Monday, August 30, 2021

Latest From Active Response Training

Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training Weekend Knowledge Dump from this past Friday has a lot of good articles. A few that caught my eye:

  • A look at leather holsters for concealed carry. The article focuses on the key to a good leather holster for IWB carry which is a reinforced mouth so the holster will not collapse, and mentions a few such holsters made by a few well-known American holster companies.
  • An article taking a look at chemical precursors used in IED manufacture and ways to limit access to necessary materials.
  • An article discussing children and guns and whether it is better to lock up weapons or leave them available for use. The author concludes that based on a risk assessment point of view, it is better to keep the guns locked up simply because there is a greater risk of a child playing with a gun than someone forcing their way into the home. 

    From my point of view and experience, both from my own childhood and as a parent, the issue is actually more nuanced than is typically presented in gun magazines and blogs.

    My father not only didn't leave his guns locked up (the long guns were propped up in a corner of my parents' bedroom and closet) he kept loaded handguns in his dresser drawers. There was never an issue with us kids because he had taught us about firearm safety, allowed us to familiarize ourselves with the firearms, showed us what they could do, and had firm rules. The only problem that ever cropped up was from a babysitter that let a boyfriend into the house, and the boyfriend discharged one of the handguns into the ceiling. The result of that was no more babysitters.

    I've been a little more circumspect about safekeeping my firearms and keeping them empty and locked up, especially when my kids were younger. But like my father, I've taken my children shooting, let them touch and handle firearms even from a young age so as to satisfy their curiosity about the firearms, taught them gun safety from a young age (i.e., starting about two or three years old--mostly about never pointing it at someone), established rules, etc., and also never had an issue.

    It is my belief that if the children have been raised knowing how to handle and use firearms and do not suffer from mental disorders, the primary concern will be from someone outside the home finding and mishandling the firearms: friends, neighbors, babysitters and their boyfriends, and others visiting the home. Frankly, and I've researched this, a swimming pool is vastly more dangerous than a firearm kept in the home. How many of you with swimming pools make sure that they are locked up so your kids cannot use the pool while you are gone?

    There are also other steps to mitigating the risk of a child getting hold of a firearm. One thing I discovered by experimentation is that most younger children (e.g., 8 or younger) simply don't have the strength to rack the slide on a pistol but have more than sufficient strength to cock the hammer on a revolver or pistol. So, while not a great solution, a semi-auto pistol that has nothing chambered can in most cases be safely used as a nightstand weapon. Similarly, I found that my kids at that age could work the slide on shotgun, but couldn't work the cocking handle on most semi-auto rifles. (Many older children and smaller adults, for that matter, aren't strong enough to work the cocking handle on CETME and HK91 style weapons). 

  • For those of you involved in HEMA or interested in using swords and such, Greg linked to an article about sword wounds. The article should also be of interest to anyone that is a student of the World War I. One of the debates concerning World War I was how often bayonets were used and how effective they were. The primary data used on this point is the percentage of wounded admitted to field hospitals with bayonet wounds, which was a pretty low number--less than 5% if I remember correctly. Most scholars have taken this to indicate that the bayonet was only rarely used in battle. On the other hand, I remember reading from a man that was a general in WWI who explained the low number by asserting that men were more likely to die of a bayonet wound than a rifle or shell wound, so never even made it to the field hospital. In the article on sword wounding, the doctor that authored it related something similar with wounds from sword thrusts that were generally fatal when made to the torso and untreatable. This suggests to me that the WWI general has the right of it.
  • A comparison of the Streamlight TL-Racker and SureFire DSF shotgun lights (the lights are integrated into the pump handle).
  • An article looking at proportional response in a self-defense scenario. Basically, that means that you generally can't respond to non-lethal force with lethal force.
  • And an article with tips on running a defensive lever action carbine or rifle.

VIDEO: Sorcery In The Last Days

 

    Some of you may know that certain of the words translated as witch or sorcery in the New Testament are derived from Greek words having to do with poisons and drugs. The narrator of this video dives into this topic in greater detail and suggests that drug use (both illicit and medicinal) may underlie much of the sinfulness of the Last Days.

    The author of the video is LDS ("Mormon") and does refer to a few scripture verses unique to the LDS faith, but the majority of scriptural verses he focuses on are from the New and Old Testaments of the Bible. It is also notable that the author warns viewers to not take his video as asserting anything concerning the current Covid vaccinations--an indication to how badly the LDS Church membership is split over Covid vaccinations, masking, etc.

Friday, August 27, 2021

NPR's Propaganda Concerning The Census And Decline In Whites

NPR has an article, "This Is How The White Population Is Actually Changing Based On New Census Data," that helpfully explains that "[s]ome news coverage of the latest 2020 census results may have led you to think the white population in the U.S. is shrinking or in decline," but "[t]he actual story about the country's biggest racial group is more complicated than that." 

    The reason it is "complicated" is because "[m]any people tracking far-right, white racial extremism have been concerned that misleading headlines about the new census data showing a 'declining' white population in the U.S. could generate propaganda."

A narrative of a shrinking white population, Richeson and other researchers have found, tends to foster angst among white people about the future of their political representation and whether their "fortunes might be in jeopardy."

     So what is the problem? According to the article:

Some data crunchers have used historic terms to describe the 2.6% drop [ed: meaning that the number of whites declined by -5,120,000 people versus the 2010 Census] in what the bureau has called the "non-Hispanic white alone" population (that is, people who checked off only the "White" box and did not identify as Hispanic or Latino) — the supposed "first" time this group has not grown in the more than two centuries since the country's original count.

But, the author points out, the way the Census counts whites have changed over time, so you can't compare, for instance, the 2020 results versus the 2010. "Aha!" you think to yourself, "the 2010 Census must have overcounted whites relative to the 2020 Census and that is why the decline." No! 

There could be "unexpected differences," the bureau has said, that may not necessarily be just the result of demographic shifts. Some of the bureau's changes for the 2020 census may have increased the number of people recorded as identifying with the "White" category and at least one of the other racial categories. Last year's census, like the 2010 count, may have also overcounted the "non-Hispanic white alone" population.

