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Engineering Viruses

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 Editing Viruses    (and engineering them)

OriGene, a US company headquartered in Rockville, MD, appears to have been the originator of the tool of choice used by the Chinese Bioweapons Laboratory embedded within the Wuhan Virology Institute. I called Thursday in preparation for this piece and they hung up on me. I called again, and spoke to somebody higher in the food chain and they said that they were at the cutting edge of creating a cure for COVID-19, which may be true. They build tools.

I’m not blaming OriGene, providing that they supplied the Communists with gene editing equipment as has been suggested. There was no law against it and that brings into question the USA and the protection of the public from an enemy nation… Presidential aspirant Slow Joe Biden took a $1.5 billion gift from the Communists, but the mainstream media won’t discuss THAT.

(From the website) CRISPR/Cas9, is an RNA-guided targeted genome editing tool which allows researchers to do gene knockout, knockin SNPs, insertions and deletions in cell lines and animals. The CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system requires two components: Cas9, the endonuclease, and a guide RNA (sgRNA) which guides Cas9 to a specific location in the genome sequence. With the protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM – the sequence NGG) present at the 3′ end, Cas9 will unwind the DNA duplex and cleave both strands upon recognition of a target sequence by the guide RNA.

Did the Communist Chinese blend COVID with HIV RNA as has been alleged in publication after publication? It’s likely. It also explains their reluctance to alert the world when they learned of the release.

I’ve asserted this many times and will do it once more (for the record). Any genetic testing laboratory in China will also have a military application. That is how they roll. It’s how they have always operated. And they view anyone not in the People’s Republic of China (and many ethnic minorities in the PRC) as enemies.

It’s time that we behave as if they are an enemy to the United States and to the world. (more here on Chinese Espionage)

The Advice Corner – Not quite Dear Abby.

Don’t worry about what I’m doing. Worry about why you’re worried about what I’m doing. If everybody likes you, you have a serious problem.

Some people never are able to go crazy. What horrible lives they must lead. – C. Bukowski

If you can’t imagine her throwing a Molotov cocktail, I don’t think that she’s the right girl for you.

I think that’s enough advice for the moment.

Failures

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Judge Rules High School Girls MUST Shower with Boys, 

says Girls Have No Right To Privacy

(linkThese issues will vex the courts and society for years. Pass thé popcorn. “It makes the stakes clear: ‘If our government is powerful enough to command innocent school children to disrobe in the presence of opposite-sex classmates, then there will be little it will not be powerful enough to do.’”



Inequality in China and the US 2020 Campaign

The promise of communism is that it will make everyone equal. Ok, cynics on this blog will maintain that it makes them equally poor. And while that may be the case, there are not supposed to be classes in a communist country. When you look at the roots of any communist revolution, you see the notion of ‘class struggle’ at the top of the list of grievances. Just listen to American Communists like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren shout about class inequality.
Yet it’s difficult to point to any nation that dallied with communism that didn’t end up with a stratified society (all pigs are equal, some are more equal than others). Nowhere is that more the case than we find in the People’s Republic of China. Since 1978 the country’s GINI ratings—a system that measures inequality—have gone from highly egalitarian to more unequal than Mexico, Brazil, and Kenya, as well as the United States and virtually all of Europe. In avowedly socialist China, roughly 1300 individuals constitute roughly 20 percent of the country’s wealth, and top one percent roughly one-third of the national wealth. At the same time, much of China is too poor for a bird to crap on.
Where will this class struggle lead?
I’m not reading tea leaves here, but the Communist Warren and Sanders campaigns promise to do to America what Mao did to China (where about 50 million died in the Cultural Revolution). 
The more authoritarian the model, the more unequal the situation as apparatchiks are rewarded. 
I can recall a Democrat Party that supported organized labor and was the party of the working men and women. It hasn’t been that way for a long time. 

Savages

Old NFO’s blog had an interesting discussion about women in Islam. To me, it underscores why savage people from savage lands should not be ‘blended’ in a multicultural society. Apparently the Germans now agree with me.
Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.  
“This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, south of Berlin. 
The debate over foreigners in Germany has shifted since former central banker Thilo Sarrazin published a book accusing Muslim immigrants of lowering the intelligence of German society. 

Three Day Fast – Sunday Supplemental

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Three-Day Fast

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano intends to hold a 3-day fast from January 3rd to 5th in support of those who are still detained on January 6 related charges. 964 individuals have been charged with crimes, many of them misdemeanors, related to January 6, and 465 pleaded guilty. Hundreds are still languishing in DC-area jails awaiting trial.

Vigano’s call for fasting came in a letter to attorney Joseph McBride, who defends many defendants on Jan 6 charges, and has committed to a 3-day fast to bring attention to the detainees’ plight. “My job as an American Catholic Civil Rights Attorney is to defend the persecuted Christ every January Sixer in the most devoted and intelligent way possible,” McBride said.  “Archbishop Vigano’s example of outspoken leadership and piety has deeply influenced my personal life and professional work. As such, I could think of no better person to contact for support during this crucial time,” he said.

What is YOUR church doing? I’m not a Catholic, but I am bursting with pride that the Archbishop is speaking out on this matter. Where is Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization? Where is Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey currently serving as president of the Council of Bishops in the United Methodist system of polity, the Council of Bishops is the Executive Branch of United Methodist Church government?  Where is President Russell Nelson, Prophet and leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church)? Where is Bishop Michael Bruce Curry, The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church? Where is Terri Omori, leader of the Buddhist Churches in America (BCA)? I could go on, but what’s the point? It would be nice to see some spine once in a while from America’s religious elite – but all honor to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.

