"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (opens in separate window)

radically blind

friday, july 22nd, 2022

Mass formation is a form of mass hypnosis that emerges when specific conditions are met, and almost always precede the rise of totalitarian systems.

[FULL TITLE: "Radically Blind: Why Can’t People See Through the COVID Con?"]

Four central conditions that need to exist in order for mass formation to arise are widespread loneliness and lack of social bonding, which leads to experiencing life as meaningless, which leads to widespread free-floating anxiety and discontent, which leads to widespread free-floating frustration and aggression, which results in feeling out of control.

Under mass formation, a population enters a hypnotic-type trance that makes them willing to sacrifice anything, including their lives and their freedom.

Key strategies to disrupt the mass formation process are to speak out against it and to practice nonviolent resistance. Dissenting voices keep totalitarian systems from deteriorating into abject inhumanity where people are willing to commit heinous atrocities.

Ultimately, “totalitarianism” refers to the ambition of the system. It wants to eliminate the ability of individual choice, and in so doing, it destroys the core of what it is to be human. The quicker a system destroys the individual, the sooner the system collapses.

Professor Mattias Desmet, a Belgian psychologist with a master’s degree in statistics, gained worldwide recognition toward the end of 2021, when he presented the concept of “mass formation” as an explanation for the absurd and irrational behavior we were seeing with regard to the COVID pandemic and its countermeasures.

He also warned that mass formation gives rise to totalitarianism, which is the topic of his new book, “The Psychology of Totalitarianism.” Desmet’s work was further popularized by Dr. Robert Malone, whose appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast was viewed by about 50 million people.

But as the search term “mass formation” exploded in popularity, Google responded by manipulating the search engine results in an attempt to discredit Desmet and show people in their search results information that would cause them to discount the importance of this work. Why? Because Google is at the core of the global cabal and movement toward totalitarianism.

Understanding the Psychology of the Times Is Crucial

Those who refuse to learn from history are bound to repeat it, they say, and this appears particularly pertinent in the present day because, as explained by Desmet, if we don’t understand how mass formation occurs and what it leads to, we cannot prevent it. How did Desmet reach the conclusion that we were in the process of mass formation? He explains:

“In the beginning of the Corona crisis, back in February 2020, I started to study the statistics on the mortality rates of the virus, the infection fatality rates, the case fatality rate and so on, and immediately, I got the impression — and with me, several world-famous statisticians, such as John Ioannidis of Stanford, for instance — that the statistics and mathematical models used dramatically overrated the danger of the virus.

Immediately, I wrote an opinion paper trying to bring some of the mistakes to people’s attention. But, I noticed immediately that people just didn’t want to know. It was as if they didn’t see even the most blatant mistakes at the level of the statistics that were used. People just were not capable of seeing it.”

This early experience made him decide to focus on the psychological mechanisms at play in society, and he became convinced that what we were seeing were in fact the effects of a large-scale process of mass formation, because the most salient characteristic of this psychological trend is that it makes people radically blind to everything that goes against the narrative they believe in.

They basically become incapable of distancing themselves from their beliefs, and therefore cannot take in or evaluate new data. Desmet continues:

“Another very specific characteristic is that this process of mass formation makes people willing to radically sacrifice everything that is important to them —- even their health, their wealth, the health of their children, the future of their children.

When someone is in the grip of a process of mass formation, he becomes radically willing to sacrifice all his individual interest. A third characteristic, to name only a few, is that once people are in the grip of a process of mass formation, they typically show a tendency of cruelty towards people who do not buy into the narrative, or do not go along with the narrative. They typically do so as if it is an ethical duty.

In the end, they are typically inclined, first, to stigmatize, and then, to eliminate, to destroy, the people who do not go along with the masses.

And that’s why it is so extremely important to understand the psychological mechanisms at work, because if you understand the mechanisms at work, you can avoid the mass formation to become so deep that people reach this critical point in which they really are fanatically convinced that they should destroy everyone that does not go along with them.

So, it’s extremely important to understand the mechanism. If you understand it, you can make sure that the crowd, the mass, will first destroy itself, or will exhaust itself, before it starts to destroy the people that do not go along with the mass.

So, it’s of crucial importance, and that’s what my book describes. It describes how a mass, a crowd, emerges in a society, under which conditions it emerges, what the mechanisms of the process of mass formation are, and what you can do about it. That’s extremely important. I will mention this from the beginning.

Usually, it is impossible to wake up the masses. Once a process of mass formation emerges in a society, it’s extremely difficult to wake the masses up. But, [waking them up is] important, [because] you can avoid the masses and their leaders becoming so fanatically convinced of their narrative that they start to destroy the people who do not go along with them.”

Indeed, to those of us who did not fall under the spell of the irrational COVID narrative, the cruelty with which political leadership, media and people at large tried to force compliance was shockingly abhorrent. Many were physically attacked, and some even killed, simply for not wearing a face mask, which we knew was a useless prevention strategy. Historical Context for Mass Hypnosis

It is easier to understand what mass formation is if you consider it as mass hypnosis, because they’re not merely similar, they’re identical, Desmet says. Mass formation is a kind of hypnosis that emerges when specific conditions are met. And, disturbingly, these conditions, and the hypnotic trance that emerges, almost always precede the rise of totalitarian systems.

