Scamming the Citizen

Well, I don’t like to say, “I told you so,” but I told you this would happen. From PowerLine.

It’s been a tedious chore to track the slow motion train wreck of Germany’s energiewende, or “energy revolution.” Climatistas here have long touted Germany as the model we should follow. Think of it a renewable energy uber alles.

Well there’s a problem, and you don’t even need to know German to get this headline from two days ago:

Benny Peiser (a German native) at the Global Warming Policy Foundation to translates.

Irregular and unpredictable wind and solar power is increasingly becoming a problem for Germany’s power grid. Utility company Tennet TSO spent almost a billion euros last year on emergency interventions to stabilize the national grid.

That’s what the company announced earlier this week. The costs were thus about 50% higher than in 2016 (660 million euros) and around forty percent higher than in 2015 (710 million). Tennet is responsible for the electricity supply in an area that extends from Schleswig-Holstein in the north to Bavaria in the south of Germany and accounts for around forty percent of Germany’s total area. In particular, Tennet is responsible for important north-south transmission routes.

The reason for the increase in emergency interventions is the rising number of solar projects and wind turbines in Germany. The share of renewable energy increased from 29 to 33 percent of the electricity supply last year. Wind and solar power are irregular and often unpredictable. This makes the network increasingly unstable.

But hey, anything to save the world, amirite? Well, perhaps, not so much.

German parties agree to scrap 2020 climate target – sources

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s would-be coalition partners have agreed to drop an ambitious plan to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, two sources told Reuters on Monday — a potential embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Negotiators for her conservative bloc and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) told Reuters the parties had agreed in exploratory talks on forming a government that the targeted cut in emissions could no longer be achieved by 2020.

As usual, it turns out to be “Anything to keep the cronies in power, so the gravy train doesn’t stop.” Business as usual, in other words, and the average citizen (German in this case) take the hindmost. Such lovely elites. As Steve asks, “How does one say epic fail in German?” His suggestion is Alles kaput. That works for me.

And that is exactly what offends me with the whole scam that climate change has become. There may have been some actual evidence back at the beginning that we do have an effect on the climate, but we’ll never know.

The whole thing has become a scam for statist government, universities more worried about a buck than intellectual rigor, and capitalists without the drive to deal with competition looking for corporate welfare. Who is the loser in this scheme? As always the mark, the sucker of the con, is the citizen, the fool who pays for all the private jets going to the conferences in Swiss ski resorts, who pays for building stupid windmills all over the place, and eventually sits shivering in dark, because the electricity is off (ask a Brit who remembers the seventies!). Likely to starve too since transportation costs will rise as well.

Welcome to their Brave New World.

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Week in Pictures: Christmas Leftovers

Well, a lot of stuff has accumulated for week in pictures, that doesn’t really fit a category, so here are some leftovers.

In the X Ring – as always

From all over the place this week and I lost track. Have a good weekend and a Happy New Year.

The Reformation at 500

So, five hundred years ago today, a young monk nailed 95 points of contention on the door of a church in Germany. Or maybe he didn’t. Current research indicates that he (yes, his name was indeed Martin Luther) actually mailed two copies, both with personal cover letters to Albrecht the archbishop of Mainz and to Jerome [Scultetus] the Bishop of Brandenburg. Both were in his line of command.

The main complaint was indeed Johann Tetzel, the overzealous seller of indulgences (and Grand Inquisitor of Heresy to Poland). That he didn’t detonate this bomb with a hammer on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, doesn’t change the fact that it was a bomb.

Tetzell left us a memorable phrase, “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul out of purgatory springs“. Although, again, he may never have said it. But somebody did in early 16th century Germany. In Theses 27, Luther wrote,

27. They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory. 28. It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone (LW 31:27).

Part of the reason it became so heated is that the money from the sale of indulgences was being used to build St Peters Basilica in Rome, as Luther put it, on the backs of poor German peasants. There were other things as well.

Luther also departed radically from medieval perceptions of human righteousness, single-faceted as they were. Righteousness meant for the spectrum of theological voices from Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas to Ockham and Biel that human beings in some way met the demands for perfect performance of God’s law in one way or another. That might be possible, as Augustine taught, only through the aid of God’s grace and with his gracious forgiveness. Aquinas, too, taught the prevenient grace had to come before good works but that good works constituted that which makes God take pleasure in his human creatures.

