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44
George Bernard Shaw

 

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”  – George Bernard Shaw

 

Bullet Points:

* Shepard (The Mississippi Queen) Smith was canned from his job at CNBC two years after Fox News fired him. In the past, he might have fled to CNN but they’re shedding the woke. Could get a job as a weatherman in the North Dakota market? One complaint at Fox was that Smith had a boyfriend still in his mid-teens (an emancipated minor). I don’t know if he had a new one when he worked at CNBC, but it was said to be a pattern for Smith. Apparently, some people are still not woke enough to think that’s cool for a queen who is pushing sixty years of age.

* Should Ronna McDaniel – granddaughter of Michigan Governor and businessman George W. Romney and a niece of Massachusetts Governor and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney be in charge of the Republican Party? I don’t know that I have any standing to say one way or the other since I’m not a Republican.

* “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” –  Einstein

* Flu Shots are NOT effective with the elderly – An important and definitive “mainstream” government study done nearly a decade ago received little attention because the science came down on the wrong side. It found that after decades and billions of dollars spent promoting flu shots for the elderly, the mass vaccination program did not result in saving lives. In fact, the death rate among the elderly increased substantially.

The authors of the study admitted a bias going into the study. Here was the history as described to me: Public health experts long assumed flu shots were effective in the elderly. But, paradoxically, all the studies done failed to demonstrate a benefit. Instead of considering that they, the experts, could be wrong–instead of believing the scientific data–the public health experts assumed the studies were wrong. After all, flu shots have to work, right?

* No more ZuckBucks in Georgia?  The campaign finance laws in Georgia changed. Georgia SB 202, signed into law on March 5, 2021, prohibits Georgia election officials from accepting private election funding, which was the basis of CTCL’s notorious $330 million grant program under the guise of the Covid-19 “emergency” known as “Zuckbucks.” It’s an interesting article.

* San Francisco has its own language now and it reflects a very woke view of the world:

America?

 

 

DRJIM lends a hand to a rookie…

 

Vegans are missing out.

 

On the hoof

Sermonette

33

 

 

Equality

Of course, the evergreen fruit of Envy is always severe inequality – All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others.

Anytime we have a self-proclaimed dictatorship of the proletariat acting in the name of making things equal for the people, you inevitably get a wealthy and isolated nomenklatura lording over the people in luxury, and terrorizing any kulak who dares complain.

Today, the concept of equality seems to lack meaning. Even some well-read conservatives and committed Christians find it impossible to grasp the meaning of the term, no matter how often or how clearly one defines it.

For the Left “equality” means “envy”– no man can be better than I, none wiser, none more wealthy, none more talented — except when it means “pride” — the craving of Lucifer to place his throne above God.

For the sane, “equality” means no legal privileges awarded to the ruling class by birth not also afforded to clergy, gentry, or peasantry.

This means that a law forbidding trespass equally prevents trespass into the hovel of a peon as into the mansion of a millionaire, and that law against theft equally prevents a pauper from stealing a penny as a prince from stealing a fortune. If a knight may bear arms, so may a knave. And so on.

Equality means no class system, no ranks, awarded by birth rather than by merit.

Envy means no millionaires, no mansions, no fortunes, and, to accomplish this, no pennies and no hovels either. You will own nothing and be happy, slave.

For the sane, “equality” does not mean, has never meant, and cannot mean what the communists take it to mean: no man may differ from any other in any way, shape, or form that any other might envy.

For the Left, it is illegal for a boy to be taller and stronger than a girl, and thoughtcrime to think otherwise.

 

HARRISON BERGERON by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Some things about living still weren’t quite right, though. April for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron’s fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn’t think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel’s cheeks, but she’d forgotten for the moment what they were about.

On the television screen were ballerinas.

A buzzer sounded in George’s head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.

“That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did,” said Hazel.

“Huh” said George.

“That dance-it was nice,” said Hazel.

“Yup,” said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren’t really very good-no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn’t be handicapped. But he didn’t get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.

George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas.

Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself, she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.

“Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer,” said George.

“I’d think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds,” said Hazel a little envious. “All the things they think up.”

“Um,” said George.

“Only, if I was Handicapper General, you know what I would do?” said Hazel. Hazel, as a matter of fact, bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General, a woman named Diana Moon Glampers. “If I was Diana Moon Glampers,” said Hazel, “I’d have chimes on Sunday-just chimes. Kind of in honor of religion.”

“I could think if it was just chimes,” said George.

“Well-maybe make ’em real loud,” said Hazel. “I think I’d make a good Handicapper General.”

“Good as anybody else,” said George.

“Who knows better than I do what normal is?” said Hazel.

“Right,” said George. He began to think glimmeringly about his abnormal son who was now in jail, about Harrison, but a twenty-one-gun salute in his head stopped that.

“Boy!” said Hazel, “that was a doozy, wasn’t it?”

It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling, and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of the eight ballerinas had collapsed to the studio floor and were holding their temples.

“All of a sudden you look so tired,” said Hazel. “Why don’t you stretch out on the sofa, so you can rest your handicap bag on the pillows, honeybunch.” She was referring to the forty-seven pounds of birdshot in a canvas bag, which was padlocked around George’s neck. “Go on and rest the bag for a little while,” she said. “I don’t care if you’re not equal to me for a while.”

George weighed the bag with his hands. “I don’t mind it,” he said. “I don’t notice it anymore. It’s just a part of me.”

“You been so tired lately-kind of wore out,” said Hazel. “If there was just some way we could make a little hole in the bottom of the bag, and just take out a few of them lead balls. Just a few.”

“Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out,” said George. “I don’t call that a bargain.”

“If you could just take a few out when you came home from work,” said Hazel. “I mean you don’t compete with anybody around here. You just sit around.”

“If I tried to get away with it,” said George, “then other people’d get away with it-and pretty soon we’d be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn’t like that, would you?”

“I’d hate it,” said Hazel.

“There you are,” said George. The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?”

If Hazel hadn’t been able to come up with an answer to this question, George couldn’t have supplied one. A siren was going off in his head.

“Reckon it’d fall all apart,” said Hazel.

“What would?” said George blankly.

“Society,” said Hazel uncertainly. “Wasn’t that what you just said?

“Who knows?” said George.

The television program was suddenly interrupted by a news bulletin. It wasn’t clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment. For about half a minute, and in a state of high excitement, the announcer tried to say, “Ladies and Gentlemen.”

He finally gave up and handed the bulletin to a ballerina to read.

“That’s all right-” Hazel said of the announcer, “he tried. That’s the big thing. He tried to do the best he could with what God gave him. He should get a nice raise for trying so hard.”

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” said the ballerina, reading the bulletin. She must have been extraordinarily beautiful because the mask she wore was hideous. And it was easy to see that she was the strongest and most graceful of all the dancers, for her handicap bags were as big as those worn by two-hundred-pound men.

And she had to apologize at once for her voice, which was a very unfair voice for a woman to use. Her voice was a warm, luminous, timeless melody. “Excuse me-” she said, and she began again, making her voice absolutely uncompetitive.

“Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen,” she said in a grackle squawk, “has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete is under-handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous.”

A police photograph of Harrison Bergeron was flashed on the screen-upside down, then sideways, upside down again, then right side up. The picture showed the full length of Harrison against a background calibrated in feet and inches. He was exactly seven feet tall.

The rest of Harrison’s appearance was Halloween and hardware. Nobody had ever been born with heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster than the H-G men could think them up. Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. The spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind but to give him whanging headaches besides.

Scrap metal was hung all over him. Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. In the race of life, Harrison carried three hundred pounds.

And to offset his good looks, the H-G men required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggle-tooth random.

“If you see this boy,” said the ballerina, “do not – I repeat, do not – try to reason with him.”

There was the shriek of a door being torn from its hinges.

Screams and barking cries of consternation came from the television set. The photograph of Harrison Bergeron on the screen jumped again and again, as though dancing to the tune of an earthquake.

George Bergeron correctly identified the earthquake, and well he might have – for many was the time his own home had danced to the same crashing tune. “My God-” said George, “that must be Harrison!”

The realization was blasted from his mind instantly by the sound of an automobile collision in his head.

When George could open his eyes again, the photograph of Harrison was gone. A living, breathing Harrison filled the screen.

Clanking, clownish, and huge, Harrison stood – in the center of the studio. The knob of the uprooted studio door was still in his hand. Ballerinas, technicians, musicians, and announcers cowered on their knees before him, expecting to die.

“I am the Emperor!” cried Harrison. “Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!” He stamped his foot and the studio shook.

“Even as I stand here” he bellowed, “crippled, hobbled, sickened – I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!”

Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds.

Harrison’s scrap-iron handicaps crashed to the floor.

Harrison thrust his thumbs under the bar of the padlock that secured his head harness. The bar snapped like celery. Harrison smashed his headphones and spectacles against the wall.

He flung away his rubber-ball nose, revealing a man that would have awed Thor, the god of thunder.

“I shall now select my Empress!” he said, looking down at the cowering people. “Let the first woman who dares rise to her feet claim her mate and her throne!”

A moment passed, and then a ballerina arose, swaying like a willow.

Harrison plucked the mental handicap from her ear and snapped off her physical handicaps with marvelous delicacy. Last, of all, he removed her mask.

She was blindingly beautiful.

“Now-” said Harrison, taking her hand, “shall we show the people the meaning of the word dance? Music!” he commanded.

The musicians scrambled back into their chairs, and Harrison stripped them of their handicaps, too. “Play your best,” he told them, “and I’ll make you barons and dukes and earls.”

The music began. It was normal at first-cheap, silly, false. But Harrison snatched two musicians from their chairs, waved them like batons as he sang the music as he wanted it played. He slammed them back into their chairs.

The music began again and was much improved.

