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The Great Texas Freeze of 2021
00:05:08
GaiusCalavius
7 Views · 8 months ago

In February 2021, the temperature in Texas dropped below zero. Not a big deal, right? Texas is the energy state. Just go home, turn on the heat, and hunker down. That’s how it should have gone. But it didn’t. What happened, and why?

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Script:

The week of Valentine's Day, 2021, the temperature dropped below zero.

Nobody could remember it being this cold for this long.

This was Texas, not Siberia.

But Texas is the energy state. There was nothing to fear. Just go home, turn on the heat, and hunker down.

That's how it should have gone.

Instead, over five days, four million Texans lost power during what turned out to be the coldest winter storm in a half a century. Hundreds died, including an 11-year-old boy who froze to death in his sleep.

The state's electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, ERCOT, later reported the state was just four minutes away from total grid collapse.

The media was quick to blame the state government for not being fully prepared and not acting fast enough.

This may be true, but ERCOT's mistakes were symptoms, not the cause, of the problem.

The real cause is decades of misguided policies that have left the Lone Star State with an unreliable energy infrastructure.

It's a cautionary tale that the rest of the country needs to learn from.

From 2010 to 2020, the population of Texas increased by 4 million people, and the state's economy grew 35%. But while all this growth was happening, the state's reliable energy capacity was actually shrinking. Meanwhile, its unreliable energy capacity was surging. In fact, it almost tripled.

Let's break this down.

Reliable energy is fossil fuels—coal and natural gas—and nuclear. These fuels produce a near-constant flow of electricity. Unreliable, or variable energy, is renewable energy — wind and solar. They're unreliable because they depend on the whims of Mother Nature.

In 2020, Texans got 25% of their energy from renewables. During the February storm, however, that fell to 8%, at one point reaching a deadly low of just 1.5%.

The reason? Renewable energy only works when the weather cooperates, but it's useless when it doesn't — like when it conjures up a giant snowstorm. Solar panels don't capture sunlight and wind turbines don't spin when covered in snow and ice.

Given renewables' unreliability, how is it that Texas, of all places, became so dependent on them?

That story begins in 1999, when Texas politicians on the left and the right fell in love with the idea that they could turn the state into a green energy powerhouse. It sounded like a great idea at the time: Instead of passing any new mandates, they would do it by offering massive subsidies, marketed as "incentives," to produce wind and solar power. This ended up working out great for wind and solar companies, but not so great for reliable energy providers.

To illustrate this, imagine that you own a restaurant. One day you learn that your competitor down the street is getting government support. He gets so much help that, instead of charging his customers, he can pay them to eat his food. Not surprisingly, your customers abandon your restaurant for his. Your competitor prospers off the taxpayers' backs while your business withers.

Let's apply this analogy to the real world of renewable energy. Wind and solar get so much in subsidies they're guaranteed a profit. And unlike fossil fuel producers, they're not even required to provide reliable power. It's no wonder fossil fuel plants are closing, and nuclear plants are not being built.

The wind and solar companies are protected from the laws of supply and demand. They can't lose, and the fossil fuel plants can't compete. That's how out of whack the Texas electricity market has become.

Since 2006, the state has subsidized renewable energy to the tune of $19 billion. All of this came right out of Texans' wallets, courtesy of ever-increasing electric bills and rising property taxes. And what does Texas have to show for it? An electric grid that failed when Texans needed it most.

Unfortunately, this scenario is playing out across America.

Over the past decade, the federal government has spent over $230 billion on energy subsidies, and that doesn't even include subsidies the states give away.

For the complete script as well as FACTS & SOURCES, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/....the-great-texas-free

Walter E Williams -  What is a Right?
00:04:12
GaiusCalavius
10 Views · 9 months ago

Professor Williams makes the distinction between a right and a wish.
http://www.LibertyPen.com

the american taliban
00:02:10
GaiusCalavius
9 Views · 9 months ago

you may think women in Afghanistan have it bad, but wait'll you hear about how hard women in America complain about having it

http://patreon.com/freedomtoons

Blacks in Power Don't Empower Blacks
00:05:52
GaiusCalavius
4 Views · 9 months ago

Between 1970 and 2012, the number of black elected officials rose from fewer than 1,500 to more than 10,000. How has this affected the black community? Jason Riley of The Manhattan Institute answers the question in this video.

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Script:

Since 1965, the number of black elected officials has exploded. Between 1970 and 2012, it grew from fewer than 1,500 to more than 10,000. And, oh, yes—a black man was elected president. Twice.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that all these political gains would lead to economic gains. But that has not proven to be the case. In fact, during an era of growing black political influence, blacks as a group progressed at a slower rate than whites, and the black poor actually lost ground.

Why was the conventional wisdom wrong?

Because it was based on the incorrect assumption that politics was the pathway to black progress. Only black politicians, so the thinking went, could properly understand and address the challenges facing black Americans.

It wasn’t stable families, hard work, or education that would lift blacks into the middle class; it was more black city councilmen, congressmen and senators.

