Saturday, September 30, 2023

Saturday Snippet: The trials and tribulations of enlisting in World War I


Arthur Empey was an American ex-serviceman who enlisted in the British Army during World War I.  He wrote of his experiences in "Over The Top".

The blurb reads:

Arthur Guy Empey left the United States at the end of 1915 frustrated at its neutrality in the conflict at that point and travelled to London, England, where he voluntarily enlisted with the 1st London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), T.F., of the British Army, going on to serve with it in the 56th (London) Division on the Western Front as a bomber and a machine-gunner. He was medically discharged from the British Army after being wounded in action at the commencement of the Battle of the Somme. Over the Top is his vivid and eye opening account of the horror of trench warfare with millions of copies having been sold around the world. An amazing true story which is a must read.

I've chosen his account of enlisting and his initial experiences in the British Army.

I boarded a bus which carried me through Tottenham Court Road. Recruiting posters were everywhere. The one that impressed me most was a life-size picture of Lord Kitchener with his anger pointing directly at me, under the caption of "Your King and Country Need You." No matter which way I turned, the accusing finger followed me. I was an American, in mufti, and had a little American flag in the lapel of my coat. I had no king, and my country had seen fit not to need me, but still that pointing finger made me feel small and ill at ease. I got off the bus to try to dissipate this feeling by mixing with the throng of the sidewalks.

Presently I came to a recruiting office. Inside, sitting at a desk was a lonely Tommy Atkins. I decided to interview him in regard to joining the British Army. I opened the door. He looked up and greeted me with "I s'y, myte, want to tyke on?"

I looked at him and answered, "Well, whatever that is, I'll take a chance at it."

Without the aid of an interpreter, I found out that Tommy wanted to know if I cared to join the British Army. He asked me: "Did you ever hear of the Royal Fusiliers?" Well, in London you know. Yanks are supposed to know everything, so I was not going to appear ignorant and answered, "Sure."

After listening for one half-hour to Tommy's tale of their exploits on the firing line, I decided to join. Tommy took me to the recruiting headquarters where I met a typical English Captain. He asked my nationality. I immediately pulled out my American passport and showed it to him. It was signed by Lansing, Bryan had lost his job a little while previously. After looking at the passport, he informed me that he was sorry but could not enlist me, as it would be a breach of neutrality. I insisted that I was not neutral, because to me it seemed that a real American could not be neutral when big things were in progress, but the Captain would not enlist me.

With disgust in my heart I went out in the street. I had gone about a block when a recruiting Sergeant who had followed me out of the office tapped me on the shoulder with his swagger stick and said: "Say, I can get you in the Army. We have a 'Leftenant' down at the other office who can do anything. He has just come out of the O. T. C. (Officers' Training Corps) and does not know what neutrality is." I decided to take a chance, and accepted his invitation for an introduction to the Lieutenant. I entered the office and went up to him, opened up my passport, and said:

"Before going further I wish to state that I am an American, not too proud to fight, and want to join your army."

He looked at me in a nonchalant manner, and answered, "That's all right, we take anything over here."

I looked at him kind of hard and replied, "So I notice," but it went over his head.

He got out an enlistment blank, and placing his finger on a blank line said, " Sign here."

I answered, "Not on your tintype."

"I beg your pardon?"

Then I explained to him that I would not sign it without first reading it. I read it over and signed for duration of war. Some of the recruits were lucky. They signed for seven years only.

Then he asked me my birthplace. I answered, "Ogden, Utah."

He said, "Oh yes, just outside of New York?"

With a smile, I replied, "Well, it's up the State a little."

Then I was taken before the doctor and passed as physically fit, and was issued a uniform. When I reported back to the Lieutenant, he suggested that, being an American, I go on recruiting service and try to shame some of the slackers into joining the Army.

"All you have to do," he said, "is to go out on the street, and when you see a young fellow in mufti who looks physically fit, just stop him and give him this kind of a talk: 'Aren't you ashamed of yourself, a Britisher, physically fit, and in mufti when your King and Country need you? Don't you know that your country is at war and that the place for every young Briton is on the firing line? Here I am, an American, in khaki, who came four thousand miles to fight for your King and Country, and you, as yet, have not enlisted. Why don't you join? Now is the time."

"This argument ought to get many recruits, Empey, so go out and see what you can do."

He then gave me a small rosette of red, white, and blue ribbon, with three little streamers hanging down. This was the recruiting insignia and was to be worn on the left side of the cap.

Armed with a swagger stick and my patriotic rosette I went out into Tottenham Court Road in quest of cannon fodder.

Two or three poorly dressed civilians passed me, and although they appeared physically fit, I said to myself, "They don't want to Join the army; perhaps they have someone dependent on them for support," so I did not accost them.

Coming down the street I saw a young dandy, top hat and all, with a fashionably dressed girl walking beside him. I muttered, "You are my meat," and when he came abreast of me I stepped directly in his path and stopped him with my Swagger stick, saying:

"You would look fine in khaki, why not change that top hat for a steel helmet? Aren't you ashamed of yourself, a husky young chap like you in mufti when men are needed in the trenches? Here I am, an American, came four thousand miles from Ogden, Utah, just outside of New York, to fight for your King and Country. Don't be a slacker, buck up and get into uniform; come over to the recruiting office and I'll have you enlisted."

He yawned and answered, "I don't care if you came forty thousand miles, no one asked you to," and he walked on. The girl gave me a sneering look; I was speechless.

I recruited for three weeks and nearly got one recruit.

This perhaps was not the greatest stunt in the world, but it got back at the officer who had told me, "Yes, we take anything over here." I had been spending a good lot of my recruiting time in the saloon bar of the "Wheat Sheaf" pub (there was a very attractive blonde barmaid, who helped kill time I was not as serious in those days as I was a little later when I reached the front) well, it was the sixth day and my recruiting report was blank. I was getting low in the pocket barmaids haven't much use for anyone who cannot buy drinks so I looked around for recruiting material. You know a man on recruiting service gets a "bob" or shilling for every recruit he entices into joining the army, the recruit is supposed to get this, but he would not be a recruit if he were wise to this fact, would he?

Down at the end of the bar was a young fellow in mufti who was very patriotic he had about four "Old Six" ales aboard. He asked me if he could join, showed me his left hand, two fingers were missing, but I said that did not matter as "we take anything over here." The left hand is the rifle hand as the piece is carried at the slope on the left shoulder. Nearly everything in England is "by the left," even general traffic keeps to the port side.

I took the applicant over to headquarters where he was hurriedly examined. Recruiting surgeons were busy in those days and did not have much time for thorough physical examinations. My recruit was passed as "fit" by the doctor and turned over to a Corporal to make note of his scars. I was mystified. Suddenly the Corporal burst out with, "Blime me, two of his fingers are gone"; turning to me he said, "You certainly have your nerve with you, not 'alf you ain't, to bring this beggar in."

