Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Is Election Integrity Undemocratic?

 https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/ensuring-election-integrity-anti-democratic/

According to basically 100% of of European countries (if you read the whole) article, election integrity is critical to democracy.

When it comes to absentee voting, we Americans, accustomed as we are to very loose rules, are often shocked to learn that 35 of the 47 European countries—including France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden—don’t allow absentee voting for citizens living in country. Another ten European countries—including England, Ireland, Denmark, Portugal, and Spain—allow absentee voting, but require voters to show up in person and present a photo ID to pick up their ballots. It isn’t like in the U.S., where a person can say he’s going to be out of town and have a ballot mailed to him.

Mexico believes you ought to know your vote actually counts. 

...Mexico recently instituted strict reforms. Voters must present a biometric ID—an ID with not only a photo, but also a thumb print. Voters also have indelible ink applied to their thumbs, preventing them from voting more than once. And absentee voting is prohibited, even for people living outside the country.

Wow, with such harsh "voter suppression" measures, the number of people voting must have really dropped in those repressive countries.

Those who oppose election integrity reform here in the U.S. often condemn it as a means of “voter suppression.” But in Mexico, the percent of people voting rose from 59 percent before the reforms to 68 percent after. It turned out that Mexicans were more, not less, likely to vote when they had confidence that their votes mattered.

Democrats, the media, and the State Bureaucracy oppose any voted integrity measures in the strongest terms.

Here, for instance, is President Biden speaking recently in Philadelphia, condemning the idea of voter IDs: “There is an unfolding assault taking place in America today—an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote in fair and free elections, an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty, an assault on who we are—who we are as Americans. For, make no mistake, bullies and merchants of fear and peddlers of lies are threatening the very foundation of our country.” Sadly but predictably, he went on to suggest that requiring voter IDs would mean returning people to slavery.

The horror of it! Nearly all the people in Europe are living in SLAVERY! Just ask Joe (on one of the few days he is coherent). 

What kind of "bullies, merchants of fear and peddlers of lies"  have suggested that mail in voting encourages (and has been demonstrated to) enable massive voter fraud? Well Jimmy Carter for one -- and though he is definitely a "peddler of lies", I really can't imagine anyone calling Jimmuh a "bully". 

Sixteen years ago, in 2005, the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform issued a report that proposed a uniform system of requiring a photo ID in order to vote in U.S. elections. The report also pointed out that widespread absentee voting makes vote fraud more likely. Voter files contain ineligible, duplicate, fictional, and deceased voters, a fact easily exploited using absentee ballots to commit fraud. Citizens who vote absentee are more susceptible to pressure and intimidation. And vote-buying schemes are far easier when citizens vote by mail.

Would you like it if your bank would allow cash withdrawls from your account without photo ID? How many times are you required to show a photo ID? Flying, increasingly buying liquor, shipping a package via UPS, checking into a hotel ... the list just keeps getting longer. 

So we know that insuring voter integrity doesn't reduce voting -- it tends to INCREASE it because people know their vote counts.

Other than a history of voter fraud and a strong desire to continue and increase it,  it seems impossible defend measures like HR1. Therefore, the media mostly ignores what is actually in it, and merely repeats the obvious propaganda that it is racist, voter suppression and somehow a "return to slavery".  

The linked short article is worth the read.

 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Expodentially Misunderestimated

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/12/deep-meaning-of-expodentially.php

Joe Biden likes to say "expodentially" -- who knew?  Democrats looking human (stupid if Republicans do so) is something ignored by the Democrat media for obvious reasons - it would be simply WRONG to make lite of our glorious leader. 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1470189441738326017

OTOH, everyone knew about "Bushisms" ... in fact, there was a calendar of them. 

There was once a comedian named Norm Crosby that made a good living through malapropisms back when the nation had a sense of humor. I'm quite certain that this clip would be enough to get him Cancelled today. 


Losing a sense of humor is a strong sign of "progress" toward totalitarianism. As "progress" proceeds, poking fun at potentates can become criminal. 


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Order of Time, Carlo Rovelli

 https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-meaning-of-time

The link as per usual is to a more detailed professional review. 

Most people are aware of Einstein's theory of relativity -- time is relative to your frame of reference.

An aside -- isn't it interesting that everyone seems to accept that Einstein's theory is a THEORY, even though is has been tested in a number of ways -- one being that using very accurate clocks, one "stationary" relative to the plane, and a very fast plane, it can be shown that "time" travels more slowly as "objects|" move faster. 

The scare quotes are because what we "see" is not necessarily "reality". Everything we see is relative to our perspective and speed. From the perspective of the house builder, "the flat earth" is true enough, while we know that from the perspective of an astronaut on the moon, the earth is a sphere. Which is "correct"? It is a matter of perspective. 

 "Science" is ALL theory from a given perspective. It is as correct as the next test, or change of perspective. It is a useful tool, something only to be "trusted" within boundaries of perspective.

I find that to be the useful takeaway from the Rovelli book.

... But in physics, once we start to look at what exactly the difference is between past and future, it’s extraordinarily slippery. In the past, the universe seemed to be in a very peculiar state. Physicists use the expression ‘low entropy’. So because there was this low entropy in the past of the universe, that’s the only source of difference between the past and the future. But low entropy is itself a slippery thing because it implies a state of order!

If the difference between the past and the future is just a natural disordering of things, the question becomes: why were things ordered in the past? Who ordered them? And this is still a mystery.

It reminds me of the quote from Spinal Tap member Nigel Tufnel that is inscribed on the wall at the Stonehenge visitors center which made me laugh out loud: "no one knows who they were or what they were doing ..."

There "seems to be a natural ordering of things" ... nobody knows why, or how. Religion is often derided as "the God of the gaps" ... but so is "science", a proffered replacement for religion. The set of things we don't "know" is much larger than the set if things we at least believe we do. 

Largely, Coke (religion) has been replaced with Pepsi (science), and the marketers have largely made science  "the choice if a new generation". 

All The Tea In China

 https://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/all-tea-china-how-england-stole-worlds-favorite-drink-and-changed-history-sarah-rose

The linked review covers the basics. 

My biggest insight acquired from the book was how the English enjoyment of tea in which the water is boiled, killing microorganisms, and being a mild stimulant, may have been a significant  factor in England being more innovative and economically successful than nations whose favorite drink for enjoyment and killing the nasty little beasties was wine or beer, which are mild depressants.

One may be a bit more alert after a cup of tea vs a beer! 

I find term "stole" to be a bit moralistic. "Industrial espionage", or mere natural "oh, I see this thing, I wonder how they do that" with various levels if copying, espionage, etc are as old as the first spears, knives, bows, etc. 

Attempted copies at various levels are a constant in technology ... consider this shot of the US Space Shuttle vs the Russian Buran. Notice any similarity? 


While the Chinese may have come out on the short end on tea, they are decidedly the experts in technology acquisition (industrial espionage) today!

Was the theft of the secrets of tea "the greatest theft of intellectual property in history" ?  Perhaps, but Ih would think that the theft of the secrets to create an H-bomb by the USSR, or the technical transfer of rocketry knowledge through the immigration / immigration by Germans like Wernher Von Braun allowed the US to reach 

The book has at least for a bit made me revisit tea -- realizing (correctly) that it was black tea that I would prefer. Let the testing begin 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Pfizer Jab 75 Years To Independent Review

FDA Says we only need to wait 75 years for independent review of often mandated jab.