But the evidence, even according to liberal social scientists like Gary Orfield, “indicates that there may be little relationship between the success of . . . black leaders and the opportunities of typical black families.”

So, while black politicians, from Tom Bradley and Marion Barry to Maxine Waters and John Conyers, achieved considerable personal success, their constituents did not.

Yet this calculus—political success is a pre-requisite to a better life—remains progressive orthodoxy today.

When Michael Brown was shot dead after assaulting a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, much was made over the racial composition of the police department and city leaders.
But if black representation among law enforcement and city officials is so critically important, how do you explain the rioting in Baltimore the following year after a black suspect there died in police custody? At the time, 40 percent of Baltimore’s police officers were black. The Baltimore police commissioner was also black, along with the mayor and a majority of the city council.

What can be said of Baltimore is also true of Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., where black mayors and police chiefs and city councilmen and school superintendents have been in office for decades.

But to what end?

As I document in my book, False Black Power?, when blacks had little political power, they nevertheless made significant economic progress. In the 1940s and ’50s, black labor-participation rates exceeded those of whites, black incomes grew much faster than white incomes, and the black poverty rate fell by 40 percentage points. Between 1940 and 1970—that is, during the Jim Crow era, with its racist laws— and before any affirmative action, the number of blacks in middle-class professions quadrupled. In other words, racial gaps were steadily narrowing without any special treatment for blacks.

And then came the War on Poverty in the mid-sixties.

This was supposed to close the gap once and for all. Yet, despite billions of dollars of government assistance in the form of welfare payments, housing projects and enforced hiring programs like affirmative action, black poverty rates remained unchanged relative to white poverty rates.

In fact, a strong case can be made that to the extent that a social program, however well-meaning, interferes with a group's self-development, it does more harm than good. Government policies that discourage marriage and undermine the work ethic—open-ended welfare benefits, for example—help keep poor people poor.

For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/videos/blacks-power-dont-empower-blacks

American Media, Soviet Tactics
00:05:32
GaiusCalavius
7 Views · 9 months ago

The job of a journalist is to report facts, add context where necessary, and leave it to the consumer to decide what he thinks. In this video, James O’Keefe, founder and president of Project Veritas, explains why fewer and fewer people trust modern-day “journalism.”

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Script:

The communist government of the former Soviet Union thought that by controlling access to information, they could keep their citizens in line.

Consistent with the Orwellian nature of the Soviet Union, the country’s most important newspaper was Pravda. “Pravda” is the Russian word for “truth.” But Pravda was not truth. It was full of lies.

But here’s the thing: Almost no one in the Soviet Union was fooled. They knew they were being lied to. Ironically, unlike most citizens in the Soviet Union, citizens in 21st-century America are fooled by their news media. We think we’re getting the real story from our major media, but we’re not. When we tune into the networks, or read the New York Times or the Washington Post, we’re actually getting a sharply slanted version of the news. Slanted to the left.

This should deeply concern people on both sides of the political divide. To make informed decisions, a free society needs a press it can trust—not one that is hopelessly biased.

In 2017, Project Veritas sent out undercover reporters to see how committed the major media was to objective news gathering, specifically as it regarded the newly-elected president, Donald Trump.

Our first report focused on CNN. A producer there, John Bonifield, acknowledged the lack of evidence for his network’s efforts to link the Trump campaign and the Russian government in a plot to rig the 2016 election. Bonifield told us, “I think the president is probably right to say, like, ‘Look, you are witch-hunting me. You have no smoking gun; you have no real proof.’”

So, why was CNN so relentless in hammering the Russia collusion narrative? Ideology—"the election wasn’t legitimate”—and ratings. As Bonifield noted, the Trump/Russia collusion story was “good for business.”

Next, we released another series of reports, these on the New York Times. First, we heard from Nick Dudich, the paper’s “audience strategy editor.” Dudich told our undercover reporter he was responsible for choosing which New York Times videos go on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Dudich boasted, “My imprint is on every video we do.”

And what was that imprint about? As Dudich, who worked on both the Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns, told our reporter, he hoped to use his position to make the president’s life as difficult as possible.

“I will be objective,” he told our reporter with undisguised sarcasm before revealing his true intentions: “No, I’m not. That’s why I’m here.” Dudich told us he returned to journalism precisely in order to remain politically active.

Next, we met Des Shoe, an editor for the paper. She made it clear where she stood. “I think one of the things that maybe journalists were thinking about is, like, oh—if we write about [Trump], about how insanely crazy he is and how ludicrous his policies are, then maybe people will read it and be, like, oh, wow—we shouldn’t vote for him.”

According to the Times’s own handbook on journalistic ethics, journalists “may not do anything that damages The Times’s reputation for strict neutrality in reporting on politics and government.”

So, given such a breach of the Times’s own standards, we expected the newspaper to come down hard on Dudich and Shoe. Instead, they came down hard on us!