While totalitarianism and a classical dictatorship share certain features, there are distinct differences at the psychological level. According to Desmet, a classical dictatorship, at the psychological level, is very primitive. It’s a society that is frightened of a small group, a dictatorial regime, because of its aggressive potential.

Totalitarianism, on the other hand, arises from a very different psychological mechanism. Interestingly, the totalitarian state didn’t actually exist before the 20th century. It’s a relatively new phenomenon, and it’s based on mass formation or mass hypnosis.

The conditions for this mass hypnotic state (listed below) were first met just before the emergence of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, so that’s our historical context. These conditions were again met just before the COVID crisis. What we’re seeing now is a different kind of totalitarianism, largely due to technological advancements that have created extremely effective tools to subconsciously influence the public.

We now have very sophisticated tools with which to hypnotize far larger masses of people than they could in earlier times. But while our current-day totalitarianism is global rather than regional, and the information war more sophisticated than anything the Soviets or Nazi’s could muster, the basic psychological dynamics are still identical. Understanding Hypnosis

So, what are those psychological dynamics? “Mass formation” is a clinical term that in layman’s jargon could simply be translated as a kind of mass hypnosis, which can occur once certain conditions are fulfilled.

When you are being hypnotized, the first thing the hypnotist will do is to detach or withdraw your attention from the reality or environment around you. Then, through his hypnotic suggestion —- usually a very simple narrative or sentence stated out loud —- the hypnotist will focus your full attention on a single point, for instance, a moving pendulum or just his voice.

From the perspective of the hypnotized person, it will seem as though reality has vanished. An extreme example of this is the use of hypnosis to make people insensitive to pain during surgery. In that situation, the patient’s mental focus is so narrow and intense, that they don’t notice that their body is being cut into.

In the same way, it doesn’t matter how many people are injured by the COVID measures, because the focus is on COVID and everything else has vanished, in psychological terms.

People can be killed for not wearing a mask and the hypnotized won’t raise an eyebrow. Children can die from starvation and friends can commit suicide from financial desperation —- none of it will have a psychological impact on the hypnotized because to them, the plight of others doesn’t register. A perfect example of this psychological blinding to reality is how COVID jab deaths and injuries are simply unrecognized and not even considered to be causal.

People will get the shot, suffer massive injuries, and say, “Thank goodness I got the shot or it would have been so much worse.” They cannot conceive the possibility that they were injured by the shot. I’ve even seen people express gratitude for the shot when someone they supposedly loved died within hours or days of getting it! It’s just mindboggling. The psychological dynamics of hypnosis does explain this irrational and otherwise incomprehensible behavior, but it’s still quite surreal.

“Even while I know the mechanisms at work, I’m still baffled every time it happens,” Desmet says. “I almost can’t believe what I see. I know someone whose husband died a few days after the vaccine, during his sleep, from a heart attack.

And I thought, ‘Now she will open her eyes and wake up.’ Not at all. She just continued in the same fanatic way —- even more fanatic —- talking about how happy we should be because we have this vaccine. Unbelievable, yes.”

The Psychological Roots of Mass Formation

As mentioned, mass formation, or mass hypnosis, can occur when certain psychological conditions are present in a large-enough portion of society. The four central conditions that need to exist in order for mass formation to arise are:

Widespread loneliness and lack of social bonding, which leads to:

Experiencing life as meaningless, purposeless and senseless, and/or being faced with persistent circumstances that don’t make rational sense, which leads to:

Widespread free-floating anxiety and discontent (anxiety/discontent that has no apparent or distinct cause), which leads to:

Widespread free-floating frustration and aggression (frustration and aggression have no discernible cause), which results in feeling out of control.

How Mass Formation Emerges in a Society

Once a large-enough portion of society feels anxious and out of control, that society becomes highly vulnerable to mass hypnosis. Desmet explains:

“Social isolation, lack of meaning, free floating anxiety, frustration and aggression are highly aversive because if people feel anxious, without knowing what they feel anxious for, they typically feel out of control. They feel they cannot protect themselves from their anxiety.

And, if under these conditions a narrative is distributed through the mass media, indicating an object of anxiety, and at the same time, providing a strategy to deal with the object of anxiety, then all this free-floating anxiety might connect to the object of anxiety.

And, there might be a huge willingness to participate in a strategy to deal with the object of anxiety, no matter how absurd the strategy is. So, even if it is clear from the beginning —- for everyone who wants to see it —- that the strategy to deal with the object of anxiety might claim many more victims than the object of anxiety itself -- even then, there might be this huge willingness to participate in a strategy to deal with the object of anxiety.

That is the first step of every major mechanism of mass formation. Whether it concerned the Crusades, or the witch hunts, or the French Revolution, or the beginning of the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany, we see the same mechanism, time and time again.

There is a lot of free-floating anxiety. Someone provides a narrative that indicates an object of anxiety and a strategy to deal with it. And then all the anxiety connects to the [proposed] object of anxiety.

People participate in a strategy to deal with the object of anxiety that yields a first important psychological advantage, and from then on people have the impression that they can control their anxiety. It’s connected to an object and they have a strategy to deal with it.”

The Problematic Social Bonding of Mass Formation

Once people who used to feel lonely, anxious and out of control start to participate in the strategy presented to them as the solution to their anxiety, a brand-new social bond emerges. This, then, reinforces the mass hypnosis, as they now no longer feel isolated and lonely.