The doctor came over and exploded, "What do you mean by bringing in a man in this condition?"

Looking out of the corner of my eye I noticed that the officer who had recruited me had Joined the group, and I could not help answering, "Well, sir, I was told that you took anything over here."

I think they called it "Yankee impudence," anyhow it ended my recruiting.

The next morning, the Captain sent for me and informed me: "Empey, as a recruiting Sergeant you are a washout," and sent me to a training depot.

After arriving at this place, I was hustled to the quartermaster stores and received an awful shock. The Quartermaster Sergeant spread a waterproof sheet on the ground, and commenced throwing a miscellaneous assortment of straps, buckles, and other paraphernalia into it. I thought he would never stop, but when the pile reached to my knees he paused long enough to say, "Next, No. 5217, 'Arris, 'B' Company." I gazed in bewilderment at the pile of junk in front of me, and then my eyes wandered around looking for the wagon which was to carry it to the barracks. I was rudely brought to earth by the "Quarter" exclaiming, "'Ere, you, 'op it, tyke it aw'y; blind my eyes, 'e's looking for 'is batman to 'elp 'im carry it."

Struggling under the load, with frequent pauses for rest, I reached our barracks (large car barns), and my platoon leader came to the rescue. It was a marvel to me how quickly he assembled the equipment. After he had completed the task, he showed me how to adjust it on my person. Pretty soon I stood before him a proper Tommy Atkins in heavy marching order, feeling like an overloaded camel.

On my feet were heavy-soled boots, studded with hobnails, the toes and heels of which were reinforced by steel half-moons. My legs were encased in woolen puttees, olive drab in color, with my trousers overlapping them at the top. Then a woolen khaki tunic, under which was a bluish-gray woolen shirt, minus a collar, beneath this shirt a woolen belly-band about six inches wide, held in place by tie strings of white tape. On my head was a heavy woolen trench cap, with huge ear flaps buttoned over the top. Then the equipment: A canvas belt, with ammunition pockets, and two wide canvas straps like suspenders, called "D" straps, fastened to the belt in front, passing over each shoulder, crossing in the middle of my back, and attached by buckles to the rear of the belt. On the right side of the belt hung a water bottle, covered with felt; on the left side was my bayonet and scabbard, and entrenching tool handle, this handle strapped to the bayonet scabbard. In the rear was my entrenching tool, carried in a canvas case. This tool was a combination pick and spade. A canvas haversack was strapped to the left side of the belt, while on my back was the pack, also of canvas, held in place by two canvas straps over the shoulders; suspended on the bottom of the pack was my mess tin or canteen in a neat little canvas case. My waterproof sheet, looking like a jelly roll, was strapped on top of the pack, with a wooden stick for cleaning the breach of the rifle projecting from each end. On a lanyard around my waist hung a huge jackknife with a can-opener attachment. The pack contained my overcoat, an extra pair of socks, change of underwear, hold-all (containing knife, fork, spoon, comb, toothbrush, lather brush, shaving soap, and a razor made of tin, with "Made in England" stamped on the blade; when trying to shave with this it made you wish that you were at war with Patagonia, so that you could have a "hollow ground" stamped "Made in Germany"); then your housewife, button-cleaning outfit, consisting of a brass button stick, two stiff brushes, and a box of "Soldiers' Friend" paste; then a shoe brush and a box of dubbin, a writing pad, indelible pencil, envelopes, and pay book, and personal belongings, such as a small mirror, a decent razor, and a sheaf of unanswered letters, and fags. In your haversack you carry your iron rations, meaning a tin of bully beef, four biscuits, and a can containing tea, sugar, and Oxo cubes; a couple of pipes and a package of shag, a tin of rifle oil, and a pull-through. Tommy generally carries the oil with his rations; it gives the cheese a sort of sardine taste.

Add to this a first-aid pouch and a long ungainly rifle patterned after the Daniel Boone period, and you have an idea of a British soldier in Blighty.

Before leaving for France, this rifle is taken from him and he is issued with a Lee-Enfield short-trench rifle and a ration bag.

In France he receives two gas helmets, a sheep-skin coat, rubber mackintosh, steel helmet, two blankets, tear-shell goggles, a balaclava helmet, gloves, and a tin of anti-frostbite grease which is excellent for greasing the boots. Add to this the weight of his rations, and can you blame Tommy for growling at a twenty kilo route march?

Having served as Sergeant-Major in the United States Cavalry, I tried to tell the English drill sergeants their business but it did not work. They immediately put me as batman in their mess. Many a greasy dish of stew was accidentally spilled over them.

I would sooner fight than be a waiter, so when the order came through from headquarters calling for a draft of 250 reinforcements for France, I volunteered.

Then we went before the M. O. (Medical Officer) for another physical examination. This was very brief. He asked our names and numbers and said, "Fit," and we went out to fight.

We were put into troop trains and sent to Southampton, where we detrained, and had our trench rifles issued to us. Then in columns of twos we went up the gangplank of a little steamer lying alongside the dock.

At the head of the gangplank there was an old Sergeant who directed that we line ourselves along both rails of the ship. Then he ordered us to take life belts from the racks overhead and put them on. I have crossed the ocean several times and knew I was not seasick, but when I budded on that life belt, I had a sensation of sickness.

After we got out into the stream all I could think of was that there were a million German submarines with a torpedo on each, across the warhead of which was inscribed my name and address.

After five hours we came alongside a pier and disembarked. I had attained another one of my ambitions. I was "somewhere in France." We slept in the open that night on the side of a road. About six the next morning we were ordered to entrain. I looked around for the passenger coaches, but all I could see on the siding were cattle cars. We climbed into these. On the side of each car was a sign reading "Hommes 40, Cheveux 8." When we got inside of the cars, we thought that perhaps the sign painter had reversed the order of things. After forty-eight hours in these trucks we detrained at Rouen. At this place we went through an intensive training for ten days.

This training consisted of the rudiments of trench warfare. Trenches had been dug, with barbed-wire entanglements, bombing saps, dug-outs, observation posts, and machine-gun emplacements. We were given a smattering of trench cooking, sanitation, bomb throwing, reconnoitering, listening posts, constructing and repairing barbed wire, "carrying in" parties, methods used in attack and defense, wiring parties, mass formation, and the procedure for poison-gas attacks.

On the tenth day we again met our friends "Hommes 40, Chevaux 8." Thirty-six hours more of misery, and we arrived at the town of F-.

After unloading our rations and equipment, we lined up on the road in columns of fours waiting for the order to march.

A dull rumbling could be heard. The sun was shining. I turned to the man on my left and asked, '"What's the noise, Bill?" He did not know, but his face was of a pea-green color. Jim on my right also did not know, but suggested that I "awsk" the Sergeant.

Coming towards us was an old grizzled Sergeant, properly fed up with the war, so I "awsked" him.