Well, that is the one we took because my wife would lose her job if she wasn't vaccinated. 

“If you find what you are reading difficult to believe—that is because it is dystopian for the government to give Pfizer billions, mandate Americans to take its product, prohibit Americans from suing for harms, but yet refuse to let Americans see the data underlying its licensure,” Siri said.
The Pfizer jab is the only one that has been approved by drug regulators. Approvals mean products have met a higher threshold of safety and effectiveness than those given emergency clearance.

We only experienced 6 weeks of really nasty coughs and fatigue from the jab. We had Covid last December, the jab was much worse.  

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Biden Declares He Should Not Be President

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/11/bidens-covid-scorecard-is-worse-than-trumps.php

... during a 2020 campaign debate, Biden proclaimed: “Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America.” At the time Biden proposed this disqualifier from holding the presidency, the U.S. had recorded 220,000 covid deaths, according to the Journal. Since inauguration day, it has recorded 350,000. And counting.

The comparison is really unfair, because Biden has had the advantage of vaccines created by Trump's "Warp Speed" program during his entire administration. Of course, had Biden been president in 2020 we would have had ZERO Covid deaths. 


Furthermore, as the Journal reminds us, Biden promised to “shut down the virus, not the country,” and he claimed to have a plan to accomplish this. This was BS.

So was his statement that “if [Trump] had done his job, had done his job from the beginning, all the [220,000] people would still be alive.” Has any presidential candidate ever defamed his opponent so flagrantly on a matter of policy? If so, I don’t recall it.

Americans that predominantly listen to the MSM have no awareness of this. Biden's claims are taken as gospel when they are made, and when they prove to laughably wrong,they disappear down the memory hole.  The closest to Biden him being called on these howlers in anything approaching "mainstream" is something like this from the WSJ opinion page, which is behind a paywall??

Why is the country divided?

Friday, November 26, 2021

Nicomachean Ethics

 https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/books/review/book-review-aristotles-nicomachean-ethics.html

The link is to a review of the translation that I read by Harry Jaffa, a thinker I admire. 

Why read Nicomachean ethics? 

In my case it was because it is referenced so often in many of the books that I read, I became embarrassed that I had never read it. Now having done so,  I'd recommend reading something like "The Interpretive Essay" at the back of the translation I read instead. 

The book was written about 330 BC, which gives great creedence to Solomon's observation in Ecclesiastes 1:9

"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun."

What is the good life? How can I be happy? What is the best society? What is virtue? How can I be virtuous?  What is the meaning of life given that we did? Is this it, or is there an afterlife? 

While Aristotle could have known of the Hebrew Bible, chronologically, there is no evidence that he did, 

One the first page of the interpretive essay, we have this quote from Micah 6:8"He has told you O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

While Aristotle would reject that statement because he sees there as being many "gods", and therefore many views of "the good", this work is a valiant, but ultimately confusing and questionable attempt to define "the good" or "how to be happy". 

As Jaffa says in the linked: 

The debunking both of Socratic skepticism (“the unexamined life is not worth living”) and of biblical faith (“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”) has led to the crisis of the West, a chaos of moral relativism and philosophic nihilism in which every lifestyle, no matter how corrupt or degenerate, can be said to be as good as any other.
The Ethics at least makes a valiant attempt to escape pagan muli"god" relativism and that attempt is worthy of being oft referenced. For this of us that believe that history DOES matter, this is at least close to THE foundational work of our secular history.

For a Christian, the biggest realization is that Christ answers the "difficult questions" that Aristotle struggled and largely failed to answer. 

One of the many wonderful freedoms of Christianity is that our search for "happiness" and "virtue" are answered in Christ.

A Good Test For Voter Fraud

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/11/this-years-most-stunning-poll-finding.php

So Republicans have huge leads across the board in voter preference polling a year after the "election". Interesting. 

Obama got 69 million votes in 2008, the old record popular vote total (he got less in 2012). 

Trump received 10.1 million more votes in 2020 than in 2016. for a total of 74 million votes, a new record! 

But, that dynamic, intelligent, compelling candidate Joe Biden got 81 million votes in 2020! Another new record! 

I don't think anyone would question that Joe Biden is a far more dynamic and compelling candidate than Obama was in 2008!

As we know, the only reason that Trump was elected in 2016 was Russian interference! 

As Hillary courageously said in 2019:

Clinton was asked whether it angers her that none of the current Democratic candidates invoke her on the campaign trail while Trump’s rally crowds still break out into “lock her up” chants.

“No, it doesn’t kill me because he knows he’s an illegitimate president,” she said. “I believe he understands that the many varying tactics they used, from voter suppression and voter purging to hacking to the false stories — he knows that — there were just a bunch of different reasons why the election turned out like it did.”

It has to be true, because it was published in the Washington Post! BTW Jimmy Carter, was quoted in the same article also saying that Trump was not a "legitimate president. . Carter should be eternally grateful that "legitimacy" doesn't depend on any standard of performance. 

Post 2020, we know that questioning the results of an election borders on treason, and must be suppressed on social media!

So if Republicans fail to win both houses in 20200, questioning that will be treasonas as well! 

The future of avoiding one party rule in the US depends on Senate defeat of HR1, which likely means it depends on Joe Manchin. 

If HR1 passes Democrat control of government will be "mailed in" perpetually.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

"Rigged", Mollie Hemingway

https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/22/how-texas-protected-its-vote-from-getting-rigged-in-2020/ 

I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Ms Hemingway at this wonderful event ... a thoughtful belated birthday present from my wife. As a bonus, the guy sitting next to us grew up in Bode IA, a town about 15 miles away from our current home, even closer to my wife's home of her youth. 

As an LCMS Lutheran, it is good to know that Mollie is a sister in Christ!

I was struck by the number of attractive young women at the event -- maybe "15%", average age 25-35? Similarly, young couples ... 25-40. Perhaps moderate / intelligent conservatism is stronger than it is characterized to be by MSM. 60% of the attendees were "50-70", pretty much all couples. There was a lot of evidence of "upper middle" wealth, and unfortunately only a handful of blacks. Conservatives need to get more "Winsome"!

I've been interested in voter fraud since at least 2005 when I read "Stealing Elections"

It is pretty much an open secret that Nixon beat Kennedy in '60. The "Daley Machine" came through as did a couple of counties in Texas. Nixon was encouraged to challenge, and would likely have won, BUT, he refused since he felt that Americans having faith in the integrity of their elections was more important than winning! (that really changed in 2000!).

"Rigged" covers a lot of well documented information on how the media, Deep State and Democrats had the election rigged from the day after Trump won in 2016. 

On page 138, she even mentions "The Cloward Piven Strategy" ... if you have to destabilize the country to win, go for it!  ... BLM, Riots, Defund the Police, "CHAZ" ....

She pulls a number of quotes from a Time magazine article from Feb 2021 that pretty much covers what Mollie does. Of course the Time perspective is THANKFULLY by expert coordination between the Democrats, Corporations, the Deep State, the media, etc, the country was SAVED from Trump!!! (praise be to Satan)

 She discussed the Hunter Biden memory hole. As always with that kind of discussion, my mind goes to Mary Jo Kopechne. Perhaps what happened to her is not America's "Original Sin", but it is one that changed us forever. She ought to have a memorial in Washington, right next to Ashli Babbit's

It is a worthy and heavily footnoted book that is easy to read. Yes, it could have been a little shorter, but then I'm really not one to cast aspersions here. Writers tend to write.