 

Note: In his June 7, 2020 letter to then-President Donald Trump, which was published on LifeSiteNews, Viganò made “apocalyptic claims about a looming spiritual battle and a globalist conspiracy pursuing a one-world government,” according to the Catholic News Agency. Viganò said that Catholic bishops who support George Floyd protests associated with Black Lives Matter, were aligned with the New World Order conspiracy.

It sounds to me as if the Archbishop has the inside scoop. More on the archbishop’s career here.

On the Mogollon Rim

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Is it made from real wolves? Are girl scout cookies made from real girl scouts? You may have your answer.
I have never eaten wolf chili, but I’m sure that it’s good since our fellow blogger, Juliette, recommended it.
After having kicked some rocks, tossed the runes and flicked some beads on the abacus, I think that I have a better grip on Phase 2 development at the White Wolf Mine. It will include a barn, solar panels, a green house and a well/pump room, and it will be on the Southern Property rather than there with the hovel. Once complete, I’ll begin contemplating Phase 3.
No, excavation has not begun yet (wince), but you can see the stakes in the ground for the footings and for some digging that needs to take place (in the photos below).
Things have been going slower than anticipated because, as was pointed out to me, elk season is still underway. I saw two white tail deer on the property. A buck and a doe made an appearance. Arizona white tail deer are a subspecies, the Coues deer. I’ve seen mule deer up on the property, but the Coues deer are about half the size of a respectable mule deer. Larger than a German Shepherd, but not that much larger.
Elk season has driven some big horn sheep into the area. A neighbor complained that there were two dozen on his property last week. Big horn sheep are just one more wild species that is common to the Mogollon Rim area in the Arizona highlands.
The weather was spectacular with highs in the 70’s. The night was chilly, but not cold.

Looking east toward the far ridge line. Winter has come to the White Wolf Mine and the only thing that is green are the ponderosas, pinions and junipers. The leaves are off the oaks and the elk are scarfing up the acorns.

You will note that we have stakes in the ground to guide the excavation but also that it hasn’t begun yet. I really want to get that complete and have the foundation formed for concrete (which means electrical, water and plumbing lines in place) before the snow hits.

Patience is called for on my part, but not eternal patience. I’d like to move into the house in mid-2018 and time will tell (and the weather will tell) whether that’s going to happen.

Comfort and Joy

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The NORKS…Again

The North Koreans are reportedly preparing to put the People’s submarine out to sea for a Christmas missile launch. Commercial satellite imagery showed ambiguous signs that North Korea’s GORAE-class, experimental, ballistic missile submarine is preparing to depart Sinpo. According to the imagery analysts at 38 North, the netting that usually covers the submarine and a submersible test barge has been removed. 

There are many reasons the netting would be removed, but it is always removed before leaving port. Last week, open sources reported that North Korean engineers conducted land-based testing of the KN-11 submarine launched ballistic missile. In that context, a departure for an at-sea test should be expected.

The Norks don’t celebrate Christmas so in their typical Grinch-like behavior, they want to ruin it for a lot of other people by causing them to have to work on Christmas. 

Snow in Syria
Fourteen Turkish soldiers were killed and 33 wounded in clashes with the Islamic State (ISIL) fighters at al Bab in northern Syria. Turkey claimed its forces killed 138 ISIL fighters.

“Once this area has been seized, Daesh’s (ISIL) dominance of al-Bab will, to a large extent, be broken,” it said in a statement, using an Arabic acronym for the group. ISIL was using suicide bombers and vehicle-borne explosives intensively, it added.

Syrian news services report that the evacuation of Aleppo continued on 21 December despite a snowstorm. Government forces have halted movements to enter the last rebel neighborhoods until the evacuees are gone. After that President Asad is expected to declare the liberation of Aleppo complete.
This is the highest number of casualties the Turks sustained since President Erdogan sent Turkish Army units into northern Syria on 24 August. The ISIL fighters at al Bab have put up stiffer resistance than the Turks expected. Thus far, the Turk’s so-called anti-terror campaign, Operation Euphrates Shield, has faltered as clashes occurred beyond the immediate border. Al Bab is about 18 miles from the Turkish border.

Random Topics

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Name the Mystery Aircraft

This is a flying replica of the original, and a faithful replica. It is on display at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, 2021.

Because I have no faith in you nailing it,  the answer is at the bottom of this blog. Answer fairly, did you get it without looking at the bottom?

 

Oddball Wisdom

“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”

woof-woof-woof

 

USS O’Bannon (DD 450)

On the evening of 4 April 1943, the Destroyer Squadron TWENTY-ONE (DesRon 21), a fleet of destroyers which included the O’Bannon, had shelled Japanese bases in the New Georgia area. Early the following morning, they were returning to base at Nouméa, New Caledonia, when the O’Bannon’s radars picked up a large Japanese submarine.

It was cruising along on the surface, seemingly oblivious to the oncoming American ship. Commander Edwin R. Wilkinson ordered the O’Bannon to speed up and ram the sub, but as they got closer to it, caution won out. What if it was a minelayer? If it was, then ramming it would be suicide as the resulting explosion would destroy the destroyer.

But the ship had already built up momentum. So they turned the rudder so hard that the O’Bannon groaned while a large wave surged ahead to bash at the sides of the cruising sub. The maneuver worked. Instead of hitting the Ro-34, they banked sharply and found themselves sailing parallel to it.

Still no response from the Japanese. Looking over their railing, the Americans found out why. On the sub’s deck were sailors dressed in dark shorts and blue hats. And all of them were asleep.

