HomeArticleThe Empire Attacks BDS For The Same Reason Nixon Started The Drug War

The Empire Attacks BDS For The Same Reason Nixon Started The Drug War

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Arkansas’ anti-BDS law violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution, because it plainly does.

The Arkansas Times has successfully challenged a law that prohibits the state from doing business with companies that boycott Israel,” Mondoweiss reports. “The Little Rock-based weekly filed the lawsuit in 2018 and was represented by the ACLU. The paper takes no official position on BDS, but it launched the legal challenge after the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College refused to sign an advertising contract with The Arkansas Times, unless it signed the pledge. A U.S. district court judge dismissed the case in 2019, but last week the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found the law unconstitutional in a 2-1 decision.” 

“One of the greatest threats to free speech are laws banning state contracts with any company or citizen advocating a boycott of Israel,” tweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald of the ruling. “Every court to review them, except one, declared them unconstitutional. That sole court just got overruled: good news. These laws, which proliferated in numerous states, haven’t received the attention they deserve given what a grave threat to free speech they pose.”

This is an important victory for civil rights defenders and for Palestinian rights activists, but it’s just one battle in a much larger war.

In a recent article titled “Biden officials pledge to fight BDS“, Electronic Intifada‘s Josh Ruebner documents the “vitriolic opposition” which various members of the current administration have voiced against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions protest movement against the Israeli government’s flagrant violations of international law and its apartheid abuses of the Palestinian people, and the administration’s support for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism which civil rights advocates criticize as “a pretext to smear and censor supporters of Palestinian rights.”

Ruebner writes:

The Biden administration “embraces and champions” the so-called IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, a State Department official said on Monday.

 

Kara McDonald, deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, praised the definition “with its real-world examples” as “an invaluable tool” to “call hate by its proper name and take effective action,” according to the JTA news agency.

 

McDonald is serving temporarily as the Biden administration’s point person on the issue until it names a special envoy on anti-Semitism.

 

The IHRA definition has been promoted by Israel and its lobby groups.

 

It has been strongly opposed by civil libertarians and Palestinian and Jewish organizations which see it as a pretext to smear and censor supporters of Palestinian rights.

 

Its use as a tool of censorship has even been criticized by the definition’s original author.

 

This is because some of the definition’s accompanying examples equate legitimate criticisms of Israeli government policies and actions with anti-Jewish bigotry.

So we can definitely expect the attacks on BDS and other Palestinian rights activism to continue with extreme aggression. Anti-imperialists often attribute this forceful campaign to Israel’s central role in the western empire’s geostrategic agendas in the Middle East, and that’s certainly a big part of it; if Palestinians are able to obtain equal rights in Israel the nation’s government and behavior will look drastically different from the way it looks today.

But another major motive behind these attacks which doesn’t get enough attention is to sabotage and undermine the left in the western world, in much the same way as the “war on drugs” was originally intended to do.

In 2016 the late journalist and author Dan Baum revealed something that he’d been told in 1994 by former top Nixon advisor and Watergate co-conspirator John Ehrlichman (emphasis added):

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

In much the same way, those in charge of the capitalist empire could never get away with outlawing support for socialism or opposition to imperialism, but they can target things that socialists and anti-imperialists happen to support in order to disrupt the left.

Last month the prominent Israeli civil rights organization B’Tselem published an analysis titled “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid”, finding that “the bar for labeling the Israeli regime as apartheid has been met.”

Anyone who moves a sufficient distance to the left of the mainstream so-called “center” will necessarily find themselves in opposition to a right-wing government with institutionalized apartheid. The true left’s inherent opposition to injustice, racism and imperialism necessarily means a leftist will inevitably find their way into that position once they learn enough and move far enough outside of imperialist mainstream indoctrination.

By taking this natural consequence of sincere leftism and labeling it “anti-Semitism”, as the aforementioned IHRA definition of anti-Semitism effectively does, the imperial propaganda engine has given itself a bludgeon with which to attack every part of the ideological spectrum which opposes capitalism and imperialism.

