Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Something Happening To Clinton Campaign? (Updated)

Scott Adams famously endorsed Hillary Clinton solely for reasons of his own safety. He later withdraw his endorsement from Clinton, but refused to endorse Trump. Today, he has endorsed Trump and, moreover, is predicting with a 98% certainty that Trump will win by a landslide. His reasoning?
Today I put Trump’s odds of winning in a landslide back to 98%. Remember, I told you a few weeks ago that Trump couldn’t win unless “something changed.”  
Something just changed.
But what changed? Adams doesn't say, and a review of the mainstream news outlets, and even the larger conservative news outlets, are silent. Sure, there are additional emails from Wikileaks, but nothing stunning.

I'm wondering if what Adams thinks is a game changer are rumors that Eric Braverman, the former CEO of the Clinton Foundation, is seeking asylum from the Russians.

Update: I suppose it could be the Pedosta email showing that when Obama said he only learned of Hillary's use of a private server from the news reports, he had received emails from Hillary that were not from "state.gov" addresses. But it just doesn't seem enough to counter the trashing of Trump's reputation.

What We Have Lost

If you haven't read Albert Jay Nock's classic Our Enemy The State, I recommend that you read it. One of the more interesting portions of the book is a discussion of how the State accumulates power at the expense of personal liberty, with an example. Nock wrote:
It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power; there is never, nor can there be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power. 
Moreover, it follows that with any exercise of State power, not only the exercise of social power in the same direction, but the disposition to exercise it in that direction, tends to dwindle. Mayor Gaynor astonished the whole of New York when he pointed out to a correspondent who had been complaining about the inefficiency of the police, that any citizen has the right to arrest a malefactor and bring him before a magistrate. “The law of England and of this country,” he wrote, “has been very careful to confer no more right in that respect upon policemen and constables than it confers on every citizen.” State exercise of that right through a police force had gone on so steadily that not only were citizens indisposed to exercise it, but probably not one in ten thousand knew he had it.
That is where we stood in 1935 when Nock wrote his book.

Think of that while you read the article "Defending Innocent Life: A Perilous Choice At Best" at The Truth About Guns and the comments (particularly from those who believe the legal risk is too high to intervene and defend someone that is not a member of your family), and compare what will happen to you versus the suggested guidelines for handling an officer-involved shooting in "Lethal Aftermath – Are You a Second Class Citizen?" at Ammo Land. And I will add my own anecdote: in a conversation with an assistant city prosecutor several years ago, she indicated her belief that a person could not legally use force to expel a trespasser from his or her property, but was required to call the police. The point isn't whether she was correct or not, but that it shows the general attitude of many of those tasked with enforcing our laws.

October 25, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web


  • "Shot Placement, Incapacitation And Conventional Wisdom"--Massad Ayoob at Guns Magazine. Yesterday, I had posted a link to an article discussing the fact that even good hits to the center of mass will not necessarily disable an attacker, so I thought it was fortuitous to come across this article by Mas Ayoob which discusses the effectiveness of a shot to the pelvic girdle. He writes:
Jim Cirillo was a good friend of mine from the early 1970’s until his death, and I learned a great deal from him, his partner Bill Allard, and other members of the legendary NYPD Stakeout Squad. In Jim’s Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights (Paladin Press) he said, “We found that whenever we shot gunmen in the pelvis or butt, they were knocked off their feet. They could still be dangerous, but at least their aim would be disturbed.”
    Obviously, an offender wielding a knife or club would be out of action at that point since—without mobility—they could no longer approach to stab or strike. And even a downed gunman would now be stabilized and much easier to hit with a (hopefully) fight-stopping brain shot if he tried to shoot from the ground. More recently, a retired SEAL with extensive combat experience told me pelvic shots worked dynamically for him and his colleagues.
      Can the pelvic hit fail? Of course. A mere hairline fracture of the pelvic girdle—or just a neat, round hole drilled through it—can’t be expected to have much immediate effect. A bullet that merely chips the top off the ileac crest is about like shooting the tail fin off a 1959 Cadillac, it simply won’t break down the whole machine. But put a powerful handgun bullet close to where the pelvis joins the femur, and instant collapse is highly likely. Ditto a bullet that smashes the sacrum. Pelvic shots may not guarantee “1-shot stops,” but neither do head or center chest shots. 
      Read the whole thing.
      • Remington is releasing new polymer framed, striker fired handguns in 9 mm (the RP 9) and in .45 ACP (RP45). They look to have an ambidextrous slide release and a magazine release that can be switched from one side to another. It also sports an accessory rail with 3 slots (unlike Glock's one slot).
      • "Getting the balance right."--Survival UK. Skean Dhude writes about the knowns and unknowns of prepping, and trying to strike the right balance between competing priorities. He notes, for instance:
      The issues for me are simple;
      • I know that my preps are only to enable a smooth transition from the current situation to the new situation.
      • I do not know what the event will be.
      • I do not know when the event will occur, if at all.
      • I am not rich but I am reasonably well off.
      This means that;
      • I do not know what I need to put aside.
      • I do not know how long I have to prepare.
      • I must prepare slowly and make best use of my resources, time and money.
      • "Storing Eggs for Survival, by J.D."--Survival Blog.
      • "8 Snow-Hardy Vegetables You (Really) Can Grow During Winter"--Off The Grid News. The crops the author mentions are: spinach, leeks, kale and collards, parsnips, lettuce, cabbage, turnips, and chard. The author notes others: surrey, arugula, rhubarb, beets, rutabaga, Brussels sprouts and scallions. The author then goes on to discuss specific tips for winter gardening.
      • "Washing Clothes"--Dirt Time. The author writes: "Washing machines are another of those devices that modern man seems to believe that life could not go on without. Yet for the vast stretch of human life, there were no washing machines. People just washed with hot water and soap and worked the garments by hand. Sometimes smooth rocks were used, sometimes not. In fact, sometimes it was just cold running water in the stream and no soap at all."
      • "Buyer’s Guide: The Best Headlamp"--All Outdoor. "After three years of continually testing headlamps, and adding 12 new models to our test pool this time around, we still think the Black Diamond Spot is the best headlamp for most people." The author explains why and discusses some other headlamps that are more suited for certain types of users.
      • "Is TEOTWAWKI Really That Far-Fetched?"--M. Edwards at the Survivalist Blog. The author notes that the majority of people (including preppers) don't really believe a large long-term disaster--economic, natural, or due to war--is possible. The author not only discusses why he believes that such upheaval is more likely than we would like to believe, but is inevitable. 
      • "Creepy surveillance footage of home invasion shows armed burglars tiptoeing around sleeping children as they steal a handgun, credit cards and a cell phone"--Daily Mail. It looks like the entry was via a patio door. As one perp is stepping around the room, using a flashlight to spot items to take, another person is mostly out of sight in the doorway with only a hand and a pistol visible.