The Allies’ fascination with the sleeping Asians couldn’t last, of course. First one, then another, and finally, the rest woke up. Pandemonium broke out as the Japanese stared up at the gawking enemy looming over them.

The American sailors wanted to open fire, but they had no guns among them. The Japanese also wanted to shoot, but they, too, were unarmed. According to Ernest A. Herr (who was aboard the O’Bannon that day), silence descended as the two sides ogled each other wondering what to do next. Military protocol didn’t cover such situations, apparently.

That, too, couldn’t last. The Ro-34 was armed with a 3” deck gun, and once the initial shock had passed, the captain realized that it might be a good time to use it. Although the O’Bannon also had deck guns, it was too close to the sub and perched too high to do any good.

The Japanese ran toward their deck gun. The Americans ran to their storage bins. No guns or grenades.

Only potatoes. Desperate, they reached in and threw as many as they could at the Japanese below, hoping to keep them away from their deck gun, but knowing it was a useless gesture. They were wrong.

The Japanese panicked. The brave among them picked the potatoes up and threw them overboard. Others threw them back at the Americans who threw them back at the Japanese.

It took the Americans a while to realize why the Japanese were so panicked – they probably thought that the potatoes were hand grenades. To this day, Herr isn’t sure why the Japanese were so afraid of the potatoes, but he’s grateful they were because they never made it to their deck gun.

The O’Bannon, meanwhile, used the potato war to distance itself from the sub. It got far enough away to use its deck guns, taking out the Ro-34’s conning tower. The sub dived, so the destroyer surged forward again, passing overhead and dropping depth charges that destroyed the Japanese vessel.

When the Association of Potato Growers of Maine heard about the incident, they sent the O’Bannon a plaque to commemorate the event. It reads: “A tribute to the officers and men of the USS O’Bannon for their ingenuity in using our now proud potato to “sink” a Japanese submarine in the spring of 1943. Presented by the Potato Growers of the State of Maine June 14, 1943″

She went on to serve in the Korean War and when she was decommissioned in 1970, the plaque was still aboard.

 

Name this Production Car (as opposed to a custom-made car or a one-off) This vehicle has a unique claim to fame. What is it?

 

Atlantis?  (h/t BW Bandy)

 

Wagons West!

Early Western Migration Trails.

Migration was made much easier with the coming of the Iron Horse.

Note the Republic of Texas, pushing north, toward Canada…

 

From the Forbes List – 2020

 

Answer to Mystery Aircraft

P-64

The North American P-64 was the designation assigned by the United States Army Air Corps to the North American Aviation NA-68 fighter, an upgraded variant of the NA-50 developed during the late 1930s. Seven NA-50s were purchased by the Peruvian Air Force and named it Torito.

Thoughts on National Health Care

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America set up a single-payer health plan a long time ago. It’s what the Democrat Party wants for the country. It’s called the Veteran’s Administration. While some VA offices worked well, the system as a whole was a train wreck. I don’t think that there is anyone in Washington that would dispute it.
Reform of the VA (and its labor unions) has become a cliche for a lot of politicians. The current move is to allow patients who need care immediately to step out of the system and go to healthcare providers in the open market. 
However if all healthcare in America was a much larger version of the VA, there would not be an open market to resort to. Sure, there’d be some independent providers catering to elites and those wealthy enough to pay for them. But the really good healthcare would be far beyond the means of 95% of the nation.
Is that what we want?
I realize that the “free cheese”/”Obamaphone” crowd want somebody else to pay for their needs, and they ALL want Cadillac care, but that won’t be happening in a country of 330 million people where 48% pay no federal income tax. 
The Market
The market for health insurance should look like the market for auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance: coverage you buy on your own, instead of depending on the government or your employer to buy it for you. Supplement that market with financial assistance for the poor and the chronically ill, and you’ll have achieved market-based universal coverage, along the lines of Switzerland’s health care system.
In order to make the U.S. health care system as free and efficient as Switzerland’s, we’d need to do four things: (1) establish a functioning individual health insurance market by replacing Obamacare’s exchanges; (2) gradually raise Medicare’s eligibility age for future retirees so that more people in their sixties would buy individual coverage that is subsidized where needed; (3) gradually migrate certain populations out of Medicaid and into the individual market; (4) address the grab-bag of other health-reform problems like medical malpractice, hospital consolidation, drug pricing, and veterans’ health care.
The American Health Care Act passed by the House was focused on problems (1) and (3). Legislative rules bar Republicans from using the reconciliation process to change Medicare. 
The Onion
Medicare is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. It’s a $600 billion/year problem that is headed toward a trillion (see figures below). Because old people tend to vote, politicians don’t want to bite the onion and change the eligibility age. But it needs to be nudged upward – possibly to 70, to make room for all of the younger (newly entitled) sick, those chronically dependent on others for their sustenance and so forth.

Ideally any government insurance/welfare program would deal with chronic and catastrophic problems, requiring patients to cover the cost of incidental doctor’s visits and elective care. Catastrophic plans are far less expensive but that’s where the greatest need is.


Though it may seem impossibly unfair to some of this blog’s readers, discounts and preferential treatment for federally subsidized healthcare should be given to people who don’t voluntarily engage in activities (smoking, abuse of alcohol and drugs, obesity, etc) that put themselves more at risk. This may sound cruel, but incentivizing good habits may increase lifespan, the quality of that life and the expense of medical care paid for by public dime.

At least that’s how I see it.