So, according to the author's logic, even with the Census overcounting the non-Hispanic white alone category, the number of people identifying as that category declined, but that means that the number of non-Hispanic whites is stable or increasing!

    The author needs a slap on the side of the head. What it means is that even with over-counting whites, the number has declined. It is even greater when counting all whites, both Hispanic and non-Hispanic, which saw a total drop in population of -19,276,000 (or 8.6%).

Hurricane Ida May Be Category 3 or 4 When It Strikes Gulf Coast

Hurricane Ida Storm Track

    The Associated Press is reporting that "Ida aims to hit New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina anniversary." Per the article:

    Hurricane Ida struck Cuba on Friday and threatened to slam into Louisiana with far greater force over the weekend, prompting New Orleans’ mayor to order everyone outside the protection of the city’s levees to evacuate.

    Intensifying rapidly Friday from a tropical storm to a hurricane with top winds of 80 mph (128 kph) as it crossed western Cuba, Ida was forecast to strengthen into a powerful Category 3 hurricane before making landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast late Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said. [Ed.: others are predicting it will be a Category 4 storm when it hits the coast]

    A hurricane warning was issued for most of the Louisiana coast from Intracoastal City to the mouth of the Pearl River. A tropical storm warning was extended to the Mississippi-Alabama line.

    Residents along Louisiana’s coast braced for Ida to bring destructive wind and rain on the exact date Hurricane Katrina devastated a large swath of the Gulf Coast exactly 16 years earlier. ...

Also:

    New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered the evacuation of everyone living outside the levee system that protects the area from flooding. She did not say how many people lived there, but urged residents with medical conditions and other special needs to get out early.

    Officials warned they plan to close floodgates Saturday afternoon on two highways near New Orleans, increasing the sense of urgency for those planning to flee.

    “Now is the time,” Cantrell said.

    Officials decided against evacuating New Orleans hospitals. There’s little room for their patients elsewhere, with hospitals from Texas to Florida already reeling from a spike in coronavirus patients, said Dr. Jennifer Avengo, the city’s health director..

    The White House said President Joe Biden and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell would discuss hurricane preparations Friday in a conference call with the governors of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said FEMA plans to send nearly 150 medical personnel and almost 50 ambulances to the Gulf Coast to assist strained hospitals.

 This sounds like another mess in the making.

    Meanwhile, Reuters reports that "U.S. oil and gas companies on Friday raced to complete evacuations from offshore Gulf of Mexico platforms as Tropical Storm Ida advanced toward oilfields that provide 17% of the nation's oil production." The article continues: "Oil companies had shut 59% of their Gulf oil production and 49% of natural gas output as of Friday, according to the U.S. offshore regulator. A total of 90 offshore facilities were evacuated and 11 drilling vessels moved out of harm's way." Finally, the article also mentions that Over 45% of U.S. refining capacity lies along the Gulf Coast. In other words, Reuters is telling us to expect gas prices to spike above the high prices we currently suffer due to Biden's policies.

    NOAA has issued an advisory including the following:

    A Storm Surge Warning has been issued from east of Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana, to the Mississippi/Alabama border including Vermilion Bay, Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas.

    A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the coast of Louisiana from Intracoastal City to the Mouth of the Pearl River, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans.

    A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the northern Gulf coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border. A Tropical Storm Warning has also been issued for the coast of Louisiana from west of Intracoastal City to Cameron.

The storm surge, according to a Wall Street Journal article, is expected to be 11 feet.

Heh: CDC Announcement On Immunity For Vaccine

 

Source: Raconteur Report

Thursday, August 26, 2021

E-Book: "Dick's Encyclopedia Of Practical Receipts And Processes"

  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.

    Today's selection is Dick's Encyclopedia Of Practical Receipts And Processes Or How They Did It In The 1870's. In contains instructions on general chemical manipulation as well as the processes for making everything from beer and wine, to medicinal preparations, stains and varnishes, and oils and lubricants, and a lot more.

    The book is in PDF format, but you may find the following programs useful to view it 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.

DisclaimerI'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. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Docent's Memo (8/25/2021)

 
VIDEO: "M1 Carbine versus SKS: Milsurp Showdown"--Lucky Gunner (21 min.)
This video is not a comparison of their merits as a combat weapon--although he does go over the history of both--but rather a look at which one a collector or shooter might prefer. But, as he notes, the SKS is some 3 lbs. more than the M1 Carbine which merely underscores what I've said before which is that the SKS is too heavy for the cartridge it uses.

Firearms/Shooting/Self-Defense:

  • "INSPIRED: Rifle Types for Regular Guys" by Frank Woods, Mag Life. Although we often are drowning and nomenclature and abbreviations for firearms, proper use of nomenclature can aid in clarity of thinking and planning. In this case, the author has attempted to define certain classes of popular defensive and sporting rifles (all based on the AR platform) to not only assist in distinguishing one class from another, but to also help clarify what are appropriate roles for certain classes of weapon. The author explains what and why he has made his classifications, as well as how specific characteristics or accessories could change as technology improves, but I will limit myself to just laying out his general classification scheme. 

    First, he has four classification of AR-15 style rifles primarily distinguished by barrel length and optic. He assumes that they are 5.56 caliber, although this get a little fuzzy with his last category. He settled on their all being AR-15 style for commonality of magazines, ammunition and manual of arms.  They are:

    1. The Special Purpose Rifle (SPR): As he explains, it is a weapon that is "[a]ccurized for distanced precision fire at max effective range, in exchange for maneuverability" but "[r]etains commonality/standardization at the squad level." This is essentially a weapon using a longer, free-floated barrel (more than 16-inches) and an optic (an LPVO, an HPVO, or a Combat Optic) to maximize velocity and accuracy at long range.
    2. The General Purpose Rifle (GPR), which typically has a barrel of 12 to 16 inches and an optic (e.g. a combat optic or LPVO) that allows the weapon to be a bit of a jack of all trades: more maneuverable than the longer, heavier SPR, but not quite having the umph at longer ranges.
    3. The Close Quarter Rifle (CQR) with a barrel of 10.3 to 11.5 inches and using a red dot sight, LPVO or combat optic which is optimized for use in, you guessed it, close quarter battle (CQB). More maneuverable than the GPR, it nevertheless lacks the muzzle velocity to be used at longer ranges. 
    4. The Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) using a barrel of less than 10.3 inches and, possibly, in .300 BLK. It's optic will be similar to that of the CQR. This weapon's primary purpose is concealment (or, at least, low visibility).