It gives a "medium distance" view of 2020, and really makes the case that it is America that is now "Rigged", not just the 2020 election. 

As always, the linked review at the top is more "traditional". 

One of the key takeaways of the book is that complaining about election fraud AFTER the election is useless, The evidence has been destroyed by those that committed it by then! If we want fair elections we have to act NOW. If we let bills like HR1 pass, the cause is lost, and short of civil war, separating the nation to red and blue, our goose is cooked -- the steep descent into Fascism/Oligarchy will be complete.

Let's go Brandon!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Soul Of Politics, Elmers

This work seems to be an excellent synopsis of the work and thinking of Harry Jaffa, a giant of "real conservatism" vs "paleo conservatism, "Bloomian Conservatism",  the conservatism of Robert Bork, and others. 

It gives an excellent idea of what it is that is critically worthy of being conserved, rather than just "standing athwart history and yelling STOP!" as Buckley once claimed as the mission of the National Review, 

As Buckley said, "If you think arguing with Jaffa is difficult, you should just try to agree with him"! 

Why is this so? Because Jaffa attempts to get at the roots and the mistakes made by those who fail to understand the strengths and weaknesses of those roots. Lincoln and Churchill are strongly praised and illuminated, but many noted conservatives are roundly criticised. The book is a mini primer on Aristotle and especially "Manichean Ethics". 

It is however a SYNOPSIS, and generally easily readable. 

I loved "The Closing Of The American Mind", Jaffa has a lot of negative things to say about Bloom and that book. 

How he connects critical thoughts about the tensions between freedom and liberty down through the ages is extraordinary. The differences between "Athens and Jerusalem" are fascinating. He ties the thinking of Aristotle, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Churchill into a (mosty) understandable thread even for one as woefully uneducated as I. 

I was introduced to Jaffa via "The Three Whiskey Happy Hour" (which I highly recommend).

That led me to "The Reichstag Is Still Burning" ... also excellent, and then somehow to here.

"Soul" is a gateway drug to another list of excellent books. I'd recommend reading "Soul", but if you feel that is to great a task, this synopsis of Jaffa is another worthy gateway

Let's go Brandon! 



Monday, October 25, 2021

Crime And Punishment

Here is a link to a summary of the book, it seems quite good, but it does not include what I see as the key line, printed on the back cover of my copy. 

"One death in exchange for thousands of lives, it's simple arithmetic". 

What we miss by reading and discussing the classics is how they bear on timeless principles in understanding human nature. 

If you are certain that all "intelligent people" need to "believe the science", the "simple math", rather than the complexities of immutable human nature and the sages, poets, theologians and philosophers that have wrestled with these questions for thousands of years will drive your decisions.

Is it not at least taking a few hours of your time to read a classic work before supporting the sacrifice of millions of lives on the altar of convenience through abortion? 

Part 3, Chapter 5 ."..All men are divided into "ordinary" and "extraordinary." (3) Ordinary men have to live in submission and have no right to transgress the law because they are ordinary. (4) On the contrary, the extraordinary man has the right to commit any crime and to transgress the law in any way because he is extraordinary. That is not an official legal right but an inner right to decide in his own conscience whether to overstep the law or any obstacle that stands in the way of the practical fulfillment of his idea. (5) All great men would (or should) have the right to eliminate a few men in order to make their discoveries known to the benefit of all humanity."

Take away God where all men are equally sinners, and nothing else other than their acceptance or rejection of Grace really matters, and you discover it is all about "categories" ... wealth, education, gender, family lineage, etc

If  video works better for you, here is a bit of a plug for reading it. 



Saturday, October 23, 2021

Biden Unifies, Let's Go Branden!

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-lets-go-brandon-chants-pro-biden-unity

The past 4 years have made us all aware of the division caused by Russian Disinformation. 

Biden promised to unify this nation, and he has! Spontaneous cheers in support of this great unifier have been breaking out around the country. Reagan was the "Great Communicator", it seems a foregone conclusion that Biden will go down in history as the "Great Unifier".

The linked Tucker satire is pretty good and pretty sad. 

Thiel, Bitcoin $60K

 https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/peter-thiel-bitcoin-60000-report-us-political-system-unsustainable-cryptocurrencies-2021-10

I really like Peter Thiel. He is an iconoclast like Elon Musk -- not a guy that follows crowds. My review on his book "Zero To One" here.

I hope this statement proves to be true. 

Now is the time where the "one-world state" stops, and with the help of crypto, "we're going to succeed," he said, according to The Information.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Is Wokeistan Worth Protecting?

 https://www.npr.org/2021/10/20/1047384050/behind-murky-claim-of-a-new-hypersonic-missile-test-there-lies-a-very-real-arms-

So China has built and is testing hypersonic weapons that could easily take out all our carriers and almost certainly our power grid in one stroke, and we have no defence against it. 

 Do we care? 

What might we defend? Our "right" to be consumers? 

A people's myths, or in this shallow age, superhero comics, give a good clue to what they really believe.
Superman used to fight for "Truth, Justice, and the American Way". 

Today, a bisexual Superman fights for "Truth, Justice, and a Better Future". 

What "truth"? Critical Race Theory? What "justice"? John Rawls? What might a "better" future look like? 

If if the Chinese can provide us with a lot of nearly free entertainment and consumables without the need for work, competition, and the costs of  being a fading world power much like the USSR in the 1980's, why fight? 

 I would guess a majority of Wokeistanis would be fine with that .... and in a pure "democracy" rather than a Republic for which one might stand, or even die for, why not? Perhaps the majority of those who used to sheepishly call themselves "Americans" would not even notice that Biden's puppeteers were Chinese.

Are we so racist as to think that being ruled by Chinese is any worse than being ruled by the Davos Elite

Our current "leadership" has a remarkable resemblance to the old Politburo?

I highly recommend reading the last link ... the others if you don't believe me..

Let's go Brandon! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

NY Governor Kathy Hochul Sends "Apostles"

Governor Hochul: "I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say, we owe this to each other. We love each other. Jesus taught us to love one another and how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, please get the vaccine because I love you and I want you to live, I want our kids to be safe when they're in schools, I want to be safe when you go to a doctor's office or to a hospital and are treated by somebody, you don't want to get the virus from them. You're already sick or you wouldn't be there. We have to solve this, my friends. I need every one of you. I need you to let them know that this is how we can fight this pandemic."https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/rush-transcript-governor-hochul-attends-service-christian-cultural-center


Since we had it and recovered, we are living in sin, and apparently a lot of healthcare workers in Pennsylvania are as well, due to the heresy of a hospital chain.  

A hospital chain in Pennsylvania announced a revised policy that seems like a reasonable recognition that certain employees who caught and fought off COVID-19 might not want to get vaccinated, and prefer to stick with natural immunity. 

"Liberals" have always had "ideas so good they must be mandatory", since they are the "smart ones", and the "deplorable, bitter clingers" are just not not smart, moral, etc enough  to follow "the word" from their betters. 

So far, no problem seen here by "Americans United For Separation of church and state",  but they did have this helpful  quote: 

Right now, religious extremists and their lawmaker allies are trying to force everyone else to live by their beliefs and to use religion as a license to harm others. They threaten our freedom to live as each of us chooses, which widens inequality in our communities and country. Our nation promises everyone the freedom to believe as they want, but our laws cannot allow anyone to use their religious beliefs to harm others. That’s why Americans United for Separation of Church and State brings together people of all religions and none to fight in the courts, legislatures, and the public square for freedom without favor and equality without exception. "AU will never stop doing all we can to protect your right to live and believe as you choose,"--Rachel Laser, CEO

Got that? Being the sort of "extremist" who defends peoples right to choose what goes into their bodies are seeking a "licence to harm others". 

