Saturday, January 30, 2021
When I discussed some of the more general sources of info and put together my E-Book Resource page, I generally listed some major repositories with the warning that you would need to explore those repositories to find the books and information that might interest you. But I thought I would periodically post more specific links to a collection, library, or specific titles that would be of interest to the prepper/survivalist.
- The New Encyclopedia of Knots: 250 Entries - Step-by-Step Illustrations - A Comprehensive Reference Guide (epub) by Derek E. Avery
- The Complete Guide to Knots and Knot Tying (PDF) by Geoffrey Budworth
- The Knot Bible: A Practical guide to the 200 most useful Nautical knots (PDF)
- Knots: More Than Fifty of the Most Useful Knots for Camping, Sailing, Fishing and Climbing (PDF) by Peter Owen
- Knots, Splices and Rope Work: An Illustrated Handbook (PFD) by A. Hyatt Verrill
- Handbook of Knots (PDF) by Des Pawson
- Knots: An Illustrated Practical Guide to the Essential Knot Types and Their Uses (PDF) by Adam Adamides
- Prepper's guide to knots : the 100 most useful tying techniques for surviving any disaster (epub) by Scott Finazzo
- The Field Guide to Knots: How to Identify, Tie, and Untie Over 80 Essential Knots for Outdoor Pursuits (epub) by Bob Holtzman
- The knotting & braiding bible : the complete guide to creative knotting including kumihimo, macrame and plaiting (epub) Dorothy Wood
- Decorative Fusion Knots A Step-By-Step Illustrated Guide to New and Unusual Ornamental Knots (PDF) by J.D. Lenzen
- The Complete Book of Decorative Knots (PDF) by Geoffrey Budworth
Please note that the site at which these books are collected only allows 5 downloads within a 24 hour period. Also, for the books using epub format, you might find the following programs useful to view them on your computer or to convert to a different format: First is Calibre, which is a free-to-download e-book management program. What makes it useful is that it can read many different formats of e-books and can convert between different formats (e.g. from epub to MOBI) as long as there is no encryption, and allows you to organize files into useful libraries. Second, and more basic, is SumatraPDF which also allows you to view all sorts of e-book formats but without the ability to convert a file from one format to another.
Disclaimer: I'm not the author of any of the documents, applications or things linked above and cannot vouch for their accuracy or completeness--use them at your own risk. I am not responsible for the posting or offering of any of the documents or things in the collections and/or libraries and have no control over whether they are posted or taken down.
Friday, January 29, 2021
It is Friday, which means that it is time for a Weekend Knowledge Dump from Greg Ellifritz at Active Response Training. Some of the topics covered this week are:
- An article on the importance of sprinting, including a suggested program. I will relate that building up to sprinting is important. Several years ago, I foolishly decided to join in a foot race at a church picnic, thinking that all my bicycling meant that I would be fit enough to at least run the race even though I didn't jog let alone do any sprinting. Big mistake. Not only was I pointedly the slowest, but I wound up tearing my ham string part way through the race (with the added indignity of a few of the doctors in the congregation standing over me debating over what was my injury as I lay there in pain).
- An examination of the benefits of using electronic hearing protection. Ellifriz recommended the Champion Vanquish Pro Bluetooth Electronic Hearing Protection Muffs, however his link to Amazon showed they were sold off. But his link were to grey models; if you don't mind blue, Amazon still has some in stock (I'm not an Amazon affiliate, so I don't care if you order through this link--in fact, if you waited for the grey to return to stock and then ordered it through his link, Ellifritz would probably appreciate it).
- The best .22 LR and .22 Magnum rimfire loads for self defense.
- Last week Ellifritz had links to articles about the effectiveness of both masks and Ivermectin for reducing transmission and severity of Covid-19. This week he links to information on the efficacy hydroxychloroquine.
- An article on treating a sucking chest wound.
- Link to part 2 of an ongoing series of articles on what to do if you come upon a vehicle crash and intend on rendering aid. Ellifritz linked to part 1 last week. Part 1 dealt with assessing the scene to see if you can safely provide assistance without becoming injured yourself--you are doing no any good if the paramedics arriving on scene have to treat an additional casualty. Part 2 addresses whether to move a victim of a crash: the general answer is "no" unless there is some imminent threat (like the car is actually on fire, not whether you think it might catch fire) because of the risk of making a neck or back injury worse.
- Training options during an ammo shortage, which encourages you to seek training or learn/practice other skills in medical/trauma care, bone up on the law of self-defense, try force-on-force training, or learn about edged weapons or combatives.
- And a lot more....
Thursday, January 28, 2021
I've brought up this theory before, and noted a letter from Joseph Smith identifying the Hill Cumorah in New York State as the same one where the final Lamanite-Nephite battle occurred, which necessarily runs counter to a Central American location. I've also noted that the copies of characters from the Gold Plates don't match writing in Central America, but did appear similar to writing of the Micmac in North America (and some writing copied from ruins in South America).
Another blow to the two Cumorah theory came when genetic studies of tribes from Central America failed to show genetic connections to the Middle East and, more particularly, the Jews. The two Cumorahs theory had been pushed for so long by so many, that this actually caused some members to question their faith and leave the Church.
However, and this is the main topic of this video, subsequent genetic research of Native Americans in North America (including remains from archaeological sites) did show some groups that shared otherwise unique genetic markers with Jews, and these were all groups in the New York, Great Lakes, Ohio and Missouri areas. The video also goes on to discuss early letters from Joseph Smith that further associated specific tribes in this area with the Lamanites.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
In its "National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin - January 27, 2021", the DHS warns:
The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration. Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.
I wonder what those false narratives could be? That George Floyd died because of police brutality? Or that police officers are more likely to shoot a black person than a white person? That human activities are causing global warming? That open borders and mass migration is an economic boon? That diversity is a strength? Not likely.
The document goes on to say that you can help by reporting "suspicious activity and threats of violence, including online activity, to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or their local Fusion Center." And (I'm paraphrasing here) don't protest in a manner like BLM or Antifa.
The BBC notes without irony that "[i]t is the first such public alert that the department has issued in about a year."
Some background and changes: I used to have a separate blog called "The Docent's Memo" which concentrated on news and current events, and I used to do my "A Quick Run Around The Web" posts more frequently, but only featuring a handful of news stories or articles of interest. I dropped "The Docent's Memo" as a separate blog several years ago as news events increasingly became more relevant to end time prophecy and prepping, and the quick runs around the web became less frequent as they grew longer and more detailed--ceasing, really, to be very quick. Accordingly, I am going to rename my "A Quick Run Around The Web" posts as "The Docent's Memo" which will be a single weekly post, which I will try to post on Wednesdays by noon Mountain Time. The format will remain the same or similar, at least for now.
- "Biden Proposes $200 Gun Tax and Firearm Buyback Program Along with 13 page Form that Asks for Fingerprints and Photograph" by Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit. That's $200 per "assault weapon" (whatever that is supposed to mean) and per magazine above an arbitrary capacity. I guess that this is a good time for states to assert themselves as Second Amendment sanctuaries.
- "Sending a ‘Peaceful, Lawful, Free-Market Political Message’ With a Police Ammo Sales Moratorium"--The Truth About Guns. You may remember that Barrett Firearms instituted a moratorium in sales to law enforcement in states where Barrett Firearms were illegal to the general public. This article cites a message from En Bloc Press suggesting something similar--stopping sales of ammunition to law enforcement in states hostile to the Second Amendment.