Despite the admission that God’s grace is necessary for becoming righteous, this one-dimensional understanding of human identity or righteousness placed Luther continuously under God’s judgment until he discovered that human righteousness in God’s sight comes alone from God and that there are two facets to human identity. […]

A simple theological parable may clarify the distinction. Although by the definition of his own theology Thomas Aquinas had sufficient merit to proceed directly to heaven, without having to work off temporal punishment in purgatory, the Dominican saint dallied along the way, visiting old friends and doing research among those who still had purgatorial satisfactions to discharge there. He arrived at Saint Peter’s gate some 272 years after his death, on February 18, 1546. After ascertaining his name, Saint Peter asked Thomas, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” “Because of the grace of God,” Thomas answered, ready to explain the concept of prevenient grace should it be necessary. Peter asked instead, “How do I know you have God’s grace?” Thomas, who had brought a sack of his good deeds with him, was ready with the proof. “Here are the good works of a lifetime,” he explained. “I could have done none of them without God’s grace, but in my worship and observation of monastic rules, in my obedience to parents, governors, and superiors, in my concern for the physical well-being and property of others, in my chastity and continence, you can see my righteousness – grace-assisted as it may be.” Since a line was forming behind Thomas, Peter waved him in, certain that Thomas would soon receive a clearer understanding of his own righteousness. The next person in line stepped up. “Name?” “Martin Luther.” “Why should I let you into my heaven?” “Because of the grace of God.” Peter was in a playful mood, so he went on, “How do I know you have God’s grace? Thomas had his works to prove his righteousness, but I don’t see that you have brought any proof along that you are righteous.” “Works?” Luther exclaimed. “Works? I didn’t know I was supposed to bring my works with me! I thought they belonged on earth, with my neighbors. I left them down there.” “Well,” said Gatekeeper Peter, “how then am I supposed to know that you really have God’s grace?” Luther pulled a little, well-worn, oft-read scrap of paper out of his pocket and showed it to Peter. On it were the words, “Martin Luther, baptized, November 11, in the year of our Lord 1483.” “You check with Jesus,” Luther said. “He will tell you that I have been born again as a member of the family. He will tell you that he has given me the gift of righteousness through his own blood and his own resurrection.”

This is a superb article if one wants to understand what the Reformation was about. You can find it here, Luther’s Truths, Then and Now. Mind, it is long.

But I want to highlight four things which are different in how we Lutherans view the Reformation, even from other Protestants, according to Gene Veith, whom many of you know I have found a reliable guide to Lutheran thought. They are very truncated from what Dr Veith wrote, do follow the link.

I.  Reforming the church is not the same as starting a new church.  There is a difference between fixing up a house that has fallen into disrepair and tearing down the house and building a new one.  […]

Thus, Lutheran worship took the liturgy and removed prayers to the saints, references to Purgatory, and other elements that pointed away from Christ.  But most of the liturgy remained.

II.  Luther didn’t split the church.  The pope did.  Luther is credited or blamed for splitting what was once a unified Christian church.  When Luther posted his 95 theses, he was drawing attention to clear abuses, financial corruption, and theological confusion.  That his complaints were valid is demonstrated by the Roman Catholic church eventually changing the specific practices to which Luther was originally objecting.

III.  The Bible wasn’t translated so that individuals could interpret it for themselves.  I once heard the Lutheran theologian David Jay Webber comment that “Lutherans resist interpretation.”  You don’t read the Bible so that you can make up your own theology.  You read the Bible for a confrontation with God.

IV.  The Reformation did not replace Sacramental Christianity.  Luther’s Reformation was about strengthening sacramental Christianity.  Baptism does not just wash away original sin and the sins committed before Baptism, after which you must resort to the rite of penitence ; rather, in the words of George Herbert, Baptism “measures all my time.”  Lutherans retained confession and absolution, not as a separate sacrament, but as a function of Baptism, since sins are forgiven using the Baptismal formula, “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”  Furthermore, sins that have been forgiven do not require “temporal punishment” in Purgatory.  To Lutheran Reformers, Holy Communion is not a new sacrifice of Christ, to be received only by those who have been shriven of their sins and are in a state of purity; rather, it is Christ giving His Body and His blood “for you,” to the sinner, for remission of sins.

So there you go, 500 years ago today, a simple German (or was he?) monk and priest, in fact, a Doctor of the Church, set out to see things that were visibly wrong in the Church of his day. As usual with the things of man, it did not go quite as he planned. but he did succeed in reforming that Church, and established another as a counterweight, which if we pay attention can help both churches to stay on track.

Along the way, he established the way the German language is used to this day, maybe not on Shakespeare’s level, but on Tyndale’s, and he gave us concepts in Christianity that have served us well, all over the world.