 As we ought to have learned from the National Socialists in Germany, National Socialists  are all about "the freedom to choose" -- between following their mandates or death. 

As we can see from the Hochul speech, the religion of the state is National Socialism, and you have received "The Great Commission" to get out there and save the sinners! 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Bankruptcy Abolished

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/09/weimar-its-us.php 

Most of us have heard this statement more than once -- "The US can't go bankrupt because we can print all the money we want". 

It is rare however that you hear it directly from someone that  supposedly is managing our money ... like "The Chairman of the House Budget Committee". 

A super way to test it's truth would be to just cancel all taxes and print ALL the money. If his view is view is right, a new era in public wealth and ease has arrived!  It is amazing nobody has tied since a simple solution before ... or maybe they have, and the results were "non optimal". 

In further cherry economic news from our economic elite, the current numbers are not so bad if you just remove "beef, pork, and poultry" from the calculations! 

I suspect the results could be further improved by removing milk, bread, and eggs! 


Monday, September 6, 2021

Trump's Vaccine Fails!

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/09/covid-deaths-in-the-u-s-are-higher-than-last-year-at-same-time.php

COVID deaths are a little higher than they were last year at this time - of course you don't hear much about that. 

If Trump was president (as he would be if the election was fairly held), it would be a "crisis of malfeasance"! As would Afghanistan in the unlikely case that the withdrawal went even half as badly as it has under Biden. 

Last fall, both Biden and Kamala suggested any vaccine that rolled out under Trump would be highly suspect, and Kamala was clear that she would not take it (not that one can have ANY trust in what she or Joe says). Is it "better" that Kamala likely knows what she is saying? 

The media called for Trump to be tested for Alzheimer's for pretty much his whole term, and then when he was and passes, they questioned its accuracy.  

Any questions why my faith in the media is ZIP? 


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Land Of The Locked Down, Shelter In Place

 https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2021/08/19/capitol-police-investigate-active-bomb-threat-multiple-offices-evacuated/?sh=58f542d55c8e

Can we change the "Star Spangled Banner" wording to "Land of the locked down, and the home of shelter in place" yet? 

Seems more appropriate these days. 

Or perhaps we just scrap the old "white" anthem and replace it with the black national anthem?

The flag seems jingoistic now, and with Democrat total control. DC and Puerto Rican statehood soon at hand, it seems time for "progress" there too. 

Perhaps rainbow flag?  I understand it has fallen in Afghanistan for some reason. The link explains how important it was to fly it.






 












Afghanistan, Another Step Down

I happened to run into this article on a day that Wokistan is ignominiously attempting to slink out of Afghanistan in defeat as the Taliban is taking Kabul


"Biden also told reporters that the world would not see a situation similar to the chaos that was seen in Vietnam, saying "there's going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy."

Saigon 1975.




Kabul 2021.


Biden's grasp of reality is a bit shaky. 

The Treason Of The Intellectuals

https://newcriterion.com/issues/1992/12/the-treason-of-the-intellectuals-ldquothe-undoing-of-thoughtrdquo

The linked is well worth the read, there is no need to understand the relationship of the classical personnages referenced to get the point. 

In its crassest but perhaps also most powerful form, this desire led to that familiar phenomenon Benda dubbed “the cult of success.” It is summed up, he writes, in “the teaching that says that when a will is successful that fact alone gives it a moral value, whereas the will which fails is for that reason alone deserving of contempt.” In itself, this idea is hardly novel, as history from the Greek sophists on down reminds us. In Plato’s Gorgias, for instance, the sophist Callicles expresses his contempt for Socrates’ devotion to philosophy: “I feel toward philosophers very much as I do toward those who lisp and play the child.” Callicles taunts Socrates with the idea that “the more powerful, the better, and the stronger” are simply different words for the same thing. Successfully pursued, he insists, “luxury and intemperance … are virtue and happiness, and all the rest is tinsel.” How contemporary Callicles sounds!

Or to put it simply, "might is right!". 

To succinctly explain "why the the title"?  

This is not simply to say that there are many anti-intellectual elements in society: that has always been the case. “Non-thought,” in Finkielkraut’s phrase, has always co-existed with the life of the mind. The innovation of contemporary culture is to have obliterated the distinction between the two. “It is,” he writes, “the first time in European history that non-thought has donned the same label and enjoyed the same status as thought itself, and the first time that those who, in the name of ‘high culture,’ dare to call this non-thought by its name, are dismissed as racists and reactionaries.” The attack is perpetrated not from outside, by uncomprehending barbarians, but chiefly from inside, by a new class of barbarians, the self-made barbarians of the intelligentsia. This is the undoing of thought. This is the new “treason of the intellectuals.”

Again, well worth reading the linked ... it gets a little esoteric in spots, but the key points are easy to pick out.  

Why Things Bite Back, Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences

 https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/edward-tenner/why-things-bite-back/

This is a good book for people who believe "technology will solve everything". 

For people with a shred of common sense, it is a bunch of examples of what everyone knows. There are always side effects, trade offs, collateral damage, etc.  

Antibiotics create resistant strains. So do flu vaccines. The "experts" tell us that they will be weaker, but they used to tell us we can get Covid behind us. Perhaps the CDC should read this book and have a little humility -- when you take MASSIVE action with no longitudinal studies, we often find out that the "cure" is worse than the disease. 

Of course we have gotten to the point where considering potential unforeseen problems is a "conspiracy theory". 

On page 71, "A certain sense of well being was required before people could advance to a new level of worrying". 

We live in the age of anxiety. We stack "safety" on top of "safety" until life gets so "safe" and boring, that the suicide rate goes up. 

Page 28, "When the percentage of GNP devoted to medical care began it's sharp ascent in the late '50s, 92% of the decline in mortality in this century had already been achieved". 

The old Pareto principle (80/20) has become the 90/10 principle. Now 10% of the improvement takes 90% of the effort. And the idea of more people shuffling around with painful physical ailments or Alzheimer's really an "improvement"? Do you want to end up vacantly staring like Joe Biden?

"Experts" have severely wounded "common sense". It is so obvious it is amazing they may need a book like this, but it is highly unlikely they will even consider it. 

The human choice some ration of sknowin "Nothing about everything, or everything about nothing". We have a finite brain to deal with an effectively infinite universe. We have much to be humble about, but typically are not. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Deep Rig

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/03/the-deep-rig.php

The Powerline "pre-review" is short and accurate. 

Vote fraud is a Democrat tradition going back to reconstruction. As Stalin said, "It doesn't matter who votes, it is who counts that matters". 

Americans who cared have known about vote fraud forever -- the only question was if they supported it, or in most cases, felt that it was just a fact of life in the big cities that had to be dealt with. The "popular vote" (largely fraud) was the domain of Democrats -- Republicans were forced to piece together Electoral College wins. 

As the book points out, fraud was a big deal in 2016, and the Deep State/Democrats were "highly concerned" about it happening prior to the fall of 2020, when they became completely unconcerned and demanded all the mail in "voting" they could get. 

Mail in voting is an invitation to vote fraud -- don't believe me, believe Jimmy Carter.