Whether or not Ehrlichman’s account of the origins of the drug war is accurate (some dispute its exact nature), it cannot be denied that minorities and political dissidents have been affected far more adversely by the drug war than the white right-wingers who comprised Nixon’s base. Their leaders absolutely were arrested. Their homes absolutely were raided. Their meetings absolutely have been broken up. They absolutely were vilified night after night on the evening news.

In the same way, it hasn’t been neo-Nazis and other right wing extremists who’ve wound up targeted by the dishonest conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, it’s been peace activists and the left, whether that be on college campuses or in politics.

The strongest example of the latter is of course the UK’s Jeremy Corbyn, who through a series of odd accidents found himself within spitting distance of leading a major western power as an anti-imperialist socialist. This could not be tolerated, so an entirely bogus narrative about an epidemic of anti-Semitism in Corbyn’s Labour Party, largely aided by Corbyn’s history of support for Palestinian rights, was hammered day after day by the mass media with unbelievable force until his party lost and his faction was subverted.

Anyone of sufficient influence who is far enough outside the capitalist, imperialist consensus worldview will necessarily find themselves similarly targeted for their inevitable opposition to Israeli apartheid, with the shrieking narratives of the political/media class as shrill, urgent and hysterical as they need to be to undermine their subject into impotence.

This weapon will continue to be used against the left, not only to support Israel but to prevent the rise of any political movements in powerful western nations which would threaten the capitalist, imperialist world order.

_________________________________

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Latest comments

  • I basically make about $12,000-$18,000 a month online. It’s enough to comfortably replace my I was amazed how easy it was after I tried it . This is what I’ve been doing old jobs income, especially considering I only work about 10-13 hours a week from home………….. JOBS APP

  • Fascinating Ehrlichman quote, thanks. There’s another aspect of Nixon’s drug war I recall from the summer of ’70, when there was no grass, supposedly because it was being interdicted at the Mexican border, but suddenly cheap strong heroin was everywhere. Junk had been used with great effectiveness to destroy the black community, and now the white radicals were in for it. There were many ODs and much heartache in the community. That was an angry summer, after the Kent State murders, very angry indeed. The slogan “armed love” was graffiti’d everywhere, and people were organizing and training.

    The street junkies knew where and usually when the smack was coming in. The cops could have stopped the trade overnight if they were serious about it. There were also more undercover cops than usual on the scene. Spotting the narcs was a fun, high-stakes sport. Some short haired fella in brand-new jeans comes up to you and asks, “say, do you know where I can buy some narcotics, like marijuana, LSD, or amphetamine?” Our standard reply was, “golly, officer, sorry, those things are against the law, you know!” Ya git yer cheap thrills where ya can.

    • i remember doonesbury cartoons about this, and the “disguised” fbi agents on campuses.

  • Jewish activists first conflated “anti-semitism” with “anti-jewish-ism.” First, it must be remembered that “Semitic” peoples include Jewish, Arabian, Palestinian, Mesopotamian an Egyptian people, as well as others whose roots were in the ancient mideast. Jewish people are not the only Semites, and that many people who are Jewish by religion do not have Semitic roots. It was quite a trick in framing.

    Secon, I always find it amazing that politicians an advocates for the state of Israel can decry their version of “anti-Semitism” while at the same time destroying the homes of Palestinian people and building housing developments (misnomered as “settlements”) on land stolen from Palestinians. One might hope that an ethnic group who had experienced such a degree of oppression historically would find it in their hearts to refrain from such ill treatment of any other ethnic group. But it turns out that when people gain power, they seem to exercise that power to the detriment of justice.

    I wish I remember where I read this: Instead of setting up Israel in Palestine after WWII, it would have better served justice to set it up a Jewish state in Bavaria.

