Clay Travis and Buck Sexton cover the recent Microsoft Employee Introductions during the company’s recent “Ignite” conference. This is a shorter version of a longer clip (LONG VERSION HERE), but the point of introducing “royalty” I thought deserved a segment of its own. I include the call by the blind gentleman.
A couple posts on the topic for the people who want to follow up on this:
‘I’m a Caucasian Woman:’ Microsoft Event Highlights the Future of Woke Capitalism (VOICES OF A NATION)
‘WTF Is This’? Microsoft Security Podcasters Introduce Themselves By Race, Gender, And Hairstyle (In Case You Couldn’t Tell By Looking At Them) (TWITCHY)
Microsoft Mocked for ‘Utterly Bananas’ Employee Introductions (RED STATE)
And a few weeks ago I heard something by Michael Knowles said at a DAILY WIRE symposium (DAILY WIRE BACKSTAGE: LIVE AT THE RYMAN) that really hit home with me. You always hear about “Leftism” being “religious,” or environmentalism being a “stand in religion,” and the like. This in my mind’s eye give the Postmodernist/Gnostic combo a real metaphysical “umph.”
Michael Horton defines some of the old vs. new aspects of “Gnosticism” (WAYBACK MACHINE). And Voddie Baucham describes how the Critical Race Theorists use it to “know” what is racist: “Voddie Baucham – What Is Ethnic Gnosticism?”
(Reform Wiki) In this clip, Pastor Voddie Baucham explains his phrase, “Ethnic Gnosticism,” which is the concept that certain people have a secret knowledge about racism because of their ethnicity.
I came across a comment on Facebook that I wish to refute as I am sure it is being widely used in conversations.
According to the American Medical Association 97% of all American Doctors have been vaccinated. They want to save lives even their own! We trust them when we’ve been in car accidents, when having babies, when being diagnosed with cancer, when in need of school vaccines, diabetes and any number of things we turn to doctors to fix. Please talk with your physician and save a life… hopefully your own!
A “FLASHBACK” EXAMPLE: What it is with 97%… climate ACTIVISTS love this number as well. We can see from this early example of Climate activists using the number, it was based on 77 participants:
(CLICK GRAPH TO ENLARGE IN SEPERATE WINDOW)
It looks like 98% of Climate Scientists support the “global warming” positions held by the “professional Left,” however, this is not the case.
This is the point I am making with the “Vaxxed Doctors” survey from the American Medical Association. Which is, there almost 97% was based on 300 physicians who RESPONDEDto the survey. In another survey done by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons of 700 physicians shows a different percentage.
(CLICK GRAPH TO ENLARGE IN SEPERATE WINDOW)
Of the 700 physicians responding to an internet survey by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), nearly 60 percent said they were not “fully vaccinated” against COVID.
Neither survey represents a random sample of all American physicians, but the AAPS survey shows that physician support for the mass injection campaign is far from unanimous.
“It is wrong to call a person who declines a shot an ‘anti-vaxxer,’” states AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D. “Virtually no physicians are ‘anti-antibiotics’ or ‘anti-surgery,’ whereas all are opposed to treatments that they think are unnecessary, more likely to harm than to benefit an individual patient, or inadequately tested.”
This has to do with as well which doctors belong to which organizations. For instance, I myself belong to AMAC, The Association of Mature American Citizens, and not AARP – American Association of Retired Persons, Why? Because the former uses my money in a way the latter does not that comports to my interests more closely. The former (AMAC) may support Crisis Pregnancy Centers rather than Planned Parenthood (AARP) – as one example.
So too do doctors and physicians belong to certain organizations that better represent their interests – or – respond to surveys from organizations [if they were to receive two “competing” surveys] they admire more.
At any rate, the AMA survey is not by any means the end all in percentages.
These are actual quotes from pieces I’ve just read. I don’t know why I’ve been ignoring this. Let me say that I’m serious about my respect for frontline workers. I’m confident THEY are NOT the ones calling for us to lose our jobs so they can do theirs. Politicians did that. 2/
“Tallia says his hospital is ‘managing, but just barely,’ at keeping up with the increased number of sick patients in the last three weeks. The hospital’s urgent-care centers have also been inundated, and its outpatient clinics have no appointments available.” 3/
“Dr. Bernard Camins, associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says that UAB Hospital cancelled elective surgeries scheduled for Thursday and Friday of last week to make more beds available” 4/
“We had to treat patients in places where we normally wouldn’t, like in recovery rooms,” says Camins. “The emergency room was very crowded, both with sick patients who needed to be admitted” 5/
“In CA… several hospitals have set up large ‘surge tents’ outside their emergency departments to accommodate and treat … patients. Even then, the LA Times reported this week, emergency departments had standing-room only, and some patients had to be treated in hallways.” 6/
“In Fenton, Missouri, SSM Health St. Clare Hospital has opened its emergency overflow wing, as well as all outpatient centers and surgical holding centers, to make more beds available to patients who need them. Nurses are being “pulled from all floors to care for them,” 7/
“it’s making their pre-existing conditions worse,” she says. “More and more patients are needing mechanical ventilation due to respiratory failure” 8/
“From Laguna Beach to Long Beach, emergency rooms were struggling to cope with the overwhelming cases… and had gone into ‘diversion mode,’ during which ambulances are sent to other hospitals.” 9/
“Hospitals across the state are sending away ambulances, flying in nurses from out of state and not letting children visit their loved ones for fear they’ll spread… Others are canceling surgeries and erecting tents in their parking lots to triage the hordes of… patients.” 10/
“There’s a little bit of a feeling of being in the trenches. We’re really battling these infections to try to get them under control,” McKinnell said. “We’re still not sure if this is going to continue … “ 11/
“At Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, waiting rooms turned into exam areas as a medical tent was built in order to deal with the surge of patients. A Houston doctor said local hospital beds were at capacity” 12/
“Dr. Anthony Marinelli says they’ve seen a major spike in… cases. It’s so overwhelmed the community hospital that they’ve gone on bypass at times — that means they tell ambulances to bypass this ER and find another.” 13/
“Dr. Atallah, the chief of emergency medicine at Grady, says the hospital called on a mobile emergency department based nearly 250 miles away to help tackle the increasing patient demand. “At 500-plus patients a day you physically just need the space to put a patient in. “ 14/
“We’ve never had so many patients,” said Adrian Cotton, chief of medical operations at Loma Linda University Health in San Bernardino County.” 15/
“…at least one hospital has set up an outdoor triage tent to handle the overflow of people” “In Long Beach, hospitals have started visitor restrictions. In the South Bay, a conference center has been transformed into an ambulatory clinic.” 16/
We have signage set up all over the hospital to inform patients that, if they have any family members with even signs of symptoms, not to visit” “Loma Linda emergency physicians are seeing about 60 more patients a day than usual, Cotton said.” 17/
“About 150 patients have so far been treated in the tent, which is staffed according to the number of people inside. It’s expected to be up [for months].” 18/
“As the main emergency room gets full, patients are moved to the tent. For example, a patient who comes in with a broken arm is likely to be treated inside the tent, he said. Visitor restrictions have also been implemented.” “The county saw a 300-percent increase” 19/
“Overflow tents also have emerged in San Diego County hospitals. Though they haven’t pitched tents, most hospitals across Southern California have set up overflow areas inside their facilities.” 20/
Our workers are incredible and I know they’ve been trained to deal with this. But maybe the lockdown folks are correct. Maybe we opened up too quickly. Maybe we should stay in shutdown mode. I mean nothing like this has ever happened to our hospitals before?!
Watch Crowder DESTROY the Myth of “ICU Bed Shortage” | Louder With Crowder – Crowder cuts through the globalist media’s fear mongering and exposes what’s really going on in hospitals.
(OP – Original Post) Good presentation. This rant is not related to the video, but I was thinking about this today. Whenever there is a bad flu year, we always deal with the variants in years to come, and, typically they aren’t as deadly. Like Delta. So deaths, and hospitalization are typically lower than the Alpha strain. So tent triages and the like were set up for the 2017-2018 flu season — (the CDC estimates that between 46,000 and 95,000 Americans died due to influenza during the 2017-18 flu season. This resulted in an estimated 959,000 hospitalizations and a middle-ground of 61,099 deaths) and the subsequent variants were less deadly, but they are still floating around. But this seasons Delta Variant is less of a bugger than 2017-18, maybe even the 2012-2013 flu season — (56,000 deaths is the CDC estimate. 571,000 influenza-related hospitalizations). But people still want to live in fear, rather than live. Its sad.