Harrison and his Empress merely listened to the music for a while listened gravely, as though synchronizing their heartbeats with it.

They shifted their weights to their toes.

Harrison placed his big hands on the girl’s tiny waist, letting her sense the weightlessness that would soon be hers.

And then, in an explosion of joy and grace, into the air they sprang!

Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion were as well.

They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and spun.

They leaped like deer on the moon.

The studio ceiling was thirty feet high, but each leap brought the dancers nearer to it.

It became their obvious intention to kiss the ceiling. They kissed it.

And then, neutralising gravity with love and pure will, they remained suspended in air inches below the ceiling, and they kissed each other for a long, long time.

It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.

Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.

It was then that the Bergerons’ television tube burned out.

Hazel turned to comment about the blackout to George. But George had gone out into the kitchen for a can of beer.

George came back in with the beer, and paused while a handicap signal shook him up. And then he sat down again. “You been crying,” he said to Hazel.

“Yup,” she said.

“What about?” he said.

“I forget,” she said. “Something real sad on television.”

“What was it?” he said.

“It’s all kind of mixed up in my mind,” said Hazel.

“Forget sad things,” said George.

“I always do,” said Hazel.

“That’s my girl,” said George. He winced. There was the sound of a rivetting gun in his head.

“Gee – I could tell that one was a doozy,” said Hazel.

“You can say that again,” said George.

“Gee-” said Hazel, “I could tell that one was a doozy.”

 

Parting Shot

In order to hold, equality in law must have a foundation in some form of equality in fact. For instance, we do not grant equality under the law to chimpanzees, because chimpanzees are not equal to human beings in fact, at least not in any way that is relevant to law.

Human beings are manifestly unequal in fact in every material sense, and necessarily so, because that is the nature of matter. However, we are equal in the spiritual sense, in that we are all in fact rational animals made in the Image of God, and thus to unjustly harm another human being is to equally violate the Image of God regardless of that person’s physical attributes.

The Left, however, denies all of the spiritual aspects of man, seeing human beings as mere meat automatons to be programmed and engineered to perfection by the “march of history towards progress” and “enlightened” elites or what have you. However, they remain obsessed with equality, citing it as their primary goal and using it as their main rhetorical weapon.

Since the Left denies the existence of the only sense in which human beings are or even can be equal, they are instead forced to affirm,(absurdly) that all human beings are materially equal in every way (except of course for those who more equal than others), or at least that we are born that way, and that all inequalities in outcome are therefore the result of some sort of injustice.

In this way, they are able to delude themselves that women are naturally as physically strong as men but only end up smaller and weaker as adults everywhere in the world because of patriarchal social constructs or whatever. And also that women don’t objectively exist at all, but are only considered “women” because of the “gender assigned at birth” arbitrarily by bigoted doctors. And also that buggery is equally capable of creating the same and nurturing families to raise children as a real marriage. And so on and so forth.

Opinions

35

 

The Need for a Roof

Claudio brought up Prigozhin and Wagner group in an e-mail and cited this Radio Free Europe piece. Will Putin’s Chef prosper, and continue to gain influence, and what is the end game? I’ll let you read the article for context and precedence purposes, and I’ll take the bait and offer an opinion that is likely just as accurate as anyone else’s at this point.

The article mentions a krysha or “roof” in Russia and in most countries with strong organized crime baked into the infrastructure (such as Mexico) if you are to survive,  you’ll have one. Almost every business in Russia, from curbside vendors to huge oil and gas companies, makes payments to significant organized crime group(s) for protection they provide a “krysha”, a roof.

When I was working in Mexico for USGOV, I had significant top cover (a US term that means, “a roof”) from within MEXGOV. My coverage came from the top at SEMAR and Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional (Center for Investigation and National Security), commonly known as CISEN, which was established in 1989 and lasted until 2018. In 2018 it was folded into the newly formed Centro Nacional de Inteligencia or CNI. My top cover was better than that which USGOV could supply. It was based on relationships that don’t matter for the purpose of this discussion. Suffice it to say, a roof is necessary no matter who you are or where you are. When the sun is hot, you need la Sombra (the shade).

And we’re back to Yevgeny Prigozhin who became rich by understanding the game and manipulating it to his advantage.  It’s currently illegal under Russian law to criticize, or discredit, the armed forces, or to own or operate a private military company. But Prigozhin criticizes inept Russian generals and owns the Wagner Group. With a strong enough roof, you can make your own rules and that’s what he does. This means that Putin and some of the more significant players in the world of Russian organized crime back his play. My guess is that he’s safe for now and maybe he’ll succeed Vladimir Putin as Russia’s strong man. If he’s smart, he’ll protect Putin in retirement.

There is nothing sinister in the concept of a roof. It’s based on relationships (in China it could be guanxi) Prigozhin is obviously a master of this situation.

 

Changes

 

The Culture of Leadership

The culture of the United States Armed Forces in general was very distinct from our enemies in the Second World War. Many of the senior leaders, notably Nimitz and Eisenhower, came from very modest backgrounds. They had a very practical more than a martial mindset, something that counterintuitively gave them an edge in the chaos of wartime. They also were, by training, engineers and planners.

While the popular imagination leads us to valorize figures like MacArthur, Halsey, and Patton, America’s success was more due to the very grounded, technologically adept, and adaptive brilliance of men who might not have been all that dashing or colorful yet were, when it came to practical matters of warfare, unequaled in history.

Nimitz was by my personal estimation the most successful Allied leader of the war, who only shortly after the debacle of Pearl Harbor was able to seize the initiative in the Pacific despite the commitment of the United States to focus on Europe. An excellent engineer who came up through the submarine service rather than the battleship fleet, he had an unequaled talent for understanding the nuts and bolts of shipbuilding and maintenance. He was also an expert and pioneer in the field of underway replenishment. As a member of the Silent Service, he was technologically innovative and didn’t see all his battleships out of action as an impediment to going on the offensive. Like Grant versus Lee, he probably wasn’t as glamorous or martially impressive as his Japanese counterparts like Yamamoto with their samurai ethos or Lee with his genteel elegance but his ships were maintained, his crews trained in damage control and there was always fresh coffee at the ready. If you wanted someone who could fight their way halfway across the world it was him.

One of his most significant achievements was advocating and getting 150 of these beasts deployed to the front.

Not the battleship. Rather the thing HOLDING the battleship. Nimitz prioritized the forward deployment of skilled shipbuilders and the tools and materials needed to keep a fleet going even with the worst damage to the ships. Essentially, Nimitz, had entire shipyards moving forward with the fleet.

That expertise extended to the ships themselves, with the best damage control teams led by officers and chiefs unequaled in the world. They also pioneered such things as filling voids where dangerous aviation fuel fumes would be displaced by inert carbon dioxide and lines drained immediately after use. This attention to detail made the lightly armored carriers that were full of fuel and ammunition far more survivable than their Japanese counterparts. It was people doing the mundane and, in the enemy’s ships, undervalued things, that made the Americans so dominant so early.

This extended to civilian yard workers as well, who got nearly every ship off the bottom of Pearl Harbor.

No better example of this is the USS Yorktown, a ship the Japanese thought they sunk multiple times, including twice at Midway. The skilled labor and leadership of sailors and civilians alike were exceptional.

When one looks at history the apparently modest contributions of ordinary people get the short shrift in favor of what appears bold and heroic but brilliant leaders like Nimitz knew victory was the result of those unsung ordinary sailors who could keep a ship afloat when the sailors of other navies would see it as a lost cause.

 

Bullet Points:

* This recession does not correspond neatly to the economic models. Largely because it is self-induced. Construction and technology are laying people off. The ripples are spreading. How it’s going to play out is still a mystery. It still feels to me like late 2006 (where you could see it coming).

* It’s ok to live an ammocentric and ammosexual life, even if the woke don’t understand it.

* Billionaires are weird, what are they saving up for, Hell?

*  I think that my auto mechanic is ripping me off. Does anyone else think that $500.00 for a new exhaust for my Tessla is too much?

* There is nothing quite as racist or transphobic as Plymouth Rock. It marked (another) arrival of straight white people in North America to enslave the natives. Once again it taunts the world by holding back the rising oceans in Massachusetts from global warming as the ice caps melt (and we all prepare to die/drown in 4 years).

* “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” -Mike Tyson… Iron Mike also said, “Some people need a high five in the face with a chair.”

* When people do their own research before buying a washing machine,  a toaster, a house, or a car, they’re considered to be smart consumers. When they do their own research before allowing the government to inject something into their body, they’re called conspiracy theorists.

 

Photos

Good-Bye Norma Jean

 

Worth 1000 words.

 

Have an interesting weekend and don’t forget the sermonette here on VM tomorrow!

Life only offers us two things – just two – time, and the decision of how we will spend it.

Welcome Friends

47
Pet Rats

 

 

The First Amendment

The First Amendment gives Americans five basic freedoms: Freedom of speech, press, petition, assembly, and religion.

Free speech is the cornerstone of our republic.

Although what you say can have consequences—like losing friends or a job—it gives Americans the right to express opinions without government censorship or control. And more importantly–you can’t go to jail for expressing your opinion. Or maybe we need to phrase that more carefully. You shouldn’t be prosecuted for expressing your opinion. Times are certainly changing, aren’t they?

 

Numbers, figures, charts, and graphs (this will be my epitaph)

Frequency of female compound names that are composed of two common names. “Jo-” is super versatile, apparently…

 

Bullet Points

* Chinese Aggressive Fishing Practices (h/t Claudio) – I wouldn’t expect the heavily bribed FJB to take serious action against the Communist Chinese, but I expect that President Trump would.

* Ethics – …if they encounter someone who eats meat drowning in a pond, and that allowing them to die might, in fact, be the lesser evil. Are vegetarians and vegans going to declare war on the carnivores?

