Was Brexit a Failure?

The Tories, who took the United Kingdom out of the European Union (saving the nation’s sovereignty, I say), now are going to get tossed out of the UK government, likely to be limited to a few ignominiously back bench seats in Parliament. And they’ll deserve it.

Some excuse their failure, attributing it to the onset of the Wuhan Virus Situation shortly after the Brits had gone out from the EU. That’s a coward’s excuse-making copout, though.

The Tories didn’t only make missteps, they were determinedly incompetent, and many government officials (vis., Mark Carney, the then-Governor of the Bank of England, the British Central Bank) acted solely out of their own hubris and/or for their personal political gain.

Energy lies at the heart of any nation’s economy, and cheap energy directly facilitates a healthy, burgeoning economy. As soon as the UK had (re)gained its sovereignty, the Tories abjectly surrendered to the British Climate Funding Industry and heavily increased restrictions on regulation of British fossil fuel production in favor of expensive (not only to the government, but to the British subjects, also) and unreliable “green” energy.

The Tories, having just regained the nation’s sovereignty, “negotiated” with the EU over where the UK’s internal boundaries should be drawn. This is the Northern Ireland customs border fiasco.

The then-Prime Minister Theresa May moved to institute a broad-scale tax rate reduction program which would have left millions more pounds in the hands of the UK’s private citizens and their businesses, which would have fostered a more active private economy—and more revenues on net flowing into government back pockets. But in her own display of incompetence, May chose simply to try to ram the cuts through Parliament with no serious effort to explain the benefits to anyone—not her Party members in Parliament, not to the public at large. And she chose not to put forward a serious spending plan that would live within the new tax rates.

The plan also was deliberately sabotaged by the self-important, personal gain-seeking Carney who used his office as BoE Governor to manipulate the Bank’s interest rates so as to counter and destroy the beneficial effects of those tax rate cuts.

The Tories have failed (a failure so complete I almost have to conclude it was a conscious decision by otherwise highly talented politicians (or so they claim about themselves)) to decisively address the influx of illegal aliens into their nation. Illegal aliens still flood in, absorbing national resources and jobs that otherwise would have gone to British subjects and legal residents.

Brexit was no failure; it was an excellent chance for the UK to revive itself as a serious player on the world stage. The failure was entirely that of the Tory Party and of some officious officials. Brexit still can work to the benefit of the nation. The people just need to elect responsible and competent representatives.

The coming (snap) elections will tell the tale.

A Woke…or Something…State Judge

A Montana State district judge, Shane Vannatta, is having trouble with reality. He has ruled a law, AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING THE LAWS TO PROVIDE A COMMON DEFINITION FOR THE WORD “SEX” WHEN REFERRING TO A HUMAN unconstitutional because

the bill’s title did not adequately explain whether the word “sex” referred to gender or sexual intercourse and that it did not indicate the words “male” and “female” would be defined in the body of the bill.

Never mind that bill titles typically do not themselves include glossaries or references to glossaries. His plaint that “sex” was unclear in its intended subject in the present title is simply disingenuous since the title explicitly states “when referring to a human”—and does not suggest, even by tenuous innuendo, “when referring to human sex practices.”

Never mind, either that the law’s first paragraph and that paragraph’s first two subparagraphs provide precisely the definitions of interest:

Section 1. Section 1-1-201, MCA, is amended to read:
1-1-201. Terms of wide applicability. (1) Unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions apply in the Montana Code Annotated:
(a) “Female” means a member of the human species who, under normal development, has XX chromosomes and produces or would produce relatively large, relatively immobile gametes, or eggs, during her life cycle and has a reproductive and endocrine system oriented around the production of those gametes. An individual who would otherwise fall within this definition, but for a biological or genetic condition, is female.
(b) “Male” means a member of the human species who, under normal development, has XY chromosomes and produces or would produce small, mobile gametes, or sperm, during his life cycle and has a reproductive and endocrine system oriented around the production of those gametes. An individual who would otherwise fall within this definition, but for a biological or genetic condition, is male.

Apparently, Vannatta’s law school training didn’t include a literacy test, nor did it train him in extending his attention span. For the good of the State, especially for the good of Montana’s citizens, he needs to be removed from the bench until he corrects those deficiencies.

Green Subsidies

There’s this bit from Power Line:

And this quote from Severin Borenstein’ and Lucas Davis’ The Distributional Effects of U.S. Tax Credits for Heat Pumps, Solar Panels, and Electric Vehicles:

Over the last two decades, US households have received $47 billion in tax credits for buying heat pumps, solar panels, electric vehicles, and other “clean energy” technologies. Using information from tax returns, we show that these tax credits have gone predominantly to higher-income households. The bottom three income quintiles have received about 10% of all credits, while the top quintile has received about 60%.

