Tuesday, July 5, 2022

An interesting perspective on morals and virtues

 

Larry Lambert published this very interesting diagram on his blog the other day.  Clickit to biggit.



I found it intriguing, and looked for more information.  It comes from a Christian academic paper authored by James D. Lanctot and Justin A. Irving, titled "Character and Leadership: Situating Servant Leadership in a Proposed Virtues Framework".  (It was tricky finding that source, because it's been mis-catalogued by the university.  Follow my link and you'll get there - just ignore the wrong title assigned to the paper.)  The paper included this second, equally interesting chart.



Speaking as a retired Christian pastor, I found it very interesting to compare those charts to the prison inmates with whom I've worked (and with my own character, as best I can tell).  I think they're very useful guidelines to assess oneself and those in positions with which one must interact - politicians, administrators, bureaucrats, and so on.  If we understand their positions on the various continua, we may be better able to interact with them by tailoring our approach;  and, if their positions are simply too far off the norm, it'll be a clue that we may be better off replacing them.

Try analyzing, first yourself, then popular politicians along those continua.  It's an interesting exercise.  Once you've done so, ask yourself:  "Does that politician really represent who I am, and/or who I want him/her to be?  Do I really want to vote for this person?"  If we're Christians, we could do a lot worse than apply those criteria to the way we vote.  Others will have their own criteria, of course.

Peter


Monday, July 4, 2022

Old armor is equipped to perform new tricks

 

I was intrigued to learn (courtesy of a post by SNAFU Solomon) about a modern adaptation of former Soviet T-62 tanks (first produced in the 1960's) by the Algerian Army.

I came across T-62's in the field, way back when.  They were impressive enough from an infantry point of view, but were less able to handle more modern, higher-technology Western tanks in combat, as proved in (for example) the 1973 Yom Kippur war, South Africa's Border War and other conflicts.  They were rapidly replaced in front-line service by the more modern T-72 tank and its derivatives.  Still, more than 22,000 T-62's were built, and there are several thousand still in operational or reserve use by many armies.  The Russians are reported to be using them in Ukraine at present, presumably in less active areas of fighting, so as to reserve their more modern (and more expensive) T-72's for the most critical areas.

The former Soviet Union learned several expensive lessons during urban and close-quarters combat in Afghanistan and elsewhere, reinforced by lessons learned in Russia during the post-Soviet era in, for example, Chechnya.  They led to the development of a tank-based infantry support vehicle;  a hybrid between an infantry fighting vehicle's weaponry and a main battle tank's level of protection.  Wikipedia describes the development of the BMPT Terminator as follows.


The history of the BMPT's development can be traced back to the Soviet–Afghan War. Combat experience during the lengthy war revealed that infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) like the BMP-1 and BMP-2 cannot fully deal with infantry, despite the BMP-2's high gun elevation. Although main battle tanks (MBTs) possessed a high amount of firepower, the limited elevation and depression angles of the main gun made them easy targets in mountainous and urban terrain ... It was evident that a new vehicle concept was needed. The main requirements for this new machine were to possess large firepower, high angles of elevation and depression, and a protection equivalent to that of an MBT. An additional requirement that was meant to supplement the latter was enhanced protection from close-range hand-held RPGs.

The need for such a vehicle became even more evident during the First Chechen War. When using conventional armor during urban engagements, Russian forces suffered heavy losses in manpower and equipment, including the destruction of an entire mechanized brigade during the first battle of Grozny. While these losses cannot be entirely blamed on technology, it became clear that a dedicated anti-personnel fighting vehicle would provide valuable assistance in an urban environment. Self-propelled anti-aircraft guns were used as a temporary solution in Chechnya. However, these vehicles weren't well-armored and didn't possess the obstacle-clearing capabilities of an MBT.

. . .

The production model of the BMPT was introduced in 2002 and featured twin 30 mm autocannons, two independent 30 mm automatic grenade launchers, and four Ataka missile launchers. 

Mission

When used in urban terrain, each main battle tank is to be deployed with two BMPTs. Outside of urban warfare that ratio is reversed with one BMPT protecting two main battle tanks. This results from the complexity of fighting in urban terrain and the need for a versatile anti-personnel platform that can engage multiple targets at once and on different height levels. The introduction of such a vehicle makes urban fighting less stressful on MBTs and can relieve them of some of the workload so that they can concentrate on their main objective of engaging other tanks and hardened targets. The BMPT's armor protection is equal to that of an MBT and its powerful armaments allow it to engage virtually any enemy formation while operating in a common battle formation. Thanks to the multiple weapons systems found on the BMPT, this vehicle is able to fire at multiple targets simultaneously. These features significantly help increase the combat effectiveness of tank units and decrease their losses from enemy close-combat assets.


There's more at the link.  Here's the current, second (upgraded) model of the Russian BMPT-2 (image courtesy of Wikipedia).  Clickit to biggit.



Obviously, new-production BMPT-type vehicles are going to be expensive.  However, lots of armies have older-technology tanks still sitting in their depots and parking lots.  They aren't capable of facing modern main battle tanks (MBT's) on the battlefield, but if modified along the lines of the BMPT concept, they may be very useful in urban and mountainous terrain to support infantry units, allowing MBT's to be reserved for their primary function.

Algeria bought several hundred BMPT-2's from Russia, and seems to have been impressed with their versatility.  It also has several hundred older T-62 tanks in its arsenal.  It now appears to be modifying the latter to be a slightly less potent, but nevertheless very useful (and much cheaper) version of the BMPT.  (You'll find a lot more historical and technical information about Algeria's T-62's and their upgraded version here.)  Algeria is applying the Berezhok combat module, a new turret developed to upgrade the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle developed for the Soviet Army in the 1980's, to their T-62 hulls.  The new turret uses a single 30mm. cannon and a single 30mm. grenade launcher rather than the two of each fielded by the BMPT, as well as four Kornet anti-tank missiles.

Here's what the upgraded Algerian T-62 "mini-me BMPT" looks like.



Tactically, this offers a whole range of possibilities in urban combat.  The high elevation of the 30mm. cannon means the vehicle can stand back from a building, scanning upper floors for any sign of a missile or rocket team intending to shoot down at advancing forces, and destroy the building around them before they can fire.  It's heavily armored enough to withstand small arms fire, and with vigilance by its crew and the use of add-on slat armor (often improvised in the field), it should be able to fend off at least a few strikes by rockets or missiles.  Its "Sunday punch", the four anti-tank missiles, are accurate and powerful enough to take out enemy strongpoints.  They can be fitted with conventional, hollow-charge or thermobaric warheads, and there may be enough room inside the T-62's hull to carry missile reloads.  By using the space formerly reserved for 115mm. main gun rounds, the vehicle can probably carry far more ammunition for its 30mm. cannon and grenade launchers than a typical infantry fighting vehicle, giving extended combat endurance before it's forced to withdraw to rearm itself.

