Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 05 Aug 2021
The World for People who Think

Society's Child


Incompetence + Arrogance = Woke

black lives matter
Politically correct ideology is masking and contributing to the widespread failure of our institutions.

We know the nature of mass hysterias in history, and how they can overwhelm and paralyze what seem to be stable societies.

We know the roots and origins of the cult of wokeness.

And we know, too, how such insanity — from the Salem witch trials to Jacobinism to McCarthyism — can spread, despite alienating most of the population, through fear and the threat of personal ruin or worse. These are the dark sides of the tulip, hula-hoop, and pet-rock fads, the mass obsessions so suited to past affluent Western societies.

But does wokeism serve another purpose as well? Specifically, does it either hide preexisting incompetence or fuel it?

In the last 18 months, we have seen most of our major institutions go woke and spend considerable amounts of time, capital, and labor on what might be called "commissarism." Yet in their zeal to rectify society in general and sermonize, virtue signal, pontificate, and perform to the public, many institutions are increasingly failing at what they were established to do.

Of course, public servants have long suffered the "Bloomberg effect" — focusing on misdemeanors to virtue signal competence as penance for failing to solve the existential crises. If you cannot clear New York City of snow in a timely manner, then lecture the trapped on everything from global warming to the dangers of super-sized soft drinks. Yet wokeism is a bit different since it now pervades our societies as a pandemic of its own.

Arrow Down

Leveling Down to Utopia

Road to Sefdom
Decades ago, F. A. Hayek warned that socialism was the Road to Serfdom. He explained not only why central planning was impossible but how the attempt destroys morality: planning leads to misery and increasing control, then totalitarianism, the corruption of truth, and finally even the ability to articulate it.

Today we are heading down a similar path, recast as the freeway toward "equity" and "justice." No student should be forced to repay loans, no retiree should be deprived of free hearing aids, and no Asian-Americans should have an advantage in college admissions based on outstanding records.

This is not, we are reassured by Democratic Socialists, the route mapped by the old, mean authoritarians, but a new way toward equal outcomes planned by the Enlightened and the Majority.

Never mind how slim the Congressional Majority might be. Never mind that some of the Enlightened promoting equity are unable to master basic grammar ("CRT is a verb"), much less math. These experts know how to fix things.

Let's grant the possibility that they do. Let's grant that democratically elected officials could magically solve the knowledge problem and lead us down this road in which equal outcome would follow equal outcome until no disparities existed in health, wealth, or achievement. Where would we be? What would we be?


Head of Belarusian activist group found hanged in Ukrainian park after vanishing while out jogging, Kiev cops open 'murder' probe

Vitaly Shishov
© Vitaly Shishov
Vitaly Shishov, the head of an association of Belarusians living abroad in Ukraine, has been found dead in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, police say. The activist disappeared while out running, sparking fears online for his safety.

On Tuesday, police in the city confirmed that his body had been found in a park near his home. In a statement, officials said he had been "hanged," and that his "mobile phone and personal belongings were recovered from the scene."

Investigators have now launched a criminal probe for "premeditated murder" and are asking all those who knew Shishov to come forward to "provide information about the last weeks of his life, his psycho-emotional state and any possible threats."

Comment: The West's coup in Ukraine has left the country overrun with criminal elements and so whether those responsible for the murder will be brought to justice remains to be seen:


STRIKES declared by France's firefighter & hospital unions against 'unconstitutional' vaccination mandate

france protest vaccine
© Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters
A protest against health passes and other coronavirus-related restrictions in Paris, France, July 31, 2021.
Two French unions have called for strikes against the compulsory vaccination of firefighters, healthcare workers, and caregivers. They say the measure violates fundamental rights.

One of the leading French firefighters' unions, FA/SPP-PATS, which boasts 7,000 members, said it will go on strike starting Monday unless changes are made to the recent law on compulsory vaccination of certain employees.

"The obligatory vaccination of firefighters under [the threat] of penalty violates the constitution," the union said in a statement.

Comment: Mandatory vaccine ID legislation is being prepared in countries throughout Europe, and beyond, and it's likely that this kind of pushback is just the beginning: And check out SOTT radio's:

Cowboy Hat

Missouri governor pardons couple who brandished guns at protesters

Patricia and Mark McCloskey
© 2020 Republican National Convention/Handout via REUTERS
Patricia and Mark McCloskey of St. Louis, Missouri, who confronted protesters outside their home while holding weapons, speak by video feed during the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, U.S. August 24, 2020.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson said on Tuesday he has granted pardons to Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who drew international attention for brandishing guns at racial justice protesters last year.

In addition to the McCloskeys, who are personal injury lawyers, the Republican governor also pardoned 10 other people on Friday, a document from his office showed.

On June 17, Mark McCloskey, 64, pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault. His wife pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment, also a misdemeanor, online court records showed.

Mark McCloskey was ordered to pay a $750 fine while Patricia McCloskey, 62, was fined $2,000. Both were ordered to turn over weapons used in the incident.