National Championship Air Races (Part 5)

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My company supports the Nevada Military Support Alliance (which does a ton of wonderful things for America’s veterans – and it’s not like some groups that eat up your donations with overhead). They had a dinner last night on September 11, and I was there with a number of people from the company including my Executive Assistant (daughter, Emilie), pictured right, who is working the company’s booth at the National Championship Air Races. It’s nice to be able to include family in what you do. Yes, it’s obvious that her good looks come from my side of the family. It’s also good for the company to set an example by giving veterans employment preferences. They give and we do (as a company) what we can to give back to them. They show character by putting themselves in harm’s way (even if the nation’s leaders are a pack of inept cowards) for all of us. The least we can do is to recognize what they do/did as best we can.
Ok, back to the Races!

Chapo Guzman Arrest

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Joaquin Guzman Loera (El Chapo) was apprehended in Mazatlan, Mexico this morning. He took Osama bin Laden’s place as #1 on America’s most wanted list. It’s not on the news wires yet but it soon will be. They’re flying him to Mexico City for a press conference and he’s in the air as I type.

He was scheduled to fly to Las Vegas next month to watch the Canelo Alvarez vs Alfred Angulo fight. I wonder if he can get the money back on the tickets — or if his successor will simply sit in his seats?


Ride the Way Back Machine

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Past and Future America

 

Before you go back, it’s cool to go forward.

 

The history of the USA according to 1861 Japan

A young and incredibly handsome George Washington is taught the path of the warrior by none other than the Goddess of America, Herself.

Image

George Washington is forced to defend his wife “Carol” from a dastardly British assassination attempt, led by the nefarious English officer Asura (far left).

Image

John Adams does furious battle with a giant serpent

Image

Benjamin Franklin fires an entire cannon with his bare hands as John Adams directs the fire.

Washington’s on the move in his carriage, whom the author points out with breathless amazement was only pulled by two – yes, *Only Two!* – horses! His trusty soldiers lead the way, with a star-less American flag proudly flying.

George Washington fights a tiger.

Franklin and Adams have had a falling out.

Adams has had enough, he gets on his horse and fires off an arrow at Franklin before speeding away.  Franklin doesn’t even flinch.

John Adams has gone to visit and take care of his mother in a touching display of filial piety.

While Adams’ back is turned, the snake he fought earlier has returned and eats his mother!

Adams beseeches the Fairy of the Mountain (I am dead-ass serious about ALL OF THIS) to lend him supernatural help in seeking revenge against the matrivorous serpent.

The Mountain Fairy hears Adams’ desperate pleas and enlists the aid of a Giant Bald Eagle (named Freedom) to do battle with this serpent

All is now well under Heaven! America reigns supreme, free from both giant beasts and British influence!

 

USS Devilfish

Photo:  USS Devilfish (SS 292) embarks on her third war patrol, late May 1945.

Two months before this photo was taken, in 1945, Devilfish was hit by a kamikaze aircraft. The plane crashed into Devilfish as the submarine was submerging, destroying her mast structure and sending water cascading inside her conning tower. The crew successfully controlled the flooding and surfaced at night to evaluate the damage — only to discover aircraft debris and realize they had not suffered a depth charge attack as they thought.

The only U.S. submarine attacked and hit by a kamikaze aircraft during World War II, Devilfish was credited for destroying an enemy aircraft.

 

Logos

There are certainly days when you wish that you’d just left the lettering on the stern (small print) identifying the ship’s name. Other people say there is no such thing as bad advertising, though.

 

Ukraine Legion Volunteers

I’ve seen a video of some of them in training. They move like a herd (one grenade would get them all) without the most remote understanding of the difference between cover and concealment.

They need a lot of training, but you know that they won’t get what they need.

Bullet sponges.

 

Identify the AFV – extra points for the location

 

PM-1

The PM-1, a Czech post-war flame-tank. In a case of things coming full-circle, the PM-1 was based on the German Hetzer which itself was based on the Czech LT vz 38. I didn’t want to make you guess.

Hotspots

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US v Iran
On Sunday, 5 May, the US National Security Council announced that the US was sending an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Gulf in response to “troubling and escalatory” warnings from Iran.
The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group canceled a stop in Croatia to sail to the Persian Gulf region. It was already scheduled for deployment in the Middle East, but its arrival was “expedited.” The bomber task force consists of four B-52 bombers that will operate from Al Udeid air base in Qatar.
The US View
US government officials cited intelligence that indicated Iran had crafted plans to use proxies to strike U.S. forces off the coast of Yemen and stationed in Syria. One official said Iran moved short range ballistic missiles by gunboat.
Concerning the Iranian threat, the US Secretary of State said, “This would be an effort to take American forces out that continue our campaign against ISIS, something that’s incredibly important to the Iraqi Government.”
The Iran/Persian View
The Iranian response. A spokesman for the Supreme National Security Council, Keyvan Khosravi, said that the US National Security Advisor had “no understanding of military or security” and that his comments were “mostly for show.”
Khosravi pointed out that the Iranian armed forces observed the ship’s arrival in the Mediterranean three weeks ago and called Bolton’s remarks an “awkward use of a finished event for the sake of psychological warfare.”
The spokesman added that it was unlikely that US military commanders wanted to test their capabilities against Iran’s armed forces

The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, Major General Suleimani, said the US was bluffing because the ships were already due to be on station. He also said that the US would lose a war with Iran.

(Editorial comment) The “nuke their ass and take their gas” scenario is not on the table but it could be. Iran has an exaggerated view of their capacity to do much in the event of general war or nuclear war with the United States.