I don't know whether BMPT-type vehicles have yet been sufficiently tested in actual combat to prove themselves, but it seems clear that more and more armies, including Algeria's, are seeing a need for something like them.  Close-quarters urban combat has long been a nightmare for military planners, because it chews up units, soldiers and weapons in a veritable slaughterhouse.  It's long been a scenario to be avoided at all costs, if at all possible.  Can the BMPT concept change that?  Can upgraded older MBT's gain a new lease on life as lower-cost BMPT-type vehicles?  The jury is still out, but it looks like an intriguing possibility.  We'll have to keep a weather eye out for more combat experience with them, and see whether they change the urban battlefield equation.

Meanwhile, thousands - possibly tens of thousands - of obsolescent and obsolete MBT's, even perhaps those dating back to World War II such as former Soviet T-34's (yes, some are still in service in the Third World), may have suddenly been given a new lease on life on the modern battlefield.  It'll be intriguing to see how many nations and their armies pick up on that.

Peter


A happy and blessed Independence Day to all my readers

 

In honor of the occasion, here's what's always struck me as a quintessentially American celebration:  rock group Boston performing the National Anthem instrumentally at a football game on July 4th, 2006.




May the freedom we celebrate today continue to be a reality;  and may all who threaten that freedom lose their own.

Peter


Memes that made me laugh 115

 

Collected around the Internet over the past week.  Click any image for a larger view.











Sunday, July 3, 2022

Sunday morning music

 

Here's a treat for Pink Floyd fans, and for David Gilmour's fans in particular.

On 26th August 2006, Gilmour performed the final concert of his "On An Island" tour at the Gdansk Shipyard in Poland, in honor of the 26th anniversary of the founding of the Solidarity trade union, one of the driving forces behind the eventual collapse of Communism in that country.  A recording of the whole concert was later released in several formats under the title "Live in Gdansk".

Here's the DVD recording of "Live in Gdansk" - the whole concert, which included the complete album "On An Island", for which the tour was named.




Classic progressive rock from one of the greatest performers in the field.

Peter


Saturday, July 2, 2022

Saturday Snippet: A reminder of what we're fighting for

 

On March 23rd, 1775, Patrick Henry gave his famous Address to the Second Virginia Convention, which was debating whether or not to join with other states to defy British attempts to divide and rule them ever more onerously.  If you substitute "liberal-progressive politicians" for "British", it's still pretty relevant and applicable to our situation today.

It seems a suitable Snippet for the Fourth of July weekend to reproduce his speech in full.


No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony.

The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss.

Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort.

I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging.

And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.

Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne!

In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free—if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending—if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained—we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.

Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable—and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace—but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!


Indeed.

Peter


Friday, July 1, 2022

An army marches on its stomach - and its arsenals

 

According to Task & Purpose, "Russia is hammering Ukraine with up to 60,000 artillery shells and rockets every day".


The Russians are using indiscriminate and overwhelming artillery strikes to grind Ukrainian defenders down, underscoring how the Russian military’s approach to firepower prizes volume over accuracy.

The war in eastern Ukraine has been described as an artillery duel, and the Russian military has superior numbers of cannons and rocket artillery systems. Right now, the Russians are currently blasting the Donets Basin – known as the Donbas – with up to 60,000 artillery shells and rockets per day, one unnamed senior advisor to the Ukrainian military told The New York Times recently.

. . .

It appears the Russians are currently preserving their precision-guided munitions, said Glen Howard, a Russia expert and president of the conservative Jamestown Foundation think tank in Washington, D.C.

In fact, experts are debating exactly how many precision-guided weapons the Russians have left because the Russian military has started using older Kh-22 cruise missiles, which first entered service in the 1960s, Howard told Task & Purpose.


There's more at the link.

The figure of 60,000 may be an exaggeration;  certainly, it wasn't the case at the start of the war, when Russia deployed more smart weapons - albeit in a very non-smart way! - and had fewer conventional artillery units on the front lines.  However, as Russia was driven back in the north and shifted its operational focus to the Donbas and Luhansk regions and surrounding areas, it reverted its operational doctrine to that used from the Second World War, through Afghanistan, to the battles in Chechnya in the late 1990's - artillery barrages with "dumb", unguided shells, designed to obliterate opposition in an area rather than target defenses with pinpoint accuracy.

To do that requires a very deep reserve of artillery ammunition.  Russia has that.  It produced vast quantities of artillery shells since World War II, and continued to do so every year, probably on the basis that conventional artillery rounds are relatively cheap and easy to produce in comparison to "smart" weapons.  Once a factory is producing (say) a hundred thousand artillery shells every year, it's easy to just let it go on doing so, keeping people employed and adding to the stockpile.  Provided trains and trucks can move those stockpiles to where they're needed (along with rations, fuel and everything else an army needs), they'll be just as deadly as a "smart" weapon if they go off close enough to a target.

What's more, the artillery pieces and self-propelled cannon that fire those shells are still stored in their tens of thousands.  In combat in Angola in the 1970's and 1980's, we faced obsolete and cast-off Russian cannon by the hundreds.  We captured so many of them that we fully equipped UNITA with them, plus more ammunition than they could shoot, all courtesy of the Angolan army.  The ammunition was sometimes a nightmare to handle.  Some dated back to WW2, and didn't take kindly to being left out in stacks in the unrelenting heat of the African sun.  I recall an artillery officer bringing forward some trucks to take away captured ammo.  He took one look at the dates on it, gingerly felt a shell to see how hot it was, hurriedly snatched his hand away before it could be burned, and said (in so many words) "Forget it!  This stuff's so old and decrepit, it's too dangerous for the Angolans to shoot, never mind us!"  We placed demolition charges on it and headed out.  A short while later, a thunderous blast and a roiling, rising cloud of smoke behind us showed that the threat had been removed.

The same problem affected rockets, land mines and other munitions.  I've handled a SA-7 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile that was more than 20 years old.  Its battery pack had run down heaven knows how long ago, and the person carrying it hadn't bothered to replace it, so it wouldn't have worked even if he'd pulled the trigger.  We had fresh batteries, but again, an ordnance specialist looked at it, went pale, and muttered something about "not wanting that old warhead anywhere near his head" (the rocket tube was shouldered to fire it).

I guess Russia is drawing down all those decades-old stockpiles of artillery shells, and using them up in Ukraine.  They're freely available, cheap, and don't cost money to replace, because many of the old artillery pieces shooting them are no longer front-line equipment.  The defense budget can thus be reserved for (much more expensive) "smart" weapons.