This reinforcement is a kind of mental intoxication, and is the real reason why people buy into the narrative, no matter how absurd. “They’ll continue to buy into the narrative, because it creates this new social bond,” Desmet says.

While social bonding is a good thing, in this instance it becomes extremely destructive, because the free-floating frustration and aggression are still there, and need an outlet. These emotions need to be directed at someone. What’s worse, under the spell of mass formation, people lose their inhibitions and sense of proportion.

So, as we’ve seen during the COVID pandemic, people will attack and lash out in the most irrational ways against anyone who doesn’t buy into the narrative. The underlying aggression will always be directed at the part of the population that isn’t hypnotized.

Speaking in generalized terms, typically, once mass formation is taking place, about 30% of the population will be hypnotized —- and this typically includes the leaders who pronounce the hypnotizing narrative to the public —- 10% remain unhypnotized and do not buy into the narrative, and the majority, 60%, feel there’s something wrong with the narrative, but go along with it simply because they don’t want to stick out or cause trouble.

Another problem with the social bonding that emerges is that the bond is not between individuals, but rather a bond between the individual and the collective. This gives rise to a feeling of fanatic solidarity with the collective, but there’s no solidarity toward any given individual. So, individuals are remorselessly sacrificed for the “greater good” of the faceless collective.

“This explains, for instance, why during the Corona crisis, everybody was talking about solidarity, but people accepted that if someone got into an accident on the street, you were no longer allowed to help that person unless you had a surgical mask and gloves at your disposal.

That also explains why, while everybody was talking about solidarity, people accepted that if their father or mother was dying, they were not allowed to visit them,” Desmet says.

In the end, you end up with a radical, paranoid atmosphere in which people do not trust each other anymore, and in which people are willing to report their loved ones to the government.

“So, that’s the problem with mass formation,” Desmet says. “It’s solidarity of the individual with the collective, and never with other individuals. That explains what happened during the revolution in Iran, for instance. I talked with a woman who lived in Iran during the revolution, which was actually the beginning of a totalitarian regime in Iran.

She witnessed, with her own eyes, how a mother reported her son to the government, and how she hung the rope around his neck just before he died, and how she claimed to be a heroine for doing so. That’s the dramatic effects of mass formation.”

With No External Enemy, What Happens?

We’re now facing a situation that is more complicated than at any previous time, because the totalitarianism that is now arising has no external enemies, with the exception of citizens that aren’t hypnotized and don’t buy into the false narratives. Nazi Germany, for example, was destroyed by external enemies that rose against it.

On the other hand, there’s advantage to this, because totalitarian states always need an enemy. That’s something that was very well described by George Orwell in his book “1984.” In order for the process of mass formation to continue to exist, there must be an external enemy onto which the state can focus the aggression of the hypnotized masses. Nonviolent Resistance and Outspokenness Are Crucial

This brings us to a key point, and that is the need for nonviolent resistance and speaking out against the narrative. Violent resistance automatically make you a target for aggression, so “resistance from within a totalitarian system always has to stick to the principles of nonviolent resistance,” Desmet says. But you must also continue to speak out in a clear, rational and nonabusive way. Desmet explains:

“The first and foremost principle the resistance has to stick to during a process of mass formation and emerging totalitarianism, is that people who do not go along with the masses have to continue to speak out. That’s the most crucial thing.

As totalitarianism is based on mass formation, and mass formation is a kind of hypnosis, the mass formation is always provoked by the voice of the leader, which keeps the population in a process of hypnosis. And when dissonant voices continue to speak out, they will not be able to wake the masses up, but they will constantly disturb the process of mass formation.

They will constantly interfere with the hypnosis. If there are people who continue to speak out, the mass formation will usually not become so deep that there is a willingness in the population to destroy the people who do not go along with the masses. That’s crucial.

Historically speaking, if you look at what happened in the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany, it’s clear that it was exactly at the moment when the opposition stopped to speak out in public that the totalitarian system started to become cruel.

In 1930, in the Soviet Union, the opposition stopped to speak out, and within six to eight months, Stalin started his large purges, which claimed tens of millions of victims. And then, in 1935, exactly the same happened in Nazi Germany.

The opposition was silenced, or stopped to speak out. They preferred to go underground. They were thinking that they were dealing with a classical dictatorship, but they were not. They were dealing with something completely different. They were dealing with a totalitarian state.

And by deciding to go underground, it was a fatal decision for themselves. So, also in Nazi Germany, within a period of one year after the opposition stopped to speak out in public, the cruelty started and the system started to destroy first its opponents. That’s always the same.

In the first stage, totalitarian systems or the masses start to attack those who do not go along with them. But, after a while, they just start to attack and to destroy everyone, group after group.

And, in the Soviet Union, where the process of mass formation went very far, much further than in Nazi Germany, Stalin started to eliminate the aristocracy, the small farmers, the large farmers, the goldsmiths, the Jews, all people who according to him would never become good communists.

But after a while, he just started to eliminate group after group without any logic. Just everyone. So, that’s why Hannah Arendt said that a totalitarian state is always a monster that devours its own children. And that destructive process starts when people stop to speak out.

That’s probably the reason why, in the beginning of the 20th century, there were several countries where there was mass formation, but where there was never a full-fledged totalitarian state.

Probably, there were enough people who didn’t shut up, who continued to speak out. That’s something that is so crucial to understand. When mass formation emerges, people typically feel that it doesn’t make sense to speak out because people don’t wake up. People don’t seem sensitive to their rational counter arguments.