For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/videos/american-media-soviet-tactics

What Is Net Neutrality?
00:05:11
GaiusCalavius
2 Views · 9 months ago

For months, it seemed nearly every media figure was in hysterics over the impending repeal of net neutrality. Then, net neutrality was repealed… and nothing much changed. So what exactly is net neutrality, and why do so many people have such strong opinions about something they don’t understand? Jon Gabriel, editor-in-chief of Ricochet.com cuts through the hysteria to bring you the facts.
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Script:

Net Neutrality means that the government will—one day—control the internet.

“Wait a second!” I can you hear you saying. “That sounds bad.” But almost everyone you know says that Net Neutrality is good. Doesn’t “neutral” mean that no one is picking winners and losers, that everyone is equal?

Maybe according to the dictionary, but not according to the people behind the Net Neutrality movement. For them, "neutral" means the government regulates the internet like a public utility—and that means bureaucrats making key decisions about how the internet is run.

And that’s exactly what happened in 2015.

The Federal Communications Commission—or FCC—under the Obama Administration, came up with Net Neutrality rules and regulations and imposed them on consumers. No open hearings—they just did it.

Here’s what they said: Internet Service Providers, or ISPs—AT&T, Verizon, and other companies that lay the cable that goes to your house—are basically monopolies like your typical utility company. To prevent abuse of this position, Net Neutrality rules prohibited them from charging websites different prices no matter how much or how little bandwidth they use.

But this is exactly the opposite of what utilities are allowed to do. Electricity providers, for instance, are allowed to create pricing tiers—the more you use, the higher the price goes. If you use significantly more power than your neighbor, you pay more for the privilege.

“Net Neutrality” forces ISPs to charge all users the same price no matter how much data they send through the internet.

It’s a bad idea. Here’s why:

The internet consists of a physical infrastructure consisting of cable and phone lines that carry the data—we call it "bandwidth." But of course, there’s a limit to how much data it can carry. In 2014, just two companies, Netflix and Google (which owns YouTube), consumed more than 52% of the total bandwidth of the entire internet. All those data-heavy movies and videos clog up the “pipe.”

To combat this massive resource drain, the ISPs floated the idea of creating “fast lanes”: bandwidth that would be dedicated to the big users in exchange for higher usage rates. You use more, you pay more. Believe me, I’m no fan of ISPs, but shouldn't they be allowed to charge companies more if they use more bandwidth?

Furthermore, if companies like Google and Netflix have to pay higher prices for more bandwidth, they’ll be motivated to find new ways to push more data through the “pipe.” And creative startups would no doubt see a great business opportunity to do the same thing.

End result: More efficient, faster internet. Consumers win.

The big bandwidth users didn’t see it this way. Instead, they lobbied for the new rules to prevent the ISPs from charging them differently than anyone else. Naturally, they want to pay as little as they can for bandwidth. So, they mounted a big PR campaign to convince the public to back the new regulations. And it worked. How could it fail with a name like “Net Neutrality”?

For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/videos/what-net-neutrality

What's Wrong with Government-Run Healthcare?
00:04:59
GaiusCalavius
5 Views · 9 months ago

If you get sick or suffer a serious injury, you not only want medical care, you want quality medical care. What’s the best way to get it? Through a government-run program like Medicare for All or through our current free market system? Stanford policy expert Lanhee Chen has the answer in this video from Prager University. Get informed. After all, this is your health we’re talking about.
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Script:

It’s very easy for a politician to stand up before voters and say, “Health care is a right,” and then passionately advocate for “single-payer” or “free health care” or “Medicare for All”—whatever term they might use.

But before we consider the merits of the government managing your health care—and that’s what this all boils down to—maybe we should ask a more basic question:

What do we mean by “health care”?

Because if you get sick—and here, we’re talking major illness—or you’re in serious pain, you don’t just want health care; you want quality health care.

And where is your best chance of finding that?

The answer is right here in America.

For skilled doctors, cutting-edge medical treatments, and care without long delays, no other country rivals the United States. Not even close. Nobody from Texas is going to Canada for medical treatment. It’s almost always the other way around.

Sure, our health care system has lots of issues—and we should address them—but do we really want to upend all the advantages that we do have and start from scratch? Because that’s what would have to happen if we completely turn health care over to the government.

So, let’s imagine we make the change. We hear a lot about how great free health care would be, but it’s only fair we look at the downside.

The first is that government-run health care takes medical decisions away from patients—that means you—and puts them in the hands of bureaucrats. They decide, for example, how many MRI machines are going to be available, or under what conditions you can get back surgery or a bypass, or even whether you qualify for cancer treatment.

That’s how it works in the United Kingdom under its single-payer system. Because it has finite resources, the National Health Service, or NHS, sharply restricts access to treatments like hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, and even prescription drugs to deal with common conditions like arthritis and diabetes. If you suffer from any of these ailments and many others in the UK, you may just have to live with the pain.

And let’s hope you don’t have a medical emergency.

In a January 2018 article in the New York Times, patients in emergency rooms around London are described as having “to wait 12 hours before they are tended to. Corridors are jammed with beds carrying [the] frail and elderly.” To deal with the situation, “hospitals [were] ordered to postpone non-urgent surgeries until the end of the month.” That hardly seems like an improvement over what we have in the US.