However, the artillery tactics used by the Soviets in World War II will still produce results in this day and age.  A pulverized defensive line is still pulverized, no matter what caused the damage.  Josef Stalin called artillery "the god of war".  Here's archival Soviet propaganda footage of their artillery during World War 2.




Whilst current artillery barrages in Ukraine probably aren't of that intensity, it's still a mighty unpleasant experience to be on the receiving end.

I wonder how extensive US artillery ammo stockpiles are right now?  If we go into action in Europe, how long will they last?  After sending so many artillery shells to Ukraine, that's not a bad question to ask, no matter how politically incorrect it may be.  I rather suspect Russia has a lot more in its stockpiles than we do . . .

Peter


For musical firearms enthusiasts with a lot of money

 

It may be heretical of me to say so, but I've never particularly liked Elvis Presley's songs.  They just don't appeal to me.  Nevertheless, he's probably among the top five iconic American singers of the past century, and looks set fair to remain at that pinnacle long after I'm dead.

It seems he was also a firearms enthusiast.  Two of his engraved, inlaid revolvers were auctioned in 2017.  Click either image for a larger view.





There's more at the link.

I've no idea what price they'd fetch today, but I'd be surprised if it's less than six figures apiece.  That German engraving job is world-class by any standards, and the gold inlay is spectacular.

Er ... since Elvis was a musician, dare I suggest that his revolvers would be a note-worthy acquisition?  They'd lend tone to any collection!



Peter


Food shortages may hit the USA much harder than we expected

 

Most knowledgeable commenters have said, until now, that the USA, one of the most fertile and productive agricultural nations on earth, would be insulated to at least some extent from the famine that is increasingly impacting every nation on this planet.  However, lack of water and "truly biblical" swarms of insects may mean we don't have as much "nutritional insulation" as we might wish.


Drought and triple-digit temperatures result in disaster for farmers

As a worsening drought tightens its grip and heat waves send temperatures soaring, many farmers have been left with barren and dry fields.

. . .

Fraizer grows corn, cotton and sorghum grain, which is primarily used to feed livestock, and he is worried the lack of rainfall along with the scorching temperatures will lead to a smaller-than-normal harvest this year.

"Since we planted, we've had virtually no moisture. I think this corn here maybe had an inch of rain about a month ago," Fraizer said. "That was the only moisture it got."

. . .

According to the C.O.R.N. newsletter from The Ohio State University, corn growth is maximized at 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature exceeds that threshold, the growth rate is reduced. Typically, fully gown corn crops tower over a person, reaching as tall as 8 feet in some cases, but due to triple-digit temperatures in Texas, many of the corn crops in Fraizer's fields have grown to heights of only 3-4 feet ... "This corn should be yielding 4, 5, 6 thousand pounds per acre. It's South Texas here. We'd be lucky to get 1,000 pounds per acre," Fraizer said.


And if that's not enough, how about this?


Explosive, ‘truly biblical’ swarms of cannibalistic insects ravage crops out West

On top of a worsening drought and rising temperatures, farmers across the Western third of the United States are battling outbreaks of cannibalistic insects that are ravaging crops from Nevada to Montana. Officials have spent millions of dollars over the past few years trying to control the explosive swarms of Mormon crickets that are responsible for destroying swatches of crops from Nevada to Montana.

. . .

"Although there are local and regional exceptions, in general, the Western U.S. drought has intensified since the beginning of 2020," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Houk said. "Most of central Oregon is currently in an extreme drought."

Drought conditions encourage Mormon cricket outbreaks, and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), these outbreaks can result in billions of insects, which cause major economic and ecological losses to rangeland and cropland.


Yes, I know those conditions don't prevail across the entire USA.  Nevertheless, they're affecting far too many states for comfort.  I won't be surprised if together, drought and insect infestations don't reduce US crops by a third or more this year.  This, at a time when the supply chain getting food from farms, to processors, to distributors, to shops is already badly battered.  What's more, nations who can't buy food from their regular suppliers (e.g. Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, formerly among the biggest food exporters in the world) will now turn to the USA, demanding that we supply what they need to keep their populations from starving.  I doubt whether the Biden administration, which has demonstrated its fecklessness in so many other ways, will have any greater success in balancing domestic food requirements against foreign pressures.  It may choose to export so much food for "compassionate" reasons that we go hungry here at home.  I wouldn't put that past the clowns in Washington D.C.

Folks, I've written often enough in these pages about the threat of famine.  Everybody who knows anything about the subject all over the world has been warning more and more stridently of what's coming.  If you aren't persuaded by now ... if their warnings and mine haven't convinced you ... if you haven't yet begun building at least a moderate reserve of food for yourself and your family .... then nothing else I say will likely make any difference to you.

All the old certainties are no longer certain.  We can only do our best to make sure that we have prepared as best we can for whatever may come.

Michael Yon warns:


2023-2024 will be something so big nobody alive has experienced something of this magnitude.

Remember —
Famine creates Famine
Famine creates War
Both create Pandemic
War creates Both

All create HOP: Human Osmotic Pressure — the push and pull of migration

Darien Gap is shaping up to become an Amazon river of migration to United States.

You will see that the famine will not get truly intense until at least the second season. The first season of serious famine creates conditions for increased famine. Famine creates famine.

Nobody I have seen on any outlet is predicting the level of PanFaWar [Pandemic, Famine, War] that I sense.

Some folks might remember in January/February 2020 I was saying in print and livestreams/interviews that 2019 is dead. We are never going back, and 2021 would be some new condition and never turning back. We are there. And 2023-24 will be epic.

Fortune favors the prepared. We can get through this healthy and well but huge numbers are about to die. Use this time to prepare all aspects of your life. There is no time for vacation. Cancel all that.

We are on the edge of showtime.


I wish I didn't agree with him ... but based on my own experience, I do.

Peter


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Hundreds of detectives quitting NYPD - to criminals' great relief

 

Yesterday we talked about Seattle's police force and its problems retaining officers, and how this was typical of many big cities.  As if to echo and reinforce the point, the New York Post points out that the NYPD is having the same problem with its detective force - the people who actually investigate crimes and amass evidence for prosecutors.


More than 100 NYPD detectives have retired in June — and another 75 plan to put their papers in next month — as many become frustrated by revolving-door justice and rules that hamstring them in the Big Apple, officials and detectives told The Post.

“That’s going to have a major impact on investigating crimes,” Detectives Endowment Association president Paul DiGiacomo said. “The detective squads are down now as we speak and are investigating more cases. It’s going to have an impact on public safety.”

So far this year, 250 detectives have retired, leaving the total number at about 5,600, which is nearly 2,000 less than two decades ago.

There were 794 detective retirements during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 — and that number dropped down to 395 in 2021. Sources said 100 retirements in just one month is a large number for the NYPD.