  • Bonus points for the original Darth Vader “Feel the power!” pose. Nixon’s actual downfall, IMHO, started with his comment on the Bohemian Grove boys’ club being “the most faggy god damned thing I ever saw”. Once this was leaked and people realized we were talking about the elite leaders of business, media, entertainment, industry, government, etc. having their private fun camping among the trees while burning effigies of children on an altar before a giant concrete owl, Nixon was thereafter a media target to be destroyed. At least they let Nixon quietly slink away and basically ignored the subsequent pardon thing. These media attack dog people have become much nastier of late. I’ve always been curious, however, about the war on drugs on the one hand and rumors of certain intelligence agencies taking an active interest in the import and distribution of those same controlled substances.

  • Anwar Sadat, Egyptian leader talking to Menachem Begin, Israel PM. ” I want to talk about Sinai and he wants to talk about Hitler”! Duuu, it’s a scam to keep you thinking about the oppressor as being the victims and of course; keep the loot rolling in. It’s something like what’s going on today with the creation of “White guilt” in the population including and perhaps especially teaching self flagellation for white people. They did this in Germany; had and have Germans who’s grandfather’s weren’t born when the Nazis were in power. They milked and continue to milk the Germans to this day. Various groups are running this guilt reperations scam today in the west and many are buying it. There’s been affirmative action for more than two generations and those who haven’t made it yet are unlikely to…ever. The ruling class have been turning us against each other for millennia and it’s time we got together, formed strong trade Unions and took our power and share of the wealth we build back and put the financial parasite back in it’s bottle. As to Israel, the Palestinians need to recognize that they’ll never have a viable state and agree to give up what’s left and become Israelites and have a better life. Perhaps, breed themselves into power over time. The west needs to get over Hitler and remember that when the Brits and others were fighting for “freedom”, they had conquered and were occupying and exploiting billions of people around the world… time to move on and get a life, the past is just that, past!

  • By any stretch of Imagination:

    https://mikopeled.com/2020/11/02/the-targeted-campaign-to-topple-jeremy-corbyn/

    In the Western context one is led to ask: What constitutes a Christian people? What constitutes a Muslim people? A ‘people’ are not solely the religion that some among them practice. As we all know, there are a multitude of sects within.

    By definition, any institutionalized national state, say Australia, for example, is made up of indigenous inhabitants, and those other historical usurping interlopers; now ‘citizens, of diverse religious affiliations who make up Australia.

    Yet the state of Israel erroneously defines only its Jewish faith practitioner’s as a people. They too are working to incorporate the indigenous Arab peoples of the area into their unholy state.

    Afterall, they may claim, by example, they are only following the steps taken by what their bigoted white racist European forbears have done; in the Americas and Australasia, and elsewhere, since time immemorial. And, as the all-powerful before them got away with it, so too the neophyte Israelis, in their ill wisdom, believe, why not us.

    Zionism has become but another racist offshoot ideology. It may have had its foundational roots in Judaism, but conflating religion with a now more encompassing anti-SEMitic (Socio-Economic-Mantra) political dogma, is at best, disingenuous, serving only as a further obfuscatory program for covering over and maintaining yet another mythological religious belief system.

    Religions have been one of mankind’s most successful concepts for carrying out “the policy of maintaining control over one’s subordinates or opponents by encouraging dissent between them, thereby preventing them from uniting in opposition.”

    And Voila!
    Here we are, centuries on, in 2021, sitting back in our comfortable rockers, still wondering what the hell is happening.

  • Legitimate criticism of the government of Israel is not Anti-semitism and has nothing to do with Judaism.
    `
    Here is the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of Anti-semitism:
    `
    https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/resources/working-definitions-charters/working-definition-antisemitism

    “The working definition of antisemitism
    `
    “In the spirit of the Stockholm Declaration that states: “With humanity still scarred by …antisemitism and xenophobia the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils” the committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial called the IHRA Plenary in Budapest 2015 to adopt the following working definition of antisemitism.
    `
    “On 26 May 2016, the Plenary in Bucharest decided to:

    `
    “Adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:

    “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

    To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:
    `
    “Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
    `
    “Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:
    `
    “Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
    `
    ” Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
    `
    “Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
    `
    ” Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
    `
    ” Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
    `
    “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
    `
    “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
    `
    “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
    `
    “Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
    `
    “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
    `
    “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
    `
    “Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).
    `
    “Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.
    `
    “Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.”

