Weekend Reading #6

Ahmari and Schmitz argue that Trump is still the One at Compact.

Katya Sedgwick looks at Russia’s Western Face at The American Conservative.

Pedro Gonzalez on the contradictions facing Giorgia Meloni at Chronicles.

Patrick Deneen never pulls his punches. Over at The PostLiberal Order he argues that the great awokening is the poisoned fruit of liberalism.

Is it done, Yuri? Big Serge thinks the War in Ukraine has only just began.

Sam Kriss at The Lamp looks at a new translation of Gilgamesh and reflects on the shadow of death.

Finally, Erwin Wolff at The European Conservative discusses the unsolved theft of Van Eyck’s “Just Judges”.

Weather telling a climate tale

The hurricane season in the United States goes from June to November. Prior to Hurricane Ian, the season had been “remarkably quiet.” Strange business when climate change is roaring about causing havoc to human populations; and goodness knows how our cousins the animals are faring. Dying out, like polar bears, I would guess.

Hurricane Ian was at category 4 when it hit the Florida coast. That’s powerful among hurricanes, which are measured on a scale of one to five. Undoubtedly climate change is reasserting itself, as true believers in anthropogenic global warming knew it would.

Counting Ian, the ten most powerful hurricanes to hit the US coastline, according to one source I found, started in 1893 with a category 4 hurricane, The Cheniere Caminada, which hit Louisiana. I don’t know, but maybe a powerful hurricane or two hit in the centuries before? Be that as it may, five out of the ten identified occurred before 1970 and five afterwards. The deadliest by far was the Galveston hurricane of 1900. Eight thousand people died.

Where does this leave us? Well, if you choose to believe in statistics, evidence and facts, it’s hard to show that climate change has had any effect at all on the frequency or intensity of hurricanes. For example, a comprehensive recent study by Italian scientists led by Gianluca Alimonti, from the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics and the University of Milan, found no evidence that extreme weather events, including flooding, droughts and hurricanes, were increasing in their frequency or intensity. This, of course, more or less echoes Shellenberger, Koonin, Lomborg among others.

Still, statistics, evidence and facts are one thing, feelings another. And, feelings must be respected. Most of the mainstream news media and many progressive politicians and commentators know instinctively, primevally, gut-wrenchingly, spiritually even, what the dire wages of burning fossil fuels looks like when they see it. Amen to that.

WolfmanOz at the Movies #38

Knights of the Round Table

The fantasy genre has probably become the dominant genre of movies of the 21st century. Whether it be prehistoric dinosaurs running amok, Marvel super heroes saving the universe, the world of Harry Potter, the never-ending Star Wars franchise, or even films based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkein, fantasy rules supreme at the cinema box-office now.

This prevalence of fantasy today may be a need for audiences to try and connect with something outside their usual mundane world in which religion now plays a lesser part in most people lives; or maybe I’m reading too much into it !

Yet despite their commercial success, I find these fantasy films of today somewhat soulless, as if the incessant need to include as much CGI as possible has drained the life and imagination from them.

But I have a favourite amongst the genre and yes it harks back to yesteryear i.e. over 40 years ago with the 1981 release of John Boorman’s Excalibur; a splendid retelling of the the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, based loosely on the 15th-century Arthurian romance Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory.

After his success with Deliverance released in 1972, Boorman followed up with 2 disastrous films with the pretentious science-fiction fantasy Zardoz and the awful sequel to The Exorcist, Exorcist II: The Heretic.

With a relatively small-budget Boorman shot the film entirely in Ireland whilst also helped launch the film acting careers of Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart and Gabriel Byrne who all had notable supporting roles in the film.

Unlike most versions of the tale, the film starts with the story of Uther Pendragon and how Arthur come into being. Arthur himself is played by Nigel Terry who does a sterling job in playing him from his teenage years to his end as an aged king.

For me what make the film so striking is the terrific performance of Nicol Williamson as Merlin. Here is no aged and insipid wizard but a rousing and strong character that is witty and perceptive who helps to drive the narrative along.

In addition to Williamson there’s also Helen Mirren as Morgana Le Fay (Arthur’s step-sister). Interestingly Boorman cast the two knowing that they were not on friendly terms to say the least.