* Old Pedo Joe told the nation that it may take at least a week for democrat party votes to be double counted (Babylon Bee).

* Virtual Mirage welcomes the California State Threat Assessment Center  Central California Intelligence Center; Sacramento, CA to the blog. While there is nothing wrong with lurking, join in the conversation. Add meaningful content. Keep checking in every day and you might learn something. It’s a very small world, isn’t it?

A primary fusion center typically provides information sharing and analysis for an entire state. These centers are the highest priority for the allocation of available federal resources, including the deployment of personnel and connectivity with federal data systems.

Maybe you should start reading here.

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements – Costs

The repurchase agreement (repo or RP) and the reverse repo agreement (RRP) are two key tools used by many large financial institutions, banks, and some businesses. These short-term agreements provide temporary lending opportunities that help to fund ongoing operations. The Federal Reserve also uses the repo and RRP as a method to control the money supply.

Repos and reverse repos are two sides of the same transaction — reflecting the role of each party. A repo is an agreement between parties where the buyer agrees to temporarily purchase a basket or group of securities for a specified period. The buyer agrees to sell those same assets back to the original owner at a slightly higher price using an RRP.

Both the repurchase and reverse repurchase portions of the contract are determined and agreed upon at the outset of the deal. The chart above reflects the insanity of the policies pursued by the Brandon regime.

 

Cartoon of the Day

 

A Christmas Gift Idea

For that special someone –

 

 

Working for the Weekend

43

 

Never forget how they lied about the vax:

Thought experiment:  Donald Trump was reelected president, but if the election had not been rigged, the vaccine(s) would’ve still sucked and been plagued with problems.

The big news outlets would’ve decried how dangerous they were (purely on the basis that they were supported by Trump, just coincidentally correct). Democrat voters would’ve followed suit, eventually leading to a left-leaning “anti-vax” movement (probably still decrying the right as “anti-science”).

 

How to Become Rich by Working for USGOV

(Wall Street Journal) Federal officials working on the government response to Covid-19 made well-timed financial trades when the pandemic began—both as the markets plunged and as they rallied—a Wall Street Journal investigation found.

In January 2020, the U.S. public was largely unaware of the threat posed by the virus spreading in China, but health officials were on high alert and girding for a crisis.

A deputy to top health official Anthony Fauci reported 10 sales of mutual funds and stocks totaling between $157,000 and $480,000 that month. Collectively, officials at another health agency, Health and Human Services, reported 60% more sales of stocks and funds in January than the average over the previous 12 months, driven by a handful of particularly active traders.

By March, agencies across the government were working on wide-reaching measures to prop the economy and markets. Then-Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao purchased more than $600,000 in two stock funds while her agency was involved in the pandemic response and her husband, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, was leading negotiations over a giant, market-boosting stimulus bill.

And as the government was devising a loan package aimed specifically at helping companies including Boeing Co. and General Electric Co., a Treasury Department official involved in administering the aid acquired shares of both companies.

Federal officials owned millions of dollars of stock in industries most affected by the pandemic and the government’s response. About 240 officials at health agencies and at the Pentagon, a key player in the vaccine rollout, reported owning a total of between $9 million and $28 million in stocks of drug, manufacturing, and biotechnology companies that won federal contracts related to Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021, the Journal’s analysis found…

*

More bucks than brains…

*

Bullet Points:

* (Gateway Pundit) Flashback: Former AG Barr shut down investigations into a trailer load of 288,000 ballots into PA from New York in 2020 Election – Barr refused to provide whistleblower protection – Now the USPS won’t provide an investigation report – what gives?

*

Irish Breast Feeding

Thursday Follies

16
The Penis in the Sky...

 

 

Bullet Points:

* No Covid Amnesty without a reckoning. Take a ride on the way-back machine on this blog to the beginning of the Covid plague and you’ll find that there was a significant body of knowledge all along that showed the government’s progressive response was wrong. They knew and they did it anyway to break the world. To be fair about it, I was living maskless at the White Wolf Mine the whole time because being an old man with too many guns living on the remote Rim, I’d seen something coming a long way off. But not everyone was able to punch out the way that I did. My oldest daughter speaks to me of Covid PTSD after living in a place where that was all people talked about for two years.

Anyway, it’s a good article from The Federalist.

* A Penis in the sky…A US Air Force tanker appeared to draw a penis in the sky nearby Russia‘s Syrian naval base as the war in Ukraine persists.

The cheeky sighting on Tuesday night was hard to ignore as the US KC-135 Stratotanker refueling plane outlined the ballsy drawing over Russia’s naval facility in Tartus off the Mediterranean, according to Politico.

*  “I was born a poor black child.” Straight out of Steve Martin’s comedy classic comes Presidentish Joe Biden’s latest campaign pander — or at least, close enough. The other day, FJB claimed in a speech to have attended Delaware State University,  one of America’s historically Black Colleges and Universities.

* A Reaction to a different Brandon speech from PJ Media. I don’t know who old Pedo Joe was speaking to, but as the article points out, nobody, not even the donkeys, are buying the bullshit.

“…You want your fellow Americans to help you meet this day? Maybe your fellow Americans are worried about putting gas in the tank, heating their homes, or making their rent or mortgage. Maybe they are reeling from the fact that you and your media lied to them about a drug that did nothing to prevent the spread of a disease, and watched their businesses and livelihoods evaporate. And you and the people who profited from it could not have cared less. Maybe the voters are hearing about the supply chain being interrupted by a lack of diesel fuel or an impending railroad strike, which, despite your crowing about fixing it, may occur after the election after all. Maybe they are worried about getting attacked on the street or having their stores or boutiques cleaned out. They know how your allies are trying to divide and judge their children on the color of their skin, and mutilate their growing bodies. Some don’t feel safe outside their homes and barely feel safe inside them. Some still remember the Afghanistan debacle. Some of them are even worried about nuclear war. I wasn’t even alive the last time that concern was on the table.”

* FBI Corruption – In December 2020 FBI agents contacted Jeremy Brown at his home for “posting some things online.” Jeremy released video surveillance of the FBI contacting him at his home. And Jeremy then later released an audio recording of his actual meetup with the FBI.

TRENDING: Jan 6 Protester and Green Beret Jeremy Brown Who Was Arrested for Turning Down FBI Request to Work as Operative on Jan 6 Is Offered a Plea Deal by Corrupt DOJ — Turns It Down

* The FJB Debt is discussed.  It went up $33,521 per taxpayer in 2 years. When I read that, I said, wow, is that all? Thanks, Pedo Joe for keeping a lid on it…

 

The Cathedral

I was going to put a picture of the cathedral on the Sunday Sermonette but thought you might need a little religion today.

 

Maps

Countries that take part in the European Sky Shield Initiative

Defense Ministers from 14 NATO Allies and Finland came together in Brussels on Thursday (13 October 2022) to sign a Letter of Intent for the development of a “European Sky Shield Initiative”. Spearheaded by Germany, the initiative aims to create a European air and missile defense system through the common acquisition of air defense equipment and missiles by European nations. This will strengthen NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence.

 

 

Just 5% of the world’s population lives in the area shaded blue and another 5% live in areas shaded red.

 

Countries with GDP PPP Above $1 Trillion

 

 

Dr. Strangelove…

24

 

Rumors of War

SteveS sent me an e-mail that included an assessment by somebody that neither he nor I knew who was predicting a nuclear first strike by the US on Russia. Based on the opinion of the author, the US is now confident of a successful first strike that would decapitate Russian leadership and blunt a Russian nuclear response.

The opinion went on to suggest that repositioning nuclear missile submarines (SSBNs) would be the key to success and that the Brandon regime was doing just that.

I responded to SteveS briefly just as I’m throwing my cracker in the soup here. Nobody knows who is actually running the US but we can all agree that nobody would trust the nuclear trigger in the hands of Jo/Ho. Some of my sources suggest that the Pentagon has the football, not elected leadership. As disturbing as that would be, it’s better than Jo/Ho. The American Executive Branch is broken badly. But are they so broken as to envision a nuclear first strike?

The Russian nuclear response is distributed through various mobile launchers primarily. The US uses submarines primarily (I’m not diminishing the role of the Air or Space Forces,  but naval missiles can be moved around the chessboard and would likely hit their targets first and in greater numbers.) Secondary nuclear forces would follow. Enough missiles would have to be held in reserve for a decapitating strike against Communist China and a few more for contingencies.

It’s an interesting war game for armchair has-beens/once-was and rumors blossom on the Internet and are shared just as I did above. The real question is WHY the US would do that. Weak US leadership and uncertainty over who runs the place adds fuel to the fire.

I think that the point of all this is that it must STOP.  Rumors are rumors, but they exist in a vacuum of leadership. The impeachment of Jo/Ho may be wishful thinking on my part, because what we have now is dangerous not just for the US but for the world.

 

Bullet Points:

* A Defense News analysis of Federal Election Commission data for the 2022 election cycle found that the five largest defense companies — Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics — contributed a total of nearly $2 million to Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results. (h/t Claudio)

The Beltway Bandits don’t donate out of love for candidates, they donate to winners who will champion their financial interests. They’re fleeing the loser donkeys. Who wants to throw good money after bad?

* Credit Suisse is failing.  ZeroHedge reports: …’On Thursday, Credit Suisse said one or more of its units (emphasis added) breached liquidity requirements this month when depositors pulled their money amid speculation about the lender’s turnaround plan.’…

ZH also expressed the opinion that …’if all it takes for your liquidity to fall below legal regulatory requirements are a few tweets, then you probably shouldn’t exist in the first place’… ouch!

 

In Arizona, God picks off democrat voters.

 

The Wierd Series – sort of

You park your car on the outskirts of the stadium. The big game will start soon in Philadelphia; in the distance, you can hear a faint rendition of “Take me Out to the Ballgame.” You start walking towards the stadium. It’s only a few minutes. Ten, maybe twenty. The stadium doesn’t seem to be getting closer.