    • I am against:

      Racism
      Supremacism
      Narcissism
      Circumcision
      Legalism
      Slavery
      Usury
      Paedophilia
      Pederasty
      Organised religion
      Institutional indoctrination
      Blood sacrifice
      Demon conjuration
      Genocide
      Hate
      Revenge
      Lying
      Deception
      Doublethink

      Therefore I am – proudly – an ‘anti-semite’. One cannot help but notice that a mongrel race claiming for c. 2500 years to have been Chosen™ by a southern Canaanite Snake deity to be hated by all nations, and to subjugate all nations in slavery under an Eternal Reich, never ceases to complain about being hated by all nations.

  • Israel has more influence and control over the “United states centralized empire,” including our elections, government and media, than any other country.
    `
    I have always found it fascinating (read sickening) that Israel, the largest recipient of U.S. “aid” (money and weapons) have their most powerful lobbies/pacs turn around and donate massive amounts of that same “aid” in “campaign contributions” to our elected representatives.
    `
    And surprisingly (not,) those same elected U.S. representatives and senators turn right around and vote, year after year, for ever increasing “aid” to Israel.
    `
    All the while turning a blind eye to Palestinian apartheid.
    `
    What a scam. The definition of graft.

  • Too bad I decided to produce all my electrical needs with solar with no generator or grid connection. I did have to put up with the odd solar spill and power outage when the sun went out. Other than that it has been 100% reliable and the energy has been 100% free.

  • Some years ago I wrote the Israeli state department asking them why Anti Semitism was a global problem and yet there was no Anti Buddhism, anti Norwegianism, etc.
    I never received a reply.

  • Trump is no hero to me but he did indeed
    cleverly turn the phrase “fake news”
    against its maker. We failed to do
    that with the CIA’s “conspiracy theory”
    and it has caused endless misery and
    confusion since. Is it too late to win it back
    by pinning it on Russiagate and the like?

  • This is the biggest issue we Americans have to face.
    Courage kudos to Caitlin for pursuing it!

    Anyone who wants to stay on social media
    here must turn a blind eye, which creates a
    schiziiphrenic split much like Germans
    developed as a result of their forced conversion to
    Christianity back in the day.

  • “What steps do you plan to take to reduce the conflict in the Middle East? Or the rates of inflation, crime and unemployment? What are your plans for preserving the environment or reducing the risk of nuclear war? What do you plan to do about NATO, OPEC, the CIA, affirmative action, and the monstrous treatment of…

    I shall take the liberty of answering for you: You plan to do nothing about them. You may, of course, cast a ballot for someone who claims to have some plans… Voting, we might even say, is the next to last refuge of the politically impotent….

    Thus, we have here a great loop of impotence: The news elicits from you a variety of opinions about which you can do nothing except to offer them as more news, about which you can do nothing.”

    Postman Amusing Ourselves to Death 1985

  • Why for every article about the oppression of the Uyghurs or other such groups there is 20 articles about the oppression of the Palastinians.

    • Palestinians have been oppressed at least since 1967. So what’s your point??????

      • Why all the articles on BLM compared to other groups.

        • Why do none of the other countries in the middle east refuse to allow palistinians to immigrate. Those thry have sre kept in camps. Why does countries in the middle east maintain refugee camps that are similar to conditions by palestinians but no one mentions them. Do you see a pattern beyond just Israel.

        • Don’t change the subject.

          • You need to see the big picture. Bashing Israel is the sole intent. I am not excusing them but simply saying the blame should be spread much greater. You are a dupe for their propoganda when you go exactly where they want.

      • 1. Khatika is a troll, so convincing that person is futile. Troll’s programming has no such option.
        2. Show me a video of an Uighur village demolished, Uighur prevented from using ground water, Uighurs removed from land, Uighur’s land separated from their villages by tall walls, etc.
        3. In MSM, there is more coverage of Uighurs than Palestinians.