Open sources contain only sketchy information about the Iranian activity that has generated the strong US military reaction. The information supposedly is classified indications of preparations for an attack. The one detail reported in public is the movement of short -range ballistic missiles by gunboats.
The Iranians have provided no explanation for any activities that might have prompted the US military moves. My sense is that the IRGC was making preparations to retaliate for its designation as a foreign terrorist organization on 8 April. 
The IRGC has many options for attacking US personnel by using proxy forces in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The US Secretary of State suggested the threat is primarily to the 5,200 US military personnel in Iraq, rather than Yemen, Some US forces in Syria are vulnerable to a proxy attack by Iranian-backed allies of the Syrian forces.
When the US makes adjustments to deployment schedules and deploys bombers, as it did in the past week, it is not bluffing. A single carrier strike group and a US Marine Corps Amphibious Ready Group are normal in the Persian Gulf region. The ARG is already on station. The bomber force is not normal. That deployment is the most persuasive action to indicate that the US is serious about deterring or responding to any Iranian misadventures.
The US is prepared to deliver a strong response to any Iranian provocation, but not to go to war. For that enterprise, it assembles three carrier task groups, support ships and more bombers.
Maduro Strikes Back (cautiously)
The Venezuelan Interior Minister, Nestor Reverol announced on 7 May that the government will take direct control of three airports in Caracas.

“On the instruction of our President Nicolas Maduro, we announce that the government undertakes administrative and operative control over the airports of Caracas, Higuerote and Metropolitano in order to take effective measures and prevent illicit activities,” he wrote on Twitter.

The minister noted that the officials will restructure the offices of Interpol, criminal investigation department, border, drug control and immigration services at those airports. The illicit activities presumably include the departure by air of persons wanted for crimes, sedition or treason. The airports will remain open but under tighter security. Land and sea entry points are already closed. 
This step is a logical follow-up to action by the Supreme Judicial Tribunal, the supreme court. The supreme court opened a criminal investigation against seven opposition lawmakers in the aftermath of a failed attempt to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro.
The nation’s highest court announced Tuesday, the 7th, that the lawmakers are suspected of “betraying the homeland” and “instigating an insurrection,” among other charges.
The lawmakers facing accusations include prominent opposition legislators, such as Henry Ramos Allup and Luis German Florido.
The opposition controls the national parliament. Most of its leaders, including Guaido, are members of the national assembly.
The government is moving remarkably cautiously against its opponents. That suggests it is not as confident of its status as its public defiance implies. 
The announcement of criminal investigations appears intended to test public and international reaction to legal action against some of the leaders of the failed overthrow attempt.
While Russia and China have asked the US not to engage in ‘nation building’ in Venezuela, neither of those parties pretend to control President Trump in the way that they managed his feckless, foolish predecessor. Maduro knows this.

Obama Paraphernalia

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(h/t Braden)

The obama doll/action figure was inspired by Democratic Senate Candidate Alvin Green from South Carolina. Green, you will recall, proposed that an action figure of himself be made in America and sold to Americans to help reduce the size of the national deficit.

Now the defunct (and corrupt) organization, ACORN is purported by this ad, to be selling the semi-official obama doll, made in China (I think).

Grist for the Mill

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Abstract big bang conceptual image.

 

Please join me in working to make the country safe for all pronouns. You can begin by sending gold one-ounce Krugerrands to the White Wolf Mine. Thank you. –  The Management.

No, that is not a serious request, it’s a reflection of how some OTHER people operate.

 

Thoughts

After spending the better of a day in the air, changing flights, and then sleeping, waking, and finding food, I thought about blogging and some thoughts that I have had because it’s Sunday somewhere. At least I think that it is.  It’s not Monday yet, so it must be Sunday.

The disclosures from the James Webb Space Telescope that I posted a few days ago were intensely interesting as is the demise of the Big Bang Theory*, which has been the Holy Grail ever since Fred Hoyle (English astronomer) coined the term “Big Bang” during a talk for a March 1949 BBC Radio broadcast, saying: “These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.”

*The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was designed to look back in time to a point immediately after the Big Bang and allow scientists to view primordial space and its galactic structures. They looked expecting to see things and they found something else – well-formed galaxies just like our own with doppler shifts that didn’t fit the theory. Does this mean that the Big Bang didn’t happen? How do I know? One thing that the data suggests is that if it happened, it happened differently than everyone thought that it did, and at a different point in time. Stay tuned.

Thus my thoughts turn to the Bible and what we have read, and by whom it was written (which explains how the writer, presumably Moses, understood the world).

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while the spirit of God swept over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2, NRSV)

The very first act of God as recorded in Genesis was to create order from chaos. The primordial chaos was formless and void. It had no shape nor could any part of it be differentiated from another. There were no opposites, no light nor dark, neither hot nor cold. This primordial chaos was typified by water which anciently was the one thing that had no set form. But in the midst of the chaotic primordial waters, God created a space where order, and therefore life, could exist. God took the indistinguishable primordial chaos and differentiated it creating light and dark, day and night, springtime and harvest. The opposite of life was the formless void.

In our current popular culture order is equated with rigidity and invariance. Order is viewed as something that limits free will and is oppressive. But that kind of order is only the order that people impose on the world. The order provided by God in Genesis is the natural order that is the basis of life. Without the natural order, life would know nothing but chaos and corruption. Here is one of the major themes of Genesis. The natural order is created out of chaos, and from that order, life is created.

The creation story in Genesis is crafted to show progressive spheres of order. On the outside of creation is where we find the primordial chaos without order. But beneath the dome of the sky, there is a space created where life can exist because of the order created by God. Inside this sphere is where we find the world as we know it. And at the center of creation, God created a garden as a perfect symbol of an orderly life. It was not a wild untended garden, but well kept and full of all useful plants. The garden sustained life and at the center of the garden was the tree of life that gave immortality and eternal life.