For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/videos/whats-wrong-government-run-healthcare

The Chicago Fire: America at Its Best
00:05:38
GaiusCalavius
7 Views · 9 months ago

The most famous fire in American history happened in Chicago on October 8, 1871. But it’s not the fire that was so remarkable; it’s what happened afterwards. Lee Habeeb, host of the nationally syndicated radio show “Our American Stories,” explains.
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Script:

The most famous fire in American history happened in Chicago on October 8, 1871. But it’s not the fire that is so remarkable. It’s what happened afterwards. To understand why, we first need to know something about the city’s history.

In 1840, Chicago was a small town of forty-five hundred souls. It ranked 92nd in population in the United States. Yet, only three decades later, by 1870—just a year before the great fire—Chicago was closing in on a population of 300,000, making it the fifth-biggest city in America and the fastest-growing city in the world.

What led to all this rapid growth? In three words: location, location, location.

“Chicago was near the center of the country, and near where the waterways and railways met,” city historian Tim Samuelson notes. “It was a perfect place for anything and anyone to get anywhere…”

Timing had a lot to do with it, too. America was moving from a rural to an industrial power. Chicago was right in the middle of the action. Ironically, its rapid growth was almost its undoing. “[Chicago] had to build, and build quickly, and so they built it out of wood,” explained Sarah Marcus of the Chicago History Museum. “It was quick, it was easy, and it was cheap.”

And, as it turned out, very flammable.

By most accounts, the fire started on the city’s West Side, near the De Koven Street barn of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary. No one is sure of the cause, but it could have been anything, from vandals to a drunken neighbor to that clumsy cow of urban legend.

Within minutes, the blaze roared out of control, tearing through Chicago’s business district. The fire was so hot, it created its own tornado of flame. By 3:30 a.m., all hope of saving large parts of the city was gone. Nearly 30 hours later, the fire finally died. The reason? There was nothing left to burn.

The losses were staggering: The fire claimed nearly 300 lives, destroyed over 17,000 buildings covering almost 3.5 square miles, and caused damage of over $200 million–about 3.8 billion today. Roughly a third of the city lay in ruins, and one out every three people living in Chicago—nearly 100,000 residents—became homeless overnight.

“All the law offices were destroyed, all the major hotels were destroyed, all the major department stores were destroyed, and all the major banks were destroyed,” Chicago weather historian Tom Skilling notes.

In those days, there were no national or state agencies to help. Chicago was on its own.

What was to be done? To most of Chicago’s citizens, the answer was obvious: Rebuild. Make the city better than ever. Yes, there were many victims of the fire, but there was no sense of victimhood. Even before the bricks stopped smoking, the people of Chicago went to work.

First, the damage had to be assessed. The death and destruction were obvious. But there were some major pluses as well. The stockyards and meat packing plants had been spared. Two-thirds of the grain elevators survived. And most importantly, the railway and rail stock escaped major damage. This was critical because it would allow shipments of building materials and private relief aid to come pouring in from across the country and around the world.

To view the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/....the-chicago-fire-ame

Why the Electoral College is Essential
00:05:25
GaiusCalavius
4 Views · 9 months ago

The Left wants to get rid of the Electoral College. However, the Electoral College is necessary to preserve our republic.

Watch our video "Do You Understand the Electoral College?" here: https://www.prageru.com/video/....do-you-understand-th

How the Government Made You Fat
00:05:56
GaiusCalavius
5 Views · 9 months ago

Ever since the introduction of the Food Pyramid in the early '90s, the average American has gotten fatter and sicker. Has this government-approved nutritional guideline — the basis of the modern “healthy diet” — led us astray? If so, how did this happen, and what can we learn from it? Cardiologist Dr. Bret Scher offers some food for thought on this very weighty issue.

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Script:

Here’s a riddle:

How is it that ever since the government began telling us what to eat, we have gotten fatter and sicker?

In 1977, when the government first set dietary guidelines, the average American male weighed 170 pounds. He now weighs 197. It’s not any better for women —145 to 170. And you don’t need an academic study to know the same thing is happening to kids. Just look around.

The weight gain has real-life consequences: the percentage of Americans diagnosed with type 2 diabetes—a condition that can lead to severe medical issues—has risen from 2% in 1977 to over 9% in 2015. In hard numbers, that’s five million people to over 30 million people.

How did this happen?

It all started innocently enough in the 1950s, when President Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack while in office. Suddenly, the issue of heart health became a national obsession.

Keep in mind this was an era when scientists had harnessed the power of the atom, unlocked the secrets of DNA, and cured once incurable diseases like polio. Surely, there had to be a scientific solution to heart disease.

There was. And a charismatic medical researcher from the University of Minnesota named Ancel Keyes had it.

Cholesterol, Keyes claimed, was the villain of the heart disease story.

His now famous “seven countries study” determined conclusively—in his mind, at least—that people who consumed high amounts of fat—specifically, saturated fat—had higher cholesterol levels and thus, higher rates of heart attacks.

Lower your fat intake, and you would lower heart disease risk.