The Post also reported earlier this month that cops in general were leaving the force in record numbers.

At his NYPD walkout ceremony at the 105th Precinct stationhouse Tuesday, Queens Detective Jason Caputo, 51, said he had “had enough” ... “It’s not even really crimefighting anymore. You arrest somebody for assault 2 with a weapon and then the person is back at the precinct getting his property the next day. They’re not locking anyone up, even those with records.”

. . .

DiGiacomo ... said cops feel demoralized because of a lack of support from politicians.

“It’s simple,” he said. “Detectives are retiring in historic numbers because they have no support from politicians who care more about criminals than cops and the New Yorkers they protect.”


There's more at the link.

When regular officers are retiring or quitting in large numbers, there are fewer cops on the street to arrest criminals.  When detectives do likewise, there are fewer skilled investigators to gather evidence to convict the guilty - who are thus more likely to be released by the criminal justice system, free to reoffend again.  It's a vicious circle.

Big urban centers in more "traditional" parts of the country appear to be the worst hit by this right now, but it's happening in other cities too.  In our part of the world, not so much.  Here neighbors are still neighbors to a greater extent, and help each other keep an eye on their neighborhood.  I've seen several examples where problem kids - and their parents - were "counseled", preventing the problem from getting out of control, and others where new arrivals received useful advice on the sort of behavior that was, or was not, acceptable.  It's all informal, but it's very effective, particularly when more than one neighbor does the counseling.  It sends a powerful message that we're a community, and we have standards.  It has nothing to do with race, religion or any other such "marker".

I'm afraid that, if enough cops quit, it'll start going beyond "counseling" to more ... ah ... robust methods of communication.  If those don't work, well, there's always the backhoe.  Around these parts, mention of that apparatus appears to get the immediate and whole-hearted attention of those who might scoff at lesser "encouragement" to "straighten up and fly right".  They understand that language.  New Yorkers might not, but they have their own equivalents.  There may be increased demand for fishmongers there soon.

Peter


Withdrawing "too much" of your own cash???

 

I received an e-mail yesterday from a Canadian reader calling himself "Algyploreable".  He's preparing for hard times, just as many of us are, and recounts this incident.


[We have] a "larder" in our spare room that we resupply as we use and we have finally taken the plunge and had a safe installed so that we can have a ready supply of cash/silver on hand. We cashed out a chunk of our investments, the monetary value of which was deposited with our bank here in Canada.

Yesterday I went to our local branch to ask how much notice I needed to give to withdraw $XX thousand in cash, assuming that it would be 24/48hrs. The young teller I was speaking to said that her supervisor was on vacation until next week but if I came back on Monday she could help me. I told her that I needed the money by Friday, and that there must be someone who could facilitate that. She started an email exchange with the branch manager, asking me a question every now and then. One of the questions was "are you buying something?". Canadian banks were only too happy to freeze customer accounts at the behest of the Turdeau government during the Trucker Convoy, so I thought I'd better play their game and told her I was indeed buying a piece of equipment. After much to and fro between the teller and the manager she told me that because the amount was over $25000 a request would have to be put in to a team at head office to see if they would authorize the release of the money. If the authorization was granted I could hopefully get the money in 10 days. This is money that had been deposited by a recognized investment institution......I had not rolled in the week before with a duffel bag full of soiled twenties to deposit.

I became quite angry at this point, however I was cognizant that I was on many cameras and that other tellers were in earshot. I had my hands open, palms down on the counter (no fists) and I told the teller very politely that I wanted "MY" money by the weekend, not whenever the bank authorized me to get it. This led to a flurry of email exchanges and I was asked to take a seat and the manager would come and speak to me. The manager attempted to explain that the steps put in place were for my security as most people don't take that amount in cash from the bank. He suggested that I get a bankers draft to pay for the item I was buying. Time to play their game again. I told him that the guy selling the equipment was giving me a fantastic deal but that he only wanted cash and it needed to be by the weekend. The manager said that he was unable to process that amount in cash without putting in a request to "the team", and asked if I could wait. When I told him I couldn't he did try to come up with a solution (credit where it's due). As long as the amount was under $25000 he was able to authorize that amount, however he would have to order the cash to be delivered next week as they don't hold that amount at the branch. He could also increase my daily cash withdrawal limit so that I could make up the lump sum shortfall through ATM withdrawals over a period of time. I pointed out that if he could authorize amounts under $25000 that I would be happy to do numerous withdrawals that way, over a couple of weeks. Apparently "the team" views that as one withdrawal, but if I could wait three or four months between those withdrawals it wouldn't raise any flags. Once I agreed to the lump sum and daily ATM increase it was time to ask some questions again......all done with a smile and a concerned tone. The old non-conspiratorial me would have told him where to go, but in this brave new Canada I concocted a story that even impressed me. If things go as planned I will have all MY money in the safe by the end of next week.

This is a cautionary tale for Canadians, I have no idea what the banking establishment in the US is up to. It is very obvious here that the bank does not consider your money to be yours and needs some form of government approval for the withdrawal of large sums. Having to wait for the branch to have the required funds on hand is one thing, but needing authorization to withdraw your own money, regardless of the amount, is mind-boggling. When SHTF I can only imagine what an eye-opener it will be for people who think they can waltz into the bank and withdraw their savings. Cash will indeed be king for a while, for those who have it. Any of your Canadian readers might want to think about turning that savings account at the bank into useable funds now while the going is (relatively) good.


I'm sure US banks will be equally obstructionist, not necessarily because they want to, but because government agencies like the IRS want to keep track of big sums in cash.  I was told some years ago by a banking official in Tennessee that if a customer demanded a substantial sum in cash, he'd most likely get it in new banknotes, in serial number order, as received from the printing facility.  That means the IRS, DEA and other agencies know where the block of $100 notes, serial numbers XXXX1 through XXXX9, have gone.  If they show up in the course of normal commerce, the agencies can follow individual banknotes back through the system to figure out where and when they first appeared.  That, in turn, may help identify what that customer bought with them, and possibly where and from whom.  It's not perfect, but it's a lot easier than trying to track used banknotes in no particular sequence.

(This is also why central bank digital currency, or CBDC, is such an attractive concept to the powers that be.  It would completely supplant paper money or coins.  Your income, plus any government support, etc., would be deposited directly into your CBDC account, and you'd spend it by transferring sums from that account to whoever you were buying from.  There would be no cash withdrawals, and every transaction would be traceable.  You'd lose all privacy when it came to buying and selling.  The IRS would know every penny you received and how you spent it;  the DEA, FBI and other agencies would be able to follow your transactions and decide whether any appeared "suspicious", and if so what they were going to do about them;  and so on.  Even better, after an initial period (to allow you to hand over your existing cash in exchange for CBDC's), the use of existing cash can be banned, and the notes declared worthless.  If you happen to have a lot of cash on hand that you daren't deposit, for fear the IRS or others would ask questions about where it came from and its tax status, you'd lose your money. It's a statist's wet dream.)

