Sunday, October 31, 2021

Sunday morning music


Steve Morse has been the lead guitarist with British rock group Deep Purple since 1994, taking the place of the legendary Ritchie Blackmore.  He's equally accomplished as a guitarist, and in some ways I think has surpassed his famous predecessor.  Wikipedia says of him:

Morse is considered one of the hardest working guitarists in the world. He is widely known for his stylistically diverse compositional skills and was voted "Best Overall Guitarist" by Guitar Player magazine for five years in a row, qualifying him for its "Guitar Player Hall of Fame", the only other members being Steve Howe of Yes and Eric Johnson. He is regularly cited by John Petrucci as a major influence. Guitarist Shawn Lane regarded Steve Morse as one of the most talented guitarists of his time. Ritchie Blackmore, who preceded Morse in Deep Purple, has stated, "Steve Morse is an incredible player. A lot of people try to get some wisecrack out of me, but when you're talking about guitar players along Morse's caliber, they're brilliant." Morse has proven himself throughout his career as capable of playing highly complex chord structures in classical sequences, as well as being able to play fast, alternate picked arpeggios. He is well known for using harmonics and improvising them in songs during live performances, such as in Deep Purple's "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming".

He not only performs with Deep Purple, but has developed a solo career as well.  I'd like to bring you a few of his instrumental pieces this morning, as well as what I regard as one of his highlights with Deep Purple.

Let's begin with "Air on a 6 String" from his 2005 album "Prime Cuts".

From 2009's "Prime Cuts 2" album, here's "Ghost of the Bayou".

From 2016's "The Sessions", here's the opening track, "Freedom".

And, from 2009's "Out Standing In Their Field", here's "Baroque 'N Dreams".

Finally, just to show how well he meshed with Deep Purple even from the beginning (he's become as readily identified with them as was Ritchie Blackmore during the group's first few decades), here he is with them at the 1996 Montreux Festival performing "When A Blind Man Cries".  To my mind, this specific performance is one of the iconic Deep Purple tracks.  Morse truly makes his guitar an inseparable part of the song, setting its theme through a long, impromptu introduction and then meshing with the vocalist to create an indelible impression.

You'll find lots of Steve Morse's work on a YouTube channel devoted to his music, and through almost every major music outlet.


Saturday, October 30, 2021

Saturday Books


I haven't had time to select an excerpt from a book for this week's Snippet.  It's been a very busy few days.  Therefore, instead I'm going to list a few books by friends that have been published during the past week.  I recommend them all.

Let's go in alphabetical order of author, beginning with Alma Boykin's latest, the sixth in her "Merchant & Empire" series, "White Gold of Empire".

The blurb reads:

Without salt, man and beast cannot live. Without fire and tools, man cannot prosper.

Tarno Halson and the other salt makers of Halfeld Fluss must have wood for the fires to boil spring water into salt. Farmers, builders, smiths, tool-makers, bakers, and all the other trades demand wood as well, and tensions have risen among the trades. Tarno, a widower, also seeks a wife. One of the woodworkers offers—insists on Tarno taking—his daughter's hand. The arrangement might bring peace between two of the trades.

Danger unifies Halfeld Fluss, yet also divides it. When Korvaal's Son dies, and winter grows harder, obsession and anger simmer like boiling brine—and prove equally deadly.

I particularly enjoy Alma's "Merchant and Empire" series because it's solidly based on the merchant and trade economy of medieval and earlier times.  Knowing something about that field, I can find many historical echoes that keep me interested.  Recommended.

Next, there's a new anthology out, just in time for Halloween:  "It Came From The Trailer Park".  Stories from members of the North Texas Troublemakers are included, including Lawdog and Old NFO.

It may be in the "horror" section, but there are lots of laughs in this one too.  The blurb reads:

Do you love sparkly vampires? Well too bad, because you won’t find a single one of those fancy-dancy bloodsuckers anywhere in this collection!

It Came From The Trailer Park began as a fun idea to revisit the Classic Horror and Old-School Creature Feature genres with a hefty helping of B-rate tropes thrown in for good measure. Who doesn’t love a good Bruce Cambell or classic Vincent Price flick on a dark and dreary night?

Emmy award winner Bill Oberst Jr. opens the collection and sets the stage for the stories to come. From aliens to demons to werewolves and so many more, you’re sure to fall in love with these tales of the Macabre.

So come on in. Take a load off. And get yourself ready for nineteen unforgettable tales, straight from the Trailer Park.

More or less scary (and frequently funny) accounts of mayhem and the supernatural.  I helped to critique Lawdog's and Old NFO's stories, and cackled muchly.

Finally, Sarah Hoyt has released the fourth volume in her Barbarella graphic novel series, based on a 1960's science fiction character created by Jean-Claude Forest.

The blurb reads:

Having come face-to-shocking face with the identity of her would-be assassin, Barbarella’s quest has turned from merely combatting tyranny to one of survival! How handy that the two quests amount to one and the same. Barbarella and Vix follow the trail to Automata, a factory world populated solely by worker drones, which begs the question: do androids dream of electric freedom?

I'm not normally a reader of comics or graphic novels, but for Sarah Hoyt, I'll make an exception.  She writes well, and has managed to adapt her novelist skills to the graphic field as well.

I hope you enjoy this week's selections.  I did!


Friday, October 29, 2021

Political correctness takes money out of "woke" pockets


It seems that insisting on multiple genders and all the politically correct nonsense associated with that fad is costing people money in the workplace.  The Daily Mail reports:

City firms have been wrapped up in an equality row after it was revealed diversity proposals will allow companies to include transgender women in their gender roll calls.

Equality targets will require more than a thousand of Britain's biggest companies to close the gender pay gap. 

But the proposals define a woman the same way as LGBTQ campaign group Stonewall rather than the way gender is usually recognised under UK law.

If they go ahead, companies can meet percentage targets by including transgender women as female in their self-reported data — despite them not necessarily facing the same discrimination relating to their sex.

There's more at the link.

Thinking about it, that makes sense.  A male employee, lavishly compensated for good performance, decides he's now a woman (or some sort of made-up gender), his (unchanged) income will probably be considerably higher than the average female compensation.  By law, he has to be identified as the gender (or whatever) with which he identifies . . . so, all of a sudden, the average income for that gender is skewed by his higher income relative to the rest of the people so classified.  That might mean that increased pay to close the "gender gap" won't be forthcoming.

I won't lose any sleep over this.  I just find it funny.  The politically correct, with their insistence that the rest of us take their concerns seriously, have painted themselves into a corner over this issue.  Fine.  Let them solve it - and leave the rest of us alone.


Eating your way to financial security???


I have to admit, this is ingenious - and an example of real "outside-the-box" thinking.

Hungry for financial flexibility, a California man named Dylan shelled out a measly $150 a year to eat every meal at Six Flags Magic Mountain in order to save thousands, pay off his student loan debt, get married and purchase a house in Los Angeles. 