The author next discusses the .308 weapon systems (although 6.5 Creedmore would also be acceptable). These are:

    1. The Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS). As the name implies, these are rifles with longer (18-22 inch), heavier barrels to maximize range and accuracy coupled with a high power scope  (with a maximum power of 10x or more) and other features suitable to the sniper role such as a fixed stock and bipods. They are not maneuverable enough for many combat tasks, but are intended for an over-watch role.
    2. The Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS). Of this classification, the author says: "Same exact job as a SASS, but shorter on both ends." So, barrels of 14.5 to 16 inches, same HPVO scope, but with a collapsible stock. In fact, it is basically the same as the DMR (below) but with an HPVO scope instead of the LPVO.
    3. Next is the Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) sporting a shorter barrel (of 14.5 to 16 inches) and an LPVO capable of at least 6x. "The point is basically to do the same job as the SPR in the hands of the squad’s Designated Marksman, with a large frame AR-308 weapon," the author explains.
    4. The Battle Rifle (BR), which is your .308 version of the general purpose rifle featuring barrels 12.5 - 20 inches in length and employing iron sights, an LPVO or a combat optic of approximately 4x. This would include not just AR-10 style rifles, but could include such venerable arms as the FAL, M-1A, CETME/G-3. 

This is a good article and I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

    The BolaWrap shoots a 7-foot-6-inch tether at a person with a bang, just like a gun. That's because it uses gunpowder, earning it a designation as a firearm by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Kevlar tether then wraps around the target's legs or arms and small metal fishhooks at the ends of the tether are designed to grab clothing to keep it in place.

    The tether shoots out of the handheld device at a speed of 350 mph and can travel up to 25 feet, according to the company.

Under new State Department sanctions, there will be no Russian ammo or firearms coming into the US beginning on September 7th of this year. The Department of State published a fact sheet today regarding new sanctions imposed on Russia. The relevant text of the sanctions includes:

Restrictions on the permanent imports of certain Russian firearms. New and pending permit applications for the permanent importation of firearms and ammunition manufactured or located in Russia will be subject to a policy of denial.

  • Those of you interested in military reenactment or collecting war memorabilia may find these two articles interesting: "Load Carriage: WWI to the GWOT" (Part 1) (Part 2). The author does not attempt to cover every type of load carriage or set up, but just what was considered standard per manuals or regulation. He includes lots of photographs.
  • "L1A1 7.62mm Rifle vs. CETME Modelo C Rifle"--Firearms News. The author compares the performance and ergonomics on both these rifles, giving the nod to the L1A1 (the British version of the FAL). The two main criticism he had of the CETME was that it had a worse trigger than the FAL and it was more awkward to remove the magazine. But, I would note, his test model did not come with the paddle mag release which is far superior to the FAL. I'm confident that if he'd had the paddle mag release he would have called it a draw.


VIDEO: "My revenge with Olight flashlights 👎 🚮🚫 - I don't want to support that"--Wild Woman Bushcraft (21 min.). This vlogger starts out with complaints about various Olight products she has received for review that have ceased functioning after a while, but then moves on to how Olight (and other companies) essentially buy good reviews either by providing free products and/or (if you have enough of an audience) paying an influencer to provide a good review. 

Prepping/Survival:

  • "Combat Grade Flip Flops?"--Guns America Blog. The author relates that part of taking care of your feet includes allowing them to air out and dry after they become wet. This is where a good pair of sandals come in. And the one's that the author recommends are the Teva Hurricane XLT2. I remember back when Teva sandals became popular and I purchased a pair and loved them. Several years later (ok, probably more like 10) they wore out and I purchased another pair of Teva. But the quality had declined remarkably and, with very little use, those sandals fell apart. I though it was a fluke, but a replacement pair also fell apart. I changed to Keen and never looked back. 
  • "Start a Self-Sufficiency Garden Even in a Cramped Apartment"--Backwoodsman Magazine. First of all, I would warn you to not delude yourself: you will never even come close to being self-sufficient with what you can grow on a patio deck or in pots around your apartment. But you can grow plants or small trees that will provide you with some fresh produce to supplement your diet or that you can trade or sell. The author writes:

    You dream of growing your own fresh, pesticide-free, organic vegetables. So do it. Go dumpster diving and trash mongering and collect all the free containers you can find that will hold soil and that you can poke a few holes into. Wash and disinfect the containers thoroughly. Then get some potting soil suitable for veggies.

    Make your own compost to add to your potting soil in a dark corner (or under the sink) by putting shredded newspaper, kitchen wastes (not meat or grease), and coffee grounds in a large container and adding a few earthworms (which you can either buy or collect for free after a rain at the nearby park). Maybe you can get some leaves and grass for your compost bin at the park too. Keep the composting materials moistened.

    While you are waiting for your earthworms to make the fertilizer, you can order your seeds. Here, I can give you another shortcut. Since I’m stuck in an in-town situation myself at the moment, I’ve already done the research to find which vegetables are best for small space and container gardening, and where to get them. Here are a few recommendations to get you started. (Keep in mind that this list is by no means all-inclusive. It is only meant as a suggestion.):