The ever-confident Keyes spread the gospel. As an influential member of the American Heart Association, he was in a very strong position to do so. There was only one problem: Keyes’s study was bad science. The sample size was so small, the data collection integrity so shoddy, and the life-style variables between the countries he studied so great, that his research had no scientific validity. In other words, he asserted a conclusion he couldn’t prove.

When other scientists questioned Keyes’s conclusions, they were invariably met with stern responses like: “people are dying while you’re quibbling over data points.” And, “there are great benefits and no risks” to adopting this new way of eating.

In 1973, the American Heart Association set the dietary limit on saturated fat at 10%, and in 1977, the US government followed suit. Where did the 10% value come from? It didn’t come from any scientific data. It was merely a government committee’s best guess.

This was despite contrary evidence like the 1957 Western Electric Company employee study showing no difference in heart attacks in those who ate more or less saturated fat. A longer-term study of the same Western Electric subjects in 1981 reached the same conclusion. But again, no one wanted to hear it.

To make this all easier to understand and to spread the message to schools, “the food pyramid” was created. That’s the chart you first saw in third or fourth grade with all the supposedly good foods at the bottom—meaning, “eat a lot of those,” and the bad foods at the top—"eat those ones sparingly.”

What our kids are fed in school, what our military troops are fed on bases, what sick people are fed in hospitals; what crops we plant and how we raise our cattle, are all predicated on this deceptive nutritional concept.

For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/....how-the-government-m

All I Want to Do Is Make Cookies
00:05:39
GaiusCalavius
13 Views · 9 months ago

Most small businessmen have enough problems improving their product, marketing and meeting payroll. When Uncle Sam and his state and local cousins get involved, life and business invariably get harder. Common sense regulation benefits everyone. But there is a level of regulation that benefits no one – except bureaucrats. In this video, Joseph Semprevivo, founder and CEO of Joseph’s Lite Cookies, gives his not-so-sugar-coated account of how the government too often hinders much more than it helps.

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Script:

I own a small business with seven employees. We make cookies—but not just any cookies. We make sugar-free cookies that diabetics can eat. Actually, they’re so tasty, anyone can enjoy them. That was the inspiration that motivated me to start this business.

You see, I am a diabetic myself. I have been one my whole life.

If you think running a cookie company is fun and games, think again. I work a hundred hours a week—which isn’t unusual for small business owners. I make a nice living, but I’m not in it for the money. I love what I do.

I’d better. My margins are very tight—around 1%. That means I have to sell a million dollars’ worth of cookies to make $10,000. Every penny counts—literally. That’s why I get so frustrated with government regulations.

Now, let me be clear: some regulations are necessary—especially, for obvious reasons, in the food industry. But “necessary” and “excessive” are two entirely different things. Excessive, UN-necessary regulations soak up valuable hours of my time and my money for no good purpose.

That 100 hours I work per week? I estimate 36 of them are spent on compliance issues alone. This keeps me away from activities that would help me grow my business—like sales and product development.

And that keeps me away from hiring more people.

My employees are like family to me. It’s that way with most small businesses. But it’s a struggle every single day.

I could be more productive and feel a lot less anxiety if I didn’t have to fight my own government; or, should I say, governments—federal, state and local. I get the roads and the bridges and the national defense, but I don’t get why they have to be involved in every tiny aspect of my business, sometimes competing with each other as to who can make my life more difficult.

For example, as a bakery, I’m under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). I also have to deal with the state health agency.

They all have different rules. If these rules contradict one another, it’s not their problem; it’s mine.

A few years ago, the FDA inspector showed up for one of his random inspections. He noticed the door to the area in which we bake our cookies swung out as you walked in. He told me that was a code violation. The doors have to swing in. I had 30 days to fix it or I’d be fined thousands of dollars.

I should note we have an air curtain between both rooms so no food particles can get in or out of the baking area. I pointed this out. The inspector was unmoved.

A few months later, the inspector from the Ag Department shows up for one of his random inspections. He notices that the door swings in. Yes, I tell him. It does. It’s an FDA regulation.

No, he tells me, it has to swing out. Fix it within 30 days, he says, or you’ll be fined.

I started keeping two sets of doors: one that swings in for the FDA, and one that swings out for the Ag Department.

For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/....all-i-want-to-do-is-

Is California Going Up in Flames?
00:05:57
GaiusCalavius
2 Views · 9 months ago

California used to be the Golden State. Now the Blackout State might be more accurate, as the fear of wildfires forces public utilities to periodically power down. But wildfires have always been part of California’s history, so what’s changed? Radio talk show host John Kobylt’s answer to this burning question might surprise you.

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Script:

California—the Golden State.

Home to Hollywood…Silicon Valley…Napa Valley. 

Glitz…Glamour…and now…blackouts. 

In 2019, California became the first state ever to intentionally deny electricity to its own citizens. No power for your home, your Tesla, your cell phone or, maybe, your oxygen tank. 

This is California we’re talking about—not some impoverished third-world country. California.