(KRIS W. — a thoughtfully minded conservative) This doctor was great! I hope you are right about the numbers. I refuse to live in fear.
(ME)Kris W., So, the Alpha Covid strain was here in September of 2019. So the Covid season “A” was 2019-2020. We are now in a 2020-2021 season. The numbers from this season need to be separated from the previous. I bet we are closer to bad seasons from previous years. And next year will be better. But like other flu strains, we will have Covid with us forever. (Flu shots are a hodgepodge mixture of various strains, and people who get it hope one of the many strains in the shot get close to the actual, and so lessons the symptoms if they get the flu. Same here. These Covid strains may be in a cocktail mix in the future.)
FLASHBACK: Flatten the Curve (Originally posted May 27, 2020)
…The goal is no longer to prevent the virus from spreading freely from person to person, as it was in the outbreak’s early days. Instead, the objective is to spread out the inevitable infections so that the healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed with patients.
Public health officials have a name for this: Flattening the curve.
The curve they’re talking about plots the number of infections over time. In the beginning of an outbreak, there are just a few. As the virus spreads, the number of cases can spike. At some point, when there aren’t as many people left for the pathogen to attack, the number of new cases will fall. Eventually, it will dwindle to zero.
If you picture the curve, it looks like a tall mountain peak. But with containment measures, it can be squashed into a wide hill.
The outbreak will take longer to run its course. But if the strategy works, the number of people who are sick at any given time will be greatly reduced. Ideally, it will fall below the threshold that would swamp hospitals, urgent care clinics and medical offices, said Dr. Gabor Kelen, chair of the emergency medicine department at Johns Hopkins University…
The coronavirus outbreak that has sickened at least 125,000 people on six continents and caused nearly 4,600 deaths is now an official global pandemic. But that doesn’t mean we should give up on trying to contain it, health experts say. The goal is no longer to prevent the virus from spreading freely from person to person, as it was in the outbreak’s early days. Instead, the objective is to spread out the inevitable infections so that the healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed with patients. Public health officials have a name for this: Flattening the curve. (Healy and Khan, 3/11)
ABC NEWS: Why Flattening The Curve For Coronavirus Matters (March 11, 2020)
NBC NEWS: What Is ‘Flatten The Curve‘? The Chart That Shows How Critical It Is For Everyone To Fight Coronavirus Spread. (March 11, 2020)
Confirming the above, you will see that the trend line was to spread out the disease, not to defeat it. And this endeavor would take two weeks at the least, six at the most:
Anywhere from 20 percent to 60 percent of the adults around the world may be infected with the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19. That’s the estimate from leading epidemiological experts on communicable disease dynamics.
So yes, even if every person on Earth eventually comes down with COVID-19, there are real benefits to making sure it doesn’t all happen in the NEXT FEW WEEKS.
Dena Grayson, MD, PhD, a Florida-based expert in Ebola and other pandemic threats, told Medscape Medical News that EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Washington, is a good example of what it means when a virus overwhelms healthcare operations.
Grayson points out that the COVID-19 cases come on top of a severe flu season and the usual cases hospitals see, so the bar on the graphic is even lower than it usually would be.
“We have a relatively limited capacity with ICU beds to begin with,” she said.
So far, closures, postponements, and cancellations are woefully inadequate, Grayson said.
“We can’t stop this virus. We can hope to contain it and slow down the rate of infection,” she said.
“We need to right now shut down all the schools, preschools, and universities,” Grayson said. “We need to look at shutting down public transportation. We need people to stay home — AND NOT FOR A DAY BUT FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS.”
The graphic was developed by visual-data journalist Rosamund Pearce, based on a graphic that had appeared in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) article titled “Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza,” the Times reports.
To slow down the spread of the pandemic virus in areas that are beginning to experience local outbreaks and thereby allow time for the local health care system to prepare additional resources for responding to increased demand for health care services (CLOSURES UP TO 6 WEEKS)
On the other hand, if that same large number of patients arrived at the hospital at a slower rate, for example, OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL WEEKS, the line of the graph would look like a longer, flatter curve.
And, here is a conversation via my Facebook that elucidates how people have this idea of saving lives mixed up with not pressuring or overwhelming our healthcare system
EXCERPT FROM FACEBOOK CONVO
Steve W — you do know Steve that the same amount of death from and infection due to Covid-19 exists under the trend line of doing nothing and the most strict quarentine rules…. right? In other words, we are not saving lives. And, in fact, we have made it worse for our economy next fall/winter because it is coming back as it makes its rounds around the world.
Sean Giordano I have heard that said but not seen it from a credible source. So I think that is false.
Steve W what is false?
Sean Giordano “the same amount of death from and infection due to Covid-19 exists under the trend line of doing nothing”
Steve Wallace now you are saying don’t listen to Dr. Fauci?
Many bemoan Trump for not listening to him (even though he has), and some I meet do not support Fauci in the idea that this was to elongate the process as to not put any undue stress on our health care system. Even though he clearly announced multiple times this was the reason to do so
WORLD ECONOMIC FORUMmentions the following, and all the graphs of the United States shown by Doctors Fauci and Birx have all used this idea as well (graph below from CDC and WEF)
CHRIS WALLACE: All right. You talk about slowing the virus down. You talk a lot, and I’ve very used to this now, you can either have a bump like this of cases or you could make it maybe the same total cases, but it’s a much more gradual and slower and longer curve. I want to put up some numbers. We have in this country about 950,000 hospital beds, and about 45,000 beds in Intensive Care Unit. How worried are you that this virus is going to overwhelm hospitals, not just beds, but ventilators? We only have 160,000 ventilators. And could we be in a situation where you have to ration who gets the bed, who gets the ventilator?
DR. FAUCI: OK. So let me put it in a way that it doesn’t get taken out of context. When people talk about modeling where outbreaks are going, the modeling is only as good as the assumptions you put into the model. And what they do, they have a worst-case scenario, a best-case scenario, and likely where it’s going to be. If we have a worst-case scenario, we’ve got to admit it, we could be overwhelmed. Are we going to have a worst-case scenario? I don’t think so. I hope not.
What are we doing to not have that worst-case scenario? That’s when you get into the things that we’re doing. We’re preventing infections from going in with some rather stringent travel restrictions. And we’re doing containment and mitigation from within. So, at a worst-case scenario, anywhere in the world, no matter what country you are, you won’t be prepared. So our job is to not let that worst-case scenario happen.
(…. STILL ME….)
STEVE W for you not to understand the goal of all this, and then get on here sharing insights is itself insightful. I am not blaming you STEVE… I just see this fundamental misunderstanding of the underlying factors and goals of this whole endeavor of bending the curve as applicable to MANY A PERSON in these discussions here and elsewhere on social media. I am giving you, in fact, the most respectful benefit of a doubt, but am merely in conversation with you at this moment. This conversation is just multiplied (others are having) across social media many fold. Blessings to you and yours friend. Yet, this foundational view is not known well by others… that is, the reason behind flattening the curve as well as the data underneath the trend line.
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Here I wish to switch gears a bit and start to discuss another “info graphic” post from MY SITES FACEBOOK I shared with my readers. And since the entire idea behind “flattening the curve” was to keep the health and hospital system working well by not getting inundated all at once, this should have lasted two or three weeks. Not as long as it has — our economy is important too! Damnit!
CAPACITY OF THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
The following was compiled after a conversation I had on Facebook. It touches on some of the issues above. Enjoy
I note the bell curve because many are under the false impression we are doing this to “save lives.” This was never the case.