- "States push for allowing concealed carry of guns without permit"--Fox News. The article reports that "Fifteen states already allow concealed carry without a permit, and lawmakers in nine others have proposed allowing or expanding the practice. GOP governors are backing the changes in Utah and Tennessee. Another bill expanding permitless carry in Montana has passed the state House."
- "Skill Set: Favorite AK" by Tiger McKee, Tactical Wire. Although he has more expensive models, his favorite is a Romanian WASR converted to use double-stack magazines. He adds:
Why carry an AK? We live in the country. There’s a lot of brush and scrub, and the nearest neighbor is a mile or so away. In this environment you need something that will punch through the flora, or a pickup truck. The 7.62 x 39mm is made to penetrate. (If you live in a populated urban environment this is a disadvantage; the .223/5.56 – which is designed to dump its energy quickly - is ideal for densely populated areas.) The best platform for this round is the semi-auto version of the AK.
- "The Basics Of Snow Camouflage"--Varusteleka.com. From the background of someone living in Finland and extensive background in snow camouflage, this article uses extensive photographs to show the types of camo to use (or mix and match) in different snow conditions. Although it references specific products sold by Varusteleka, with the photographs you would be able to pick out camouflage from other manufacturers or countries that should work. The author also includes pointers on camouflaging firearms and equipment.
- "Buddy Heater Run Time | 1-lb & 20-lb Tanks" by Ken Jorgustin, Modern Survival Blog. The Buddy Heaters are propane heaters that are popular among campers and preppers for their safety and efficiency. One of their selling points is that they can run from a 1-lbs propane cylinder which fits into the case of the heater making a very compact unit, or connected by hose to larger propane tanks. The author found that the Little Buddy (9,000 BTU) can run for 2 to 5 hours on a 1-lb bottle and 40 to 100 hours off of a 20 lbs tank, depending on the setting (high or low). The larger 18,000 BTU can run for 2 to 10 hours on the 1-lbs tank, or 20 to 100 from a 20-lbs tank. The article has a lot more information, so if this interests you, check it out.
- Related: The author of the Modern Survival Blog has announced that he is splitting his political commentary off into a separate blog: Attack on Liberty.
- "Review: the BOG OUT vehicle recovery device works, but isn’t for beginners"--The Prepared. The authors explain the device:
The BOG OUT is a vehicle recovery tool that works by turning your vehicle’s tire into a winch drum and using your engine to engage it. It looks simple and easy to use — hook it on your tire and it will get you out of any mess you get your vehicle into.It’s a neat theory: use the motor and rotating drum (the wheels) you already have in your car instead of adding a separate winch. Just add a strap/rope to the wheel and voila, you’ve got a DIY winch.
And the main points from the review:
- BOG OUT does work as advertised, both as a pseudo winch replacement and tow rope.
- But it fell short of being that great “winch alternative for average people and cars” because it has its own quirks and you likely need more than one of the products to deal with common emergencies (eg. stuck in a snowbank).
- You need additional recovery gear and to be proficient with anchors to use BOG OUT safely.
- BOG OUT requires more observation than a traditional winch since it has the ability to damage the driveline.
- It is relatively inexpensive compared to a traditional winch setup (roughly $120 vs. >$500), and you don’t need special mounts (like a heavy-duty bumper).
It is a lengthy article and review, so if you think you might be interested in such a device, be sure to read the whole thing.
- "How To Make A Survival Kit" by Ken Jorgustin, Modern Survival Blog. Jorgustin explains that the first step is to "just think about one’s basic survival needs – regardless of circumstance."
What do we need to survive?
1. We need to breathe the air.2. Our body core temperature needs to be within safe limits.3. We must remain hydrated.4. Eventually we need to eat.5. Insert ‘safety’ anywhere above as necessary.
If you at least focus on those requirements above, you will be on the right track to making your own survival kit. All else will be bonus add-ons.
- "Gear for the Hard Times: DIY Water Purification for your Family"--The New Rifleman. Of course, you can get a Berkey water filter, but the author explains how to make your own water filter system that is a bit different from other DIY filters I've seen. He uses a couple 5-gallon food grade buckets and a spout, like other kits, but the filter element is simply a ceramic dome filter.
- Speaking of water, Lisa Walker from Neighborhood Sprouts contact me with a suggested list of article on water conservation. Neighborhood Sprouts is apparently a pre-school program in my neck of the woods (Boise, Idaho). The articles are unrelated to the school, however. They are:
- Water Conservation: Why Saving Water is Important
- How conserving water affects your wallet: 5 ways
- How Water Conservation Saves Energy and Reduces Greenhouse Gas
- 32 Ways to Conserve Water at Home
- 10 Water-Saving Devices You Can Install Yourself
- How to Choose a Low-flow Shower Head
- The Homeowner's Guide To Energy Efficient Mortgages
- 13 Ways to Implement Water Conservation in Your Garden
- What Is Xeriscaping?
This is actually a good topic for general practice and for preppers. First, as a general practice, there are indications that the American Southwest is heading into a prolonged drought, and perhaps the Intermountain West as well. The consequence will be higher water prices and perhaps even restrictions on the quantity of water we can use. From a prepper's perspective, looking at countries that have had economic crashes or failing economies, it is common to see the availability of water be unreliable and of limited quantity.
I'll be honest that I'm not a big fan of top-down, government imposed water restrictions. For instance, "water efficient" dish washers and clothes washers are actually not efficient if you look at the big picture. If you are having to pre-rinse dishes or wash them twice, it doesn't really save that much water. Similarly, water efficient clothes washers are notorious for not doing a very good job at cleaning clothes, which probably results in clothes having to be replaced more often. And as we've seen in the UK, mandating duel flush toilets to reduce water usage actually backfired because the duel flush toilets are more prone to having valves that leak resulting in more water being used than before.
Similarly, my experience with low flow shower heads is that it takes longer to rinse off soap, so I have to shower longer. Turning off the water between getting wet and rinsing off would be far more efficient. But that is the point of most of these articles is to provide you with advice how you can reduce the amount of water you use on your own initiative and in a way that best serves your needs.
- In Greg Ellifritz's most recent Weekend Knowledge Dump, he led off with this article: "WHAT IF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD IS ATTACKED BY AN ANGRY MOB?" published by Offgrid Magazine. The article begins by reminding us of BLM and Antifa harassment of people, including the incident where Mark and Patricia McCloskey in St. Louis were faced with an angry mob that had broken into a gated community. As the article notes, "[t]heir decision to demonstrate they were armed to discourage any threats to their home and safety has now culminated in a cascade of legal troubles that are far from over." But the author posits the question of what if that happened to you? More specifically, what if you lived on a cul-de-sac, saw a neighbor confront an angry mob, get beaten down, and members of the mob surge into the neighbor's house where his wife had been hiding; and then the mob came toward your house? The article then has a combatives expert, Chad McBroom, and an attorney, Jason Squires, weigh in on what they would do.
McBroom's advise is what you would expect: cognizant of the law, but also aware of practical concerns such as calling 911 and leaving the line connected so there is a recording of all that is going on, as well as using a video camera or smart phone to record what is going on. He also discusses how he would barricade his home, where he would place himself and his family, and the types of actions that would prompt the use of lethal force on his part. There are some good tips there, so be sure to read the whole thing.
Squires' advice, also as expected, digs into the legal ramifications. He states:
Before anything else, remember the old idiom: “Discretion is the better part of valor.” It’s one of a million such quotable notables that Americans are fed on a daily basis, but regarding an angry mob, this one is key. Simply put, thinking logically and avoiding trouble is the most effective weapon in any crisis. Use your brain. If something looks bad, move. Leave. Get to a safe location before trouble starts.It’s Friday night in Seattle, and you come home to your lovely, pregnant wife and 10-year-old daughter. This isn’t exactly a crack “fire-team.” Soon after you arrive, trouble starts.You hear loud noises and something like a megaphone. There are chants and screaming, and it’s getting louder. This problem is coming to you. You must act. What can I do to protect myself and my family? There’s nothing more important than protecting you and yours. Your neighbors are secondary considerations, let’s be honest. Do what you can to assist, but you and yours must come first.Your retired law enforcement neighbor decides to confront the protestors. Why? In all of known history, does the mob disperse at one man’s presence? No, of course not. The angry mob attacks the single man, hitting him about the head. Can you assist? No, not legally. Some jurisdictions allow you to defend someone else (third-party defense) under certain circumstances. But, the prudent thing is to call 9-1-1 and secure your home rather than stumbling into the fray alone.If there’s a lull, you can break cover and run to assist your retired neighbor. But, absolutely do not run to confront the angry mob with a firearm — this poses a risk of serious legal exposure. Aggravated assault is generally defined as “the intentional or reckless placing of another person in a reasonable apprehension of an imminent deadly attack upon their person.” Does pointing a weapon at a rioter constitute an aggravated assault? Yes. And, in some jurisdictions you may be charged with a prison mandatory offense. People hate to hear that legal protections are so fragile. But this is the reality in our current legislative environment.There are currently no known protections for mob actions. [ed: not necessarily true as you will read below]. Each individual in the angry mob is given their own legal protections. You might hear: “I was only filming this for social media when he pointed a gun at me!” We as defenders see the mob as its own entity. Each rioter is a tentacle of the same monster. However, the law does not share our view. Each person must be using or threatening deadly force at you to even potentially justify an armed response. So, keep all of this in mind before leaving your home with a weapon. As a defense attorney for 21 years, I fear a politically motivated prosecution more than any angry mob.
- Related: "Defense Against Mobs: An Interview with Massad Ayoob" by Gila Hayes, Armed Citizen Network. Ayoob initially described the situation with mobs historically:
Going back into the 18th century, it has been understood that as the law applies, a mob, essentially, is an organism all moving in the same direction with the same unlawful purpose, with a homicidal intent and usually, to some degree, a specific target. It has been said that just as every member of the mob shares the criminal and civil responsibility for damage caused by the mob, they also share the responsibility for the fear they have created in the victim who opens fire. Therefore, if you aimed at Rioter A but you hit Rioter B, too bad, a target is a target, and they started the fight, and they lost.The mob violence once was essentially geared to what since the 19th century has been called a lynch mob. What we are seeing here today is a different pattern of encounter.Let’s go back in history to January 14, 1881. Everybody who has seen cowboy movies and read history has a picture in their mind of Wyatt Earp standing in front of the jail with a sawed-off shotgun holding off a mob that wants to lynch a prisoner. That actually happened in 1881. There were primarily four lawmen: Wyatt Earp, his brother Virgil, County Sheriff Johnny Behan and Ben Sippy, who was the town Marshal.The man they were protecting was named Michael O’Rourke who, I believe, at the time, they were actually holding in a local saloon. He had shot and killed a very popular mining engineer in Tombstone, AZ, which was a mining town and the other miners were absolutely furious, so they worked up a lynch mob.The lawmen stood off the mob, I believe that no one was shot although there may or may not have been warning shots. They made it clear, “We know you are going to murder this man, but we have a duty to bring him to justice and let the courts do their job. If you try to get past us and take him, we will kill you.” The mob realized, “They’re not kidding!” and turned around and left.* * *Probably the classic case of an armed citizen defending against a mob goes back to 1925 and the then-famous case of Dr. Ossian Sweet. He was an African American physician in the city of Detroit, which was very, very segregated at the time. He moved into a nice, upscale home in what previously was an all-white neighborhood and a whole lot of the white folks–remember this time was a peak of KKK influence–decided that they wanted him out of there.On a day when he had 10 members of his family and friends inside his home, they surrounded his house, screaming all sorts of epithets, and finally started throwing rocks through the windows. Shots were fired from inside the house, killing one member of the white mob and wounding another. Everyone who was in the Sweet household at the time was arrested and charged with murder. In the first trial, they were all tried together, and the jury hung. So, there was a second trial and they apparently decided if we can’t get them all together, we will get them one at a time.The first trial was that of Ossian Sweet’s younger brother, Henry, and the NAACP hired Clarence Darrow to defend him. Darrow gave an absolutely brilliant argument on the sanctity of the home, the right to protect the home and the principle of the Castle Doctrine. The all-white jury acquitted and at that point, I think the prosecutor saw the handwriting on the wall and dropped the rest of the cases.Now, what you had in every one of those cases is the rule that a member of the mob shares the responsibility and therefore all share in the general jeopardy from the fear created in people who defend themselves against the mob. All of the members of the mob were there for a single, dedicated purpose of harming and killing certain people. That is the kind of lynch mob for which the rule was geared.* * *
What we are seeing that is different in the current 2020 situation is most aptly described by a friend of mine who is a very street-wise police supervisor in a major, high crime city. He said the difference this time is that the mob is not working with one mind, one purpose and one target. What we have is the Antifa types and the opportunistic looters basically seeding themselves in among those I would call the legitimate protesters–the people who are there in good conscience and good faith, to cause no physical harm to anyone and to voice what they believe is a very important concern.
My friend said the crowd today is not a mob; the crowd today is an ocean in which the predators swim, hide and are essentially effecting camouflage. They emerge out of the ocean to set fires to buildings, to violently assault people, and then to melt back into the protection of the crowd. They are using the crowd in the same way that Saddam Hussein used human shields: taking women and children and settling them in camps surrounding all the military bases during the Iraq war when he was afraid the Americans would obliterate his military bases.
Read the whole thing.
- Related: "Your rights when it comes to self-defense against mob attacks"--WREG Memphis. The article begins by noting a number of recent attacks where groups of teens had attacked people, before diving into the question of whether lethal force is permissible. From the article:
If you face a mob, do you pull a gun? Hit them with your car? Lawyers say both of those could land you behind bars.Sharon Mourning's story has the Mid-South talking.She was driving angry teens leaving a football game surrounded her car."I'm telling my daughter, 'Get down!,' because I didn't know what they were going to do," she said.She didn't have a gun but said if she did, she'd have used it.Would you? And would the law have your back? Most lawyers say in this case, no.Mourning was inside her car at the time of attack and not exposed to the crowd.
The article discusses some specific Tennessee statutes regarding self defense and then concludes:
So how do we end this? Some say no one has the slightest idea, and the teens know it.
- Related: "Against A Mob: Surviving In The Street And In Court" by Schuyler P. Robertson, USCCA. This article covers some historic cases concerning defense against mobs, including the Sweet case mentioned by Ayoob, but also discusses a couple instances when mobs had surrounded vehicles:
Mob mentality is well-documented. In short, people in riots will do things they wouldn’t normally do. A riot is a very dangerous organism, and even people who plan on peacefully protesting can suddenly become threats or can block your escape if other protesters become threats.That was the case when a group of activists were protesting outside a Sacramento abortion clinic. Several protesters decided to lie on the ground in front of an SUV arriving at the clinic, which, by itself, is not a threat meriting a deadly force response. However, other protesters surrounded the SUV and began pounding on the windows. The driver felt threatened enough to drive over the protesters lying in front of him.The protesters on the ground were passive; by themselves, they presented no threat. However, remember what Warren says about mobs. When the other protesters put the driver in fear for his life, the passive protesters were equally and individually lawful targets of the driver’s defensive actions. The driver was not charged, and, fortunately, no one was seriously injured.Protests are, by their nature, potentially dangerous, and the prudent course of action is to avoid them. If you do inadvertently find yourself in the middle of a protest or riot, treat it like a wild animal preserve: Stay in your car and keep moving, even if you are only moving at a slow crawl. Be aware of your escape routes and get out of the area as soon as possible.
- Related: "The Key To Protecting Your Home And Family From Violent Mobs"--Off The Grid News. This one quickly dispenses with legal issues, and jumps to tactics recognizing that you have a very short time and distance in which to defend yourself against a mob attack on your home: between when the mob enters onto your property and when they actually reach the physical building.
- Mob or not? "Shocking moment cop car runs over man and miraculously leaves him with just minor injuries after angry crowd surrounded the vehicle as police tried to stop a Fast and Furious style burnout"--Daily Mail. From the article:
A man has been run over by a police cruiser that plowed through a crowd of people as they watched street racers do burnouts in Washington state.Disturbing video footage shows the cruiser backing up about three feet before accelerating forward and mowing down the group of pedestrians in Tacoma around 6.20pm on Saturday night.One person can be seen lying on the pavement as the police car's wheels rolled over him. He was taken to a local hospital and his condition is unclear.Tacoma police said the crowd of about 100 people were blocking the intersection when police arrived on scene. They then 'began clearing the intersection and people for the safety of those gathered and people trying to use the street'.At that point, police said the cruiser was surrounded by the crowd who hit the car and tried to smash through the windows.'The officer, fearing for his safety, tried to back up, but was unable to do so because of the crowd. While trying to extricate himself from an unsafe position, the officer drove forward striking one individual and may have impacted others.'
If we follow the recent dichotomy between mere protesters and offenders, there is a serious question of whether the officer was justified to use force as he did. After all, this isn't much different from James Alex Fields Jr. situation at the August 12, 2017, Charlottesville rally where his vehicle was surrounded by people trying to smash his windows, obstruct his passage, and he panicked and drove forward striking other protestors and killing one. He was convicted of first degree murder.
Or Michael Aaron Strickland, a journalist who pulled a firearm and pointed it a hostile crowd of angry protestors at a Portland riot. He was found guilty of 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, 10 counts of menacing and one count of second-degree disorderly conduct for pointing his Glock semi-automatic handgun at 10 protesters. "During closing arguments, prosecutor Todd Jackson said no one touched Strickland and that he overreacted. The men carrying flagpoles weren't near Strickland when he took out his gun, Jackson said."
In the past, if you were part of a crowd, the intent of those causing some specific harm--such as trying to force their way into a building or kill someone--was imputed to the whole crowd (or mob). What we have seen of late is the impossible task of differentiating between those who are merely part of the crowd of protestors and those actually involved in an assault or battery.
Returning to the story at hand, no one apparently had broken windows on the police vehicle or displayed a handgun so one could argue that the officer couldn't have reasonably been in fear of his life. Even if the officer was reasonably in fear of his life because a few people beating on windows or the vehicle, what about those merely blocking the vehicle? Were they blocking the vehicle because they wanted to aid and abet those trying to break the windows? Or were they simply wanting to block the vehicle so they could chant around the vehicle with no intention of harming the officer? Or were they just bunched around the vehicle because they were curious? How to differentiate between the different motives? And what about well known crowd dynamics which meant that the mood (and purpose) of the crowd could change quickly from relatively benign to violent?
- A very welcome article: "Carrying and Using the LDK Knife"--Active Response Training. The LDK (last ditch knife) is a smaller version of the Ka-Bar TDI Law Enforcement knife. I purchased one early last year, and used it for awhile as a neck knife, but wasn't really sure of the best way to carry the knife. In this article, Greg Ellifritz describes the knife as being intended as a deep concealment knife and suggests some different ways to carry the knife, including ways that would be missed in a casual search.
- How to conserve ammunition: "British SAS marksman kills five Islamic State fighters with a single sniper shot from 3,000ft away"--Daily Mail. The rifle used is reported as being a Barrett M107 (L82A1 in British military parlance) in .50 BMG. The sniper shot an Islamic State fighter wearing a suicide vest, which exploded and killed four of his compadres.
- "Sickening moment gang of hooded thugs viciously kick and punch Ukrainian schoolboy, 14, as he lies on the ground in the centre of Paris leaving him in a coma"--Daily Mail. Per the article, "[t]he incident, thought to involve up to 10 youths, took place near the Eiffel Tower and the Beaugrenelle Shopping Center at 6.30pm in Paris on January 15." The article continues:
Yuri was with friends when the attack took place and the teenager was the only one who did not manage to escape.
He was surrounded by a group of assailants who were reportedly wielding metal rods, bats and knives that left him with skull punctures, arm and rib fractures, stab wounds and eye trauma.The boy, 15, is currently in a coma in a hospital in the city after the attack that resulted in the Paris public prosecutor's office opening an investigation for 'attempted voluntary homicide'.
Although the attackers are not described as anything but "youths" (a code-phrase, itself, for Muslim youth gangs), the article relates that "Investigators say the incident has hallmarks of an organised gang attack, with a group of teenagers from the southern suburb of Vanves thought to be responsible." Vanves' population, in 2017, was 85.8% immigrants. Based on other information I've seen about gangs in Paris, it is statistically likely that the attackers were young immigrants (or children of immigrants) from North Africa. While it is hard to say that 6 pm is a stupid time, or that the victim was doing stupid things with stupid people, the fact is that he was in an area frequented by young males of a certain ethnicity which rendered it a stupid place to be.
- Black on black crime: "Four girls, aged 12 to 14, are arrested over fatal stabbing of 15-year-old girl in a Walmart after they 'stole a knife from the store' in a fight that was streamed live on social media"--Daily Mail.
Videos showed the group of girls fleeing the store in a getaway car as one of them screamed: 'Just stabbed somebody at Walmart'.
'We just stabbed that b***h in her heart. We don't give a f**k.'
