(Last) Weekly Roundup: What If The Feds Held A Fed Rally And Only Feds Showed Up Edition

If you’re looking for a reason to lose faith in America, this past weekend’s “Justice For J6 Rally” would be a good place to start. The ostensible reason for the rally was to bring attention to the plight of numerous people who attended the January 6 “insurrection”, were allowed to enter the Capitol Building by police who moved the barriers out of the way and waved them in, and who were then hunted down and “captured” by a massive federal effort in the months after the fact. Dozens of them are still being held without bail, over half a year later. (You can see the status of individual cases here.) It is widely believed that the January 6 “insurrectionists” have been treated much more harshly than the “peaceful protestors” who burned and looted cities across the country in the summer of 2020.

(For a contrary viewpoint, arguing that the Jan 6 protestors have been treated with remarkable leniency, see this AP story and this Politifact pravda.)

This “rally” struck everyone with an IQ over room temperature as an Extremely Bad Idea. Donald Trump told his followers that it was a “setup”, a sentiment echoed by everyone from Andrew Torba to Vox Day. As a consequence, virtually no one showed up. The lack of attendance allowed some of the Uniparty’s bones to show through the skin — and the coverage of the event, both during and after, proved to be most illuminating.

There were four arrests at the “Justice” rally, but the one that garnered the most attention was a cluster-foxtrot in which some Feds arrested another Fed. “The officer was not there in an official capacity,” quoth the press. And that’s why he had his badge and gun. An image of several other “protestors” who were totally not federal agents has been widely used as meme fodder, as seen at the top of this article.

The remarkable optics of this rally, coming hot on the heels of a Buzzfeed report on the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot, should give every citizen in this country cause for concern. The bizarre affinity of federal law enforcement for supporting, encouraging, and in some cases just plain fabricating “domestic terrorism” is not new; it now appears that an FBI informant armed the Black Panthers and encouraged them to behave violently. The Whitmer case, however, probably represented a new low in entrapment. The “plot” was designed and paid for by federal informants, and when the non-feds in the conspiracy got cold feet, the federal assets repeatedly bullied or threatened them into continuing. Without the FBI, the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot would not have existed at all. It was an American take on the Reichstag fire.

Why was the “Justice for J6 Rally” swarming with plainclothes Federal assets? After all, you can’t control or even dampen a riot from the inside. Nor can you use undercover operatives to get information on a riot, the way you can on a criminal conspiracy. The only real purpose to have “assets” in a riot is the same purpose that such people have always had: namely, to serve as kindling for a fire. To get a riot started when there isn’t any riot to begin with. While such tactics have always been used in dictatorships, they do (and should) feel a little un-American. Crowds of people can be easily manipulated by a few people who seem to have a plan of action. When the cry comes to “attack the pigs”, is it reasonable for Americans to expect that it is not, in fact, a “pig” raising that cry?

All of this would be less worrisome if the Biden Administration had not designated “domestic terror” as the greatest threat facing America at the present time. Scratch that. If the federal government has to manufacture the bulk of domestic terror in this country, as it appears to be doing, perhaps that’s reassuring. But it does lead the even moderately curious thinker down any number of fascinating paths. How many of the people in the January 6th “insurrection” were federal agents attempting to accelerate the pace, violence, and terror of the “Capitol attack”? What percentage of mass shootings is aided and abetted by federal law enforcement? How, exactly, did Stephen Paddock get forty-seven guns into a Vegas hotel room without appearing on a single security camera? The putative “mastermind of 9/11”, Mohamed Atta, was repeatedly stopped and/or arrested by police in the year before the attack, but somehow they always found a reason to let him walk away. How’d that happen, exactly?

It should be noted that, contrary to appearances, there is always something deeply comforting about a conspiracy theory that involves the Feds, whether that conspiracy is related to the Las Vegas shooting, Kent State, or Pearl Harbor. It suggests that America’s power is so absolute that it is really only vulnerable to its own internal machinations. All you have to do is uncover the conspiracy, as in the famous OJ Simpson film “Capricorn One”, and the whole world will be safe.

For that reason, any suggestion that the Federal Government is “behind” 9/11, the January 6 “insurrection”, or any other major occurrence should be subjected to a higher-than-normal burden of proof. Occam’s Razor should apply: there is nothing about 9/11 that can’t be explained by a simpler theory. Jet fuel can, in fact, melt steel beams, given enough time; to believe otherwise is to believe that medieval blacksmithing simply wasn’t possible.