Miss D. and I aren't wealthy, but we've long made it our policy to keep at least one month's routine expenditure on hand, in cash, just in case.  It won't go far if things go to hell in a handbasket, but if we hit an interruption in normal banking for a few weeks, it'll help keep our heads above water.  I'd love to increase that to six months' supply of cash, but that simply isn't feasible on our income.  (On the other hand, we do have a small stash of 1oz. silver rounds, which are fairly readily accepted by people in our area as a cash equivalent, and they'd stretch our emergency cash further.)  I hope and trust that my readers have made similar arrangements, even if it's only one week's cash on hand.  It can make a powerful difference when the lights go out, and credit or debit cards can no longer be used.

Have any readers recently tried to withdraw large sums in cash in the USA?  How did it go?  Any problems?  Please tell us about them in Comments.

Peter


Far too much smoke for there not to be a fire

 

I'm sure most of my readers have noted the enormous increase in fires and other accidents that have disabled food production facilities throughout the USA, and in other parts of the world.  The true extent of the problem has been masked by the scant attention paid to it in the mainstream media.  However, when the number of incidents is tallied and mapped, an ominous picture emerges.



That's a screenshot of an interactive map providing details of such events over the past couple of years.  It's sobering, isn't it?

Gateway Pundit published a link to that map, plus a detailed list of incidents, in a recent report.  It quotes the map's author as saying:


If I had any doubts about this being on purpose, that is completely gone at this point. It’s almost terrifying seeing what is going on and the majority of people have no idea. Every day something else happens to add to this list. Things are happening so quickly now, that it is mind boggling. Big Tech is covering most of these up or burying them so far down the feed that most people never see them. I have investigative skills that I have used my entire career so I know how to get around all of that or I would never have found what I have.

I had not heard of anyone looking up actual grocery store fires so that is what started me down this path. Once I saw how bad it was and the patterns that are happening it was clear what they are doing, and I am now convinced they are getting people to help with this just like they did with the election. I realize that not all of these are on purpose but once you see how big this is, it cannot be denied that something evil is going on and we are about to have our legs kicked out from under us.

I have over 600 instances so far (I have read or watched every article to confirm it) and I have many more that I am trying to add. Almost 400 of these are just in 2022.


There's more at the link.

Ian Fleming's famous dictum was, "Once is happenstance.  Twice is coincidence.  Three times is enemy action."  When you get to over 600 times, that's long past the point at which all doubt should have been removed from our minds.  Some of these incidents may be accidents, but I absolutely cannot conceive of a reality in which they're all accidental.  Something or someone is behind them.  When you consider them along with other measures enacted by the Biden administration to cripple farm production (fuel prices, fertilizer costs and lack of availability, EPA and other regulations that hamstring farmers, etc.), I smell several dozen large, hairy rats.

It's not just in America, either.  Consider the Dutch government's efforts to curtail farming in that country - at a time when food shortages and actual famines are daily headline news.  They claim it's to reduce pollution levels, but what about food production?  Isn't starvation more of a problem than pollution?  And why are the mainstream media so silent about it?

We've warned many times in these pages about what's coming.  So have others who can read the signs of the times.  Stock up now, friends.  Pile your emergency food supplies high and deep.  You, your family and your friends are likely to need them.

It's not just food, either.  Our entire culture is about to undergo a sea-change, whether we like it or not.  As Greg Rossi observed on MeWe the other day:


We are all about to have a rude awakening. Some of us are old enough to remember the past. The younger generation has been so spoiled by the goodness of living in the USA, that they have no idea what is coming.

They are about to see why our parents/grandparents drove cars until the wheels fell off. And why it was typical to have one car per family. And why young newlyweds weren’t automatically entitled to a fully furnished house. Or lavish wedding (Do y’all remember when a wedding reception typically occurred in the fellowship hall of the church? And the only food was wedding cake, mints, mixed nuts and punch?) A honeymoon might include a night at a hotel, or if they were really lucky, they might get a weekend in Panama City Beach, FL or up on Cheaha Mountain.

There weren’t restaurants on every corner, because people only RARELY ate out. They cooked every meal at home. Or packed a lunch for the road. And they never wasted leftovers. Picky eaters? You either ate what your Mama cooked or you did without. AND NO ONE CARED. We are about to rediscover potato patties, soup, hash, biscuit pudding, rice pudding and bread with gravy. NO FOOD WAS WASTED.

People had few outfits. You had church clothes and play clothes. And you took care of those clothes. Holes were mended and it didn’t matter if you liked the clothes or not. You wore what you had.

And people didn’t snack or eat all day long either. People were rarely overweight. Because they didn’t have an unlimited supply of food at their fingertips.

People weren’t being constantly entertained. Kids played outside and made up games with their imaginations. No fancy vacations. There was no money for all these extras that we consider “Rights”.

Maybe people will finally wake up and realize that it is a PRIVILEGE to be an American. And feel gratitude and quit being such entitled whiney babies.

People shed blood and died to give us this life.

AND WE ARE STARTING TO PROVE THAT WE DON’T DESERVE IT.


Hard to argue with that . . .

Peter


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

OW OW OW OW OW OW!!!

 

Courtesy of Watts Up With That:


After this, it might be a while until climate activists try glueing themselves to anything in France.

Activists should do their research before pulling a stunt like that. US and UK police might be soft on disruptive protestors, but there are some police forces you just don’t mess with.


No s***, Sherlock!!!




A friend of mine commented, upon watching that video clip, that it was "quite delightful!"



Peter


In many big cities, responding to crime is no longer the police force's top priority

 

This report from Seattle makes disturbing reading for those living there, but its implications stretch far beyond that city, and beyond Washington state as well.  The push to "defund the police" and impose left-wing, progressive perspectives on city administrations, prosecuting authorities and those who enforce the law has resulted in many liberal cities struggling with rising crime rates and increasing street violence.  Read this with that in mind.


Seattle Police are changing the way 911 calls are handled. Under a new system, lower priority calls will be funneled into a queue. If an officer never responds to that call, a supervisor can just delete it using what’s called “Z protocol.” Moving forward, anything unanswered by SPD due to a lack of resources will fall under what’s called “Z protocol.”

Seattle City Councilmember Sara Nelson believes the policy pivot is an outgrowth of under staffing. According to data in a recent SPD Finance and Response Time Report, over the past four years response times have gone up at all Seattle Police precincts, indicating it’s taking longer for help to arrive.