- "The New Oligarchs Will Not Tolerate Secession" by Edward J. Erler, The American Mind. In which Erler responds to another author's argument for a peaceful separation of Blue and Red America rather than a divorce. An excerpt:
We have often heard from conservatives that “politics is downstream from culture” and the way to reform political life is first to reform culture. Lincoln never made this foolish error, nor do the progressive ideologues who drive the politics of the Red States. These leftist radicals are deadly serious; politics is their avocation. For them culture, while an important part of political calculus, is eventually determined or shaped by politics because politics is always a contest for rule.Conservative Republicans who believe that the battle for culture takes precedence over politics will always lose because they don’t know where to drawn the main battle line: they prefer to fight skirmishes. Progressives count on the apolitical character of conservatism, its preference for private life over the political. This is why the leftist radicals saw Trump as such a threat: he was a political man and understood the supremacy of politics.
Our author seems to be perplexed that the statement that “all lives matter” has been deemed “racist” by BLM. Doesn’t BLM realize that as a matter of logic “all lives” includes “Black lives?” But here is the rub. Logic and reason are a Western imposition on the world, invented by white supremacists and white imperialists. To say that black lives are included in all lives is demeaning—it pushes black lives into an invisible background. Logic is not life.
The assertion “Black lives matter” is a statement of racial superiority. It cannot be judged by “racist logic.” “All lives matter” is therefore racist—no logic necessary, only reimagination. BLM has considerable responsibility for driving reason out of the public sphere with its claims that Western logic is racist and imperialist. If you think BLM doesn’t have that much influence on elite opinion, I invite you to think again. Mull that one over in your separation and “relax.” Get back to me when you figure out a reconciliation. Do your best: our marriage may depend on it!
But here is the money quote:
Presumably our author believes that the “current system” or some reasonable facsimile is the regime of the founding that both sides of the political divide, Red and Blue, still adhere to. But what evidence does the author have that the Blue States still adhere to the same constitution that the Red States appeal to? The most advanced elements of the Blue states— the ruling elites, composed of the most progressive law professors, academics, the minions of the deep state, media, corporate elites, the tech oligarchy—don’t adhere to the Constitution of the founding; rather, they routinely refer to a post-constitutionalism in which the Constitution of the Founding will be rendered superfluous, having been replaced by the administrative state and bureaucratic rule.
And, in fact, Erler later contends:
The fundamental error in our author’s analysis, however, is still more glaring: America has not been a constitutional republic based on the consent of the governed for many years. It has, in fact, been a thinly disguised oligarchy, dominated by ruling class elites in the media, in academia, both political parties in government (where politicians freely make promises to voters but find it easy to evade and ignore), the bureaucracy, the deep state (including the intelligence agencies), corporations, Silicon Valley, and other centers of influence.
The one thing that comes abundantly clear when you pay attention to what the Left says--not the words, but examining the import of their words--is that they are adherents to the philosophy of the will to power. Constitutions and laws!?! Pugh! Or, as Erler concludes: the elites "certainly won’t tolerate a divorce. Like all domineering partners who abuse their consorts, they want to rule."
- As I've said before, liberals have no sense of shame: "Amazon Fights Against Mail-In Voting in Union Decision to Preserve ‘Vote Fidelity’"--Breitbart. From the lede:
E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly seeking to postpone a unionization vote at a warehouse in Alabama and is fighting back against federal labor authorities’ decision to allow mail-in voting. Amazon claims it has created a “safe, confidential and convenient proposal for associates to vote on-site, which is in the best interest of all parties—associate convenience, vote fidelity and timeliness of vote count.”
We, as a country, have just spent three months debating the voting integrity of mail-in voting, and the consensus was that it made no appreciable difference in the outcome. As another outlet points out:
The Washington Post, owned by Bezos, called any claims of mail-in voter fraud by Donald Trump and his supporters dangerous and inexcusable. Amazon even banned Parler from its servers, in part to ensure no one could claim voter fraud occurred from mail-in ballots back in November.
- "DATA EXPERT: 200,000 Pennsylvania Ballots Were Modified After Election – A Sampling of 100,000 Arizona Ballots Show ‘Material Amount’ Aren’t Even Real People"--Gateway Pundit. The article notes that data analyst Bobby Piton discovered that 200,000 Pennsylvania records had been modified the day after the election. And in December 2020 letter to the Arizona legislature, "[h]e pointed out that more that 50% of a sample of 1,000 voters in the 2020 election were not real people." For those who think it isn't really evidence, Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence indicates:
A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.
So, assuming that Piton would otherwise qualify as an expert, his findings are evidence.
- Democracy dies in the hands of Democrats: "Schumer suggests Biden declare 'climate emergency'"--Fox News.
Schumer seemingly suggested Biden do for the climate what President Trump did for the border-- declare a national emergency to bypass legislative debate and use executive authority."He can do many, many things under the emergency powers ... that he could do without legislation," the Senate leader said."Trump used this emergency for a stupid wall, which wasn't an emergency. But if there ever was an emergency, climate is one," Schumer added.
- Related: "Joe Biden And The Death Of Free Speech"--The American Conservative.
In his inaugural address, Biden castigated “a riotous mob [that] thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people.” But politicians invoked that same mob to justify silencing protesters for miles around the inauguration. Biden also declared, “That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably, within the guardrails of our republic. It’s perhaps this nation’s greatest strength.” Yet during Biden’s inauguration, new “guardrails” drove free speech into the dirt.The Washington Post, a bellwether of the media’s adulation of the new president, had no problem with silencing dissent. Its report on the issue was headlined, “In closing Mall, officials try to strike a balance between the First Amendment and securing Biden’s inauguration.” The “balance” was achieved by suspending the First Amendment on the most important protest day on the American calendar.The Post noted that only one protest would occur during the Biden inauguration “with about five demonstrators manning a video screen, tucked away near Union Station, along a secure perimeter, surrounded by largely vacant D.C. streets.” Amazingly, the Post portrayed this as proof that the First Amendment had survived: “D.C. and federal officials reached a compromise. They said the plan allows the city’s tradition as the nation’s preeminent stage for protest and free-speech gatherings to continue.”The federal government dictated so many restrictions on protests that almost all the groups that planned to demonstrate threw in the towel. But that didn’t deter federal officials from taking a victory lap. National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst declared, “When the government is under assault, that’s especially a time you do not want to appear to be denying civil liberties or denying people their rights under the First Amendment.”
- "Virginia Rule Allowing Late Ballots Missing Postmark Was Illegal, Court Rules"--The Daily Caller. "The Virginia Board of Elections rule allowing officials to count ballots that arrived without a postmark up to three days after the election was illegal, a state judge ruled."
- That didn't take very long: "'Insulting'- Labor Unions That Endorsed Biden Now Lashing Out At Him"--Gateway Pundit. Has to do with Biden's destruction of tens of thousands of union jobs by shutting down construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Shutting down the pipeline was one of the few things that Biden made clear he was going to do, and was to the benefit of Warren Buffett. Perhaps the union members should be looking at cleaning house among their union leadership for endorsing Biden even as he threatened to stop the construction of the pipeline.
- Speaking of economic devastation: "Biden’s pause on oil cause for big concern in New Mexico"--Associated Press.
President Joe Biden’s 60-day moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits is prompting widespread concerns in New Mexico, where spending on education and other public programs hinges on the industry’s success.
Top Republicans in the state as well as local leaders in communities that border the Permian Basin — one of the most productive regions in the U.S. — say any moves to make permanent the suspension would be economically devastating for the state. Half of New Mexico’s production happens on federal land and amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties each year.
Congressional members from other western states also are raising concerns, saying the ripple effects of the moratorium will hurt small businesses already struggling because of the pandemic.