  • Small miracle broccoli, from Park Seed are little beauties that can be planted as close as eight inches apart so you can fit many in a small space. Broccoli is a heavy feeder so compost well and maybe add a sprinkling of blood meal as a side dressing once or twice during the season.
  • Early sunglo corn is also from Park Seed. This corn grows on small stalks so they can be planted close together. Enrich your soil with lots of compost and a sprinkling of bone meal and blood meal. You should then be able to plant the seeds about four to six-inches apart each way. Keep the soil moist, but not soaked. The ears will be small but tasty.
  • Dynamo mini cabbage, from Johnny’s Selected Seeds can also be planted close together like the broccoli. The same planting instructions apply.
  • Kinko mini carrots, from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, grow only four-inches long but you will need a pot at least six-inches or more deep. If you don’t have a pot that deep, Bountiful Gardens offers Parisian rondo heirloom which is a little, round, bite-sized carrot which doesn’t need much space at all. You can plant your carrots two- to three-inches apart each way.
  • Superb super bush container tomatoes, from Shepherd’s Garden Seeds, promise to yield abundantly on 2½- to 3-foot space-saving plants. They also boast “firm, juicy fruit with a full tomatoey flavor.”
  • Park’s creamy hybrid yellow squash are a straight-necked squash which grows on 18-inch plants. Park Seed also has green magic II zucchini which grows on an 18-inch compact plant as well.
  • Sweet pickle peppers, from Park Seed, are the ones to try for an abundance of sweet salad peppers, although most any pepper can be grown in a pot.
  • Little gem lettuce, from Park Seed, or little diamond gem lettuce, from The Cook’s Garden, both produce lovely, tiny, sweet, space-saving heads. Each head makes an individual salad.
  • Pole (green or yellow) beans of any kind can be grown in a tub. Just make a bean tepee using three or four bamboo poles sunk into the outer edge of the soil in your bean tub. Tie the poles together at the top. Plant four bean seeds around each pole. Emerite, from Cook’s Garden is an “incredibly productive and easy to grow” green, stringless pole bean which should suit your purpose well.
  • Pronto baby beets, from The Cook’s Garden is a good beet choice for container growing, because they are small. So, you can fit a lot into a small space. They are also reported to be sugar sweet and are said to retain their tenderness as they mature.
  • The Cook’s Garden is also famous for their lettuce mixtures. They offer cutting mix lettuces, fall mix lettuces, and winter mix lettuces. Plus they offer Cook’s tangy mesclun mix and Cook’s mild mesclun mix. Wouldn’t Peter Rabbit be in seventh heaven?
  • Most types of radishes and scallions (little green onions) can be grown in pots.

And don't forget the tomatoes!

  • "Best SHTF Watch for Preparedness – EMP Proof"--Modern Survival Blog. The author is talking about watches that use a mechanical movement. It doesn't have to be a Rolex, though. Seiko makes relatively inexpensive mechanical/automatic watches. The author also lists some reasons why you would want a timepiece after SHTF:
– Coordinate a time when to meet (for whatever reason). “After 90 minutes, let’s meet back here”. Accurate meet-up time.

– Use as a compass. Point the hour hand in the direction of the sun. Halfway between 12 and the hour hand (in the smallest angle) will indicate which way is south (in the northern hemisphere).

– Tactical & Security – coordination. (e.g. knowing when your night shift is up.)

– Night time. It’s difficult to perceive the time during the night.

– Medical: Timing one’s pulse. Or, take medication every 6 hours.

– Kitchen (timing anything) Baking, cooking. Boil an egg for three minutes?

– You wake up in the middle of the night and wonder, how long until sunrise – just check your watch.

– Estimate speed: If you hiked 6 miles and it took two hours on your wrist watch, you were traveling 3 miles per hour.

– Home canning; time required for canning recipes (important regarding food safety!)

– Meetings: it might be difficult to round up half a dozen people for a meeting without everyone carrying a watch (lets meet at “such and such” time… Or perhaps several people are asked to give a hand with a task and having everyone arrive within a couple of hours just won’t work.

– How long does each person take to walk a perimeter?

– Communication: You are supposed to communicate on a ham radio at 8:00 pm. Sorry, I missed your call!

The author had considered solar powered watches--which would be less apt to lose or gain time inasmuch as they use a quartz movement--but decided that the risk of their failing in an EMP event was too great. I don't think that they are big enough for a sufficient current to be induced by an EMP event, but that is just my supposition based on the results of testing by the EMP commission which suggested that household electrical devices not plugged in at the time of an EMP event would probably not be destroyed.
  • "China: Bubonic plague case reported in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region"--Outbreak News (h/t KA9OFF). Not much information here other than that the Health Commission of Ningxia has reported a confirmed bubonic plague case in a 55-year old man from North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Per the article, "Related areas and organizations have initiated emergency protocols in accordance with laws and regulations, conducted strict classification and prevention and control measures on related areas and personnel." Don't know what this means. It could be the burning of villages to kill any and all transmission vectors such as lice and rodents, such as the Russians would do, or something less drastic.
  • "Palantir Buys Over $50 Million Of Gold Bars: 'Preparing For A Future With More Black Swans'"--Nation & State. Palantir describes itself as: "We build software that empowers organizations to effectively integrate their data, decisions, and operations."


VIDEO: "Why You Should Be Worried About China's Debt Crisis"--Economics Explained (18 min.)
For years--more than a decade now--various experts and pundits have made arguments about why China's economy is inherently unstable and risks a major, shall we say, correction. The fact that China keeps kicking the can down the road does not mean that a correction will not occur. As this video explains, a lot of the problem is tied up with China's overpriced real estate market and that much of China's population is involved in real estate speculation because they expect China's economy to continue to expand. It won't. Even the CCP's current push to redistribute wealth from the wealthy to the workers can only delay the inevitable for a short time. And when the house of cards comes tumbling down, the CCP will be blaming foreign powers for the consequences. 


The War Against US:
    Australia's New South Wales has gone stark, raving mad.  Eleven days ago, it renewed complete lockdowns, including barring people from speaking to each other, thanks to a few hundred new cases and the deaths of two men in their 90s.  These new cases were on top of the 12,588 cases and 91 deaths since last February, out of a population of 5.3 million — in other words, numbers that aren't even a statistical blip.

    That, it turns out, was the beginning.  The state shepherded tens of thousands of children into arenas and injected them with vaccines, it's arresting people for leaving their homes, and it's shooting dogs.  No wonder Australians are starting to riot.

    On August 12, I wrote about the decision in New South Wales (which is the most populous state and home to Sydney, Australia's largest city) to reinstate lockdowns.  For a disease with a >98% survival rate, people were told they could leave their homes only to get food, go to work, or get medical treatment.  Even worse, aside from telling people to refrain from all social interactions, the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, told people to inform on each other, a classic totalitarian move that destroys familial and social bonds.