‘Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.” That quote isn’t from President Trump, who criticized mail-in voting this week after Wisconsin Democrats tried and failed to change an election at the last minute into an exclusively mail-in affair. It’s the conclusion of the bipartisan 2005 report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker III.

Democrats require voter fraud to win, that is why they fight tooth and nail to prevent measures like voter ID, and push bills like HR1 to mandate voter fraud in all states.  

The book gives a ton of links to supporting (mostly video) supporting information, it is an easy read, and any moderately unbiased person would at least be concerned that at least six key states ought to have been, and still should be closely scrutinized. 

Crazy? Consider that the results of the 2001 election were still being scrutinized in the MSM in 2015. Was that an unpatriotic "big lie"? Not according to the MSM for sure -- but then they are just an arm of the Democrat party.

My notes and highlights from Goodreads

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

"Dinger", A Dangerous Name!

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/08/today-in-racist-hair-triggers.php

It seems rather niggardly to jump to the conclusion that a racial slur was yelled at a game in which the team mascot of the home team is"Dinger". 

Just because something sounds like something else, doesn't mean it IS something else! 

Must we jump to the most negative conclusion we can relative to race? 

As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, the demand for racism greatly exceeds the supply. This explains why we get one false alarm–or, often, outright hoax–after another. What is interesting, I think, is how unembarrassed the people who falsely accuse others of racism generally are.

Indeed ... when there is a shortage of actual racism, it behooves the "Race Hustler Industrial Complex" to hurry up and manufacture some! 

No matter how much the left denies it, when the demand for something exceeds the supply, someone is going to try to produce it ... even if the replacement is counterfeit, poor quality. etc

Monday, August 9, 2021

The Murder Of America

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/07/the-lonesome-death-of-america-thayer.php

This "America" was America Thayer, beheaded at a busy intersection in Shakopee MN by an illegal alien.

There are a lot more details about the long sad history of why her murderer was even in the country here.  

I date the end of America the nation to January 22nd, 1973 (Roe V Wade). 

As Gandhi said, “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” Once a society decides that killing them is fine, and even needs to be celebrated, a society has no moral standing. Since National Socialist Germany killed a "mere" 6 million Jews, and the territory formerly known as America has killed over 60 million of its most vulnerable, that is a good way to understand where that godless territory stands 

Why do I consider that territory no longer "America"? Because America was founded on ideas, not territory ... "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ..."

Those rights were protected by a written Constitution, Roe proved that Constitution now have  the value of used toilet paper

Gamma Variant Immunity

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/08/the-cdcs-voodoo-epidemiology.php

Looks like the "COTD" (Covid Of The Day) is soon to be Gamma rather than Delta. 

Thus even as vaccine breakthrough infections multiply around the world, natural immunity is robust to the Delta and other variants. With respect to the Gamma variant, a recent analysis of an outbreak among a small group of mine workers in French Guiana found that 60% of fully vaccinated miners suffered breakthrough infections compared with zero among those with natural immunity.

Much like what the experts / media tell us, one wonders they just failed to look up the ordering of the Greek alphabet (as I had to), or they are developing their own idea of reality as with Covid (Covid is not serious - Trump is racist for restricting travel from Wuhan, Trump restricted travel too late, masks don't work, you are killing people if you are unmasked ...).

As a Covid "survivor" (I've "survived" other versions of flu over the years as well), it is gratifying to see evidence that natural immunity is better than vaccinated immunity. Seeing 60% infected after vaccination vs 0% after having it seems worth of reporting -- if course it won't be. 

Do I believe this ? Only to the degree it fits with common sense. The experts told us that carbs ought to be the base of the food pyramid when I was a kid, they said we were out of oil in the 1970's, Obama said there was no way fracking would get us energy independence, etc 

Another look at the immunity provided by surviving

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Gas Surges To 7 Year High

 https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_breakingnews/gas-prices-surge-to-fresh-7-year-high_3936549.html

Surprise surprise ... things we all know about, but because the media gives them very little attention, we tend to hardly notice. 

Hey! Look at that Delta Variant! 

Why is it that magicians have such pretty assistants? 

Manipulation of human awareness is possible ... 




Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Overcoming The Will To Power

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/08/the-delta-in-stupidity.php

The last line of linked is the title of this post, and the reason for it. 

I think these pieces provide an antidote to stupidity. Overcoming the will to power remains the ineradicable problem.

The bolded is the story of human life since the fall. Satan's will to power ejected him from Heaven. Adam and Eve's will to power ejected them from the Garden of Eden. The will to power is rooted in pride. My ideas are so good that everyone ought to agree with them and respect/worship me because of the brilliance of my thought. 

PL has fallen into name calling ... "stupidity" etc. I wish they had not, however there is no such thing as human perfection, they eschew profanity, which makes me happy.

The linked post is a worthy read.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Belief In The Ignorance Of Experts

 https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/07/when-to-trust-the-science/

Whenever I see the term "expert", I think of Richard Feynman's (Feynman is a brilliant Nobel Prize winner in Physics) National Science Teachers speech in 1966: 

We have many studies in teaching, for example, in which people make observations, make lists, do statistics, and so on, but these do not thereby become established science, established knowledge. They are merely an imitative form of science analogous to the South Sea Islanders’ airfields–radio towers, etc., made out of wood. The islanders expect a great airplane to arrive. They even build wooden airplanes of the same shape as they see in the foreigners’ airfields around them, but strangely enough, their wood planes do not fly. The result of this pseudoscientific imitation is to produce experts, which many of you are. [But] you teachers, who are really teaching children at the bottom of the heap, can maybe doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

The linked talks about a tweet by Paul Graham which states: 

If you think you don't trust scientists, you're mistaken. You trust scientists in a million different ways every time you step on a plane, or for that matter turn on your tap or open a can of beans. The fact that you're unaware of this doesn't mean it's not so.

Well, no. You "trust" engineers, and all the people in the chain that built and tested the many thousands if the components in the aircraft, the mental health and competence of the pilots, ATC, other pilots,  the people that produced the fuel ... a nearly infinite chain of trust. Or, basically you are taking a "leap", that isn't really "faith", because most have not thought about any of this. Nor should you really, because a life that can actually be lived is based on all sorts of unconscious assumptions. 

It would be very good however if many more people were aware that we ALL live by faith, all the time. If more people realized that, we would likely be somewhat kinder to others. 

"Science" is a method. a tool - it makes hypotheses and tests them. Very few of the people in that long chain were "scientists", they were "experts" in some sort of discipline generally blindly following the "rules" (standard procedures") of that discipline.  

In this world, the "experts" are imperfect and often fail. The passengers on the 737 Max trusted the chain of "experts", and the chain failed. The list of "expert failures" is endless ... in these times it often starts with the Titanic. My favorite example is Trofim Lysenko whose "expertise" combined with political ideology resulted in millions of deaths. 

Do the "experts" creating and pushing the new mRNA vaccine know what they are doing? We certainly hope and pray that they do. We DO know that pushing a new technology to millions of people has significant risk. In software, we say "never take the first release". Even in cars, many people want to wait a bit on a new model, because there is a good deal of evidence there will be one or more "recalls", some of which may be significantly dangerous. 

The real world is often harsher to the new technology than the theories, early testing, and politics hoped it would be. 

So before you "trust the science", be aware that what you are trusting is the bureaucratic system that decided on operation "Warp Speed", and decided that they HAD to roll out the vaccine quickly. Fortunately there were only 7 people on the Challenger when it "had to launch" on the cold morning of January 28, 1986.  