- Related: "Utah tribe blasts Biden's drilling freeze on federal lands as 'direct attack' on sovereignty"--Washington Times.
A Utah tribe blasted the Biden administration’s Wednesday order freezing agency approvals for oil, gas and coal permitting on federal lands, including tribal lands, calling it a “direct attack” on Native American sovereignty and self-determination.The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, which has run an oil-and-gas operation on its 4.5 million-acre reservation for more than 70 years, requested Thursday an exemption for tribal lands from the Interior Department order that halts agencies from issuing permits and leases on mineral production for 60 days.“The Ute Indian Tribe and other energy producing tribes rely on energy development to fund our governments and provide services to our members,” said the Thursday letter from Luke Duncan, chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee.
- Biden looking out for the wealthy at the expense of the average American: "Biden Freezes Trump’s Lower Cost Insulin and Epinephrine Rule"--SWFI. From the lede:
Big pharma is smiling big right now. The big three insulin producers are Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk A/S, and Sanofi S.A., in which they dominate more than 90% of the world insulin market by value. After swearing-in, U.S. President Joe Biden’s HHS froze the Trump administration’s December 2020 drug policy that mandates community health centers to pass on all their insulin and epinephrine discount savings to patients.
- Did you expect any different? "Now Biden Tells Us: ‘Nothing We Can Do to Change Trajectory of Pandemic in Coming Months’"--Legal Insurrection. So much for his plan to control the virus which he touted during his campaign but never revealed.
- "Special Report: How U.S. CDC missed chances to spot COVID's silent spread" by Ned Parker and Chad Terhune, Reuters. Last year, practically all we heard about was how badly Trump had botched the handling of the COVID pandemic: first it was criticisms of his being racist by attempting to stop the spread of the virus by halting air travel to countries suffering from outbreaks; and, later, that he didn't do enough to prevent the spread, or didn't get Congress to cough up enough money, etc. The authors of this article take a different tack, looking at the career scientists and bureaucrats that staff the Centers for Disease Control. The most damning portion:
Critics have widely asserted that the CDC fumbled key decisions during the coronavirus scourge because then-President Donald Trump and his administration meddled in the agency’s operations and muzzled internal experts. The matter is now the subject of a congressional inquiry. Yet Reuters has found new evidence that the CDC’s response to the pandemic also was marred by actions - or inaction - by the agency’s career scientists and frontline staff.
At a crucial moment in the pandemic when Americans were quarantined after possible exposure to the virus abroad, the agency declined or resisted potentially valuable opportunities to study whether the disease could be spread by those without symptoms, according to previously undisclosed internal emails, other documents and interviews with key players.
Now that Trump is out of office, I expect that we will see more articles walking back the "Orange Man Bad" themes of last year and taking a closer look at the supposed experts, the harms and damages from extended lockdowns, and/or negative side-affects of wearing masks.
- As you may remember, the lockdowns were supposed to be for only two weeks originally, in order to flatten the curve. But two weeks turned into months. Who benefited? Follow the money: "World's richest ten people – including Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg – 'are half a TRILLION dollars richer since Covid-19 pandemic began'"--Daily Mail.
- Biden always claimed that COVID would go away if we just voted for him: "COVID-19 hospitalizations fall to lowest levels since mid December as US states report sharp drop in new cases and deaths - while nation smashes through Biden's one million shots-a-day target"--Daily Mail. Alternate headline: thousands continue to die from COVID as Biden misses inoculation targets.
- Related: "SURPRISE! Gretchen Whitmer Reopens Michigan Restaurants Now That Biden Has Been Sworn In"--Gateway Pundit. As a reward, Biden will sniff her hair.
- Related: It's a friggin' miracle: "As Biden Became President, Medical Journal Quietly Retracted Study That Claimed Hydroxychloroquine Is Ineffective"--National File. The article reports:
The Lancet, a respected online medical journal, issued an apology to its readers in an edition last year after the retraction. “We deeply apologize to you, the editors, and the journal readership for any embarrassment or inconvenience that this may have caused,” the publishers of The Lancet said.
Do unnecessary deaths count as "embarrassment or inconvenience"? The article continues:
The Lancet’s endorsement of the study was withdrawn because the Surgisphere Corporation, the company that provided data, refused to provide full access to the information it based its study on.
Surgisphere claimed that it couldn't release the data because of confidentiality concerns--meaning, it never enrolled the patients in a study or, more likely, the data was manufactured. The ariticle concludes:
There is no estimate of how many lives could have been saved if the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control – along with all of the many foundations and institutions who were more focused on the profit margin of vaccines and new drug therapies – would have explored the benefits of hydroxychloroquine in combating COVID-19.
- Not an insurrection: "'No borders! No nations! Abolish deportations!' Violent anti-ICE protests continue in Portland after Biden inauguration as Seattle police chief vows to get tough on left-wing vandals"--Daily Mail.
Protests outside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Portland turned ugly on Saturday night as federal authorities threatened mass arrests for trespassing.Dramatic videos posted on Twitter showed the crowd chanting: 'No borders! No nations! Abolish deportations!'Officers with the Federal Protective Service, a branch within the Department of Homeland Security, declared an unlawful assembly at about 10pm and ordered protesters to disperse.'If you trespass on federal property with a weapon, you will be arrested,' a recording warned the crowd before officers began deploying tear gas and flash bangs.It marked the four-straight day of protests in the city since Joe Biden's inauguration as demonstrators make it clear that a new Democratic administration will not stop their campaign for social justice.
Mayor Seth Fleetwood of Bellingham was escorted out of the building to safety Friday morning when a group of around 20 people entered the main lobby, according to KIRO7.
Bellingham Police arrived and asked the protesters to leave.
Bellingham Police Lt. Claudia Murphy told The Bellingham Herald the demonstrators left when they were told to, no one was injured and nothing was damaged inside the building.
Protesters had gathered outside City Hall to protest against the city's plans to move a temporary homeless encampment, known as Camp 210, off the lawns of the hall and the Bellingham Public Library.
Officials planned to clean up the site Friday morning and move the homeless campers 25 feet away.
The encampment was first erected in the area in November to draw attention to the lack of shelter for homeless people in the city, located around 88 miles north of Seattle.
More than 200 Antifa protesters reportedly descended on Tacoma, Washington, where they busted the windows of buildings and set fires in the streets on Sunday, just a day after wreaking havoc in Portland.
Video footage and images showed broken glass scattered on the sidewalk outside of businesses and graffiti sprayed on the side of buildings.
Protesters started at least two fires in the area using a barricade for one and an American flag for the other. Dozens of Tacoma police officers were seen lined up on bikes as protesters approached them.
- They really do hate you: I decided to browse Medium on Monday, and the number two trending article was "Breaking Up With White Supremacy Was Always The End Game" by Tressie McMillan Cottom. Sorry to disappoint anyone thinking that someday we will have racial harmony, but Cottom has no intention on any such thing. She writes:
I want to focus a bit on the break-up with whiteness thing. I want to focus on that bit because I fear it has gotten lost in the recent racial awakening among white Americans. I am not being cute when I say that I do not know if the “how to be a better white person” genre of books, articles, reading groups, and self-help communities cover “the break-up”. I really do not know. I do not pay that genre a great deal of attention because I am not the audience. It is not, as I say, my ministry.Despite not being my ministry, I do empathize with citizen-learners who are struggling with the course material. It is the pedagogue in me. If no one else has mentioned it (or, you missed that day in class), I want to be very clear: breaking up with whiteness is absolutely the end game of all anti-racist, humanist, post-racism work.Even there, I worry I am not clear enough. I am hiding the uglier part of the reality, the one that is driving so many human-interest stories about broken families of late, in erudition. “Whiteness” sounds fancier than “white people”. ...