When it comes to “domestic terror”, however, there are plenty of reasons to be cynical. Days after Trump told people not to attend the “Justice” rally, the media faithfully parroted the line that the lack of attendance showed Trump’s “declining influence”. They knew that the Blue Tribe rarely reads Red Tribe materials, and vice versa. The media also relied on its readers not to notice the eagerness with which the Biden Administration erects walls and barriers around its capitol while simultaneously decrying the effectiveness of those tactics on the southern border.

At the same time, the chattering class was praising Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her designer “Tax The Rich” dress at the Met Gala, an event that more than one wag described as being “straight out of the Hunger Games”. AOC’s message was supposedly meant to confront and upset the wealthy — but they loved it, and her. It’s obvious why: Miss Ocasio-Cortez’s eager attendance of the event spoke much louder than any derriere-mounted slogan. The truly wealthy know that her taxation of “the rich” will exclude the truly rich. It will simply mean additional pressure on the disappearing middle class. The generationally wealthy won’t suffer from her policies, but your pediatrician will feel the sting.

Similarly, the hue and cry about “domestic terror” is meant to be applied liberally and locally against normal Americans who disagree with the country’s current direction. The purpose is to criminalize dissent via association. Anyone who is not content to be part of the masked servant class is going to be painted with a very broad brush. It matters not that you have no plans to do anything violent, or even confrontational. You can be punished for your beliefs anyway, because they are associated with “insurrection” and violence. They don’t need you to actually do anything violent. And why would they? Apparently, there’s a whole Bureau to handle that particular job.

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Last week, for Hagerty, I:

73 Replies to “(Last) Weekly Roundup: What If The Feds Held A Fed Rally And Only Feds Showed Up Edition”

  1. Newbie Jeff

    “Politi-fact Truth-o-meter: Jack Baruth’s alleging of various conspiracies involving federal agencies engaging in domestic ‘false-flag’ double operations is rated MOSTLY FALSE for the next 12 months, at which point evidence confirming the existence of these activities will be dismissed as not impactful to the Democratic Party’s agenda and therefore approved for public release”

    Reply
  2. stingray65

    The problem is simple: the Left’s demand for racism and white supremacist based domestic terrorism greatly exceeds supply, so the Feds and their various partners (i.e. antifa, BLM) have to manufacture their own.

    Reply
  3. CliffG

    Here’s an easy one for you: BLM is supposedly going to protest at a restaurant in NYC that turned down a couple of blacks for not having a vaccine card, something the city now requires. If they only protest at the restaurant and don’t go and burn down Gracie Mansion you know they are not serious. After all, if “disparate impact” is a real legal theory, then a city wide ordinance that results in the most non-vaccinated community, blacks, being discriminated against, them it must be wrong. Or not? A classic case of friendly fire, alas because I am a horrible person, I just find it bemusing.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      I think it was all a misunderstanding. You see, if the blacks who were turned away from the NYC restaurant for lacking a Covid-passport had instead shown their BLM card or simply shouted some BLM protest slogans at the restaurants patrons and employees as part of their George Floyd protest they would have been welcomed by the restaurant, because it is a well known scientific fact (confirmed by the CDC) that BLM supporters are immune from Covid.

      Reply
    • Ronnie Schreiber

      It was telling the way the mainstream media turned on a dime from “Texas Neanderthals Start Fight Over NYC Vaccine Mandate” to “Racist Restaurant Denigrates Black Customers.”

      Reply
    • trollson

      Anyone who thinks the restaurant protest is somehow “red pilling” BLM is a fool. This is nothing more than the left eating itself.

      The entire protest is based on bullshit, claiming the white hostess (hostess is actually Asian) called them the “n-word”.

      Reply
  4. John C.

    I read with interest your article on the Infiniti J30 from the 1990s. In some places, you describe it as a four door Z car, which sounds about right. Especially to me the 280ZX with a style aimed at a young, urban, everything on payment crowd. Having a high weight that spoils a nice engine for a lighter package also reminds of the 280ZX.

    Then you start with a weird trope that the J30 was some sort of later day Jaguar. Here you lost me. A mass market engine in it’s most expensive outing is hardly comparable to Jags with the bespoke twin cam inline six with the cheaper versions only getting smaller displacements. I like Gerry Hirschberg as much as the next car nut, but his work on this J30 reminds most of his work on the colonnade Regal making it look a little more like the more successful Cutlass. Again hardly comparable to Jaguar’s Geoff Lawson, never mind golden era William Lyons. The J30 interior may indeed remind of a Japan gentleman’s club, but that doesn’t mean the same thing there.