The quarantine was to lessen the apex of the bell curve as to not put pressure on the hospital/health system. The same amount of people in the elongated “quarantine bell curve” (the trend-line) would die and get sick. In other words, the same statistics exist below the line (POWERLINE). Here is a site cataloging the hospitalizations for the rona that POWERLINE used – US CORONAVIRUS HOSPITALIZATIONS …they used both the CDC site and this one, but the CDC site has lower hospitalizations, so they opted for the most updated numbers. WHICH AS OF APRIL 21ST STAND AT 84,292 HOSPITALIZATIONS FROM JANUARY TILL NOW. This is important, because, the flu season of 2017-2018 we saw 810,000 hospitalization, and our health system didn’t collapse. Nor did the Swine Flu of 2009-to-2010, which saw 60-million American infected and 300,000 hospitalizations.
This then may explain why all the field hospital’s the ARMY CORE OF ENGINEERS built are being dismantled without a single bed being used.
The panic and fear among the people who cannot be bothered to read the actual statistics about this pandemic is what should concern most preppers. In fact, this virus has been so overhyped that the Army’s field hospital in Seattle, an “epicenter” of the pandemic has closed after three days without seeing one single COVID-19 patient. According to a report by Military.com, the hastily built field hospital set up by the Army in Seattle’s pro football stadium is shutting down without ever seeing a patient. [….] The decision to close the Seattle field hospital comes amid early signs that the number of new cases could be hitting a plateau in New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in the U.S., and other states. At a news conference Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “Overall, New York is flattening the curve.” — ZERO HEDGE (see: MILITARY TIMES | DAILY CALLER)
Unlike the Mercy, the Comfort is treating COVID-19 patients on board as well as patients who do not have the virus. The ship has treated more than 120 people since it arrived March 30, and about 50 of those have been discharged, said Lt. Mary Catherine Walsh. The ship removed half of its 1,000 beds so it could isolate and treat coronavirus patients. [The Mercy has seen 48 patients, all non-Covid related] (THE STAR)
And literally handfulls of patients on the Comfort (New York City) and the Comfort (Los Angeles) — *see comment below. There was never a shortage of respirators (NATIONAL REVIEW), and we may surpass the 2018-to-2019 flu death rate, but come nowhere close to the 2017-to-2018 flu death rate:
(CLICK TO ENLARGE)
And it seems that we are reaching a plateau with The Rona, so there is good news in this regard (POWERLINE).
* Here is a comment from the Military Times article from a few days ago:
So, why did we spend all that Taxpayer’s money to move the Comfort to NYC and all the added Military medical personnel to staff the Javitt’s Center? Because Cuomo was crying WOLF.
“So far, the thousands of beds provided by a converted convention center and a hospital ship have not been needed, but the extra personnel are coming in handy for the city’s civilian hospitals.
About 200 doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and others are working in New York’s medical centers, where bed space has not been overwhelmed, but where hospital-acquired coronavirus cases have sidelined civilian staff.”
HOSPITALS GOING BANKRUPT
VOX actually has a decent story on this:
Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston is laying off 900 people from its 17,000-person staff and asking full-time salaried employees to take a 15 percent pay cut, according to the Post & Courier; the hospital says it’s not laying off front-line workers at this time.
Essentia Health, a major medical system of clinics and hospitals in Duluth, Minnesota, is laying off 500 workers, per KBJR.
The Cookeville Regional Medical Center in Tennessee will be furloughing 400 of its 2,400-person staff, and a few hundred others will see a cut in their hours, Fox 17 Nashville reports.
Boston Medical Center is furloughing 10 percent of its staff, about 700 people, according to the Boston Globe.
Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic, which runs five hospitals in the Philadelphia area and employs 125,000 people there, will furlough an unspecific percentage of its staff, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.
I’m sure there are many more stories like these. But you get the idea.
Hospitals have typically said in these announcements that they are starting with nonmedical staff for furloughs and reduced hours, which is no solace to those workers but softens the impact on our medical capacity.
But it’s not clear how long medical systems can avoid cutting doctors and nurses as well, and some of them clearly cannot. I heard from a nurse in Texas, who asked that neither she nor her hospital be named for fear of professional repercussions, who has been furloughed because of the ongoing economic crisis.
She said how constrained she felt by the news. If she wanted to help with the coronavirus response by taking a job with a travel nursing service offering temporary postings in Covid-19 hot spots, for example, she would lose her old job and her health insurance.
”It really is frustrating to hear that you’re a hero but also we don’t value you enough to prepare or pay you,” she said. “I would be happy to temporarily relocate, work in a hot spot, and make the same wages as I normally would. I can’t afford to work for free, exactly, but it’s frustrating if I can’t work at all.”
Hospitals have taken huge revenue losses as they postpone elective surgeries and other routine care so they can make more staff and space available for the Covid-19 response. Some hospitals expect to lose half their income, and the top industry trade groups have warned that hundreds of hospitals could close after this crisis.
Congress pumped $100 billion into US hospitals as part of its first stimulus package, and Democratic leaders are already calling for another $100 billion in the next stimulus bill they hope Congress will pass.
But that may still not be enough, in the end. When one in four rural hospitals were already vulnerable to closure before the coronavirus struck, the current pandemic is almost certainly going to leave some hospitals with no choice but to close, no matter how much money the federal government provides….
And to compliment the Left leaning VOX article is the “Right” leaning FEDERALIST article:
….During a press conference Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis noted that health experts initially projected 465,000 Floridians would be hospitalized because of coronavirus by April 24. But as of April 22, the number is slightly more than 2,000.
Even in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last month he would need 30,000 ventilators, hospitals never came close to needing that many. The projected peak need was about 5,000, and actual usage may have been even lower.
Other overflow measures have also proven unnecessary. On Tuesday, President Trump said the USNS Comfort, the Navy hospital ship that had been deployed to New York to provide emergency care for coronavirus patients, will be leaving the city. The ship had been prepared to treat 500 patients. As of Friday, only 71 beds were occupied. An Army field hospital set up in Seattle’s pro football stadium shut down earlier this month without ever having seen a single patient.
It’s the same story in much of the country. In Texas, where this week Gov. Greg Abbott began gradually loosening lockdown measures, including a prohibition on most medical procedures, hospitals aren’t overwhelmed. In Dallas and Houston, where coronavirus cases are concentrated in the state, makeshift overflow centers that had been under construction might not be used at all.
In Illinois, where hospitals across the state scrambled to stock up on ventilators last month, fewer than half of them have been put to use—and as of Sunday, only 757 of 1,345 ventilators were being used by COVID-19 patients. In Virginia, only about 22 percent of the ventilator supply is being used.
Meanwhile, hospitals and health care systems nationwide have had to furlough or lay off thousands of employees. Why? Because the vast majority of most hospitals’ revenue comes from elective or “non-essential” procedures. We’re not talking about LASIK eye surgery but things like coronary angioplasty and stents, procedures that are necessary but maybe not emergencies—yet. If hospitals can’t perform these procedures because governors have banned them, then they can’t pay their bills, or their employees.
To take just one example, a friend who works in a cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) in rural Virginia called recently and told me about how they had reorganized their entire system around caring for coronavirus patients. They had cancelled most “non-essential” procedures, imposed furloughs and pay cuts, and created a special ICU ward for patients with COVID-19. So far, they have had only one patient. One. The nurses assigned to the COVID-19 ward have very little to do. In the entire area covered by this hospital system, only about 30 people have tested positive for COVID-19.
If Hospitals Can Handle The Load, End The Lockdowns
I’m sure the governors and health officials who ordered these lockdowns meant well. They based their decisions on deeply flawed and woefully inaccurate models, and they should have been less panicky and more skeptical, but they were facing a completely new disease about which, thanks to China, they had almost no reliable information.
However, in hindsight it seems clear that treating the entire country as if it were New York City was a huge mistake that has cost millions of American jobs and destroyed untold amounts of wealth. Now that we know our hospitals aren’t going to be overrun by COVID-19 cases, governors and mayors should immediately reverse course and begin opening their states and communities for business…..
I wanted to post some responses what has been becoming a popular argument. For instance I came across this graphic on a friends Facebook:
It came up with a family member’s conversations as well. So I wanted to make accessible some responses.
MASKS AND SEATBELTS:
The first example in this section comes from ECONLOG’S Bryan Caplan (Professor of Economics at George Mason University):
….The obvious place to start is: Almost no one thought that wearing masks was a good thing before Covid-19. Yet contagious respiratory diseases that kill have been around longer than humans. So if the “In exchange for slight inconvenience and discomfort, we save lives,” argument were airtight, we should have been wearing masks all along – and should plan on doing so forever. Which seems crazy.