The film acts as an allegory of the cycle of birth, life, decay and restoration and as Boorman was to remark “The film has to do with mythical truth, not historical truth”. The Christian symbolism revolves around the search for the Holy Grail, perhaps most strongly in the imagery of Perceval finally achieving the Grail quest.

In addition to the striking cinematography, the film significantly uses the music of Siegfried’s Death & Funeral March from Richard Wagner’s Gotterdammerung.

Today the film still stands as one the most imaginative and entertaining fantasy films ever made which truly does justice to its legendary source.

Also, another fantasy favourite of mine is 1963’s Jason And The Argonauts, which features the wonderful work of stop-motion animation master Ray Harryhausen.

Enjoy.

Definition of far-right in 2022

In the wake of Giorgia Meloni’s fantastic win in Italy yesterday, the MSM have gone into overdrive, screeching and screaming how Meloni is “far-right”.  So I thought to myself, what do the left and their mouthpieces mean when they smear someone as “far-right”? Well, I have come up with the following.  The definition of “far-right” in 2022 is….

  1. A person who believes there are only two genders – male and female.
  2. A person who believes a woman is an adult, human female.
  3. A person who believes a man is an adult, human male.
  4. A person who believes you cannot change your biological sex.
  5. A person who believes a woman cannot have a penis.
  6. A person who believes someone is not assigned sex at birth.
  7. A person who believes biological males should not compete against biological females.
  8. A person who believes transgender women are not women.
  9. A person who believes transgender men are not men.
  10. A person who believes males prisoners should not be imprisoned in female prisons.
  11. A person who believes children should not be mutilated into the cult of gender ideology.
  12. A person who believes children should not be sexualised by exposure to sexual perverts and exhibitionists such as drag queens.
  13. A person who believes that it is parents, and not the state, who are the best custodians and decision makers for their children.
  14. A person who believes carbon emission are not destroying the planet.
  15. A person who believes in fossil fuels.
  16. A person who believes in nuclear energy.
  17. A person who believes renewables such as wind and solar are unreliable and will never provide base load energy.
  18. A person who believes in lifting humanity out of poverty, not confining them to poverty.
  19. A person who believes in free speech.
  20. A person who believes in small limited government.
  21. A person who wants government to stay out of their lives.
  22. A person who believes in fiscal responsibility.
  23. A person who believes in individual liberty.
  24. A person who believes in religious freedom.
  25. A person who believes in the significant role small and medium sized businesses should play in a country’s economy.
  26. A person who believes in legal but limited immigration.
  27. A person who does not believe in open borders.
  28. A person who believes countries must have strong borders.
  29. A person who believes in the nation state.
  30. A person who believes in patriotism.
  31. A person who believes men are not evil.
  32. A person who believes white people are not evil.
  33. A person who believes that what is important in a fellow human is the content of their character, not the colour of their skin.
  34. A person who believes the West has been an enlightening presence in the world.
  35. A person who believes western history is not one long horror story.
  36. A person who believes in a strong military.
  37. A person who believes in free fair markets.
  38. A person who believes in Western Civilisation.
  39. A person who believes in the Judaic Christian tradition, a tradition which underpins the West.
  40. A person who believes in the primary role of the family in any society.
  41. A person who believes that marriage is between a biological man and a biological woman.

I don’t think the above points are particularly reactionary. Please feel free to add to the above list. In the meantime I have a confession to make, I believe in ALL the above. So, since the MSM, the left, various progressive scum like the two I confronted on Oxford Street the other day, academia, entertainment and numerous others, insist on smearing and labelling you, me and others as “far-right”, all because we believe in some or all of the above, then we need to come out of the closet, we need to stand up and we need to be proud. To paraphrase Kramer from one of my favourite Seinfeld episodes….

“Oh, it be so everybody, I’m far-right, I’m proud and I’m loving every minute of it”.

Rafe’s Roundup 25 Sept

Calling Energy and Emergency Services Ministers

Here is a thought, what is the plan to respond to the collapse of the electricity grid? Is there adequate backup with generators to keep hospitals and other emergency services running? Complete with fuel. And what else? What about the water and gas supplies. And everything else like lifts, traffic lights, cash registers, petrol browsers and ATMs.