But, we should never forget that speaking out has an immediate effect. Maybe not that it wakes the masses up, but that it disturbs the process of mass formation and the hypnosis. And in that way, prevents the masses from becoming highly destructive towards the people who do not go along with them.

Something else also happens. The masses start to exhaust themselves. They start to destroy themselves before they start to destroy the people who do not go along with them. So, that’s the strategy to be used for internal resistance towards totalitarian regimes.” Push Back Against Transhumanism and Technocracy

As mentioned earlier, the leaders who declare the narratives are also always hypnotized. They are fanatics in that sense. However, while today’s world leaders are fanatics about transhumanism and technocracy, they may not necessarily believe what they’re saying about COVID. In the end, the ultimate challenge is not so much to show people that the coronavirus was not as dangerous as we expected, or that the COVID narrative is wrong, but rather that this ideology is problematic —- this transhumanist and this technocratic ideology is a disaster for humanity -- To show people that, in the end, a transhumanist view on man and the world will entail radical dehumanization of our society.

Many know that they’re telling lies, but they justify those lies as necessary in order to bring the ideologies of transhumanism and technocracy to fruition. The ridiculous COVID agenda is a means to an end. This is another reason why we must continue to push back and speak out, because once the counter arguments disappear, these leaders will become even more fanatic in their ideological quest.

“In the end, the ultimate challenge is not so much to show people that the coronavirus was not as dangerous as we expected, or that the COVID narrative is wrong, but rather that this ideology is problematic — this transhumanist and this technocratic ideology is a disaster for humanity; this mechanistic thinking, this belief that the universe and man is a kind of material mechanistic system, which should be steered and manipulated in a mechanistic technocratic transhumanist way.

That’s the ultimate challenge: to show people that in the end, a transhumanist view on man and the world will entail radical dehumanization of our society. So, I think that’s the real challenge we are facing. Showing people, ‘Look, forget for a moment about the Corona narrative.

What we are heading for if we continue in the same way, is a radically, technologically controlled transhumanist society, which will leave no space whatsoever for life for a human being.”

It’ll Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Like me, Desmet is convinced that we’re rapidly headed toward global totalitarianism and that things will get far worse before they get better. Why? Because we’re only in the initial stages of the process of totalitarianism. On the horizon, digital identity still looms large, and with that comes an unfathomably powerful control grid capable of breaking just about anyone.

The glimmer of hope is this: Everyone who has studied mass formation and totalitarianism has concluded that both are intrinsically self-destructive. They cannot survive. And, the more means it has at its disposal to control the population, the sooner it might destroy itself, because totalitarianism destroys the core of the human being.

Ultimately, “totalitarianism” refers to the ambition of the system. It wants to eliminate the ability of individual choice, and in so doing, it destroys the core of what it is to be human, “because psychological energy in a human being emerges at every moment a human being can make a choice that is really its own choice,” Desmet says. The quicker a system destroys the individual, the sooner the system collapses.

Again, the only weapon against the brutal destruction of humanity is to push back, to speak out, to nonviolently resist. It may not stop totalitarianism in its tracks, but it can keep the most heinous atrocities at bay. It will also provide a small space where the resistant can try to survive together and thrive in the midst of the totalitarian landscape.

“Then, if we want to succeed, we will have to think about parallel structures which can allow us to be a little bit self sufficient. We can try to make sure that we don’t need the system too much anymore. But, even these parallel structures would be destroyed in a moment if the people do not continue to speak out. So, that’s the crucial.

I try to bring this to the attention of everyone. We can build parallel structures as much as we want, but if the system becomes too destructive and decides to use it’s full aggressive potential, then the parallel structures will be destroyed. But, the system will never reach this level of depth of the hypnosis if there are dissonant voices that continue to speak out. So, I’m very dedicated myself to continue to speak out.”

While it’s impossible to make accurate predictions, Desmet’s gut feeling is that it’ll probably be at least seven or eight years before the totalitarian system currently emerging with burn itself out and self-destruct. Could be more, could be less. Society is a complex dynamic system, and even simple complex dynamic systems cannot be predicted even one second in advance. This is known as the deterministic unpredictability of complex dynamic ecosystems. More Information

Regardless of how long it takes, the key will be to survive it all and do what we can to minimize the carnage. A key challenge on an individual level will be to maintain elementary principles of humanity. In the interview, Desmet discusses Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book, “The Gulag Archipelago,” which highlights the importance of holding on to your humanity in the midst of an inhumane situation.

“That, maybe, is the one and only thing that can guarantee us of a good outcome of the entire process —- which is a necessary process, I think. This crisis is not meaningless. It’s not meaningless. It’s a process in which society can give birth to something new, something much better than exists up until now,” he says.

To learn more about this truly crucial topic, be sure to pick up a copy of Desmet’s book, “The Psychology of Totalitarianism".

© 6.19.2022 by Joseph Mercola, "Epoch Times". [H/T Pastor Tom]

A Day In The Life.

Up at 8:30a on Friday, I went thru my finger stick to check my BSL (Blood Sugar Level) and recorded it on my Diabetes 2 chart, made coffee and breakfast, took a Tylenol Extra Strength for various pains, had a couple smokes in the semi-cool garage, grabbed a morning shower, and checked the leftover errands list. It was already 78°, and forecast to hit 85° with mild humidity. I had a 1p Endocrinology app't, so I had my files and BSL charts, Digital Dosemeter etc ready-to-go. I listened to the Chris Plante Show from 9-12, had a banana for lunch, and left for the Wellspan offices down south, at 12:20p.