If it were a sovereign nation, it would be the fifth-largest economy in the world—ahead of the UK and France! But in the hot, dry months of late summer and early fall, it can no longer provide electricity to its own citizens. It has to shut down its aging power lines or risk starting another catastrophic fire. 

In 2018, the town of Paradise burned to the ground. Over 10,000 homes were destroyed; 85 people died. In 2017, the Redwood fire killed nine people.

California has always had wildfires. But now the fire threat is worse than ever. Why? 

For the answer, we should look to one of the state’s leading citizens—Leonardo Di Caprio: “The reason these wildfires have worsened is because of climate change.” Case closed? Well, not quite. 

But Leo isn’t wrong. Climate change has made the problem worse. He’s just not right in the way he thinks he is. 

Let’s get into it. 

Long before “global warming” became “climate change,” Californians had to deal with fires. The hot, bone-dry summer and fall winds, thick forests, and dense brush that cover good portions of the state made sure of that. 

As the state’s population grew, the citizens, always aware of fire risk, took steps to mitigate that risk—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. First, there were large-scale logging operations. These helped thin the forest. Then there were “controlled burns”—fires purposely set to clear areas of brush in fire zones which were then quickly extinguished.

As the influence of the environmental movement grew more pronounced at the end of the last century and into this one, the state’s policy changed. First, new regulations sharply curtailed logging operations. Cutting down trees for lumber was depicted as almost an act of cruelty. Even clearing dead trees was frowned upon.

Controlled burns were viewed the same way. It was much better, the environmentalists contended, to let nature do its thing. And, as housing became more expensive in the big cities, developers started to build homes further from metropolitan areas and closer to the wilderness.  

Parallel to this was the state’s green energy mandate. Governor Jerry Brown declared that California would be powered entirely by renewable energy—mostly wind and solar—by 2045. Tremendous pressure was put on Pacific Gas and Electric, the state’s largest energy company, to get started on this project. 

Here’s where Leo gets it right, if unintentionally. 

The green energy mandate turned the power company’s attention and resources away from the power grid and to wind and solar. How did this lead to new and deadlier fires? Let’s put the pieces of the puzzle together. 

Wildfires can be started in all sorts of ways: lightning strikes, campfires not properly put out, a cigarette carelessly tossed away or, sometimes, straight-up arson. But the worst culprit of all is power lines. In 2018, fully half of California’s wildfires were started by power lines or related electrical problems. It’s not hard to figure out why: California’s power grid is ancient. Most of its towers were built before 1950. Some of the lines are so old they qualify for the National Registry of Historic Places. The lines that are failing and sparking fires? No surprise—the old ones.

For the complete script visit https://www.prageru.com/video/....is-california-going-

What's Wrong with Wind and Solar?
00:05:36
GaiusCalavius
3 Views · 9 months ago

Are wind, solar, and batteries the magical solutions to all our energy needs? Or do they come with too high a price? Mark Mills, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, analyzes the true cost — both economic and environmental — of so-called green energy.

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Script:

Have you ever heard of "unobtanium"?

It's the magical energy mineral found on the planet Pandora in the movie, Avatar. It's a fantasy in a science fiction script. But environmentalists think they've found it here on earth in the form of wind and solar power.

They think all the energy we need can be supplied by building enough wind and solar farms; and enough batteries.

The simple truth is that we can't. Nor should we want to—not if our goal is to be good stewards of the planet.

To understand why, consider some simple physics realities that aren't being talked about.

All sources of energy have limits that can't be exceeded. The maximum rate at which the sun's photons can be converted to electrons is about 33%. Our best solar technology is at 26% efficiency. For wind, the maximum capture is 60%. Our best machines are at 45%.

So, we're pretty close to wind and solar limits. Despite PR claims about big gains coming, there just aren't any possible. And wind and solar only work when the wind blows and the sun shines. But we need energy all the time. The solution we're told is to use batteries. Again, physics and chemistry make this very hard to do.

Consider the world's biggest battery factory, the one Tesla built in Nevada. It would take 500 years for that factory to make enough batteries to store just one day's worth of America's electricity needs. This helps explain why wind and solar currently still supply less than 3% of the world's energy, after 20 years and billions of dollars in subsidies. 

Putting aside the economics, if your motive is to protect the environment, you might want to rethink wind, solar, and batteries because, like all machines, they're built from nonrenewable materials. 

Consider some sobering numbers: 

A single electric-car battery weighs about half a ton. Fabricating one requires digging up, moving, and processing more than 250 tons of earth somewhere on the planet. 

Building a single 100 Megawatt wind farm, which can power 75,000 homes requires some 30,000 tons of iron ore and 50,000 tons of concrete, as well as 900 tons of non-recyclable plastics for the huge blades. To get the same power from solar, the amount of cement, steel, and glass needed is 150% greater. 

Then there are the other minerals needed, including elements known as rare earth metals. With current plans, the world will need an incredible 200 to 2,000 percent increase in mining for elements such as cobalt, lithium, and dysprosium, to name just a few. 

Where's all this stuff going to come from? Massive new mining operations. Almost none of it in America, some imported from places hostile to America, and some in places we all want to protect. 