You could reply, “That’s a straw man. The real argument is that masks pass a cost-benefit test.” If so, that leaves anti-maskers with two obvious margins to think about.
1. The degree of effectiveness. The most popular version of this objection is that masks don’t save lives. But once you start doing cost-benefit analysis, it is sufficient to claim that masks don’t save enough lives. The evidence from Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) is surprisingly supportive of this position. (And if you deem the RCTs subpar, please join me in calling for large-scale Voluntary Human Experimentation to settle the question once and for all). Ultimately, however, I still suspect that masks reduce contagion by 10-15%.
3. The degree of dehumanization. Personally, I only find masks marginally uncomfortable. But I hate wearing them, and I dislike being around people who wear them. Why? Because a big part of being human is showing other people our faces – and seeing their faces in return. Smiling at a stranger. Seeing your child laugh. Pretending to be angry. Seeing another person’s puzzlement. Masks take most of those experiences away. At the same time, they moderately reduce audibility. Which further dehumanizes us. How many times during Covid have you struggled to understand another person? To be heard? Indeed, how many times have you simply abandoned a conversation because of masks? I say the dehumanization is at least five times as bad as the mere discomfort. And if you reply, “Want to see other people’s faces and hear other people’s voices? Just Zoom!,” I will shake my head in sorrow that you’re dehumanized enough to say such a thing.
Am I just being a big baby about this? I think not. Suppose humanity could eliminate all disease by wearing bags over our heads forever. Would you be willing to go through life not seeing the faces of your children? Would you want your child to go through life not seeing the faces of their friends? Well, during Covid we’ve moved at least 25% in that dystopian direction. The word “hellscape” is not out of place. I’ve never been a fan of the veiling of women, but I had to live through Covid to realize how horribly dehumanizing the custom really is.
What if the choice was between masks and a 50% annual chance of death? The reasonable reaction would probably be, “Fine, we’ll be severely dehumanized, but we’ll survive. Just like war. I guess I’ll take it until a better deal comes along.” When the choice is between masks and a 0.5% annual chance of death, however, the reasonable reaction is rather, “I’ll take my chances and live like a human being.” Indeed, once you’re old enough, even a 50% annual chance of death starts to look like a good deal. My considered judgment: If another Covid strikes when I’m 80, I do not want my grandchildren to wear masks around me. I want to enjoy their laughter while I still can…..
The masks are dehumanizing, seatbelts are not. The argument against women being forced to wear burkas in many counties in the Middle-East is that they dehumanizes them.
One of the main points is that almost every study shows a very slight improvement at best. Here, for instance is a CDC study showing how ineffective they are — much more-so than seatbelts.
Here is the CDC STUDY: “Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures”
In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.51–1.20; I2 = 30%, p = 0.25) (Figure 2). …. None of the household studies reported a significant reduction in secondary laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the face mask group (11–13,15,17,34,35)….
Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids (36). There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza….
Here is CITY JOURNAL’S last two paragraph’s of an excellent article: DO MASKS WORK?
In sum, of the 14 RCTs that have tested the effectiveness of masks in preventing the transmission of respiratory viruses, three suggest, but do not provide any statistically significant evidence in intention-to-treat analysis, that masks might be useful. The other eleven suggest that masks are either useless—whether compared with no masks or because they appear not to add to good hand hygiene alone—or actually counterproductive. Of the three studies that provided statistically significant evidence in intention-to-treat analysis that was not contradicted within the same study, one found that the combination of surgical masks and hand hygiene was less effective than hand hygiene alone, one found that the combination of surgical masks and hand hygiene was less effective than nothing, and one found that cloth masks were less effective than surgical masks.
Hiram Powers, the nineteenth-century neoclassical sculptor, keenly observed, “The eye is the window to the soul, the mouth the door. The intellect, the will, are seen in the eye; the emotions, sensibilities, and affections, in the mouth.” The best available scientific evidence suggests that the American people, credulously trusting their public-health officials, have been blocking the door to the soul without blocking the transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Here are two short videos via BILL MAHER making sense:
Some posts by American Institute for Economic Research (AIER):
We are now hearing demands for the freedom to be unvaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. Brady Ellison, a member of the United States Olympic archery team, says his decision not to get vaccinated was “one hundred percent a personal choice,” insisting that “anyone that says otherwise is taking away people’s freedoms.”
The oddity, here, is that laws requiring us to wear seat belts really are quite straightforwardly infringing on freedom, whereas laws requiring people to be vaccinated if they are going to be in places where they could infect other people are restricting one kind of freedom in order to protect the freedom of others to go about their business safely.
Good grief. There is a huge difference between a law that requires wrapping a cloth belt around one’s body while in a moving car and injecting chemicals intoone’s system. Yes, both acts involve attempts to promote public safety. But the former’s interference with liberty is de minimus, while the latter is one of the most potentially portentous that can be asked of people.
In free societies, legal mandates must be reasonable. A national vaccination mandate — which would be unprecedented — fails that test.
Why aren’t near-universal mandates “reasonable?” Well, young people almost never become seriously ill from COVID — although a very few certainly do. But there is also some evidence of a very slight — but potentially serious — risk from the vaccines for the young. If we care about freedom, surely, for the young, vaccination may be the preferred — but should not be the mandatory — course.
There is also significant evidence that people who recovered from COVID already have significant natural resistance to the disease. That being so, is it reasonable to force people with antibodies to involuntarily inject substances into their bodies, particularly since there is a very slight potential for serious bodily injury or death from the vaccine? No.
Finally, the people most at risk of serious disease are the unvaccinated. People who choose to go unprotected are risking mostly themselves. Allowing them to face that risk is more reasonable than violating their personal autonomy…..
Unlike vaccine injury, there is no genetic risk to seat belt injury; unlike vaccines, the risk of seatbelt injure is random, and is therefore truly share among all people. People injured by one vaccine likely have a higher probability of serious adverse health outcomes from additional vaccines.
Unlike vaccines, seat belts routinely are subject to recall due to injury lawsuits, providing essential product quality feedback to seat belt and automobile manufacturers. By contrast, vaccine manufacturers are immune to liability lawsuits. Instead, families of individuals killed or injured by vaccines have to sue the US government – specifically the Department of Health of Human Services, via the Vaccine injury Compensation Program. Liability for vaccine injury was removed for vaccine manufacturers and for medical doctors and nurses in 1986 with the National Vaccine Injury Act. No vaccine injury damages visited upon vaccine manufacturers compel them to improve their product. Instead, vaccine manufacturers and the HHS are incentived to deny that vaccine injuries and death occur.
….However, there are a few things wrong with this argument.
The State owns the roads. It licenses drivers and autos to use those roads. It develops and enforces the rules which all drivers are expected to adhere to and, if they do not, it punishes them for the infractions. Whether you agree or disagree with State ownership of roads is irrelevant and a completely separate issue. The State owns them, it can do with them whatever it wants. This is a property rights question and should not be confused with a public health crisis in a pandemic.
The State does not own our bodies or faces. It does not own the air we breathe. It does not own the space in which we live or move. These are all ours, personally and privately, to use as we see fit, within certain restrictions, such as, not violating someone else’s air, body, or space. The State has no business trying to restrict, regulate, or order what we do with our air, our bodies, and our spaces. This, too, is a property rights issue and, as such, must be kept in perspective.
Seat belts are intended for one purpose only–to afford some measure of protection to the wearer in the event that an accident occurs. There are decades of data which prove that a person who wears a seat belt has a better chance of survival in an accident than a person who does not. This cannot be denied. However, a seat belt only protects one person–the wearer. It is useless and has no value to anyone else.
Face masks (I am told) are meant to protect, not only the wearer, but also those people the wearer comes into close proximity or contact with. If they protected only the wearer, the comparison with seat belts might be a little more palatable, but that is not the assertion. “You must wear them to protect others!” is the narrative. This moves the argument from one of property rights to the moral sphere, which are absolutely not the same.
Seat belts are of value only to the wearer AND ONLY THEN if an accident occurs. Under normal driving, the belt offers nothing more than, well, for want of a better word, assurance. However, if an accident does occur, it can be the difference between life and death. The key thing to remember, though, is that a motorist MUST be involved in an accident BEFORE value is received from the seat belt.