Take me Out to the Ballgame has looped a few times now, shifting up in key with each repeat. You look around and realize there’s nobody else here. Some folks might assume you were the last to arrive, but the game hasn’t started yet. Shouldn’t there be other people still coming in?

Take me Out to the Ballgame starts over, playing faintly in the distance. For the first time, you realize it’s not coming from the stadium. It’s just sort of… faint, from every direction. You decide that maybe you should get back to your car. Perhaps you’ll find a spot closer to the stadium.

As you start walking back, you realize you have no idea where you parked. The cars continue, infinitely. Upon turning your attention to one, you notice for the first time there are no license plate numbers on any of the vehicles here. There is one decal you can see; a stick-figure family, standing in the rear window. They are definitely not human. You start searching for a way out. You see no trees, no buildings other than the stadium. Just an infinite plain of gravel and cars with no markings. You are alone. You are in The Lot.

 

Photos

Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu-class river monitors.

 

The X-36 technology demonstrator shows off its distinctive shape as the remotely piloted aircraft flies a research mission over the Southern California desert. 30 Oct 1997

And while we’re on the subject, Claudio tossed this piece about the Next Generation Fighter over the transom.  There has been some speculation about the project and the number of aircraft that would be built.

 NGAD is expected to replace the F-22, which shares the same air dominance role. There are currently around 185 F-22s in the inventory, but they will likely not be replaced in a one-to-one ratio as the Air Force may only buy 100 6th gen. fighter jets.

 

Identify the Tanks

 

Movie Review: All’s Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix) (2022)

The book, All’s Quiet on the Western Front (the original book) was written by a German WWI veteran who was determined to explain just how utterly horrifying, disgusting, and senseless the First World War was. The book and its adaptations take great pains to portray the suffering endured by the common soldiers on both sides, who didn’t even really want to fight but were manipulated/forced into it by those in power. The book was banned in Nazi Germany and the author had to flee the country because the Nazis believed the book was “anti-German” and would hamper their recruiting efforts.

The 2022 remake is graphically violent, but in its violence, it can’t be said to be inaccurate. You can view it in German or in English, but it is a German film and I think that lends a certain authenticity to the piece. It’s disturbing but that is its intent.

Random – Very Random

32

 

 

Housekeeping

It’s a snow day here at the White Wolf Mine, perched atop Arizona’s Mogollon Rim. What (you might ask) is the difference between a snow day and a regular day? Not much. Except my tasks include shoveling snow. Yes, I have a snow blower and might break that out and put it to work as well. And because of the nature of the day, the blogging topics will reflect the random mood.

 

Pick your Pike

Image

Boarding Pike replica, USS Constitution, early 20th century

Once deemed the “rarest type of naval boarding pike” this example of a boarding Pike, is the so-called “quarter pike”.

These pikes first appeared on a 1797 dated document of ordnance allowance which described “100 boarding or quarter pikes” for the USS Constitution. There has been much dispute over the authenticity of these quarter pikes, but it is now known that these polearms were fabricated in the 20th century and their appearance was based on 18th-century records. Although the USS Constitution was outfitted with 100 boarding pikes including these so-called quarter pikes, none are known to have survived. These quarter pikes were made famous in the 1920s when the USS Constitution was being restored.

SALEM, Mass. (Aug. 6, 2011) Sailors assigned to USS Constitution perform 17th-century boarding pike drills during the Salem Maritime Festival. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Shannon Heavin/Released)

A traditional boarding pike has a hook associated with the spearpoint. I can see how it might be useful to pull an enemy sailor or marine off balance in a fight on a pitching deck.

Was the US Navy just being cheap when they issued spears instead of traditional boarding pikes?

 

 

Censorship

“Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information.

“Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, a former DHS official, texted Jen Easterly, a DHS director, in February.”

 

Bullet Points

* The White House was forced into an embarrassing Twitter climbdown on Wednesday, deleting a tweet that claimed President Joe Biden was responsible for seniors getting the biggest increase in Social Security checks in a decade.

As fact-checkers were quick to point out, the increase is based on the rate of inflation and is required by law.

* A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.  –  On a men’s room wall in the Arizona highlands.

* There is a post exchange from back on Halloween that I thought that I’d bring forward here on the subject the utility of war hammers in the modern world that sprang from the Pelosi business:

Waepnedmann:

There was a time some 1%ers (not the Goldman-Sachs 1%) carried ball peen hammers because they were not considered to be a weapon and stowed nicely in a waistband. (note: everything is a weapon, depending on how you hold it).

I heard from someone in the know that if you wack someone in the skull with a framing hammer do not use the hammer face as it tends to get hung up in the circular hole it makes when punching through the scull. The taper of the claws makes extraction easier.

One of the many things you learn before reaching 29.

LL, In reply to waepnedmann.

That is why there is a claw point on many war hammers from antiquity to the present. The design hasn’t changed. Sometimes there is a tomahawk, sometimes a hammer, or more of a pry tool to open armor, but the spike is tried and true. I look at mine sitting next to me on my desk. It won’t go through a shock plate/trauma plate, but it will punch right through kevlar like it doesn’t exist. Then again so will the striking face of the tomahawk blade. I’ve always been a fan of the war hammer as a modern weapon not just for the application you described, but for prying things open (key to the city). I have a Kydex case for mine and it’s “jump certified”. If you’re riding in. or on a vehicle, you can just throw a wrecking bar or a Halligan bar, or a Fu-Bar in the rig. If you jump out of an airplane, you need to keep it on your body (usually, unless you’re jumping a speed bag) and that’s where the war hammer really comes into its own in our modern era.

There are many designs out there and modern designs are almost always just variations of proven, utilitarian designs.  <-The link is Cold Steel peddling their wares. This one is the same sort of thing, but a slightly different take.

 

Cutting for Sign in 2022

 

USAF ICBM Crew Patch

 

Observations

36

 

It’s a Fair Question

 

Biden Family Values

 

The Diesel Supply – Commentary

Following news that the U.S. diesel supply has sunk below 25 days, Mansfield Energy issued an alert pertaining to shortages in the southeastern region of the country. While no direct reasons were given, the company noted that diesel reserves have been holding at historic lows throughout most of this year.

“Poor pipeline shipping economics and historically low diesel inventories are combining to cause shortages in various markets throughout the Southeast,” the company stated. “These have been occurring sporadically, with areas like Tennessee seeing particularly acute challenges.”

While fuel shortages and energy deficits have become a global issue, Mansfield Energy has signaled that certain American states will be seeing some problems. The northeastern United States has been the zone enduring the lowest diesel stockpiles throughout most of 2022. But some of that pressure will be shifting around and may create problems for people living in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama.

The White House has said it plans on keeping an eye on diesel inventories and is doing what it can to boost supplies. However, earlier attempts did not go as hoped and the United States has continued exporting more diesel fuel out of the country than usual. When President Biden urged the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase production, he was snubbed. Then again, if he came to my home asking to borrow a cup of sugar, he’d be snubbed and sent packing too.

Unfortunately, reality trumps whatever hypothetical future politicians would like to see. Energy reserves are running out today and are now below a month’s supply where diesel is concerned.

The Saudi Energy minister publicly addressed this after Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia in July, alleging that the White House intentionally tried to manipulate the price of oil by tapping into those reserves.

“People are depleting their emergency stock and using it as a mechanism to manipulate the market when its purpose was to mitigate shortages of supply,” he said. “Losing emergency stocks may be painful in the months to come. Nations shouldn’t use emergency oil reserves to manipulate prices.”

OPEC could have increased production to help lower fuel prices (and increase supplies) globally. But they, like Western oil producers, seem to have realized that there’s a lot of money to be made when people are desperate.

 

 

Free and Fair Elections

According to the Biden regime, you should be prepared for “errors” and “glitches” in the upcoming midterm elections. But fret not; according to Jen Easterly, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), these irregularities are “normal” and “not nefarious.”

This should shock you. It only took two years of FJB to go from having the fairest and most secure elections in history to the administration’s warning that we should expect irregularities because they happen all the time.

 

It’s like a vegan who secretly eats meat…

 

Bullet Points

* In a 152-5 vote last Friday, the UN’s General Assembly voted to have Israel dispose of its nuclear weapons and place any nuclear sites within its borders under the watchful eye of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The dissenting votes were from the United States, Canada, Israel, Micronesia, and Palau. Twenty-three nations and the European Union abstained. For the historical record, Israel never admitted to having nuclear weapons. There was that horrible boating accident where if they had nuclear weapons, they were lost somewhere in the ocean…

* I am not a big fan of the McRib sandwich at Mcdonald’s. I had been under the impression that the filling between the bread wasn’t meat at all but some sort of mystery substance covered in a sticky red sauce that purported to be BBQ sauce. Based on what I’ve heard recently, there is pork in it, and Mcdonald’s re-releases the sandwich when pork prices are low.

* In case you forgot, November 2, 2022, marks the 75th anniversary of the one and only flight of the Hughes Flying Boat, the so-called ‘Spruce Goose.’

 

Cartoon of the Day

 

 

Midweek Monsters

40
Abrams

 

 

Georgia Politics

(PJ Media) The polls and early voting numbers have been looking really good for Republicans in Georgia. Gov. Brian Kemp has an easy path to re-election, and the GOP has momentum in other races — including a surprisingly good chance in a congressional district that hasn’t elected a Republican since 1875.

One of the key races that the nation is watching is the Senate race between incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and football legend Herschel Walker. Early on in the campaign, Walker earned the label of a “bad candidate,” and his campaign made some missteps early on. He shook up his campaign and started to gain ground.

As the election nears, Walker has gained momentum, despite Warnock’s continued attacks on his opponent. A surprisingly strong debate performance and the enthusiasm on his bus tour have bolstered his chances as well.