"Think it's going to rain, Sergeant?"

He looked at me in contempt, and grunted, "'Ow's it a'goin' ter rain with the bloomin' sun a 'shinin'?" I looked guilty.

"Them's the guns up the line, me lad, and you'll get enough of 'em before you gets back to Blighty."

My knees seemed to wilt, and I squeaked out a weak "Oh!"

Then we started our march up to the line in ten kilo treks. After the first day's march we arrived at our rest billets. In France they call them rest billets, because while in them, Tommy works seven days a week and on the eighth day of the week he is given twenty-four hours "on his own."

Our billet was a spacious affair, a large barn on the left side of the road, which had one hundred entrances, ninety-nine for shells, rats, wind, and rain, and the hundredth one for Tommy. I was tired out, and using my shrapnel-proof helmet, (shrapnel proof until a piece of shrapnel hits it), or tin hat, for a pillow, lay down in the straw, and was soon fast asleep. I must have slept about two hours, when I awoke with a prickling sensation all over me. As I thought, the straw had worked through my uniform. I woke up the fellow lying on my left, who had been up the line before, and asked him.

"Does the straw bother you, mate? It's worked through my uniform and I can't sleep."

In a sleepy voice, he answered, "That ain't straw, them's cooties."

From that time on my friends the "cooties" were constantly with me.

"Cooties," or body lice, are the bane of Tommy's existence.

The aristocracy of the trenches very seldom call them "cooties," they speak of them as fleas.

To an American, flea means a small insect armed with a bayonet, who is wont to jab it into you and then hop, skip, and jump to the next place to be attacked. There is an advantage in having fleas on you instead of "cooties" in that in one of his extended jumps said flea is liable to land on the fellow next to you; he has the typical energy and push of the American, while the "cootie" has the bull-dog tenacity of the Englishman, he holds on and consolidates or digs in until his meal is finished.

There is no way to get rid of them permanently. No matter how often you bathe, and that is not very often, or how many times you change your underwear, your friends, the "cooties" are always in evidence. The billets are infested with them, especially so, if there is straw on the floor.

I have taken a bath and put on brand-new underwear; in fact, a complete change of uniform, and then turned in for the night. The next morning my shirt would be full of them. It is a common sight to see eight or ten soldiers sitting under a tree with their shirts over their knees engaging in a "shirt hunt."

At night about half an hour before "lights out," you can see the Tommies grouped around a candle, trying, in its dim light, to rid their underwear of the vermin. A popular and very quick method is to take your shirt and drawers, and run the seams back and forward in the flame from the candle and burn them out. This practice is dangerous, because you are liable to burn holes in the garments if you are not careful.

Recruits generally sent to Blighty for a brand of insect powder advertised as "Good for body lice." The advertisement is quite right; the powder is good for "cooties," they simply thrive on it.

The older men of our battalion were wiser and made scratchers out of wood. These were rubbed smooth with a bit of stone or sand to prevent splinters. They were about eighteen inches long, and Tommy guarantees that a scratcher of this length will reach any part of the body which may be attacked. Some of the fellows were lazy and only made their scratchers twelve inches, but many a night when on guard, looking over the top from the fire step of the front-line trench, they would have given a thousand "quid" for the other six inches.

Once while we were in rest billets an Irish Hussar regiment camped in an open field opposite our billet. After they had picketed and fed their horses, a general shirt hunt took place. The troopers ignored the call "Dinner up," and kept on with their search for big game. They had a curious method of procedure. They hung their shirts over a hedge and beat them with their entrenching tool handles.

I asked one of them why they didn't pick them off by hand, and he answered, "We haven't had a bath for nine weeks or a change of clabber. If I tried to pick the 'cooties' off my shirt, I would be here for duration of war." After taking a close look at his shirt, I agreed with him, it was alive.

The greatest shock a recruit gets when he arrives at his battalion in France is to see the men engaging in a "cootie" hunt. With an air of contempt and disgust he avoids the company of the older men, until a couple of days later, in a torment of itching, he also has to resort to a shirt hunt, or spend many a sleepless night of misery. During these hunts there are lots of pertinent remarks bandied back and forth among the explorers, such as, "Say, Bill, I'll swap you two little ones for a big one," or, "I've got a black one here that looks like Kaiser Bill."

One sunny day in the front-line trench, I saw three officers sitting outside of their dugout ("cooties" are no respecters of rank; I have even noticed a suspicious uneasiness about a certain well-known general), one of them was a major, two of them were exploring their shirts, paying no attention to the occasional shells which passed overhead. The major was writing a letter; every now and then he would lay aside his writing-pad, search his shirt for a few minutes, get an inspiration, and then resume writing. At last he finished his letter and gave it to his "runner." I was curious to see whether he was writing to an insect firm, so when the runner passed me I engaged him in conversation and got a glimpse at the address on the envelope. It was addressed to Miss Alice Somebody, in London. The "runner" informed me that Miss Somebody was the major's sweetheart and that he wrote to her every day. Just imagine it, writing a love letter during a "cootie" hunt; but such is the creed of the trenches.

In my war in Africa it was sand fleas, mosquitoes and blackflies that were the problem, rather than European lice or "cooties";  but yes, they gave us the miseries too!


Friday, September 29, 2023

An important first-aid/emergency medical safety warning


Commander Zero reminds us of the appalling number of fake tourniquets out there.  Sadly, the same can be said of many emergency medical devices.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before, but if a price on a CAT-style tourniquet seems too good to be true, it probably is. And, unlike many other counterfeit products, getting caught with one of these and having it fail when you need it is, literally, a matter of life and death.

I got a reminder about this in my email today from NAR. If you think about it, t his thing is simply injection moulded plastic and some nylon webbing. That means the barrier to entry for making a knockoff is pretty darn low. As a result, these things are all over Amazon and eBay. Yes, there are other wendors with nigh-impeccable creds selling the genuine product….but I’m just not willing to take the chance that their purchasing agent made a mistake that month and got some knockoffs from Glorious Peoples Plastic Factory No. 55 in Changzhou.

He goes on to recommend safe suppliers, where you'll pay a little more, but get a guaranteed genuine product.  Some of his readers add other sources in the comments to his article.  My personal preference is for the SOF-T Gen. 5 tourniquet (and its training version), because it's wider and therefore should be a little less painful for the victim, but the CAT that he recommends is just as good in practice.  (I also trust and recommend Dark Angel Medical as a supplier.)

If you take first aid or emergency medical gear seriously (and I hope you do), I highly recommend clicking over to Commander Zero's place and reading the article (and its comments) in full.  Also, if you keep an emergency tourniquet or three on hand (and, again, I hope you do), I strongly recommend getting a training version of the same tourniquet, so you can practice applying it without breaking open the sealed packaging of the real thing.  If the first time you try to use it is when someone's bleeding to death, you won't be very good at it, and that may have tragic consequences.  Remember, when the S hits the F you'll default to the level of your training - so train!