      Other Stuff:
      The weapons are smuggled overland into Yemen via the neighboring country of Oman. “What they’re bringing in via Oman are anti-ship missiles, explosives… money and personnel,” a U.S. official said. An Iranian diplomat confirmed that his government has stepped up its support for the Houthis, which are fighting a Saudi-backed coalition. “The nuclear deal gave Iran an upper hand in its rivalry with Saudi Arabia, but it needs to be preserved,” the diplomat explained. Critics of the nuclear deal with Iran, including regional American allies, have long expressed their concern that it gives Iran more leeway to support destabilizing proxy forces throughout the region, such as in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.

      Monday, October 24, 2016

      October 24, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

      Just something fun to watch--nothing serious

      • In case you didn't already go and check it out: "Weekend Knowledge Dump- October 21, 2016"--Active Response Training. As always, a selection of self-defense and prepping related articles, plus a few just to make you think.
      • "Pistol Malfunction Due To 'Stovepipe' Round"--Captain's Journal. An incident that occurred because a novice shooter was limp wristing the firearm. But, even after improving his grip, the problems cropped up again because the shooter simply lacked the forearm strength to keep a firm grip on the firearm.
      • "Shooting Through Glass with Kyle Lamb"--Breach Bang Clear. A link to a video and some questions for Kyle Lamb. One of the questions had to do with three points regarding shooting through glass or automobiles. Lamb's response:
       1. One of the greatest myths when shooting around vehicles is that cars are poor cover. Smell the coffee; if it is the only piece of concealment you have near you, use it. 2. The front glass is extremely hard to shoot through effectively unless you use a bonded or solid bullet that doesn’t have a jacket that can be ripped from the bullet. Hornady GMX and Barnes TSX are examples of superb glass shooting projectiles. 3. “P”for plenty, when shooting through glass you must engage until the threat is neutralized.
      Do fast shooters, throwers and musicians get fast by starting fast? Did they get faster by adding speed to sloppy form?
        No. They developed and perfected their form at a much slower pace, and then speed came naturally. Ideally, they practiced at a speed that allowed them to do the same motion with perfect efficiency and form — exactlythe same way, every time — until it became automatic and required no conscious thought to do.
          You might be thinking combat skills are different. They're not. In fact, the faster you intend to execute a given skill and the more stress you think you might be under when you execute it, the more critical it is that you practice slowly.
            It's because of a principle called the Weber-Fechner law. Basically, as stimulus increases, the brain's ability to pick out details drops.
            • "The 'Center Mass' Myth and Ending a Gunfight -Triggernometry"--Guns America. The author writes: " If you expect to win your gunfight, you have to make sure that you have effectively ended the threat of your attacker.  One, two or even several well placed “center mass” shots may not do what you think it will, and learning to recognize this before you gunfight may save your life." He goes on to cite some examples of center of mass shots that failed to stop the person hit, and notes that this principle applies even if using a rifle.
            • "Does Gun Control Work?" (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)--American Conservative. This three part series examines conclusions reached by three different sets of researchers as the efficacy of gun control, particularly looking at whether the researchers used correct statistical analysis to support each of their conclusions. Although he notes some deficiencies in data (which is not necessarily the researcher's fault), he seems to find John Lott's research to be the most rigorous. The basic takeaway, however, is that most gun control measures don't work (some even increasing gun crimes), but that a thorough background check prior to purchase may actually work. My problem with the series is that the author, when faced with the obvious connection between crime and race just doesn't seem to see the connection. The background is that one of the research papers concluded that a permit-to-purchase program would reduce crime. However, Lott cast this into doubt by examining two states that had such a program: Missouri and Connecticut. Connecticut enacted such a program and saw essentially no changes to its gun related homicides. Missouri, on the other hand, repealed its permit-to-purchase law and saw gun related homicides increase. Hmm, what could be the difference between Connecticut and Missouri?