At some point, corruption and its resulting disorder and chaos enters the garden in the form of a serpent. But why a serpent? Here is where our modern culture fails to understand the symbolism here. Suppose I am telling a story and it is about a young girl who wears a red cape with a hood and she is walking through a forest. Just based on that, who does she meet in the forest? Does she meet a goat? Or a troll? Or a fairy? No, she meets a wolf. Why does she meet a wolf and not a bear, or perhaps a family of bears with papa bear, mama bear, and baby bear?

We know that she will meet a wolf because in our culture we have that story ingrained in our collective understanding. We can do this with many other stories. A story of three little pigs, what do they do, and what happens to them? A story starts out with a tortoise and a rabbit, what will happen? A girl with long hair lives in a tower, what will happen? We know the answers to these questions because we have been taught them by our culture.

So in the story of the creation where God brings order to chaos, who will come to corrupt the order created by God? Here our culture fails us because we are not surrounded by the milieu of the ancient world. If we weren’t steeped in our culture it would seem strange that three little pigs were building houses and why they used three different building materials. In the same way, it seems strange to us that a serpent comes into the well-ordered garden to corrupt it. But in the ancient world, it was something generally understood and to be expected.

In the mythology of the Middle East, the serpent was the symbol of the primordial chaotic waters. In Canaanite and Hebrew stories a serpent is the agent of chaos and evil. The Babylonian goddess Tiamat was the goddess of the sea and from her, the world was created, and she is frequently described and depicted as a dragon or a serpent. The symbol of a serpent, especially a sea serpent, as an agent of chaos and evil can be found throughout Indo-European mythologies. From Norse mythology to Persian mythology, and almost everywhere in between, a serpent or a dragon represents evil, destruction, and death and in many cases is associated with water, the sea, or destructive storms. So the symbol of a serpent entering the garden to tempt our first parents to bring death and corruption would have been readily understood by people anciently.

The effect of the serpent in the Garden of Eden was to bring corruption which would ultimately result in death. In this way, the cosmic principle of order and life is contrasted with corruption and death. Without God, the cosmos is chaotic and devoid of order and life. God brings order to the chaotic darkness and from that life can exist. But the world is not completely ordered. Corruption and death are fundamental parts of the world. We ourselves are corrupt and because of that, we are cut off from the orderly garden of life and the presence of God. We will die because of the inherent corruption found in the world.

Just as God created life in the world by bringing order to the chaos, it is only through the Son of God that we can remove corruption and chaos from our lives and become perfect and clean because no unrighteous thing can dwell with God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulters, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.

And that is a bit meandering, my brain trying to catch up with light and darkness.

Science ruins art a lot of the time. Even on the Highway to the Danger Zone.  I was watching Top Gun Maverick on the airplane. Maverick ejected from a hypersonic plane at Mach 10.5, before it crashed.

He survived with no injuries other than a headache – maybe.

At that airspeed, his body would splatter like a worm after being swatted by a  chainmail glove.

When Maverick ejected, he was going 7,000 mph, giving him 400 million joules of kinetic energy — the explosive power of 100 kg of TNT. It’s a situation that human physiology is not designed to survive. (Think of Princess Dianna in her limo going 6,900 mph faster when she hits the abutment)

So, no. Maverick would not walk away from this one. He’d be dead. Very dead. Penny Benjamin wouldn’t hook up with him and live happily ever after.

And there are questions like this one posed in the supermarket – that are not likely cosmic messages from the quantum foam, but who knows?

 

Bullet Points:

* The FBI denied possessing any information or files related to the Seth Rich murder. But that was not true and eventually, the information was discovered.

Attorney Ty Clevenger brought the government to court and last month the FBI was ordered to turn over information on Seth Rich’s computer that they possessed, and documents pertaining to Crowdstrike and the purported hack of the DNC in 2016.

Apparently, they just lied about not having the documents…what a shock. Now they are refusing to turn them over despite a court order requiring them to. Welcome to the Brandon Regime.

* Am I the only one who recalls Pearson Publishing being awarded $350 million in taxpayer dollars to create the Common Core curriculum and then years later a subsidiary of Pearson Publishing giving Obama a $65 million dollar book deal? The swamp in action.

* Is there such a thing as too much yellow?

 

This is the meme of the day – they write themselves, don’t they?

 

Sunday Sermonette

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Lambeth Palace, London

(Captioned photo) Lambeth Palace, seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury – but it’s not in Canterbury, which is quite a mystery to the great unwashed. One archbishop or another has lived there for 800 years. The estate has been there since the 1400’s.

Your sermonette today comes from the Book of Psalms and is dedicated to US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy (Nasty) Pelosi. Open your Bibles to Psalm 109:8 

“Let her days be few and brief; and let others step forward to replace her.”   (amen)

And to close this moment of deep contemplation:

 

Those Pesky Secret Service Travel Logs:

Will they corroborate the e-mails of Hunter Biden and his investment partners…more here

 

Now a few memes to keep the mood going:

 

And from the Pantheon

Persephone climbed into her husband’s lap as if it were her throne, as if she never sat anywhere else. Hades, stiff and frightening to eyes of others, let the flower goddess run her fingers through his hair like any love drunk young man tasting the nectar of a woman’s love for the first time. To the world he was an unyielding and merciless king, but for her he was vulnerable and tender.

This Day in History

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The Capture of the Dutch Fleet at Den Helder, 23rd of January 1795

In which the French armed forces demonstrated that not having the best navy can be okay.