    In retrospect the 1990s was Japan’s golden era. Saying the J30 does not get it’s fair share of that respect is quite a reasonable argument to make. To compare the J30 to Jaguar is unfair, both to Jaguar and Nissan’s own Skyline/ Leopard/ Z cars. Japan fans don’t put much stock in Jaguars and a taste for the J30 was not acquired by many Jaguar owners.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      I think Infiniti’s problem since the beginning has been confused positioning of the brand, and lack of proper resources to compete with Lexus/Toyota or the Germans. Thus they have a J30 with “cheap” Nissan Z-car underpinnings, but stylistic elements that mimic the old Jaguar MkII/S type including the tight back seat space. Of course the Z-car elements and Japanese reliability would not have appealed to Jaguar customers, while the cheap lease deals and general lack of premium image would say “pretender” to the Lexus/German crowd, which explains the failure of the model and the brand.

      Reply
      • John C.

        One thing I liked about early Infiniti was the early idea that they were going to offer a unique Japanese take on luxury, which seems to me the most honest and beneficial way for a country to bring it’s domestic luxury offerings to the wider world market. When however those peaceful Japanese garden ads, that really do mean something to them, you see these small but very private and completive gardens all over expensive land Tokyo, were scoffed at., Suddenly here come the cheap car based lease specials designed by Hirschberg. It must have been quite depressing for Nissan that I bet thought they were being more ambitious than Toyota and Honda in their move to export their luxury side.

        Reply
    • gtem

      I absolutely agree that the 90s were Japan’s Golden Era, I will hone in further and put that date starting say in the mid 80s and continuing to the mid 90s. Cars designed during this “bubble” period of Japan’s economy really do have so much more money spent on them, since Japanese domestic buys had more and more cash to spend and all the crazy adjustable suspensions, turbo and supercharged engines, 4 wheel steering, AWD systems, solar panels (Mazda/Eunos 929), early GPS systems, came about during this time. But it was around this time period that the US (and WTO?) finally muscled Japan into not devaluing the Yen, and we see the direct result of this immediately: prices going up substantially year to year on cars like the J30, LS400, etc. At the same time, decontenting is starting, a little at first (even within that “fat” 92-96 Camry generation losing some interior bits and full width taillights), then a lot. Compare the 89-94 Maxima to the 95-99. The latter has lighter weight and the stupendous VQ30DE going for it, but it has a beam rear axle and just feels cheap inside and out, and feels insubstantial to drive (especially over bad roads). I adore those “Golden Age” Japanese cars make no mistake, but I can appreciate what Bob Lutz wrote in his biography about that period in the 70s-80-early 90s when the Japanese were getting away with spending substantially more per-car to build them better and more heavily optioned, then charging at parity with domestics, who were additionally dealing with substantially higher labor costs. Of course at some point the Japanese started to charge a premium for that quality reputation that they had built up, and the domestics ended up (often) competing more on value and selling at a lower price.

      Reply
      • John C.

        I visited Japan in 2004 and the Megatech Toyota museum on Tokyo Bay. While the museum completely lacked old heritage models it allowed me to sit in their current Century model. There you could see how much the car resembled inside the late 80s Cressida. This is not an insult, I really just think that is what they thought the best looked like. You were going through a transition their with fathers looking like dignified, serious people but their kids looking like typical silly young adults. They weren’t going to work as hard to keep up the success. It just happened a generation later in Japan

        Reply
      • stingray65

        A cheap Yen and near zero Japanese interest rates made it pretty easy for Japan to offer more car for the money in the 1980s to mid-90s. The “voluntary” import restrictions of the 1980s also gave the Japanese to move upscale and compete in the sectors with the US and Europeans made all their profits – their failure to enter the full-size pickup market at that time is probably the only reason the “Big 3” made into the current century.

        Reply
  5. Matthew H

    The only course of action available is non-violent guerilla warfare: “corrupting” the minds of youth, who always have a heady appetite for Vice, which now encompasses WrongThink alongside old chestnuts like liquor and seeking the easy comforts of depravity among the demimonde.
    Befriend a youngster, teach them as you were taught.

    Reply
  6. Panzer

    I dunno, we still have quite a few Lexus GS’s on the streets here in New Zealand (plus more than a handful of the Toyota variant, the Aristo, which shares a powertrain with the mk4 Supra turbo, it’s a favourite amongst the drift boys) and I came very close to buying one a few years back..
    Still might, if the gearbox in my Focus fails..

    Reply
    • gtem

      There’s still a good amount of the 2nd gen (late 90s-early 2000s with the quad headlights/taillights) trolling around, mostly the hood. Those first gen cars, the Guigiaro designed ones, really are rare, atleast in the Midwest. I don’t think they sold many of them to begin with, most people probably ponied up for the LS400, or else they wanted to spend less and were happy with a FWD ES300 which had similar straight line performance as that early GS, as well as (I suspect) similar interior room.