“You can pay around $150 for unlimited, year-round access to Six Flags, which includes parking and two meals a day,” Dylan, 33, explained ... “If you time it right, you could eat both lunch and dinner there every day.” 

. . .

“One of my co-workers said she spent $1,500 a month on eating out. I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not going down that road!,’ ” said Dylan, who works as an electrical engineer. He’s eaten an estimated 2,000 meals at around 50 cents per sitting at Six Flags for the past seven years.

“That entire first year, I don’t think I ever went to the grocery store,” he said. “I timed it so I was able to go there during my lunch break, go back to work, then stop back for dinner on my way home.” 

And all the while he was able to stash his cash. 

“It was crazy — I was saving money, paying off student loans,” Dylan claimed. But while his pockets were getting fat, so was he.

. . .

“They’ve got decent options now,” the cheap-eating enthusiast explained. “Still a lot of bad food, I mean it’s theme park food so you can’t expect too much from them. But you find the options that aren’t terrible — stuff like tri-tip sandwiches and vegan options like black bean burgers and meatless meatball subs.”

There's more at the link.

The economics of this kinda boggle my mind.  Did Six Flags ever stop to think that someone might do this?  Even at minimal cost to the venue - buying food centrally in bulk, preparing it as cheaply as possible, and so forth - Dylan must have recovered the expense of his annual ticket in just a few weeks.  After that, it was all pure profit to him, and all pure expense to Six Flags.  He probably cost them several thousand dollars every year, just by being canny and using his head!

Of course, now that the story is out, I expect Six Flags to change their annual ticket benefits at once, if not sooner.  I daresay it'll soon exclude free meals, or include some kind of meal-counting system whereby, once you reach a certain number, your meals are at your expense instead of theirs.

I wonder how many other entertainment venues offer similar deals?  How many of them are being used in the same way?  I daresay bean-counters everywhere will be checking that at once, if not sooner . . .


Heh - social media edition


Speaking as a pastor (albeit a retired one), I had to smile at the news that Facebook was changing its name to "Meta".

Facebook is renaming itself Meta to reflect the company’s new priority on building a virtual reality world dubbed the metaverse.

“We are going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first,” Mark Zuckerberg said during a speech at the Facebook Connect event on Thursday. 

Zuckerberg announced the new brand after talking up his company’s ambitious goal of creating a VR world ... where virtual reality becomes so good it dominates people’s lives, becoming a new way to live, work, and play.

“Our mission remains the same: It’s still about bringing people together. Our apps and our brands, they’re not changing either. And we are still the company that designs technology around people. But now we have a new North Star. To help bring the metaverse to life,” Zuckerberg said.

There's more at the link.

A time-honored concept in Christian theology is "metanoia", which Wikipedia describes as follows:

Metanoia ... means after-thought or beyond-thought, with meta meaning "after" or "beyond" (as in the modern word "metaphysics") and nous meaning "mind" (as in the modern word "paranoia"). It is commonly understood as "a transformative change of heart; especially: a spiritual conversion." The term suggests repudiation, change of mind, repentance, and atonement; but "conversion" and "reformation" may best approximate its connotation. In The King James Version of the Bible, its verbal cognate ... is translated as "repent".

Metanoia is also a psychological term.  Wikipedia notes:

William James used the term metanoia to refer to a fundamental and stable change in an individual's life-orientation. Carl Gustav Jung developed the usage to indicate a spontaneous attempt of the psyche to heal itself of unbearable conflict by melting down and then being reborn in a more adaptive form – a form of self healing often associated with the mid-life crisis and psychotic breakdown, which can be viewed as a potentially productive process.

The thought of Facebook's new name representing repentance (a thoroughly faith-based value) for its (many) past sins against its customers, against our privacy, and against free speech, is a peculiarly appropriate one, wouldn't you say?  (Not that I think the Zuckerbot is at all likely to repent of such things, but one may dream...)  As for "having a new North Star", there's Biblical precedent for that, too.   When it comes to the psychological aspect, the thought of Facebook's Board of Directors jointly and severally "melting down and then being reborn" is equally engaging.

What about it, Facebook?  Embrace the Zuck!  Extend your "meta" to the full "noia", so the rest of us can enjoy the fireworks!


Thursday, October 28, 2021

A good trade at the gun shop


I'm no longer buying anything much in the way of guns.  I have just about everything I need, and with money being tight (not to mention other important needs for it), my gun budget was folded back into the household earlier this year.  Nevertheless, I remain open to a good deal if it's something I can really use.  (I don't have collector guns - I have shooting guns.)

I was therefore very interested when my local dealer got his hands on two Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolvers.  One was a 4" pencil-barrel Model 10-5, like this one but in better condition:

and one a heavy-barrel Military & Police model, still in its very-good-condition blue box, similar to this one:

They weren't cheap (no quality revolver is these days), but they were fairly priced.  As luck would have it, I had in my collection a Taurus .22 Magnum Model 941 revolver and a Belgian-made Browning SA-22 semi-auto rifle.  The Belgian-made models, produced there through the early 1970's, carry a premium over the later Japanese-made versions;  and the Taurus was also an early-production blued model with a 4" heavy barrel, not nearly as valuable as the Browning, but definitely with appeal to traditionalists.  They both qualified as "nice to have", but not as "essential".

My dealer looked at my trades, cocked his head as he considered his two .38's, and said slowly, "You'll need to give me some cash."

"Oh?" I asked.  "How much?"

"I'll need two . . . dollars."  He raised his head and grinned at me.

I'd been expecting about two hundred, but I wasn't about to argue.  My wallet came out of my pocket faster than it takes to tell it, and I walked out of the shop with two nice clean .38 Special revolvers to add to my battery.

There are those who sneer at the .38 Special as being underpowered.  I don't agree.  For short to medium range confrontations, with the right ammunition, accurately aimed and delivered to the right spot, it remains very effective, as Jim Cirillo demonstrated during his numerous gunfights as a member of the New York Police Department's Stakeout Squad.  We've run into Jim in these pages before.  

My preferred standard-pressure carry load in .38 Special (not +P, which some older revolvers may not be able to handle, and which can produce excessive recoil in small, light snub-nose revolvers) is Buffalo Bore's 150-grain hard-cast full wadcutter round.  I've used it for several years, and find it accurate and reliable in all my weapons.  Unlike hollow-point rounds, which may not expand at lower velocities such as those fired from short-barrel snubbies, the wadcutter delivers a full-caliber "punch" without having to expand at all;  and it penetrates deeply enough to reach the vitals.  Buffalo Bore says of their round:

The bullet is made hard, so it won't deform or mushroom. It cuts/crushes a "cookie cutter", full diameter hole in human flesh just like it does on a paper target. It penetrates deeply (roughly 14 to 16 inches in human tissue) and its full diameter profile maximizes blood loss as it cuts and crushes (not slips or slides) its way through tissue. Although I've never been shot with a full profile wad cutter bullet, I must assume that the initial impact of that wide flat nosed bullet, is crushingly formidable. As a teenager, I took to the woods on a regular basis and killed many a critter with heavily loaded 38SPL wadcutters'. The effect of a full profile wad cutter on small game was obvious and amazing, compared to regular round nosed bullets. That flat nose literally hammers living things.