(That reminds me . . . my first-aid qualifications are way out of date.  I must look into refresher courses.  I wonder if it's feasible to do a basic EMS course on a part-time basis at a local college?  That may be a very useful certification to have.)


A potential new threat to air travel?


I was intrigued to read about an Iranian air-to-air "missile" that appears to be more like a drone shaped like a missile.

The Iranian government has shown a curious "loitering" surface-to-air missile known only as the "358" to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu who is currently visiting the country.

The 358 is understood to be launched from the ground using a solid-fuel rocket booster, which falls away after it burns out. The missile then transitions to an air-breathing propulsion system, possibly a small turbojet, much like a traditional land-attack or anti-ship cruise missile ... past reports have said that the 358 further deviates from typical surface-to-air missiles in that is apparently designed to fly at low speed to a specified location and then loiter there until its fuel runs out. "The weapon flies in a figure-eight pattern and looks for targets," The New York Times reported in a story citing unnamed U.S. military officials back in 2020.

. . .

If the weapon works as described, they could be launched into forward areas where drones or helicopters are known or expected to travel through, and hunt and kill them without any need for additional advanced offboard sensors. This could be particularly useful for engaging incoming drones, which can be very hard to spot and engage with traditional air defense systems.

Beyond all this, groups of 358s flying figure-eight orbits would just present additional hazards an opponent would have to contend with or attempt to plan around, which could be problematic seeing that they can fly out to remote locations. If the 358 is low cost, then it could be even easier to deploy large numbers of them at once to increase the probability of success and otherwise try to disrupt enemy air operations.

It does not appear to require much in the way of logistical footprint to employ the 358 missiles, either. When Iraqi authorities seized the 358 near in 2021, they also found a simple launcher consisting of a crude rail attached to a base weighed down with cinder blocks.

At the IRGC expo that Russian Defense Minister Shoigu recently attended, a pair of 358 missiles were seen on more robust launch rails fitted in the back of a truck. That launch system also looks as if it might be designed to look outwardly like any other commercial truck when in transit, helping to reduce vulnerability, as well as add flexibility.

There's more at the link.

It occurs to me that this weapon might as well be purpose-designed to shut down civilian air transport networks.  A terrorist could launch it miles away from an airport, choosing a site that offers easy escape routes and minimal risk to the launch team.  It could be programmed to fly to the nearest airport and loiter there, selecting any slow-moving aircraft in the process of landing or taking off, and destroying it.  If two or three were launched simultaneously to attack a major airport in cities like Los Angeles, or Dallas, or New York, not only would they cause massive damage and casualties (not only aboard the destroyed aircraft, but in the suburbs where they fell), they'd also shut down all air traffic into and out of that city until the threat had been neutralized.

A terrorist group might have several of these missiles on hand, meaning they could threaten an area indefinitely unless and until they were taken out.  If multiple groups of terrorists were to threaten several major airports across America, they would shut down a huge slice of our economy overnight, and there's no guarantee when (or even if) it would come up again.  Getting the missiles into this country should not present any major problem.  According to the article, Iran has been smuggling them to its allies for some years, piece by piece.  Our southern border is so porous they could be carried across on the backs of cartel operatives, and with only a small proportion of container shipments through our ports being examined for contraband, the odds of getting missiles through US security must be excellent.

Not a comfortable thought at all . . .


It's Baby Wendell!


I hope Larry Correia sees this.  It's a curious baby manatee in Florida exploring a wetsuit.  Wendell Jr.?



Thursday, September 28, 2023

Just to show that Hollywood can be as bad as Bollywood...


... when it comes to "impossible" action and fight scenes, here are ten of the best from the Fast & Furious movie franchise.

Yep.  Bollywood, for all its over-the-top action sequences, could do no better.


James Bondage? Don't laugh. It could come true.


Daniel Greenfield notes that "woke" has come to the James Bond canon.

Even though Ian Fleming has been dead since 1964, [his] estate turned to other authors to prime the giant money pump. Initially new Bond novels were written by prestigious writers like Kingsley Amis or former military men like John Gardner, but in more recent years turned the books over to wokes.

The latest of these come from Kim Sherwood, a University of Edinburgh lecturer who is interested in “women’s stories” and was authorized to write a feminist James Bond trilogy.

How do you write a feminist trilogy around one of the least feminist fictional characters around?

Easy, get rid of him.

In the new feminist novels, Miss Moneypenny has been promoted, Q has been replaced by a computer, and Bond by a woman, a black man and a Muslim man.

Sherwood’s feminist trilogy of Bond novels has the superspy go missing while she invents new zeroes to take his place. Sherwood’s “feminist perspective” on James Bond gets rid of the white man and offers an “ensemble cast of heroes who we can all identify with.”

“I want to bring a feminist perspective to the canon,” Sherwood pitched, to “create a space for all of us to be heroes.” As long as they aren't white men. The new zeroes prioritize “inclusivity, female heroes, and heroes of colour” including a black gay disabled 004, a female 003 and a Pakistani Muslim 009.

Sid Bashir, the Muslim replacement for James Bond, remembers standing by his mother’s side at an Islamic cultural fair after 9/11 under a banner reading, “Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic.” Another scene quotes the Koran and has Bashir saying, “May Allah bless your family.”

“I was born poor, black and gay, I know about hard times,” 004 who, it is important to note, is black and gay says.

There's more at the link.

Perhaps, as an author, I could turn my hand to writing something like that.  The possibilities are almost endless.  Even James Bond's official number, 007, lends itself to a "woke" narrative.  I mean, clearly the two zeros need to be fitted with frowning eyelids, to disapprove of his patriarchal sexist antics, while the "7" is obviously a graphical representation of a limp, dangling . . . well, never mind.

On second thoughts, I'll stick with the old macho, sexist Bond.  He's a lot more fun.


"A prophet is not without honor except in his own country"


I'm cynically amused to find that, at long last, a British politician and Cabinet Minister is acknowledging the harm done to that country by unrestricted immigration and asylum policies.

Things took a shocking turn in the United Kingdom on Tuesday when Home Secretary Suella Braverman pronounced that "multiculturalism" has failed. For context, the UK Home Office is essentially responsible for security in the country.

In a speech that hit on many of the issues plaguing Europe related to illegal immigration, Braverman explained how a lack of assimilation has led to ruin on the continent. 

BRAVERMAN: Uncontrolled immigration, inadequate integration, and a misguided dogma of multiculturalism have proven a toxic combination for Europe over the last few decades. I'm not the first to point this out. In 2010, Angela Merkel gave a speech in which she acknowledged that multiculturalism had utterly failed, and then, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British PM David Cameron echoed similar sentiments shortly thereafter.

Multiculturism makes no demands of the incomer to integrate. It has failed because it allowed people to come to our society and live parallel lives in it. They could be in the society but not of the society, and in extreme cases, they could pursue lives aimed at undermining the stability and threatening the security of our society. 

