Dave Collum: 2020 Year in Review (Part 2)
Dave Collum: 2020 Year in Review (Part 2)
- My Personal Year
- Conspiracy Theories
- Decade in Review
- Wealth Creation
- Broken Markets
- Link in Part 1
- Epilogue-Climate Change
- Rise of the Cancel Culture
- The Tweet and Cancel
- The Buffalo Shove: The Real Story
- College Life
- Political Correctness—Adult Division
- Group Statements and Identity Science
- Anatomy of the Riots
- The Death of George Floyd
- Covid-19: Just Opinions
- Where to from Here?
- Links in Part 2
Figure 1. Christmas 2019.
Many topics I hit year in and year out. Others are one-off adventures. In 2018 I wrote about how seriously fabricated the Syrian gas attacks were.ref 1 Addendum: I was right as supported by recent evidenceref 2 but need not say any more. I am pleased to note that Nick Sandman, the kid with the smirk that rocked the world,ref 3 is cleaning up in court.ref 4 Last year I wrote extensively about Jeff Epsteinref 5 and Climate Change.ref 6 They were intended to be my final word on the subjects—I was personally done—but I’ve gotta chase the laser pointer one last time.
“Ah…ha…ha…ha…stayin’ alive, stayin alive.” I had concluded that Epstein didn’t kill himself (duh) and that he is not dead. Really? Yes. Ya gotta read it.ref 3 In January even 60 Minutes debunked the suicide story,ref 7 but the iceberg is still mostly submerged as Jeff is being marketed as an insatiable perv aided by his pimp Gishlane “Gizz” Maxwell. Of course, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew were under the bus together, but there are many, many more at that bus stop waiting for the children. Epstein the Perv is a cover story to distract us from Jeff’s and Gizz’s role in the Mossad and the hundreds if not thousands of powerful pervs entangled in this web of intrigue. Gizz’s father was a legendary Israeli spy while her two sisters are working for Israeli front companies in the tech world.ref 8 No more rehashing a long, sordid tale of sex, murder, and espionage. I think last year’s write-up did it justice.
Well, after having her under surveillance for months—what’s the rush?—the FBI caught Gizz Maxwell in New Hampshire.ref 9 Her lawyer suggested that Gizz had “hundreds” of “celebrities” and “world figures” on film having “orgies with minors.”ref 10 Hundreds are wondering how they looked in their first porn film. It is unlikely the authorities will squeeze the dirt out of her. Investigative journalist Whitney Webb says they are charging Gizz with a 1997 crime of little consequence.ref 11 This is another FBI catch-and-release program.
Figure 2. Gizz on the throne with Kevin.
The risk of battling this crowd was underscored by Gizz’s relationship with Kevin Spacey. Many Epstein-Spacey photos are floating around, but the photo of Gizz and Spacey on the throne in Buckingham Palace raised some eyebrows. I am sure that it is not the first time Gizz has been spotted on that throne, but the Queen is probably tired of cleaning up after Prince Andrew and his friends. There is a point to this story (although I thought the gizz-throne joke was worth the effort.) Spacey was facing four #metoo-like accusations. No problemo. Three accusers are now deadref 12 and the fourth said, “Never mind. I’m good. I’ll show myself out.” Apparently, the cost of taking Kevin to court was oppressive. Now we get to watch the wokies in Hollywood welcome Kevin back into the fold of their hypocrisy.
He obviously didn’t kill himself, just like Jeffrey Epstein. I know he’s your friend, but I don’t care.
~ Ricky Gervais, Golden Globe Awards
There is, however, the recent story of Gazillionaire Leon Black, founder of Apollo Global Management. Leon is having trouble explaining why he gave Jeff $50 million.ref 13 The Attorney General for the US Virgin Islands appears to be determined to pry open the case.ref 14 It is said “there is panic among many of the rich and famous.” The AG will be dredged up in a fishing trawler’s net before anything bad happens.
The U.K. is also probing Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein too,ref 15 but I brought up Leon because of his ties to Deutsche Bank.ref 16 Why does this matter? Glad you asked. Very astute of you. There was the 2020 story of Judge Esther Salas who’s husband and son answered a knock on the front door only to be shot, and the son killed, by a guy in a fake FedEx uniform.ref 17 Authorities soon traced this heinous crime to an “anti-feminist” named Roy Den Hollander. He sounds like a supremacist. Roy Den killed himself before the authorities caught him.ref 18 Bad break. Shit happens I guess, but the FedEx costume only makes sense if Roy Den didn’t realize he was gonna swallow the muzzle.