I have every confidence that one or two of those rounds, delivered to the vitals, will stop almost anyone (except, perhaps, someone hopped-up on narcotics, and even a shotgun slug might not stop such an attacker).  To aid in rapid, accurate shooting, I've put Uncle Mike's boot grips on both of the guns, which fit our hands better than the originals and give us greater control and accuracy.  (I stocked up on Uncle Mike's grips when they announced they were going out of production, and still have several sets.  I like them very much.)

I now have enough .38 Special and .357 Magnum revolvers to conceal one in every room of our home, where they won't be found easily by visitors or intruders, but will be instantly available to my wife and myself in case of need.  You think that's paranoid?  Not in an age of home invasions.  They go down so fast that you probably won't have time to get to your gun safe and retrieve a firearm.  (If you doubt that, see the many videos of home invasion attacks on YouTube.)  Your only meaningful defense is to to carry a gun on your person - which isn't always convenient, let alone possible - or have one readily available.  Revolvers can be left loaded without any long-term pressure on magazine springs or other "wear-and-tear" factors, and my wife and I can shoot them accurately, so they're the obvious solution.

All in all, a good trade, one that will help us be prepared for whatever the next few years throw at us.  (Yes, I am expecting them to be difficult years for everyone - hence this added precaution.)


The classics are all wrong for our kids, but homosexual pornography is just fine


I'm seething at how "woke" teachers and administrators are destroying our children's literary heritage and replacing it with filth and trash, under the guise of "relevance" and such twaddle.

First, classic children's literature is under ever-increasing attack.

Classic children's books in a Cambridge University archive are set to be labelled with 'trigger warnings' for 'harmful content relating to slavery, colonialism and racism'.

Researchers are reviewing more than 10,000 books and magazines to expose offensive authors after campaigners demanded teachers censor racial slurs when reading Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.

With other modern classics like Little House On The Prairie and the works of Dr Seuss dubbed as potentially harmful, Femail has examined other children's texts which have come under fire.

Criticism includes that of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book which was slammed for it's 'colonial' depiction of animals and Roald Dahl's Matilda which was dubbed transphobic for it's portrayal of masculine Miss Trunchbull.

Here, FEMAIL takes a look at what other much-loved bedtime stories could be at risk of being 'cancelled'.

There's much more at the link, including details of the allegations against many popular books.

Then, to replace it, modern "relevant" materials are being distributed that amount to nothing less than pornography in at least some cases.  Divemedic provides a graphic example.

This is NOT an entirely accurate description of this book. The book is ACTUALLY about how the main character, Mike Munoz, a 22 year old half Mexican boy who mows lawns for a living. By the end of the book, he discovers how Capitalism is racist and homophobic, and this is why success and happiness are eluding him.

There are descriptive homosexual sex scenes in the book, “F” bombs are sprinkled throughout, and the entire American way of life is painted as evil. This book contains graphic sex scenes between children as young as nine years old, which falls under the umbrella of kiddie porn.

. . .

So why am I writing this post? Because this book is in the library of many schools. It is on the required reading list for some classes in middle and high schools in Texas, Florida, and Virginia (where parents aren’t allowed to have a say in what their kids are learning). If you want to read some scary stuff, read the comments to the Texas article, where adults try to justify this book by citing studies about elementary school aged children engaging in sex.

. . .

I have said this before: There are activists in schools who are trying to fill your children’s heads with propaganda. They are grooming your kids to be sexual and economic slaves. I spent eight years as a public school teacher, I know. There are many good teachers who care about this country and the kids in their care. There are also hard left communist hacks, pedophiles, and slackers who are just there for a paycheck. Those teachers are the ones who are spotting kids that are malleable, and creating little communist f*** toys for themselves.

. . .

At this point, I cannot stress enough: Get your kids out of public school. Even in private school, pay close attention to what they are learning and studying. If you don’t, you might wake up one day to discover that there is a purple haired Marxist with a penchant for b******** little boys living in your house who just turned you in to the FBI for not being “woke” enough.

Again, more at the link.  Thanks, Divemedic, for doing a public service by bringing that to our attention.

He's not alone in drawing attention to the sexualization of our kids through the books they're being forced to read.  An organization called Toxic Schools is drawing attention to problems in Virginia schools.

Virginia state law explicitly states that “a parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.” (Va. Code Ann. § 1-240.1)

But government officials and schools are secretly working overtime to take away parent’s rights, to make sure that most people—including many parents—don’t know what’s actually happening in their children’s schools.

That’s wrong.

It’s not fair.

And it violates the trust we put in our schools.

At a recent Fairfax County School Board meeting, a concerned citizen showed a graphic novel aimed at teen readers that she found in the high school library. Turns out it was also available in many other Virginia high schools. It contained images that were pornographic. She was shut down by the school board.

Fairfax County Public Schools set up committees to review the books and decide whether to continue to stock those books. Here’s what they are not doing:

  • They aren’t examining how these books made it into the libraries in the first place.
  • They aren’t holding anyone responsible for making the decision to make these books available.
  • They aren’t reviewing the schools for similar, inappropriate books and materials.

What else is going wrong in public schools?

See for yourself some of the recent stories of toxic schools, and please share any we have missed.

More at the link.  It's worth clicking over there to read parents' stories of what they've uncovered.

An attempt by Toxic Schools to run a 30-second advertisement, showing exactly what sort of pornography was being foisted upon children in Virginia, was blocked by local TV stations, who would only show a "blurred" version of it, omitting the offensive material.  The organization has made the uncensored version available on its Web site.  I urge you to click over there and take a look, so that you're fully informed of what's being done to our kids by the powers that be.

Friends, if we allow this to be done to our children through our inattention, carelessness or neglect, we deserve all our children are going to become.  Needless to say, they don't deserve that.  They deserve much better of us.  Furthermore, speaking as a Christian pastor, I'll add that we're going to be held accountable one day for what we permitted others to do to our children.  I hate to think of what that judgment might be.

This must be stopped - and the only people who can stop it are parents.


"Oh, what a tangled (tax) web we weave..."


Sir Walter Scott coined a phrase in 1808, in his poem "Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field", that's been cited ever since:

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!"

I think our politicians have taken the phrase to heart, and regard it as a road map for how they should govern us - by deceit.  This is seen most recently in attempts by the Democratic Party and its office-holders to justify a wealth tax, in the form of a tax on "unrealized capital gains".