If a face mask and seat belt use are synonomous, then it must follow that face masks are valuable ONLY to the wearer AND ONLY THEN if he/she is “accidentally” infected. Wait a minute, though. Isn’t the argument that the mask is supposed to prevent the infection (accident), not to offer insurance against harm in the event of one. Not only are face masks dissimilar to seat belts in the persons they protect, but also in the manner of protection.
To be honest, if an automobile analogy is to be made with respect to face masks, it would be more useful to equate the mask to a Tesla self-driving auto, which (I am told) is supposed to protect not only those within the car, but other motorists within the vicinity as well. Considering Tesla’s “safety record” (I use that term loosely), this comparison might hold up quite well, since face masks also do not perform to the expectation of those who believe in them.
Seat belts do. No comparison.
Oh, by the way, I nearly missed this. Whether we are talking about seat belts or masks does not matter. The State can make all the rules it wants to and try as hard as it can to enforce those rules, but at the end of the day, it cannot prevent auto accidents from happening nor can it prevent someone from getting sick by catching a cold or flu virus. The State certainly cannot prevent a death, regardless of the cause, when the Grim Reaper calls.
God can. Perhaps we should be talking about misplaced faith.
I AM COMBINING A COUPLE OF POSTS TO MAKE THE POINT — IN OONE PLACE — THAT THE BIDEN ADMIN COULD HAVE WITHDRAWN FROM AFGHANISTAN DIFFERENTLY.
100% FED-UP notes the following: “VIDEO Emerges of Biden Saying Timeline And Manner Of Afghanistan Withdrawal Was His Decision“
….Social media and leftist mainstream media are frantically trying to spin the military failure in Afghanistan on anyone but Biden, but he said it was “his decision.” Biden ignored Trump’s phased plan to leave just as he ignored President Trump’s border policy. Both are now epic failures……
JUST THE NEWS had a decent little blurb worth sharing — because I care:
Trump bombed Taliban to negotiating table; some fear Biden let them waltz to Kandahar
…..“We’re going to come back and hit you harder than any country has ever been hit,” Trump said he told Akhundzada, recounting the threatened consequences if the Taliban failed to make peace. “And your village, where I know you are and where you have everybody, that’s going to be the point at which the first bomb is dropped.”
A few hours after that March 2020 call, Trump put an insurance payment down on the threat. When the Taliban attacked an Afghan checkpoint shortly after Trump hung up, U.S. fighter jets rained down fury on the attackers. A stung Taliban immediately called for de-escalation, saying it was committed to the “plans to implement all parts of the agreement one after another to prevent conflict escalation.”
Trump and his advisers relentlessly used air power to keep the Taliban in check, making the appearance of a deadly Predator drone or warplane a constant threat. In 2019, the year before the Taliban agreed to peace talks, U.S. aircraft flew 2,434 strike sorties, releasing 7,423 weapons, the highest total ever recorded by the Air Force’s Central Command.
But since the Biden transition, the Taliban have refused the negotiation table and instead marched with surprising speed, capturing control of two-third of Afghanistan after the fall of its second biggest city Kandahar on Thursday.
The U.S. Air Force recently acknowledged a steep decline in air sorties on Biden’s watch…..
The Trafalgar Group surveyed over 1,000 potential 2022 American voters and found that 69.3% of the overall participants disapproved of Biden’s handling in Afghanistan, according to the Convention of States Action’s Monday press release. The majority in the bracket, 59.5%, said they “strongly disapprove” of the president’s performance, while the other 10% said they “disapprove.” (DAILY CALLER)
In March 2009 Barack Obama reached out to the Taliban terrorist organization for peace talks.
Joe Biden at the time told reporters “only 5% of the Taliban is incorrigible.”
In August 2010 Barack Obama removed the Taliban from the national terror list.
In May 2012 Barack Obama rewarded the Taliban terrorists with their own office in Qatar for peace talks.
Also in May 2012 the Taliban bombed Kabul two hours after Obama announced peace talks with the terrorist group.
In 2012 the Obama administration even paid for the Taliban peace office in Qatar.
In 2013 Barack Obama secretly released five deadly Taliban prisoners from Gitmo in exchange for peace talks.
In 2014 the Taliban officially released a statement on victory in Afghanistan 6 years into the Obama presidency.
So, in a previous post it is shown the Biden Admin nixed many key components to the withdrawal part of getting out Afghanistan. Now, we know that the treaty the media, Democrats, and Biden keeps referring to….
But here’s the deal: You know — I wish you’d one day say these things — you know as well as I do that the former President made a deal with the Taliban that he would get all American forces out of Afghanistan by May 1. — JOE BIDEN
….was in fact conditional.
conditional: subject to one or more conditions or requirements being met; made or granted on certain terms. “the consortium has made a conditional offer”
synonyms: subject to ✦ dependent on ✦ depending on ✦ contingent on ✦ hingeing on ✦ resting on ✦ hanging on ✦ based on ✦ determined by ✦ controlled by ✦ tied to ✦ bound up with ✦ contingent ✦ dependent ✦ qualified ✦ with conditions (attached) ✦ with reservations ✦ limited ✦ restrictive ✦ provisional ✦ stipulatory ✦ provisory
… Biden can go only so far in claiming the agreement boxed him in. IT HAD AN ESCAPE CLAUSE: The U.S. could have withdrawn from the accord if Afghan peace talks failed. They did, but Biden chose to stay in it, although he delayed the complete pullout from May to September.
Chris Miller, acting defense secretary in the final months of the Trump administration, chafed at the idea that Biden was handcuffed by the agreement.
“If he thought the deal was bad, he could have renegotiated. He had plenty of opportunity to do that if he so desired,” Miller, a top Pentagon counterterrorism official at the time the Doha deal was signed, said in an interview.
The piece goes on to acknowledge that that course of action may have led to difficulties of its own, but Biden should have been able to rely on the decades of foreign-policy experience he has boasted as having to craft a better deal…..
…IT HAD AN ESCAPE CLAUSE: The U.S. could have withdrawn from the accord if Afghan peace talks failed. They did…
So according to the “deal itself” and the Biden Admin ignoring that and getting rid of the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR) — as the original post details below — Afghanistan is 100% Biden’s issue. Period!
The UPDATED VIDEO can be found at the bottom of the post. (Originally posted Aug 18th)
Here is an excerpt, you should read the whole article!
Joe Biden’s State Department moved to cancel a critical State Department program aimed at providing swift and safe evacuations of Americans out of crisis zones just months prior to the fall of Kabul, The National Pulse can exclusively reveal.
The document is dated June 11, 2021, though The National Pulse understands the decision to pause the program may have come as early as February, both undermining the original Trump-era date for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and certainly giving the Taliban time to threaten American assets and lives on the run up to Joe Biden’s September 11th date of withdrawal.
The subject line reads: “(SBU) Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau,” and the body of the document recommends:
“That you direct the discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR), and direct a further review of certain associated Department requirements and capabilities.”
It goes on:
“That you direct the discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, CCR, consistent with the applicable legal requirements, necessary stakeholder engagement, and any applicable changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual and other requirements.”
The document reveals the recommendations were approved on June 11th 2021.
Speaking exclusively to The National Pulse, former President Donald J. Trump blasted Biden’s irresponsible move:
“My Administration prioritized keeping Americans safe, Biden leaves them behind. Canceling this successful Trump Administration program before the withdrawal that would have helped tens of thousands Americans reach home is beyond disgraceful. Our withdrawal was conditions-based and perfect, it would have been flawlessly executed and nobody would have even known we left. The Biden execution and withdrawal is perhaps the greatest embarrassment to our Country in History, both as a military and humanitarian operation.”
In a lengthy article in Vanity Fair from May 2021, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR) – also referred to in overlap with a predecessor/partner bureau called “OpMed” is described as a “little-known team of medics and miracle workers—hidden deep within the U.S. Department of State.”
“Even before COVID reared its head, OpMed was finding ways to do all sorts of things, serving as the hidden hand behind daring and often dangerous operations to rescue Americans from peril abroad,” the article states, before going on to quote Secretary of State Tony Blinken on the importance of the program’s goals.