    Meanwhile, Canberra, Australia's capital city, has announced that there's a goal for the lockdown: it will continue until the virus is gone.  Of course, viruses are never gone, especially viruses that have been manufactured in a lab to go directly to a human host, without the necessity of an intervening animal.  Even if Canberra temporarily gets to zero cases, the moment people from the outside world enter (and they will), COVID comes right back again.

    Believe it or not, it got worse after that.

Read the whole thing. 

As Australians take to the streets to protest the country's lockdown measures - most recently clashing with police over the weekend, Aussie truck drivers are planning to shut down every major highway across the country and have advised people to 'stock up on groceries.'
The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

But you knew there had to be a catch somewhere: "FDA Ignores New UK Study Showing Pfizer Vaccine Destroys T Cells, Weakens the Immune System."

    The Francis Crick Institute, in collaboration with the British National Institute for Health Research, released a study that showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine produced fewer neutralizing antibodies against COVID-19’s variants. (Related: Spanish study finds Pfizer vaccine contains high levels of TOXIC graphene oxide.)

    The scientists analyzed the antibodies from the blood of 250 healthy adults who have received either one or two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine up to three months after their first dose.

    The researchers used a test specially developed by the Francis Crick Institute to figure out the ability of the neutralizing antibodies to prevent the entry of the COVID-19 variants.

    It found that only 50 percent of the people who received a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine had a quantifiable neutralizing antibody response against the alpha variant of COVID-19. This number decreased even further to just 32 percent and 25 percent for the delta and beta variants, respectively.

    The situation gets worse for older individuals who have weaker immune systems. The researchers found that older vaccine recipients generated even fewer antibodies. Coupled with the vaccine’s ability to destroy T cells and weaken the immune system even further, getting vaccinated could spell disaster for many people.

    The United States has been dominant in the mathematical sciences since the mass exodus of European scientists in the 1930s. Because mathematics is the basis of science—as well as virtually all major technological advances, including scientific computing, climate modelling, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and robotics—US leadership in math has supplied our country with an enormous strategic advantage. But for various reasons, three of which we set out below, the United States is now at risk of losing that dominant position.

    First, and most obvious, is the deplorable state of our K-12 math education system. Far too few American public-school children are prepared for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This leaves us increasingly dependent on a constant inflow of foreign talent, especially from mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, and India. In a 2015 survey conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools and the Graduate Record Examinations Board, about 55 percent of all participating graduate students in mathematics, computer sciences, and engineering at US schools were found to be foreign nationals. In 2017, the National Foundation for American Policy estimated that international students accounted for 81 percent of full-time graduate students in electrical engineering at U.S. universities; and 79 percent of full-time graduate students in computer science.

    That report also concluded that many programs in these fields couldn’t even be maintained without international students. In our field, mathematics, we find that at most top departments in the United States, at least two-thirds of the faculty are foreign born. (And even among those faculty born in the United States, a large portion are first-generation Americans.) Similar patterns may be observed in other STEM disciplines.

    The second reason for concern is that the nationwide effort to reduce racial disparities, however well-intentioned, has had the unfortunate effect of weakening the connection between merit and scholastic admission. It also has served (sometimes indirectly) to discriminate against certain groups—mainly Asian Americans. The social-justice rhetoric used to justify these diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs is often completely at odds with the reality one observes on campuses. The concept of fighting “white supremacy,” in particular, doesn’t apply to the math field, since American-born scholars of all races now collectively represent a small (and diminishing) minority of the country’s academic STEM specialists.

    Third, other countries are now competing aggressively with the United States to recruit top talent, using the same policies that worked well for us in the past. Most notably, China, America’s main economic and strategic competitor, is in the midst of an extraordinary, mostly successful, effort to improve its universities and research institutions. As a result, it is now able to retain some of the best Chinese scientists and engineers, as well as attract elite recruits from the United States, Europe, and beyond.

    In a 2018 report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), China ranked first in mathematical proficiency among 15-year-olds, while the United States was in 25th place. And a recent large-scale study of adults’ cognitive abilities, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, found that many Americans lack the basic skills in math and reading required for successful participation in the economy. This poor performance can’t be explained by budgetary factors: When it comes to education spending per pupil, the United States ranks fifth among 37 developed OECD nations.

Of course, we can't ignore the role of teacher's unions and Ed.D. holders like Biden's wife:

    There are numerous underlying factors that help explain these failures—including some that, as mathematicians, we feel competent to address. One obvious problem lies in the way teachers are trained. The vast majority of K-12 math teachers in the United States are graduates of programs that teach little in the way of substantive mathematics beyond so-called math methods courses (which focus on such topics as “understanding the complexities of diverse, multiple-ability classrooms”). This has been true for some time. But the trend has become more noticeable in recent years, as curricula increasingly shift from actual mathematics knowledge to courses about social justice and identity politics.

    At the same time, math majors—who can arrive in the classroom pre-equipped with substantive mathematics knowledge—must go through the process of teacher certification before they can teach math in most public schools, a costly and time-consuming prerequisite. The policy justification for this is that all teachers need pedagogical training to perform effectively. But to our knowledge, this claim isn’t supported by the experience of other advanced countries. Moreover, in those US schools where certification isn’t required, such as in many charter and private schools, math majors and PhDs are in great demand, and the quality of math instruction they provide is often superior.


VIDEO: "Egypt flexes military muscle at Ethiopia"--Caspian Report (15 min.)
A war over water in the making.

Miscellany:

  • "How U.S. Elites’ Focus On Afghanistan Helped China Become Our No. 1 Threat" by Chuck DeVore, The Federalist. Although the author blames Bill Clinton for beginning the mass transfer of technology to China, I would note that it was George H.W. Bush that put everything in place for that to happen; and George W. Bush did nothing to stop it. But back to the main subject of the article:
    Al-Qaeda’s successful 2001 terror attack required a U.S. response. The Bush administration issued a demarche to the Afghan Taliban that it deliver al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and expel the terror group. It refused. The United States and the United Kingdom then launched Operation Enduring Freedom on Oct. 7, 2001. About 10 weeks later, the Taliban was driven from power and back into the hills and mountains of Afghanistan.