Further, the UK will now be seeking big changes to asylum regulations that have previously represented an open door.

There's more at the link.

The Bible cites Jesus as warning us:  "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house."  One suspects that somewhere up there, the late Enoch Powell is nodding his head in grim agreement.  In his (in)famous "Rivers Of Blood" speech on April 20, 1968, he prophetically warned of precisely such a danger in/to the United Kingdom.

Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that the country will not be worth living in for his children. I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking – not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history.

. . .

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancées whom they have never seen.

. . .

For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, [the existing British population] found themselves made strangers in their own country.

They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted. On top of this, they now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by Act of Parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to protect them or redress their grievances, is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.

. . .

The other dangerous delusion from which those who are wilfully or otherwise blind to realities suffer, is summed up in the word "integration." To be integrated into a population means to become for all practical purposes indistinguishable from its other members ... But to imagine that such a thing enters the heads of a great and growing majority of immigrants and their descendants is a ludicrous misconception, and a dangerous one.

We are on the verge here of a change ... we are seeing the growth of positive forces acting against integration, of vested interests in the preservation and sharpening of racial and religious differences, with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population.

. . .

As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see "the River Tiber foaming with much blood".

That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century.

Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.

The full text of Mr. Powell's speech may be found here.

Powell was accused of racism, vilified, and condemned by almost all professional politicians.  However, the ordinary people of Britain strongly supported him, and he won re-election with a greatly increased majority in his constituency.  History, of course, has proven him to be correct - but few contemporary politicians will admit that.  It's not politically correct to do so.  Facts no longer matter in this Brave New World - only the ruling, approved narrative.

I'm an immigrant myself.  Obviously, I have no problem with legal - I stress, legal - immigration.  However, that should be accompanied by a responsibility, on the part of the immigrant(s), to assimilate into the culture and society of their new country.  I've done so, and am very proud to be an American citizen.  I stand for the values propagated by our Founding Fathers, and I support 100% the perspective of the late President Theodore Roosevelt on what it means to be an American.

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts ‘native’ before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as anyone else.

The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic. The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart allegiance, the better it will be for every good American. There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.


One can only look at the current invasion of aliens across our southern border and ask whether any of them have that understanding of why they're coming here, or any intention of conforming to it.  I suspect you know the answer to that as well as I do . . . but who among our politicians will come out and say it?

Where is our Enoch Powell?  Where is our Theodore Roosevelt?


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Elon Musk brings the smackdown to COVID vaccine effectiveness


Newsweek reports:

A tweet by Elon Musk about the COVID-19 vaccine has gone viral, after he posted about "disinformation."

The Tesla CEO took to X, formerly Twitter, which he also owns, to share a montage of news headlines that said the various vaccines for the virus were "100% effective."

"Have you heard dis information?" Musk captioned the tweet on Tuesday.

There's more at the link.

You'll find Musk's tweet and video here.  It's only a minute and a half, and worth your time to watch.

I suspect the makers of the various COVID vaccines are going to find it increasingly difficult to justify the billions of dollars they made on the back of their demonstrably ineffective products.  One hopes those chickens will come home to roost.  It's not too late to hope for prison sentences as well as fines...


El Salvador, crime, and civil liberties. What does this mean for the USA?


An editorial in the Washington Post, normally not a source I'd trust because of its extreme partisanship, does a good job of explaining how societal breakdown can fuel the rise of dictatorial policies - with the full support of the people.

In 2015, El Salvador was the world’s murder capital, with 107 homicides per 100,000 people — as if one of Chicago’s worst neighborhoods was a country unto itself.

Since then, homicide in El Salvador has fallen so far, so fast that its rate now looks comparable to the United States — and the num- bers may still be falling.

Under President Nayib Bukele, the government has shredded basic judicial protections, locking people up on as little basis as tattoos or anonymous phone calls.

The government itself acknowledges having released thousands who were arrested in error. Their number is dwarfed by the number still behind bars.

More than 1% of the country’s population reportedly languishes in prison, unable to secure adequate food, in overcrowded conditions that invite comparisons to “tattooed sardines” or “slices of sandwich bread.”

. . .

In the short term, at least, it seems that savagery has restored order to El Salvador’s streets. And the savagery is incredibly popular; as next year’s election approaches, polls have put [Bukele's] approval ratings as high as 90%, and none of his likely opponents appear to have any chance of an upset.

The reason a quasi-police state looks so good to Salvadorans is that so many of them were already living under a police state, except that it was run by gangs such as MS-13 ... Residents of gang territory had no recourse, because anyone testifying against a gang member risked death. Bukele’s erosion of due process reversed the power dynamic: Now, you don’t have to testify, you just make an anonymous phone call. It put a lot of innocent people in jail, many reportedly in horrific conditions.

. . .

It’s not entirely surprising that the people of El Salvador prefer the official police state to the freelancers. And this is where El Salvador offers a useful lesson to the rest of us: Do not make people choose between human rights and safe streets, because they will choose safe streets every time.

. . .

The best way to keep people from trading civil liberties for civic safety is to not let crime get out of control in the first place.

There's more at the link.

I don't think we'll see the same right-wing, pro-law-and-order approach in the USA, because our society is so divided that I don't believe an electoral approach along those lines can succeed.  A left-wing dictatorial approach is far more feasible, in my opinion, and is already a reality to some extent in our more "progressive" cities such as Philadelphia (see my first article this morning), San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and others.  What's that?  You don't support efforts to combat climate change, or unrestricted immigration, or "reparations for slavery", or soft-on-crime policies?  Then it's the gulag for you, comrade!

In our big cities, I think such pressures are very likely to increase.  Unfortunately, too many residents there have already given up the struggle for law and order, and are keeping their heads down and hoping to survive rather than standing up and being prepared to act.  However, we're seeing increasing pressures in society to act directly against the criminals and their enablers who are directly threatening our society.  It may be that we'll see vigilante violence increasing right along with criminal violence, and in response to it.  I don't want or support that - nobody in his right mind does! - but you can only push people so far before they start to push back.  As the song says, "Try that in a small town" - and it won't stop in small towns, either.

I think that reaction is what's driving a great deal of the effort by the progressive left to disarm Americans.  An unarmed citizenry can't defend themselves against crime and violence, or political oppression for that matter.  An armed, trained, equipped citizenry is another matter entirely.  Politicians can exploit defenseless citizens by promising them security in exchange for their electoral support.  If citizens can provide their own security, and enforce it if necessary, that changes the entire political dynamic - for the better, in my opinion.  As the late, great Jeff Cooper put it in various quotations that I've strung together here:

The media insist that crime is the major concern of the American public today. In this connection they generally push the point that a disarmed society would be a crime-free society. They will not accept the truth that if you take all the guns off the street you still will have a crime problem, whereas if you take the criminals off the street you cannot have a gun problem.

