brown, and black skin.

Further development of battery technology to somewhat clone how phones have been reduced in “size” with smaller and smaller batteries and increased capabilities in those small phones and reduce the alarming tendency of lithium batteries and their charging sources from spontaneously catching fire without warning.

If You’re Worried About Rising Gas Prices, watch this 11- minute video about why NOT buy an EV. Since you’ve probably read about EV fires, here’s a site that keeps tabs just on TESLA EV fires https://www.tesla-fire.com/, now at 85 and growing almost daily.

So, the next time you are thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle, or driving your EV car, before congratulating yourselves on saving the environment, remember that it came at a cost of entire mountains in developing countries, thousands of square miles of land and billions of gallons of oil and fuel.

We should all know that an electric vehicle battery does not “make” electricity – it only stores electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, and occasionally by intermittent breezes and sunshine. So, to say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid as 80 percent of the electricity generated to charge the batteries is from coal, natural gas, and nuclear.

Since twenty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from coal-fired plants, it follows that twenty percent of the EVs on the road are coal-powered.

Since forty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from natural gas, it follows that forty percent of the EVs on the road are natural gas-powered.

Since twenty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S is from nuclear, it follows that twenty percent of the EVs on the road are nuclear-powered.

Life Without Oil is NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU MAY THINK as renewable energy is only intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine as NEITHER wind turbines nor solar panels can manufacture anything for society. Climate change may impact humanity but being mandated to live without the products manufactured from oil will necessitate lifestyles being mandated back to the horse and buggy days of the 1800s and could be the greatest threat to civilization’s eight billion residents.

America’s obsession with green electricity to reduce emissions must be ethical and should not thrive off human rights and environmental abuses in the foreign countries providing the exotic minerals and metals to support America’s green passion. Check out the quick 7-minute video interview between Ronald Stein and Rick Amato on “Your America TV” about The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) movement to divest in fossil fuels, that may be leading society back to the decarbonized world of the 1800s and before.

So, before your next vehicle purchase, be knowledgeable that most of the exotic minerals and metals to build EV batteries are being mined in developing countries.

EV buyers should be aware that they may be contributing to the pursuit of “blood minerals” to achieve their efforts to go green. If you feel comfortable supporting the environmental degradation and humanity atrocities occurring in those developing countries, then proceed with your purchase.

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This article was published by CFACT, Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow and is reproduced with permission.

What are ESG Scores?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

And why are so many advocates of liberty deeply concerned about them?

 

Klaus Schwab and a growing list of powerful global economic and political elites, including BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and President Joe Biden, have recently committed to a global “reset” of the prevailing school of economic thought. They seek to supplant the entrenched “shareholder doctrine” of capitalism, which—as Milton Friedman famously espoused over 50 years ago—holds that the only purpose of a corporate executive is to maximize profits on behalf of company shareholders.

To replace shareholder capitalism, Schwab, Fink, Biden, and a legion of their peers have promulgated a nouveau “stakeholder doctrine,” commonly referred to as “stakeholder capitalism.” This approach, which aims to harness the growing clamor for more socially conscious corporate decision-making, authorizes, incentivizes, and even coerces corporate executives and directors to work on behalf of social objectives deemed by elites to be desirable for all corporate stakeholders—including communities, workers, executives, and suppliers.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores—a social credit framework for sustainability reporting—are being used as the primary mechanism to achieve the shift to a stakeholder model. They measure both financial and non-financial impacts of investments and companies and serve to formally institutionalize corporate social responsibility in global economic infrastructure.
Environment, social, and governance scores are theoretically supposed to incentivize “responsible investing” by “screening out” companies that do not possess high ESG scores while favorably rating those companies and funds that make positive contributions to ESG’s three overarching categories. A company’s ESG score has become a primary component of its risk profile.
Who Are the agents responsible for this shift, and what have they done to bring it about?

Although there have been many ESG frameworks developed over the past decade, in the past three years alone, three major documents and compacts have been signed by a coalition of corporate governors, political elites, central bank directors, international organization representatives, and other powerful individuals. Together, they have had a substantial impact on the global economy and the shift to ESG.

In August 2019, The Business Roundtable (TBR)—comprised of 181 of the most powerful corporate executives in the United States—officially revised its conception of a corporation’s purpose to “promote an economy that serves all Americans.” The companies these CEOs represent hail from nearly all sectors of the U.S. economy, including major financial institutions, media conglomerates, technology firms, defense contractors, pharmaceutical companies, and myriad others.

Many of these executives are likely unaware that their  ESG ideas come dangerously close to the social credit system run by the Chinese Communist Party. It applies to corporations instead of individuals, but the principles are the same. Nor do they likely recognize that their policies result in starving the fossil fuel industry of capital, thus contributing to soaring energy costs to consumers and rampant inflation. Besides Biden, think of these leaders when you fill up your tank!