Polls continue to look great for Walker, and the RealClearPolitics average currently has Walker up 1.4 points, which is a tight race, for sure.

But Walker may be receiving some help from an unlikely source: losing Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Abrams is performing so poorly against Gov. Brian Kemp that she may also be serving as a drag on the Warnock campaign. At least that’s according to a theory from News Nation’s Zaid Jilani.

Fat, greasy, filthy, and obnoxious Abrams has been screaming racism and sexism loudly but people are tired of the porn writer’s campaign and it shows in the polls. There was a time when Democrat insiders had been touting Abrams for the top slot in the White House. Apparently, that ship has sailed.

 

Paul Pelosi Incident (redux)

Then there are all the elements of the Paul Pelosi Break-In timeline that don’t quite add – Matt Margolis.

How did the illegal alien, felon and homeless drug addict David know the Pelosi mansion and how did he arrive there?

Who was the “third party” that the police mentioned who let them into the house? Was it David’s pimp/driver?

Was there forced entry and did the alarm go off?

No video? What about the body cam of SFPD?

Did Paul go out Friday? If so, where? And when did he return?

All of the Pelosi mansions and properties have 24/7 armed guards including Federal Police inside and local police outside. Were they given the night off?
What was David doing prior to breaking in?

Why SF General? There are 4 hospitals that are closer.

Why did he refer to David as a friend when Paul P. called the police?  The taped conversation is in the public realm.

Whose hammer?

Paul Pelosi’s personal lifestyle stopped being his business the minute his political pals started accusing conservatives of attacking him. The accusation that Nancy Pelosi — the woman most in the know — hasn’t made.

I don’t care what the 82-year-old Paul Pelosi’s prurient pursuits might be. They’d seem to be on par with the rest of DC and the people who visited the late Epstein’s Island. Based on what little we’ve been allowed to know, what might have happened is something too sad to even be salacious: A family with a terrible secret that resulted in a violent attack and a near-tragic end.

 

The End of the Great Wall of China

Yes, I know that there are 7 or 8 great walls that were constructed in China. This one ends in the ocean. It’s a little like the series ending of Lost.  All that you ever needed to do was to swim around it.

 

Uber – in decline?

The ride-sharing giant Uber is continuing to have a rough time turning a profit, with the company’s third-quarter earnings revealing a net loss of $1.2 billion for the last three months despite revenues that continue to grow.

Hmm… it would seem in its base form, this service industry company is responsible for running a computer application that connects drivers who are currently classified as independent contractors, with passengers for pay. Working capital investment is minimal given the business model is premised on using independent contractors and their private vehicles. By observation,  one might logically conclude the firm’s losses are NOT based on declining consumer market demand, but rather, inept corporate leadership.

Based on Uber’s current losses, it’s not a reach to foresee the firm may not survive the potential implementation of new IRS rules under consideration which will likely force the company to reclassify its contract drivers as employees.  Under proposed changes, IRS rules will revert back to an older standard in place prior to 2021, whereby,  independent contractors must be largely autonomous in their business model; eg, a business cannot be solely dependent on independent contractors to fulfill all its production output as its core business model;  and contract employees, must be free to solicit contract work from other firms, and their business model should not be solely reliant on contract work from one business. In addition, independent contractors must have control over setting prices for their services, their hours of business operation, and the ability to control personal profit/loss. Clearly, the current Uber business model appears to fail under that proposed IRS rules test.

 

The FBI Won’t Release the information from Seth Rich’s computer…

Rice Bowls

39

 

 

The New Democrat Party

(VDH Speaks) Victor Davis Hanson lays out the composition of the new Democrats but in doing so, maybe minimizes the administrative state (DC Swamp, Military Industrial Complex, etc.)

First, there is the subsidized and often inner-city poor.

Second, the meat of the party, is the upscale, bicoastal professional and suburban credentialed classes.

Third, the real rulers of the party are the hyper-rich of Big Tech, Wall Street, Hollywood, the corporate boardroom, the administrative state, the media, and the legal world. Almost all these institutions have lost public confidence and poll miserably. Their cocooned leaders are never subject to the ramifications of their own often unworkable policies.

In a flurry of texts with LSP on different topics yesterday, I shared my expectation that the 118th Congress, which will be sworn in after the first of 2023 (if all goes according to plan, there is no nuclear war, etc.) will likely have the impeachment of Pedo Joe and Camela very high on their list of things to do. The return of the Executive Branch of Government to the Republican Party will no doubt be met by riots, managed by paid hirelings of the Democrat Party with the Military Industrial Complex wringing its hands and deciding which way to jump.

The Administrative State has a lot to lose in a return to Trump. There will be calls to severely reform the FBI and the US Intelligence Community that has increasingly violated their remit by collecting against political enemies of the Democrats inside the US. The policy toward funding Ukraine (with an eye toward kickbacks) would need to end as presently constituted, and the eye toward trade with China and allowing PR Chinese investment in the US would need to stop. The flood of “potential democrat voter” illegal aliens across the border would need to be stopped. In other words, all of the rice bowl issues would be on the table in 2023, two years ahead of the next general election. None of these corrupt operations would take a broken rice bowl without a fight.

Thus, it’s very difficult to predict how 2023 play out.

 

Quote of the Day

“Many people seem to think it foolish, even superstitious, to believe that the world could still change for the better. And it is true that in winter it is sometimes so bitingly cold that one is tempted to say, ‘What do I care if there is a summer; its warmth is no help to me now.’ Yes, evil often seems to surpass good. But then, in spite of us, and without our permission, there comes, at last, an end to the bitter frosts. One morning the wind turns, and there is a thaw. And so I must still have hope.” — Vincent Van Gogh

 

Identify the Officers

 

Bullet Points:

* The Russian lawmaker who called for an end to the war in Ukraine is comatose in a hospital after suffering serious head injuries. Anatoly Karpov, 71, who was a chess grandmaster in the 1970s before turning to politics, is thought to have been injured in Moscow sometime overnight on Saturday – amid claims he ‘suffered a fall’. He is now on a neurology ward at the renowned Sklifosovsky Institute and has been placed in a medically induced coma, with allies describing his condition as ‘serious’.

* “Vegetarian” is an old Indian word for “bad hunter”.

* Newspaper endorsements rarely count for much, unless they make a surprising choice that makes people take notice. John Fetterman’s hometown newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has endorsed Republican Dr. Oz in the Pennsylvania senate race.

 

Reflecting on Luther

On October 31st, 1517, the priest and scholar Martin Luther approached the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nailed a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that began the Protestant Reformation.

In his thesis, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking for payment—called “indulgences”—for the forgiveness of sins. At the time, a Dominican priest named Johann Tetzel, commissioned by the Archbishop of Mainz and Pope Leo X, was in the midst of a major fundraising campaign in Germany to finance the renovation of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Though Prince Frederick III the Wise had banned the sale of indulgences in Wittenberg, many church members traveled to purchase them. When they returned, they showed the pardons they had bought to Luther, claiming they no longer had to repent for their sins.

Luther’s frustration with this practice led him to write the 95 Theses, which were quickly snapped up, translated from Latin into German, and distributed widely.

A copy made its way to Rome, and efforts began to convince Luther to change his tune. He refused to keep silent, however, and in 1521 Pope Leo X formally excommunicated Luther from the Catholic Church. That same year, Luther again refused to recant his writings before the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Germany, who issued the famous Edict of Worms declaring Luther an outlaw and a heretic and giving permission for anyone to kill him without consequence. Protected by Prince Frederick, Luther began working on a German translation of the Bible, a task that took 10 years to complete.

The term “Protestant” first appeared in 1529, when Charles V revoked a provision that allowed the ruler of each German state to choose whether they would enforce the Edict of Worms. A number of princes and other supporters of Luther issued a protest, declaring that their allegiance to God trumped their allegiance to the emperor. They became known to their opponents as Protestants; gradually this name came to apply to all who believed the Church should be reformed, even those outside Germany. By the time Luther died, of natural causes, in 1546, his revolutionary beliefs had formed the basis for the Protestant Reformation, which revolutionized Western civilization.

Debt

35

 

 

Debt (According to Shakespeare)

During a time of (formerly) cheap money and massive government pork on a scale that racked up $31.250 trillion in debt, the piper must be paid. In the US will the next congress impeach Pedo Joe and the Ho? If so will Democrat inner-city legions be turned loose to loot and burn? Whatever your house was worth, it won’t be worth it for much longer. The same can be said for your 401K. The nation can be saved, but not without pain.

Debt advice from Henry IV

“I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse: borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable” Henry IV, Part 2         

Who would have thought it, Shakespeare gives out debt advice in his plays! Falstaff asks to borrow money from the Lord Chief Justice, a request that’s met with the rather blunt reply of “Not a penny, not a penny; you are too impatient to bear crosses”.

Falstaff admits he’s no good at managing money and moans about how borrowing to pay his debts will never get rid of the problem. You can see similarities to today’s world where we have so many ways of borrowing and getting into debt, including payday lenders.

Managing Money from Hamlet

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan doth oft lose both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry” Hamlet

In this line from Hamlet, Polonius gives his son Laertes advice on managing money. He starts off by telling him never to lend or borrow money from friends. You will often end up losing the money and the friend in doing so. Polonius goes on to make a wonderful point about how constantly borrowing money encourages bad spending habits.

Savings tips from Othello

“Put money in thy purse” OthelloIago says this many times as he tries to con money out of Roderigo.

With so many people not having much savings, maybe it is time we use this phrase differently – to remind ourselves to put some money away for a rainy day.