            Other Stuff:
            Vasectomy parties can be compared to baby showers, except instead, they celebrate the babies that will never be. Guests are invited to live it up "in a house with sharp furniture and exposed outlets.” They can plan on games such as The Price is Right "where they talk about what they can buy now that they’ve saved money by not having kids.” In lieu of suggesting baby names, party attendees can help name the new (not family) car or boat.
            On Friday, multiple distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks hit the Internet services company Dyn. The cyberattack prevented many users on the U.S. East Coast from navigating to the most popular websites of Dyn customers, which include Twitter, Reddit, and Netflix.

                Dyn detected the first attack at 7:10 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, and restored normal service about two hours later. Then at 11:52 a.m. ET, Dyn began investigating a second attack. By 2:00 p.m., the company said it was still working to resolve “several attacks” at once.

                    The interruptions inconvenienced many Internet users, and the daily operation of Internet giants in entertainment, e-commerce, and social media. There still aren’t many details available about Dyn’s predicament, and the company did not immediately respond to an interview request. But we do know from Dyn’s posts that the first two assaults on its network were DDoS attacts. Its customers’ outages again show that major Internet companies remain vulnerable to this common hacker scheme—one that has plagued networks since 2000.

                        A denial-of-service attack aims to slow or stop users from accessing content or services by impeding the ability of a network or server to respond to their requests. The word “distributed” means that hackers executed the Dyn attacks by infecting and controlling a large network of computers called a botnet, rather than running it from a single machine that they own.

                            Hackers can assemble a botnet by spreading malware, which is often done by prompting unsuspecting users to click a link or download a file. That malware can be programmed to periodically check with a host computer owned by hackers for further instructions. To launch an attack, the hackers, or bot-herders, send a message through this “command and control” channel, prompting infected computers to send many requests for a particular website, server, or service all at once. Some of the biggest botnets in history have boasted 2 million computers, capable of sending up to 74 billion spam emails a day.

                                The sudden onslaught of requests quickly gobbles up all the network's bandwidth, disk space, or processing power. That means real users can’t get their requests through because the system is too busy trying to respond to all the bots. In the worst cases, a DDoS can crash a system, taking it completely offline.
                                The hell-fire clubs arose from a convergence of 18th-century trends: curiosity and reason; boisterous mockery and satire; and urban consumption, leisure and sociability. Their members were mostly young, male and moneyed, united by 'an enduring fascination with the forbidden fruit offered by the Devil, and a continuing flirtation with danger and the unknown'. Temptation led naturally to rampant hedonism; no appetite went unsated. Thumbing their noses (or worse) at church, state and civil society, they drank to excess, leered at pornography and egged each other on. The hell-raisers may not have been lovable, but they were certainly clubbable and they knew how to have a good time.
                                Now, for all of you out there who still aren't convinced that the polls are "adjusted", we present to you the following Podesta email, leaked earlier today, that conveniently spells out, in detail, exactly how to "manufacture" the desired data. The email starts out with a request for recommendations on "oversamples for polling" in order to "maximize what we get out of our media polling."
                                  Mid-fifteenth-century Byzantium was facing endemic corruption, a radically declining birthrate and shrinking population, and the end of civic militarism—all the last-gasp symptoms of an irreversible decline. Its affluent ruling and religious orders and expansive government services could no longer be supported by disappearing agrarians and the overtaxed mercantile middle class. Returning to the values of the Emperor Justinian’s sixth-century empire that had once ensured a vibrant Byzantine culture of stability and prosperity throughout the old Roman east remained a nostalgic daydream. Given the hardship and sacrifice that would have been required to change the late Byzantine mindset, most residents of Constantinople plodded on to their rendezvous with oblivion in 1453.   

                                      We seem to be reaching that point of stasis in postmodern America. Once simple and logical solutions to our fiscal and social problems are now seen as too radical even to discuss. Consider the $20-trillion national debt. Most Americans accept that current annual $500 billion budget deficits are not sustainable—but they also see them as less extreme than the recently more normal $1 trillion in annual red ink. Americans also accept that the Obama administration doubled the national debt on the expectation of permanent near-zero interest rates, which cannot continue. When interest rates return to more normal historical levels of 4-5% per annum, the costs of servicing the debt—along with unsustainable Social Security and Medicare entitlement costs—will begin to undermine the entire budget.

                                          Count up current local, state and federal income taxes, payroll taxes, property and sales taxes, and new health care taxes, and it will be hard to find the necessary additional revenue from a strapped and overtaxed middle class, much less from the forty-seven percent of Americans who currently pay no federal income taxes. The Obama administration has tried to reduce the budget by issuing defense cuts and tax hikes—but it has refused to touch entitlement spending, where the real gains could be made. The result is more debt, even as, paradoxically, our military was weakened, taxes rose, revenue increased, and economic growth remained anemic at well below 2% per annum.

                                              Illegal immigration poses a similar dilemma. No nation can remain stable when 10-20 million foreign nationals have crashed through what has become an open border and reside unlawfully in the United States—any more than a homeowner can have neighbors traipsing through and camping in his unfenced yard.