What the press did not notice was that the judge had just taken on a case having to do with money laundering at Deutsche Bank involving Epstein.ref 19 Gettin’ a little creepy, eh? Well, ol’ Roy Den may have been a crazy hick, but here’s the “killer”: he worked for several sketchy companies including Kroll Associates Moscow Office where he “managed and upgraded Kroll’s delivery of intelligence and security in the former Soviet Union.”ref 20 Kroll seems to be one of those Blackwater-like intelligence companies with recorded ties to all of the three-letter agencies you can imagine (MI6, FBI, CIA….) as well as Blackwater, the Mossad, the Clintons and Bushes, lots of Rooskies, and even Robert Maxwell, Gizz’s notorious father.ref 21 Did Judge Salas’s family really get hit because she was a feminist? To close the loop and add the “ooooh” sound effect, Epstein’s private wealth banker dealing millions of dollars through Deutsche Bank and Citibank for over two decades decided that it was time to off himself.ref 22
Last question: was any of this in the mainstream media? This web of grotesquely sinister activity that surrounds Epstein traces back to the 1920s and Meyer Lansky. It has always been there and will never unravel because the players control the narrative—they control the World.
Take a 30-second break from reading and Google “Tony Podesta art collection”. I dare you. Then tell me there isn’t something rancid inside the beltway.
You have written the best takedown of Global Warming Climate Change that I’ve read since the late, great Michael Crichton’s look at it. Please don’t out me, but I am a climate skeptic.
~ email from a guy who writes for the Atlantic Monthly
My second epilogue is about climate change. We are stripping finite resources from a finite planet while inflicting serious beatings on Mother Nature. Three years ago, I would have followed the science and said it was real and serious. Two years I wrote that it was likely real but suggested that I, along with 99.99% of the population, was unqualified to form a well-reasoned opinion.ref 1 I expressed surprise that more scientists sharing a common ignorance did not share my agnosticism. After serious baiting by colleagues urging me to follow the science, I plowed hundreds of hours into the topic in 2019 and drew some partially educated conclusions.ref 2 Climate change might be real, but I could not find evidence of a crisis. If you think that you can see actual changes in the climate even if the narrative is true, you are delusional. The annual changes would be profoundly incremental in the worst-case scenario. I also found a highly conflicted climate-industrial complex—$1 trillion per year of conflict—that would vaporize if the plotline fell apart. Well-reasoned scientists are constantly goaded by activists obsessed with keeping the narrative aimed straight at the target even if the facts swerve. The lies fed to the public were atrocious and pervasive. Scientists who dare leave the hive to question the climate change narrative get “canceled” by both their peers and the media. The climate change movement is very cultish.
We trusted the scientists on covid. Now let us trust them on climate change.
~ Extinction Rebellion poster
Alas, you have lost this scientist just as you lost other much more prominent doubters of the climate change narrative that were said not to exist. Wikipedia had a sobering list of the prominent scientists who challenged the narrative—called foul—but that inconvenient truth was removed. I thought I was done with this charlatanical debate, or so I thought.
Browsing my notes from 2020, however, showed it took a while to let it go. I documented stories about fires in Siberia that burn every yearref 3 and fires in both California and Australia easily traced to recent and fundamental changes in land management.ref 4 Let it go, Dave. Let it go. Two events, however, caught my attention this year prompting me to return to the subject one more time.
It’s almost 3 pm. Time to turn off the major appliances…
~ Mayor of LA supporting energy conservation to preserve limited energy
The first is a book by a well-known life-long environmentalist, formerly one of Time‘s “Heroes of the Environment”, named Michael Shellenberger.ref 5 A previous book Break Through was said by WIRED to be “the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.”ref 6 Well, Michael’s Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All is a mea culpa for his hyperbolic support of the climate crisis movement. (See “Books”.) He does an excellent job of examining the unacceptable costs of mitigation, what economists call “negative externalities.” Michael now says the crisis is hyperbole, easily managed, and does not demand draconian measures. You also get a view of the markedly different world views of environmentalists—folks who want the best solutions to protect the Earth—and the climate change community, which obsesses over CO2 and fossil fuels.
I assumed solar panels would last forever. I didn’t know what went into the making of them.