      Reply
  7. mdm08033

    The image at the top of the page is the same crowd that was in attendance at the year of Lollapalooza in Stanhope New Jersey. The only difference is the Stanhope/State popo wore Hawaiian print shirts. My friends couldn’t understand why law enforcement was interest in a concert in northwest New Jersey. Was a zip lock bag of weed really worth their time in 1994?

    Reply
  8. gtem

    Jack any insight on the I30 during your dealership years? They’re certainly not a “common” car by any means but I see a decent amount of them trolling around even to this day (until rust or electrical issues send them to the junkyard). And they lasted into the early 2000s in I35 guise. The rarest of the lot was the stick shift I30t that I think you could get until the refresh in 2000. VLSD, stick shift, VQ30. Nice combo.

    I remember my dad’s friend picking us up from Tolmachevo airport outside of Novosibirsk in the early 2000s in a 90s JDM Nissan Cefiro “Excimo,” basically an I30 with a Nissan badge and a smaller 2.5L VQ V6. The car must have just come over, as the Shaken inspection comes around at 7 years in Japan and that’s when masses of people dump them and they get scooped up by exporters. Until customs/tariffs killed off this stream, there was nothing better in 90s/2000s Siberia than picking up a “fresh off the boat” RHD import. Prices were entirely reasonable for what you got. Most people were coming out of Russian cars, in my dad’s buddy’s case, a GAZ 31029 Volga, a company paid car that felt totally ragged out by year 3 of Siberian roads. The 31029 was basically a facelifted-for-the 90s GAZ 24-10, complete with carburetor, drum front brakes and even kingpin front suspension(!). It was the Soviet Union’s/Russia’s Box Chevy. So he shows up to this dirty ramshackle airport in this gleaming white Cefiro Excimo, wearing white jeans, Status Quo on the stereo. This is what the kids call a “major flex.” New to automatic transmissions, my then-12 year old brother points out to him that he’s driving with overdrive off. Of course that little VQ25 is absolutely sewing machine smooth at 4k rpm so you could easily not think anything was amiss. It was a really nice car to ride in. We later bounced it down basically a jeep trail to our dacha to make shashlik, fire up the sauna, and then bounce back in the dark, the driver under the influence of a bottle of Black Velvet quipping that the ride was “smooth as Black Velvet.”

    Reply
    • Rick T.

      Speaking of Status Quo, I’m guessing that nobody outside of the UK would have ever guessed this. While an older article, I’d bet it’s still true.

      “Status Quo have been crowned kings of the UK Singles Chart after it was revealed they have had more hit singles than any other group in UK chart history.

      “New research by The Book of British Hit Singles & Albums team has revealed the rockers have had 61 singles chart entries since their first hit, ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ , hit the Top Ten back in 1968.”

      https://www.nme.com/news/music/status-quo-16-1304225

      Reply
      • JMcG

        I was at Live Aid in ‘85 when Status Quo opened the show with “Rocking All Over The World.” Of course, I was in Philadelphia, so I had to watch it on a Jumbotron.

        Reply
    • gtem

      Re: I30 relevance to Infiniti during this time period

      Did a bit of my own research, seems that the I30 was infact Infiniti’s biggest seller, not the QX4, though they were weren’t that far off. I wonder about per-unit profit, they were surprisingly close in price: I30 MSRP started at $31,790, QX4 was $34,675 for a 2WD, $36,075 for a 4WD. Perhaps more money on the hood of the I30 versus a trendy luxury SUV?

      I30 sales:
      2003 14.091
      2002 25.712
      2001 35.392
      2000 39.532
      1999 31.042
      1998 26.350
      1997 31.300
      1996 27.057

      QX4:
      2003 4.991
      2002 16.938
      2001 18.735
      2000 21.545
      1999 19.199
      1998 20.055
      1997 18.793
      1996 1.983

      Reply
      • John C.

        Were QX4s/Pathfinders/ whatever the label in Japan big also as used cars in Siberia. Seems like a place a truck based SUV would be useful, though perhaps not as easy to source from the JDM.

        Reply
        • gtem

          There were definitely plenty of both the older (WD21) body on frame pathfinders, along with this reinforced-unibody R50 generation, but then also a bunch of Patrols, Terrano/Terrano II, just everything imaginable. Often with goofy Japanese aftermarket accessories *(look up “JAOS” in google to get an idea of the large yellow mudflaps, etc). Toyota was definitely the #1 brand over there for both cars and 4x4s, but Nissan was #2 in quantity (then Mitsubishi, then Honda, Mazda, etc). As they age the Nissans definitely seem to rust more (as they do in the states), but the engines are plenty robust.