    Initially, the U.S. response took the form of a punitive expedition to kill or capture those responsible for 9/11, hitting them in their bases in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, in what should have been the decisive battle at Al-Qaeda’s mountain redoubt at Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan, some seven miles from Pakistan’s tribal territories, al-Qaeda elements exfiltrated through allied lines by negotiating a truce with a local Afghan militia commander. Thus, al-Qaeda remained intact, but was denied its freedom of operation in Afghanistan.

    It was at this juncture that the project of trying to transform Afghanistan from a pre-modern tribal society into a modern democracy took hold. The fear was that without a stable and friendly central government in Kabul, al-Qaeda would easily return to begin plotting deadly terror attacks as soon as the United States withdrew.

    Yet after the Taliban’s rout, would the Afghans, or any other nation or warlord, have risked their own lives to provide safe haven to al-Qaeda? A nation that allows itself to be used as a platform to attack America confers no obligation on America to leave that nation in better shape than it was before the punitive expedition to destroy the threat it hosted.

    American mission planners should be under no obligation to occupy and then economically and politically develop terror-hosting nations. This frees resources for more punitive expeditions — a virtuous circle — as well as more dollars for R&D and procurement to deter or defeat China.

But to add to the strategic errors in Afghanistan, the Bush and Obama administrations decided to pursue a war against Iraq followed by a lengthy and largely fruitless (at least for the American people) occupation.

    Thus, from the fall of the Taliban in late 2001 to its triumphant and chaotic return almost 20 years later, we temporized in Afghanistan. But while we borrowed and spent $2.3 trillion, the Chinese modernized their military, vastly enlarged their nuclear weapons arsenal, and extended their reach, both in the South China Sea and abroad, with extensive predatory infrastructure projects in strategic locations. By 2020, China’s GDP was $24,143 billion, eclipsing American output at $20,933 billion.

    Had our Afghan adventure been limited to punitive strikes, saving $2 trillion, it’s possible that an additional $500 billion might have been invested in military R&D and procurement, rebuilding the Navy, bolstering missile defense, and developing entirely new capabilities. Chinese adventurism would have been easier to deter. Instead, a large-scale war is more probable than the elites who brought us Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and others would like to admit.
    There’s a glorious moment in the life of a certain kind of politician, when either because their careers are over, or because they’re so untouchable politically that it doesn’t matter anymore, that they finally get to remove the public mask, no pun intended. This Covid bash was Barack Obama’s “Fuck it!” moment.

    He extended middle fingers in all directions: to his Vineyard neighbors, the rest of America, Biden, the hanger-on ex-staffers who’d stacked years of hundred-hour work weeks to build his ballyhooed career, the not quite A-listers bounced at the last minute for being not famous enough (sorry, Larry David and Conan O’Brien!), and so on. It’d be hard not to laugh imagining Axelrod reading that even “Real Housewife of Atlanta” Kim Fields got on the party list over him, except that Obama giving the shove-off to his most devoted (if also scummy and greedy) aides is also such a perfect metaphor for the way he slammed the door in the faces of the millions of ordinary voters who once so desperately believed in him.

    Obviously, getting rich and not giving a shit anymore is the birthright of every American. But this wasn’t supposed to be in the script for Obama, whose remarkable heel turn has been obscured by the Trump years, which incidentally were at least partly his fault. The history books and the still-starstruck press will let him skate on this, but they shouldn’t.

    Obama was set up to be the greatest of American heroes, but proved to be a common swindler and one of the great political liars of all time — he fooled us all. Moreover, his remarkably vacuous post-presidency is proving true everything Trump said in 2016 about the grasping Washington politicians whose only motives are personal enrichment, and who’d do anything, even attend his wedding, for a buck. Trump’s point was that he, Trump, was already swinishly rich, while politicians have only one thing to sell to get the upper class status they crave: us.

    Obama did that. He sold us out, and it’s time to start talking about the role he played in bringing about the hopeless cynical mess that is modern America.
    But what I took the most from this presser is this: Biden is sick.

    As I said, his eyes were bloodshot and glazed over. It was difficult to even see the whites of his eyes at times. His presentation was cold, with no empathy to be found. Upon finishing his teleprompter reading, he simply stumbled out, taking no questions, clearly unable to physically and mentally do so. It was obvious why he was five hours late for this presser. Something is bad wrong with the president, and there’s no way it can be ignored anymore.

The Afghanistan crises will break whatever is left of Biden. You may recall from last year's presidential race that whatever cocktail of drugs were being used to energize Biden for some short period typically required at least a few days of down time afterward. But over the past week, he has been rolled out ever other day or so. He cannot recover and, I would guess, his handlers are having to use greater and greater doses to revive him for these short pressers. Last week I said that I thought the Dems would not try to remove Biden for at least another year: that is, not until after the mid-terms. But if Biden keeps being rolled out like this, in his poor health, I would expect that Harris will be president very shortly. 

  • "SpaceX Thinks it can Send Humans to the Moon Sooner Than 2024"--Universe Today. The author, Matt Williams, mostly discusses how SpaceX seems to be winning the race to the moon against domestic competitors and foreign nations (Russia and China). But due to the delays thrown up by Bezos' Blue Origin challenging the award of the Artemis contract to SpaceX, Elon Musk was asked whether SpaceX would be ready by 2024 and he responded by saying they would be ready sooner. The article adds:
    The SpaceX HLS concept is a modified version of the Starship, which is currently undergoing rapid development (along with the Super Heavy booster) at SpaceX’s launch facility near Boca Chica. According to the latest mockup (shown above) and previous statements by Musk, the HLS Starship will have a higher payload capacity since it will not require heat shields, flaps, and large gas thruster packs (all of which are needed for atmospheric reentry).

    It also comes with wider landing legs, which future Starships may do away with entirely now that SpaceX is building the “Mechazilla” launch tower. In any case, concerns about potential delays and fulfilling the 2024 deadline go beyond the four months lost due to the GAO’s stop order. In addition, there are reported issues with the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Units (xEMU) spacesuits, leading to fears that they won’t be ready in time.