~ Michael Moore, creator of Planet of the Humans
The bigger event was when Michael Moore and his long-time collaborator Jeff Gibbs released their documentary entitled, Planet of the Humans.ref 7 Michael seems to have flipped to right-wing whacko. (Not really. They still militantly criticize the corporate world.) What I am sure started as an investigation of the various lobbies fighting climate change turned into a sobering and complete denunciation of the climate-industrial complex. One clearly sees the rift between the environmentalists and the climate change community again. The Grand Wizard of Climate Change, Bill McKibben, gets gelded, but he was not alone. Various environmental groups like the Sierra Club got taken out by this drive-by shooting as well.
I went directly to YouTube rather than approaching the filmmakers because I wasn’t interested in negotiation. I don’t support the documentary, I don’t agree with its message, and I don’t like the misleading use of facts in its narrative.
~ Toby Smith, climate activist
This attempt to take down our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of Planet of the Humans.
~ Jeff Gibbs, creator of Planet of the Humans
The response was immediate. After Forbes gave a glowing review of his book,ref 8 Shellenberger’s op-ed in Forbes apologizing for being over the top got yanked within hours (canceled is a better term).ref 9 That’s odd because last year I described how a globally prominent solar physicist at Hebrew University wrote an editorial for Forbes explaining that the changes we are seeing are all derived from solar cycles. That op-ed got canceled within hours too.ref 10 Market geeks who read Forbes ought to be fact-checking the other articles. The undermining of the documentary came fast and furious. I read a half dozen.ref 11 The usual tack was that the data in the documentary was old or that Moore and Gibbs forgot to mention something that was never intended to be part of their movie. They were feeble screeds from agenda-driven feeble minds. The Inconvenient Truths are getting a little too inconvenient. If this doesn’t trouble you, it is time for an intervention. Of course, the movie was canceled by Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, because some of the ideas are just too dangerous.ref 12 YouTube has turned into a neo-Stalinist sack of shit propaganda machine. I can no longer find the ProPublica version either, but, for now, it lives on here.ref 13 I urge you to watch it soon.
Interviewer to Al Gore and Richard Branson: Is Al Gore a prophet?
Richard Branson: How do you spell profit?
All three: (chuckling)
But what will happen to poor Greta Thunberg in the extraordinarily unlikely event that the climate crisis story fades? Not to worry. She is a pro and has already found greener pastures while CNN continues to meet my expectations…
Figure 1. Unphotoshopped—I checked—promo for a deep dive into Covid-19 with the experts.
Since 1915, the American Association of University Professors has agreed that — unless they act in their official capacity to obstruct the ability of others to work or learn — university faculty must have the freedom to research, freedom to teach and freedom from institutional reprisal when they speak or write as citizens.
“…when they speak or write as citizens.” Hmmm… I recently listened to an activist professor at Bard College in a discussion of “cancel culture” versus “free speech.” (S)he—from name and physical appearance I sincerely could not ascertain identified gender—opened by saying (s)he didn’t know what cancel culture is and even whether it is real. Really? Seems a little underqualified for the debate. Let me help you out. Cancel culture derives largely from the political left wherein a digital or sometimes real mob decides that your ideas are so repugnant that you should be taken out at the knees. They “cancel” you by going after your job, personal life, and reputation. The stigmatizing causes self-censorship by innocent bystanders. The Mob uses what they proudly call “ratioing”, in which The Mob—the numerator—overwhelms the denominator of one. Admittedly, this is sophisticated thinking coming from a group that claims math is a social construct of dead white men and that 2 + 2 = 4, 5, or whatever number they wish.ref 1 The Mob is performative, virtue signaling to their peers that they are the most woke. (I suspect that many wokies suffer a deep sense of their own inadequacy and unemployability, which is frustrating after spending $250,000 on an education majoring in something leaves you poorly equipped to enter a largely capitalist society.) With hate mail and death threats as cornerstones of the strategies, the wokies will get you fired if your employer is staffed with total cowards and ensure that you never be employed again in a job that requires some semblance of a reputation. They do not want you to improve or repent. You are a write-off heading for footnote status. There is also a big-game hunting component; a person of influence is clearly bonus points. I experienced this personally, but that must wait until the next section. That narrative underscores why I take the information in this section so personally.
The key to identity politics: it’s all about coercion, making others do your will by threat of force and force itself. These days, the main threat is depriving heretics and apostates of their livelihood.