An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.

The rifle itself [or handgun, for that matter] has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.

If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim.

One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that 'violence begets violence.' I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure - and in some cases I have - that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.

That is why our masters in Washington are so anxious to disarm us. They are not afraid of criminals. They are afraid of a populace which cannot be subdued by tyrants.

Since we can no longer trust our law enforcement authorities and agencies to protect us against crime, it's up to us to take steps to protect ourselves, our families and our property.  As the editorial above concludes:  "The best way to keep people from trading civil liberties for civic safety is to not let crime get out of control in the first place."  I agree.  Therefore, let's equip ourselves to protect our civil liberties by defending ourselves against criminals.  That's perhaps the best way to stop dictatorial policies - from any point on the political spectrum - from undermining the values our Founding Fathers bequeathed to us.

As Robert Heinlein postulated:  "An armed society is a polite society."  That's a good place to start.


My sincere sympathies to those living in or near Philadelphia...


... because the pattern of your future there became clear last night (if it wasn't already so - it should have been on the basis of past events).  Some of the headlines this morning:

Widespread Mass Looting Overnight in Philly

Absolute Pandemonium Broke Out in Philly Last Night

Some are already claiming that this was in "response" to the dismissal of charges against a police officer for the shooting of a black man a while back.  I understand that, notwithstanding the court's action, the Soros-backed progressive-left District Attorney will appeal it, and may refile charges.  Allow me to show you my shocked face that a DA would ignore a judicial ruling like that, if it didn't agree with his politics.  Faced with a judicial system like that, and knowing that they are in the politically-inspired sights of the system every time they go on patrol, and having to deal with a breakdown in law and order like last night (not to mention inner-city urban society in general), I can't for the life of me imagine why any police officer remains on duty in Philadelphia.  In their shoes, I wouldn't be.

I don't buy the "in response" line at all.  From the reports linked above, this was a well-organized action, including arrangements being made before and during the event(s) on social media;  "teens" (?) congregating in parking lots to plan their next move(s);  and registration plates being removed from cars, to make it more difficult to track their movements and link them to specific crimes.  Those aren't the actions of spontaneous protesters.  The judicial ruling may have provided a convenient pretext, a sort of social fig-leaf, for the looters, but it's clear they were acting, not reacting.  I'm sure this event was pre-planned, awaiting only a suitable occasion to launch it.

I've already noted a couple of reactions along the lines of "Well, that's the city center for you - but if you stay out of it, and don't go there unless you absolutely have to, and stay in your nice safe suburb, you won't be affected."  Folks, I have news for you.  Throughout this country, companies and corporations in the city centers are suffering due to crime, and closing stores hand over fist, and moving their offices to safer, cleaner, more salubrious locations.  Crime isn't the only factor in the latter decision, but it's a big contributor.  Do your own search for relevant news reports in your area.  If it's affecting companies and employers like that, what makes you think it won't affect you?

Here's another selection of headlines, all of them from this blog, and all in 2023.  I presume most readers have already seen them:  if not, I recommend them to your attention.

I can't say it too strongly. GET OUT OF "BLUE" BIG CITIES. NOW.

The dangers of big "blue" cities from a different perspective

Remember what I said about big "blue" cities?

Yet another Big Blue City crime warning

The danger of big cities: How can I put it any more strongly?

Here's how that last article ends.  Emphasis in original.

Folks, what more evidence can I advance to persuade you?  The reality is as plain and easy to see as the nose on your face.  If you live in almost any large American city today, but particularly those in "blue" states, governed by liberal progressive administrations, or already facing serious problems with poverty, crime, violence and racial tensions, you need to leave.  Now.  If you don't, and you run headlong into those problems as they escalate, it's on your own head - nobody else's.

I've heard all the excuses, and I'm sure they're real to many people:  but this boils down to a simple, existential pair of questions.  What's your life worth?  What are the lives of your spouse, children, etc. worth?

The answer is up to you, and the solution is in your hands.  Don't expect the government to provide one, because it's largely caused the problems to begin with. 

In his science fiction books, the late Robert A. Heinlein predicted what he called "the crazy years" when society broke down, and anarchy, fanaticism and criminality took over.  I think he was more prophetic than fictional - because we're living in them now, mostly in our big cities as yet, but increasingly all over our country.


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

A James Bond "movie" I'd never heard of before


I wasn't aware that, according to Wikipedia:

To promote the film ["You Only Live Twice"], United Artists Television produced a one-hour colour television programme titled Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond, which first aired on 2 June 1967 in the United States on NBC. Bond regulars Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewelyn appeared, playing respectively Miss Moneypenny and Q. Kate O'Mara appears as Miss Moneypenny's assistant. The programme shows clips from You Only Live Twice and the then four existing Bond films, and contained a storyline of Moneypenny trying to establish the identity of Bond's bride.

The James Bond Wiki notes:

The feature stars Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewelyn in character as Miss Moneypenny and Q respectively as well as Kate O'Mara as Miss Moneypenny's unnamed assistant. They all reflect on James Bond's previous adventures in Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball through the use of archival footage. In addition they speculate on Bond's current and future assignments, showing preview clips of You Only Live Twice.

A subplot is included about a woman (who is never directly shown, akin to Ernst Stavro Blofeld) who is obsessed with becoming Bond's next lover. She is seen holding a Pan paperback copy of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, possibly as a teaser to the audience that it would be the next novel to be adapted into a film (which it was).

Fortunately for us, the entire TV special is available on YouTube.  Enjoy!

It's a bit dated, of course, compared to modern high-tech gee-whiz Bond movies, but I still enjoyed it - and it stars Sean Connery, who as far as I'm concerned is still the best of the actors who played Bond.


A suggestion for our next election


We all know that the Republican and Democratic parties are effectively in lockstep with each other.  They support each other in critical areas such as entitlement programs, supporting the Deep State, and eroding citizens' rights.  They do it all the time, and no matter who runs Congress or the Senate or the White House, the basic wrongs never get righted.

The same goes for most presidential candidates.  They are party creatures, selected by the party and run by the party and paid by the party's financial backers.  Very few of them are independent - even President Trump, who really was financially independent but allowed the Republican Party to effectively neuter his administration by installing too many insiders in critical positions.

If we really want change, and if enough thinking politicians really want change, let's look at a new alternative.

What if a front-running candidate - let's say President Trump, who appears to be leading in the opinion polls right now - were to deliberately step aside from his party and say, "All right, I'm running as an independent."  He already rejects enough of the RINO propaganda to be able to do that believably.

What if that independent Presidential candidate were to select a running mate from the other side of the political aisle - let's say, for example, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who appears to be relatively popular among centrist Democratic voters?  He's also an independent thinker who doesn't cleave to the party line.

