December Clouds

In Far Middle episode 82, Nick rewinds the clock 40 years to November of 1982—a golden year in the golden age of boxing—as he pays tribute to boxers Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor and Alexis “El Flaco Explosivo” Argüello. Reflecting on their November 12, 1982, “Battle of the Champions” match, Nick says, “If you want to see boxing the way it’s meant to be, give a watch to that 14-round epic 1982 bout.”

Shifting from rivals in the ring to geopolitical rivals, Nick highlights the historic agreement between Israel and Lebanon to develop natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea. Nick notes the irony of the Biden administration mediating the dispute, thereby supporting foreign natural gas development while suffocating natural gas domestically.

Nick moves from the Mediterranean to Britain, discussing a warning from the head of the U.K.’s electronic intelligence agency that China has “deliberately and patiently set out to gain strategic advantage by shaping the world’s technology ecosystems.” While Nick agrees that of course, China is beefing up its technological and surveillance prowess, he questions the inconsistency of the elite and expert class when it comes to judging China’s strategic positioning and tactical maneuvers. While there’s concern over China’s technological threat, the same concern doesn’t exist in their strategic positioning when it comes to energy.

Next, Nick examines how science has evolved from a virtuous cycle of value creation to scientific consensus that stifles innovation. On the topic of scientific consensus, Nick unpacks California’s Assembly Bill 2098, signed into law this past September. The law authorizes California’s Medical Board to punish doctors who share COVID-19 “misinformation” with their patients; it defines “misinformation” as anything that “is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus.” Nick says, “If you like science, and you like saving lives, and you like the Constitution, you cannot like this California law.”

Moving back to foreign policy, Nick explores the potential invasion of Taiwan by China, and the follow-on effects that it would have on the global economy, specifically the control China would gain over the semiconductor industry. Nick contrasts the inconsistent logic of America protecting and nurturing Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, versus America’s actions toward investing and protecting its own domestic energy sources.

Nick returns to 1982 to close episode 82. He looks back on the career of the great Quincy Jones who took home five Grammy Awards that year, including Producer of the Year. If December clouds have you down, give a listen to Jones’ albums Walking in Space and The Dude.

Big Policy Stuff Matters

Episode 54 of The Far Middle is dedicated to “The Manster” – Cowboys’ defensive great Randy White. Much like Randy White being a foundational anchor of the Dallas Cowboys’ defense, so too is domestic energy in our society today.

This Far Middle installment is a deep dive into the convergence of energy in Appalachia, economics, geopolitics and quality of life. “These are big themes, coming together into an epic confluence,” says Nick. “We get these right, we’re all going to win. We get them wrong, we’re all going to suffer.” Nick explains these issues were the catalyst to his writing Precipice (available here). He goes on to discuss natural gas supply and demand; the impact of global/national/regional/local energy policies fueling energy scarcity; and, concludes with a unique look at the intersection of tax policy and this week in music history.

Russia/Ukraine Part Two

Episode 44 of The Far Middle—dedicated to Hammerin’ Hank—focuses again on the Russia/Ukraine crisis. While episode 43 examined the international response to Russia’s invasion, episode 44 focuses on the disappointing leadership from President Biden and his administration. “President Biden is doing everything he can do to determine Ukraine’s fate early, and not in a good way from the perspective of Ukraine,” says Nick.

Next, Nick comments on the foolishness of John Kerry, as well as President Biden’s recent State of the Union address. Nick explains how Russia’s invasion into Ukraine has cornered President Biden and the Left. He reiterates Putin’s invasion, as well as inflation, supply chain issues, diminished energy security, are all symptoms of the deeper underlying root cause: the West’s climate change policies. Nick also addresses Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Federal Reserve and much more. In closing, Nick wishes a happy birthday to guitarist and Pittsburgh native George Benson, “the greatest jazz guitarist of his generation.”

Russia/Ukraine Part One

Episode 43 of The Far Middle is a must-listen emergency, special edition focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nick examines the root cause of Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia/Putin is a symptom of the West’s destructive energy policies. Extreme climate change policies and environmentalism gift Putin leverage and the opportunity for aggression, explains Nick. He walks through the responses of the U.S., Germany, Poland, Germany, India, and other countries. Nick cautions that things will likely worsen until we reverse course on disastrous climate change policies and we take back our energy independence from radical environmentalism.

This installment also includes a dedication to two of the NFL’s great safeties to don #43, Troy Polamalu and Cliff Harris. Both were two-time Super Bowl champions, and Nick notes the difference in the cost of Super Bowl advertisements between Super Bowl X (played in by Harris and the Cowboys against the Steelers) and last month’s Super Bowl LVI. This episode’s focus on Russia/Ukraine will continue in episode 44.

Shifting Leverage

Episode 41 of The Far Middle is dedicated to 12-time All-Star Tom Seaver. In looking back at “Tom Terrific’s” career, Nick notes his career stats, including an earned run average below 3.00. “The only thing lower than Tom Seaver’s career ERA seems these days to be office occupancy rates in big cities,” says Nick as he examines the causes and consequences of people not returning to in-person work. Next, Nick discusses the concept of “the resource curse” and how environmentalism and climate change policies have succeeded in reversing the resource curse. Nick highlights how leverage has shifted back to Iran’s favor; and, he doesn’t see a resource curse today, but rather a lack of energy independence curse for Western nations. “When you look at resources, and when look at carbon, does it matter where the carbon dioxide comes from?” asks Nick before explaining environmentalism and government’s obsession with ideology over science and facts. Nick continues with a discussion on society’s blind eye toward how products are manufactured, followed by a look at one of the latest meaningless corporate “net zero” announcements, and closes with birthday wishes to novelist John Steinbeck.