~ James Howard Kunstler (@JHKunstler), author and blogger
I experienced an attempt at cancelation in 2017 when a multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to unionize our graduate students would have dumped an annualized million-dollar-plus annuity into the AFT coffers. They were going to win big until I picked a fight. They fatally took the bait and lost by a razor-thin margin. Weeks later, when all seemed to have quieted down, seven of the butt-hurt student organizers attacked me with a smear campaign armed with some serious distortions using the Cornell Daily Sun as their conduit. It was ugly and unpleasant, but my colleague in the law school, Professor William Jacobsen, toe tagged them with a withering counter-attack.ref 2
That three-year-old experience re-enters the plotline below. First, let me bullet a few prominent 2020 cancelations. Mind you, these poor souls had few if any serious blemishes on their records preceding their nouveau crimes against humanity. I also differentiate these Mob-based attacks from their kissing cousins highlighted in “Political Correctness” in which employers wet themselves out of fear The Mob might show up. I’ve intentionally omitted the names of the victims.
- In response to a student from China in a Zoom class, a University of Missouri professor quipped, “Oh, let me get my mask on.” Nobody but the mob was offended. The prof was put on administrative leave, which is academic-speak for “witness protection program.”ref 3
- A USC Professor used a Chinese phrase during a lecture on foreign languages that sounded like a racial slur in English.ref 4 Administrators offered the angry students counseling. Some meds might help too.
- A medical professor at Pitt is no longer director of a fellowship program (of doubtful importance) after writing a paper claiming doctors should be hired based on “merit” and “not race.”ref 5
- A University of North Texas professor was fired after criticizing a “microaggressions” flyer. He appears to have written on the board, “Please don’t leave garbage lying around here.”ref 6 Probably a little bit of diplomacy was called for, but fired?
Now, even “informed commentary” will be denounced as racist if a professor raises a dissenting view. It is not just the death of free speech but our intellectual mission on university and college campuses.
~ Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley), Constitutional scholar at George Washington University
- Two-time Professor of the Year and long-time fighter for free speech at the University of North Carolina, Professor Mike Adams, called out the handling of the Covid-19 as being overboard. His language was racially charged with allusions to lockdowns being akin to slavery. After getting seriously canceled, he inked a $500k severance packageref 7 and then killed himself.ref 8 Although superficially a form of martyrdom, I suspect the whole script was outlined in his head. Murder has not been ruled out. The Mob, however, cares about neither their victims nor their families.
Gab was blacklisted by Visa as a business… It’s not just Gab that is blacklisted. It’s also my family…If they can do this to me, they can do it to you and they likely will….Visa has someone camping on our website watching our payment processing. As soon as we get a new processor up they find out who it is on their end and contact them…The Communist revolutionaries taking over the United States are coming for us all.ref 9
~ Andrew Torba, CEO of Gab, a social media company supporting free speech
- An African American history professor at Berkeley took on his own department for propagating falsehoods about systemic racism.ref 10 No canceling occurred because his identity, although authenticated by experts, was concealed. I suspect his colleagues know which of the four African Americans in the department penned the memo, but they can’t get him. Being black does not permit you to criticize whites denouncing other whites about blacks. (I think I got that right.)
- The West Virginia University police chief faced withering petitions calling him a white supremacist for displaying a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag in his private office.ref 11 A cop supporting the cops? What an idiot.
I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness.
~ Christopher Hitchens
- The newly-hired University of Massachusetts nursing school dean very artfully wrote “black lives matter” and then noted “everyone’s lives matter”.ref 12 Kinda seems like an imperative for a nursing school dean, eh? Her career flatlined, and the do not resuscitate order was implemented. Her final words were, “But…but…but…”
- Physicist Stephen Hsu was removed as Michigan State’s vice president of research because he interviewed Michigan State Psychology professor, whose studies of police shootings concluded race is not a big factor.ref 13 A petition of 2000 students supporting Hsu was inadequate to override the petition of 800 to kick his sorry ass out. Hsu wrote in his blog, “This is a deeper, darker kind of stupidity” (my words).ref 14
You see other manifestations of the cancel culture all across the country today… a reign of terror trying to completely erase our culture and our history. Unfortunately, many Democrats are vying to be the Robespierre for this Jacobin mob.
~ Senator Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton), US senator from Arkansas
- A Skidmore professor and his wife watched a pro-police rally in Congress Park en route to dinner. Irate student activists spotted them and demanded he be fired.ref 15
- A Union College conservative group denounced “the use of violence, looting, and vandalism, as a means of promoting a political message”. The Mob demanded a list of the members of the group to send them Christmas cards.ref 16
- Democratic strategist David Shor—a rock star with President Obama on his resume—tweeted that protesting racism nonviolently helps Democratic candidates, but doing so violently helps Republicans. He was fired.ref 17 His parting words: “I regret starting this conversation.” Detracting democratic operative, Ari Wesler, tweeted “come get your boy”, at which point she promptly discovered that being in the hive does not protect you against the hive.