          Reply
      • Jack Baruth Post author

        The QX4 was certainly more profitable than the I30, it was cheaper to build, sat on a more thoroughly amortized platform, and had almost no changes compared to a Pathy. The I30 was a mishmash of US Maxima, JDM Cefiro, and Infiniti specific parts.

        Reply
        • gtem

          From looking around, I think the I30 is basically 100% badge-job JDM Cefiro/ROW-maxima, but yes the US Maxima in turn is this global car underneath with some massaged sheetmetal.

          Reply
  9. trollson

    Jack, does it feel like civil society is becoming less and less civil in your neck of the woods?

    People seem a little more on edge than usual out here in progressive paradise.

    Reply
    • jc

      I’m an idiot and I don’t know anything, but I think the thing to watch is more economic. If more and more people can’t afford to keep their kids fed bad stuff is gonna happen. Food is way more expensive than it was 1.5 years ago and most people aren’t making 1.5 times what they did in 2019.

      Reply
  10. Ken

    Would be neat to see Jack’s expanded take on electric cars. I’ve gleaned the disdain; but I don’t fully understand the rationale. I’ve made several assumptions… mostly: AI taking away driver control, the true environmental cost of batteries, and the fact that it’s unlikely technology will get there to solve the range and speed to refuel issues.

    Am I on the same wavelength or just stabbing in the dark?

    Reply
    • NoID

      I don’t think he’s against electric cars, but rather the woke crusade to mainstream them. In a similar fashion, I’m not against government placing their thumb on the scales of the market to help push innovation along, but to do so with an almost religious fervor troubles me.

      Reply
      • stingray65

        I’m against government thumbs because they invariably are wrong if not outright destructive. The fossil fuel industry and carbon fueled vehicles developed with minimal government thumb involvement, and as a consequence they both proved to be profitable businesses that generate jobs and pay lots of taxes to governments. Now governments are putting their thumbs on the scale in support of renewables that require subsidies because they are expensive and unreliable relative to fossil fuels, and putting their thumbs on the scale of electric vehicles because they are expensive and inconvenient relative to conventional vehicles while also needing reliable and cheap electricity to help offset the higher costs and inconvenience. So now the government thumbs are promoting two technologies that are inherently unprofitable and hence unlikely to generate jobs and tax revenues on the scale that fossil fuels and cars do, but are also diametrically opposed in terms of supporting each other since electric cars put more pressure on the electrical grid that renewables make less reliable and more costly. Throw in the likely environmental damage caused by battery and solar panel raw material mining and processing, and the lack of any viable recycling method for old EV batteries, solar panels, and wind generators and the government thumb is likely to make the environmental problems worse as well. Thus only an idiot thumb would be on the scale of either technology, but then again Biden is president so it all makes sense.

        Reply
    • Scout_Number_4

      The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers–letting the market decide is almost always the correct path.

      If EVs can stand on their own, they will. If alternative energy (wind/solar) can stand on its own, it will. When the government gets involved, crony capitalism results…Smith and Friedman roll in their graves.

      Reply
      • VTNoah

        Funny to say this when the oil industry has been the recipient of billions upon billions of government subsidies over the past few decades. If an energy supply is going to receive subsidies, I’d say go with the cleaner one. Better yet, let’s subsidize nuclear for once.

        Reply
        • stingray65

          Actually the oil industry in the US received very few subsidies. Most of them are depreciation/depletion allowances given to every business, others that are counted as oil subsidies are tax exemptions given to farmers and the military on fuel taxes, and fuel oil subsidies given to low income households so they can have heat in the winter. The oil industry pays huge taxes to government, the renewables pay zero taxes and receive cash subsidies while the oil industry subsidies are basically being allowed to keep some of the money they earn.

          Reply
          • CJinSD

            The surpluses created by oil sustain the lives of seven out of eight people alive today, and still there are people who think that oil is subsidized to compete with rent-seeking schemes.

          • VTNoah

            Genuinely curious what your source is on this considering a casual Google search shows an amount at $20 billion per year in the US alone. I’m interested to see where you got your breakdown. The items you cite while commendable still benefit oil companies by “subsidizing” the cost of the product for consumers.

            Just because we became what we are today based on the cheap energy afforded to us by oil doesn’t mean we have to continue using it.

            If there is a way to power our lives in a more efficient and clean manner, we should invest in it.

            Have a good one!

          • stingray65

            For a Leftist, all money earned in honest business is the governments, because the entrepreneur/managers/workers/shareholders “didn’t build that”. Thus for a Leftist, letting you keep some of the money you earn is a subsidy.

  11. VTNoah

    The government and MSM always have to have bogeyman to scare the general public. Gangs in the 80s and 90s, Islamic terrorists in the 00’s, and now domestic terrorists. “They could be anywhere! They could be your neighbor!” All to keep you glued to your tv set and buying useless shit you don’t need. Same as it ever was.