Australia's Institute for a Sustainable Future cautions that a global "gold" rush for energy materials will take miners into "…remote wilderness areas [that] have maintained high biodiversity because they haven't yet been disturbed."

And who is doing the mining? Let's just say that they're not all going to be union workers with union protections.  

Amnesty International paints a disturbing picture: "The… marketing of state-of-the-art technologies are a stark contrast to the children carrying bags of rocks."

And then the mining itself requires massive amounts of conventional energy, as do the energy-intensive industrial processes needed to refine the materials and then build the wind, solar, and battery hardware.

Then there's the waste. Wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries have a relatively short life; about twenty years. Conventional energy machines, like gas turbines, last twice as long.

For the complete script visit https://www.prageru.com/video/....whats-wrong-with-win

Never Apologize to the Mob
00:05:35
GaiusCalavius
3 Views · 9 months ago

What once was the start of healthy debate is now just as often a catalyst for personal and professional destruction. “The mob” is out to cancel anyone who crosses it. Paris Dennard describes the problem and offers a solution.

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Script:

Niel Golightly had a long and distinguished career as an executive at Boeing.

Until he didn't.

Gary Garrels had a long and distinguished career as a curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Until he didn't.

James Bennett had a long and distinguished career as an editor at the New York Times.

Until he didn't.

All three were cancelled, their careers, their life's work ended in a virtual instant.

Golightly wrote an article thirty years ago, objecting to women taking part in military combat. It was published in Proceedings, the magazine of the U.S. Naval Institute which is about as far from the popular press as you can get. Somehow it came to the attention of an employee at Boeing who found it sexist. The social media mob got riled up. Golightly apologized, of course. His views had changed in the intervening decades. But it didn't matter. He was forced to resign.

Garrels concluded a presentation about purchasing art from more racially diverse artists by saying that he would still continue to buy art from white artists. This outraged the staff at the museum who found his remarks smacking of white supremacy. Garrels apologized, of course. He should have been more sensitive to his colleagues' feelings, he said. But it didn't matter. He was forced to resign.

Bennett published an opinion piece by Republican Senator Tom Cotton, arguing that if the Black Lives Matter inspired riots continued to overwhelm local police, the federal government should send in the National Guard to restore order.

New York Times staff claimed that Cotton's words were threatening. They personally felt endangered by them. They demanded Bennett's head. Bennett apologized, of course. He just thought the Times readers should be exposed to a different point of view. But it didn't matter. He was forced to resign.

Former Times columnist Bari Weiss perfectly described the situation in her resignation letter shortly after Bennet's banishment.

"Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor."

This is the "cancel culture" that now pervades America. Yet, people on the left, the very people responsible for it, claim it doesn't exist. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mocks those who fear its growing influence: "Odds are you're not actually cancelled," she tweeted. "You're just being challenged, held accountable, or unliked."

The representative's claim that this is merely "accountability culture" is common on the Left.

Don't believe it.

"Accountability" means "a duty to explain." Accountability involves confronting a person with their actions in a way that allows them to explain themselves or ask for forgiveness—and otherwise continue the dialogue.

The purpose of cancellation is very different. It seeks to bring all conversation to an end—to strike fear in the public so that no one else dares to speak up.

That is cancellation—and it extends far beyond criticism. Cancellation involves social media mobs engaged in public shaming and the creation of blacklists. It seeks the destruction of the career and reputation of anyone who differs with a leftist position.

“The bullies,” says social critic Douglas Murray, “want to stop the rest of us talking or thinking.”

Virtually no one is immune. Not Kevin Hart, not JK Rowling, not Woodrow Wilson, not Drew Brees.

Not the famous or the unknown; not the living or the dead.

So many have been burned at the social media stake, one has to wonder if the mob is going to run out of victims.

But this fire will not burn itself out. We have to stop it.

How?

For the complete script visit https://www.prageru.com/video/....never-apologize-to-t

What Do We Do About the Homeless?
00:05:44
GaiusCalavius
2 Views · 9 months ago

Homelessness is one of the most vexing public policy problems we face. If you live in a big city, especially on the West Coast, you literally face it every day. And every day, it seems to get worse. Why? And what can we do about it? Christopher Rufo, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has answers.

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Script:

What do we do about the homeless? 

This is one of the most vexing public policy problems we face. If you live in a big city, especially on the West Coast, you literally face it every day. And every day it seems to get worse. Why?

Let's start with a couple facts: 

First, the word itself is misleading: Homelessness is not primarily a housing problem. It's a human problem. The primary drivers of homelessness are drug addiction and mental illness. According to data from UCLA's California Policy Lab, approximately three-quarters of people living in cars, tents, and on the streets suffer from serious mental illness, drug addiction, or both.

Second, despite these conditions, the homeless actually make rational decisions about where they want to live. Not surprisingly, they move to the most permissive environment they can find. Make your city attractive for the homeless and they will beat a path to your doorway. 