It's sophistry, pure and simple:  an attempt to get around the clear wording of the 16th Amendment to the U.S. constitutionIt holds alarming implications for every one of us - not just the "billionaires" at which they insist the tax is aimed.

Let's break it down into bite-sized chunks.

The 16th Amendment states:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

This makes it pretty clear that federal taxes cannot be levied directly upon assets that are not "income" (e.g. accumulated wealth, property, savings, retirement funds, etc.).  Until now, this has stymied efforts by tax-and-spend politicians to grab any and every additional tax dollar and cent they could get their hands on.

The crux of the current proposals is that they reclassify gains in value on paper as actual income.  If, for example, your asset or investment gains value in a given year, even though you did not sell it to realize that gain (i.e. take possession of it in cash, which would be taxable), the authorities want to tax you on the presumed, theoretical gain.

The proponents of this tax swear it'll only be directed at "billionaires", so that they pay their "fair share" of the tax burden.  However, that's a classic case of the camel's nose getting under the edge of the tent.  If it's implemented, who's to say that any and every capital gain, from any and every taxpayer, might not gradually be dragged into in this new taxation net?  This might produce all sorts of complications.

  • If your home appreciates in market value from (say) $200,000 to $250,000 in one year, even if you don't sell it or plan to sell it, you might find yourself with a tax bill for that $50,000 in unrealized capital gain.  Where are you going to find the money to pay the tax?  And what happens next year, when it gains another (say) $30,000 in value?  You'll be paying the tax all over again!
  • Inflation wreaks havoc with asset valuations.  Just by holding an asset that doesn't go up in price, but is valued at 10% more due to inflation as the dollar weakens (which is basically a monetary problem to begin with), you might be on the hook to pay tax on that 10% "adjustment".
  • What if your property loses value?  Will you be able to claim a tax credit, or refund, on unrealized capital losses?  It would be only fair . . . but can you see politicians willingly allowing such a loophole, once they've got their hands on your money?  If you can, there's a bridge in Brooklyn, NYC I'd like to sell you.  Cash only, please, and in small bills.  (Yes, of course I'll pay tax on it!  Whaddaya think I am - dishonest, or something?)
  • What if this is extended to currently untaxed savings?  For example, if you have retirement savings in an IRA or 401(K), capital gains are not taxable.  However, if this tax is extended, you might find your accumulated reserves raided for part of their appreciation in value every year.  That might be imposes directly on them, rather than coming out of your pocket, in the hope that you wouldn't notice . . . but it'd make your retirement savings worth considerably less in the long run.

Sundance points out the dangers involved in tolerating such an extension of the taxation powers of government.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

Taxing “unrealized capital gains” sounds like a catchy and obscure way to make wealthy people pay more in taxes, but it doesn’t work.  A government that moves in this direction ignores the reality that people are not static.  The process also involves “taxing wealth” which then becomes an arbitrary definition.

. . .

There are constitutional issues with the federal government taxing wealth or assets; however, the overarching premise behind every proposal is that all wealth belongs to the government.  You hear this ideological perspective when people say “tax expenditures” or spending in the tax code.  The idea is that your income is what the government permits you to keep, NOT what your labor has achieved.

The ideology behind taxing “unrealized capital gains” is the same ideology in the premise of “sharing the wealth.”    It is an ideology that stems from a belief that your dollar earned comes at the cost of my dollar not achieved.

Beware the voices who would advocate for taxing unrealized gains in wealth as a source of government revenue.  Once you start down the path of taxing wealth you set up a process where the U.S. government controls the limits of where that wealth is defined.   It will never stop at billionaires…

There's more at the link.

Stephen Green asserts that such a tax will inevitably impact retirement savings (currently exempt from income tax), albeit indirectly.

Let’s pretend for a moment that I’m a young entrepreneur whose company just went public. I’ve been personally scraping by to get my business going, working long hours and not taking much pay. Overnight, though, the shares I hold are worth a billion dollars.

Let’s also pretend that you, gentle reader, are a smart investor who bought a few shares in my IPO and tucked them away in your IRA account.

I don’t actually have a billion dollars. I just have these shares that the stock market values at a billion dollars. But according to Yellen, wealth tax-proponent Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Presidentish Joe Biden, I “made” a billion dollars yesterday. And being a naughty rich person, I must pay taxes on that money I don’t actually have.

So what do I do? I’m forced to sell off enough shares in my own company to pay the tax bill.

What does that do to you, Mr. or Mrs. Smart Investor? My big sell-off reduces the value of your shares and your retirement account. In essence, you’re paying the “Billionaire Income Tax” even though you aren’t a billionaire and haven’t made any income.

Every year around Tax Day there would be a big sell-off.

So not only is Yellen lying when she says it isn’t a wealth tax, she’s lying when she says it will fall only on the “extremely wealthy.”

Again, more at the link.

Think, too, about what this will mean to politically well-connected companies who might line up to buy your assets when you're forced to sell them to pay your tax bill.  You have to sell your house?  Blackrock and other investors will gladly buy it from you, to make as much money out of rent, depreciation (against taxes), and so on.  They'll also have to pay the tax on unrealized capital gains each year:  but for them, it's a business expense - they can adjust rentals to compensate, and write it off against their income taxes.  As private citizens, not earning income through that asset, we can't do that.  Effectively, our tax burden would become a subsidy for companies who can write off their tax burden.  Sucks to be us, doesn't it?

It's going to be a long, complicated legal fight if this tax proposal becomes law.  Back in 1920, the Supreme Court ruled (in Eisner v. Macomber) that a tax on a pro rata stock dividend (i.e. where no actual cash changed hands, but the dividend represented capital appreciation) was unconstitutional.  This ruling would certainly apply to any tax on unrealized capital gains, and would be invoked by those affected.  Will the Supreme Court succumb to more modern interpretations of the law, and revise its century-old ruling?  Who knows?

Whatever happens, expect tax-and-spend politicians to try to get their hands on every cent of our money that they can wring out of us, by fair means or foul.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Er... judge... about those hippos...


I'm still laughing after reading this report.

The offspring of hippos once owned by Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar can be recognized as people or “interested persons” with legal rights in the US following a federal court order.

The case involves a lawsuit against the Colombian government over whether to kill or sterilize the hippos whose numbers are growing at a fast pace and pose a threat to biodiversity.

An animal rights groups is hailing the order as a milestone victory in the long-sought efforts to sway the US justice system to grant animals personhood status. But the order won’t carry any weight in Colombia where the hippos live, a legal expert said.

. . .

The “cocaine hippos” are descendants of animals that Escobar illegally imported to his Colombian ranch in the 1980s when he reigned over the country’s drug trade. After his death in a 1993 shootout with authorities, the hippos were abandoned at the estate and left to thrive with no natural predators — their numbers have increased in the last eight years from 35 to somewhere between 65 and 80.