For businessmen to betray the principles of private ownership of capital, and free enterprise, and buy into the agenda of a particular political party, marks quite a change in the role of business in society. Heretofore, with the exception of tax-free foundations funded by businesses (think of the Ford Foundation), corporations rarely have been so politically active outside of election activities. This is causing evolutionary tension with our political parties. The Democrat party increasingly has become the party of Big Money and Big corporations, while the Republican party is increasingly less friendly to Big Business and sides more with small business people and consumers.

A case in point is the state of Florida. Previously quite friendly to Walt Disney, state leaders took affront when that giant corporation that had received special favors from the state, decided it would take it upon itself to interfere directly and publicly with legislation that would restrict the teaching of transgender ideology to those in kindergarten through the third grade. The result was the loss to Walt Disney of the Reedy Improvement district, which gave that corporation almost the power of self-government.

You will note in the map provided, that Arizona has down well on this front, largely due to Republicans in the legislature.

If the upcoming elections go badly for Democrats and the Green New Deal, Republicans need to keep in mind that Big Business has not been their friend. The result should be a reexamination of the relations of business to government. Special favors, subsidies, and tax breaks, all need to be eliminated. Republicans should strive to eliminate regulations and barriers that reduce competition.  It is bad enough to have socialism constantly foisted upon us by Democrats. It is quite another to expect that from Big Business. Republicans will have to deal with “Business Roundtable” types within our own ranks.

Vote with your dollars as well and try to avoid doing business with corporations that betray your trust and the economic system that made this country great. More than half the country identifies as conservative so make these companies pay whenever you can. True, it takes some work to find substitutes, but where you can, hit them in the pocketbook. But it is easy in some cases to avoid buying shoes for example from Nike, buying anything from Disney, buying a car from GM, and turning off the NBA is quite easy. Some choices, like the NBA, are not even “necessities” in the normal course of life and can easily be dismissed. Find money managers other than BlackRock, and move your checking account away from Chase and other large banks, to smaller independent banks. It can be difficult finding substitutes on occasion but where you can, avoid doing business and avoid buying the stocks of companies in the Business Roundtable, or at least directors of the Roundtable.You can actually make spending your money a political “lifestyle” choice.  It is fun and you will feel good about doing so.

Corporate leaders will soon get the message.  If you go woke, you will go broke.  Other than the transgender craze, nothing has been more woke than ESG.

 

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This article is adapted from materials published by The Heartland Institute and is reproduced with permission.  However, the opinions are that of the author.

Instead of Uniting the World, Globalization Has Set Nation against Nation

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Total globalization has brought the world order into crisis. The difference in interests, conditions, and opportunities, as well as the socioeconomic regimes of the participants initially implied risks of imbalances. As a result, the wrong policy of coordination—excessive integration with resource autocracies or forced physical (military) coercion to change regimes—led the situation to economic and ideological contradictions. The world has once again clustered into democratic and authoritarian and is obviously already in a phase of conflict between the two poles, deglobalization trends, and a tightening of economic and social conditions.

Integration problems and deglobalization processes have also begun in developed countries, such as the problems of the European Union’s economic homogeneity and Brexit. However, these are the problems of homogeneous liberal democracies. Accordingly, whatever contradictions they possess, the processes of finding equilibrium are on a civilized track. Moreover, as the focus shifts from internal contradictions to external contradictions, to threats from the authoritarian world, internal imbalances weaken and, on the contrary, integration processes begin to strengthen again. A vivid example of this is the creation of various alliances in various areas, such as the Anglo-Saxon alliance, the alliance of a special US information-exchange regime with Pacific countries, a potential cartel of oil consumers, and, finally, the cohesion of democracies with regard to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Until now, Western democracies have followed mainly two political directions with respect to autocracies: external military intervention or deep socioeconomic integration with a de facto agreement to maintain authoritarian regimes according to the principle “your internal affairs are your affairs.” Both, as we can now see, have negative consequences.

On the one hand, attempts at institutional liberalization and democratization of autocracies and dictatorships through military intervention and forced external forms of reform of the socioeconomic frame are obviously an inefficient way to civilize autocratic regimes for a number of reasons. Métis in autocracies—that is, ethical and cultural values, customs, traditions, and established social rhetoric—contradict or are in some way inconsistent with the liberal market values of the Western world.

Elites have no positive incentives to change preferences, and the population has no positive incentives to protest. Thus, military invasion and the use of force exacerbate the social crisis, fail to create the conditions and incentives for liberalization and delay the transformation of the mestizo for the entrenchment of market institutions and democracy.

On the other hand, the deep integration of autocracies into global value-added processes, primarily to reduce production and resource costs, has led to a significant strengthening and reinforcement of authoritarian regimes. In autocracies, elites are rent-seeking entrepreneurs unfettered by society. Their success and well-being depend on budget revenues, and under conditions of expanding global integration, such regimes ensure for themselves an increase in budget revenues and maximize their sustainability. There is no question of access to the budget: in authoritarian regimes, this is an absolute monopoly of the regime elite, and competition can only come from the inside.