Interestingly, Feynman was the person that discovered the technical cause of the Challenger Disaster. 

The root cause was believing in "experts" (rather than understanding their ignorance), and the application of those beliefs by a bureaucracy to the launch decision. 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Death By Democrat Deep State?

Three suicides due to mostly peaceful demonstration.

Many have observed in the past that a fairly large number of people with some association with the Clintons die "by their own hand". I've heard there are actually some people that believe that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in a maximum security federal pen on suicide watch. If you believe that, then the level of incompetence in the federal government is maybe even more scary than their malfeasance. 

Not a surprising level of belief though,  when 6-20% of Americans (including Steph Curry)) don't believe we landed on the moon.  

Has the "Clinton Hex" expanded to the Deep State? It is documented our "Justice" department ran an official op called "Crossfire Hurricane" to attempt to overturn the 2016 election. 

As the DOJ Inspector General reported: 

Well, DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz recently told the Senate that those FISA warrants used to spy on the Trump campaign were “entirely” predicated on information from that dossier. And we now know that virtually every one of those applications to spy on American citizens was rife with errors, misleading information, and “fraudulent” evidence. You know, just some endemic, comprehensive, and highly targeted “sloppiness.”

The Deep State doesn't really need to be that "deep" anymore -- lots of their corruption is openly divulged, not covered by the MSM, and nobody cares. 

So does anyone find it odd that 3 officers that responded to a mostly peaceful demonstration at the capitol have killed themselves?  How many officers killed themselves after responding to BLM riots with massive looting, burning, and violence that resulted in at least 25 people being killed?
Hashida worked for the agency’s Emergency Response Team, an outfit in its Special Operations Division. He’s the third law enforcement officer who responded to the Jan. 6 incident to take his own life.

Washington police officer Jeffrey Smith committed suicide in the aftermath of the breach, officials disclosed later in January. And U.S. Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood killed himself on Jan. 10.

Of course hardly anybody knows that the one white, female, military veteran with no criminal record that was killed during the mostly peaceful demonstration (Ashli Babbitt) was  murdered by an assailant that is still not named. 

Nearly nobody knows of the three officer "suicides" related to the capital demonstration. We only know what we are told, and increasingly, we are cancelled or worse if we deviate from the approved narrative. 

You believe that "murdered" is too strong? The officer who restrained George Floyd, a physically imposing multiple time felon high to the point of a lethal dose of fentanyl was convicted of MURDER

Labels matter. Just try saying "N word".  BLM demonstrations were labeled "mostly peaceful" no matter how much violence and property damage occurred. The Jan 6 demonstration was labeled an "insurrection" ... with no real notice that nobody brought a gun to this "insurrection".

Delta, Epsilon, ...

https://spectatorworld.com/topic/delta-variant-essential-travel-biden-administration/

We seem to be introducing some more Greek into this world that is "Greek to me".  (Epsilon is after Delta)

Naturally, as with all things Covid, it is complicated ... there appear to be a plethora of variants. 

"Gamma" may be the next bogeyman. 

Kimbal starts out with a great Covid "fact". 

The great thing about COVID, I like to quip, is that has abolished death from old age. Also the flu. That malady typically claims 30,000 to 40,000 scalps per annum in the US, many more in a bad year. How many flu deaths were there last season? According to the Scientific American, 700.

Seven HUNDRED? Naturally we don't KNOW that, have you ever been tested for a flu other than Covid?  

Here is a little indication from CDC on how accurate old flu death estimates likely are: 

Why doesn’t CDC base its seasonal flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that specifically list influenza?

Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has been recognized for many years that influenza is underreported on death certificates. There may be several reasons for underreporting, including that patients aren’t always tested for seasonal influenza virus infection, particularly older adults who are at greatest risk of seasonal influenza complications and death. Even if a patient is tested for influenza, influenza virus infection may not be identified because the influenza virus is only detectable for a limited number of days after infection and many people don’t seek medical care in this interval. Additionally, some deaths – particularly among those 65 years and older – are associated with secondary complications of influenza (including bacterial pneumonias). For these and other reasons, modeling strategies are commonly used to estimate flu-associated deaths. Only counting deaths where influenza was recorded on a death certificate would be a gross underestimation of influenza’s true impact.

In other words, flu is always around, nobody until Covid really tried to figure out how many deaths it "caused", because there was really no reason to. Old age, other underlying conditions, etc. were almost always involved (as they are with Covid). Old people die of SOMETHING, is it that important to identify the specific straw that "broke the camel's back"?

Not unless your purpose is to create a "crisis". 

It’s Rahm Emanuel time now and forever: never let a good crisis go waste, he advised, and rest assured, they — the alphabet-soup pod-people who we put in charge of our lives — they have run with it big time. A couple of days ago, the White House (how long before they change the insulting name of that edifice) announced that because of the ‘Delta variant’ they would not be lifting travel restrictions ‘at this point’. They hope, of course, that they can maintain, and perhaps stiffen, the restriction indefinitely, maybe forever. After all, as the White House press secretary demanded a week or two back, ‘Why do you need to have that information?’


From Fire By Water, Ahmari

 https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/04/sohrab-ahmari-from-fire-by-water/

The review is excellent. I made the mistake of reading "The Unbroken Thread" first, and my comments on the "Catholic specific" nature of the final conversion apply here. I recommend that book as superior to this, though both are worthy of attention and enjoyable reads. 

A quote from the book that hit me ... 

"My native land [Iran] smelled of dust mingled with stale rosewater. There was enjoyment in Iran and grandeur of a kind to be sure. But when it wasn't burning with ideological rage, it mainly offered mournful nostalgia. Those were its default modes, rage and nostalgia. I deserved something more."

I'm reminded of the divisions in Wokeistan that used to be America.  Iran remained Iran even though the culture shifted, because Iran is primarily a piece of land. The ideology can change, but the borders remain. Not so America. It was an idea ... that "all men are created equal, endowed by their creator ...", allegiance to a written constitution, etc. For at least half the country, neither the endowing God, nor the rights protected by the Constitution are seen to be truth at all ... let alone "self evident". 

So Wokeistan is much like Ahmari's Iran ... the "red" are filled with "mournful nostalgia", the woke are filled with ideological rage. 

From the review: 

Readers who are historically attuned may recall with a laugh another Iranian who was educated in the West and radicalized by the experience, though in a different direction:

If one allows the infidels to continue playing their role of corrupters on Earth, their eventual moral punishment will be all the stronger. Thus, if we kill the infidels in order to put a stop to their [corrupting] activities, we have indeed done them a service. For their eventual punishment will be less. To allow the infidels to stay alive means to let them do more corrupting. [To kill them] is a surgical operation commanded by Allah the Creator.

Those are the words of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Although, in a sense, Ahmari’s teenager infatuation with Nietzsche and later Marx are not so far apart from the Ayatollah’s reaction. Each disdains bourgeois life in the West. I myself have been accused of the same disdain. But whereas I would seek to re-enchant life in the West — adding something that has been lately subtracted — a nihilist and revolutionary Islamist would seek to negate the modern world which is marked by phoniness, and compromise.

Ah yes, "re enchantment" of the disenchanted West - it pulls at the strings of my heart. "A Secular Age" by Charles Taylor gives a glimpse into what the "subtraction story" of the secularists took from us. Our souls for some cell phones and other entertaining baubles. 