    Here’s an example of the FBI doing the exact same thing they’re doing with our Trailer Park Boys to a mentally ill muslim guy. https://theintercept.com/2015/03/16/howthefbicreatedaterrorist/

    I’m thankful that viewership of CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC is going down the toilet but I’m not sure what people are going to view to replace that source of “News”. Is it something more or less credible? What’s going on with Facebook doesn’t make me very optimistic.

    I’m definitely the lone lefty in this forum but the Government does not give a flying fuck about any of us. The goal is to distract and divide so they can continue to reward those at the very top.

    Reply
    • KoR

      The replacement for MSM is absolutely Facebook. Which, because of how careless they are and because of how their algorithm works to essentially keep people in an endless loop of anger, has already caused at least one ethnic cleansing in Myanmar and potentially another in Ethiopia.

      It’s not great! Social media will be one of the major components of the downfall of western civilization. Of that I have little doubt. Humans aren’t capable of handling that much information that quickly.

      Also, no you are not the only the lefty in this forum. Idk that there are more than two of us, but there is at least that many haha.

      Reply
    • Dirty Dingus McGee

      ” I’m not sure what people are going to view to replace that source of “News”. ”

      According to published reports, more people get their “news” from Google than any of the legacy sources.

      Jesus wept.

      Reply
      • VTNoah

        No doubt. It also forces the old guard to adopt more and more sensationalism to try and compete. It’s a race to the bottom. I do like the emergence of substack which provides journalists the freedom to thoroughly explore stories and themes but there’s no way the general public adopts that format at scale.

        Reply
  12. Shortest Circuit

    Abercrombie and Snitch… these idiots are even wearing the same watch. Plus everybody is in shape which is a dead giveaway.

    Reply
    • John C.

      It is sort of a shame the Feds still have access to such fit young men, though I have heard they really weren’t feds but rather Mormons on the protest side.

      You might have saw the recent video from Australia where the young, fit cop/constable tells the protestor that he agrees with him but his paycheck comes from the other side. Hard to replace a secure paycheck. While the 2002-2020 era Afghan Army had no problem finding people to fill their ranks, when push really came to shove?

      Reply
  13. VTNoah

    Looks like my response to RPN453 and Stingray is stuck in moderation. Trying an alternate route…

    RPN453 Interesting take claiming tax breaks aren’t subsidies when the screenshot you post says, “The oil industry receives most of its subsidies from tax breaks.” What’s the link to the larger data set?

    Let’s go back to the idea of the thumb of government and what influences it. Let’s compare how much is spent lobbying the government for better treatment between the industries. In 2020 the Oil and Gas industry dedicated $112 Million to lobbying (https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=E01)

    Whereas the alternative energy field dedicated $26.2 million. (https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=E1500)

    Let’s ask ourselves then. Which industry has likely received more government involvement historically considering these numbers? Which industry have we gone to war for? I don’t think I’ve heard anyone wanting to invade a country for their wind resources… I do remember us sending plenty of troops to Iraq though.

    This doesn’t mean that alternative energy sources don’t perhaps receive preferential treatment today. But long term, they have not been exactly top of mind for getting government handouts.

    Listen, Oil and Gas are going to stick around for a long time. They are just too energy dense to cut out of the mix. I’ll also admit that our access to a cheap supply of oil and gas has allowed us to become who we are as a society with all the technological advances that entails. That said, the externalities involved with the burning of hydrocarbons, in my opinion, are too consequential to continue to use these fuels as our only source of energy. We need to find a way to transition away from them. Before you say, “Human’s don’t contribute to global warming” perhaps you should reference the study conducted by Exxon Mobil in 1977 spelling that exact theory out. The same theory they spent millions upon millions trying to discredit.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-climate-change-almost-40-years-ago/

    Stingray. Love ya man. But the world is far more than the black and white you portray in your constant calling out of the “lefties”. I don’t believe that every dollar you make is the property of the government. Many would consider that a fringe idea in my circles. Yeah, the tax code sucks but wouldn’t you rather the organizations and individuals who get away not paying any taxes while amassing wealth unheard of in history should at least contribute their fair share? Take a walk outside and talk to someone face to face that you might not agree with. Shoot, hit me up man. I’d be happy to talk to you via videochat. Maybe you’ll see where we’re coming from. Arguing about left vs. right when it’s more about the haves vs. the have nots is a losing battle for all of us.

    Have a good one!