        • Explain to me why no muslim countries will accept palestinians or why they are kept in refugee camps whem outside palestine. Open your eyes, this is not just an Israeli problem but a problem of the entire middle east. They are all just as guilty as Israel.

  • What Erhlichman said I believe is partially true. More so it was an excuse for increase police presence and militarize the public sector. It is no longer required now since we have the war on terror instead. The different prison sentences for crack vs cocaine was a good example how drug enforcement targeted blacks. You got 5x the prison sentence for crack.

  • It’s a shame that any species would tolerate such outliers of normal behavior within its ranks to the detriment of the overwhelming majority of its members. I don’t know of any other primate, or mammalian species that does. The failure of such a species to do so would seem to indicate a species that is doom to extinction as it lessens the ability of the whole to respond successfully to environmental stressors that may develope in the future

  • AIPAC will be sure to condemn Glenn Greenwald as a loathsome self-hating Jew for those totally appropriate and laudable comments. They always do that to any of their kindred folk who dare to consider other ethnic groups or religious adherents as worthy of the same human rights and moral values as their own tribe of “Semitic” Supremacists and genocidal mass murderers. Palestinians and other truly oppressed peoples should publicly honor Mr. Greenwald as one of the rare breed of righteous Jews. How tragic that the tribe was so traumatized by their oppression under the Nazis in Hitler’s Germany that they internalized all of their oppressors’ values and methods. I would encourage Glenn to try to explain this to them since they will never listen to any of us outsiders. Moreover, an awful lot of gentile Americans hopped on that same Nazi bandwagon after the big war, somehow conflating the tyranny they defeated with “freedom,” “democracy,” and “American exceptionalism.”

  • Once again, Ms Johnstone, you have written an article and hit it completely out of the park. You are a true champion of all oppressed people. Bravo!

    • Yes, Ron, Caitlin hit a home run with this one. Calling for economic sanctions against Israel, as it has come to be, is no more “antisemitic” than it was “racist” to call for such sanctions against the former South Africa. Too obvious to merit discussion. Also too obvious not to demand strenuous opposition as Caitlin expresses.

    • @ Ron Campbell
      I could not have conjured better words nor strung them together as well as you already have.
      Yes, hats off to Ms. Johnstone

  • I am a libertarian and disagree with your views on economics. However, I read all you write with gusto and agree with you analysis on the true nature of the American Empire. I believe the left/progressive/socialist movement and the right/libertarian movement have much in common in fighting against the evil American Empire, especially its wonton disregard of Palestinian rights. We need to work together. Thanks for another great article!

    • Indeed, the Left is far from the only target. Antisemitism is accused against anyone who notes that Israel and Judaism ARE NOT the same thing, regardless how obviously true it is. In other words, anyone who takes a moment to examine the issue and speaks honestly about it. Judaism is religious in origin and no one else’s business, while Israel is just another gang of Psychopaths In Charge, with the self ordained authority to hold a gun to people’s heads and force them to comply with its insanity.

      • Zionism and Yawwehism amount to the same thing. Have
        you read the Bible?

        Please understand I’m not saying people can help whatever
        cult they are born into. One has to be brave and supported to
        escape.