Let’s end by going back to Robert Kolb for a bit, shall we? For truly, here lies one of the root stems of the modern world, in all its glory, and in its evil as well.

Luther recognized both the promise and the ambiguity of new technology and new modes of communication. In a world in which God’s material blessings flow richly with gifts that can aid our thinking and our communicating, new modes of communicating can also be hijacked by Satan. Further complicating matters, disciplines always carry ideological baggage and need Christ critique. In such a world, Luther’s ability to marshal technology as well as an array of colleagues and their teaching across the spectrum of the curriculum of the time should serve as a model for us. Luther’s emphasis on literacy endowed us sociologically with a kind of upward social mobility. […]

The Paris Statement

Archbishop Cranmer brings us tidings of a new statement, ‘The Paris Statement’ they call it. One of the writers is no less than Professor Sir Roger Scruton. That makes it worth paying attention to. So does the content. Here is some of his description.

In May 2017, a group of conservative scholars and intellectuals met in Paris…

No, don’t yawn.

They say they were “brought together by their common concern about the current state of European politics, culture, society and, above all, the state of the European mind and imagination. Through delusion and self-deception and ideological distortion, Europe is dissipating her great civilizational inheritance.”

Well, that’s true, isn’t it?

Unless your name is Nick Clegg, AC Grayling, or you happen to be a bishop in the Church of England (not Shrewsbury).

These fine conservative minds, which included our very own Professor Sir Roger Scruton, produced ‘The Paris Statement’, which kind of makes sense as a title because they were in Paris when they issued their tome, which might indeed be viewed as a statement because their words were issued quasi-authoritatively, as conservative scholars and intellectuals are wont to do. And ‘Paris’ gives the statement an aura of continental enlightenment in ways which, say, ‘The Slough Statement’ or ‘The Lewisham Statement’ probably never could.

The preamble continues:

Instead of simply wringing their hands in fruitless anxiety, or adding yet another tome to the ample literature that diagnoses “the decline of the West”, the Paris participants believed it was important to make an affirmation, and to do so publicly. They expressed their attachment to “the true Europe,” and did so with reasons that can be recognized by all. In doing so, it was first necessary to give an account of this true Europe, which lies hidden beneath the fashionable abstractions of our age.

The result is, “A Europe We Can Believe In.” This Paris Statement is a ringing call for a renewed understanding of, and appreciation for, Europe’s true genius. It is an invitation to the peoples of Europe to actively recover what is best in our tradition, and to build a peaceful, hopeful, and noble future together.

The Paris Statement is good, very good, contrasting, as it does, the false Europe of teleological superstition and utopian tyranny with the true Europe of nation-state cooperation based on Christian solidarity and civic loyalty. Consider:

Europe, in all its richness and greatness, is threatened by a false understanding of itself. This false Europe imagines itself as a fulfilment of our civilization, but in truth it will confiscate our home. It appeals to exaggerations and distortions of Europe’s authentic virtues while remaining blind to its own vices. Complacently trading in one-sided caricatures of our history, this false Europe is invincibly prejudiced against the past. Its proponents are orphans by choice, and they presume that to be an orphan—to be homeless—is a noble achievement. In this way, the false Europe praises itself as the forerunner of a universal community that is neither universal nor a community.

Good, that.

Well, you know what? I just read their statement, and aside from a few quibbles, much the same ones as His Grace mentioned in his article it is very good. So good on them. It’s also very good to see that there are conservatives in western Europe, we’re all aware of Sir Roger, but from the rest, it’s a rare (and most welcome) spark of conservatism. The Statement is here, and well worth a read.

I very much fear that Europe is a lost cause, but then again so was the American Revolution, so I wish them luck and Godspeed in their mission. For most of us, Europe is our ultimate homeland, and watching it go down without a fight is disheartening at best. It is time for Europa to again tame the bull, I think.

Of Covers and Kids

This is cool if you haven’t seen it. When the President got back to Joint Base Andrews and walked across the tarmac to Marine One, the rotor wash apparently blew off one of the Marine honor guards’ cover. Then this happened.

Look, this is neither the Apocalypse or the Millenium. It’s just the boss guy trying to do the right thing for one of the guys. That it didn’t go so well just adds to the charm. I do think it speaks well of Trump that he did this, especially since it was obviously a spur of the moment thing. Not all that many senior folks do, anymore.


This is rather remarkable. From PowerLine.

James McPherson, writing in the Washington Examiner, makes a remarkable observation: the leaders of Europe have no children. France’s Emmanuel Macron has none. Same with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British prime minister Theresa May, Italian prime minister Paolo Gentilon, Holland’s Mark Rutte, Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission. Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven has no biological children.