“Let’s be clear, the Seattle Police Department has lost over 400 personnel since 2020,” said Nelson. “Investigators, 100 of them have been moved out of specialty units like sexual assault and into patrol. There still aren’t enough officers out there to ensure a rapid response to 911 calls.”

. . .

Jim Fuda, Executive Director of Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound, says the failed defund the police experiment has led to the use of “Z protocol.” He’s concerned that without a follow up call or further communication from law enforcement, more people may start taking matters into their own hands.


There's more at the link.

Note that Seattle's approach hides the scale of the problem.  If the call is deleted from the 911 queue, there'll be no record of it ever existing, so it won't be included in the tally of crimes per day, week, month or year.  Without any official notice being taken of it, liberal politicians can trumpet that they've reduced the crime rate - when, in fact, they've done nothing of the sort.  They're simply lying to their electorate.

Mr. Fuda isn't wrong in his concerns.  Everywhere in the world, when police prove incapable of dealing with crime and violence, communities do take matters into their own hands.  In the South, that's often referred to as the "3-S treatment", applied to criminals as well as animals.  I've heard more than one rural resident comment along the lines of, "Yeah, we get criminals now and then.  So what?  I've got a backhoe."  To date, I think that's been more bravado than actual policy.  I suspect it won't take much to change that.

In many parts of the world, the absence of effective law enforcement often pits gang against gang.  I've seen that at first hand, far too often for comfort, and played the game myself, paying off one gang for protection against others (sometimes the only way to get relief convoys through to their destination in parts of Africa).  Typically, a gang controlling an area of a city or slum will offer "protection" to those living there;  pay us so much a month, or provide us with the things we need, and we'll stop outsiders from robbing and threatening you.  It won't mean you're immune to such crimes - the local gang will still commit them freely - but you'll only have to worry about them from one source, and the gang bosses will keep them to a reasonable level because they don't want to "kill the goose that lays the golden eggs".  Of course, if a bigger, more powerful gang moves in, the "protecting" gang will hand over its area without hesitation rather than die for it, and turmoil will result until a new modus vivendi can be worked out.

I know a number of current and former policemen and sheriff's deputies.  Their concern for the future is tangible.  Those in big cities can see the writing on the wall, and are almost uniformly (you should pardon the expression) looking to retire as soon as they hit eligibility, or transfer to a more rural department with less tolerance for current, politically correct administration.  They know if they perform their jobs without fear or favor, as they should, they'll be pilloried as "racist" or some other epithet du jour.  The inevitable result is that they've stopped taking risks, and try hard not to put themselves into situations where they might find a liberal, progressive DA turning on them because they arrested, or hurt, or shot an alleged perpetrator of a politically correct race or ethnic group.  It's hard to blame them.

I suspect - no, I'm sure - we're going to see this problem spread across America, unless and until we, the people, do something about it, either through the ballot box or through more ... er ... direct measures.  I foresee a flourishing market in used backhoes.

Peter


"The limits of flesh"

 

That's the title of an article by author and friend Sarah Hoyt, in which she considers, in the light of the Roe v. Wade brouhaha, what it means - or should mean - to be a woman.  Here are a few excerpts from a long, but very thought-provoking discourse.


... our bodies influence us, in health and illness far more than we wish to believe. The thinking meat is MEAT. We are creatures of flesh and blood, who think. We are not thoughts, trapped in the flesh and blood.

And if you ignore the needs and impulses of the flesh and blood, you’ll either lose your mind or your body.

And if you ignore them as a society, you end up with a lot of unhappy, confused, angry people, who can’t figure out what’s made them so unhappy.

On the whole subject of abortion, a friend said — and I don’t intellectually disagree — that we can’t force women to carry babies, because that’s evil. And that we can’t curtail women’s sex drive, or demand they curtail it, because that too is evil. Oh, and that all birth control fails eventually (which isn’t wrong, btw. Reproductive systems are far, far more complicated than we like to believe. Which I’ll revisit again, btw.)

But something at the back of my head piped up and bitched when she said that. It wasn’t a happy something, and it was an admission against interest, since I mostly believe we should make people as free as possible (my protest on abortion is that it involves two people, and the defenseless one gets killed, but that’s something else) and since I legitimately think nature is something to conquer. But what piped up in my mind was “But is that fighting against reality?”

This was brought into full bloom last night, on a facebook thread of Brad Torgersen’s, in which a guy came in guns blazing and said we needed abortion to be safe, convenient and as available as possible so women wouldn’t be “second class citizens.” Because if women are going to be fully equal, we need to eliminate the downsides of being a woman.

At which point the bitching at the back of my mind became a scream “But women are women. You can’t eliminate the downside of being a woman, without eliminating being a woman.

. . .

... we are not brains, or minds, in a vacuum. We’re creatures of flesh and blood. And contra the “there’s no difference” crowd, you need only have a rudimentary knowledge of biology to know your brain, your tissues, everything were formed differently according to your sex. I don’t remember and am not in the mood to go look it up, but you start differentiating at a ridiculously early gestational point, for sure before two weeks. After that the hormone baths in utero are different, and your development is markedly different.

No, you don’t know what it’s like to be the other sex. No one does. Yes, we’re way more different than our superficial outward appearance would indicate. The longer I live the more aware I become that perhaps Heinlein was right about us really being different species who are merely symbiotic.

So when making women “not second class citizens” requires making them as free from concerns about getting pregnant as men…. are we in actual fact at war with the very fact that there are women; that women are unique and have different capabilities and different downfalls? ... Whether you consider getting pregnant a liability or a magic power, it is still an integral part of being a woman.

. . .

It seems to be worth it as a woman you have to pretend to be a male.

The push is on constantly. You’re sneered at for writing or reading romance, because it’s a thing women do. (Yes, men do it too, but the crossover on that is minuscule.) And now a lot of movies, including those billed as romantic comedy are consciously eliminating the Happily Ever After. Instead the woman decides to go off and have a career, or “learn to love myself.”

And I come back again to: Why can’t women be women? Why is it that performing the most basic and distinctive function of being female is considered being a second class citizen? Why are we all supposed to act like men?

. . .

Arguably civilization came about because women didn’t want to put out all the time and for everyone. If Ogg wanted Morga to put out, he had to make sure he was a good hunter, and could make the spears to make himself so. And no sleeping around with everyone, all the time, because he had to provide for Morga and their kids. In return, he had the assurance that Morga also wasn’t sleeping around, and their kids were THEIRS.

If women sleep around as much as men, the entire world becomes a giant gay-bathhouse. And kids are an inconvenience, or a “punishment.” Stop me when this sounds familiar.


There's much more at the link.  Highly recommended reading.

These are, of course, the points that radical feminists either deny outright, or reject with contempt, or simply ignore (usually because they have no answer to them).  Our natures as men or women are fundamental to who we are, how we respond to external stimuli, our roles in society, and so on.  Any variation on those basics tends to be only skin deep, and only effective in a society that has enough artificial supports to make them possible.