“The Bureau of Medical Services’ Directorate of Operation—or ‘OpMed,’ as we call it—is a lifeline for the Department of State and the American people… Though perhaps lesser known outside of the Department, it’s vital to our operations. That’s because OpMed provides the platform and personnel to save American lives around the world, especially in times of crisis. During the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, OpMed was integral to our evacuation and repatriation of 100,000 Americans to the United States as countries began locking down their borders.”
But The National Pulse understands that career officials inside the State Department objected to the Trump-era aim of creating a Contingency and Crisis Response bureau with the express purpose of avoiding a future Benghazi-style situation for Americans overseas.
Instead, Biden’s team revoked the funding and the approval for the plan, even as the COVID-19 crisis reasserted itself, and and Afghanistan withdrawal loomed………
NEWSBUSTERS has this updated CNN clip where Darrell Issa schools Jim Acosta
There’s a reason why you don’t see conservatives on CNN very often.
Hack journalist Jim Acosta couldn’t keep up as his Republican guest, Rep. Darrell Issa [R-CA], schooled him on his own show, Sunday, over President Biden’s Afghanistan debacle. Acosta repeatedly tried to blame President Trump for the Taliban takeover, but Issa exposed the journalist’s pathetic hypocrisy…..
In my continuing masochistic experiment of commenting on one of the most openly bigoted and wrong minded books I have read (outside of maybe the books I purchased from Obama’s church’s book store), I delve into a second installment of this series. I will however, unlike my dealing with the Introduction of Ibram Kendi’s book, take smaller chunks of it and dissect it a bit. Or take topical chunks I should say. The first issue I wish to tackle are more misunderstandings regarding the Christian faith and the journey his father took (at least Kendi’s understanding of it). Here is an example. In the beginning pages of Chapter one of “How to Be an Antiracist” he writes of the influence of Tom Skinner on his parents.
However, Mr. Ibram never expresses the ideas to the reader that even though Tom Skinner was tough on white Evangelicals – making them feel uncomfortable in time (remember, many were silent in the pews during the Democratic Jim Crow era), but that Skinner himself was tougher on the black church., for instance, in an interesting article entitled, “Tom Skinner Was Not The Evangelical Radical You’re Looking For,” we find this:
…Skinner was not afraid to make white evangelicals uncomfortable. They were “almost totally irresponsible” in their avoidance of their black brethren, and it was only the pressures of the civil rights movement that had belatedly stirred them from their complacency. He blasted white evangelicals who piously intoned that “Jesus was the answer” while refusing to get involved in the problem. Skinner believed Jesus was the answer too. But he had skin in the game, and he expected other evangelicals to join him. Yet it was precisely this supplicatory undertone that made Skinner’s criticisms manageable. For all the discomfort his words could cause, he did not doubt that white evangelicals had the correct theology on the point that mattered most, and he asked them to help him bring their theology to the ghetto. Christianity Today approvingly noted that Skinner “plays down social insurgence in his sermons because he feels that reform may take ‘sixty years’ but that regeneration through Christ can help now.” To put it baldly, converted Negroes were not rioting Negroes.
Remarkably, Skinner’s criticisms of white evangelicals were tame compared to his open contempt for the black church. He described most black churches as bastions of excessive emotionalism and spiritual immaturity, led by ministers given over to sexual immorality and hypocrisy. As a result, he claimed, “There is hardly any Christian witness in the ghetto.” There’s little reason to suppose Skinner’s hostility toward the black church was anything but sincere ….
“The Gospel with Candor,” Christianity Today, October 14, 1966, 53-54.
However, on pages 16 and 17 we see the real influence on Kendi and his family. James Cone is said to have been asked by Mr. Kendi’s father this: “What is your definition of a Christian?” James Cone responded: “A Christian is one who is striving for liberation.”
Without getting into “theological woods,” James Cone pretty much announced he isn’t saved. In the previous post on this book I noted the following from the “flagship book” of Dr. Cone’s:
“The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew” — Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
“The goal of black theology is the destruction of everything white, so that blacks can be liberated from alien gods” — James Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation, p.62
“White religionists are not capable of perceiving the blackness of God, because their satanic whiteness is a denial of the very essence of divinity. That is why whites are finding and will continue to find the black experience a disturbing reality” — James Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation, p.64
However, the book specifically mentioned in these pages by Mr. Kendi is the following:
“It is this fact that makes all white churches anti-Christian in their essence. To be Christian is to be one of those whom God has chosen. God has chosen black people!” — James Cone, Black Theology & Black Power, p.151
This influence on the black church is detrimental to Christianity, just as much as if it were said that “God has chosen the white people.” And this thinking by Cone is what is driving some of the political violence we see today when he said “These new theologians of the Third World argue that Christians [liberation theology accepting Christians] should not shun violence but should initiate it” (Ibid. p.32)
Tom Skinner essentially taught that “converted Negroes were not rioting Negroes.” Cone taught the opposite. In the afore mentioned book, Dr. Cone noted:
“It [black liberation theology] is dangerous because the true prophet of the gospel of God must become both “anti-Christian” and “unpatriotic.”…. “Because whiteness by its very nature is against blackness, the black prophet is a prophet of national doom. He proclaims the end of the American Way” — James Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation, p.55-56
La Shawn Barber zeroes in on the above thinking promoted by Dr. Kendi
…Filtering Scripture through race or sex should instinctively strike Christians as problematic; labeling theology “black” or “white” or “Latino” or “feminist,” even more so. The most wonderful enduring truth about Christ is that He’s no respecter of persons. It is not unbiblical to recognize differences or to incorporate them into worship, as long as Christ and Scripture remain the supreme authority of our faith and practice.
The kind of black theology Reformed Christian Anthony J. Carter supports is different from Cone’s brand of race-filtered theology. Carter said theology has always had an ethnic or cultural context, and lists German Lutheran and Scottish Reformed traditions as examples. In that regard, he says a biblical black theology is necessary, because the alternative is an unbiblical black theology. “The unfortunate errors of nascent black theology were rooted in the assumption that experiences should be the primary source of truth,” Carter writes. He notes that men like Cone didn’t maintain the integrity of doctrine “pivotal and indispensable to the historic Christian faith.”…
Anthony J. Carter, On Being Black and Reformed: A New Perspective on the African-American Experience (Phillipsburg, NJ: P and R Publishing, 2003), 14.
And this early (chapter one) setting is a red-flag for just how bad the rest of the book will be and is. As Ron Rhodes poignantly says in his quoting of Tom Skinner:
Tom Skinner agrees and argues that “like any theology, black theology must have a frame of reference…. There are some black theologians who seek to make their frame of reference purely the black experience, but this assumes the black experience is absolutely moral and absolutely just, and that is not the case. There must be a moral frame of reference through which the black experience can be judged.” That frame of reference must be Scripture. (EQUIP)
And that is where the vaunted James Cone (and, frankly, Ibram Kendi’s acceptance of the neo-Marxist positions of liberation theology) sidesteps the real issue. Salvation vs. liberation.
Something Lit-sen Chang noted many years ago: “Without reconciliation with God, there is no reconciliation with man.”
As Dr. Carl F. H. Henry pointed out: “The Chicago evangelicals, while seeking to overcome the polarization of concern in terms of personal evangelism or social ethics, also transcended the neoProtestant nullification of the Great Commission.” “The Chicago Declaration did not leap from a vision of social utopia to legislation specifics, but concentrated first on biblical priorities for social change.” “The Chicago evangelicals did not ignore transcendent aspects of God’s Kingdom, nor did they turn the recognition of these elements into a rationalization of a theology of revolutionary violence or of pacifistic neutrality in the face of blatant militarist aggression.” (Cf. Dr. Carl F. H. Henry, “Evangelical Social Concern” Christianity Today, March 1, 1974.) The evangelical social concern is transcendental not merely horizontal.
We must make it clear that the true revolutionaries are different from the frauds who “deal only with surface phenomena. They seek to remove a deep-seated tumor from society by applying a plaster to the surface. The world’s deepest need today is not something that merely dulls the pain, but something that goes deep in order to change the basic unity of society, man himself. Only when men individually have experienced a change and reorientation, can society be redirected in the way it should go. This we cannot accomplish by either violence or legislation” (cf. Reid: op. cit.). Social actions, without a vertical and transcendental relation with God only create horizontal anxieties and perplexities!