I was finished in 45mins, stopped at Weis Market, Rite Aid Pharmacy and Royal Farms Gas to fill-up the Jeep; 19.9gals at $103; down from $5.95/gal to $5.25/gal. Finally home by 3p, I unpacked and put stuff away, did a few condo chores, and listened to the "Chris Plante Show Podcast" for much of the morning show I'd missed while doing other things. By 4p, I had to sit and relax with a cold Bai Soccorro Supersweet Iced Tea, until Sherry called and came by to visit just after 5p. We spent a couple hours together, and she left around 7p, so we both could have dinner and get things done. I watched Discovery's "Gold Rush", "Tucker" and more "GR" episodes until 11p. Alan's coming over in the morning to meet with Becky and me, so I bagged it early.

Up at 6a on Saturday, a cloudy 67° morning, I made coffee, did the BSL, had a couple smokes in the warm garage, and checked the weather and news on my 2009 Commercial/Industrial-grade HP Compaq 6000 Microtower Desktop, running Win-7 Pro x64. The Dew Point was low, so we had a lot of fog and moisture on everything; I just wish it'd been seriously steady rain, as we're in a drought now. My Landscape Foreman of 17yrs, Alan, arrived at 10a, as did my Sister, and he presented us a nice hardscape plan for the Mt Rose Cemetery's Chapel of memories, but at $50k, it was way overdone, much too elaborate and costly for what we were looking for. I'll redo it, scale it back, and make it more practical for our budget, and the space there.

It's not our guns; it's your sons.

The rain started around 2p, and lasted only an hour or so, but it was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. After some hellish thunder moved thru, the rain again began in earnest, and my rain gauge began to fill, but only to ¼". I watched a crappy NASCAR race, some "American Pickers" reruns, "Chasing Classic Cars" reruns, "Expedition Unknown" reruns, and a pile of other reruns of stuff I can't even remember. It was another "NBC (Nothing But Crap) Day". Magically, there was an IMSA (International Motor Sports Ass'n) Race on from Lime Rock Park (CT), that was very good, and salvaged the afternoon.

After dinner, I continued watching the IMSA Race, the rain stopped, air quality was rated POOR, and temps dropped into the low-60s. The humidity was oppressive, but tolerable. I cooked-up 3 Chicken Cordon Bleu, 3 Chicken Cordon Parmesan and 3 Chicken Cordon Kiev Breaded Breasts, for the next several days; more economical to mass cook them and store in a Glad® Container for later eating. New episodes of "American Pickers" and "Expedition Unknown" came on at 8p-1a. I finally unplugged at 1:15a for the day.

I slept-in until 10a on Sunday, made coffee, had a couple smokes, did the BSL, had breakfast, grabbed my usual morning shower and checked the weather and news. Heavy t-storms are forecast for mid-afternoon, Compared to Texas, we've had it easy over the past few weeks. I had 2 loads of laundry to get done, a few errands to run, stuff to bundle-up for a morning visit to the cleaners, an IndyCar Race, IMSA Race and a boring NASCAR Race to watch, and some landscape design work to do. For dinner, I had a Ham Salad sandwich, watched TV until 10p, and called it a day. The heavy rain arrived just as I hit the sack.

Awake at 7:30a on Monday, I did the usual routines, had coffee and a couple of smokes in the garage, brought-in my recycle bin from the curb, had lots more coffee to try to wake-up. Already 76°, temps were forecast to hit 86°, with a Heat Index around 100°. I got an email notifying all CHCA Residents that tomorrow's trial had been postponed, and we'd be notified of new date. I had some morning errands to do, and a Therapeutic Massage at 1:30p, so I left at 10:30a (they open at 11a), to get that stuff out of the way. Rite Aid Pharmacy in East York called twice; once to tell me that an Rx was ready, and then re-called to tell me it wouldn't be ready until tomorrow. Jeez.

Back by 11:30a, I unloaded the shirts and jeans, listened to the rest of the "Chris Plante Show", until I had to leave at 12:50p, to get to my 1:30 Therapeutic Massage (lower back) app't, down in South York. Heidi did an amazing job as usual, used some CBD Ointment to finish-off the lower back area, and I left at 2:15p. This Weather Warning began appearing on my Jeep's Control Panel Screen, and then on my home computer:

***Severe Thunderstorm Warning***
1:47pm EDT, Jul 18 2022
10:00pm EDT, Jul 18 2022
• Severe Thunderstorm Warning for... Southeastern Lancaster County in South Central Pennsylvania... Southeastern York County in South Central Pennsylvania.
• Until 10:00 PM EDT.
• HAZARD: 60-70 mph wind gusts and dime-sized hail.
SOURCE: Radar indicated.
• IMPACT: Hail damage to vehicles is expected. Expect wind damage to roofs, siding, and trees.
For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

Swell. I watched the weather radar maps, and it looked like it was coming directly at the York area. Another big nothingburger, as it passed just north of York into Harrisburg, and spared us the heavy rain and hail. I watched TV until 10:30p, and bagged it for the day. I have a 10a PCP (Primary Care Physician) app't, and needed to get some sleep.