Money and well-being from As You Like It

“He that wants money means, and content, is without three good friends” As You Like ItIn the modern, material world, money is important to all of us, but in this passage from As You Like It, the poor, good-natured shepherd Corin tells us employment and happiness is just as important.  Even though Corin says this jokingly to a court jester, you could read this as Shakespeare telling us that money can’t buy us happiness.

A cautionary tale of greed from the Merchant of Venice

“Pound of flesh” The Merchant of VeniceThe play is a morality tale about money and greed and features to infamous moneylender Shylock.

The pound of flesh is the price Shylock asks Antonio to pay for guaranteeing Bassanio’s loan. You have to admit, it’s a bit steeper than the usual APR. Another poetic line from this play is “All that glitters is not gold, often have you heard that told”. Put another way, if it seems too good to be true it probably is. A warning, perhaps, of not falling for money-making scams.

 

 

Bullet Points:

* Comrades in Canada! Since becoming Canada’s Prime Minister in 2015, Trudeau has embarked on a vigorous assault against Canadian citizens’ most cherished liberties to the point the nation is barely recognizable. Now he and his ruling Liberal Party will soon deliver the final blow. The bill, known as the Online Streaming Act (Bill C-11), expands the authority of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to regulate the internet in addition to phones, radio, and television.

* Even though the Brandon regime is aware that a significant portion of the funds and weapons sent to Ukraine are not used for their intended purposes, they want to earmark another $50 billion. How much of it will come back to Democrats by way of kickbacks? Any bets?

* Pedo Joe just said that fees on airplanes for extra leg room in front mostly affect people of color. How is that possible? This man is a complete moron as well as a virtue-signaling idiot as well as a disaster and embarrassment to our country. Liberalism is a mental illness.

 

I can’t Help Myself:

 

Are you Afraid?

35

 

 

 

 

 

Bullet Points:

* Market analysts are predicting that housing prices should fall 20% next year. I think that the nation will see a larger than 20% drop. Part of it is that the prices of homes are artificially high, and with inflation and higher interest rates, they’re just going to decline as the market value tanks while the price of everything else soars.

* The S’mores Halloween Challenge – The problem with putting s’mores as a technical challenge is that baking your own s’more from scratch defeats the purpose of s’mores which is of course to spend ten minutes trying to get a crappy store-bought marshmallow the perfect golden brown color before saying, “screw it” and letting it catch fire then frantically putting it on a graham cracker with Hershey’s chocolate slab before it falls off of the stick you found on the ground.

* PJMEDIA – on the diesel shortage.  And as a personal note, I went to Costco last Saturday and spent $900 on beef and chicken that will go into the freezer to augment what I have there already. It should carry me through the bulk of the winter.

* Major universities, in their attempt to add diversity, took the lazy (and racist) way out. They originally wanted to provide a diversity of background, experiences, and thought. Those things are NOT determined by Melanin. They, in a racist way, assume that all black, white, and Asians have different backgrounds. The proof of their racist attitudes is easy to see when one considers the political preferences of their teaching staff. Thus the US Supreme Court will hear arguments today in two lawsuits that will decide whether the University of North Carolina’s and Harvard University’s use of race-based admission policies are constitutional.

* The most powerful nation on Earth couldn’t keep a virus from spreading but they promised that they could change the temperature of the planet if we paid more taxes. Yeah.

 

Identify the Aircraft

 

And Because it’s still Halloween

This special type of gravestone is only found in northern Germany and especially on the islands of Föhr, with 265 examples, and Amrum with 152 examples. They were given the name “speaking stones” or “narrative stones” due to the fact that they usually only have a picture in the head area and an inscription in High German underneath that tells of the family and professional life, as well as special events in the life and honorary offices of the deceased.

image

A Whaler tomb, Föhr 

These elaborate stones were made at the end of the 17th century, and in the 18th century, in particular, agriculture on the rather infertile North Frisian Islands was unable to feed the growing population, so many of the male inhabitants hired themselves out on whaling ships.

image

These are two very special stones, left is the stone of Harck Olufs in Amrum. He was born on 19.7.1708 in Süddorf. He went to sea at the age of 12. In 1724 he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave to the Bey of Constantine in Algiers. He began as a footman, converted to Islam in the meantime, and later even became commander-in-chief of the cavalry. In the uniform of an Ottoman general, he returned to Amrum in 1736 after being freed by his master a year earlier. In order to be able to marry his love Antje Lorenzen, he had himself confirmed. The relationship produced four girls and a boy. Harck Olufs died unexpectedly on 13.10.1754 at the age of 46. His wife and children returned from church and found him dead in his armchair. The right one is the stone of Matthias Petersen who was born 1632 and died 1706. His stone is written in Latin and reports that he was very knowledgeable in sailing to Greenland, where he caught 373 whales with unbelievable success so that from then on he was called “The Lucky One” with everyone’s approval. A carved whale and Fortuna, the goddess of luck, can be seen. 

Initially, the inhabitants took roughly worked erratic blocks of granite that were specific to the place and provided them with inscriptions. Whaling brought the men great prosperity and later sandstone was imported. In the 17th century, gravestones lying on the ground predominated. In addition, there were smaller red sandstone tiles, often with a small drilled hole attached to a piece of wood or whalebone. Since the 18th century, upright stones, so-called stelae, were used, which have the typical elements of speaking stones.

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On the right side a stone with an octant and in the middle one with a ship, Süderende Cemetery, Föhr

The relief decoration of the tombs is in the Baroque and Rococo styles. It is often fantastically opulent, the forms do not repeat themselves. They show angels, symbols of justice, and happiness, the signs of faith, hope, and love, proud ships, and mills. For the seafarers, ships were mostly depicted. If the sailor died on a ship, his gravestone shows a ship under full sail. A ship without sails on the grave indicates that the sailor died on land. Other motifs could also be an anchor, an octant, or a whale.

image

Whaler tombs, Nebel, Friedhof St. Clemens, Amrum 

A special iconographic tradition has been preserved in the floral motif: the husband and sons of the family are listed on the gravestone on the left in tulip-like flowers, and the wife and daughters on the right in the form of four-flowered, star-shaped flowers. A bent flower indicates that the person in question was already deceased at the time the gravestone was made. The frequency of this symbolism testifies to a high infant mortality rate.

image

A flower tree gravestone, Föhr 

From the middle of the 19th century onwards, this type of gravestone began to lose importance, which was also due to the fact that whaling was slowly but surely coming to an end and with it the lack of money.

image

A captain’s grave with an anchor, Föhr 

At the end of the 19th century, only very few speaking stones were made, and since the 20th century none at all.

 

This one is for Old NFO

 

Parting Shot (h/t Frank)

Monday’s Muse

28

 

31 October 1517 – This Day in History

Happy Reformation Day, y’all.

  1. Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
  2. Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
  3. Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
  4. Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
  5. Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

 

And then there is the vampire problem…

 

The Mid-Term Election(s)

That old film,  Mr. Smith goes to Washington comes to mind.

 

Bullet Points:

* Does anyone recall Chris Cuomo? I didn’t think so. Some predicted that he’d put a bullet through his head but narcissists don’t often kill themselves. In his case, he may just fade away.

* “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”— John Adams

* Q – Elon, what is best in life?

A – To buy Twitter, to see their executives driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of the woke!

* Having four seasons does not constitute climate change.  The fact that it’s colder and the leaves are falling on October 31 does portend an existential crisis.

 

In Ukraine (and elsewhere)

Critics of the massive US weapons pipeline to Ukraine have long pointed out there’s no accountability or appropriate tracking once those arms enter the country, presenting ripe opportunities for criminals, terrorists, or lucrative black market arms sellers to take advantage.

It was only a matter of time before headlines like this began showing up in international publications – “NBI: Arms sent to Ukraine in criminal hands.” The NBI is Finland’s federal National Bureau of Investigation, and the report is from Finland’s national public broadcasting company Yle, and provides confirmation that arms intended for Ukrainian forces are going outside the country. The US knew about this from the outset but the current regime doesn’t care.

The recovered weapons featured in the weekend national police statement include automatic weapons which were meant for Ukrainian forces. Further neighboring countries have recorded instances of West-provided arms proliferating from the Ukrainian battlefield and into the hands of criminals in neighboring Sweden and Denmark as well.

“Weapons shipped [by various countries] to Ukraine have also been found in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands,” NBI Detective Superintendent Christer Ahlgren was quoted in the Finnish publication as saying.

“We’ve seen signs of these weapons already finding their way to Finland,” Ahlgren added. Some of this illicit arms trafficking is being brokered in online forums frequented by criminal gangs. According to more from the NBI lead investigator:

“Three of the world’s largest motorcycle gangs—that are part of larger international organizations—are active in Finland. One of these is Bandidos MC, which has a unit in every major Ukrainian city,” he explained. “We know that contacts and routes are being warmed up, so that they’re in place.”

“Ukraine has received a large volume of weapons and that’s good, but we’re going to be dealing with these arms for decades and pay the price here,” Ahlgren added.

 

And Because it’s Oct. 31 – 

The Spectre Whalemen

The Specter Whalemen is a story about Captain Reuben Joy, a whaling ship captain from Nantucket in the 19th century. Not only was he a respected member of his community, but he also wooed Mrs. Barnard, a widow, who did not want to know about him. She was much more interested in his second in command, Mr. Ray.

Now Captain Joy’s 13 voyage on his ship was Betsey Ann, sailing around Cape Horn to find whales. The voyage had gone well and the ship’s hold was full of valuable whale oil. The ship was preparing to return to Nantucket when a school of sperm whales was sighted nearby.

Image

The Spectre Whalemen, by Ray Martín Abeyta, 1956-2014

The longboats were launched and the crew approached the whales. The ship’s second commander, Mr. Ray, successfully harpooned one of the mammals. The whale was strong and resisted by pulling Mr. Ray’s longboat into the distance. Captain Joy ordered a search for Mr. Ray’s boat after the others had returned to the Betsey Ann, but Mr. Ray and the other men in his boat could not be found. The next day Captain Joy told the crew that it was time to return to Nantucket. The men protested. They wanted to search again for the missing boat. The captain overruled them, arguing that Mr. Ray and the others had undoubtedly been killed by the whale and that they had to hurry up and return as the boat was now undermanned. Despite their concerns, the men agreed.