  • https://www.johndayblog.com/2021/02/texas-freezing-blackout.html Sorry, off topic…
    Texas is cold, colder than anything on record, overall, for this time of year, and snowed-in, which never happens for more than a day here in central Texas. This combination, and the long duration, 6 days already, and counting, make this event an order of magnitude or more beyond the parameters that engineers considered when designing safety measures. Something similar, but milder and more localized happened in the Dallas, Fort Worth area during super bowl 2011, I hear, but I don’t recall it. I didn’t live there.
    The cost to keep a temperature differential from inside to outside matters in several ways. Texas houses and businesses often pump something like 35 degrees, between 105 outside and 70 inside during the summer, with AC units, which are heat pumps. Heat pumps are pretty efficient. They might use 1 unit of electricity to pump 9 equal energy nits of heat outside. Gas burning furnaces and stoves are pretty good. Stoes don’t waste any heat. They are unvented heaters. CO2 does build up with lots of burning over a long time. Lots of use lived with unvented heaters for many years in the old days. Gas furnaces won’t work when the electricity is out. Stoves will. You may need a match.
    Electric heating is different. It does not pump 9 units of heat for every equal unit of electricity.
    Resistive electric heaters make 1 unit of heat for 1 unit of electricity. Resistive electric heaters take 9 times as much electricity to cover that 35 degree differential, and a lot of us are trying to get 65 degrees inside with 15 degrees outside this week.
    A lot of people need 12 times as much electricity as during summer peak load.
    About 40% of Texas households are currently without electricity. We just had about 20 hours without electricity, after 8 hours without last Thursday evening and night. We are fortunate to have a gas stove, and an older one with a gas pilot light, so we used it and blanketed up overnight, and sweatered up in the daytime.
    We have been able to cook. We have nice fresh produce we harvested ahead of the deadly cold.
    We gave some away, too. Not the spinach. Jenny cooked lovely Saag paneer 2 days ago, and I made spinach omelets with mushroom and cheese sauce today. Still tasting it…
    I carried in frozen rainwater buckets to put in the refrigerator and freezer, which became “the icebox”, which was fun to say.
    I put them back outside a while ago when the power came on. They are “recharging”.
    ​ Without internet, I read most of Charles Hugh Smith’s latest book, print version, by a window, A Hacker’s Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet. I have other books I still need to read…
    There is a lot of blame being cast in Texas, for political purposes, but the fact is that nobody would have budgeted for something this extreme. Now they will need to.
    Many natural gas wellheads are frozen and some of the pipelines are not working right in the extreme cold. Remaining natural gas power plants are burning all the gas they can get, and competing with residential users for it.
    A lot of natural gas plants have been shut down in recent years, but they are the only kind of power plant that can ramp up fast to meet changes in electrical generation requirements. Some plants will need to be renovated and brought back online.
    It will cost more most days, but it will provide resilience for times of severe need. Texas has the gas…
    There is no wind or solar electric power currently online, due to ice storms last week and no thaw since then.
    We got down to 8 degrees F, with a wind, yesterday morning, and 6 F this mo​rning. I’ve never experienced it getting below 16, and that was the winter of 1983-1984, when every palm tree in Houston died.
    All of our “cold tolerant” Mexican avocado seedlings, now over a year old, are in the garage in their pots. The coating of ice from Thursday has melted. We put them in there before the temperature dropped below the mid 20s. That’s too cold.
    No point killing them all. I just want to see which ones do better.
    We’re not sure at all if any of the 15 Mexican avocado trees in Yoakum will live, though we cut up a roll of white plastic to wrap them with in sub freezing wind Saturday (Thanks Jenny!). We have been making deer-deterrence cages of chicken wire for a month, so that helps hold the wraps, but makes them harder to do and to tie. Jenny and I drove back to Austin after that chore, and harvesting the vegetables.
    The “ghost trees” are pictured below.
    We hope some live, but people are proud of the few that lived through 1983-1984, very proud.

    I’m actually very hopeful for Texas, because this is a big adversity, unanticipated and overwhelming for all Texans, a shared hardship. Political unity of purpose is exceedingly rare these days, and organizations are locked into status-quo procedures and protocols. That’s terrible, and only serves a few insulated power elites.
    This event provides a platform for practical initiatives to be taken by (politicians in) the State of Texas, in the interests of all Texans.
    Washington can only get in the way of Texas reinforcing it’s power grid backup-capacity for severe events.
    Run with that Ball, Texas!

    Mike Shedlock is politically incorrect, but factual here. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, and still abundant. Combustion = Real Economy.
    Hello Clean Energy Advocates, What Do We Do When the Wind Turbines are All Frozen?
    https://www.thestreet.com/mishtalk/economics/hello-clean-energy-advocates-what-do-we-do-when-the-wind-turbines-are-all-frozen

    • “What Do We Do When the Wind Turbines are All Frozen?”