It’s reasonable to ask why those “bottom” quintiles—which include the middle-class folks—don’t buy more of these cool green devices. The answer is because even after the lavish subsidies, they can’t afford the devices. The remaining, out of pocket, costs still are too great. Worse, those remaining out of pocket costs comprise the entirety of the costs for much of the bottom two quintiles:

About 40% of US households pay no federal income tax, so millions of mostly low- and middle-income filers are simply ineligible for these credits.

It’s also reasonable to wonder whether Government is simply subsidizing a market until the devices become ubiquitous enough for prices to come down. Leave aside the fact that subsidies vanishingly rarely go away and protected industries just as vanishingly rarely lose their “protection.” The plain fact here is that, after all these years of pushing the devices, and even after all these years of real improvements in their performance, there is no interest in these devices across the broad market. It’s an industry that’s not going to take off without ever larger subsidies, ever increasing government pressure on us to get these devices anyway, ever increasing effort government effort to deny us access to alternative devices.

These green subsidies just give the already rich liberal Left a way to look good to each other in their solar-heated showers.

Maybe it’s time to start making the supporters of Green Politics pay their fair share.

 

H/t Ralf Longwalker

How Many?

The FBI says it has identified a characteristic common to sites of active shooter shootings.

…open spaces—which include roads, neighborhoods, parks, and outdoor venues—are the places where victims are most likely to be targeted.

There’s one other characteristic, not fully addressed in the FBI’s report, that’s well worth consideration. How many of those locations were defenseless, whether because laws barred firearms from the areas or because the relevant business owner—mall owner or theater owner, for instance—lawfully posted his locale as barring firearms? The report did address this, but only tangentially, with this single remark, captioning a single chart:

Of the 48 incidents in 2023, four involved civilian intervention where a civilian intervened or attempted to intervene, resulting in two civilian casualties.

Across all 48 of the 2023 active shooter events, there were 105 killed, and 139 injured. Subtract off the two casualties where civilians responded in the time frame before the cops could arrive—naively allocating the two to one death and one injury—and that works out to an average of 2-3 deaths per defenseless event and 3-4 injuries per defenseless event.

Clearly armed patrons already on scene reduced the casualty rate by filling the gap between the onset of the event and the arrival of the second first responders. But the wannabe gun controllers would rather sacrifice the Left’s “if it saves one life” mantra in favor of their obsession with disarming all of us.

 

The FBI’s report can be read here.

Journalist Complaining about Violation of Journalistic Ethics

This is rich. Here’s David Brooks, complaining about a journalist penetrating a private gathering hosted by a historical society and attended by some Supreme Court Justices:

It’s a complete breach of any—the basic form of journalistic ethics. And I was, frankly, stunned that all of us in our business just reported on it, just like straight up.

I’ve addressed this concept of ethics in journalism—rather the lack of ethics in journalism—before. I’m addressing it again here, now that the highly esteemed (at least in some circles) Brooks has brought the matter up.

Today’s journalists news writers and opinion personalities think it’s jake to base their pieces entirely on “anonymous sources,” leaving readers and listeners no means of assessing for themselves the accuracy of the claims made or the credibility of the unidentified claimers.

Today’s news writers and opinion personalities think it entirely appropriate to treat their anonymous sources as though they actually exist, and subsequently that they are truthful solely because the writer and personality say so. Never mind that such a source, if it exists, is likely violating his terms of employment if not his oath of office by leaking, and so is empirically dishonest at the outset. Alternatively, an anonymous source, if it exists, is hiding behind anonymity out of cowardice, and cowards will always and only say what he believes will be personally beneficial with his leaks.

Some writers and personalities think it sufficient to address those points by claiming the source is a whistleblower. They consciously choose to not provide any evidence that the source has exhausted all of his whistleblower avenues of objection before he chose to become a leaker. Again, we’re supposed to believe the writer/personality solely on the basis of his smiling face and congenial rhetoric.

Finally, and of overarching importance, journalism used to have a standard that required two on-the-record sources to corroborate the claims of anonymous sources.

Today’s writers and personalities have long since walked away from that standard. On top of that, today’s writers and personalities, and their Editors-in-Chief, refuse today to identify the standard of journalistic integrity they use in its stead.

“Journalistic ethics.” A canonical oxymoron.