Comment: More coverage of the couple and the fallout from the incident that made headlines:

Star of David

'Study' from disinfo group CCDH whines top social media platforms fail to act on 'reported antisemitism'

soical media apps smart phone
© Chris Delmas/AFP
AFacebook App logo displayed on a smartphone in Los Angeles, March 1, 2021
Hate watchdog says 84% of content it flagged as anti-Jewish hatred was not dealt with by Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok; tech giants say more work to be done

Social media platforms are mostly not acting against antisemitic content even when it is flagged by users, according to a new report.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a UK and US nonprofit organization, said that over a six-week period earlier this year it used official complaint systems to report hundreds of incidents of anti-Jewish hatred it found on the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok platforms, but 84 percent of the time nothing was done about it.

The findings show a "serious and systematic failure to tackle antisemitism," the Center for Countering Digital Hate said in a statement accompanying its Failure to Protect report, which was released Friday.

Comment: The fact that it's the Center for Countering Digital Hate, makes the complaint a non-starter. They have been at the forefront of several campaigns to shut down legitimate criticism of Israel. They've also done their bit to silence those who criticise the covid narrative.


Nunes sues MSNBC alleging Rachel Maddow defamed him

Nunes Maddow
© AFP/Shawn Thew/Paul Marotta/Getty Images
Rep. Devin Nunes • MSNBC host Rachael Maddow
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is suing NBCUniversal for defamation, citing comments made by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in March regarding his dealings with an individual sanctioned by the U.S. government.

The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas alleges that Maddow and the network "harbor an institutional hostility, hatred, extreme bias, spite and ill-will" toward Nunes.

The congressman's lawyers argue that Maddow's criticisms of Nunes are based on his
"emergence as the most prominent skeptic in Congress of Maddow's marquee news narrative from 2017 to 2019: that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to hack the 2016 presidential elections."
The suit specifically takes issue with statements made by Maddow during her show on March 18, during which she suggested that Nunes refused to turn over a package he had reportedly received from the suspected Russian agent to the FBI. The lawsuit quotes Maddow as saying on her program:
"Congressman Nunes has refused to answer questions about what he received from Andriy Derkach. He has refused to show the contents of the package to other members of the intelligence community. He has refused to hand it over to the FBI which is what you should do if you get something from somebody who is sanctioned by the U.S. as a Russian agent."

Comment: Without a scandal d'jour, Maddow made one up.

Star of David

"People come out completely crazy": A Palestinian survivor talks Israeli torture

Victim torturer
© unknown
Torturer and Victim
When Abdul-Khaliq Burnat was a little boy, I would see him stand on the roof of his house and look over at the soldiers assembling on the hill across the road. His father Iyad Burnat and I would stand there too, watching the army prepare for the assault on the village. Abdul-Khaliq wanted to join the weekly protests that were going on at the time, but his father did not allow him to join. Even though these were intended to be peaceful protests, once the army came in there was nothing peaceful anymore and people would get hurt. "Chlab" he would say, as though to himself as he looked at the soldiers, meaning "dogs" in his Palestinian village accent.

I saw Abdul-Khaliq the other day in his village of Bil'in, a village that made a name for itself as one of the main centers of unarmed, peaceful resistance in Palestine. But even though the village was dedicated to peaceful resistance, the Israeli forces killed, injured and arrested countless of its people.


Oops! Tesla's Australian battery project bursts into toxic flames

© Scott Olsen/Getty Images
Elon Musk
A massive fire has reportedly broken out at Australia's largest Tesla battery project and is set to burn throughout the night. A toxic smoke warning has been issued in the area of the fire, which one fire official said could burn for eight to 24 hours.

ABC News Australia reports that the fire broke out during the testing of a Tesla megapack at the Victorian Big Battery site near Geelong.

A 13-ton lithium battery burst into flames, which then spread to an adjacent battery bank further igniting the blaze. Over 150 people from Fire Rescue Victoria and the Country Fire Authority arrived on the scene to battle the flames.


5 things red-state governors should do right now if they want to secede from Covistan permanently

USA states
© bloomberg.com
Red-state governors are taking the lead in rejecting the idea of new mask mandates or lockdowns. Several, including Kristi Noem in South Dakota, Brian Kemp in Georgia, and Ron DeSantis in Florida, never mandated masks and either stayed open or reopened early with a vengeance. To exit Covistan forever, governors can do a few things to solidify and support their positions.

1. Republican governors should order their state departments of health to do similar studies, as the Delta wave has peaked and is declining
For some reason, our CDC and NIH have no curiosity about the seroprevalence of an immune response to COVID-19 in the population. Oddly, India is far more curious, and following its wave of the Delta variant, the country conducted its fourth national randomized study. It found that nearly 70% of Indians over the age of six have antibodies, despite low vaccination rates.

Republican governors should order the collection of information on vaccination status and recovery from confirmed cases. Public health professionals should test samples for circulating antibodies and T-cell reactivity. The FDA has issued an emergency use authorization for a test to detect the presence of T-cells called T-Detect.