If you didn't think that almost everyone in the US Congress became multi-millionaires thru insider trading, here's just one example: Skankbag Nancy Pelosi and her alcoholic, drunk-driving hubby, Paul. They're crooks, thieves, scum and lowlife criminal filth.

It was 53 years ago, today, in 1969, that alcoholic, drunken, US Sen Ted Kennedy murdered Mary Jo Kopechner, in his Oldsmobile, on Chappaquiddick Island. Remember it? I sure do. He got off Scot-free, but should have been tried and cxonvicted for vehicular homicide, and served prison time. But as a Kennedy", we all knew that wasn't going to happen.

Up at 7a on Tuesday -- I forgot to set the alarm for 6a -- I hurried to get coffee made, the BSL done, took a Tylenol Extra Strength and a Tramadol for rib pain, checked the weather and news on the desktop computer. It was only 72°, but forecast to hit the low/mid-90s with high humidity, and the same for the next 5-6 days. The Heat Index was listed to be 100°+. I was very groggy and it took a while to wake-up, even after 3 mugs of Kona Coffee. I had some simple Rye Toast, Irish Butter and Cream Cheese, for a quick breakfast, checked my meds for refills, easily gotten at the Dr's office app't. I tuned into the early morning news/politics guy, "Chris Stigall Show", while my mental fog lifted.

I left at 9:25 for my 10:00 app't, down south at the massive Apple Hill Medical Center Complex. The app't went well, and my Dr had a "Student Doctor" with him, taking her thru the training for near future employment with Wellspan Medical. I was finished by 11:30, and left. I stopped at Rite Aid Pharmacy to p/u some waiting Rxs, and Weis Markets to get a few things. It was so hot, I have no appetite for any lunch, except maybe a banana and cold grapes. It was 110° on the back irregular flagstone patio, and 102° on the front porch. I kept the condo closed up tight and the temp set at 74°. The next 12-13 days are forecast to be in the low-to-mid 90s. Swell. A nap may be in order, later.

I just found out that the wacko laqdy who's suing the CHCA Ass'n, and whose lawyer quit last week, causing today's court session to be "postponed", has 60 days to prepare and will defend herself. This is going to be a disaster for her, but no other lawyer will take her case, since she's an inveterate liar. She's a loser, left-wing squish, and will lose this case, bigtime.

Reason #2 why I always carry concealed.

I stayed inside the rest of the afternoon, had Chicken Parmesan for dinner, watched TV -- "The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch", "Tucker" and "Gutfeld!" -- until midnight, and unplugged.

Up at 7:30a on Wednesday, it was already a sunny 74°, cloudless start to the morning, on its way to the mid-90s. The next 6-7 days are going to be ugly. I made coffee, did the BSL, and had a couple smokes on the back patio, before it turns into a furnace. I had some heavy door building products to return to Home Depot, but will postpone it until next week, when the heat hopefully abates. The Net was very slow, as it has been over the past 10-14 days. I decided to wait until next week to do that, and settled-in to listen to the Chris Plante Show from 9-12, and just stay out of the heat and humidity.

I took the 2019 Jeep to the local car wash for a wash/wax, and by the time I'd gotten home, it was already 94°; much too hot for my COPD to cope with the heat, humidity and poor air quality. I always open the Jeep's hood, to let the Supercharged HEMI V8 cool down, as it generates a H-U-G-E amount of heat. In the Fall, Winter and early Spring, it warms-up the garage in 2-3 minutes, so that's nice. But in Summer, engine temps in the garage can quickly top 110° in a few minutes, so I let it cool off outside before bringing it in.

After muich constrenation, I decided to get the 2nd Covid-19 Booster, at my local Rite Aid. I wanted to get it on Tuesday, when I was at my PCP Dr's Office, but forgot and left without getting it. Damn. I grabbed a 2+hr nap on the couch, made a 8oz Filet Mignon, sweet green peas and had tapioca pudding for a late lunch/ early dinner. I watched TV until midnight, and called it a day. My cleaning lady, JoAnne is in at 8:30a tomorrow, so I set the alarm for 6a. Sherry and I are walking in the afternoon, and going to a local garden center to get some stuff.

***Heat Advisory***
11:00 AM EDT, Jul 21 2022
8:00 PM EDT, Jul 21 2022
• WHAT: Heat Index values between 100 to 104 expected.
• WHERE: Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster and York Counties.
• WHEN: From 11 AM to 8 PM EDT Thursday.
• IMPACTS: Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur.
• ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Excessive Heat can be life-threatening among at-risk populations, such as children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions.
Drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun, and stay in an air-conditioned room. Check up on relatives and neighbors, and provide pets with adequate water and shelter from the sun.
Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes. LOOK BEFORE YOU LOCK.
If you work or spend time outside, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing.
To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 9-1-1.
For excessive heat safety information, visit weather.gov/heat.

The alarm went-off at 6a and jolted me out of bed. It was already 82° outside -- forecast to be around 97° -- humid and getting warmer by the minute. I did the usual routines, had Kona Coffee with my Marlboros, took my 19-pill regimen, had some Rye Toast, and waited for JoAnne to arrive. I listened to the "Chris Stigall Show" from 6-9a, and switched to the Chris Plante Show from 9-12 noon. It was alredady 115° on the back patyio, so I sat in the shady section, and with a nice wind, it was semi-comfortable.

Another Reason #2 why I always carry concealed.