As the Betsey Ann sailed up the east coast of South America, she encountered another whaling ship that had recently left Nantucket. This ship was carrying letters from home, including one for Captain Joy. When Captain Joy opened the letter, his face turned pale. Mrs. Barnard had died. A crew member nearby watched as the captain read the letter and heard him say, “Then I have damned my soul in vain. Had he deliberately left Mr. Ray to die?

The following year, Captain Joy again commanded a whaling ship off the coast of South America. As the ship approached the same area where Mr. Ray had disappeared, another school of whales was sighted. The boats were lowered.

Captain Joy and the men in his boat successfully harpooned and killed a whale, but the captain’s sense of triumph was short-lived. A rickety and weathered longboat appeared nearby and as it approached, Captain Joy recoiled in horror. It was the missing boat of Mr. Ray, and it was manned by a crew of skeletons. As they approached, the captain could hear their bones rattling, and he could hear the leader of the skeleton crew shouting orders at his undead crew. Strangely, no one but Captain Joy could see or hear the terrible whalemen.

Image

The Spectre Whaleman. Woodcut from an Almanac, 1841

Captain Joy ordered the boats back to the ship and quickly set sail. As they cast off, the captain looked back. The ghost boat followed them. With a hellish laugh, the leader of the skeleton threw his harpoon. It did not reach the ship, but the captain’s heart grew cold.

From that moment on, Captain Joy met the skeleton crew on each of his journeys. Haunted by guilt and horror, he retreated from whaling and locked himself in his house on Nantucket until he finally died alone and unloved.

– This story is from 1841, and first appeared in a publication called The Old American Comic And The People’s Almanac.

Halloween

25

 

To Live and Die in Chicago

Some people wake up and think that they’ve died and they’re in Hell, but they’re only in Chicago.

 

Halloween Movie Review: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent 

Full disclosure, am not a fan of Nicholas Cage and Pedro Pascal is a dirty communist. They are the key actors in the film.  Under normal circumstances, I would not watch this film. However, at my daughter’s (daughter #2) insistence, I watched it at her home some months back and it was very funny. Cage makes fun of himself and it works. I was going to review it at the time but it slipped my mind.

Nicolas Kim Coppola (born January 7, 1964), known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor and film producer. Born into the Coppola family, he’d likely be managing a Burger King or something along that line – maybe peddling goose feathers or widgets at age 58 if he didn’t have family money and connections, but he does. And it pains me to recommend the film, but I do. Then again I also laughed all the way through Dumb and Dumber.

 

Hammer Control

We need common sense Hammer Control laws! Now! Anyone can just walk into any hardware store and buy a hammer without a background check.  Look what happened to poor Gay Paul (Mr. Pelosi)!

We need to get these weapons of war off our streets! We need to sue all the hammer manufacturers!

 

The Candy Harvest

There are different levels to Halloween. When I was a young boy, I had a great time trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, there is a darker side to the holiday, but I have never been exposed to that. Then again, I never looked for it.

 

 

More Stuff

11
M-3 Lee

 

 

Historical References

A German anti-tank team during winter on the Eastern Front. The early version of the Panzerschreck did not have a blast shield, so soldiers were instructed to wear their gas masks to protect their faces. March 1944

 

The Battle of Imphal-Kohima March – July 1944: A British M3 Lee tank crosses a river north of Imphal to meet the Japanese advance. The M3 was considered obsolete for the European Theatre by mid-1943, but was more than adequate for the British vs. IJA tanks in the China-India-Burma Theater.

 

Early mechanization of the Royal Artillery; an 18-pounder gun towed by a Morris Commercial half-track in 1930.

 

The Piłsudski “tank” during the Polish-Soviet War, 1920. The vehicle was often seen sporting a US flag, as a mark of American support for Polish independence, expressed in Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points.

 

Beans goes camping

 

Bullet Points:

* Another conflict of interest? (say it isn’t so) In an analysis of documents obtained via a freedom of information request, key leadership for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) hold important positions in multinational food and agribusiness companies, according to Angela Carriedo, PhD, of the World Public Health Nutrition Association, and colleagues. The AND has also invested funds in corporations such as Nestle, PepsiCo, and pharmaceutical companies, and has accepted substantial corporate financial contributions, Carriedo and colleagues reported in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

The ultra-processed food industry uses its influence to hook people on its products and it is able to corrupt health groups like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to legitimize and perpetuate its hold on our nation’s stomachs, and that’s why this is important.

* Taylor Swift has made millions of dollars from the poor choices that she made with men. She endorsed Pedo Joe.

* FDA approval doesn’t mean a thing now, except that Pedo Joe or Hunter made a business deal.

* A famous doctor explains how the covid shot may have made his cancer worse. More here.

* Thumb on the scale? There’s been a lot of chatter about the Arizona governor’s race with Republican Kari Lake facing Katie Hobbs, a Democrat. One of the interesting facets of the race includes the fact that Hobbs, in her current position as Secretary of State, will be in charge of overseeing the process and fairness regarding her own race. Those two million votes for Hobbs that come in at 3 am after the place is closed are certain to be judged to be “free and fair”. We’ve seen this move before.

* Top or Bottom? Or just too much information:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should be proud that she has a queer husband. It’s very woke.

 

Bloody Mexico

I worked in Mexico for CNTPO for a few years. It was one of my last government jobs.

The U.S. Department of Defense Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office (CNTPO) has the lead for developing technology for interagency and multinational operations to disrupt, deter, and deny narcoterrorist activities in an effort to reduce trafficking in illegal narcotics and materials that support global terrorist activities.

This sort of thing was actually common:

A dog has run down the street with a decapitated human head clutched in its jaws after snatching it from a grisly crime scene in Mexico.

Terrified residents in the violence-plagued state of Zacatecas in the country’s north saw the animal fleeing a crime scene with the chopped-up head.

Officials said the dismembered head had been left at an ATM booth in Monte Escobedo late Wednesday, with a sign warning that ‘the next head is yours’.

One of my agents was beheaded at the Antares Mall in Guadalajara at about 1 am. True story. He wasn’t murdered because he was involved in opposing drug cartels. He had been fooling around with somebody’s wife (as it turns out) and the husband decided to deal with the situation in that way – because it was so common and horrible at the same time. I lost other agents and have mentioned it here on the blog in the past. Their deaths by torture were gruesome and words fail me.

CNTPO morphed into an Air Force program, of all things, after I left. Now I hear that there is another acronym for the same thing, but it’s disturbing because the drug cartels are now an extension of the Chinese Communist Party in a business sense. And today, under the Brandon regime, the border is open to embrace the unholy alliance. There was a time when being a good guy went with the job. Now you can’t be a “good guy” and be associated with the present regime. It’s all so sad.

Sermonette

57

 

The Sumela Monastery in Turkey’s Black Sea Province of Trabzon.

 

Housekeeping

The Virtual Mirage blog has passed 100,000 comments. Thank you for participating in this blogging community.  I know that there are hip-hop blogs that get that many comments in a month but to me, the number is huge.

 

You can’t get to heaven on roller skates… Keep them going

– You can’t get to heaven on a jumbo jet, ’cause the Lord ain’t got no runway yet.

– You can’t get to heaven eating fish and chips, ’cause the Lord don’t like those greasy lips.

– If you get to heaven, before I do, Just bore a hole, and pull me through.

 

War in Ukraine

HIMARS

During the First Gulf War, the Russians received a sobering lesson on how Western weapons worked as their supplied and trained Iraqi army folded in days. The coalition established air supremacy and the weapons were significantly more accurate than the Russians anticipated that they would be. Integrated grids and coms meant that they all communicated well with each other in such a way that the forces arrayed against the Russian-supplied Iraqis couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

In Ukraine, the Russians found out that the anti-tank missiles were devastating against their forces and that the armored spearheads were not effective even though they were massed in great numbers.

Today they are getting a close-up and personal view of how the HIMARS functions in a battlefield setting much to their dismay. As has been covered here on this blog before, the US is working with Ukrainian forces to target the Russians very accurately. It’s difficult for me to explain in an unclassified way how very accurate that can be.

After the recent referendum, Putin appointed an administrator for Kherson. On the first day on the job, a HIMARS missile flew through his window killing him. (sic transit gloria mundi)

The USA allegedly has not given the MGM-140 ATACMS to Ukraine, but some of the strikes in Crimea are too distant for the M-142 and are likely the long-range version.

 

Science

This comes from Ibn al-Haytham, a Persian scientist who is considered the father of modern optics. It expresses the motivation and thought process found in science.

“Therefore, the seeker after the truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them, but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration, and not to the sayings of a human being whose nature is fraught with all kinds of imperfection and deficiency. Thus the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins of its content, attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency.” [Source]

 

Book Review

I recently finished reading, The Social Conquest of Earth, by Edward O. Wilson. Close to the beginning of the book I came across this quote:

“By what force of evolutionary dynamics, then, did our lineage thread its way through the evolutionary maze? What in the environment and ancestral circumstance led the species through exactly the right sequence of genetic changes?

The very religious will of course say, the hand of God. That would have been a highly improbable accomplishment even for a supernatural power. In order to bring the human condition into being, a divine Creator would have had to sprinkle an astronomical number of genetic mutations into the genome while engineering the physical and living environments over millions of years to keep the archaic prehumans on track. He might as well have done the same job with a row of random number generators. Natural selection, not design, was the force that threaded this needle.” (pp. 50-51)

I read that and thought, “Wait, so his argument against the existence of God, or at least the creation is: Because it is too hard and involves an incredibly complex number of interactions across several billion years, and because I would consider that too hard for any being that I can conceive of, it is therefore too hard for God. Thus he could not have done it. It must have been random because otherwise, it would have been too hard for any being that I can conceive of.”