    Here too, Musk offered SpaceX’s help, claiming that they could have this other crucial mission element ready sooner. And of course, there are the highly-publicized delays that have plagued the Space Launch System (SLS) from the beginning, as well as the Orion capsule. This has led to speculation that NASA should farm the task of sending the Artemis astronauts back using the Starship and Super Heavy.

    So to summarize, NASA is still trying to make it back to the Moon by 2024 (as directed by the previous administration). They’d had to expedite everything, reprioritize certain missions elements, and have turned to contractors (overwhelmingly to SpaceX) to pick up the slack. The ESA and other space agencies are partnered with them to see this through, while Russia and China have partnered to launch a competing lunar exploration and settlement program.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The War Against US

 

As I've noted over the past couple of weeks, as an Empire approaches or enters collapse, the value of citizenship is eroded as the central government eliminates the rights and privileges of citizenship and/or extends those same rights and privileges to non-citizens. At its terminal phase, the collapsing government and the faction that controls that government, will even began treating its citizens that belong to other factions as enemies of the state.

    Biden's speech above, made when he was Vice-President under Obama, is telling of this transition as he categorially states that there is nothing special about being an American. He explains that there is nothing--religion, race or ethnicity--that distinguishes Americans from the rest of the world. This isn't really true: the United States is still primarily a Christian nation. And, prior to the 1965 Immigration Act, the United States was primarily a white nation comprised mostly of Western and Northern Europeans with an Anglo-German culture overlay. Prior to the mass migration of the latter half of the 19th Century, the nation was even more ethnically concentrated, being of mostly Anglo-Dutch descent with a large number of Scots to boot. So, until the Federal government began the process of diluting the population, there were both religious and ethnic characteristics that were uniquely American.

    We are deep in the phase of citizenship being devalued. Not only has citizenship been diluted by mass immigration, but the last decade has seen strong pushes to extend the rights of citizenship to non-citizens. The roots of this lie much farther back. For instance, we can see this at work in the Supreme Court's 1982 decision in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, where the Court struck down a Texas law denying funding for public education of the children of illegal aliens. But the trend has accelerated with some states allowing non-citizens--even illegal aliens--to be employed by state and local governments, allowing illegal aliens to obtain professional licenses, and the push to extend voting rights to non-citizens. See, e.g.:

The latter article relates:

    We pay taxes, immigrants say. We run businesses. We send kids to public schools, drive the roads, ride the subways and fight in America’s wars. We are stakeholders in our communities and shouldn’t be excluded from the decision-making process that affects us.

    There’s currently a bill before the New York City Council to let legal permanent residents vote in municipal elections — up to and including mayoral elections. Since 2018, San Francisco has allowed noncitizens to vote in school board elections, regardless of whether they’re in the country legally or not. Chicago allows it for school council elections.

    Here in Los Angeles, the L.A. Unified school board authorized a study more than a year ago on how to extend voting rights in school board elections to noncitizen parents, grandparents and caregivers. The study — which would presumably lead to a ballot measure — was delayed by the pandemic but will be revived as school reopens.

As you could probably already guess, Goldberg is all in favor of letting the camel's nose into the tent by allowing non-citizens to vote in local elections.

    More concerning is the portrayal of whites as potential terrorists. Of course, we've long seen the federal law enforcement raise the white supremacists bogeyman since at least the 1980s and continuing to the very latest National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism

Under Federal law, “domestic terrorism” is defined as “activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

But let's ignore the deaths, mayhem, and destruction that has followed in the wake of the Antifa and BLM riots and attacks intended to intimidate conservatives, force local, state and the national government to reduce funding of police, change law enforcement policies, influence the 2020 Presidential election, and coerce governments and organizations everywhere to engage in "anti-racism" which is racism against whites. That, according to our betters, is legitimate protest.

    No, instead federal law enforcement has stated that the number one domestic terrorist threat is "racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists who advocate for the superiority of the white race." This, notwithstanding the fact that Islamic motivated terrorists have killed about the same number of people since 9/11 as all so-called right-wing extremist groups according to this article (from 2017, I believe) at New America. That article relates:

Since 9/11, jihadists have killed 107 people inside the United States. This death toll is similar to that from far-right terrorism (consisting of anti-government, militia, white supremacist, and anti-abortion violence), which has killed 114 people. The United States has also seen attacks in recent years inspired by black separatist/nationalist ideology and ideological misogyny. Individuals motivated by these ideologies have killed twelve and seventeen people respectively and those with Far-Left views have killed one person. America's terrorism problem today is homegrown and is not the province of any one group or ideological perspective.

The number of dead due to Jihadists is undercounted, however, because not all Jihadist attacks have been categorized as terrorism. For instance, the 2009 attack at Ft. Hood by Nidal Hasan is not classified as a terrorist attack although Hasan had been corresponding with the Yemen-based Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, Hasan described himself as a soldier of Allah, and that Hasan's colleagues had been aware of Islamic radicalization. Hassan killed 13, so just adding those to 107 listed above put the post-9/11 Islamic terrorist deaths in the United States at 120--more than the "right wing" attacks--and there are still other Islamic terror attacks that were never counted as terrorist incidents.

    And that leads me to the second highest domestic terror threat identified by the federal government, which is "anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists, such as militia violent extremists"--a greater threat than ISIS, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray. You know these people. They run the gambit from the ones that were involved in a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (a plot thought up by and encouraged by the FBI), through the people that think Trump actually won the 2020 election, those that disagree with Covid shutdowns and mask mandates, veterans, Christians that hold to Biblical values, and, of course, those that believe the Second Amendment is supposed to be a limit on federal power and authority.

    Consequently, as Republican Rep. Chris Stewart told conservative legislators from around the country, "the Biden administration is allowing organizations in the intelligence community such as the CIA, NSA and others to cross over into domestic law enforcement issues 'because by their estimation, white supremacy and domestic terrorism is the greatest threat facing our nation.'"

    By itself, the foregoing probably might not be concerning to most people. After all, the FBI has generally held white supremacists to be the number one domestic terrorist threat since the FBI was caught illegally wire-tapping left-wing Jewish and black extremist groups in the late 1970s.