When budget revenues are large, they are enough to ensure the stability of the status quo of the ruling elite. Against the background of the concept of “noninterference” in the internal affairs of such authoritarian countries, the stability of their regimes, ensured by the abovementioned factors, entails the expansion of opportunities for the ruling elites in propaganda, obtaining public support, repression of dissenters, and—most importantly—in potential external aggression.

An alternative path to the first two described above is a policy of disintegration, a policy of limiting the involvement of authoritarian regimes in global economic and social processes on the same terms. This is a necessary measure to both reduce the production and resource dependence of the developed world on resource dictatorships and create incentives to change or transform regimes in the future and incline the necessary cooperation in the present. Such constraints would reduce the opportunities for rent-seeking enrichment by autocratic elites, increase social discontent through falling incomes and living standards, and reduce opportunities for external aggression.

Reducing the production outsourcing and logistics potential of autocratic economies, as well as their resource exports, will reduce the dependence of the civilized world on resource and production-component imports and will strengthen production and resource security.

Disintegration with autocracies may well give impetus to progradation in various aspects: both in alternative energy and technology since higher costs and lower margins in the new rigid environment will be an incentive to innovative development and search for ways to improve efficiency.

The resource and production leverage provided by autocratic regimes is actually some kind of “resource curse” of Western economies when the motivation to increase efficiency and innovation falls against the background of voluminous and cheap resources. Such leverage has contributed to the decline of entrepreneurial initiative and individual responsibility in the Western world, expanding state expansion and social subsidies. As a result, agents’ dependence on the state increased, and redistribution of benefits became more vertical.

This is why, paradoxically, the tightening of economic conditions in advanced economies can stimulate the state to reduce social welfare and expenditures, and economic agents to increase entrepreneurial initiative and individual responsibility. In other words, it would stimulate a shift away from the “leftist” discourse of social and economic policy toward the important ethical and social values of market capitalism, individualism, and meritocracy.

In fact, such a disintegrative policy could take several directions.

The first direction is the creation of so-called friendly chains—i.e., the building of resource and production close ties within friendly countries. This implies the removal of much of the production capacity outside the autocratic countries and the relocation of resource sources.

The second direction is the creation of a maximum number of restrictions that cut off authoritarian regimes from global economic processes and create unfavorable conditions for their domestic economies. This is realized through sanctions restrictions, both direct and indirect, aimed at creating an intolerable environment for creative economic activity.

The third direction is positive incentives aimed at the elites as the force that actually makes decisions, and at the population, which can be a catalyst for such decisions. Here it is important to understand that it is possible to condition the progressive decisions of both the elites (be it a voluntary change of political course by the current government or a change through a forced rotation within the elites, usually referred to as a palace coup) and the population, to give impetus to their passion in the right direction only when both of them as agents understand and correctly assess the benefits and costs. And for this, firstly, it is necessary to clearly mark up the benefits, costs, and tasks, and secondly, to create the conditions that condition the change of preferences and maximize the efforts of the elites and the population in regime change.

In fact, all this is already relevant and is being implemented, unfortunately, with a great delay and in completely different extreme conditions. The aggressive geopolitical actions of a single autocracy in eastern Europe have forced Western countries to adopt this political paradigm, putting an end to a conciliatory policy that has lasted since at least 2007.

The externalities for the developed world will certainly be significant. Moreover, they are already significant today. They take two main forms: social and economic. Economic effects are inflation as a result of resource—and production—deficits arising from recanalizations.

The social negative effects are a continuation of the economic ones: an increase in social tensions amid falling incomes and rising costs caused by inflationary spiking. In authoritarian countries, the inevitable growth of social tensions will lead, among other things, to increased immigration to developed countries.

However, both of these externalities can be neutralized in the foreseeable future, as I will discuss in my next article. What I can say here is that models and research on this topic clearly point to acceptable ways of dealing with these problems.

Another important potential cost is geopolitical. It is the intensification of the processes of unification of autocracies. However, autocracies are different, and it is necessary to create conditions in which autocracies are more comfortable cooperating with the developed world and changing their preferences than joining the camp of authoritarian regimes. In fact, this is exactly what has been done with respect to Russia now, including all sorts of sanctions and impending restrictions on imports of hydrocarbons. Creating conditions of contradiction between the interests of the various autocracies and stimulating their transformation is a necessary part of the policy of disintegration.

Limiting integration and encouraging regime change is a long-term process. However, one must understand that the world order has indeed changed. It is neither possible nor dangerous to be in a state of illusory optimism and to believe that maximum rapprochement with countries where authoritarian regimes are entrenched, social openness, geopolitical inclusiveness, and productive globalization is the real path to a bright future. It is precisely this kind of conciliatory policy or, on the contrary, the policy of forced external military intervention that has brought the world into a state of turbulence.