                                                  Likewise, there are few multiracial societies of the past that have avoided descending into destructive ethnic chauvinism and tribalism once assimilation and integration were replaced by salad-bowl identity politics. Common words and phrases such as “illegal alien” or “deportation” are now considered taboo, while “sanctuary city” is a euphemism for a neo-Confederate nullification of federal immigration laws by renegade states and municipalities.

                                                      Illegal immigration, like the deficits, must cease, but stopping it would be too politically incorrect and painful even to ponder. The mess in Europe—millions of indigent and illegal immigrants who have fled their own failed states to become dependent on the largess of their generous adopted countries, but without any desire to embrace their hosts’ culture—is apparently America’s future.

                                                          Race relations pose comparable paradoxes. Inner-city Chicago has turned into a war zone with over 500 murders so far this year alone. As tragic as occasional police shootings are of African-American suspects, they do not occur at an incidence higher than the percentage of African-Americans who come into contact with law enforcement or who commit violent crimes. Yet when an African-American officer, in a department overseen by an African-American police chief, shoots an uncompliant but armed African-American suspect, a full-scale urban riot ensues, well beyond the ability of police to control.
                                                          A demilitarized military simply won’t fight. It will collapse at a touch, as so many militaries throughout history have. We may not have reached that point in the U.S., but we will do so soon if ideologically driven decisions such as putting women in combat arms are allowed to stand. Unless a military has an aggressively male culture, which is “uncomfortable for women,” it will not fight.
                                                          However, keeping women out of combat won't matter, he goes on to discuss, if the "men" are coddled, feminized weaklings lacking all necessary aggression.

                                                          Sunday, October 23, 2016

                                                          A Review of Revelation -- Part 9 -- Armageddon


                                                               This is the continuation of my series reviewing Revelation as part of my reading of The Book of Revelation: Things Which Must Shortly Come to Pass by G. Erik Brandt. In my last part (Part 8 -- A Call to Repentance), I set out some further thoughts on the four trumpets and discussion of two of the last three trumps or woes.

                                                               As you may remember, the seventh seal opens with a period of silence in heaven describes as being about half an hour in length. While this may be an actual half-hour, Brandt believes that the “half-hour” represents the time in heaven, which we are told is a ratio of one thousand earth years to a day in heaven , or about 21 years, after which judgments will be released upon the earth and mankind. During this time, no angels are seen flying through heaven nor sounding their trumps. My personal belief is that this will be a period of time when heaven will be silent in the sense of God no longer striving with mankind. That is, while we personally can draw on the power of the Holy Spirit and have it with us as comforter, the Lord will largely withdraw his spirit from the world as a result of the rampant wickedness. Although the great wickedness has been growing for at least two centuries, we will see--are seeing--a sudden uptick in wickedness; or, as Habakkuk describes it: Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth." (Hab. 1:4).

                                                               After the period of silence, the wrath of the Lord is poured upon the earth, and the angels begin to sound their trumpets. Even at this time, the Lord will allow a space or time for the wicked to repent. As Brandt points out:
                                                          History has shown that God’s warnings are timed and spaced to allow for “breathers”and more importantly, for repentance. Only when the probationary hour is completely exhausted, when the calls to change are rejected, and the patience of God would destroy justice, will the great cleansing calamities be sent to sweep the wicked from the earth.
                                                          However, there will come a time when the patience of the Lord will be done, and the time for repentance will pass. At that time, there will only be judgment.

                                                               The last three trumps are also referred to as the three woes. The first of these (i.e., the fifth trumpet) was the release of a Satanic army from the abyss. The second of these is the release of an army of "two hundred thousand thousand" across the Euphrates, which will result in the death of a third of mankind. Nevertheless, even after all these tribulations:
                                                          ... the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
                                                          (Rev. 9:20-21).

                                                               In respect to this vast army, Brandt explains:
                                                          As with previous trumpets, the term “third part”designates that this woe also has limits (Rev. 9:18.) Despite such limitations placed by the Lord, destruction and loss of life will be massive. Unlike the smaller “wars and rumors of wars”spoken of in the scriptures (D&C 45:26; JS-M 1:23), this conflict will involve a “great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them . . . and nothing shall escape them”(Joel 2:2-3). The destination of this innumerable alliance of troops is the battlefield of Armageddon and eventually the city of Jerusalem.
                                                          One thing to keep in mind, however, is that Armageddon* is not the end. Brandt notes that "[w]hile the war should not be understated, we must be careful about being too dramatic. True it will be massive and terrible, but it does not signify the end of the world; other events will follow Armageddon prior to the final destruction of the wicked."

                                                               The invading army is described as coming from beyond the Euphrates (Joseph Smith indicated that the spiritual origin of this army is from the abyss, and therefore should probably be read as tying into the army of locust). According to Brandt:
                                                          [T]he reference to the Euphrates River also carries relevance. The Lord gave Abram and his posterity the land of Israel (Canaan) as an inheritance and designated its borders as Egypt in the south and the Chaldees (modern Iraq) on the northeastern frontier: “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates”(Gen. 15:18). Traditionally, Israel’s most formidable enemies lay to the north and eastward beyond the great Euphrates. While the demons themselves will come from the bottomless pit, many of Israel’s mortal enemies will march from the north and the east beyond the natural boundary of the Euphrates River."
                                                          I have seen others suggest another implication from this, which is that the source of the armies may indicate that Israel occupies or, at least, does not have anything to fear from the nations immediately surrounding it.