Furthermore, the social activists are in fact ignorant of the social issues, they are not experts in the social sciences. They simply demand an immediate change or destruction of the social structures, but provide no blueprint of the new society whatsoever! They can be likened to the fool, as a Chinese story tells, who tried to help the plant grow faster by pulling it higher. Of course such “action” only caused the plant to wither and die. This is exactly what the social radicals are doing now! And the W.C.C. is supporting such a tragic course!
We must challenge them [secular social activists] to discern the difference between the true repentance and “social repentance.” The Bible says: “For the godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret; but worldly grief produces death” (II Cor. 7:10). This was the bitter experiences of many former Russian Marxists, who, after their conversion to Christ came to understand that they had only a sort of “social repentance”—a sense of guilt before the peasant and the proletariat, but not before God. They admitted that “A Russian (Marxist) intellectual as an individual is often a mild and loving creature, but his creed (Marxism) constrains him to hate” (cf. Nicolas Zernov: The Russian Religious Renaissance). “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one…. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:10,23). A complete change of a society must come from man himself, for basically man is at enmity with God. All humanistic social, economic and political systems are but “cut flowers,” as Dr. Trueblood put it, even the best are only dim reflections of the Glory of the Kingdom of God. As Benjamin Franklin in his famous address to the Constitutional Convention, said, “Without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.” Without reconciliation with God, there is no reconciliation with man. Social action is not evangelism; political liberation is not salvation. While we shall by all means have deep concern on social issues; nevertheless, social activism shall never be a substitution for the Gospel.
Lit-sen Chang, The True Gospel vs. Social Activism, (booklet. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co: 1976), 9.
(originally posted in August 2007 on my old blog;
here originally in May, 2010; Updated April, 2015)
Agree or Not?
This is a combination of two posts, the first was a question I posed to someone in a forum. Below you see what that question was and where I led that person. The second is a bit of political science. Both repeat some of the same idea, but both are different.
So let’s highlight the first question by a court case that has, well, institutionalized the “post-modern” society. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1996), the 9th District Appeals Court wrote:
“At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.”
In other words, whatever you believe is your origin, and thus your designating meaning on both your life and body is your business, no one else’s. If you believe that the child growing in you – no matter at what stage (Doe v. Bolton) – isn’t a child unless you designate it so. You alone can choose to or not choose to designate life to that “fetus”. It isn’t a “potential person” until you say it is first a person. Understand? That being clarified, do you agree with this general statement:
“If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own reality…”
Sounds really close to the 9th Courts majority view doesn’t it. The above is basically saying that your opinion is just as valid as another persons opinion because both are your’s and the other persons perspective on something is formed from influences from your culture and experiences. So someone from New Guiney may have a differing view or opinion on eating dogs than an American.
Let’s compare a portion from both statements:
“At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life…”
“…the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own reality…”
Whether you’re an atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian or Muslim, it doesn’t matter. Your reality is just that… your reality, or opinion, or personal dogma. I want to now complete one of the quotes that I left somewhat edited, not only that, but I want to ask you if you still agree with it after you find out who wrote it.
“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”
Mussolini, Diuturna pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999), by Peter Kreeft, p. 18.
Does the Left = Communism?
And The Right = Fascism?
This blog will jump around just a bit, but the main point will be this: Fascism has nothing to do with conservatism, or the right.
First of all, let me start this blurb by stating emphatically that true fascism during WWII lived in Italy with Mussolini, who himself had a philosophy degree and even published a book (and whose son, incidentally, is a great jazz player!). Mussolini even quantified what fascism is, and you could almost take his definition and lay it over a particular political spectrum today:
“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”
(Mussolini, Diuturna pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999, by Peter Kreeft, p. 18.)
(Relativism is a philosophical theory asserting that there is no absolute truth, only truth relative to the individual, or to a particular time or culture, or both. To put it another way, relativism may be defined as the radical denial of objectivity.) So fascism is almost misdefined in today’s apathetic terms, and definition is very important to not forget history and thus repeat it. Anti-Semitism is also misdefined in that it not only takes a strong-form, but a weak-form is also prevalent in today’s modern culture that should be pointed out.
Anti-Semitism can come in many forms; I would argue that when a news organization is very unbalanced in their coverage of the currant Palestinian/Israeli conflict, they are showing a bias that is feeding unhealthy views about the Semitic people and their history.
For instance, NPR: 18,321 words in pro-Arab only segments, 4,934 words in pro-Israel segments. Bias in number of Arab-only vs Israeli-only segments: 63-percent Palestinian/pro-Arab only segments, 37-percent Israel/pro-Israel segments. (CAMERA)
NPR is a left leaning, tax payer funded (government supported), radio program. Sounds somewhat fascist to me.
Many years ago at a tire shop an older couple had their elderly mother with them and I noticed a number on her arm. This survivor and I talked for a straight forty-five minutes about history and politics. She said something that made me cringe. She said that in the early days of the rise of the Reich, it became immoral to kill rodents, but okay for abortion and euthanasia as moral choices. She applied that to our currant culture better and more forcefully than any author I have read. She mentioned also that one of the tactics of the socialists then were to shout down at public meetings any dissenters, or try and ban their freedom of speech while protecting theirs. This conversation has opened my mind up a bit more than it was previously. For instance, I now cringe when I see certain authors banned from being, well, even recommended.
For instance, a librarian at Ohio University recommended the book, The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom, and was voted on by his fellow professors 21-0 [with nine abstentions, so kinda like 30-0] as being a sexual harasser for recommending a conservative book. Sounds somewhat fascist to me.
The Ohio State University, an agency of the State of Ohio, is investigating a librarian for recommending a book.
Scott Savage, who serves as a reference librarian for the university, suggested four best-selling conservative books for freshman reading in his role as a member of OSU Mansfield’s First Year Reading Experience Committee. The four books he suggested were The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian, The Professors by David Horowitz, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye’or, and It Takes a Family by Senator Rick Santorum. Savage made the recommendations after other committee members had suggested a series of books with a left-wing perspective, by authors such as Jimmy Carter and Maria Shriver.
Savage was put under “investigation” by OSU’s Office of Human Resources after three professors filed a complaint of discrimination and harassment against him, saying that the book suggestions made them feel “unsafe.” The complaint came after the OSU Mansfield faculty voted without dissent to file charges against Savage. The faculty later voted to allow the individual professors to file charges.
The political commentators of a conservative political philosophy, when on campuses, are shouted down and threatened with bodily harm; leftist viewpoints in the same arena are NOT shouted down, and these left leaning guests do not need bodyguards. But when people like Ann Coulter or David Horowitz go on campus, Democrat and leftist students ramp up the death threats and attempted takeover of the mic and stage. When people like Cindy Sheehan or Maureen Dowd go to a university campus, they are treated like heroes and no personal security is needed.
“Music that seemed to come from somewhere in the raucous audience that packed the Jorgensen Center at the University of Connecticut Wednesday night brought Ann Coulter’s speech to an abrupt end about 15 minutes after she started.
After waiting with her bodyguard on stage for several minutes for the music to stop while a section of the audience chanted ‘You suck, you suck,’ an irritated Coulter said she would not finish her speech.”
Deaniac types love to brand everyone to the right of Ted Kennedy a fascist. If you are critical of blank-slatism, oppose open borders, affirmative action, welfare payments, same-sex marriage, or on-demand abortion, you’ve likely been hit with the label. Here’s the pertinent part of the definition:
“Suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship… oppressive, dictatorial control.”
Who’s the fascist? A more effective way to disparage speakers (and retain an element of probity) was demonstrated by those outside the auditorium holding signs and pictures. Disagree vehemently, but don’t try to mute those with whom you disagree.
Coulter was invited by the University of Conneticut to give a speech followed by a Q&A two days after far left activist Cindy Sheehan (who was not shouted down or interrupted) did the same.