The path to cooperation under conditions of acute conflict and lack of empathy lies in two directions: coercion of the opposite side through negative and positive incentives and the alignment, or maximization, of the costs of both sides. 

The first is the way the developed world should go, and the second is the way of direct confrontation, which should be avoided. The West with great delay is following the first path. We can only hope that there is an understanding that the second path is a disaster.

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This article was published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute and is reproduced with permission.

A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment May Be Our Only Hope.

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Over the last few decades, no force on earth has been able to halt the explosive growth of US federal debt.

At the conclusion of WWII, fiscal conservatives were aghast that our national debt had ballooned to $259 billion. By the end of the Vietnam war it stood at $533 billion and, despite urgent warnings, was over $5,674 billion by the end of the century. Today it stands at $30,000 billion ($30 trillion) after the Biden administration’s horrific spending spree conducted under the pretext of limiting the fallout from Covid.

The reason is pretty simple. Spending other peoples’ money is politically popular. Taxes are not and budget-cutting is risky.

We have developed a political culture in which the reelection of incumbents is the highest of all priorities. It is considered perfectly acceptable to just kick the can down the road and let future generations sort out the consequences of our selfishness.

So, for example, when Bush 43 attempted to propose desperately needed reforms for Medicare and Medicare, he was mercilessly demagogued for “pushing granny over the cliff”. His Republican allies deserted him and the effort collapsed.  Nobody has tried any such thing since, although debt reduction is mathematically impossible without entitlement reform.

It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is going. Interest rates are rising, while serious geopolitical threats are forming. We’re backing ourselves into a position of severe internal and external weakness at just the wrong time.

Yet the political class remains unmoved. Some pay lip service to fiscal discipline, but the spending goes on unabated.  Student loans, accommodations for illegal immigrants, and missiles for Ukraine on the condition that no Russians will be harmed by their use are all embraced as if unlimited funds are available.

Fortunately, our forefathers anticipated that the government they created would attempt to exceed its limited constitutional powers. They gave the states a powerful tool to defend themselves – the right to amend the constitution on their own.

Article V of the constitution mandates that Congress “shall” call a constitutional convention when requested to do so by 2/3 of the states and that any amendments proposed when ratified by 3/4 of the states become “Part of this Constitution”.

The founders would be disappointed to know that the states have never exercised this extraordinary privilege. Thomas Jefferson, knowing how these things go, thought a convention of the states would be needed every generation or so to reign in federal government encroachments.

Instead, the states have stood meekly by as the federal government has far surpassed them in power and prestige to the point where calling a convention of the states is seen as an act of rebellion against authority.

But nothing else has worked to restrain federal spending. Millions of dollars have been spent to elect self-described fiscal conservatives, yet it’s beyond obvious that Congress will never reform itself.

Of course, the convention-of-the-states idea has its enemies. Opposition from the spenders on the left is understandable because they don’t want to end their gravy train. But it is the alliance between the left and conservative stalwarts like the Eagle Forum and John Birch Society which have effectively stalled progress.

Their arguments are fear-inspired. Their principle objection is the perceived threat of a “runaway convention“, the fear that in a constitutional convention, there would be nothing to stop special interest groups from pushing their agendas from banning abortion to banning guns.

Hogwash. Even if the state legislatures fail to limit the authority of Convention delegates, 38 states must ratify any proposed amendments. That historically has been very strong protection.

Right-wing opposition seems mostly concerned that the convention could inflict lasting damage to the sanctity of our Constitution. The opposite is the truth.

Nothing could honor and strengthen the constitution more than using its own provisions to enable us to address our most urgent modern threat.  The other option is the Left’s practice of declaring a “living“ constitution that says whatever judges say it does.

It’s time for us to flex our democratic muscles and fulfill our destiny as free, optimistic, and proud Americans.  Our republic may be in the balance.

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Thomas C. Patterson, MD is a retired Emergency Medicine physician, Arizona state Senator and Arizona Senate Majority Leader in the ’90s. He is a former Chairman, Goldwater Institute.

 

How to Alleviate the Looming Global Hunger Crisis

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

A global food crisis is looming, so policymakers everywhere need to think hard about how to make food cheaper and more plentiful. That requires making a commitment to producing more fertilizer and better seeds, maximizing the potential offered by genetic modification, and abandoning the rich world’s obsession with organics.

Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine is making less food available because the two nations have been responsible for more than a quarter of global wheat exports and big quantities of barley, corn and vegetable oil. On top of punishing climate policies and the world emerging from the pandemic, prices of fertilizer, energy and transport are soaring, and food prices have climbed 61 percent over the last two years.

The war has exposed some harsh truths. One is that Europe — which portrays itself as a green energy trailblazer — is highly reliant on Russian gas, especially when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. The war has reaffirmed the basic reality that fossil fuels remain crucial for the vast majority of global needs. And the emerging food crisis now reveals another harsh truth: organic farming cannot feed the world and could even worsen future crises.

Long simply a fashionable trend for the world’s 1 percent, environmentalists have increasingly peddled the beguiling idea that organic farming can solve hunger. The European Union is actively pushing for a tripling of organic farming on the continent by 2030, while a majority of Germans actually think organic farming can help feed the world.

However, research conclusively shows that organic farming produces much less food than conventional farming per acre. Moreover, organic farming requires farmers to rotate soil out of production for pasture, fallow or cover crops, reducing its effectiveness. In total, organic approaches produce between a quarter and half less food than conventional, scientific-driven agriculture.

This not only makes organic food more expensive, but it means that organic farmers would need much more land to feed the same number of people as today — possibly almost twice the area. Given that agriculture currently uses 40 percent of Earth’s ice-free land, switching to organics would mean destroying large swathes of nature for less effective production.

The catastrophe unfolding in Sri Lanka provides a sobering lesson. The government last year enforced a full transition to organic farming, appointing organics gurus as agricultural advisers, including some who claimed dubious links between agricultural chemicals and health problems. Despite extravagant claims that organic methods could produce comparable yields to conventional farming, within months the policy produced nothing but misery, with some food prices quintupling.

Sri Lanka had been self-sufficient in rice production for decades, but tragically has now been forced to import $450 million worth of rice. Tea, the nation’s primary export crop and source of foreign exchange, was devastated, with economic losses estimated at $425 million. Before the country spiraled downward toward brutal violence and political resignations, the government was forced to offer $200 million in compensation to farmers and come up with $149 million in subsidies.

Sri Lanka’s organic experiment failed fundamentally because of one simple fact: it does not have enough land to replace synthetic nitrogen fertilizer with animal manure. To shift to organics and keep production, it would need five to seven times more manure than its total manure today.

Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, mostly made with natural gas, are a modern miracle, crucial for feeding the world. Largely thanks to this fertilizer, agricultural outputs were tripled in the last half-century, as the human population doubled. Artificial fertilizer and modern farming inputs are the reason the number of people working on farms has been slashed in every rich country, freeing people for other productive occupations.

In fact, one dirty secret of organic farming is that, in rich countries, the vast majority of existing organic crops depend on imported nitrogen laundered from animal manure, which ultimately comes from fossil fuel fertilizers used on conventional farms.

Without those inputs, if a country — or the world — were to go entirely organic, nitrogen scarcity quickly becomes disastrous, just as we saw in Sri Lanka. That is why research shows going organic globally can only feed about half the current world population. Organic farming will lead to more expensive, scarcer food for fewer people, while gobbling up more nature.

To sustainably feed the world and withstand future global shocks, we need to produce food better and cheaper. History shows that the best way to achieve that is by improving seeds, including by using genetic modification, along with expanding fertilizer, pesticides, and irrigation. This will allow us to produce more food, curb prices, alleviate hunger, and save nature.

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This article was published by AIER, American Institute for Economic Research, and is reproduced with permission.

2000 Mules Comes to Arizona

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The technical team behind the hit documentary 2000 Mules appeared at a hearing at the Arizona Legislature on May 31, 2022. The hearing was chaired by Shawnna Bolick, Representative from District 20 and a candidate for Arizona Secretary of State.

It was sadly a partisan affair as no Democrat legislators attended the hearing to hear any of the evidence or ask questions.

True the Vote, a Houston-based voter integrity organization, is the team that developed the data for the hit Dinesh D’Souza produced  film, which can be viewed here. 

Founder Catherin Engelbrecht and her chief investigator Gregg Phillips presented and took questions from the panel of state Senators and Representatives.

In the movie, ballot trafficking was described both in Yuma and Maricopa Counties, as well as in other states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Over 200 mules were determined to be operating in Maricopa County.

An investigation is currently underway by the Yuma Country Sheriff and a recall effort is also underway to remove Yuma Country Chairman Tony Reyes from office.

Much of their presentation was to explain to the legislators the methods that can be used to organize cell phone data to track individuals who are involved in ballot trafficking. These so-called “mules” are believed to be part of an operation funded by nonprofit organizations that statistically were capable of altering the outcome of the 2020 election.

Gregg Phillips spent considerable time explaining technical details such as what is geofence, the threshold criteria necessary to establish if the behavior of an individual is that of a mule, and the quality and accuracy of their data.

Basically, any common cell phone is actually a tracking device that is also capable of making phone calls. By triangulating among cell towers, the location of the phone can amazingly accurate. Each phone has a unique ID or DNA, and thus multiple trips to drop boxes can be scientifically confirmed. Bolstered by data obtained from cameras monitoring drop boxes, a compelling case can be made for illegal voter fraud.

Phillips also spent considerable time responding to critical articles written about the movie in the New York Times and Washington Post. In short, the bulk of the testimony was to build confidence that cell phone tracking is accurate and accepted in a court of law. Phillips made a point that the Federal Government is using just such data to prosecute people that engaged in the January 6th Capitol riot.

