Lead Us Not Into Destitution

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Uncle Volodya says, “The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room.” Especially if there is no cat.”

“It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.”

George Orwell, from “1984”

I went down to the bank this mornin’, ’bout half past nine
Well, I was lookin’ for a little somethin’ in the credit line
But the man said, “Look, what we got here, Sonny
There’s too much month at the end of the money”

Marty Stuart, from, “There’s Too Much Month (at the end of the money)”

What I wanted to do with this post was to highlight the unprecedented simple-mindedness with which Germany is sleepwalking into a profound economic catastrophe, which – if left to run the course its idiot government has charted – will see the ruin or relocation of core industries, the collapse of its status as the powerhouse economy of Europe and the cratering of living standards for many of its population. I thought a good way to start might be to cite an example of comparable stupidity, but that proved much harder than I thought it would be. I searched for “examples of stupidity by national governments”, but what mostly came up were jackhole lists of ‘the worst-governed countries’ as compiled by self-congratulatory think tanks like the Legatum Institute. Ha, ha; sorry, something just struck me funny – look; back in 2015, Ukraine made the list of the 25 worst-governed countries as rated by that collection of ersatz intellectuals. Of course, that was before the Churchill of Chernivtsi, the Napoleon of Novovolynsk, the Rommel of Rozdilna, the almost-too-much-humble-genius-to-fit-into-a-green-T-shirt super-fucking-size-me statesman, Volodymyr Zelensky, emerged to take the helm of the country Europe now recognizes it cannot do without. But let’s not get sidetracked. We are not here to talk about Ukraine, except peripheral recognition of its role as prime mover to a catastrophe.

Any discussion of the shit avalanche Germany is standing under, shouting up, would be incomplete without a short sidebar about how useless its present leader, Olaf Scholz, is. And again, that was much harder than I thought: the question that immediately springs to mind is – how the hell did this chocolate teapot become the leader of Europe’s most powerful and energetic economy? And I’m not quite sure myself. I know it’s not an elected position; at least, not a general election with a public vote. No, the Chancellor is elected by the members of the German Parliament. That suggests ample latitude for politics rather than what is good for the public or who might make a good leader for this reason or that. And Scholz struck a coalition agreement with the paint-chip-eating Greens, awarding the powerful positions of Foreign Minister and Economics Minister, as well as Vice Chancellor, to loopy Green ideologues Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck. And it is those two who are really running Germany, and the direction they are running it right now is on a collision course with the earth’s core. Right into the ground.

The former cannot seem to get her stories straight, claiming at various occasions to be a member of the German Marshall Fund and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and an international lawyer – she was none of those – plagiarizing passages of her book, “Now. How We Renew Our Country” and declining to disclose all of her income. The latter, Habeck, sounded positively ebullient when he announced that Germany was ready for a shutoff of Russian gas: “Habeck, a member of the governing coalition partner Greens, acknowledged that if Germany were to cut off supplies of Russian gas, there would be a gap initially that would certainly “drive prices higher.” Habeck added, “As far as the short-term price increases and the burden on consumers and businesses are concerned, we will provide relief elsewhere.” Continue reading “Lead Us Not Into Destitution”

Complete Gas Shutoff – Terrible! Resumption of Deliveries – Even Terribler.

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Uncle Volodya says, “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

Energy can be directed;
I’m turning it up, I’m turning it down…

From “Switchin’ to Glide” by The Kings

“The most dangerous irony is, people are angry with others because of their own incompetence.”

Amit Kalantri, from  Wealth of Words

I came by the reference I want to talk about in this post through a roundabout and somewhat bizarre path. More than a decade ago, a friend implored me to join LinkedIn so that I could add an endorsement to his professional qualifications. I did both, but my LinkedIn account has lain more or less dormant since then. If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, it has some things in common with Facebook, and they are mostly the reasons I have avoided Facebook. Both send you a non-stop stream of clickbait: “Mark Chapman, you appeared in 4 searches this week!” so that you will be overcome with curiosity as to who could be looking for you, and down the rabbit-hole you go for hours and hours. Both use algorithms and things you have written or read to match you with people who might be acquaintances, and try to get you to build a network of friends and contacts that the program uses to link you to other networks, and so on and so on.

Which is how I keep getting notifications that Edward Lucas has posted something. Yes, that Edward Lucas, the talking spittoon, Estonia’s first digital citizen, fighting cock of the Baltic Republics and noted Russophobe, onetime compiler of birdcage carpeting at The Economist.

The foregoing considered, it will not surprise you, then, that I would be as likely to eat soup made from boiling turnips and Boris Johnson’s bicycle seat as I would be to pay attention to further gobbling from Lucasville. Normally I just alternate between my LinkedIn messages and the ‘delete’ button. This time the message said “Edward Lucas has shared a link”, and although I could not care less if he shared a bathtub with Satan, something in the tagline made me pause: “Edward Lucas, prospective political candidate for….”

You have got to be shitting me. But no! It’s true. Edward Lucas, as addled as a pithed frog, is dipping a toe in the turbulent waters of national politics – as a Liberal Democrat, no less.

Let’s take a look.

“Hello, I’ve finally reached the point of no return. Democracy is in danger. We need to save it.

I’ve tried journalism, writing books, thinktanks, punditry and advising governments. None of it has worked. We are being cheated and lied to at home. Our enemies are menacing abroad.”

Well, he started out far more honestly than most politicians do, although I would suggest he went past the point of no return several stops back. But it can only be a gift for political dissembling that resulted in the phrase “None of it has worked” when the truth would have looked more like “I sucked at all of them”. Perhaps he is destined for politics.

We could probably go on like this for quite some time; it’s been a while since I got going on the subject of Edward Lucas, and I’d forgotten how much I like it. But to tell the truth, I also checked out the post he linked, and it is the subject of today’s discussion.

As you’re all aware, Russia ordered its western gas customers to pay for the commodity in rubles, to Gazprombank in Russia so that the funds would be safe in Russia from western ‘confiscation’ The reason for this was the theft of approximately $300 billion from Russian accounts in western banks, which had served to receive payments by western gas customers. By seizing these funds, western countries announced that they were helping themselves to Russian gas for free, while the blatant theft served as warning that if Russia continued to supply contracted volumes of gas, its western customers would consider it a gift, since payments could be confiscated at any time. The order to pay in rubles, or to make other arrangements for gas deliveries, was effective at the beginning of April this year.

There was a great show of unified resistance, and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša announced huffily that ‘nobody in Europe’ would pay for gas in rubles. That proved tohttps://clipartspub.com/images/plumbing-clipart-cartoon-3.png be one of those predictions like “telephones will never be taken seriously as a means of communication” by the President of Western Union in 1876, or the official rejection of The Beatles by Decca Records in 1962: “The Beatles have no future in show business. We don’t like your boys’ sound. Groups are out. Four-piece groups with guitars, particularly, are finished.” Within a month of the directive, nine EU member states had opened ruble accounts with Gazprombank and four of them had already commenced payment in rubles. Poland and Bulgaria vehemently and loudly refused – in Poland’s case, likely because it believes itself a natural leader and that if it hung tough, everybody would follow: I’m afraid it is forever getting that wrong. Poland and Bulgaria had their gas supply cut off, and became dependents of the Union. Just a few days ago, Latvia’s supply was also shut off, making the naughty-corner occupants Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark, all of whom refused to comply with the ruble-account requirement. Additionally, delivery to Germany’s Shell Energy Europe was terminated. Latvia replied, “So what? Who cares?” and told anyone who would listen that it had already planned to cease all imports of Russian gas as of January 1st, 2023. How they plan to do that must still be a closely-guarded Latvian state secret, since Latvia’s dependency on Russian gas in 2021 was 92%; probably they meant “the EU will give us free gas”. Eastern European countries frequently attribute magical powers to the EU major states which are second only to those of Gandalf.

In mid-July, Russia declared force majeure on its contracted gas supplies, due to the refusal to return a critical gas turbine which had been sent to Canada for scheduled maintenance, whereupon Canada refused to return it, citing sanctions. Gas supply was reduced to 40% of contracted volumes, and after the scheduled maintenance on Nord Stream I was completed, reduced to 20%. Force Majeure is a mechanism employed in “those uncontrollable events (such as war, labor stoppages, or extreme weather) that are not the fault of any party and that make it difficult or impossible to carry out normal business. A company may insert a force majeure clause into a contract to absolve itself from liability in the event it cannot fulfill the terms of a contract (or if attempting to do so will result in loss or damage of goods) for reasons beyond its control.” Russia’s reason for the declaration apparently is that the turbine has still not been returned, although Canada reversed its decision and claimed the turbine had been returned to Germany for shipping onward. Natural-gas prices in Europe have risen 450% year-on-year. Continue reading “Complete Gas Shutoff – Terrible! Resumption of Deliveries – Even Terribler.”

Antony Blinken, Double Agent.

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Uncle Volodya says, “…And the future is dark, and the present is spread, Like a pillow of thorns for thy slumberless head..”

“That’s like leaping off a precipice and trying to knit yourself a parachute on the way down.”

Kelli Jae Baeli

“Ah! how little knowledge does a man acquire in his life. He gathers it up like water, but like water it runs between his fingers, and yet, if his hands be but wet as though with dew, behold a generation of fools call out, ‘See, he is a wise man!’ Is it not so?”

H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure

“When every little bit of hope is gone
Sad songs say so much (ooh, la, la-la, ooh, la, la-la)”

Elton John, from Sad Songs (Say So Much)

The time has come to consider the unthinkable – that Antony Blinken, career politician and diplomat, foreign-policy advisor to the political stars and current United States Secretary of State, is a double agent secretly working for the Russian state. In this pursuit, judging from his performance, he seeks to help Russia sabotage American efforts to bring the goodly goodness of freedom and democracy to benighted masses around the world who know them not.

Okay, I’m being sarcastic, but come on – he must be. He gives such a convincing performance of trying to wrestle Russia to the ground so freedom-lovers everywhere can kick it to death …but somehow, his cunning plans keep resulting in a net benefit to Russia. He certainly doesn’t look that clever. But he wouldn’t be as effective as a Russian agent if his bumbling appeared to be anything other than a totally-unforeseen accident.

Take his earlier work on arm-twisting Europe into banning sales of Russian oil to European countries. Back then, Blinken took credit for persuading ‘European allies’ to kick sanctions up a couple notches by banning sales of Russian oil to the United States and those selfsame European allies, while ‘ensuring an appropriate supply of oil on world markets’. How’d that work out? Like an ashtray on a motorbike. The average price of gasoline in the USA is $4.90 per gallon, even with Preznit Biden releasing a million barrels of oil a day from the strategic national reserve for a forecast six months – the largest release in U.S. history – and calling on Congress to declare a three-month ‘gas-tax holiday’ for Americans. That’s a 55%-plus jump year-over-year from 2021. And the USA doesn’t even buy very much oil from Russia.

It’s…ummm…quite a bit worse in Europe. June gasoline average price in France, for example, is $2.19 USD per liter. To get the U.S. gallon price, multiply by 3.7 – $8.10. In the UK, $8.43. In the Netherlands, $9.21. Most western news sources blame it on ‘Russia’s war in Ukraine’, which had little to do with world gas prices directly, and everything to do with Washington-inspired sanctions which restricted the global supply of oil. Well played, Blinken.

Well played? Well, yes, if you consider who benefited from that self-inflicted debacle – Russia. It fell to the U.S. Senior Adviser for Energy Security, Amos Hochstein, to announce that Russia had made more money than ever; according to the International Energy Agency (IEA);

The International Energy Agency said in May that Russia’s oil revenue was up 50% since the beginning of the year to $20 billion a month, with the EU taking the biggest share of its exports. The EU’s ban on Russian oil, expected to take full effect at the end of the year, could cut that revenue.

‘Could’ cut that revenue. Take that forecast with the grain of salt appropriate to knowing the deliberate plan to crash Russia’s hydrocarbon revenues resulted in it making even more money than before the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, even as it sells less oil because the world price is higher, leaving it with more oil to sell at the higher price, and the oil ban will not even take effect until the end of this year.

If it ever happens. Germany is already gearing up for full-crisis mode, as natural-gas flows through the Nord Stream pipeline have been cut by 60%. Talking dildo and sometime German Economy and Energy Minister Robert Habeck announced the incipient panic, along with exhortations to stay strong and prepare for rationing.

Uh huh; that’s the same guy who strutted and pranced for the admiring western press back in March, and reported that Germany planned to halve Russian oil intake by summer – which is now, in most countries – and terminate Russian coal imports by autumn. This year. Yes, the same Germany that is now scrambling to find enough of its own coal to replace lost gas flows, while the same talking dildo – well, more of a weeping dildo, now – blubbers that this amounts to Vladimir Putin declaring war on Germany. I swear. I mean, you heard him say that what is happening now was Germany’s plan, and Germany was an enthusiastic (officially, anyway) participant in the sanctions which aimed to deliberately reduce dependence on Russian energy. And if it isn’t too much like kicking him when he’s down, I would like to point out that Germany’s plan to replace Russian energy relies on shipborne LNG imports transported by tanker, probably the single biggest contributor to global air pollution, and would drastically increase the amount of heavy marine transports at sea and maneuvering in restricted waterways where collision could be disastrous. Habeck himself – supposedly some kind of progressive – claims to have ‘secured deals’ to receive LNG imports from Qatar, which is a constitutional monarchy ruled by a male member of the al-Thani family since 1918. But it punishes Russia, see? Except, obviously, it doesn’t really, and the countries securing low(er) oil prices are India and China, one of whom is arguably the USA’s biggest geopolitical foe, and the other what the U.S. State Department considers a loose cannon that will not obey American directives. The latter has bought five times as much oil from Russia so far this year – only half over, remember – than it did all of last year, and both countries can use the savings to promote and support development the west cannot afford with energy prices so high. Well played, Agent Blinkenov. Continue reading “Antony Blinken, Double Agent.”

Whatever Russia is, it isn’t Desperate: Hardball and Soft Heads.

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Uncle Volodya says, “The greater the gap between self perception and reality, the more aggression is unleashed on those who point out the discrepancy.”

“…But not me, baby; I’ve got you to save me
Oh yer so bad, best thing I ever had
In a world gone mad, yer so bad…”

From, “Yer So Bad”, by Tom Petty

“Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.”

Marcus Aurelius

If you can’t be good, be careful. If you can’t be careful – be lucky. And many over the years have noticed that fortune favours the bold.

Are you familiar with the blog, “Moon of Alabama“? Most readers here are, but if you are not, you should be. It’s kind of like newspapers used to be, back before they were owned as business investments, staffed by corporate whores, written by political hacks and read by simpletons. A place you can go to read what happened, and draw your own conclusions based on what you read. As some professional writers counsel in workshops, write the book you want to read. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is not partisan, because everyone who writes for the public is a little bit biased one way or another, and it’s hard to keep that from creeping into your writing – moreover, a lot of stories on Moon of Alabama and other blogs I like to read appear after a shameless attempt in the popular press to shape and steer the narrative; a casserole made of layers of bullshit seasoned with a soupçon of lies. And it’s hard to write uninflected straight talk when you’re angry, or at least it is for me; writing a rebuttal presupposes you disagree.

Anyway, a big draw at Moon of Alabama, as well as the quality analysis by the author, is the quality of the comments and the valuable leads featured therein. Nobody is more aware than I that your writing effort is a fraction as effective as it might be without astute commenters who can put it together and run with it, making the whole greater than the simple sum of its parts. And I often discover quality sources and links from the comments as much as the story itself – that’s what keeps a story alive. Sure, those stories were already out there; the commenter is guiding you to it by offering you the link. But too often to be coincidence, the first place I find sources that substantiate the way things are really happening is at Moon of Alabama.

Like this one: Gazprom sent some of its turbine compressor units back to the manufacturer for what appears to be routine maintenance. The comment – from karlof1, which links back to one Karl Sanchez – was not supported by a link but featured a quote from a news story. So I checked it out in a search, and it appears to be accurate. Sending bespoke technology back to the manufacturer for scheduled maintenance is common practice, or sometimes a field service representative shows up onsite where the equipment is installed if it’s too hard to remove and ship. The point is that if you continue to operate the system past the date it is scheduled for routine maintenance and examination, and something breaks or burns out, you have voided the warranty. Some sources claim the gas-compressor turbines, which were built by German company Siemens, originated in Canada, while others claim they were supplied by the UK.

Either way, the Siemens representative host country accepted the turbines – and then claimed to be unable to return them because doing so was prohibited by sanctions.

So – and again I am interpreting what I read, because it is not spelled out and sometimes is masked by diplo-speak – it appears that Gazprom responded by taking other compressors which were coming up to their scheduled maintenance date offline. On the face of it, Gazprom looks to have little choice; sending the compressors for maintenance will result in them being impounded, while using them beyond their scheduled maintenance deadline will void their warranty. Pretty much the textbook definition of ‘impasse’.