                                                               To understand this battle, it is necessary to examine the writings of other prophets concerning the events, as well as other chapters within Revelation. As an initial matter:
                                                          The prophet Ezekiel names Gog and his allies as the primary participants among the nations who will gather for this great war. The entire list includes, “Gog of the land of Magog, the peoples from Meshech and Tubal, Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah”(Ezek. 38:1-6; see also: Dan. 11:44-45). Ezekiel identifies the countries by their ancient names, but they represent modern people or kingdoms surrounding Israel.
                                                          Magog, Meshech, and Tubal have been designated by historians as the peoples north and east of the Black and Crimea seas—modern-day Russia and her neighbors. Persia is known today as Iran, but anciently its territory ran east to include much of western India and west into Asia Minor or modern Turkey. The lands from Ethiopia to Libya cover most of the northern and east coasts of Africa. The bands of Gomer refer to the descendants of a son of Japeth (one of Noah’s three sons). Gomer and his son Togarmah (Gen. 10:3) are considered to be the forebears of the many tribes or peoples that now inhabit modern Europe.
                                                          I would note, however, that some scholars rejected this interpretation. Jeffrey Goodman, Ph.D. has written, for instance, that:
                                                          The Assyrian Court records show dealings with Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and Togarmah (Ezekiel 38:3-6), the nations that stretched across ancient Asia Minor (modern Turkey) from west to east. From these records we also learn that the ancient nation of Gomer (Ezekiel 38:6), an enemy of the Assyrians invaded Asia Minor by coming down from an area around the northeast shore of the Black Sea. Archeologists know that the militant leader called "Gog" in Ezekiel 38/39 led a confederacy of these nations against invading Gomer.
                                                          He also points out that Magog referred to Lydia, not the Scythians. Lydia was an ancient kingdom that ruled the western half of Asia Minor. Thus, if we were to take the list of enemies literally, rather than an expansive list consisting of most of Eurasia, we are presented with a smaller group of nations that appears to be a Muslim crescent from Turkey through Iraq and Iran to the north and east of Israel, and then the Muslim nations of much of North Africa.

                                                               Goodman also suggests, however, that rather than a literal interpretation, Ezekiel may be using Gog and Magog to represent the characteristics of the anti-Christ and his army. That is:
                                                          As referred to in Ezekiel 38-39, the historical Gog who was a "prince" of the nations of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal, serve as "historical types" of the "antichrist" and the multi-national confederacy over which the antichrist is to rule during the tribulation period. The Bible uses the historical leader Gog as a historical type of the antichrist to come in the exact same ways the Bible uses the historical King David as a type of Jesus' Second Coming (Ezekiel 34:23 and Ezekiel 37:22-24). Similarly, in Matthew 11:14 (also see Malachi 4:5) and Matthew 17:10-13 ("if you will receive it") Jesus in effect says that John is a historical type of Elijah. In other words, "Gog and Magog" (remember in Akkadian "Magog" means "the land of Gog") in their most basic meaning, are taken to be types or references to any "antichrist" and "the land of this antichrist;" just as I John 2:18, 22, 4:3, and II John 7 says "there are many antichrists." 
                                                          In that vein, Brandt notes that "[i]n other prophecies, Zechariah and Jeremiah both expand the alliance lists to include 'all nations.' The whole world will participate in one form or another in the great war (Zech. 14:2, Jer. 25:15-27)."**

                                                               Brandt goes on to describe the anti-Christ, Gog:
                                                          Once the alliance is established, the military forces gathered together will “come like a storm . . . [or] like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee”(Ezek. 38:9). Joel described the battles and their terrible methods of war. “A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them”(Joel 2:3). His description brings to mind the horrors brought by Shiz, a powerful anti-Christ of the Jaredite civilization, who waged genocidal warfare. “And there went a fear of Shiz throughout all the land; yea, a cry went forth throughout the land. Who can stand before the army of Shiz? Behold, he sweepeth the earth before him!”(Ether 14:18). The legions marching under the banner of the destroyer, Abaddon or Apollyon, at Armageddon will be led by a despot comparable to the tyrant Shiz, of the Jaredite nation (Ether 15).
                                                          The reference to the Jaradite kings is apropos. Goodman indicates that Gog was a historical person called by the Greeks Gyges of Lydia. Historical records vary as to details, but all agree that Gyges seized the throne of Lydia by murdering the King and marrying the Queen. Varying accounts indicate that Gyges was assisted by the Queen or by the King's chief guard. In any event, his ascent to the throne appears to be the result of a secret conspiracy. After killing the King, a civil war erupted, which, according to the Wikipedia article, "only ended when Gyges sought to justify his ascendance to the throne by petitioning for the approval of the Oracle at Delphi." Gygas then engaged in a series of wars to expand his kingdom, eventually dying in battle.