Thankfully, as Ahmari discovers, enchantment still exists in the confessional liturgical church of Christ. Is that Church the Catholic Church? Prior to Luther, there was really no other option, Post Luther, I'd argue the LCMS is for the present a more Biblically grounded option. 

 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Teach Your Children Well

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/07/how-the-west-lost-god/ 

A rather long article, however the message is short and sweet. Statistical evidence is strong that it is secular education is what has reduced religiosity in America rather than scientific/technological advances, wealth, mass media, etc

The article gives a TON of detail as how this conclusion is arrived at. 

It is a good news / bad news story for Christians. On the positive side, **IF** you are able to homeschool, the odds that your children can escape secularization are good. The bad news is that tons of people already through public schooling nearly need a miracle to return to the church, and it will be nigh on impossible to recover the public schools, so the vast majority of children will end up secularized. 

Of course, God can do ANYTHING, so prayer is critical!

Civilization is a process as well as a product, and the school is the place wherein the process of civilization is enacted, yielding its final product in the form of grown men and women inducted into the social order of which they’re a part. If control over schooling is ceded to those who are hostile or even just indifferent to religious faith, how could we expect anything other than a drift toward a less religious society? Whether we are urban or rural, childless or fecund, conservative or liberal in our outlook, well-credentialed or not, the crucial question, empirically as well as morally, is this: What will we teach our children to associate with the true, the good, and the beautiful during their earliest and most impressionable years? The fate of our social order depends much more on how we answer this question than we seem to realize.


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

American Wrath

 https://spectatorworld.com/topic/old-glory-new-anger-america-rage/

Quoting last paragraph. 

The odd election of 2020 does not sit well with a great many Americans. They are not in the mood to engage in the equivalent theatrics of Ben Cohen’s mockery of Bush or the pussyhat feminists’ sneers against Trump.

President Biden is, in their view, a hollow figure not even worth mention. Their complaint lies far deeper as they see the purposeful destruction of American values by an elite that bullies and derides them.

What will come of this? How might revolt manifest itself? I hope it will be a successful recapture of key institutions, perhaps beginning with the schools. But the political elite that prefers to scorn the common people for wanting a say in their government is playing an awfully risky game. Despair breeds wrath and that fire, once ignited, will engulf us all.

We've come "a long way" from 9-11: 



 We were defiant and confident then. Now we seem to be something different. 





The article says that this is where we are, and it is worthy of consideration.

Toby Keith’s rage at those ‘pissin’ on the red, white and blue’ is undercut by his waking up demoralized and seeing America in the past tense. Aaron Lewis’s ‘thinkin’ somethin’ ain’t right’ sits beside his feeling of being isolated and alone, ‘watchin’ the threads of Old Glory come undone’. These songs capture that borderland between despondency and revolt. They are the opening, dissonant chords of the music of wrath.

I echo the hope for "institutions and schools". But how?  

Fauxi Clarifies Masks

A quick hitter that should clear up "following the science" on masks!

Fauxi on masks

The people that don't believe in masks are simply stupid! 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

In The Fullness of Time, Paul L Maier

 The subtitle is "A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter and the Early Church". 

Looked around the internet for a review I could steal, but none to be found. 

My copy is autographed by the author as he came to our Church in Rochester and spoke. He is intelligent, witty, and fun to listen to and interact with. As a hobby, he acquires and uses heavy equipment including a cat, a crane!, a payloader and who knows what else. Apparently he has a large pond for which the crane is very handy. 

If you like video: 


Maier is able to weave the Bible, ancient historians, and archeology into a narrative that is very informative and also spiritually uplifting. He gives us a glimpse of into what life was like when Christ's ministry was in progress, and some of the personalities involved. The model reconstructions and pictures of the modern sites make one consider a trip to the Holy Land. 

Highly recommended for believers and non-believers alike. 

Objections Overruled

 https://livingapologetics.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/book-review-objections-overruled/

I happen to have a copy that my pastor let me have. I WAS going to get him a return copy since I marked it all up ;-( As the linked blog says, it doesn't look to be easy to get in printed form. 

I found it excellent for a nice concise example of "apologetics" (NOT "apologizing. Defending!)

For those interested in defending the faith in these days of doubt. I also recommend "The Reason For God"

A quote from "reason" ... "If a premise ("there is no God") leads to a conclusion you know isn't true ("Napalming babies is culturally relative") then why not change the premise?" 

Without God, everything is permitted ... it is all relative, and all about power. If the vote says "kill babies", isn't that the end of it? 

Biden On Inflation

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/07/22/remarks-by-president-biden-in-a-cnn-town-hall-with-don-lemon/ 

And so, it is — I sincerely mean this: Prices are up now, and they’re up in — for example, you’re in a position where you’re trying to build a house, trying to find two-by-fours and lumber. Well, guess what? People stopped working cutting lumber. They stopped doing it because they — the unemployment was so down. Now, all of a sudden, there’s this need because people are coming back. And guess what? Instead of paying 10 cents, you’re paying 20. But you understand what I’m saying.

Got that? Do you "understand what he is saying? 

I can tell you how the MSM would report that if it was Trump. "Can you believe it? Trump thinks it is no big deal if you pay twice as much because of his insane policies! There you have the billionaire perspective in nutshell!".  

But this is Biden, so basically it doesn't get reported, in the MSM at all, while it would be headline fake news if Trump said the same thing. Certainly there are elements of "fake" in the whe way NR reports it, however compared to the way the MSM would have trimmed  to a misleading meme under Trump,  it is fairly honest, they include more context

“Prices are up now. For example, we’re in a position where you’re trying to build a house, trying to find two-by-fours lumber. Well guess what? People stopped working cutting lumber, they stopped doing it because the unemployment was so down. Now all of a sudden there’s this need because people are coming back and guess what? Instead of paying ten cents you’re paying 20,” he said.

That is exactly the  WH transcript of what he said. I bet dollars to donuts that the MSM meme if it was Trump would be; "Trump claims doubling prices not a big deal!". 

How does one parse "Well, guess what? People stopped working cutting lumber. They stopped doing it because they — the unemployment was so down." 

??? 

Was he trying to say they quit cutting lumber because there were a bunch of stimulus payments and unemployment benefit extensions so people quit working? Unemployment was UP, not down ... less people were cutting lumber and pretty much any other sort of work, and the government was pumping money into the economy so spending was up. More money chasing less goods, so inflation is up! Duh. 

Prices are also up because energy is a major foundation of the economy, and doing as much as you can to stop fracking and other energy production  drives prices up. LP here in IA is a $1.50 now vs $1 last year at this time. Earth to Biden! 

The NR link is pretty good. No matter what the cadaver in chief says, printing money is inflationary, and printing more money is even more inflationary! 

If Biden gets what he wants, he will pump ANOTHER $4.4 trillion into a $20 trillion economy! 

Oh, and trust him, that is going to reduct inflation. 


Thursday, July 22, 2021

24 Hours In Emmetsburg, Featuring Bev Snyder

https://www.thepublicopinion.com/story/lifestyle/2021/07/09/24-hours-emmetsburg-iowa-palo-alto-county-fairgrounds/7900399002/


It speaks for itself!

We went into the Cornerstone and were enjoying a burger and a beer when the couple who owned the bike walked by. We knew they were the owners because the guy was wearing a BMW shirt. Either he was the bike’s owner or was being paid to advertise BMW in random small towns.

Not sure I'd describe her as "elderly" ... at least not if she was close by.

An elderly lady took a seat next to us, saying that she wanted to hear the next guy speak. I informed her that I was the next guy.