But the important thing here is the immediate effect – a 40% reduction in the pipeline gas supply sent to Europe via Nord Stream 1. And that news comes on the heels of an explosion and subsequent fire at the LNG terminal in Freeport, Texas, which has knocked an important supplier of US LNG out of service for what was originally projected to be about 3 weeks, and now looks more like 3 months. European natural gas prices that were already at or near record highs jumped another 20%.

Some might be moved to suggest this is great news for Ukraine, which likely will once again volunteer its pipeline network for additional volumes to help its generous European benefactors. But let’s not forget where the gas comes from. Russia has thus far declined to send additional volumes across Ukraine, and is about as likely to do so now as it is to hit itself in the face with a cast-iron skillet. Ukraine has been shrieking since 2014 that Russia is the enemy and an unapologetic aggressor, and the two are fighting a compartmentalized but hot war right now. So it looks like Europe is going to have to tighten its gas-burning belt again, just when Uncle Sam cannot ride to the rescue with molecules of freedom. I’m sure Rick Perry is abjectly sorry he ever came up with that term, but I just enjoy saying it.

Quite a substantial number of people have already speculated that Europe is in for the winter of its life. And it might be, but it is going to feel the closing jaws of crisis well before the snowflakes fly – much of Europe is currently broiling to a tasty golden brown under a merciless heat wave (the trendy term is a ‘heat dome’) that is warned to worsen in the coming days and weeks. That has sent European electricity prices wiggling frantically upward. And Italy, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands all generate more than 30% of their electricity needs from industrial plants powered by natural gas; in Italy’s case it is nearly half. Continue reading “Whatever Russia is, it isn’t Desperate: Hardball and Soft Heads.”

I Can’t Dance and I’m Too Fat to Fight

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Uncle Volodya says, “Aggression is just when politeness is ignored.”

Too bad that you had to get caught;
That’s not like you to lose face
So sad that you’re not as smart
As you thought you were in the first place…

Doug and the Slugs, from “Too Bad”

“It would be well to realize that the talk of ‘humane methods of warfare’, of the ‘rules of civilized warfare’, and all such homage to the finer sentiments of the race are hypocritical and unreal, and only intended for the consumption of stay-at-homes. There are no humane methods of warfare, there is no such thing as civilized warfare; all warfare is inhuman, all warfare is barbaric; the first blast of the bugles of war ever sounds for the time being the funeral knell of human progress… What lover of humanity can view with anything but horror the prospect of this ruthless destruction of human life. Yet this is war: war for which all the jingoes are howling, war to which all the hopes of the world are being sacrificed, war to which a mad ruling class would plunge a mad world.”

James Connolly

The title is a riff on a common phrase from my youth; when asked by a friend, “Want to go down to the tavern for a beer?”, a casually humorous response might be, “Why not? I can’t dance, and I’m too fat to fly”. It suggests that you have nothing better to do and going to the tavern for a beer is as appealing an alternative as any other, considering one’s physical limitations and the options available.

However, the phrase as it appears in the title struck me as a particularly appropriate aphorism for the west’s confusion and flopping about since it was presented with a written list of Russia’s security concerns and the remedies it would accept to allay those concerns. Strongly implied, although not specified in the written summation, is this, paraphrased: you say we are your enemy, and that you wish to fight. You push us further and further, until our backs are against the wall. Very well, then – either agree to the terms as written, propose alternative arrangements for discussion that are not too far from the terms as written…or fight.

The west was plainly not ready for that. Its ‘diplomatic’ behavior since then suggests it has…well…no good options. Before, it was all pressure, and ‘Russia must do this’ and “the rules-based international order calls on Russia to do that’. Now, it’s ‘we need more time’. Although its more hawkish policymakers – not one of whom will have to fight, if it comes to that – have spluttered that all Russia’s demands are absurd and are complete non-starters, nobody seems ready to commit that response to print. And the Russians have insisted on answers in writing which will be legally enforceable.

You know why that is, don’t you? Sure you do. The verbal commitment that if Russia would just let the west have Germany without making a fuss, NATO would advance no further eastward. And you know how that turned out. The west can officially no longer remember anyone making such a promise, although people who were present on the occasion say the Russian description of the deal is accurate. Not Mikhail Gorbachev, naturally; his western pals would never lie. But he claims the subject did not even come up.

“The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. … Another issue we brought up was discussed: making sure that NATO’s military structures would not advance and that additional armed forces would not be deployed on the territory of the then-GDR after German reunification. Baker’s statement was made in that context… Everything that could have been and needed to be done to solidify that political obligation was done. And fulfilled.”

Well, the ‘not one inch eastward’ commitment was definitely made; official records of the conversation so reflect.

“And the last point. NATO is the mechanism for securing the U.S. presence in Europe. If NATO is liquidated, there will be no such mechanism in Europe. We understand that not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO’s present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.”

So the semantics of the argument have shifted – western negotiators for the reunification of Germany never promised that NATO would not expand eastward. No, they promised only that there would be no eastward expansion of NATO’s military jurisdiction. You Russians have to learn to pay attention to context. So now the official western storyline is that while the Russians understood that to mean no eastward expansion of NATO, that was not the promise at all; what you thought you heard was not what I said.

Has NATO expanded its military jurisdiction eastward? You tell me. Are new NATO countries with full membership the subjects of Article 5 – an attack against one is an attack against all, conveying the responsibility of NATO military forces to mount a defense in and around the country which is the object of the attack? They certainly are.

“Membership in the most powerful military alliance in the world has given Poland not only security guarantees in the form of Art. 5 of the Washington Treaty, but has also led to an increase in the position and prestige of our country on the international stage. The need to adapt to NATO standards, the participation of Polish soldiers in missions and exercises, and training with soldiers from other NATO countries, has led our Armed Forces in reaching a high level of interoperability (the ability to interact) with other Alliance Members. Our contribution to and involvement in NATO operations, has made Poland a reliable partner both for our Allies and third countries.”

The foregoing is a somewhat roundabout way of illustrating why Russia now wants its agreements with the west in writing, accepted only after a comprehensive review of the text to ensure there is no leeway for interpretation – if you promise, it must be written, “I promise”. Because no matter what NATO says, it will later say “That’s not what I said at all”. Regardless of what was presented to Gorbachev, I don’t think the casual observer would need to be much of a diplomat to guess the intent of the discussion – Baker was plainly seeking to downplay any threat Russia apprehended from an increase in NATO influence. Had he said “Oh, no: NATO plans to take in every eastern European country that makes the cut, full membership. But you should not view that as threatening.”, I’m pretty sure Russian cooperation would have taken an abrupt downturn. Would that be fair to say? Continue reading “I Can’t Dance and I’m Too Fat to Fight”

Canada’s Mask-Mania Push Campaign – a Contrarian View

 

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Uncle Volodya says, “Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it..”

Unless you live under a rock in a thinly-settled part of the world, you are probably familiar with the global government embrace of non-medical cloth or paper face masks. Government medical authorities claim they help prevent infection by the novel coronavirus, AKA COVID-19, and busybodies and social interventionists everywhere are getting increasingly exasperated with the now-minority that will not wear them whenever they leave their homes, get with the fucking program and start caring about their community.

I can’t speak for everywhere, but let me tell you a little bit about how this push campaign is going in Canada. My part of it, anyway.

In the early stages of what it pleases the global political leadership to refer to as a ‘pandemic’, there was a reluctance to endorse masking. The WHO released confusing and conflicting information. The famous Dr. Fauci, who throws a baseball like an undernourished schoolgirl trying to rid herself of a live lizard, initially remarked that there was absolutely no reason for anyone who was not clearly sick to wear a face mask. He later reversed himself, admitting he only said that so panicky people would not run out and buy up all the face masks and there would not be a sufficient supply for the ‘frontline medical workers’. Lied, I guess you would have to say, if you didn’t realize what a visionary and farseeing altruist he is, and didn’t know – because he told you – that he was only doing it for our own good.

But I don’t want to get too distracted by Dr. Fauci, as I mean to turn attention to a more local source. Chris Pengilly, a retired GP, is representative of the Frustrated Class that smirks at the reasons the minority offers for not wearing a face mask in public. I think you’ll agree his tone is the sort of condescending dismissal which might be reserved by a John Deere dealership for a farmer who still plows with a mule – some people just don’t get it the way us smart folk do. Let’s take a look.

Right off the bat, Mr. Pengilly wants you to know that he approves the use of face masks, and believes their wear will soon become compulsory, as if that were reason enough for doubters to line up for them. Not to be a spoiler or anything, but let me say here that a government order to wear face masks in all public spaces is an invitation to a constitutional challenge and a major lawsuit. Why? Because there is no actual scientific evidence that they do anything at all to prevent infection by an airborne virus. None. Continue reading “Canada’s Mask-Mania Push Campaign – a Contrarian View”