                                                               Although we are getting ahead of ourselves as to the narrative given in Revelation, the Satanic power underlying Gog's power and army cannot be forgotten. Brandt observes that:
                                                          Later in the Revelation, John sees the spirits of the devil, the anti-Christ, which he calls a “beast”(Rev 11:7), and a false prophet, who works mighty miracles to deceive the “kings of the earth”(Rev. 16:14). Many deceptions and machinations will no doubt be used to convince the world to assemble and use this formidable army. Blasphemies will spew from the mouths of the anti-Christ and the false prophet, who proclaim the world alliance will establish peace, order and security, and that the war is a moral necessity. Behind the scenes secret combinations will actively engage and influence the nations to unite together. Radical religious leaders will claim that their genocidal ends against their long time adversary, the Jews, are justified because God has sanctioned it.
                                                          However, greed will also play a part. Ezekiel makes clear that a significant factor for Gog's invasion will the be the desire to take a spoil from Israel. Although we cannot say whether this greed will be for the land itself, or something else (e.g., the giant natural gas fields claimed by Israel).

                                                               The number of the army is generally thought to number 200 million because the translations often state the number as "200 thousand thousand." However, Brandt notes that the text actually reads "two myriads of myriads." He interprets this as symbolizing "an innumerable throng gathered to insure a war of annihilation." Thus, for instance, "[o]ther prophets who viewed the innumerable force, portray it as 'without number' (Joel 1:6), 'a great company, a mighty army, a dark cloud from the north' (Ezek. 38:15)." Brandt also reminds his readers that "Joel speaks of the great army that comes from the north, but large armies also come from the east and south," and that "[s]ome scholars argue that they will come in two waves."

                                                              The invasion will ultimately fail. Brandt writes:
                                                          Despite the awesome size and capacity of Gog and his allies, their best laid plans are thwarted by two servants of God, two prophets “who are raised up to the Jewish nation”to prophecy and defend her against the numberless hosts (D&C 77:15). In the end, the grand army is defeated by the Lord who destroys the majority of the troops and severely cripples the sponsoring nations with a series of cataclysmic disasters (Ezek. 39:6). Armageddon becomes an incredibly destructive event for them. 
                                                          Both the wicked gentile army and the wicked Jews in Israel will be destroyed in the battle. However, we are told that even after all of this, the wicked inhabitants of the earth will still not repent, but will actually turn on each other. Brandt says of this: "The bloodletting begun on the figurative Mount Megiddo, now spreads among the wicked. Apollyon or Abaddon, the great destroyer, drives them into great conflict among themselves and the abomination of desolations spreads throughout most corners of the world." After these massive military failures, the conflicts will become more local and personal.
                                                          The great destruction and subsequent collapse of those who fought against God following the tremendous war throws all the world into strife and instability. In the ensuing chaos each nation, state, city, or township will seek every means to survive. But it will be for naught, for the evil works of the wicked in Babylon have come into “remembrance before God”(Rev. 16:19).
                                                          This, of course, brings to mind the many prophecies that the United States would collapse into a civil war.

                                                               As I've noted several times before, these battles and wars will largely be instances of the wicked destroying the wicked in an orgy of violence that change the nature of men for nearly 1,000 years. Although we may need to fight in self-defense, I do not see anything indicating that the righteous will be part of the cleansing of the wicked by war. Rather, as Brandt notes:
                                                          Driven by the spirit of the devil, they are left to themselves to destroy each other by the most barbarous means. The third and final woe is the worst of all. It begins with desolating scourges and bloody conflicts and culminates in the fiery advent of [the] Lord. When the Lord comes in purifying fire, no unhallowed soul will escape.

                                                          - - - 

                                                          * While John gives us the name of where this battle will occur, "[o]ther prophets affirm that nations of the world will assemble troops to battle against the Jews, in the land of Israel (Ezek. 38:8; Zech. 12:3, 14:2; D&C 133:35). This war marks only the beginning of the conflict. Eventually, the effects of the war will expand and sweep across the earth, culminating in great desolations among all the nations of the earth."

                                                          ** In that regard, who is to say that the United States will not be part of the great alliance against Israel?

                                                          Ready for the Apocalypse?

                                                          In the video I've linked to above, Black Pigeon pretty much lays out the importance of the outcome of this election. That is, whether or not you like Trump, a Hillary presidency will be the end of America as we know it. As Black Pigeon points out, this a referendum between globalism (represented by Hillary) and American nationalism (represented by Trump). If Hillary wins (and she probably will, given the forces backing her), she will permanently change the voting demographics through amnesty and massive immigration, so that conservatives will never be able to win another national election.

                                                          However, things will probably be much worse than what even the Black Pigeon foresees. Although the crook, Hillary, has painted Trump as a "monster," the Anonymous Conservative warns:
                                                          ... Hillary is crooked, but where does her crookedness lead? What happens as she sells out our nation, increasing debt to $40 Trillion, and handing that money to her crooked cronies in return for cash handouts to her corrupt foundation and six figure paychecks for twenty minute speeches? 
                                                          If Hillary wins, the government collapses. The economic system collapses. The EBT system collapses. Social Security goes away. Healthcare collapses. Law and Order disappears as the Fedguv machine collapses and the savages go ape-shit over losing their freebies. Wars begin when we can’t pay back our national debt. Companies collapse as the banking system they need goes under. Too big to fail transitions to TOO BIG TO SAVE. And all of that will probably sweep all across the globe. 
                                                          It all comes down, and the United States is over. Apocalypse. The mother of all Apocalypses, created by an all powerful, evil cabal of establishment hacks. The kind of Apocalypse which only a Monster could have any chance of fixing before ITZ goes down. The kind of Apocalypse which we need a Monster to prevent. 
                                                          It will be a dark and dangerous time even if Trump should, somehow, win. Hillary is already laying the groundwork to blame a Trump win on the Russians, evidence of which will probably be provided by what we now know is a corrupted FBI. We can also expect that Black Lives Matter, CAIR and La Raza will work to increase civil unrest.