I'm here to tell you from long and (sometimes bitter) experience:  when things go badly wrong, through disaster, war, or any other crisis;  when the social norms to which we're accustomed are sloughed off because there's no time or energy or infrastructure to support them any longer;  the "bad old days" of society return with a vengeance.  Men are once again valued for their physical strength, their willingness to defend those weaker than themselves, and their ability to provide food, clothing and shelter.  Women are once again valued for their capability to nurture, to make a house into a home, to be the heart of the family rather than its head.  This happens everywhere, whenever circumstances require it.  It's not strange, it's not unusual - it's normal.  It's not a matter of patriarchy or matriarchy, or anything in between.  It's the cold, hard reality of life when it's pared down to its essentials, without any of the luxuries and social trappings that modern society uses as a fig-leaf to disguise the reality of men and women and their complementary roles as human beings.

Go read Sarah's article in full, and think about it.  It's worth your time.

Peter


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Brace yourselves for war between Iran and Israel

 

The National Interest warns:  "Deal or No Deal, Iran-Israel War Is Coming to the Middle East".


The Israeli prime minister recently stated: “We no longer play with the tentacles, with Iran’s proxies: we’ve created a new equation by going for the head.” By letting Tehran know that it can and will be struck, Israel is changing the rules of the game. Jerusalem is no longer content to “mow the grass”—an expression for strategically limited strikes—but is upping the ante in response to what it sees as a growing threat.

Israel has also stepped up the scale and scope of its strikes in Syria, recently hitting the Damascus airport. The IDF recently held the largest military drill in decades, dubbed “Chariots of Fire.” In its own words, the exercises “aim to both increase the IDF’s defensive readiness and examine its preparedness for an intensive and prolonged campaign.”

In late May 2022, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) conducted drills which included “long-range flights, aerial refueling and striking distant targets.” It was, the Times of Israel noted, meant to simulate striking Iranian nuclear facilities. According to Israel’s Channel 13 news, the exercises spanned more than 10,000 kilometers and included more than 100 aircraft and navy submarines.

. . .

The IDF is, of course, an exceptionally well-trained military. It isn’t a stranger to major drills and exercises. But it seems clear that something is afoot and the parameters of the long-running conflict between Israel and Iran are changing. Coupled with Tehran’s imminent “nuclear break out,” such developments indicate that Jerusalem is doing more than mowing the grass—it might be preparing to get rid of the entire yard.

Should Israel strike Iran’s nuclear facilities it would likely bring about the worst war that the Middle East has seen in decades—if not longer. The conflict that would follow would look nothing like many of the recent wars between Israel and Iranian proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah. For both Israel and the Islamic Republic, it would be an existential battle, with the fate of both the Jewish state and the regime in Tehran hinging on the war’s outcome. The losses and destruction would be devastating.


There's more at the link.

Inevitably, such a war would disrupt oil supplies through the Persian Gulf, not just from Iran but from other states in the region as well.  Iran's Revolutionary Guards will ensure that by blockading the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf, as they've threatened to do often enough.  That, in turn, will draw in the US Navy and allied forces in an attempt to keep the Strait open - possibly also China, which gets well over half its oil from the Persian Gulf.

Meanwhile, of course, oil prices in the rest of the world would skyrocket.  We can expect to pay at least double what we are now for gasoline and diesel within a matter of days, and possibly much more than that.  What that would do to our economy as a whole, and to most of us in terms of our household budgets, I leave to your imagination.

Unfortunately, Iran is led by doddering religious zealots who actually believe that to spark a world war would accelerate the return of the "Twelfth Imam" and lead to a climactic war against evil (such evil, naturally, to include Israel and the USA).  They regard that as entirely desirable.  The rest of us . . . not so much.

Peter


Scary, and very lethal . . .

 

Last weekend, a container holding 25 tons of chlorine gas was being shipped from Aqaba in Jordan to Djibouti when it fell from a crane to the deck of a ship during loading.




The body count is up to 12, last I heard, with hundreds more injured by the gas and in the chaos that resulted from its release.

This video is particularly scary when one recalls that tanker trucks and rail trucks containing chlorine gas are routinely encountered across America.  One accident in the wrong place - say, a railway shunting yard in the middle of a big city, or one of the transcontinental rail routes such as that running directly through the middle of our home town - and we could see a repeat of this accident.  In a densely-populated area, who knows how many would be killed or injured?

We can't ban the transport of such goods through residential areas - that would be logistically impossible - but we need our urban authorities to carefully consider ways in which their transport could be made safer than it is.  Just watch that video again, and realize that anyone caught in that yellow cloud almost certainly didn't make it out - or, if they did, their lungs will probably be permanently damaged and their lifespans drastically shortened.

Scary indeed . . .

Peter


An unusual animal rescue tale

 

I had to boggle a bit at this news report.


“Peo” and “Finn,” two shepherd pups, got themselves into an awkward situation on June 19 after their exploring took them deep into a tortoise burrow.

The 100-pound tortoise is named Oscar, and owner Kathleen became concerned when she realized her two dogs were underground, and Oscar was blocking the way, in no hurry to move.

So the San Bernardino County Fire was contacted and made their way out to the very unusual call.

. . .

The burrow was impressive, and something Oscar had clearly put a lot of time and effort into. But he was far down in the tunnel, and there was no way to reach him, so the firefighters tried to figure out a way to coax him out.

Many tortoises consider watermelon a very tasty treat, so crews used a chunk of watermelon to try to draw the huge reptile out — but Oscar decided he would rather stay in his den.

. . .

“With Oscar blocking the exit, crews worked to dig an access hole to rescue the dogs,” the post continued. “After an hour of digging crews were able to get the puppies out of the den.

“‘Peo’ and ‘Finn’, were unharmed & happy to reunite with their dog mom Kathleen.


There's more at the link.

Here's a brief video report about the rescue.




I've heard of lots of animal rescues, and played a part in a few of them, but I've never heard of having to rescue puppies from a tortoise!

Peter


Monday, June 27, 2022

John Waters explains what's about to happen in Europe

 

In two long and thought-provoking articles, John Waters gives us his understanding of what's going on in Europe and Africa right now, and how the latter is about to explode over Europe in a wave of desperate migration invasion that's going to swamp the Old World altogether.  They're unpleasant reading, but I think - knowing Africa and the Third World as I do - there's a lot of truth in them.