The prime minister of Luxembourg is also childless. I mention him not to cherry pick, but because it means that of the six founding members of what evolved into the European Union, five are now led by childless prime ministers or presidents. As George Weigel says, this would have been unimaginable to one of the founders of modern “Europe,” Konrad Adenauer, who was the father of eight.

It’s also unimaginable in the U.S., at least for the time being. President Trump has five kids. There hasn’t been a childless American president in my lifetime.

Some people can’t have children. Others choose not to, a decision I fully respect.

Still, there’s something eerie about the fact that Europe has no many childless leaders, even if you don’t agree with McPherson that those who lead nations should have skin, in the form of descendants, in the game. It seems extremely unlikely that a Europe that valued children highly would elect childless leaders in country after country. The electoral success of such leaders heightens the suspicion, supported by declining birth rates among non-immigrant Europeans, that Europe is committing demographic suicide.

May or may not be the end of the world, but it is rather strange, I think. Of course, it also could be argued that it is a reflection of their society, which may well be true. I like McPherson’s point, that leaders should have skin in the game, Kids to carry on, as it were. If I recall it was John Maynard Keynes, the economist that made deficit spending so popular, to the point that countries are going broke from it, that said, “In the long run we are all dead”. True enough, of course, we all will be. But it sounds a little different when one realises that he, too, was childless, and so one could argue that kicking the can down the road to avoid pain, was, for him, a valid strategy. Whether it was, or not, for countries that intended to go on into the future is a different question.

Starting the Week with the Monday Round-Up

Well, nothing really here that surprises me, I had long wondered about that. From Order-Order.com.

Yesterday human tea bags protested outside Sainsbury’s AGM over the supermarket’s decision to replace “Fairtrade tea”. […]

The truth is that just 23.3% of the £11,350,000 of revenue captured by the Fairtrade Foundation – mainly from supermarkets paying for their endorsement – actually goes to producers. More money, over 35%, is spent on “education and awareness”. Which means the Jolyons and Taras spend more money on themselves ‘campaigning’ than they give to the actual farmers who produce the products. It is a scandalous rip-off.

Sainsbury’s are withdrawing from the scheme because they intend to give more money to third-world producers than the Fairtrade Foundation currently gives them…

Can’t be taking bread out of rich westerner’s mouths and giving it to poor third world farmers now, can we? Why we might have to earn an honest living some day.


Illinois just decided to continue committing suicide, by raising taxes still another $5 billion dollars on their vanishing productive class. Why vanishing? Because they are moving increasingly quickly to Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Iowa, and Wisconsin. It’s a feature of the Federal system. Usually, we call it voting with our feet. From Conservative Intel.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Police continue to be persecuted (and their pension money stolen by Chicago politicians, so the continue to ‘Stay fetal’. As would any sane man or woman.


Bill Gates did something remarkable the other day, he showed a bit of common sense. From The Resurgent.

In a starling repudiation of the New World Order, Microsoft founder and renowned philanthropist Bill Gates told a German newspaper that the European Union’s rather permissive policies toward migrants might have a significant downside:

“On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees, but the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this, which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa.

“[Germany cannot] take in the huge, massive number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”

He said instead the EU must make it “more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes” while also relieving “enormous pressure” by sending foreign aid.

Progress, of a sort.


Catholic Culture tells us The Netherlands is murdering its own people.

New statistics on the use of physician-assisted suicide in the Netherlands show that hundreds of patients were given lethal drugs without a request from the patients.

The figures for 2015—the most recent statistics available—show 431 cases in which the patient’s life was ended without an explicit request.

Shocking, but not surprising.


We are reminded that Freedom of the Seas is one of the paramount objectives of the United States Navy, as it was of the Royal Navy before it. That mission continues.

“China resolutely opposes individual countries using the banner of freedom of navigation and overflight to flaunt military force and harm China’s sovereignty and security,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday.

The statement came after the US Air Force confirmed earlier on Friday that two B-1B Lancer bombers from Guam had flown over the disputed waterway.

Prior to the flyover, the Lancers conducted exercises with Japan in the East China Sea, representing the first time the two forces had conducted joint night-time drills.

Virtually all of the South China Sea is claimed by Beijing, despite conflicting claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

The US has been exercising freedom of navigation over the sea in recent weeks, with two Lancers from Guam flying over the waterway last month. A US warship also carried out a maneuvering drill within a short range – reportedly just 12 nautical miles – of one of China’s artificial South China Sea islands in late May.

Just a reminder, this has been going on for years, and a goodly part of why China can not be trusted.

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