The Silver Lining of 2020


It is now a fully settled cliché that the year 2020 is a sort of cosmic beacon for madness and chaos.  Maybe yes… and maybe no.

Life is pretty quirky all the time.  There are always things about which we could be panicked, but how we respond as a society makes a big difference.  When I was a kid, we were worried about global cooling, nuclear war, killer bees, acid rain, rabid raccoons, and so on.  Some were real threats, some not so much, but threats always exist in the world.  That fact has been central to the evolution of all life on our planet (and beyond).

But we didn’t have the Internet when I was a kid, and the news media still valued the illusion that it was principled and fair.

During my teen years, one bit of common wisdom was that a warning light on your car probably meant that the warning light was broken.  (This is still true, despite technology, as the erroneous “low tire pressure” warning on my car proves.)  Well, what if our society’s warning lights are broken?

Or worse, what if they’re rigged so that they are really just expressing approval or disapproval of the person driving?

One thing that should be said of 2020 (and the three years leading up to it) is that it’s been clarifying.  J.B. Shurk attributes this to President Trump, but one could argue that he was the mechanism by which the American people produced clarity.  He’s like the tracer in positron emission tomography (PET).  As he flows through our country’s system, we can see all the things that were already going awry.

Shurk’s full explanation for each is worth reading, but here are 10 of his findings from the 2020 PET scan.  Shurk phrased them as “‘Consensus’ Lies President Trump Has Shattered Forever”; I’ve rephrased them as the truths that have been revealed (and taken out the partisan edge where it wasn’t essential):

  1. The press does choose sides
  2. There is a Deep State
  3. Democrats don’t own Black and Hispanic votes
  4. MeToo is not about protecting women and children
  5. Climate change alarmism is about raw power
  6. Free trade does not require wrecking U.S. manufacturing and enriching China
  7. Defending unborn babies is not a losing political issue
  8. Judges are often partisan
  9. The Left is purging history and the Constitution
  10. The Obama Administration was not scandal-free

In all this, it is fair to question whether the toxicity of a tracer agent is worth the possibility of the diagnosis.  Generally, though, the radiation seems to have been less than feared, and the agent has had some amazing health benefits in its own right (deregulation, shifting the courts back toward interpretation of the actual law, international peace accords with no new wars, and more).

That brings us back to the question of whether we can trust the sense of panic.  Of course people who’ve been profiting from our worsening civic health hate the test that is finding the source of our illness, and they’ve got direct access to the switches for those warning lights.

  • Lou

    Where were you educated? Global cooling was something that was formally taught? If that were to happen in current times it would have to be relegated to one of your private/religious unaccountable schools.

    Regarding your bullets:

    Overall, we rate The Federalist a borderline Questionable and far Right Biased based on story selection and editorial positions that always favor the right. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to the promotion pseudoscience and three failed fact checks.

    • ShannonEntropy

      How old are you, Loo ??

      Yep… back in the early ’70s The Coming Ice Age was gonna KILL ALL OF US !!

      Luckily Global Warming came along and saved us… but now the pendulum is swinging too far again !!!!

      The only question now is whether Global Warming will kill us all before The ‘Rona does… The Commie Cold has already killed 210 million billion kazillion people around the world so far; while global warming is just giving us a rather pleasant October

      • Justin Katz


        Funny the things one remembers. I was born in ’75, but I do remember going to a science museum and watching a display about the dangers of another Ice Age.

        • ShannonEntropy

          I’m a LOT older than you, Justin, and have been reading newspapers since I was in grade school

          Every few years another Apocalypse comes around that’s gonna KILL ALL OF US !!!!!!

          Of course none of them ever come trve, which is why I’m just as skeptical of Global Warming killing us all as I was about say the Acid Rain PANIC !!! (( all rain is acidic BTW — just not enough to say take the paint off your pickup ))

          Here’s a sample of various mass hysterias from the past:

          • Rhett Hardwick

            They have overlooked what every business school grad knows, the “Tulip Mania”.

          • ShannonEntropy

            Recommended reading:

            The Tulip Bulb Craze is Vol. I ch. 3

            I am up to but yet to start on Vol. III ch. 1 “The Alchymists”

          • Rhett Hardwick

            Right along With Gibbons, Decline and Fall; the Madness of Crowds has been on my bookshelf since I was 16, or so, unfinished.

    • Rhett Hardwick

      I can well remember the “Coming Ice Age” it was featured on the cover of both Time and Newsweek. I apologize that the name escapes me, but the leading proponent was the “NASA Scientist” who is so frequently quoted now on issues of “Global Warming”.

      • Lou

        It must be true then. Well…

        Global cooling was a conjecture, especially during the 1970s, of imminent cooling of the Earth culminating in a period of extensive glaciation, due to the cooling effects of aerosols and orbital forcing. Some press reports in the 1970s speculated about continued cooling; these did not accurately reflect the scientific literature of the time, which was generally more concerned with warming from an enhanced greenhouse effect.