So, what are some similarities to the above? Let us delve into how a charasmatic figure like Hitler came to power:
The Sturmabteilung (SA)…. (Storm Detachment or Assault Division, or Brownshirts) functioned as the original paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party. It played a key role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Their main assignments were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of the opposing parties … and intimidating Slavic and Romani citizens, unionists and Jews (e.g. the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses).
Remember when the State capital and the Governors mansion was taken over in Wisconsin? Violence and threats to Republicans in this fight to shrink government? SUVs are burnt by lkeftists, Occupy Walstreet threatens civility, on and on. FIRE notes that universities pay people to disrupt freedom of thought:
Washington State University’s web site calls the school “an ideal place to live and learn” and promises prospective students that instead of “smog or traffic jams,” they will find “an easy-going pace and eclectic college-town atmosphere.”
Here’s something else WSU students don’t find much of on the Pullman campus – freedom of speech. Hecklers who shout down speakers at WSU sometimes do so on tax dollars. Hitler used Nazi thugs called “Brown Shirts” to silence opponents as he sought power in pre-war Germany. Today at WSU, the people paying the hecklers are called “administrators.”
Here are the basic facts of this incredible event: Black student playwright Chris Lee staged his intentionally provocative production of “Passion of the Musical” at WSU April 21. He warned potential ticket buyers beforehand the play was likely to offend everybody because, as he later said, “the whole point of the play was to show people that we’re not that different, that we all have issues that can be made fun of.”
Sure enough, a group of Mormon students peacefully protested the production outside the theatre, but inside the First Amendment took a beating as 40 mostly Black protestors repeatedly shouted “I am offended” and threatened audience members and the cast. Guess who paid for the protestors’ tickets? WSU’s Office of Campus Involvement (OCI).
At one point, Lee took a microphone and asked campus security to remove the protestors. The officials declined to do so and suggested instead that Lee change the lyrics to one of the play’s songs that especially drew the ire of the hecklers….
This refusal to allow free speech on a place where freedom of thought should be paramount is an action of the Left, not the right.
★ If you are a Republican, you need not speak at a university commencement or convocation. ★ If you are a conservative Republican you need not apply for a job, as a waiter or an CEO.
Political Correctness plays a revolutionary role in this matrix of leftist ideology:
(Leon Trotsky is another example of a guy who led the way in silencing the opposition in order to install a dictator, Lenin [Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov].) Let us look at what we are told is suppose to be the political landscape if it were to be put into a line graph.
Really this is misleading. For one, it doesn’t allow for anarchy, which is a form of governance (or lack thereof). Also, it places democracy in the center… as if this is what one should strive for, a sort of balance. (The most popular — college level graph — is wrong and misleading as well):
However, the founding fathers wanted nothing to do with a democracy no matter how many times a New York Times editorialist or you’re teacher says we are in one:
James Madison (fourth President, co-author of the Federalist Papers and the father of the Constitution) Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general; been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
John Adams (American political philosopher, first vice President and second President) Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration): “A simple democracy is one of the greatest of evils.”
Fisher Ames (American political thinker and leader of the federalists [he entered Harvard at twelve and graduated by sixteen], author of the House language for the First Amendment): “A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will provide an eruption and carry desolation in their way…. The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [excessive license] which the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be liberty.”
Governor Morris (signer and penman of the Constitution): “We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism. Democracy! Savage and wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtous and wise to thy level of folly and guilt.”
John Quincy Adams (sixth President, son of John Adams [see above]): “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”
Noah Webster (American educator and journalist as well as publishing the first dictionary): “In democracy there are commonly tumults and disorders.. therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”
John Witherspoon (signer of the Declaration of Independence): “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”
Zephaniah Swift (author of Americas first legal text): “It may generally be remarked that the more a government [or state] resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion.”
The Founders obviously knew what a democracy was, which is why in Article IV, Section Four of the Constitution, it says:
The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government.
The following graph includes all political models and better shows where the political beliefs lie e.g., left or right is the following (take note, this graph is from a book I do not support nor recommend… but these visual insights are very useful):
In actuality, during WWII, fascism grew out of socialism, showing how close the ties were. I would argue that the New Left that comprises much of the Democratic Party today is fascistic, or, at least, of a closer stripe than any conservative could ever hope to be. I will end with a model comparing the two forms of governance that the two core values (conservatism/classical liberalism versus a socialist democracy) will produce. Before you view the below though, keep in mind that a few years back the ASA (American Socialist Association) on their own web site said that according to the voting record of United States Congressmen and Women, that 58 of them were social democrats. These are the same that put Hitler and Mussolini in power.
Which Do You Prefer?? Liberal Democrats want more government control, Conservative Republicans want less. In a discussion, I exemplified that minimally “fascism” is growth of government in this way:
I say “fascism” because it is government wanting to make policy based on false science, big-government, while labeling a large swath of it’s opposition/electorate inferior to make choices (deniers, anti-science, homophobic, bigoted, racist, etc).
Out of all of the above, the continual growth of government makes this an issue that should be important to those that know history. Out of his series on the subject, R.J. Rummels third book, “Death By Government” documents why this should raise alarms.
It is something the Founders warned of ~ and now a bunch of very left leaning — well respected — legal scholars… even going as far as saying the Constitution was written to stop men like Obama. Leftists, not Rightists saying that.
Leftist Professor of law Jonathan Turley:
Even Obama’s professor at Harvard, himself a leftie, notes the following:
Laurence H. Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard University and former mentor to Barack Obama, said in an article last week that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal on Dec. 22, Tribe asserted that as a father and grandfather he wants “to leave the Earth in better shape than when I arrived”, but that he nonetheless has filed comments with the EPA urging the agency to withdraw the Clean Power Plan. “Coping with climate change is a vital end, but it does not justify using unconstitutional means,” wrote Tribe.
Tribe was retained by Peabody Energy to perform independent analysis of the EPA’s proposed rule. He defended his opinion saying it reflects his “professional conclusions as an independent legal scholar”, and that he only says what he believes, whether he works “pro bono, or in this case having been retained by others”.
“After studying the only legal basis offered for the EPA’s proposed rule,” Tribe wrote, “I concluded that the agency is asserting executive power far beyond its lawful authority.”
He further noted that the Clean Power Plan would “effectively dictate the energy mix used in each state and leave the state with essentially no choice in implementing its plan,” a move that would be in direct opposition to Supreme Court precedent that holds “such federal commandeering of state governments defeats political accountability and violates principles of federalism that are basic to our constitutional order”.
Tribe continued by saying that, like every government agency, the EPA is “constitutionally forbidden to exercise powers Congress never delegated in the first place,” and that “frustration with congressional inaction cannot justify throwing the Constitution overboard”.
In fact, many that have come from the Eastern European satellite countries of the old U.S.S.R., and holocaust survivors notice a closeness to how large government is getting and the fascism/Communism they lived under.
For instance, Anita Dittman, Holocaust survivor makes parallels between them. East German survivor, Elke, also warns America Communism doesn’t work. They both speak of charismatic people talking about redistribution of wealth, make it impossible for private businesses to prosper, nationalizing things like healthcare, gun control, a growing anti-Semitism, they force secularism (non-God) on people, etc.
Only two parties in America have an ethos, a base, that want certain things. The question is… on the scale of political ideology [it’s base], where do they fall?
To expand a bit on the Rummel book mentioned above… he shows that both the citizenry and free countries are dealt heavy hands and dedath in greater numbers as the government grows larger. Conservatives want to decrease governments size. Progressives want to increase the size of government.
Which is why I shake my head when I hear about people talking about the libertarian Koch Brothers influencing politics. They are for same-sex marriage as well as wanting to make government smaller, in other words, MORE CONSTUTUTIONAL. When people like billionaire coal magnate Tom Steyer gives millions of dollars to Democrats to increase the size of government, he is praised as a hero. The same goes for George Soros.
The bottom line is that leftist billionaires/millionaires who support more control by government over the affairs of men [like Tom Steyer, George Soros, Bill Gates, etc] are participating in the exponential growth in the chance of it’s citizenry to be killed in order to implement all these new legislative laws and powers that go along with the growth of government. By growth of government the ease to nationalize things becomes easier. Like Obama’s Harvard professor pointed out, above.
Here is a more Constitutional look (clip) at government:
A government powerful enough to give you homes is powerful enough to take them from you: