Monday, May 31, 2021

A Couple Memorial Day Related Articles for My LDS Readers

    First up is "Saints at War: Evidence of Divine Preservation" by Robert C. Freeman and published at Meridian Magazine. This is a selection of four excerpts from a book of the same name. Each of the stories is about an LDS servicemember who were miraculously preserved from death during wartime.

    The second selection is much the same. The article, "Mortars and Miracles: Faith-Filled Stories of Mormons in the Military" at LDS Living collects stories about a half-dozen or so LDS servicemen and a servicewomen who had experienced some sort of divine intervention in their lives while serving in the military in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. 

Memorial Day

 


The Unknown Soldier

BY MELVIN B. TOLSON

I was a minuteman at Concord Bridge,

I was a frigate-gunner on Lake Erie,

I was a mortarman at Stony Ridge,

I fought at San Juan Hill and Château Thierry,

I braved Corregidor and the Arctic Sea:

The index finger brings democracy.

 

These States bred freedom in and in my bone—

Old as the new testament of Plymouth Bay.

When the Founding Fathers laid the Cornerstone

And rued the thirteen clocks that would not say

The hour on the hour, I nerved myself with them

Under the noose in the hand of the tyrant’s whim.

 

I’ve seen the alien ships of destiny

Plow the sea mountains between the hemispheres.

I’ve seen the Gulf Stream of our history

Littered with derelicts of corsair careers.

I’ve heard the watchman cry, “The bars! The bars!”

When midnight held the funeral of stars.

 

I saw horizontal States grow vertical,

From Plymouth Harbor to the Golden Gate,

Till wedged against skyscapes empyreal

Their glories elbowed the decrees of fate.

These States bred freedom in and in my bone:

I hymn their virtues and their sins atone.

 

The tares and wheat grow in the self-same field,

The rose and thorn companion on the bush,

The gold and gravel cuddle in the yield,

The oil and grit and dirt together gush.

The Gordian knot to be or not to be

Snares not the free.

 

My faith props the tomorrows, for I know

The roots of liberty, tough-fibered, feed

On the blood of tyrants and martyrs; the judas blow

Tortures the branches till they twist and bleed;

And yet no Caesar, vitamined on loot,

Can liberty uproot!

 

I am the Unknown Soldier: I open doors

To the Rights of Man, letters incarnadine.

These shrines of freedom are mine as well as yours;

These ashes of freemen yours as well as mine.

My troubled ghost shall haunt These States, nor cease

Till the global war becomes a global peace.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

(Source)

Most of you know the Parable of the Good Samaritan, but may not remember the exchange that led up to Christ relating this important parable. From Luke, Chapter 10 (KJV):

25 ¶ And, behold, a certain lawyer [i.e., rabbi] stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

The source of the commandment to love one's neighbor is from Leviticus 19:18 which reads (KJV):

18 ¶ Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

"Thy neighbour" is sometimes translated as "your fellow". Strong's indicates that the base word of the phrase is רֵעַ (rea) meaning "friend, companion, fellow." When looking through the remainder of Leviticus 19, it is clear that, at a minimum, the term pertained to those among whom one lived and was not just limited to a "friend." However, the Rabbis sought to limit its application. As he explains in his book, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, Israel Shahak states that the the injunction to love thy neighbor in Leviticus 19 "is understood by classical (and present-day Orthodox) Judaism as an injunction to love one’s fellow Jew, not any fellow human." Thus, the other commandments dealing with friends and neighbors, such as the judging your neighbor in righteousness (Lev. 19:15), or not defrauding or robbing your neighbor (Lev. 19:13), and many others, did not, per the Rabbinical teachings, apply to goyam (gentiles). In short, to the Jews, "neighbor" only included their coreligionists. 

    Jesus' response to the rabbi however was the parable of the good Samaritan:

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

 This parable is quite powerful because the Samaritans were more despised by the Jews than most any other group. As one article explains, the root of the hostility between Jews and Samaritans was in the division of the ancient kingdom of Israel after the death of Solomon into the northern kingdom of Israel comprised of 10 tribes, and the lower kingdom of Judah. 

    Later, after Israel’s fall to the Assyrians, they began to intermarry with the Assyrians, contrary to Deuteronomy 7:3-5. This is why the Jews hated the Samaritans as “dogs,” or “half-breeds.”

    The Samaritans were also a continuous source of difficulty to the Jews who rebuilt Jerusalem after returning from Babylonian captivity (Ezra 4, esp v 10; Nehemiah 4, esp v 2).

    Eventually, the religion of the Samaritans evolved to the point that they held only the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) as being the law of God, rejecting all the books of poetry and prophecy. Furthermore, they claimed their copy of the Pentateuch was the only original copy (a claim still made today by what few Samaritans still survive). Obviously, this was/is a claim rejected by the Jews.

Thus, Christ specifically rejected the notion that "neighbor" only applied to coreligionists, but extended to all people regardless of religion or faith. Moreover, by his question of who among the three travelers was a neighbor to the wounded Jew, he deftly changed the emphasis of רֵעַ (rea) from "fellow" to "friend." That is, to be a neighbor is to be a friend.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Marcus Wynne: "Random Thoughts on Crowds and Attacks"

It has now become trite advice to "avoid crowds." Perhaps so trite that people start to ignore the advice. So perhaps its good to review why and how crowds can be dangerous. In 2016, Marcus Wynne posted to his blog his "Random Thoughts on Crowds and Attacks." He raises a lot of good points about why to avoid crowds (or perhaps the better term might be proto-mobs). But he begins by relating some stories of how quickly large, densely packed crowds can turn to violence. 

    The first was a personal story of his, from an incident that occurred in the 1970s while attending a benefit concert in San Jose CA for Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Union, featuring some pretty good bands. He relates: 

    I was about three bleacher rows away from the first major fight. It was hot, people had been drinking and getting high all day in the sun, and several La Familia security were called over to intervene in an argument between a huge unaffiliated biker and a patch-holder from one of the smaller CA MCs. When it kicked off, it kicked off big.

    I remember watching the fight flow like a ripple in a pond, getting bigger and bigger till it was a tidal wave: first two guys fighting, then four or five, then knives and chain belts (outlaw bikers used to wear the drive chains of bikes for belts as they made handy flails in melee combat along with the obligatory Buck Folding Hunters and fixed blades) and then easily one third of the bleachers that held over 45,000 people erupted into violence. Gun shots, knife fights, fist fights, people screaming…and the crowd and the fight nosing one way and then the next like a gigantic animal.

    Me and my buddy couldn’t fight our way through and down, so we turned and did the opposite – we fought our way up the bleachers, and then climbed over the safety rail and made a precarious descent down the support structure behind and beneath the bleachers, and then climbed a high barbed wire topped fence to escape.

    As I recall there were several hundred hospitalized after the mass riot, and the police couldn’t even get into the stadium.

    I will never forget how fast the violence grew, how fast it turned, and how fast people got ate up in it. I’ve seen similar violence elsewhere since then, but that first impression has never left me.

    So I avoid crowds.

    Next, he brings up an incident from 2013 where a 22-year old Dutch woman working for an NGO went to join in the excitement of the marches in Tahrir Square. Only, at a certain point, the crowd became raucous, and men started grabbing and pinching her butt, pulled her away from her friends, ripped off her clothes and began raping and sodomizing her so violently that she had to undergo emergency surgery. You can read a New York Post article about the incident here or a Sydney Morning Herald article here. Although the articles describes her being raped by 5 men, she stated in a later interview that she had been attacked by a group of at least 50 men, so who knows how many raped her. (The interview is in Dutch, but Google Translate does a good job of translating it). Marcus has linked to a video showing part of the incident which apparently became too popular and so, of course, YouTube took it down. However, I believe that the video below may be the same one:

    As you can see from the video, the crowd was so large and tightly packed that there was no way anyone could come to her assistance, although, per her interview, a man repeatedly to try and pull her to safety, and stayed with her as best as he could. She related that she thinks she would have died but for that man. Even if she had a weapon, I doubt she could have used it effectively in the press of the crowd and it would have been ripped from her hands. And martial arts? What is that going to do with dozens of men grabbing and clutching at her?

    Marcus next relates a similar experience suffered by CBS news correspondent Lara Logan in 2011, also at Tahrir Square in Cairo. Here is a New York Times article about her experience. But you really want to watch or listen to the interview she gave to 60 Minutes about the incident which also has excerpts of the video that her camera crew was shooting when it occurred:

VIDEO: "Lara Logan breaks her silence"--CBS News (14 min.)

While her attackers penetrated her with their fingers and beat her, she was not as seriously injured as the young Dutch woman discussed above. Even though Logan had a larger group, including an Egyptian translator and a guard or colleague that was former Special Forces, they were ultimately pushed away from her and could do nothing.

    Both of these incidents are examples of "Taharrush" "where gangs of men attack, assault, rob and in some cases rape women." We saw more of this during the 2015-2016 New Year's attacks on women in Cologne and other German cities by Muslim refugees. (See also this article).

    But violent crowds or mobs are not just a danger to women. They can be deadly for men as well. For instance, Marcus moves next to the Reginald Denny incident during the 1992 L.A. Riots, who was pulled from his semi-truck by a mob and nearly beaten to death before bystanders intervened. Marcus also has a video from an incident in Northern Ireland where two British soldiers in plain-clothes were essentially pulled from their car and beaten and shot dead by an angry crowd. One of the soldiers had drawn a pistol, but either dropped it or had it knocked from his hands as men closed around him.

    Frankly, a lone person, even with a handgun, is generally not going to be able to defend him or herself from a crowd. For instance, earlier this month (May 2021), Joseph Hall had the misfortune to drive into the middle of a BLM protest in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. His vehicle was boxed in so he couldn't leave, and when he got out to confront the crowd. The article relates what happened next:

    Hall said he stepped out of his pickup and someone snatched the keys from the truck. When he went around to the back of the truck, he said several people in the crowd remained hostile and pointed handguns and rifles at him.

    He said he then pulled his .38-caliber pistol from his pants and headed into the fray.

    “I’m trained in the military to walk towards the threat and fight your way through the threat,” said Hall. He said he served in the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army and has a concealed weapons permit out of Columbia County.

    The videos capture when Hall headed to the back of his truck and confronted the crowd as two men dressed in black point rifles at him. One of the men holding a rifle pushes Hall down as others in the crowd yell, “Get his gun!”

    People then tackled, punched, and kicked him, according to Hall and the videos.

    Hall said his .38-caliber gun popped out of his hand and was stolen. People also stole other guns from his truck, he said. He called 911 and said he was told police were monitoring the situation.

    An ambulance was sent and he was taken to Legacy Emanuel Hospital, where he’s being treated for a dislocated shoulder, broken left clavicle and five broken ribs, he said.

Trying to defend yourself against a crowd or mob is particularly fraught now because the prosecutors in these Democratic strongholds are unwilling to charge protestors, but are more than happy to charge (and over-charge) anyone that tries to protect themselves from the protestors. 

    So, short take: stay away from crowds.

UN Instructions On Disinfecting Water









Thursday, May 27, 2021

From The Headlines: A Couple Reasons Why The Siren Call For Gun Control Should Be Rejected

VIDEO: "Wuhan Coronavirus Lab Leak No Longer a 'Conspiracy Theory'"

 

VIDEO: "Wuhan Coronavirus Lab Leak No Longer a 'Conspiracy Theory'"--China Uncensored (22 min.). A nice review of the various facts that suggest that a lab leak may be a possible source of Covid-19 as well as a look at why Western media portrayed such a possibility to be a conspiracy theory over the past year and a half.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Docent's Memo (5/26/2021)

 

Self-Defense/Firearms:

  • "Puncturing a Castle Defense" by Dr. Geoff Desmoulin, Force Science. The defendant in this case had been living out of his truck, and alleged that he had been attacked by a "friend" while sleeping on a mattress in the bed of his truck. He contended that he forced to stab his friend to death in self-defense and asserted the Castle Defense. Using hi-tech scans of the truck providing specific dimensions of the truck and the mattress, and testing the amount of force needed to inflict the wounds on a test dummy, the investigators were able to conclude that the stabbing did not occur as described, forcing a the defendant to recant his original statement, withdraw his Castle Doctrine defense, and admit to a third degree murder charge.
  • "Heads-Up Comparison: P365 vs. Hellcat vs. MAX-9 vs. M&P9 Shield Plus"--The Truth About Guns. Short take is that all of the pistols worked very well and were very close in size and weight; per the author, the P365 was the best for concealment, but the Shield Plus seemed to shoot the best--more like a compact 9 mm rather than the sub-compact it is. His buddy that was helping him with the testing, however, seemed to like the Hellcat the best.
  • "Ask Josh: How Long Will a Pistol Last?" by Josh Wayner, The Truth About Guns. The author notes:

Many high-volume competitors I know consider the lifespans of a complete gun at about 50,000 rounds, after which they begin to swap out parts, starting with springs. Barrels on handguns pretty much never wear out and a loss of accuracy is usually the result of overall wear and not wear on the barrel itself. A new recoil spring usually solves that for most people.

Remember, we learn through repetition. If you get into the habit of pampering your weapon on the range - hesitating to do something because you’re worried about the equipment getting “dirty” – you’ll do the same thing in a fight. Fighting isn’t pretty, sterile or controlled in any way. The better you replicate this on the range the smoother things go in the fight.
  • "Unconventional Shooting Positions" by Sheriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated. Wilson notes that crooks are going to try and strike at times or in situations disadvantageous to you:
They may wait to make their move until you are sitting down. They may linger until you are walking across the parking lot with your arms full of groceries. Or maybe you dropped your keys and have knelt down to pick them up; that would be a good time for a crook to make his move. Or, they may just attack from an angle and knock you down.

Accordingly, he recommends that you at least dry fire practice from odd positions or while seated at a table. On that point, he states, "One should make special effort to perform a pistol presentation without covering any part of their body during the process to avoid potential injury from a negligent discharge."

  • "Why You Should Always Be Adapting for Everyday Carry" by Tamara Keel, Shooting Illustrated. Similar to my experience, when Keel started carrying regularly in 2003, she looked at the literature on concealed carry and came away with the impression that the ideal carry gun was a .45 ACP Colt 1911 style weapon in an IWB leather holster, which she dutifully started out with. She goes on to discuss how she evaluated and reevaluated what she needed over the years migrating to a polymer framed 9 mm in a Kydex holster. 
    I started carrying regularly a few years earlier than Keel, although I had enjoyed firearms well before that, and quickly went through various small semi-autos in various calibers, a 3-inch .357 revolver, as well as a bevy of holsters, before settling on a lightweight .38 Special snubby carried in an OWB Kydex holster, a pocket holster, or fanny pack, depending on the need and what I was wearing. I would periodically reevaluate, even going so far as to use a Glock 26 for a bit, but other than switching out the factory grip for a Delta grip from Ergo and upgrading the ammo I used a few times as better offering came out, didn't really change things up much and continued using the snubby.
 
    As we started seeing more social unrest in the past several years, I began considering whether I needed something that was quicker to reload and/or with a greater capacity. This was about the time that the single stack 9 mm started hitting the market. I tried a single stack 9 mm and a small pocket sized .380. But about that time, I was able to lay my hands on a Beretta 84 (a DA/SA .380 using a 13-round magazine)--a pistol that I had coveted since I was 14 or 15 years old--and was approached by Craft Holsters about reviewing one of their holsters. I picked a shoulder holster for the Beretta to review and liked the combination so much that I switched over to the Beretta for my primary everyday carry gun (using the same shoulder holster), relegating the snubby revolver to a secondary role when I need something smaller, lighter, or that I can just easily slip into a pocket. 

    My experience, needs, and wants are not the same as yours, so what I did is probably not the best combination for you. And that is really what the article is about--finding out what works best for you. 

  • "How The Beretta BM 59 Upgraded The Classic M1 Garand"--Guns.com. The U.S. Army spent over a decade and tens of millions of dollars to develop the M-14: essentially a .308 version of the M-1 Garand using a detachable box magazine. (While the M-14 ostensibly was a select fire weapon, the reality is that the majority of rifles issued to troops lacked the select fire switch because the weapon was uncontrollable in automatic). The BM 59 was likewise a select-fire, .308 rifle based on the M-1 Garand, also like the M-14 using a detachable box magazine. "But," the article relates, "the Italian BM 59 made it into service in less than half [the time as the M-14]. It also did so with some clever additional features, such as a winter trigger lever and incorporated bipod." And unlike the M-14 which holds the record as the shortest term as a general issue rifle, the BM 59 served in the Italian military until 1990.
VIDEO: "My Thoughts on Countries Who Use Solid Color Uniforms Vs. Camouflage Ones"--Mike B. (13 min.). One thing that seems forgotten in the rush to develop camouflage uniforms is that the primary purpose of a uniform is to distinguish between civilians and combatants and to identify friendly troops from enemy forces. The latter becomes more difficult if soldiers on both sides of a conflict are wearing similar patterns of camouflage.

Prepping/Survivalism:

  • "Highly Pathogenic Bird Flu Outbreak Already Reported in 46 Countries, Scientists Warn"--Science Alert. The article relates that "H5N8, a subtype of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV), was identified decades ago, but during 2020 a series of emerging and ongoing H5N8 outbreaks in avian populations across dozens of countries have led to the death or slaughter of millions of birds worldwide." So far the outbreak is limited to birds, but the article mentions the risk of zoonosis is high with avian flu.
  • "Are You Ready for the EVERYTHING Shortage?"--Organic Prepper. The author, Robert Wheeler, has been warning of impending shortages for months. Now the topic is being picked up in the main-stream media. For instance, he quotes from one such article: 

    A year ago, as the pandemic ravaged country after country and economies shuddered, consumers were the ones panic-buying. Today, on the rebound, its companies are furiously trying to stock up.

    Mattress producers to car manufacturers to aluminum foil makers are buying more material than they need to survive the breakneck speed at which demand for goods is recovering and assuage that primal fear of running out. The frenzy is pushing supply chains to the brink of seizing up. Shortages, transportation bottlenecks, and price spikes are nearing the highest levels in recent memory, raising concern that a supercharged global economy will stoke inflation.

* * *

    Copper, iron ore, and steel. Corn, coffee, wheat, and soybeans. Lumber, semiconductors, plastic, and cardboard for packaging. The world is seemingly low on all of it. “You name it, and we have a shortage on it,” Tom Linebarger, chairman, and chief executive of engine and generator manufacturer Cummins Inc., said on a call this month. Clients are “trying to get everything they can because they see high demand,” Jennifer Rumsey, the Columbus, Indiana-based company’s president, said. “They think it’s going to extend into next year.”

    The difference between the big crunch of 2021 and past supply disruptions is the sheer magnitude of it and the fact that there is — as far as anyone can tell — no clear end in sight. Big or small, few businesses are spared.

A lot more there, so be sure to read the whole thing.

VIDEO: "LASD San Dimas Deputy Sheriff Traffic Stop: Exemplary Work by a Law Enforcement Officer"--Ellie P FitCopMom (3 min.). There are plenty of videos and articles out there about this incident in which a black teacher, Kalunda-Rae Iwamizu Jenkins (aka Kali Kross), berates a Hispanic sheriff's deputy for pulling her over, calling him a murderer repeatedly, and telling him that he will never be accepted as white no matter how hard he tries. However, this is the only video I could find that didn't have Jenkins' face blurred out the whole time. In fact, some videos and articles on the topic even fail to mention that Jenkins is black, leaving viewers or readers with the impression that she might have been white. Jenkins' child was in the car the whole time. 

The Coming Civil War:

    As part of the May 5 lecture at Columbia, students learned how porn takes care of 'three male vulnerabilities.'

    Youngsters were also shown statistics on the 'orgasm gap' showing straight women have fewer orgasms with their partners than gay men or lesbians, and photos of partially-nude women, some of whom were in bondage to analyze 'What is porn and what is art?' 

    Another slide cited various genres of porn, such as 'incest-themed,' consensual or 'vanilla,' 'barely legal,' 'kink' and BDSM. 

    Additionally, the slideshow included a list of the most-searched pornographic terms in 2019, including 'anal,' 'gangbang' and even 'stepmom,' and discussed OnlyFans, where 'content creators' share photos and videos of themselves naked or having sex with subscribers for a monthly fee.

    Kerl acknowledges in his article that the most notorious pornographers in American history — Ruben Sturman and Steven Hirsch — are Jewish. Known respectively as the “Walt Disney of Porn” and the “Donald Trump of porno,” the two have both possessed the title of being the top distributor of pornography in America. Sturman built his porn empire while evading the FBI, and after dying as the stereotypical greedy Jewish mobster in federal prison, he passed the family business onto his son, David. Hirsch is still alive. He owns Vivid Entertainment, the largest porn network in the world today.

    Seth Warshavsky, a Polish-American Jew known for pioneering internet pornography, is called “the public face of online porn.” David F. Friedman founded the Adult Film Association of America. William Margold was a porn director, activist, and director of the Free Speech Coalition, a trade-association for advocating on behalf of the adult film industry. Paul Fishbein, Irv Slifkin, and Barry Rosenblatt own AVN Media, and Mark Spiegler owns Spiegler Girls (Spiegler also allegedly owns the domain for the pedophile website NAMBLA, according to leaks from the now-defunct Porn Wikileaks). More notable Jewish studio owners and adult industry magnates are Seymore Butts, John Stagliano, Phil Harvey, Joe Francis, Winston Wolf, Gary Cremin, Bruce J. Friedman, Cable Rosenberg, Mike Kulich, and Greg Lansky (Mark Collett has a summary here).

    Luke Ford presents another comprehensive list (archive of Ford’s essays can be found here): Ron Braverman, John Bone, Wesley Emerson, Herbert Feinberg, Hank Weinstein, Lenny Friedlander, Bobby Hollander, Rubin Gottesman, Fred Hirsch (Steven Hirsch’s father), Paul Apstein, Steve Orenstein, Jack Richmond, Theodore Rothstein, Ron Sullivan, Jerome Tanner, Armand Weston, and Sam and Mitch Weston. Additionally, Jews were also “most of the leading male performers of the 1970s and ’80s. . . include[ing] Buck Adams, Bobby Astyr, (Bobby Charles) R. Bolla (Robert Kerman), Jerry Butler (Paul Siderman), Seymore Butts (Adam Glasser), Roger Caine (Al Levitsky), David Christopher (Bernie Cohen), Steve Drake, Jesse Eastern, Jamie Gillis (Jamie Gurman), Ron Jeremy (Hyatt), Michael Knight, William Margold, Ashley Moore (Steve Tucker), David Morris, George Payne, Ed Powers (Mark Arnold aka Mark Krinski), Harry Reems (Herbert Streicher), Dave Ruby, Herschel Savage (Harvey Cowen), Carter Stevens (Mal Warub), Marc Stevens, Paul Thomas (Phil Tobias), Marc Wallice (Marc Goldberg), Randy West (Andy Abrams) and Jack Wrangler.”

  • "Folded ballots caused many (but not all) of the tabulator errors in New Hampshire vote"--Behind The Black. Folds in the ballots resulted in as high as a 60% tabulation error rate. But, "[a]nother machine was found to have 'an even more dramatic problem' by the auditors, who said that only 28 percent of the votes for Republican candidates were counted." "The machines were apparently provided by a company called AccuVote, but the 'machines’ intellectual property is owned by Dominion Voting Systems.'" The article notes, however, that the research so far has shown that the errors seem to favor Democrats over Republicans.

    U.S. diplomats unfurled Black Lives Matter banners to commemorate the first anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken launched a public relations campaign to condemn racism at home and abroad.

    “On the anniversary of George Floyd's murder, we remember that to be a credible force for human rights around the world, we must face the reality of racism at home,” Blinken wrote on Twitter, with an accompanying video. “By addressing our shortcomings openly and honestly, we live up to the values that we stand for worldwide.”

    Some embassies posted banners displaying the logo while others promoted a video compilation of remarks from American officials and activists. The public campaign dovetails with a reported memo that gave diplomats “an authorization, not a requirement” to embrace the banners.