So in other words, whether or not God could have created humans through a long and involved process, is limited by whether or not a single man can conceive of it being possible? That seems rather, um… limiting to me. I am glad that the universe and God doesn’t limit themselves to only do what a single scientist, philosopher, or even group of scientists and philosophers think is possible. If that were the case, then the universe would be an awfully boring place.

This quote was also rather interesting because I had just read an article about how one philosopher’s questioning of materialism and of randomness being the determining force behind our existence got him branded a heretic by the scientific and philosophical community. I put that philosopher’s book on my “to-read” list.

The rest of the book was interesting. The author occasionally takes unwarranted swipes at religion as he is argues against a conception of God that I also find untenable, and if that is how it really is then I too would agree with him, but it’s not so I don’t.

PS: Also when he mentioned “an astronomical number of genetic mutations” I was reminded of this quote from Richard Feynman:

“There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s far less than the national deficit of nearly $32 trillion. We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them American debt numbers.”

Opinion

40

 

LL

The Sermonette of the week is still to come and I don’t know if this one (tomorrow) is as good as it could be. Maybe if I had more time to devote to the blog? I have been reflecting on the metagame, as I’ll refer to it and will share it below. It’s not quite a sermonette, and more of just idle musing over what have been a few careers that I’ve had…and I have had a few. Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, and so forth have all involved metagamers at one level or another. To the organizational me, they’ve been the enemy – the ghost in the machine that causes it to break. Sometimes the task-oriented me didn’t take the time to step back and look at the larger picture. You can call me myopic and you’d be right. I excuse myself because I was young and it takes living to put the pieces together.

It’s the cause and effect of the Peter Principle, put in other words, with a different spin. It’s the Dilbert cartoon in action.

 

Thoughts on the Metagame (Opinion)

The worker who kisses ass is seen as management material not because they give their all to the company, but because they spend that effort they would otherwise give to the company on looking as if they give it all to the company. They spend that time on all of the little social games instead of producing, and because the effort spent on the metagame is focused entirely on the appearance of virtue, it overshadows those who are actually performing the primary task, it overshadows actual virtue.

This is how human hierarchal structures end up working. This is why the people in authority are generally not focused on whatever the purpose of the organization has, but are focused on achieving positions of authority. This is why we have career politicians, why administrators end up pulling in ten times the salary of a skilled worker under their purview, and why performing well in an exam or test is not actually the same as being good at the thing that the exam is supposed to be testing. The metagame outweighs the game.

In the same way that metagamers hack organizational structures and procedures to promote themselves without needing to be good at the primary task of the organization, there are people who do it to society. You read about it on blogs such as this one and you see it on the news. Sociopaths, of a kind, give out all the right signals to get people to do things for them without actually having what you’d think of as having a conscience. People who are nothing more than self-propelled masks, terribly adroit at playing the game without empathy, or genuine connections.

Every person who reads this has seen it and can put a. (different) face to it.

This and That

55

 

Breakfast – an important meal

 

From History

WW2

(above) A shot up T-34/76 near the village of Staronikol’skoe, Khokholsky District, Voronezh Oblast, USSR. Note how the machine gun port has been completely blown off and the welds cracked. 1942

This is the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel T-34. Built-in Stalingrad Tractor Plant (STZ). Quality control was thrown out the window (even by Soviet Standards}. A welded hull with no trained welders. No heat treating of armor, tracks, or steel bogies. The crew may have had 12 hours to train up on the thing before they were sent out as a bullet sponge.

*

Old and New

A freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni) is preying on a juvenile freshwater sawfish (Pristis pristis) in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The sawfish species – late Cretaceous to now. The Freshwater Crocodile – Pleistocene – now. This sort of mischief has been going on for 2.5 million years and counting.

*

Sara

USN Boeing F4B-4 biplane fighters ready for take off from the carrier USS Saratoga, May 1934. Saratoga mounted 8″ rifles as seen in the photograph. She was laid down on 25 September 1920 as BattleCruiser #3 by the New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J, and then was converted to an aircraft carrier, retaining the big guns.

Some P-12s (US Army designation) were still in service in training duties in the Philippines in 1941 while the Brazilian Air Force retired them in 1949.

*

Where are dogs most at risk?

 

The Covid Mortality Rate

(zerohedge) “‘Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported COVID-19 cases have died,’ WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. In comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected, he said.”

Of course, we know now that the mortality rates, along with everything else peddled to the public was a lie. For those aged 0–69, which covers 94 percent of the global population, the fatality rate was 0.095 percent, meaning the survival rate for nearly 7.3 billion people was 99.905 percent.

The researchers broke down the demographics into smaller buckets, showing the increase in risk amongst older populations, and conversely, how infinitesimal the risk was amongst younger age groups.

  • Ages 60–69, fatality rate 0.501 percent, survival rate 99.499 percent
  • Ages 50–59, fatality rate 0.129 percent, survival rate 99.871 percent
  • Ages 40–49, fatality rate 0.035 percent survival rate 99.965 percent
  • Ages 30–39, fatality rate 0.011 percent, survival rate 99.989 percent
  • Ages 20–29, fatality rate 0.003 percent, survival rate 99.997 percent
  • Ages 0–19, fatality rate 0.0003 percent, survival rate 99.9997 percent

Economic destruction increased suicide attempts due to seemingly indefinite isolation, horrifying levels of learning loss, increasing obesity amongst kids, plummeting test scores, increased poverty and hunger, supply chain problems, rampant inflation; all of it is a direct result of policies imposed by terrified, incompetent “experts.”

Their estimates were hopelessly, catastrophically wrong, yet they maintained their unchallenged sense of authority for multiple years, and still receive awards, praise, increased funding, and a sense of infallibility amongst politicians and decision-makers.

If sanity and intellectual honesty still existed, these estimates would be front-page news for every major media outlet in the world.

Instead, because the media and their allies in the tech, corporate, and political classes promoted and encouraged lockdowns and restrictions while censoring dissent, it’s ignored.

I pulled out some clips (above) but the entire article is worth reading. Our vial political leaders are still pushing for the vaccination of children 5+ even though they have statistically no risk of dying from the disease. There should be a special corner of hell for those people, who know that the risk of long-term health effects or death from the vaccination among young males is significant.

 

The Changing Landscape

 

This Day in History

14

 

 

October 29, 1863

Context and Precedence – The first half of 1863 was grim for the Union cause. In the East, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia experienced its greatest successes. Meanwhile, Union armies in the West were stifled, especially in their efforts to take Vicksburg.

Catastrophic Confederate losses in early July at Gettysburg left Lee unable to ever take the offensive again. The loss of Vicksburg gave the Union control of the Mississippi River from top to bottom and divided the Confederacy in half. Nevertheless, problems plagued both sides as the war’s toll weighed increasingly on the people at home.

Wary of troops marching to the aid of the Federal army besieged at Chattanooga, General Braxton Bragg ordered General James Longstreet to take action against the force massing in Lookout Valley.  In a rare nighttime attack, a division of Longstreet’s corps attacked the Union rearguard near the crossroads of Wauhatchie.  The brief fight was a bloody repulse for the Confederates, who were forced to withdraw.  The Confederates had missed their last best chance to prevent supplies from reaching the Union Army of the Cumberland.  A Federal resurgence in the west was only a matter of time.

A month later…

From the last days of September through October 1863, Gen. Braxton Bragg’s army laid siege to the Union army under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans at Chattanooga, cutting off its supplies. On October 17, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant received command of the Western armies;  he moved to reinforce Chattanooga and replaced Rosecrans with Maj. Gen. George Thomas. A new supply line was soon established. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman arrived with his four divisions in mid-November, and the Federals began offensive operations. On November 23-24, Union forces struck out and captured Orchard Knob and Lookout Mountain. On November 25, Union soldiers assaulted and carried the seemingly impregnable Confederate position on Missionary Ridge. One of the Confederacy’s two major armies was routed. The Federals held Chattanooga, the “Gateway to the Lower South,” which became the supply and logistics base for Sherman’s 1864 Atlanta Campaign.

 

Identify the Aircraft

 

In Russia (now)

British intelligence estimated this morning that many Russian reservists called to fight in Ukraine are forced to buy their body armor – and therefore the prices have soared. The ministry also noted in its daily update that “endemic corruption and poor logistics” remain a factor in Russia’s “poor performance” in Ukraine.

It also noted that the average amount of personal equipment Russia provided to its conscripted reservists was “almost certainly lower than the already meager supplies of previously deployed troops.” According to the ministry, a 6B45 vest was sold on online shopping sites in Moscow for 40,000 rubles (about $640), compared to about 12,000 rubles in April.

As winter approaches, Moscow is unable to supply troops in the field with adequate clothing to cope with the weather. This problem will become acute.

Photo: Boneyard of Soviet Era tanks – in the Urals.

 

Dementia isn’t a joke and it’s sad when you end your life that way. I poke at our demented Pedo Joe and at Uncle Fester Fetterman because they want to rule us in their demented state. MRSLL’s aunt ended up like that and it was heartbreaking.

Former media star and TV news anchorwoman Barbara Walters is suffering from dementia and is “close to the end,” according to RadarOnline.com. I was never a fan of “BabaWawa” and it’s interesting that she’s going out with a fizzle. I’m not poking fun. I’m sorry that she has to end things up like that.

 

What does American Education (and public employment) Value?

 

If Halloween is about to end, can we go back to DRILL Baby, Drill? Not while Pedo Joe is the president. So maybe we impeach him and then the Camel?