Cell phone companies can be requested by law enforcement to “unmask” the owner of a cell phone and thus with video as an additional backup, can actually identify an individual engaged in voter fraud.

With this information available, legislators urged whistleblowers to come forward now, and cooperate with law enforcement or face serious consequences later.

It is not clear from the testimony exactly how nonprofits came into possession of ballots for distribution by their mules. It is not clear who funded these nonprofits and how they can operate in violation of IRS rules.

When asked if such information had been turned over to the Arizona Attorney General, Gregg said they had provided information earlier at a meeting with three individuals from the AGs office. But there is some confusion about that and Gregg said they would provide the information a second time. What happened to the first batch of information, was not made clear.

As to the list of nonprofits engaged in voter fraud, Gregg said they have not made a list public because they did not want to get out in front of law enforcement. However, such a list can be made available at the proper time.

There were a number of concrete suggestions given to the legislators to firm up voter integrity.

Voter rolls need to be regularly purged.

It is necessary that the month, day, and year of birth be used, not just the year of birth as is currently done.

Drop boxes destroy pretty much the “chain of custody”. Ballots that are provided by mail, in combination with unsupervised drop boxes are an invitation to fraud.

If drop boxes are used, there should be security cameras at each location and officials review the footage.

Headed for Insolvency: Biden Administration Increases US Obligations Worldwide

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Watching the Biden administration, you’d think Uncle Sam didn’t have a care in the world. Washington is tossing more money at Ukraine, preparing to defend two more European nations, planning an Asia trip to enhance US alliances, sending troops to again battle Somali Islamists, and begging the new ruler of the United Arab Emirates to let America serve him better.

Yet the US is effectively bankrupt. The national debt already stands at 100 percent of GDP, nearing the post-World War II record. Deficits will remain at about $1 trillion annually even as COVID recedes. Democratic activists continue to press the administration to expand the federal soup line, with a massive student debt writedown. And Baby Boomers continue to retire, creating what will become a red ink tsunami in coming years.

Despite a world full of seeming chaos and conflict, America remains amazingly secure. There are no serious security threats in the Western Hemisphere. The challenges faced by America from governments it dislikes, such as Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Mexico, are mere annoyances compared to the challenges faced by most other nations, including those on Uncle Sam’s naughty list.

Indeed, the Biden administration admitted as much when it sent a delegation to Caracas to discuss the possibility of easing sanctions and returning Venezuelan oil to the market. The US has been unable to oust the Maduro dictatorship, but most Americans haven’t noticed. The lack of a competing power, let alone great power nearby, frees US policymakers to meddle around the globe.

Africa is a continent of much promise and tragedy. Somalia is a shell of its former self, damaged by the struggle between the Soviet Union and the US during the Cold War. President Joe Biden is sending American military personnel back to what remains of that nation. His purpose: to combat the al-Shabab Islamist militia and target its leadership. America’s withdrawal, ordered by President Donald Trump, was long overdue. Alas, Biden’s decision, noted in the New York Times by Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt, “will revive an open-ended American counterterrorism operation that has amounted to a slow-burn war through three administrations.” A plan for success that is not. Washington should leave the conflict to Somalis and their neighbors, which already are involved through the African Union.

Worse, and certainly more shameful, has been the administration’s kowtow to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Washington spent decades sending US troops to act as royal bodyguards. There was plausible justification during the Cold War when the Carter administration feared that the Soviet Union might seek to cut the West’s oil supply. That vague possibility, never very serious, disappeared long ago.

Defense is one thing, but the US has armed and supported the Saudi led, UAE supported brutal war against Yemen, making American officials complicit in endless war crimes. Outrageously, the administration apologized for not acting quick enough to protect Abu Dhabi from Yemeni retaliation for killing thousands of civilians. And neither state is paying back past US favors, rejecting desperate begging by Washington to hike oil production.

The US should suggest that the Saudi and Emirati royals use their expensive arsenals for defense rather than offense. In truth, the biggest threat to those regimes now is internal—how many Emiratis or Saudis want to die for a pampered royal elite? Let these regimes work together and with Israel to balance Iran, or even better, negotiate a modus vivendi allowing Sunnis and Shiites to live together in peace.

The President and Congress came up with $40 billion for Ukraine, almost as much as Russia devotes to its military in a year and more than European nations, other than France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, spend annually. This also is far more than the Europeans have provided to Kyiv, even though their collective economy is almost as large as America’s, and they long have refused to take their own defense seriously. Russia’s attack on Ukraine obviously matters much more to them than to the US. Amid the Europeans’ supposed military awakening, they should take the lead in backing Kyiv. So far, at least, the crisis that is supposed to energize European military outlays is costing Americans far more.

And that will get worse with the applications of Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Neither has been threatened by Moscow, which remains entangled in, and in danger of losing the war with Ukraine. Finland already has a competent force, and Kyiv has shown the way for Europe to defend itself devoting serious resources to territorial defense. The Europeans should focus on their security, not out-of-area excursions, such as in Libya a decade ago.