      Indeed, and what would we do if Washington succeeded in getting Nordstream2 (and maybe all Russian gas sales to Europe) shut down whilst America sells Europe all the expensive fracked natural gas we can squeeze out of mother earth in the form of highly compressed LNG. Some corporate oligarchs would have a fatter bank balance but there’d be even fewer reserves of natural gas for Texas in a weather emergency such as experienced over the past week. Moreover, our reserves would be depleted so much the faster, forcing us to do what? Buy LNG from the Russians? There will always be a need for the stuff, even if we go big time on “green energy.” Why not leave it in our own ground until that time comes instead of selling it at discount prices as fast as possible to Poland and other Russophobic countries merely to irk Putin? Start doing things based on economic and actual environmental efficiencies rather than geopolitical power plays.

      • Green energy is making the world energy problems far worse. Nuclear energy is our only good option. Too bad wingnuts blocked every nuclear plant for the last 40 years which has exacerbated our current situation. Short sighted tunnel vision not based in reality and common sense. Frozen wind turbines in texas is a shining example of foolish green energy. Electric cars are another. Takes extreme amounts of energy to build and maintain then creates incredible amounts of environmental waste. We are leveling entire mountains to get at rare earths. Does anyone see s problem here. Green energy is nothing more than environmental Virtue signaling which has created another subsidized cottage industry.

        • Too bad I decided to produce all my electrical needs with solar with no generator or grid connection. I did have to put up with the odd solar spill and power outage when the sun went out. Other than that it has been 100% reliable and the energy has been 100% free.

        • Like Hydrogen fuel cells, Thorium reactors are mostly being ignored when they can add greatly to our energy supplies and will not leave a toxic legacy for a million years. When enough customers are left freezing in the dark, someone will come around and develop those niches. Windmills and solar cells are just not energy dense enough to replace fossil fuels entirely, as the grand liberal plan envisions.
          ~
          Battery-driven vehicles do not presently reduce the consumption of fossil fuels they just relocate the process where all the dirty redox reactions must take place, plus they drive up the need to, as you say, level mountains to wring out the resources to manufacture them.
          ~
          Will the plutocracy give a damn when 2035 rolls around, all internal combustion engines are outlawed and acceptable, efficient and affordable replacements are not available to the public? Oh, yeah, I forgot: the mantra for the future is that you will own nothing and like it.

    • Isn’t it remarkable how people unify in the face of a real existential danger. The value of your preferred pronoun, just for an example, not picking on the LGBQT, doesn’t amount to much when you are in bed all day trying to keep from freezing to death, and hoping you have running water sometime soon. As soon as its over though, who to blame will divide people again.

    • As it grows colder, growing seasons will start to be affected. Food shortages will slowly follow over the next few years. This is a worldwide phenomenon. Sorry Greta.

  • In the popular Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort, the great nemesis of the young magicians, is often identified as “He Who Must Not Be Named,” since the mere vocalization of those few particular syllables might bring doom upon the speaker. Similarly, the left-handed Eskimos have long enjoyed such enormous power and influence over the media and political life in both the US and the UK that members of the media and political world are so terrified by their fanatic activists hair-trigger eagerness to denounce and vilify all those suspected of being insufficiently friendly towards their ethnic group, that this tribe also receives the “Lord Voldemort Treatment” with both mainstream and alternative media pundits being alike living under the mortal fear that merely speaking the name would result in their professional and all too public destruction. In other words, we are all Palestinians today, because like the Palestinians we’re all stuck in limbo in an open air prison and cannot even utter the name of our oppressor…

  • The description of how the establishment viciously attacked Corbyn when he got close to controlling the British government is very well stated and a lesson for everyone who goes up against such power. The only way to push back is to have more of the masses’ support than the establishment.

    • Trump, with strong but only minority support from the masses, showed the left how to beat the MSM–hell, the entire political system–at their own game. But it seems, blinded by understandable hatred, the left has learned nothing.

      • The true left is on the receiving end of censorship, fake narratives etc. to a much larger larger degree. Faux left is a bait and switch operation.

        Thus true left was replaced by faux in UK, and The Grayzone describes how it is currently attempted in Ecuador, with active tutelage from USA.

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