They have taken over all the social institutions. It’s crazy. They’re using these institutions as punching bags for their rage rather than allowing their rage to be constructive.
~ Democratic operative defending Schor, anonymously of course
- A University of Illinois professor was fired for noting, “Bear with me while I make my push for two election cycles where whites don’t vote.”ref 18 Just kidding. Of course, that’s Now swap “whites” for “blacks” and visualize the outcome.
- The Mob attempted to remove a University of Pennsylvania professor from a prestigious literary group because he opposed the language in a statement on racism in publishing.ref 19 He noted that “professors especially know that accomplished black undergraduates rarely want to go into book publishing because it pays so badly.” When the professor also noted that the activists’ statement misspelled the name of a black man killed by armed white residents anotherorg petition called for the bastard too bee fyred maede the rownds.
- The Chair of the University of British Columbia Board of Governors resigned being caught red-handed clicking “like” on tweets from Ann Coulter, Charlie Kirk, and Dinesh D’Souza and for a tweet wishing the Orange Man a happy birthday.ref 20 That really puts the ‘K’ in Kancel Kulture.
- Gay mayor Alex Morse got attacked by UMass College Democrats for having sex with undergrads.ref 21 (Gotta wonder why anybody would dare have sex with undergrads.) The guy is in his 20s, and the undergrads were over 21. Apparently, if you are in a position of authority you cannot date anybody. The story had been shopped around and turned down by major media. The attack was traced to a UMass College Democrat looking to curry political favor for a summer job.ref 22
- A survey of >1000 UNC students showed they are unconcerned that faculty will censor them but are terrified of their peers.ref 23 Unsurprisingly, the conservative students feel more at risk. Only 3% of conservatives whereas almost 25% of liberals said they would not have a friend of opposing political views. A little quick math shows that parents squandered millions on tuition payments.
The cultivation, even celebration, of victimhood by intellectuals, tort lawyers, politicians, and the media is both cause and effect of today’s culture of complaint.
~ George Will
- A Professor at Marymount Manhattan College is being beaten with a bag of oranges by a petition signed by 2,000 students after she allegedly fell asleep on a zoom call on some politically sensitive topic.ref 24 She is catching her Z’s on leave. My theory is she was Toobin’. Who hasn’t done that a few times during Zoom meetings?
- A professor at Loyola University made a libertarian-based pragmatic argument against slavery.ref 25 (The economics is bad.) Dueling petitions are to get him fired or get him a raise. With the help of my Twitter mob, I rounded up >1500 new signatures for a raise overnight.
- The Mob went after linguist Steven Pinker—Stephen Friggin’ Pinker—of Harvard University trying to cancel him for reasons that no sane individual cares about.ref 26
- The staff of J. K. Rowling’s publisher tried to get her new book canceled owing to her views on the biological basis of gender.ref 27 A bunch of 20-somethings may have already discovered the power of the purse the hard way.
If you are really confident that you are right, you never need to silence your opponents.
~ Rabbi supporting free speech of Holocaust deniers
- An MIT Chaplain expressed doubt over racist motivations in the death of George Floyd.ref 28 “Many people have claimed that racism is a major problem in police forces. I don’t think we know that.” MIT authorities called his thoughts “deeply disturbing.” He has now sought help from the Lord to find a new job. What would Jesus say? And don’t ever—ever—confuse IQ with intelligence. Ask anybody from MIT.
- An economist at the University of Chicago suggested defunding the police was a bad idea.ref 29 Led by the King of Bad Ideas, Paul Krugman, and noted Tweeter Justin Wolfers, a petition to have him removed as Editor for the Journal of Political Economy garnered 500 signatures. Even Janet Yellen called the economist’s suggestion “troubling.” This is shocking given my high esteem for economists and Janet Yellen. (For you economists, that’s sarcasm.) The American Economics Association has a code of conduct calling for “perfect freedom of economic discussion.”ref 30 Ergo, Paul Krugman is not really an economist. Boom!
- The new dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University (ASU) lost her job before her first day for some edgy comments, but they were verbal and may not have been heard by anybody.ref 31 Dog piling
– Peak Prosperity –
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