The lady, who introduced herself as Bev, seemed happy to meet us. Bev told us that she’s 87, has 21 great-grandchildren and manages a swine operation at Cylinder, Iowa (motto: A Well-Rounded Town). Bev mused that she’s probably one of the oldest hog operators in Iowa. It would be safe to say that she’s probably the oldest female hog operator in the Hawkeye State.

The Unbroken Thread, Discovering The Wisdom Of Tradition In The Age of Chaos

 https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2021/07/01/a-guide-for-recovering-the-wisdom-of-the-past/

The book was of course irresistible to me. While the Bible talks of the foolishness of building your "house" (life) on sand, the modern West has decided that building lives on materialism, pleasure, career, technology, etc is a worthy goal. Solomon knew this is vanity long ago, and we are just proving it yet again. (Eccl 1:2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.He who has eyes can see that Solomon is still right) 

If you are only going to read one of the Sohrab Ahmari books, this would be my pick. If you think you want more, or if your objective is to come to faith rather than save the culture, I'd go with "From Fire By Water" which is a prequel.  

The Chinese, even in a Communist state, respect their elders and their tradition. Even in the US, those of Asian, Indian, Korean, etc are vastly surpassing those raised in the desolation of American "culture". The fact that ivy league schools have to limit their admission of these nationalities or the schools would be primarily "minority". Such has been the case for Jews forever ... they have been discriminated against because they were successful, because they had a specific culture, passed on from generation to generation that included a tradition of reading, education and adherence to religion. I also believe they are especially blessed because they are Gods chosen people -- and time has verified that. 

On page 78 he quotes rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: 

"He [man] must say farewell to manual work and learn to understand that the world has already been created and will survive without the help of man". Today, we must add, ANY work ... worship, study and reflection on our creator are required to be human. 

Page 97, "... rather ritual and religion are really at the core of the human matter",  As "Moral, Believing, Animals" makes clear ... we all have our morality, beliefs and religion, even though Western civilization is in tragic denial of this obvious fact, and the denial is causing painful breakage - in ourselves, in our families, in our communities, and in our cultures. 

Page 140, "Augustine provided the Catholic church with what in future centuries it would need so much: an oasis of absolute clarity in a troubled world ..."  "City of God" is a timeless treasure. 

Page 173, Related to John Henry Newman, "The individual soul was called to submit to the authority of an apostolic body tracing to Christ's first followers, and that body's judgements couldn't be wrong". 

I could spend and likely will spend a lot of text on this statement in the future. It comes down to "the Bible or the Pope"? Given the history of the church, it seems impossible to accept that the pope/church is "infallible".  Just on the issue of celibacy alone, which was not a requirement until the Second Lateran Council held in 1139, one can only assume that the church was wrong for a thousand years (Peter was married), or God changed his mind. Based on the homosexuality of priests, abuse of children, and inability to get priests, one tends to look to the Apostle Paul saying it is better to marry than to burn, than to the "infallibility" of the church.  

We need authority, and it is critical that the authority be correct and eternally reliable. As Hebrews 13:8 says "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever." 

So is our authority the unchanging word of God, or that of a human pope? 

The Bible is a much better foundation than even tradition. As the book makes clear, tradition is VERY important, however it is not God. 

My biggest concern with the book and with Catholicism is that "whatever the church says" is dangerously close to "whatever the culture says".  The church is seems close to approving abortion, gay "marriage", and who knows what else on that slippery slope. 

It is thorny if you are Catholic. Do you follow tradition or the Bible? 

Matthew 10:34-35 "Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law ..." 

The Christian church, and Christians are to be "the salt of the earth". Matt 5:13 You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people."

Going along to get along is really not an option. Can a pope allow Joe Biden to strongly support abortion, gay "marriage", and transgender, yet still be the salt of the earth? 


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Way Back To 2016 Election Certification

 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-congress-idUSKBN14Q25R

The media does a great job of making sure we have no recollection of what happened the day before yesterday. Sometimes even yesterday.

Today, questioning the validity of an election is "the big lie", a "danger to democracy", something worthy of being suppressed because it is "counter to our basic American principles" -- whatever those might be today?  Fawning worship of the Deep State, Democrat party, Mass Media, the wealthy?

How soon we forget 2016-2017 and the level of denial of the election of Trump. 

The U.S. Congress on Friday certified the Electoral College vote that gave Republican Donald Trump his victory in the contentious 2016 presidential election after a raucous half-hour joint session punctuated by Democratic challenges.

The Deep State "Russian Interference" witch hunt was a top story and took up countless hours of legislative time,  and was slavishly covered by the MSM. "Not My President" was a common statement. The election was challenged at every level. One of my favorites was the Democrat/media push to have the election stolen in the Electoral College via "unfaithful electors". 

I understand that few Americans can remember as far back as 2000-2001, but W was considered the "appointed president", the "unelected president". 

For 200 years, Americans understood why we had an electoral college. In a nation so vast, there was a real danger of rule by city, with the clear understanding that bringing out huge numbers of "votes", many of which were fraudulent as most understood as they witnessed the "Daley Machine" in Chicago, and "Boss Tweed/Tammany Hall" in NYC. Those were just the big picture examples -- cities were Democrat for reasons of government dependence, unions, patronage, corruption, and other unseemly practice. 

Today, Democrats seek to squash any efforts to clean up the sordid urban election process as "voter suppression", when it is actually "red state vote suppression via urban vote fraud". The HR1 bill seeks to codify voter fraud into the law of the land. 

Even if HR1 can be stopped, we are likely at a point where any party opposing the Democrat, Deep State, MSM machine will be unable to win the popular "vote", since as our founders understood when the created the Electoral College, the practice of running up huge urban numbers through machine politics and outright fraud is just part of of the urban system. 

As Pelosi said at the end of the linked article: 

“That’s why people have some level of dismay today on the vote ... about the Electoral College,” Pelosi said at a news conference. “How much is known about the foreign disruption of our election?”

"Foreign disruption" is pretty much a constant -- we do it to other countries all the time as well. Interfering across a vast nation, most of it "red" is MUCH harder than "interfering" or simply carrying out outright fraud in a few key urban districts.  

The Democrats have made it clear, anything less than single party rule in concert with the Deep State, MSM, and huge corporations is "a danger to the country". That "country" is not America. 

Invalidating a Republican election victory is a "patriotic duty", going back to Nixon. The means change ... with Nixon, Reagan, and HW Bush it was "investigations" ("Iran Contra" ran until HW was defeated in '92).  

Monday, July 19, 2021

Vaccine Effectiveness on Wayward TX Legislators

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/07/two-more-texas-dems-down.php

So "5 out of 60" fully vaccinated AWOL TX legislators tested positive for Covid. The link gives the complete list of what this might mean. My guess is: 

  1. Like pretty much any flu vaccine, roughly 50% effectiveness is pretty good. I totally agree with pumping up the effectiveness numbers. ANYTHING to get us out of this crazy round of massive government overreach. Hey! Biden saved us all! Great. Whatever. My level of faith in anything from the government or media (but I repeat myself) is zero.  

  2. The tests are roughly 50% effective either way.  So like everything in this Covid scare, we don't really "know" much of anything beyond a coin flip. As Fauxi as told us ... either masks are not effective, or they are. Flip a coin. 

Masks are not effective. Don't wear them. 


We all know that position changed to MANDATORY masks, although real world experience showed the mandates did nothing