A group of scientists has warned that the hippos pose a major threat to the area’s biodiversity and could lead to deadly encounters with humans. They are advocating for some of the animals to be killed. A government agency has started sterilizing some of the hippos, but there is a debate on what are the safest methods.

There's more at the link.

I know a fair amount about hippos, having had a few up-close-and-personal encounters with the critters.  I wrote about common misconceptions about them a few years ago.  A few days later, I noted the existence of the Colombian hippos, and how they were spreading into surrounding waterways.  Earlier this year, we noted a comment by a Colombian expert that "Efforts to castrate hippos are not as easy as you would think" (to which my response can only be:  "No s***, Sherlock!!!").

By now, I'd guess there are well over a hundred living and breeding in Colombian rivers.  Within five to ten years there'll be several hundred.  It's an absolutely ideal environment for them, rich in food and with no natural predators whatsoever.  They'll take over the river systems throughout the country, and then spread further.  Give it a century or two, and they might become apex predators in the Amazon River!  They might have been controlled by culling the entire population in the first year or two after they made their escape.  Now . . . forget about it.  They'll retreat into the streams and jungle of Central America, and those looking for them will never find them all.  They're established, and they're going to stay that way.  It's what they do best.  (You'll find a number of videos of them on YouTube.)

Therefore, the news that a judge in Cincinnati, Ohio, has decided that hippos have "interested persons" status before the court is cause for a certain amount of hilarity.  I don't know if she's ever seen a hippo in the flesh, or been overly close to one, but allow me to assure her:  in the wild, the average hippo regards the average human as a pest, a nuisance, and something to be removed with extreme prejudice whenever possible.  To call a hippo a "person" is probably about the worst insult the hippo could imagine!

Also, to the hippy-dippy "conservationists" who are proposing mass sterilization of the Colombian hippos rather than culling them:  I have news for you.  Please do go ahead.  Show us how it's done.  I want to sell tickets to your performance on pay-per-view.  The amount of (human) gore that will probably result is sure to be impressive.  Adult hippos weigh up to two tons, and sometimes more.  They have an attitude, to put it mildly, and are extraordinarily well equipped to put that attitude on display at the drop of a hat (and drop it themselves if necessary).  The late professional hunter in Africa, Peter Hathaway Capstick, wrote of them in a collection of his magazine columns titled "Last Horizons":

The hippopotamus is, without any doubt, the most incredibly underrated dangerous animal in the world.

. . .

[Hippos] leave the water after dark to eat terrestrial grasses and shoots, often traveling ten or more miles a night in search of the forage to keep their rock-hard, thick-skinned bodies going.  In many African reserves and parks, overpopulations of hippos have destroyed the habitat for miles on each side of the rivers, necessitating the cropping of excess animals.

When a hippo leaves his aquatic home and is no longer in the security of his watery territory, he becomes as homicidally neurotic as Son of Sam.  And that's just when he's healthy.  If he's recently had a slashing, blood-foaming battle with a rival and is in terrible pain from the long cuts and gouges left by the knife-sharp fighting tusks of his enemy, his temperament is about like that of nitroglycerine heated in a double boiler.  Definitely, shall we say, unstable.

Most big game is decidedly unpredictable, but not so much as the hippo.  If you manage to blunder your way between him and the water, he will usually charge.  A decent-sized bull hippo will shade two and a half tons, and if you're under the impression that he's either slow or clumsy, you had better stay away from any African water bigger than a damp sponge.  He can put that five thousand pounds of muscle into overdrive as fast as any rhino or Cape buffalo, and if he catches you, you'll probably be a lot worse off.  He has four fighting tusks as thick as pick handles and as sharp as the edge of this page.  Whetting against each other as they do, they stay sharp throughout the animal's life.  On a normal bull, the exposed portion of the lower tusks will reach from gum line to tip about the same distance as between your elbow and your wrist.  They will also penetrate your chest with the greatest of ease, which you might consider undesirable.

. . .

A hippo charge from close range gives one the feeling of being attacked by an oversized grand piano with the lid open.  The mouth will open, exposing the tusks as he gathers speed, throwing a wake like a landing craft.  Some I have seen were making more noise than a Moog synthesizer with a major short circuit;  others were completely silent.  Noisy or silent, he'll have your absolute, undivided attention - I promise you ... Considering that there are records of single hippos tearing ten-foot crocodiles in half, I don't suppose it would be especially constructive for me to detail what happens if you aren't very lucky.

I've (thankfully) had far fewer close encounters with hippo than Mr. Capstick.  However, those I've had allow me to confirm that if anything, he understated the situation.  You do not want to get "up close and personal" with a hippo.  Under any circumstances whatsoever.  Period.  You'll therefore understand that the thought of conservationists and environmentalists wanting to sterilize them gives me more than a few moments of uncontrollable hilarity!  I loved the comment about there being "debate on what are the safest methods".  I have news for them . . . I can't think of a single one.  Danger goes with the territory.  Watch where you're pointing that scalpel, buddy, and don't skimp on the anesthetic!

As for granting them legal "personhood" in court . . . suuuuuuure, judge.  You go right ahead and do that.  As far as the rest of us in the real world are concerned, they'll go right on being hippos.  They're terrifyingly good at it - court rulings be damned.


Just how many people are being killed or sickened by COVID-19 vaccines?


We saw last week how VAERS (the official US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) was reporting approximately three-quarters of a million adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination.  Of course, pending further inquiry, we can't say that all of them are directly related to the vaccine;  but the odds are pretty good that many of them are, indeed, related.

Since last week, things have gotten worse.  Here are the numbers through October 15th, 2021 (click the image for a larger view).

Note the top left block:  17,128 as yet unexplained deaths following a COVID-19 vaccination.  Further investigations are needed, but it seems there's already a strong correlation.

A recent analysis by researchers at Queen Mary University in London found that even in senior citizens, about 85% of deaths reported to VAERS were definitively, likely or possibly caused by the vaccine. Moreover, due to significant under-reporting, the true number of vaccine-related deaths may already be significantly higher, possibly in the range of 10,000 to 50,000 deaths in the US alone.

Indeed, despite very few covid deaths, there continues to be unexplained excess all-cause mortality in all US age groups below the age of 75, with all-cause mortality having reached record levels in age groups below 45 since the beginning of the vaccination campaign.

. . .

Below a certain age, covid-related mortality is so low that covid vaccines are bound to kill or severely injure more healthy people than they save. In the US, this age threshold may be close to 40 years, while in some Western European countries, it may be as high as 60 years (for healthy people).

It has been argued that vaccination against covid may at least prevent “long covid” or multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS) in children and young adults; however, new reports from Israel and the US indicate that, to the contrary, covid vaccines may themselves cause MIS as well as “long covid”-like conditions, often lasting for months or possibly even longer (see video below).