Context

The French Revolution in 1789, followed by the imprisonment and then execution of Louis the XVIth in 1793, led to most major autocratic powers in Europe declaring war on France to restore the status quo. France was thus engaged on multiple fronts by many of its neighbors which, surprisingly, at the time included Austria through their ownership of the Southern Netherlands. Both Netherlands had witnessed failed republican uprisings in the previous decades, and as such the new France Republic pushed through the Austrian Netherlands to declare war on the -nominally only- Republic of United Netherlands in the North.

The Battle

After two years of the campaign, the combined efforts of the French revolutionary army and Dutch patriots had all but closed this front of the war. The French commander of the Army of the North was garrisoned in Amsterdam when he caught wind of the Dutch fleet being anchored at the mouth of the Zuiderzee bay, just north of there. Due to temperatures averaging -10°C in the past weeks, the entire bay had frozen over. He decided to use it to his advantage.   He immediately sent Dutch patriot General Jan Willem de Winter at the head of about two hundred men from the French 8th Hussar and the 3rd Battalion of Belgian Skirmishers, also raised from sympathizers to the republican cause. Muffling the sound of their horses’ hooves with cloth and arriving during the night each with a Belgian infantryman riding with them (2-up), the hussars surprised the entire Dutch fleet, frozen at anchor, and captured it without a fight.

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With a single cavalry charge, the French Republic had captured five ships-of-the-line, three frigates, six corvettes, and several merchantmen with their crews, for a total of about 850 guns.

This is one of only two recorded instances of a cavalry force charging and capturing ships in a battle and one of few instances where having light infantry ride as voltigeurs proved to be even remotely useful.   There is a debate whether the Dutch sailors and marines would have actually resisted capture however, as the Netherlands had essentially already been knocked out of the war by then and might have been ordered to surrender, which the French may have known as well. It is hard to discern the truth of the matter when what were two hundred men sent to secure a fleet that may have already been surrendered to them gets painted as a full army corps marching in tight formation on the ice. In any case, a squadron of hussars captured a fleet of ships and that’s awesome.

Aftermath

Following the capture of the fleet, the remaining Allied troops were evacuated to other fronts or England. Finally, the Austrian duchy of Luxembourg surrendered and the Dutch Patriot party were given the reins of the Netherlands renamed as the Batavian Republic – more or less a puppet state and the future Netherlands – while the Austrian Netherlands – future Belgium – and Luxembourg were incorporated in the French Republic as new departments.   The captured fleet was ransomed back to the Batavian Republic in exchange for a small loan of a hundred million guilders.

Holder Stays for Now – Miller Resigns

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Acting IRS Chief Steven Miller – took a bullet for Obama
Acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steven Miller proffered his resignation to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and President Obama in an effort to put water on the fire that the IRS started by intentionally targeting President Obama’s political enemies in 2010.
The IRS Scandal is only one of many that the president has had to weather recently. The Environmental Protection Agency is alleged to have engaged in the same pattern of corruption that IRS did.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew replaced Secretary Tim Geithner (who may have had to throw himself under the bus for President Obama had he not resigned his post earlier).

“Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it,” Obama said from the White House.  …Sure… 

Meanwhile, The House of Representatives is pushing their investigation forward along side a Department of Justice criminal investigation of the IRS employees involved in an effort to find facts and if they warrant, to bring those employees to trial in a criminal proceeding.

AG Holder on the stand
Attorney General Eric Holder was on the stand today in Congress. Holder, is alleged by many to be the architect of the Fast and Furious Scandal in which the US Government secretly sold arms to Mexican Drug Cartels through straw buyers. USGOV hoped to use those firearms as proof that US Arms were being sold to drug cartels – and advocating harsher gun control measures. This time he wasn’t answering questions (and lying) about what he knew when in the botched ATF operation.

Holder was held in CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS on the Fast and Furious matter. Now, presumably he’s no longer in contempt for LYING to Congress?

In a House Judiciary Committee hearing that examined a new set of scandals. Holder Congressman Darrell Issa grilled on Holder on a series of allegations, including the way the agency tried to find out who was behind a government leak to The Associated Press. 

(FOX News) The AP, along with several lawmakers, say the Justice Department infringed on the constitutional rights of the press when it secretly obtained two months’ worth of phone records. Lawmakers tried to get answers out of Holder Wednesday but voiced frustration after Holder repeatedly rebuffed questions by claiming he wasn’t involved in the decision-making process. 

It’s interesting that any time things go wrong at DOJ, the boss, AG Holder had no knowledge of the situation that led up to the scandal. That raises the question of whether he’s lying or merely incompetent and asleep at the switch. (photo right — Holder knows NOTHING — NOTHING!!)

Eric Holder channels Richard Nixon.

Flowers for Hugo

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A non-sequential series of fictional shorts:

Flowers for Hugo

Naturally, Frost was flipped immediately from customs pass-through to customs secondary. It’s the way he looked, how he carried himself. The vibe spoke to danger. Mexico and the agents of Aduana, it’s Customs Service, had seen its share of gringos like Michael Frost. A cadaverously thin woman wearing an Instituto Nacional de Migracion smock that hung on her like a shroud joined the customs man, but hung back, scrutinizing Frost in much the same way as a vulture would scrutinize a dying rabbit before it ripped into its still warm and vibrant entrails.