                                                          Sighting in a Handgun

                                                          A couple videos on sighting in a handgun:

                                                          Video: "Sight Adjustment Basics"--hickok45

                                                          Video: "The battle for Mosul: Inside a town liberated from IS fighters"--Sky News


                                                          I am providing this link because it reports on something that is largely ignored in the mainstream media: the deliberate destruction of Christian churches and religious sites by ISIS, including desecration of Christian graves.

                                                          Saturday, October 22, 2016

                                                          The Threat to Religious Expression

                                                          I’m running for president to make sure our country continues to live up to our founding principles. Those timeless ideas teach us that we’re stronger together when we work in unison to solve our problems, no matter what we look like, where we come from or how we pray. 
                                                          That last one is important. As Americans, we hold fast to the belief that everyone has the right to worship however he or she sees fit.
                                                          Jane Robbins, writing at Town Hall in an article entitled "Make No Mistake: Religious Freedom Dies on Hillary’s Watch," provides some insight into Hillary Clinton's precise use of the phrase "right to worship." Robbins explains:
                                                          In the first place, notice that Clinton doesn’t promise to defend Americans’ First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. That would mean she believes people of faith have the right to live out that faith in both their personal and professional lives, which she manifestly doesn’t believe. Instead, she invokes the careful phrasing always used by the President and his apparatchiks: “everyone has the right to worship however he or she sees fit.” 
                                                          “Right to worship” is much narrower than “right to free exercise.” It means the right to attend church on Sunday and observe whatever quaint rituals take place inside the sanctuary, but outside in the cold light of day, all actions must conform to the government’s secular orthodoxy.
                                                          As I've noted before, Clinton's position follows that set out in the opinion on the case of Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333 (1890), which reasoned that the government could prohibit from voting persons who engaged in certain religious based practices (in that case, it had to do with polygamy). The court there reasoned that: 
                                                          With man's relations to his Maker and the obligations he may think they impose, and the manner in which an expression shall be made by him of his belief on those subjects, no interference can be permitted, provided always the laws of society, designed to secure its peace and prosperity, and the morals of its people, are not interfered with. However free the exercise of religion may be, it must be subordinate to the criminal laws of the country, passed with reference to actions regarded by general consent as properly the subjects of punitive legislantion [sic].
                                                          I also noted that while the Supreme Court retreated somewhat from the specific holding in Davis, the basic principles discussed still hold true: you can, in your mind, and, perhaps, within a church building, believe as you wish, but the government can prohibit you from exercising your religion in the public sphere.

                                                          And it is not just me that is concerned about what a Clinton presidency will mean for religious freedom. Take a look at these recent articles:
                                                          In a speech not long before she launched her 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton made a stunning declaration of war on religious Americans. Speaking to the 2015 Women in the World Summit, Clinton declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

                                                          Religious beliefs have to be changed? This is perhaps the most radical statement against religious liberty ever uttered by someone seeking the presidency. It is also deeply revealing. Clinton believes that, as president, it is her job not to respect the views of religious conservatives but to force them to change their beliefs and bend to her radical agenda favoring taxpayer-funded abortion on demand.
                                                              * * *
                                                              Trump’s behavior toward women is appalling, but the republic has survived with sexual miscreants in the Oval Office (see Clinton, William Jefferson and Kennedy, John Fitzgerald). If Clinton is elected, she could be the most consequential president in history in terms of reshaping the nation’s highest court. She will immediately get to pick a Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia. And if other justices retire — such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg (83), Anthony Kennedy (80) and Stephen Breyer (78) — she could select as many as four new justices. Does anyone imagine that Clinton and her team will pick justices who respect religious liberty? Not a chance.
                                                                [Quoting Hillary:]“We hold fast to the belief that everyone has the right to worship however he or she sees fit,” she writes. “Americans know that democracy ceases to exist when a leader or ruling faction can impose a particular faith on everyone else.” 
                                                                  These are important parts of robust religious freedom, to be sure. But they are not the only parts. Liberals such as Clinton are famous for claiming that religious liberty is flourishing because all Americans are free to go to church and worship however they’d like while attending their services. But actual religious freedom includes the ability to exercise one’s beliefs in the public square, not just inside a church building. Among other things, it means being free from government coercion into actions that violate one’s religious conscience. 
                                                                    This is the reason that Clinton’s second statement is so flawed: No one claims that the U.S. government is forcing Americans to practice a particular, state-sponsored religion. The problem arises when the government disallows Americans from freely living out their faith in daily life because their doing so would purportedly infringe upon the “rights” of other citizens.
                                                                    • "The Book-Burners"--Kevin D. Williamson at The National Review. From the article:
                                                                      During the final presidential debate, Hillary Rodham Clinton declared herself a totalitarian. She did not use that word, of course, but that was the substance of her remarks. 
                                                                        She began by arguing that the Supreme Court, and lesser federal courts, should be political partisans who take sides in disputes rather than adjudicate them according to the law. Many politicians — perhaps even most — believe that, or act in a way that suggests they do, but most of them feel at least the need to shamefacedly insist that judges are there to impartially apply the law. Not Mrs. Clinton. The Supreme Court that exists in her mind is the worst version of the highest judicial body, which is to say the American answer to Iran’s Guardian Council. The justices already wander into American-ayatollah territory too often, and it is only shame that constrains them. It is impossible to overstate the damage this is doing to our constitutional order, and to the legitimacy of the federal government itself.
                                                                          Perusing Wikileaks emails from the Democratic Party, one glimpses the truth. It is not Trump who has actively subverted the Catholic Church, “buckling up and doubling down” in relation to “wet works” (i.e., assassinations) three days before the death of a Supreme Court justice. It is the Democrats themselves and Hillary’s fellows who have worked to change the American system into a socialist dictatorship; “conspiring” to make the American people “ignorant and compliant’; bemoaning Donald Trump’s campaign as the breakdown of that very compliance.
                                                                            If we study Hillary Clinton’s life and background we will find that she was, in her younger days, a radical, a Marxist, a disciple of Saul Alinsky. There is no evidence that she changed her ideology. It is important, in our analysis, not to confuse publicly stated positions with privately held convictions. Hillary Clinton is not going to tell us her real thoughts. Such a confession would get her hanged instead of elected. Keeping this in mind as we examine her history, there is no evidence of a conversion to anti-communism or patriotism. All indications suggest that she remains what she was. According to former Clinton insider Larry Nichols, “We are at [watching] a velvet or silent coup. It’s been going on for years. There’s been a slow subtle takeover of our form of government, starting years and years ago, but it is coming to an end.”
                                                                              Hillary Clinton seems to have a problem with religious liberty when it conflicts with her progressive goals.