Going forward, three covid vaccine-related potential risks should be kept in mind:

1.  In addition to immediate adverse events (such as strokes and heart attacks), are covid vaccines causing cardiovascular damage that will become apparent only later?

2.  In the face of new immune-escape coronavirus variants, such as the Indian and Peruvian variants (delta and lambda), how long will vaccine protection last, especially in senior citizens?

3.  Once new coronavirus variants achieve full immune escape, will the very high levels of vaccine-induced, non-neutralizing antibodies cause antibody-dependent disease enhancement (ADE)?

There's more at the link.

A very extensive and regularly updated analysis of internationally reported COVID-19 vaccine complications may be found here, if you want to go into the subject in greater depth.  It's also worth noting the author's earlier comment that "Scientists have estimated that adverse events occur at a rate many fold higher than what is reported in VAERS, since it is assumed that most adverse events are not reported through the tracking system."  If that's true - I don't see how it could be confirmed or debunked in the absence of hard data and significant research - then the figures given above may be absurdly low, and the risks to health posed by COVID-19 vaccines may be very significantly higher.  (Note, too, the reference to "significant under-reporting" in the article excerpted above.)

I find it very odd that the medical profession and/or the news media are ignoring publicly reported, unexplained deaths among groups of people where the only common factor was that they had recently been vaccinated.  Two examples:

What's more, Sweden and Denmark have just banned the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in younger people due to "the increased risk of heart inflammation".

Folks, I'm not a doctor, but I'm not stupid, either.  When I see so much correlation, I have to wonder about causation.  Are the currently available COVID-19 vaccines the "common factor" binding all these reports together?  Looking at those VAERS figures, it's hard not to think so.  Just look at all fatalities reported to VAERS, for all vaccines administered in the USA, from 1990 until this week (clickit to biggit):

In case you're wondering what new vaccines have been introduced over the past year or so, that might have caused that astonishing spike in reported fatalities . . . yes, those would be COVID-19 vaccines.

Back in 1976, the vaccination program for swine flu was abandoned after about 45 million doses had been administered, due to "an unexpectedly high number of cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome ... reported in vaccinated individuals. The vaccine was estimated to have caused approximately one Guillain-Barré syndrome case per 100,000 persons vaccinated, resulting in 53 deaths."  That's a hell of a lot fewer incidents and fatalities than we're seeing after COVID-19 vaccinations, isn't it???  If that 1976 casualty rate was sufficiently high to cause the suspension of the swine flu vaccination program, why aren't the much higher figures for COVID-19 vaccinations having the same effect?

Follow the COVID-19 numbers from VAERS as they're updated every week.  You'll find them both frightening and eye-opening . . . and the mainstream media is utterly ignoring them.  It's as if they don't want us to know about them at all.  Ask yourselves why that might be.

You can lie by commission (i.e. deliberately saying something untrue) and by omission (i.e. deliberately omitting or obscuring truthful information that's of critical importance and might undermine your position).  I get the very strong feeling we're being lied to by omission, by the CDC, the FDA, and every other official body involved with COVID-19 (aided and abetted by politicians, the news media, social media censorship, and so on).  I put forward the evidence above to support my position.  If anyone wants to prove me wrong, have at it;  but you'll have to produce even stronger evidence to overturn what's already out there.

Friends, we're being played for suckers.  Many of us realized this a long time ago.  For the rest of us . . . it's long gone time we stopped being taken in.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

When the news media fall over their own feet...


This correction is utterly priceless!

I'm not a fan or follower of DJT Jr., but in this case I have to admit, he's nailed it.  What was the Washington Post thinking of, to make so bald-faced an admission - in other words, confessing that one of its editors deliberately lied - that leaves it with egg (not to mention something less edible and rather more odiferous) all over its journalistic face?  And what's being done about that editor?  Will he or she suffer the consequences that should follow from such a breach of professional ethics?  If not, the admission isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will enjoy a moment of schadenfreude at the Post's expense . . .


Remember my warning about "blue states"?


I've warned repeatedly that if you live in a "blue state" or "blue city" (i.e. one controlled by progressive-left-wing liberal politics) you need to move, sooner rather than later, because anybody not in lock-step with the politically correct administration(s) there is going to be forced into line, whether they like it or not.

Washington state proves me right yet again.

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) filed an emergency rulemaking package last week extending emergency powers to Democrat Governor Jay Inslee. This package, which is an extension of current mandates, grants Inslee the ability to enforce COVID vaccine mandates on all private businesses in the state of Washington, according to elected officials.

Washington state house representatives Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) and Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor) released a statement on Monday condemning the actions of L&I.

"This mandate from L&I demonstrates a complete lack of transparency, which dilutes public trust in our government and fails to show the agency's good faith in promulgating the rule. The reality is this move by L&I is a blank check for the agency to enforce any of the Governor's mandates or edicts on private employers."

There's more at the link.

Isn't that lovely?  Washington's governor finds he doesn't have enough legal authority to make the rules he'd like to make:  so, instead of passing legislation or allowing the electorate to have a say, he simply has his bureaucrats introduce an "emergency rulemaking package" extending his powers.  The phrase "power grab" might have been invented to justify Gov. Inslee's approach to his job, and his constituents.

This is arbitrary, capricious, and dictatorial.  Washington state is deeply divided, with a coastal left-wing elite among the most progressive in the country, but a population in the interior that's of drastically different persuasion.  Inslee, needless to say, is among the former group - and he clearly doesn't care if he rides roughshod over the perceptions and principles and desires of the rest of the state.  He probably enjoys it.

The traditional motto during the Crusades was "Deus Vult" - "God wills it".  I guess now it's "Inslee Vult", as far as Washington state is concerned.  Just like divine will, any lack of enthusiastic cooperation will brand those concerned as faithless, pagan heathen, as far as the progressive left is concerned.

I truly sympathize with small businesses in Washington state.  A lot of them are going to be driven into bankruptcy or closure by this edict, particularly in those parts of the state that retain an independent spirit.  There appears to be nothing they can do about it - unless they move to a free state that respects their rights.

I hope many of them do precisely that.




Scott Adams captures the singularity dilemma perfectly.  Click the image to see a larger view at the Dilbert Web page.

We can take comfort in the fact that it can't be more destructive to our way of life, or do it any faster, than the Biden administration!


Monday, October 25, 2021



Several articles in recent days have reminded me of the reality of fear, and how it prevents us from dealing with the realities that confront us.  They've also reinforced the lesson that only if we overcome our fears can we move forward with our lives.

First, Larry Lambert points out the need to face up to our fears.

There is a medical family who lives in the mountains near me, and they’re friends of mine – but they are afraid. They had the plague, they had the vax, and they alone, wear masks. The plague made them sick – more or less like the flu. Same with me. Not my first flu. Not theirs either. But they’re afraid.

. . .