    Reply
    • stingray65

      The links provided by RPN453 demonstrate that almost all the fossil fuel “subsidies” are simply letting oil companies keep the money they earn, while most of the subsidies for renewables are about taking money from productive sectors of the economy and giving it to renewable energy providers who don’t pay taxes (because they don’t earn profits). The subsidy situation becomes even worse when you break it down by how much energy is provided by each type because renewables still don’t provide very large shares of energy, which means they get far higher subsidies when calculated on a Kwh basis. Talking about lobbyist spending is nothing but a distraction, because renewables get far more cash subsidies, get far more subsidies per Kwh, and pay zero taxes to the government, while fossil sourced taxes are a large portion of the state and federal tax revenues even after taking their legal deductions. Similarly, talking about military expenditure as some sort of fossil subsidy is also disingenuous because such military activity is also about protecting allies (Israel, Kuwait, Europe) from hostile neighbors or oil blackmail, and keeping the lights on in the US because nothing else except perhaps nuclear is a viable alternative (and the Leftists don’t like nuclear or home grown fossil fuel either).

      As for fair share – if you develop a legal product or service that makes you rich because millions of people are willing to pay money for it, and which provides gainful employment for thousands of others, what is fair about confiscating large portions of it to give to others who haven’t created anything of value to society? Is there any evidence that giving “free” stuff to lazy, unproductive people make them less lazy or more productive? Is there any evidence that giving “free” stuff to the “underprivileged” or “victims” makes up for the deficits caused by their bad parents, low IQ, or other “unfair” elements of life? The problem with Leftists is that they are driven by envy and jealousy, and that their solutions to societal problems never work and usually make whatever problem they are trying to solve worse in the process.

      Reply
    • stingray65

      What is fair share? The top 1% of income earners pay 38.5% of federal income taxes (they earn 21% of total income), while the top 50% of income earners pay 97% of federal income taxes. The US has the most progressive tax rates in the world. The problem with Lefties is that they think rich people bury any money they don’t spend on lavish mansions, private jets, and luxury cars in their backyards or private vaults, but the reality is that they invest their money in new and existing businesses and new technologies that create further wealth and jobs and taxable income, and also give lots of money to charities. On the other hand, if you give “free” money to poor people you typically get more drug use, more tattoos, more lottery ticket purchases, more junk food consumed, which don’t add nearly the same amount of value to the economy and often come with added costs to society in the form of drug induced violence, health related problems, and interactions with the criminal justice system.

      https://taxfoundation.org/summary-of-the-latest-federal-income-tax-data-2020-update/

      Reply
  14. rpn453

    Regarding 9/11, I think the jet fuel thing was a misdirection. You would need a controlled test to know what would happen in that situation, and there’s no way you could know all the variables necessary to perform it. But it’s irrelevant.

    The smoking gun, for myself and everyone else I know with an engineering degree, is the columns. It was a red pill for many of us. A grid of 1200 foot high columns can’t disappear just because the floors that hung from them fell off. With each falling floor, the load on the column gets lighter. From the speed of the collapse, there was clearly no resistance and thus no significant impact energy involved. Even if there was, the columns could not have collapsed in compression against the direction of their strength. They would have to buckle, and the remains would stand very high and/or be lying over the surrounding blocks, still mostly intact. But there was no load capable of causing the buckling anyway. They simply disappeared into the rubble, as they would in a controlled demolition.

    Of course, there’s also WTC7. It’s hard to imagine anybody credible denying that was a controlled demolition.

    9/11 Mysteries: Demolition is a great documentary about this subject.

    Reply
    • Sobro

      Crockumentary is more like it. But some think they have “insider info” and revel in their specialness.

      Jet fuel fire doesn’t have to turn steel into puddles. Yield strength (sorry, that’s a structural engineering term you purport to know) decreases quickly with increase in temperature. See, for example, a blacksmith turning a straight bar into a horseshoe.

      As for the columns, they weren’t “1200 ft high”. They were just long enough to transport to the site and then bolted together. Those connections weren’t desgined for the impact loading of the floors pancaking above. But you know that because you have an engineering degree, LOL.

      Reply
    • stingray65

      The collapsing towers do look very similar to controlled demolition implosions, but have you ever looked at all the work that goes into controlled demolitions? First they almost always dismantle or weaken key parts of the building so they have more control over the collapse, which involves heavy and very noisy equipment. Second, they require a great deal of explosives that must be carefully placed and wired together and then hooked up to computer controlled fired detonations, which again would require bringing pallets of explosives and wiring and placing them on many structural elements through a very busy and well secured office building. Third, they would have to have all this explosive system in place and ready to go when the airplanes crashed into the buildings, which would mean coordinating with the terrorists and making sure that they were good enough flyers to crash the planes into the building in such a way as to not destroy the wiring or charges. Chances of all this happening without building security, building inspectors, NYPD, FBI, CIA finding out about it (even as pathetic and corrupt as they often are) are less than zero. On the other hand, two large planes full of jet fuel crashing into the buildings and setting fires that weaken and distort the supporting steal beams leading floors to start pancaking each other is very plausible.

      Reply
  15. Tony LaHood

    This used to be an enjoyable car site (with the occasional article about music, watches, and random esoterica) with a superb and gifted writer at the helm. I shall miss it.

    Reply
      • Tony LaHood

        I must reply to this. It is indeed a safe.place for people in denial Denial that there is a real and existential threat to our country as a democracy coming from the ignorant, trailer trash, anti-science, anti-education collection of conspiracy believers that is today’s GOP. We have one person to blame for this, and unless someone drives a.silver stake through his heart, he’s going to come back in 2024. And believe me, he will have no interest in governing; instead, it will be the Trump vengeance tour.

        Before I continue, please understand that I am no liberal and no Democrat. I lovec President Reagan. I think Bush 41 was everything a leader should be. I supported his son, Bush 43 when few others did. McCain lost my vote by putting that moron on the ticket, but I’d have enthusiastically supported him otherwise. I have been a center-right Republican ever since I was old eniugh to vote. That my former party lives in an alternate universe is sickening to me.

        Those you support invaded sacred ground on January 6. They constructed a gallows for the hanging.of the VP.. They reveled in their idiotic Q- Anon conspiracies and made Ashli Babbit a martyr, nevermind she had it coming. These people.should not be forgiven.

        At least America had a good run. I’d never have dreamed that its demise would come not from an external source but from the disciples of The Man That Killed America. God help us all.

        Reply
        • Jack Baruth Post author

          Everything you say is heartfelt and principled. I appreciate your saying it. It would be deeply reassuring were you right on all counts because the “trailer trash” about whom you worry are the least powerful people on Earth. Donald Trump has no power. He never did. He campaigned on building a wall and fixing our trade situation, but once in office he focused on Black unemployment and support for Israel. He got no bills passed, nothing done.

          We live in a world defined by the actions taken by the truly powerful in response to Trump. Everything taught to children, everything on every television, everything in each advertisement and billboard. The United States military focuses on purging whites from its units even as they abandon an arsenal in Afghanistan. The director of Homeland Security says foreigners have a right to cross the border and the focus needs to be on white people as a threat. Do you see any power wielded by the trailer trash? Do you see the GOP exercising any power as 140 of its members cosign a red flag law for service members?

          If the biggest threat to the country is truly the trailer trash, then we are totally fine. Because those people are marked for extinction.

          Reply
          • hank chinaski

            I almost replied with a simple dismissive ‘OK Boomer’ to LaHood’s comment above, but among the entrapped and subsequently gulag’ed Capitol Tourists, the universal jab coerced through unemployment and dishonorable discharge, inflation and border caravans, the hoi polloi are most certainly suffering the Uniparty’s ‘vengeance tour’ for electing Trump in the first place.

            Reagan is overrated. He started the ball rolling on amnesty and our current immigration problems, massive deficit spending and ATF overreach. The credit he’s been given for the collapse of the USSR was more luck of timing (after the Afghanistan debacle, lol), insomuch as the economic boom and ‘surplus’ Clinton took credit for was due to the birth of the internet. HW birthed the Forever Wars to be carried on by his son. All helped gut manufacturing and financialize the economy. Screw the lot of those clowns.

          • mdm08033

            Why? The source material from the NYT claims that an FBI informant breached the Capital. Also, I don’t have much faith in a Internet personality who is selling end f days rations.

  16. John C.

    If Tony is saying goodbye, it is quite a loss for this website. Remember some of his old articles from CC were reposted here by Tom. I will miss him.

    I have noticed that Tom’s weekly lust objects have gotten less frequent. He sensibly sits out right wing meme and 9/11 truther junk, but I wonder if we take in the comment section his articles to places he doesn’t like. He surely has my email from all my comments, if me sitting out will keep him here for us to enjoy, let me know.

    Reply
  17. Tony LaHood

    Well Hank, I’d rather be a boomer than a self-entitled, perpetually butt hurt Millennial. I imagine you think Lincoln is overrated as well. Is there any.president of whom you approve?

    Reply
  18. hank chinaski

    X’er not Millennial if the high octane cynicism didn’t tip you off.

    Lincoln is at the absolute bottom, followed by Wilson, FDR and LBJ. I have a soft spot, possibly unearned, for TR and Ike but frankly it’s been downhill since GW.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      I agree. Lincoln threw 750,000 Americans into a meat grinder to ensure that the North had a production cost advantage over the South.

      Reply

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