She commiserates a bit with those she is telling to split with family and friends, stating (underline mine):
You will love many of those white people. You will be related to some of them. You will be married to them. You will, one day, be faced with pulling “whiteness” down out of the clouds and seeing it not in ideas but in people, written on bodies you have touched, scattered across relationships that have sustained you. You will see it in your family photographs and in the age spots of hands that reach for you. You will, one day, look across a table at the kindest sociopaths you have ever loved.
And she concludes: "White double-conciousness was always going to be brutal. Break-ups are always hard. Breaking up with empires is always bloody. If we forgot to tell you."
So, we have a woman who is purportedly highly educated (Ph.D. in sociology from Emory University’s Laney Graduate School) telling people that to be properly woke, they have to break up with white people, whom she believes to all be sociopaths (i.e., a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience); and that such a breakup will be brutal, hard, and bloody. Her message, however indirectly couched, is no different from the early Black radicals and their lap dogs among the SDS and Weather Underground preached. I don't know the exact percentage, but I would assume that a comfortable majority of Black Americans do not support Cottom's position, but would actually like to be judged based on their character and abilities rather than the color of their skin.
- They really do hate you: "Professor Calls For Elimination Of Republican Party; Purging 'Nazified' People From Congress, Universities, & 'Regular Jobs'"--Loose Rounds. The professor in this case is Smith College Professor Loretta Ross, a black woman that "teaches a course on White Supremacy, Human Rights and Calling In the Calling Out Culture."
- They really do hate you: "Vanity Fair Asks Cult Expert How to ’Deprogram’ Trump Followers"--Breitbart. The article relates:
On Thursday, Vanity Fair published an interview with cult expert Steven Hassan detailing how to go about “deprogramming” Trump supporters, while arguing for a “massive education” effort involving the participation of schools, mental health professionals, law enforcement, media, politicians, and intelligence agencies.
The edited transcript of the interview, titled “‘So Many Great, Educated, Functional People Were Brainwashed’: Can Trump’s Cult of Followers Be Deprogrammed?,” has Hassan, author of The Cult of Trump, describing his past as a former Moonie [member of the Unification Church] and his techniques for rehabilitating cult members.
“When I talk about the cult of Trump, I’m talking about a destructive authoritarian cult,” Hassan begins.
“As a mental health professional, we think of that as a dissociative disorder.”
While Hassan is not an angry black nationalist like those cited earlier, he does come from another demographic that is disproportionately represented among the radical Left. According to Wikipedia: "Hassan is married and is a practicing Jew, having returned to the faith tradition of his childhood." Lest you think I'm exaggerating, let me say this: I've been reading Days of Rage by Bryan Burrough, about the radical leftist movements of the 1960's and 1970's, and this part struck me:
SDS's leadership happened to be populated by an outsized number of Jewish students, and for many of these the notion of challenging a U.S. government they imagined as the second coming of Nazi Germany had enormous appeal. (p. 60).
- Related: "It’s time to stop counting Jews in the Cabinet" by Jonathan S. Tobin, Jewish News Syndicate. The author begins his article:
Jewish Democrats are celebrating this week and with good reason. Their party is about to take back power in Washington and end the presidency of the man they all love to hate: President Donald Trump. But adding a certain frisson of pride to their touchdown dances is the number of Cabinet members, and other officials and personalities, within the new First and Second families who are Jewish.It’s an impressive tally. Social media is awash with posts with lists of the Jewish cabinet secretaries and undersecretaries, as well as the Jewish connections of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. When placed in the broad sweep of the nation’s history, it’s an important statement about the acceptance and the accomplishments of American Jewry. A century ago or even for several decades afterward, such a number would have been inconceivable.But it’s 2021, not 1921. Having Jews in positions of great influence is no longer such a big deal; in fact, it’s quite commonplace.Nine Jews are in the new Senate (including the new Majority Leader) and 25 in the House of Representatives, making up more than 6 percent of the total Congress. That’s more than triple the percentage of Jews in the general population. There are also two Jews out of the nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Seen in that light, a Jewish secretary of state, treasury secretary, homeland security secretary, attorney general and director of national intelligence—to name a few high-level positions—are merely a reflection of the preponderance of Jews who have risen to the top of just about every sector of American society.
But the article is not one calling for gratefulness or humility. Rather, the gist of the article is that American Jews need to stop merely taking pride in the number of Jews in senior government positions, but to start expecting more from those Jews that do hold positions of power.
Many Jewish officials have played important roles in formulating U.S. foreign policy throughout the last three decades. But for the most part—and without casting aspersions on their integrity or intentions—their presence in the corridors of power did little to influence events to the benefit of the alliance between the only Jewish state on the planet and the United States. Indeed, many Jewish diplomats seemed to specialize in pressuring Israel and in seeking to undermine its efforts to resist policies that the majority of its people believed to be dangerous to their security.
Similarly, the role of some Jews like Wendy Sherman and Ben Rhodes in crafting a disastrous nuclear deal with Iran that endangered Israel and the entire Middle East, and enriched and empowered a genocidal terrorist state, is not something about which their co-religionists should regard with pride, even if those who did so were merely mistaken rather than ill-intentioned.
In other words, the author is contending that the worth of a Jew in powerful government positions in not whether he or she is a good American or good at his or her job, but whether they are of service to fellow Jews and, in particular, Israel. Yes, I understand that Jews are still, in some form, the chosen people of God (but so too are Christians and the Lost Tribes of Israel, which at this point are probably most of the rest of the world due to intermarriage and mixing). But such a naked call to place Jewish self-interest--including that of Israel--ahead of loyalty to their country and fellow countrymen is distasteful. And while I have a soft-spot in my heart for Israel, I always keep in mind that states do not have friends, only interests. Israel has shown time and again that it fully understands and acts on that principle.
- The really do hate you: "Disgraced Former CIA Chief John Brennan: Biden White House Will Use Homeland Security to Crush Trump ‘Insurgency’"--Big League Politics. Per the article, "Brennan is laying the groundwork to treat President Trump’s supporters like ISIS militants, which Democrat officials have been openly pining for many years to accomplish. He named 'religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, and even libertarians' as the type of groups that will be targeted, profiled and ultimately deprived of their 1st Amendment rights during the Biden administration." Brennan is a self-admitted communist.
- Related: "Liberal authoritarians like John Brennan are real threat to democracy" by David Harsanyi, New York Post.
Every time former CIA Director John Brennan appears on cable news to warn about some new “insidious threat to democracy,” I am reminded again that he deserves to be in federal prison.In this corrupt media environment, however, the official who oversaw an illegal domestic-spying operation on the legislative branch of the US government, who tried to cover it up and blame innocent Senate staffers when discovered and who then brazenly lied about it to legislators and the American people — this man is held up as a paragon of civic virtue.We still don’t even know what role Brennan played in spying on his political opponents during the 2016 campaign. We do know he went on TV for years after, alleging to have insider knowledge of an unprecedented seditious criminal conspiracy against the United States. Never once was he challenged by his hosts. And when an independent multimillion-dollar investigation couldn’t pull together a single indictment related to those claims, Brennan shrugged it off by saying that he may have “received bad information.”