Nobody likes to be sick and to take it a step further, nobody wants to die – but both are in our future. None of us will live past 110 so do the math, count backward, and decide how you want to live what you have left.

I’ve had chronic pain that I’m not able to kick after not being treated for non-plague issues, and then when I was close to dying, they operated. Too late. But I suck it up and I don’t go out and lift heavy things very often. When I do, I pay. My point is that fear always makes things worse. Prudence usually makes them better but not always.

I revert often to Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankl, a Psychiatrist. The memoir is riveting with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Frankl discusses how to cope with unavoidable suffering.

The new Dune movie is out covering the first half of the book. I re-read the book and may go and see the film, but to my point, there is this quote: I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. Frank Herbert knew what he was writing about. Fear and panic create more harm than a resolute view of life and living said life – and hopefully dying well.

There's more at the link.

Larry's article resonated with me.  I've had two heart attacks, about ten years apart.  Statistically, it's a near-certainty that I'll have another, and that my heart problems will eventually cause my death.  It may be sooner, it may be later, but it's coming.  Am I to sit here, worrying myself to death at the prospect?  Or am I to get on with my life, accepting that certainty, but not allowing it to dominate or control my life?  I'm going to die one day.  It's as certain as the dawn.  I don't look forward to that, but if I can't change it, why be scared of the inevitable?  Why not make the most of the time that is given to me, and enjoy as much of it as possible?

Larry referenced an article by Thomas Harrington, "The Frightened Class".

They’re all around us, especially those of us who live in relatively prosperous metropolitan neighborhoods in the US or Western Europe. Despite being—at least in material terms—among the most fortunate people who have ever walked the earth, they are very scared. And they want you to be very frightened too.

Indeed, many of them see your refusal to be as frightened as they are about life’s inevitable risks as a grave problem which entitles them and their often powerful and influential fellow travelers to recur to all manner of authoritarian practices to insure that you adhere to their increasingly neurotic view of reality.

. . .

It has been said that, over time, we tend to “become what we do.” It seems that after orchestrating campaign after campaign of fear on behalf of the truly powerful, the “literate” comfortable classes have come to believe their own schtick to the point where they have trouble understanding, or even tolerating, those who have always consumed their mercenarily-produced fear porn with a large helping of salt. 

Worse yet, these self-frightened elites seem to think they can now remedy their lack of credibility with those living outside their grim prison of angst by simply amping up the volume on the scare machine. I suspect they might be in for a bigger and much more “physical” set of responses than they ever imagined could come their way.

Again, more at the link, and well worth your time.

Back in pre-pandemic 2016, Rolling Stone magazine asked:  "This is the safest time in human history. So why are we all so afraid?"

According to Lewis & Clark College president Barry Glassner, one of the country’s leading sociologists and author of The Culture of Fear, “Most Americans are living in the safest place at the safest time in human history.”

. . .

So how is it possible to be living in the safest time in human history, yet at the exact same time to be so scared?

Because, according to Glassner, “we are living in the most fearmongering time in human history. And the main reason for this is that there’s a lot of power and money available to individuals and organizations who can perpetuate these fears.”

For mass media, insurance companies, Big Pharma, advocacy groups, lawyers, politicians and so many more, your fear is worth billions. And fortunately for them, your fear is also very easy to manipulate. We’re wired to respond to it above everything else. If we miss an opportunity for abundance, life goes on; if we miss an important fear cue, it doesn’t.

“The more we learn about the brain, the more we learn it’s not something that’s supposed to make you happy all the time,” says Andrew Huberman, a Stanford neurobiology professor who runs a lab studying fear. “It’s mostly a stress-reactive machine. Its primary job is to keep us alive, which is why it’s so easy to flip people into fear all the time.”

. . .

Where fear is a response to a present threat, anxiety is a more complex and highly manipulable response to something one anticipates might be a threat in the future ... And that uncertainty is the exact lever that politicians regularly use to try to influence your behavior ... The crucial combination of uncertainty with perception of an escalating threat has led historically, according to Bader and other researchers, to an increased desire for authoritarianism.

More at the link.

Speaking of authoritarianism, Bari Weiss reminds us:  "We Got Here Because of Cowardice. We Get Out With Courage".

What we call “cancel culture” is really the justice system of this revolution. And the goal of the cancellations is not merely to punish the person being cancelled. The goal is to send a message to everyone else: Step out of line and you are next.

It has worked. A recent CATO study found that 62 percent of Americans are afraid to voice their true views. Nearly a quarter of American academics endorse ousting a colleague for having a wrong opinion about hot-button issues such as immigration or gender differences. And nearly 70 percent of students favor reporting professors if the professor says something that students find offensive, according to a Challey Institute for Global Innovation survey.

Why are so many, especially so many young people, drawn to this ideology? It’s not because they are dumb. Or because they are snowflakes, or whatever Fox talking points would have you believe. All of this has taken place against the backdrop of major changes in American life—the tearing apart of our social fabric; the loss of religion and the decline of civic organizations; the opioid crisis; the collapse of American industries; the rise of big tech; successive financial crises; a toxic public discourse; crushing student debt. An epidemic of loneliness. A crisis of meaning. A pandemic of distrust. It has taken place against the backdrop of the American dream’s decline into what feels like a punchline, the inequalities of our supposedly fair, liberal meritocracy clearly rigged in favor of some people and against others. And so on.

. . .

How did we get here? ... there is one word we should linger on, because every moment of radical victory turned on it. The word is cowardice.

The revolution has been met with almost no resistance by those who have the title CEO or leader or president or principal in front of their names. The refusal of the adults in the room to speak the truth, their refusal to say no to efforts to undermine the mission of their institutions, their fear of being called a bad name and that fear trumping their responsibility—that is how we got here.

. . .

If cowardice is the thing that has allowed for all of this, the force that stops this cultural revolution can also be summed up by one word: courage.

. . .

It is our duty to resist the crowd in this age of mob thinking. It is our duty to think freely in an age of conformity. It is our duty to speak truth in an age of lies.

This bravery isn’t the last or only step in opposing this revolution—it’s just the first. After that must come honest assessments of why America was vulnerable to start with, and an aggressive commitment to rebuilding the economy and society in ways that once again offer life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to the greatest number of Americans.

But let’s start with a little courage.

Courage means, first off, the unqualified rejection of lies. Do not speak untruths, either about yourself or anyone else, no matter the comfort offered by the mob. And do not genially accept the lies told to you. If possible, be vocal in rejecting claims you know to be false. Courage can be contagious, and your example may serve as a means of transmission.

. . .

Every day I hear from people who are living in fear in the freest society humankind has ever known. Dissidents in a democracy, practicing doublespeak. That is what is happening right now. What happens five, 10, 20 years from now if we don’t speak up and defend the ideas that have made all of our lives possible?

More at the link.

Food for thought from all concerned.