And no one was "required" to clap during Stalin's speeches either.  

A source within the Biden State Department wishing to remain anonymous has shared with Human Events News a document that indicates that all U.S. “Diplomatic and Consular posts” are being encouraged to display shows of support for Black Lives Matter on Tuesday, May 25, the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death.  The memo reads in part, “The Department supports the use of the term ‘Black Lives Matter’ in messaging content, speeches, and other diplomatic engagements with foreign audiences to advance racial equity and access to justice on May 25 and beyond (italics added) We encourage posts to focus on the need to eliminate systemic racism and its continued impact.”

Remember, "racial equity" is not equality, but favoring blacks over other persons, especially whites; its result (if not its purpose) is to divide and polarize the United States. 

  • Racial equity in action: "60% of U.S. Colleges Nix Testing Requirement for Admission"--Breitbart. The ACT and SAT tests were the last bastion of meritocracy for gaining admission to universities and colleges. The stated reason for abandoning the tests is that "the tests give an advantage to applicants who are white and wealthier than other potential students because they have access to test preparation." This is a lie. The tests favored admissions for poorer students. Now the emphasis will be on soft factors such as experiences, involvement in student government, sports and activities, that favor the wealthier students over the poorer students that lack the opportunities to partake in those activities and generally must hold jobs, and cannot afford life coaches to help them message their resumes. Oh, and dropping the tests will favor POC.
  • "Critical Race Theory Backers: 'Our Constitution Should Be Burned'" by Bryan Preston, PJ Media. "According to a handful of critical race theory proponents who want the controversial worldview to be taught in schools and dominate our society, reason must be rejected and the United States Constitution should be 'burned.'" Also:

    CRT adherents clearly and openly want to destroy (they use the word “dismantle”) our nation and way of life. They have not said openly what they intend to replace America with.

    If history is any guide, they intend to replace the Constitution with Marxism, and any notion of peaceful life with show trials, struggle sessions, social shunning and imprisonment of all dissenters, and eventually genocide. That may all sound extreme, but it’s no more extreme than casually calling to burn our Constitution, and it’s a logical and proven consequence when hatred based on collective guilt is openly preached and practiced as all three of the CRT practitioners do here and CRT proponents worldwide do as a matter of routine.

    As Rausch notes near the beginning of his video exposing the conversation, “critical race theory is being mainlined into schools, institutions, into corporations.”

  • "A Letter to White Americans"--American Renaissance. The letter is purportedly from a South African woman warning how black control of the country resulted in South Africa falling from being an advanced, first-world country to a crumbling shell of its former self--not unexpected because the same occurred everywhere in Africa as colonial rule was withdrawn, and to cities such as Detroit and areas of the Bronx in New York that fell to black demographics. An excerpt:

    Railway tracks have been stolen all over the country, and there is virtually nothing left of the six miles between Brakpan and Springs, on this line. Rails and ties have disappeared. Overhead power lines have been stolen, supporting poles are bent or broken, security fencing has been carted off in trucks and wheelbarrows. The Springs railway police, responsible for this corridor, doesn’t have a single patrol vehicle. Throughout South Africa, our once world-class railway system is being plundered piece by piece.

    Most of our secondary roads have become like the rest of Africa: potholes, no shoulder, grass growing into the center of the road. There are small forests, with trees as tall as a man growing out of sidewalks and right up to roadsides. Everyone sees the decay, but the ANC doesn’t seem to care. Someone said they see nothing ugly, and they see nothing beautiful. Years ago, I heard a former Transkei official tell a visiting American that “we don’t care if the roads turn to dust, as long as we get rid of the whites.” Their roads turned to dust.

But there is a significant difference. Blacks made up a super-majority of the population in South Africa when control passed to the African National Congress (ANC), whereas blacks are only 13% or so of the population in the U.S. Yes, one is left to wonder why advertisers are pandering to such a small demographic, but the screw always turns and the pendulum always swings back. 

    On March 22, the FBI had raided U.S. Private Vaults. The federal agents were armed with a warrant allowing them to seize property belonging to the company as part of a criminal investigation—and even though the warrant explicitly exempted the safe deposit boxes in the company's vaults, they were taken too. More than 800 were seized.

* * *

    The FBI and federal prosecutors have "no authority to continue holding the possessions of some 800 bystanders who are not alleged to have been involved in whatever USPV may have done wrong," Benjamin Gluck, a California attorney who is representing several of the people caught up in the FBI's raid of U.S. Private Vaults, tells Reason.

    Legal efforts to force the FBI to return the items seized during the March 22 raid have so far been unsuccessful, but at least five lawsuits are pending in federal court.

    A federal grand jury indicted U.S. Private Vaults (USPV) on counts of conspiracy to distribute drugs, launder money, and avoid mandatory deposit reporting requirements.

    In legal filings, federal prosecutors have admitted that "some" of the company's customers were "honest citizens," but contend that "the majority of the box-holders are criminals who used USPV's anonymity to hide their ill-gotten wealth."

    Whatever the original motivation for the raid, the FBI's seizure of hundreds of safe deposit boxes held by U.S. Private Vaults raises serious Fourth and Fifth Amendment issues. In order to have the contents of their boxes returned, federal authorities are asking owners to come forward, identify themselves, and describe their possessions. Some owners may be unwilling to do that—U.S. Private Vaults allowed anonymous rentals of safe-deposit boxes—while others may rightfully object to being subjected to the scrutiny of federal law enforcement when they have done nothing wrong.

 

Note how careful Fauci is to only state that the NIH did not fund research into "this virus".

Covid News:

The virus was not the cause for global catastrophe. It was the response to the virus that crippled the global economy and our society. The disease was not nearly as damaging as the “cure” for the disease.

He continues:

We have firm, indisputable evidence that the Chinese government ran a disinformation operation attached to the virus, which did far more damage to the world in the form of spreading fear and panic across the globe. The Chinese government operation succeeded in shutting down the global economy and striking a devastating blow to China’s adversaries when they decided, based on China’s quack science recommendations, to enforce self-sabotage in the form of lockdowns, curfews, and the like. 

What we saw coming out of China were videos of people collapsing on city streets, bodies piled up in hospital corridors, and reports of how the virus was overwhelming health systems--things not seen to any comparable scale in any other country. I regret that even I fell victim to China's Covid snuff films.

    Essentially, Covid19 has long been shown – to those willing to pay attention – to be an entirely created pandemic narrative built on two key factors:

False-postive tests. The unreliable PCR test can be manipulated into reporting a high number of false-positives by altering the cycle threshold (CT value)
 
Inflated Case-count. The incredibly broad definition of “Covid case”, used all over the world, lists anyone who receives a positive test as a “Covid19 case”, even if they never experienced any symptoms.
 
Without these two policies, there would never have been an appreciable pandemic at all, and now the CDC has enacted two policy changes which means they no longer apply to vaccinated people.

    Firstly, they are lowering their CT value when testing samples from suspected “breakthrough infections”.

    From the CDC’s instructions for state health authorities on handling “possible breakthrough infections” (uploaded to their website in late April):

For cases with a known RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) value, submit only specimens with Ct value ≤28 to CDC for sequencing. (Sequencing is not feasible with higher Ct values.)

Throughout the pandemic, CT values in excess of 35 have been the norm, with labs around the world going into the 40s.

    Essentially labs were running as many cycles as necessary to achieve a positive result, despite experts warning that this was pointless (even Fauci himself said anything over 35 cycles is meaningless).

    But NOW, and only for fully vaccinated people, the CDC will only accept samples achieved from 28 cycles or fewer. That can only be a deliberate decision in order to decrease the number of “breakthrough infections” being officially recorded.

    Secondly, asymptomatic or mild infections will no longer be recorded as “covid cases”.

    That’s right. Even if a sample collected at the low CT value of 28 can be sequenced into the virus alleged to cause Covid19, the CDC will no longer be keeping records of breakthrough infections that don’t result in hospitalisation or death.

    From their website:

As of May 1, 2021, CDC transitioned from monitoring all reported vaccine breakthrough cases to focus on identifying and investigating only hospitalized or fatal cases due to any cause. This shift will help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance. Previous case counts, which were last updated on April 26, 2021, are available for reference only and will not be updated moving forward.

Just like that, being asymptomatic – or having only minor symptoms – will no longer count as a “Covid case” but only if you’ve been vaccinated.
  • "They lied to us"--Vox Popoli. Day quotes the following from an article by Karl Denninger:
    The CDC paraded around their charts telling us repeatedly that people were dropping dead at a ridiculous rate and so did the media.  You know, people were dying but otherwise wouldn't have?  This was the entire reason that politicians, businesses, schools and others gave us for all these "measures"; we had to do it because people were going to and did die at a wildly-excessive rate.  This was an awful pandemic, remember -- the worst since 1918, dwarfing all recent experience.

    What if I told you that was all a lie?

    Fact: It was a lie.

    2020 was not the worst excess death year since the 1918 pandemic.

    It was second.

    The worst year in recent memory was.... wait for it...... 2017.

    That's right -- all of the screaming, the lockdowns, masks, development of stabs, all of it: We did it and are still doing it for, what we now know, was a complete and total load of bull****.

Read the whole thing. 

Miscellany:

    More than seven months after the official launch of the Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT, nearly half of female soldiers are still falling short, with enlisted women struggling the most, Military.com has learned. The data again raises questions about whether the Army's attempt to create a fitter force is creating more barriers to success for women.

    Internal Army figures from April show 44% of women failed the ACFT, compared to 7% of men since Oct. 1. "Female soldiers continue to lag male soldier scores in all events," according to a United States Army Forces Command briefing obtained by Military.com.

While I would normally be worried about this, even the Chinese admit that their troops are wimps, sissies and little emperors.  See also here and here. More generally, for discussion of the psychological effects of the one-child policy, see "One-child policy: China's army of little emperors" at The Independent.