        • Rhett Hardwick

          It may be significant to remember that “Earth Day” originated as a response to “The Coming Ice Age”. Perhaps another example of hysteria gone wrong. It was also sponsored by a politician (once again the name escapes me) to get a little face time. Of course, having been proven wrong, Wikipedia minimizes it.

        • ShannonEntropy

          And wait… there’s more !!

          Solar scientists are now predicting — yep! — another coming mini-Ice Age !!!

          The last mini-Ice Age, The Maunder Minimum, lasted 70 yrs (1645-1715)

          I’ve seen some of the raw data: it looks like this one is gonna start ~ 2025 and might well be colder and deeper than Maunder. As Trump likes to say, “We’ll see”

          • Lou

            You and your conspiracy theory websites crack me up. You’ll believe anything that supports your version of reality. Absolutely no critical thinking involved whatsoever.

            Overall, we rate Principia Scientific International (PSI) a strong conspiracy and Pseudoscience website that promotes anti-vaccine propaganda and frequent misinformation regarding climate change.

          • ShannonEntropy

            You of all people should not be deciding who is or isn’t using “critical thinking”

            Climate Science & Evolutionary Biology have become religious cults, not “science” as the term is usually understood. Anyone or anything that even raises questions about basic tenets are branded heretics by our modern Torquemadas

            I picked that reference supra cuz it provided a nice overview of the subject, plus it wasn’t needlessly complex

            Here is one that is one notch up for the last one, this one citing a dozen or more studies and authors who all agree a mini-Ice Age is in our near future.
            (( Whether or not Global Warming will balance this out is another question; but I doubt it ))

            Remember: this is SOLAR Science we’re talking about here, which is infinitely more grounded in reality than most GLOBAL CLIMATE scientists are


          • Lou

            “Climate Science & Evolutionary Biology have become religious cults, not “science””…Please cite a reputable source.

            BTW, this doesn’t count as reputable…”Overall, we rate Electroverse a quackery level Pseudoscience source based on the promotion of misinformation regarding climate change that does not align with the consensus of science.”

          • ShannonEntropy

            Why don’t you share your source with us, Loo ??

            Could it be cuz it’s a discredited liberal-biased “fact checking” site, like Politifact or snopes ??

    • Rhett Hardwick

      Anyone doubting the belief in “The Coming Ice Age”, go here:

  • ShannonEntropy

    [Trump is] like the tracer in positron emission tomography (PET).

    Like the old saying goes:

    ” When your only tool is a laser-driven cathode plasma injector, everything looks like an inertial confinement fusion experiment “

    • Lou

      How’s your shrinking package? I don’t think it really has anything to do with the CPI either.

      • ShannonEntropy


        That CPI debate really rattled you, huh, Loo ?? Still having sleepless nights over it ??

        Anywho… my opinion about you is swinging from “Being deliberately obtuse to annoy us” back to “Run-of-the-mill maroon who swallows whole everything spoon-fed to him by the liberal MSM”

        You never heard of Professor Lockdown or The Coming Ice Age Scare or polls showing Trump ahead in Florida and so many other things I won’t bother to list, and yet you come here lecturing us… pathetic really but entertaining at least

        PRO-TIP: being a White Knight male-feminist simp will NOT get you laid… something you prolly already know the hard way

        • Lou

          You seem to have a thing about knights (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But, I would talk to someone about it before if blows into a full-fledged fixation like the Governor and you-know-who.

          • ShannonEntropy

            It’s always bugged me that my all time fave hero,
            TE Lawrence “Lawrence of Arabia” turned down a knighthood at age 30

            Read all about it in the Introduction to IMHO the best bio of TEL:


        • Christopher C. Reed

          I gotta throw the flag on that one bruh — alpha chads have been strip-mining those purple hair gals for a while now…it’s become what I bleeve they call ‘a thing’. Of course throwing yourself on the hood of a police car is now ‘a thing’ too, so…

          Cf. Paul R. Ehrlich
          According to the good doctor we are all dead and have been for some time. By starvation, I think, though a stroll through Walmart nation would seem to falsify the thesis.

  • Monique Chartier

    Excellent, accurate list.

    I would add one more item we learned via/from Donald Trump: it’s okay to push back when opponents or the biased media baselessly attack you.

    • Lou

      “baselessly”?…that’s funny. Shouldn’t you be calling for the economy to open instead of mindlessly defending the Orange Fuhrer?

      Didn’t he claim that his power is nearly boundless? During a press briefing on the coronavirus he said, “When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total.” President Donald Trump falsely claimed that it will be his decision when the nation’s businesses will reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, and not a choice left to individual governors.

      The fact the you folks are terrified of Little Gina’s powers and give this guy a free pass is a testament to your hypocrisy.