What if the two agreed to publicly support independent candidates for Congress and the Senate, endorsing each candidate jointly and asking voters to elect them rather than members of either major political party?  Would the "normal" voters of America respond to such a call?  Could they succeed in enough electoral districts to form a viable "third force", or even take over the legislative branch?

Could those three steps lead to the first real defeat for the nominally two-party political system in America, and break the logjam that currently paralyzes our government?

I don't know.  I guess none of us do.  All I know is that the present situation is completely untenable, and if nothing is done to change the status quo, this country is heading for a collapse.  I don't think there's any doubt about that.

What say you, readers?  Is this a viable alternative?  If not, is there another one that might work?  Or do we simply throw up our hands, admit we're helpless, and watch as our political Thelmas and Louises drive the car of the United States off the cliff and kill our nation?


In memoriam: David McCallum


David McCallum, who died yesterday, had a long and very varied acting career, but to me he's most memorable as the rather weird agent Ilya Kuryakin, alongside Robert Vaughn's Napoleon Solo, in the 1960's television series (and spin-off movie series) "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.".  It seems incredibly chintzy and dated today, but it was the sixties, after all . . . perhaps it was better viewed through a haze of marijuana smoke or on an LSD high!  Here's a selection of their 1960's-vintage humor.

I mostly remember McCallum for his appallingly bad weapon handling in the series - but then, in the 1960's, almost every series like that had the same problem.  Firearms were seen as "gee-whiz" props, something big and scary, rather than the tools they are, and professional handling was never part of the script.  Still, it was a wildly popular series in its day, so they got something right!

One of the less pleasant things about getting older is that many of one's favorite performers, singers, actors, whatever, seem to die in increasing numbers as one's birthdays pass.  Intimations of mortality, and all that . . .


Monday, September 25, 2023

Preparing for emergencies by layering your resources


The concept of "layering" is applied in many fields.  For example, "layered clothing" means wearing multiple layers of clothes, so that when cold, all of them work together to keep you warm, but as things warm up, you can take off one layer at a time to stay comfortable.  It's less useful to have just one warm garment, which may leave you too hot (with it on) or too cold (with it off).

I apply the same technique to planning for emergencies.  Say you want to prepare for a weather emergency such as a hurricane or tornado that takes out power, water, etc. to your area.  Ideally, you'll have a selection of preps that can be used depending on the conditions at the time.  For example, when it comes to food, having some that can be eaten without cooking or heating is a good idea for the first day or two, in case those facilities aren't available.  Longer term, have multiple means of cooking (e.g. electricity, propane, firewood, charcoal, etc.) so that if one isn't available or usable, another will be.  (See my earlier article about rocket stoves;  we have a couple of them standing by, plus fuel for them.)

I've just taken delivery of our wood supply for the winter;  about a cord of good hardwood (oak, pecan, etc.).  Some can go in our fireplace as is, for regular fires during winter, because we like them;  but there's enough extra that if power went out for a week or two, we'd have enough to keep the living-room warm 24/7 (and the cats sprawled out in front of the fireplace!).  However, we're not limited to firewood.  We have a kerosene heater, with enough fuel for a week or two;  three small propane heaters that can warm bedrooms;  and a cylinder-top propane heater for bigger rooms.  We should get by for the likely duration of an emergency.  If it turns into something long-term, well, we'll have to figure that out as we go along - but then, so will everybody else.

As far as electricity goes, having a standby generator has long been good practice, as well as battery-powered backup lights, radios, etc.  More recently, electric backup "power stations" (such as those from Bluetti, Ecoflow or Jackery, to name only a few well-known brands), have come on the market, challenging the supremacy of generators, and are making inroads.  I like the idea very much, particularly because they can be recharged using solar panels, but their prices are still pretty high compared to a generator's power output (especially when factoring in the solar panel cost in addition to the basic power station).  I'd love to find a portable solar panel setup that can be used to charge any "power station" or battery bank or something similar, regardless of manufacturer, but so far I haven't found anything affordable.  Can any reader suggest a good solution to that need?  If so, please let us know in Comments.  I'm sure there'll be lots of interested people.

So, dear readers, how are you layering your defenses, and your preparations for emergencies?  Share your ideas with us in Comments, and let's learn from each other.  The way things are going, we're likely to need them.


The inevitable consequences of the alien invasion


Last week we observed that "The illegal alien invasion is destroying our country - deliberately".  If you haven't already read that earlier article, I suggest you do so before continuing with this one.

Arthur Sido makes similar observations, in greater detail, in a recent blog post.  I don't agree with Mr. Sido on everything, particularly when it comes to issues of race versus culture (he tends to blame the former and I the latter), but in general he makes pretty good sense.  That's particularly so in his latest article titled "Brown plus Black equal Red".

He makes the very important point that private "charitable" organizations are responsible for funding and enabling a very large part of the influx.  Highlights in orange are my emphasis.

The whole world is somehow making their way to Central America and then traipsing the length of Mexico to end up on our southern border. Who is paying for their travels? Who is paying for their food and cell phones and providing all of the very new looking clothing they are wearing?

In many cases…you are. Especially if you are Catholic.

Catholic “Charities” is one of the main outfits that are helping to pay for illegals to live in the U.S. and doing so with taxpayer funds through FEMA of all places. In Government using charities to hide just how much money is going to illegal immigration you can read about the scam being perpetrated where the Feds funnel money through groups like the United Way and Catholic Charities:

If you’re a taxpayer — in New York or anywhere in the US – you’re getting scammed by groups like United Way, Catholic Charities and the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN). You may think these are charities. Truth is, these groups are hauling in millions in taxpayer dollars — your money — under government contracts to facilitate illegal immigration.

These illegals aren’t being forced to fend for themselves….

Even before crossing the border, migrants still in Mexico are being handed debit cards loaded with $800 a month to enable them to pay for necessities. The gift cards are distributed by the non-profit Organization for Migration, thanks to money provided by the US State Department.

$800 per month times how many hundreds of thousands?

After crossing and surrendering to US Border agents, many migrants are directed to Catholic Charities, which provides them with hotel rooms, meals and clothing, and sometimes pays for their bus or plane tickets to their chosen destinations.  Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley  explains that the mission is merely to “give a cup of water in Jesus’ name.” 

Who can argue with that?  Except that the money isn’t coming from the Sunday collection basket. Sister Pimentel admits her organization is reimbursed by the federal government. It’s coming from taxpayers, who have no clue they’re supporting this operation.

It is a giant scheme to facilitate and encourage illegal aliens. Where is this Federal money coming from?

Texas and Arizona are busing migrants to the nation’s capital. Meeting the buses there are staff from CARECEN, a far left group funded almost entirely by government contracts, and Catholic Charities.  These groups hand out  gift cards and food packages, direct migrants to shelters or hotel rooms, or help them buy tickets to other destinations. Who pays for all this?  FEMA — the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a government agency that funnels money through the nonprofits.