The Venice Boulevard underpass on the border of Los Angeles and Culver City brings home this point. It’s one of thousands of concrete structures in Los Angeles County, but there's a curious detail: the Los Angeles side is full of tents and the Culver City side is empty. Why? Because the two cities have different public policies. Los Angeles has effectively decriminalized public camping and drug consumption while Culver City enforces the law.  

This pattern—that the homeless go where the policy environment is the most permissive—can be seen up and down the West Coast. In San Francisco County, it's estimated that 30% of the homeless migrated there after becoming homeless somewhere else. In the city of Seattle, that number is 51%. 

The San Francisco Chronicle estimates that hundreds of homeless individuals move to the Bay Area each year because of the "perception that it is a sanctuary for people who are unwilling to participate in programs designed to get them off, and keep them off, a life in the streets."

At first glance, this would seem to make no sense. Why would an individual with no shelter or stable source of income move to one of the most expensive cities in the country? But in the world of the homeless, it makes perfect sense. That's because they operate under a different set of incentives than the average citizen.

In a research survey of homeless migrants in Seattle, 15% said they came to access homeless services, 10% came for legal marijuana, and 16% were transients who were "traveling or visiting" when they decided to set up camp. But this dramatically understates the biggest draw of all: the de facto legalization of street camping, drug consumption, and property crime.

As former Seattle public safety advisor Scott Lindsay has shown, the city is now home to a large population of homeless "prolific offenders"—people who commit property crimes to feed their addictions but are rarely held accountable for those crimes by the criminal justice system.

So is ever-increasing homelessness our inevitable future? If our goal is to make life as attractive as possible for the homeless, the answer is yes. If our goal is to actually help the homeless, the answer is no. 

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner is a Democrat, but his approach to homelessness is a world apart from his counterparts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. "It is simply not acceptable for people to live on the streets; it is not good for them, and it is not good for the city," Turner has said. 

For the complete script as well as FACTS & SOURCES, visit https://www.prageru.com/video/....what-do-we-do-about-

Hitler -  OverSimplified (Part 2)
00:08:34
GaiusCalavius
4 Views · 9 months ago

Part 1 here: https://youtu.be/ATlila3e9dM

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Hitler - OverSimplified (Part 1)
00:06:30
GaiusCalavius
4 Views · 9 months ago

Part 2 here: https://youtu.be/Dd1JUTA7Ijc

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Marty Gots a Plan by Kevin MacLeod
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Anguish by Kevin MacLeod
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Accralate - The Dark Contenent by Kevin MacLeod
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Dark Star by Kevin MacLeod
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Airport Lounge - Disco Ultralounge by Kevin MacLeod
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Intermission - Tenebrous Brothers Carnival by Kevin MacLeod
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Expeditionary by Kevin MacLeod
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Monkeys Spinning Monkeys Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Who Likes to Party Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
The Chamber Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Lightless Dawn Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

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IMAGES

World Map
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon (ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation). Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights).

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Front page of Chicago Daily Tribune, 6 March 1923, announcing French troops killing four resisting Germans by Gb11111 (Creative Commons)
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Hitler's Reichstag speech promoting the bill was delivered at the Kroll Opera House, following the Reichstag fire.
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Type O Negative banned in the Netherlands 1991 **ENG SUBS**
00:06:14
GaiusCalavius
22 Views · 9 months ago

In 1991 a Type O Negative show supposed to take place in the venue 'De Melkweg' was canceled because of protests from antifa calling the band racist and sexist. Interview with Peter Steele and antifa protestor and the owner of the club. With English subtitles.

Original video without subtitles here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnrCzII9Gy4

Carl Sagan's Cosmos Chapter 13 "Who Speaks for Earth?"
01:02:19
GaiusCalavius
12 Views · 9 months ago

⁣Sagan reflects on the future of humanity and the question of "who speaks
for Earth?" when meeting extraterrestrials. He discusses the very
different meetings of the Tlingit people and explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse with the destruction of the Aztecs by Spanish conquistadors, the looming threat of nuclear warfare, and the threats shown by his historically-inaccurate retelling of the destruction of the Library of Alexandria and the murder of Hypatia.
The episode ends with an overview of the beginning of the universe, the
evolution of life, and the accomplishments of humanity and makes a plea
to mankind to cherish life and continue its journey in the cosmos. The Cosmos Update notes the preliminary reconnaissance of planets with spacecraft, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid in South Africa, and measures towards the reduction of nuclear weapons.

Carl Sagan's Cosmos Chapter 12 "Encyclopaedia Galactica"
01:00:54
GaiusCalavius
7 Views · 9 months ago

⁣Questions are raised about the search for intelligent life beyond the Earth, with UFOs and other close encounters refuted in favor of communications through SETI and radio telescope such as the Arecibo Observatory. The probability of technically advanced civilizations existing elsewhere in the Milky Way is interpreted using the Drake equation and a future hypothetical Encyclopedia Galactica (similar to Rosetta Stone) is discussed as a repository of information about other worlds in the galaxy. The Cosmos Update notes that there have been fewer sightings of UFOs and more stories of abductions, while mentioning the META scanning the skies for signals.

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