The NFL has a $1 billion compensation program for players who sustain brain injuries while competing in the league, however, the NFL also has a secret algorithm it uses to determine the level of dispensation awarded to each injured athlete, and argues in court that it is correct to take into consideration what it maintains is the lower average “cognitive skills” of black players compared to other races.
  • "Charles De Gaulle: The Oddity"--The Social Pathologist. Not a long piece, but interesting in showing the moral bankruptcy of the French government at the time the Nazis invaded. De Gaulle was one of the few competent generals, and had fled to England after the invasion with the intention of continuing to fight. But he expected to be fighting under the direction of a political leader. None of the French political leaders he contacted had any interest. "Realising he was on his own he made the decisive choice: 'It was up to me to take responsibility for France.'"
  • "Why Are There So Many Mormon Writers?"--Larry Correia, Monster Hunter Nation. From the article:
    Compared to most groups, Mormons like to read a lot. That’s the biggest one. Across the board groups with more readers create more writers. As a culture, we read and promote reading. Where I came from reading was for pussies and a great way to get your ass kicked. I grew up rural poor, immigrant Catholic farmer community in the California sticks, and it is totally different than how my kids have grown up Mormon in Utah. Reading isn’t shunned here as uncool. Even a lot of the jocks are nerds.

* * *

    Next, there are a bunch of surveys that show that Utah is the “geekiest” state. I believe it. All that reading leads to genre fiction and an appreciation for nerdy stuff. Whether it is super heroes, or Lord of the Rings, or anime, or video games, or Magic the Gathering, there’s a big bunch of people who love that thing in Utah.  

* * *

    Besides being nerdy and well read, Mormons tend to be better educated and more financially successful than average (contrary to the stereotypes of our enlightened coastal elites) and I’ve talked about before how one of the things that lead to groups producing writers is them having enough leisure time and resources to be able to spend time learning to write without being in danger of getting evicted/starving. 

    ... culturally most Mormons still believe in hard work and putting in effort. I know that’s an old fashioned idea now in our glorious age of just expecting the government to do everything for us (a practice which will obviously have no downsides or long term negative repercussions for society!)

    But working hard is a huge part of making it as a writer. Lots of people want to write a book, but they don’t want to do that pesky sit in a chair typing for six months to create the book part.  Anybody who thinks this job is easy is a sucker. It’s physically easy (says the guy who grew up milking cows) but it is mentally taxing and requires good time management skills. 

    I guess this question could have been “why are Mormons so disproportionately represented at NASA?” and you’d get similar answers. 

    Also contrary to dumbass stereotypes, Mormons are pretty open minded. Yeah, spare me the bullshit comments from people who hate all religion or just mine in particular. You can’t send all your young adults to live for two years all over the Earth, embedded in nearly every culture, and have them all come home  and be a bunch of hicks like the media portrays us.

    On that note, don’t get me started. There’s as many of us as there are Jews in the world, yet the media portrays us as a bunch of friggin’ morons chewing on our straw hats while our women wear their floral butter churning dresses, as if we magically froze in the mid 1800s and haven’t changed since.  But that’s because Hollywood is a bunch of lazy elitist assholes. 

    Utah is the most bilingual by non-immigrants state with the widest variety of spoken languages in America. I can walk into a random ward in rural Utah and ask if somebody there speaks Tagalog and have a really good chance of success. When your immediate family has lived in Brazil, France, India, South Africa, and (best of all) Alabama, it’s amusing to be told by people who’ve never left a 15 block radius of Manhattan about how we’re so amusingly provincial, with our weird accent on quaint concepts like “family” or “work effort”.

* * *

    Now, past the philosophical, let’s get to the practical nuts and bolts logistical reasons.

    Somebody brought up BYU. Yes, and no. BYU itself sucks when it comes to treating genre fiction with any respect just like most other universities. Their English department has a bunch of snoots to rival any other snooty university. [Ed: BYU's English department was converged by feminists by 1990-91] However, long ago they hired a guy named Dave Wolverton (pen named Dave Farland, who wrote stuff like Runelords and Star Wars for example) who ran one of the most successful creative writing classes in American history.

    Dave had several hundred students become published authors over the decades he taught this class. He’s also had a ton of those become bestsellers. It is because Dave was a working writer who kept the class about realistic business practices instead of the usual artsy navel gazing most English departments love. (but what do the blue curtains mean?!?) 

    Then there is LTUE, which began at BYU (no matter how much that annoyed BYU) created by sci-fi fantasy lover, David Brian Doering. LTUE was a pure writing conference, by writers, for writers, and it was CHEAP. So that regular people who work for a living could attend it. Bang for the buck, LTUE smokes every other writing event out there.
 
A lot more, so check it out.

The Collapse of Evergrande?

Last Tuesday I wrote about the developing crisis around the Chinese real estate development and investment firm, Evergrande , and the risk i...