FEMA’s Emergency Food and Services Program board includes Catholic Charities and United Way, which pass the money to local nonprofits serving illegal immigrants. FEMA has already provided $2.2 million in humanitarian funding for this purpose in the DC area.

. . .

Many of these groups and offices are not just into helping illegals get free money but also to expedite their path to citizenship and of course becoming voters.

Once they are in the country, they are sped along their way to the interior of the U.S. by other “non-profits”.

[Rep. Lance Gooden] said he brought up the packets with ​the Transportation Security Administration and the federal agency told him that migrants sometimes show up with “very convincing letters” and are often allowed to board airplanes before anyone else. ​

Gooden named the Catholic Charities of San Diego and the Jewish Family Service with carrying out these operations. 

He showed one of the packets to “Just the News” that included the travel schedule for a Honduran who entered the US illegally in California and was helped by the San Diego Rapid Response Network. 

The travel arrangements appear to have been made by Jewish Family Service, “Just the News” reported, citing the packet.

​”The state of California, US corporations and nonprofits, and the Biden administration are facilitating human smuggling and child trafficking in our country,” Gooden told ​the media outlet.

Mr. Sido goes on to cite the Colony Ridge development near Houston, which appears designed to house tens of thousands of illegal aliens and threatens to turn into a slum-like, crime-ridden Third World barrio unless drastic steps are taken.  He notes:

It won’t stop with Colony Ridge.

“Think of the chain migration that comes in, think of the criminal elements with the cartels that come in through that chain migration,” J. Michael Waller, Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy told The Daily Wire. “This is going to be cartel land near Houston and at risk of being a no-go zone.”

Waller said developments like Colony Ridge will “change the entire United States of America,” and to a large extent, already have, going on to suggest that similar settlements are “being planted in pockets around the country.”

“They have no idea of the American founding, of American founding principles, they haven’t taken any training in what it means to be an American or what the American way of life is all about,” he added before lamenting “This is just symptomatic of the destruction of our country.”

Within a short few years, as millions cross the border, the border states like Texas and Arizona are going to become lawless no-go zones replicating the exact sort of conditions that made earlier generations of mestizos willing to face enormous hardships to come to the U.S.. The newer generations flooding the border look more like an invading army than genial carpenters and gardeners. Most are young, military aged men who are precisely the demographic group responsible for most of the mestizo violence both here and in Central America.

. . .

While the move to transport illegals to blue cities has been amusing and red-pilling for some, it won’t ultimately stop the problem. Watch for blue state governors to push to re-re-locate these illegals to sparsely populated red states in the north to “spread the burden”. States like Wyoming, the Dakotas and Montana have at or well under a million people right now, mostly White, and it won’t take many illegals to swamp the locals. If you drop a Colony Ridge style colonia in Wyoming with 100,000 people, it would be 20% of the entire population of Wyoming in one shot and be the largest city in the state.

We are watching the human equivalent of a zerg rush at the border. A few thousand illegals can be managed but millions overwhelm the system.

Like zerglings, the mestizos and various other third world types from Haiti and Afghanistan, will devour their way across the U.S. leaving devastation in their path. Nowhere will be safe but clearly places like Texas will be the first to fall. Sending a thousand illegal aliens to New York City is time consuming and expensive, and those thousand illegals are replaced hourly in many spots on the border.

Social services across the country are already strained and millions of extra mestizos will make it worse. When the cartels really start to get a foothold in major cities, they are going to need to evict the current crop of black gangs and that is going to lead to serious bloodshed.

There's much more at the link.  Important reading, IMHO.

As I said above, read Mr. Sido's article in the light of my post last week.  As I noted then, the overloading of social services is an integral, essential part of the Cloward-Piven strategy, which is being implemented at the rush by the Biden administration.  It's nothing less than a deliberate attempt to destroy the current American way of life, and transform this nation beyond all recognition.  It's also, I believe, an effort to transform our political landscape.  After all, if a couple of hundred thousand aliens can be transported to each of a dozen sparsely-populated "red" states, then given citizenship and voting rights, they'll effectively swamp the voters already living there, and turn those states purple or blue in a single election.  That would completely transform Congress and the Senate into blue hives.  Conservative, traditional and constitutional causes will be crushed.  If you think the progressive left aren't aiming to do precisely that, then I suggest you're blind to political reality.

Mr. Sido believes we've passed the point of no return.  He concludes his article by saying:

The facts are indisputable. We have lost our country, now we just wait for the fireworks to really start. They are coming and soon.

I'm not so sure we've "gone over the edge" yet, but that's only provided the strongest measures are implemented by the next Administration.  They will have to include cutting off the flow of government money to all illegal aliens (and those admitted "legally" by the Biden administration), deporting any and all aliens who fail to conform to legal and regulatory requirements (including missing appointments with immigration authorities, which should lead to automatic expulsion), and enforcing strict border security.  That won't be easy, and it won't be cheap, and it'll be opposed at every step by the progressive left, just as they did their best (very successfully) to block President Trump's efforts to build a border wall.  Can such measures succeed?  Perhaps . . . and perhaps not.  Either way, it'll take a massive effort, and it won't be a smooth or easy ride.

If such measures can't be implemented very quickly, and maintained, then I fear Mr. Sido's conclusion may be correct.  If that's the case, then our future is cloudy indeed.  I'm not one of those who believes that armed civil conflict is likely to resolve the problem.  That ignores the reality that two can play at that game.  If the alien horde swamping us can be persuaded that taking up arms against those who don't want them here is the only way for them to keep their government benefits and resident status, we'll see them lining up in their millions to be issued weapons and get training.  Why wouldn't they?  In their shoes, most of us would, too.  Under those circumstances, if things come to violence, constitutional and legal protections would go out the window, and life will degenerate into a "devil take the hindmost" affair.  The best one could hope for is that those responsible for perpetrating such a catastrophe upon America would be made to suffer the consequences in their own persons, just as the rest of us would too.  For most of us, resistance will be a matter of ensuring our own security as best we can, rather than a "reconquest" of America.

I do believe that efforts to undermine the First Amendment and freedom of speech in America are part of a program designed to crush such potential opposition before it can become widespread and more determined.  I fully expect similar efforts to be made to undermine the Second Amendment, and disarm the American people.  After all, disarmed people make the best (and easiest) victims.  (We may be sure that the progressive left, and the crime cartels currently driving the illegal alien invasion, would not be among the disarmed.  They have more sense than that.)

I'm glad I'm not a young man in today's America.  I wouldn't be looking forward to what may be coming.  As an older man, I don't expect to survive the coming struggle;  nature will take me out of the picture before it's won or lost.  Nevertheless, it's a struggle we'll all have to fight, young or old, because there's nowhere else to go.  As the late President Reagan pointed out more than half a century ago:

We'd better gird up our loins and get ready, because the struggle for freedom will have to be won all over again.  May we live up to the example of our Founding Fathers, and make them proud.