Smudged fingers turned worn pages of Frost’s passport. Even the stamps had stamps on them: Thailand, Somalia, Cuba, Colombia, Hong Kong, Yemen and every shit hole in Africa. The Aduana officer looked from the ink blue embossed US Passport with its eagle, to the mirror of Frost’s sunglasses.
The customs man asked, “Where are you coming from?”
“South America.”
“Why did you fly into General Servando Canales International Airport instead of across the border into Brownsville?”
“I have friends in Matamoros.”
The customs officer didn’t think that Frost looked like a man who has ‘friends’. “I can not see your eyes, senior.”
Frost slipped off the sunglasses and hung them through the pen slot on his shirt pocket in a practiced move. His eyes were deserted and the Aduana officer could only look into them for a moment. He indicated the conveyor belt leading to an X-ray machine. Frost lifted his bag to the conveyor and the bag drove forward into the machine’s maw.
The customs officer’s eyes grew wide and he looked up at Frost, now holding a license in his hand. “It’s a permit to carry that gun that you found. Issued in Brazil.”
Flash – photo straight on, Flash – a shot of Frost’s profile.
Frost looked up from the holding cell where he sat naked, into the cold eyes of the woman from Immigration who gazed at him through a small window in the door. She spoke proper English with very little trace of an accent. “You know, Matamoros means dead Negro.”
“I’m high yellow, doesn’t that count for anything?” Frost didn’t cover his manhood. He let the woman gaze. Eventually the woman, flanked by three armed and uniformed men let him out of the cell, still naked, to make a call from an old pay phone.

The call came through my secretary’s desk. It had been routed from a San Antonio, Texas exchange through ‘green lines’ to my office in Southern California.

“Good morning, may I help you?” My secretary, Miss Em, sounded like a Georgia Peach because that’s precisely who she is.
“I need to speak to Steve Burns.” Frost’s voice must have sounded ‘frosty’ because Miss Em knocked on my door to tell me that a rude man had called and was on hold.
“Did he sound like this?” I did a representative imitation of Gerry E. She shook her head, ‘no’. I tried Frost’s menacing cadence and raised my voice nearly an octave. She smiled. “Put him through.”
Frost clicked though, “Burns?” Mike Frost used my cover name.
“This is a surprise.”
He asked me, “When did Mexican Customs start x-raying bags at the point of destination when you had no intent to cross an international border?”
“They profiled you at baggage claim and threw you into a secondary customs search?” I guessed. His sigh told me that I guessed correctly. “Where are you?”
“I’m in Matamoros. They have me in the immigration holding area even though I cleared immigration into Mexico in Guadalajara.”
“Then there’s no hurry. You’re not going anywhere.” I tried to inject humor but Mike Frost would have none of it.
“Bring money.”
“The universal solvent.”
I had to cable headquarters and get permission to cross into Mexico from the US. People think that these things are done on a whim, but in a bureaucracy, there is no such thing as simple. Money was the easy part.
Paying the fine as one would pay any mordida in Mexico required that I visit a judge, who sprung him because there was no evidence in the locker that suggested he ever had a gun. Eight thousand in US Currency in a paper bag took care of customs, immigration and the judge. I have no idea where the handgun ended up. 
We went to a bar to talk it over. I’d explain to you that it was a run down dive bar in Matamoros, but those adjectives describe every bar in Matamoros. The place was full of hostesses and they had a house upstairs. I paid them to leave us alone and they directed us to a dark table in a corner. We split a bottle of cheap Mescal because that’s what they served.
“I need a piece.”
I handed Frost a bag containing .38 Super semi-auto, which was more legal than the Sig .45 that he had been apprehended with, and a permit from the State Judicial Police to carry it. He checked the handgun discretely, did a press-check and slid it back into the bag.
“You ended up in secondary search when you weren’t crossing the border. You are slipping my friend.”
“It was a calculated risk. I’ve done this sort of thing a million times and never got caught.”
“You won’t be able to say that again.”
Frost smiled for the first time. The teeth on the left side of his face were cracked and jagged. “You’ll need new caps too,” I observed. His hands had been fucked up. Broken knuckles healed slowly and the cigarette burn scars were nasty.
He watched my eyes. “Venezuela.”
“And Hugo Chavez?”
“He’ll be out of remission by the end of the week and dead in six months.”
I offered a smirk, “He needs to lay off the cigars.”

Epilogue

Presidente Hugo Chavez, embalmed, wig added, ready for the tomb.

Freaks and Perverts

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At first the liberal outrage over conservative areas not allowing men (most of whom are freaks and perverts by their own admission) to use women’s restrooms seemed silly to me. What person in their right mind would encourage men to use women’s restrooms? 
Since “transgender” is officially a state of mind more than a surgical decision (see Woman-of-the-Year Bruce Jenner), I’m sure that we will see the high school boy’s football team showering with the cheerleaders.  To be fair, as a high school boy, I would have showered with the cheerleaders too, but that’s really not the point, is it?
Even after the surgical tuck-and-roll, a man still has XY chromosomes even if his courting tackle has been removed. Maybe it needs to come down to some sort of automated blood test to determine who can enter which restroom. XY gets one restroom, XX gets the other? Or does this simply reflect my traditional bias that there is a biological difference between men and women?
Though do consider “trannys” to be freaks. I realize that they are freakishly damaged humans and believe that they should be treated fairly under the law. However, making everyone else in society miserable or putting women at risk is not the solution to their individual problems.  And if some guy wearing a dress thinks that he can get away with “meat gazing” me while I’m standing at a urinal watering the horse, I will suggest to you that the results to the tranny will be less than satisfying.

Making fun of Hillary

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Why not make fun of Hillary Clinton?
This is why.

Barack Toxic in Denver

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Iraq folding.



Israel’s army on the move in Gaza


The VA Scandal


The IRS Scandal


Russia in Ukraine


Illegals flowing across the US Border with Mexico


China building nuclear submarines as if there was …no tomorrow…

And it would seem that he can’t even find a Democrat to meet him at the airport.  And all of his fund raisers don’t allow the press with cameras for fear that there would be shots of him embracing local politicians that are running for office — thus ruining their chances for reelection.