Neither Stockholm nor Helsinki is vital to America, which should be the primary criterion for Washington to issue a security guarantee. That is why the US and the rest of Europe refused to induct Ukraine into NATO, despite multiple promises to do so. No one was prepared to go to war for Kyiv with nuclear-armed Russia. There is no better reason to go to war with nuclear-armed Russia over Finland or Sweden.

And this would be primarily America’s burden. If Russia attacked Finland along its 810-mile border, it wouldn’t be Montenegro, Spain, or Italy that would send troops. Nor would Germany, North Macedonia, or Greece respond if Moscow used nuclear weapons. Adding two new countries to NATO would expand Americans’ military burdens yet again. President Eisenhower warned Washington against acting like “a modern Rome guarding the far frontiers with our legions.” If Europe doesn’t take over this burden when it perceives serious military danger, when will it do so?

And of course, there is Asia. The President is keen to restore America’s alliances there, too, which naturally means spending more money. He invited ASEAN members—representing Southeast Asian states—to the US and then headed off to Asia for summits with members of the Quad, as well as South Korea’s new president. The best response to China is for friendly regional powers cooperating to constrain the People’s Republic of China.

That, however, would require them to spend more money on their militaries and take responsibility for day-to-day security issues. Only now is Japan apparently ready to spend more than one percent of GDP on its military, after relying on the US to do the military heavy lifting for decades. The ruling party is talking about moving to two percent, but that is unlikely to occur unless Washington makes clear that the US no longer is going to be the guardian on station in the region. If someone should defend the unpopulated but contested Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands from the PRC, it should be Japan.

South Korea too. It carries a greater defense burden since the potential threat is bigger. The Republic of Korea has about 50 times the GDP, twice the population, and a vast technological lead over North Korea. And the ROK has come through the COVID pandemic while the North faces a potentially disastrous infectious tsunami with the Omicron variant having breached its sealed borders. Why should Washington continue to station an army division on the peninsula? Why shouldn’t ROK units be created and deployed to fill the gaps currently covered by US forces?

Foreign and military policy should reflect circumstances. A greater US role was required during the Cold War when friendly states were recovering from World War II, and both the USSR and PRC presented serious military challenges. That world is long over.

That doesn’t mean that Washington faces no security challenges. They are, however, different. Most important, friendly states can do far more for themselves and their regions. Instead of risking Americans’ lives further and longer and piling America’s debt higher and wider, President Biden should be shifting security responsibilities from the US to its defense welfare recipients.

*****

This article was published by AIER, American Institute for Economic Research, and is reproduced with permission.

‘It Became Necessary to Destroy the Country to Save It’

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Peter Arnett’s celebrated quote — “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it” — was a fabrication during the Vietnam War but has a macabre application to Ukraine. American fecklessness and Russian rapacity together will leave a grease spot where Ukraine used to be. It was all tragically, idiotically unnecessary.

I argued in 2008 and on many subsequent occasions, including the February 2014 note in PJ Media reposted below. The obvious course of action in Ukraine was to permit its people to vote for a divorce, as the Czechs and Slovaks did. Instead, we elected to keep the NATO option open for Ukraine, knowing that this was a red line for Russia. Never mind that Putin is a wicked fellow; he is a predictably wicked fellow with a well-defined understanding of Russian national interest, and his response to Ukraine’s prospective NATO membership was entirely predictable.

After three months of nearly-unanimous media predictions of the collapse of Russia, it now appears that the Russian army is close to controlling the Donbas. Extricating it will be difficult if not impossible. The result, as Henry Kissinger suggested at Davos last week, will be (eventually) a peace in which Ukraine cedes territory to Russia. All the “don’t appease Putin-Hitler” rhetoric will simply make us feel shabbier when we make the deal. We should feel shabby. We screwed this up on the grand scale.

Our bathetic outpouring of sympathy for Ukraine served mainly to obscure the ugly fact that Russia has better strategic weapons than we do (hypervelocity missiles and the S-400/500 air defense systems). No doubt the Russian army is corrupt, as Western commentators aver, but not so corrupt by orders of magnitude as our Pentagon, which pays top dollar for obsolete weapons while Russia and China innovate. The Javelin and Switchblade and Stinger are fine toys, but the West remains in fear of Russian nuclear weapons–as well as we should. The Biden Administration won’t send long-range missiles to Ukraine because it fears, correctly, that Ukraine might use them to attack targets deep inside Russia and start a broader war.

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Continue reading this article PJ Media.

The Sham of White Supremacy

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

According to President Biden, “terrorism from White supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today”, as he put it in an address to Congress. Attorney General Merrick Garland agreed, noting that “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists“ are the most dangerous element of domestic violence. Garland declared that we must “bring federal resources to bear“ and “adopt a broader societal response“ to the threat of white supremacy.