- Related: "Democrats urge tech giants to change algorithms that facilitate spread of extremist content"--The Hill. The Dems want to the social media companies to "improve" the algorithms to ban even more content. From the article:
Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) led dozens of their colleagues in letters addressed to the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, Google and YouTube urging various changes across the platforms to mitigate the spread of extremist and conspiratorial content."Online disinformation is not just about removing bad content. I see it as largely a product design issue. The algorithmic amplification and recommendation systems that platforms employ spread content that’s evocative over what’s true,” Eshoo said in a statement.Many of the people involved in the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol asserted that there was widespread election fraud that tainted the 2020 election results. Former President Trump and his allies repeatedly echoed these claims on social media, stating that the election had been "stolen" from the former president.The unsupported claim, along with QAnon conspiracy theories and other disinformation narratives, spread online ahead of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.“Social media platforms’ algorithms are designed to feed each of us increasingly hateful versions of what we already hate, and fearful versions of what we already fear, so that we stay glued to our screens for as long as possible,” Malinowski said in a statement. “In this way, they regularly promote and recommend white supremacist, anti-Semitic, anti-government, and other conspiracy-oriented material to the very people who are most susceptible to it — some of whom just attacked our Capitol.”
So, if you question the veracity of the 2020 presidential election, you are, in the eyes of the Dems, a white supremacist and anti-Semitic.
- Related: "Tulsi Gabbard: Domestic-Terrorism Bill Is ‘a Targeting of Almost Half of the Country’" by Brittany Bernstein, National Review.
Tulsi Gabbard, the former Democratic representative from Hawaii, on Friday expressed concern that a proposed measure to combat domestic terrorism could be used to undermine civil liberties.Gabbard’s comments came during an appearance on Fox News Primetime when host Brian Kilmeade asked her if she was “surprised they’re pushing forward with this extra surveillance on would-be domestic terror.”“It’s so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends,” Gabbard said.She continued: “When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they’ve seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians.”She said her concern lies in how officials will define the characteristics they are searching for in potential threats.“What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this?” Gabbard said.She said the proposed legislation could create “a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties, our freedoms in our Constitution, and a targeting of almost half of the country.”
We have witnessed an orgy of censorship from Silicon Valley monopolies with calls for far more aggressive speech policing, a visibly militarized Washington, D.C. featuring a non-ironically named “Green Zone,” vows from the incoming president and his key allies for a new anti-domestic terrorism bill, and frequent accusations of “sedition,” “treason,” and “terrorism” against members of Congress and citizens. This is all driven by a radical expansion of the meaning of “incitement to violence.” It is accompanied by viral-on-social-media pleas that one work with the FBI to turn in one’s fellow citizens (See Something, Say Something!) and demands for a new system of domestic surveillance.
Read the whole thing.
- Changing the rules as needed: In "2021 Could Be The Year Women Get Full Constitutional Rights" published at HuffPo, the author, Emily Peck, contends that this year might see the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA, for those of you under 50, was an attempt to amend the Constitution to explicitly provide for equality of rights without regard to sex. Although the article indicates that the ERA was first conceived in 1923, the big push for its passage was in the late 1970s and early 1980s. "The ERA passed Congress in 1972 with the two-thirds majority required to amend the Constitution. The next hurdle was getting three-fourths of states to ratify it before a 1982 deadline set by Congress." However, only 35 of the 38 states needed ratified the ERA before the deadline passed. Moreover, although not mentioned in the article, of those 35, five subsequently revoked their ratification within the deadline period: Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota.
But "[i]n January 2020, Virginia became the critical 38th state to ratify the ERA," and so the Left want it enforced, the passage of the 1982 deadline be damned. The article ignores the fact that with 5 states having timely withdrawn their approval, Virginia only makes it 31 states passing the ERA.
Of course, if you are interested in advancing women's rights, the ERA is moot. The Supreme Court has long deemed language in the Constitution requiring equal rights to apply to women, and there are countless laws protecting women. The irony of this is that the ERA, as a Constitutional Amendment, would only apply to the United States government and the states, not private enterprise. Moreover, if applied honestly, the ERA would actually obviate laws that treat women "more fairly" than men because it requires, by its own text, that the sexes be treated the same. I could see it become a boon to men's rights advocates.
- The locust: "'I can't afford to live here': People moving to North Idaho see increasing housing prices"--KTVB. The headline is misleading: what it refers to is someone that lived in North Idaho (more specifically, in the Coeur d'Alene area) but could no longer afford a home there, and ended up moving to a suburb of Spokane. In any event, the boom in real estate prices is being driven by people from out-of-state purchasing property in the area and driving up prices.
- A good start: "Denmark sets a target of ZERO asylum seeker applications to protect 'social cohesion'"--Daily Mail.
- Related: "Majority of Swiss want a burqa ban, poll shows ahead of referendum in March"--Daily Mail. By majority, they mean super-majority: 63% supported such a ban.
- Heh. In "Why Do You Think You Deserve A King, When You’re Not A Queen?", Gina Florio attacks one of the basic premises behind the whole "where have all the good men gone" meme: that women are somehow entitled to a "good man" notwithstanding any failures on their part. In what surely must have given feminists a fit of apoplexy, Florio writes:
It’s insane enough that we’re pretending like women are guiltless, blameless angels who should be worshipped on a lilypad every day. But what’s even worse than this false narrative is the fact that women are arguably contributing to the downfall of our culture more than men are. Women generally make up the most vulgar, most risqué content we see in the media today. They strip their clothes off at the drop of a hat, dance and writhe on the floor in little to nothing, and then turn around and demand that they be treated like queens. I’m sick of pretending like this is perfectly OK.
Why would you ever think you deserve a king when you act like a classless, crass, and trashy woman who has no value for her own sexuality? I realize this sounds harsh, and I’m well accustomed to replies such as, “You’re slut-shaming!” But there’s a big difference between shaming someone and speaking the difficult truth that few people want to hear.
That difficult truth is: If we want to attract a worthy man who is smart, kind, successful, and a wonderful future father, then we have to be the woman of his dreams too. No matter how much you try to deny it, that dream woman is not someone who dresses promiscuously, flirts with other men, talks freely about explicit sexual acts, and exploits herself on the internet for attention or money. And she also doesn’t condone and celebrate that kind of behavior either.
The obsession with political correctness has prevented us from being able to acknowledge that sexual purity or modesty is in fact a desirable trait in women. A worthy woman is private about her sexuality and shares it only with her boyfriend or husband. It’s time that we put to rest the myth that sexual promiscuity will set us free. There's nothing about sleeping with multiple men that will ever make you feel more cherished, accomplished, or loved.
Unfortunately, the women that need to hear this--the teens and young women that have not yet sullied themselves and ridden the sexual carousel--probably won't be reading this article or ones like it. But I think the corollary advice for young men is getting heard: that they don't have to settle for some alpha male bad-boy's castoffs or settle in to raise the bad-boy's (or bad-boys') kids.
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