                                                                                  During an April 2015 speech to the Women in the World Conference she said, “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” for the sake of giving women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.”

                                                                                      Translated, that means that Clinton, who believes that reproductive rights are a “fundamental human right”, would, through repeal of the Hyde Amendment, force all taxpayers to fund all abortions, even partial birth, that is, “day of birth” abortions regardless of our religious convictions.

                                                                                          Clinton is also willing to impose federal penalties, including denying tax-exempt status, in order to, as Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “stamp out every vestige of dissent” to a far-left agenda.

                                                                                              There is a deliberate and comprehensive anti-Christian plan being promoted by Hillary Clinton and funded by George Soros because they believe that Christian principles are an impediment to the implementation of their progressive policies.

                                                                                                  In her now infamous “basket of deplorables” speech at a September 9th New York City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) fundraiser, Clinton said, “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic - you name it.”

                                                                                                      The phrasing was no accident. Those “grossly generalistic” accusations are the basis of every leftist diatribe meant to demonize any individual or group that stands in opposition to their extremist policies.

                                                                                                          As reported by Ken Klukowski, senior counsel with First Liberty Institute, the largest law firm in the United States exclusively dedicated to protecting religious liberty, Hillary’s words originate from a report issued by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights two days before Clinton’s anti-Christian screed. Chairman Martin Castro, an ally and supporter of Clinton and Obama, said in a statement accompanying the report, “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ … remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”
                                                                                                            Do you want to facilitate this by helping to elect her to the highest office in the land? Do you want to be one of the people who helped empower her to be president?

                                                                                                                This brings me to a major bill in California, SB 1146 which “would officially label private Christian colleges with Christian values, morality, and even dorm policies which conflict with the LGBT agenda as ‘discriminatory,’ and make the colleges liable to state (and federal) lawsuits as well as vicious attacks by activists. . . . The goal is to make Christian colleges surrender their belief systems and force the LGBT agenda onto every facet of education. California is the first state in the US to attempt this outrageous action. If it passes there, it will surely spread to other states.”

                                                                                                                    This is the exact kind of legislation that Hillary Clinton would promote and celebrate, fully backed by her handpicked Supreme Court justices.

                                                                                                                        This would also be harmony with her oft-quoted phrase that “gay rights are human rights,” and therefore any group or denomination or nation that opposes the goals of LGBT activism is guilty of opposing human rights. And let’s not forget the pressure Hillary Clinton put on African nations in her 2011 speech in which she made clear that nations across the continent would need to change their policies regarding homosexuality.
                                                                                                                          I don't know if Trump will prove any better at preserving religious freedom; I suspect that, at best, he will only delay the slide into religious persecution that is already upon us and will only become worse in the coming decades.

                                                                                                                          The question is how to respond to the persecution. As Christians, we are bound by the Golden Rule: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matt. 7:12). Or, as it has otherwise been expressed
                                                                                                                          The Golden Rule or law of reciprocity is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated oneself. It is a maxim of altruism seen in many human religions and human cultures. The maxim may appear as either a positive or negative injunction governing conduct: 
                                                                                                                          One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (positive or directive form). 
                                                                                                                          One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (negative or prohibitive form). 
                                                                                                                          What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself (empathic or responsive form).
                                                                                                                          There is a corollary to the rule, however, which is that if you treat someone a certain way, you should expect (and, in fact, should allow) them to treat you in the same manner; or, vice versa, if they treat you in a certain manner, they have acceded to being treated in the same manner.