I saw the weather/ heat/ poor air quality warnings on multiple weather and news sites; and it's going to get worse before it gets any better. Sat & Sun will be in the upper-90s, with Heat Indexes well over 105°, and just too dangerous for many people to go outside. This is from the extreme hot weather the Southwest has had over the past week or so; now we're getting it, after the Great Plains and Midwest got a serious 7-8 day blast from it. Sherry called and we had to reschedule our indoor walk until around 2p, since a family situation had come up. No sweat. I left for the nearby, massive York Galleria at 1:50p.

We walked about ¾ of a mile, but because my COPD was so affected by the heat and humidity, we called it an early day, and went back to my place, where it was cool and dry. Sherry left around 6p to get some dinner, and I had the last of the Chicken Cordon Parmesan, watched TV, took my 17-pill evening regimen, grabbed a quick shower, and bagged it for the night at 10p.

Tomorrow starts a new week here in the "Journal", and next week is a front door(s) repair period on Monday and Tuesday. After that, I'm clear for a few days.

THE CLIMATE 202: Here's What Could Happen If Biden Declares A National Climate Emergency.

Climate change, as many activists and politicians say, is an emergency. President Biden may soon make that official. Biden is weighing declaring a national climate emergency, an extraordinary move that would allow the president to tap new powers and pots of money in his administration’s efforts to curb climate-warming emissions.

The potential move may help Biden signal to other world leaders that he is still serious about climate change, even as his legislative agenda to invest in clean energy falls apart.

On Wednesday, some senators in the Democratic caucus urged Biden to make that declaration sooner rather than later.

“For too long, we have been waiting for a single piece of legislation, and a single Senate vote, to take bold action on our climate crisis,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in a letter to Biden. “As a result, we urge you to put us on an emergency footing and aggressively use your executive powers to address the climate crisis.” But right now, it’s unclear when Biden might make such a declaration — or what exactly invoking those emergency powers will entail. Biden is considering making the announcement “in the coming weeks,” according to my colleagues Tony Romm, Jeff Stein and Ashley Parker. But he will hold off on doing so during a major climate speech scheduled for Wednesday in Massachusetts.

Yet the fact that Biden seems to be considering the move has many Democratic lawmakers and grass-roots activists excited.

“We need this administration to do all the things, take all the steps,” said Moira Birss, climate and finance director at Amazon Watch, one of several green groups asking for an emergency declaration.

Turning a crisis into an opportunity. For months, many of Biden’s allies have agitated for the president to tap a variety of long-standing emergency authorities under the National Emergencies Act and other laws to tackle what they see as a genuine crisis for the planet.

The group of Democratic senators, for instance, asked Biden on Tuesday to use the act to redirect spending on military bases to build renewable energy and finance distributed energy projects. In addition to Merkley and Sanders, seven Democratic senators signed on to the letter: Markey, Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Martin Heinrich (N.M.) and Alex Padilla (Calif.). And in February, the Center for Biological Diversity issued a report urging Biden to go even further.

Among the emergency authorities the green group wants Biden to consider are halting crude oil exports, ending offshore drilling and stopping hundreds of billions of dollars of private investment in fossil fuel projects abroad.

“It will be a huge, significant change to how he's approached climate change so far,” said Jean Su, a senior attorney at the center. Biden has already turned to one Cold War-era emergency law to address today’s changing climate. Over the past year, the president has invoked the Defense Production Act to boost lithium mining for electric vehicles and to ramp up domestic manufacturing of solar panel parts and other clean energy equipment.

The Manchin factor: Biden’s consideration of invoking emergency powers comes as his climate agenda falters in Congress.

Sen. Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), a conservative Democrat, told party leaders last week that after months of negotiations, he cannot support a sprawling economic package that includes billions of dollars for clean energy right now.

Biden once appeared willing to go easy with executive action on climate change to secure Manchin’s vote. With Republicans unwilling to back his climate agenda, Biden needed the coal-state senator’s support to secure passage.

Now with a deal all but dead, Biden is freer to take more aggressive executive action.

But Paul Bledsoe, once a climate adviser in the Clinton administration, is skeptical that an emergency declaration can stand up to court scrutiny. Last month, conservatives on the Supreme Court curtailed the federal government’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide from power plants.

“The only sure way to meet ambitious U.S. climate goals is to unleash tens of billions of dollars in private sector investment--which is precisely what pending clean energy tax incentives would do,” he said.

Stage set by Trump? Odd as it sounds, Donald Trump helped pave the way for a more expansive view of how emergency powers can be used by the White House.

The Republican former president declared a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2019 in a bid to build his wall. At the time, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) warned that Trump’s move set a bad precedent by enabling a Democrat to do something similar.

“If today the national emergency is border security … tomorrow the national emergency might be climate change,” he said on CNBC in 2019.

Many more articles, here.

© 7.20.2022 by Dino Grandoni, "Washington Compost".

Petey Butt-Plug Boy (Buttigieg) Wants to Mandate Electric Vehicles. He's Wrong.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, considered the most likely Democratic candidate for president in 2024 after Joe Biden in the latest Washington Post ranking, says the solution to high gas prices is getting "most Americans" to switch to electric vehicles -- willingly or not.

Buttigieg is issuing federal regulations to force states to limit the use of gas-powered vehicles. If he becomes president, we'll be living in green hell, compelled to buy pricey EVs to comply with his climate zealotry.