    What is concerning, though, is the concerted effort to "other" white Americans. As one article explains "othering":

    Othering is a phenomenon in which some individuals or groups are defined and labeled as not fitting in within the norms of a social group. It is an effect that influences how people perceive and treat those who are viewed as being part of the in-group versus those who are seen as being part of the out-group.

    Othering also involves attributing negative characteristics to people or groups that differentiate them from the perceived normative social group.

    It is an “us vs. them” way of thinking about human connections and relationships. This process essentially involves looking at others and saying "they are not like me" or "they are not one of us."

    Othering is a way of negating another person's individual humanity and, consequently, those that are have been othered are seen as less worthy of dignity and respect.

    On an individual level, othering plays a role in the formation of prejudices against people and groups. On a larger scale, it can also play a role in the dehumanization of entire groups of people which can then be exploited to drive changes in institutions, governments, and societies. It can lead to the persecution of marginalized groups, the denial of rights based on group identities, or even acts of violence against others.

The Montreal Holocaust Museum is a bit more pithy in its definition:

Othering is a process whereby a group of people is made to seem fundamentally different, even to the point of making that group seem less than human. This process can trigger instinctive emotional reactions towards members of that group. In many instances, othering has been used to degrade, isolate, and render possible the discrimination, abuse, or persecution of a group.

    This "othering" of white Americans is why 13% of the population now makes up more than 50% of actors in advertisements. It is why no new television program or commercial shows a white couple, but instead show a mixed race couple if they have any whites at all. 

    It is why Gateway Pundit can run a headline stating "Former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden Says It’s a 'Good Idea' to Drop Off Unvaccinated Trump Supporters in Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan."

    It is why the Washington Examiner will tell its readers that "Democrats trust the Taliban more than their fellow Americans."

    It's why Coca-Cola told its workers to be less white.

    It's why Donald Moss was able to publish a paper in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association which abstract started with the line: "Whiteness is a condition one first acquires and then one has—a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which 'white' people have a particular susceptibility."

    It's why Damon Young, writing at The Root, wrote that "Whiteness is a public health crises," and that "White supremacy is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect."

    It's why Medium felt comfortable about running a column titled "Yes My Dear, All White People Are Racists" or a columnist with the Jackson Free Press called one of his pieces "What Is Wrong with America Is Us White People". 

    It is why, after reading that the number of white people in the United States had declined, Washington Post writer, Jennifer Rubin, joyously tweeted: "a more diverse, more inclusive society. this is fabulous news. now we need to prevent minority White rule." 

    As Gregory Hood observes:

Whites are second-class citizens. The “American” government discriminates against us, “American” schools shame our children, the government hands out contracts by race, and anti-white mobs tear down our history. Media and academia have successfully broken many whites to the point they have a negative bias against their own group. “American” law enforcement is selective. Corporate America funds Black Lives Matter and other anti-white movements. If this were happening to any other group, many Republicans would say it justified military intervention in the name of human rights.

    But it goes further than this. It appears that the U.S. government and the faction(s) which control it are waging war against its citizens. 

    Earlier this year, Robert Zimmerman analyzed the data concerning excess deaths allegedly caused by Covid-19 and concluded that "the COVID-19 epidemic for the past year was not something that warranted a panic. It was simply nothing more than a variation of the flu, though clearly more deadly to the elderly sick. Had we treated it like the flu, we would have acted to first and foremost protect that elderly sick population, while letting everyone else go about their lives normally." Accordingly, "this epidemic was simply not devastating and that all the harsh lockdowns, mask mandates, and panic were simply unnecessary." 

    The long term impact of the Covid lockdowns is still being evaluated, but the Wall Street Journal has reported that "[t]he pandemic resulted in the permanent closure of roughly 200,000 U.S. establishments above historical levels during the first year of the viral outbreak." According to a September 2020 Brookings Institute paper, "COVID-19–related job losses wiped out 113 straight months of job growth, with total nonfarm employment falling by 20.5 million jobs in April" of 2020. GDP saw steep declines over two consecutive quarters, and "U.S. industrial production dropped sharply in March and has since only partially rebounded." (For more up-to-date information on employment, see this August 2021 report from the University of New Hampshire). 

    Unfortunately, while the U.S. has been recovering since the lockdowns were lifted, there rumblings about re-imposing lockdowns in response to new variants. And the push to take the largely untested and ineffective vaccines continues. Worryingly, what started as recommendations to take the vaccine has become more strident and oppressive. For instance, the idea of requiring a vaccine passport to leave your home or access places of public accommodation has not only been adopted in some localities in the U.S., but, according to CNBC, "A survey found 81.8% of Americans support the idea of vaccine passports, digital or physical proof of vaccination against Covid."  Robert Zimmerman, in another piece, notes an article about Quinnipac University in Connecticut adopting a policy to fine students that do not get vaccinated

    No longer is the left screaming “My body! My choice!” Then that mantra for abortion worked to garner it political support from naive followers. Now the mantra is “Your body is ours! Let us do to it what we want or we will oppress you!”

    It is a very short leap from merely punishing those who refuse a vaccine to rounding them up in camps to isolate them from the rest of society. From there, it is an even shorter leap to imposing mass executions to keep society clean from such unpure individuals.

    This is the direction the left is heading. And if you doubt me try to remember how the demands to fight the Wuhan flu have steadily morphed in the past eighteen months. ...

    We are also facing a border crises and a crises in Afghanistan that appears to have been designed or intended to destabilize the United States.

America is at a very dangerous crossroads.  It appears that she is being led by an incompetent moron, but it's probably worse than that: she is led by people who wish to "fundamentally transform" America and place purported global goals above American well-being, and who don't care how many people die to achieve their goals.

At the same time that the Biden Administration has effectively armed the Taliban with military weapons--including select fire assault rifles--it is pushing ahead to disarm American citizens of even owning semi-automatic weapons. The latest outrage on the Second Amendment front being the ban on the importation of inexpensive ammunition from Russian manufacturers

    As the popular meme states, "The only reason our government would want to disarm us after 243 years is because they are planning on doing something to us that we would shoot them for." I believe there is more truth to that observation than most of us realize.

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...