But it’s a slur to claim that Americans live in fear of White supremacists like the brown shirts of yore. In reality, White supremacists are a small fringe group of pathetic losers who are despised by all.

Their gatherings often attract more attackers than members. No one raises money for their bail when they get in trouble like Kamala Harris did for BLM when their “mostly peaceful“ protests produced burning buildings and mass looting.

The Left media faithfully performs its task of propping up this imaginary threat. Incidents of white-on-black violence make headline news for days while pundits emphasize the role of systemic hate. Similar incidents with different racial dimensions are often underreported or ignored.

In early May, five outbreaks of violence occurred within a few days. A California Taiwanese church was shot up by a black man. Another black man killed workers in a Dallas salon. A white man killed shoppers in a Buffalo grocery store. Pro-life offices were fire-bombed in Wisconsin and Oregon.

President Biden, as usual, only paid attention to the one that fitted his white supremacy narrative. He seized upon the Buffalo incident as “proof of the poison with which White supremacy threatens America“. He vowed to not “let hate win“.

Even though the media’s over-reporting makes them seem more numerous, incidents like the Buffalo shooting are, statistically, isolated events. But the Buffalo murders don’t even qualify anecdotally as an example of right-wing-inspired terror.

C.E. Cupp on CNN explained the horrific incident by noting how “far right-wing media…stir up racial animus, ethnic animus, religious animus…getting people angry and afraid”. Another CNN expert compared Republicans to 1930s fascists and current Islamic dictatorships. “What these people want is a Christian white nationalist version of what you have in Iran today and Saudi Arabia“.

But the perp’s own 80-page manifesto reveals no hint of any such causation. Yes, he was deranged, a psychopath with an intense hatred of Blacks but no connections to White supremacy groups or ideology. He despised Fox News specifically and said he “wanted no part of conservatism“.

Though he was clearly not inspired by right-wing influences, commentators latched on anyway to the killer’s advocacy of “replacement theory“. The New York Times called it a “racist, fringe conspiracy theory“, but it’s nothing of the sort.

It’s simply the fact that the US white population is shrinking while the population total is growing, mostly due to immigration. The concern isn’t skin color but whether this demographic shift will contribute to the decline of America’s culture and values. Recent trends in minority support of Republicans give hope that this may not happen, but at any rate the observation is immaterial to White supremacy.

The Big Lie of pervasive White supremacy is deeply harmful. First, it serves as the pretext for our overgrown government to react to the “threat“ with a series of banana republic-style measures to suppress opposition.

The so-called Ministry of Truth was paused, but the DOJ has created task forces to counter “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists”, including members of the military and parents advocating before school boards, but not Antifa, BLM, or Muslims.

Second, the Big Lie precludes a serious discussion of realistic remedies for interracial violence and the ongoing carnage of young black men. We should do away with gun-free zones, which only reassure potential killers. We should work harder to keep guns out of the hands of the clearly deranged without a wholesale sacrificing of civil rights. We need to stop the push to decriminalize crime and denigrate police officers. And much more.

While we chase the chimera of White supremacy, real people continue to die.

Note: This column was written before the school shooting in Texas. Its conclusions are not affected.

*****

Thomas C. Patterson, MD is a retired Emergency Medicine physician, Arizona state Senator and Arizona Senate Majority Leader in the ’90s. He is a former Chairman, Goldwater Institute

 

“Dirty Political Trick”: Bill Barr Says Hillary Clinton Guilty Of ‘Sedition’

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Former US Attorney General Bill Barr says Hillary Clinton engaged in a “seditious” conspiracy against Donald Trump, and that he named Special Counsel John Durham to investigate what appears to have been a “dirty political trick” to paint the former president as a Russian stooge.

“I thought we were heading into a constitutional crisis. I think whatever you think of Trump, the fact is that the whole Russiagate thing was a grave injustice. It appears to be a dirty political trick that was used first to hobble him and then potentially to drive him from office,” Barr said on an upcoming episode of Glenn Beck’s Blaze TV podcast, adding “I believe it is seditious.”

An FBI investigation into Trump’s campaign over alleged ties to the Russian government during the 2016 election, known as Crossfire Hurricane, was the source of unceasing controversy for Trump throughout his presidency. Leaks from the investigation were used by the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign to accuse Trump of colluding with the Russians to interfere in the election, spawning conspiracy theories that his victory was illegitimate. After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, congressional Democrats accused him of attempting to obstruct the Russia probe, demanding the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Trump’s actions.

Barr says that when he appointed Durham to investigate the case, he was “highly confident” that the Biden administration, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, wouldn’t interfere.

“I was highly confident he would remain in office and they wouldn’t touch him,” he said, adding “The Biden administration had no real interest in protecting either Hillary Clinton or Comey.”

“And at the end of the day, for them to lose the capital and appear to be covering something up that would then never get resolved, I didn’t think was in their interest.”

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Continue reading this article at Zero Hedge.