To whet your appetite, here are a couple of short excerpts.  From the first article:


Within months, or even weeks, in response to the escalating food shortages and hyperinflation now coursing through the world economy in the manner of flash flooding, new waves of immigrants will begin to arrive in Europe from Africa, the Middle East, and other places, as people voyage forth in search of food, imagining that they will find it more easily in Paris or London or Dublin. In truth, parts of Europe will be more or less as desperate as any of the places these people have evacuated, because the already scheduled consequences of the disastrous lockdown policies of 2020 will be augmented by the effects of the catastrophic sanctioning of Russia in the context of the Ukraine war. These migrants, therefore — who will arrive in numbers far exceeding the influx of 2015 — will find themselves in a situation at best little better than that which they have left behind. The results are likely to include the radical destabilisation of European societies already in disarray due to the self-imposed difficulties arising from diminishing supplies of food and fuel. These circumstances are likely to provoke widespread outbreaks of social unrest and conflict throughout Europe, leading to the breakdown of the social order in many countries, which is likely to be met by the imposition of martial law.

. . .

All this is planned. It will not be an unforeseen, happenstance outcome of random events. Social chaos is baked into the cake of Covid disruption and tyranny ... This will be the denouement of a process that has been nurtured for many decades, with the precise intent of looting the homelands of all concerned. This two-part article is an attempt to describe the events and conditions that have taken us to this calamitous point.


And from the second article:


Although conventional wisdom in the West has it that the issue of mass migration out of Africa (and by extension other ‘developing’ countries — for which read ‘the undeveloping countries’) is one of absolute need on one side and a ‘duty’ to step up and deliver ‘compassion’ on the other, the reality, as we have seen, is rather different. The vast majority of migrants are not ‘the poorest of the poor’ of popular bleeding-heart spin, but the relatively better-off.  They are ... the ones who have managed to up sticks and come to the West as a direct result of Western aid that was, nominally at least, intended to provide Africans with a jumpstart in their own countries, but is instead functioning to suck the most intelligent and creative human life out of Africa and deposit it in Paris, Dublin, Berlin and London.  The point of this has to do with neither the dreams and desires of the migrants nor — even less — the betterment of poorer countries, but is entirely about achieving certain outcomes in Western societies, the first among which is to drive down wages so as to make the world even more congenial to corporate interests. And there are other motives also, as we shall see.


I highly recommend that you click over to both articles and read them carefully.  They're a harbinger of what's coming to the USA as well, because migration - or, rather, invasion by illegal aliens - is a weapon that's being turned against this country as well.  It's likely to have similar consequences, unless we can shut it down before it's too late.  We can be certain that the Biden administration and those behind it will do all in their power to stop us from doing that, by any and every means at their disposal.

Peter


COVID-19 vaccine updates

 

There have been several developments concerning COVID-19 vaccines.  To call some of them "horrifying" is a gross understatement.

First, the vaxx and fertility.


Why is there a substantial decrease in births in Germany and Switzerland (and other countries) – nine months after the beginning of covid mass vaccinations?

Do covid vaccines influence male or female fertility? ... new birth data out of Germany and Switzerland raises some serious questions. Specifically, both countries recorded a consistent 10% to 15% decrease (compared to expectations) in monthly births from January to March/April 2022 (the latest available data) – that is, precisely nine months after the beginning of covid mass vaccination in the general population in April/May 2021 (see charts above and below).

How can this substantial decrease be explained? Is it due to behavioral or biological factors?

. . .

Furthermore, there have been widespread and officially acknowledged reports of post-vaccination menstrual disorders (over 30,000 reports in Britain alone); official reports of vaccine adverse events including death in breastfeeding babies (over 60 reported cases in Germany alone); a still unexplained, transient increase in neonatal deaths in countries like Scotland; and reports by Austrian midwives of an increase in complications during pregnancy and delivery after covid vaccination. Meanwhile, Pfizer has never even finished its vaccine trial in pregnant women.

. . .

A similar decline in births since early 2022 is visible in Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Taiwan, but apparently not in California (though states that saw an initial lockdown-related decline in births may see a subsequent rebound).


There's more at the link, including further links to the studies cited above.

Some authorities are already trying to decry such "rumors" and "falsehoods".  Unfortunately for them, the trickle of evidence is turning into a tidal wave.  See, for example, this Twitter thread from user Jikkyleaks (original tweet is here), providing yet more links and graphics to illustrate the trend.  A brief excerpt:


This is a massive safety signal for infertility. Germany's FIRST report of birth rates since the rollout. 

Remember that the birth rate data is 9 months too late. 

If the next quarter is worse, this is Children of Men scenario.

For the years 2011-2021 the average number of births is 63,911 for the Jan-Mar quarter, with a standard deviation of 1015.

The drop to 54871 for 2022 is approx 9 SD.

9 Sigma. Unicorn events.

The money people understand this.

https://seekingalpha.com/instablog/51725008-quantsb/5548386-2-3-sigma-events-are-low-probability-5-6-9-sigma-events-are-unicorns-lots-of-unicorn-events


Again, more at the link.  Nassim Taleb might call it a "black swan event" rather than a "unicorn event", but the impact of either is no less disastrous.

Another report notes that Taiwan is experiencing an almost 25% drop in births over the same period, and rates this as no less than a 26-sigma event.  The author notes:  "This can be described as “unimaginable” in terms of the likelihood of happening due to random chance."

Next, there's preliminary but growing evidence that mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 may cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob or other prion diseases of the brain in some recipients.


Researchers believe the prion region from the original Wuhan COVID-19 variant’s spike protein was incorporated into mRNA vaccines and adenovirus vector vaccines — given to hundreds of millions of humans — and that it can cause a new type of rapidly progressing sporadic CJD.

. . .

A French pre-print paper published in May on CJD and COVID-19 vaccination identified a new form of sporadic CJD that occurred within days of receiving a first or second dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

. . .

Sporadic CJD occurs when a person becomes infected for no apparent reason. Once a single prion becomes infected, it will progress to other prions, and there is no treatment capable of stopping it.


More at the link.

The link between CJD and the vaxx was postulated by the late Nobel prize winner, Dr. Luc Montagnier, last year.


We’re in unknown territory and proclaim mandatory vaccines for everyone. It’s insanity. It’s vaccination insanity that I absolutely condemn. I want to say as well, that I never, never said that everyone will die from the vaccine, but that a certain amount of people who take the vaccine will suffer from it. That’s impermissible ... There could side effects that affect future generations as well, maybe, but most probably from our generation in five to ten years. That’s absolutely possible. Notably, something we call neurodegenerative illness. There are sequences that resemble the prion sequences in the RNA of the coronavirus. These prions could disorder the natural proteins in the brain, modifying them to make prions.


More at the link.

Friends, if you took the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine, all I can say is, get checked out for any or all of the above problems, just in case.  If you're fortunate enough to have missed them (at least so far), all well and good - but how will you know unless you check for yourself?  I can't see the powers that be bothering to tell you about these issues.



Peter