A "war warning" from Michael Yon


Michael Yon is one of the relatively few journalists I respect highly.  He's "walked the walk", not just "talked the talk", in an independent career that's shown neither fear nor favor in his pursuit of the truth about people and situations.  He became a legend in the military community for his reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000's.  He's made his share of mistakes, IMHO, but he's also gone after stories the hard way, exposing himself to danger in the process (unlike many so-called "journalists" who merely listen to others who've "been up the sharp end" and report what they hear, but never go there themselves).

He's been warning for the past year and a half that we're facing a growing crisis in the USA, a deliberate onslaught that threatens democracy and our constitution.  He's just repeated that warning, with renewed emphasis.  I think his warning needs to be disseminated as widely as possible.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

Keep adjusting your world view until you no longer are surprised. If you are surprised by this, try adjusting your paradigm to something like, "This has nothing to do with health. The Beast is using information war to destroy our military. And more. Defund the Police. Is a hostile takeover. Opening the borders is a hostile takeover. Breaking the economy is a hostile takeover. The Beast is setting conditions for authentic genocide."

If you try my current paradigm for just a week, you be unsurprised at ships off the coast unable to unload, forced jabs with untested chemicals into children's arms.

. . .

Because my paradigm has been amazingly accurate on general predictions. There are huge numbers of people out there still rushing for boosters who either never heard of things like ivermectin and Regeneron, or their paradigms are so primitive that they believe that my avoiding the untested chemicals, and going for the highly tested and probably highly efficacious FLCCC protocols, is a political statement.

. . .

I avoid most specific predictions such as "what is the spark?" I look at Conditions, and use the paradigm to predict future Conditions. Because I keep tweaking my paradigm to fit new information.

We are under attack. That is my paradigm. Under my paradigm, we will go into civil war, and The Beast will make a naked stab at genocide. The Beast is laying genocide traps everywhere. And those tech giant owners -- if they think they will be running the show, they are fools. The Beast will use them up and finally show them that real power flows out of the barrel of a gun. The Beast will take their companies and their lives.

. . .

PanFaWar: Pandemic, Famine, War. If you get a big dose of any one of these, you will get the other two. You can find plenty of examples in history books. In the Bible, for that matter. Our ancestors knew this.

In this case, the real Pandemic is false and coercive information.

I've seen many people surprised that they were being fired by military, police, fire departments, media. Or they say they think the powers that be will see the light. They already do see the light. You WILL be fired in many cases. In some cases, resistance will work.

But the idea is not to defund police 'to end brutality.' The idea is to empower real terrorists -- who will own the military, intelligence apparatus, police, and more. Remember Obama saying don't worry about metadata? Metadata is a large part of your recent life history. We kill people with metadata. I personally saw this many times in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's super easy.

Yes, they will ditch all the SEALs if they can get away with it. They already coerced military officers and NCOs to persuade people that women should be allowed into Ranger school and infantry, saying standards would never be dropped. The Beast lies. And The Beast finds people with medals who will lie for it, or it hands out medals to people who will do Bidding of the Beast.

Try my paradigm for a week. Look around. Does what you see make sense under my paradigm? There could be alternative explanations. We must adjust our collective paradigm until we are no longer surprised, and can predict what The Beast will do next. Because either we beat The Beast, or it will kill us.

Remember all my livestreams and posts in February 2020, when I was saying in clear terms that the life you once knew is over. 2019 is dead. We will never return to 2019 'normal.' The faster you can adjust to knew conditions, the better off your family will be.

And I would say many times in early 2020, that 2020 will be something most of us never experienced, and 2021 will be an entirely new world. I said this many times. And I will say this -- 2021 is just a warm up. 2022 will be far more intense.

You are at war. Ready or not.

There's more at the link.

Friends, I've tried very hard in these pages, over the past couple of years, to convey the reality of what we're facing.  I've succeeded in some areas, not in others.  The thing is, after seeing the November 2020 election stolen through fraudulent means, and after seeing the "Big Brother"-style, domineering enforcement of an ideology over all Americans by not just undemocratic but anti-democratic means over the past two years (including the last year of President Trump's term), there are still many who refuse to face reality.

The reality is this:



That's the essence of Michael Yon's warning, and it's the essence of what I've been trying to convey here.

We are facing a cold-blooded, deliberate attempt to end our constitutional and democratic way of life, and replace it with an oligarchical socialist dictatorship.  The COVID-19 pandemic is being used as a primary tool to accomplish this purpose.

Those behind this attempt will not scruple to use any and every means at their disposal, up to and including mob violence, political and ideological persecution, the usurpation of the rule of law, and the destruction of our economy.  These are all evils to us - but they are no more to them than tools to be used to accomplish their objectives.

The mainstream news media are no longer trustworthy.  Almost without exception, they're either parroting the "party line", or (if not actively supporting it) ignoring anything contrary to the "party line".  They are no longer disseminating "news".  They are disseminating what the powers that be want us to believe.  The social media giants are not only doing the same, they're actively censoring and discouraging the spread of any alternative viewpoint, even if those viewpoints can be proved to be factually correct.  Ideology has trumped reality, from that perspective.

We need to prepare for political, social, economic and cultural hardship, perhaps hardship so great as to constitute war-like conditions.  That's the reality staring us in the face right now.  You can choose not to believe that, if you wish:  but it won't stop that reality from happening to you, whether you believe it or not.  It is already happening to thousands of people who are losing their jobs and their careers because they refuse to submit.

As part of our preparations, we need to consider not only practical issues like building up emergency supplies, equipping ourselves to defend our loved ones and property, and so on:  we also need to adjust our mindset.  We can no longer blindly assume that "the government" is doing its best to help us.  If you doubt that, just look what "the goverment" has done to our economy and society over the past couple of years!  Helpful?  Yeah, right!  Instead, we need to see "the government" as yet another tool in the hands of those seeking to dominate and dictate to us how we should live and what we should believe.  In their eyes, government is not our servant:  it is our master.  Furthermore, government is not their master, but their puppet, something they control and use to carry out their program and do their bidding.

We can see this clearly in how they're using government to manipulate us through threats and enticements, punishments and blandishments.  You won't get the COVID-19 vaccination?  Then, in many states, prepare to be shut out of society, denied advanced medical care, prevented from earning a living - even forbidden to use shops, public transport, etc.  Yet . . . compare and contrast this dictatorial usurpation of democracy with states such as Florida and Texas, which are taking a firm stand against such measures.  Which states are floundering, economically speaking, and which are flourishing?

The old proverb tells us, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating".  Which policies are producing something worth eating?  The very fact that the powers that be are trying to shut down such independent measures in Florida and Texas says it all.  They can't afford to allow us to see for ourselves what works, and what doesn't;  what promotes the well-being of society, and what stifles it.

As Mr. Yon says:  "You are at war.  Ready or not."