Right now, fewer than 1% of vehicles on the road are electric. EVs are probably the long-term future, but they won't solve the current pain at the pump; they cost too much, and charging them is a logistical nightmare. The U.S. has 145,000 gas stations but only 6,000 fast-charging stations.

On a radio show July 14, Buttigieg roiled the audience by suggesting that switching to electric cars, rather than producing more energy, is the answer. Meanwhile, gas prices are predicted to rise as high as $6 a gallon this fall, according to an internal U.S. Treasury analysis, or even higher in J.P. Morgan's worst-case scenario.

EVs are not the answer. Buttigieg is living in la-la land. The average new EV costs about $66,000. A good deal is the 2022 Kia EV6, priced at $40,900 before add-ons, according to U.S. News and World Report. Even that's more than most people can afford. Three-quarters of Americans who need a car buy a used one, paying around $31,000 for it.

EVs are for big spenders. AAA reports a staggering 78% of EV buyers own other cars. They're in the income bracket to afford multiple cars. They drive the EV short distances but still fall back on their gas-powered car for long-distance driving.

Lucky for them. Getting a charge away from home isn't fast or easy, according to the MIT Technology Review. Gas-powered cars zip in and out of gas stations. EV owners have to cool their heels for a minimum of 15 minutes to put a couple of hundred miles on the vehicle, even at the fastest Tesla Supercharger.

That is, if you can find a charging station. They are "nearly nonexistent in rural America," said MIT.

Even charging at home can be a problem. Take the Tesla Model Y, ranked one of the best electric SUVs of 2022. Even with a 220-volt charger installed in your home, it takes up to 11 hours to power up this model. That's more than most people sleep in a night.

That's assuming you're allowed to recharge. With some states facing brownouts and electricity curbs, there could be restrictions. Texas has already asked EV drivers to avoid charging during peak times. Texas isn't producing enough electricity to support widespread charging. Imagine being told you can't plug your car in at night to drive to work the next morning.

The fact is, the nation lacks the infrastructure to support a rapid total transition to EVs, and many states lack the electricity generation as well.

Many of these problems are temporary. The major auto companies are betting on EVs for the future. Both GM and Tesla are partnering with convenience store chains across the country to install charging stations. (The federal government is also funding some stations.) Nearly 14% of Sheetz stores, a regional Mid-Atlantic chain, have Tesla chargers. Sheetz is delighted to sell soft drinks and snacks to EV owners as they wait to power up.

In the long run, count on market ingenuity to solve the shortcomings of EVs and increase their affordability, just like what happened with cellphones. Unfortunately, Buttigieg refuses to wait. He'd rather ram the technology down the public's throats.

On July 7, he proposed regulations to compel states to reduce CO2 highway emissions, effectively outlawing gas-powered vehicles. The regulations appear to exceed the Department of Transportation's authority and will be challenged in court. But they indicate Buttigieg's mindset.

Beware making this climate radical the next president of the United States.

© 7.20.2022 by Betsy McCaughey, "Townhall".

Good Mustard Is Getting Hard To Find In France.

If you've not checked your "What Are We Running Low On Now" bingo card lately, give it a look to see if you have the Dijon® mustard square. According to reports from both Canada and France, the condiment could be in short supply for the next few months, as a result of environmental factors and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Canada is one of the world's biggest exporters of mustard seeds, and drought-like conditions in the western part of the country led to a poor harvest this season. According to an outlook report from Agriculture and Agri Food Canada (AAFC), both the crop yield per hectare and the overall production levels have fallen by almost 50 percent compared to last year.

Luc Vandermaesen, the general manager of French mustard producer Reine de Dijon, told The Guardian that mustard seeds weren't faring much better in France. "In Burgundy, the region had a very wet winter and then three days of cold at the beginning of April last year, so we only harvested about 48 [percent] of expectations," he explained to the outlet. He also added that the war in Ukraine has affected mustard's availability, as both countries export a significant amount of seeds too.

As a result of this year's smaller crop, the average price of mustard seeds is expected to skyrocket. "The price of seeds has gone up three or four times, and maybe five times soon," Christophe Planes, the French sales director at Reine de Dijon, previously told AFP. "And, on top of that, there is no supply. The scarcity is such that we have a potential 50 percent decrease in seeds... so our production is down 50 percent."

The price of mustard has increased by nine percent in France, according to one study, but customers may not have noticed yet. Vandermaesen told the Financial Times that the average resident in France spent less than $5 (€4.80) every year on mustard. But that's no solace to people who are currently trying to buy a jar: one resident harrumphed to the Times that he'd been to "25 shops" and still couldn't find "the good stuff."

Here in the U.S., we may not be facing a condiment-related catastrophe yet. A spokesperson for McCormick & Company® told Axios that a "resilient global supply chain and strong sourcing capabilities" had prevented the company from facing any current shortages. "French's Mustard will be on store shelves for consumers to enjoy," the company said.

Similarly, a Kraft Heinz spokesperson told the outlet that Grey Poupon should still be available as usual. "As soon as our cross-functional Grey Poupon® team identified a potential supply issue, we immediately worked to identify other sources of brown mustard seed in different parts of the world," the company confirmed to Axios.

That sound you just heard was a sigh of relief coming from hot dog eaters everywhere.

© 7.14.2022 by Jelisa Castrodale, "Food & Wine".

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