What are the messages that all jurisdictions should take away from the South Australian blackout in 2016? Of course everyone assumes that it will never happen again and heroic load sheding should ensure that is the case but lets at least contemplate the worst case scenario as a matter of due diligence. There is an Australian Emergency Management Arrangements Handbook with a lot of words in it, as you would expect, but are the plans in preparation?

The dark side of intermittent energy

A wordy and scary piece on the toxic impact of the Unreliable Energy industry, especially in exotic places. Skip through to pick out the eyes on the impact of wind and solar developments and especially the role of big corporations in the US power industry and the extraction of rare earths in Asia.

Lithium-ion battery mining and production are determined to be worse for the climate than the production of fossil fuel vehicle batteries in an article from The Wall Street JournalAccording to scientists measuring cumulative energy demand (CED)production of the average lithium-ion battery uses three times more electrical energy compared to a generic battery. 

Recent wind droughts

On the morning of Thursday 22 just before sunrise  South Australia (the wind leading state) was importing two thirds of its demand and the local generation was 80% gas!

In the evening at dinnertime WA was down to 1% of power from the wind. In the East the wind was doing better, delivering 3% of the demand at a capacity factor of 7 (severe drought.) Victoria is the big wind state with more capacity than SA, though not per capita, and their windmills contributed 1% of demand at capacity 1.4%. Their capacity factor was below 5% for the previous 24 hours!

Approaching 10pm nothing has changed, the wind across the SE is delivering 4% because the total demand has gone down, still the capacity factor in SA is 1.2 and in Victoria 2.8! 

On Friday morning at sunrise the wind across the NEM was delivering 2.6% of demand at CP 5.5% (of installed or nameplate capacity.) South Australia is importing half its demand with gas providing almost 90% of local generation, wind CP 3.5%. In Victoria the wind is delivering 2%, CP 2.3%, Queensland 1% CP 6% and Tasmania 4% CP 7%.

The NEM has been technically in drought (CP less than 10%) since 10 am Thursday, in SA since 1 am on Thursday, and in Tasmania and Victoria the drought started at noon on Wednesday.

On Saturday the NEM recovered although the capacity farcor stayed under 20% all day (two thirds of the average) while SA and Victoria were under 5% for much of the day.

On Sunday the NEM trended down to reach drought level (10) at noon. Shortly after sunrise SA wa importing 45% of demand wth 40% of local generation from gas. The picture shows the rather limited amount of green (wind) even though only SA was technically in drought. Imagine the extra windmills required to provide hot breakfasts and coffee!

Roundup of partners and fellow-travellers

Drop in to the sites and see what they are up to!

CPAC Speakers for this yearRegister Volunteer to help

IPA         Climate and energy program CIS          The Sydney Institute

Menzies Research Centre Mannkal Economics Education Foundation          

Advance Australia Taxpayers Alliance Australian Institute for Progress

A new appreciation of our culture and heritage? I think so!

The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the beginning of the reign of King Charles III has been a revelation. Five million Australians watched the Queen’s funeral. Many more would have viewed the ongoing, multiple television station coverage of reporters on the ground everywhere it mattered over the full ten days of mourning. A Roy Morgan poll conducted after King Charles took the oath showed 60% of Australians want to retain our system of government. Once again, republican claims that we are not interested in our constitutional monarchy have been disproven.

Something more than the standard position against change, – the, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” argument – justifiable though that is, has occurred to us at the Queen’s passing. Something much bigger and altogether more basic. Something we thought lost in the decades since the Queen ascended the throne in 1952 and for which we have realised no republican model of government could replace. What it is, is the full majesty of our culture and heritage.

When the new King, Charles III, took his oath at Westminster Hall, in accordance with the law and the assent of the people, and with all the arcane language, traditional vestments, processions and many constitutional acts and religious ceremonies, which culminated in the Queen’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey and her procession to Windsor Castle for her interment, a thousand year history played out before us. And we were in awe because it was the nation’s history.