I know it’s cold when I get ice in my beard. This morning it was 10° when I went out to feed the horses, which is a full 36° warmer than a bad day we had a few years ago. And it’s nothing compared to the temperatures I’m seeing in the Dakotas. Minot this morning was at ‑11° and I’m seeing regular lows in the ‑30/-40 range across that frigid chunk of the upper Midwest—which was once under many feet of ice. And probably will be again.
I remain unconvinced by the climate doomsayers because there is something a tad too religious in their zeal. The harder they preach the climate gospel the more I am reminded of Joel Osteen and the half-million bucks recently discovered in the bathroom walls of his megachurch. I am, however, utterly convinced of their other motives, particularly in light of the sudden unmasking of the left’s despotic leanings via the plague playbook. They are, often, the very same people.
Those motives dribble out slowly—and almost always come with the word “ban” attached. There is a devout element of the climate church that would love to decide what you can eat, what you can drink, where you can hike, what you can drive, what you can blow leaves around with, what you can wear, what kind of light bulb you can use, what you can read, how many children you are allowed to have, and although they can’t square it they also don’t really believe it’s your body and your choice. Not really. They simply can’t wait to tell you what kind of vaccines to put in your body, and if you resist the doctrine by kicking at the pews, the jesuits will schedule you for an exorcism. The whole thing reeks of Old Testament Orthodoxy and is somehow tied to the same human desire for the miraculous arrival of a faultless savior and promises of ever-lasting life. Osteen bought off the plumber with 20k and an NDA, by the way, and the story has been buried with the same kind of explanation we see everywhere else when Maggie’s Drawers get run up the flagpole: the issue is being investigated.
I haven’t sussed out all of the details of that analysis, but I’m getting closer—I’m like a sonar operator in a submarine who can hear a big battleship’s screws turning underwater, but can’t yet fully identify the ship or the range to target.
I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions but apparently the business world does. This morning my news feeds were papered with ads for exercise programs and various digitized medieval torture contraptions sold with the vague promise that fifteen years of sedentary consumerism and overeating can be cured in 90 minutes—if only you will buy a subscription to be yelled at every morning by an angry Covid Refugee on an exercise bike. I read recently that the fashion world once had four distinct seasons but they now pursue a 52-week business model. That’s a new look for every week of the year and I would guess, without expertise, we can soon look forward to a 365 day season.
Another reason I don’t do resolutions is that happiness is fundamental, not circumstantial, and ginning up for a new program which almost inevitably fails three weeks later seems stupid. You can start a new program for yourself any day of the year, if you actually care that much.
Things aren’t as complicated as we’ve made them. If you don’t want to get fat stop eating so much and go for a walk. If you don’t want to destroy your liver and wreck your personal relationships stop drinking. That’s not a message Americans want to hear. They’d rather believe that big pharma is going to produce a pill that can do all of that while they sit around on throw rugs in a cloud of incense, banging on gongs and worshipping photos of Noam Chomsky while being angry at big pharma.
In the excellent documentary American Factory the Chinese President encourages his team of Chinese managers—who are struggling to get their overweight and overwrought collection of former GM workers to do any actual work–to cater to the American ego. When you pet a donkey, he says, you must pet it in the direction its hair grows. I bring that up because he’s right about the contemporary American mindset. We’ve become a people that must be stroked constantly and always in the direction our hair grows. Which is yet another reason we aren’t likely to win the next big military fight with a peer competitor, which seems likely to be China. The first time they sink one of our carriers—which is probable–the surrender monkeys will come out of the woodwork. Mike Tyson was on point when he noted that “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” On Thursday the US Navy relieved two experienced combatant commanders—not because they rammed a seamount or were caught selling secrets to the enemy, not even because they were caught drinking on the bridge—but because they didn’t follow the proper protocols when addressing a sexual harassment claim. I often wonder what Halsey or Nimitz would think of the new Navy and its warfighting priorities.
People are fond of saying we can’t legislate morality, which is utter nonsense. We legislate morality all of the time: we think murder is immoral and so it is illegal. We think stealing and rape are immoral and so they are illegal. The better question to ask is what happens when a country loses its sense of morality and also it’s willingness to punish those who violate even the most basic agreed-upon standards of behavior. California is the flippant answer, but I welcome the discussion.
I don’t do resolutions but I will do a few predictions. Russia will not invade Ukraine because Shuffling Joe has all but capitulated. The real discussion inside the White House is how to spin that into another “great success” ala the Afghanistan withdrawal. Inflation will prove to be something other than transitory. Covid fatigue will engender riots by year’s end as the Gamma variant, which causes uncontrollable nose-hair growth, runs wild. Alabama will win the utterly lame college football playoff and Nick Saban will be crowned emperor in absentia. He will remain north of the Rubicon with his legions awaiting further developments. And finally, I will be here working in the trees, adjusting my expectations to reflect realities on the ground, reading, writing, and riding, and enjoying each and every day I get to draw another free breath of mountain air.
Happy New Year, everybody, and bon chance.